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Old 06-26-2021, 08:31 PM   #1
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Routing Solar Feed Cables Down from the Roof

Hi Guys!

I got to spend a bit of time on the solar today and got a closer look at what the walls and ceiling are made of on this new unit. It seems it has many aluminum spars running across the roof and in between those it's filled with Styrofoam. That seems to nix my idea of running the cables into the ceiling and over to the wall and then down to the battery compartment.

I was then thinking, what about using one of the sewer vents? Ie, running down the vent into, let's say, the bathroom and then drilling a hole in the pipe, pull the cables through, run them down through the floor and then over to the tray. It seems to me that *might* work provided I can find access to the vent pipe. Obviously I would seal the area where the lines come out....

I have no idea how others do it so, by all means, please let me know if there are other ways.
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Old 06-26-2021, 08:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BobJones View Post
Hi Guys!

I got to spend a bit of time on the solar today and got a closer look at what the walls and ceiling are made of on this new unit. It seems it has many aluminum spars running across the roof and in between those it's filled with Styrofoam. That seems to nix my idea of running the cables into the ceiling and over to the wall and then down to the battery compartment.

I was then thinking, what about using one of the sewer vents? Ie, running down the vent into, let's say, the bathroom and then drilling a hole in the pipe, pull the cables through, run them down through the floor and then over to the tray. It seems to me that *might* work provided I can find access to the vent pipe. Obviously I would seal the area where the lines come out....

I have no idea how others do it so, by all means, please let me know if there are other ways.
Instead of running it inside the pipe, why not just drill down right next to it and use the pipe as a guide down into the storage compartments.
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:16 PM   #3
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It is not the best idea, if you ever have a tank back up with water.

With that said, it is what I did. One of my vents had easy access and came down right where I needed the wires. I made as small of a hole as possible. I used Eternabond tape to seal everything up.
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:30 PM   #4
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I'm not too worried about sealing it - that should be straightforward. The thing is, due to the way the motorhome is constructed I can't think of any other way of doing it. There is no fridge chimney as it's a 12v fridge.

Because this is my first solar project, and so many here have done it, I was thinking maybe there was some other way that I was missing?
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Old 06-27-2021, 01:11 PM   #5
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Do a search on Winegard cable entry plate.They come in 2 to 4 cable slots. Use one to cover a hole you drill in the roof over a cabinet or inside of a wall. Use butyl tape to seal the plate to the roof, and use stainless sheet metal screws to secure the plate to the roof. Then seal the screw head with self leveling Dicor.


I have 2 such plates, and will be adding a third shortly.


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Old 06-27-2021, 01:21 PM   #6
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That would be a great way to do it and I was thinking along those lines but picked one of these up instead (see pic).

The problem I am seeing is that the entire roof is aluminum spars with styrofoam between them. As are the walls. The conclusion I came down to was that if I wanted to go through the roof into a wall I would need a very, very long drill bit
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Old 06-27-2021, 02:30 PM   #7
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I saw a guy in Oklahoma that just draped them down the side of his coach a duct taped them in place. Looked pretty simple

He also kind of looked like cousin Eddy
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Old 06-27-2021, 06:13 PM   #8
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I have portable Solar so this was not an issue for me. I read somewhere the the most common place is through the refrigerator vent. I ran a power cord from my inverter to an outlet next to the fridge and used the fridge vent area. It was kind of a PIA but definitely doable. I would probably go this route since I am against any extra holes in the roof. If I was going drill a hole in the roof, I'd drill it somewhere into the corner of a closest or cabinet that runs floor to ceiling, tuck it into the corner, then out the floor. I have done this in my house to get from the attic to the crawl space. There is zero chance I'd use my black or gray vent pipe. That seems like a problem waiting to happen. Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2021, 06:46 PM   #9
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That would be a great way to do it and I was thinking along those lines but picked one of these up instead (see pic).



The problem I am seeing is that the entire roof is aluminum spars with styrofoam between them. As are the walls. The conclusion I came down to was that if I wanted to go through the roof into a wall I would need a very, very long drill bit
Use that but position it to go into a closet or cabinet where you can then route it internally.

Or just run the wire to the refer roof vent if you have one.

Depending on your awning you may be able to run the wires down the awning mounting bracket like I did and then inside to a compartment
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Old 06-27-2021, 08:38 PM   #10
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I used the same cable entry system Bob did, I think it is a bogart product, a lot of carefully measuring and ran it down inside the corner of a cabinet, straight thru to the floor and into the storage bay, and mounted the controller right there, then over to the batteries, all lines as straight and short as I could make them.
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Old 06-27-2021, 10:05 PM   #11
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I used the fridge vent on the roof. It is rectangular, has a cap that is easily removed and you can run the cables down the inside wall of this space and the cable comes out below the water heater on our 2016 Jayco Alante 31v.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:51 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone, I think you guys put me onto the right track!

I can't use the fridge vent - there isn't one
While we could use, in theory, the sewer vent it does not look like they are easily accessible.

We then started looking for cabinets, as suggested above, that we could run the wires into. We found one that would work. It more/less runs from the ceiling to the floor. So the idea is to bore a hole through the ceiling from the inside, see where it comes out on the roof, and then run the wires down through there. Then bore a hole through the floor in the bottom of the cabinet and at that point they will be under the the unit. Run them inside the frame rails zap strapping them in place along the way until we jump off into the battery compartment. It should be straightforward and having them exposed in that long cabinet will be no big deal. I'll just use some cable tie brackets to hold them in place.

Put the gland as pictured above on the roof, seal it up with urethane, and presto - a leak free clean job
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