Go Back   Keystone RV Forums > Keystone Tech Forums > Technical Corner
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-14-2020, 03:45 PM   #61
mikec557
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Wandering the Country
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by byerskm View Post
I know what you mean. I have a long bit like that. What length were your battery/inverter cables? I have examined it from the bottom, prodding with a long bit in the area where all the other cables go in. Problem is that "I" beam. The cables go under it, then in behind it, and then go thru a hole in it to get back in front so they can go up the sloped wall. I'm sure you know this. There's just no way to fish a thick cable through these twist and turns. I'm glad you told me that deck/floor is 2" thick. I never would have known until I ran into problems. I was planning to use a hole saw I have for my drill also. If I didn't know about the 2", I surely would have made a mistake or two in location and really buggered up my pass-thru floor.
I bought an $80 hydraulic cable crimper from Amazon and made my own 2ga cables. There was just no way I could figure out how to utilize pre-made cables. So lengthwise I don't know. I bought something like 20ft of cable, held it up from battery to inside destination, added an extra foot or two and cut the cable. Then fine tuned the length as I installed it...

Edit: dinner interrupted my train of thought...

I needed to remake some 6ga cable ends because of bad crimps at the factory. I needed to make all my own 8ga wires because they didn't leave a loop inside the pass through. I had to reroute the battery to frame connection and replaced their 6ga with 2ga, and part of that was putting the shunt for the battery monitor inside the pass through. It needed 2ga, so it was easier to go 2ga to the frame. I bought cables, ends, shrink wrap, and the crimper from Amazon. It was nice to have the right length cable for each task. It's the first time I did that. Now I'm spoiled, it's the only way I'd do that.
__________________

mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:11 AM   #62
WJQ
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Heber City
Posts: 67
Lower Cost Crimper

Both of you are doing a great job documenting your solar install. Here is one item others might consider. I bought a manual cable crimper from Amazon. As one of you pointed out, trying to figure out the battery cable length in advance is a challenge. So, I decided on making my own cables as Mike did. Here is the link for the crimper.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I bought mine a month ago for crimping 1 AWG cables. It works great. It came with a cable cutter which also works great. I can't imaging cutting 1 AWG wire with anything else. I will be revising some of the Keystone 6 AWG wiring and the crimper covers it just fine.

I bought my wire from http://acdcwire.com/ . It is welding cable and great quality at much lower cost than I foound elsewhere. I calculated my wire length at 5 feet and then ordered 6 feet. I had 3 inches of red left over and no black. So much for my calculations. There are easy wire lengths to miss on your first install such as the lenght needed for coupling a cutoff switch and a fuse. I also ordered the necessary lugs from them as they have all different wire sizes and come in different post sizes..

I also forgot to order some additional wire to connect my two 6 volt batteries. It needs to be upgraded from the No. 6 AWG to 1 AWG.

Keep up the good documentation. I am done but have not updateded my thread. I just finished a 5 day trip and all works well.
__________________

__________________
Bill & Cathe
2018 Cougar 24 SABWE
2015 Dodge Ram 1500
Heber City, UTAH
Living the Dream at 6300 Feet!
WJQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 01:11 PM   #63
mikec557
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Wandering the Country
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by WJQ View Post
Both of you are doing a great job documenting your solar install. Here is one item others might consider. A manual cable crimper from Amazon. As one of you pointed out, trying to figure out the battery cable length in advance is a challenge. So, I decided on making my own cables as Mike did. Here is the link for the crimper.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I bought mine a month ago for crimping 1 AWG cables. It works great. I cam with a cable cutter which also works great. I will be revising some of the Keystone 6 AWG wiring and it covers it just fine.

I bought my wire from http://acdcwire.com/ . It is welding cable and great quality at much lower cost than I foound elsewhere. I calculate my wire length at 5 feet and then ordered 6 feet. I had 3 inches of red left over and no black. So much for my calculations. I also ordered the lugs from them.

