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entropy1980
10-18-2021, 07:53 AM
We have a 2022 1760BH due for delivery his week, I want to add an inverter (seeing as it should be arriving "prepped" with SolarFlex200). Has anyone added one to the SolarFlex models? If so, what inverter did you use and is it pretty straight forward? Thanks in advance!

Canonman
10-18-2021, 08:06 AM
It really depends on what you want to do with your inverter. Installation can be extremely simple as the method I used for our Cougar or "magnificently" complicated as some have come up with to power everything.
I'm not sure, but you may have the OTG (Off the Grid) package. If so there should be an inverter from the factory. If not, then you'll need to look at what you want to run from the inverter as well as your battery options.

entropy1980
10-18-2021, 09:00 AM
So no OTG package. My understanding is it basically comes with a 200w panel + solar charger + 2 batteries (assuming lead acid) and is "pre-wired" for adding an inverter.

JRTJH
10-18-2021, 09:14 AM
So no OTG package. My understanding is it basically comes with a 200w panel + solar charger + 2 batteries (assuming lead acid) and is "pre-wired" for adding an inverter.

Here's the quote on the SolarFlex 200 system from the Keystone website:

SOLARFLEX 200 COMPONENTS
30A solar roof port w/ MC4 connectors & 10 AWG MPPT solar charging circuit
Future Solutions 200-watt solar panel
15A Victron SmartSolar MPPT controller w/ Bluetooth app
Inverted 110v loop prep with up to 7 outlets (inverter not included)
Zamp Solar portable solar panel charge port
Batteries not included

Batteries have always been a "dealer provided accessory" for as long as I've been buying travel trailers (over 50 years).

The "simple fact" is that the Springdale line doesn't have the markup or the profit margin of more expensive trailers, so dealerships are much more likely to "cut corners on dealer provided accessories"... That means, instead of installing 2 Deep Cycle golf cart batteries or two group 27 "high capacity batteries", dealerships are much more likely to install 2 "gp 24 marine/rv cheapies".... It costs them less and usually gets the customer off the lot while smiling over their new purchase..... It's only after a couple of trips that the customer puts "2+2 together" and realizes gp 24 cheapies aren't going to work... But for most, it's too late to get the dealer to trade "used batteries for better ones"... So the customer buys new batteries, another profit for the dealership in most cases....

So, if you haven't taken delivery of your trailer yet, MAKE SURE TO SPECIFY WHAT BATTERIES YOU'RE GETTING !!!!! Otherwise, you may wind up with a "fairly good solar system and nothing to store the energy it produces..... Lots of people on this and every other forum get "burned by dealers" that install undersized or even used batteries if there's nothing in writing to specify what the customer is paying for......

entropy1980
10-18-2021, 09:21 AM
Thanks! Yeah haven't taken delivery but assumed they would be bottom of the barrel batteries since it would be dealer added and not from the factory batteries. Appreciate the insight, I will probably see if I can negotiate a swap out or will be planning on replacing them with AGM soon after. I just can't seem to find any info on what exactly the pre-wiring info is for the inverter. I got "call the parts/service department and schedule an install" deal from sales and frankly I think it's an install I can handle, it really just boils down to I want to make sure I get a good inverter and that there are no "gotchas" with how they pre-wired.

Canonman
10-18-2021, 09:29 AM
So, what are your expectations for your inverter capabilities? Watch TV, run a PAP machine, Keurig coffee?? It will make a difference on the size of the inverter and the connection complexity.
If the trailer is "pre-wired" it may be a couple of the outlets are run back to the cargo area where an inverter could be installed.
Basically, the inverter input connects to the battery and the output to the wiring to the outlets.
We only use the inverter to run the T V and charge our electronics, phone laptop etc.
The inverter we used is an inexpensive 750 watt model from Walmart. We installed it on a shelf at the entertainment center with easy access to the TV and electronics. Everything just plugs directly into the inverter. I ran #10 wiring from the battery fusible link to the entertainment center and connected directly to the inverter where the battery cables normally connected.
Really easy, but our needs were pretty minimal.

entropy1980
10-18-2021, 10:04 AM
I think we are wanting to run TV, CPAP etc. nothing crazy, I had been planning on something in the 2000watt range to have headroom if something came up later or we expanded batteries/panels.

