View Full Version : Solar

12-18-2007, 12:08 AM
Has anyone looked at installing solar on your Tourmaster? Most solar goes into the motorhome through the fidge vent on the roof. The Tourmaster has no such vent.

12-18-2007, 08:50 PM
I have a Tour Master, and there is a refridge vent on my roof. I put one of those solar powered fans on my refridge, easily done.
Have thought about solar, and do not see any problem. I would not go through the refridge vent though. The 12 volt batteries I want to charge are more easily reached through the bathroom vent. The area drops into the bedroom slide, where the wires that go to the converter are located. You could then run a wire to the converter, and through the area under the bed to the coach batteries.
Did I say easily? I guess more easily than through the refridge.
Safe Travels.

12-18-2007, 11:17 PM
the wires from the solar should go to the CONverter then INverter? Our coach is built almost like the Monaco Sig's all electric. Their coach comes with solar. the difference is they have 8,000 batteries???? (one bay is full of batteries) I just want something so we could use the inverter more instead of using the overpriced electric at the parks here (Quartzsite) and boondocking this summer in Connecticut for 28 days.

12-19-2007, 07:09 PM
Hi Trickto:
Very complicated. Basically, you have 2 batteries, 12 volt, that run your coach. Most of your coach's innards run off of 12 volt.
The converter drops 110 volt in, from generator/shore power/ or possibly the inverter, to 12 volts.
The inverter ups the voltage from 12 to 110.

But, you knew that. What you want to do is use the sun to power your coach, and charge your batteries.

You cannot charge both your coach batteries and inverter batteries. Believe me, the cost will be prohibitive. Here's why.

The solar unit will charge about 6 amps with a 4 foot long 12 inch wide panel.

You can run a lot of lights with 12 volts, 6 amps.
You can run almost nothing with 110 volts, .6 amps.
Note, both use the same amount of power, Volts x Amps, or both about use about 72 watts.

So, solar charge your coach batteries. Depending upon what you want to use for lights, you can start with one 4 foot panel and go from there. If you want to charge the inverter batteries you need several panels, which cost about 800 dollars each, plus instillation and a solar power "converter", which monitors the amount of power coming in vs. the amount of power your batteries require at that particular point in time.

I had a solar power unit on one of my RV's, several units ago. Did a lot of boondocking. Loved the ability of being able to do without electrical hookups. The sun charged my RV coach batteries and I used the generator for 110, TV and other uses. Worked well.

Change your lights to the LED, either replacement bulbs or replacement lights. Use the "Kill-a-Watt" meter to determine what energy each device uses.

If you must charge your Inverter batteries, the Kill-a-watt will tell you how much energy you use on a routine basis. Your store supplying the solar panel will be able to match that usage to your charging needs.

Sorry about the long winded reply.
Safe Travels

12-20-2007, 10:45 PM
thanks for the info. I have been do some research on the net. Solar is a great idea however when you don't uderstand the concept it drives you NUTZ. I really hate the campgrounds charging unreal prices for the electric. I don't mind paying for the service but I don't want to make their RV payment every month. :cry:

One last question: With that big "electric only" fridge we have do you think we'll need more battery storage?

12-21-2007, 07:01 PM
No doubt about it. Refrigerators use a lot of electricity.

The Kill-a-watt will tell you how much electricity the refridge uses, which you can use to calculate how fast your batteries will drain.

To get more battery storage, I changed my 4-6v batteries to 4-12v blue top optimas.
This about doubled my stored power, and length of time that I can run my coach off the inverter. You might want to consider this if you plan on a lot of boondocking.
Take care

12-21-2007, 10:04 PM
This is for you Tourmaster Guys. Do you find that your TV (30" Jensen) won't come on when its on the invertor? Mine sometimes will come on and sometimes the power light just blinks. Seems that If I cut off the genset or shore power while the tv is on it will stay on but if it is off and I'm on the invertor it won't come on.

xantrex 2000 watt 4 six volt batteries. All batt's check OK.



12-22-2007, 09:00 AM
Hi Dave
Move the TV's electrical plug from the black, TV electrical box to an unregulated electrical outlet and try using it on the inverter. If this does not change your problem:
There is a switch box, to select which TV and what component you are going to run through to the selected TV. This never seemed to work correctly for me and I finally threw it out.

