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Old 09-13-2017, 01:48 PM   #1
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2018 Four Winds 24F Solar Pre-Wired

Thor Literature says the 2018 Four Winds 24F is "Pre-Wired for solar charging but the owners manual doesn't address it at all. There is a small module on the roof with two prong wires coming out of it. Is this the pre-wired solar panel input to the battery? And if so, what adapter hooks to the wires so you can plug a standard solar male/female plug into it. Also what solar panel does Thor recommend?
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:42 PM   #2
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I was just going to answer your direct questions, but then decided I should add some other thoughts for your consideration. I am not trying to discourage you from installing some solar but there is more to it then just adding a panel. First, I hope you enjoy your new coach?

The "pre-wired for solar charging" is the wire from the roof of the RV to a place within the coach. The two prongs, as you call them, are MC4 connectors. Most solar panels will come with MC4 connectors/ or a variation which will connect to them. The other end of the cables terminate somewhere within the coach, where you normally connect them to a solar charge controller. From the solar charge controller you then run cables to the batteries. There are different types of solar charge controllers, and numerous vendors. There are also other electrical components required.

One needs to do, quite a bit of research, analysis, calculations, planning and acquisitions to install a solar system. Depending on the design, besides panels and panel choices, there could be a need for mounting brackets, sealants, hardware(nuts, bolts, screws...), on/off/disconnect switchs, correct sized fuses/breakers, possible combiner/panels, monitoring panels and various lengths of properly sized conductors and sized connectors.

In my model of coach the pre-wired cables terminated behind the breaker box under the dinette. The wire was 10 gauge, thus planning and calculations need to take this into account for voltage loss and sizing. Your roof is TPO which lays on top of 2.7mm lauan. This is only 1/8 of an inch thick, thus, attaching panels is a challenge. The more holes you put in your roof you increase the chances of water penetration, thus you need the install of the mounting brackets to insure no water will get in. You also need to insure the panels remain on the roof.

There are multiple forums on the internet where you can research the install of solar systems on RVs. There are also vendors which do complete system installs.

The design of the system basically comes down to, what are your electrical needs? In addition, how you use your RV, how often, what type of places do you like to stay in(hook ups-no hookups, generator restrictions) and how often you have needs for the extra electricity should also be considered. Besides the solar, you may need an inverter or more batteries... all dependant on what your requirements are. One, may also just install a solar system as a hobby.

To better determine your needs, you may want to install a battery monitor first which will, with use, determine the State of Charge of your batteries the current you are drawing from them and keep a history of that usage.

As my brother in law says, he finds it simpler, easier and cheaper to just press the generator start button, for those times when he needs the extra electricity and is not attached to the grid.

Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:38 PM   #3
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An excellent discussion of this subject matter!
I keep looking at the roof of my Outlaw 29H, and am trying to decide if it would be worth it...
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:00 PM   #4
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2018 Four Winds 24F Solar Pre-Wired

Thanks for such a detailed reply. Currently I'm just trying to find a solution to keeping my Ford engine and RV house batteries charged while in storage. I currently have a 6 watt Coleman solar panel directly wired to my house battery and a 2 watt Coleman solar trickle charger directly to the 12 volt hot plug on the dash for the engine battery. However, when I check the charge level on the panel in the motor home - my hook-up isn't keeping the batteries charged. Over a couple days I'm losing charge. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:15 PM   #5
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Have you tried tracking down the source of the parasitic losses?
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:41 PM   #6
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2018 Four Winds 24F Solar Pre-Wired

I believe the only items drawing power are the smoke and propane leak detectors. Not sure those can be turned of.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:46 PM   #7
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Put a real battery disconnect switch in the battery compartment... cb719714-21d8-41e5-9206-b592c10c4480_1000.jpg
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:48 PM   #8
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There is a battery disconnect switch in the motor home.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:52 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure that it's not quite as thorough, as the one that I posted...
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillardt View Post
Thanks for such a detailed reply. Currently I'm just trying to find a solution to keeping my Ford engine and RV house batteries charged while in storage. I currently have a 6 watt Coleman solar panel directly wired to my house battery and a 2 watt Coleman solar trickle charger directly to the 12 volt hot plug on the dash for the engine battery. However, when I check the charge level on the panel in the motor home - my hook-up isn't keeping the batteries charged. Over a couple days I'm losing charge. Any suggestions?
As you have stated, 6 watts is not enough to keep up with the draw and loss of AHs out of your battery while it is in storage, even though they advertise the panels to do it. If you look at the specs the 6 watts and 400Mah is the maximum. This is an ideal which really never happens. It doesn't take into account the placement of the panel, the time of the year(where the sun is in the sky), location, temperature, shading, wire loss, etc. Besides the previously mentioned parasitic loads you would even have the battery's own self discharge. For a wet cell battery this can be as high as 10% per month.

I gather I am lucky that I have always had power available for the storage of my RVs. Not being aware of your storage location, the location may not be ideal for you to harvest the energy. Basically you would need more watts of panel and a charge controller if the location allows it.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:43 PM   #12
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More Power.jpg
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:01 PM   #13
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Thank you to both Lillardt and the folks who responded. My Outlaw also says it's pre-wired. Now I understand that's just the tip of the iceberg! Maybe by the time I'm ready for my next one - solar will be as common an option as a generator.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:59 PM   #14
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Anyone have a wiring diagram for a 24F? Our 24F is on order, and I'd like to plan ahead for some changes
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:56 PM   #15
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24F Wiring Diagram

Thor tech services sent the wiring diagram to me. Send your email address to me and Iíll try to attach it to an email back to you. Tim Lillard @
lillardt@aol.com
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