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Old 07-03-2020, 05:38 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 31L
State: Texas
Posts: 44
THOR #19181
Solar cable routing problem

This is for a Four Winds 31L

So I'm adding a couple of batteries. Too big for under steps, so putting them in left rear storage along with controller and inverter. To get the wires from the roof down to this compartment I thought the shortest route would be to come down next to the sewer vent, but some test holes around the black pipe all hit a metal ring, flange I'm guessing. This is below the styrofoam layer.

Is this standard Thor construction? Has anyone else used this area for cable access?
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:41 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
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THOR #908
I can help with this one...
I only just recently ran cable down from my roof for solar in my 31L.

I popped the paneling off in the bedroom closet closest to the bathroom...exposing that black tank vent pipe inside the wall. Drilled a hole in the pipe up high close to the ceiling just big enough for the cable and angled upwards.

So the cable enters the pipe heading up to the roof, then under the vent cap. Worked great and no holes in the roof.

I sealed up the cable entry into the pipe very thoroughly with some eternabond doublestick pressed around. This also helps to support the wire from kinking the way I molded it in.... then covered that whole thing with a larger piece of eternabond web seal that I had leftover from another project.

From there, I ran the cable down inside the wall coming out behind the drawers below the closet....and right there is where Thor put a conduit cable tray channel under the floor. Easily fished my cable through it to the electrical area under the bed. I placed my controller there and tied into the battery side of the main coach use/store disconnect...so that solar can charge the battery when the disconnect is in "store".

All worked out perfectly. My only regret in the project is that the solar controller I used does not have a remote display, and to get to it...or to get to the circuit breakers that I installed on either side of the solar controller, I have to run out the bedroom slide to get at it.
...so since the solar controller does not want solar panels feeding them with no battery connected, if I ever need to disconnect the house battery I need to first push out the slide to turn off the panels to the controller.....

I'll add this for consideration.... I personally would be reluctant to put batteries in that rear compartment. The rear axle is already overloaded, or at least right at the limit all the time, so I'd strive to keep the weight more forward.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:25 AM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 31L
State: Texas
Posts: 44
THOR #19181
Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
I can help with this one...
I only just recently ran cable down from my roof for solar in my 31L.

I popped the paneling off in the bedroom closet closest to the bathroom...exposing that black tank vent pipe inside the wall. Drilled a hole in the pipe up high close to the ceiling just big enough for the cable and angled upwards.

So the cable enters the pipe heading up to the roof, then under the vent cap. Worked great and no holes in the roof.

I sealed up the cable entry into the pipe very thoroughly with some eternabond doublestick pressed around. This also helps to support the wire from kinking the way I molded it in.... then covered that whole thing with a larger piece of eternabond web seal that I had leftover from another project.
I explored this possibility. The wife was doubtful, and a bit concerned about me mucking up her closet. In the end I ended up reaming out the metal flange around the vent pipe, just enough to get the 12-gauge solar wires down. By themselves they ended up hopelessly tangled in other things. Taped to a piece of molding they were too big. Finally I taped one at a time to the molding, ran it down next to the pipe, the wife grabbed it at the floor level behind the lowest drawer. The molding was originally attached to the piece that covers the wires running to the tail lights, up above the rear window.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
From there, I ran the cable down inside the wall coming out behind the drawers below the closet....and right there is where Thor put a conduit cable tray channel under the floor. Easily fished my cable through it to the electrical area under the bed. I placed my controller there and tied into the battery side of the main coach use/store disconnect...so that solar can charge the battery when the disconnect is in "store".
I have not seen this conduit. I have seen a mess of wires underneath the body, all running over to the compartment under the bed and sealed with a mass of foam spray.

I'm going to run our solar wire direct to the controlelr in the left rear compartment. Maybe someday I'll tie in to the house system under the bed. Maybe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
All worked out perfectly. My only regret in the project is that the solar controller I used does not have a remote display, and to get to it...or to get to the circuit breakers that I installed on either side of the solar controller, I have to run out the bedroom slide to get at it.
...so since the solar controller does not want solar panels feeding them with no battery connected, if I ever need to disconnect the house battery I need to first push out the slide to turn off the panels to the controller.....

