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Old 09-23-2022, 12:56 PM   #21
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Name: Richard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shocksll View Post
I did and i took the wires through my grey tank vent

More info in my video here: https://youtu.be/5lzwRLJOBI8
Very nice setup, thanks! VHB is very popular to install solar panels on Airstreams, but I have read mixed opinions on this forum, so I thought maybe VHB is not so good on fiberglass trailers? I know you only did your install about a year ago, are you still happy with the VHB, any issues, would you use VHB again? Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:43 PM   #22
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Very nice setup, thanks! VHB is very popular to install solar panels on Airstreams, but I have read mixed opinions on this forum, so I thought maybe VHB is not so good on fiberglass trailers? I know you only did your install about a year ago, are you still happy with the VHB, any issues, would you use VHB again? Thanks!
Let me jump in here. I didn't know how strong VHB was until I tried to remove my flexible collectors. I suggest not using it if you might ever want to remove them. You'd cringe if you saw what I had to resort to to get mine off the roof! It was brutal. A large wrecking bar jammed hard and repeatedly, point first, into the glue joint. I could not pry them off because it would have ripped the fiberglass apart before letting go.

Gluing them directly to the roof also means there is no circulation of air under them, so they'll run hotter and definitely more heat will conduct through them into the trailer. They become a black roof surface, instead of a shade over the roof. With framed collectors, you can unbolt them with no drama, air can circulate under them and the wires can be run under them. There are very important differences between glued down black mats and bolted framed collectors.

Flexible collectors don't have the best reputation, they seems to consistently produce less than advertised and they do fail. Once they are glued down, you are pretty much stuck (pun intended) with what you get because changing them is very hard.
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:18 PM   #23
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Gluing them directly to the roof also means there is no circulation of air under them, so they'll run hotter and definitely more heat will conduct through them into the trailer. They become a black roof surface, instead of a shade over the roof. With framed collectors, you can unbolt them with no drama, air can circulate under them and the wires can be run under them. There are very important differences between glued down black mats and bolted framed collectors.
Very good point Raspy. In Steve's (Shocksll) design he used VHB tape to mount only the mounting feet to the roof instead of screws/bolts, AMSolar use VHB in the same way all the time, so you still get the circulation of air under the panels. Steve explains it in his video https://youtu.be/5lzwRLJOBI8 around the 5:49 time stamp.
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:52 PM   #24
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re wiring through a fiberglass trailer. the alternative to using a vent is to use marine 'glands', you'll need two, one for each wire, with the right diameter for the insulation on your panel output wires. use some urethane sealant like Lexel or Proflex on the gland itself where its attached to the fiberglass, and put some silicone grease on the wire where it goes through the gland's compression fitting, and they are totally waterproof in all sorts of condtions.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by richdev View Post
Very nice setup, thanks! VHB is very popular to install solar panels on Airstreams, but I have read mixed opinions on this forum, so I thought maybe VHB is not so good on fiberglass trailers? I know you only did your install about a year ago, are you still happy with the VHB, any issues, would you use VHB again? Thanks!
Thanks and yes, Iíve been happy with the vhb and i would do it again. Iíve heard of you need to remove vhb you can use fishing line to cut it out without much hassle.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:39 PM   #26
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Thanks and yes, Iíve been happy with the vhb and i would do it again. Iíve heard of you need to remove vhb you can use fishing line to cut it out without much hassle.
I tried that and could not make it work, but maybe. As soon as the glue touches itself on the other side of the line, it bonds again. So someone would have to peel away the panel as someone else worked the line. And it is so sticky that the line is hard to pull back and forth.

Bonding is not a problem, getting it off is a problem.

Gluing them is about the same thing as painting the roof black as there is no air circulation under them and they get quite hot. So for those concerned about parking in the sun to make the solar work, this is probably worse than a bare white rooftop.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:57 PM   #27
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most automotive trim and badges are attached with VHB these days, I would check with an autobody shop to see what they do to remove said trim/badges prior to painting.
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Old 09-23-2022, 04:20 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
So someone would have to peel away the panel as someone else worked the line.

