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Old 09-02-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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Southwind 37C how to install Solar

New to forum, and to motor homes. After 4 fifth wheels, I bought a 04 Southwind 37C. We spend our winters, south 'off the grid', using mainly solar with little gen set usage. I was wondering who out 'there' has installed solar in their 37c. Where on roof did you mount the panel and how did you route the wires to the reg. and the batteries. I talked to a local shop, but their ideas did not seem very reasonable, in install and price.

Thanks in advance, I have already learned a lot from this site, you guys are awsome.

Lee
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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LEMO,
I have an 05 37C which came with the Solar Panel installed. It is mounted to the top of the front A/C unit with the operation light mounted in the fan grill in the coach.
As for the rest of the wiring I've never trced it out, I believe this may have been factory installed.

Hope this helps,
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:45 PM   #3
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I think he means an installed solar panel from an outside company that will actually produce amps, not the little stock panel that (supposedly) 'maintains' battery voltage while stored.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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Jim is correct. I have the small panel on the ac. However we camp off the grid for 3 to 4 months. We do use the generator but only for large usage AC items. When I had a fifthwheel with 2 slides, it was easy to run the wiring down the refer vent. But the 37C has the refer in a slide. My problem is how to mount one 120 watt or more panels on the roof, and to route the wiring down to the batteries under the step. The local shop wants to run the wiring down the exterior of the coach, which I find unacceptable. I'm hoping someone out their has already solved this problem, and is will to share their sucess.

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:44 AM   #5
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Maybe go through the front cap with all the other cables.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:24 AM   #6
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We just acquired our 2004 37C and noticed that the solor panel is mounted on top of the front air conditioner.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:05 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply. I have the same solar panel which is about 15 watts, which trickle charges the battery, which is good if parked in, storage so to say. I spend 3 or more months on a beach in Baja Mexico, dry camping "boon docking" where most of the people are gen set sensitive. In the past I had a 5'ver with solar on the roof. The SW 37C with it's kitchen slide makes it difficult to run the wiring for the solar which easily goes down a refer vent. Since my first posting I found a folding 120 watt 'suit case' panel on ebay, which I can easily set up while dry camping, so I don't have to drill any holes in the roof or side which would be required if I made a permament mounting on the roof. Thanks for sharing, all input is good, it makes the solution easier.

Thanks,

Lee
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:31 PM   #8
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Lee, can you post some pix and specifics/$ about the portable SP unit from ebay, and how you hooked it into the Batt. pack. I really don't want to do the roof mount thing, and all of that controller/wiring hassle. We also dry camp for 3-4 months in Key west, and use 2 - 2000i Hondas in parallel, but that to has become a hassle. Thanx, Robbie


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Thanks for the reply. I have the same solar panel which is about 15 watts, which trickle charges the battery, which is good if parked in, storage so to say. I spend 3 or more months on a beach in Baja Mexico, dry camping "boon docking" where most of the people are gen set sensitive. In the past I had a 5'ver with solar on the roof. The SW 37C with it's kitchen slide makes it difficult to run the wiring for the solar which easily goes down a refer vent. Since my first posting I found a folding 120 watt 'suit case' panel on ebay, which I can easily set up while dry camping, so I don't have to drill any holes in the roof or side which would be required if I made a permament mounting on the roof. Thanks for sharing, all input is good, it makes the solution easier.

Thanks,

Lee
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:58 PM   #9
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Robbie,
I have attached the same model folding solar panel I purchased on ebay. This 120 watt , which is 2x 60 watt panels, comes with an attached voltage regulater. All you have to do is route it into your battery compartment, which if like my coach is under your front steps and attach with the supplied clips. Really a simple appliation. I intend to attach a security cable system to lockit up so it woun't get happy feet. The panel comes with it's own case ans should be a pretty easy hook up. I just ordered the panel yesterday so no pictures. In my 5'ver, I have spent the last 5 winters living with a 120 watt panel and with two golf cart batteries, so I'm hoping this new coach with work out as well. We only use the gen set for the micro wave and to run the TV, etc. My next phase is to add an inverter, which I'm looking at 1000watts, pure sine wave. Hope this helps, good travels, I hope to get to west coast some day.

Lee
120W Folding Portable solar panel w/s12V10A controller - eBay (item 280564877348 end time Sep-27-10 20:12:09 PDT)
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:08 PM   #10
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Lee, thanx for the info, and link. Robbie



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Originally Posted by LEMO View Post
Robbie,
I have attached the same model folding solar panel I purchased on ebay. This 120 watt , which is 2x 60 watt panels, comes with an attached voltage regulater. All you have to do is route it into your battery compartment, which if like my coach is under your front steps and attach with the supplied clips. Really a simple appliation. I intend to attach a security cable system to lockit up so it woun't get happy feet. The panel comes with it's own case ans should be a pretty easy hook up. I just ordered the panel yesterday so no pictures. In my 5'ver, I have spent the last 5 winters living with a 120 watt panel and with two golf cart batteries, so I'm hoping this new coach with work out as well. We only use the gen set for the micro wave and to run the TV, etc. My next phase is to add an inverter, which I'm looking at 1000watts, pure sine wave. Hope this helps, good travels, I hope to get to west coast some day.

Lee
120W Folding Portable solar panel w/s12V10A controller - eBay (item 280564877348 end time Sep-27-10 20:12:09 PDT)
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:16 PM   #11
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Lee go to the second page of this link it shows wiring from roof through the vent of your holding tank to compartments below.
I have run wires down from roof through closets in bedroom or laundry cabinet.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:21 PM   #12
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Thanks 007.

Since the refer is in a slide, that took that out of the picture. We did look at roof vents, but still just didn't seem to work out. I was going to mount the panel at the rear of the coach and drill into a side wall into a cabinet, and then forward to the batteries. Then I found a folding "suitcase" panel with controler of Ebay. It stores, in it's own carring bag, behind my couch, and attaches easily to the batteries. I'm going to test it out this winter. If I need more panels, I think I'll be like you and drop down through a cabinet.

Thanks again.
Lee
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