Boler 17 roof attach solar panel - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-25-2017, 12:07 PM   #1
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Warren Wilson's Avatar
Name: Warren
Trailer: 1979 17' Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 29
Boler 17 roof attach solar panel

Honestly, I did a search on this before posting!

I have replaced the 17' Boler we ran into a bridge in Yukon last summer, and it runs entirely on solar. (With a convention furnace, and all LEDs it's easy).

Two nights ago a low-life unwired my solar panel in the dark of night and absconded. It was not physically attached to the trailer, because I liked to move it through the day to face the sun.

I am now considering permanently attaching my new one to the roof. I have had more than one thought of how to go about it, but would love to hear the experience of others before I go ahead.

My fear, of course, is wind gusts while underway.


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Old 07-25-2017, 12:54 PM   #2
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Name: Ken
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 1,573
Some folks will say 3M VHB tape but they have blown off a few tops. Escape used Epoxy and that has blown off too, ripping the gelcoat out along with it. Bolts seem pretty safe from my reading.

As you drive down the road at 60MPH and two cars collide. The collison speed is combined right. Does anyone know if the same is true for driving into a wind storm at 60MPH is the wind force on the panel combined making the wind force more that 60MPH? I always wondered the answer.

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Old 07-25-2017, 01:51 PM   #3
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Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,096
".... others before I go ahead."

well...I wanted to put two panels totalling 70W on the roof. I always like to do a "dry run" on anything I do to my trailer (and boats before it) before doing the "permanent" install in case I find it doesn't work or a better solution comes to mind after initial use...

my roof is flat so I just taped the panels to the roof (sitting on thin rubber squares at the corners for friction and "some" ventilation/cooling). I also rigged a couple of stiff wire "safety straps".... worried about all the tales I read on here about panels flying off into the blue yonder...

in the spring I check the condition of the tape for UV degradation and for any's been THREE years.....I dunno if I'll ever mount them "permanently"...or just renew the tape one of these springs

my panels "hide" from the wind behind the MaxAir covers (to which the safety straps are attached)

tight and flat on the roof they are not visible AT ALL...

there you asked...YMMV.... (70 on the roof, 40 portable stored inside)
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Old 07-25-2017, 02:01 PM   #4
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Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,096

you realize that to get the same performance from a panel you used to aim perfectly to the sun versus one you plan to install flat on the'll have to DOUBLE the size of panel / Watts.....that's a wild guess but the difference in performance is just astounding (having done a real life test in my backyard)...good luck...maybe a better idea to put the panel inside at night!
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:21 PM   #5
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Name: Gilles
Trailer: Bigfoot 15B17G, 1986.
Posts: 642
I have a 100 watt panel attached to the roof for 2 years, with tape 3M VHB.
I check on occasion and nothing has moved.
I made a lot of road with great winds and everything stays well fixed.
This is my experience.

Another member told me that he had to replace a solar panel, after 5 years, for a bigger one and that when he removed the old panel, trusted with 3M VHB, he said everything was like the installation, impeccable.

I followed the procedure shown on the videos that you find at the bottom of the following web page:

Bigfoot 15B17G.
Towed with Dodge RAM 1500 Echo-Diesel, 3.0 L., 8 speeds.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:27 PM   #6
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 2013 Trillium 1300
Posts: 2
I used VHB tape to attach solar panel to roof

I mounted a 140 Watt solar panel to the roof of my Trillium using 4 Sticky Feet mounts purchased online from RV Solar Store. Each mount has a 3" long x 1" wide strip of 3M Very High Bond (VHB) double-sided tape on the base. I do not have a safety leash connecting the solar panel to the trailer.

After 15 months and over 2,500 miles the mounts remain tightly bonded to the roof by the tape. However, on my first trip the bolt used to attach the solar panel frame to a rearward mount fell off while driving. My 3 remaining attachment points held and I learned to check both the bolts and the tape each towing day.

In answer to Ken C, if you drive at 60 mph directly into a 60 mph headwind the effective wind velocity is 120 mph. Doubling the effective wind velocity quadruples the aerodynamic forces (lift and drag) on tow vehicle, trailer and solar panel.
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boler, solar, solar panel

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