Rock Guard mounted solar panel - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-21-2008, 11:24 PM   #15
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If I were doing it on my Scamp, I'd just mount the panel to the outside of the shield. I could leave it vertical or prop the shield to get it horizontal. I already have two layers of foam glued to the backside of the shield for thermal insulation so I don't get condensation on the inside of the window.

I might have to cover it with something, however.

That's a good installation, Gina!
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:29 PM   #16
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That would be the easiest, yes, but I had a couple of concerns with it being exposed like that.

I store the trailer in my driveway and it's a target for the pranksters. One rock, goodbye. The kids up here haven't progressed since 1971 and egging is still a treat for the backwards boys. It happens frequently to all the cars on the street, and to the big white target.

Second, I didn't want to put holes in the fibrglass guard itself. It's original, and even tho that isn't a big "Vintage" consideration, it's still kinda cool.

With it closed, you cant tell the panel is there and it is less likely to have someone go "I think I'll go home and get my wrench while she is at work".
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:08 AM   #17
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Gina, that's a brilliant mod that I will one day unabashedly steal. Very neat and inventive.
cheers
Ian
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:30 PM   #18
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Good job! Looks like a viable mounting place. If I do steal from some of your ideas I'll let you know and ask what the royalty payments are.

From my experience there is one weakness with the rock guard mounting hinge bar: there is evidently a lot of strain on the screws holding it to the shell. When the Burro mosies on down the road, dips, potholes and what not tries to tear the screws out. The result can be leaks which in my case show up on the inside window frame. You have added some weight, which in my opinion calls for some vigilance.

I have added some extra screws as well as put some molly-type devices in to hold machine screws. If I were you I'd keep a close eye out for the hinge bar working itself loose.

There is a fallback position to deal with this, but it involves cutting access holes near the end of the bar area and inserting a strong strip(s) of hardwood to give the screws much more to bite into. Or, brass threaded inserts in the wood could be used for S.S. machine screws. I'm slowly gaining the confidence in my fiberglassing skills to fix the resulting damage, but it's a bit of a pain.

In the meantime, if you should notice something amiss, a liberal coating of sealant would keep you dry until a more thorough fix can be done.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:58 PM   #19
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Per, I have noticed that. It was loose before I did this and is on the schedule for re-enforcement and seal. Tomorrows project, I think.

My 13 leaked horrible from there, even tho I did not have the rockguard. That was one of the trouble points when I came up that one year. The new owner pulled the window and redid it all.

Here are the portables wired up and running. (Not real exciting, it's solar.. not much to see "Run") 54 watts total for now. will be 84 when I get the other two mounted on the roof.

The handles will be padlocked together, anchored on the center one. Anyone with a hack saw could cut th plastic handles, but again, it will be very heavy and awkward to carry away as they sit if link together like that. The casual will not bother.


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And the two lines, one from the RG 15 watt panel, and the line from the junction box, going into the battery box.
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:05 PM   #20
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and how they are connected in the box. Pretty simple and easily duplicated.

I think.... I have to take the 3 banger extendamo BACK to Radio Hack. The center one has.. no "Hot" pin! I have never seen this defect before, but it figures, if it's one in a million, I'll get THAT one.


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and I forgot yesterday, the RG closed with panel stowed. The point here was to make it look like there was nothing there, and I think it worked.


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The portables stow and fold and fit nicely in my front cubby. The harness and junction box get coiled and stowed in a bag with the extendamo and gets tossed on top of the pile in the cubby. Pretty easy and hidden. no more moving panels just to use the john on the road, or bringing them outside to store if I have full hook ups.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:37 AM   #21
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That is one of the COOLest mods I have seen yet. It screams functionality! Great Job!

Mike
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:16 PM   #22
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You are too clever, Gina! I am totally impressed. What a great idea. I look forward to seeing it.
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:04 PM   #23
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Wait for my first tug with it that way :-P

I was looking at it today and the weakest link is the single bolt thru the panel frame. It is PVC, I think, and if it pops from stress.. the panel will drop down.

I rethinking support. Bungies would probably do it and make it easier to lift as well
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:27 AM   #24
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With it closed, you cant tell the panel is there and it is less likely to have someone go "I think I'll go home and get my wrench while she is at work".
That's why I installed our 50w solar panel way up and out of sight, hiding behind the awning housing. Unless you have a ladder or other higher vantage point, you just can't see it's there. From the back even the frame mounts conform to the trailer roof and are painted to match the trailer. Like yours, it's designed to be invisible.

--Peter
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:39 PM   #25
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I have flat rock guard envy.

Nice work Gina!
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