Fiberglass RV

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Frederick L. Simson 12-22-2006 09:46 PM

1 Attachment(s) I am modifying my battery installation to include the ability to connect Solar Panels for recharging. My Fiber Stream has it's battery box accessable from the front of the trailer through a vented hatch door.

Attachment 5732

A previous owner added a cord hatch to the access door. What could this be for?

I think I found a use for it...

Frederick L. Simson 12-22-2006 09:50 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I bought a Solar Charge Controller on eBay and installed it to the inside of the access door.

Attachment 6931
Battery (Red/Black block)
Now I can feed the Solar Panels' wires through the little hatch in the larger access door and connect them to the charge controller next to it and close the door.

Edit Note*
I corrected the errors in my wiring and replaced the photograph and wiring diagram.
Thank you, Gina!

Frederick L. Simson 12-22-2006 09:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Attachment 5733

While I was at it, I made the Battery Wires long enough to set the battery on the ground while it is connected to make servicing easier.

Chester Taje 12-22-2006 09:56 PM

I like that hatch idea.

Gina D. 12-23-2006 10:54 AM

Fred, are you running your car charge line into the controller?

If so, you will damage the controller. It can not handle that type of current.

Never plug anything into the input of a solar charge controller but a solar panel.

Frederick L. Simson 12-23-2006 11:40 AM


Fred, are you running your car charge line into the controller?

If so, you will damage the controller. It can not handle that type of current.

Never plug anything into the input of a solar charge controller but a solar panel.
OK. I will change that.

Gina D. 12-23-2006 12:15 PM

from the owners manual from one of my units, but I have seen the same for others


OTHER CHARGING SOURCES: Do not use the ASC to regulate a power source other
than a photovoltaic panel, such as a hydro or wind generator/alternator or an AC battery
charger. To do so could result in damage to the ASC and/or the generating equipment
because the ASC regulates charging by short circuiting the input. Connect other
charging sources directly to the battery.
The ASC and array can remain connected to a battery that is being charged by an
additional source, (alternator, battery charger, etc.) without damage to the controller or
solar panels.
This also explains how the unit cuts off. Would hate to see what happens when your alternator or battery has a dead short underway.

Brian B-P 12-23-2006 01:37 PM

My solar panel charge controller doesn't short the input like Gina's (it just opens a relay) so it wouldn't be a problem in that respect, but I agree that connecting the power from the tow vehicle on the output/battery side of the controller rather than the input/panel side would be a good idea anyway - the tow vehicle does its own regulation.

Slick setup, Frederick!

Pete Dumbleton 12-24-2006 06:04 PM

Yep, the battery should be the common point for all charging arrangements that I know of (Converter, battery charger, battery maintainer, generator, tow vehicle, solar and hamster in a wheel).

Frederick L. Simson 03-19-2007 07:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I purchased the solar panels from Harbor Freight.

Frederick L. Simson 03-19-2007 07:56 PM

It comes with a rather large charge controller that I am not going to use in the trailer, since I have already installed one inside the battery compartment of the Fiber Stream.

I did buy 2 extra items:

72" x 1.5" Aluminum Piano Hinge
12' of 3/4" diameter Yellow Heat Shrink Tube.

I cut the Piano Hinge into two 3' pieces.

I had to carefully drill offset screw holes in both the hinge and the edge of the Panels' aluminum frame so not to damage the glass part of the panel. I attached the 3 panels together, with the hinges facing opposite directions. Then I bundled the wires together into 1 cable with the heat shrink.

Frederick L. Simson 03-19-2007 08:00 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Now the panels stow compactly. I show them folded, along with the collapsed angled mounting frame:

Attachment 6935

My next project will be to build a carrying case, or box, to store them in.

Frederick L. Simson 03-19-2007 08:03 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I open the panels and assemble the frame:

Attachment 6937

Frederick L. Simson 03-19-2007 08:06 PM

2 Attachment(s)
... and lay the panels into the frame. There are pins in the frame that fit into receiving holes in the back of the panels.
Attachment 6939

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