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Old 09-04-2016, 09:08 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1992 29' Excella
seattle , Washington
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 20
help with prioritization of projects.

In the interest of getting on the road by the end of the year, I need to push a few projects until when we're on the road.

The main one that I think will be a time sucker is doing a full solar upgrade which probably includes replacing the original inverter. I'm trying to understand the steps involved in this so I can make the best choice.

Is replacing the inverter simply buying a new one and installing in same place?

Is installing solar a big deal? Or can it be done after I finish the remodel fairly easily? Honestly, I'd love to just have an expert do it while we sit by the pool.

Also, what about all the sensors in the "control station"? I was told since I'm probably replacing the fresh water tank, those wouldn't work anyway? (I'm trying to figure out whether I'm going to demo them when i remove the last upper cabinet.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:16 PM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,278
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Whatever the projects, safety first, then need to do and finally want to do.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:43 PM   #3
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Morrill , Nebraska
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help with prioritization of projects.

I don't believe you have an INVERTER unless a PO installed it. If you have the original Univolt IMHO it is time to upgrade to a modern "intelligent" CONVERTER.
It takes some fore thought and planning to install an effective solar system. One must determine the average daily demand on the battery(s) in order to size the system properly.
There are a number of members here with solar experience.
Are you planning to spend considerable time off of the grid?
Most tank level indicator systems that I know of are marginal at best. They are not long lived and accuracy is questionable.
AWCHIEF is correct. Safety first. Make sure your coach is safe to tow, brakes lights and the proper hitch setup and tires.
Make sure the coach is safe to live in. Good reliable electrical system along with a heating system that is safe to operate. CO and Smoke Detector along with a Propane detector.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:42 AM   #4
2 Rivet Member
1992 29' Excella
seattle , Washington
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 20
thanks for the info so far!

I agree with TG Twinkie that the solar will need some thought and it sounds like I won't necessarily have to reverse engineer everything once I am ready to install the system (or have some smarty pants do it for me because I'm too busy relaxing). Good news is we're just going with a "couch" rather than built in so we can be flexible on all the infrastructure.

Yes, I believe we have one of those Univolts. Before we gutted down to the walls, everything worked; however, I wish we would have taken one trip with her to really take the time to test and learn.

Thanks for the tip on the smoke and propane detector...I hadn't thought of that but of course that makes perfect sense!
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:59 AM   #5
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,039
If you want to postpone the solar but have the walls open now, you can run the solar prewiring from a roof combiner box to where your solar controller will be. Cost for that is minimal and will make the install far easier down the road. I used the roof combiner box from AM solar and 4AWG welding wire from Amazon for this purpose.

A new fresh water tank may have the studs to hook the old system up to. Mine did, though I didn't use them. Either way, just leave the wires in place. If you use something like SeeLevel sensors, you could just reuse the existing wires.
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