FWC Finch solar wiring

rocknroller60

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Joined
Jan 18, 2024
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9
Hello everyone!

I'm from Germany and I'm traveling with an FWC Finch (built in 2010) in a 2021 Hilux Double Cab.
72c1d8af-fff1-4b41-8b0b-cc5efbdea19a.JPG
I would now like to retrofit solar, the cables are prepared and are on the water tank. Unfortunately I don't know where they end on the roof. I've already asked FWC, but unfortunately they don't have any records of the location of the cables either.
2d64f929-338c-4480-96a0-398adf6ec1d1.JPG
Has anyone ever found the cables on the roof of a Finch of that year?
There is a roof hatch with fan.
90bbba35-df48-43a4-a20f-19152fce2255.JPG

Greetings
 
Welcome to WTW, RockNRoller!

I have a Fleet from 2016 and maybe this information will help. The solar wires terminated in the fan housing. If you remove the fan shroud inside the camper, you may be able to see the wires tucked away in the aluminum frame. This is where I found the wires for my solar.

You may also find a wire loom behind the front or rear lifting boards inside the camper.

Hope this helps!

todgru.
 
When standing in the camper, looking towards the front of the truck, to the left of the front lifting board is where I found the wires in my Hawk.
 
Vic Harder said:
When standing in the camper, looking towards the front of the truck, to the left of the front lifting board is where I found the wires in my Hawk.
Also the end of the wires?
 
In the event that you have trouble finding the the unterminate Solar wires in the ceiling after removing the fan cover I offer the following.

The FWC Aluminum roof skin is thin enough that you can press down and feel the wires under it. I used that technique to find the wires in the ceiling of my 2007 FWC Keystone. They were terminated next to a square plate with a square hole in it that was welded into the ceiling rib structure (under the roof skin).

After careful outside and inside measurements. It turns out the inside location was under the transverse wood lift point board on the drivers side of the centerline and in front of the over cab bed. I removed the board then
I drilled a a 1/8" dia pilot hole from the outside down through the center of the hole in the square plate.

I found that small hole location inside the camper and carefully cut an X in the ceiling fabric and exposed the underside of the plate. After removing a small amount of the styrofoam insulation, I was able to use a pair of needle nose pliers to reach in and pull the wires down through the hole. After measuring the space available I bought a small plastic junction box and installed it into the ceiling. I made my electrical connections there then carefully used a patch kit to mend the ceiling fabric. After reinstalling the board the patch on the ceiling fabric is not visible.

I used the 1/8" hole in the roof as a pilot hole for a hole cutter (I think I used a 7/8" dia hole saw). After I drilled the the hole in aluminum roof I put a rubber grommet in the hole so the sharp edges would not cut into the wires over years of driving bumpy roads. I bought a Go Power entry plate that came with pigtail wires having MC4 connectors on one end. I mounted the entry plate on the roof and sealed it under the flange as well as around the edges with 3M 4200. No leaks after 5+ years.

Here is a link to images in my gallery.

https://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/gallery/album/1151-2007-keystone/

I hope this information is helpful.

Craig
 
ckent323 said:
In the event that you have trouble finding the the unterminate Solar wires in the ceiling after removing the fan cover I offer the following.

The FWC Aluminum roof skin is thin enough that you can press down and feel the wires under it. I used that technique to find the wires in the ceiling of my 2007 FWC Keystone. They were terminated next to a square plate with a square hole in it that was welded into the ceiling rib structure (under the roof skin).

After careful outside and inside measurements. It turns out the inside location was under the transverse wood lift point board on the drivers side of the centerline and in front of the over cab bed. I removed the board then
I drilled a a 1/8" dia pilot hole from the outside down through the center of the hole in the square plate.

I found that small hole location inside the camper and carefully cut an X in the ceiling fabric and exposed the underside of the plate. After removing a small amount of the styrofoam insulation, I was able to use a pair of needle nose pliers to reach in and pull the wires down through the hole. After measuring the space available I bought a small plastic junction box and installed it into the ceiling. I made my electrical connections there then carefully used a patch kit to mend the ceiling fabric. After reinstalling the board the patch on the ceiling fabric is not visible.

I used the 1/8" hole in the roof as a pilot hole for a hole cutter (I think I used a 7/8" dia hole saw). After I drilled the the hole in aluminum roof I put a rubber grommet in the hole so the sharp edges would not cut into the wires over years of driving bumpy roads. I bought a Go Power entry plate that came with pigtail wires having MC4 connectors on one end. I mounted the entry plate on the roof and sealed it under the flange as well as around the edges with 3M 4200. No leaks after 5+ years.

