Solar Panel Mounting System - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:33 AM   #1
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Name: Harry
Trailer: Boler
Ontario
Posts: 5
Solar Panel Mounting System

I'm looking to install a rigid solar panel on top of my Boler 1700 and need to devise a mounting system that accounts for an overhang where the panel will be 3-4" from the roof of the Boler. Any thoughts on how to safely secure the panel at the overhang section?

Here are some photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...LQ?usp=sharing

Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:02 PM   #2
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 119
Harry..

I recently mounted a couple of 50watt panels on my Trillium.. I'll take a couple of pics later today and post them here for you to have a look at..
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:26 PM   #3
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Name: Larry H
Trailer: Trillium
Arizona
Posts: 375
Panel Mounting?

Hello,

For living in far north in Ontario I would not mount the panels on the
roof. The angle of the sun greatly decreases the panels' output.
Portable panels would probably work better as they can be
angled toward the sun for max output and easily cleaned when dirty.

Of course I don't know your physical strength or your tug's
storage capabilities...

Good Luck,

Uncle Larry
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:49 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2009 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 766
I have 45w on the roof of my Campster made up of 3 15w Harbor Freight panels. The previous owner added feet to a peace of plywood the same dimension as the combined panels, then put 4 bolts through the roof to secure the panels. The feet account for any curvature of the roof and hold the plywood about a half inch above the fiberglass.

I don't like how he weatherproofed the bolts through the process sealing with silicone so I am removing the silicone and using gasket washers on the top and bottom with nuts. I did this to the one corner that leaked and solved the problem. The other three corners are on my 2do list.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:10 PM   #5
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
Florida
Posts: 1,751
I use 1/8" x 1.5" aluminum bar stock and bend it in a vise. You can get a fairly close radius. I usually end up with a 1.5" x1.5" foot bolted to the roof with 1/4" bolts and have had the 100W and 180W panels elevated 3.5" without an issue. That's just what I have done without an issues but YMMV
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:22 PM   #6
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
Colorado
Posts: 128
Attaching the Solar Panel

This is the way I attached an 80 Watt solar Panel to my Casita.

Parts include four pieces of aluminum 1 1/2 inch angle, Pop rivets, bolts caulking.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:35 PM   #7
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Name: Effie
Trailer: Escape 19
CA
Posts: 4
I used a more complicated setup with Thule roof-rake components on my Escape 19. Each rail is connected to the roof with six bolts/nuts. I used four 80w panels, the setup gives me the ability to get up to 640w, with another 320w in the front that I’m not sure I’ll ever do, and when technology change it will be easy to replace the panels, after all a fiberglass trailer should last twenty years or more.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:34 PM   #8
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
Posts: 1,439
Wow - if you got the angle right on those panels you might get enough lift to loft the trailer!
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Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design: https://RVWidgetWorks.com
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:47 PM   #9
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Name: Effie
Trailer: Escape 19
CA
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Wow - if you got the angle right on those panels you might get enough lift to loft the trailer!
What angle? these are flat.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:56 PM   #10
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Name: Rich
Trailer: Scamp 16'
California
Posts: 2
Go to amsolar website. I used their hardware on my Scamp. 2 100w It works great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hieronymus View Post
I'm looking to install a rigid solar panel on top of my Boler 1700 and need to devise a mounting system that accounts for an overhang where the panel will be 3-4" from the roof of the Boler. Any thoughts on how to safely secure the panel at the overhang section?

Here are some photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...LQ?usp=sharing

Thanks!
Go to amsolar web site they have all the hardware for you. I have 2 100w panels on my Scamp 16’. They work great.
Rich
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:59 PM   #11
JPr
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Name: Justin
Trailer: Trillium
Alberta
Posts: 11
Hey there. I have a similar roof line with my trillium.

I know that your roof fan is creating space constraints, but I would recommend against mounting the panels across the roof line. I don't think the fibre glass has enough integrity to deal with that kind of force when on the highway.

