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Old 01-11-2016, 10:48 AM   #253
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When installing just two panels on the roof can you get away with just using a MC4 multibranch connector vs a combiner box? I can see the advantage of a combiner box for future upgrade.

Also, has anyone just made their own combiner box out of a junction box?

Kelvin
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:57 AM   #254
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Kelvin,

"Getting away with" always cost me more money later. I advise using the combiner box below:

Refrigerator Vent C-Box | Combiner Boxes

And running heavier gauge wiring now, for future upgrade. Then all you have to do is run another panel to the already provided buss bar in the combiner box. Is the above box overpriced? YES!...but doing something twice or inadequately adds to their price anyway, so.....
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:30 PM   #255
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If you can dress the wiring on the roof to your liking and make sure you waterproof the wires through the roof I think you could implement this in a variety of ways.

The reason I went with AM Solar's combiner box was that I could prepare custom length MC4 cables to connect the panels to the combiner box and use the waterproof connectors already identified by Am solar for this use. The cables were terminated with MC4 connectors on one end and terminate directly to bus bars in the combiner box. Am solar sold me the marine grade cable and waterproof connectors so I had no worry about compatibility.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:35 PM   #256
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You can also buy combiner boxes from home depot and elsewhere that don't cost $60 dollars. Not hard to make.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:15 PM   #257
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Is everyone removing the 10g wire with MC4 connectors that come on the panels and replacing with 8g or better wire?


Kelvin
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:20 PM   #258
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No, that's unnecessary. The 10 AWG is more than sufficient to handle one panel, let alone four in the right configuration. I kept the panels as is and made custom cables to length to mate with the MC4 connectors.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:33 PM   #259
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Ditto.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:22 PM   #260
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You can also buy combiner boxes from home depot and elsewhere that don't cost $60 dollars. Not hard to make.
Are there others that are long and narrow to go up under the fridge vent? I didnt look very hard.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:01 PM   #261
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Kelvin,

"Getting away with" always cost me more money later. I advise using the combiner box below:

Refrigerator Vent C-Box | Combiner Boxes
I used the roof C-box style from Am Solar. This is more suited when using the solar pre-wiring. All that's needed is to identify the location of the pre-wires, drill one hole in the roof and thread the pre-wiring into the combiner box. In my case the pre-wires were close to the interior light, so I simply dropped the light, and drilled a hole from inside the AS through the roof. Couldn't have been easier.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:57 PM   #262
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If I were using the pre-wires, they are at the fridge vent anyway. Since I ran 6 gauge duplex, coming through the back of the fridge, down to the under floor pvc wire chases is the only logical choice.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:25 AM   #263
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My 2008 is prewired. Saw the wires down by the use/store solenoid under the queen bed. I'm considering purchasing 2 AGM 6v batteries and moving them inside during our anticipated twin bed conversion. The batteries will be located under the street curb bed adjacent to the shower wall.

I don't remember seeing any solar cables in the fridge outside vent access. I think mine might be under the forward Fantastic Fan. If they are there, do you just drill a hold in the Fantastic Vent frame to get them to the roof?

My plan is to install two 100w panels on the roof. I've read that even with 200 watts a larger gauge wire should be used. In that case I'd probably run the wires down the fridge vent. I think all that is needed is to drill a hole in the fridge vent floor and from the access under the fridge I could get the wire and route it under the hall wardrobe then behind the shower and to the batteries next to the shower and connect the solar wires directly to the batteries.

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Old 01-12-2016, 11:29 AM   #264
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Kelvin,

It's up to you, but if you even have a bit of a notion that you may expand in the future, I would run 6 gauge as you describe. I'm at a stand still on my project, as temps are too low to affix the VHB tape to the roof and run sealer. I do have my wiring run, and I did just as you describe...down the rear of the fridge compartment. I drilled a 1" hole in the compartment floor next to the pass-through for a large bundle of AS 12 volt harnesses. This exits above the wheel well, under the dinette seat and into the OE wire trays under the floor to the front electrical center. Kind of a chore, as some dis-assembly of the interior was required, but not hard, just time consuming.
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:14 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
My 2008 is prewired. Saw the wires down by the use/store solenoid under the queen bed. I'm considering purchasing 2 AGM 6v batteries and moving them inside during our anticipated twin bed conversion. The batteries will be located under the street curb bed adjacent to the shower wall.

I don't remember seeing any solar cables in the fridge outside vent access. I think mine might be under the forward Fantastic Fan. If they are there, do you just drill a hold in the Fantastic Vent frame to get them to the roof?

My plan is to install two 100w panels on the roof. I've read that even with 200 watts a larger gauge wire should be used. In that case I'd probably run the wires down the fridge vent. I think all that is needed is to drill a hole in the fridge vent floor and from the access under the fridge I could get the wire and route it under the hall wardrobe then behind the shower and to the batteries next to the shower and connect the solar wires directly to the batteries.

Kelvin
So, I'm just going to leave this here as an alternative "idea" - it's not as clean as some like. But it works for us because it's out of sight for the most part. Doesn't bother me with it's location. It's also clearly not using the pre-wire.



I'm not sure about the 25fb's roof layout, but I think our bathrooms are in the same place.

Also, I know that the wall cap on the shower end, comes off. And there is about 1 inch between the wall and shower interior wall. If you can figure out how to remove the rear wall panel you could in theory drop straight down the wall.

My combiner box sits directly above the hole in my roof. Sealed up perfectly.

Anyways, just throwing out ideas.

Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:09 PM   #266
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Hey Bold,
Wouldn't a grommet around those wires be a good idea?
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