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Old 06-01-2016, 09:01 AM   #1
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'16 Eagle HT 26.5 BHS kayak and solar panel

Hi all,
We just got a new '16 Eagle HT 26.5 BHS. We are looking to figure out if anyone has ever tried to put a kayak on the roof of the tow vehicle while towing the 5th wheel. We would love to bring the kayak but can't figure out how.
I also would love info on the solar panel stuff. What exactly can you do if you have solar power and what would you need to make this happen? I see all over the camper it has the capability of using a solar panel.
Thanks!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:47 PM   #2
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I don't have a 5er yet but did get tired of lugging the kayaks (17 ft) around and decided we did not kayak enough anymore to justify the high end kevlar kayaks. Sold them and researched inflatable or foldable kayaks.

Ended up buying Advanced Elements AE1009 kayaks that are compact and only weigh 42 lbs each and are 13ft long but store small. We think this will work for our kayak needs.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:54 PM   #3
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I just started hauling 4 kayaks. We have a 29.5 BHDS HT fiver.

I got a Thule roof rack, a front receiver hitch and a Thule Goalpost for my F-350 and have them mostly over the hood. Still playing with the arrangements, but managed to travel 500 miles last weekend without them flying off. Kind of pricey, but it seems to work.

I'll see if I can find a picture of my setup to post.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:30 PM   #4
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Here are pictures of what I'm doing. 12' kayaks fit better than 10'.
Attached Thumbnails
20160527_152531.jpg   20160530_195047.jpg  
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:37 PM   #5
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Looks great !!!!
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:53 AM   #6
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looks good...we have roof racks on our truck...we have a full 4 door Tundra. I wonder if we would need anything over the front with a 10' kayak?
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skichikk18 View Post
looks good...we have roof racks on our truck...we have a full 4 door Tundra. I wonder if we would need anything over the front with a 10' kayak?
A 10' Kayak really seems to be a tough size for a fifth wheel and a pickup. My 12' kayaks fit much better from roof to front rack, but a 10' just on the roof may be a little off. I can only answer to try it and see how it works.

If you get the install manuals for the rack you would use, they'll tell you where the racks are placed from the front and rear of the roof. Once you have this, you can run some math to see where the kayaks will sit and how far of the back of the cab they will hang.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skichikk18 View Post
Hi all,
We just got a new '16 Eagle HT 26.5 BHS. We are looking to figure out if anyone has ever tried to put a kayak on the roof of the tow vehicle while towing the 5th wheel. We would love to bring the kayak but can't figure out how.
I also would love info on the solar panel stuff. What exactly can you do if you have solar power and what would you need to make this happen? I see all over the camper it has the capability of using a solar panel.
Thanks!!
I noticed that you didn't get an answer to your solar question - I'll see what I can help you with.

Solar is really for camping without electric hookups for more than 1 night. We only do it occasionally, usually when staying in a National Park on a long vacation. I have made do in the past by running 2 marine batteries and running a generator. Now that I am smarter, I realize how badly I was treating my batteries and why they were dying after a couple of years.

For this years trip (first long one in the new Jayco), I am armed with 2 Trojan T-105 Batteries, a true deep cycle battery and as of this afternoon, should have my Renogy 200 watt starter kit. At this point, I plan on installing the charge controller and just using the panels as portable units. So I really won't be using the installed solar provisions on the camper.

I am doing this so when we are in Glacier, I can put power into the batteries when we are off enjoying nature. I'll also have the generator if I need it. I also have a battery monitor so I can monitor voltage and keep from running my batteries too far south (which is how i killed the marine batteries in my old trailer). While I don't expect the 200 Watts of Solar to have me at 100% battery daily, I expect that it will reduce the generator run time significantly and free me from having to worry about being at the site for generator hours. I'll let you know in a month how it worked out for me.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skichikk18 View Post
Hi all,
We just got a new '16 Eagle HT 26.5 BHS.... I also would love info on the solar panel stuff. What exactly can you do if you have solar power and what would you need to make this happen? I see all over the camper it has the capability of using a solar panel.
Thanks!!
Cdash is working on a nice system, and will probably agree that there is a lot of planning before investing in a SOLAR package. Is SOLAR what you want? Or need? Would a generator better meet your needs? I hate the noise of a generator and we hit locations with no electric, so that is what motivated me to go with SOLAR. I also wanted the SOLAR to keep my batteries charged 365 days a year with out depending on the TT's battery charge controller. Since I went with SOLAR, the TT's battery charge controller's AC breaker has been turned off.

The first question is do you intend on doing a lot of dry-camping or a couple days a year? Or do you just want it to keep your batteries topped off? These two items will give you the direction you need to go.

If it is just to keep your batteries topped off, the answer is easy... buy a 50 watt solar panel kit. 50 watts will give you just under 5 amps, which is plenty to keep your batteries topped off, when not using your TT. The reason I like 50 watts is because on a cloudy or rainy day it will still put out power to keep you topped off where a 10 watt will not.

IF you want to go SOLAR for some dry-camping, then I guess you and the other parts of WE, need to sit down with a pencil and paper (if they still use them) and see how much battery power needs to be replenished by the sun. We know the basics, lights (LED's), ceiling exhaust fans, table fans, central heating system (fan), water pump.... charge your electronics (smart phones, laptops, Gameboy, xbox....)? Then you have to figure out what else you need, to make your camping trip enjoyable? INVERTER? To power a microwave? TV? (Sorry no Air Cond...) Once you have a idea as to what you need the SOLAR to power (replenish your batteries), you can get an idea as to the amount of Amp Hours (Ah) needed for those items, you can then select the batteries to meet your needs, whether it is (2) 12Volt batteries or (2) 6 volt batteries, or maybe 4 of each? As for the amount of SOLAR panels you need, depends on the Ah rating of the batteries you select... a general rule of thumb is if your batteries are rated at 200Ah, then you should go with at least 200 watts of SOLAR panels at a minimum.

For us we have (2) Trojan T145 6-volt batteries (260Ah), and it meets our needs and 250 Watts of SOLAR to keep them charged. This combination is great during the summer months, but cuts it close in late Fall, Winter and Early spring.

Go to our RVing with SOLAR social group (it is under Community above) and you will find a lot of information regarding INSTALLING the system your self (some step by step instructions), BATTERY information, wiring info....

I am sure some of the other members will drop in with suggestions (sorry I just did a lot of the same as Cdash)

Good Luck,
Don
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