Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-03-2018, 08:09 AM   #1
Member
 
huckranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Jackson mo
Posts: 50
Solar install on 3051s

Finally got my flexible solar panels in, 2-100 Watts, and getting ready to install them. Had a couple of questions for anybody who has installed them on a 3051s-
How did you get the wires through the roof?
Where did you mount the controller?
How did you route the wires to the batteries?
What size wire did you use from controller to batteries?
I read a ton of threads about a myriad of topics related to solar but the above is about all I really need at this point. Thanks in advance
__________________

__________________
Curt and Kathy
2016 Forester 3051s
2016 Kawasaki Teryx T4
2013 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
huckranch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2018, 02:09 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,502
I can't answer your questions specifically since I have never installed solar on your brand of RV.

However, general rules of thumb that I use on solar installs for wiring are:

a. Run wires via propane fridge vent area.

b. Run wires via water drain vents on roof. Many times you can run the wire next to the PVC pipe and in some instances run the wire in the vent pipe but have it exit above the sink or toilet which it is connected to.

c. Last resort, drill a hole in roof. I find a cabinet and drill a hole in a back corner form the inside of the cabinet to outside of roof. You may want to get a sense of location on top of roof to make sure you won't be drilling thru something you shouldn't first.

d. Solar controllers, switches, fuses, and inverters are typically installed in the battery compartment or an area close to the battery compartment. I've installed controllers and monitors in pantries with good results and ensured all wiring was calculated for no more than 2% voltage loss.

For me, figuring out where to mount stuff and how to wire stuff is the most difficult aspect of doing a solar install. I don't mind screwing up on my camper but it is not an option when doing an install for a paying customer.


One option I didn't mention was conduit. I'm not a fan of it but have seen folks run thin conduit along the side wall, typically next to an awning support and terminate it into a storage compartment where solar controller can be installed.
__________________

Skyliner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2018, 02:25 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,502
Google voltage drop calculator to determine wire gauge so your voltage loss is 2% or less. Voltage Drop Calculator

Wire thickness needed to minimize voltage loss is is determined by length of wire, voltage, and current.
Skyliner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2018, 06:11 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NJ
Posts: 700
I installed a couple of 100 watt panels on my 3011 last fall and just finished modifying the configuration a few weeks ago. Here's a couple of points.

Since the batteries on my 3011 are forward and the panels where installed on the front of the roof, using the frig duct for the PV wire run was not possible. I ended up installing an enclosure next to the radio for switches and other power terminations and then routed the wires through the roof, into the enclosure and then straight down an inside cable chase to the batteries. Going through the roof was not a difficult as it might seem and at this point that penetration will be much less likely to leak than any of the existing penetrations that came from the factory.

Since my panels are the flexible type I decided not to screw them to the roof but to secure them with some leftover Eternabond. So far this seems to be working fine.

I recently relocated the solar controller to inside the battery box. I would have probably done this right at the outset but at the time I did not know what type of replacement batteries I would be getting. However, when that decision was finally made, I then relocated the controller and rewired the battery box before installing the new batteries.

So far I am very pleased with the setup and it gives me access to power full time in the RV year round which has been great. Also, with the new AGM batteries and solar, this pretty much eliminates battery maintenance and a need to remove the batteries at the end of season.

If you search through the threads in this forum you will see many posts about how people completed their installs which I read in detail before I started my project. I also have a couple threads on here about my solar installation and the batteries which summarize my approach.

Good luck on yours!

RVr
newRVer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2018, 06:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 388
Quote:
Originally Posted by newRVer View Post

I recently relocated the solar controller to inside the battery box. I would have probably done this right at the outset but at the time I did not know what type of replacement batteries I would be getting. However, when that decision was finally made, I then relocated the controller and rewired the battery box before installing the new batteries.

RVr
Manufacturers recommend not putting the charge controller in the battery box due to corrosion of the controller from sulfur gas from the battery. I was a rebel like you and put my controller in the battery box. I put a divider, with gaskets, in the box to separate the batteries from the charge controller. 2 years out it seems to be working pretty good.
__________________
2015 Solaire 201SS
2015 GMC 2500HD Duramax
PSU Turf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2018, 08:09 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,502
Battery boxes should be vented so corrosive gasses aren't really an issue.

If you use AGM batteries, no venting needed.

I have a small fan that runs when my batteries are being charged that vents my storage compartment of corrosive gasses and haven't had a problem with mounting my solar controller within several feet of the battery banks.
Skyliner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2018, 07:29 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NJ
Posts: 700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyliner View Post
Battery boxes should be vented so corrosive gasses aren't really an issue.

If you use AGM batteries, no venting needed.

I have a small fan that runs when my batteries are being charged that vents my storage compartment of corrosive gasses and haven't had a problem with mounting my solar controller within several feet of the battery banks.
This is why I did not put my controller in the battery box originally. I.e. I still had the factory FLA lead acid battery's. Once I changed them out for AGM lead acid battery's then I was good to go! Also, If I keep the RV long enough to have to replace the battery's again, it will not be with FLA battery's so I don't have to worry about that in the future.
__________________

newRVer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
305, solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:33 AM.


×