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Tamnative

Mill Valley

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Posted: 02/07/11 07:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lleland wrote:

Here's an interesting solar install I ran into while surfing:

http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/topic/8079-solar-install-with-vhb-tape/

This is what I used on mine also,the 3M VHB tape is VERY strong it comes in many different thicknesses and materials so do some research on the different types. I also used some 3M 5200 caulking to seal around the feet and that stuff is almost imposable to get off once it has cures,sticks to the roof of the Bigfoot's REAL GOOD.


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snowranger

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Posted: 02/07/11 08:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The VHB is actually rated for use underwater, so you don't even need the caulk around it. Mine are still on super strong after 3 years.

Tamnative

Mill Valley

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Posted: 02/07/11 08:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

snowranger wrote:

The VHB is actually rated for use underwater, so you don't even need the caulk around it. Mine are still on super strong after 3 years.


That is good to know now I feel even more secure [emoticon]

bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 02/08/11 08:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Bigfoot 9'6" 2500 series camper. I installed 200 watts of solar 4 mos. ago.

There is no structure under the roof fiberglass of our BF's. The only thing keeping the roof rigid is the foam insulation and the 1/8in plywood interior laminated to the foam. Decorative type cloth is adhered to the plywood on some BF's. That said the screws do not offer much in the way of strength. If the bond between the foam and fiberglass disconnects the fiberglass will flex. I have some areas on the nose (front) and some places on the roof that the foam to fiberglass has de-bonded.

I fabricated my own brackets. Here's some pix of the brackets I made out of 1/8" aluminum L stock.
3X3 and 2X2.

[image]

Note the washers I attached. I used them to reduce the friction when raising the panels. Used a common window sealer to attach. Clamped and cured.


[image]

The corner 2x2's are attached with Geocell Proflex and then bolts and lock nuts

[image]


[image]

I used Geocell Proflex to bed in the brackets to my Fiberglass roof. My roof is arched so I can not use the 3m adhesive tape stuff.
Before the Geocell cured I screwed the brackets to the 1/8" thick
fiberglass roof, tightening enough to create about 1/16th inch bed of Proflex under each bracket. I then sealed around each bracket and each screw.

My panels are narrow and long. Suwize 100watts each... 27X58. I installed them on the drivers side of my roof..in line so 9.5 ft long of solar with a 1 ft gap between making it 10.5 ft.

Jim


2000 2500 9.6 Bigfoot,94 F250, Vision 19.5, Mich 245/70XDS2's, Bilstein shocks, air bags/pump, EU2000, PD 9260,Lifeline 100ah, 200W. solar, Morningstar Sunsaver 15A/ display panel, Trimetric, Delorme/laptop, Holux gps rec,led lights, Wave-3 heat.

explorer0863

Orlando

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Posted: 02/08/11 10:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigfootford wrote:

I have a Bigfoot 9'6" 2500 series camper. I installed 200 watts of solar 4 mos. ago.

Jim


Jim - do you have pictures of your equipment after the installation? I am especially interested in the solar panels on the roof.

Thanks!
Tony


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bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 02/08/11 03:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

explorer0863 wrote:

bigfootford wrote:

I have a Bigfoot 9'6" 2500 series camper. I installed 200 watts of solar 4 mos. ago.

Jim


Jim - do you have pictures of your equipment after the installation? I am especially interested in the solar panels on the roof.

Thanks!
Tony


Here ya go Tony,

After you see the roof layout here you will see why I selected the Sunwize panels...I wanted 200 watts...
I was pretty much left with AM or Sunwize 100c's solar's panels.

I could have had 2 Kyoceras 85's up there in the front but would not have had any room to walk around the front of the camper. Even the Kyoceras 65's leave little room because they would have to be on each side of the front or in line like I did the Sunwize...But I only paid $150 per panel for these. Kyocera would be my first choice if I had not stumbled on the deal I got.

A shot from the rear. I wanted as much room from the Front escape hatch to the panel as possible. As you can see I ended up off-setting the rear one to clear the rail.

[image]

I decided to run my wire through electrical conduit. I ran 10ga wire 2 per panel, total 4 wires. I ran them over to the fridge vent as many do, down inside the fridge access door. I installed 2 junction blocks....one + and the other -...then 2 8 ga + and - wires for the 8 ft to the Morningstar Sunsaver 15.
[image]

I filled the end of the conduit with silicone to keep moisture out.

[image]

A shot at the front. I did want to be able to clean under the panels. I have them high enough that my wash brush and squeegee fit under my panels. Testing at 40-70 mph revealed no vibration or any distressing sounds from the panels. I am considering an air dam in the front. I have about 2000mi on the install now...We were in a storm that had over 70mph side winds. We could hear some rattles from the panels...I am not concerned with that. I have not fabricated the tilt arms yet so I do not want nuts and bolts attaching the panels to the roof brackets thus the clevis pins.
[image]

A little detail.
[image]

Jim

Tamnative

Mill Valley

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Posted: 02/08/11 08:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigfootford, I made some air dams out of 1/8" LEXAN by putting a bend in it with a metal brake and painted the back side white then used the 3M tape to mount. I don't know if the do any good but they look nice. It was fairly easy to do also.

explorer0863

Orlando

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Posted: 02/09/11 09:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigfootford wrote:



Here ya go Tony,

Jim


Great installation! I will certainly use this as a reference when I install my solar panels this summer. Thank you for posting the additional pictures!

Tony

starcraft69

northern California(State Of Jefferson)

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Posted: 02/09/11 01:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bigfootford is the man ask a question he will show you how


2007 chevy 2500 HD 6.0 longbed
2015 Eagle HT 28.5 5th wheel
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