Go Power Overlander Expansion Kit Installation - 2017 Grand Design Reflection Travel Trailer

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How to Install the Go Power Overlander Expansion Kit on a 2017 Grand Design Reflection Travel Trail

Hi there, travelers. Today in your 2017 Grand Design Reflection, we're going to be taking a look at Go Power's Solar Elite charging system with power inverter. Now if you plan on traveling all the time, some of the camp sites that you go to have shore power, some of the place that you're going to want to stop for the night may not have any shore power. And you're going to rely solely on your batteries or your generator to keep your power up and going for however long you plan on staying there with.With a solar panel install you can charge the batteries up in your motor home or your trailer by just using the sun that's outside. So this happens all day long, so you don't need necessarily a shore power. Now, depending on the loads that you have inside your chiller or motor home, will determine how many solar panels that you may want to install.

In our kit here we receive 2, 190 Watt solar panels, which is going to give you quite a bit of power. 190 Watts at 12 volts is about 10 amps. So you figure you've got about 10 amps of power coming in per panel on a very sunny day.Now 10 amps is going to be enough to run some of your smaller appliances and even some of the medium sized ones. So if you've got a small fridge, you could potentially use it to keep your items cold throughout the day while you're out exploring. Or, if you're going to be spending the afternoon back at the camp site or just going to be hanging out around, maybe you got a TV on the side, you could use your solar power just to power your TV there without having any shore power.But now if you want to go completely off the grid and have enough to power your air conditioning unit, maybe your TV, your refrigerator or multiple things all at the same time, you could add more solar panels to it.

And with this kit you've got everything you need to add more panels. You simply just have to put them on top of your roof and then just plug them in line with your existing solar panels. Most of your solar panels come with cable to get them plugged in. But if you need extensions, depending on the layout on your roof, we have those available at etrailer here. And since this kit comes with an inverter, it's going to be a great starting point to get an entire solar panel setup on your motor home or your trailer.Each panel you'll receive comes with an aluminum frame and all the mounting hardware that you need to get it installed on the roof.

They measure about 26 by 59 inches, and each panel is going to have monocrystalline solar panels installed, which is going to be a more efficient solar panel design than your polycrystalline panels. So what this means is that a monocrystalline panel will harness more of the sun's energy than a polycrystalline panel would.Each of the panels that we've installed are 190 what panels, which means that charging our 12 volt batteries, you've got close to about 15 amp maximum potential. Now that's best world situations. So on a clear sunny day with the two panels we've got, we could expect to see up to about 20 amps on a nice clear sunny day, assuming that our batteries are discharged and they need that to get them topped back up.We'll begin our installation up on the top of our roof by determining where we can put our solar panels. So just give a layout of what components you have on the roof and where they're going to fit.

A good way to do this before taking your solar panels up here because they are pretty heavy and I recommend that you have someone down below, hand them up to you when you're on the roof, you can use the boxes that they come in. So just take them out of the boxes, leave them down below bring the boxes up here. Since they're much lighter, you can easily do it by yourself and the box is going to be the same size so you could determine where they're going to fit.Once you know where you want to place your panels on the roof, you want to install the brackets on the bottom. I've already got three of them installed, I'll get the hardware out. Another thing I want to mention about locating your panels is that you want to stay away from the front. You want to be at least three feet from the front where it starts to crest and angle down is that wind coming up could potentially damage your solar panels if you're too far up.Take the brackets out of your kit. You'll take the bolts that comes included with them, put a flat washer on it. This will slide down through the slotted hole in your bracket and that'll slide down through the holes in your solar panel. There are multiple holes. We're going to use the outer most holes, so the ones closest to the corners because we have a total of four we'll be installing one in each corner. Once you slide it through the solar panel on the bottom side, we're going to place on a flat washer followed by a locking nut. Once you got started, you can tighten them down using a seven 16 wrench and socket. And we're just trying to keep our, it's centered in the slot if we can. It doesn't need to be perfect and then also trying to keep our bracket flush with the side here so that way it sticks straight out. We'll repeat that for the three remaining brackets until we've got one in each corner.Now, before we put our solar panels on the roof, we want to make sure we seal it properly, so we don't have any leaks in our roof. So on the