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Old 04-15-2021, 08:57 PM   #1
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Juice Pack Upgrade

We just purchased a 2021 wolf pup with the juice pack installed. Weíd like to upgrade the panels and controller using the existing wiring, but canít figure out where the leads from the roof go.

The factory solar controller connections are different from the 40a Renogy controller we want to install. It seems like somewhere between the roof and controller, the leads get spliced, but we canít figure out where or how to access them.

Has anyone swapped the factory panel and solar controller using existing wiring? Or if you did it from scratch, how did you route new wires through the roof down to the battery?

I tried searching the forums to no avail.
Thanks so much and excited to meet more folks on the road soon.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:53 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. When upgrading keep in mind the factory tends to use the minimum size of wire for the system installed. You might consider running new correctly sized wires. There are some real experts on the forum when it comes to solar I'm sure they will chime in. I'm not one of them.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:44 PM   #3
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Related question: can I just add another 100 W of solar charging to my 50 W juice pack in parallel? Home depot has a good deal today.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mojaveoverland View Post
We just purchased a 2021 wolf pup with the juice pack installed. Weíd like to upgrade the panels and controller using the existing wiring, but canít figure out where the leads from the roof go.

The factory solar controller connections are different from the 40a Renogy controller we want to install. It seems like somewhere between the roof and controller, the leads get spliced, but we canít figure out where or how to access them.

Has anyone swapped the factory panel and solar controller using existing wiring? Or if you did it from scratch, how did you route new wires through the roof down to the battery?

I tried searching the forums to no avail.
Thanks so much and excited to meet more folks on the road soon.

Iím basically in the same spot as you! Have a 40 amp mppt controller that I want to install, with an additional battery, and connection for my solar panels on the tow vehicle. I would like to have a wiring diagram of the trailer, but, havenít been able to find one online. Just bought the trailer last month, and am wanting to get it ready for boondocking. But, Iím not sure even what is behind some of the walls!
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tonylmiller View Post
Related question: can I just add another 100 W of solar charging to my 50 W juice pack in parallel? Home depot has a good deal today.
The short answer is yes, but you will lose something in the process. It is most efficient to use similar panels made by the same manufacturer that have the same voltage and same amperage.

For a parallel hookup of the OP's specs, you would take the lowest voltage and multiply it times the total amps of the panels and that would be the watts produced. It will be less than 150 watts. Plug in your numbers and that will indicate your watt loss by using two dissimilar panels.
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:27 PM   #6
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Hi - Bringing this back to folk's attention. Any word on the wiring for solar from the juice-pack? In an ideal world, I would add some flexible panels to the roof, bypass the 50W panel that I have, and use the existing wire in the wall to connect the new flexible panels to a new controller, in the same location as the old controller (i.e. no running wire). Has anyone done that or determined it is appropriate? An alternative is finding a 100W panel to replace the 50W (try to find one the same size at the 50W), and then a solar briefcase for the remaining 200W or so in order to boondock better. Thoughts?
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:06 AM   #7
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Hi - Bringing this back to folk's attention. Any word on the wiring for solar from the juice-pack? In an ideal world, I would add some flexible panels to the roof, bypass the 50W panel that I have, and use the existing wire in the wall to connect the new flexible panels to a new controller, in the same location as the old controller (i.e. no running wire). Has anyone done that or determined it is appropriate? An alternative is finding a 100W panel to replace the 50W (try to find one the same size at the 50W), and then a solar briefcase for the remaining 200W or so in order to boondock better. Thoughts?

I just swapped out my controller a couple weeks ago. The wire connectors for the solar and battery are behind the controller in the wall. Youíll have to remove the controller and tug on the wires to get them out. The pos battery and solar wires both connect to the single red wire in the photo.

I added three 50 watt Renogy panels to go with the juice pack panel. The specs of the Renogy panel almost line up with the Juice Pack Waaree panel. Amps match and volts about a .5v higher on the Renogy panels. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-25-2021, 09:46 PM   #8
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Excellent! What is the gauge of the wire in the wall that goes from the solar panel on the roof (from juice pack) to the solar controller under the bed? Trying to figure out how much solar I can add. I’m thinking about adding two 175w flexible Renology panels.
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:35 AM   #9
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Hi everyone, new to the forum. I purchased a 22MKSE I will take delivery of on June 3rd! Not wanting to Hijack your thread, but I am doing a similar setup, but removing the entire Waaree Panel and PWM Controller. Hoping someone can jump in and offer some advice as this is my 1st Solar setup and yours too it looks like! I am an IT guy so I am pretty familiar with High and Low Voltage circuits but far from any kind of Solar expert.



