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Old 08-08-2019, 03:52 AM   #1
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
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Running wires through refrigerator vent...

Has anyone had any luck running wires through the fridge vent cover on the roof of a newer model airstream w/o removing the cover? I was able to get the wire through the mesh screen underneath it, but have had no success in getting it to drop down back behind the refrigerator to come out at the bottom vent.. Spent about 2 hours playing with it, even have a small camera in the but can't quite see how to get it down there... TIA.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:46 AM   #2
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I didn't have any luck and instead drilled a hole in the gray water vent right next to the refrigerator vent in my model.

Drilled a hole in the side, then another hole in the side six or eight inches lower in the closet the vent runs through. Fished my WeBoost cable through and installed the WeBoost amplifier in the closet powered by the closet light wiring. Caulked the top and bottom hole around the cable.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:13 AM   #3
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I’m getting ready to run the solar wiring behind the refrigerator and through the cover. I expect I’ll have to pull the refrigerator out.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:24 AM   #4
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I did it without fridge removal. Use a stiff wire fish tape, drill a hole in the side of the vent curb, which will accept the fridge combiner box. Fish to the SIDE of the fridge. Once fish wire appears down below, affix your heavy gauge (stranded marine) wire to the end of the fish tape and pull it up and out the hole in the vent curb.
Be sure to manipulate the solar wire away from the fridge chimney.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:37 AM   #5
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We ran the wires associated with our nine 100 watt solar panels down from the roof through the refrigerator vent on our 2014 31' Classic. Was easier with refrigerator out to place the solar panel disconnect switch by the refrigerator vent/access door.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
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Removing the refrigerator is not a difficult task if you make a temporary table/box that is the same height as the bottom of the refrigerator. You can slide the reefer onto the support (one person task) after disconnecting the gas & electrical, and removing a few bolts & screws. This will give you full access to the cabinet interior.

I highly recommend this approach as it allows you to secure the wires to the walls and prevent loose wires from rubbing against any of the refrigerator parts while underway. The chimney is hot and the fin edges sharp, all of which can compromise the circuitry.
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:27 PM   #7
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Cheap fishtape

If you need a really good and safe (non conductive) fish tape , next time you see someone installing fiber , ask if you can have a length of the strain relief fiberglass core when they strip the fiber jacket off and land the fibers.
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:21 PM   #8
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Running solar cables from combiner box to controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by ekbruster View Post
Has anyone had any luck running wires through the fridge vent cover on the roof of a newer model airstream w/o removing the cover? I was able to get the wire through the mesh screen underneath it, but have had no success in getting it to drop down back behind the refrigerator to come out at the bottom vent.. Spent about 2 hours playing with it, even have a small camera in the but can't quite see how to get it down there... TIA.
Here are the steps we followed to run wires from the Am Solar combiner box to our solar controller (in front, under the L couch) :
1- Order Olympic rivets to replace refrigerator vent rain cover rivets;
2- Drill refrigerator vent rain cover rivets and remove cover;
3- Remove wire mesh covering the refrigerator vent;
4- Drill two ˝” holes in the side wall of the refrigerator vent facing (close to) the combiner box and install two liquid strain reliefs (Am Solar) for battery type cables;
5- Drop a solid string with a weight in the bottom right corner of the refrigerator vent when you are facing the vent with your back to the street (useful to have someone check for the arrival of the string and weight—in my case it worked on first try);
6- Drill a hole in the floor of the refrigerator access compartment (behind the fridge) to pass the string through the hole and pull it to front of trailer where the solar controller is situated;
7- With the string solidly attached, pull two battery type cables (4, 6, or 8 gauge depending on wattage to be carried) from the front of the trailer (where the solar controller is situated), under the counter and stove and trough the bottom of the refrigerator access compartment (see 6) and up the vent;
8- Pass each of the cables through their liquid strain relief in the side of the refrigerator vent wall (see 4);
9- Then pass each cable through a liquid strain relief in the combiner box, to connect them to one of the two bus bars (+ and -) thus linking them to all the connected solar panels;
10- Finally, at the other end, connect the cables to a disconnect switch (+ cable) and to the solar controller (and properly reinstall vent mesh and rain cover).
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:53 PM   #9
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Yeah, so the nightmare is over. I was able to get a loop of the cable show over the side of the fridge, after about two hours fishing it down I got the coax end to fall, but when I went to pull it, it got lodged into the refrigerator fins and stuck, couldn't move it either way, so 6 screws later, a few plates, a 12v and gas line disconnect the fridge came out, and I was able to get it fished down where I wanted it... so NOTE TO ALL those out there, as easy as it may seem to not remove the fridge, save yourself the time (and headache) and just remove the damn thing... I pulled it out and set it on a crate, wired it up, and threw it back in. Thanks for all the insight guys, sometimes the shortest route isn't the easiest..
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