I wouldn't either, and mine are 60 lbs each. A couple of strips of 2x2 laid flat under the panel (oriented front-to-back), and your panel is supported by the roof as you drive.
If the panel can't support its own weight when tilted by the corners, there are bigger issues at play. My frames have plenty of holes in them and the structure is sound. Other than cutting the frame, I don't think it's possible to meaningfully weaken them.
Have you weighed the panels? I'll bet they're even heavier than that.
I don't think the holes will make any difference, no matter how many holes you get in there. IMO, changing your design mid-process is your prerogative for having spent so much money. Revise!
I think the real issue is giving the panels support as you bounce along the highway. As said, a wooden tray or wooden runners will set the mind at ease. I have confidence that the panels are designed with enough support to tolerate wind loading, even when four-pinned at the corners and tilted.
Well, I think a lot of money is being spent trying to heat 45 degree interior walls up to 50 degrees. Most RVs are poorly insulated and coated in highly heat-conductive materials. In the winter my windows drain heat to the outdoors, and in the summer my corrugated aluminum skin radiates heat inward through the evening and much of the night. This is why I gave up trying to heat (or cool) my TT and focused on heating/cooling me.
Tuna mentioned radiant heat earlier, and I am a big fan of this. I have a pair of heat lamps under my desk, and I have run reflectix all around the footwell of the desk. With a jacket on, 250w on my legs takes care of me in most lower-48 weather. (I get the part that Tuna's in a much more formidable climate.)
In that environment there could easily be a 10-20 degree difference between the insulated/reflective wall my seat backs up against, and the wall on the far side of the TT, near the door. BTW, "far" is relative, my cabin is less than 15 feet long.
In the mornings with temps in the teens, the interior cabin temp is in the low forties. I have spent a very comfortable night under layered open sleeping bags used as thermal blankets, but it's time to heat up the cabin, so I use a single 1500w space heater set on my bench seat six inches from my torso while I fire up my computer.
In minutes I am hot and the cabin is "getting warmer", and I turn the heat down to 1000w. I might let it run an hour at 1000w before turning it down to 500w, while still running 250w of heat lamps. I don't use ANY thermostat regulation, but simply use less heat than I "need", and more clothing. It is far easier and quicker to take off a jacket than to turn down a thermostat.
When I first put in electric heat, I went with a 1500w baseboard unit, thermostatically controlled. For starters, the 1500 watt inrush current was the biggest drain in my RV, and unpredictable. Secondly, the warm air coming out of the baseboard seemed to be carried straight to the far side of the TT where it was cooled by the walls or simply escaping through cracks in the door.
I used to use an electric blanket, but found it was way too powerful. For somebody in the frosty north, it might be just the thing to keep humans at 75-80 degrees and the bedroom at 40 degrees. If there is no plumbing in there, there is no sense in paying to heat the walls.
While I realize that most people on a "camping" website have no interest in wearing a coat indoors, I myself cannot imagine sitting in a camper in -30 degree weather, so I suggest that desparate times call for desparate measures.
More good info. At an hourly average of 3.33 kwh, your daytime usage is likely well under 3 kwh. Shut down the heater in the bedroom until evening, and I bet your daytime use could be easily handled by a single 3000-class gennie (2600 watts).
Additionally, you now have a "daily rate" you can reimburse when "backyarding". IMO, this is the real future of your biz plan, hooking up overnite to your customers.
I had a second look at Brian/"Vintage Racer's" cost calculations, and the math seems a bit off to the high side.
If Tuna is running 5500 watts of heat, that's 5.5 kwh times the 11.13 rate, or 61 cents per hour at full blast. That's less than $15/day. No bargain, cetainly, but compare that to the cost of ANY CG.
Daytime use levelled off to 3-4 thousand watts. Can we call that 3500? 3.5 times 11.13 is a 39 cent hourly rate, or $4.68 for 12 hours. Add in $7.35 for the dark 12 hours, and you have an adjusted cost of $12.03 per day, or $375 per month--if you're plugged in. If you're running a gas gennie, the cost per kwh is likely 6 times as much, or $2,000 per month.
