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Old 03-14-2016, 11:04 PM   #1
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Solar install

Going to start my solar panel install and I want to run the wires down through the back cap placing the controller on the back wall of the closet. My question is the back cap open or are there braces that will block the wire from dropping down and exiting by the oil fill? The coach is an 08 Diplomat
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:11 AM   #2
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Subscribing, cuz I KNOW you will post pics and details

I don't know, but our 11 dip is mostly open except for that big honking radiator blocking the whole rear so you can't even SEE the engine !
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'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk(junk!), 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, Winn LeSharo, C's, popups, vans, tents...
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccrob View Post
Going to start my solar panel install and I want to run the wires down through the back cap placing the controller on the back wall of the closet. My question is the back cap open or are there braces that will block the wire from dropping down and exiting by the oil fill? The coach is an 08 Diplomat
Bob,

We have an 06 Diplomat and went down thru the rear cap using a combiner box we purchased from AM Solar. Here is a photo:


Since the photo was taken we added an additional panel and connected two panels each in series and combined them in parallel. We have a MPPT controller so the higher voltage provides better results. Here is a photo of the controller mounted in the rear most compartment on the curb side of the coach.

If you look close you can see the 4 GA cables entering the rear wall of the compartment. You can also see the disconnect switch mounted on the rear wall next to the controller. On the other side of that rear wall is the area where the fill tubes are for the oil and transmission fluid and the hydraulic tank for the power steering. Writing is not my strong point but I will try to explain how the cables were brought down from the combiner.

There is about 12 inches of space between the rear cap and the closet wall inside the coach. That space is filled with sheets of insulation but there is still a lot of free space. Our approach was to use a three inch hole saw like you would use to install a dryer vent and drill a three inch hole in the plywood floor above the radiator. We did that in the same area where the fill tubes and hydraulic tank are. That three hole allowed us to reach our arm up into the open space between the cap and the rear wall of the coach. We felt this was necessary because the combiner box at the top of the cap cannot be located directly over the area where the fill tubes are due to the ladder. We drilled a hole at the top of the cap where the combiner box would be located just large enough for the two 4 GA cables to pass thru. We dropped the cables down and reached in thru the 3 inch hole and pulled them out into the area where the hydraulic fluid tank is. I know you are thinking, "man a three inch hole", but we purchased an electrical work box complete with a cover that was made of ABS plastic. We drilled a 3 inch hole in the back of that box and mounted it over the three inch hole in the floor. We also added a strain relief to the side of the box for the two 4 GA cables. After the cables were threaded thru and snug, we put the cover on the box. After I post this I will see if I can get a photo of that box and post it.

Here is a photo of the work box:


I am not sure if you can see it but I wrapped the cables with Rescue tape where they pass thru the strain relief. May not be necessary but it made me feel better.

Bob
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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Hadn't thought about insulation in the back cap but here's my thinking I'm mounting my controller in the back wallow my closet, previous coach was set up that way, which will give me a 4x6 inch hole to work through, drop the wire down by the ladder then drill a hole in the cap above the oil fill I should be able to run a fish wire up and be able to reach in and find it. What do you all think?
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:55 AM   #5
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Hadn't thought about insulation in the back cap but here's my thinking I'm mounting my controller in the back wallow my closet, previous coach was set up that way, which will give me a 4x6 inch hole to work through, drop the wire down by the ladder then drill a hole in the cap above the oil fill I should be able to run a fish wire up and be able to reach in and find it. What do you all think?
Bob,

Not sure I understand your approach. It sounds like you are going to bring the cables down the ladder and drill a hole in the cap to enter the area between the cap and the closet wall. That would not be my choice as the cables would show from the back of the coach and you would have some sort of entry into the rear of the cap. That would make washing the rear cap a pain not to mention the aesthetic nature of the rear cap.

Bob
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:00 AM   #6
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No all wires will be run inside the rear cap
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:45 PM   #7
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Ok jobs all done. Bought a 400 watt 4 panel kit from Renogy Solar in Ontario CA. Kit came with everything,but the fuse you need on the positive wire from the roof panels waiting on them to send it. Mounted the panels on the roof ran the wires to the rear cap, drilled a 1/2 hole you need at least a 6" bit as there is a brace just under the back up camera. Cut a 4x6 hole in the rear closet. There is 3 pieces of panelling separated by 2 pieces of 1" styrofoam just a little over 2"deep. Went to the curb rear panel the one with the oil fill and check drilled another 1/2 hole. With a fish wire brought the panel wires down to the controller in the closet. With the same wire brought the battery wires up to the controller hole. Connected the wires to the controller then to the batteries. Zip tied all wires an filled the holes with dicor sealant. Like I said just waiting on the fuse and I'll be good to go. 400watts with all wires and controller for less than $700 and a day's labor for me and the wife. Still can't up load pictures. renogy.com
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