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Old 02-13-2019, 04:32 PM   #1
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What do you think about the drill less solar mounts?

What do you think about the "drill less solar mounts" on a TPO roof? (Of coarse I think they would work better on a fiberglass or tin roof but it looks like a few RV'er are glueing down to TPO as well).

Im still on my solar quest and if I decide to go with rigid panels it would be nice to install the drill less corner solar mounts.

https://www.amazon.com/NUZAMAS-Unive...JTJ36VFGZKYNYV

But im afraid over time they will want to tear the roof by lifting the TPO up so I thought I might drill holes in just 2 corners or perhaps all 4 corners??

The way I look at it the z brackets have two screws per a foot (so 8 screws / holes) where as if I use the drill less ones I can glue it down (Or use VHB tape) plus add one screw per a bracket (so only 4 holes). The glue (VHB tape) should prevent the screws from ripping out and the screws will help prevent the panels from breaking loose if the TPO gives out.

What do you think?
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:47 PM   #2
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I bought my panels from AM Solar. Their bracket has a small, maybe 1x3 area with VHB. Thats all they use on 'glass and metal but insists it be screwed onto a TPO roof. I thought about, but didn't, taping that "foot" to 4x4 gal plate, attaching it with VHB or Dicor and a couple of screws as you're thinking. I even though about laying Enternabond over that. But the rain was coming...it's the VHB and one screw overlaid with Dicor. I do intend to revisit it.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:06 PM   #3
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To me those look like the flange on the hatch cover. I would install it the same way (with a hatch or window kit).

Put some sealant on the bottom, drill holes in it + roof (probably about 6 per corner piece), screw down and dicor over everything.

I wouldn't rely on the TPO roof holding anything down...its just a loose membrane--it would be like securing something to your awning fabric.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
I wouldn't rely on the TPO roof holding anything down...its just a loose membrane--it would be like securing something to your awning fabric.
I agree: use the proper screws and sealant, and you'll be very happy with the results.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:47 PM   #5
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Ok, so use VHB tape plus screws if I use either mouting system? Better safe than sorry.

So do we like these plastic feet better than Z brackets? Do they look better?

They come in white or black. I like the looks of the black but the white makes more sense being on the roof + it makes them stand out less.

One Plus might be when I clean the roof it should prevent the sharp edges of the panels from cuting me or snagging on any blue jeans or rags / brushes I use.

Might also reduce tripping hazard?

Im not set against drilling the roof but I want the best looking, most solid mounting system. And if I can drill less holes the better.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:01 PM   #6
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Here's an earlier post on mounting. Pretty solid planning- Thor Forums - View Single Post - Solar Install Tips needed


Well nuts but they do stand pround about <1/8"- https://www.google.com/search?client...1-d&q=well+nut
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Bilsteins and Sumos front and rear...HUGE! FatMat and Hoodliner...HUGE!
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
Ok, so use VHB tape plus screws if I use either mouting system? Better safe than sorry.

So do we like these plastic feet better than Z brackets? Do they look better?

They come in white or black. I like the looks of the black but the white makes more sense being on the roof + it makes them stand out less.
.
The z-Brackets have a pretty darn good reputation...
As far as the color of the brackets: you'll probably cover them up with all sorts of sealant anyway... the color of them is probably a "non-issue".
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:26 PM   #8
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Ok, thanks "G" and Bob.

Stuff like this I like to take my time and look at the pros and cons before I purchase or install it. Might take months to figure it out (im in no rush). But I think I have the general kit figured out (200 watts, Mppt controller with BT).

The worse thing to me is that "little voice in my head".... "Why didnt I do this or that?" or "I should have spent a little more and got that" etc.

I know Bob knows all about the "Voice in his head". LOL.

