RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Routing Solar Wires Through Fridge Vent

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Routing Solar Wires Through Fridge Vent

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Prev  |  Next
Sponsored By:
BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 05/20/19 10:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://www.southavenrv.com/rv/jayco/tra........r/1412/Jayco_Jay_Feather_Ultra_Lite_X19H

Depends how big of a solar array you intend to mount. Your rig is not that big, so long wire runs are not so much of a problem.

In the old days with a smaller solar array, you could go down the fridge vent to the controller mounted on the wall by the fridge and the wires from the controller "to battery" would then back into the fridge vent and down to the 12v junction where the fridge gets its 12v. (with set screws for the wires)

That is connected to the battery, but with fairly thin wires. However if you have a small array the wires might be fat enough to do the job well enough for what you want. "It depends".


1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
See Profile for House electronics set-up.

John Wayne

Long Beach, Ca

Senior Member

Joined: 02/13/2001

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 05/20/19 10:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just make sure you run the wires down the side of the refrigerator on the opposite of the chimney.


John & Carol Life members
01 31'Sea View single slide, F53 V-10 with 129,000 miles and counting.
2012 Jeep Liberty Smi brake system
Security by Bentley
God Bless

KF6HCH


Lwiddis

Crestview area, Inyo County, California

Senior Member

Joined: 08/12/2016

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 05/20/19 11:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An adequate solar system will the best mod you make. Start with an energy survey of either actual current use or desired use. Then you can determine adequate batteries, then needed solar panels, wire sizes and a controller. Except for AC and microwave it takes electricity out of concern.


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


f150camper

Oregon

Senior Member

Joined: 05/24/2011

View Profile



Posted: 05/20/19 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

https://www.southavenrv.com/rv/jayco/tra........r/1412/Jayco_Jay_Feather_Ultra_Lite_X19H

Depends how big of a solar array you intend to mount. Your rig is not that big, so long wire runs are not so much of a problem.

In the old days with a smaller solar array, you could go down the fridge vent to the controller mounted on the wall by the fridge and the wires from the controller "to battery" would then back into the fridge vent and down to the 12v junction where the fridge gets its 12v. (with set screws for the wires)

That is connected to the battery, but with fairly thin wires. However if you have a small array the wires might be fat enough to do the job well enough for what you want. "It depends".


You mean tapping into the fridge's 12V wires with like wire nuts or the like?
I am thinking about two 100W panels, maybe 3. Tapping the fridge 12V would most likely not be a good idea, even though it does sound really convenient. :-)


Nights camped 2011: 13 (4 in the old popup) ">
Nights camped 2012: 36
Nights camped 2013: 28
Nights camped 2014: 21

2012 F-150 XLT screw 4x4 HD max tow
2012 Jayco X19H




f150camper

Oregon

Senior Member

Joined: 05/24/2011

View Profile



Posted: 05/20/19 11:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a another follow up question for the solar install:
Does the charge controller get hot? (planning on getting this system) with the Rover 40 MPPT controller (for extend-ability later)

This would determine the installation location. I would not want an additional heater inside the trailer.

Do people install a main on/off switch on the pos wire from controller to the battery? How does the system work when solar is on while towing (truck charging) or on external power? Any conflicts? What happens to the extra capacity?

BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 05/20/19 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

f150camper wrote:

BFL13 wrote:

https://www.southavenrv.com/rv/jayco/tra........r/1412/Jayco_Jay_Feather_Ultra_Lite_X19H

Depends how big of a solar array you intend to mount. Your rig is not that big, so long wire runs are not so much of a problem.

In the old days with a smaller solar array, you could go down the fridge vent to the controller mounted on the wall by the fridge and the wires from the controller "to battery" would then back into the fridge vent and down to the 12v junction where the fridge gets its 12v. (with set screws for the wires)

That is connected to the battery, but with fairly thin wires. However if you have a small array the wires might be fat enough to do the job well enough for what you want. "It depends".


You mean tapping into the fridge's 12V wires with like wire nuts or the like?
I am thinking about two 100W panels, maybe 3. Tapping the fridge 12V would most likely not be a good idea, even though it does sound really convenient. :-)


There can be a junction behind the fridge, perhaps on the platform it sits on, with set screws for wires from the DC fuse panel. Then wires from the junction to the fridge.

So you add your solar controller battery wires to that same junction. That then gets you back to the DC fuse panel, which has the battery wire lugs for the wires from the fuse panel to the battery (however fat they are, but they can easily take 15 amps--usually #8 which can take 50 or so)

A 100w panel is good for up to 6.2 amps aimed , but call it 5 amps flat so your amps could be 10 for two or 15 with three.

