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Old 05-13-2016, 08:04 AM   #1
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Solar wiring in older penthouse top

Have all the stuff to put a 140w panel on the roof of a 95 Dodge van. I want to get the roof penetration and interior routing right the first time, so that all is well open and closed. Interior light wiring in front driver's side corner. Any insight or photos appreciated.

Also not sure what's in between fiberglass top and interior panel. Tempted to look, but maybe this will undo the canvas attachment.

Thx
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:42 AM   #2
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You want to penetrate the penthouse top on the outside of the PH fabric. This will prevent any water leakage getting into the interior. On ours I then loosened some of the screws that hold the fabric to the top to allow the wires to pass through near the drivers side corner of the penthouse. Then retightened the screws. Once the worse were inside I routed them down the PH fabric next to the wires that fed the PH lights. Unfortunately I did not take photos.
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:07 PM   #3
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Thanks. Hadn't thought about outside the fabric. Coming through the fabric like that aims the wire so it will fold nicely when lowering the top.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:36 PM   #4
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I went through the top outside the canvas as well. Then I ran the wires down the outside of the top using the bungee D rings to keep them in place. I went inside where the canvas attaches to the roof. My Ford van has channels in the roof so I cut out some of the butyl caulk to get the wires through, re-caulked and reinstalled the firring strip. Sportsmobile had already installed the solar controller and run the wires along the penthouse shelf to the driver's side corner. I'll try to get some pictures posted.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:16 PM   #5
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Here's how I did it.. although I don't really have a good picture of the wires, but I also threaded them through the D rings outside the canvas so they would tuck in under the top when lowered.. It worked well, until I replaced my SMB top.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...tml#post128769
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:18 PM   #6
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Last spring I installed the Koycera 140w on my 1994 Dodge RB penthouse roof. By the way you don't have to drill holes for the attachment brackets through the roof of this RB model. The existing through bolts line up perfectly. See the picture posted on my site. Also it doesn't require drilling through the solar cell frame which may void the warranty.

There are a couple of members that have posted very good pics on how to do this. I"ll email again tomorrow, on the way out right now.

Terry
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:05 PM   #7
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Soaringhawk, awesome to see your van. We are almost twins. Identical on the outside, same colors, my 30 is a little different but not much! I was thinking panel the long way on the top, but your orientation and method looks great. Thanks!

Second look, see you are the long way with your panel.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:25 AM   #8
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Hello again, here are a sampling of posts that have good information.

Solar panel installation - Sportsmobile Forum

Solar installed! - Sportsmobile Forum

DIY solar overview - Sportsmobile Forum

Hal The Van - Page 59 - Sportsmobile Forum

Sorry, didn't save them in the FORUM format.

Terry
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:53 PM   #9
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Thanks Terry, pretty well covers the subject. I did search the forum but didn't turn up these threads. Outside the canvas with the wiring through the roof it is!
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:18 AM   #10
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When you get around to it the 5 of us who own older Dodge vans would love to see pictures of yours.

Terry
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