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Old 07-12-2019, 08:01 PM   #1
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2020 Cedar Creek 34ik solar and technical support issues

Two issues:

Issue 1 Solar configuration
* System provided by Cedar Creek includes Go Power Solar Controller working with WFCO Inverter to provide power to refrigerator when not connected to shore power or tow vehicle
* When not connected to shore power or tow vehicle and batteries drop below a certain charge inverter shuts off which in turn shuts off refrigerator
* After solar power recharges the batteries the inverter does not automatically turn on
* Solar controller manual states that if inverter comes with a remote and is set to remote mode that the inverter will turn back on when batteries reach 12.2 VDC
* The WFCO manual reads that a remote switch panel including 20' of cable is provided. There is a jack on the back of the inverter to accept the quick connect from the remote switch panel
* Cedar Creek did not install the remote switch panel that is included with the WFCO inverter and this appears to be the missing link to allowing the inverter (and refrigerator) to come on and off when being charged by solar.
* I want to find out why this was omitted as there may be a good reason.
* This leads to the second issue

Issue 2 - lack of support
* Selling dealer was upfront in telling me that we were their first customer to order factory installed solar from Cedar Creek and that they would be learning as we go
* They reached out to rep regarding issue and he told them to have me call Cedar Creek Technical Support at 260-593-4000
* Called on 6/26 and 6/27 and left detailed messages on both days. To date I have received no call backs.

Has anybody else has tried to reach technical support and if so did you have better luck.

I am also interested in hearing from other Cedar Creek owners that have the factory installed solar.

In closing I want to say that we absolutely enjoy our 34ik. Hopefully this will be something we can work through once we make the right connections.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:08 PM   #2
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I am curious. How many watts are the panels that come with the Cedar Creeks?

I would think 200 watt panels would not be enough to run a residential fridge of any size with the other parasitic loads.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:58 AM   #3
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You are correct that solar system is 200 watts. We have left the refrigerator running with 34ik disconnected, without perishable food, to test and it has kept running for at least a day off of the 5er batteries. But when charge drops below a certain point the inverter and frig shut off. Without the inverter remote panel for the inverter it stays off but with the remote panel, according to solar panel manual, inverter will restart when batteries are recharged by solar. No way to know whether this will be effective without the inverter remote panel. If the panel had been installed I would put a frozen cup of ice in the freezer with a coin on top and monitor it over an extended period to see if cycling on and off was enough to be effective.

The only 110 outlet that works off the inverter is for the refrigerator. Any other parasitic drain on batteries will be from things running off of 12V. Not sure what 12V systems stay on when disconnected. Things that come to mind that may draw down batteries when disconnected are CO detector, TPMS repeater, security cameras, tankless water heater display, in command control panel, solar control panel, King wifi extender and radio clock.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:45 AM   #4
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We also ordered our 2019.5 33IK with the solar panel and controller. We wanted it to help charge the batteries for running the refrigerator while driving. It does that well and also keeps the batteries at full charge when it's parked at the storage lot between trips.

I've not looked into adding the inverter remote, but you've got me curious now!
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:15 AM   #5
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Old Bleu

Itís my understanding that your 34ik batteries are charged by your tow vehicle when hooked up so not sure solar provides any advantage when under tow.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:11 PM   #6
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Look at the energy star rating of your fridge. It will give you a yearly power consumption. Divide by 365 and that will give you a "guide" to your daily power usage for it.


I looked at a few and it could be anywhere from 1600WH to 2000WH depending on the size of the fridge.


If your 200W panels were perfectly aimed with an MPPT controller and they really could bring in all they could, with 5 hours equivalent sun, you would get 1000WH. You can clearly see the issue you have then.


Bottom line, you really need 2 to 3 times the amount of solar than the theoretical peak amount.


In addition, you need the batteries to store the power. Even 4 6V golf cart batteries are going to struggle.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:39 PM   #7
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Sandbagger, I assumed that we were getting a charge from the truck as well as the solar panel while towing. I know that when we stop for lunch and go into the trailer, I am seeing charging amps on the controller.

Next time we're hooked up, I'll have to keep the truck running and check the panel when we stop.
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:05 PM   #8
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I can tell you Cedar Creek support has gone down hill in the last couple of years. I had an issue with my wheel on the Hathaway edition, NO SUPPORT AT ALL. I am on my own. (What a great feeling).
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:51 PM   #9
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Hi,


As has been noted numerous times, don't expect much charging from such a relatively tiny wire over a long distance from the tow vehicle.


