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Solar Panel - Event Date: 12 Feb 2020

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Michiganders View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michiganders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: Solar Panel
    Posted: 12 Feb 2020 at 8:19am
Anyone have the adhesive roof mounted panel from Forest River? How many watts is it ? Happy with it ?
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JR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2020 at 10:46am
I have a 2019 179 which I have mounted 4 Renogy flexible 100 watt panels on the roof and have 2 portable 100 watt Renogy flexible panels.  The way I setup my solar array is very controversial and whether to use flexible panels attached to the roof with adhesive but that is the way I set it up.  I am happy with the performance of my system.  Right now they are covered with snow and just waiting to go to work and go to South Carolina, Florida, and New Mexico in very short order.

By the way there is going to be a Michigan Pod rally up in the Traverse City area June 18 to the 21 if your interested in seeing the mods others have done to their R-Pods, you can find the specifics on the rally under the events tab of this forum 
Jay

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michiganders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2020 at 9:34am
Thanks for your help. Would like to go but , looks like dates are booked already.
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jato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2020 at 2:06pm
Just checked with the owner of the Holiday Park Campground for site availability for the Northern Michigan R-Pod Rally in June.  The following sites are still available: 159, 167-170, 175-178, most between 213-220.  Reserve today before these remaining sites are spoken for.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michiganders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2020 at 7:28pm
Did the Renogy plug into the plug on roof ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2020 at 8:38am
No the panels did not plug in on the roof.  My RPod is a 2019 179 which was "wired" for solar only from the batteries up front to a plug in the near the rear entry door.  Not wanting to penetrate the roof with another hole (a place for a possible water leak) I chose to run the solar panel wiring 1+ and 1- down the front of the trailer through a specially bent piece of PVC piping and run under the trailer coming up through flooring near the water pump.  That is where I connected the solar charge controller and a zantrex switcher, inverter, converter. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michiganders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2020 at 9:09am
Ok, thanks. Ours is rewired & has the plug on roof.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KB7LAK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2020 at 5:23pm
What are the plugs called that are on the roof for solar? I have a 2019 172 and I want to wire in a 200 watt set of panels. It says it's wired for solar, so is there a wiring diagram or schematic to how all this wires up? I bought some used lithium iron phosphate batteries that will run the camper. I just want to extend them beyond the 40 amp capacity they have. One of the 2 wiring harnesses has a charging voltage on it when the trailer is plugged into shore power, and the other does not. This tells me there's different places these voltages go.
Does anyone have a schematic of the 172?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2020 at 5:47pm
The zamp (or whatever brand) connectors are wired directly to the battery(ies). No need for a wiring diagram. If there is more than one connector, they are most likely just wired in parallel. 200 watt solar panels would produce (at a maximum) only about 16 amps. In reality, they would probably provide about 13 amps maximum. You would need over 500 watts of solar to produce 40 amps.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2020 at 8:42am
Originally posted by KB7LAK

What are the plugs called that are on the roof for solar? I have a 2019 172 and I want to wire in a 200 watt set of panels. It says it's wired for solar, so is there a wiring diagram or schematic to how all this wires up? I bought some used lithium iron phosphate batteries that will run the camper. I just want to extend them beyond the 40 amp capacity they have. One of the 2 wiring harnesses has a charging voltage on it when the trailer is plugged into shore power, and the other does not. This tells me there's different places these voltages go.
Does anyone have a schematic of the 172?

No schematic but as GlueGuy says the circuits are pretty simple. Assuming by "two harnesses" you mean the 4 wires connected to the tongue mounted battery, one pair of these should go to the solar connector on the side of the trailer, the other pair (the ones with voltage on them) to the ac charger and dc fuse panel. 

You do not need to use the existing wires going to the solar connector. Many folks find it more convenient to run their own conductors from their batteries to their charge controller and on to their solar modules. Either way, please DO install a fuse or circuit breaker at the battery, it is unsafe to run an unprotected circuit from the battery, if you get a short you can burn up your trailer. 

Use at least 10 gauge wire and a 30A fuse. If you plan to keep your solar modules portable and run a longer set of conductors to them (over about 20 feet one way) then go to 8 gauge wire to keep your voltage losses down. 

You will need a solar charge controller configured for lithium batteries and should change out your ac charger as well, lithium batteries need a different charge protocol than lead acid batts. Also, you should not attempt to charge lithium batteries when they are below freezing, so many folks relocate them to the inside of their trailers from the tongue so they stay warm. 

When you say you want to extend beyond the 40 amp capacity of the batteries you have, I think you probably mean 40 amp hours. Amp hours are a measure of battery capacity. Amps are a measure of instantaneous power from the battery (assuming a nominal 12V battery).

 If you add 200 watts of solar to your system that will produce around 12-13 amps at full sun as GlueGuy says. Over a typical 4-5 hours full sun on a decent day you would get around 50 amp hours, more than what your battery can take even if you start with it fully discharged. What I'm leading up to is that 200 watts is really too much for a 40 amp hour battery. I would suggest staying with about 100 watts of solar and consider getting more battery capacity first before adding more solar (assuming you need more). 
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