New solar panel install on Silver Shadow

timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
I bought a flexible 100 watt solar panel off Amazon and installed it on the Shadow. It works really well.


Comments

  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    Wildcat said:
    Looks good.  Does it install with screws?  Can water get under it?  Sorry to ask silly questions,  but I've never seen one installed in person.
    I didn't use screws I used 3m tape. It's super light. Water could get under it as it is right now, but I'm looking at running a bead of caulking around it. No silly questions. :)
  • CalibanCaliban Member Posts: 67
  • MLEMLE Member Posts: 4
    What brand is this? Did it plug into the Zamp plug? I have a 2016 [email protected]
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    Caliban said:
    How much?

    180.00 on amazon
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    MLE said:
    What brand is this? Did it plug into the Zamp plug? I have a 2016 [email protected]
    It's a Suaoki brand from amazon. It uses the standard MC4 solar connector not the zamp connector. I didn't have the zamp connector on my rig. I beleive it would be easy to make a mc4 to zamp connector or just remove the mc4 connector and add a zamp connector on the wire.
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Member Posts: 8,776 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nice!!!

    Looks like a clean installation and I like the fact you didn't butcher up the top, ran the wiring down cleanly and utilized tape as things do go bad on occasion and need replacing.  I've always liked the flexible panels and it does allow you to charge in most light conditions and during travel as well.  

    Thanks for sharing your work and panel info as it will help others interested in doing something similar in the future.  smilie
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    Nice!!!

    Looks like a clean installation and I like the fact you didn't butcher up the top, ran the wiring down cleanly and utilized tape as things do go bad on occasion and need replacing.  I've always liked the flexible panels and it does allow you to charge in most light conditions and during travel as well.  

    Thanks for sharing your work and panel info as it will help others interested in doing something similar in the future.  smilie
    You are very welcome Mike. 
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    Great idea.  Good job.  
  • madcitymadcity Member Posts: 21
    How did you run the wires to the battery?  It looks like they run next to the hatch to the  back end.  Did you go thru the trailer or zip tie underneath?
  • JGarCAJGarCA Member Posts: 41
    Yes, I have a [email protected] Max 2014, and I am stumped as how to get the wires to the solar charge controller, and then to the battery without hacking the trailer up!  timlaw71 can you further explain what you did, and show lots of pictures?  I need some direction on the solar idea.  I like the idea of solar for a number of reasons, one of which is that I have to store it outside, so with solar, the battery is always being tendered.  The other is boondock camping needs a daily recharge.  Thanks.
  • OldbikerOldbiker Member Posts: 263 ✭✭✭
    JGarCA go to my profile & look @ the thread (Preparing to buy a solar setup). I used a waterproof zamp controll mounted on the outside & in a plastic box with the renogy 100 flex pannel. Check it out. Not all zamp controllers are waterproof so if you go this route make sure to get the waterproof one.

    Robert from TN.
  • JGarCAJGarCA Member Posts: 41
    Thanks, Robert. I was looking at that controller, too.
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    madcity said:
    How did you run the wires to the battery?  It looks like they run next to the hatch to the  back end.  Did you go thru the trailer or zip tie underneath?
    I ran down the side using zip tie mounts http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Wiring_Solutions/Cable_Ties_-a-_Accessories/Cable_Tie_Mounts_(natural_-a-_black)/BM-N0901   (shameless plug for my work). I scrapped the 2 sided tape of the backs of these zip tie mounts and added 3m tape to the backs. I ran down the left outside of the galley and up under the trailer to the front (zip tieing along the way). I put the controller in the tongue box and from there ran the wires to the battery through the bottom of the tongue box. I sealed the hole in the bottom of the tongue box.
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    JGarCA said:
    Yes, I have a [email protected] Max 2014, and I am stumped as how to get the wires to the solar charge controller, and then to the battery without hacking the trailer up!  timlaw71 can you further explain what you did, and show lots of pictures?  I need some direction on the solar idea.  I like the idea of solar for a number of reasons, one of which is that I have to store it outside, so with solar, the battery is always being tendered.  The other is boondock camping needs a daily recharge.  Thanks.
    I hope this pictures help.