Again, I can't help thinking that bedroom is getting richly fed at 2300 watts of heat when nobody's in it.
Good info, Tuna. Of course, these temps seem otherworldly to me, but you may have pushed me into putting in a second 20A aux inlet (30a+20a+20a). I can never see myself needing that much power, but if I did and didn't have it, I would be out of luck.
My own experience in milder temps (teens and 20s), is that the electric space heaters have a unique benefit: Position them so that they are blowing directly on humans as they heat the cabin. Humans warm first, cabin warms second.
If the separate bedroom has no plumbing in it I would remove the heater and let the bedroom warm up slowly via conduction. I am betting that your overall warmup time is not much increased, and you might not even need that additional space heater in the cabin.
I'm sure you menmtioned it somewhere, but what are you using underneath? I recently downgraded from a 250w heat bulb to a 100w, but tightened up the skirt. Judging by the reduced power use of the tank heaters, it is all in the skirt. My total power usage underneath, in steady low twenties with a wind, is 100w bulb+50wblack tankk heater+50w grey tank heater.
Tuna, did you go with the foam gym pads? They seem to make a big difference, particularly when the feet first hit the floor in the morning.
IMO, the dead cold warm up is an extreme case. I'd be more interested in the power cost of maintaining a heated cabin. In teens/20s, I can comfortably manage this on a 20A supply.
One other point in favor of the Tailgater (IMO). It ships with 50-ft of cable, and I replaced it with 100-ft of low-loss cable bought on Amazon for under twenty bucks. This means I can camp near to trees and still have a decent shot at sat reception. I've been amazed at the narrow gaps the Tailgater can shoot through.
FWIW, I used to go camping to enjoy nature and appreciate this great country. Now I'm all about the TV reception. Such is the aging process!
I have the Tailgater and the vip211k. This is my first sat sys so I have nothing to compare it with. However, the Tailgater does a great job of finding the birds and giving me TV with zero effort. For me, that "zero" in the effort column makes it all worthwhile.
I've had the sys for over a year and still haven't hooked up the usb drive to make it a dvr, because that requires effort. However, you can do that, with a small fee and a phone call (more effort).
The tailgator can only get you one bird at a time, which essentially means one channel at a time, I think.
I bought three colors of super-flat camo spray paint and went at the lil Tailgater. With a hundred feet of coax I can spend hours looking for it. Perfect for boondocking but no help in a CG.
My "plan" for CG use is to build a bracket on my roof, away from the solar, and bolt mating brackets on the Tailgater, where that small ridge runs around the base. Then I will thumbscrew it into place on the roof rack, no longer stealthy but darn tough to get at.
Sorry, no pics!
I've done E-bond in warm weather and cold weather, and in your position I would be cautious. If you have the wooden roller, and you really must do it this fall, you will likely be OK--if you're not laying it over corrugation or other complex surfaces. My best results have been in warm but not hot weather, and my worst results have been in the weather you're in now, when I failed to roller it down. Get the roller!
If you have room on either side of there caulk--and there is NO SILICONE--you can lay it over just fine. This includes tarry soft caulk, as long as there is surface on either side for the ebond to stick. If there isn't any room you can lay two strips, but be careful: Eternabond sticks to itsef like nothing else on earth. There are also wider versions of Eternabond.
Roller, roller roller! You should press hard enough to hear tiny little popping sounds in the ebond gum layer. When I did it in the cold and failed to roller it down, the ebond lifted in corners and going over some of the corrugation. For places too tight for the roller, get some sort of tool that will fit.
EDIT: That hair dryer you mentioned might be good for wraming the surface and warming the ebond as you roller it down.
I do. For $19/each at Lowes I got several packs of four 2X2 ft interlocking gym pads. These are cheap, designed for play rooms, but now I've got an extra half-inch of firm foam insulation above my floor.
Certainly plenty of people agree with you on this, while others (like myself) steer well clear of any hint of CO. No one's saying a catalytic process is going to be a risk when operated properly, however I would like to point out that you'll be asleep when anything might potentially go wrong. CO poisoning just feels like a deep, restful slumber.