Canonman
10-18-2021, 10:56 AM
Just remember that the higher the wattage of the inverter the more overhead there is. Even if your only using 500w the 2k inverter is still using more power than a 1k inverter to produce the needed/used power.
Also, If you're planning to spend more than 50% of your camping without hookups, I'd strongly suggest moving up to 2, 6vdc batteries. Especially running a CPAP overnight.
6vdc batteries are the best bang for the buck when it comes to dry camping.

entropy1980
10-18-2021, 11:17 AM
Oh that's good to know!Thank you, all the info is MUCH appreciated. We look to be boondocking/dry camping mostly.

GHen
10-18-2021, 11:42 AM
I have four 6v CG2 batteries and 300w of solar on the roof. Wish I had 400w solar but it’s a good setup. 2000w generator for recharging backup.

The inverter has nothing to do with the solar but everything to do with the batteries. I recommend a 2000w with a remote switch to turn it on and off. That would be enough to run a short time running items like a coffee maker or microwave. 500w is all you need for TV/satellite/radio. The more battery power, the longer you can use the items on the inverter.
The inverter should be installed as close to the batteries as possible.

twanger
10-18-2021, 07:43 PM
You might consider using the same Xantrex Freedom 2000 inverter that Keystone uses on the Solar Flex 400i. Or spend up for some more functionality. I just ordered a Passport with 400i so I won’t be much help until a couple months from now. I did see some pics of a 400i package on rvtrader a few weeks ago (a 219bh sold by GeneralRV) and noticed the inverter was mounted in the pass thru on port side on the “ceiling” in there.

RVGator
10-19-2021, 05:29 AM
My 2022 Avalanche 378bh came with the SolarFlex 200. Dealer installed 2 batteries and because I have the residential fridge it also came with a 1000W pure sine wave inverter. I don’t do a whole lot of boondocking, but I figure the solar will be enough to help charge the batteries bumping down the road from whatever my truck doesn’t do. Having an issue getting the MPPT controller to Bluetooth into my phone to keep tabs on what it is doing, but working on that. If anyone has any suggestions or had the same issue please let me know what you did to fix.

entropy1980
10-19-2021, 05:56 AM
You might consider using the same Xantrex Freedom 2000 inverter that Keystone uses on the Solar Flex 400i. Or spend up for some more functionality. I just ordered a Passport with 400i so I won’t be much help until a couple months from now. I did see some pics of a 400i package on rvtrader a few weeks ago (a 219bh sold by GeneralRV) and noticed the inverter was mounted in the pass thru on port side on the “ceiling” in there.
Ah this is helpful, I only had the keystone part number not the actual model of what they were including with the 400i. Yeah it's supposed to have the "inverter ready" connections in the pass through.

entropy1980
10-19-2021, 05:57 AM
My 2022 Avalanche 378bh came with the SolarFlex 200. Dealer installed 2 batteries and because I have the residential fridge it also came with a 1000W pure sine wave inverter. I don’t do a whole lot of boondocking, but I figure the solar will be enough to help charge the batteries bumping down the road from whatever my truck doesn’t do. Having an issue getting the MPPT controller to Bluetooth into my phone to keep tabs on what it is doing, but working on that. If anyone has any suggestions or had the same issue please let me know what you did to fix.