  • JGarCAJGarCA Member Posts: 41
    This is great.  You really helped me and countless others with your effort!  Thank you.
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    Very well thought out
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    JGarCA said:
    This is great.  You really helped me and countless others with your effort!  Thank you.
    You are very welcome.
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Nice install. Do the cables slap the roof when traveling down the road at 55mph?
    I can't tell you yet. I will take it out on it's maiden voyage (after my mods) this weekend. I don't believe it will based on how it lays out but I wouldn't bet my life on it :) Nothing one more set of zip tie mounts won't fix :grin:
  • RandomAbstractRandomAbstract Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭
    More importantly, do the wires slap the trailer at 85 mph :)  Think Wyoming LOL
  • JGarCAJGarCA Member Posts: 41
    I've ordered that same Suaoki solar setup as Timlaw71,  including the zip tie mounts (1/2") that should fit exactly between the rear hatch and the edging along the side of the trailer.  I should know in a week if it works, or not.  Pretty close to $350 for everything, including an 8amp zamp solar controller from solardealz, 50' of cable, connectors, fuses, zip ties, Renolgy connectors, and the Renolgy connector tools.  I'm picking up some tape from my local Napa dealer, today.  He said it is for attaching molding to the outside of automobiles, and it's either 1/2" or 5/8" wide (or maybe the 1" wide 3M Extreme tape at the Ho Do).  
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Member Posts: 8,776 ✭✭✭✭✭
    More importantly, do the wires slap the trailer at 85 mph :)  Think Wyoming LOL
    I hope your trailer tires hold out at 85 mph....   ;)
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    Nice install. Do the cables slap the roof when traveling down the road at 55mph?
    No they don't slap the top at all. I took it out this weekend and everything worked great.
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    More importantly, do the wires slap the trailer at 85 mph :)  Think Wyoming LOL
    Well I know they don't at 75 :)
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    JGarCA said:
    I've ordered that same Suaoki solar setup as Timlaw71,  including the zip tie mounts (1/2") that should fit exactly between the rear hatch and the edging along the side of the trailer.  I should know in a week if it works, or not.  Pretty close to $350 for everything, including an 8amp zamp solar controller from solardealz, 50' of cable, connectors, fuses, zip ties, Renolgy connectors, and the Renolgy connector tools.  I'm picking up some tape from my local Napa dealer, today.  He said it is for attaching molding to the outside of automobiles, and it's either 1/2" or 5/8" wide (or maybe the 1" wide 3M Extreme tape at the Ho Do).  
    I can't wait to see the install. That is awesome.
  • JGarCAJGarCA Member Posts: 41
    Solar installed.  I decided to wire as short as I could to the front utility box, so I went fore instead of aft and above instead of below the deck.  I ended up using 3m 30lb. tape to tape down the panel.  By the way, the panel is VERY EASY to work with.  First, I traced the outline, and importantly the holes, on the trailer location with a pencil.  The holes are traced to mark the location of where the cross taping is located. Then, I put the tape down along the INSIDE of the tracing perimeter and lined up with the two vertical lines formed by the marked holes.  Next I applied tape as best and as accurate as I could.  This is very important because once you put the tape down, it does not want to be moved!  By the way, the tape is two sided, but it has a plastic sheathing on top that gets ripped off until just before the panel is placed on top of the tape for attaching.  I slid the panel down slightly, and then I pulled the red sheathing off the tape (just the top side) to attach only the top.  After that, I wedged up the rest of the panel so neither side would touch.  I then removed the two central vertical sheathings and the bottom sheathing so that the tape was ready to be stuck to them when I took the wedge out.  But before that, I pulled the two side sheathing out at the top a couple of inches so I could pull them out last.  I think it turned out excellent.  The panel isn't going anywhere!  