I also forgot to order some additional wire to connect my two 6 volt batteries. It needs to be upgraded from the No. 6 AWG to 1 AWG.

Keep up the good documentation. I am done but have not updateded my thread. I just finished a 5 day trip and all works well.

Thanks. It's my way of paying back. I've learned a lot from reading other people's threads. I'm glad my installation experience will help others with the same or similar project.

I went with the hydraulic because I thought it might fit into tighter locations and because I thought I could get tighter crimps rather than using my muscle power on the "manual" crimpers. Too often I got bad crimps using the hand squeezer method.

Speaking of which, I have to go back and finish up my other thread where I got a false Hot/Gnd electrical cross error light. Turned out to be a loose (read: disconnected) Neutral. What a pain that repair was. But the repair brought 4 outlets back to life and provided electricity so I can add an outlet in the slideout where there is presently no outlet.
mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 07:14 PM   #64
byerskm
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Newnan
Posts: 18
Mike and WJQ,

No doubt, great help from you guys sharing on the forum. I bought a hydraulic crimper also, received it Wednesday. Today, I got all my electrical done. That crimper was invaluable. I'll post some pictures and a few things I've done differently (based on advice from my 84 yr old BSEE dad). Speaking of which, he shared an article with me about how common lightning damage is to RVs. Direct strikes are rare, but indirect are common and do a lot of damage ($$$'s). The problem is even moreso for RVs with solar. I will share the link tomorrow. We should probably start a new thread on this subject, if it doesn't already exist. Surge protection devices, SPD, work very well to protect all the appliances and solar related equipment.
byerskm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 07:11 AM   #65
WJQ
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Heber City
Posts: 67
Surge Protection Devices for RV's With Solar

I am definitely interested in the article you referenced. I currently have no SPD protection but I do have a lot invested in RV electrical components.

I rarely/never connect to shore power. All of my camping is in locations where there is none. Thus, the need for my solar charging system and my Honda 2000 for backup if the weather limits the solar gain.
__________________
Bill & Cathe
2018 Cougar 24 SABWE
2015 Dodge Ram 1500
Heber City, UTAH
Living the Dream at 6300 Feet!
WJQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 12:00 PM   #66
byerskm
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Newnan
Posts: 18
The greatest risk for indirect lightening damage, and other power anomalies, does come thru the shore power. So, the fact you don't connect to shore power greatly reduced your risks. Here's the link to the article on this subject.

https://www.ervsolar.com/rv-blog/RV-...-happen-to-you
byerskm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM   #67
byerskm
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Newnan
Posts: 18
Solar Ready in Pass-Thru 2021 Cougar 26RBS - UPDATE

Yesterday was the day to get all the electronics finished and installed in the pass-thru. The first thing I'll report is that with a good hydraulic crimper on hand and being able to make high quality splices, I chose to extend the Keystone pre-installed wires such that I could do all the wiring and electronics install on the board sitting on a table just outside the pass-thru opening. Having climbed inside the pass-thru a couple times, it was clear that making some of those connections was going to be really tough. One difference in my 26RBS and Mike's is the fact my board had to be positioned further into the compartment due to the position of the auto-level controls. The first picture shows my board sitting on the table where I completed all of the connections, except for the battery cable to the inverter. Well, there were two ground wires I didn't put on until the board was installed. This was just a logistics issue as I didn't have the bare copper wire needed yesterday and so I went ahead and installed the board. Putting those ground wires in today validated that it was worth extending those wires so I could do most of the work outside the pass-thru.

The second pictures shows a shot of the main wiring involved. I also installed breakers on the hot wires going into and out of the Solar Charge Controller (SCC). Doing this is really beneficial as you can isolate components and energize components carefully and in the correct sequence after all the connections have been made.

The third photo shows the board installed in the pass-thru with the battery cables attached. The ground wires are still not installed.

