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Old 03-18-2019, 11:39 AM   #1
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2018 28rkx wildcat maxx solar equipped wiring, where??

So im trying to find the battery end of the wires, ive looked all around the reach, looked through the pass through, the bathroom wall is marked, but im not concerned with that as i'm going to install a mppt charge controller further down stream.
I would also like to add an inverter , possibly under the bed and tie it into the main control panel, with hard wiring, and was considering peeling back the hard under body covering to run a wire through the cross members from the front through to the back, but i cant even see how to get started to peel back the hard under body, it seems to be curled back and under on each end and no way of loosening it.
The power centre in the trailer is in the back , the batteries are in the front, the inverter has to be close to the batteries, and that leaves me with trying to figure out a way of running my 120v power from the inverter to the power centre, I've thought about adding a plug from the inverter and then just keep plugging the trailer into with the original shore power wire when i need to be on the genset. That would be a daily thing as i really dont spend that much time in campsites where a supplied shore power is the norm.
A transfer switch in the front isnt really the answer as then i have to run a wire from the front to the back to supply power to the inverter, and then a wire from the inverter back to the control centre
I'm planning on using a GoPower IC-3000 inverter as it's the only one i could find with the dual leg 50amp service transfer switch built right in, I had considered the ms2812 magnasine inverter as well but it only comes with dual leg 120v 30 amp transfer switch, which would work also as i doubt if i would ever need to be teaming up enough genset power to exceed that while i was boon docking, and that leaves me another decision, how big of wire to run to the front, 6/3 to pack the 50 amp , or smaller to only carry the 30 amp, probably going to leave it at the 6/3 wire as i'm probably not going to be the only owner of this trailer, and somebody down the road might want to be plugged into a 50 amp service more often than not.
So that's my dilemma , any help on where those battery end of the solar wires are located would be greatly appreciated, as well info on how to get the front of that hard plastic under body cover loose from the floor would be a great help also, I would just like to have a look under there to see what i'm dealing with as far as tanks and routing, I've got lots of time and patience to do this job I'm just not sure of the exact way i should be doing it.
Suggestions? feel free to add advice
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:21 PM   #2
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I put the inverter next to the batteries, about 18" of 12v "0" wire. Then used 12/3 EXO (heavy duty extension cord) to get 120 v to the control center. Since the shore power cord comes in at the rear corner, near the control center I installed the 50 amp transfer switch next to the power center. You need to jump between the two "hot" legs on the power center side of the transfer switch to get both power center bus hot, then it leaves it all original when connected to 50 amp service. My inverter has a remote control panel which I cut into the paneling next to the power center, had to extend the stock RJ cable by a few feet but that was not an issue. The 120 volt cord is run along the outside of the frame using existing mounts/holes/added clamps and zip ties; it sort of sits on top of the lower frame flange so it's protected from road debris and you can only see it if you get down on your knees. Randy at Best Converter set me up with the transfer switch and inverter, give him a call.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nayther View Post
I put the inverter next to the batteries, about 18" of 12v "0" wire. Then used 12/3 EXO (heavy duty extension cord) to get 120 v to the control center. Since the shore power cord comes in at the rear corner, near the control center I installed the 50 amp transfer switch next to the power center. You need to jump between the two "hot" legs on the power center side of the transfer switch to get both power center bus hot, then it leaves it all original when connected to 50 amp service. My inverter has a remote control panel which I cut into the paneling next to the power center, had to extend the stock RJ cable by a few feet but that was not an issue. The 120 volt cord is run along the outside of the frame using existing mounts/holes/added clamps and zip ties; it sort of sits on top of the lower frame flange so it's protected from road debris and you can only see it if you get down on your knees. Randy at Best Converter set me up with the transfer switch and inverter, give him a call.

