We bought our first trailer in 2004. About the same time, I bought a 42 watt Unisolar amorphous panel. While it's worked well over the years, at 30" x 40" it's a little tough to store. I needed a project so I decided to make something smaller. I picked up two 30 watt monocrystalline panels, a pair of stainless steel hinges, a controller, and some odds and ends.
You wouldn't think it would be that difficult to attach a pair of hinges to a couple of solar
panels. The first thing I discovered was that one of the panels was out of square. Not a lot, but enough to make layout a hassle. Next, I discovered that I had to make space between the panels for the hinge knuckle. The extra 1/4" put the hinge screws close to the back of the panel, but everything fit.
We often camp near the ocean. To avoid corrosion I electrically isolated the stainless steel from the aluminum with flanged spacers and gaskets made from milk jug plastic. I bought 1/4" spacers planning on cutting them down. I was surprised to find the frame walls were double with a space in between so cutting wasn't needed. It took several tries to make gaskets that provided good isolation but things finally worked.
The panel is kept closed for travel with Velcro and I used some left over ridged pink foam for protection if the panel ends up riding in the truck bed.
The total cost for the project was $130 which is close to 1/2 what I paid in 2004. Raz