Solar electricity on a Triple E Surfside - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-16-2017, 10:08 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Richard
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 6
Solar electricity on a Triple E Surfside

I've just bought a 1979 Triple E Surfside TM-14 and it seems the previous owner used it mostly with shore power. I would like to be able to boondock/dry camp and am considering adding a couple of 100 W flexible solar panels.

I would be interested to hear from others who have done this about what equipment you used, and how you wired it, particularly where you brought the wiring down from the roof.

What kind of battery(ies) did you use? Solar charge controller? Inverter? Did you combine the solar charging with charging from your tow vehicle alternator?

I'm also wondering if anyone can recommend an electrical business in the Okanagan that does this kind of installation. I'm moderately handy and have basic electrical knowledge, but for some of the wiring modifications I'm inclined to play it safe and use a professional.

Thanks.

Richard
__________________

Richard McGuire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2017, 06:44 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,388
Richard I almost went Flexible on the panels but was told that,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard McGuire View Post
I've just bought a 1979 Triple E Surfside TM-14 and it seems the previous owner used it mostly with shore power. I would like to be able to boondock/dry camp and am considering adding a couple of 100 W flexible solar panels.

I would be interested to hear from others who have done this about what equipment you used, and how you wired it, particularly where you brought the wiring down from the roof.

What kind of battery(ies) did you use? Solar charge controller? Inverter? Did you combine the solar charging with charging from your tow vehicle alternator?

I'm also wondering if anyone can recommend an electrical business in the Okanagan that does this kind of installation. I'm moderately handy and have basic electrical knowledge, but for some of the wiring modifications I'm inclined to play it safe and use a professional.

Thanks.

Richard
: they need to be able to breath or be able to have air go under so they can stay cool, Solar panels will get hot from the sun and from working. This is what I was told, I also read that if you park and put your awning out they now have solar built into the awnings and like I said a lot of people who stay in campgrounds use this system rather than drill holes to hold them down.
How do you plan to attach them to your roof without drilling a hole in the roof of trailer??
Glue will probably over time not work especially when going down the road at 70 or mph.
Stude
__________________

stude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2017, 07:27 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: Richard
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by stude View Post
: they need to be able to breath or be able to have air go under so they can stay cool, Solar panels will get hot from the sun and from working. This is what I was told, I also read that if you park and put your awning out they now have solar built into the awnings and like I said a lot of people who stay in campgrounds use this system rather than drill holes to hold them down.
How do you plan to attach them to your roof without drilling a hole in the roof of trailer??
Glue will probably over time not work especially when going down the road at 70 or mph.
Stude
Thanks Pete. This guy has some videos about installing flexibile solar panels on an RV, and he shows how it can be done with special adhesive materials without drilling holes. I've found other videos that show the same thing. Of course none of these are on a Triple E Surfside, so I am interested in the unique considerations with that trailer:

https://youtu.be/BNE1u8dD8_A

Richard
Richard McGuire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2017, 09:38 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
David B.'s Avatar
 
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
Posts: 1,978
Registry
Hi, I have used a couple of flexible 100 watt Renogy solar panels held on to the fiberglass shell with 3M VHB tape, and believe me it would never come off going down the road at 80mph or with head or cross winds with high gusts, and that is after being on for over two years. I really had to work hard for several hours to remove them. I had spoken this summer with the person showing off the HC1 at the Algonac Rally and another owner of a sticky with flexible solar. Both never had problems without an air gap between the solar panels and the trailer skin. I contacted Renogy to report that my panels would only put out 5-7 volts in direct sun, but 18.2 volts in the early morning ambient light of day. They stated that they no longer sell those panels but are developing a new flexible panel that should be available by July 2017. They gave me full refund for my two year old panels, and I ordered their 150 watt monocrystaline glass panel that I secured to the roof of our Lil Snoozy again using 3M VHB tape attached to their mounting brackets. My battery is now very happy with this marginal solar orientation to the low winter sun, with 18.5 volts coming into the solar controller, so summer output should be Awesome.
Dave & Paula
David B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 01:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,388
David thanks for the information about the tape. Yes but I think,

