Mounting things on roof w/o drilling a hole - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-11-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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Mounting things on roof w/o drilling a hole

Hi, I am new here.
Is there a way to "glue" things like threaded studs to the exterior surface of a
fiberglass gel coat RV?
And that is real strong.

I would really hate to drill a hole.
I was thinking of installing a solar panel to the roof.

Thanks
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #2
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There are some awesome very high bonding (VHB ) double faced tapes available, but you need to make sure that you have enough surface area to withstand the forces that you will put in it.

Norm installed a film type solar panel to his roof with a similar tape. You can do a search on this site for it.

Amazon.com: very high bonding tape
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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Using VHB tape will work great. It is what Escape uses for their solar panel mounts. LINK
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:56 AM   #4
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Just a wee bit slow today. LOL
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
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they make special bolts with a head like a big flat washer. these give huge area to glue to things. i'm sure for a solar panel it would work fine. not sure if i would hang a canoe ore the like from gell coat.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john warren View Post
they make special bolts with a head like a big flat washer. these give huge area to glue to things. i'm sure for a solar panel it would work fine. not sure if i would hang a canoe ore the like from gell coat.
Elevator bolts. https://www.google.com/search?num=10....1.sGToa-R6zH0
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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I've used two different methods. The first is very high bond strength tape. It's under "New Solar Install' and I've used those 3M wall clips that are removable to mount an awning. Both techniques worked very well.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:44 AM   #8
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Thanks everybody.

I like the idea of using the elevator bolts.
What kind of adhesive would you use?
Would you "buff up" the Gel Coat before?

Also thanks for the links to solar panels.
I would like to add solar panels.

But I am also going to order some of that double sided sticky tape, just to give it a try. Whats the best one?
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stev View Post
Thanks everybody.

I like the idea of using the elevator bolts.
What kind of adhesive would you use?
Would you "buff up" the Gel Coat before?
For adhesive, I'd look at 3M 5200 marine adhesive. Depending in the load, you may tear out of the fiberglass. A bigger footprint is better.

Quote:
Also thanks for the links to solar panels.
I would like to add solar panels.

But I am also going to order some of that double sided sticky tape, just to give it a try. Whats the best one?
I'd read the specification sheets on the 3M site to determine which one is best for your application.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:33 AM   #10
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Thanks, I am mainly thinking of adding 1 or 2 solar panels.
I am close to AM Solar. They specialize in RV Solar.
They have a web site and sell mounting brackets/ and the solar panels, but I don't want to put holes in my roof.
AM Solar comes highly recommended.

My roof is really really strong. When I walk on it, can jump up and down.
But can't say for sure how thick the fiberglass is.

But I like the idea of the elevator bolts. Thanks... was new to me.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:31 AM   #11
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Something like this. You would be able to tilt solar panels, I think.
How would you suggest mounting to roof? thanks..

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Old 10-12-2012, 09:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by stev View Post
Something like this. You would be able to tilt solar panels, I think.
How would you suggest mounting to roof? thanks..
I'd use two pieces of aluminum about 1/8" thick and as wide as the foot of the mounting bracket and long enough to go between two of the feet. I'd countersink stainless steel bevel headed screws in the aluminum with the threaded ends sticking up and bolt the feet to the aluminum strip. Then I'd use VHB tape to bond the aluminum to the roof.

When the panels are obsolete or damaged, you will be able to take the mounts off without damaging the roof.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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Great idea Tom... thanks..
Would you "sand" some of the gel coat before?
Would sanding make for a better bond or not?

Once the VHB tape is stuck down... say in the years to come,
can it ever be removed from my fiberglass roof?
Like with a solvent or anything?
Or using a razor blade to remove?
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #14
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Sanding?

When I used VHB tape to hold my panels down I didn't do any prep other than wipe off the dust. My tape went down on Red Maxx Pro 3 and there have been no issues in a year. In retrospect I might have wiped off the Red Maxx but did not.
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