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Old 06-05-2014, 05:17 AM   #1
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Roof Top Solar install on a Georgetown

on my TT, i have 400 watts of solar....i want to move it over to the MH now...

it was easy on the TT to run the cable down through the fridge vent....

has anyone done rooftop solar on a GT ? if so, how did you run the wire from the roof on down ?

only things i can see is maybe through the fantastic fan shroud, or is that vent up front over the passenger seat the satellite TV cable area, and can i run it down there easily ?

would like to have as clean an install as i can....

thanks in advance..
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:15 AM   #2
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Check out this video. I think it may answer your question. If not, they have several other videos on their web site.

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Old 06-06-2014, 04:59 AM   #3
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thanks for the video link...i have seen that one and many others...

when i installed the solar on my TT, it was a very similar install to the video....

i was hoping to see if anyone has done it to a georgetown MH specifically....
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:07 PM   #4
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I installed two solar panels on my Georgetown 373 last year. In my case, the decision regarding the wiring had already been determined by the previous owner who had a Winegard satellite dome/dish installed on the roof. The 373 has the refrigerator in a slide-out, so there is no refrigerator roof vent to use anyway.

I removed the satellite dome (which we were not using) to make room for the solar panels. I then installed #4 cables using the original hole in the roof that had been used for the satellite RG-6 coax. The hole is covered with a weatherproof outdoor two gang gray electrical box. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the box to match up with the existing roof hole. The box was screwed down to the roof and sealed underneath and around with Dicor sealant.

Unlike the #10 solar panel wires, the #4 cables are not made with an ultraviolet stabilized insulation, so these cables need to be protected in a weatherproof electrical box box and conduit where exposed to the sun.

Inside the box is a dual power post cable connector which connects the individual #10 solar panel wires to the #4 cables that run inside the entertainment cabinet to the basement compartment next to the batteries. The solar charge controller and a small inverter are installed in the basement compartment. They are as close as possible to the batteries under the steps to minimize voltage drop.

I plan to add two more panels on the roof, as everything was designed to allow for future expansion.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. Where did you put your charge controller ? I need to get back up on the roof to see if the plumbing vent loon alike up front can be used in some way.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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The solar charge controller is installed on a piece of plywood attached to the inside basement compartment closest to the batteries under the steps. It is necessary to keep the cables from the controller to the batteries as short as possible to minimize voltage drop after the controller has regulated the voltage.

There is also a disconnect box that isolates the controller from both the solar panels and the batteries if any servicing is needed. The last item is a 300 watt commercial grade sine wave inverter that is wired to separate outlets in the motorhome to avoid running the generator for small loads such as the bedroom TV and a laptop computer.

The front "plumbing vent" cover actually covers some RG-6 coax cable for installing a satellite dish. The installers for the previous owner of my Georgetown drilled a new hole in the roof for the satellite cables. I suspect it would be difficult to run heavy cables in the roof foam and get them to where you need them. You could try the refrigerator vent, a real plumbing vent pipe, or just check, double check, and check again before drilling a new hole where you need it for running the cables.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:35 PM   #7
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thanks again....looks nicely done....

i have a trimetric 2025RV on my system now, and am gonna wire that in again, too....

i like the idea of keeping everything down below and then running some 120V runs back up into the coach....

but i am toying with the idea of just going big on the inverter and tying right into the whole panel....

but now at least i know what i am gonna do with the charge controller. i think i will prolly just drill the roof. i have the residential fridge, so no vent there....i did think about pulling the main fantastic fan and sneaking the wire in there, though...

one more question:

when you mounted the panels, did you just screw the brackets right into the roof sub plywood, or did you use screw anchors ?
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:07 PM   #8
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Because I wanted to utilize the existing hole in the roof that was made for the satellite dome coax for the previous owner, the hole was not exactly where I would have wanted it. The so-called professionals drilled the hole at the edge of the roof where water collects, and I did have a small leakage problem when I first purchased the motorhome where the RG-6 coax went through the roof. These installers also managed to drill through a roof truss, and nick the 12 volt line that powers the roof fan and the front A/C relay board. Like I said earlier: check, double check, and check again before drilling.

After removing the Winegard satellite dome and fixing all the installer's mistakes, I installed #4 gauge cable through the existing hole and inside conduit to the location where it connects with the solar panel wiring a couple feet away in a second weatherproof box. Normally only one wiring box on the roof would be needed for the connections if the roof hole was in the correct location for the solar panels. I later painted the boxes and conduit white to help further protect them from UV sunlight.

As for securing the panels to the roof, I used #10 screws because they have a large "bite" to hold into the plywood roofing under the top fiberglass layer. I also used 8 of the "Z" brackets per panel instead of the usual 4. The brackets are cheap (a set of 4 is less than $10), and the panels are very well secured to the roof.

Here is a photo of the roof solar wiring. I'm currently parked in the shade at an RV park with hook-ups, so the panels are not producing any power right now.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:56 PM   #9
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I have 400 watts and will be adding 200 more. To snake the wire down I went into the fridge vent, then across to the pantry and into the compartment below. For storage I took the first compartment to the left of the door and then the one after the propane tanks. By the door I have 4 6 volt batteries and the other houses my solar charger and inverter. Plans in the future (when I replace all 6 batteries) is to replace the 720 Ahr batteries with (3) LiFePO 300 Ahr battery packs. I have LiFePO for the house and will never go back. Expensive up front but lower cost per Ahr in the total life
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