That might just be my easiest way of doing it , any other way i am introducing a new 50 amp shore power service plug at the back of the trailer and then trying to get 50 amps back up to the front again, and who knows what i will run into as far as tanks and vents with a 6/4 cable running through the cross members, and doing it that way opens up alot more choices as far as inverters i am able to use , not having to look for a dual leg 50 amp, now only if i can figure out how to peel back that hard plastic along the under floor to get the wire out of the front compartment
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cl733 View Post
now only if i can figure out how to peel back that hard plastic along the under floor to get the wire out of the front compartment
I was able to drop one corner right under the pass through so I could fish the cord out of the compartment and around under the frame, not as clean as I'd like but avoided having to remove much of the clorplast.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:02 PM   #5
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Something i just thought about, if using a transfer switch to introduce inverter power right before the control panel, will mean that i wont have any shore power entering the inverter , which would mean that the inverter charger i'm planning to put in wont be powered up by shore power , the fancy charger within it wont be working at all, and that being said while i'm running on inverter power the factory charger will be charging the batteries while running on inverter power.
The transfer switch is a good idea to introduce inverter power, and still keep my original 50 amp service if i ever need it, but to use the charger in the inverter i'm thinking of adding a new 30 amp service line in from the front of the trailer to the inverter, use the included 30 amp transfer switch in the inverter to switch between inverter and generator/shore power
That all being said i would still have my 50 amp service intact, have power to the inverter to run the new charger within, wouldn't have to use an inverter charger with 50 amp dual legs, as i only found 1 that would even work for that, and not have to try and run a 6/4 wire from the front to the back, rather just a 10 gauge to handle the 30 amp service, and just unplug my factory charger from the control panel , so not to worry about it running on inverter power, I'm thinking i got it figured right this time, unless i'm forgetting something here, and/or running transfer switches in that order isnt proper, and try to figure out which inputs on the transfer should be put on the normally closed positions
So any input on all of that
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:46 PM   #6
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I can't really answer your specific questions without more info, but these observations may be helpful.
  • A solar charge controller can be run in parallel directly connected to the battery. There's no need for switching or anything else. Just connect straight to the battery terminals. There is no conflict between the solar charge controller and the charger from your converter/shore power.
  • The solar wire installed at the factory (Zamp or other) is probably #12 AWG. If you are pushing more than about 200 watts of solar panels (15 amps in full sun) that wire is useless.
  • Put in your own wire from the panels...wire gauge will increase with the wattage of your solar array. You may need #8 or #6 depending on how the panels are configured (mix of series and parallel).
  • Since you plan to suck 3000 watts out of the battery bank, if you're counting on solar, you'd better have a LOT of solar. 600 to 800 watts of solar is called for with those kinds of 120 volt expectations. And you should have at least a 4 x 6-volt battery bank to draw on.
  • Your 3000 watt inverter will draw 250 AMPS at 12 volts. The inverter must be VERY close to the battery bank and wired with "welding cable" to accommodate that amperage. My battery is on the A-frame. I mounted my inverter just inside the interior, right behind the battery, about 4 "wire feet" away from the battery. This allows you to turn the inverter on and off as needed. A fancier inverter might have a remote switch. On the output side, the inverter will deliver about 25 amps at 120 volts, so you'll need some #10 or #8 AWG wire to feed your breaker panel...depending on distance.
  • At that draw, your 4 x 6-volt battery bank will be drained in about one hour. Obviously, use less and your batteries will last longer.
  • This calculator will help you figure your loads, draws, etc. Just remember that ALL LOADS ARE 12-VOLTS if pulled through the inverter. So a 500 watt load at 120 volts is still pulling though the inverter and the source is ultimately 12 volts. So 500 watts at 12 volts = 42 amps.
  • A typical 4 x 6-volt battery array can safely deliver about 225 (+/-) USABLE amp hours. If your average load over time is 500 watts, you'll get a little more than 5 hours at that rate. 500 watts continuous is a lot.
  • I believe you know this, but if you intend to "back-feed" your converter/breaker panel with the 3000 watt inverter, you must isolate the battery charger attached to the converter, otherwise you'll be attempting to use the battery to charge the battery.

You can always supplement charging with a generator connected to your RV's shore power plug, but if you want to go solar and avoid the generator, you need to be able to replace 225 amp hours with solar.

A 100 watt panel puts out about 7.5 amps in full sun.
Assume 12 hours of sunlight at 50% efficiency, and you get a very optimistic 45 amp hours per 100 watt panel.
If you don't live in sunny Colorado or Arizona, forget that performance and assume you'll get 30 amp hours per 100 watt panel per day--on a sunny day and reasonably full sun. If it rains or is cloudy, expect less.
Divide 225 by 30 and you get 7.5 x 100 watt solar panels.
So, with all the inefficiencies along the way, you need 800 watts of solar panels to recharge 225 amp hours of consumption.

Your mileage will vary depending on consumption of course. But your hypothetical system is a power hog. Fewer solar panels means more time listening to the drone of a generator.

P.S. In keeping with the first bullet point, those Zamp (or similar) wires can be attached to the battery cables ANYWHERE between the battery and the converter...even at the battery's main initial connection to the converter. But, again, unless you're just going to supplement the generator with a little 100 watt suitcase panel, they are pretty much useless for solar power that will satisfy your expectations.

As for the underbelly of your rig, I can't offer any advice on gaining access to the enclosed space. The good news is that ALL wire could be run safely in plastic conduit UNDER the frame. The conduit will protect the wire from damage from road debris, and the "external" installation will save you lots of work, possible damage to the interior of your rig, and tips to the swear jar.

Run wires from the solar panel array through a "gland" into an interior cabinet and down to your battery bank. If your batteries are on the A-frame, the charge controller can be located on the outside or inside of said cabinet. If your batteries are in their own battery bay, the charge controller could be in with the batteries. It doesn't matter. The charge controller can be anywhere between the solar panel array and the battery bank. Just use the same size wire from the panels to the controller and from the controller to the batteries. Easy.

