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Old 11-25-2015, 07:37 AM   #1
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Location of Solar Controller?

Does anyone know the location of the solar controller in my '05 396XL motorhome? I think it's not only not working, but may even have become a draw on the batteries.

I did do a search, but when I do searches on this forum I get so many hits it would take days to read thru them all. I've found it worthless.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:39 AM   #2
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NO ONE knows where the solar controller is physically located?
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:04 AM   #3
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Think of calling Airstream in Jackson Center?
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:09 AM   #4
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Actually I have not because of the response I got the last time I called them about a part for the MH.
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:50 PM   #5
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steve, as a total guess i'd start looking near the 12v distribution panel.
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:22 PM   #6
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I called Airstream and they got back to me after a few hours and said it's behind the indicator panel, or part of that panel, which is in the big road side slide.

They also told me it's only 10 watts, so I wonder why they even put it in there.

As soon as it's sunny here, I will check it out, but it's not close to the 12v distribution panel.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:16 AM   #7
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The stock solar panel is only a chassis battery keeper....basically it does its best to keep your chassis battery from dying (say in case you forget to hit the battery disconnect...or your housekeeper always forgets when she's cleaning it up after a trip)...but, as you mentioned, it IS only 10 watts...just enough for 2 chassis batteries. My outside inverter is in my first cabinet behind the entrance door, with my coach batteries. If you want real solar power you're going to have to upgrade your existing system...and possibly even your inverter.
Don't get me wrong I will never pretend to even look like I can understand what the difference between pure sine or sine or blah blah inverters are, but, whatever the best one is, I have it, and boy it wasn't cheap. 2000w pure sine inverter, coupled to 1000w of panels on the roof and a 200w portable. I started off with Renology...but I realized the cables that came with them were crap so replaced all those, I still use their controller, even though I still don't know how to use it properly...literally, no words, just emojis...lord have mercy. Also, I'm pretty sure even in '06 the interior switch for the inverter should be just behind the kitchen before the bathroom. That allows me to turn my inverter on and off without having to exit the coach. Hope that helps.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:06 AM   #8
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Thanks, that gives me a better understanding of the system because I thought it was for the coach batteries, and did not know it was only for the chassis batteries.

The thing that I've found difficult moving from a trailer to a motorhome is the differences in all the systems. And the book is yet another confusing subject.

It has been a rather steep learning curve, and based on this information, the solar system has virtually nothing to do with the problem I'm experiencing, and that is rapid discharge of the coach batteries.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:46 AM   #9
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I am shopping for a battery monitor for this exact issue. I have had my NEW batteries die completely two times so far and I have only owned the coach for a few months. Initially I hooked a 50 watt solar panel to it via the 12v ports and yet the battery died. I will wire it directly but I have not done that yet. After removing the solar and turning everything off I still had the batteries die completely in just a few weeks. Now I try to remember to power off the coach when I leave so the stereo and the propane detectors turn off, but I cannot imagine why the batteries die so quickly when the circuit is left on. Wish there was a way for the batteries to turn themselves off when the voltage gets too low.

I have purchased a battery shunt display that I will install to see how much battery I am loosing, but I am currently (pun not intended) shopping for a battery monitor or an automatic generator start or a solar charge system that will keep my batteries happy, as they were not cheap.

My inverter/charger was replaced before I got the RV with the Xantrex 458, so the old solutions of the Xantrex Link 1000/2000 battery monitors are not listed as working with my inverter. There is the Xantrex 84-2064-00 Auto Gen Start that is listed as working with my inverter but it starts based on battery voltage of 11.2v. What if I have a crappy solar panel hooked up? Will it keep the generator from starting during the day, despite being underpowered? Wish I could find an expert on these systems...

-Randy
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:33 AM   #10
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Unless you have already, I can say this without even knowing nor it mattering what year your new (or new to you) coach is....REPLACE THE COACH BATTERIES! Both my rigs have been single PO's....but, I'm certain they fudged the date on the battery replacement, or, honestly, just didn't know or were lied to by a dealer...either way, getting new batteries coach wide solved every electrical problem I had been having up till then. It may set you back a few hundred, but it's worth every penny, by far. Battery chargers & keepers are great, but only if they're charging/keeping batteries worth charging/keeping.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:52 AM   #11
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Yeah, new as of May, when I bought the RV. Learned my lesson on my first RV purchase, came dead from the dealer as it had been sitting on the lot. I then promptly killed the new battery I bought thru ignorance. So now I am very concerned about keeping batteries charged, ESPECIALLY new batteries like these.

-Randy
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:59 PM   #12
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My coach batteries (two very big 12V) are new, but I don't know the age of the chassis batteries.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:44 PM   #13
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On most coaches have a propane detector is hard wired to the batteries, Even if the disconnect is tripped the propane detector will pull from the batteries until completely dead. Some safety requirement.

If you can remove the batteries, store in cool place with a battery minder. Keeps the batteries charged and free from freezing. Or try and put a minder on the battery with external power. In a little over a couple of weeks in cold weather the propane detector will kill all the batteries.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:15 PM   #14
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Location of Solar Controller?

[QUOTE=israndy;1717824]I am shopping for a battery monitor for this exact issue. I have had my NEW batteries die completely two times so far and I have only owned the coach for a few months. Initially I hooked a 50 watt solar panel to it via the 12v ports and yet the battery died. I will wire it directly but I have not done that yet. After removing the solar and turning everything off I still had the batteries die completely in just a few weeks. Now I try to remember to power off the coach when I leave so the stereo and the propane detectors turn off, but I cannot imagine why the batteries die so quickly when the circuit is left on. Wish there was a way for the batteries to turn themselves off when the voltage gets too low.

I have purchased a battery shunt display that I will install to see how much battery I am loosing, but I am currently (pun not intended) shopping for a battery monitor or an automatic generator start or a solar charge system that will keep my batteries happy, as they were not cheap.

My inverter/charger was replaced before I got the RV with the Xantrex 458, so the old solutions of the Xantrex Link 1000/2000 battery monitors are not listed as working with my inverter. There is the Xantrex 84-2064-00 Auto Gen Start that is listed as working with my inverter but it starts based on battery voltage of 11.2v. What if I have a crappy solar panel hooked up? Will it keep the generator from starting during the day, despite being underpowered? Wish I could find an expert on these

Randy,

Any charge going to your batteries will throw off any AGS system. For a battery monitor in your case, I would use a TriMetric. What size shunt do you have?

Too bag you don't have a Magnum, as both the AGS and battery monitor can be seamlessly installed and read thru a single ME-RC remote.

How big is the solar and what type of solar controller do you have??

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