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Old 02-14-2019, 12:47 PM   #21
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Hey Bob, your playing my Tune (Well one of many of them).

Hence my screeen name.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:58 PM   #22
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Not to derail the thread but...what size portable solar system would you need to power the coach if you were leaving it unattended for a few days with just the residential fridge running off the inverter? Batteries are the two 6V's that came standard with coach. Obviously assuming it was reasonably sunny weather.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:59 PM   #23
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Back on to the topic here.... So would your rather use the Drill less brackets (but still drill one hole into each of them along with VHB tape) over Z brackets (with 2 holes per bracket)? Or does it really matter?

What looks more pleasing to the eye regardless of how its mounted??



I like the way the look but if Im going to use screws anyway does it really matter?
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:06 PM   #24
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I think the point of the product is not having to use screws. Brackets are much heavier than I imagined. If I went that route, I would glue them down and remove panels while traveling (if that's n option). I like it but no screws!!
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:11 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mo_Mike View Post
I am going to throw this out, just because my little "voices" are arguing back and forth. We haven't done as much "boondocking" as we are planning on doing, but so far we have tried to find nice shady spots to park to keep the temps down in our VEGAS..

So, then the question in my head becomes, "if I am trying to find a shady parking spot, that probably wont be conclusive to rooftop solar"..

And since solar while driving isn't probably a high priority (since the alternator helps to charge the batteries)do I really want roof top solar, or would building an easy setup portable solar be more useful...

Any input from all you boondockers would be greatly appreciated!
Yeah, I'm not the "boondocker" that you are directing your question to...but my thoughts...
and my perspective is the occasional weekend RV'er, who does an occasional overnight stop off grid...and on a few trips we've done about 1/2 of the nights off grid (walmart, truck stops, etc..)...and I do an annual trip..well most years....where I'll park at sun n fun for 2-3 night straight without hookups and without driving. I don't have an inverter and have the 2-way propane type fridge
I've been considering solar mainly just to keep batteries topped off in storage...but also to supplement the generator (or alternator) for recharging.

so to your question...
I've found that mostly the driving I do between overnight stops...and the generator running for house AC during the day... is enough to keep it topped up more or less...although as I understand it, it takes many hours to get the battery from nearly full to 100%...and those days when I'm just driving around town (or for example back and forth between the camp site and the visitor center at the grand canyon) might not be enough... especially considering during that time I might also be drawing down the batteries by starting the genny several different times throughout the day.

Disregarding the use for the time in storage....When 'on the go' I figure there are tons of times in a typical day when solar would give me at least some charge. Even when parked in the shade the thing is rarely fully shaded. Also, lots of time sitting in full or partial sun at stop lights where the alternator isn't charging as much...or times when it is also charging the chassis battery. When stopped for a few hours at a museum...or a store... getting gas...grabbing lunch...or wherever.

just some thoughts for brainstorming, not based on verified science....
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:21 PM   #26
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Jamie hit on the crux of the matter. If you were to just use the sealant to hold those brackets down: they're only attached to the TPO roof covering. That is not a solid chunk of the rig.
With your roof: the Z-Brackets that are solidly screwed down; are the solid choice.

( Sorry...)
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:26 PM   #27
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Yeah, I think if you go with rigid you better screw them down to be safe. Unless I find some flexable solar panels I really like (and have a good warrantee / reliability) I think I will go with rigid and screw them down and use plenty of dicor.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:44 PM   #28
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But it sure is fun to figure out all of the options!

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Old 02-24-2019, 02:28 AM   #29
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I installed 150 watts of solar on my Axis 2 years ago - so far no problems.
I have 2 rigid panels. I used z-brackets, drilled and used rubber well nuts to secure the panels. Also used copious amounts of lap sealant. Ran the wire down the fridge vent (easy).
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:04 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
I installed 150 watts of solar on my Axis 2 years ago - so far no problems.
I have 2 rigid panels. I used z-brackets, drilled and used rubber well nuts to secure the panels. Also used copious amounts of lap sealant. Ran the wire down the fridge vent (easy).
On 24.1, and drilling into the roof...
how did you know how to avoid the air conditioning channels in the roof?
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:44 AM   #31
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Quote:
On 24.1, and drilling into the roof...
how did you know how to avoid the air conditioning channels in the roof?
I did drill though the corner of one channel, it did not seem like a big deal. One reason I used the well nuts is because the roof plywood is not all that thick and I didn't think the screw threads had much to bite into. Also the well nuts are kinda self sealing. I can post a picture of my panel placement if that helps anyone.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:39 AM   #32
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Radical mounting solar panels