bottom of our brackets we're going to be placing butyl tape. You can get butyl tape here a etrailer.com if you need some. First want rip the pieces off. I'm going to be putting two strips per bracket so that we've got full coverage across the bottom. The main goal though is to ensure that the screws that we run down in the roof don't cause any leaks. While you're getting your butyl tape. Another sealant we're going to be using afterwards is self leveling sealant, which you can also get here etrailer.com, we'll be going over the top of our brackets at the end, so you might want to pick that up as well. We're going to repeat this for all of our brackets.Now that we've got all of our brackets covered in butyl tape, we're going to be putting our panel in place. Make sure you use your cutters to cut your wiring beforehand because it's very difficult to get underneath the panel since there's not a lot of room to really fit your arm or hand underneath there and then make sure you take your wires and just keep them out. There's a lot of different ways you could route them depending on where you put your panels. You just want to make sure you can access them once you get your panel down. So we're going to be putting our panel right here, so we're just going to go ahead and flip it over.I'm going to have my wiring come out here, going back towards where I'll be placing my other panel. Then we're just going to try to check now just to make sure everything looks like it's nice and centered and adjust. And once you're satisfied with its positioning, we'll use the included hardware and run it down through our brackets into the roof. We use a Phillips head bit to run these down. We're going to repeat that for the three remaining brackets.Once you've got them all run down, we'll take our self leveling sealant and we're going to completely cover the top of our brackets so each one we're going to go all the way around the outside. And then we're just going to fill in the top. And this will completely seal our roof back up so we won't experience any leaks down the road. We're going to repeat this for each bracket.Once you've completed your panel installed, we're going to repeat that for our second panel and whatever location that you've chosen. Once you've got that done, we can start plugging our panels in. Included with your kit, you're going to receive two short cables and one long cable. Now depending on where you decided to place your panels and where your entry point is to go inside your motor home, you may need to purchase additional extensions, which we have available here etrailer.com.We're going to be using our short cable here to connect our two panels together. We'll simply take one end, it doesn't matter which one you choose. We're going to plug it in to one cable. Because you see one is going to be male, one's going to be female, so you really can't do it wrong. The other end here, we're going to bring it over to our other solar panel. We're going to match these up and plug these in. So now what you should have is you should have one cable that's female on one solar panel and one that's male on the other, which will be routing up to our entry point and inside. If you get a little bit of sealant on there, you can just wipe that off, it's okay.This is what your cable entry plate will look like. If you have solar prep, you'll already have this on your roof. If you do not have solar prep, you won't see anything like this and you'll need to add one. One of these entry plates do not come with your kit, but we have them available here at etrailer.com and all it really is is just a plastic bracket that your wires will fit in. These look just like the ones on the solar panel, so that way we can take our solar panels, use the cords to plug them in here, and these will go inside, but this is completely sealed so that way no water can enter in.If you need to install this, you simply just drill a hole in the roof to pass your cables down. And then just like we did with the solar panels, we're going to use butyl tape on the bottom of our bracket here and then you use the self leveling sealant around the outside to seal it back up. You'll have a male and a female cable. The cables do come included with your kit as are for routing your wiring inside. So you'll already have these, so you just simply slide them through the holes here and the wires will go down inside. And now we're going to make our connections.So we're going to take our cables and just plug them in. So this one here, you simply just slide it through the hole, line it up with the appropriate connector and then plug it in. We're going to do the same thing with our other cable and then we're going to route these back to our solar panels. One cable will go to one solar panel and one cable will go to the other solar panel. This will hook our solar panels in series and then provide us with a positive and negative cable routed down inside that we can hook up to our solar controller.We've routed our cables from our entry point at the front of our trailer and we're going to plug them into our solar panels. And you really can't plug it in wrong because again, there's a male and female, so they're only going to plug into one. And it really doesn't matter which panel it is as long as we have that series loop where it's essentially going from one cable on that panel to one panel to the next panel and then however many panels you decide to install and then it just returns back to the plate, keeping them all in series.Now that we've got all the wires