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Old 06-16-2018, 12:43 AM   #1
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factory solar wiring - 2016 Cambria 30J

Hi, I have an 2016 Cambria 30J without the factory solar installed on the roof. I am in the planning stages of adding solar. Behind the One Place panel, where the charge controller would be placed from the factory, is four wires.

Looking through the wiring diagraham, I found the Black & Green go to the battery, and the Black+Yellow & Green + White would go to the solar panel/roof port.

Where would I find the other end of the pair that would go to the panel?

In the Winnebago Wire Identification Chart, the Yellow/White go to the Coach Battery and Ground, where might those wires run to?

I put a meter on the wires and they all appear to be open and not be connected to anything, ie +12v or ground.

Any help or direction would be appreciated.

Thanks, Glen
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:57 PM   #2
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Those wires may work well and may not. What are the wire sizes? How many solar watts do you plan on installing? Using a combiner box? What’s the distance from the panels to where you will install the controller? Distance from controller to batteries?
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:00 PM   #3
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I like the WindyNation wire chart. Others are good too.

https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/...ight-wire-size
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:11 PM   #4
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I got pretty good information from the Winnabago website. I recognize the yellow and white connected to the other black / green wires as the panel ones. The smaller wires on mine went down to the electrical hatch for a ground panel. I found all the info in the drawings on the website.

Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryW View Post
Those wires may work well and may not. What are the wire sizes? How many solar watts do you plan on installing? Using a combiner box? What’s the distance from the panels to where you will install the controller? Distance from controller to batteries?
As Larry writes, the wire sizes may not be heavy enough to efficiently carry the current at the voltages the panels put out.

Read the info on these 2 websites for basic RV electrical, batteries, battery charging and solar installs:
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
The 12volt Side of Life Part 2
This will get you started. I have links to more websites which delve pretty deeply into the topic if you wish more info than what is provided above.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:26 PM   #6
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Mine was 8ga and the 30 amp controller would be max. Based on flat panels performing under optimum conditions my 320 watts was all I was going with. In my Navion it would be easy to change the roof conductor but a bunch of work to change the prewire to under the passanger seat.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:23 PM   #7
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Mike, 300 solars watts is all I need. Does 320 do it for you? About 17 amps at max?
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the input. As I have done a bunch od reading and research on solar since I posted the message, I will be bypassing all of those wires completely. Using heavier guage wires all around, placing the charge controller as close to the batteries as possible.
The location that Winnebago installs the controller and the location of the batteries are approx 15-20 feet, too far and wire too thin.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:02 AM   #9
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Mike, 300 solars watts is all I need. Does 320 do it for you? About 17 amps at max?
Just got back from the coast on our first trip with the solar. Turned off the converter and had absolutely no issues keeping up and exceeding the usage in the rig. Now this was the first test for four days without really using the inverter. The next trip I will be using the inverter for the satellite TV etc...

Even with it being overcast off and on the controller showed backing way down after half the day. I'm happy and will test further next trip out. I wanted to test in phases to really understand the system performance. The battery upgrade was key to storage.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:07 AM   #10
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Glen, 15 to 20 feet distance from controller to batteries? Wow. I am surprised Winnebago violates that basic solar rule...controller as close as possible to batteries without being in same enclosure.

Mike, great report. Please post after next trip. My bet is the TV won’t be much of a factor.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:57 AM   #11
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Looking at your picture, it looks like Winnebago has the basics of the system there. The heavy green and black wires are 10 g stranded (which is a common size for solar and more than adequate for up to 300 watts (don't forget this is all low voltage stuff). The green is solar (-) and the black is solar (+). The other two wires go from the solar controller to the battery with the yellow/black wire (+) and the white/green (-).

The real question is where are the cables terminating. The battery cables should be near or in the battery compartment. Not sure what they would do with the solar, however.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:23 PM   #12
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"The heavy green and black wires are 10 g stranded (which is a common size for solar and more than adequate for up to 300 watts (don't forget this is all low voltage stuff)."

I disagree, luvlabs. 10 gauge is acceptable with a 2% or less loss for 15 amps at seven feet or less and 5.5 feet or less for 20 amps. OP's system will put out at max somewhere between 15 and 20. See this chart wire size chart from WindyNation: https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/...ight-wire-size

The low voltage is the issue. High losses can't be replaced. 10 could be used if the distances are very short as shown on the chart. However, should OP decide later to add panels he may need rewire bigger.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:21 AM   #13
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I am all for using the biggest gauge wire possible when designing in solar. However, I believe the Winnebago design may have been for trickle charging only. In my 2003 Horizon, they installed a 10w solar panel, and in my current 2010 model they installed a 15w solar panel. Both worked well for their intended use.

If my calculations are correct: say 30w / 13.8v = 2.17 amps for a newer trickle charge system. The 10 gauge wires would be more than adequate.

But if you want to install something that would really be useful, say your 300w panel, then the calculations would reveal: 300w / 13.8v = 21.7 amps. A 10 gauge wire may work, in shorter distances, but 8 gauge would cut down losses and inefficiencies.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:38 PM   #14
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Winnebago Sightseer Solar

I have a 2014 Winnebago Sightseer 30A. Last year I added three Kyocera 285W 30V solar panels with a Mid Night Solar Charge controller. They are currently wired in parallel with three sets of #10 ga wire from the roof and #6 to the battery bank. They were the largest panels I could get on the roof. That amount of solar while camping in the western states was able to fully power my LED lights, Dometic Propane Refer, multiple cell phone chargers, two LED TVs and DirecTV dish. Charging wattage was typically in excess of 300 watts most days. My goal was to minimize our generator use which we accomplished by only using the generator twice, once to run the twin AC units down in Big Bend, TX and once to run our microwave in a two-month cross-country trip. There was a great deal of planning to determine how to conceal the wiring, but it paid off with a very slick install. Lee
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:34 PM   #15
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Me too Lee!
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