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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Shasta Oasis 25RS - Solar Panel anyone?

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Sanjeev

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all:

I recently bought a new to me Shasta Oasis 25RS, 2016 model year camper. It is NOT pre-wired for solar.

I am planning to install a 100W kit that can be expanded upto 400W in future. This is a link to the kit. I am thinking of replacing the panel that comes with the kit with a flexible panel, like this. My intention is to not have to drill holes in my roof to install the panel, and I think a flexible panel will make an easier install - use eternabond/dicor to stick it to the roof.

My intention behind installing solar initially is to only ensure batteries remain topped off while the camper is parked between trips. If I like it, I will expand to increase capacity.

Has anyone on this forum installed solar on this camper, or a similar model? I am more interested in understand the wiring, how best to carry the solar current from the panel to solar charge controller to the battery in a clean, professional manner.

any tips/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

thanks for looking!

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Close to Home Depot? Check out their Grape brand solar products. It may be cheaper buying the pieces instead of a kit. Most folks use the fridge vent or a plumbing vent in lieu of drilling a hole in the roof. Actually, an owner already has many through-holes in the roof so one more is not that big of a deal. Using a marine bulkhead fitting adds some structure for a wiring through-hole.
If you're shy about drilling holes for the mounting brackets, use VHB tape.

I'd steer clear of flexible panels. There is some risk in quality and electrical harvest is going to be less because of thermal characteristics.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 03/07/18 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With all the issues you are considering flexible panels? No concern about cupping? No concern about heat? No concern about the short warranty period compared to rigid panels? Go forth then!

“If I like it, I will expand to increase capacity.” RV solar isn’t experimental, isn’t a fad, isn’t undependable....isn’t dramatic. It just recharged batteries...silently.

* This post was edited 03/07/18 08:03pm by Lwiddis *


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


Sanjeev

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Posted: 03/08/18 06:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westend wrote:

If you're shy about drilling holes for the mounting brackets, use VHB tape.


Interesting idea...so you are suggesting using VHB tape to fix the mounting brackets of the solar panel to the roof. I did not think about that, definitely worth exploring...anyone else on the forum try that?

westend wrote:

I'd steer clear of flexible panels. There is some risk in quality and electrical harvest is going to be less because of thermal characteristics.


I have not come across any research suggesting quality issues with flexible panels, but I did come across a comment from a user that with no space between the roof and that back of the panel, the heat buildup can reduce efficiency. is that what you mean?

thanks for the advice though, will keep in mind.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 03/08/18 07:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here’s a couple, Sanjeev. Need more?

https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/flexible-rv-solar-issues-review

http://svhotwire.com/renogy-100-watt-flexible-problem/

https://www.bestsolartech.com/problems-flexible-solar-panels/

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Posted: 03/08/18 07:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sanjeev wrote:

westend wrote:

If you're shy about drilling holes for the mounting brackets, use VHB tape.


Interesting idea...so you are suggesting using VHB tape to fix the mounting brackets of the solar panel to the roof. I did not think about that, definitely worth exploring...anyone else on the forum try that?

westend wrote:

I'd steer clear of flexible panels. There is some risk in quality and electrical harvest is going to be less because of thermal characteristics.


I have not come across any research suggesting quality issues with flexible panels, but I did come across a comment from a user that with no space between the roof and that back of the panel, the heat buildup can reduce efficiency. is that what you mean?

thanks for the advice though, will keep in mind.

There have been a few installs just using the VHB tape. If I had an EPDM roof, I'd do like most do and fasten with screws and Dicor. My worry would be about the EPDM lifting or shifting.

There were some reports of the flexible panels not being all that flexible and some cracking was experienced. Yes, a panel conventionally mounted using brackets will outperform the flexible panel because of thermal differences from the different mounting methods.

Here is a list of RVnet member's solar installations

mikakuja

Chilliwack BC

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Posted: 03/08/18 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have installed quite a few panels on EPDM roofs by screwing them down and sealing with Dicor, I have never had an issue with leaks. It's no different than the screws and Dicor holding down the vents or anything else on the roof.
I have no experience with the flexible panels, yet...

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