I changed my TV to a 32" Sony Bravida, and gave the Jensen to my son. When we wired the Jensen to my son's wall, I noticed it required a converter. It seems the Jensen is a 12 volt TV and requires an in-line converter. GS had wired the Bedroom TV (also Jensen) into 12v directly, but left the converter on the 32" behind the cab TV.

Replacing the TV and taking more care to zip-tie cables and lines resulted in a no 'rattle, thunk, and other sounds' that had previously resounded from the upper cabinet.

Also, check with the Jensen's owner's manual. There is a troubleshooting section which may help.

If everything fails, I can tell you how I changed the TV to a HD setup, got rid of the selector box and ran the Sony Theatre/Home DVD player and cable system directly into the TV's. In the end, I have HD tv's in the cab and bedroom.

Safe Travels

Arthur Hayes
12-23-2007, 09:26 AM
Rick I would like to pick your brain and find out how you get the Jensen TV out of the cabinet. I have removed all the wood trim in front of it but could not find out how to get it unfastened from its mounting bracket. GS said to remove the bottom of the cabinet, but how to do that has been a mystery to me also. The reason I wanted to move the TV was to get to the RCA cables that go behind it and eventually lead to the outside compartment. Somewhere behind the TV the cables lost continuity. I ended up snaking a new RCA cable behind the TV and splicing into the original RCA cable where they travel down the passenger side windshield. I would have liked to have what the problem was behind the TV.

12-23-2007, 08:28 PM
Hi Art:
In my coach, the Jensen is crammed into the space, then held in via the "picture frame" around it. I removed all 4 frames, and gently pried it off. It comes off as one piece.
The Jensen then came out with a small amount of coaxing, as it just fits the space.
My thought is one of the connection cords is holding the TV in place, but should come out/off with gently coaxing.

I took the time to insulate behind the TV. Lots of 18" wide, 3" thick foil backed duct insulation. There was a thin band of insulation applied from GS. There was a large area not insulated. I sprayed 3M high-tac adhesive spray on the bare areas and layered the insulation into the fiberglass cap. I then ran the bubble/foil insulation (all from Home Depot) over this and taped the whole thing together with foil tape.

It lowered the temperature in the upper cabinet considerably.

I cut 2 vent holes is the cabinet above the driver's seat, and covered them with 2 covers from Radio Shack. In the area where they have 12v fans there are foam filters (all used to cool PC's). They look good, and allow air movement.

I installed an exhaust fan in the middle cabinet, just left of the factory installed connection box, 110 outlets, power unit for the roof antennae.

While the TV was out I also cut a vent on the R (as you sit in the driver's seat) lower cabinet which is at the lower R part of the TV. The area is hidden by the upholstered (vinyl) area to which the power sun shade (passenger side) is attached.
I wired the switch just below the auxiliary TV connection in the middle cabinet.

I also zip tied, or electrical taped everything down.

GS had left a mess behind the TV. Even the wrapper to someone's sandwich. Clips of wire, sawdust, lots of crap.

The end result is the upper cabinet runs cool, or I can start the cooling fan and empty the hot air building up behind the TV and components. The insulation keeps the area very quiet. Rattles went away.
Hopefully my Sony Bravida will last a longer time due to better ventilation. It sure can not hurt.
Oh, the Sony is just a tad larger than the Jensen, and the frame did not fit correctly. I had to remove the top piece and install it on the outside of its intended place at the top of the TV. If we get to GS I will have them make a custom piece to complete the correct framing of the TV.

Take care, safe travels Art.

Arthur Hayes
12-24-2007, 07:45 PM
Hi Rick and thanks for the reply and the great information. I did remove all the wood trim around the front cabinets and was left with a steel cage. I tried to pry out the TV but could not budge it. So I went the other route and snaked a new RCA cable behind the TV to the channel on the right side of the windshield. Everything is working now.
You do have me thinking about getting the excess heat out however, it does get extremely warm in the center cabinet.

Thank you

12-25-2007, 08:42 AM
There may be a L bracket at the base of the TV, holding it in. I do not recall if my Jensen had one, but that would be the only thing else that comes to mind.

The Sony I put in is to expensive to lock into a cabinet 'oven'. I can tell you that venting the overhead cabinet has worked very well. The fan I choose is quiet, although you can hear a hum, it is not obnoxious. The cabinet is no longer hot to touch in 80+ weather, such as we have in South Texas where we winter.

Happy holidays to you, and your family.
Safe travels