I have (6) 170W Sunpower's on order and a 150/100 Victron MPPT MC4 Controller https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HPGZ3QD...hk_typ_imgToDp that will charge (4) 100Ah Ionic Batteries https://drewcraft.com/product/100ah-...thium-battery/ I could fit all 6 PV's on the roof, but want to have a portable option if I happen to get a lot of shade on the roof.



The plan is to use the existing wires to fish new 6MM PV cable. To answer your question on wire size, Factory PV Cable going from PV to Controller is 12AWG according to Forest River, it actually looks smaller than that!



I am going with a Series-Parallel topology, 2 pairs each in Series on the roof (4 roof PV's) and the other 2 in Series for Portable use (6 total). (2mm-6mm factory gland will be removed in place for a larger, 6mm-12mm gland).



Each Series pair from the roof will connect to the 2 Pairs of MC4 on controller and portable pair will connect to the 3rd MC4 on the Controller. This will eliminate the need for a combiner box and jumping to a bigger gauge wire to get to the controller. The controller will Parallel the 3 Series strings for me if that makes sense.



I also ordered the WFCO WF-8950L2 Converter https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to charge the Lithium's to 100% when on Genny or Shore Power.



I will forgo a DC-DC charger for the moment since the Solar Array will be doing a good bit of the charging any way and I always have my 2 Honda's with me, so not really needing charging capabilities from the TV at the moment. Maybe down the road I will. The idea is to just pull the 7 pin fuse and kill the power from the TV unless that messes up my Pro Trailer Backup (2019 F150 5.0L) we'll see.


I hope my little bit of info helps you and others. Maybe some other members chime in and offer any advice or things they might do differently. The only thing I am not 100% sure of is fusing in between panels. For a full parallel I know you need to have the positive fused between each PV, not sure on a series-parallel config?
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:09 PM   #10
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Juice Pack Upgrade

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Originally Posted by ematzen View Post
Excellent! What is the gauge of the wire in the wall that goes from the solar panel on the roof (from juice pack) to the solar controller under the bed? Trying to figure out how much solar I can add. Iím thinking about adding two 175w flexible Renology panels.

Iím pretty sure itís 14 AWG going from the panels to the controller. That was the size I was using on my wire strippers. From the controller to the battery, itís 10 AWG except for the wire and fuse they spliced in, so youíll need to upgrade that too. I spliced in a 10 AWG wire and a 30A fuse in itís place.

If youíre dead set on those flex panels, Iíd probably run thicker wire from the roof.Click image for larger version

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Old 05-26-2021, 02:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PFeezzy View Post
Iím pretty sure itís 14 AWG going from the panels to the controller. That was the size I was using on my wire strippers. From the controller to the battery, itís 10 AWG except for the wire and fuse they spliced in, so youíll need to upgrade that too. I spliced in a 10 AWG wire and a 30A fuse in itís place.

If youíre dead set on those flex panels, Iíd probably run thicker wire from the roof.Attachment 255422
Very helpful, thank you. So did you keep the original 14 AWG wire to connect all of your 200W of solar on your roof to your new controller? The panel that came with my 16BHS is a Furrion, and looks smaller. Plus the port going through the roof is different.

I'm interested in the flexible panels for ease of installation. How was installing the rigid panels?

I appreciate learning from you. Thanks. I'm clearly going to have to get the trailer out of storage and dig around it soon. I'm sure mine is just enough different than yours to cause me problems
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:29 PM   #12
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Juice Pack Upgrade

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Originally Posted by ematzen View Post
Very helpful, thank you. So did you keep the original 14 AWG wire to connect all of your 200W of solar on your roof to your new controller? The panel that came with my 16BHS is a Furrion, and looks smaller. Plus the port going through the roof is different.

I'm interested in the flexible panels for ease of installation. How was installing the rigid panels?

I appreciate learning from you. Thanks. I'm clearly going to have to get the trailer out of storage and dig around it soon. I'm sure mine is just enough different than yours to cause me problems

Yeah I used the 14 AWG wire. If your prioritize volts over amps with your panels, you can run smaller wire. So in my case, I have two parallel strings with 2 x 50w panels wires in series on each string. Not sure how much you know about electrical stuff and solar, but if you run panels in series, it will increase volts and not the amps. If you run panels in parallel, you increase the amps on your wiring but not volts. Because I ran them in series first then in parallel, I got a bump in both. So the way mine is wired up, in 77 degree weather in the best sunlight conditions, my setup will make almost 43V and a little over 6A. The controller will convert that into power that is compatible with my 12V system and push almost 17A to the battery.

