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External solar power connection

Aug 22, 2019
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I have a Bailey Pegasus Modena 2016 series four version. The battery is in the walkway in the floor inside the caravan under a cover. The caravan manual states on page 53 that there is an external solar power connection under the battery box but there isn't one.
We want to know if we can connect a free standing solar panel to our van to recharge the battery when we are not on electric hook up. And, if it is possible, how best to do this and what type of connection points would need to be fitted to make it easy to connect a free standing solar panel to charge the battery whilst on site.
We would prefer not to have a roof fitted panel.
Any advice would be welcome or companies we can contact fir advice.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Crookys, and welcome to the forum.

I'm not familiar with the model of caravan you have so I con't offer any specific advice about your particular installation, You may better seeking advice about the connector from the Bailey dealer that sold the caravan. But on a general note, I am certain it will be possible to make a solar powered connection of some sort.

Free standing panels can work but you do need to think about their security, that's why roof mounted ones are a sensible option to consider.

A few years ago we did do a quick calculation on the size panels needed to keep a caravan battery topped up, and then we thought that about 50W would be enough, but times have moved on and there is even more use made of 12V so you need to look to a minimum of 100W unless you use a lot of TV or computer time in which case you may need to go towards 200W. It will be essential to get a good solar charger controller to maximise the efficiency of the solar panes and to protect the battery from over charging.

There are others on the forum who have greater experience of practical usage of solar power , and i'm sure they'll be along soon to offer some more nuggets of wisdom.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Like the Prof I am not familiar with your caravan.

An option might be to connect cables to your battery terminals (minimum AWG10/ 6mm metric) using ring connectorslugs then terminate the cables using MC4 connectors either in a locker or at a convenient point underneath the caravan close to the sill, if the MC4's are underneath the caravan you may wish to protect the MC4 connectors (when travelling) using a plastic bag and a zip tie.

I am assuming your solar panel(s) has the controller mounted on the rear of a panel, therefore it is battery connection cables connected to controller and terminated in MC4 connectors to link up with the MC4's on the caravan.

EDIT: there is the option of using Anderson plugs rather than MC4 connectors.

There are other options, if the above is not suitable then this forum should be able to help.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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The problem the OP will have is that on modern Bailey caravans the battery box is in the middle of the caravan floor and reached by a lid on the top of the battery box and NOT by a drop down hatch set in the caravan wall.
Hence getting wiring to or from the battery is not straightforward. :unsure:
Good luck Crookys. Hope some one can help.
Mel
 
Aug 22, 2019
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Hi. I have still not found a solution to my issue and any advise on how to set up solar panel wiring when the battery is in the caravan floor under the walkway in the caravan and not in a outside locker would be welcome. I need the wire set up in a Bailey Pegasus series iv modena to not affect the body warranty which still has three years to run.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Hi Crookys,

No matter what you are going to have to run 10awg cables from the battery compartment to a location that suits you, this will involve drilling a hole say 20mm diameter on the side or underside of the battery box, it is straightforward to make the cable(s) entry point to the battery compartment waterproof and without detriment to protection of water ingress to the battery box, if you are prepared to do this then I can direct you to the components you will need

What would further be of help is photograph(s) of where you connect your EHU supply to the caravan, I am assuming that the connection point for EHU is behind a small doorflap access point.

A lot of people on here use https://postimages.org/ for posting pictures.

Once I have the information I should be able to offer you options for completing the set-up.
 
Aug 22, 2019
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Hi. Thank you for your response. The ehu is under a flap to the right of the caravan entry door just above the bottom. If that helps. At the left side of this is another flap to connect DC socket and around this are blanks where a 12volt and satellite could be opened up to fit these components in.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Crookys,

Is your solar charge controller mounted on the rear of the solar panel(s) or inside your caravan?

I terminated the solar cables from the battery (using MC4's) in the EHU connector compartment.

(Bear with me whilst I sort out the pics)
 
Dec 7, 2010
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If it is like my Compass Omega, the (DC) 12v socket under the 230v inlet is the solar socket, fused at 10amp, just get a 12v plug and connect up. The socket is wired to the wiring loom coming from the battery.

 
Aug 22, 2019
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Hi thanks for your reply, the controller is on the back of the solar panel. We are looking at a 70 or 90 watt panel. We have been advised an online fuse may need to be fitted on the ref wire and the crocodile clips should be replaced with ring clips and nuts to secure the rings to battery.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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Crookys said:
Hi thanks for your reply, the controller is on the back of the solar panel. We are looking at a 70 or 90 watt panel. We have been advised an online fuse may need to be fitted on the ref wire and the crocodile clips should be replaced with ring clips and nuts to secure the rings to battery.
It will come with a fused link, my folding panel is 150w and gives out 8amps in full sun. I also have a small inverter (150w) so that I can charge up my 230v shaver and laptop. I also have a USB adaptor (3 sockets) which plugs into the caravan 12v socket to charge phones, watches, headtorch and bike lights.

 

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