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Removing solar panels and controller


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Hello all


We have sold our 5th wheel and getting ready for our "new to us" diesel pusher. I am wanting to remove the existing solar panels and the solar controller. Is it as simple and just removing the panels and controller. I will be leaving the xantrex modified sign wave inverter and the old six volt batteries. I don't think the trailer has a converter (it is an 2002 new horizons with no slides). Will things still work except for the solar charging?


I would remove the inverter if I had a converter and knew how to hook it up.


The trailer will not longer be used for travel, but will be providing a place to live during the week.


Thanks for any or all help.


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Shouldn't be a problem. Only thing I would check is the wiring from the roof panels to the controller - is it removable or will this need deconstruction of walls etc. There should be two pretty heavy duty wires running from battery bank to the inverter and you can take those with you. Your new vehicle will almost certainly have a converter ( takes 120v and converts it to 12v to charge battery) Your inverter does the reverse - takes 12v input and creates 120v output. We run the output from our inverter to a 30 amp socket and then use a conventional RV 30amp power cord to connect to the shore power input on the trailer. Need to be sure to switch off the breaker that runs the converter tho so our battery bank is not trying to charge itself

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I'd consider taking the inverter out of the old rig if you can use it in the new one.


Add one of the newer converters with a charge wizard to the old trailer and it will be a lot better for the batteries as it does automatic voltage adjustment for unused periods and short mini-equalize cycles that really can help your batteries live longer. Hooking it up is simple, plug it into the AC socket and run a pair of wires from the terminals there to your batteries. I'd go with the heaviest wire that fits the converter's terminals rather than trying to pick a smaller size that would work.


When removing the panels you can simply tie the old wiring to the mounts you are leaving behind on the roof and disconnect it inside and secure it out of the way. New wire isn't that expensive and if you ever decide to put a maintainer panel back on the old rig you'll have the wire handy.

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Thanks Kinseypw and Stanley


I will not be having much or anything to do with trailer after Saturday.


It is going to be used as living quarters for a diesel mechanic during the week at a friends company.


I will be wanting a true sinewave inverter in the new rig and I want the old rig to be functional when hooked to shore power. I will be leaving the old 6 volt batteries (they are still functional but going on 9 years old.) I was going to remove the old inverter in case I could get some trade-in, but that most likely would not have been much if any and then I would have to purchase a converter somewhere, so that seemed to be a wash if the old inverter will still function as a charger which I assume it will.


I am a little fussy where to disconnect the wiring down by the batteries, but I will be taking another look this morning. I will be disconnecting the wire from the panels as Stanley suggested and I will tell my friend about the newer converters when the old batteries die.


So I assume I should turn the panels off at the controller before going up top to disconnect and remove them. I will be taking out the large inline fuse (30 amp I think) and removing the charge controller from the inside.


Have I missed anything?


Thanks for your advice


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Since you have multiple panels I'd remove the wires from the batteries first, tape off the positive lead to prevent the power from the panels from sparking. Then pull the leads off the panels, still taping until you get the last panel off. When you do the controller you'll have no power to it to worry about.


You don't need a lot of tape, just enough to cover the bare end and stay on for an hour. Shorting out a panel "shouldn't" hurt it but it isn't good for it either and depending on your luck any sparks could be aggravating. Tape is cheap!



Leaving the old inverter makes sense if you are getting a new one, you might want to look at the charge settings and dial them down a bit to reduce water use since the new occupant won't be doing a lot of battery use and want fast recharges.

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I turned off the panels at the charge controller, then I removed the panels , then I removed the charge controller and left the wires in the wall with wire nuts on each wire the new owner can take it for there. I did not get any sparks.


I must have been removing things yesterday and did not see your reply.


Job is done, all is well. I will deliver the trailer to the new owner tomorrow morning.


Thanks for your reply


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IMHO, removal depends on the age, brand and quality of the equipment (especially the inverter/charger or converter and solar converter). Panels are cheap enough I would not remove them at all. If you have a controller like a Morning Star MPPT or like controller, I would remove unless the new owners purchased it. If you have new AGM batteries, change them out into your new rig. The rest is cheaper to replace unless you value your time cheaply.


rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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