As far as panel install goes, I found it very easy. If you were planning drill, Iíd just go with rigid panels. The only benefit I see with flex panels is the weight reduction. Rigid panels last longer, stay cooler (cooler temp is better for solar performance), and cost way less. If youíre going to be using all kinds of adhesive to secure your flex panel, you probably should be prepared to take them off and replace them at some point and hope you donít damage your roof in the process.

I recommend checking out the YouTube channel and website explorerist.life and watch videos on wiring panels in series, parallel, and mix and matching.
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ematzen View Post
Very helpful, thank you. So did you keep the original 14 AWG wire to connect all of your 200W of solar on your roof to your new controller? The panel that came with my 16BHS is a Furrion, and looks smaller. Plus the port going through the roof is different.

I'm interested in the flexible panels for ease of installation. How was installing the rigid panels?

I appreciate learning from you. Thanks. I'm clearly going to have to get the trailer out of storage and dig around it soon. I'm sure mine is just enough different than yours to cause me problems
The wire from the 50 watt panel on the roof is a low quality( in my opinion) 14 gauge wire to the controller. I added a 40 amp Rich solar mppt controller to an 10 gauge POV wire to an exterior SAE connector , and combined both into the + solar wire. The same was done with the negative solar wires, a 40 amp breaker along with 8 gauge from the controller to the two 100 amp nourish batteries on the tongue. That way I can plug my 200 watt panels from my Toyota Tacoma into the controller also. They are removal from the Tacoma and then become directional for extra charging. Added a heavier ground wire run where the original wires came through the floor. Still a work in progress, but, a step up in my ability to boondock. Since we arenít worried about tv or the microwave, or a/c weíll see how this works for just the lights and fridge. The next change as the batteries age, will be a swap to lithiumís.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:17 AM   #14
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The wire from the 50 watt panel on the roof is a low quality( in my opinion) 14 gauge wire to the controller.
I agree. I was ok with this as I wanted to keep it simple and costs low. Iíll probably be adding some connections in the future for a portable setup like you. Iíll change things up a bit when/if that happens.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:29 AM   #15
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(6) Sunpower 170W Flex on 22MKSE

How much of a PITA fishing new 10 Gauge PV Cable using the existing 12-14 Gauge PV cable as a pull? I saw in a YouTube Video, a guy was installing on a Wolf Pup and said the factory PV cables went in a few different directions once dropped through the roof, making pulling new wires pretty difficult, he ended up making his own hole, which I have no problem doing. Wondering what others have ran in to with their Gray Wolf's? Want this to be a trouble free install, but in my experience, that never happens.

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:40 AM   #16
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EDIT: I decided to go a different route and use (3) 100/50 Victron SmartSolar instead of (1) 150/100 as to not put all my eggs in 1 basket. Cost me about $150 more going that route and gives me room to upgrade. I'll never exceed the 100 Volts to each controller since they'll never see more than about 70 Volts Max. I can add another series string in Parallel to the controller bringing it to 70 Volts, 12.3 Amps.





Quote:
Originally Posted by L33der View Post
Hi everyone, new to the forum. I purchased a 22MKSE I will take delivery of on June 3rd! Not wanting to Hijack your thread, but I am doing a similar setup, but removing the entire Waaree Panel and PWM Controller. Hoping someone can jump in and offer some advice as this is my 1st Solar setup and yours too it looks like! I am an IT guy so I am pretty familiar with High and Low Voltage circuits but far from any kind of Solar expert.



I have (6) 170W Sunpower's on order and a 150/100 Victron MPPT MC4 Controller https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HPGZ3QD...hk_typ_imgToDp that will charge (4) 100Ah Ionic Batteries https://drewcraft.com/product/100ah-...thium-battery/ I could fit all 6 PV's on the roof, but want to have a portable option if I happen to get a lot of shade on the roof.



The plan is to use the existing wires to fish new 6MM PV cable. To answer your question on wire size, Factory PV Cable going from PV to Controller is 12AWG according to Forest River, it actually looks smaller than that!



I am going with a Series-Parallel topology, 2 pairs each in Series on the roof (4 roof PV's) and the other 2 in Series for Portable use (6 total). (2mm-6mm factory gland will be removed in place for a larger, 6mm-12mm gland).



