Wiring my solar panels was very straight forward. The hardest thing to determine was how to penetrate the roof to get the wiring into my RV and to the solar charge controller that I had located in the basement compartment. The easiest way I can recommend doing this, and the way that I did it was to use the refrigerator vent space. If you pull the cover off the refrigerator vent on the roof of your RV you will find that there is a large space behind the refrigerator. You can use this space to run wiring into your RV from the roof. When you put the cover back on the vent, there should be room for the wires to fit underneath the cover with little or no modifications.   

Picture of the wires going into the refrigerator vent along with the concentrator.

Once in the RV, I was able to easily fish the cable behind and under the refrigerator and into the basement compartment to attach to the solar charger. Since the wiring ran under the refrigerator and over the heating unit underneath the refrigerator, I made sure to protect the wiring by running it inside flexible electrical conduit (available at Home Depot), which I mounted securely to the roof of the compartment under the refrigerator and over the heater. In fact, I used this flexible conduit to run all my wiring that I added to my RV. I did this to protect the wire from rubbing and chaffing while driving and also for a neat and clean install.   

Electrical Conduit Used For Internal Wiring

Electrical conduit that I used to protect all the wire runs I installed inside the RV.

When wiring the solar panels I was able to daisy chain a couple of them together for easier connection and to create shorter and less wiring runs. If you decide to daisy chain your solar panels, be sure to wire them correctly. In order to maintain 12 Volts, you need to wire them in parallel (positive to positive and negative to negative). If you wire them in series (positive to negative), then you will increase the voltage and potentially damage your solar charger and batteries. Likewise, there may be limitations as to how many you can daisy chain together. Be sure to check with the manufacturer and remember to account for the increased Amperage that two panels will supply relative to one in relation to your choice of wire size.   

Before I provide you with a diagram of how my panels are wired together, it is also important to note that I used a concentrator. A concentrator is a simple electrical connection box that allowed me to run several wires from different solar panels into the box, but only one wire out to the solar charger. (You can see the concentrator in the picture above next to the refrigerator vent.)

The diagram above represents how my solar panels are currently wired. Solar panel 1 and 2 are daisy chained together “in parallel” (positive to positive and negative to negative). Solar panel 2 is then connected to the concentrator. Solar panel 3 is directly connected to the concentrator. The concentrator is then connected to the solar charger, which is connected to my battery bank. Since I purchased a large enough solar charger to handle a total of 4 KC-130 solar panels, I could add one more to my system. If I decided to add another panel, I could daisy chain it to solar panel 3 or I could run it directly into the concentrator. Since I have already located the spot where I would mount solar panel 4 and since it is not near solar panel 3, I have already wired an additional wire into the concentrator, which is sitting on top of the roof but is not connected to anything. I did this so that I would not have to open the concentrator box later since I have already sealed all the entry points into the concentrator box with silicone.   

Picture of two of the solar panels installed on the rear of my RV.

Once the wiring was run, I used split loom to cover the wiring on the roof for extra protection from the sun and I secured the wiring to the roof every 2 to 3 feet with a wire clamp so that it does not blow around in the wind. The last thing I want is for my wiring to be ripped out by the wind once I start traveling at 65+ MPH down the road. I sealed the screws used with the wire clamps by using Dicor in the same way we discussed above. Since I had multiple wires on the roof for satellite TV, etc, I tried to run them next to each other wherever possible so that I could use the same clamps to hold them down and thus minimize the amount of penetration points in my roof.   

Solar Charger Mounted In Storage Compartment

Picture of the solar charger which is installed in the basement. The batteries are in the compartment behind the wall

Voila, my install was complete. 

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