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Old 02-23-2003, 09:04 AM   #1
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1999 25' Safari
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FYI-Solar for 1999 Safari

Just purchased a self-assembled system for my 25C. Priarily for use as a weekending system and for one long trip a year.

Shell SM-110 12V panel and Solar Boost 200E MPPT controller. If interested, I will share where parts were purchased and prices. Coach is still in storage for another month. I'll share the install process once I get to it in early April.

Drop a note if you have questions, just don't expect a lot of hard-core technical advice. Other on this site are far better at that than I.
Jace
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Old 02-23-2003, 11:09 AM   #2
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Jace,
My Safari is supposedly prewired for solar. From the drawing in the manual there may be wiring in the arm of the front sofa, but I find none. One of the fellows at a rally thought it was in the refrigerator compartment, but we couldn't find any. Is your's prewired and if so, where is the connection point to the electrical system?

Regards,

Jack
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Old 02-23-2003, 12:58 PM   #3
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The pre-wire on my Excella comes out at the bottom of the cabinet under the microwave (forward of the refrigerator). Run the wire from the solar panel down through the refrigerator vent. I chose to bypass the pre-wire and run the wire directly from the solar panel all the way to a location near the DC panel. I mounted the controller/monitor under the arm rest of the couch, then wired into the DC panel from there.

Good luck on your project.
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Old 02-24-2003, 02:07 PM   #4
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Airstream's Pre-Wire Instructions

Here is a verbatim copy of what I received from A/S about the pre-wire in a 1999 Safari 25C...

Dear sir, There is a green and yellow wire coiled up in your outside refer
compartment run your wires from the panel down the refer vent and hook to
these green and yellow. pull the monitor board over above your galley
cabinet out of the wall and you will find a green,yellow,black,and red wire
these hook to your solar panel monitor place it beside the monitor already
there. the black and red run up to the battery and these will need hooked up
there. I hope this helps.
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Old 02-24-2003, 02:17 PM   #5
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Re: Airstream's Pre-Wire Instructions

Quote:
Originally posted by JaceBeck
Here is a verbatim copy of what I received from A/S about the pre-wire in a 1999 Safari 25C...

Dear sir, There is a green and yellow wire coiled up in your outside refer
compartment run your wires from the panel down the refer vent and hook to
these green and yellow. pull the monitor board over above your galley
cabinet out of the wall and you will find a green,yellow,black,and red wire
these hook to your solar panel monitor place it beside the monitor already
there. the black and red run up to the battery and these will need hooked up
there. I hope this helps.
OK. The only question is where is this black and red wire, as described above, out at the battery? I'm not sure I have seen any spare wire out by the battery waiting to be terminated.

Jack
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Old 02-24-2003, 03:03 PM   #6
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Funny you should ask!

Just got this response before I saw yours...According to A/S:

Dear sir, The black and red wire is not hooked to the battery yet but should
be laying in the r/s arm rest of the lounge. The gauge of the wire is 10 gauge.
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Old 02-24-2003, 03:23 PM   #7
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Re: Funny you should ask!

Quote:
Originally posted by JaceBeck
Just got this response before I saw yours...According to A/S:

Dear sir, The black and red wire is not hooked to the battery yet but should
be laying in the r/s arm rest of the lounge. The gauge of the wire is 10 gauge.
Ah! This is the wire I've been looking for and have been unable to find! Lets see, if we find this wire we must then figure out how to get it outside to the battery, correct?

Jack
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Old 02-24-2003, 07:35 PM   #8
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You got it, Jack!

My intuition tells me that you can get the wires out the same hole that the cables from the converter go out, I may be wrong, but I'll bet that I end up taking the sofa out. Otherwise, this would just be too easy.

I know for a fact that there are no wires in my r/s armrest as that is where my kids keep their toys. My guess is that they are under the flimsy cover over the converter behind the sofa or somewhere near there. I get the trailer out of winter storage at the end of March, so we'll see.....
Jace
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Old 02-24-2003, 07:41 PM   #9
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Jace,

When I removed my sofa/sleeper, my solar wires were coiled by the converter, so you're probably right.

I bet you can't wait to get the trailer out of storage and start preparing for the great western trip!

John
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:19 AM   #10
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prewire hunt

For what it's worth... I was told to look behind the oven, beneath the stove for wires that will tie into a battery. Also, to mount controller on the galley cabinet wall adjacent to the door. I can not confirm as I've not pulled the oven out to look, but the refer comp. and converter area do contain the wires mentioned by others in previous posts. (as per phone conversation w/AS tech person). Good hunting,
Brian
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:28 PM   #11
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Where is the pre-wire

The wires referred to by Airstream in my posts above cannot be found in my refer compartment. Anyone know where they might be on my 25C? The rig was built in November of 1998, if that makes any difference.

Any ideas whee the wires for the solar panel might be if they are not in the refer compartment?

Thanks!!
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Old 04-14-2003, 08:54 AM   #12
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Jace,

Mine were under the cabinet supporting the microwave. They are color coded so you may be able to trace them from the DC panel.
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Old 04-15-2003, 08:22 AM   #13
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Les,

Thanks for the ideas. Regrettably, I don't have the microwave, so am unsure where to keep looking. I looked at the schematic form a 2001 owners manual that indicates that the wiring harness hasn't changed much since 1996 and that the wires should be in the refer compartment. But they are not. There is nothinh in there approaching the guage that the panel wires are supposed to be (10 Ga. if I remeber correctly).

