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Old 11-27-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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Solar panels on an Alpha-Ply roof ... help?

Does anyone have experience installing solar panels (or anything else for that matter) on a newer Jayco TT with an Alpha-Ply roof? We are looking at putting solar panels on our new Jay Flight 28BHS and are uncertain about a few items including:

- where to screw in ... into trusses or space between?
- what is the best anchor to use ... screws? anchor bolts?
- what type of sealant to use ... the usual Dicor goop is apparently not compatible with Alpha-Ply material.

Any experiences or thoughts would be much appreciated.

Also, what is the best way to get technical drawings of roof and walls? Email or phone? My first attempt at a phone call to customer service at Jayco was not a smashing success. A somewhat confused rep when off to ask some questions and hung up on me

Edward and Danielle
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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Try sending an email, I've had good success here.

service@jayco.com
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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With any communication with Jayco provide them with your VIN.

Along with the JOF member replies, another good technical source for questions about mounting solar panels to RV's give these folks a call (helped me in the past):

http://www.amsolar.com/

Bob
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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Jayco will want the last 8 digits of your vin #. I called them for the drawing of my floor framing they emailed it to me right away.

Personally, I would secure the panels into the trusses. I am not sure what would be the best goop to use to seal the fasteners. However, if you screw into the trusses, I would predrill the holes, then apply a SMALL amount of gorilla glue into the hole, then screw in your fastener. Gorilla glue appears to create a water tight bond between the wood and the fastener. Then use the best caulk/goop on top of the fasteners, as the first layer of protection.

Best of luck, make sure you post some pictures when you are done.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for those suggestions, especially the confirmation that I should go for the truss. I will post pictures when we make some progress on the mod.

I had also contacted AM Solar, which is where I will likely get the components for the project. They were very helpful, though the guy I talked to was more familiar with the electronics than the mounting. It is from them that I had found out that Dicor was not recommended. Sounds like they are still working out what they will be recommending for Alpha-Ply roof sealing.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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I'm sure AMSolar will come up with a resolution soon because they do a fair amount of solar system installations.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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OK, progress so far. One of the challenges is that our "new trailer" is actually still on order from Jayco. Getting Jayco to answer any general question without a VIN is hopeless so I gave up on that for now. We did order a solar kit from AMSolar.

Anyway, here is the short synopsis of the Alpha-Ply issue:

- Jayco confirms on-line that the 2013 JF series has: "One-piece, sidewall-wrapped Alpha Ply material"
http://www.jayco.com/products/travel...t/construction

- AM Solar, and other sources, state that use of Dicor on Alpha-Ply will cause blistering and bubbling.
http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/page...r_sealant.html

- Dicor responds in their FAQ that blistering is due to reaction of petroleum-distillates in the sealant but that the blistering goes away
https://www.dicorproducts.com/faq/#p...um-distillates

- Others have said that the blisters do not go away.

- From various contexts, I am inferring that Alpha-Ply may be chemically similar to TPO, though nothing confirmed. No where have we found a manufacturer approved statement like "this sealant works on Alpha-Ply"

- Alpha-Systems has not responded to any of my emails but we did find a statement in one of their documents related to Alpha-Ply heat weld repairs that states "Alpha recommends adding a 3/8” bead of Alpha Systems 1010 Non-Sag Sealant around the perimeter of the patched area."
http://www.alphasystemsinc.com/files...%20repairs.doc

Hooray, something concrete at last.

Finally, I found that RV Parts Nation sells AS-1015 self-leveling, but not AS-1010 lap sealant
http://www.rvpartsnation.com/product...-sealant-p1015

I am looking for the self-leveling formulation anyway, assumed these were chemically compatible but of different viscosity, and ordered some tubes.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #8
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Great follow-up and reference links!

During your installation take plenty of pics to share..., plenty of folks looking into solar as an alternative power source.

Bob
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
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Heck,
I would seal it with Eternabond Tape. That would probably be a great application.
Just a thought.

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Old 12-09-2012, 09:27 AM   #10
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The eternabond tape is the best solution... it never needs replacing and as long as it is put down right it will seal... I just bought 2 rolls and when I remove my dicor sealant this winter I will replace it with the EB.
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