Originally Posted by Jeremy9107
Reading through the solar install threads have taught me 2 things :
1) It is not for the average DIYer
2) It is not cheap
For these reasons, I am benching the idea of solar install during my current Caravanner renovation, however, since I will have the interior skins off, I would like to lay in the wiring that would be needed.
Would appreciate any advice on what to put in (and where to put it) so that the professionals will have an easier time down the road. Thanks.
It's much easier than you think and what some make it out to be. Getting all the components is the hard part depending where you live. In the US this is a non issue. I can go to HD and get all the components for a combiner box, but you are best to just buy a pre made one if you don't know what you are doing. Double sided VHB tape sticks everything to the roof. Wiring in a battery monitor at this point is also much easier and will help you even if you don't utilize the solar.
For a pre-wire I would just go with #4 wire since then you are safe with what you want to add later. Sure a smaller Guage will work, but for the difference in cost it's not worth it. For the pre-wire that is all you will need. The wire to the roof and the combiner box. Then you could add the wiring from the inverter to your AC panel. 10 guage will be more than you need there.
When you get to adding the components you simply stick the panels to the roof and wire into the combiner box. Inside you add you disconnect and fuses and your charge controller and hook that up to your pre-wire then add the wiring to the batteries (fused of course). The inverter connects to the batteries then to your AC panel or you could just feed a separate receptacle instead of the panel the way AS does.
As for cost the sky is the limit if you want a huge amount of panels and storage, but a modest system can be had for around $2400. That is what I have in mine and I can boondock for weeks without any issues. No generator disturbing the peace and polluting the environment. Even on dark overcast rainy days it charges.