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Old 04-18-2015, 09:27 PM   #11
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Good look with the solar panels and welcome to the forum
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:08 PM   #12
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Todd:

I am very appreciative you have taken the time to respond and produce a diagram and comprehensive bill of materials.

Of particular interest is the fact you mounted the four solar panels on the roof of the same size trailer I will eventually modify. I had thought the rooftop is slightly domed but you don't mention this so I presume all mounting surfaces are essentially flat. Though you are silent on the matter, I conclude the solar panels mounted without potential shadowing from any equipment that is on the roof. Mechanical question...for the solar mounting brackets/clips, what size screw hardware did you use? I have a tendency to build things that will withstand an enraged bull elephant and the last thing I want to do is to have screw hardware protruding through the interior ceiling! If I undertake this project on my own--seems more and more likely--I intend to use stainless steel screws/fittings on the exposed roof to obviate rust stains and early metal deterioration.

I await your advice regarding mounting.

Regards,
Bob
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:21 PM   #13
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Contact Mustang65 in this forum, he has a sweet setup complete with pictures and capabilities.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:53 PM   #14
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Hi Bob.

The roof is domed and I did mention that they "lean to each side given the curvature of the roof, but otherwise lay flat." In other words, they are not parallel to the ground. Each side leans to its own side a little. But again, based on research, my conversations with the manufacturer, and so far my own experience, this is not an issue. IF it proves to be an issue I plan to buy some brackets for tilting them when I arrive on site. I can then tilt them a little and tighten them down (with the addition of some spacers maybe) OR up to 45 degrees in the direction of the sun, which will boost their effectiveness obviously.

There is no shadowing. There might be a little very late in the day if the sun is facing the rear of my camper, but otherwise none. The screws used were the ones that came with the kit (especially designed for RVs). That said, I had help from the dealer's mechanic. He was my insurance to prevent me from doing it wrong.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:10 PM   #15
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I Give Up

Todd:

Re 23RB sloped roof. Did you and/or mechanic get up on the roof for solar panel installation, or did you work elevated from the sides? I have misgivings about climbing up on the roof, even though I insisted on having the Elite rear ladder option included in my build.

Bob
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:19 AM   #16
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I personally did not, but the mechanic did. I read somewhere that the roof can support something like 500 lbs. of weight. And I've seen videos of people walking around on the roof.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:30 AM   #17
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Bob yes you can get up there and walk on the roof... just don't dance a jig up there. TREAD SOFTLY as the saying goes.. Welcome to the wonderful world of solar.


Now before you take off to go camping on a shake down run.. camp in your driveway first for a night or 2.. this way you will find any problems with the RV while you can do something about it and you will find what forgot to load while you are near home and can just walk inside and get it..
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:55 AM   #18
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Thank-you, Seann, for what I am certain is good advice. Several other campers with vast (?) experience have also suggested the same thing. I'm too old to dance a jig. Besides, I'd probably fall off chuckle). Bob
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:38 PM   #19
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BOB,

Welcome to the JOF forum and yes I am ALWAYS walking on my TT's roof. 1st thing you need to do is find a truck loading doc that the Semi's pull down into to unload, then you only need a small stool to get from the loading dock to the roof of your TT.. DW (DaWife) can't complain about that. There you can install your SOLAR. As for any places in Florida that will sell/install you solar without you getting burnt, I have yet to locate one. So, I did it myself with a lot of research. Just finished rewiring my SOLAR/Battery control center in the front storage compartment. Pictures on the links below.

I have to assume you already know how much solar/battery power you will need, if not get out a pencil and paper and start calculating your anticipated DC loads, so you can calculate the size system you will need. That is the time consuming part of the project.

I opted from the start to go with the high voltage Grape Solar 250Watt Panel (31VDC) and a Moringstar 60 Amp SOLAR controller (future expansion). I have 2 Trojan T145 6VDC (220Ah - total) batteries. I will be ordering my 2nd Grape Solar Panel (265Watt) next week and a couple more batteries in the near future... HomeDepot sells GRAPE SOLAR panels (free Shipping) and I believe COSTCO does also. Shipping panels can be VERY expensive.

I started a JOF Social Group "RVing with SOLAR", which has some basic SOLAR information you may be interested in. Also, if you go to my JOF ALBUM I have more SOLAR info there.

Since we went SOLAR 2 years ago, I rewired the TT's battery charge controller and I have yet to turn it on.

If I can help in any way, just yell or even send me a PM.

Don
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