run, you want to secure the wires to the roof. There's a few different ways you can do this. The way we chose to do it was to use a double sided adhesive pad. Here are the little pads that we're using. You can pick these up at your local hardware store. They just have a place where you can use a zip tie to run a zip tie through it to connect your wiring and it just sticks to your roof. If you are going to use an adhesive option, make sure you use alcohol to clean the roof before you put it on to ensure good adhesion. Another option is to just use regular old wire clamps and screws. Turn it down into your roof. The only issue with that is that you have potential for leaks, so you want to make sure you use the butyl tape and the self leveling sealant to go over anything that you screw into the roof. With everything finished here, up on the roof we're ready to go inside and start hooking up our solar controller.The wiring from our entry plate, you'll want to route to your battery compartment if you are routing it or if you already have solar prep you'll want to locate where the wires are from your solar prep package. Our wiring comes out right here and this is our battery compartment here in the storage compartment where the customer has multiple AGM batteries installed. We went ahead and routed this wire across to the other side because that's where we mounted our inverter and our solar controller there.Our wire's routed over here. Once you got your wires where you want to install your components, we then need to get our components mounted up. Our inverter, we went ahead and put here and you want to make sure you've got sufficient space around it. You want ideally about six inches on each side to ensure good ventilation. As this does get quite hot. We did take the plate off the side here. There's just a few screws that hold that plate on so you can see the wiring on the inside and we mounted it up using self tapping screws. There are screws that come included with your kit, but we wanted something a little bit heavier duty, a little more robust to keep it in place.For our solar controller, we upgraded from the one that comes in our kit to a larger 40 amp MPPT controller and this has two components, so the one that comes with your kit is just going to be a panel you'll mount in the RV. The upgraded one here has a box that's mounted near your inverter and then it has a panel that's mounted on the inside. So we need to get this mounted up because this is where our wires for our solar panels are going to run. If you're using the ones included with the kit, then you would run your wires from your solar panel straight to that monitor. We mounted this using the included screws that came with our kit.Another component that you'll want to consider is a battery disconnect for your solar panels. So the wires that ran from our solar panels up top before going to our solar controller, we'd go to a disconnect switch here and then we'd go to our controller. And what this allows us to do is to disconnect our solar panels up top from our controller here. So in the future, if we ever have to perform any service, we can easily disconnect those solar panels. So if we're working on it outside, we are going to be safe then to perform any wiring repairs or add additional components, whatever it is that we want to do.Without having a better disconnect, you'll have to remove your wires here from the panel if you are wanting to disconnect it. And when you do sell, these wires are still going to be live and each panel can put out about 17 volts. And since you're hooking your panels in series, if you've gotten multiple panels, you could potentially reach a voltage that could cause harm to you. So that's why we always recommend you just put one of these in. You can pick this up at etrailer.com here and it simply just goes in line between your positive wire and allows us to remove it.We're then going to head onto the inside of our trailer here so you can see the remote controller which is going to look very similar to the one that comes included with the kit. This is where we're going to be mounting the control panel for our solar controller. This is the one that we are adding to the kit that doesn't come included. This is the one that does come included with your kit. And really the only differences between the upgraded one that our customer wanted versus the one that comes included is that this is only rated for 30 amps, the other one's rated for 40. And this one has pulse with modulated controlled, while this one is MPPT controlled. Which is just a more efficient, better charging strategy for keeping your batteries charged up and ensuring they last a long time.For this panel, all you have to do is just measure out around the back. All I did for this is I just use a paint stick. You can still see a little bit of the paint on there. I just held it up here and just marked around it with a paint stick and then took a jigsaw to cut it out. This can go really anywhere in your RV or trailer. It just depends on where you want it and how easily you can get to it. We we're lucky enough here that our drawers when you pulled them out gave us easy access down to the floor so we can route the wiring underneath to get to our panel here.With your included one, you'll have additional wires need to go here. This is where you can hook up those solar panels that I was talking about when we saw the other part of the upgraded solar controller outside. This one is a little bit larger so we would need a bigger hole if we we're going to