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Old 08-15-2017, 12:41 AM   #1
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Adding Solar: Need Factory Authorized Parts and Installer

Next month our one year factory warranty expires. This means we can now make some desired modifications. One thing we're looking at adding is solar since we like to boondock and we've already had some power issues. We purchased an Extended Warranty and it will cover solar as long as we use factory authorized parts and a factory authorized installer.

I've been doing a lot of solar research (and have more to do) so I'm getting a reasonable idea of what we might want, however I have no experience with the factory authorized part. The Extended Warranty folks said it's up to Forest River to approve the parts and installer, not them -- as long as Forest River approves the solar it will be covered by our warranty. Is there anyone out there that has had "factory authorized" solar installed on their Forest River?

Thank you in advance,
Nookaroos
: )
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nookaroos View Post
Next month our one year factory warranty expires. This means we can now make some desired modifications. One thing we're looking at adding is solar since we like to boondock and we've already had some power issues. We purchased an Extended Warranty and it will cover solar as long as we use factory authorized parts and a factory authorized installer.

I've been doing a lot of solar research (and have more to do) so I'm getting a reasonable idea of what we might want, however I have no experience with the factory authorized part. The Extended Warranty folks said it's up to Forest River to approve the parts and installer, not them -- as long as Forest River approves the solar it will be covered by our warranty. Is there anyone out there that has had "factory authorized" solar installed on their Forest River?

Thank you in advance,
Nookaroos
: )
Other than mounting on the roof I don't see how your warranty can be affected. Solar panel to controller, controller to battery. I'm curious to what a factory solar is. Mine came with a solar plug on frame with a "Go Power" sticker and plug. Almost any plug from a battery charger will plug into it or you can get one at camp Wallys for about 8 bucks. Shouldn't matter what panels you use. Also, From your opening statement, warranty is ending but you have extended warranty. What's the difference?
Happy Camping.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:12 AM   #3
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Clarification

Thank you for your reply. Sorry I wasn't clear enough. We have a 1 year factory warranty which expires at the end of this month. We purchased an extended warranty from Cornerstone and they will cover improvements to our coach (including solar) as long as we use Forest River factory approved parts and a factory approved installer. We would like our solar to be covered under our extended warranty if possible. I have since read that there isn't that much that goes wrong with solar but why not get it covered if we can.

We want to get a battery monitor as well. Even if we can't get the solar covered I want to make sure we don't void our electrical / battery portion of our extended warranty by making an unauthorized/unacceptable upgrade.

We do not want to use the factory installed plug (Zamp) as it's pretty useless since they use thin wire. I want a whole new system put in and we're likely to get new batteries as well -- 6 volt AGMs instead of the 12 volt Group 27 to improve the storage capacity.

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Old 09-10-2017, 08:20 PM   #4
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Solar installer

Talk to Brian Boone, on Facebook. He installs solar systems on RV's. He's in high demand, but specializes in boondocking set ups. Also look at his blog "RV Boondocking With Solar".
Knows what he is talking about.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:15 PM   #5
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How do they determine a “ factory authorized” installer???
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:55 PM   #6
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If you come by Colorado, give me a holler. All I do is boondock camp. I only do 3 installs a year and the quality of my install far exceeds anything I've seen online or in person.

Solar install is easy but doing it right takes a little more thought to minimize voltage losses and maximize system efficiency. No 10 gauge wires in any of my installs and each battery bank has an inline fuse to prevent a short from causing catastrophic damage. Having each battery bank fuse protected is essential especially if your installer crimps their lugs to their cables. My cables lugs are crimped, soldered, and then sealed with an adhesive backed heat shrink tubing.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kenny kustom View Post
How do they determine a “ factory authorized” installer???
I don't know how they determine a "factory authorized" installer either -- that's what I'd like to find out.

I'm grateful for the offers made for installation assistance, however, I still don't know what I need to do to make sure I have the appropriate "factory authorization". Once we get our final warranty issues addressed I will ask Forest River.

Nookaroos
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #8
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Ask your dealer

We had our dealer install our solar. It was done when we picked up and did our walk through. They should be "factory authorized" repair and installers.

This said, it may have been a mistake to use them because they did a poor job, but the jury is still out on just how bad our experience is going to be. They still have our rig after 6 weeks. Either way, our factory repairs are getting done and the warranty is still valid; post solar install.
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