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 > Aluminum pre-installed solar wire

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Camp woof

California

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Posted: 09/08/19 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anyone have any good ideas to connect the 6 AWG aluminum wire on the top of my Bigfoot to the solar panels? I was about to connect the interior connection when I noticed the cable Bigfoot installed is aluminum. Yuck! I used a set of dual rated splicers to connect the interior side wires.

I was thinking of using two separate small waterproof boxes, maybe round, that can hopefully fit under the fridge vent, and use the same splicers. Or one larger box and I insulate the splicers from each other, several wraps of electrical tape?


Thanks,
Dave

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 09/08/19 10:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you sure it isn't tinned copper?


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Posted: 09/08/19 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

Are you sure it isn't tinned copper?


X2, especially if it is multi-strand...

Z-Peller

Oceanside BC

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Posted: 09/08/19 01:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, think you must be mistaken...have never heard of aluminum wire for DC service....AC service aluminum house wiring was banned in Canada in 1980's....I have owned 3 bigfoot units since 2002 and no aluminum wiring in any of them....have seen tinned copper though in solar kits wiring that I have bought myself and installed....


Bill..
2017 Bigfoot 10.4 camper...2016 GMC 3500 4x4 Xcab Duramax Dually...

Camp woof

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Posted: 09/08/19 02:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, you are all correct about ALU, on the roof I have 8 AWG copper. I was so wrapped up in things I forgot because I have 2 sets of unterminated 6 AWG wires, one in battery compartment and one in generator compartment. None of these 6 AWG sets ohmed out to the 8AWG on the roof. And it would make a lot more sense to just have 1 run of solar wire.

I thought the 6AWG were Aluminum, but I can't tell the difference between ALU and tin plating. Wasn't going to take chances. So now I just have to find where the 8AWG copper rooftop wire terminates.

Besides, if I'm on the roof and spend more than 20 minutes, I forget what I was doing anyway by the time I come back down.

I'll have to go ahead and ask the mfg where my solar wire terminates. The wire coming out of the rooftop fridge vent is helpfully labeled. The 6AWG in the battery and generator compartments are not labeled.

Thanks, great not to have to worry about aluminum!

Dave

AnEv942

CA

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Posted: 09/08/19 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camp woof wrote:


...
I thought the 6AWG were Aluminum, but I can't tell the difference between ALU and tin plating. Wasn't going to take chances. So now I just have to find where the 8AWG copper rooftop wire terminates...
Dave

There's is a lot of CCA, copper clad aluminum, in use. Not house wiring or general RV use but a lot of components will be CCA or partially. inexpensive jumper cables etc.
If it appears copper but you think might be aluminum or just to check
scrape it, if CCA it'll show white pretty quick. If its already white then likely tinned copper, again scraping would verify.


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Z-Peller

Oceanside BC

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Posted: 09/08/19 09:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camp woof

My BF 10.4 pre wire solar wiring was behind galley bank of drawers against outside wall behind water pump.Took drawers out and had room to work I mounted solar controller below bank of drawers almost at floor level. Was enough pre wire coiled & marked there to reach controller & cut, then run from controller to battery box. I drilled hole in side of plastic battery box to run wires thru with grommet & siliconed it.

The unmarked #6 wires in your gen/ batt compartments are each one wire pos & neg running between generator and battery compartments. Small wires are from starter switch in galley.

* This post was edited 09/08/19 09:12pm by Z-Peller *

Camp woof

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Posted: 09/08/19 10:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah, thanks Z-Peller! I was looking behind the drawer beneath the fridge, saw something coming down but not where it went. Great, this won't be so bad, nice to have this forum for help!!

I was a little frustrated that nothing is written down (or I missed where anything was mentioned about the solar pre-wire).

It's going to be great to hit the road here at the last of summer!

Dave

Z-Peller

Oceanside BC

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Posted: 09/08/19 10:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

camp woof wrote:

I was a little frustrated that nothing is written down (or I missed where anything was mentioned about the solar pre-wire).


No you didn't miss anything. I'm a Bigfoot guy, but was not happy that no info was printed about solar or generator wiring.
Did you find the 30A female plug on the forward wall of your shore cable compartment to plug the shore power cable into to power up camper if you run a generator?....I put an inverter in the gen compartment and wired it into the 110v box located there for outgoing generator power....the 110V wire from that box goes to the 30A female plug in shore cable compartment. Poor mans swiching device....shore cable will be either plugged into park post, or generator plug, or nothing at all.

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Posted: 09/09/19 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My toy hauler did not have a transfer switch and was set up the same way - There was a plug from the generator where you could plug in the camper AC shore power. This was actually very useful when we lost power in the house, since I was easily able to tap in to my 5500w Onan that was fueled by a 40 gallon tank. Since my home had natural gas heat, hot water, oven and clothes dryer, that generator could power the whole house.


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