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Old 03-02-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
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I do not want to hijack the thread, but I wanted to get further info...

Where does the Solar Prewire exit the van?

Are there different locations?

Where have folks had this installed and how did it work?
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:22 PM   #2
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There see, now you're not hi-jacking.

My solar prewire comes out behind the driver's side rear wheel. It was a convenient place as they were putting a battery in there, and since this side is more likely to be sunward (as I'll want the shade on the passenger side).



Never used it and don't intend to. It's a byproduct of getting the bluesky panel.
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:33 PM   #3
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Mine came out at the rear, next to the driver's side door. The wires went directly into the solar controller. Before I ran the solar panel wires I had used this connector to hook up the solar panel and make sure everything worked before doing the final mounting of the panel.

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Old 03-02-2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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You can also get a solar pre-wire with the upper end coiled in the penthouse behind the drivers seat and the lower end is brought down to the battery area. That way you can add panels on the roof and a controller at a later date. You don't have to get a plug on the outside ifin you don't want.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:45 PM   #5
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OK.... here is my idea....

We will be getting two big panels mounted to a yakima rack on top of the penthouse.

...but we want the ability to have more solar at times...

When we have a luggage carrier also up top we will have additional flexibale solar on its top. So this would need the ability to "plug in".

Without the luggage carrier (which I hope is not always up there) we may want to mount more big panels. Hopefully this would mean plugging in the same "spot".

BUT, we might also want to be able to park in a shadier spot and run some panels remote from the van out in the sun.

Has anyone done this?

Does this mean we need two prewires? or an extension of some sort?

I will be at SMB Tx this week to get my eyes on the newly arrived McKay Van, so I will run it past them for suggestions also.

(yes, we like solar. we have one array on our home and will be adding a second. Our electric usage here in Austin runs us less than $50/month avg)

Thanks,
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:30 PM   #6
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Greg,

Have you checked BadgerTrek's solar system? They have the penthouse mounted panels, plus panels mounted on their Thule rooftop box. I believe they always leave their rooftop box installed.

http://s94153639.onlinehome.us/sportsmo ... rical.html


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Old 03-02-2008, 06:38 PM   #7
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Yep, talked to them about their setup a few months ago.

BUT, we do not want our luggage box up there for a long trip if we don't need it.

We saw what a luggage carrier can do to fuel economy when we needed one on out 2006 Prius for a trip to Mom's house at Christmas.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:03 PM   #8
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Put a prewire plug on the roof instead of running wires through for the luggage box, then duplicate the Yakima mounts on top of the luggage box- then you can have a modular solar panel that can go on top of the luggage box or drop it to the rack and lose the box. You could also pull the panels and use them from a side prewire plug for extending from a shady spot.

Or you could have a set on the luggage box permanently and a set on a mount that goes in place of the luggage box... might be a lot easier to have two.

Also with the van your luggage box is adding drag to what is essentially a cinderblock. It won't have nearly as much impact as on the prius.

Actually if you're not using the luggage box extensively why not put solar under the yakima mounted to the PH and then those times you use the luggage box you'll take a hit on gas and solar power at the same time, on those rare times you're using the luggage box.

That's all the options I can think of for you. HTH!
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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My solar pre-wire comes out on the roof, on the front driver's side. There is no reason you couldn't have multiple outlet/inlet connections all over your van!

Do note though that you'd want blocking diodes of some sort, or a MPPT system on each panel set, otherwise a few shaded panels can bring your entire system efficiency down.
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