Solar panel on roof - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2020, 06:31 AM   #1
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Burro
California
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Solar panel on roof

Anyone permanently mount a solar panel on the Burro roof?
How big of a panel, and how did you attach it?
Debating whether it’s a better idea to keep it portable, or mount it on thr roof.
Any ideas?
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:51 AM   #2
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Yes, although it is the Burro's brother, the UHaul CT13...


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Old 04-30-2020, 07:20 AM   #3
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Yes, I’d say you did!
Speechless!
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:43 PM   #4
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Name: Rich
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Impressed.

Oh man. I am impressed. Do you have any more views of that rack? I take it you manufactured it yourself....? How did you attach it? From the top view it is quite impressive!
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:15 PM   #5
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Name: Martin
Trailer: 1993 CASITA 16SD
Texas
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I made mounts out of PVC that are stuck on with 3M super sticky tape 4 years ago for two 100 watt panels. I'm going to install a third the same way next week. If you'd like, I'll post pics.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:31 PM   #6
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K Patrick..
I look forward to seeing additional info re: construction and materials ;-)
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:24 AM   #7
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OK, I'll take some pics today.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:58 AM   #8
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
Colorado
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Solar panel on roof

This is a Casita, but will give you an idea.
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Casita 26 Jun 10 1 Solar.JPG  
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:51 AM   #9
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Boler
BC
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I simply glassed four corner brackets onto the roof of the Boler, high enough to accomodate the curve of the roof, spaced to take the 100 amp panel.
First time I did it was on our fiberglass Toyota Sunrader, about 12 years ago, cut some aluminum angle so that one leg was about 4" long and the vertical was about 1.5" long, glassed the long leg to the roof and through screwed or bolted the panel to the vertical "tab" 50,000 ,miles and 8 years later still fine. Last saw the Sunrader in Mexico about 4 years ago.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:05 PM   #10
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
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I had purchased brackets from Renogy that are made to mount to fiberglass trailers, using 3M VHB double sided tape. We have mounted a 160 watt Renogy panel to the roof of our Lil Snoozy 4 years ago and never have had any difficulties. The Panel is screwed through the “Plastic Renogy Mounting Brackets” into the aluminum solar panel frame, so if you wish to remove the panel for any reason, you do not disturb the brackets. Best of luck with your project.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:52 PM   #11
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Trillium
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Question..
How did or where did you penetrate / go through the fibreglass hull with the wires from the panel??

And, there’s more..

I have a 75 Trillium and am scratching my head trying to figure out the least intrusive- both outside and inside- routings for the wire from the panel to the controller and the from the controller to the battery.. I have a number of options floating around in my head, and sometimes a been there, this is what I did suggestion from the outside shortens the deliberation time..
Any suggestions great fully accepted..
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:04 PM   #12
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Boler
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What I do if possible is pass the wires down the sewer vent pipe, on our boler there was a Tee with a threaded plug, in the vent pipe inside the fridge access panel, on our old Sunrader I drilled into the pipe made a little wire hook to fish out the wires, and then siliconed the wire making sure to seal the hole. The boler, just fished out the wire, drilled the plug and threaded the wire through, put the plug back in and siliconed to seal.
I will go to great lengths to avoid roof penetrations.
Been busy building a house and have no roof penetrations it is a fetish.
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:07 PM   #13
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Daughter lost several very high quality small PV panels that were taped onto the roof, am an old guy and sometimes slow to adopt new adhesives.
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:16 PM   #14
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Eggcentric..
Thanks for sharing what you were able to do.. I share your “fetish”.. Unfortunately for me the only opening I have in the roof is my roof vent and it’s location isn’t conducive to a neat and tidy result..
I am beginning to think that I will have to drill and rubber grommet a hole in the roof above a cupboard and caulk the stink out of penetration of the hull.. In addition, I’ll use some self levelling caulking to encase the cable across the roof from the panel to the hole itself.. What do ya think??
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:27 PM   #15
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Name: Tony
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Does it not have a sewer vent?
My first full time rig, had a roof top fridge vent, fished the wire down it, and since the fridge had a 12 volt option with heavy wires connected the panel to those wires. That was in the days before we even thought about controllers.
Big batteries that could handle any output the panel supplied worked for years.
My daughter ran her color co-ordinated charging wire neatly down the back of her camper and up through the floor.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:01 PM   #16
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If you do use the VHB tape for the Renogy mounting brackets, make sure to use a Scotch Bright pad to “prep” the surface first, then follow up with rubbing alcohol, followed by an adhesive accelerator, then the VHB tape. Our trailer sits in the Arizona sun without any shade while in storage. We have had it that way without loosening for 4 years now. The wires ran down the next to the door opening and under the trailer, then back to the battery. I also have had good results using plastic computer wire tubing/trim VHB taped to the outside of the trailer to run the 10g wires through.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:03 AM   #17
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And then there was the case where the VHB tape used to hold the solar panel to the roof held tight.. but the gel-coat gave way, separated from the underlying fiberglass, and resulted in the panel flying off the roof on the highway (with VHB tape and gel-coat still attached). YMMV
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:23 PM   #18
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Name: Martin
Trailer: 1993 CASITA 16SD
Texas
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I got busy and am posting pics late. Here's a basic side shot of a simple PVC solar mount that's withstood 50 MPH headwinds at 60 mph. 3M VBH tape does the job. I'll post some more when I get the next 100 watt unit up with some improvements I've thought of since putting these two up. I haven't attached pics before so I hope it works.

I used 1 1/4 PCV pipe and elbows with two layers of urethane I cut from an old cutting board with a bolt sandwiched in between to secure the elbows to the mounts. Obviously my solution for getting the wiring into the cabin is not very elegant but it works. The wires run into an upper side cabinet and then over to the controller which is mounted on the divider over the rear bed pedestals where the AGM batteries are stowed.

If I got it right and the one photo gets through, I'll post a couple more. Hope it helps.
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