Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-15-2024, 08:30 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 40
Solar on or off when connected to shore power?

Hello everyone,

I recently installed a no frills 200 watt solar kit. It's working fine, it appears. When I connect to shore power should I disconnect the solar, or leave it alone and let the controller take over?

I did wire in a kill switch on the positive lead, so it's easy enough to switch it off.

As always, thank you.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	PXL_20240607_191146335.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	375.8 KB
ID:	301003  
jma57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 09:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 676
I have mine on 99% of the time. The solar and shore power work together just fine.

The only time I shut my solar down is when my trailer is just sitting at home. if its an extended period (couple of weeks) I turn off the solar and the converter and let the batteries drain down some.
__________________
2019 Palomino Solaire 147X
2013 Ford F150
TacomaJoe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 09:22 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 143
I'd leave it on. If it was me I would want a disconnect for the solar panels, both positive and negative leads.
mysery1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 10:11 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Posts: 4,264
double check your wiring...
is the smaller blue and brown the wires to the panel

and the larger cables ... going to the switch and then red to battery?

IF SO....... you got the wiring incorrect
the panels are the first 2 wires connections...
the battery the second set
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1.png
Views:	50
Size:	249.4 KB
ID:	301005  
__________________
Tarpon Springs FL
2022 Salem 24RLXL
Aussieguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 11:00 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysery1 View Post
I'd leave it on. If it was me I would want a disconnect for the solar panels, both positive and negative leads.
What would be the reason to disconnect both Pos and Neg?
__________________

2007 Surveyor SV230
- 200 Watts Solar/MPPT Controller - 220 AH Battery Bank (Two-GC2) - 600 watt PSW Inverter - (2) 2000 watt Inverter Generators - LED Lighting
2009 F150 - 5.4 Litre with Tow Package

Boon Docking 99% of the time.
boondocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 11:00 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
double check your wiring...
is the smaller blue and brown the wires to the panel

and the larger cables ... going to the switch and then red to battery?

IF SO....... you got the wiring incorrect
the panels are the first 2 wires connections...
the battery the second set
Aussieguy,

The brown wire is positive going to battery, blue wire is negative going to battery, they are together in the thicker wire.

Wires from the roof panels:
Red goes to the kill switch, then I used black wire(out of red) from the the kill switch to positive on controller, black goes right to the controller.

Trhank you for pointing this out, I hope I did wire it properly. I followed the instructions, the only thing I added was the kill switch.
jma57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 11:39 AM   #7
Trailer Park Supervisor
 
NJKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 9,008
A kill switch is good to have, the controller should always be connected to battery before connected to panels, or controller damage may result if panels are engergized.
__________________
2019 Rockwood Geo Pro G19FD w/off road package
2015 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4x4 V8
Yes, I drink the water!
NJKris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 12:29 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
What would be the reason to disconnect both Pos and Neg?
In the case of solar panels negative is none grounded conductor.
mysery1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 01:24 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Location: Maine
Posts: 742
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
A kill switch is good to have, the controller should always be connected to battery before connected to panels, or controller damage may result if panels are engergized.
What brand or type controller is that. I’m factory trained with both Victron and Mastervolt and have never heard of any such thing.
MGD1961 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 02:28 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
PhilFromMaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,722
If I understand what you are saying, IMO, there is in inherent danger in using non-traditional colored wiring. If it doesn't confuse you, most likely it will confuse the next owner.

