Solar Panels - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2003, 06:18 AM   #1
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Solar Panels

Hi All
How do you, that have solar panels, attach them to your Fiberglass Units?:conf
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:01 AM   #2
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Solar

Ches,
I built a plywood A frame hinged at the top. My solar panel is mounted to that. It folds flat and I can store it easily. I put in 2, 12v receptacles on the outside of my casita when I redid it. The Solar panel has a long cord that plugs into that. I can then move the panel around to catch the sun. This works most efficiently and I can also park in the shade and still use the solar panel.
lanny
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Old 04-19-2003, 08:22 AM   #3
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Panels NOT permanently attached

We just got our new 75W panel and do not yet have it mounted, but plan to make an A-frame unit similar to the one described and pictured in the solar tutorial by Jim Dunmeyer. Like Lanny, we want to be able to park in the shade and optimize the panel positioning vs. the sun as much as possible.
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:53 PM   #4
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Not mounted

I do the same as the previous posters. Mine is not on an A frame or anything yet, I set it flat on the ground or prop it up on something to get the right angle. It's fairly small, 21 Watts so its easy to position. We're very frugal with battery power, haven't run out of power yet even on a 1 week trip with no hookups.
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Old 04-21-2003, 07:57 AM   #5
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This is a topic I've been thinking about alot lately. I like the idea of not mounting the solar panel on the roof and having more choices about positioning. But, and I hate to bring this up, what about theft? We often leave our campsite all day. Do you leave the panels out while you're gone?
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:03 AM   #6
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panel plug in

Is it possible to install a pigtail from the panel that will couple to the plug on the Casita that hooks to your tow?? I have a charge line wired to the plug- will this make any difference?
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:06 AM   #7
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That's the way we do ours.


:sunny
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:13 AM   #8
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Mounting (or not)

We also use 2 inch black, rubber suction cups, mounted on the four corners of our panel.

We usually position the panel on top of our Casita. Theft is not a great concern... but I suppose that depends as much on where you camp as anything else.

This might be obvious, but with our method, when en route, the panel is NOT on the roof. It's safely stowed inside, bungeed to the large dinette table, which is a perfect fit.

Also when connecting through the pigtail, YOU become the charge controller.

:sunny
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:30 AM   #9
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Mary
Photo please.Pretty Please.
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:12 PM   #10
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vehicle mounted

We use two 50 watt panels that are mounted together as one unit. The combined unit slides onto and is secured on top to the tow vehicle bike rack. The panels fit between two bikes and generally (in the summer) will completely top off the battery by noon or 1:00 while we are in transit. Not so in the winter though. When we set up to camp, off comes the panels and then they are positioned on the ground for best sun catching. Sometimes when we are gone all day and I am concerned about theft I will also secure the panels to the trailer frame with a steel cable somewhat like a bicycle cable and lock.

I have often thought about mounting them on top of the trailer but I don't feel that there is enough roof strength to support the static weight of the panels plus the dynamic forces of wind loading and crummy dirt road shock.

It would be really nice not to have to hassle with the panels when we disconnect the tow vehicle but so far I have felt that the benefit of silent power outweighs the hassle of positioning solar panels two or three times during the day.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:29 AM   #11
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John, could you take a picture of the bike rack when you have it loaded ready to go? I would love to see the panel in action. Your set up sounds really great
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:00 PM   #12
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I will try to get a picture of the panels mounted on the truck as soon as I get a photo suitable for uploading. I have one of both the Burro and the truck from our outing last weekend. I think the panels were still on the bike rack when I took the picture. The small display on the camera doesnt show enough detail to tell for sure.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:11 AM   #13
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<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea76fd463a18camp2.jpg/>

We were in the process of disconnecting and had not removed the solar panels from on top of the truck. There is a small cable that goes between the solar panels on the truck and a terminal block on the trailer. The terminal block wires up to the Trace charge controller that is mounted inside within a forward compartment.

The panels mount to the bike rack with four bolts that have to be removed. After the panels are removed from the bike rack we position them on the ground for best sun exposure. On this trip they were propped up with a square plastic bucket which holds the solar shower bag, pump, and shower tent.

In the second photo the solar panel is removed from the truck and is setting on the ground behind the Burro.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ea7863cc6729camp3.jpg/>
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Old 04-24-2003, 10:09 AM   #14
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great set up John. something to strive for. thanks
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