Preparing a 1991 Scamp 16 - Page 49 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2015, 06:16 PM   #673
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I thought it might be interesting to see how current varies through the day. There are 15 hours of Sunlight in NH, sunrise is at 5:00 and sunset at 6:30.

The trailer is parked in an unshaded area except for early morning. In the morning the panel is normally covered with sea mist. An average of 3 amps/hour would allow storage of 45 amp hours around a kilo-watt per day.

I took current readings beginning at noon. It did get cloudy in the late afternoon. Over 7 hours I averaged 3 amp-hours. My earlier guess appears in the ball park, 45 amp-hours or 540 watt hours over a summer 15 hour day with a 100 watt panel. This is plenty to run our Scamp with it's LED lights and misc 12 volt devices.

12:00 5.75
2:00 5.75
3:00 4.80
5.00 3.7
6:00 1.1 cloudy
7:00 0.2 very cloudy
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:42 PM   #674
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I thought it might be interesting to see how current varies through the day. ...
Darn tooting its interesting! I never thought that Solar would be something I would want to do with my trailer, but the technology has come so far and prices dropped so much... Solar is rapidly moving up my list of projects.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:21 AM   #675
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Rainy Day Current Data

It's a miserable day but I thought some might be interested in the Solar panel's output in bad weather.

It's very cloudy and has been raining since dawn, about the only worst situation would be snow. The solar panel has 1/4" deep puddles of water on it because I put the protective film back on but not too smoothly.

The current output by the panel in near overhead Sun conditions is 1.3 amps, about a 1/4 of the current produced with no clouds.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:47 PM   #676
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Vent Covers

When we bought our trailer the large vent cover was painted white by a previous owner. I gave it a coat of Rustoleum gloss white today. I assume the previous owner painted it because the Sun's UV eventually kills plastic and the paint provides a level of protection. We've had two friends who've both had all their roof vents fail in the Florida Sun.

I really wanted to paint the vent before I essentially permanently taped the solar panel down.

The white caps on the Scamp fail for the same reason, the Sun's UV. Prepainting the caps would definitely extend the life of the caps and protect the cap locking device.

One of our FL friends added a Max Vent to one of his vents, I just find them ugly though they do the job on more than one level.

I also painted the ABS storage containers bought from Charlie because they were yellowing even though located in the Scamp's kitchen and bathroom, one holds spices. the other meds.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:16 PM   #677
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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I gave it a coat of Rustoleum gloss white today. I assume the previous owner painted it because the Sun's UV eventually kills plastic and the paint provides a level of protection.
Norm, did you use one of the paints "for plastic"? I have some Krylon spray cans listed that way but have not done any long term tests in the sun with items so painted. Great tip on painting/protecting the vent cover, the old size may not be available from Scamp for replacement forever.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:27 PM   #678
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I did not consider special plastic paint since it was already painted, with what I don't know. What ever the original user painted with stuck. It was very rough. I just painted over it. I used rustoleum because there was a little rust spot and it seems to stand up.

I did not use spray paint though I frequently do. I brushed it on.

I believe the vent is available from others.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:48 PM   #679
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From: Air Deflectors for Solar Panels

I copied this from Air Deflectors for Solar Panels. Steve suggessted that my panels may have failed due to heat and John suggested the roof would blacken due to heat. Here's my response.. not an argument but what I've seen. It's certainly possible that Steve is correct though they are designed for curved surfaces on boats.

Originally Posted by starbrightsteve View Post
"The production of a solar cell is slightly lower when the cell is hot. A roof top array benefits from the 3 or 4" of air space under the panels. A flexible panel with no air space under it will produce less and experience very high temperatures that could contribute to panel deterioration or failure.
I have a 50 watt conventional panel mounted on my roof. The four mounting brackets are fastened to the roof with a total of 8 sq. inches of 3M VHB tape. No screws. The bottom of the panel is 2" above the roof deck.

Norm, didn't your flexible panels fail recently?"

Steve,

Though we had the panels for a number of years without any issues, I can not say they did failed because of heat. I installed a virtually identical panel on my son's trailer it and it's still functioning. I can say they are designed for boats, a similar panel-to-fiberglass installation.

