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Old 08-10-2020, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default Connecting Solar to 2009 R/T.

Hello everyone. It has been a while since I last posted anything.

I have recently retired and and now modifying our 2009 R/T Versatile again.

I am looking for the best point to connect the wiring for a small solar panel system. Our panel is not going to be mounted to the roof, but be on a long cord, so we can place the panel in the sun, while the rig is parked in the shade.

There are probably 10 different places to connect the leads from the MPPT controller, to the battery system. I don't want to use the alligator clips, directly to a battery. I suspect there is a simple/safe connection for the power input, I just don't know which is the best.

Also, I know that many of the installers just use the easiest (least time needed) route, not necessarily the "best" option.

Any help you can offer is appreciated.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Photog View Post
Hello everyone. It has been a while since I last posted anything.

I have recently retired and and now modifying our 2009 R/T Versatile again.

I am looking for the best point to connect the wiring for a small solar panel system. Our panel is not going to be mounted to the roof, but be on a long cord, so we can place the panel in the sun, while the rig is parked in the shade.

There are probably 10 different places to connect the leads from the MPPT controller, to the battery system. I don't want to use the alligator clips, directly to a battery. I suspect there is a simple/safe connection for the power input, I just don't know which is the best.

Also, I know that many of the installers just use the easiest (least time needed) route, not necessarily the "best" option.

Any help you can offer is appreciated.

I think I would put a fused two wire cable to a watertight automotive style connector, right in the battery area behind the compartment door. All you have to do is unlock and open the door and plug it in, and when traveling the plug is inside a relatively dry area. The door can drop down onto the cord when in use, so mostly closed.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:29 AM   #3
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Of course.

Thanks Booster, that is a simple install. We have two batteries. I suspect they are wired in parallel, prior to the Inver/Charger system, so connecting to either one should charge them both.

I like this approach, and it is much easier than hooking into someplace near the Inverter/Charger.

Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:28 AM   #4
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My factory solar came wired to the positive 12v buss bar.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:48 AM   #5
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My factory solar came wired to the positive 12v buss bar.
Where is the 12V buss bar located in these rigs? Somewhere near the fuse panel?
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
I think I would put a fused two wire cable to a watertight automotive style connector, right in the battery area behind the compartment door. ..

this is what I do for my little solar panel


you need to ascertain how your batteries are wired-


if 12 volt they will be parallel, if 6 volt wired in series- you need to wire to the outside neg on one battery , the outside positive of the other


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Old 08-10-2020, 11:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
My factory solar came wired to the positive 12v buss bar.
That's really interesting to see. It's the high amp stuff each on it's own breaker but sharing a common input (output for the solar controller).

I doubt there's anything similar in a Roadtrek.

Thanks for sharing the photo. I can see using that idea if the need arises.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:12 PM   #8
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Where is the 12V buss bar located in these rigs? Somewhere near the fuse panel?
Generally, yes. At least in my '2012 Airstream Avenue the 30A, transfer switch, buss bar, solar, inverter/charger, and power center are adjacent to each other. May not always be the case or on your model, but generally builder's try to group electrical components nearby, probably for shorter wire & cable runs. When I did my 2 x 100Ah Lithium battery upgrade, I had just enough space in an adjoining cabinet to relocate the new batteries inside for cable runs of just 48" max. And could have been even shorter if I had not needed to run negatives through the shunt for my battery monitor.
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Old 08-14-2020, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
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.............
I am looking for the best point to connect the wiring for a small solar panel system. Our panel is not going to be mounted to the roof, but be on a long cord, so we can place the panel in the sun, while the rig is parked in the shade........................
Another idea for you. It appears that the controller will be portable in addition to the panel. If so, this would work:

I think some RT's come with a 7-way tow receptacle but installed as a 4-way with the power wire(s) not installed. One house battery would be very close so it would be pretty easy to connect a fused positive and a negative wire on the receptacle. 10 AWG would be OK. Put a 7-way plug on the wires from the controller and it's a easy way to plug the portable setup in when needed.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:48 PM   #10
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Another idea for you. It appears that the controller will be portable in addition to the panel. If so, this would work:

I think some RT's come with a 7-way tow receptacle but installed as a 4-way with the power wire(s) not installed. One house battery would be very close so it would be pretty easy to connect a fused positive and a negative wire on the receptacle. 10 AWG would be OK. Put a 7-way plug on the wires from the controller and it's a easy way to plug the portable setup in when needed.
This is a good idea. Last year, I was trying to set up my 12C190P to tow my BiL's travel trailer. I was underneath the rear looking for a power point to charge the trailer battery. Towards the rear, behind the generator and up on the underside of the floor is a lug with 2 or 3 large power cables attached to it. If I recall they were always hot. As Markopolo suggested, you could use the 7 pin trailer connector and run the power cable through it to the lug. It would be a very short and easily accessible connection.
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Old 08-15-2020, 02:36 PM   #11
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Tow receptacles can also become a convenient spot to get power. I have an adapter that plugs into the receptacle and provides two 12V accessory outlets for DC items & use it for a small portable compressor that plugs into the adapter & is used to inflate bike tires and the Air Lift bags.
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:01 PM   #12
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I installed a 4-pin round trailer socket onto the front bumper, recessed back into the grille using a simple "L" bracket I made from sheet metal. The solar panel uses the mating connector. The output of the socket is wired to the charge controller, and the output of the controller is wired to the heavy-duty terminal on the battery separator.

https://www.amazon.com/58671-4-Way-R...a-571778778217

Incidentally, if your vehicle is equipped with the ubiquitous Sure Power 1315-200 Battery Separator, I'd recommend replacing it with the Blue Sea 7622 ML-ACR Automatic Charging Relay; otherwise, the 2 ampere relay current of the battery separator will effectively drain both batteries after the sun goes down until the voltage reaches 12.5 Vdc. This totally defeats the purpose of having the solar panels. The Blue Sea uses power for its relay coil only when it connects or disconnects, drawing a minuscule few mA continuously for the voltage monitoring circuit.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:34 PM   #13
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Just posted a simple solution. See resent subjects related to this
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