Waiting on quote to install solar panels on RV

ziggy_nc

New Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
2
I live in Eastern North Carolina and own an RV. I would had prefer to have the dealer install Solar Panels on my RV, but unfortunately that didn't happen. I checked with several RV dealers in Wilmington and Raleigh area, and there didn't have the knowledge or wanted to help me. I found a guy who install solar panels in Wake Forest, but he is ready busy. He travel around to RV shows and currently taking orders from the RV shows. There is an RV Show in Raleigh at the end of August. I assume if you are busy, then you must be good. He haven't sent me quote, and I been waiting for 3 weeks. He stated in an early conversation that the soonest he could get to me is in Mid-Oct. I could wait until October, if I have idea of what he was going to install on my RV. I read "Mobile Solar Power Made Easy" and confidence I can do it myself. My youngest son is electrician and want to install a transfer switch for my house so I can switch to generator power incase of outage due to a storm. A transfer switch of house can not be that much difference than one for an RV. (Maybe I am over simplifying). What I am looking to install is a 400W system (parallel connect multiple in series group). The RV is solar prep, so the MC4 cable running into the basement (passthru). Is this something I can do with my son, or should I wait until the guys gets back. Can I wait? yes I am willing to wait, but not knowing is what driving to doing it myself. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

Samsonite801

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
1,291
If you guys are handy with tools and building stuff, I don't see why you couldn't tackle it?

The cable runs are the hardest part (just think like the water, always looking for the lowest point). They have covers at the RV store, so you can drill a little hole in the roof (on mine someone installed one of these covers for a satellite cable exit point), and use silicone or marine adhesive between the cover and the roof (mine had 6 screws to hold it down), and it has a slot for the cable to come out the side of the cover. You basically just goop the sealer all around in between the cover and the roof and around all the screws so it squeezes out a bit when you screw it down, and wipe off the excess. I recently removed, and resealed mine, because I had to take the cover off to run a Sirius-XM GPS radio antenna wire through the same hole the satellite wire was coming out of.

Example:
1627405547865.png


The front cap or rear cap of the RV sometimes offers a clear shot to get cables down from roof to bottom area of RV, and over to the basement from there. On my Class A Safari motorhome, I can look up under behind the trailer hitch, see all the taillight wiring, and see all the way up to the roof, behind the end cap.

Don't forget to put fuses in to protect the wires. Just draw out a plan, and make a parts list, get your stuff together and make it happen.

We could help with questions, and taking pictures goes a long way...
 
Last edited:

Bubba1

Solar Addict
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
304
I think the biggest issue is making sure the roof doesn't leak when you're done. Take some time figuring that out before you drill a bunch of holes.
 

Alphacarina

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
214
It sounds like maybe his MC4 cables are already there??

This is certainly something an average DIYer can do himself, especially with help from a son with an electrical background

As to mounting the panels - Put Dicor Butyl Seal Tape between the roof and the underside of the solar mount 'feet' and then drill and put in the screws and seal the top of everything with Dicor Lap Sealant. That pretty much ensures you'll never have a leak




Series wiring on the roof is pretty simple and you'll find several YouTube videos which will help you wire up the controller and the batteries - Just remember to always connect th controller to the battery bank before you connect the solar panels to it

Don
 

Samsonite801

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
1,291
It sounds like maybe his MC4 cables are already there??

This is certainly something an average DIYer can do himself, especially with help from a son with an electrical background

As to mounting the panels - Put Dicor Butyl Seal Tape between the roof and the underside of the solar mount 'feet' and then drill and put in the screws and seal the top of everything with Dicor Lap Sealant. That pretty much ensures you'll never have a leak




Series wiring on the roof is pretty simple and you'll find several YouTube videos which will help you wire up the controller and the batteries - Just remember to always connect th controller to the battery bank before you connect the solar panels to it

Don


Good point, reading again, maybe he already has the cable run there...
 

ziggy_nc

New Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
2
Good point, reading again, maybe he already has the cable run there...
Thank for the input. I see the cables in the passthru. The cables are already there, so the next step would be to draw it out and start the projects.
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
6,474
Location
Somewhere South of Denver
Check with the RV manufacturer on the "Solar Prep". Often that is only a plug on the side of the trailer for ground deployed panels. Verify that you have an actual gland on the roof.
 
Top