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Old 05-06-2020, 07:47 PM   #1
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Solar Upgrade

We recently purchased a 2019 Freedom Elite 23H and I noticed it is pre-wired for an optional solar panel. It includes a control/battery monitoring panel in the stairwell and connectors on the roof.
Can anybody tell me the recommended wattage for this system and is it wired solely for battery upkeep? I'd like to consider adding enough panels to power lights, etc., but not if it entails additional wiring and another control panel.

Thanks, any help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:04 PM   #2
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Does the controller list how many amps it is rated for?
I seem to recall that one rated for 30 amps can handle 200 watts.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:16 PM   #3
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I'll take a look. I'm also checking with Thor to see if I can my hands on wiring diagrams and system schematics. I'm a retired tech writer and they can usually answer any questions I have.
Thanks for the quick response!
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tek_ryter View Post
I'll take a look. I'm also checking with Thor to see if I can my hands on wiring diagrams and system schematics. I'm a retired tech writer and they can usually answer any questions I have.
Thanks for the quick response!
I do not think that there are wiring schematics like there is in the auto industry.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:18 AM   #5
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I did get a schematic for the Solar Wiring from Thor for my old 2018 Outlaw 29H that was pre-wired (but no Controller). They use 10AWG wire. I installed two Renogy 160-Watt flexible panels and a 30A MMPT Controller.

My 2020 Magnitude is pre-wired with the Solar Charge Controller. It is a Go Power 10A Controller. Their website says it will handle up to 190W. While the two 160-Watt panels I have would theoretically be too much, I may still planning to install them. Optimal operating current is about 8A each in parallel but that would be in perfect conditions.

Go Power also makes a 30A Controller I would get but the ones they make for the RV manufacturers are not available for purchase and the ones they do sell to the public fit a different size opening.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tek_ryter View Post
W...It includes a control/battery monitoring panel in the stairwell and connectors on the roof. ... is it wired solely for battery upkeep?
I'd like to consider adding enough panels to power lights, etc., but not if it entails additional wiring and another control panel.

I would doubt any 'Solar Charge Controller' is included in this pre-wire, but check to make sure, as the battery monitor is probably just to monitor the House batteries...
Regardless, solar for RVs is basically to RECHARGE the House Batteries, not to power anything 'directly', as the sun is not consistent enough for that, and your 12v lights, fans, and appliances/controllers/thermostats will all work from your batteries already, anyway.
SOLAR is a way to keep your batteries from getting low, by using the sun's rays to harness power output to charge them. It is ultimately wired directly to your House batteries, thru the Charge Controller, which monitors the input/output, when you batteries need charging.

You can buy a simple HQST 2 - 100w panel/controller/wiring/mounting system and have basically everything you need for about 10amps of solar - which is a fair amount if you have two 12v or two 6v House batteries. I picked up our package back in 2017 for about $300. Since you have 'pre-wired' from the roof to your House batteries, you'll probably not need the wiring, but the 'Y' Parallel Combiners and Charge Controller will be very easy to install.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:34 AM   #7
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I would doubt any 'Solar Charge Controller' is included in this pre-wire, but check to make sure, as the battery monitor is probably just to monitor the House batteries...
A Go Power Solar Charge Controller was included as part of my pre-wire package from Thor for my 2020 Magnitude.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:35 AM   #8
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right, but his is a 2019 Freedom Elite 23H
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:46 AM   #9
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right, but his is a 2019 Freedom Elite 23H
Just pulled the brochure for that model and it says it does have a Solar Charge Controller and it is Solar Panel Ready....
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Old 05-07-2020, 02:59 AM   #10
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Most of the coaches which are solar ready will have wire running from the roof to the charge controller. If they do provide charge controller, most of the time it will be only 10amp, and can handle only 100 watts comfortable. you can follow the wire coming from the roof and follow, it should be going in the charge controller. If not then there will be only wiring for you to hook your own CC. You also might have to run your own wire from CC to Battery bank. You can check by calling thor if there is wiring and fuse present and also the size of wire. 30 amp charge controller can hold up to 400 watts. Thor usually installs 10amp if you have one. Its only to keep your batteries charged. if you like to have more solar power you can upgrade to 30amp. But make sure your wire can handle that.
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Old 05-13-2020, 09:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tek_ryter View Post
We recently purchased a 2019 Freedom Elite 23H and I noticed it is pre-wired for an optional solar panel. It includes a control/battery monitoring panel in the stairwell and connectors on the roof.
Can anybody tell me the recommended wattage for this system and is it wired solely for battery upkeep? I'd like to consider adding enough panels to power lights, etc., but not if it entails additional wiring and another control panel.

Thanks, any help would be appreciated.
We have a 480 watt (3 160 watt panels) with 30 amp controller Go Power Solar on our Coach. I also added 2 additional house batteries. This system does everything you’re looking to do plus it even provides enough power to keep the residential refer going. Ours may be a little bit overkill for what you’re looking for but it gives us a little more flexibility. The thing you have to remember is that the solar provides charging for the batteries not direct power for the coach. Sooo, how many batteries you have to store the power in is going to dictate how much you can use anything that is wired through the inverter (lighting, TV’s, Residential Refer for example). As you’re drawing down the batteries during the dark you will need to manage usage. Once the refer is cold then the compressor won’t constantly be coming on and drawing power as much if you’re diligent at keeping the door closed. The LED overhead lights don’t use a bunch of energy but you don’t need to have them on all the time. In the daytime then your solar will replenish the batteries. You can also run the generator to expedite the recharging process. I think it’s important whatever you decide to do that you at least add a couple more batteries for storage. But if all you want is to keep your batteries charged then maybe you can get by with just two. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:55 AM   #12
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Harbor Freight sells a 100 watt 10 amp system with controller and cables for $189.99, and sometimes the run it on sale for $149.99.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:04 AM   #13
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I bought a used 2018 ACE 27.2 that was solar ready. I ordered a 200W kit from Renogy that was on sale, under $500. It had a 30Amp PMW controller. The wires ran from the roof to under the bed, which were fairly obvious when opening the access door. I screwed on the panels on the roof (lots of real estate up there) and covered the screws with sealant. Connected the wires, and installed the controller on the side of the bed. It has a remote and a cell phone app to look at the functions. When I ordered the kit, I made sure there was enough wire to get to the batteries. The wire from the roof to under the bed is 10 AWG. I believe the wire I used to the battery was 8 Awg, possibly 6 Awg (whatever the tables said I needed). I then ran the larger wires to the batteries. You will need to buy a 30amp fuse to use on the hot side. I have only the factory batteries(2 group 27) and this set up charges them well. While off grid I can use a blender, TV, lights, etc. (I also installed a 3000 watt inverter). Has served me well.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:36 AM   #14
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Not very detailed

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Originally Posted by tek_ryter View Post
I'm also checking with Thor to see if I can my hands on wiring diagrams and system schematics.
!
I have a set of diagrams for my 22GOC. It is similiarly configured for solar.
The diagrams are not very detailed in terms of the actual wiring traces.
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