Ok, ready to order a Solar panel but have a question - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2014, 11:10 AM   #29
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Ok after a lot of debating and thinking about it, I placed my order today
12 Volt 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit Solarblvd

Dont laugh but a reason I ordered it from here was the size of the panel. I have 47" inches fron the front of my ParkLiner to the escape hatch on the roof by about 36" width... this panel is 40" long, most are 47.something long and I really don't want it visible from the street.

I am going to rooftop mount it and run a 10gauge battery wire to the front battery box. If I add a 2nd panel for mobility I can run it in through the little hatch for the power cord and plug it in that way.

If I'm lucky I can get it and install it before next weekend... if not well will make do lol
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:50 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deryk View Post
Ok after a lot of debating and thinking about it, I placed my order today
12 Volt 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit Solarblvd...
THX for the link deryk. I have added it to my bookmarks and am anxious to your product review

Thom
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:08 PM   #31
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Hey Thom! I'm going to have to drill into the vent pipe from the water tank to run the cables to the roof....then caulk it to seal it. I'm getting excited to do it. I decided I gonna use burly tape and bolt the panel down. I'm going to have to pick up some kind of decorative caps to cover bolts.(
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:24 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by deryk View Post
...I'm going to have to drill into the vent pipe from the water tank to run the cables to the roof...(
Hi again deryk (still wan't to capitalize that 'd' !
OK so i hear what you are saying... and my 2 cents worth.
Do you need to run the cables into that pipe vent? The way Chandler set mine up (i ordered it solar-ready) is he has the wires set to go out the side of the reverse-trolley roof just in front of the front edge of the forward escape hatch. I will utilize a thru-hull marine fitting like this one: _link at amazon as an example_.
I can tell you that there is no way i could run wires along side the "pipe" in that square side-frame member that runs on the streetside inner wall from sofa to upper cabinets as there is no room, in fact i don't know how he even ran the 10g wires but they are laying in a coil inside the upper cabinets ready for use (other end coiled up in battery bay).

Since you would be routing the wires to the front battery exterior box might this work?...
1) drill a hole in the vertical wall inside the reverse trolley area on street side near the solar panel,
2) run your wires inside the upper cabinets toward front most wall in common with bathroom upper closet and forward most street side upper cabinet.
3) drill hole and run wires down the corner at front of side sofa/shower (area that is for the most part hidden from view)
4) route wires into lower porta potty closet
5) exit below and to battery box

Might work??
Best wishes,
Thom
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:19 PM   #33
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Thom, I never even thought of that....could also run it into the closet and right out through the floor right to the battery box.....hmmmm

Well tomorrow I'm heading to the Pocono mountains in Pa for 5 days so I'm going to have to take a look....I figured using the vent pipe to have one less new hole in the room but the fitting would eliminate my leak fears lol.

Thanks
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:34 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by deryk View Post
Thom, I never even thought of that....could also run it into the closet and right out through the floor right to the battery box.....hmmmm
Now that is thinking outside the battery box I actually like the sound of that better, as it calls for a few less holes and fiddlin'.
Enjoy your adventure.

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Old 05-13-2014, 05:46 PM   #35
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On that Seachoice thru the hull fitting at Amazon.
What is the largest 2 wires you can run thru it?
I see the hole size drilled is 3/4 inch.
Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:05 PM   #36
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I'm gonna head over to the 3 marine stores near me when the panel arrives with the wire to make sure it will e sized right...might be a few dollars more but gives peace of mind that when I drill that hole it will all fit.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:24 PM   #37
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on the thru hull fitting i linked to? I don't know as i did that just as an example. Like deryk i would buy local from my marine shop to make sure i had a size that would suit the project. Sorry i don't have more info.

Cheers,
Thom
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:13 PM   #38
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I got my wire from Amazon pre-terminated with MC4 connectors which saves a bit if time.

I used West Marine for the cable glands to bring the wire inside, and that was all I used from the chandlery.
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:04 AM   #39
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Charge controller location

Night Sailor is an EE I believe so he should be able to give a good solution to this:

The solar panels put out up to and sometimes over 30VDC. There is a drop in voltage and current in any run of wire. No the question; is the IR drop more significant on the output of the panel wires to the controller than the IR drop on the out put of the controller to the battery?

If the current drop on the output (12VDC) of the controller is a greater percentage than the solar panel output ( up to 30 volts or more) then you would want to put the controller close to the battery not on the solar panel like mine!
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:14 AM   #40
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Well the cable from the solar panel to the charge controller is 10 gauge, with a run of about 8 feet I'm guessing....the charge controller to the battery will be about 4 feet. If I can use 8 gauge I will. I'm planning on adding an exterior 12 volt socket near the batteries(why not since I'm running wire) I think at a later date I will be adding a good inverter.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:15 AM   #41
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Good thread and lots of interesting reading. I have not bought a solar system yet but my research has led to a couple of conclusions. First is that if your charge controller can accept 24V input (seems most can) then wiring multiple panels (in series) for that output allows you to use smaller wire and is generally more efficient. I decided on this 24V wiring for my planned portable 100w to 120w setup as two 50w or two 60w panels hinged as a nice suitcase makes a lot more portable rig than one 100w panel.

The second thing is not as clear from an economic standpoint but MPPT controllers are more efficient and therefore get more out of whatever panels are connected to them. The “better” MPPT controllers are exponentially more expensive than a PWM controller of similar wattage but if you can get more charge out of fewer panels it might be worth it.

At any rate, keep the ideas and discussion going. I see solar as a natural outgrowth of our interest in camping with "right sized" efficient equipment and rigs.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:38 AM   #42
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I originally didn't like the MPP controllers I bought off of Amazon. They were not expensive. However I have grown to like them as time is going on. They work very well. So cost is not a huge factor for these.

MPPT controllers are good for campers or applications were power is cycling daily. If you're not going to use your camper often, weekends only perhaps, then a cheaper controller would work fine as they have more time to recharge.

I have an electric start generator on a small trailer, and my car gets parked for long periods. Neither of which is used much. A small panel with a simple three stage charge controller is perfect for keeping a battery topped off or brought back up.
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