Originally Posted by NB2A
I am about to take delivery of a 2021 35CP. I was told by dealer service that it is hit or miss as to how and what gage wires are used or run for solar package. In fact they said running my own will be a costly nightmare. I did not buy with panels and wanted to install my own. Was this a mistake?TIA
PS Is there a good place to find a 12 volt distribution block to run 12 volt items inside the couch.
Totally, absolutely not true! Long story, here are the Cliffs Notes version. I am in Red Bay right now and have gone down this rabbit hole with Tiffin.
I ordered my 2021 Bus with three solar panels. It was a mistake, I wanted six. If your coach is prewired for solar you have a pair of 10 gauge wires running from your roof to the battery bay. I asked the electrical department if there was a second set of wires pre installed since I could have six total panels on
my roof. The answer was no. One set of 10 gauge wires is all you get. Unless Tiffin manufacturing screwed up the wires are there.
While here in Ref Bay I had an additional four panels installed by Freedom Mobile RV. This in and of itself was an education. Freedom drilled a hole in the vertical section of the front cap (if you go up on the roof you’ll know what I mean) and ran two 10 gauge wires down the drivers side A-pillar and into the battery compartment. Easy. This took all of 15 minutes. He made no protrusions in the the flat surface of the roof. He then installed four 200 watt high efficiency monocrystalline panels on the roof, with raised brackets to prevent shading, with no, zero, protrusion into the roof. The four panels were wired series/parallel so that the 10 gauge wires could easily handle the DC current from the panels with virtually no IR losses.
Now comes the interesting part. For 2022 Tiffin is using a Go Solar (spelling may be wrong) controller for the solar panels that integrates into the Spyder control system. Nice that it shows up on the Spyder, not so nice that it is a low cost cheap system. For my installation Freedom threw out the Jaboni junk (2021 OEM from Tiffin) controller that came with my three panels and replaced it with Victron 30 amp controller and a separate Victron 50 amp controller for the four new panels. Victron is high end state of the art stuff and provides precise control over the solar system all through a Bluetooth app on your phone.
Now that I have seen the bigger and more complete picture I would not have had Tiffin install solar panels, only the solar prep. Between the Victron hardware, the high efficiency 200W solar panels (that are by the way the same physical size as the Tiffin installed 170 watt panels), the raised brackets that prevent solar panel shading from the valences on the top of the Bus, and the no roof penetration panel mounting, makes the aftermarket installation very compelling.
There’s a lot more detail to this so if you have something specific let me know. BTW Precision Mobile RV is highly rated. I understand why after seeing the detail he put into it.