To run wires from the inverter to their destination (the converter/breaker panel/transfer switch), use conduit under the frame and weather enclosure. Run the wire thru the conduit and fittings BEFORE you glue up the fittings (elbows, etc.). It's much easier to push wire through straight conduit or an elbow all by itself than to try to push it around corners, etc. Hang the conduit to the frame with galvanized clips and self-tappers.

AGAIN...just observations and general guidance about solar and power consumption at the levels you anticipate.
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Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:13 PM   #7
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As for your transfer switch, I recommend that you separate the 3000 watt inverter and the transfer switch. Two devices.

Your inverter must be near the battery. Your circuit breaker panel is, of necessity, far away. Logically, the two separate power sources come together at the converter...not the inverter.

Put a separate transfer switch in with your shore power/coverter/breaker panel, and do the switching there...where it should be happening.

This resolves all issues with safety. If you plug into shore power or a generator while the inverter is on, the inverter is immediately disconnected from the breaker panel seamlessly. If you pull the plug on shore power, the inverter can feed the breaker panel just as easily...just turn it on.

There are inverters with transfer switches built in as well, but if this were my rig, I'd keep the inverter and the transfer switch separated and located where they make sense...and an electrician would expect to find them.
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Typical season is about 30 nights camping, usually nearby boondocking in the National Forests or at Lake Wellington
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:53 AM   #8
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If you do what I did you don't want/need an inverter/charger as you still use the existing converter. When you switch to inverter power you turn off the converter at the breaker so you don't have a "loop" and waste energy. And you need to go into the panel anyway to turn off all resistance loads, etc. and make sure the refer. is on gas. My process is this: I open the breaker panel and turn off all breakers except the plugs and microwave, then turn on the inverter via it's remote panel mounted next to the breaker panel. To go back to shore power just plug in and it automatically switches, then you can turn on the circuits and turn off the inverter.



Also by having a separate converter and inverter if you lose one you're not completely out of business.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
I can't really answer your specific questions without more info, but these observations may be helpful.
  • A solar charge controller can be run in parallel directly connected to the battery. There's no need for switching or anything else. Just connect straight to the battery terminals. There is no conflict between the solar charge controller and the charger from your converter/shore power.
  • The solar wire installed at the factory (Zamp or other) is probably #12 AWG. If you are pushing more than about 200 watts of solar panels (15 amps in full sun) that wire is useless.
  • Put in your own wire from the panels...wire gauge will increase with the wattage of your solar array. You may need #8 or #6 depending on how the panels are configured (mix of series and parallel).
  • Since you plan to suck 3000 watts out of the battery bank, if you're counting on solar, you'd better have a LOT of solar. 600 to 800 watts of solar is called for with those kinds of 120 volt expectations. And you should have at least a 4 x 6-volt battery bank to draw on.
  • Your 3000 watt inverter will draw 250 AMPS at 12 volts. The inverter must be VERY close to the battery bank and wired with "welding cable" to accommodate that amperage. My battery is on the A-frame. I mounted my inverter just inside the interior, right behind the battery, about 4 "wire feet" away from the battery. This allows you to turn the inverter on and off as needed. A fancier inverter might have a remote switch. On the output side, the inverter will deliver about 25 amps at 120 volts, so you'll need some #10 or #8 AWG wire to feed your breaker panel...depending on distance.
  • At that draw, your 4 x 6-volt battery bank will be drained in about one hour. Obviously, use less and your batteries will last longer.
  • This calculator will help you figure your loads, draws, etc. Just remember that ALL LOADS ARE 12-VOLTS if pulled through the inverter. So a 500 watt load at 120 volts is still pulling though the inverter and the source is ultimately 12 volts. So 500 watts at 12 volts = 42 amps.
  • A typical 4 x 6-volt battery array can safely deliver about 225 (+/-) USABLE amp hours. If your average load over time is 500 watts, you'll get a little more than 5 hours at that rate. 500 watts continuous is a lot.
  • I believe you know this, but if you intend to "back-feed" your converter/breaker panel with the 3000 watt inverter, you must isolate the battery charger attached to the converter, otherwise you'll be attempting to use the battery to charge the battery.
Well i was planning on running 3 x 150 watt panels, and yes i was planning on using what was supplied from factory pre wiring, If i'm understanding it correctly the factory wiring is supposed to be a 10 awg wire , haven't found it yet so that's yet to be determined, I'm also going to use a mppt charge controller and run my panels in series making for higher voltage and only around less than 10 amps input, so 10 awg should be an over kill.
I really only need 2000 watts or less of inverter, all it has to do is run a coffee maker for a round in the morning, and only sometimes, a minute of microwave here and there, and its main purpose is to run the tv at night, I know 3000 is over kill but the difference in cost between a 2000 and a 3000 just makes sense to go the 3000 route, And yes was planning on running 4 x 6v batteries.
Was also going to use 4/0 cable to hook it all up with a paired along side of it with 2/0, so thats going to be over kill aswell, the 4/0 should supply all that im wanting to pull out of it, but with about a 6 ft long cable i'm going to double it up while i'm in there just to be sure any larger demands should be looked after as well.
And yes I'e considered where the factory charger sits in all of this , seeing as though my inverter has to be near the batteries, and my control panel is clear on the other end of the trailer, as well as the 50 amp incoming shore power, my latest thoughts are, if i use a magnum ms2812, i could run a new shore input in at the front of the trailer with a 30 amp service, the magnum has a built in twin leg 30 amp transfer switch, out of the inverter to the control panel would be a 10 awg wire, that would give me power into the inverter charger, to run its high tech battery charger, and power up to the control panel. Doing that i would install a 50 amp dual leg near the control panel that would switch between the original 50 amp shore power service and power from the inverter
Plan B is to use a GoPower IC-3000 it has a built in dual leg 50 amp transfer switch, I could either run the 50 amps in and out of it and just disconnect the front shore power, or there is a few other ways of doing it with either 30 or 50 amp input, I'm liking plan a the best as it gives me more than one choice if any component fails, and i like the idea of packing only a 30 amp shore power wire instead of the 50 amp of which i might hardly ever be using
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by nayther View Post
If you do what I did you don't want/need an inverter/charger as you still use the existing converter. When you switch to inverter power you turn off the converter at the breaker so you don't have a "loop" and waste energy. And you need to go into the panel anyway to turn off all resistance loads, etc. and make sure the refer. is on gas. My process is this: I open the breaker panel and turn off all breakers except the plugs and microwave, then turn on the inverter via it's remote panel mounted next to the breaker panel. To go back to shore power just plug in and it automatically switches, then you can turn on the circuits and turn off the inverter.