Regarding gennie use in ski area parking lots, I don't think this will be as widely tolerated as you hope. My own devilishly clever setup involves the use of 250 ft of cord, and a snowbank.
I'll bet that cloth/mylar combo does a great job of radiating back the heat. I did something similar to the wall directly behind my desk, bonding headliner material to foil-faced styrofoam. When I hold my hand up to it, it almost feels like a heater.
For me the biggest gains were replacing old curtains with thick insulated coverings, so that in the winter the windows default to covered.
We're hittin Bachelor now? Batch is a MUCH MUCH more RV-friendly critter than anything along Santiam pass, although I'm still not considering Meadows.
But if Batch is in play, why not Hoodoo? Those guys host an RV park in their lot, 20 ft from the lift, PLUS there's a stylin Sno-Park within ski boot walking distance, PLUS PLUS Hoodoo has better steeps than any of the previous choices.
Back to Batch: tenting is not allowed in the winter anywhere near the road. Apparently a few years ago somebody pitched a tent 50 ft from the highway and got crushed and buried from the spray from a grinding plow. No tenting!
As Steve says, there is plenty of alpine skiing(FWIW), but there is also world class XC basicaly everywhere. Tracked, skating and outback, whatever you want. Also, plenty of Sno-Mo's so don't hog the road!
Again, the OP isn't going to get the cold temps he expects until he gets to Bachelor, then he really will. Meadows maybe, can't say because I've only been there once.
If the OP hasn't camped recently at Timberline it might pay to check ahead. Two nights/unofficial has always been the way things worked in the past, but last summer there was nothing doing, and Zigzag rangers were no help.
Ski Bowl parking lot is a Sno-Park also, and IMO worth a try. And there is always Snow Bunny.
I have the Tailgater for Dish and it works very well for me. While it is going to look for 3 sats it does not need to find all 3. This can be an issue if you are trying to shoot through THICK trees. It will work fine with 2 (I'm not sure which 2) and simply drop the other channels. Occasionally in high winds through trees, one of the remaining two will degrade, but service has remained fine on the third (and only remaining) sat.
It is remarkably easy to use, although the OP says that doesn't interest him. While it can take 10-15 minutes to reacquire sats, I can't imagine anyone getting a manual dish aimed quicker than that. As said, HD comes direct from each sat, so even with fewer stas and fewer channels, you will still get HD on the remaining HD channels. Not all channels are offered in HD.
I have the Champion 3500/4000 and I love it. Over five years old and well over 1000 hours--more like 1500--and it continues to start on the first or second pull. I no longer bother to store it inside, it sits out in the winter weather just waiting for the opportunity to be of service. Every few weeks I'll give it a half-hour of exercise and make sure the gas has a little Seafoam in it. IMO, it is a marvel of practical technology.
And it is 100 lbs of bulky, day-ruining weight.
When looking for a LIGHTER-weight, inverter gennie, I figured I'd get the CPE 2000, until I read the posts. I didn't want to have to parallel two gennies just to power the basics, and the units were still that bulky, difficult to heft shape. I realized I really wanted a 3000-class gennie.
After research, I took a chance on the Powerhouse 2600/2700 for $1,000. This is a suitcase-shaped inverter gennie that will stream 2600 watts all day, similar to the Honda 3000. It is 80 lbs, and because of its narrow shape and carry handle it is reasonably luggable. It also comes with a completely useless set of wheels and drag handle, which I removed.
The sound is much less annoying than the Champ, at least according to the comments I've gotten. It is a much lower note, and somewhat quieter than the Champ. The eu3000 actually sounds more "clatterey" in comparison, although I think it is still a bit quieter than the Powerhouse.
I would definitely recommend this gennie, both for its cutting-edge design and its reliability. I would note that in the very first shipments there were comments about some gennies arriving DOA. I bought mine from Cabela's (with its rock-solid return policy), and I plan to buy my second one there, and a parallel kit. Just as soon as I can figure out what to do with 40 amps continuous output!