    The wire was #10, and frankly, if I did it again, I would have used #12 because of the short length and because it is easier to work with along the corner bends.  I installed a Renogy mc4 connector to each one that came on the + and - leads of the panel.  Then I attached the 1/2" x 1/2" zip tie mounts with cut pieces of the 3M tape.  These are small.  If I did it again, I would use 3/4 inch zip mount ties, and I will have to if these don't hold.  In order to get the corners to hold the bend in the wire, I used 1" x 1" zip tie mounts (Ace Hardware).  I was impressed with the attachment glue that came with these, so I didn't pull it off and replace it with 3M like I did the smaller 1/2" zip tie mounts.  By the way, the area of the 1" mounts are 300% more than the 1/2" mounts (think about it).  Finally, I picked up a couple of 30 amp in-line fuse holders and put in 15 amp fuses, crimped all the wires together, and hooked it up to the Zamp waterproof 8amp solar controller (from and suggested by SolarDealz) as per the directions.  Everything was flashing "Default", "Charging", "Full", until I lastly attached the negative terminal, and then to my relief, it was just a solid, "Charging".  It has been under the canopy for a day, and it still says "charging".  We'll move the canopy this weekend to see if the battery tops out.  That's it.  I feel like if I had to do it over again that it would take 1/3 the time, but that's just me trying to be careful and figure it out as I go.  So we are just about ready for the maiden voyage with land line, generator, and solar.  Still waiting on the little heater...




  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    That looks awesome. That turned out really good. I was driving down the road the other day and thought to myself I should have went to the front with the wires as well. I may move them one day :)
    Kudos for a great install.
  • JGarCAJGarCA Member Posts: 41
    Thanks timlaw71, time will tell!  Moved the canopy last night, so we'll see how much charging takes place in this partly sunny location.  Because the panel came with mc4 connectors, I bought some, but in hindsight, it seems that merely crimping the wires would have been sufficient.  Thanks for all the information, pictures, and encouragement.  We hope to have a trial run next weekend.
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    JGarCA said:
    Thanks timlaw71, time will tell!  Moved the canopy last night, so we'll see how much charging takes place in this partly sunny location.  Because the panel came with mc4 connectors, I bought some, but in hindsight, it seems that merely crimping the wires would have been sufficient.  Thanks for all the information, pictures, and encouragement.  We hope to have a trial run next weekend.
    Awesome. Glad I could help. Hope next weekend works out.
  • adam_engleadam_engle Member Posts: 37
    Anyone have any issues with the 3M tape? I have some and have been debating mounting my panel the same way for a couple years but needed a guinea pig to try it first! I'm thinking if that stuff sticks, it sticks for life so I want to get it right the first time.
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    Anyone have any issues with the 3M tape? I have some and have been debating mounting my panel the same way for a couple years but needed a guinea pig to try it first! I'm thinking if that stuff sticks, it sticks for life so I want to get it right the first time.
    I haven't had any issues to date with it. I even have a 100 watt panel on my jeep mounted the same way and it works great.
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Member Posts: 8,776 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Excellent write-up and information provided Tim and this is good stuff that will encourage others to do similar projects and is very helpful!  
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    Excellent write-up and information provided Tim and this is good stuff that will encourage others to do similar projects and is very helpful!  
    Thanks Mike. I have had it out a few times now and it has performed great.
  • adam_engleadam_engle Member Posts: 37
    Hi Timlaw71. I'm pretty sure I just saw your rig at Overland Expo. I stopped by a couple times but you weren't there when I did. I just wanted to see how the solar panel was working out and is it still sticking good? Do you know specifically which "number" 3M tape you used? I've seen a couple different ones in Home Depot / Lowes and more online. And have even got different suggestions direct from 3M and different tape vendors. Thanks
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    Hi Timlaw71. I'm pretty sure I just saw your rig at Overland Expo. I stopped by a couple times but you weren't there when I did. I just wanted to see how the solar panel was working out and is it still sticking good? Do you know specifically which "number" 3M tape you used? I've seen a couple different ones in Home Depot / Lowes and more online. And have even got different suggestions direct from 3M and different tape vendors. Thanks
    That was mine, sorry I missed you. All I know is it's the 3m tape you buy at autozone or advanced. I ran it all around the edge and then in a cross pattern. I did something similar on the panel on my jeep but decided to remove the panel, all I can say is once it is on it doesn't like to come off. It took me 2 hours to pull the panel and remove the tape from my jeep :). The panel is doing great on the trailer and I believe it will last for a while like this.
  • MrredrockerMrredrocker Member Posts: 1
    timlaw71, sorry to bump an old thread but I was wondering aside from the solar panel and zip tie mounts, what else did you have to purchase to complete this setup? 
    I have a Silver Shadow myself, stock except for the upgraded deep cycle battery I put in the galley cabinet.
    Also, curious why you put your controller in the front instead of closer to the battery, which I would have thought would be simpler? Thanks.
  • timlaw71timlaw71 Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
    timlaw71, sorry to bump an old thread but I was wondering aside from the solar panel and zip tie mounts, what else did you have to purchase to complete this setup? 
    I have a Silver Shadow myself, stock except for the upgraded deep cycle battery I put in the galley cabinet.
    Also, curious why you put your controller in the front instead of closer to the battery, which I would have thought would be simpler? Thanks.
    Nothing else other then the controller is needed. My battery was on the tongue so that's why I put the controller there.
  • boulderphilboulderphil Member Posts: 8
    Oldbiker said:
    JGarCA go to my profile & look @ the thread (Preparing to buy a solar setup). I used a waterproof zamp controll mounted on the outside & in a plastic box with the renogy 100 flex pannel. Check it out. Not all zamp controllers are waterproof so if you go this route make sure to get the waterproof one.

