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Old 07-20-2004, 11:53 AM   #1
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Solar install done - 22' CCD

Greets all,

Just finished a 2 - 3 hour install of a 75 watt solar panel on the roof of our 2004 22' CCD. Pretty easy project if you aren't afraid of climbing on your roof. The CCD was "pre-wired" and everything was where it should be. The wires for the solar panel (green and yellow) were directly behind the front roof vent stashed in the ceiling - the other end terminated in the cabinet behind the CD/Tuner head. Another set of wires (red and black - battery side) started in the same cabinet and terminated under the bed where all the electrical connections reside. All I had to do was use a jigsaw to cut out the template for the regulator mount and hook-up the respective wires on all sides. I added a 10A fuse (not included in the kit) on the hot wire at the battery terminal under the bed in accordance with the A/S Owner's Manual. Simple.

Mounting the panel was easy too. I "hit" the substructure supports in the roof and got a strong mount, as desired. I used 3/4" self-tapping sheet metal screws instead of what was provided in the kit because the instructions said theirs required at least a half inch of backing material. I drilled through the roof next to the front Fantastic Fan and ran the wire electrical connectors through to the panel. Liberal amounts of 100% gray silicone sealer finished the job and assured a weather tight seal.

I decided to mount the regulator inside the upper cabinet for two reasons; 1) there's just so much "stuff" mounted around the sink already and, 2) I was worried that the LED's on the regulator might be visible at night. My Apple Powerbook has a single pulsing LED that drives me mad when it is dark - it seems like a lighthouse beacon...


Brand: Go Power Solar (made by Shell)
Model: GP-RV-75
Price: $675 including shipping (no tax)
Output Power= 75 Watts
Rated Current= 4.4 Amps
Rated Voltage= 17 Volts DC
Dimensions of Panel= 47.2" x 20.8" x 2.2"
Weight of Panel= 16.7 Pounds
Internet Vendor Web Site - DC Electric

Here are some pics: Link to Xray's solar pics
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:34 PM   #2
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Update: The system has been running for 2 days now and seems to be working fine. Battery is at full charge.

I noted that in full sun the solar panel was seemingly keeping up with one Fantastic Fan (the only thing I left running all day). It will be interesting to see how much battery we use when boondocking...
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:25 PM   #3
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X,
Great job and it sure looks like a professional installation! How does it compare with factory installed solar panels as far a recharge output? I saw solar on 2000 19' Bambi at Sisters Rally. They seemed to be keeping their battery up just fine. I made a comittment to go the generator route, since we enjoy our convection/microwave oven, AC, and using 110 outlets when boondocking. I know that is not as "earth friendly", but will make our travels more enjoyable. I may add another battery, or a larger battery as the factory battery apparently is pretty wimpy.
Just a question about caulking around your solar panel mounts. I seem to remember seeing somewhere on these forums not to caulk anything on an AS. Does that hold true for the roof also? I seem to remember parbond and sikaflex as the preferred sealers on the roof. Am I wrong?
Jim
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Old 07-22-2004, 07:04 AM   #4
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Jim,

Thanks!

I really don't know anything about the factory install solar setup because I have never seen one - the factory no longer offers the actual solar panel install, so I've heard, but continues to do the solar "pre-wire".

Through the excellent solar discussions on this forum, I decided to go with the 75W system for several reasons; 1) our daily boondocking usage calculations were under what a 75W would provide and, 2) I had room on the roof for the 75W panel. We do not use a microwave and are happy using just 12V appliances.

Insofar as caulk is concerned, I read all the posts. There seems to be some discrepancy (architects vs laymen) but thanks for the "headsup". We had a torential monsoon rainstorm late yesterday for about an hour and it gave me a chance to see if there were any drips. Nope. I picked at some of the seal and can say that it is very well adhered. I ordered Para Bond and will redo (or at least recover) the seal job anyway - should be fairly easy. Better to go with the tried and true, IMHO.
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Old 07-22-2004, 08:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandvm
X,
I seem to remember seeing somewhere on these forums not to caulk anything on an AS. Jim

no!! that's not what you read! joints must be sealed...the issue is the type of caulk; not "caulk" vs "no caulk".

I wonder sometimes if people are using the term "silicone" to mean "sealant", the same way we tend to use the brand name "Keenex" for "tissue paper". but in any case, actual "silicone based sealant" shouldn't be used on the exterior of an airstream. Vulkem, Silkaflex, par-bond, etc are the recommended sealants, and are what the factory uses.
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:40 PM   #6
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Jay,

Great install on the solar. That'll work well for you in the sunny SW. Have fun with the "Boondocking"!

Bob
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