I needed a way to recharge my battery
while traveling from point A to point B with nightly stops in-between that's without shore power and still keep our 110VAC/12Volt truck refrigerator
going the next day of travel plus recoup the battery
loss from the previous night usage of 12Volt lights
& water pump.
I ruled out using my 2000 watt Honda Generator
because I don't like it running on the tongue while traveling or carrying a gasoline can. It's too noisy at campgrounds and has restricted run hours, plus it's a high theft item!
A tow vehicle charging wire was questionable at best. The voltage drop from the engine compartment to the trailer battery
would result in low battery amperage input, plus the continual power being consumed by the 12Volt truck refrigerator
would prevent efficient charging.
And so I decided on a solar panel
. I didn't want to put any holes in the my Lil Snoozy's roof, so I mounted a 100 watt solar panel
on the roof rack of my Highlander.
* I ran 10 gauge solar
cable from the Solar Panel
thru the back hatch of my Highlander and out the bottom of the vehicle to the 7 Way Connector on the Highlander which I had recently changed over from a 4 way connector.
* I used the 4 standard pins on the Highlander 7 Way Connector for the normal trailer light
* Used one more pin for the trailer surge brake release during trailer backing.
* I then used the last 2 pin connectors on the Highlander 7 Way Connector for the Solar
* I used the corresponding pins on the Trailer 7 Way Connector with 10GA-2 Tray Cable to the Charge Controller in Battery Box on the Snoozy's tongue.
* I then wired the Charge Controller in the battery box to the 12Volt Battery with some more 10 gauge solar
cable. If more amperage is needed, I will replace the 12Volt Battery with two 6Volt Batteries.
* I also made up a 20ft. Extension Cord with a male and female 7 Way Connector using 10 Gauge Low Voltage Lighting
Wire. With this cord I can park my tow vehicle behind/beside the trailer or where the best sunlight is to charge the battery if at a campsite without shore power.
I hope this will help anyone else thinking of installing solar panels.
More pictures on request
SOLAR SYSTEM COST:
$120.00 Renogy 100W Polycrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel-5.62 Amp-17.8V
$54.00 Morning SunSaver SS-10-12v Charge Controller 10A 12V
$48.00 4ea-7 Way Trailer Connectors (2 complete sets)
$23.00 20 ft. of 10GA Low Voltage Lighting
Wire (for an extension cord)
$21.00 8 ft. of 10GA-2 Tray Cable (from trailer 7 pin connector to charge controller)
$14.00 Solar Panel Cable 25 Ft - Mc4 Pv Extension- 10 AWG - 600vdc (panel to 7 pin on TV)
$3.00 10AWG Fuse Holder (between charge controller and battery)
Total $283.00 Plus Hardware