If your converter and fuse panel are under the fridge, you could drill a hole in the platform the fridge is on and run the controller to battery wires down to the DC fuse panel battery lugs. That then gets you to the battery.

ajriding

st clair

Senior Member

Joined: 12/28/2004

View Profile



Posted: 05/20/19 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Put the controller closer to the battery. Typically solar panels will put out 18volts and the controller will drop that down to the 13 volt range. Higher voltage travels easier than lower voltage, so run the 18 volt solar power as far as possible before dropping the voltage down. Really, though, this is splitting hairs….

I would not worry about a few feet extra that the wires run from solar to battery. This is not a lot of amps, and as long as you have sufficient wattage then it wont matter. I have 200 watts feeding two batteries and always am at full strength pretty early in the morning after sunrise.

No worries on multiple DC power sources. They will play well together.
The batteries will charge off the highest power source, and the batteries act like a big sponge for all these other power sources and/or spikes in power. Actually, you want the batteries always connected when the solar panel is connected to help protect the panels from any spikes or higher voltages that might occur somehow. This is because the battery will absorb all the fluctuations of power in the system.
Disconnect the solar before disconnecting the batteries.
I have batteries in the truck, not the truck camper, so I keep an exit sign battery connected to the solar array/DC electrical system at all times just for panel protection. This is how seriously I take it. A trailer will have batteries in the trailer, so no need for my excess.

A switch? Yes, good idea to be able to switch off the solar for above reasons.
Fuses or circuit breakers from vehicle DC to battery is good also.

With my solar, 200 watts, I rarely ever need to run truck power to the batteries unless it rains or is in winter or lots of cloudy days. I let the solar do it all, and the solar with the MPPT controller is a better charging system than an alternator.
Unless you put in a switch you will have alternator power all the time while TV is running. Put in a switch, you do not need alternator power with solar. I used a relay, same kind under your hood, and a toggle switch to control if power is connected to TV or not, but you could use a big switch to just cut the voltage in-line.
I pulled the DC power off of the truck starter, not the battery. The starter is only used for starting so that big heavy gauge wire running from battery to the starter can be used for other things while driving. Starter is already 5 feet closer to the trailer also, caution, that wire is live! Also, use a circuit breaker as close to the alternator (starter motor in my case) as u can. Use heavy gauge wire to connect to the trailer as it will be a long run, and the longer the run the larger the wire needs to be. I also use a separate 2-pin plug as the 7-pin trailer plug wiring is not sufficient IMO.

Ideally have a DC to DC controller between battery and alternator, but in reality, since u have solar, do not bother.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 05/20/19 12:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Install a switch on one of the panel to controller wires. Your controller instructions will likely say not to have the panel connected when the battery is not. So if you are changing out your battery you need to disconnect the panel from the controller first.

With PWM controllers, your panel will be at the battery voltage of 12-15 volts, so wire gauge for that. If you have an MPPT "it depends"

The array might be 24v (with voltage around 30 volts) and the battery is 12v, so you can do thin wires array to controller, but still need the fatter wire from controller to battery since that is at the 12-15 volt range

If you have two or three 100w "12v" panels there is no advantage in going MPPT over PWM. If you get one bigger 24v panel of say 250w, then you need the MPPT to run it, since PWM will not step down("buck convert" that down to your 12v battery system voltage. That one 250w panel is probably way cheaper than two or three 100w panels.

* This post was edited 05/20/19 02:02pm by BFL13 *

twodownzero

NM

Senior Member

Joined: 06/07/2014

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 05/20/19 12:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

I drilled a hole in the side of the vent and used a 2 hole strain relief. These are waterproof.

https://solarconduit.com/shop/strain-rel........atertight-1-2-inch-2-holes-12-guage.html

For the wire down I used an MC4 extension cable cut in half. MC4 ends to the panels, cut ends on the controller.


I did pretty much the same. Secured the wires with zip ties inside behind the fridge.

f150camper

Oregon

Senior Member

Joined: 05/24/2011

View Profile



Posted: 05/20/19 01:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe I should go with one 250W panel?
Not sure I understand why a MPPT controller has no advantage over PWM for two or three 12V panels. If wired in series, that's 24V or 36V as well, especially if you don't want to use the bigger wires.

Are the Renogy MPPT controllers any good? Are there others that are significantly better?

Also wondering if the CC is getting hot enough to make a difference to the temp inside the camper when mounted inside.

* This post was edited 05/20/19 01:30pm by f150camper *

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Routing Solar Wires Through Fridge Vent
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2019 CWI, Inc. © 2019 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS