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Old 10-20-2020, 06:17 PM   #1
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Solar Pre-Wire Help. Where is it?

I am installing solar on our 2020 Dutch Star 4081. I can't find the wire at the roof. Upon delivery I required the dealer to show me where it is located on the roof. They pointed out a plate on passenger side covered with dicor. I pulled the plate today to find it was merely screwed onto roof. I drilled a one inch hole in the center where the plate was. I have fished around in the insulation for about an hour only finding a Romex wire. The pre-wire does exist as I have already connected it to my solar controller in the basement.

I would appreciate any thoughts or specifically help from anyone that has wired up solar as to how they located their wire. I would like to avoid making a larger hole in the roof as it will more difficult to cover with the combiner box. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDWanderers View Post
I am installing solar on our 2020 Dutch Star 4081. I can't find the wire at the roof. Upon delivery I required the dealer to show me where it is located on the roof. They pointed out a plate on passenger side covered with dicor. I pulled the plate today to find it was merely screwed onto roof. I drilled a one inch hole in the center where the plate was. I have fished around in the insulation for about an hour only finding a Romex wire. The pre-wire does exist as I have already connected it to my solar controller in the basement.

I would appreciate any thoughts or specifically help from anyone that has wired up solar as to how they located their wire. I would like to avoid making a larger hole in the roof as it will more difficult to cover with the combiner box. Thanks in advance!
I hope someone with that model can get on here and tell you. I know on the Thor Palazzo, others have found their solar pre-wire in the ceiling inside the AC unit nearest the charge controller. I hope that helps.
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:24 PM   #3
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Call Newmar with your vin and maybe they can help.
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:06 PM   #4
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I drilled a 3" hole so my hand would fit. It was 16" away under the insulation. Do you or a friend have an inspection camera? Try pushing under the insulation and fish around.
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:36 AM   #5
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You may want to use a tone generator to help locate the wires. I hooked one up to the wires in the basement and went up on the roof where the plate is located. I had a very strong signal. Made it easy to locate the wires Click image for larger version

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Old 10-21-2020, 08:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, very helpful. I wondered if it was under the insulation or on top next to roof. Apparently it can be much further out than I have been searching and is under the insulation. May check on renting a tone generator as I am trying to finish this today before a cold spell hits. Thanks again!!!!
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, very helpful. I wondered if it was under the insulation or on top next to roof. Apparently it can be much further out than I have been searching and is under the insulation. May check on renting a tone generator as I am trying to finish this today before a cold spell hits. Thanks again!!!!
Inspection cameras and tone generators are really cheap on Amazon.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:49 AM   #8
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On my 2019 DS, the kitchen ceiling fan was within a foot or so of the solar prep plate, so I dropped the ceiling fan inner shroud and fan the wiring. I was able to push it toward the the hole I cut.
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:42 PM   #9
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The wire came off a coil...so jiggling around it tends to migrate away from the deck plate area. I had to fish around to find mine.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:49 PM   #10
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Search is over, but what a pain. Rented a tone generator first thing this morning thanks to recommendation above. Got a signal about 12 inches from original plate toward center coach. Fished for 2 hours before I had to return device. Since I was not successful they didn't even charge me, my only good fortune of the day. Upon return I called Nemar tech support. They confirmed I was at the right location and admitted it can be tough to find. I fished all around the hole for another 2.5 hours before cutting a bigger hole like 10Fan suggested. I immediately located the wire with with my hand exactly where the tone generator indicated it was located. It was extremely difficult to pull out with my hand. I am not sure what it was hung on but there is no way I could have fished it out. The hole I cut was smaller than the plate Nemar provided so I cut another small hole nearby and fed the wires up to my combiner box. Covered first hole with the plate and Dicored it. Spent the entire day on this so instead of finishing today I am looking at another day tomorrow.

Lessened learned. Wire is merely near the plate and under the insulation. I should not have spent so much time fishing for the wire. However, being born and raised in Oklahoma and spending my youth noodling I just could not believe I could not hook it. So if anyone reads this in their efforts, fish a little bit and then go for the bigger hole.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:36 PM   #11
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Depending on the model, I have found that if the blank plate is close to a roof vent, I will pull down the inside vent bezel (4 screws) and locate the wires from the bottom side. This allows for a smaller roof penetration hole. Also much faster in my opinion.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:32 PM   #12
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Finding Solar Prep Wires

I see now that I got lucky - My wires were right under the 1" hole I drilled. Did use a tone generator to confirm that I had the right wires below.
That Tone Generator trick to locate wires at roof is a great trick for anyone looking for Solar Prep wires!
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Old 10-24-2020, 12:56 AM   #13
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I see now that I got lucky - My wires were right under the 1" hole I drilled. Did use a tone generator to confirm that I had the right wires below.
That Tone Generator trick to locate wires at roof is a great trick for anyone looking for Solar Prep wires!
Mine too. If I hadn't had a stop for the hole saw it would have cut them.
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