use this one.Now there is another benefit of getting the upgraded solar controller. It doesn't really have to do with the solar panels, but it has to do with the inverter that comes included with the kit. This controller does both the solar and the inverter at the same time. There's ports on the back of your inverter as well as for the solar controller. With the one that comes in the kit, your solar controller in your panel is all one unit right here and this is the controller for the inverter, which you would need to mount as well. So this way you've got to, if you're using what comes in the kit or you can get the upgraded solar controller, which gives you one nice cleaner panel that does everything all in one and is a more powerful solar controller.These are the two wires we're going to be using that'll connect to your control panels. This one here is for your inverter, so if you we're using the one that comes in your kit, this would plug into your inverter on the back here, your inverses control panel. But since we're using the upgraded controller, it's going to plug into the back of the solar controller's panel here. This wire here is just the remote wire that takes the solar controller that's mounted next to our inverter, the upgraded one and sends information to our control panel here on the inside. So we're just going to plug both of those in, we'll tuck our wires down and then we're going to route these to our inverter and our solar controller that we have in our battery compartment. This mounts up using the included screws that comes with it. There's also screws that come with these panels in the kit if you're going to use these. So you just simply run those in and that'll hold it in place.Here's the two wires that we had plugged into our controller, these need to route to your inverter, and if you have the upgraded solar controller, you need to route this to that as well next to the inverter. These ones you will need to find your own path depending on where you route it. Our customer wanted his next to his circuit breaker in the kitchen. We've got our wires routed where we want them, now. We've gone ahead and slid the panel in and we're going to use the included screws to keep it secure. Just use a Phillips head bit and run those in. Just want to make sure you don't over tighten these as a lot of times the paneling inside of your RV or your trailer is very soft and it's very easy to strip it out. So you just kind of run it down until it stops and then don't go any further.Here you can see the hole that we cut in the floor. We're just going to take our wiring here now and just round it up towards the front. These other wires here are going to the circuit breaker that's inside of our trailer. These will need to connect to your inverter. We'll be going over that here shortly. We're going to get these right up to the front and secured along the way. If you need some zip ties to secure them, we have some available etrailer.com here.I've gone ahead and routed all that wiring up to where our panels are zip tied it along the way. I'll go back up and clip all these off here at the end. Once we've got everything completed. Here is the gray wire that comes from our panel and it'll plug into the top of our control unit. There's a spot on each side that you can plug this into and it doesn't matter which one you plug it into. You can plug it into either the A or the B. They are labeled and again it doesn't matter. So it just simply just clicks right into the top in the open ether port. Now we've got our solar controller panel hooked up to our solar controller.Our black wire then, for our inverter we routed down over to our inverter box here. And our connection point here you'll see there are spots right here. One is labeled for your temperature sensor and the other is for the remote. The remote is going to be the one on top or closer to where it says, "Go Power." So we'll just going to plug that in there and our controller is now connected to our inverter.Now that we've got all our main components mounted, we just need to start wiring it all up. We're going to start with our shore power and our circuit breaker for our 120 here for our inverter. So you're going to have two large openings here and this is for hooking up for shore power and also for the circuit panel on the inside. This is where your regular circuit breakers should be inside your motor home or RV.The top three connection points here are for power into the unit, which would come from the shore power plug on the side of your motor home. So where you'd normally plug in at a campsite you want to route from that plug to the box here, we're going to place our hot one wire at the top, which is typically a black wire. We're going to put our hot two to the second post here, which is typically a red wire. And we're going to put neutral to the third post here. Our ground wire will hook to the ground stud located here.This is from shore power in and we now need to go back out from our box to the circuit breaker panel inside of our trailer. This is the outright here, so this is hot one again, black hot two red and neutral white and our ground is here and we just route these over to the circuit panel box and we'll just connect those. Typically these are already connected to your circuit panel box, so you just need to extend the wires over to here. Because more often than not you've got a shore power plug on your RV that's going straight from that shore power plug to your circuit panel on the inside. You can actually just find those