Are you trying to connect to the MPPT with an android phone or iPhone?

twanger
10-19-2021, 06:05 AM
Here's that ad I mentioned, with the only pic of a Solarflex 400i that I've seen.
https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2022-Keystone-Rv-Passport-SL-219BH-5015945611
I'm trying to figure out where to put the batteries; outside on the tongue is pretty silly for this kind of setup where most folk would want LiFePO4 batteries installed inside.

https://cdn1.rvtrader.com/v1/media/615b0adeaa36536c09648ae1.jpg

RVGator
10-19-2021, 06:11 AM
Are you trying to connect to the MPPT with an android phone or iPhone?

I am using an iPhone 11.

Kootbiker
10-19-2021, 06:46 AM
I have a Solar flex 400i and I have tried two different apps with my I phone and can’t get any Bluetooth connection .

JRTJH
10-19-2021, 06:52 AM
I have a Solar flex 400i and I have tried two different apps with my I phone and can’t get any Bluetooth connection .

Have you tried to access the inverter through the InCommand bluetooth connection? There may be an "interconnection access" via the InCommand software program.

Kootbiker
10-19-2021, 05:31 PM
I will try that.

mikec557
10-24-2021, 04:41 PM
We have a 2022 1760BH due for delivery his week, I want to add an inverter (seeing as it should be arriving "prepped" with SolarFlex200). Has anyone added one to the SolarFlex models? If so, what inverter did you use and is it pretty straight forward? Thanks in advance!

I think you'll find a lot of good information in this line of posts. With all that your system comes with, I think you would be well served with an inverter with built-in bypass like the Xantrex models. I chose the 1000 watt model for CPAP, TV, laptop charging etc. There's an inverted outlet in the kitchen, but 1000 watts won't do much for you there. On the other hand, I was able to use 2ga wire for the inverter. You'd probably need 2-ought cable or bigger for a 2000 watt inverter.

Happy reading...

https://www.keystoneforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42742

entropy1980
10-31-2021, 09:23 AM
Ok update. Picked up the trailer yesterday. Attached are photos of the inverter prep. Seems simple enough? Do I just cut the wire, terminate one end into inverter, then terminate other end out of the “out” of the inverter? Any tips for figuring out which side of the loop goes where? Thanks everyone in advance! https://www.dropbox.com/s/n3pamodohrte2wq/Photo%20Oct%2031%2C%2010%2014%2033%20AM.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vxvt53ggjm7zf1l/Photo%20Oct%2031%2C%2010%2014%2037%20AM.jpg

twanger
10-31-2021, 10:46 AM
Some useful threads come up if you search on “inverter prep loop” like:
https://www.keystoneforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42742
and
https://www.keystoneforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48404

entropy1980
10-31-2021, 11:02 AM
So I had looked through those but didn’t see anything that resembled what I have. All I have is the romex.

flybouy
10-31-2021, 11:21 AM
How familiar/comfortable are you with working on 120v ac wireing? What tools and testers do you have?

entropy1980
10-31-2021, 11:33 AM
Comfortable. Multimeters and other testers in my posession.

flybouy
10-31-2021, 02:19 PM
Turn off ALL electric to the camper. Cut the romex and strip the wires. Seperate all conductors and wire nut each bare conductor. Turn the electric back on and which ever side is "hot" (energized) is the conductor attached to the breaker. The non-energized conductors are connected to the outlet(s). I would strongly urge/advise using a non-contact circuit tester. They are very inexpensive and will make testing a safe venture.

mikec557
10-31-2021, 03:18 PM
Ok update. Picked up the trailer yesterday. Attached are photos of the inverter prep. Seems simple enough? Do I just cut the wire, terminate one end into inverter, then terminate other end out of the “out” of the inverter? Any tips for figuring out which side of the loop goes where? Thanks everyone in advance! https://www.dropbox.com/s/n3pamodohrte2wq/Photo%20Oct%2031%2C%2010%2014%2033%20AM.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vxvt53ggjm7zf1l/Photo%20Oct%2031%2C%2010%2014%2037%20AM.jpg

I lost track. Did you decide to use an inverter with built-in bypass? That's the only way there's a 120vac IN and an OUT. If so, what make and model inverter?

entropy1980
10-31-2021, 08:29 PM
I lost track. Did you decide to use an inverter with built-in bypass? That's the only way there's a 120vac IN and an OUT. If so, what make and model inverter?

