Before I add SOLAR...

Electrical issues, both 12 volt and 120 volt
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skater
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by skater »

mountaindent wrote:I do not think of it as a generator no matter how it is marketed.
Yeah, I know. I've seen people thinking they're some magical device... it's like, no, it's a battery! It's probably a useful thing to have in certain situations (tailgating maybe?). My gripe is the name "solar generator". :)
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

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Millennial Falcon
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Millennial Falcon »

okaynagan wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:04 pm
okaynagan wrote: I would be interested is seeing a photo of where the solar pre-wired connections are on the roof.
"Seek and you shall find" it appears that images already been posted, years ago. We were just reinventing the wheel here, were we not? http://b190.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_vi ... temId=3022
Archived here also is a rather lively discussion on solar. http://b190.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1481
So... I'm considering just using these pre-installed solar wires from Airstream if they are on my 1994. Has anyone used them? Are they at least 10ga wire? And most importantly, where do they go inside the coach? I can find the box on the roof, but where is the other end of the wires?
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skater
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by skater »

Millennial Falcon wrote: So... I'm considering just using these pre-installed solar wires from Airstream if they are on my 1994. Has anyone used them? Are they at least 10ga wire? And most importantly, where do they go inside the coach? I can find the box on the roof, but where is the other end of the wires?
I think it’s 12 gauge at most. In mine, there’s an unconnected wire in the fuse panel, which I think is the solar wire.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

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Mgittrich
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Mgittrich »

I’m pretty sure the wire is 10ga. I have an Aurstream manual with specs for wiring from I think a ‘94. One of the diagrams depicts the converter box and wiring for for the fuses. I believe they also reference the wire for the solar panel positive from the roof, which terminates in the fuse panel, as 10ga. The negative from the roof is connected to chassis ground some where outside of the fuse panel.

The wire from the roof runs through the fluorescent light in front of the A/C. If you pull the light off and look at the wires there looks to be a couple of extra wires in the box which I think are from the roofs solar panel prewirng. This made sense to me given the proximity of the roof access box and the light. While. Was there a tugged slightly on the wires and then didn’t seem adminable to moving. So I don’t thick it possible to pull new wire through what ever path it runs.

I hope this helps.

Mike
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Kentuckian
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Kentuckian »

"I'm considering just using these pre-installed solar wires from Airstream if they are on my 1994. Has anyone used them?"

Yes, I used the Airstream solar wires in my '93. I have a single 180watt 12volt panel that at peak sun puts out about 9amps. Works fine.

The Airstream wires run from the small box on the roof down into the converter.
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Millennial Falcon
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Millennial Falcon »

Do you recall if they wer 10 or 12 gauge wires? I'm planning to run three 100 watt panels in parallel on those wires... I'd really like them to be 10 gauge...
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Kentuckian »

Sorry, I don't recall.
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Rugster »

Millennial Falcon wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:09 pm
Do you recall if they were 10 or 12 gauge wires? I'm planning to run three 100 watt panels in parallel on those wires... I'd really like them to be 10 gauge...
This question was posted almost 2 years ago, so I imagine the poster has found out by now. However, for anyone else viewing this thread, the pre-wired solar wires in my 1993 are 12AWG (Red) and 14AWG (white). The sizes are printed on the sides of the insulating jacket for each wire.
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by BelaVanTe »

Thanks for the update on the wire. So the consensus is that we can use the original wires? I’m planning 200-300 on the roof, I already bought the lithium battery, the charge controller and the pure sine inverter. Theoretically, that’s all I need, right? And to use the pre-wired solar wires?
‘94 B190 acquired in September 2020. Location: Denver, CO. Three furry CO-captains (2 canine and 1 feline) plus Capt. Zissou, my human husband.
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Millennial Falcon
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Millennial Falcon »

BelaVanTe wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:37 am
Thanks for the update on the wire. So the consensus is that we can use the original wires? I’m planning 200-300 on the roof, I already bought the lithium battery, the charge controller and the pure sine inverter. Theoretically, that’s all I need, right? And to use the pre-wired solar wires?
Yes. I ran 300watts of Solar on the roof and used the factory wiring. It's been operating 24/7 for two years now without an issue. Enjoy!!
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jafarTheVan
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Re: Before I add SOLAR...

Post by jafarTheVan »

I have a 1990 B190 and it is not solar ready, which means no wiring from middle of the roof to underneath the couch.

I am thinking to use the hole for antenna which is near the read left side on the roof. That requires finishing wires from the thermostat / speaker area to underneath the couch where my charge controller is. Does anyone have experience doing that? I am wondering how challenging this would be.

I am open to other suggestions as well regarding a more direct path which requires making a new hole on the roof. My intention was not to make a new hole in the roof, in the expense of using a 6 AWG wire instead of 8 AWG for longer wiring (400W solar, parallel).
"As you start to walk on the way, the way appears." -Rumi
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Sub2RainEN
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Before I add SOLAR...

Post by Sub2RainEN »

jafarTheVan wrote:I have a 1990 B190 and it is not solar ready, which means no wiring from middle of the roof to underneath the couch.

I am thinking to use the hole for antenna which is near the read left side on the roof. That requires finishing wires from the thermostat / speaker area to underneath the couch where my charge controller is. Does anyone have experience doing that? I am wondering how challenging this would be.

I am open to other suggestions as well regarding a more direct path which requires making a new hole on the roof. My intention was not to make a new hole in the roof, in the expense of using a 6 AWG wire instead of 8 AWG for longer wiring (400W solar, parallel).
Hi,

I’m not much help, my 1990 was wired at the 2018 van build. Through dumb luck, I had an electrical engineer whose self built van tour video is extremely popular lead my install team. My friend who went with me just mentioned he thinks he saw them remove the bumper over the couch to run wiring. I’d never have known if I didn’t mention that I was thinking of removing one or both bumpers.

They drilled one hole as far as I know, around the front of the cabinet and ran wires through a gland. I’ve since upgraded panels and batteries, which a friend and uncle were able to do easily because of the original install.

I’ve added a Goal Zero Yeti 1500x over the tub. I wanted to wire solar panels to it. However, I can’t find any small enough for the available roof space. I noticed there seemed to be enough gap around the back doors to run wires into the van. You might be able to run wires down from the roof, through the door, the upper closet, and have your solar controller on the wall next to the closet (above fridge and microwave in my B).

Best of luck. I’ve finally got my system working to suit my needs. I bought a lithium battery last year and it hasn’t gone below 85%. My engine battery doesn’t seem to die anymore. I finally started running my dorm fridge and there’s plenty of power.


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Proud 1990 B190 newbie owner
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