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Old 06-26-2020, 06:09 PM   #1
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THOR #19060
Solar ready : Thor Chateau 2019 (22E)

Hi guys ! My question is about solar ready on my 2019 Thor Chateau. It has the "Go Power" solar ready controller installed and the wiring to the roof of the RV.
What else is needed before looking for a solar panel that meets my needs and just hooking it up ?Click image for larger version

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Old 06-26-2020, 06:19 PM   #2
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Congratulations! You just need to add solar panels, and you're good to go!

You'll need the panels, mounting hardware for them***, and some wiring...


*** Flexible panels just stick right to the roof: no brackets (and holes!) are needed.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:38 PM   #3
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I have the same controller. Here is what I did..... starting in the second post in this thread.

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f8...els-21660.html

This is just one of many approaches. I opted for flexible panels so I didn't need to screw mounts into the roof and I also liked that these panels are very light compared to standard panels.

Some people have used screwless mounts that are glued to the roof for regular panels. I didn't like that approach for fear they could stretch and tear the roof material if enough wind got underneath the panels.

I would consider screwing mounts into the roof now after using EternaBond tape for a couple years. I would use Eternabond material for the screws themselves and then the tape to cover the mounts and would not worry about water leaks.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:45 PM   #4
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Judge,
Is there any "downside" to just sticking the flexible panels directly to the roof?
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:50 PM   #5
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Good question Bob.....

I did that the first time around and it did work....... but as we all learn from experience.... this time around I wanted a barrier between the roof and the panels to help dissipate heat a little. I also wanted to mount them in such a way that I could easily remove them if I ever needed to replace them or move them to another coach (hopefully that won't happen for a while ).

When I had them EternaBonded directly to the roof, it was a bit of work to remove them from my old Outlaw 29H so I could reuse them on my Magnitude.

These corrugated platic panels work great but they are expensive. They are about $20 for a sheet large enough to hold a panel. What I like about them is they have little channels that air can pass through to help dissipate the heat. Then by using elevator bolts, I could Eternabond the panels to the roof, place the panels over the elevator bolt studs and then put on a lock washer and nut to secure them to the plastic panels.

It has worked out pretty well so far.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:54 PM   #6
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There's some pretty good logic in your answer: Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:26 PM   #7
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I just this week added a small panel to my rig. I used a classic rigid mono crystalline panel with screw down mounts. Using a stud finder I was able to screw into my roof trusses and with generous use of self leveling lap sealant under and around d the brackets Iím confident they wonít leak. My panel is only 80W which should be enough to keep my batteries charged in storage. If not Iíll add a second panel. Used all Renogy equipment with a 20A MPPT controller. All in was under $200 and it was a fun project. Also added a Trik-L-Start so the chassis natter can share the fun.Click image for larger version

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Old 06-26-2020, 08:46 PM   #8
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With a 20 amp controller: you could add two more 80 watt panels, and still be within it's capabilities.
(Watts/volts= amp rating needed.)
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
With a 20 amp controller: you could add two more 80 watt panels, and still be within it's capabilities.

(Watts/volts= amp rating needed.)


Yes. My wire runs are a bit long and I wanted to minimize further losses by using an MPPT controller and itís was the smallest I found for the money. I may well add a second 80W panel if the one proves marginal for two house batteries and a chassis battery in the overcast Indiana climes. It was making 5.9 A today though.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainGaut View Post
Hi guys ! My question is about solar ready on my 2019 Thor Chateau. It has the "Go Power" solar ready controller installed and the wiring to the roof of the RV.
What else is needed before looking for a solar panel that meets my needs and just hooking it up ?Attachment 24465

mount 200 watt or 2 100 watt panels on the roof. You will need wire, connectors.

If authorized dealership repair shop installs with screws, you don't lose warranty.

I bought the wires, mounts and panels and dealership installed.

wire
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Connectors
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Panels
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Mounts
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Really nice, keeps the frig running, all my batteries topped off!
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:37 PM   #11
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I'm looking to add a pair of 175 watt flexible panels, and a 40 amp MPPT Controller.
It'll allow me to add another 175 watt panel later.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I'm looking to add a pair of 175 watt flexible panels, and a 40 amp MPPT Controller.
It'll allow me to add another 175 watt panel later.
I think that is the way to go Bob.... I saw Renogy has 175W flexible panels now. The weight savings is a major bonus as well as the mounting flexibity.

With my two 160W flexible panels, I was able to power the garage A/C unit in the Outlaw 29H on a reasonably sunny day using the crappy stock house batteries.

You will really like the MPPT Controller too. It is a bit big and heavy but it does a great job with the batteries. It also has the option to add a Bluetooth dongle so you can monitor the system from their phone app.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:50 AM   #13
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Thanks for that info: I had no idea that dongles would be involved.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:56 AM   #14
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Dongles are better than Dingles!
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:46 AM   #15
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You got that right!!
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge View Post
I think that is the way to go Bob.... I saw Renogy has 175W flexible panels now. The weight savings is a major bonus as well as the mounting flexibity.