So that’s what I can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone on. Dealer couldn’t answer. I sent Keystone a message and got the typical “see dealer service dept. “

I bought a Renogy it does not have by-pass. They really should include a wire diagram for what exactly is installed this guessing is driving me nuts. I have no clue where this yellow romex goes. I got a “yeah that should be all you have to do” when I talked to service dept. and asked “should I cut the romex and see which side is hot, hook up to inverter input and then hook other side to output?” Not encouraging to hear I might have to have an inverter with bypass :(

twanger
11-01-2021, 03:36 AM
Did you see the keystone wiring diagram posted in the link below? I think it answers a lot your questions.

https://www.keystoneforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41018&highlight=Inverter+prep+loop

entropy1980
11-01-2021, 06:24 AM
Did you see the keystone wiring diagram posted in the link below? I think it answers a lot your questions.

https://www.keystoneforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41018&highlight=Inverter+prep+loop

No, just looked through it, it looks different from what I am seeing on mine though. I need to spend some time on it tomorrow and see if I can sort it all out I guess.

jxnbbl
11-01-2021, 06:26 AM
I'm going through this myself in an around about fashion...bought a trailer they said had the solarflex200 installed, it did not but had the zamp OTG package. Worked a deal with the dealer and bought the components to put the maximum zamp panels (three 170W panels) on the trailer and upgrade the batteries to AGM....and a 30W controler (non-bluetooth).



Anyways I only really was concerned about running the 12V fridge OTG for 5 days maintaining 4 cases of homebrew for a wedding as well as a few nights of OTG with heat/fridge...so I installed 2 panels. Everything worked great. I also bought/installed a the following battery box - https://www.etrailer.com/Battery-Boxes/TorkLift/TLA7712R.html



For the inverter, the OTG package and what you have as "inverter prep" is exactly the same.


I probably will not complete the install until spring - but have 2/0 battery wiring, shutoff, fuse, covered electrical box for all the electronics in the pass-through and a Freedom 2000 inverter. I did buy this due to the built in transferswitch....which you will need. Here is a basic wiring diagram for all this stuff (although I think it has a 1000W inverter) credit to the original poster for that diagram.

entropy1980
11-01-2021, 07:15 AM
Ok so the thing I am confused about is I have only the single romex. Looking at the diagram looks like it would currently be running from panel to "inverted" outlets. So if I cut this romex and hook it like the diagram I am missing power from the battery. So that's why I am confused... would I hook up the input on the inverter to the load on the victron controller?

mikec557
11-01-2021, 08:00 AM
So that’s what I can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone on. Dealer couldn’t answer. I sent Keystone a message and got the typical “see dealer service dept. “

I bought a Renogy it does not have by-pass. They really should include a wire diagram for what exactly is installed this guessing is driving me nuts. I have no clue where this yellow romex goes. I got a “yeah that should be all you have to do” when I talked to service dept. and asked “should I cut the romex and see which side is hot, hook up to inverter input and then hook other side to output?” Not encouraging to hear I might have to have an inverter with bypass :(

Remember that all inverters need to connect directly to the batteries. With the exception that it may connect to a positive and negative Bus Bar if the bus bar is directly connected to the batteries with cable at least as large as the cable the inverter would require if it were connected directly to the batteries. To answer one of your earlier questions, the inverter will never connect to your Victron (charge) controller.

Your yellow loop of romex is simply a loop of slack that connects the breaker panel inside the RV to the three(ish) outlets that we call the inverted outlets. Clearly those outlets need to be fed 120vac. It's the source of that 120vac that confounds you.

