New solar install.... - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Jane P.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 19 ft
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
I was thinking about putting a "solar power farm" on the roof of my Bigfoot, but then it occurred to me - how do you clean the roof UNDER the panels?. Around here, the weather causes things to grow very quickly unless you keep on top of things, and......
In other threads, I have seen pictures of roof-top panels that tilt. The idea is to angle the panels for optimal sun exposure; but an added bonus is that you have access to your roof when cleaning.

I always wonder how these panels fair during hail storms and when driving under hanging branches.
__________________

__________________
'92 Bigfoot 19' | '07 Chevy Tahoe
Jane P. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2011, 06:31 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Ron F's Avatar
 
Name: Ron
Trailer: Eggless for now.
Formerly NH, now full timing
Posts: 405
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
In other threads, I have seen pictures of roof-top panels that tilt. The idea is to angle the panels for optimal sun exposure; but an added bonus is that you have access to your roof when cleaning.

I always wonder how these panels fair during hail storms and when driving under hanging branches.
My panels are actually a bit over 2 inches above the roof, mounted on 2" angled aluminum stock that I got at Home Depot, so I think I can reach under with a rag for cleaning.

As for hail, we got a T-storm that had golf-ball sized hail during my first week helping build my nephew's log home. I'd never seen hail that big before, and it wasn't smooth round hail, but jagged nasty looking stuff. One of the hail stones punched a small hole in the roof vent cover, but there was no damage to the panels. I took shelter in the trailer while this was going on and the noise was amazing.
Attached Thumbnails
AngleIron-1.JPG   AngleIron-2.JPG  

__________________

__________________
Ron F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 08:35 AM   #17
Member
 
Trailer: Play Pac 1973
Posts: 33
Registry
The best buys on solar panels that I've found are at Solar Blvd I've now purchased 3 panels from them and will be getting another for a friend's trailer today. They are very helpful on the phone too. The panel I put on our Sunrader (Toyota fiberglass mini motorhome) is a Solar Cynergy 100 watt which they were selling for $199. They are out of these but have a Solar Cynergy 120 watt for $225, or an 80 watt for $159. The shipping on these is around $25, at least to me, about 900 miles from them. The packaging is excellent, by the way!

The best deals there are usually on large panels, they have the Kyocera 210 watt, 24V panel for $346, which is really cheap per watt! However, these are oversize and cost a lot to ship (about $80 to us)!

The 40 watt panel on Paul Chet's Play Pac is also one I bought from them.

Oh, by the way, I've gone with LED lights in our Sunrader, they use so little power I think I could just leave them on forever! Great light, I can't really tell the difference between these and the high power using incandescent tail light bulbs. There's a good article over at Toyota Motorhomes on using these same LED's I used. They are a flat panel with 36 LED's, with sticky back mounting, come from China on Ebay for $5 with shipping each. I bought 7 of these and have been using them for a couple months now.

Hope this info helps someone!

Steve
__________________
Stephen T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 01:09 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Jon Vermilye's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1,406
Registry
I have the 95 Watt system installed by Escape in/on my 17B. Combined with dual 6v batteries I had little problem with 4 days in the shade at Apgar Campground at Glacier. I do have LED lighting, but ran the Maxx fan off & on, a 12v 2amp router 24/7, and for a couple of hours a day a 8-9 amp draw laptop power supply. Was down to 85% by the end of the 4th day. Probably could have gone a day or two more before reaching 50%.

When I moved to St Mary Campground in full sun the batteries were back at 100% by late morning.
Jon Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 03:00 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Jane P.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 19 ft
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh View Post
We originally had one 50w panel permanently mounted to our roof, and that worked really, really well. When we went to Yellowstone, however, we had a furnace problem that made the furnace run all night, running the battery way, way down.

We've since added a second fixed 55w panel and installed an Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater in addition to the furnace. The second solar panel and Wave3 are overkill -- one 50w panel really was enough to meet all our needs -- but we never have to worry about running out of power.

... I'm pleased with Ramsond. Their panels seem to be a pretty solid product at a good price.


Actually, I had a similar problem with my furnace (a faulty thermostat). The blower would not turn off, and it drained the battery.

So, your second 50 W panel gives you piece of mind? How so? If you have an appliance problem which drains the battery won't your battery still drain?

Mostly I dry camp in the Winter, so I can have several days without sun. I haven't really measured my daily energy consumption, but I would be surprised if it is above 25-30 W.

I am trying to wrap my head around cost/benefit ratio of going above 50 W.

As I am reading this thread ...
  1. Ramsond is the manufacturer of choice
  2. Want to get 50w or greater solar panel(s)
  3. Anything over 80-85 W is "overkill"
And ... GET LED LIGHTING
__________________
'92 Bigfoot 19' | '07 Chevy Tahoe
Jane P. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 03:07 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Jane P.'s Avatar
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 19 ft
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron F View Post
As for hail, we got a T-storm that had golf-ball sized hail during my first week helping build my nephew's log home. ...One of the hail stones punched a small hole in the roof vent cover, but there was no damage to the panels. I took shelter in the trailer while this was going on and the noise was amazing.
I suppose it makes sense that these panels are designed to withstand hail.

How about low hanging branches?
__________________
'92 Bigfoot 19' | '07 Chevy Tahoe
Jane P. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 11:24 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Perry J's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 16' Casita
California
Posts: 975
Send a message via AIM to Perry J Send a message via Yahoo to Perry J
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
I suppose it makes sense that these panels are designed to withstand hail.

How about low hanging branches?

I had pine needles in the solar panel mounting brackets from going into one of my favorite out of the way places in the Sierras earlier this summer.
No damage to the panel from the low branches.
John
__________________
Perry J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 06:00 AM   #22
Senior Member
 
Ron F's Avatar
 
Name: Ron
Trailer: Eggless for now.
Formerly NH, now full timing
Posts: 405
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post
I suppose it makes sense that these panels are designed to withstand hail.