Here is a link to images in my gallery.

https://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/gallery/album/1151-2007-keystone/

I hope this information is helpful.

Craig


Great! Thanks a lot!
 
Thank you for the informations!
I find the cables under the front wood panel.
 

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rocknroller60,

​It is 12 gauge wire.

What are you planning to use that wire for? More info would facilitate better answers.

My recommendation for connecting a solar panel to a solar charge controller is to use standard 10 gauge solar power cable.

I also recommend using 10 gauge wire from the solar controller to the battery if your solar controller is capable of delivering more than 20 amps (e.g victron 100/30 or equivalent). If the solar controller can only deliver a max of 15 or 20 amps then the 12 gauge should be OK over a short distance to the battery (if more than say a couple of feet one way, I would use 10 gauge)..

The best answer depends on what you are trying to wire up and what the round trip distance is and take into account voltage drop over the length. If you are wiring up to power a USB outlet then 12 gauge is fine. If you are wiring up to power a 3-way refrigerator or even a 12v refrigerator or device that works best at 12.5v - 13 v then I recommend using 10 gauge wire.

I hope this is helpful.

Craig
 
ckent323 said:
rocknroller60,

​It is 12 gauge wire.

What are you planning to use that wire for? More info would facilitate better answers.

My recommendation for connecting a solar panel to a solar charge controller is to use standard 10 gauge solar power cable.

I also recommend using 10 gauge wire from the solar controller to the battery if your solar controller is capable of delivering more than 20 amps (e.g victron 100/30 or equivalent). If the solar controller can only deliver a max of 15 or 20 amps then the 12 gauge should be OK over a short distance to the battery (if more than say a couple of feet one way, I would use 10 gauge)..

The best answer depends on what you are trying to wire up and what the round trip distance is and take into account voltage drop over the length. If you are wiring up to power a USB outlet then 12 gauge is fine. If you are wiring up to power a 3-way refrigerator or even a 12v refrigerator or device that works best at 12.5v - 13 v then I recommend using 10 gauge wire.

I hope this is helpful.

Craig
The 12 gauge cable has a 1,2 inch wire? Or is it the outside diameter?
 
Rocknroller60,

If I am understanding correctly the wires in the camper put in by FWC for solar are 12 ga. You have a 180 W solar panel and you will be feeding a Victron 75/15 solar controller.

The maximum output of the 180 W Solar panel is likely no more than ~9 A. The 12 gauge wires are fine.

Also even if you went to a larger panel of say 360 W they output higher voltage so the current value would still be no more than about 11 A at 36 v and the solar charger would convert that to the appropriate 12v for your battery (ref Victron 100/20 specs).


Note: If the wires coming down from the ceiling behind the lift panel are not already protected by a nylon sleeve I recommend buying some split nylon loom and covering them.

https://www.amazon.com/Alex-Tech-25ft-Protector-Sleeving/dp/B07FW86XV6/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1NABENRTZ59EK&keywords=wire%2Bloom%2B25%2Bft%2B1%2F4&qid=1706204732&sprefix=wire%2Bloom%2B25%2Bft%2B1%2F4%2Caps%2C153&sr=8-4&th=1



Craig
 
Thanks a lot!
ckent323 said:
Rocknroller60,
If I am understanding correctly the wires in the camper put in by FWC for solar are 12 ga. You have a 180 W solar panel and you will be feeding a Victron 75/15 solar controller.
The maximum output of the 180 W Solar panel is likely no more than ~9 A. The 12 gauge wires are fine.
Also even if you went to a larger panel of say 360 W they output higher voltage so the current value would still be no more than about 11 A at 36 v and the solar charger would convert that to the appropriate 12v for your battery (ref Victron 100/20 specs).

Note: If the wires coming down from the ceiling behind the lift panel are not already protected by a nylon sleeve I recommend buying some split nylon loom and covering them.
https://www.amazon.com/Alex-Tech-25ft-Protector-Sleeving/dp/B07FW86XV6/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1NABENRTZ59EK&keywords=wire%2Bloom%2B25%2Bft%2B1%2F4&qid=1706204732&sprefix=wire%2Bloom%2B25%2Bft%2B1%2F4%2Caps%2C153&sr=8-4&th=1



Craig
Thanks a lot!
 
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