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Old 10-11-2006, 07:54 PM   #1
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2005 28' International CCD
Newfield , New York
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Solar panel installation

I am about to install two 85 watt panels on my 2005 ccd international 28 and it looks like I need to remove the cap on the frig vent pipe to be able to snake the cabling to the interior. Guess this will involve drilling out the rivets and removing the screen.

Inside, there seems to be some empty conduit coming down from "above" in the space under the frig where the water pump resides. I am guessing it may be meant for the cables? There are a pair of pre-installed wires labelled "solar" there that end up in the front of the trailer near the battery bus bars. Not much on this in the manual.

Anyone done this before?
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:12 PM   #2
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hi jglase

i've not done this solar upgrade. mine was done in jackson center.

what you have discovered is the solar 'prewiring'

as i understand it, there is a general location on the roof where a hole is made...

then the wires are fished out and connected to the solar panels.

the other end is then connected to the charging/control units.

i suggest calling or emailing the factory service dept. they can tell ya where to poke the hole...

it is also possible a few dealers who have done solar conversions will know but the factory service dept really does know.

new holes in the roof make me nervous...good luck.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jglase
I am about to install two 85 watt panels on my 2005 ccd international 28 and it looks like I need to remove the cap on the frig vent pipe to be able to snake the cabling to the interior. Guess this will involve drilling out the rivets and removing the screen.

Inside, there seems to be some empty conduit coming down from "above" in the space under the frig where the water pump resides. I am guessing it may be meant for the cables? There are a pair of pre-installed wires labelled "solar" there that end up in the front of the trailer near the battery bus bars. Not much on this in the manual.

Anyone done this before?
Hello jglase

I installed two solar panels on my 2006 Safari 28W. You don't need to remove the fridge vent cap, I simply drilled a hole in the side just below the screen at the top of the vent and installed a rubber grommet before running the wires down.

The pre-installed wires connect to your Solar panels and the other end near the bus bar need to be connected to your solar charge regulator, the output of which then connects to your 12v bus.

On my trailer Yellow is positve and Green is ground for the Solar connection.
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2006 Safari SE 28W/LS,
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Old 10-14-2006, 08:11 AM   #4
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another suggestion

You should also make sure that you connect the output of your solar charge regulator directly to the 12V bus before the battery disconnect relay so that charging will continue when "battery disconnect" has been selected.
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2006 Safari SE 28W/LS,
2006 Silverado 2500HD/LT EC SB 4x4 Duramax/Allison,
Hensley Arrow , Honda EU2000i (propane),
160W Solar, 400W sinewave inverter,
3-stage smart charger, Xantrex battery monitor,
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzelle
Hello jglase

I installed two solar panels on my 2006 Safari 28W.[...]
John, would you be interested in starting a thread on your PV panel install, with pics? I'm particularly interested in that Xantrex Battery Monitor, how you ended up wiring and mounting it.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:45 PM   #6
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Hey everyone, I 2nd the interest in the thread of the PV panel install! I know it's not quite as new as yours, but I'm working on putting my existing solar setup (2 Mitsubishi 110W panels) off our golf cart onto our '77 Sovereign. The charge controller & wiring is no problem; I was just wondering if any of you might have some ideas on mounting the panels to the roof? I've seen some aluminum angle brackets attach to the skin, but am desiring something with a little more strength & "spiff". Any ideas? Thanks. Erik
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:31 PM   #7
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I installed a solar panel on my 22' CCD and found the manual helpful in locating the "prewire." But to be certain, I called the factory to make sure I had located the correct wires and found the factory techs to be very helpful. They can tell you where to access the pre-installed wires... etc. I highly recommend checking with Jackson Center.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:44 PM   #8
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Solar Panel Kit

At Harbor Feight:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=90599

It seems reasonably priced. I saw it at a store today, and was considering it to supplement my existing solar on my AS. Anyone have any experience with Harbor Freight, or this type of solar panel?
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:22 PM   #9
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Harbor Freight is a pretty reliable company, although most of the stuff I've seen is made oversees. You may have issues with power output (volts & watts) being compatible with the existing panel. I was instructed not to place differently rated modules together as they may damage each other.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:47 PM   #10
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I would be concerned about the quality and voltage output also. I always considered Harbor Freight a discount tool company for tools that don't get much use (yeah I am a quality tool snob). Most quality solar panels have a 25 year warranty and they provide the specs on the current and voltage output. I didn't see any data nor a warranty for the Harbor Freight kit. Cheaper panels usually can't match the output voltage at the rated current of the better panels because they are constructed with less cells in series in a panel Also, if available light drops they may not provide a voltage high enough to charge the batteries.

I really like the two 130 watt panel kit I bought from Solartron Technologies in Victorville, CA, Not cheap compared to Harbor Freight but competitive when compared to other quality retailers both brick and web based. I bought a complete kit with panels, stainless steel Zee mounts, sealing expansion bolts, UV resistant exterior wire and controller. Their at http://www.partsonsale.com/. Check their site and read about panel output in voltage and amps for quality panels vs cheaper ones.

I installed the two 130 watt panels on our 2005 25' CCD and recently took a 5 day trip to the Mojave Desert over Thanksgiving. Hole in the Wall is a nice campground but no hookups. Night time temperatures were 34 and less. The panels fully charged the two group 24 gel cell batteries each day sufficient to run the furnace at night while we slept plus handle all of our early morning power needs until they started charging again when the sun came up. That included Saturday when we had cloud cover all morning, although Saturday evening would have been a better test, temps went to 31 outside but we ran out of LP at 6:30 PM. Gotta learn how to read that LP guage and switch the lever when I use up the service cylinder so I know when the second cylinder gets low.

BTW, many modern controlles can handle voltages higher than 13.8 or a nominal 12 volts on the panel side and convert the higher voltage to higher charging current. In my case the controler (BZ PRoducts MPPT250) can handle a nominal 24 volts while feeding the battery a nominal 12 volts. Other quality controllers like the Xantrex also have that feature. I wired my two panles in series with the idea that under low light conditions I was more apt to still have a combined panel output voltage that was high enough to provide a good driving force for charging the batteries. It also helped since the distance from my panels to the controller location near the battery bus, about 25 ft, was greater than good design practice for the 10 guage wire preinstalled by Airstream. Using a 24 volt feed from the panels cut the current flow in the wires to the controller in half, better matching the capacity of the 10 guage wire.

I do have pictures of my install including the connections to the factory prewire in the refrigerator compartment and up under the front gaucho at the battery buss, I could put them on the Forum if someone could send me some simple instructions on how to upload them in a format with a description, narration or headings for each picture and the size I should use for each picture. Reply by email or private message.
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