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HomeCamp 04-25-2016 06:27 AM

I Installed a Solar Panel for my Lil Snoozy
 
3 Attachment(s)
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 functions.

* 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 Panel Cables.

* 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

rdickens 04-25-2016 08:00 AM

Nice write-up, Dan! 😊
Where did you source your components? (Wire, connectors, charge controller, panel)

Ray


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

HomeCamp 04-25-2016 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rdickens (Post 583812)
Nice write-up, Dan! ��
Where did you source your components? (Wire, connectors, charge controller, panel)

Ray


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

Thanks Ray,

*The Solar Panel, Charge Controller, Solar Cable, Fuse, Connectors and Stainless Steel Corner Brackets all came from Amazon.
*The 7 Way Trailer Connectors came from E-Trailer.com but you can pick them up most any where.
*10GA Low Voltage Landscape Wire can be bought at Lowes
*solarpanelstore.com has the 10 GA-2 Tray Wire

RogerDat 04-25-2016 09:11 AM

I have wondered about a rack mount for a solar panel. How did you attach the panel to the rack? Looks like some kind of latch but can't see it clearly in the picture. Nice photos by the way.


I'm not likely to hook up while going down the road but I like the idea of a 100 watt panel that I can park in the sun while trailer is in the shade when camping. Inside a Scamp 13 ft. not really any good spot to store a 100 watt sized panel.

HomeCamp 04-25-2016 09:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by RogerDat (Post 583830)
I have wondered about a rack mount for a solar panel. How did you attach the panel to the rack? Looks like some kind of latch but can't see it clearly in the picture. Nice photos by the way.


I'm not likely to hook up while going down the road but I like the idea of a 100 watt panel that I can park in the sun while trailer is in the shade when camping. Inside a Scamp 13 ft. not really any good spot to store a 100 watt sized panel.

I used 90 degree stainless steel angle brackets bolted to the solar panel. Then put foam padding between solar panel and rack. I then used stainless steel radiator clamps to hold angle brackets to the rack and covered them in clear plastic tubing to protect the bottom side of the rack.

Gilles 04-25-2016 10:31 AM

3 Attachment(s)
That's about the same price I paid for my install myself monocrystalline solar panel 100 watts.
But I installed on the roof of our Bigfoot, fixed with a tape 2 "wide manufactured by 3M.
3M VHB RP25, 2 inches wide.
RP25 identifies exterior, protected from UV rays, but was advised to add some protection with some caulking UV-resistant, which will increase at the same time, protection against the weather ...

Two other members of the group have used this tape for about 5 years, including one for its solar panel and one for the bar that holds the awning of his trailer ...

Here is what appears in my installation. No hole in the roof, only two small perforations between the roof and part of the air-vent, I plugged with caulking, and then make the son along the top of cabinets and get under the seat to the before the trailer and connect to the controller of the solar panel ...

charlsara 04-25-2016 10:49 AM

Nice work Dan. It keeps the no holes integrity of the Snoozy roof intact.

Doug in Sacramento 04-25-2016 11:11 AM

Gilles,

Did you scuff up the roof before installing the tape and brackets? Assuming you did, what did you use and how deep (through gel coat?) did you go? I like the convenience of a roof mount, even if it won't always be in the sun, and I also don't want to drill any additional holes. I use the racks on my tv for a cargo box and bike racks.

Thanks

Gilles 04-25-2016 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug in Sacramento (Post 583856)
Gilles,

Did you scuff up the roof before installing the tape and brackets? Assuming you did, what did you use and how deep (through gel coat?) did you go? I like the convenience of a roof mount, even if it won't always be in the sun, and I also don't want to drill any additional holes. I use the racks on my tv for a cargo box and bike racks.

Thanks


To be sure not to mislead anyone, I wrote to you the internet link with which I was inspired to install a solar panel on a fiberglass roof.
Add to this link, some comments from members of the Forum who have already experienced a few years ...

Mounts — AM Solar

HomeCamp 04-25-2016 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gilles (Post 583845)
That's about the same price I paid for my install myself monocrystalline solar panel 100 watts.
But I installed on the roof of our Bigfoot, fixed with a tape 2 "wide manufactured by 3M.
3M VHB RP25, 2 inches wide.
RP25 identifies exterior, protected from UV rays, but was advised to add some protection with some caulking UV-resistant, which will increase at the same time, protection against the weather ...

Two other members of the group have used this tape for about 5 years, including one for its solar panel and one for the bar that holds the awning of his trailer ...

Here is what appears in my installation. No hole in the roof, only two small perforations between the roof and part of the air-vent, I plugged with caulking, and then make the son along the top of cabinets and get under the seat to the before the trailer and connect to the controller of the solar panel ...

I considered using some kind of self adhesive but imagining it coming off one day on the interstate would always have been in the back of my mind. Then there was still the problem of routing the solar panel wires to the battery box without any additional holes. Another reason is that 2 more inches on my roof wouldn't allow my trailer to fit under my carport!

TomandCallie 04-25-2016 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeCamp (Post 583865)
Another reason is that 2 more inches on my roof wouldn't allow my trailer to fit under my carport!

Had to laugh, this is where I am right now. I just ordered a carport but don't have a camper yet. So ordering the right height was keeping me up nights. Decided if I had about 8'10" in the center I could fit most smaller campers. We'll see...

Timber Wolf 04-25-2016 01:45 PM

As I have an older (cheap) aluminum topper on my pickup I have considered just mounting the panels on it instead of the Scamp. The only downside is not charging the trailer batteries when the truck is away from camp. But then if a fellow had another set of batteries in the back of the pickup truck anyway.............;)

HomeCamp 04-25-2016 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomandCallie (Post 583870)
Had to laugh, this is where I am right now. I just ordered a carport but don't have a camper yet. So ordering the right height was keeping me up nights. Decided if I had about 8'10" in the center I could fit most smaller campers. We'll see...

I know what your feeling. It was important to me that our trailer would be under cover also. When we went shopping for a fiberglass we of course already had a car port with a clearance of 7 ft 10 inches. So we were praying the the specs of our Lil Snoozy of 7 ft 7 inches was accurate as we "slowly" backed her under the carport the first time! Ha ha

HomeCamp 04-25-2016 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timber Wolf (Post 583878)
As I have an older (cheap) aluminum topper on my pickup I have considered just mounting the panels on it instead of the Scamp. The only downside is not charging the trailer batteries when the truck is away from camp. But then if a fellow had another set of batteries in the back of the pickup truck anyway.............;)

Great Idea!
I guess that's the advantage of having a truck, an extra battery or two is no big deal!


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