I'll keep hunting.

JC
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Old 04-15-2003, 10:24 AM   #14
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Jace -- Sorry the prewire hunt is not going better. Get AS tech person (I've talked w/Rod and Rhonda) on the phone (937 596-6111) and determine if you are looking for wires that aren't there.
We just completed our solar hookup. Like most projects, a projected half day turned into a day and a half. I did find wires where they told me they were (prev post). The real headache was negotiating the refer vent. I was told that the prewire ended in the refer compartment because most will never be used and saved additional roof holes. Then I was told to just push wires up the vent and grab them w/long nosed pliers under the hood. Seems AS could've done that before mounting the hood w/o adding holes, but no matter. Point I'm making is that this fish method will not work. So, off came the hood (10 rivets), off came the screen (more rivets), then out came the microwave and the compartment ceiling. Finally, fishtape was possible. Decided on PVC conduit. Used both rigid curve and flex. Drilled upper vent wall and splash board (on the roof) for fittings and w/Vulkem installed them. Mounted the panel feet on roof ribs leaving room for another panel later. Prewired it. Attempted to use Olympic rivets. Was disappointed in them. Replaced them w/screws. Seems more secure. One more roof rivet drilled out to mount a conduit clamp. Looks neat, hope it's sealed... time will tell.
Our system is a Kyocera 120W, Solar Boost 2000E, and Link 10. Initial results good. Brian
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Old 04-21-2003, 03:51 PM   #15
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No Solar Pre-Wire-More Questions

Well...Contrary to what I was told by my dealer and by Airstream, there is no solar prewire in my A/S. I finally came to this conclusion after tearing out most everything inside the rig that would lead me to the pre-wire, all to no avail. A comprehensive search done, I finally got in touch with my dealer's tech support at Airstream and we confirmed that it is not there. Many hours wasted, I am putting plan "B" into effect and pulling my oun wires for the solar system.

Now...my next question. Above my refer (inside the coach) is a storage compartment hinged door. There is a flat fascia panel about 6 inches high above this storage area (but under the hinged door) that I would like to mount the solar panel controller into. The A/S ceiling is above the fascia board.

Does anyone with this arrangement know what is behind this fascia panel? It would be a fair amount of work to get this panel off just to look behind it, so I am thinking that if there is nothing behind there, I can just cut out the opening for the charge controller, etc. Make sense? If not ask me anything.

Thanks in advance.
JC

Brian,
Thanks for the tips on the panel wiring through the vent. I'm confident they will come in handy.
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Old 04-21-2003, 04:00 PM   #16
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JC

The only thing that may be behind there is the flue for the refer itself. I do not know if in the newer units they are a formed flue or just an air space. If it is the flue, you will be cutting into a sealed spcae that contains harmful gases that could leak into the coach . If it just the regulator, I would not put it there, you want to mount it as close to the batteries as possible anyway.

Panels put out 15+ Volts. Once the reulator cuts that down every foot of wire induces additional loss. Mounting the regulator close to the batteries allows for less post regulation loss.

What controls are you looking to mount?
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Old 04-21-2003, 04:44 PM   #17
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Re: No Solar Pre-Wire-More Questions

Quote:
Originally posted by JaceBeck
Well...Contrary to what I was told by my dealer and by Airstream, there is no solar prewire in my A/S. There is a flat fascia panel about 6 inches high above this storage area (but under the hinged door) that I would like to mount the solar panel controller into. The A/S ceiling is above the fascia board.
Thanks in advance.
JC
Jace,
I'm trying to picture the area above that storage compartment in my 27' Safari. The biggest concern I would have is heat. That compartment above the fridge is pretty warm and I remember A/S folks having some concerns about air intrusion from the refrigerator area getting up above the cabinet since I had issues regarding air conditioner performance.

Bottom line you may have heat in that area that could affect the electronics and if not you need to be careful not to allow the refrigerator heat to get into that area or carbon monxide from the gas burner.

Jack
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:36 PM   #18
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Brett & Jack,
You both have valid points that I have been considering regarding the CO and the heat. I was thinking of mounting the Solar Boost 2000E controller in there but the heat may be too much, as it does get warm in there.

I have pulled 8 ga. wire for the run from the controller to the batteries, which is about 15', so I shouldn't have too much resistance loss. I have gold plated automotive connectors for all of the terminal ends.

I do have a surface mount box from RV Poer Products for the controller, but is not a good looking install given its size. I'll keep the creative problem-solving cap on for a while longer.
Jace
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Old 04-23-2003, 03:55 PM   #19
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Jace -- One more heat-related concern... the face of the SolarBoost2000E is designed to be a heat sink to shed controller generated heat. A cooler location will help it perform this function. Also consider mounting it where it can be easily viewed from the general area. Good luck... I think you'll like it.
Brian
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:23 PM   #20
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Solar Install-Finally Done

The install is done and so far working great. Many thanks to everyone on this site that offered up ideas and comments. Absolutely could not have been done without everyone's input.

Pulled all new wires, got the controller mounted and the solar panel in place, used the best materials possible including gold-plated connectors and took my time. It silently cranks out power, even in lower light than I would have guessed, and has the dual 6V Trojans charged and ready to go. Backcountry America is now on the agenda.

Thank you all...
Jace
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