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Old 12-09-2018, 01:46 PM   #1
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Raleigh , NC
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25 RB FC Solar Install

I am in the planning phase of a solar install on our 25 RB FC. The plan is to go with an AM Solar "Core Kit" with a Victron 30 amp MPPT Controller.

I will use the factory prewire and do a series/parallel 400 watt system.

Couple of questions for the folks that have done something similar.

The electrical connections are accessed by removing the access panels under the cushions on the street side seating area (photo attached). It seems like a tight space to work in - is that where you put your charge controller, breaker and on/off switch?

When you did your install, did you work thru those panels or....

Is it reasonable to just remove the large panel in the photo that the smaller access panels are in to get more space to work in? If so, how? It seems like there are screws along the top edges, a couple inside the panels, and three that are accessed via the outside storage compartment? Would appreciate any direction on this!

Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:58 PM   #2
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I did the same install on a FC25FB. I removed the full top panel. I believe there are both screws and finishing nails in that panel. I just pulled the finishing nails out and didn't reinstall them when replacing the panel and screws.

Here are some of the "tricks" I learned:

To connect the 6awg to the positive and negative bus bars, use copper add-on lugs: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Blackburn-2...r-Lugs/4582297
and connect them like this: http://mwands.com/store/4-inch-buss-...nal-copper-lug

Buy a white shelving board cut it to fit under couch (about 12" x 14"), close to the positive and negative bus bars. With the board on your workbench, wire up the Victron 100/30 controller, the Blue-sea switch, and the 40 amp circuit breaker. Then lay the board on the top of the couch frame and connect the yellow wire through the switch and then on to positive connection on the Victron, green wire directly to the negative connection on the Victron. Then use 4' of 6awg connect the orange through the breaker and on to the positive and the black to the negative on the Victron. Then use the copper add-on lugs to connect the orange to the positive bus bar and the black to the negative bus bar. After wiring this all up from on top of the couch, then place this board under the couch (where you can reach it from an opening) and mount the board inside the compartment.

The above is all there is to wiring the inside of your Airstream. This step took about two hours to complete, but that is all I did for that day. Pace yourself, take your time, and do it right!
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:19 PM   #3
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I'm going to follow this, so please provide updates!
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:39 PM   #4
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Just remove the front section instead of just the topmake access easy and no need to tear anything up. Few screws in the floor and adjacent cabinet may two in the back wall but other than that it comes out in one piece.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:47 PM   #5
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Heres a link to my blog post.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...-install-2959/
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:44 AM   #6
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It was great seeing the blog on the install. Did the factory installed wiring go from the roof to the area under the street side dinette bench? How did you know where the terminations were? Have you changed out your batteries? Thanks again for a great blog.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:52 AM   #7
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On a 25FB I just removed the whole top piece of plywood (under a twin bed) and built a second layer to allow for the lithium batteries below. Im not sure how that will work on a RB. Depends on where your batteries are going (if you are replacing them.)

If you are going Lithum youll also want a Venus or Color GX controller.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracster View Post
It was great seeing the blog on the install. Did the factory installed wiring go from the roof to the area under the street side dinette bench? How did you know where the terminations were? Have you changed out your batteries? Thanks again for a great blog.
My 2017 Airstream with the Zamp rooftop box had one green and one yellow wire that terminated in the "rats nest" of wires adjacent to the Airstream's positive and negative buss bars. I believe these wires were labeled "solar". The wire ends were just cut off and the wires were neatly zip tied with the other "rats nest" wires. These green and yellow wires were factory connected to the Zamp rooftop box making my solar self-install very easy.

I replaced the stock Interstate batteries with 230AH 6V golf cart batteries. These batteries can provide the 100AH of power I typically use each 24 hour period. The solar usually fully recharges the batteries each day. When I park under a full canopy of trees, or have a really dark rainy day, I may need to run my generator for about five hours to bulk charge the batteries for the night. I've only bulk charged with a generator on three of 100 days of boondocking this summer. I do my best to avoid significant tree canopy and most rainy days are bright enough to at least bulk charge the batteries to avoid using the generator.
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:04 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone for the great info!

I think I can apply a lot of it to my install.

On the 25FB, removing the whole front section would be the ideal way to do the install. Unfortunately, in this model, all the electrical is housed in that section, so the first thing that would probably have to be done is removing the charger, breakers, fuses etc.

AM Solar suggested the least painful approach would be to wire everything up outside the access panel, then move it inside and secure it. I think I will give that a shot first.

This install is just solar, I have a pair of 6 volt batteries.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:09 AM   #10
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I found it much easer on my FB twin to cut the top plywood so I had complete access to the rats nest area. The Harbor Fright Oscillating multitool was worth every bit of its $40 less 20%.

I then just attached some 1x1 to make a place for that removed section to sit when I put it back.
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:40 AM   #11
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25RB electrical

The 25RB is harder to deal with in just about every way. As others have said, remove the inner most section of the dinette bench. If you can get away without removing the lounge section that will be a ton easier.

I followed troutboy's lead in utilizing an inner "panel" to hold the switches, the BMV and a breaker. This panel is secured to the floor with L brackets and allows the bench to be removed entirely without having to disconnect any wires. It likely looks easier than it is since some mods need to be made to the bench to gain clearance over the wires. I also added three Battle Born batteries back there and will add a fourth this spring.

Good luck, let me know if you have any questions!

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Old 12-11-2018, 08:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracster View Post
It was great seeing the blog on the install. Did the factory installed wiring go from the roof to the area under the street side dinette bench? How did you know where the terminations were? Have you changed out your batteries? Thanks again for a great blog.
Mine 23D the factory pre-wire ranfrom under the front bench to the rear fantastic fan.
Yes I have changed batteries to 2 Trojan T105s.

Heres that blog post

http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...-upgrade-2923/

http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...-install-2924/
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Old 05-19-2024, 06:28 PM   #13
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2013 25' International
Visalia , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afk314 View Post
The 25RB is harder to deal with in just about every way. As others have said, remove the inner most section of the dinette bench. If you can get away without removing the lounge section that will be a ton easier.

I followed troutboy's lead in utilizing an inner "panel" to hold the switches, the BMV and a breaker. This panel is secured to the floor with L brackets and allows the bench to be removed entirely without having to disconnect any wires. It likely looks easier than it is since some mods need to be made to the bench to gain clearance over the wires. I also added three Battle Born batteries back there and will add a fourth this spring.

Good luck, let me know if you have any questions!

I have a 2013 International Signature 25RB and want to start upgrading stuff. Do you have more pics of your configuration? I want to start with Victron solar charge controller this year to the current AGM batteries I've installed in the factory battery box. Next year I want to change out to lithium and replace factory charger with a Victron inverter / charger. Any pics / info you have would be helpful as I plan. Thanks in advance.
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