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Old 05-28-2015, 10:47 PM   #1
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solar panels on a 1989 Jayco 705

recently bought a 1989 Jayco 705 that is in good shape. I'm in the process of installing two 100 watt solar panels to the roof. total weight of panels and rack will be 50-55 lbs. is it safe to pop the top with that amount of weight on there? really want to mount them permanently,don't want to have to pull them ever time I pop the top.
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:40 PM   #2
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i would say yes
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:23 AM   #3
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Send Jayco an email and ask them what the thickness is of the wood is that was used in your roof. (service@JAYCO.com) Also you need to include your TT's VIN, or they will request it from you.

If you decide to do the mounting yourself, you can go over to the "RVing with SOLAR" social group and I have a detailed step by step post as to how I mounted my panel on the roof of our TT. I also have pictures in my album (click on the link below) as to how I ran the wires down to the front storage area of my TT.

I am sure that there will be more ideas by other members that have SOLAR... a lot of good SOLAR information here.

Good Luck and welcome to SOLAR RVing.

Don
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:47 AM   #4
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I have seen A/C units mounted up there and bike racks and canoes etc.. I am sure 2 solar panels will be fine BUT on a 26 year old pop top it also will depend on how the roof was maintained.. as long as there has never been any water penetration things should be fine if there has been then all bets are off.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
Send Jayco an email and ask them what the thickness is of the wood is that was used in your roof. (service@JAYCO.com) Also you need to include your TT's VIN, or they will request it from you.

If you decide to do the mounting yourself, you can go over to the "RVing with SOLAR" social group and I have a detailed step by step post as to how I mounted my panel on the roof of our TT. I also have pictures in my album (click on the link below) as to how I ran the wires down to the front storage area of my TT.

I am sure that there will be more ideas by other members that have SOLAR... a lot of good SOLAR information here.

Good Luck and welcome to SOLAR RVing.

Don
Nice little write up on mounting the panels. I'm just so nervous about putting holes in the roof! Did you use wood or sheet metal screws?
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
I have seen A/C units mounted up there and bike racks and canoes etc.. I am sure 2 solar panels will be fine BUT on a 26 year old pop top it also will depend on how the roof was maintained.. as long as there has never been any water penetration things should be fine if there has been then all bets are off.
roof is in tip-top shape! no signs of leakage.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:55 PM   #7
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upon further inspection of the roof,it appears the roof is a sheet of plywood (1/2" or 3/8") maybe OSB,with a very thin layer of aluminum on the top and interior. I don't trust a 1/2" or 3/8" screw to hold the panels at 60-70 mph! if I secure the panels to the roof with a bolt,washer,lock nut,there is going to be some hardware protruding through to the inside: end of a bolt-washer-lock nut. I'm not opposed to this,just wondering if anyone else has done this.

pros: can spread the weight of the panels better than a Thule type rack:
1 panel front right,1 panel rear left. most cost effective.

cons: hardware showing on the inside-possible water leaks if not sealed correctly-permanently installed

my original idea was to buy a Yakima-Thule type rack setup. too expensive,and I would have to drill holes in the side of the top,and afraid constant vibrations-rubbing while going down the road could possibly wear hole in the canvas.

pros: looks better-easier to remove panels

cons: expensive-will ride higher-both panels in front or both panels in back
possible water leaks if not sealed correctly. possible wear on canvas.

also,how to run the wires for the panels so they go up and down with the top without getting bound up. the cable is 12 AWG PV SOLAR EXTENSION CABLE
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:52 AM   #8
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I am looking into the same situation on my OFF-ROAD Starcraft 14rt POPUP trailer.

It already has a 13,500 BTU on the roof and is an electric raise roof.

I am going to install two 120W PANELS on each side of the fantastic roof fan on the front end of the roof. Then I want to install a 240W PANEL on the rear end of the roof between the air conditioner and end of the roof.

I am NOT a fan of drilling into the middle of the roof for anything. My plan is going to be install light weight aluminum UNISTRUT sections across the roof in four places attached to the sides of the roof where I have a thick wood support.

You can get an idea of my planned setup from these google photos






These aluminum UNISTRUT sections will make for very easy quick disconnect if I end up needing to to this. My electric motor may have trouble raising the roof will all of these added. After it is up I have safety metal strips holding the roof up so no problem after it is raised.

I can stand in my front deck after the roof is up and probably mount the two 120WATT PANELS with ease.


going to be an interesting install for me haha...

Roy Ken
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:25 AM   #9
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I thought about going with the rails across the roof, except that on the curb/street sides of the TT's roof (not a flat roof) I think there would be to much space under the panels and there would be more space for lift and nothing to deflect the wind going along the ( street side) roof line. Right now I have the AC unit that deflects a lot of the high speed wind and also the fridge vent.

I often wondered what the actual wind speed is as you get away from the front cap deflection.. may have to somehow mount my extra anemometer by the panel for our trip up the the Blue Ridge mountains next month.

I saw one picture somewhere where the TT owner installed an angled wind deflector (metal plate) on the front frame of the forward panel that went down to the roof line.

Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Wayne View Post
Nice little write up on mounting the panels. I'm just so nervous about putting holes in the roof! Did you use wood or sheet metal screws?
Use either but I prefer wood screws.. then put plenty of lap sealant overtop of them..
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