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Old 01-29-2021, 11:58 PM   #1
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2000 Alpine 40

New purchase. I have a solar panel that came with the coach. Where would I find the controller or how can I tell if it is working?
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Old 01-30-2021, 06:13 AM   #2
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Page 58 of the owners manual describes 2 possible options for factory solar panels. The bigger 50w panel passes through a charge regulator that is in the 120v panel compartment. The smaller 10W panel connects to the batteries through a multi battery isolator in the battery compartment.

Use you internet search function to search this term and you will get tons of info:

solar panel:https://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/
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Old 01-30-2021, 06:17 AM   #3
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I have the 10w panel on the top of my 2001. I've never paid it any attention. Since I was testing the search term I shared with you, I learned some stuff here:

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/sol...el-457395.html
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Old 01-30-2021, 08:19 AM   #4
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…..even a fully functional 10w panel is a bit like "a drop in the solar ocean"...a 15 or 20 year old panel would be less than a drop....
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:18 AM   #5
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If there is an accessible connection on the roof near the panel, disconnect it and measure the voltage coming from the panel. Otherwise, locate the wires as described in post #2 and measure the voltage at that location. If voltage is less than satisfactory, you should be able to install a new panel and utilize the existing wires. Also check for any in-line fuses that may be blown.
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Old 01-31-2021, 07:25 PM   #6
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I can't believe they wasted the time to install a 10w panel, less than 1 amp of output. Useless.
I have the 10w, no controller. I believe it's wired directly to the batteries.
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Old 02-01-2021, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep401 View Post
I can't believe they wasted the time to install a 10w panel, less than 1 amp of output. Useless.
I have the 10w, no controller. I believe it's wired directly to the batteries.
The 10W may have been suitable for the earlier coaches. There were fewer solar options available 15-20 years ago and the choice of a thin panel glued to the roof was not a great decision. Those tend to get crispy after a year or two when exposed to sunlight. It is unlikely that such a panel would produce any electricity after more than a decade of service.

The later coaches need at least a 20W panel and the chassis battery switch in the open position to maintain a charge on the chassis batteries.
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Old 02-01-2021, 11:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Gloves View Post
The 10W may have been suitable for the earlier coaches. There were fewer solar options available 15-20 years ago and the choice of a thin panel glued to the roof was not a great decision. Those tend to get crispy after a year or two when exposed to sunlight. It is unlikely that such a panel would produce any electricity after more than a decade of service.

The later coaches need at least a 20W panel and the chassis battery switch in the open position to maintain a charge on the chassis batteries.
True, and least 20w, and I'm not sure that would keep up with the parasitic drains.
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:33 AM   #9
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My 2000 came with a pair of Siemens 50w panels. Both were wired to the little controller in the breaker panel cupboard.

They intermittently did sort of work in a bench test, but the wiring and diodes were all crumbling so I tossed the panels.

I didn't have anything oem going to the starting batteries.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:28 AM   #10
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The 2x50w panels charged the house batteries.
The 10w panel trickle charged the chassis batteries. Both were options.
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