At the moment, the only source is the breaker panel. The optimum solution would be such that the outlets would be fed by either the breaker panel or an inverter. But they will never be fed by both sources simultaneously. Shore power is always the preferred source.

If you use the yellowish inverter posted earlier, you'd have to cut the loop of romex and somehow plug the outlets into that inverter. Then they would never be fed by the breaker panel because they're plugged into that inverter. That inverter does not have a bypass.

Think of an inverter with bypass as a Y-connector. The outlets are connected at the bottom of the Y, they will be fed by either the top left leg, or the top right leg. When you cut the romex loop, the end of that wire that the outlets are connected to goes to the 120vac OUT of the inverter with bypass. The breaker panel is connected to the 120vac IN of the inverter with bypass. Think of it as the top right leg of the Y. Think of the other upper left leg of the Y as the heavy cables from the batteries to the inverter. The inverter with bypass decides which upper leg to pull from in order to feed the outlets out the bottom of the Y. If you are connected to shore power, the inverter will take power from the breaker panel and feed it to the outlets. This is true whether the inverter is ON or OFF. But if you are NOT connected to shore power, and if the inverter with bypass is ON, it will pull 12vdc from the batteries, make 120vac, and send that 120vac to the outlets. But it won't do that unless you turn the inverter ON or you leave it on all the time (which I don't do).

Does that clear it up?

Essvar
11-01-2021, 08:08 AM
Ok so the thing I am confused about is I have only the single romex. Looking at the diagram looks like it would currently be running from panel to "inverted" outlets. So if I cut this romex and hook it like the diagram I am missing power from the battery. So that's why I am confused... would I hook up the input on the inverter to the load on the victron controller?


Your inverter prep will have a single romex wire coming from the 120v main panel and going to the pre determined solar prep outlets. To install an inverter you will need to cut this wire and figure out which side is coming from the panel and which side is going to your outlets. (hot side/cold side)



If you don't have a pass-through inverter the hot side will need to be safely capped and the cold side will be connected to your inverters output.



The solar charge controller and the solar system in its entirety are not connected to the inverter in any way. (other than they both go to the battery)


EDIT: Without a Pass-Through inverter the inverted outlets will not work unless you have the inverter turned on.

flybouy
11-01-2021, 08:20 AM
Ok so the thing I am confused about is I have only the single romex. Looking at the diagram looks like it would currently be running from panel to "inverted" outlets. So if I cut this romex and hook it like the diagram I am missing power from the battery. So that's why I am confused... would I hook up the input on the inverter to the load on the victron controller?

You need to make the electrical connects as indicated in the instructions that should be included with your inverter. If tuose instructions are not understood then I'd strongly urge you to get someone qualified to install it. No disrespect but working on 120v ac circuits is dangerouse and can be deadly.

entropy1980
11-01-2021, 08:41 AM
Your inverter prep will have a single romex wire coming from the 120v main panel and going to the pre determined solar prep outlets. To install an inverter you will need to cut this wire and figure out which side is coming from the panel and which side is going to your outlets. (hot side/cold side)



If you don't have a pass-through inverter the hot side will need to be safely capped and the cold side will be connected to your inverters output.



The solar charge controller and the solar system in its entirety are not connected to the inverter in any way. (other than they both go to the battery)


EDIT: Without a Pass-Through inverter the inverted outlets will not work unless you have the inverter turned on.


Got it. So I'll return the Renogy and pickup the Xantrex, then I am guessing I need to pull cables from the Xantrex to batteries?

JRTJH
11-01-2021, 08:43 AM
Cutting the ROMEX to install an inverter is the "process" but fails to address many "implications" that also are critically important:

Using a "cheap inverter" without a transfer switch (either internal to the inverter or externally wired) means that the only power to the inverter and subsequently to the outlets, is provided by the battery. That means the outlets can only provide the amount of energy stored in the battery or resupplied by the charging system. It also means that the battery bank will be required to "consume itself" to provide "ordinary shore power" to those outlets.... A "inverter installation that includes "capping the hot side of the ROMEX" is, for all intentions, a "never do" situation....