I'll add this for consideration.... I personally would be reluctant to put batteries in that rear compartment. The rear axle is already overloaded, or at least right at the limit all the time, so I'd strive to keep the weight more forward.
You mean out of the factory? If so, why did they then put most of the storage area back there?
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Old 07-05-2020, 02:10 AM   #4
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THOR #908
Seems like I was a bit late...but you've got it well under control from the sounds of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donblanco View Post
......
I have not seen this conduit. I have seen a mess of wires underneath the body, all running over to the compartment under the bed and sealed with a mass of foam spray.
Mine is a chateau so perhaps it's different...but I seriously doubt it. the conduit passes pretty close to where my converter is at the foot of the bed...If I remember correctly it would be under the second set of drawers. Pull the drawers out and the open end of it was back in there.... a rectangular tray a few inches wide and not very deep. Big enough to get a bunch of wires through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donblanco View Post
I'm going to run our solar wire direct to the controller in the left rear compartment. Maybe someday I'll tie in to the house system under the bed. Maybe...
So what will these batteries be powering then if not tied to the house?


Quote:
Originally Posted by donblanco View Post
You mean out of the factory? If so, why did they then put most of the storage area back there?
well not from the factory "exactly", as the rig would have been empty.
But the balance on my rig in particular, and I suspect ALL of these long 30+ ft class C's on the E chassis, is not good. most numbers I've read on various forums are along the same lines....

I've weighed mine a few times now while on trips and with a typical load, full gasoline, full LP, family and stuff on board has mine flirting with the drive axle limit and over it a time or two. My load isn't abnormal I think.... We aren't even using all the interior cabinets and it's not packed to the gills...and my kids were very small the last time I weighed it.

Regardless..."why did they design it that way?"...well I can confidently say that they aren't doing any real engineering, or giving much thought into that sort of thing. I feel quite sure it's mostly driven by floorplans and squeezing things in where they can fit them. Folks want a rear bedroom... beds by their nature will have a lot of space under them... so there's a spot for storage or a tank. Grey tanks naturally go under the shower for simplicity, and showers will be towards the rear typically. etc....
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:55 AM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 31L
State: Texas
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THOR #19181
Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
Mine is a chateau so perhaps it's different...but I seriously doubt it. the conduit passes pretty close to where my converter is at the foot of the bed...If I remember correctly it would be under the second set of drawers. Pull the drawers out and the open end of it was back in there.... a rectangular tray a few inches wide and not very deep. Big enough to get a bunch of wires through.
I did see a couple of water lines under the second drawer set. I know there's a low-water drain under the bed, just assumed that's what it was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
So what will these batteries be powering then if not tied to the house?
Going to plug the shore power cable into the inverter while disconnecting the original house batteries and the converter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
I've weighed mine a few times now while on trips and with a typical load, full gasoline, full LP, family and stuff on board has mine flirting with the drive axle limit and over it a time or two. My load isn't abnormal I think.... We aren't even using all the interior cabinets and it's not packed to the gills...and my kids were very small the last time I weighed it.
So far I'm the only one inside when driving, so maybe that will help. Will hopefully get it weighed within the next week.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:13 PM   #6
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THOR #4735
I ran my two wires simply over the rear cap, and down the ladder, using zip ties to keep them somewhat 'nice' while they go down to the rear diesel radiator opening, where they then exit into the back engine area, under and attached to the frame railing, and into the rear right compartment, where the batteries are. No holes or drilling.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:00 AM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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THOR #19181
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
I ran my two wires simply over the rear cap, and down the ladder, using zip ties to keep them somewhat 'nice' while they go down to the rear diesel radiator opening, where they then exit into the back engine area, under and attached to the frame railing, and into the rear right compartment, where the batteries are. No holes or drilling.
That was my original route I had planned, but would still have needed to drill a hole. Also had some issues with cable on-hand and shipping delays, so vent pipe worked best. I have several feet of cable excess to use if needed for any further expansion...
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:54 PM   #8
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THOR #13362
I just pulled up your floorplan
Itís very similar to mine.

I went down the fridge vent, on the rear side of it.
I then was able to drop the line down to the area behind all the kitchen cabinets.
Then I mounted the Solar Converter on the entry steps wall.
From there you have a short run and easy access to the Battery bank under the steps.
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:53 PM   #9
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State: Texas
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THOR #19181
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
I just pulled up your floorplan
Itís very similar to mine.

I went down the fridge vent, on the rear side of it.
I then was able to drop the line down to the area behind all the kitchen cabinets.
Then I mounted the Solar Converter on the entry steps wall.
From there you have a short run and easy access to the Battery bank under the steps.
That was my original plan, but my golf cart batteries are way too tall for under the steps, and too heavy for the first passenger-side compartment, so everything went back-left.
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