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Old 01-14-2023, 05:19 PM   #1
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Winnebago 10 Watt roof solar panel upgrade

Anybody upgrade their roof mounted solar panel on a Winny Adventurer. Factory is only 10 watt. I want to upgrade and was wondering if I can just replace the panel with a larger unit and use the existing wiring or do I need to add a controller for the excess voltage. I have a 4 battery setup so I dont think it would ever over charge them..
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Old 01-14-2023, 05:40 PM   #2
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Nope. Not upgradable to anything worthwhile.

These were a gimmick put on RVs 10+ years ago to “trickle” charge batteries in storage. They have little to no value and are not even worth replacing if damaged.

A more complete answer is… the wiring is not capable of safely handling larger wattages and there is not a solar controller in the system which would be necessary if the panel put out anything over ~ 25 w.

If you want to add solar power start from scratch and ignore that gimmick on your roof.

If you have 4-batteries and perhaps 400 Ah you should consider 400 watts or more of solar. This will require 10ga or even 8ga wiring. From the roof to a solar controller capable of at least 30amps.
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Old 01-14-2023, 06:43 PM   #3
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Ones like it are 12v panels no controller. One post "can't remember brand" diagram showed back feeding to chassis dash area chassis feed. The fridge vent chimney and cabinet was go to for running solar wires. My old girl has controller above fridge and 90watts of panels run that way from factory. With original residential fridges , fridge in slides and batteries under steps might not be as good of an option on some rigs. If your staying under 300 watts you can find decent PWM dual battery controller for under $40. Or check out well trusted/tested brand Epever DuoRacer . Mppt house 30 amps plus 1amp chassis battery trickle charge for $100. Like to see a bit more for chassis like 3-5A but it is better that not.
https://invertersrus.com/product/epe...RoCWVUQAvD_BwE
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Old 01-14-2023, 06:52 PM   #4
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If you are planning solar for reals then get an MPPT controller 80-100 amps with bluetooth. Then you are set for expansion.
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Old 01-14-2023, 07:31 PM   #5
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I had 10w factory solar panel mounted on the a/c.. at 1st I upgraded to 100w flexible solar panel with no controller.. here in never sunny ohio.. so I figured on 50% rated.. then found batteries did over charge slightly.. so ordered 2nd 100w flexible solar panels and 20amp controller.. my rv had red led mounted inside on a/c cover.. I cut out led and wired in 20amp controller.. great results. The wiring is 14ga and seems very happy.. but that would be max.. I would feel comfortable with.. because one can never be sure. What factory did.. but this works great for us.. use your own judgement.. by the way.. my factory solar panel is wired to charge chassis battery.. but I have added a combiner that will send charge to house batteries when chassis reaches set charge.. check your gauge wiring.. decide your budget and layout.. my panels are wired in parallel..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 01-14-2023, 07:33 PM   #6
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Agreed. These factory installed 10W chargers were sales points and certainly not able to be upgraded. However, they certainly do keep the house batteries fully charged when not in use. That is its only function.
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Old 01-14-2023, 08:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info 153Stars........... invertersrus.com has everything I need and at very reasonable prices..eg. 100 watts for $109 and buy 1 get one free can't beat that. Controller for $100 and no drill brackets $25.... A 400 watt setup for under $600. Can't beat that. And right down the no longer needed fridge vent (converted to residential)with wiring. Thanks everyone for the input..
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Old 01-15-2023, 04:36 AM   #8
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There is a basic remote available for the controller. I think I've seen same unit for other brands, it may use some universal protocol. You will need some DC fuses or breakers as well for your build.Inverter R us should have some diagrams or suggestions as well as ton of other info out there.
I suggested the dual battery because of so many issues with stock MH battery isolator/combiners . Some MH don't charge chassis from house at all. You could certainly use a single battery charge controller, if your chassis batt gets a charge from house batts. But the cost of Epever regular controller 30A/100V is near the same as DuoRacer .A higher amp dual battery charge could easily be made with an automatic charge relay or VSR voltage sensing relay. But low amp unit would need to not combine from alternator unless you go with high amp one like Bluesea MTL-ACR .
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Thanks for the info 153Stars........... invertersrus.com has everything I need and at very reasonable prices..eg. 100 watts for $109 and buy 1 get one free can't beat that. Controller for $100 and no drill brackets $25.... A 400 watt setup for under $600. Can't beat that. And right down the no longer needed fridge vent (converted to residential)with wiring. Thanks everyone for the input..
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