Per John Linck "an air gap keeps your rig slightly cooler as opposed to turning your fiberglass roof black with a flexible panel"

Since both of my panels failed virtually simultaneously I removed them, separating the vhb tape from the roof in a couple of hours. There was no black mark left on the roof of the trailer, I believe after 3 or 4 years of use.

As John also stated, it's really not a big deal what you choose. For me I like a lighter, flatter, hidden solution. Many people prefer a solution that they personally setup, that is angle adjustable, ..... It's all fine. It's simply nice to have solar particularly if you want to boondock for long periods in silence.

If you're suggesting that the color of the panels makes the inside of the trailer hotter, I can't say I've noticed it to any extent.

I have copied this to Preparing a 1991 Scamp where I am writing about installing our Solar panels so it's all in one place.

PS. I am a satisfied user of Charlies plastic parts, we have 3 small storage boxes (spices, meds and misc) taped to the walls of our trailer and a wine 'rack'. They all work well. The only negative is they need to be painted or the Sun exposed side turns yellow in a few years.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:18 PM   #680
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Preparing the panel

I put the panel on the dining room table sells down and taped the edges with 4 pieces of tape. I was careful not to stretch the tape. I lifted a little bit of the red release tape to allow me to get it off easily on the roof.

Note I also inserted 3 tywraps through the tape and front side grommets. I will use these to tie down the panel's cable that will run along one edge. I will use the through shell connector of my previous installation.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:58 PM   #681
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Mounting
I took some blue painters tape and put a strip down where I wanted the front and one side.

I took off the edge release tape by putting the panel down on its cell side. [Protective paper still on cell side].

I stood the panel up on its long edge along the blue tape edge with the short edge aligned with the front tape.[you don't want the panel's vbh tape to touch the blue tape, better to be inside a little, the blue tape is just a guide.]

I slowly tilted the panel down until it was flat. I ran my hand around each edge, pressing it tightly to the roof.

I then pulled off the protective cell plastic and pressed down on the edges again.

You get one try to do this. The vbh tape is very sticky.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:02 PM   #682
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As a final test I hooked up my Fluke Meter and measured the current. It was 4.1 amps.

I have to connect the wires to the through shell fitting. Kind of a slow week, four house guests for this week plus an RV visit from friends on the way to Newfoundland. I'm jealous of our traveling friends.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:59 PM   #683
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Neglected to mention but I bought connectors for the solar panel and connect it to the solar controller. Works great. We'll be on the road in a couple of weeks,
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:37 AM   #684
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Milestones

At near 73, we've reached a milestone. We started this little thread when we first brought our Scamp home. The thread was partially precipitated by attendance at the FL Scamp Camp where I made a list of potential modifications. It was a long list and I've yet to do everything.

Yesterday we passed 100,000 views of Preparing a 1991 Scamp, amazing to me and hopefully we helped some people.

Sometimes in life you fall in love, often it may not be a perfect love, but like most of life it's what you do with what you have.

I can honestly say we love our Scamp. It's provide a home for us all over the country in all kinds of weather. Just amazing all the joy that really little space provided us.

It's now 24 years old, amazing all alone. I know many new people are hesitant to purchase a used trailer, we have no regrets. It doesn't have every bell and whistle, but it's been everywhere and delivered us each time.

I really can't imagine life without our Scamp. It's funny there are many lovely trailers out there, lovelier and more modern than ours, yet our eyes never turn to them with desire. We have a love.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:41 AM   #685
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Norm,

FWIW, As I was preparing my Scamp for a trip I noticed my battery was dead. Long story short, my panel has failed. It is a 30 W flexible panel I installed with VHB tape. I purchased in June 2012 from Sunflexsolarhk.com which seems to have disappeared. It has been exposed to the elements day and night since installation. Once I deduced that indeed the panel was the problem I immediately started thinking about heat - the panel was too hot to touch - and I started searching for answers. That led me here. Now I am very concerned that the very sleek and easy VHB installation is shortening the life of these panels.

-Bill
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:58 AM   #686
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... I purchased in June 2012 from Sunflexsolarhk.com which seems to have disappeared...
Did you buy that panel from THIS Honk Kong company?
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