Where to mount solar on the roof of a new Scamp 13. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2020, 04:15 PM   #1
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Name: zack
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Where to mount solar on the roof of a new Scamp 13.

I am buying a new Scamp 13, delivery date in January. I decided I want to have solar mounted on the roof for a couple reasons: one is that I will have a furnace, which could draw down the battery a bit. The other reason is I think it will be good for my group 27 deep cycle battery. With solar I am thinking that it can get fully charged, like that last bit from 90 to 100% that takes a long time, while the Scamp is just parked in its parking lot (Where there is no access to power, but plenty of sun.)
(Does that make sense? I am thinking that I learned here on another thread that, while charging to 90% it’s pretty easy and tends to happen fairly quickly when you’re driving or plugged in, getting all the way to 100% and preventing sulfation, takes quite a bit more time. And that isn’t gonna happen during a one or two hour drive. )
So anyway, I’m thinking that maybe I would mount a 100 W panel on the roof either in front of or behind the air conditioner. I wanted to sort it out now, because if I’m going to mount it behind the air conditioner, then I would not get a roof vent for that spot. I’ll try to post a picture of the roof in my next post, but basically there is a air conditioner sticking up inside of the middle of the roof, and I think enough space either in front of it or behind it for solar panels.
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Old 09-28-2020, 04:23 PM   #2
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I know there are a lot of posts about solar here and I have read a lot of them. My question here is pretty specific about where to locate something on the roof of a Scamp 13. Here is a picture of a Scamp 13 roof which includes a vent behind the air conditioner, but if thatís the best place to mount permanently a panel then I would not get a vent.
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:34 PM   #3
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Ahead of the Air conditioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by zack sc View Post
I know there are a lot of posts about solar here and I have read a lot of them. My question here is pretty specific about where to locate something on the roof of a Scamp 13. Here is a picture of a Scamp 13 roof which includes a vent behind the air conditioner, but if that’s the best place to mount permanently a panel then I would not get a vent.
The only place on that unit is ahead of the Air conditioner as it has no TV antenna. I'd keep it portable to park in the shade and still have the panel in the sun. I could not live without my Maxx (?) fan.
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:32 PM   #4
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Thanks. That’s not actually the Scamp that it’s going to be mounted on. I’m getting a new Scamp and wondering if behind the air conditioner would be better? Or, if there are other ideas. I’m pretty attached to having it attached to the Scamp, and not too worried about shade since its primary function is to top up the battery when it’s parked in its regular spot in the sun.
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:39 PM   #5
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Name: Lynn
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I think you'll want to keep that vent/fan where it is - in the back, over the bed. It is invaluable when camped without power in the summer.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:21 PM   #6
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Name: Christian
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I have a flexible panel on the forward portion of the roof. I also carry a suitcase panel for those times when the Scamp is shaded.
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zack sc View Post
Thanks. Thatís not actually the Scamp that itís going to be mounted on. Iím getting a new Scamp and wondering if behind the air conditioner would be better? Or, if there are other ideas. Iím pretty attached to having it attached to the Scamp, and not too worried about shade since its primary function is to top up the battery when itís parked in its regular spot in the sun.
Think about the shadows produced by the AC (and other rooftop devices since it only takes a small shadow on just a tiny section of the panel to drastically reduce output) when choosing a location for the panel. You can't plan for every location, but since you mentioned "when it's parked in its regular spot in the sun" I'd locate it on the sunny side of the AC.

When parked in the desert or other locations where I have a choice, I often position my trailer for the best sun on the panels. I've even added the ability to tilt them to take advantage of the low angle winter sun.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:21 AM   #8
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I use 2 -35 watt small panels and put them up on top through the escape hatch when I get to site. they sit on top straddling the hatch one on each side, in the winter I can then hang them off the side of the trailer to catch the low winter sun. Does Scamp still use the top escape hatch or have they gone to a pop out window? not much good real estate on a Scamp 13 with that center ridge and vents and AC up top.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:50 AM   #9
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Solar panel on 16' Scamp

I don't know if you have the same amount of rooftop in front of the A/C as we do on our 16' Scamp. If so we mounted ours in front of the A/C. Fabricated 4 "feet" out of aluminum "L" beams, used VHB tape to mount those, and added a bolt through connection where an existing rivet was located for one extra security piece.
Not worried about shadows from the A/C since the sun would be very low on the horizon before the shade hits the panel.
Not as efficient as a movable panel, but we have an extra panel that we can plug in and move wherever we need it when needed.
Ours is 90 watt since the length and width worked for us and the price was right.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:19 PM   #10
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I have mounted solar panels on a 1991 Scamp 16 and a 1977 Scamp 13. I bought flexible solar panels, I believe in both cases a 100 watt panel. I attached these directly to the roof with Scotch double sided exterior tape. The panel has been on the roof of our 1991 Scamp 16 for over 8 years. It still works well. The Scamp 13 has been sold.