Quote:
Originally Posted by David B. View Post
Hi, I have used a couple of flexible 100 watt Renogy solar panels held on to the fiberglass shell with 3M VHB tape, and believe me it would never come off going down the road at 80mph or with head or cross winds with high gusts, and that is after being on for over two years. I really had to work hard for several hours to remove them. I had spoken this summer with the person showing off the HC1 at the Algonac Rally and another owner of a sticky with flexible solar. Both never had problems without an air gap between the solar panels and the trailer skin. I contacted Renogy to report that my panels would only put out 5-7 volts in direct sun, but 18.2 volts in the early morning ambient light of day. They stated that they no longer sell those panels but are developing a new flexible panel that should be available by July 2017. They gave me full refund for my two year old panels, and I ordered their 150 watt monocrystaline glass panel that I secured to the roof of our Lil Snoozy again using 3M VHB tape attached to their mounting brackets. My battery is now very happy with this marginal solar orientation to the low winter sun, with 18.5 volts coming into the solar controller, so summer output should be Awesome.
Dave & Paula
: all those old panels they were not selling ended up in Canada, I have used Mono Crystal for years with a 3/4" gap screwed down to the roof of the motorhome. I have never checked the Volts they just are up there and our 2 batteries have never lost their charge, though about every 4-5 years have had to buy new batteries as they just get old.
But I will have to try that awesome tape so I don't have to drill again.
Stude
stude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 04:15 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
Posts: 1,463
For a trial run before a trip, I laid my solid solar panel on top of my Boler using the suction cups it came with and after a week took it down only to find the fiberglass under the panel was badly discolored.
I have to wonder if the integraty of the roof was compromised.
Gerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 05:56 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,388
Solar install on FG Roof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
For a trial run before a trip, I laid my solid solar panel on top of my Boler using the suction cups it came with and after a week took it down only to find the fiberglass under the panel was badly discolored.
I have to wonder if the integraty of the roof was compromised.
:this time I have a all type stud finder for our MH which has aluminium to support the walls and roof along with 2 1/2" of Styrofoam sandwiched between the interior and exterior Styrofoam, I'm hoping we can find something solid to screw to and through, once attached then we will put this liquid type caulk over the screws which then stops any water getting into the ceiling of the Motor Home. I will be installing 2 160W Solar panels to be used for Boondocking so we do not use our gasoline up charging batteries.
Stude
stude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 01:38 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Name: Marshall
Trailer: casita
Maine
Posts: 12
Securing solar panels

I have discovered STICKY FEET, sold by RVSOLAR STORE.COM. They are designed for exactly what is being discussed here. I have 1 80 watt panel mounted on the roof my Casita 17 Freedom Deluxe. They are secured with 3M tape, and if the directions are followed, they will not move. They also allow for some adjustment to tip into the sun. No holes drilled, directed the wire into the black water vent, brought it out in the bathroom, drilled a hole in the bulkhead. ran the wire through the overhead cabinets, through the bulkhead by the bed, down the bedside of bulkhead into battery comparment where the charge controller is mounted. Never have had a flat battery, and always enough to run my CPAP overnight, as well as keep computer, tablet and phone charged.
Have also swapped out all incandescant light bulbs, inside and outside, with led bulbs. No regrets.
Marshall W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 09:43 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Richard
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 6
Thanks very much for your comments everybody. I'm not so worried about attaching flexible solar panels to a fiberglass roof as I've learned there are various adhesive products that can do the job.

I am interested in hearing about equipment that people are using. As I have a very small trailer and am not interested in using appliances that use a lot of power, such as air conditioners, microwaves, induction burners etc., I'm thinking that a 600 w inverter might be enough.

It would mostly be for a laptop computer, chargers for various electronics and a CPAP.

And, if anyone has done this type of installation on a Triple E Surfside or similar trailer like a Trillium or a Bowler, I'd be interested to know where you located the components and routed the wiring.

