How to install solar panels on RV

Travel worry-free with the solar system that will generate the power.

SunnyWell Energy is presenting our Installation Manual for solar-powered RV. This is detailed step-by-step guide on how to install solar panels on your RV trailer.

1. Istall the solar on RV.

Before installing, it’s important to note that the specifics of the configuration will depend on the
type of panels are being installed (flex, rigid), the roof layout, type of vehicle, the battery bank
voltage and location. Make sure to reference the guide included with a solar kit. The following
instructions should serve as a general guide.

Solar Deployment Tips:

  – The person must review the safety guidelines provided with the solar kit prior to
installation.
  – Be aware of any electrically exposed wires, for example, solar MC4 terminals, when the
the panel is exposed to the sun even including the indoor lights.
  – During the deployment it is safe to cover the panels.
  – Be aware of the mechanical parameters of the solar panels.
  – Make sure the solar source voltage is on the higher potential end in comparison to the battery voltage.
  – Use roof caulking to prevent leaking.

2. Hook up the wires to the charge controller.

The solar wires (main positive and negative) must be running from the solar panels down into the
RV connecting to the PV + and PV – on the charge controller respectively. The wires can be
either run through the breaker box or the main positive wire can be running through the inline
fuse. A few regular ways for running the wires into RV:
 – Refrigerator vent: It is considered the most common method. It avoids drilling any
holes.
 – Plumbing pipe: It is a viable solution but less common
 – Drilling: The least favourite method is drilling holes for solar wires. A specialized solar
cap with pre-installed MC4 connectors can be used.

 3. Connect the charge controller and the battery bank.

The charge controller should be installed as close as possible to the battery’s bank to reducing the
voltage loss. Hookup the battery wires to BT + and BT – terminals on the charge controller.
Please note, in most cases, the charge controller must be connected to the battery first and
following by to the solar PV + and PV – connections. It is always recommended to protect the
wires running from the charge controller to the battery bank by an appropriate DC breaker/fuse.
The battery temperature sensor can be connected from the charge controller to the battery bank.
It is a good practice to use a multimeter to check the wire polarity marking each wire with the red
(positive) or black (negative) tapes. Reference the kit manufacture/provider for any other
required steps.
Interconnect the batteries in the proper battery voltage setup, 12V, 24V,48V. Please note, if
using lead-acid batteries, the installer must avoid putting more than 4 batteries in parallel. It will lead to a battery charge imbalance. The main battery positive terminal should be protected but the appropriately sized fuse.

4. Connect the battery inverter.

First, the user should know the AC voltage we are dealing with, such as only 120VAC or
120VAC/240VAC as it will determine the AC breaker panel size and type. Typical household
appliances use 120VAC, some large such as dryer, cooktop require 240VAC. It is best to install the
inverter near the batteries, away from heat, corrosive battery gasses. The voltage spike can be
high wherefore eliminating a voltage drop is important. Connect the battery positive and negative
terminals to the inverter battery IN and battery OUT terminal. On the AC side run 3 or 4 wires
(depending on the AC system) to the breaker panel or to the RV converter. Make sure to connect
the negative side first, then the positive. Use a properly size switch, DC breakers, and fuse. Ground
the equipment casings to the chassis.

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