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Old 09-28-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
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Solar charger wiring problem - Stealth WA2715

Hi,

I have a 2014 WA2715 toy hauler with the factory panel and G0 Power GP-PWM-30 charge controller.

It worked well until recently it stopped working. I traced the problem to a short to ground on the wire that runs from the batteries to the battery connection on the charge controller.

The short is somewhere between the circuit breaker and the wire at the controller. I have disconnected both ends of the wire (blue) and it measures 1.4 ohms to ground.

The wire from the front frame-mounted circuit breaker goes up into the front wall panel behind the batteries. It appears that it may go up the front, back across the ceiling and down the wall to the charge controller. At the charge controller, I see the battery wire going up the inside wall toward the ceiling.

In the attached picture, the blue line shows where I think the wire runs. The red is where the charge controller is mounted in the wall.

Any ideas where the short may be?

I could just run a new wire, but don’t have an easy route since there is an insulated tank below that wall.

Thanks!

Tim
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:45 AM   #2
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Any ideas out there on finding the short to ground? I can't really find way without tearing walls apart...

So for now, the plan is to just run a new wire, but it need to go up a wall with a horizontal stud I just need to find some type of bit I can get in a wall access hole and about 18" down to drill through the interior stud.

Any ideas on that would be appreciated.
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:36 PM   #3
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This may not be the best idea, but if you can find out where the wall is located under the RV, drill a hole up into the wall cavity from under the RV. Then use plumbers fish tape (which is just a roll of really stiff wire that you can attach the new wire to and fish it up into the hole where the display goes. Then run the wire under the trailer to where the battery is using the same technique. If you do this, make sure that you seal that hole really well with some good silicone - not just bathroom stuff. Make sure it's all the way around that wire going in the hole and up inside it. Secure the wire along the way on the outside as well so it doesn't get caught up on anything. Same thing on the other hole to the battery. Fish tape works wonders - you can get wires in places you never thought possible.

This is what I would probably do anyways.. The reason is 1) I wouldn't want to tear walls apart either. 2) Never want to punch more holes in the roof without really knowing what you're doing.. and 3) the floors are much easier accessed than the roof. Make sure to cover the wire on the outside in some sort of wire sheathing or something as well.

Hope some of that makes sense and I hope it may have given you some ideas on how to possibly get your project done.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:45 PM   #4
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That's a great idea and I gave it a look. Unfortunately, the black water tank is under that wall so I'd need to remove it to get under the wall. Making it a little worse, the tank is insulated so it appears they spayed foam around it and it has a corrugated vinyl panel under it riveted to the frame.

Still a possibility, but I hate to tear that out...

thank you for the good suggestions!
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #5
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Why can't you just attach new wiring to the end of the old and just back feed it? Might be a problem if there are attach points along the way, but I've never seen many manufacturers go to the trouble. lol
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
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Not sure if I understand, but I can't attach it to the old wire near the battery as the wire is grounded somewhere after it goes into the front wall.

I could disconnect the old wire from the controller in the wall and attach a new wire to the controller.

Right now, I could possibly run a new wire from under the bed across a little bit of floor and into and up the wall. Not ideal, but not a lot of options I'm seeing to get it up into the inside wall.

thanks
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:46 PM   #7
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Why can't you just attach new wiring to the end of the old and just back feed it? Might be a problem if there are attach points along the way, but I've never seen many manufacturers go to the trouble. lol
Great idea Yarome. T what he's saying is use the old wire to pull the new wire through like fishing.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for clarifying... It seems that the old wire may be tacked down inside the wall or roof. I pulled pretty hard and it doesn't budge...
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:47 AM   #9
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It doesn't necessarily have to be the existing 12v power cable you use to "fish" your new line back to your box. Even using the wire from a nearby outlet or light fixture might work. Just attach a string to your new cable so you can bring your "fishing" wire back to it's original connection point. You can even hop to multiple wires to get to where you're going. KWIM?
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:38 AM   #10
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Thanks - great idea!

I'll fish around and see if I can find something to use. There is a light switch in that wall and if I get lucky, a wire may have an easy path back to the fuse panel, which would be a perfect place...

thanks all!
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:18 PM   #11
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Hope it works out.

Along the same lines... I've been known to leave a "string run" along new wiring paths just because. Ya never know when you might fancy running yet another new line for some other nifty little gadget. :-) I just label both ends indicating where the end point is.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:10 PM   #12
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Good idea... I'll post the results.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:17 PM   #13
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First, I have no experience in solar wiring. However before you
start rewiring may I suggest you check and make sure the ground you see is not coming from a connection to a inverter.

Just a suggestion
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #14
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I also should have included the fuse panel. Disconnecting the fuse panel and inverter may prove the ground you see is from there and the initial problem has not been identified.

Sorry for two replies.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:29 PM   #15
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I don't think it is, but will disconnect those and test just to make sure.

There is an inverter that I installed a while back. On the DC side of it, there is a dedicated ground wire directly to the battery and a dedicated wire through a circuit breaker directly to the battery +12V.

The solar charge controller is pretty simple. It has a set of 2 wire running from the solar panel to it. And it has a set of 2 wires running from it to the batteries. One is a ground and the other runs to the battery +12V to charge the batteries.

The wire running from the solar charge controller to the battery +12V has a 30A circuit breaker near the battery. That is the wire that is shorted to ground and keeps tripping the breaker. If I disconnect it at the controller, it is still shorted to ground.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:16 PM   #16
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Hi again The sketch below is my understanding of the wiring in your trailer and why I suggested the ground could be coming from another source.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:38 AM   #17
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Hi again The sketch below is my understanding of the wiring in your trailer and why I suggested the ground could be coming from another source.
Hi,

Thanks for the reply and nice diagram. It's difficult to see the wires where they disappear and I'll take a look next time the converter is out.

What it appears is there is a large wire from the converter directly to the battery. And there is a smaller wire (shorted to ground) that runs from the solar controller to the battery.

It appears the two wires come together at the battery.

Today, I finally replaced the wire between the solar controller and battery. Works good now!

I appreciate all the help and suggestions...

thank you
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by ttiimmff View Post
It appears the two wires come together at the battery.

Today, I finally replaced the wire between the solar controller and battery. Works good now!
Which would be a typical installation. The coach load running off the batteries.. not off the controller.

Glad to hear it worked out!
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