Gluing them is about the same thing as painting the roof black as there is no air circulation under them and they get quite hot. So for those concerned about parking in the sun to make the solar work, this is probably worse than a bare white rooftop.
Yea, i think mine is different because i used feet to mount the panels so i can easily remove my panels and then remove a foot at a time. Also, i have plenty of air flow.
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287F5507-3741-4AF5-91C0-848B26B87922.jpg   08F280B8-363E-45C3-A838-274CEC00177E.jpg  

A1CF0915-3B3E-4B12-B244-BBD6F07701A0.jpg   C51807A7-20EA-4A0F-A20F-712BC2B21751.jpg  

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Old 09-23-2022, 07:04 PM   #29
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Yea, i think mine is different because i used feet to mount the panels so i can easily remove my panels and then remove a foot at a time. Also, i have plenty of air flow.
Yup Steve, this is what I referred to in my post #23! Thanks for the pics.
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:47 AM   #30
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Yup Steve, this is what I referred to in my post #23! Thanks for the pics.
Oops, missed that one, my bad 😁
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Old 09-26-2022, 06:28 PM   #31
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I tried that and could not make it work, but maybe. As soon as the glue touches itself on the other side of the line, it bonds again.
Seems like a cable saw (or thin stainless fishing leader wire) and some WD-40 in a spray can might work.

Use the sprayer hose on the WD-40 can to immediately backfill the cut in the tape as you make it with the saw.

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Old 09-27-2022, 03:31 AM   #32
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Seems like a cable saw (or thin stainless fishing leader wire) and some WD-40 in a spray can might work.

Use the sprayer hose on the WD-40 can to immediately backfill the cut in the tape as you make it with the saw.


That looks like a good idea.
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Old 09-27-2022, 09:16 PM   #33
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I use 3m VHB tapes on all my products. Simple to remove, either with unwaxed dental floss or monofilament fishing line to saw the foam apart. Then the residues on the two separated pieces can be rolled up like a tootsie roll. Use acetone to clean any residue on fiberglass or metal (not on plastic.)
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Old 09-28-2022, 09:47 PM   #34
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Check this one out. Bet they’re much more durable than other competitors in the market.

https://www.bougerv.com/collections/...cc5bf424&_ss=r

Monocrystalline silicons are easy to break when you're riding on some bumpy trails or terrains, cuz most of them are made out of glass, but this one didn't even have any glasses attached to the flexible panels, and it can be bent 360 degrees without cracking, that's why I said it's more durable than other flexible solar panels.

After I ordered this one, I attached them to the roof top, then I step on it and even jump ups and downs a few times lol. I did that because their video says that their solar panels can do that and I just go ahead.

Speaking of efficiency, what impresses me is that it seems to perform better than others in cloudy weather, I live in the northern part of US so that's quite a bonus. But after all, 100w means 100w, you couldn't get too much from that.
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Old 09-28-2022, 11:24 PM   #35
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Check this one out. Bet they’re much more durable than other competitors in the market.

There’re two differences between this one and the other 100w flexible solar panels.

Monocrystalline silicon are easy to break when you're riding on some bumpy trails or terrains, cuz most of them are made out of glass, but this one didn't even have any glasses attached to the flexible panels, and it can be bent 360 degrees without cracking, that's why I said it's more durable than other flexible solar panels. After I ordered this one, I attached them to the rooftop, then I step on it and even jump ups and downs a few times lol. I did that because their video says that their solar panels can do that and I just go ahead.

https://www.bougerv.com/products/100...le-solar-panel
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Old 12-19-2022, 05:13 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by LauriMarrkanon View Post
Hey guys..

Pretty much a newbie here, bought a 2022 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe a couple of months before. Iím considering attaching a solar panel to the top of my trailer. I read hell lots of customer reviews of each panel but there are so many of them Iím kinda lost lol..

Anyway, Iíve decided to find one or two flexible panels on it, the reason why I decided to get them instead of rigid one is that I donít want too much weight on my top. But I also read that many of the flexible solar panels seem to fail within 2~ 4 years. So Iím wondering if you guys could share me with some stories about your experience using flexible solar panels..Is it really worth what it costs?

Thank you in advance!
You are better off with Rigid Panels. you won't have to worry about cell deterioration and ungluing them from your rooftop should they need replacement. Rigid solar panels don't cost that much. They are probably the least expensive component of your solar system. They should last over 10 years, and if something goes wrong, they are easy to replace. A $100W Rigid panel sells for about $85-$100. Everyone seems to be having a sale, so this is a great time to shop.

200-400 Watts worth of panels will cover all your boon docking needs (save AC). You could start with two 100 Watt panels and buy more if you feel the need. But I doubt you will.