Then, the fourth photo is after I attached the ground wires. Note, I ran the main ground from the breaker box to the black Battery cable coming out of the SCC. That black cable was installed by Keystone and it attaches to the trailer frame before continuing on to the negative battery post. The attachment to the trailer frame provides a solid ground for the equipment. The other ground wire you will see in the fourth photo is the case ground wire from the inverter running to the ground lug in the breaker box.

The fifth photo is another shot of the installed panel, but taken a bit further back so you can see the battery cables coming up through the floor. I copied Mike's work here as I couldn't find any better route for those very heavy cables. I chose to use 1" wire loom, unslit.

Now, stepping back to look at a couple pictures of the battery cables install. Just a couple pictures here, photos 6 - 9. I'm going to try to post now, to see if all those photos will load.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_143132988.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	249.5 KB
ID:	29904   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_143509339.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	178.9 KB
ID:	29905   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_192909290.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	159.9 KB
ID:	29906   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200920_145119378.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	194.4 KB
ID:	29907   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_192934036.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	173.4 KB
ID:	29908  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_161916235.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	131.3 KB
ID:	29909   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_161953156.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	153.0 KB
ID:	29910   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_174245273.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	101.4 KB
ID:	29911   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200919_181144773.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	114.8 KB
ID:	29912  
byerskm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 03:33 PM   #68
byerskm
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Newnan
Posts: 18
So, MIKEC557, I imagine you can see a few similarities. Your posts have been very helpful.

At this point, I am almost finished except for installing the panels on the roof. I can't proceed with that until the mounting brackets from AMSolar deliver late this week. Shipments have been slow to get out of there, due to the fires and how busy they are.

I said almost because there are two items that can be done later. You may see the coiled up romex on the right side of the board. That is for an outlet I will install on the opposite side of the pass-thru, so it is accessible to the area under the awning where we spend a lot of time. Then, there is the remote for the inverter. I already connected it. It is connected with a phone line that is several feet long. For now, I am leaving it in the pass-thru. Later, I will run that wire up to the bedroom and install it on the wall in a convenient location.

I can report that I powered up the inverter and verified it was working properly. It was nice to see a tangible result. Hopefully by this time next week, I'll have my panels installed and everything will be working.
byerskm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 04:14 PM   #69
mikec557
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Wandering the Country
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by byerskm View Post
So, MIKEC557, I imagine you can see a few similarities. Your posts have been very helpful.

At this point, I am almost finished except for installing the panels on the roof. I can't proceed with that until the mounting brackets from AMSolar deliver late this week. Shipments have been slow to get out of there, due to the fires and how busy they are.

I said almost because there are two items that can be done later. You may see the coiled up romex on the right side of the board. That is for an outlet I will install on the opposite side of the pass-thru, so it is accessible to the area under the awning where we spend a lot of time. Then, there is the remote for the inverter. I already connected it. It is connected with a phone line that is several feet long. For now, I am leaving it in the pass-thru. Later, I will run that wire up to the bedroom and install it on the wall in a convenient location.

I can report that I powered up the inverter and verified it was working properly. It was nice to see a tangible result. Hopefully by this time next week, I'll have my panels installed and everything will be working.

Your install looks great!

Just a thought on the remote button. When I installed an AIMS on our 5th wheel the remote button had a "back end" that was about 1.5 x 1.5 inch that was supposed recessed into the wall. I didn't want to make another custom hole in the wall to flush mount it. Instead, I mounted it into a gray box just like you used for the solar project. I used a multi-tool to cut a square hole in the face of a plastic single gang solid cover. Then I surface mounted the box with a couple screws.

Later, when I sold that RV I was able to keep the AIMS and the remote without leaving a square hole in the paneling.

Hope that makes sense.

Again, great job on your install. It looks great.
__________________

mikec557 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mod, solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Keystone RV Company or any of its affiliates in any way. Keystone RV is a registered trademark of the Keystone RV Company.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×