Revamp My Solar System

I have been unhappy with the solar system in my 5th wheel since I purchased the 5th wheel used. Whoever installed the Solar system did a crummy poor job in my opinion. The only thing done right was the Solar panels, Everything else was wrong. First off they ran the wires from the solar panels down the vent for the refrigerator. That was OK, except they installed the Solar Controller there and hooked it to the tiny 12 volt wires to the fridge. The solar controller should be located in the battery compartment close to the batteries for Temperature and voltage control.

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as you can see it is a mess. The push pull switch on the left was to cut off the output of the solar controller to prevent feed back when the system disconnect switch was off. very poor way to do things. Having to get into the refrigerator compartment to turn off the controller when the disconnect switch was thrown.

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I removed the solar controller and the switch, and moved the solar controller to the front of the 5th wheel next to the batteries in the Battery compartment.

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I spliced onto the wires from the solar panels and ran new wires by drilling a hole in the floor where the fridge sat over the furnace compartment and from there through the water compartment, and into the storage compartment.

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wires for solar panels run along frame in big storage compartment. Drilled hole in wall to front battery compartment where I terminated the 2 number 10 gauge AWG wires from the solar panels and hooked them to the solar controller. I discovered that they had mounted the Inverter in this compartment making it hard to get to. you would have to unload everything and then crawl into the compartment to get to it after removing a panel. it has a fuse and a GFI that would be a pain to get to if you ever blew the fuse or tripped the GFI so I moved it to the battery compartment too.

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This is the battery compartment before making modifications to it.

 

The first thing I had to do after installing the back board was to move the batteries to the left 10 inches so I could get into the wires and wiring looms on the right hand side where they came through the front lower right corner. The white you see is foam that I used to fill a 3 inch hole that several of the wires came through,above is the 2 fuse blocks with red covers. They were fastened to the metal floor next to a grounding lug and jammed in the corner. Very poor way to do it. I moved them up on the backboard that I installed.

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This is the new modified Battery compartment. I installed a back board to mount stuff on 16 inches by five feet long. solar controller is on the far right. To the left of it is the 1500 watt inverter. to the left of the inverter is 30 amp fuse block to protect the solar panels, and the controller. To the left and down is a meter for battery condition and alarm. below the Big red switch is the shunt for the meter.The Big Red Switch above is to cut off power from the batteries to the system. The factory disconnect switch does not remove all of the power from the batteries. If the 5th wheel is in storage the batteries would run down in about a week or two, because the factory disconnect switch does not remove power from the slides, outside lights, and leveling system. This is by design from the factory. If in storage with the factory disconnect switch in the off position, the batteries will still be charged and maintained by the solar system. If I want to unhook the batteries from the system to work on it or other reasons then I can use the big red switch to do so.

 

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All done and all set up the way I want it and the way it should have been done to begin with,

Mel

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Installing Air Bags on my Tow Vehicle

I noticed when we were in Arizona a while back, that my truck sat a little low in the rear when hooked up to the 5th wheel trailer. So I decided to do something about it. That is why I decided to install air bags on the rear of my truck. I have installed air bags before on a F150, F250, and a F53 Motor Home. The one thing I was worried about was the fact that I had a Reese 16K 5th wheel hitch installed, and it had side plates running down the side of the frame to hold the Hitch rails in the bed of the truck. I choose Air Lift #88396 air bag kit with Jounce Bumpers inside. (so bags would not be damaged if ran without air). Air lift assured me I would not have to drill with the Reese Hitch side plates.

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Mod to Protect the Electronic in my 5th Wheel

This past winter we had a few Power Outages and Power Surges. Because I am hooked to shore power 24/7 When my 5th wheel is parked at home. I decided that I needed to do something to Protect the Electronics and Appliances in my 5th wheel. What follows is a picture story of what modifications that I did. Continue reading “Mod to Protect the Electronic in my 5th Wheel”

Adding Lights to a Dark Pantry

One of the problems with the pantry in our 5th wheel is it has deep Shelves and it makes it hard to see what is in there. Sometimes I’ve had to use a flashlight to see inside when searching for things. So I decided to install some lights in the 3 Compartments of the pantry. Continue reading “Adding Lights to a Dark Pantry”

More Storage from Small Cabinet

Gaining More Storage from Wasted Space

Something we all can use is more storage. There are many Places in a RV that are wasted space and can be made into useful storage. Such is the case in my 5th wheel. There is a small cabinet at the rear of my 5th wheel between the 2 recliners.

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Furniture Problem Solved

Furniture Problem Solved

The problem was The big oversize recliners Blocked the doorway and you had to crawl over them to get in to use the bathroom or get something when the Slide was in (Closed). I tried Moving furniture around and different Combinations, but none were suitable for us. see Furniture in 5th Wheel Rearranged . I decided to get rid of the over sized Heavy Recliners which left a blank space. I needed to get something that was smaller and Lighter where a couple of chairs or Recliners needed to go. I decided to get a couple of New Euro Recliners made by Thomas Payne for Lippert Inc. I chose them because they were light (Easy to Move) and the right size for my 5th wheel so I could get in the door when traveling without having to crawl over a recliner. See pictures below. Continue reading “Furniture Problem Solved”

Duplex Outlet Update

In a previous post called “Some 5th Wheel Mods and Upgrades” I told how I added a Duplex Outlet to the front of the kitchen Cabinet so my Dear wife would not have to use the overhead outlet and extension cords.

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