How about low hanging branches?
Low hanging "anything" can be a problem. I once tried to go through a bank drive-through with my bicycle on the roof. Fortunately, it only stripped the bike computer off the handlebar. On the egg, the Maxair vent cover is higher than the panels, so I'd expect that to be the first contact.
__________________
Ron F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 02:00 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Flexible Solar

I've decided to add two 40 watt flexible solar panels to our roof. We have an uncluttered roof, no air conditioner or Maxx Air vent, and the thinnes appeals to me..

These panels are about a 1/10th of an inch thick. Our plan is to attach them to the roof with an adhesive or tape. In addition to being thin, they weigh less than 5 lbs apiece.

They come in a number of different wattages. Information follows on the product.

Sunflex Solar and Alternative/Renewable Energy - About us
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 02:26 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Name: jim
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape19 Prairie Schooner pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,398
Registry
Norm,
I'm not sure I'd attach solar panels flat against your roof, I always heard that air was needed to prevent deterioration underneath, does the manufacturer recommend a permanent attachment to a fiberglass surface, what about heat generated underneath, may crack the fiberglass.
__________________
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 02:52 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Mounting

I'm not sure I'd attach solar panels flat against your roof, I always heard that air was needed to prevent deterioration underneath.

Jim,

I've sent the manufacturer an email about mounting the panel. They show them mounted to fiberglass boats in their ads though I admit to being a little concerned.

We've had traditional panels on a painted white, aluminum trailer roof and they did get hot. It would get up to 150F in the air gap under these panels

Initially I'm going to purchase a single 40 watter and experiment with it before attaching it (semi) permanently. The panel is about 2.5x1.5 feet.

I assume the air between the panel and roof is for cooling.

I haven't purchased a solar panel yet. I bought a Tire Pressure Measurement System for the trailer and car this month, don't want to bust the budget. When it arrives I'll report on it. I'm always concerned about tires.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 09:33 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Name: jim
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape19 Prairie Schooner pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,398
Registry
I like those panels but not sure about taping them direct. I thought of using suction cup clamps, they sell them at Sears- Craftsmen- they have little clamps that will hold like 3 lbs. Anyway, 4 should hold these panels on the side/front of the trailer and you can move it with the sun. Not permanent but portable does have it's benefits and you could attach the clamps to roof if you are going to be gone and worry about theft. Course you would need a ladder.
__________________
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2011, 10:24 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane P. View Post


Actually, I had a similar problem with my furnace (a faulty thermostat). The blower would not turn off, and it drained the battery.

So, your second 50 W panel gives you piece of mind? How so? If you have an appliance problem which drains the battery won't your battery still drain?

Mostly I dry camp in the Winter, so I can have several days without sun. I haven't really measured my daily energy consumption, but I would be surprised if it is above 25-30 W.

I am trying to wrap my head around cost/benefit ratio of going above 50 W.


As I am reading this thread ...
  1. Ramsond is the manufacturer of choice
  2. Want to get 50w or greater solar panel(s)
  3. Anything over 80-85 W is "overkill"
And ... GET LED LIGHTING

You have asked a good question - one I'm also wondering about. I think it has to do with where and when you camp.

I have a 15w panel for a number of years and have gone up to 5 straight days without power and this summer went about 15 days but had 3 days of towing in there where the car was charging. I was most of the time in the sun if not I moved the panel over to the sun. The battery recharged full each day with that one little panel. Being carefull with the use of power I have never had the battery go down to 60%. I use LED's and have the fridge on propane so the only thing using the power are the Fantasitic Fan and the water pump. If I read well into the night I use a little head lamp. I do recharge phones each day and camera battery - on the recent trip the fan was only used in late afternoons - it was in the high 90's but it cooled off a lot at night so not needed to sleep. An hour or less a day to download photos to computer..... Radio is a portable battery so its no need for power.

Having said that I am considering upgrading my panel as the prices have come so far down from when I purchased mine. If I was to do it again I would not get anything less than a 30 watt - if I was camping where I did not need to run a fan all day and night or run the furnace. If I was camping where I need to run the furnace and or the fan all night I would for sure go for more power - 60 watts or more. I can also see where if the panels where mounted on the roof you would also need more power again as you would not be mounted to the correct angle to the sun or may not be in the sun at all.
__________________
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2011, 07:44 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Panel Mounting

Jim, My first real concern is your earlier comment about temperature of the panels on the roof.

I would like a solution that allows me to attach the panels, but also to remove them at a later date without damaging the roof. I'm looking for an adhesive that will allow this. I like the vacuum hold downs but would be unsure about their travelability.

We don't carry a ladder, that limits our solar panel placement options. As well we are not the type to move our panels for maximum Sun. Generally our rule is to minimize setup components.

We are like most fiberglass campers, low electricity users. We have all LED lighting, probably the most important single improvement for minimizing electricity usage. We have the ability to charge phones and computers when driving with an Inverter in the tow vehicle. As well we have the ability to charge our trailer battery from the tow vehicle.

I hope to do a test this month to see how much power our electric blanket draws, wondering if we can do an overnight with the e-blanket on.

As to theft, it's something we don't worry about; it almost seems that the low frequency of theft is not worth the worry.

Jim, thank you for all your thoughts.
__________________

__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Window AC install slbran Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 06-27-2011 07:25 PM
A new way to install AC Jacob S. Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 02-21-2010 08:51 AM
What to install? Gwenn Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 08-23-2007 12:37 PM
A/C install Legacy Posts Modifications, Alterations and Updates 8 02-04-2006 06:27 AM
A/C install Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 8 12-15-2002 08:49 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.