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Holes for solar panels.


Wanderers
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Just placed an order for thee Elite 2 and I'm not willing to drill any holes in the outer skin of the unit. My TV is totally different than most as I have a flat bed with a custom work box with two 100 solar panels and MPPT controller. I asked the sales guy of they could run a 4 gauge cable for me on the inside of the unit followed by a fast no!. I'm looking to go 30dc to DC charge from my trucks 2nd battery as we seldom Boondock in open areas here in Canada. 

My question is how easy would it be to pull the cable from front to the back of the battery box. Anderson plugs for truck and trailer. My trucks solar could help if we are parked a bit longer in sunny areas if we stay for a more than 4 days. 

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Relatively easy.  You’d remove the bath caddy for easy access to the front wall of the trailer, drill through there (single wall at that point) to run your cables inside and snake them under the toilet to the front dinette seat.  From there you can choose to run them either under the dinette floor or or the outside wall.  Both spots are tight, but I ran two pairs of 00 through each so you shouldn’t have a problem. Then it’s wide open to the battery box and beyond.

Sounds like you’ll end up with a really nice setup. 2kw will make you the Ollie solar king by a wide margin.

Have you put any thought into wiring your two panels in series and placing the controller in the trailer near the batteries?  24 volts would give you less loss in the cables and having the controller on the battery side would certainly be better. 

❄️🏈

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I agree, there are no issues other than kneeling with your head upside down for long periods; use a foam knee pad!. I do recommend that you do NOT run the cables straight back along the tongue. Instead, add a weatherproof junction box with a small fuse and a ground terminal post. That way if you wreck the front of the big cable somehow, you will only need to replace or repair the front four feet. A big Anderson Powerpole pair will theoretically unplug itself if you drive away with the trailer unhitched, but you never know. Here is what I did for the 7 wire cable, after I needed some extra length.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/2688-how-to-junction-box-for-trailer-harness-repair-or-extend-the-harness/

Please be aware you have to run two cables, not just a single positive. And I would go larger than 4 AWG, to reduce the voltage drop to zero and for robustness, and for future upgrades. The difference in cost between 4AWG and 0 or 00 gauge is not too much., When you get into the really huge cables like the 4/0 ones, that can get costly. I paid around US$8 per foot for that, if I recall correctly.

Please post a pic of your truck, it sounds cool as heck. I hear you about not boondocking much, I recently competed a 4500 mile jaunt up BC and into YT, and was struck by how little access to forest lands there is; compared to the USA there are hardly any forest roads, and the ones that are there are being actively logged and have very heavy truck traffic. Mile after mile after mile of forest, and no side tracks off the highway whatsoever, that is very weird for me. Actually, I did see a few, and they were brushy double tracks, with a stop sign, which IMHO was very polite of the DOT. But they were not something I would venture down except with an ATV and several cans of bear spray..

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Good call on the heavier gauge. The idea is to have Oliver add everything for a door package less the panels. I want those add a port on the side of the camper that I can plug external panels into. Base camp at home has 600 watts of solar I can use. My truck has 200 and my buddies camp has many extra panels lasting around. Just not a fan of solar on trailers. 

Thanks for thee input on install.

PerryG

 

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@Wanderers, I  love the outdoor cupboard for outdoor cooking! Nice bike storage setup. 

Your original post mentioned two 1000 watt panels on the truck... might be an extra zero that you'll want to edit out?

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Wanderers,

Really like your flat bed truck TV. Been thinking about installing solar panels on our next TV. Our LE2 does not have factory panels installed and use a 100W solar suitcase for now. Also don't like drilling holes in Ollie if I can work around it.

 

 

Bill

LE2 #75

 

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Hey Bill it was the best compromise for our Airstream. I also have a home base with 600 watts of solar when needed. My idea is to have a charge controller on the Oliver and a heavy duty input near the battery compartment for portable solar panels. Seems like every year panels get better and it just easier to have panels at the correct angle of portable. The flat bed makes it easy for storage of extra panels. 

PerryG

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