Also by having a separate converter and inverter if you lose one you're not completely out of business.

Well I'm convinced on the route of just adding a 10/3 wire from the inverter to the control panel , much in the way you have done yours, as it just makes the most sense, as is easy enough to do compared to what i was thinking of doing, I would like to replace the factory charger anyways with something a little more high tech, so the inverter/charger fits the bill perfectly, and i can just breaker off the factory charger, and its still there in case i ever eventually ever need it
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Old 06-02-2019, 01:26 PM   #11
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The big update So i finished this project pretty much all done, ended up using a 2812 magnum inverter, with the arc remote, a victron 712
I didn't peel any of the plastic covering off to string wires from front to back, dumb idea, but rather used a go power 50 map transfer switch in the back of the trailer that will switch my 50 amp original wiring , with my power coming from the 2812 located in the front of the trailer. With the inverter i simply added a new 30amp input wire from a new shore power plug that is located under the front corner of the trailer , simple , and it all works awesome.
For the solar end of it I ended up using 4x150 watt panels , reason being , i wanted to use the factory roof cap entry plate and take advantage of the installed factory that runs the wires to the front of the trailer for me, I know , its supposed to be shitty wiring but the way i have it figured, i'm running a series parallel system, it takes advantage of double the voltage, and only the amperage of 2 panels, and with a rating of a maximum of 30 amps on the factory i'm believing its a 10 awg system, and with that and it only being around a 15ft run, its all good.
Down side is, its still not all hooked up, well not permanently atleast , my wildcat dealer can't tell me where my wires are at in the front of my trailer, I have hooked up dummy wires on the roof cap entry plate and ran them down under the front of the trailer and used a meter for continuity to find the other ends , cant find them,
I am running a mppt controller in the front pass through, with the wires hooked up off the roof panels directly to the charge controller it all works perfectly, I cant risk hooking up to the roof entry plate with the voltage of the system i'm running,
I still haven't got an answer as to the wiring schematic from my dealer, the one thing i also questioned them on was where they have specified to mount the wall mounted charge controller , a pwm controller, its a sticker on the wall that shows exactly where to mount it , is if the wires behind the sticker are actually 2 wires that you would cut and create an input to the controller and create an output from the controller, or if in fact there are 4 wires there and by that creating my open circuit, they cant answer that one for me either, and i really dont want to cut a hole to find that out.
I have been told that there are red and white wires that hook into the power bars in the front of the trailer that are the solar power inputs , yet on the roof entry cap the wires are the more familiar red and black
problem being the factory wiring is designed for a pwm controller, thought that maybe the roof cap entry plate wires might have been directly wired into the converter to battery wiring circuit , but there is no sign of 12volts and the entry cap either
Has anyone installed their own pwm controller where the factory has it marked on the wall and actually seen what the wire configuration is in the wall that could help me out here
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