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Roof Conduit Wiring

Last Changed 8/17/2016

This information had been previously described in other articles and the photos are taken from those articles.  The reason is the question of running wiring across the roof on RVs has arisen a few times we thought an article on just the wiring in conduit was make it easier for reference.

The wires we are taking about can be the wiring for the solar panels to the combiner box, the CAT-5 cable to the CPE radio on the roof, satellite dish cables, and any other wiring that needs to run across the roof.  Another cable could be from a rear camera to the cab of a motorhome.

Usually people just put wire tie plates on the roof and use zip fasteners to attach the wires.  Or another technique is to put globs of caulk on the roof, pressing the wires into the globs.  Both of these system will hold the wires in place.

The problem with the previous systems is that wiring laying on the roof can cause dam for rain water to build up.  This accumulates dirt at the dams.  This is not so bad for wiring running longwise on the RV.  It is wiring that runs side-to-side that is the problem.

Another benefit of putting the wiring inside conduit is that the conduit provides protection from the sun.

Completed roof access We use wire ties (left) to hold conduit to the roof.  The adhesive back of the wire tires (left & center) is not good for exterior use,  We remove the regular adhesive (center right) using lacquer thinner.

Then we apply 3M Red Label super tape (right).
TV Aiming Tools PVC conduit bodies were used at the ends and junctions of the conduits.

The wire tie plates and the collars of the conduit bodies raise the conduits about a 1/4" about the roof allowing rain water flow.
click on images to enlarge
click on images to enlarge
Electrical box glued The conduit bodies were glued to the roof with 3M 5200 adhesive caulk.

The 5200 caulk was spread under the bottom surface of the conduit bodies.

We use masking tape to make for cleaner caulk lines.  After the caulk is smoothed, the masking tape is removed.

The conduit bodies and the conduits were pre-painted using an adhesion accelerator to allow paint to stick to the PVC material, and then sprayed with two coats of paint.  We used white paint to reflect the sun better.

In all, we replaced the cabling from the solar system combiner box to the panels in conduit. The CAT-5 cable to the CPE radio was run from the combiner box to the radio.  And finally we added a third coax cable to the satellite dish in conduit to a box next to the combiner box.

The result was no more water damming and a cleaner roof.

Disclaimer: The information in this site is a collection of data we derived from the vendors and from our personal experiences.  This information is meant as a learning guide for you to  make your own decisions  Best practices and code should always be followed.  The recommendations we make are from our personal experiences and we do not receive any compensation for those recommendations.
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