UHaul Solar Panel Reseal - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #15
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Follow up.

I cleaned up the solar panel, painted the mounting bracket and reinstalled it today using butyl caulk around the 6 holes in the roof plus around the electric wires as they pass through the roof. It is only putting out 6 volts today. I'll test it on a sunnier day and see if it puts out more. If not, I may install a new, larger one. In any case, the gloppy silicon mess is gone.
Thomas, I admire your tenacity. Looks so much better, I hope it works out for you. What is a "schottky" blocking diode? Think I will clean mine up also so it is nice to see how you did yours. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:12 PM   #16
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If you read the Uhaul repair manual in the document section of this forum, it says that the solar panel will not recharge or keep a battery at full charge. It was only meant to keep the batteries from sulfation (whatever that is) while the trailers were on the lots, waiting to be rented. So it really serves no purpose to someone who camps regularly. But would be a great spot to locate a better solar panel.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:11 AM   #17
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I agree with Pam if I was going to the trouble of getting up there and taking it off it would have far more use to camping if it was replaced with at least a 15 watt panel or even better a 30 watt, that would not be that much bigger in size and pretty easy to do as the wiring is already in place. The price of solar panels has dropped a lot in the past year or so.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:41 AM   #18
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Thomas, I admire your tenacity. Looks so much better, I hope it works out for you. What is a "schottky" blocking diode? Think I will clean mine up also so it is nice to see how you did yours. Thanks for sharing.
A diode allows electricity to only flow in one direction. Without it, your battery would flow electricity back into the solar panel all night.

The bad thing about diodes is that they have a voltage drop, which is not good when talking about charging a battery. A schottsky diode has a minimal voltage drop but costs a little more than a regular diode.

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Old 03-22-2012, 07:47 AM   #19
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If you read the Uhaul repair manual in the document section of this forum, it says that the solar panel will not recharge or keep a battery at full charge. It was only meant to keep the batteries from sulfation (whatever that is) while the trailers were on the lots, waiting to be rented. So it really serves no purpose to someone who camps regularly. But would be a great spot to locate a better solar panel.
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I agree with Pam if I was going to the trouble of getting up there and taking it off it would have far more use to camping if it was replaced with at least a 15 watt panel or even better a 30 watt, that would not be that much bigger in size and pretty easy to do as the wiring is already in place. The price of solar panels has dropped a lot in the past year or so.
All true. I think the solar panel is a cool UHaul feature that was way ahead of its time in 1985. If I find that it continues to work, I'll leave it in place for now. Eventually, I'd like to get a 100 watt panel, but that would be huge on this little roof, so I may keep an eye out for a bargain panel and just set it up on a tiltable stand.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:54 AM   #20
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I found this on Ebay, it look like a good price and could share with someone else I would just use one panel to replace the originale one.

120W(2X60W) poly solar panel energy charger for battery, RV, car, camp, marine@ | eBay
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:27 AM   #21
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I found this on Ebay, it look like a good price and could share with someone else I would just use one panel to replace the originale one.

120W(2X60W) poly solar panel energy charger for battery, RV, car, camp, marine@ | eBay

Did you notice the $200 shipping charges? I think there are better places to buy solar panels. I've been watching for flash sales at Solar Blvd (you need to register) and also watching Sun Electronics.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:34 PM   #22
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No did not see the 200$ shipping fee... Will keep looking for a deal. There is no emergency for a solar panel. Thanks
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #23
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Just got it off from the top. Was not as easy as I thought it would be. Every bolt was stuck tight. Had to drill in every of them. Now I will do some little fiberglass putty work and wait until I find a great deal on a more effective solar panel.

Fred
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:37 AM   #24
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Update:

After thinking about this for awhile, I decided that I was getting good advice to swap out the solar panel now while the ceiling carpet is down. I found a nice little 60 watt panel on eBay for $120 including shipping and I'll install it in place of the old panel. Now to find a nice deal on a controller.

I think that I can extend the attachments and use the base frame as a mount.

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Old 03-27-2012, 09:23 AM   #25
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Thomas I dont think you will be sorry you did that! Having the solar really does make things way easier in deciding where you can go camping - not to mention that it will pay for itself in short order as you are not always having to pay for full hook ups at campsites.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #26
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Thomas I dont think you will be sorry you did that! Having the solar really does make things way easier in deciding where you can go camping - not to mention that it will pay for itself in short order as you are not always having to pay for full hook ups at campsites.
Yea, I'm not keen on plug in camping. I also have a hybrid TV with a huge potential to charge the trailer battery.
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