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Old 04-16-2015, 07:15 PM   #1
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2015 30' Classic
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Solar pre-wire location

Just got my new 2015 30' classic and I'm in the middle of a solar install. I've already added a Solar Boost 3024iL MPPT controller with the Blue Sky IPN Pro remote and I'm about to work on the roof.

Can someone post a photo of where the solar pre-install #10 wires are located on the roof for the 2015 30' classic? Perhaps someone has a factory solar installation that could snap a photo or two.

I'd like to reuse the existing wires and see how the system performs before running my own pair to the solar charge controller.

Thanks,
Alan
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:51 PM   #2
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I thought there was a page on the airstream website but couldn't find it. The information is also in your manual in the electrical section. Best I can do.

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Old 04-16-2015, 11:01 PM   #3
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The manual says: "Positive (yellow) and negative (green) leads run from
the battery buss bar to under the center roof sheet.
Just in front of the rear roof vent on 27-ft. front bed, 30-
ft. models, and 31-ft. models."

Nothing clearly visible. Am I supposed to cut the aluminum blindly? Sure would be nice if someone could post a photo showing where the wires are located.

Thanks,
Alan
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:14 PM   #4
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Disassemble the vent trim on the inside. Once the trim is out, the wires may be visible near the edge.

Note: we never found ours, and the wire is a bit light for the system we installed. Others have abandoned the factory wire. We ran #6 from the panel junction box and the same to the battery connection.

So a junction box from our AM Solar kit went on the roof and the wires come down through our street side closet. The controller went into the "dead end" of an upper cabinet next to the closet. From there, straight to the battery lugs on the relay and ground buss under the front bed area. Biggest problem was crawling under the bed to hook it up right.

It works gangbusters.


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Old 04-16-2015, 11:20 PM   #5
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Mine on my 2014 FC 20 was tucked in beside the front Fantastic Fan. I only had to remove the interior fan trim and fount them, yellow and yellow/green as I recall. #10 wire.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:36 PM   #6
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rmkrum and idroba, thanks for the tip. I checked the manual for the 2014 fc and sure enough it says that the wires are near the front vent - so perhaps the manual is correct! Tomorrow I'll take off the rear vent trim and see if I can locate it.

Thanks for your help!
Alan
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:45 PM   #7
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OK, hold the phone...

On the 2015 classic, there's only one Fantastic vent and it's located in the front, i.e., near the TV coupler. In the rear of the Airstream there are two small vents, one in the toilet and one in shower.

Could the manual be referring to the rear skylight?

Thanks
Alan
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:53 PM   #8
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No clue here. My AS doesn't have a skylight...just front and rear vents. I'd bet near the front openable vent, however. AS is cheap with the wire size, and I'd bet cheap on lengthy as well. 😀

Pulling the front vent trim should not be too hard as far as exploratory surgery goes....


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Old 04-17-2015, 12:04 AM   #9
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I think I'll try taking a peek at the front vent tomorrow, unless anyone else has a better idea. I suspect you might be right since it would be a relatively long run with #10 wire to place it in the rear. Sounds like a much easier and straightforward path to go to the front vent. Perhaps they meant the front vent, facing the rear? Anyway, I'll see what I can find tomorrow.

Thanks (73's)
Alan
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:13 AM   #10
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Photo of Solar pre wire wires near fantastic vent.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:24 PM   #11
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Success!

Airstream customer support clarified that the wiring is in front of the rear skylight.

Fortunately there's an interior LED light about 6" in front of the rear skylight. So, after removing the light and sticking my hand up there I was able to grab the solar pre-wiring! Next step is the drill a hole and mount the combiner box on the roof.

Thanks for all your suggestions. Hope this helps someone else contemplating a DIY solar install for your 2015 30' airstream.

Regards,
Alan
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:08 PM   #12
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What panels are you putting on the roof? Do tell how the #10 wires work for you after the install is complete!

Best,
Mike
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
Just got my new 2015 30' classic and I'm in the middle of a solar install. I've already added a Solar Boost 3024iL MPPT controller with the Blue Sky IPN Pro remote and I'm about to work on the roof.

Can someone post a photo of where the solar pre-install #10 wires are located on the roof for the 2015 30' classic? Perhaps someone has a factory solar installation that could snap a photo or two.

I'd like to reuse the existing wires and see how the system performs before running my own pair to the solar charge controller.

Thanks,
Alan
If you're already committed to a 3024 iL controller (which is rated at 30 amps at 24VDC and 40 amps at 12VDC) and iPN Pro remote, what size solar array are you going to install?????

Anything over 100 watts will provide you with measurable voltage drop from the Airstream solar pre-wire, as will tying it in at the bus bars rather than directly to the batteries.

I wouldn't waste your time with 10AWG pre-wire and add a minimum of 6AWG and probably 4AWG (based on your use of the 3024 controller) duplex cable for your solar runs from the array to the controller and then from the controller directly to the batteries. Don't forget appropriate circuit protection for your positive solar charge line too.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:21 PM   #14
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I'm installing (4) Renogy 100W panels. You can get (4) panels in a package for $570 from Amazon.

I'm installing two sets in series and then putting both sets in parallel. This way the optimum current is 2x5.3A = 10.6 A and the optimum voltage is 2x18.9 V = 37.8 V.

I personally don't think there's sufficient justification for running additional large gauge wires from the PV array to the controller. The exiting wires are right there waiting to be used! The run is less than 35' per conductor. The resistance of stranded #10 gauge is about 1 ohm/1000 ft, so the resistance of 70' (both conductors) is 0.07 ohms. We know the max current is 10.6 A, so the voltage drop is only 0.74 V. This represents a loss of only 0.74/37.8 = < 2%.

So for ease of installation I'll gladly live with a 2% loss. If I had to run larger gauge wire I probably would not have done the job myself. And for what gain, perhaps another 1%! That's kinda the beauty of the MPPT controller is that they allow you to operate multiple panels at a higher voltage (lower current) and thus you can get away with a smaller gauge wire.

I was also able to reuse the existing CAT5 cable that was pre-installed. The Blue Sky IPN remote requires a 4-pin RJ-11 connector (telephone), while the current shunt from the battery to the remote requires a twisted pair. Well, if you cut the CAT5 connectors off you'll find (4) twisted pairs! So simply splice back on a 4-pin telephone connector to connect the Solar Boost converter to the IPN remote and connect one of the unused twisted pairs from the current shunt. The CAT5 cable is already pre-run and terminates next to the Inverter on/off switch. It was easy to cut a hole just below the Seelevel controller using a Dremel tool and mount the IPN remote.

All this without routing any wires or tearing anything up. Tomorrow is the big day where I mount the panels. I'm going to take lewster's advice here and use VHB and Sikiflex. This sounds like a clean way to install and avoid holes.

Regards,
Alan
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