If a transfer switch is going to be "hard wired into the system" and if those three(ish) outlets are going to be used for "shore power purposes" then a "quality inverter with a transfer switch" should be the only consideration.

I can imagine a situation where someone plugs a hair dryer, a toaster or even a space heater into one of the "inverter supplied outlets", thinking that "the trailer is on shore power so the campground is powering this outlet" only to find a "hot, smoking battey, a 1000 watt inverter with blown fuses or burned components and an expensive repair bill to put it back to OEM configuration.

I'd urge anyone "seeking to novice mod their solar powered/battery powered off the grid system" to think it through completely before taking the bold step of cutting that ROMEX loop without fully understanding what the system is designed to do and more importantly, what it can't/won't do.....

To me, it's sort of like watching the Blue Angles or the Thunderbirds aerial performance and then renting a Cessna 172 and "heading out over the bay"... If the equipment isn't capable of doing what you're going to attempt, you're going to get wet with the first inverted maneuver...

Same with cutting that ROMEX.... Think it through before modifying the system.

entropy1980
11-01-2021, 08:53 AM
Cutting the ROMEX to install an inverter is the "process" but fails to address many "implications" that also are critically important:

Using a "cheap inverter" without a transfer switch (either internal to the inverter or externally wired) means that the only power to the inverter and subsequently to the outlets, is provided by the battery. That means the outlets can only provide the amount of energy stored in the battery or resupplied by the charging system. It also means that the battery bank will be required to "consume itself" to provide "ordinary shore power" to those outlets.... A "inverter installation that includes "capping the hot side of the ROMEX" is, for all intentions, a "never do" situation....

If a transfer switch is going to be "hard wired into the system" and if those three(ish) outlets are going to be used for "shore power purposes" then a "quality inverter with a transfer switch" should be the only consideration.

I can imagine a situation where someone plugs a hair dryer, a toaster or even a space heater into one of the "inverter supplied outlets", thinking that "the trailer is on shore power so the campground is powering this outlet" only to find a "hot, smoking battey, a 1000 watt inverter with blown fuses or burned components and an expensive repair bill to put it back to OEM configuration.

I'd urge anyone "seeking to novice mod their solar powered/battery powered off the grid system" to think it through completely before taking the bold step of cutting that ROMEX loop without fully understanding what the system is designed to do and more importantly, what it can't/won't do.....

To me, it's sort of like watching the Blue Angles or the Thunderbirds aerial performance and then renting a Cessna 172 and "heading out over the bay"... If the equipment isn't capable of doing what you're going to attempt, you're going to get wet with the first inverted maneuver...

Same with cutting that ROMEX.... Think it through before modifying the system.
I get what you are saying. I think marketing it as "Inverter Prep" is a little overboard. IMHO they should have everything pulled there to make it possible. Throwing the romex there and calling it "Inverter Prep" leads one to believe (maybe just me?) that it was prepped to install an inverter. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help I think I see what I need to do to get it going now.

Recapping:


Buying a Xantrex (with bypass)
Cutting romex
Tie outlets and breaker to Xantrex
Run cable to batteries (inserting breaker and disconnect between batteries and Xantrex)

Essvar
11-01-2021, 09:13 AM
I get what you are saying. I think marketing it as "Inverter Prep" is a little overboard. IMHO they should have everything pulled there to make it possible. Throwing the romex there and calling it "Inverter Prep" leads one to believe (maybe just me?) that it was prepped to install an inverter. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help I think I see what I need to do to get it going now.

Recapping:


Buying a Xantrex (with bypass)
Cutting romex
Tie outlets and breaker to Xantrex
Run cable to batteries (inserting breaker and disconnect between batteries and Xantrex)




Looks like you've got it. I also purchased the remote for my Xantrex so I can turn the inverter on/off without going outside and into the basement.