With my two 160W flexible panels, I was able to power the garage A/C unit in the Outlaw 29H on a reasonably sunny day using the crappy stock house batteries.

You will really like the MPPT Controller too. It is a bit big and heavy but it does a great job with the batteries. It also has the option to add a Bluetooth dongle so you can monitor the system from their phone app.


I came close to going with flexible panels with my recent installation but decided to go with traditional rigid panels mostly because panels can get very hot and I didnít think my roof (or the occupants below) needed a scorching hot patch. I saw online photos of TPO roofing discolored by the heat (and since it was on the internet, of course itís true....). Plus they cost more, are less efficient and donít last as long. Your results may vary. Saw that my recent panel purchase caused Amazon to lower the price (funny how THAT works!) so I went ahead and bought a second 80W panel. I am confident that 160W will be excessively adequate for my current and future needs!
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:13 PM   #17
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I came close to going with flexible panels with my recent installation but decided to go with traditional rigid panels mostly because panels can get very hot and I didnít think my roof (or the occupants below) needed a scorching hot patch. I saw online photos of TPO roofing discolored by the heat (and since it was on the internet, of course itís true....). Plus they cost more, are less efficient and donít last as long. Your results may vary. Saw that my recent panel purchase caused Amazon to lower the price (funny how THAT works!) so I went ahead and bought a second 80W panel. I am confident that 160W will be excessively adequate for my current and future needs!

After having them in two coaches now, I can say they do not generate any heat that is noticeable in the coach.

I have put my hand in the ceiling where the panels are installed and I canít tell much of a difference in heat in the dealing.

I actually think the glass and metal panels generate more heat and why you need a sizable gap underneath them to allow the heat to dissipate.
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge View Post
I think that is the way to go Bob.... I saw Renogy has 175W flexible panels now. The weight savings is a major bonus as well as the mounting flexibity.

With my two 160W flexible panels, I was able to power the garage A/C unit in the Outlaw 29H on a reasonably sunny day using the crappy stock house batteries.

You will really like the MPPT Controller too. It is a bit big and heavy but it does a great job with the batteries. It also has the option to add a Bluetooth dongle so you can monitor the system from their phone app.
I have the 10amp GoPower controller & factory pre-wired setup. I was told by GoPower that the wiring from the roof could only handle 180Watt max panel. They said any more and you need to replace all the wiring from roof to controller and upgrade controller. I know some Thor mh's have a Gopower 30amp controller/wiring and am curious if that's what you originally had?
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mrgscooter View Post
I have the 10amp GoPower controller & factory pre-wired setup. I was told by GoPower that the wiring from the roof could only handle 180Watt max panel. They said any more and you need to replace all the wiring from roof to controller and upgrade controller. I know some Thor mh's have a Gopower 30amp controller/wiring and am curious if that's what you originally had?
According to Thor's past specs and the wiring diagram they sent me for their solar ready coaches..... they are using 10AWG wire from the roof to the controller or termination point. So theoretically the wiring could handle up to about 30A. I had two 160W panels with a 30A Renogy MPPT Controller on my last coach using the Thor wiring and had no issues.

I have the 10A GoPower Controller on my Magnitude and I am using two 160W panels. I know that is over the published specs but here is my rationale:

- Since I am using flexible panels they will alway be flat and without the option to angle them towards the sun for maximum power generation. In my case max power generation would only occur when the sun is unobstructed and directly overhead of the panels.

- Most of the places I have been camping aren't like the desert southwest with clear skies and intense sunshine for long periods that can produce maximum power generation.

- Solar panels are not 100% efficient and rarely reach their maximum power generation capability. Different brands have different efficiencies so that has to be factored into the equation.

- Solar panel performance degrade with age and solar panels exposed to extreme sun and heat like the (desert southwest) or cold / snow (where my RV is stored in the offseason) degrade faster than panels that spend their time in moderate climates.

During my testing I have not seen anything over 8A - 9A from my two panels. I suspect that most of the time the two panels are putting out a max of 180 - 200W, which is just at or above the published max.

If my stock Controller dies as a result, I will replace it with a 30A Renogy controller.

My panels are wired in parallel because the GoPower controller is a PWM controller. If I install an MPPT controller, I could wire them in series and that would reduce the current through the wiring to the Controller... but again the 10AWG should support 30A.
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:16 AM   #20
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Just installed one 190W panel on my chateau 22E that has the Go Power 10Amp charge controller. After making final connections, no current in spite of good sunlight. I disconnected and measured current directly from the panel and got reasonable numbers (21V 6A). Reconnected, measured current at the back of the controller ... zero! I ran some electrical wire from the back of the controller to the roof and found the negative wire is an open circuit! (positive is fine). Anybody had seen that before? It's basically a brand new unit. Am I missing something (like there is a fuse or a relay somewhere) or did this just get fucked when they built the unit?
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