Thanks.

Richard
Richard McGuire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 10:18 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: Outfitter truck campper
Colorado
Posts: 136
Richard, I just bought one of these: https://www.campingworld.com/shoppin...-40-watt/90097

It came today and I installed it today. Very easy installation. Compact, easy to store. Very sturdy and seems of good quality. Hooks right to your battery. If your battery is inside just run the J cable through the wall/floor, or just drag it out the door or window when you use it, plug in to the panels and you're all set.

It is a battery charger and will allow you to charge the battery all day when you're away from shore power. It should easily charge your battery, and devices. Even works when the sky is overcast. If the battery is on the tongue, even easier. You don't need a convertor, invertor, or whatnot (though if you have them, no problem). Just a battery and maybe an attachment for your phone, usb, etc.. The charge controller is included. I had zero solar knowledge before today...now I'm an expert!
TomandCallie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 10:50 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
David B.'s Avatar
 
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
Posts: 1,978
Registry
Richard, we have a small inverter, but have never used it yet. Paula's CPAP machine when plugged into 120 volt, gets converted via the large rectangular part of the cord, into 12 volts, so I ordered a compatible 12 volt cord that plugs into a 12 volt receptacle and into the CPAP machine. Phones and other electronics get recharged the same way (via 12 volt receptacles). I have seen on Amazon a 12 volt to "X" volts for a laptop computer (you have to order one that is matched to your computers particular requirements). I hope this helps.
Dave & Paula
David B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2017, 10:59 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Richard
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 6
Thanks for the suggestions. Dave & Paula, your idea of using 12 volts instead of 110 to power electronics makes a lot of sense and it appears anything I plan to use can be run from an adapter that plugs into 12 volts.

Now I just need to figure out the best way to keep a 12-volt battery charged, hopefully using solar and other options rather than a generator.
Richard McGuire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2017, 11:35 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Name: Richard
Trailer: Triple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 6
If I've done this right, I've uploaded photos showing a couple features of the existing electrical system.

There's a Powertron PM901A converter under the stove that looks like it must be original and probably belongs in a museum. Not sure I would trust it for any electronics.

I'm guessing the big black cable on the right under the sink is coming in from the 15-amp type shore power cable.

There's a mass of wiring under the front bunk in the corner on the driver's side. I'm not sure if something else was there. It has the look of the work of a DIY electrician.

There's a battery case on the front hitch.

There's only one 12-volt cigarette lighter type outlet on the side of the closet and two 110 volt outlets on the front of the kitchen counter, one appearing to be original and the other added. And there are four 12-volt interior lights.
Attached Thumbnails
20170121-_DSC9322.jpg   20170121-_DSC9338.jpg  

20170121-_DSC9403.jpg  
Richard McGuire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2017, 05:22 PM   #14
Member
 
jrocmagoo's Avatar
 
Name: Jeremy
Trailer: 1978 Tripple E Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 87
Registry
i gutted the entire electrical out of my surf side, that power box is not much good as it is the wrong current for the new solar panels and many new electronics- LED lights ect. you can get a good new inverter for around 250 (check my build post for more info) my next upgrade is a solar panel, im looking at a permanent mount 40-60W using the flat spot above the fridge and planning on running the wire in through there and making a bracket to hold it level with the higher portion of the roof- i run a 12v deep cycle currently
__________________

jrocmagoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar, surfside


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
Weight of Triple E Surfside TM-14's ericmarlo General Chat 7 12-15-2015 12:38 AM
Just picked up a '77 Triple E SurfSide ericmarlo General Chat 2 09-03-2006 10:07 AM
Triple E Surfside door hinges wanted Cam A Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 6 06-10-2006 08:54 AM
Triple E Surfside TM-14 left front running light cover Cam A Classified Archives 5 05-03-2006 06:27 AM
14 ft. Triple E Surfside for Sale Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 0 01-01-1970 12:00 AM

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

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.