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Old 12-02-2016, 08:18 PM   #1
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Solar Prewire Found

Found my Airstream solar panel prewiring today in the Fantastic Fan area.

What is the preferred method to get it to the outside of the trailer?

Any suggestions, from those that have accomplished this? All info would be appreciated.

Thank You...
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:57 PM   #2
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Looks like good news bad news. Wish I could help. Couldn't even find my pre-wire...
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:32 AM   #3
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Many run them out their fridge vent if it's close, others bite the bullet and drill through the roof.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millertimeUS View Post
Many run them out their fridge vent if it's close, others bite the bullet and drill through the roof.
Where his is located, he could drill through the base of the Fantastic Vent, and not poke yet another hole in the roof.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:45 AM   #5
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I guess I'm curious as to why that wire would be located right there if not to imply that it should exit through the fan port somewhere?
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:16 PM   #6
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I would drop the light just visible in the photo and drill a hole to the roof. On the roof side, mount a roof C combiner box, from AM Solar.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
I would drop the light just visible in the photo and drill a hole to the roof......
I went out to the trailer yesterday to take a look at dropping the light and now I have another question.....How do you remove the light without damaging it?

I was able to pull it down a bit (very spring loaded), and I could even make out the springs which were on either side of the light, I tried pulling straight down with a moderate amount of pressure up to the point where it felt as if something was going to break, so I thought it was best to stop and ask the question.

I found a feed thru online called a NEWMAR RA-3 CABLE FEED priced at about $40 it will accommodate one cable which is all I plan on installing at this time, so that may be the plan for this install.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiel View Post
I guess I'm curious as to why that wire would be located right there if not to imply that it should exit through the fan port somewhere?
That is a good question. I am not sure what Airstream was thinking......and along those lines why would you route the pre wire at the complete other end of the trailer as far away from the batteries as possible? Why not at the forward fan area?
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Dog View Post
I went out to the trailer yesterday to take a look at dropping the light and now I have another question.....How do you remove the light without damaging it?

I was able to pull it down a bit (very spring loaded), and I could even make out the springs which were on either side of the light, I tried pulling straight down with a moderate amount of pressure up to the point where it felt as if something was going to break, so I thought it was best to stop and ask the question.

I found a feed thru online called a NEWMAR RA-3 CABLE FEED priced at about $40 it will accommodate one cable which is all I plan on installing at this time, so that may be the plan for this install.
Sorry, I'm not familiar with that model LED so perhaps someone else will shine in with some tips. However the NEWMAR cable feed looks fine. The advantage of a combiner box is that there's plenty of room to tie multiple panels together in a weatherproof housing.
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:27 PM   #10
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Such a small wire, you're lucky you found it.

Seriously, that gauge of wire is totally inadequate for anything more than a 50 or possibly 100 watt panel. If that's all you need, you might be better off just using a portable solar set up as shown in the link below.

However if you are going through the trouble and expense of installing a proper solar system, do it right and use a thicker wire and feed it down through your fridge vent.

https://smile.amazon.com/Renogy-Watt...e+rv+solar+kit
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
:...that gauge of wire is totally inadequate for anything more than a 50 or possibly 100 watt panel...
I agree this 10 gage wire will only be used for one 100 watt panel located at the rear of the trailer. I just want it to keep my batteries topped off while the trailer is in storage.
In the future my plans are for more solar, however I haven't decided if I want to add more roof mounted panels (which would include a new 6 gage wire run going to a combiner box for 300-400 watts of additional power), or just using portable panels to supliment my battery charging needs . That decision will be made next year when I determine my actual usage.
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:00 PM   #12
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There are series/parallel combinations of solar panels that can be added with an MPPT solar controller that allow for installations up to 400 W while keeping the voltage losses due to the pre-wiring to less than 3%. Ask me how I know
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:15 PM   #13
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Go on.....
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:31 PM   #14
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Here's a thread that explains my configuration. Look for post #14. Keep in mind, this isn't for everyone. Just those DIYers who are intimidated to run heavier gauge wire or too lazy!
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:58 AM   #15
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I completed the installation of one AM Solar 100 watt panel a few days ago, and I thought I would post what I ended up doing in case anyone was interested. I drilled out 18 rivets to be able to drop the interior skin a few inches in order to gain access to an area where I wanted to drill the feed thru hole.
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:11 PM   #16
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Drilled the feed thru hole, attached the feed thru. Installed some sleeving, and finished the inside side portion. The wiring in the photographs are:Yellow Green, preinstalled solar wiring; White Blue is for the fantastic fan (not clearly visible) ; White and Black from solar panel.
I crimped the solar panel black wire to the yellow wire, and the solar panel white wire to the green wire.
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:22 PM   #17
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The outside was much easier, screwed and sealed the feed thru to the top of the trailer. Installed the solar panel per directions provided AM Solar.
I am running the SC-2030 solar charger, and the TM-2030-RV Battery monitoring from Bogart Engineering.
This project is now complete. I will decide next year on the amount of additional solar panels to install depending on our needs. It's nice to know the batteries will always be topped up while in storage.
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:56 PM   #18
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Nice job Jdog. How hard was it to reinstall the dropped interior panel?

I have a new 2017 AS, and wondering about dropping a panel inside to help with install.

On the new AS was wondering if the rivets only hold it in place, or if there is a coating or sealant that would be damaged or need to be removed.

Thx
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
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...How hard was it to reinstall the dropped interior panel? ...
That was a breeze.

I drilled them out with a 1/8" drill bit.
(There was no sealant between skin panel sections),
and used a run of the mill pop rivet gun with 1/8" rivets for the reassembly.

Any fear I had about that process was unfounded, I won't think twice about doing this again if needed in the future.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:06 PM   #20
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Curious as I have an '07 27FB. My prewire was from the forward storage/electronics bay to the bottom of the fridge exterior compartment.

Do I have another pre-wire running to my fantastic vent? Or is this depending on model?

I'm in the midst of finishing my install of 2x 100W Renogy panels.
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