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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > SOLAR SYSTEM (lots of pics)

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Dave1131

Edmonton,AB

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Joined: 07/15/2007

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Posted: 04/12/10 04:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Materials

2 -Kyocera KD135GX-LPU 135 Watt 12 Volt Solar Electric Panel.
2-Absolute ICB30 In-Line 30 Amp High Current Circuit Breaker.
1- Morningstar Dual Battery Charge Controller 25 Amp.
20 feet of red and black 8 Gauge Monster cable.


The first thing I had to work out is where I was going to mount the Panels, the charge controller and the Meter. Then how I was going to run my wires, either through the fridge vent or through the roof.

The panels I decide to mount on the on the roof rack system using aluminium track and decided to remove my antenna and mount my combiner/junction box in that location(no new holes in the roof) Don’t mind the dirty roof, I have not had time to do the spring cleaning yet.
[image]

The charge controller I decided to mount in the rear dry storage next to the batteries
[image]

The meter will fit perfectly above the radio
[image]

Now that I know where everything is going to be installed, it’s time to run the wiring.
I chose 8 gauge monster cable because of the high quality and flexibility of this wire, plus it has a Magnetic Flux Tube this will help with radio noise caused from solar charging.

First I used the blue 12GA pre-wire that Lance installed and pull 2 nylon strings through the wiring chase down to the rear storage compartment then I use that string to pull my 8GA wire through the wire chase
Note When you pull one wire though attach another nylon string to that wire and pull it through, this way you always have a back-up to pull with.
In the next pic if you look through the Lance pro wiring[emoticon] you can see the orange string to the right, at the back, this is where I pulled my wiring through.

[image]
I tied an extra string in the compartment, just for future use.
[image]
If you follow the dotted line, that is the direction the wiring goes when you pull it through in the lance 1131 and I think the 1191 as well. I found it was easier to pull the wire from the radio side to the storage. I tried the other way and it kept getting stuck
[image]

The wire pulls out in the outer storage at the upper right side.
[image]


Next I installed the upper inline 30amp circuit breaker. This circuit breaker is just for shutting off the solar before the Charge controller. You don’t really need a fuse or breaker here, two panels could never create enough power to trip it. The reason is so I don’t have to climb on my roof to block my panels with cardboard or something like that if I want to work on the controller or a problem occurs. This is just for convenience
Note…if you use a 30 amp fuse in this location make sure you block your panels so there is no load before inserting or removing a fuse, pulling a fuse or installing a fuse under load is very dangerous.
In the first pic you can see the blue solar pre-wire that is what I used to pull my strings through
[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

Next I removed my antenna and installed my combiner/junction box
I put down self levelling sealant and then wrapped it with sealant tape. It’s kinda like Eternabond.
[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]


Now it was time to install the charge controller
I mounted it in the compartment and hooked up the wire from the combiner box
[image]

[image]

I installed a quick connect for the second battery bank and ran the upper wires to the camper battery bank.
[image]

This will charge my Trolling motor/back up battery.
If one of my 6V T145's goes, then I'll pull them out and put the one 12V in there place until I buy new ones.
[image]

[image]

I have the setting at 90% camper battery bank and 10% trolling motor. Once one is fully charge then it will charge at 100% to witch ever battery bank needs it. Plus when I unplug my trolling motor it automatically goes 100% charge to the camper bank
[image]

Next I mounted the meter, this is where having an extra string to pull the wire through the same chase you pulled the 8GA wire through is needed. The wire for the meter is phone line and comes with the meter
It’s mounted just right above the radio
I also mounted a new 12v outlet and you will see why soon.
[image]


Next I installed the panels
I used spring clips to mount them in the track
[image]

[image]

this way I can slide the panels over my junction box and it has a little more protection from the elements.
[image]

[image]

[image]

Time to hook up to the battery
I installed an 30 amp inline Dc circuit breaker with in 12 inches of the battery
This is a must do.
[image]

I used 8 gauge wire from the combiner to the controller and also from the controller to the battery this will result in a 2 to 3% power loss. If I would go with a larger wire like 6GA or 4GA it still would be about 2 or 3% power loss….so save your money.

