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Old 11-10-2022, 02:45 PM   #1
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Solar 04 Mountain Aire

Hi everyone,
I am installing solar panels on the roof of my 04 Mountainaire. It’s a 40 footer with two slides.
I located the “rough in” wires on the roof under the plate and now I am attempting to locate the other end of the wires. They are red and white.
Of course there are a red and white wire that come into the battery compartment and for some reason are already connected to the batteries. I am not getting any voltage across those wires even now after they are connected to my solar panels.
I am presuming that those wires are coming from the small solar panel that was already there on the roof.
I have called Newmar technical help and the representative there said that the wire should be coming into the battery compartment… tucked in at the top somewhere. For the life of me, I cannot find them.
I have checked the main panel in the upper cabinet passenger side bedroom as well as the cabinet just a head of it where the generator remote box is.… No luck!
Is there anybody out there that might know of where the wires go to?
Appreciate any help. Thank you in advance.
Marcel
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Old 11-10-2022, 03:14 PM   #2
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I would guess they would be in the bay with the inverter/charger as you wouldn’t connect larger panels direct to the batteries. You will need to go through a charge controller.
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Old 11-22-2022, 07:33 AM   #3
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Did you find the wires?
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Old 11-23-2022, 07:30 AM   #4
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Sorry for the missed reply. I actually replied to the email that I got and apparently that was wrong.
Thank you for your advice.
So… No… I did not find the wires.
As mentioned, I found a red and a white coming into the battery compartment that did not seem to be connected as the roughed in wires. The temperature should be above the freezing point today so I will go on the roof and open up the connection junction box and check for continuity from the connection there with my metre and a long wire, to the wires in the battery compartment. It is possible that the white wire is connected and the red wire is perhaps broken somewhere along its route.
I will advise.
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Old 11-23-2022, 08:01 AM   #5
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Thanks again
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:21 AM   #6
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I am interested how/where you mount your solar panels as I would love to add solar but scared about mounting, finding studs, etc.
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Old 11-28-2022, 10:06 PM   #7
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I would not rely on the factory-installed solar wiring. My guess is that it was designed for a very small solar system.

When I installed solar on my 2001 Mountain Aire, I ran my own wiring in the RV -- through the roof over our back closet, under our bedroom dresser, and into the basement inverter compartment.

Here's my solar install.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rssnape View Post
I am interested how/where you mount your solar panels as I would love to add solar but scared about mounting, finding studs, etc.
In this install as well as a previous one, I did not concern myself with finding the roof trusses. On most RVs, whether they have a rubber roof or a fibreglass roof, there is a layer of plywood under the surface cover which acts as a support for the accessories as well as providing a strong enough surface to walk on. I used the solar panel manufacturer’s “Z” bracket in between the panels and the roof, employing three #12 sheet metal, stainless steel screws to fasten into that wood under the fiberglass. Do not pre-drill for them as this would remove material that you want for the strength of the “bite”. I used 3 screws in each bracket to help insure the brackets would not lift. I applied self levelling caulk before laying the brackets onto the roof and of course again after the screws were installed.
The picture is prior to the install of additional screws and caulking.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:50 PM   #9
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I’m going to rain on your parade. At this point the wires don’t matter except to determine what gauge wire is up on the roof.
1. How many amp hours do you want the system to provide? As a rule, you shouldn’t expect more than about 60% production from the rated wattage of the panels
2. Estimate the distance of your home run from roof combiner to solar charger. Decide if you are using 12 volt panels or 56 volt commercial panels. The size of wire required is a function of distance and voltage. Most panels use 10 gauge wire, if your existing factory home run is smaller than 10 gauge it’s pretty much useless for 12 volt panels in any combination. More leeway for a higher voltage panel. The solar controller can convert voltage down to a 12volt system.
3. Panel mounting dependent on panel size and roof material. My panels are mounted with VHB tape that has the edges covered in sealant, but my roof is fiberglass over plywood, not filon over foam or a rubber roof.
4. Go to AM Solar and watch every single video on the website before designing your project.

A good solar system adds a lot of flexibility and doesn’t require much maintenance once in place.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:29 AM   #10
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Thanks Realmccoy,
All good advice and guidance. You are right. People should do a lot of research before tackling a solar
Install on their RV or home/ cottage. I have completed both quite successfully after looking at so many options.
The VHB tape sounds like a good idea on a smooth, properly prepared (cleaned) surface, although I would still be likely to insert a screw in each bracket for the time and money it takes.
Also, some fibreglass roofs (like mine) have a walking area up and down both sides that have quite a rough raised surface. I would not trust the tape to provide the necessary adhesion on that surface where I would feel comfortable at highway speeds.
Thank you for your input.
Again everyone, do your research or have an experienced person or firm complete the install.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:33 AM   #11
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Still hoping that someone can tell me where the 10gauge rough-in wires (that I found on the roof) terminate.
Help!!! I am about to run another set but it means drilling through the roof whiting would rather not do.
Thanks
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:30 AM   #12
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On my 2004 DutchStar the pre-installed solar panels wires i found coiled up on top of the refrigerator when i install a new Samsung RF18.
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:55 PM   #13
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I am about to run another set but it means drilling through the roof whiting would rather not do.
Just use a hole saw and go slow.
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rssnape View Post
I am interested how/where you mount your solar panels as I would love to add solar but scared about mounting, finding studs, etc.
Some people swear by tape, but I prefer screw-down Z brackets. I don't both with finding roof studs.




To be even more secure, you can also put down a metal strip on your roof before fastening Z brackets:

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