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Old 09-16-2013, 02:16 PM   #1
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Solar roof mount

Hi,

I have a SLX 185rb. I went on the roof to scout out locations to mount a solar panel. The roof appears pretty sturdy. I wondered if anyone here has a comment on mounting panels to the roof, ie., just screw into the roof material, or find a roof joist, etc.

Thanks.

Scott Moore
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
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I always used to look for a roof rafter for the leading edge of the panel at least but with the decking being pretty thick now and the sealant you use I am not to concerned about finding a joist. I use lag bolts and a ton and a half of the sealant dicor for the old roofs and at least some of the new jaycos have the new alpha ply roof so that takes a different sealant. both are tough and strong and have good holding properties all by themselves. I use 3/8 lag bolts and 2 per corner so 8 lag bolts holding down one panel.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by max2bob View Post
I always used to look for a roof rafter for the leading edge of the panel at least but with the decking being pretty thick now and the sealant you use I am not to concerned about finding a joist. I use lag bolts and a ton and a half of the sealant dicor for the old roofs and at least some of the new jaycos have the new alpha ply roof so that takes a different sealant. both are tough and strong and have good holding properties all by themselves. I use 3/8 lag bolts and 2 per corner so 8 lag bolts holding down one panel.
A few questions:

1. Did you find the rafter by the "push on things" method or?

2. I got a tube of dicor, I was getting ready to seal up the antenna boot, which came loose. My TT is pretty new, 2014 185rb, do you happen to know what the new sealant is?

Thanks,

Scott

ps. The "push on it" didn't work well for me in finding a bathroom stud, but I got "hollow wall anchors", 1 inch, and that worked very well (the all metal kind that expand like an unbrella). It did work in finding the studs for the TV mount (I spread the load across two studs). I am tempted to use a wall penetrating stud finder for the job. I have had some success with it, even finding wood behind wood.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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I have a stud finder and that is good at locating the stud and also the edges so you can hit the middle of the stud with your fastener. I am not sure if jayco went to all alpha ply roof material on all there lines or just a few lines. ours is a 2013 and actually found out by accident it had the alpha ply roof. (it does state it in the trailer brochure) if you put the dicor sealant on the alpha ply it supposedly blisters it. I just ordered the correct sealant from alpha and was good to go.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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When I get to my install I am going to mount from the side edge of the roof. and make an aluminum frame to hold the panels across the roof. I am just not a big fan of drilling into the roof if I can keep from doing it...
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
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Here is what I did to mount my solar panel on our Eagle 284BHS. I called a RV place in CA that sets up RV's for solar and inquired about mounting the panel(s) on the roof of my Eagle. They said that it is not necessary to locate the the trusses in the roof as the roof decking is 3/8" thick, and the trusses would not line up with the panel anyway. I used 8 solar panel mounting brackets from the site below. I situated the panel on the roof where it was going to be mounted, marked the new mounting holes in the panel frame for the brackets. I then mounted the brackets on the panel and marked where I needed to pre-drill the holes in the roof. After pre-drilling the holes in the roof, I cut a couple pieces of white water hose and sliced them length wise, and placed them between the solar panel and the peak of the roof, so that the metal would not cut into the roof. I then filled all the holes in the roof with the roof sealant and spread it over the area where the brackets would sit on the roof. I then mounted the panel with #14 x 1 1/4 screws, which are more that enough to do the job. I poured roofing sealant over the brackets and screws. I used white wire channels under the awning to get the wires from the back of the roof to the front storage section. They have a sticky side and look/work great.
I did this project about 4 months ago and traveled over 6K miles (Colorado..... and back) with no issues at all. We encountered cross winds (at Wilson Lake) of over 40 mph in KS for 3 days with no issues. I kept checking the brackets and wire as we went along. I attached a link to my album that shows the solar panel mounted on the roof.

Good luck, hope this helps
Don

Album: (Solar Roof Panel)
https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329

-----------------------------------------------------http://www.solar-electric.com/
Z-Bracket RV Mounting SOL-Z-Bracket 1 14.00 (set of 4)
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Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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That was a pretty good and detailed overview.

Yes, I have the Alpha roof.

Yes, I already bought some Diclor.

Scott
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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Scott,

I also have a 184RB (just got it the other week) What kind of solar panels are you getting and what are you expecting to run with it? Are you charging batteries or trying to get straight electric to your fridge? about how many panels are you running? Just wondering if it's worth looking into to save the extra money from an electric site (we have a ton of state parks close by, and i didn't realize that the "full service" sites would be booked weeks in advanced)

~Nick
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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Scott,

I also have a 184RB (just got it the other week) What kind of solar panels are you getting and what are you expecting to run with it? Are you charging batteries or trying to get straight electric to your fridge? about how many panels are you running? Just wondering if it's worth looking into to save the extra money from an electric site (we have a ton of state parks close by, and i didn't realize that the "full service" sites would be booked weeks in advanced)

~Nick
Lets see:

1. I haven't decided yet. The roof is still plenty clear and those RV solar panels are not big (47x21). I think a 200w setup looks good.

2. I think I would run my TV on propane if I could. I still haven't gone through the original load I was given with the TT.

3. In California, I am not bothering to look for full hookup sites anymore, there just are too few. Pretty much all my improvements so far have been aimed at state parks. We try this out for the first time this weekend, dry camp for 3 days.

So far I have:

1. Doubled up the battery with another deep cycle. I think that is all I want to do there. I know everyone is avocating advanced batteries and/or 4 batteries. The nice thing about just doubling the original deep cycle that came with the travel trailer is that it is relatively cheap and there is room on the tounge. I did have to find another group 24 battery box and then modify it. There wasn't enough room for the handles and other overlapping plastic, so I dremeled it and taped the boxes together. Then the batteries got bridged with #4 wire.

2. Since I have a pickup TV (ranger), I got extra tanks for both fresh water and waste water. I already had a sureflo waste pump/macerator I use to dump at home, so this pumps graywater to the waste tank. I got a demand pump identical to the one inside the TT, which means I can use the fresh tank hooked up to the city water intake via the demand pump, and it acts just like the internal tank. Both of these tanks are double the size of the ones in the TT, and I can drive to the pumpout or to a facet to dump or reload without moving the trailer. Most state parks aren't drivethrough sites in any case, so you have to drop the trailer.

3. I have tried out LED lighting, with equivalent lumens (actually slightly more) than the original #921 lights. At about $25 per light, the total conversion is not cheap. However, I expect that to significantly extend my dry time.

So there you have it. All told it is not cheap. However, that will significantly extend the usability of the TT.

Scott
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #10
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Update: I decided to go with the 200 watt panel arrangement, a full kit from Amazon from renogy for $400. The idea was that this same 30 amp controller would allow expanding to 400w if needed, although the 200w panels match the two batteries approximately, using the 1amp/1watt rule, see:

http://www.jackdanmayer.com/rv_elect...n%20to%20Solar

I am also installing a 1000watt inverter with it. I want to go direct to the panel, but I have not figured out a good switchover arrangement that cuts out the converter/charger. I am still working that out.

All of this is going to be a serious wiring project. The solar controller wants to go inside, as do most of the wiring I suspect.

The capacities were chosen for what seems reasonable for a small trailer. 2 batteries, reasonable upgrade costs, 200w of solar, an inverter that can't really power the microwave and/or air conditioner.

This allows dry camping, and in the long run, I may also use it in my consulting business, which involves long distances and months spent on the job.

cheers,

Scott
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