Each Series pair from the roof will connect to the 2 Pairs of MC4 on controller and portable pair will connect to the 3rd MC4 on the Controller. This will eliminate the need for a combiner box and jumping to a bigger gauge wire to get to the controller. The controller will Parallel the 3 Series strings for me if that makes sense.



I also ordered the WFCO WF-8950L2 Converter https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to charge the Lithium's to 100% when on Genny or Shore Power.



I will forgo a DC-DC charger for the moment since the Solar Array will be doing a good bit of the charging any way and I always have my 2 Honda's with me, so not really needing charging capabilities from the TV at the moment. Maybe down the road I will. The idea is to just pull the 7 pin fuse and kill the power from the TV unless that messes up my Pro Trailer Backup (2019 F150 5.0L) we'll see.


I hope my little bit of info helps you and others. Maybe some other members chime in and offer any advice or things they might do differently. The only thing I am not 100% sure of is fusing in between panels. For a full parallel I know you need to have the positive fused between each PV, not sure on a series-parallel config?
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:52 AM   #17
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How much of a PITA fishing new 10 Gauge PV Cable using the existing 12-14 Gauge PV cable as a pull? I saw in a YouTube Video, a guy was installing on a Wolf Pup and said the factory PV cables went in a few different directions once dropped through the roof, making pulling new wires pretty difficult, he ended up making his own hole, which I have no problem doing. Wondering what others have ran in to with their Gray Wolf's? Want this to be a trouble free install, but in my experience, that never happens.

Thanks!

I saw the same video and wondered the same. That guyís work was pretty nice, but I wasnít ready to get that much into it due to time constraints and the possibility of messing something up. Iím going to check on my rig this weekend and see how everything is holding up and view the performance history on my Victron SmartSolar 100/20. If itís doing what I expect, I donít think Iíll change anything on my roof array.
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Old 05-30-2021, 10:11 PM   #18
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Yeah I used the 14 AWG wire. If your prioritize volts over amps with your panels, you can run smaller wire. So in my case, I have two parallel strings with 2 x 50w panels wires in series on each string. Not sure how much you know about electrical stuff and solar, but if you run panels in series, it will increase volts and not the amps. If you run panels in parallel, you increase the amps on your wiring but not volts. Because I ran them in series first then in parallel, I got a bump in both. So the way mine is wired up, in 77 degree weather in the best sunlight conditions, my setup will make almost 43V and a little over 6A. The controller will convert that into power that is compatible with my 12V system and push almost 17A to the battery.

As far as panel install goes, I found it very easy. If you were planning drill, Iíd just go with rigid panels. The only benefit I see with flex panels is the weight reduction. Rigid panels last longer, stay cooler (cooler temp is better for solar performance), and cost way less. If youíre going to be using all kinds of adhesive to secure your flex panel, you probably should be prepared to take them off and replace them at some point and hope you donít damage your roof in the process.

I recommend checking out the YouTube channel and website explorerist.life and watch videos on wiring panels in series, parallel, and mix and matching.
Supremely helpful, and the website explorerist.life is excellent! Thank you. So here is what I think I'm going to do. Would love thoughts (and I've gone back and forth too many times to count).

First: I am going to buy the Renogy 200W suitcase for $300 (not eclipse). This gives me positional flexibility and is easier, but more expensive.

Second: And this is a MAYBE, but I think I can install one 100W rich solar panel to go parallel to my 50W furrion panel. Both have the same voltage (18.5 vmp and 22.6v voc). This will give me 150W on the roof at 8.11 amps. The PWM from Furrion that I currently have is a 10 amp, which should be able to handle it. This should be a pretty easy install. I know mis-matched solar isn't great, but if this truly gets me an additional 80 or so watts, it could make a difference.

Third: if this doesn't provide me enough juice for boondocking, I will get an inexpensive 100ah lithium battery.

Fourth: if the solar and the lithium isn't enough, I'll buy a generator.

My ONLY goal here is to be able to keep the fridge running for 3-4 days boondocking, with occasional lighting and water pump. Really not much.

Y'all have been extremely helpful.
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Old 05-31-2021, 09:06 AM   #19
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Juice Pack Upgrade

I would advise you to not add a 100 watt panel to the 50 watt as they donít share the same amps. You will not get a 150 watts. While the voltage will be similar, the 100 watt panel will put out more Amps. Because the 50 watt puts out less amps, youíll only see the amperage of the 50 watt panel. It would be similar to adding a another 50 watt panel, so youíd just be wasting your money.
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Old 05-31-2021, 09:48 AM   #20
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Yup. I wasnít thinking straight. I went back and forth on mppt so many times. Thanks.
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