Now I had to relocate my antenna . Since I was doing this, I thought I would install an XM antenna too
I made an aluminium bracket that will mount to the roof rack and that I can mount both antennas to. I know the yards a mess, I’ve been busy…lol
[image]

I made it so the XM antenna can be lowered and raised
[image]

[image]

The wires are zip tied to the roof rack
[image]

Now to find out what the new 12v outlet is for
I bought an XM Skydock for my Ipod and it works awesome.
No fm transmitter It plugs directly into the aux on the radio and the sound is really nice.
[image]

I can transfer this from the camper to the truck and to the house, no need for multiple XM’s
I did not make a antenna hook up from camper to the truck I just use one of the magnetic antennas on the hood of the truck, less to unhook or forget to unhook.



I designed this system for our needs and I'm the king of over kill. If you are going to do a system ,Design one for yourself, do your research, join solar forms and ask allot of questions
A well installed system is a big benefit to camping.

[image]

The roof tracks that the solar is mounted to, I have never used in this way before . I will follow up after a couple of trips.
There is better inline Dc circuit breakers out there. I just had these and have used them in car audio systems.

I'm going to be installing an inverter but I don't know what size, location and brand I will be using. It's still up in the air.


Hope this give you some ideas and helps you design yours

Have fun
Dave

* This post was edited 04/13/10 08:12am by Dave1131 *


2012 GMC Denali Dually,6.6 Duramax,Firestone air bags with wireless remote,2007 Lance 1131,2 Trojan T-145's,270 watts Kyocera solar, Morningstar Dual 25 Amp Battery Charge Controller.


RicJones

So. Cal.

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Joined: 10/29/2007

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Posted: 04/12/10 04:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice job!!!!!

tmmar

Nassau County, Long Island, NY

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Joined: 09/03/2007

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Good Sam RV Club Member

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Posted: 04/12/10 04:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice job- and pics really help!


2014 40' Forest River Berkshire DP Bunkhouse


spacedoutbob

SF Bay Area

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Joined: 07/20/2009

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Posted: 04/12/10 05:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic Job! Thanks for posting all the photos of your work! This will be a great help to anyone who wants to tackle this job.

Bob in Oakland, Calif.


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silversand

Montreal

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Joined: 09/12/2004

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Posted: 04/12/10 05:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Holy *&%9.* ! Nice work, detailed write-up and excellent illustrations.

PM the Mod and have one of them put it into the appropriate Sticky.

Thanks for this enormous quantity of work (I mean not just the installation) you did to make this a Post!

Cheers,
Silver-

*Your post title originally had me run outside with my portable telescope to look for some celestial anomaly!


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

FarcticOx

NH or somewhere else

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Joined: 03/25/2007

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Posted: 04/12/10 05:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Spectacular, you're gonna love that system. Are you planning on adding an inverter?


FarcticOx

Run Silent, Run Deep
BLOG
2003 F350 Diesel DRW.
2005 Arctic Fox B1150 solar powered dry camper.
220 Watts Solar, 2 300AH 6 volt AGMs, Yamaha EF1000iS Generator

Dave1131

Edmonton,AB

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Joined: 07/15/2007

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Posted: 04/12/10 06:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi Dave,

Nice Job.

I get zero radio interference from my solar panels.

Was there a reason to not use MPPT technology for the controller?

You will love having solar!



I did not find a MPPT duel charge controller
and with all the research I did the PWM charge controller would do me just fine.
Manual
And
Datasheet

The radio interferance I have not had, but I read on some of the solar forms that some of people were having problems.

Better to be safe than sorry

Thanks
Have fun
Dave

sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Joined: 04/07/2003

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Posted: 04/12/10 06:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice installation, congratulations.

Sleepy


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
AirFoil, Trimetric, LED lights, Platcat vent heat

2003GMC K3500 LT/Crewcab/duramax diesel/allison/dually/4x4/OnStar/front reciever mounted spare

3 tons

CA.

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Joined: 03/13/2009

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Posted: 04/12/10 06:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very creative installation and component selection. Thanks for the fine photo essay!!

3 tons

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Joined: 12/18/2004

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Posted: 04/12/10 06:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Dave,

Nice Job.

I get zero radio interference from my solar panels.

Was there a reason to not use MPPT technology for the controller?

You will love having solar!


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

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