wires, cut in between and then that's where you can make your connections. So that way on the plug side you'll route up to here for in and then this'll go back and you'll just connect it back to those wires where you cut that goes to your circuit breaker.So since our inverters essentially just go in between our shore power plug and our circuit breaker panel inside the way we we're able to easily access this, here's our plug on the outside. If you remove your screws here you can see there's four right here, so we just took a hole saw we just cut through the floor here so we can access those wires. That's where we cut it and wired in between.This is the same hole from before. Remember those wires I said we'd come back to, that's these here. You can actually see right here where we had made the splices in between. This is what our factory wire looked like, then we cut it and we added this in. Now for our setup here, since we are running with a hot one and a hot two, we've got a full 50 amp capability with 120 as well as 240. So with that you wouldn't want to use six gauge wire. You can pick that up at your local hardware store. What we're using here is actually a 50 amp shore power cable and we just cut the ends off and we're using an in between. That way we've got a nice solid sleeve on the outside to protect our wiring while it's run underneath the RV here.We have various length cables here at etrailer.com you want to make sure you get one at least and it's rated for 50 amps to ensure the wires inside are going to be the correct thickness to make the run that you need for wherever you decide to put your inverter.Also on your own or on the other side, you're going to have two posts. One that's red and one that's black. This is our 12 volt connection which will go to our battery bank. There are cables that come included with it to make your connection. You can see they're very heavy duty large gauge wires. We simply just connect those. We're going to match the red with the red and the black with the black. And our black simply is just going to go to the negative post on our battery bank. The red's going to be very similar, but we have a fuse that comes with our kit that we want to make sure we put in line. So you are going to have to cut the red wire and you'll just slide the ends in and you use an Allen key it's a number 50, you'll loosen it first slide the wire in and tighten it down. We'll do the same thing with our wire on the opposite side and then hook to our battery positive post.We're now going to head back to the solar panel wires that we had routed inside. So these are the ones coming from our solar panel. We already talked about how we put a disconnect switch in line with our positive. So these are going to go to your solar controller, now. Our positive's going to hook to the positive and our negatives going to hook to the negative. You'll want to follow this if you're using the one that's included with it, they are going to be labeled on the back of your controller and you'll just simply just hook those up the same positive to positive, negative to negative.You'll also have battery labels on the solar controller for the upgrade as well as on the back of the solar controller that you'll receive with the kit. Both of those have two battery spots because they can charge two banks of batteries. So you'll have two positives here and you have two negatives here. We only have one bank of batteries, so we only need one positive wire going to the positive on our battery bank and then one negative wire going over to the negative on our battery. Here's our negative there and this is our positive here.This is the positive wire coming from our solar controller to our batteries. One of the things you will want to do is put a fuse in line with that. This just gives us some circuit protection in case we have a short, we've got a fuse in line. This fuse does come included with your kit so you can simply use the included butt connector to get it all hooked up. There are yellow ring terminals that come included with your kit that you can crimp onto these wires to get them connected to your battery as well. We've currently left the fuse out of our fuse holder. It's a good idea to leave your fuses out until you've completed your installation. So that way any event you do accidentally cause any shorts while you're hooking everything up, if the fuse is removed, current can't flow through it so it minimizes the chance of anything happening.We're now going to hook up our battery temperature sensors. There is one that is for your inverter and if you purchase the upgraded solar controller, you'll also receive a temperature sensor for that as well. You'll want to hook these to the negative post and ideally the same one that comes from the components. So we've got our solar panel negative here, so we're going to put this one on this negative post. And we've got the negative from our inverter here, so we'll put this one on this post.Simply just loosen your bolts, slide the ring terminal over, and then just tighten them back down. This will provide accurate temperature information from your batteries to your controllers so they can ensure they don't overheat your batteries and they also know the temperature outside so they can properly charge your batteries for that climate. Because depending if it's zero degrees outside, you are charging strategy's going to be different than if it was 70 degrees outside. Once you've got both of your sensors secured, we can route the wires over to our solar controller and our