Took a lot of "engineering", but I managed to put my 2 rigid solar panels out of the way of all roof shadows by mounting them on two metal poles running between the two air conditioners. I replaced all 8 a/c shroud bolts with bolts long enough to go through the 2" pipes and into the a/c frame. Added a support block in the middle "just 'cuz". Also added some heavy duty zip ties as back-up in case of primary attachment failure. Installed June 2017 with Morningstar 45 amp mmpt controller for possible future expansion. All continues to work well. Based on usage thus far I estimate needing 2 more panels to cover the house size refer, microwave, lights etc. Not a project for the novice, but I did avoid putting holes in the roof!
Larry
PS unsuccessful attempt to post picture
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:26 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
I installed 150 watts of solar on my Axis 2 years ago - so far no problems.
I have 2 rigid panels. I used z-brackets, drilled and used rubber well nuts to secure the panels. Also used copious amounts of lap sealant. Ran the wire down the fridge vent (easy).
Thinking abt going with this flex panel -200 watts
Measures 42 x 31
Has good reviews

200 watt flex panel - $189

Then pair it with a $79 30amp MPPT charge controller

So...200 watts + MPPT for under $270
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:48 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logcabiny View Post
Took a lot of "engineering", ...snip.. Not a project for the novice, but I did avoid putting holes in the roof!
Larry
PS unsuccessful attempt to post picture
Try again on the photos, I'd really like to see your install.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:11 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logcabiny View Post
Took a lot of "engineering", but I managed to put my 2 rigid solar panels out of the way of all roof shadows by mounting them on two metal poles running between the two air conditioners. I replaced all 8 a/c shroud bolts with bolts long enough to go through the 2" pipes and into the a/c frame. Added a support block in the middle "just 'cuz". Also added some heavy duty zip ties as back-up in case of primary attachment failure. Installed June 2017 with Morningstar 45 amp mmpt controller for possible future expansion. All continues to work well. Based on usage thus far I estimate needing 2 more panels to cover the house size refer, microwave, lights etc. Not a project for the novice, but I did avoid putting holes in the roof!
Larry
PS unsuccessful attempt to post picture
Congratulations!
When you get the "Picture Thing" working: they'll be greatly appreciated...
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:31 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
Thinking abt going with this flex panel -200 watts
Measures 42 x 31
Has good reviews

200 watt flex panel - $189

Then pair it with a $79 30amp MPPT charge controller

So...200 watts + MPPT for under $270
Yeah I was thinking about flexable panels as well.... but the majorty of panel problems (from my research) was with the flexable ones. They just dont hold up very well over time.

Most had problems within a year or two and from my research ....dont expect more than 5 years life out of them.

Whereas the rigid have a 25+ year life and less problems in the first 5 years. Also it Looks like the name brands have better reviews (but cost a little more).

But that link you show looks like an excellent value and good reviews.....

It sure would be nice to just tape down the panels and move on. I been struggling with this decision for months now.....I guess I just need to pull the trigger on something and not look back?
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:18 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
I installed 150 watts of solar on my Axis 2 years ago - so far no problems.
I have 2 rigid panels. I used z-brackets, drilled and used rubber well nuts to secure the panels. Also used copious amounts of lap sealant. Ran the wire down the fridge vent (easy).
why well nuts instead of screws?


sorry, I should have read the whole thread first, I saw your answer to this question...
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:05 AM   #38
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Back to the non-drill mounts for a moment...
If you've got a fiberglass roof (No membrane): they would sure seem like a good choice.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:07 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Back to the non-drill mounts for a moment...
If you've got a fiberglass roof (No membrane): they would sure seem like a good choice.
Exactly, or an aluminum roof like I see on some trailers.

I have not pulled the trigger yet (installing solar system) but I hope to sometime this springs. I will update you all on my progress.

I see that some of the solar panels and solar contollers I was looking at both had a price drops.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:32 PM   #40
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The fun is in the shopping: isn't it?
Let us know how the process goes!
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