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Old 04-15-2015, 08:01 PM   #1
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Bought solar for my TT

Hi all. Gotta problem hope someone can help me with answers. I have an 2014 RP171 rPod. Camping World had a good price on an 85 watt solar panel (Nature Power) and 28amp charge controller (Nature Power). Ok, the wires coming in from the battery to the converter is #4. Looking at the instructions, the largest wire is #8. Looking at where the wires connect on the controller, I can't see how a #4 wire will fit in a hole for a #8??? With two sets of #4 and #8 wires fished through the trailer is not something I look forward to. So....does my trailer really need #4 wires (converted all incandescent light to LEDs)? Can/should I down size wire size from batts to converter? Ideas???

Thanks Brandi


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Old 04-15-2015, 08:13 PM   #2
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I'm not quite understanding your question. Unless I'm missing something, the charge controller wiring should be independent and not have any relation to the wiring between your battery bank and converter.

You would want to run #8 then (if that is the largest gauge the controller will accept without modifying the lugs), mount it as close as possible to your battery bank and wire directly to the batteries. It should not be inline of the converter and battery bank.

Just looked at the manual for your charge controller. It says it can accept up to #6 so that is what I would use on your controller to battery connection.

If you were talking about the load line connection.. I personally wouldn't use it. Let the converter/battery circuit take care of the loads.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yarome View Post
I'm not quite understanding your question. Unless I'm missing something, the charge controller wiring should be independent and not have any relation to the wiring between your battery bank and converter.

You would want to run #8 then (if that is the largest gauge the controller will accept without modifying the lugs), mount it as close as possible to your battery bank and wire directly to the batteries. It should not be inline of the converter and battery bank.

Just looked at the manual for your charge controller. It says it can accept up to #6 so that is what I would use on your controller to battery connection.

If you were talking about the load line connection.. I personally wouldn't use it. Let the converter/battery circuit take care of the loads.


Yarome - Sorry of not being real clear. I know enough to be dangerous. Haha. The issue was the load line. I thought I would have to use the load line when hooking up the controller. I was thinking of locating the controller next to the 120vt outlet on the face of the cabinet under the sink. I would like to use all the options of the controller, but still trying to figure out the big wire in the small hole. For those spec-ing out my system, I expect to add panels later.

Thanks for responding.
Brandi


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Old 04-15-2015, 08:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mzbrandi View Post
I thought I would have to use the load line when hooking up the controller. I was thinking of locating the controller next to the 120vt outlet on the face of the cabinet under the sink. I would like to use all the options of the controller, but still trying to figure out the big wire in the small hole.
That makes more sense, but I would stick with my original recommendation and not use the load connection. You "could" use it to power directly to an inverter, but you don't have enough solar for that, and I don't think you'll need to install a low voltage cutoff relay, so it's not necessary.

How far is it from your intended mounting location to your battery bank? With #6 you really can't be more than 3-4 feet without losing juice.

If you're determined to use it, then you can use a wire lug. Something like these. They attach to the end of your #4 and provide a smaller diameter lug connection that will fit the charge controller.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:56 PM   #5
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The little load line on the charge controller will not handle a very big load. If you install a 110v plug to plug things into you should install an inverter coming off the battery bank then come off the inverter to the 110v outlet.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:51 AM   #6
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I wouldn't use the load side of the charge controller. Just connect the leads to the panel and then the other leads to the block for the battery connections. The panel will then work to charge your battery. You only have around 6amps so I wouldn't worry about the length of the wire with regards to voltage drop. Remember to use a fuse on the leads also.


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Old 04-16-2015, 01:25 AM   #7
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None of these guys know what there talking about....sorry guys. You need to read handy Bobs blog on solar charging. He's the man !!
As for your concern about using a No 4 wire...use it, always use heavy wire, there's less restriction for the flow of currant and for stepping down you can buy blocks at radio shack or any electrical outlet
Good luck...but please read the blog, I'm saving you money !
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:26 AM   #8
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None of these guys know what there talking about....sorry guys. You need to read handy Bobs blog on solar charging. He's the man !!
As for your concern about using a No 4 wire...use it, always use heavy wire, there's less restriction for the flow of currant and for stepping down you can buy blocks at radio shack or any electrical outlet
Good luck...but please read the blog, I'm saving you money !
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:27 PM   #9
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re solar hookup.

Hello Mzbrandi, it would appear that the converter you are referring to is actually an inverter? yes no? .. lets get this right.. solar panel goes to charge controller ( 8 gauge ?), charge controller goes to battery ( 8 gauge? ) .battery connection goes to inverter( this is where it gets interesting.. Dependent on how far you are installing the INVERTER from the battery..is dependent on the wire size.. shorter run then smaller wire... longer run.. bigger fatter wire.. there is an electrical wiring code that will help you). PLEASE NOTE.. the wire size is proportionate to the size of the inverter too.. I have a pure sine inverter 1000 watt inverter and run 6 feet of "O" size welding cable... reason for wire size.. I can upgrade to a 1500 watt or 2000 watt inverter in future without worry of heating up the wire... heated wire equals bad things!!!! fire.etc. if you are running a short run from the battery.. 3-4 feet the #4 will be fine!depending on the size of the inverter.
From the AC side of the plug in on the inverter goes the 120 volt ( 14/2) line. please note Blenders after 5 pm ( marguerta time ) work GREAT on this setup !
enjoy!
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ciszzco View Post
Hello Mzbrandi, it would appear that the converter you are referring to is actually an inverter? yes no? .. lets get this right.. solar panel goes to charge controller ( 8 gauge ?), charge controller goes to battery ( 8 gauge? ) .battery connection goes to inverter( this is where it gets interesting.. Dependent on how far you are installing the INVERTER from the battery..is dependent on the wire size.. shorter run then smaller wire... longer run.. bigger fatter wire.. there is an electrical wiring code that will help you). PLEASE NOTE.. the wire size is proportionate to the size of the inverter too.. I have a pure sine inverter 1000 watt inverter and run 6 feet of "O" size welding cable... reason for wire size.. I can upgrade to a 1500 watt or 2000 watt inverter in future without worry of heating up the wire... heated wire equals bad things!!!! fire.etc. if you are running a short run from the battery.. 3-4 feet the #4 will be fine!depending on the size of the inverter.
From the AC side of the plug in on the inverter goes the 120 volt ( 14/2) line. please note Blenders after 5 pm ( marguerta time ) work GREAT on this setup !
enjoy!


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Here is a shot of my TT in Arizona last winter. I am not that big, say 15 ft. The 2 batts are about 4ft from the CONVERTER. My TT does not have an INVERTER installed. I do have a 400w that I plug into a 12v dc power port I installed. The wires coming in from the batts are #4. A bit big I think. The stock light bulbs were incandescent: 8 bulbs. Now all bulbs are LEDs.

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Here is a shot of the back of the converter. Hopefully you can see the difference in wire sizes. I really would like to downsize the main batt wires so the wires will fit in the solar controller. At no time will any wire be more than, say 5 ft from the batts.

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A view of the electrical under the dinette seat.
Currently I have 2 size 24 12v batts. When these die I would like to in stall 2 size 27s or equal 6v if not to heavy. Though probably will be. I like TV. So I would like to keep up my batts w/o running my Honda 2k gens. This is my home on the road, so I carry a lot of stuff.

I am just trying to wire up my solar controller w/o looking like a drunk did it.

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Here is were I would like to install the solar controller.


Thank you everyone for your input.
Brandi


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