JRTJH
11-01-2021, 09:37 AM
I get what you are saying. I think marketing it as "Inverter Prep" is a little overboard. IMHO they should have everything pulled there to make it possible. Throwing the romex there and calling it "Inverter Prep" leads one to believe (maybe just me?) that it was prepped to install an inverter. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and help I think I see what I need to do to get it going now.

Recapping:


Buying a Xantrex (with bypass)
Cutting romex
Tie outlets and breaker to Xantrex
Run cable to batteries (inserting breaker and disconnect between batteries and Xantrex)


The "advertising and marketing division" doesn't always talk to the engineering and safety division"... When that happens, the customer is the one "caught in the middle"...

I can envision someone going to Harbor Freight or to WalMart, buying a $39 750 watt inverter, unplugging their shore power cable (hopefully), cutting the ROMEX and "with their vast knowledge of electricity" <said tongue in cheek>, verify the "cold end", wire an old extension cord to the ROMEX, plug it into their inverter, connect the battery and the "solar controller" and go plug in their TV to verify it works.... Then in the middle of nowhere, on the first "boondocking trip" they awake to the "acrid smell of burning electrical components".... No fire department, no 911, no cell service and they post, "I connected my inverter just like they told me to on that damn Keystone forum and ........"

There's a "crapload more to consider" than "every Keystone trailer will be equipped with at least a 200 watt SolarFlex System"...

Bottom line: While modifying the OEM solar components to integrate with upgraded components is "easy to do", not everyone has the skill level to take on the challenge. If someone is knowledgeable and does the job, great. If someone "reads a forum and decides to wing it, it can't be that hard"... :hide:

twanger
11-01-2021, 09:46 AM
I just saw this Keystone SolarFlex 400i demo unit. A bit confusing the extra wires at the "Inverter prep" box, the 6"x6" box in the middle of the pic, etc. Ugh. How confusing!

flybouy
11-01-2021, 12:53 PM
Things that are not understood tend to appear to be perplexing. Electricity is not forgiving. An error can cause damage, injury, and death. It's not a "try it and fixit it if I goof up" proposition. It can easily become a "try it and fry it" situation where the "it" could be you. I would urge anyone not familiar with electrical circuitry, wireing proceedures and safety to hire a professional.

entropy1980
11-01-2021, 01:35 PM
I just saw this Keystone SolarFlex 400i demo unit. A bit confusing the extra wires at the "Inverter prep" box, the 6"x6" box in the middle of the pic, etc. Ugh. How confusing!

Exactly! To me, when they say "prep" it should be ready to just add inverter, not add inverter, fuse, shutoff, extra wire, drill more holes etc. They should just call it "Panel Loop".

flybouy
11-01-2021, 01:43 PM
The only thing worse is calling a line of trailers "1/2 ton towable". Or maybe "arctic or polar package, or maybe ......

jxnbbl
11-01-2021, 03:45 PM
One question that's been bugging me. On my OTG package it came with a pre-installed 2 port housing mounted on the roof. In talking with ZAMP they assured me that to expand to 3 panels I could connect one panel directly to one of the ports and then connect the other 2 panels to a "Y connector" that unites the wiring to the connect to the other port in the housing.

So the question - what is the advantage of having a 3 port housing on the roof (the panels actually came with a 3 port housing that I could swap out if desired).

thanks

mikec557
11-01-2021, 04:40 PM
One question that's been bugging me. On my OTG package it came with a pre-installed 2 port housing mounted on the roof. In talking with ZAMP they assured me that to expand to 3 panels I could connect one panel directly to one of the ports and then connect the other 2 panels to a "Y connector" that unites the wiring to the connect to the other port in the housing.

So the question - what is the advantage of having a 3 port housing on the roof (the panels actually came with a 3 port housing that I could swap out if desired).

thanks

I'm not sure "advantage" is the right word. I think the number of ports, be it 2 or 3, are just a convenience for the DIY installer. One port per panel makes it easy. Two panels to one port with a Y-connector isn't hard, but it might muddy the water for some DIYers.