    Robert from TN.
    I have 2017 [email protected] [email protected]  I got a Zamp flexible panel and controller because I was intimidated by the polarity change.  [Zamp has attitude to switch polarity, if you ask me]  Asked a Master Electrician to help.  Mounted the controller in the toolbox.  Now that I know more, I'll get a 5W panel to trickle charge the battery thru controller.  I'm not sure my 100W panel will charge up the standard battery for my 30qt Norcool when desert boondocking.  But the Zamp controller will accept 3 panels.  AND YOU "Oldbiker" said I'd be ok with storing the flex panel under the mattress.  I thank you for encouragement!  (we also put 2" of memory foam underneath).  I'm balking on the two 6V battery solution so far
  • nmmikenmmike Member Posts: 29

    Howdy,

    Thanks for all the photos,,  I recently purchased the Renogy 100W solar kit, and then purchased 10 gauge in line fuse and SAE adapters so that I can cut off the rings on the Renogy wire to the battery and splice the SAE adapters with waterproof connectors.   Then I will be able to connect to the Zamp receptacle on my battery box cover. The Wanderer controller is not waterproof so I am pondering mounting location now.  Probably will mount inside a water tight utility box on the cargo rack. That way I can run all my wires and strap them to the frame or the cargo rack. I own a 2017 six wide Rough Rider which I am happy with.  But at some point I may want to switch to another trailer so I want to keep my solar portable and I am not excited about adding any penetrations into the fiberglass right now.

    Now is a good time to purchase panels made in China because prices will go up when the new tariffs happen soon.

    Mike S

    New Mexico


  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 224 ✭✭✭
    Hey all,
    For those who want to put electrical stuff on the top, you can run the wires under the vinyl rail cover on the corner moulding.  I had a roof rack on my [email protected] XL (briefly) and put a back up light on it.  I ran the 14 gauge wire from the very bottom of the trailer up front on the left side under the rail cover and came out next to the front crossbar for the roofrack.  I used speaker wire from Menards.  Before you freak out, the speaker wire I used has a red coated lead, black coated lead, is pure stranded copper and comes in a thick yellow sheath.  It comes in 100' rolls and will run just about anything you'd want to put up there.  Should easily handle 10-12 amps at that distance.  To exit from under the cover, I just cut a small slot into the cover with a razorblade knife.  It would also work to cut the cover completely, run the wire, put the cover back on and have a small overlap between the two pieces of rail cover.  On my LG, I replaced the rail cover anyway as it would shrink and pull out of the track occasionally.  I went to a thicker grade of vinyl and didn't have any more issues.  

    WilliamA
  • JackinVTJackinVT Member Posts: 34
    WilliamA, Was the rail on your Tag the same as on the SS?  If so do you happen to have the information on the vinyl replacement that you used?  One of mine came lose on the highway and I managed to drag it for many miles.  Thanks, Jack
  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 224 ✭✭✭
    I'm sure it's the same across the three (TAB,TAG,LG) platforms.  There is 1/2" and 3/4" widths commonly available at RV suppliers.  To avoid confusion, I just cut off a short piece and took it with me.  FYI, the white seems to shrink and swell much less from hot to cold than the black.  

    WilliamA
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