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Old 10-25-2015, 09:41 PM   #1
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1992 29' Excella
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Surprise, I've got a solar panel...Help!

92 Excella 1000 29. I was up on top resealing a vent and happened to notice that on top of the AC box is a solar panel. I've only owned the unit for a year and just had not noticed it before.

I would appreciate any info...how do I find out if this was factory installed as an option in 92? How do I know if it is working or not? Should I look somewhere obvious for SN or make/model number?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:46 PM   #2
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I doubt that it was a factory install. You need to trace the wires to see if it is hooked up. As well, there should be a solar controller somewhere. My guess is that it would be no more than a 50-watt panel; but that's enough to top up your battery.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:04 PM   #3
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I appreciate this support. Have not seen anything that looks like a solar controller but will check the wiring to the batteries and see if it looks like they are supported by the solar panel.
Tim L
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:36 PM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
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Surprise, I've got a solar panel...Help!

My 91 classic has the solar pre wire. I find the labelled 8 awg wire up front under the sofa, but never found the other end despite removing g the fridge, lights, cabinets....
In those days the single solar wire was red per my manual.
It was grounded at the fridge connection . Very poorly designed system. Factory controller was made by American Ziettler.
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:16 PM   #5
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Atomic - thanks - can I ask a couple of questions since you have direct experience? I am confused by "never found the other end"...wasn't the "other end" the solar panel end?? Does "up front under the sofa" mean that you took up the floor panels and found the red wire underneath? Did the red wire lead directly to the battery or batteries? I've got the owner's manual and don't find a word about the solar panel.
Regards, Tim L
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:27 PM   #6
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Mine was just pre wired, no panels or controller were ever installed! I installed my own proper wiring, PV panels, controller, breakers, battery bank, and other monitors. Under the sofa area, the solo red wire emerged from the skin of the front wall, coiled up and wire tied with a label saying "solar panel".
The other end of the wire is a mystery, I simply cannot find where it terminates. I can follow it the length of the trailer hallway, past the fridge, then it crosses over the roof to the curbside of the hallway seemingly over the bathroom.
I eventually ran 1/0 fine strand Litz cable through the frame to my controllers on the front wall.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:41 PM   #7
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Atomic. Good stuff. For mine there is no evidence of this wire under the sofa nor a controller anywhere...only the panel on the roof and some black covered wiring from it that enters the roof nearby. But I do believe you are correct that this was factory install although my owner's manual doesn't address the subject.

Winterizing the unit today here in western Washington. Going to pull the batteries this year so I'll look carefully for extraneous wires when I do that. Thanks for the kind support. Rim L
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:52 PM   #8
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When we purchased our Airstream the original owner had wired a 5-watt harbor freight panel straight to the batteries and mounted it on top of the Propane lid. He did not use a charge controller or anything.

I think it was his idea of a battery tender. You're previous owner might of been related.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:09 PM   #9
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The early 90s were a very long time ago. It was not too common to have a solar anything!
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