inverter and we just simply plug the cables in. I'm going to go ahead and get these routed now and then I'll see you back over there once I've got it cleaned up.We now just need to plug our temperature sensors in. So our inverter cable that we routed over here, we'll plug in right below where the controller cable was so that just simply plugs in. Then we'll move over to our solar controller. Here's its temperature sensors plug and that one's located next to the ethernet port here on top. So we just find that plug and then it just clicks down in place.We can now reinstall any excess panels that we had removed. So this one here we're going to put back on and these ones don't come pre-installed on it, they just come with the kit. But these are going to cover up your DC wires. You'll receive four screws for each cap, there'll be a little baggie of screws. We're going to run those in as well. You can see the little holes in each corner where we're going to run those down.The last thing we need to do before installing our fuses is connect our earth ground. This is basically just a redundant ground that goes to the frame on our trailer or motor home and connects right here. I looks just like the ones on the inside and we just take our ground wire, I just routed it to the outside underneath here and then just use the self tapping screw with the ring terminal to attach it to the frame. This is just some of the excess black wire that we had that came with our kit cause you do get quite a bit. The ring terminal and self-tapper though do not come included with your kit. But we have both available here etrailer.com.We've now installed our fuse and you can see here that our panel is lit up and we can see that everything's working. It's currently showing a moon in the top left indicating it's too dark to charge and that's because we're inside the shop here. But it will cycle through and show you how many amps it wouldn't be charging, again it's zero because we don't have enough solar energy now for our panels, we've got the state of charge.But one of the things I want to point out is here at the bottom where it says AGM, this is the type of battery that your controller thinks you have installed. So it's using that charging strategy for your batteries. If you have AGM batteries, which we do on our travel trailer here, then we're good to go. But if you've got a different type such as lithium or lead/acid, you would want to make sure that you change your controller for that type of battery. You can refer to your instructions for the appropriate procedure for changing from one battery type to another.Now that we've verified that our solar panel controller and everything is operational, we can verify that our inverters working. There's a power switch right here, it's a little small tiny black button above the LEDs. You'll just want to hold that down until it turns on. Two green LEDs is ideally what we want to see. The lower LED is your status LED and the top one is the mode, whether it's an inverter or a charger or if it's doing neither. The bottom one being green indicates that the system is working properly and everything is functional and the top one being green indicates that it's an inverter mode. So inside of our RV now we should be able to plug something into our one 20 outlets and it should work.On our controller here we can also turn AC power on and off. That's why we ran that little black cable from the inverted here. You'll see your AC button, we're going to hold it down about three seconds later, the AC light comes on indicating our inverters on putting AC power to our motor home or RV. Let's go ahead and head over to a wall outlet and see if everything's operational.So I've gone ahead and plugged in our fan and we're going to go ahead and turn it on. And right now we've got our fan working running purely off of the batteries that are installed on our trailer here. The batteries are going from 12 volts to our inverter, the inverter stepping it up to 120 AC and we're ready to go.Now that we've verified everything's working and cleaned up all of our wiring, if you had any holes that you had to cut to run wiring through, you want to make sure you fill those back up to seal up your motor home or RV so that way you're not getting any moisture or anything inside. We're just going to use some expanding foam to fill these backup.We've now taken our trailer outside and we've got it set up. Now it is a pretty overcast day, we've got a little bit of snow going on right now. But you can see that the moon symbol we had before we we're inside of our install bay has changed to a sun because we are getting enough to start charging the system. We are currently fully charged. You can see we're at 13.2 volts, but we are trickling just a little bit in just to make sure that they stay topped up. And you can see here it's pointing the arrow towards it and we're putting in 0.6 amps and it seems to fluctuate a little bit about 0.6, 0.7. Which on an overcast day like we have now, and with our batteries being so topped up already, that's about right. It's going to keep us maintained at that 100% charge, as long as we're just sitting out here with just a couple of lights on. If we we're to take it and drain it down a little further and the sun would come out a little more, we would see more on the amperage charge going into our batteries.And that completes our look at Go Power's Solar Elite charging system with power inverter on our 2017 Grand Design Reflection.

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