Regarding whether or not you should leave the solar on when connected to grid, IMO, the answer is yes. Solar power is free. In longer term campgrounds, you pay for the power you use. In short term campgrounds, you are helping the environment by using your solar.
__________________
2018 Coachmen Freedom Express Liberty Edition 231RBDSLE
PhilFromMaine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 03:59 PM   #11
Trailer Park Supervisor
 
NJKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 9,008
Quote:
Originally Posted by MGD1961 View Post
What brand or type controller is that. I’m factory trained with both Victron and Mastervolt and have never heard of any such thing.
Hmmm, my goof. I only found these ominous warnings in my Renogy Voyager manual, they are not in the GoPower manual. I thought it applied to all controllers. And it may be a CYA thing, not a damage thing, you would know better MGD.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2024-06-15 at 4.51.29 PM.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	72.6 KB
ID:	301017   Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2024-06-15 at 4.51.19 PM.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	74.4 KB
ID:	301018  
__________________
2019 Rockwood Geo Pro G19FD w/off road package
2015 Ford F150 XLT Super Cab 4x4 V8
Yes, I drink the water!
NJKris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 04:22 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJKris View Post
Hmmm, my goof. I only found these ominous warnings in my Renogy Voyager manual, they are not in the GoPower manual. I thought it applied to all controllers. And it may be a CYA thing, not a damage thing, you would know better MGD.
It does not say on Victron websites that damage will occur, but does give the order of connection as battery first.
__________________

2007 Surveyor SV230
- 200 Watts Solar/MPPT Controller - 220 AH Battery Bank (Two-GC2) - 600 watt PSW Inverter - (2) 2000 watt Inverter Generators - LED Lighting
2009 F150 - 5.4 Litre with Tow Package

Boon Docking 99% of the time.
boondocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 04:31 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilFromMaine View Post
If I understand what you are saying, IMO, there is in inherent danger in using non-traditional colored wiring. If it doesn't confuse you, most likely it will confuse the next owner.
You are right, it could be confusing to the next owner. It is an easy fix: I'll replace that short length of black wire from kill switch to controller with a red wire.
jma57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 06:20 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 17,530
Quote:
Originally Posted by jma57 View Post
You are right, it could be confusing to the next owner. It is an easy fix: I'll replace that short length of black wire from kill switch to controller with a red wire.
Or just add a wrap of red phasing tape to each end and don't change wire.
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 06:39 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Posts: 4,264
so what happens if you have a system without a battery... load only?
how do you connect battery first if there is none?

like a solar pump... you only pump water when the solar produces enough power
__________________
Tarpon Springs FL
2022 Salem 24RLXL
Aussieguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 07:13 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
so what happens if you have a system without a battery... load only?
how do you connect battery first if there is none?

like a solar pump... you only pump water when the solar produces enough power
Use a controller that does not state "connect battery first"
__________________

2007 Surveyor SV230
- 200 Watts Solar/MPPT Controller - 220 AH Battery Bank (Two-GC2) - 600 watt PSW Inverter - (2) 2000 watt Inverter Generators - LED Lighting
2009 F150 - 5.4 Litre with Tow Package

Boon Docking 99% of the time.
boondocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 07:51 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Loveland, OH
Posts: 1,343
The only time my solar is not connected is when I am troubleshooting or installing something or the trailer is in storage. Or sometimes I just want to see less than 100% SOC on the Cerbo display. If I don't need constant air conditioning, I usually don't even hook up shore power. I will need shore power this coming week, though. 95 deg F and 75 deg F dew point. Yuck.
__________________
2015 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 4x4 CC SB
2021 Salem Heritage Glen 290RL > GenY
1600W solar > 10,700Wh LiFePO4 > Victron MultiPlus II > Cerbo GX
corn18 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 08:18 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Or just add a wrap of red phasing tape to each end and don't change wire.
Yes! thank you, no need to rewire.
jma57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 09:16 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Location: Maine
Posts: 742
Come to think of it I don’t think I have ever turned my solar off except to connect more panels.
MGD1961 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2024, 11:10 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2023
Location: Bayou Vista, TX
Posts: 277
I'll be installing my solar this week if weather permits. I am putting breakers on the panels (both positive and negative). I like to be able to isolate things for troubleshooting or upgrades.
__________________
2021 Forest River Wildwood 171RBXL
Towed by 2018 Toyota Tundra TRD SR5
reidfo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
power, shore power, solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:18 PM.