If you search on Honda03842 you'll find info or you can contact me. Our Scamp as been all over North America in all kinds of weather and the panel still charges my battery. On the Scamp 13 it was used to charge two batteries for a CPAP machine.

We did not have a roof top AC but if you park facing south you'll get virtually no AC shadow.

Over our years of travel charging the battery was never an issue.

There are advantages to taping the panel down, first it weighed only 2.2 pounds, second its low profile, less than 1/4 inch high, and only required a single hole in the roof for it's output cable. We used an underwater boat fitting for the hole and it has never leaked.
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:37 PM   #11
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Name: zack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I have mounted solar panels on a 1991 Scamp 16 and a 1977 Scamp 13. I bought flexible solar panels, I believe in both cases a 100 watt panel. I attached these directly to the roof with Scotch double sided exterior tape. The panel has been on the roof of our 1991 Scamp 16 for over 8 years. It still works well. The Scamp 13 has been sold.

If you search on Honda03842 you'll find info or you can contact me. Our Scamp as been all over North America in all kinds of weather and the panel still charges my battery. On the Scamp 13 it was used to charge two batteries for a CPAP machine.

We did not have a roof top AC but if you park facing south you'll get virtually no AC shadow.

Over our years of travel charging the battery was never an issue.

There are advantages to taping the panel down, first it weighed only 2.2 pounds, second its low profile, less than 1/4 inch high, and only required a single hole in the roof for it's output cable. We used an underwater boat fitting for the hole and it has never leaked.
Thanks a lot. Iím going to check that out and contact you if I have any questions if thatís OK. That sounds pretty amazingly simple.
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
Think about the shadows produced by the AC (and other rooftop devices since it only takes a small shadow on just a tiny section of the panel to drastically reduce output) when choosing a location for the panel. You can't plan for every location, but since you mentioned "when it's parked in its regular spot in the sun" I'd locate it on the sunny side of the AC.

When parked in the desert or other locations where I have a choice, I often position my trailer for the best sun on the panels. I've even added the ability to tilt them to take advantage of the low angle winter sun.
We camped a week in Death Valley last January. All the sites available to us were north south. Our panel is behind our low profile AC (I'd call the AC in the picture high profile) and the AC was directly south of the panel. Needless to say, despite having cloudless skies every day we got zero amps to the battery since the panel was in the AC's shadow.

Twice last winter we also camped in Chiricahua National Monument where we were under heavy tree cover and watched our batteries go down every day, despite the camper being in perfect orientation (panel on the south side).

We now carry a 100 watt portable with 45' of cord to the camper. Since then we haven't needed the portable even once. Murphy!

Personally, for a 13' Scamp I'd glue a couple of 40-50 watt or larger flexibles to the roof. In late fall, winter, and early spring that tall AC is going to shade one of the panels. I'd run them separately to the controller. I'd also install a Zamp port for a portable (less than $10) You don't have much real estate to work with.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:05 PM   #13
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Name: Eva
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2x25W on the stbd side, 2x30W on the port side, which allowed all wiring to stay within the overhead cabinets below. Plus I have a mobile 50W that plugs into a second controller, for when I find myself camped beneath a tree (though turns out I rarely actually use it)
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:32 PM   #14
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Would you electrified campers care to share the brand and info on solar panels you liked?
Thanks
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jeffminnesota View Post
Would you electrified campers care to share the brand and info on solar panels you liked?
Thanks

Best do a Google Search. You will find thousands of posts on the subject.
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:02 AM   #16
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Not name brand panels

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Originally Posted by jeffminnesota View Post
Would you electrified campers care to share the brand and info on solar panels you liked?
Thanks
I have several panels around here. My house panels are Solarex and were about 3$/watt many years ago. For other other projects I go to Amazon and buy whatever I can find for under 1$/watt. The last one was rather large for a 100 watt panel, but I had the room.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-04-2020, 09:56 AM   #17
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Name: Dan
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Solar panels

I mounted a 10 watt rigid solar panel on the front window gravel shield of my 13' Scamp. I lead the cable directly down to the battery compartment. I have the grey water tube holder directly below the front window so attaching upright supports was no problem. I can also set it down on the ground at an angle. My10 watt panel will charge my group 27 up to the high 14's. I keep it stored in the back of the closet. I can run the 3 speed ceiling fan at the low setting and the panel will still slowly add charge to the battery.
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