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Old 09-26-2011, 12:53 AM   #1
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2006 39' A-Series
Prescott , Arizona
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Questions on solar system on 390XL

My 2000 390XL has the standard (10 watt) and optional (50 watt) solar panels. I think the installations are basically the same for all flat front models. I am not confident that I'm getting any power from the solar panels, but the schematics in my owners manual do not show how the panels connect into the 12v system. My questions are:
1. How and where do the panels connect into the 12v system? Do they charge both house and chassis batteries?
2. There is an LED (from Tri-Star distributing) that is supposed to show when the system is charging, but even in bright sunlight, the LED no longer illuminates. Is there a circuit board/controller that, perhaps, has failed? Where is this located?
3. Has anyone had any luck in getting such problems diagnosed and repaired? I'm trying to figure out if I should take the unit to an RV shop or to a solar energy installation firm.
Thanks.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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Can you put on a picture of the controller ie the LED display. I am not familiar with that brand of controller.
Solar is not rocket science. Have you got a digital meter there?
In full sun, check the voltage before and after the controller.
On my Clipper, the OEM solar is feed to the hot on the house fuse panel at the foot of the bed.
Are the 10W and 50W wired to the same controller, or is the 10W for the chassis battery? (and may not have a controller)
No, if you are using an isolator, the main panels will not charge the chassis battery unless some mod has been made. Year 2000 may have changed to a separator. You will have to check to determine this.
All your questions can be answered with the use of a simple digital meter, available at any hardware store for about $10.00.

On your system, with limited solar, you can bypass the controller, IF YOUR PANELS HAVE DIODES TO PROTECT BATTERY DRAIN AT NIGHT.
Most solar panels have this protection. The controller is there to protect overcharge on the batteries. You don't have enough solar to worry about this unless the battery is small and has absolutely no draw.
Dave

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Originally Posted by jwitwer View Post
My 2000 390XL has the standard (10 watt) and optional (50 watt) solar panels. I think the installations are basically the same for all flat front models. I am not confident that I'm getting any power from the solar panels, but the schematics in my owners manual do not show how the panels connect into the 12v system. My questions are:
1. How and where do the panels connect into the 12v system? Do they charge both house and chassis batteries?
2. There is an LED (from Tri-Star distributing) that is supposed to show when the system is charging, but even in bright sunlight, the LED no longer illuminates. Is there a circuit board/controller that, perhaps, has failed? Where is this located?
3. Has anyone had any luck in getting such problems diagnosed and repaired? I'm trying to figure out if I should take the unit to an RV shop or to a solar energy installation firm.
Thanks.
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