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Old 02-23-2018, 08:58 PM   #21
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Name: Luke
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BOLT THEM ON THE ROOF. I have a 100'watt bolted on my roof. No problem, make sure you water proof around the area of the bolts, any questions. Luke
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:04 PM   #22
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BOLT THEM ON THE ROOF. I have a 100'watt bolted on my roof. No problem, make sure you water proof around the area of the bolts, any questions. Luke
How do you tilt the camper to point at the Winter sun?
Optimum winter angle is about 45 degrees for my latitude,
Fridge won't work tilted at 45 degrees.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:32 PM   #23
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How do you tilt the camper to point at the Winter sun?
Just had a thought on that Jim, something on the order of the Winegard rotating TV antenna lift. Would have to be more robust for a panel(s) and road speeds but......
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:02 PM   #24
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No CG theft for me, either. I had the panel sitting out in busy Yosemite CGs and I still have the panel. I know theft could happen, but it seems fairly unlikely to me.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:50 AM   #25
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How do you tilt the camper to point at the Winter sun?
Optimum winter angle is about 45 degrees for my latitude,
Fridge won't work tilted at 45 degrees.
My Escape 21 was ordered with 2 160 watt roof mounted panels. I did a modification while at Quartzsite so they can be tilted towards the back of the trailer. Will do a better modification when I get back to NY that will let them tilt either direction perpendicular to the trailer length.

Went from 4-5 amps in the morning to 12 - 16 amps.
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:07 PM   #26
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Solar Panels & Theft

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How do you tilt the camper to point at the Winter sun?
Optimum winter angle is about 45 degrees for my latitude,
Fridge won't work tilted at 45 degrees.


Tilting a trailer is difficult and it makes meal prep challenging. I fix mounted on top a 100 watt panel which is more than twice my expected need. So angle is less important. I like that it just works and I donít have to futz and I have more time to hike and engage in various campsite leisure activities.
John
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:06 AM   #27
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I have 240 watts of semi flexible panels taped hard to my roof and as long as there is sun, I have always been fully charged by noon. I have an 80 watt portable to use if the trailer is out of direct sunlight and have never worked about it being stolen. I see portables out all the time, so others don't seem to worry either.
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:40 PM   #28
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For bolting the panels to the roof mounts I would purchase some "tamper resistant" nuts. They have a shape that is not one commonly found in normal sets of tools. There are a lot of shapes and sizes for specialty nuts.

You can also purchase locking knobs with key cylinders built into them. You might have seen them from places such as those selling cargo carriers for the roof or for bike racks.

Of course nothing will stop a determined thief but you can slow them down so they can't just grab and dash away.

As to tilting panels. Many of the companies selling panels also sell a tilting mount kit. That is the easy way to go. But custom fabricating one is not difficult to do with some of the stock aluminum extrusion you find at the hardware and home center stores. You don't have to buy mounting brackets or tilting mounts. A metal cutting saw, drill motor and some fasteners along with taking some measurements will get the job done. This is a beginner level metal work job. Get the 6061 T-6 aluminum alloy, that is the type you want for structural strength jobs like this. Do not choose the one from the hardware store that is often called "architectural". That is a different alloy and it is not as strong.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:27 AM   #29
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Sounds like good advice.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:02 PM   #30
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Good thread, looking for ideas.

I will be deploying four flexible panels on the ground (propped at an appropriate angle) this summer. First time for this as I had panels on the roof of my last (long) trailer. This one has almost no roof space and I want to put them out where the sun is.

I was thinking of making a cable to run through the grommets that are on the sides of the flexible panels out of some thin, stranded steel cable like this

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-1...e-Foot/4222649

The idea would to have it run along with the solar wires and lock to the frame of the camper.

A motivated thief with tools and time would take whatever I have however I secure it.

This would just be to dissuade the easy snatch and grab that is becoming a fact of life with the opioid crisis. Last summer a family member lost the aluminum mast to their small sail boat in the middle of the night, and it was parked on the trailer within 100 feet of their campsite. The Sheriff explained it is becoming all too common as the disease spreads through rural areas.

This would be my version of the lock-less cable posted earlier, but much longer and will require some fabrication.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:10 PM   #31
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer. On the plus side it seems that no one chimed in with a theft report.

I think I am going to choose movable panels with a simple attached cable. I live in NH and most of the time I camp in a place with lots of shade so needing to move them around at least a bit is going to be a necessity a lot of the time.

Thanks again for all the great advise and a reminder to check on my insurance!

Arthur
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:37 PM   #32
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When you have something recognized as valuable, it's just common sense to protect and secure it. So I salute your use of a cable. Those who take no precautions? Your panels seem pretty inviting.

I'm wondering if the community of thieves has failed to recognize that panels are like 100 dollar bills lying around. Or, could it be panels are hard to convert to cash by reselling?

Someone should invent or market an alarm that sounds when the solar panel's charge circuit is disconnected. It might require a key to disarm. This is very simple, and is used in electronics displays.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:48 PM   #33
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Where are you going to attach this security cable to the solar panel? My panels are framed in aluminum and the only easy thing to do is wrap the cable through the stand, which can be easily defeated ( damaging the solar panel ).
Sometimes you just have to put your faith in your fellow man.
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:17 PM   #34
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Where are you going to attach this security cable to the solar panel? My panels are framed in aluminum..
You got a drill?

I put 22 holes in the alum frame for the hinge alone. Planning on four more for handles. These Renogy panels already had a few holes in the frame that I have used for a padlock in the past. But if they didn't I could make one.

Sometimes you have to put your faith in your fellow man, and other times you got to void the warranty.
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:51 PM   #35
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I live in a "nice" urban Denver neighborhood, but daily we have people stealing packages, breaking into houses and cars to steal anything not nailed down. They are pros with lookouts, who know how to case a property. Usually in broad daylight.

I wish it were not so. My source for hearing about these incidents is neighbors on the Nextdoor app. I also have experience in security.

Search Electronics Display Alarms and you can see that retailers also face a challenge of theft. In many cases, the cables are through a loop attached via a really strong adhesive. Perhaps the adhesive some here use to attach their roof solar panels.

I get it that campgounds are different. But many campgrounds empty out during the day. Thieves take advantage of opportunity, & law enforcement is far away. It only makes sense that you will experience no horse theft, until the day your entire horse is missing.

I wish you all well in the full enjoyment of the toys you've worked hard to earn.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:16 AM   #36
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My Escape 21 was ordered with 2 160 watt roof mounted panels. I did a modification while at Quartzsite so they can be tilted towards the back of the trailer. Will do a better modification when I get back to NY that will let them tilt either direction perpendicular to the trailer length.

Went from 4-5 amps in the morning to 12 - 16 amps.
I'll be interested in what you come up with for tilting then to the side!
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:18 AM   #37
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I'll be interested in what you come up with for tilting then to the side!
It won't make much of a change in output, but it will give me more flexibility in site alignment.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:58 AM   #38
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I lock my Honda generators to an axle. While camping in Co. and away from the campground, a couple went to a camper next to us and told them that we had told them they could use them for a few hours. My neighboring campers didn't have the key, but they notified the camp host, but by then they had taken off.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:35 AM   #39
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Now that you have your solar panel chained , cabled , bolted, welded to everything in sight to prevent theft how are you going to prevent physical damage . A kid with a large rock or a bat or a can of spray paint can render your solar panel useless in seconds.
To what point must you go before paranoia is totally obliterated?
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:50 AM   #40
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agree

steve I agree now they are out scouting to steal mower peoples trailers lots of good stuff in them. they steal them right out off people driveways.

generators and all this outside stuff good for quick drug money!

bob
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