FWIW.


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Old 07-13-2019, 03:09 PM   #10
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Ditto Rich

My voltmeter indicates less voltage from the rv than trickle from the converter.

I wonder if in South Texas in the summer if 200 watts of solar and the tv could run a residential fridge.

Motor homes are wired differently and do charge.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scheinin View Post
I can tell you Cedar Creek support has gone down hill in the last couple of years. I had an issue with my wheel on the Hathaway edition, NO SUPPORT AT ALL. I am on my own. (What a great feeling).
If your Hathaway is more than 1 year old then you need to contact the wheel manufacturer for service or replacement. Better yet just buy one from wheeleandtires.com.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:25 PM   #12
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SPenny - weeks ago I gave Scheinin the exact POC for the tire manufacturer for his creek....I'm not sure what he did with it.

Cedar Creek support has been fantastic for us.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:32 PM   #13
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Babcock

My knowledge of electrical consumption is very limited so I appreciate your input. The refrigerator is an Insignia model # NS-RFD21SS7, Specs show the following:
Amperage - 3.3 amperes
Voltage - 115 volts
Estimated Annual Electricity Use - 623 kilowatt hours


https://www.insigniaproducts.com/pdp...D21SS7/5563313
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilhouettePenny View Post
If your Hathaway is more than 1 year old then you need to contact the wheel manufacturer for service or replacement. Better yet just buy one from wheeleandtires.com.
That is what I did. Not an exact match, but close enough.
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:09 PM   #15
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1700W a day for that fridge. 200W of solar won't come close to cutting it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandbagger View Post
Babcock

My knowledge of electrical consumption is very limited so I appreciate your input. The refrigerator is an Insignia model # NS-RFD21SS7, Specs show the following:
Amperage - 3.3 amperes
Voltage - 115 volts
Estimated Annual Electricity Use - 623 kilowatt hours


https://www.insigniaproducts.com/pdp...D21SS7/5563313
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:07 PM   #16
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Old Bleu et al:

After conversations with technical support from the inverter (WFCO) and the solar control panel (Go Power) I determined that lack of clarity in the Go Power manual led me to believe that the inverter remote panel provided with the WFCO inverter and not installed by CC would allow the inverter to come back on when batteries were recharged by solar. A line in the manual reads "If a compatible inverter is connected and in remote mode, it will also be switched on again." The word "it" is actually referring to an usb port on the solar panel and not the inverter. Sorry for any confusion.

I was also able to connect with CC on this issue.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
I am curious. How many watts are the panels that come with the Cedar Creeks?

I would think 200 watt panels would not be enough to run a residential fridge of any size with the other parasitic loads.
We have a 2018 silverback with residential refrigerator and use a 170 watt solar panel. Kept it running for 24 hrs a
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:58 AM   #18
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200 watts is correct. Eventually batteries do drain to level where inverter and fridge shut off but not as soon as if solar panels were not installed. Our 34ik is currently in outside storage and when I stopped yesterday the batteries were charged to 100% with inverter in off position.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:42 AM   #19
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Our 34ik is stored outside at a facility about a mile from our house. Yesterday morning I picked up the unit and brought it home in 70 degree partly cloudy weather. At 10 a.m., after disconnecting the unit from the truck, I turned the inverter on to see if the solar charged batteries would chill the refrigerator sufficiently. By 3:00 p.m. the refrigerator temperature had dropped to 41 degrees and the freezer to -1 degree. Success!

I realize that the same may not have occurred in 90 degree weather and at some time in the future I will try the same exercise in hotter temps. Being in Ohio this may not be until 2020.

Also, at 3:00 p.m. I plugged into 30 amp shore power at our home as I think, based upon feedback in this thread, the 200 amp solar will not generate enough energy to sustain over an extended period of time.

It's a learning experience.....
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:19 AM   #20
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P=IV

A typical residential fridge uses 300 watts AC per hour. That is running constantly. A inverter is 80-90% efficient.

A 200 watt solar cell on a flat roof will produce 500 watts to the battery on a good day. The rv/tv charge wire on a fifth wheel does little. Not so on most motorhomes.

So temperature in the rv makes a big difference. Battery capacity makes a big difference. Size of the fridge matters. Type of tv charging matters.

Be careful with testimonials. Do the math.

Dayton weather is moderate compared to further south. We are in South Texas right now. With two batteries and no solar a residential fridge would be dead before we got out of Texas.
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