I got 100 three 100 watt "compact design" panels from HQST about 3 years ago. These worked extremely well with the limited space on my roof. I would have bought a 4th panel, but there was no more room on my roof. I compared these to other panels on the internet found them to be superior in efficiency. They are well built, efficient panels. HQST has a very good reputation (Will Prouse recommends them) and I had no problems with my order. They are now on sale for $85. These panels I got 100 three 100 watt "compact" panels from HQST about 3 years ago. These worked extremely well with the limited space on my roof. I would have bought a 4th panel, but there was no more room on my roof. I compared these to other panels on the market found them to be superior in efficiency. They are well built, efficient panels. HQST has a very good reputation (Will Prouse recommends them) and I had no problems with my order. They are now on sale for $85. These panels come in single, 2 packs and 4 pack packages.

Your biggest problem will be finding room in your cabin for your Solar Controller and Inverter (optional item, for your 24V Appliances).

If you go lithium, you'll also need to find space for at least one 100 ah battery. You'll need 2 batteries for an Inverter. I suggest you PM the other Casita owners to see what their solar basement looks like, and where it is located.

Here's a link: http://https://hqsolarpower.com/products/solar-panels/

I would avoid kits. You want heavier gage (8gage) wiring instead of the 10 gage that comes in kits, and you should research solar controllers.

For $65-$85, invest in quality, copper 8 gage cables from your rooftop panels to your solar controller.

https://www.amazon.com/TEMCo-Gauge-S...67&sr=8-1&th=1

You're going to want 6 gage wires from your controller to your battery(ies) (or Inverter).


I also got a RichSolar 40A MPPT Controller. It's mid priced, and will give you the best bang for your buck. Highly recommended by Will Prouse. This is the same controller sold by Renogy, but it has larger input holes for the cables coming down from your rooftop panels.

http://https://richsolar.com/products/40-amp-mppt-solar-charge-controller

If you decide to go with the RichSolar Controller, also get the Bluetooth Module. Also check out Amazon pricing for this product.

Finally, if you do not have access to an expert who can install your solar system, you should research someone who can work with fiberglass. Find someone who really knows what they are doing. Take your time.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-19-2022, 06:26 PM   #37
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Monocrystalline panels are more efficient than Polycrystalline. I am very happy with the 360W LG 'NeonR' panel I put on my Escape, but I doubt it would fit on a Casita, its 66x40 inches x 1.57" thick. Its also a 36-40V panel, so you have to use an MPPT controller with it (these are more efficient anyways).

For MPPT controllers, I'm very happy with the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 I got, this will handle up to 100V PV and up to 30A PV (but not both at once, I think its limited to 500 watts or something).
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Old 12-19-2022, 06:41 PM   #38
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re wiring through a fiberglass trailer. the alternative to using a vent is to use marine 'glands', you'll need two, one for each wire, with the right diameter for the insulation on your panel output wires. use some urethane sealant like Lexel or Proflex on the gland itself where its attached to the fiberglass, and put some silicone grease on the wire where it goes through the gland's compression fitting, and they are totally waterproof in all sorts of condtions.
I really like the picture you displayed in your post. The glands advertised for trailers seem to leak overtime. These look more substantial, particularly using your suggested urethane sealant.

I ended up doing something similar. Instead of dropping the cable down my Bigfoot's starboard Refrigerator vent, we led it into the upper, port cupboard, then dropped it into the straight down into the solar basement under the port dinette seat. Very clean and direct entry, requiring a minimum amount of cable.

Regarding the controller, I personally wouldn't spend the extra bucks on the Victron. However, given limited space on the Casita, Lauri may find the smaller Victron a preferable option.
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:39 PM   #39
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I personally used Bougerv fiberglass solar panels on my trailer. While flexible panels are lightweight and can conform to the shape of your trailer's roof, they may be more prone to damage and degradation over time compared to rigid panels. It's essential to choose high-quality flexible panels from reputable brands and ensure they are properly installed to minimize the risk of failure.
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Old 02-21-2024, 09:08 AM   #40
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I personally used Bougerv fiberglass solar panels on my trailer. While flexible panels are lightweight and can conform to the shape of your trailer's roof, they may be more prone to damage and degradation over time compared to rigid panels. It's essential to choose high-quality flexible panels from reputable brands and ensure they are properly installed to minimize the risk of failure.
How many years have your Bougerv panels been installed?

Thanks,

Perry
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