If you are going to do it, I would suggest a mounting plate from the inside and an air dam to keep the air from speeding up under the panel.

I've attached an idea of the air dams from my install.
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:14 PM   #12
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Name: Roger
Trailer: U Hall VT
Michigan
Posts: 415
Registry
I mounted our 55 wat panel on our U-haul with 4 aluminum angles, worked great!
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:09 PM   #13
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Name: Craig
Trailer: Casita
Arizona
Posts: 16
Panels on Our Casita with VMB - No Bolts or Holes!

We've been across the country twice and made several local AZ trips. If these panels fly off, I'm going to have four holes in our RV.

Dealing with angles and overhangs is a challenge. I used Z-brackets which I offset with a small piece of hard rubber/plastic toilet/furniture wedges.

Brackets:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Pcs-Solar...72.m2749.l2649
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:35 PM   #14
NOD
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 1977 Scamp 13'
California
Posts: 16
I mounted a 100W solar panel to the roof of my 13' Scamp using aluminum angle brackets (1-1/2") and 3M VHB tape. 6 years later, still holding strong.
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:41 PM   #15
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Name: Frank
Trailer: In the market
New Mexico
Posts: 7
Solar mount

Check out Slim Potatohead on Youtube he had the same problem on his new Fiberglass camper. The way he did it seems really secure.
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:19 PM   #16
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,171
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Best Trillium solar panel installation I have seen was on the front rock guard. You can find pictures on the Trillium FB page. Slim's method looks good for a newer Trillium. The old ones the roof is just too flimsy IMO.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:02 PM   #17
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Trillium 1300 1973
British Columbia
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I put a 48W panel on the front window cover.
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Old 10-22-2020, 05:16 PM   #18
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Name: Steven
Trailer: Casita
North Carolina
Posts: 5
hieronymus,

I installed (4) 100 watt Renogy "compact" panels on top of my 17' Casita. I was able to mount blocks of marine grade plywood encased in fiberglass to the roof of my Casita using Sikaflex 252 adhesive. I then attached the solar panels to the fiberglass/wood mounts using AM Solar mounts (AMSolar.com).

The AM Solar mounts have tilt bars that permit you to change the angle of the panels.

I made only one hole into the fiberglass in the installation. That was making a hole for the cables to enter the Casita body. I used an entry gland using VHB to adhere it to the fiberglass roof.

I've traveled 6,000 miles so far and its held up perfectly.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:22 PM   #19
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
New Hampshire
Posts: 36
Solar Panel Mounting

I installed a Renogy 270w panel on our Escape 19 in 2017. The method I used was also an “overkill mounting solution” (shown in photos) but I’m happy with how sturdy, protected and well sealed the install is. In order to create a large level mounting platform which straddles the hump in the center of the roof, I installed two 2x3 rectangular aluminum tubes fore and aft, attached with four 1/4” bolts through the roof in inconspicuous places, and then bolted aluminum angles across those rails to which the Renogy provided mounting brackets attach. By not drilling any new holes in the solar panel itself, it preserved the warranty and the aluminum angle protects the panel from accidentally backing into a tree limb or roof overhang.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:23 AM   #20
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Name: Effie
Trailer: Escape 19
CA
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceW View Post
I installed a Renogy 270w panel on our Escape 19 in 2017. The method I used was also an “overkill mounting solution” (shown in photos) but I’m happy with how sturdy, protected and well sealed the install is. In order to create a large level mounting platform which straddles the hump in the center of the roof, I installed two 2x3 rectangular aluminum tubes fore and aft, attached with four 1/4” bolts through the roof in inconspicuous places, and then bolted aluminum angles across those rails to which the Renogy provided mounting brackets attach. By not drilling any new holes in the solar panel itself, it preserved the warranty and the aluminum angle protects the panel from accidentally backing into a tree limb or roof overhang.
That looks solid, and with such a large panel it's a good thing. I probably could have saved some money using this method instead of the Thule components I used on my Escape 19.
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