So research is key for any big purchase or major mod.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:34 PM   #9
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...I know Bob knows all about the "Voice in his head". LOL.
When they sing off-key:
Nobody can get by with just a single voice.


http://www.thorforums.com/forums/att...1&d=1550086424
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:56 PM   #10
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I didn't know those drill-free brackets existed. Like you, I'm still peeking in the windows of solar. This moves me up a few rungs. The attachment system is the only thing holding me back. I would glue them and then lay Eternabond along the otter edges. No drilling here...just can't bring myself to do it. These coaches are already pre-wired for it on the roof, right? Seems I read something about it in the papers that came with the Owner's Packet.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:00 PM   #11
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The Outlaw was wired up top for it...

http://www.thorforums.com/forums/att...1&d=1550088046
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:29 PM   #12
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Yep, 2018 Thor (gas coaches) and up are wired for solar.

Mine is 2017 (so no preinstalled wires) but thats Okay, I can custom mount mine inside and out.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
I didn't know those drill-free brackets existed. Like you, I'm still peeking in the windows of solar. This moves me up a few rungs. The attachment system is the only thing holding me back. I would glue them and then lay Eternabond along the otter edges. No drilling here...just can't bring myself to do it. These coaches are already pre-wired for it on the roof, right? Seems I read something about it in the papers that came with the Owner's Packet.
Yeah I been looking off an on for a year. I like these plastic mounts and the Eternabond with glue or VHB tape should hold fine.... But I might still use one screw per a foot (or perhaps just two of the feet?) to makes sure the dont break loose or damage my roof.

I really would like the flexable panels (and just tape them down) but the reliablity is not there yet and that would upset me if I had to replace them (even if it was under warrantee) within the first 5 years (Which is highly likely from the research I have done so far - many fail within the first year).

So I will keep digging and let you all know what I find that works best for me. Perhaps it will help someone down the road as well.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:39 PM   #14
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I'm still leaning toward a couple of "suitcase solar" kits, that I can clip right to any battery that might need some attention...
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:58 PM   #15
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Yeah I like that Idea (Suitcase) but I dont want to have to set anything up. If I was at one place for more than a few days that would work Okay.

Plus Im still working so sometimes I have to stop for several hours (in parking lots) to get work done... then Im back on the road. So it would be nice not having the Genset running the entire time. If I use my printer that will suck a lot of juice too.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:55 PM   #16
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i have the roof sprayed by rvroof.com so I've been thinking along these lines off and on. Didn't know about these purpose made brackets though. I have just been contemplating sticking down some flex panels, or perhaps rigid ones...low profile right down on the roof
I figure mine is a good bit stiffer and stronger than just the TPO sheet

or I've thought for example on top of the AC shroud I could put a small flex panel

I just hate the idea of drilling through my caulk-free roof.

When I had it done they told me they would re-spray for anything like this if ever needed....but I'm not sure if they meant for a price or not. Regardless it's as much about the hassle of getting it there, dropping it off, etc...

I've also considered looking closer for a way to perhaps attach some metal structure bridging between two existing hard points...such as the AC frame and a roof vent/fan....then attaching solar to it.

In the end, I really dislike adhesive type connections. So many things that can go wrong. I'm a mechanical guy, and just feel better about mechanical fasteners.
so I keep coming back to just screwing the things down and then someday getting those spots re-sprayed by rvroof.com....IF I ever do get around to doing solar...
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
... Plus Im still working so sometimes I have to stop for several hours (in parking lots) to get work done... then Im back on the road. So it would be nice not having the Genset running the entire time. If I use my printer that will suck a lot of juice too.
You're definitely not a candidate for the suitcase setup...
We usually set up in one place for a couple of days, so it's not a problem for us.
I was just trying to throw an "Out of the box" possibility toward you.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
Yeah I like that Idea (Suitcase) but I dont want to have to set anything up. If I was at one place for more than a few days that would work Okay.

Plus Im still working so sometimes I have to stop for several hours (in parking lots) to get work done... then Im back on the road. So it would be nice not having the Genset running the entire time. If I use my printer that will suck a lot of juice too.
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 condusive 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!
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:48 AM   #19
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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 condusive 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!

The portable units would fit your bill. You can camp in the shade and move them around to find the sun.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:38 AM   #20
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I see your logic... Search for the Sun, and it may just find YOU!

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