What is more critical is the size wire Keystone used on the back side of the ports, routing it down to the solar charge controller (SCC) location. I wish I'd written this down, because at the moment I can't remember, but Keystone used either 8ga or 10ga wire from my 2-port to the SCC location. The wire size dictates the maximum amount of amps from the combined solar panels. Regardless of how many ports are on the rooftop.

On my Zamp 2-port is embossed with the statement "500 watts maximum". Zoom in on the picture at this link. You'll see the embossed message. Notice the site also says do not exceed 30 amps, noting 3x 170 watt solar panels.

https://www.specialized.net/zamp-solar-zs-2b-cap-2port-rv-roof-cap-low-profile-uv-resistant.html?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=pmd_Jym5UsHsvv1 Gb5t90SlyV.b5G60brm6w0VpuaT3hvTM-1635812842-0-gqNtZGzNAmWjcnBszQhR


All we can do is hope Keystone used heavy enough gauge wire... because there's no pulling out their wire and putting in thicker. If you want bigger gauge wire you'll need to abandon their Zamp port and install the old fashioned way.

So 2-ports or 3-ports, I don't think it matters.

To those folks with a 3-port Zamp gland, is there an embossed message about max amps?

Side note: this entire conversation assumes wiring your panels in parallel. If you have three, you may be interested in wiring in series, and using an MPPT SCC. And then you'd use only ONE port.

jxnbbl
11-02-2021, 04:38 AM
....
To those folks with a 3-port Zamp gland, is there an embossed message about max amps?

Side note: this entire conversation assumes wiring your panels in parallel. If you have three, you may be interested in wiring in series, and using an MPPT SCC. And then you'd use only ONE port.

It does not. (pics attached). What the dealer added to my deal was the 170W kit with panel, mounting, controller, one panel, wire and roof cap. Then I bought two 170W expansion kits (just panels and mounting).

So the Zamp tech just stated make sure the pre-wire is at least the same gauge as what is in the kit (actually one gauge larger) and buy a Y cord. The 510W is the max.

This conversation came together for me this morning. Each panel generates 9.4A (which with 3 panels is under 30A). The link you sent to me not only showed 500W max on the roof cap...it states - as you noted "Example: Run up to THREE 170W Zamp panels (with the use of a Y-Connector)."

BUT if you look at the same website at the 3 port cap - "You cannot add more panels to this system with a Y- Connector if using 170W panels."

So all is good. Thanks for the info.

mikec557
11-02-2021, 07:07 AM
It does not. (pics attached). What the dealer added to my deal was the 170W kit with panel, mounting, controller, one panel, wire and roof cap. Then I bought two 170W expansion kits (just panels and mounting).

So the Zamp tech just stated make sure the pre-wire is at least the same gauge as what is in the kit (actually one gauge larger) and buy a Y cord. The 510W is the max.

This conversation came together for me this morning. Each panel generates 9.4A (which with 3 panels is under 30A). The link you sent to me not only showed 500W max on the roof cap...it states - as you noted "Example: Run up to THREE 170W Zamp panels (with the use of a Y-Connector)."

BUT if you look at the same website at the 3 port cap - "You cannot add more panels to this system with a Y- Connector if using 170W panels."

So all is good. Thanks for the info.

Glad I could help. I've got two 160 watt panels in parallel, but I'm thinking about wiring them in series. Not because of concern over wire gauge but to see if I get a noticeable increase of amps. I use a Victron MPPT SCC. But I think I'm just creating a project for the sake of curiosity. As it is, I can turn off the charger/converter while camping with shore power, use the batteries, and still recharge the batteries by 1 or 2pm. And I don't conserve 12v power in the least. I guess I'm just addicted to free power from the sun. LOL