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100 watt Solar Panel Install on a Arctic Fox Camper

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This is the kit I just ordered to install in the camper.

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-100-Watt-Basic-Off-Grid-Polycrystalline-Silicon-Panel-Kit-GS-100-BASIC/205764075

 

I have been doing a lot of searching and for the life of me I can't understand why the controller that most outfits sell is a surface mount with the wires coming into the face of the controller. I finally decided to do this kit after BobV had mentioned it. This controller is meant to have a hole cut in a panel and the wire come in behind the controller. This is also how the Arctic Fox Campers are prewired. I will update this with pictures once I pick it up.

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I am getting one for my camper

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I had a hard time finding a flush mount controller also, the one I got can go both ways.

It has a temp prob that is spose to go to the battery box so the charging circuit is regulated by battery temp also.

The wires for it are too short to get to my battery box so for now it's an outside temp probe, and I like it that way.

Ben, I have plenty of the strip calling to put between the roof and the mounting brackets. If you want it stop by.

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BEFORE you install this kit, please call Brian at Overland Solar... He's based in Moses Lake and Mule Expedition Outfitters in Issaquah sells his stuff, or you can buy right from his web page, I bought one of his controllers and am going to upgrade to one of his panels from my pos Goal Zero stuff. Trust me he lives off grid and uses all the products he sells every single day, he knows solar.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaSp40BlZ-g/?taken-by=overlandsolar

 

https://overlandsolar.com/pages/contact-us

Edited by megacabcummins

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Thanks Bob! I will take you up on that!

 

Pat, why do I need to call someone. I know how and where and what to install. I have done these before. Beside, the camper is already prewired....

 

Mike, Thank you for the dimensions. I think I am going to try to make an Aluminum template for making the hole in the camper and try to use a dremel tool to cut it accurately. If it works then I Hoss can use it.

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Thanks Bob! I will take you up on that!

 

Pat, why do I need to call someone. I know how and where and what to install. I have done these before. Beside, the camper is already prewired....

 

Mike, Thank you for the dimensions. I think I am going to try to make an Aluminum template for making the hole in the camper and try to use a dremel tool to cut it accurately. If it works then I Hoss can use it.

I think Pat was saying you should look at buying this stuff instead.

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The purchase has already been made. Plus, I only have to connect 6 wires... that are already there.

 

In Pat's defense this isn't exactly the kit I wanted... There are some much nicer units. But this one will install cleanly in the space I have with the constraints I have given the partial wiring Arctic Fox already did, and the fact that this kit is really what I can afford at the moment. It will work fine for my needs. Having an inverter already and a generator I really don't need a panel at all. I just don't like running the generator. It's too noisy. This should make it so that isn't necessary... unless my Wife or Daughter leave all the lights on all the time, like normal.

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Just giving out the information on a really good product. His solar cells are super efficient compared to whats out there flooding the market. My 30w panel won't even charge my phone, it's horrible. The storage battery I bought for it died pretty quickly, so when i got to get another panel it'll be his fold up one, I know quite a few people using that one. Just as an example his 75w panel can turn out 4.4amp hour most 100-150w panels don't do that. BUT it comes at a price obviously.

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I bought my stuff from home depot also. I have 2 100w pannels and a PWM 30 amp controller. The best I have gotten so far was about 170 watts. I am very happy with that. I have under $250 in the whole system.

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The purchase has already been made. Plus, I only have to connect 6 wires... that are already there.

 

In Pat's defense this isn't exactly the kit I wanted... There are some much nicer units. But this one will install cleanly in the space I have with the constraints I have given the partial wiring Arctic Fox already did, and the fact that this kit is really what I can afford at the moment. It will work fine for my needs. Having an inverter already and a generator I really don't need a panel at all. I just don't like running the generator. It's too noisy. This should make it so that isn't necessary... unless my Wife or Daughter leave all the lights on all the time, like normal.

I have very limited time on my set up but so far it looks like clear sky's and summer daytime hours I believe we can get buy without need anything else to keep the batterys up. We did a couple of camps that we used lights, a lot of heater operation, and the 12 volt TV/DVD at night and the batterys recharged each day, that is with about 9 to 10 hours of daylight.

My camper is 100% led lighting so that helps alot.

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I have very limited time on my set up but so far it looks like clear sky's and summer daytime hours I believe we can get buy without need anything else to keep the batterys up. We did a couple of camps that we used lights, a lot of heater operation, and the 12 volt TV/DVD at night and the batterys recharged each day, that is with about 9 to 10 hours of daylight.

My camper is 100% led lighting so that helps alot.

Everything except the reading lights are LED in mine also. I should see if I can find some LED bulbs for those too. My intention is to add another 100 watt panel later on. It just isn’t in my budget right now.

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The 100 watt panel system showed up today. I just need to have sometime to get the camper in the shop now. I am very close. Just a few more things to finish up first.

 

66227ee492ed2562387883c0d892ad42.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I know what it's like having just a few more things to do before you can work on your own car. I finish one thing and another takes it's place. The 68 Firebird convert came out of the barn for the summer and now it doesn't have drive. Low is fine and so is reverse. Dang powerglide, if you don't start it every few weeks high gear fails. So I guess it gets to come out and I get to rebuild a glide. Oh fun.

 

On edit, not a glide, it's a super turbine 300

Edited by livingez_123

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Do it in your spare time Ben.

Besides you sleep too much!

  • Like 1

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Do it in your spare time Ben.

Besides you sleep too much!

You know that’s right! :lol:

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Does you roof already have the wire connectors on it?

Yes, the #2 SAE plug. I picked one up yesterday.

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flood or AGM batteries ? and is controller switchable ?

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They are normal flood batteries. I didn’t see a switch on the controller. I need to read the instructions and see if it is able to handle both.

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I need to replace my 2 or 3 year old trailer batteries [flood type] and am going with Odyssey AGM's 1500 amp hr. .. my controller is a aftermarket one that was installed with the cells and does switch to AGM which require a different charging cycle .

 

I haven't tested them but they are dead and believe the very low winter temps and maybe water level [again haven't looked] to be the culprits of the death .. we are "blessed with hot summers and very cold winters here , not friends of flood batteries. I haven't pulled the batteries out for garage storage in winter either , maybe I should have ?

Edited by GTroyer

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Ben, I am on graveyard tonight so I might be able to meet up with you today if you still want the calking.

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Mostly finished the install tonight. I ran into one issue and have to make a spacer for the panel. I didn’t count on the amount of wire behind the wall.

 

This was where I wanted to mount the controller.

 

c94f8c5ace86913c1db2e09c5c987970.jpg

 

 

First I made an aluminum template.

 

6662f67d621993bc00cb31bb83517c21.jpg

 

I used the template as a guide and used a rotozip bit in a dermal to cut the hole. I made it up high as I want the panel above the coffee maker.

 

1f11b1117377f69e4686c8a02da5be70.jpg

 

 

Some of the wires behind the panel won’t allow it to go all the way in. This is why I will have to make a spacer.

 

4600e3f3a3f450cef39d3cee09fcba6a.jpg

 

Here is where the panel is mounted on the roof.

 

fcd2bb603b1896484cea1245dba7d283.jpg

 

Hardly any sun this evening and it was putting out 0.3 amps.

 

4129d06e3e83ae45db02d9009b3002f8.jpg

 

And lastly, here is a picture of the panel from the ground.

 

181fc54386c0eee79e1e4c5ec24a83d1.jpg

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

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