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1L243

Oregon

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Posted: 03/21/21 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Darklock wrote:

I have ordered some solar panels to put on my TT. I bought the 200 watt kit from Renogy. I doubt that I will be able to determine where the structural members are, so there is the very real possibility that if I just use screws they will only be into the plywood decking. In any other applications, I would trust this, but not for going down the highway at 60mph. Therefore, I am thinking of using expanding well nuts. Good plan? Or does the collective here feel that the screws should be enough?
Also, what is best sealant to insure no leaks? No clue what the roof surface is. TT is a Gulfstream Conquest.
Bil


I just went thorough this. I did not buy Renogy Panels but I did buy Renogy mounting brackets. The brackets come with mounting screws four per bracket. The first screw I put in did not bite. The screw is a number 10 or less. Fine threads. As soon as that happened I went down to the hardware store and got some round head number 12 x 1 stainless screws that have a course thread for biting into wood. These worked great no pilot hole just screw them in with impact driver being careful not to over torque. As soon as the driver ratcheted and screw head was flush that was it.

Prior to screwing down the brackets I cleaned with a little acetone I put a small strip of Eternabond between the roof membrane and the Renogy bracket. Eternabond will self seal around the screws as they pass through.

I used Dicor self leveling sealant to seal the screw heads and around the brackets. I was very generous with the Dicor. Which may have caused a little ripple affect with the roof membrane as it began to dry which I discovered the next day. I contacted Dicor about this by email which they did not respond too but I did find written information from Dicor that said the following.

"Lap sealants formulated for RV roofs, on the other hand, are made to bite into the EPDM or TPO roof material (Dicor lap sealant also works with metal and fiberglass) and hold fast. In the case of a common EPDM roof, lap sealants like Dicor's self-leveling and non-sag, non self-leveling sealants contain an oil-based solvent that reacts with the oil-based elements in the roofing material. At first, this reaction will actually cause the roofing material to swell a bit — you might even get a slight rippling effect. But don't worry! This is only temporary while the reacting oils evaporate, which brings the roof back to its normal state and, most importantly, essentially fusing the sealant and roofing material together".

It's been 3 weeks or so since I installed my panels and the rippling affect has improved but not perfect. Waiting for some nice hot days.

Yes, drilling 16 screws per panel x five panels is 80 holes but do a good job and forget about it.

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2017 Coleman 300tq by Dutchman Toy Hauler. 34.5 feet long and under 10k Gross. 500 watt Solar 2000 watt Inverter, 1999 Ford F250 2WD 7.3 4R100 DP Tuner, S&B Cold Air Intake, Gauges, 6.0 Trans Cooler, Air Bags.


Almot

out there

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Posted: 03/21/21 04:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"200W" kit doesn't tell much. 2*100W panels will be less of a concern as each one is small and attached with (at least) 4 brackets with (at least) 2 screws per bracket.

Single 200W panel is heavy and bulky, more wind resistance. However, I installed 2*245W on my travel trailer. I used 4 aluminum brackets per panel, each bracket is 6" long with 3* #10 screws per bracket.

Roof is 3/4 plywood under the rubber-ish coat. You need Dicor sealant https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004A2........_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 , put it under the bracket, lubricate each screw with Dicor before running it in, and cover the screw heads with Dicor. I made brackets myself out of 1/4" aluminum angle, the shop cut it in 6" pieces. Brackets are attached to the panels with 1/4 bolts and rivet nuts into the sides of the frame.

You could also use 2-piece brackets (aka Z-brackets), like on the photos in the previous post, to attach to the existing holes in the frame and avoid rivet nuts. With 2*100W panels you should be alright with 2 screws in the roof per bracket, but space them at least 2.5" away. All bolts, nuts and screws have to be stainless.

To locate the roof rafters I emailed the factory and asked for a roof drawing that shows the rafters. This was not very accurate, so I additionally used a strong magnet to locate the nails - those are usually along the centerline of the rafter. 9 times out of 10 I hit the rafter. (With Z-brackets in the existing holes you might not hit the rafters though).

Don't pre-drill holes in the roof. It's a cr-appy particle board, not a real plywood.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 03/21/21 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"200w kit" he bought "panels" for most likely means two 100 watt panels if my detective skills are on today. These are small'ish compared to the big 350's. A 100 watt panel does not need an abundance of screws. 4 will likely be enough. 8 is plenty and more than 8 per panel is over-kill. You do not need to mount them a foot high as the other pic, that will just really cause wind issues. Mine are less than 1/2 inch off the roof, more than 1/4, but it just needs enough to let air move, and 1/4 inch will do that.
I bought aluminum angle iron from hardware store, cut it to fit the short sides of the panels, used self-tapping screws to hold it to the panels and mounted the brackets to the roof. 4 screws for one 100 watt panel and 4 screws to hold it to the roof (mins was actually a metal roof so used double sided tape, two 4 inch strips per bracket was plenty.

Darklock

Georgia

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Posted: 03/22/21 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone for the input. I have checked with Gulfstream, and was told that my roof is 3/8" plywood covered with rubber membrane. Yes, these are 2-100 watt panels. I have decided to go ahead and use well nuts 3/8" x 1". these are supposed to work for material from 5/16" to 5/8". My kit includes their Z-brackets, so that is what I will use.

I have read to put Dicor sealant around the hole before inserting well nut, as well as Dicor over the bolt head when done.

Panels are arriving later this week. Hoping for the best.

1L243

Oregon

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Posted: 03/22/21 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Darklock wrote:

Thanks everyone for the input. I have checked with Gulfstream, and was told that my roof is 3/8" plywood covered with rubber membrane. Yes, these are 2-100 watt panels. I have decided to go ahead and use well nuts 3/8" x 1". these are supposed to work for material from 5/16" to 5/8". My kit includes their Z-brackets, so that is what I will use.

I have read to put Dicor sealant around the hole before inserting well nut, as well as Dicor over the bolt head when done.

Panels are arriving later this week. Hoping for the best.


Get some 3/8" OSB plywood and practice with the well nuts and make sure your happy before application on the trailer.

Be careful not to get the membrane caught in the drill bit when drilling 3/8 is a pretty big hole.

ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 03/22/21 02:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1L243 wrote:

Darklock wrote:

Thanks everyone for the input. I have checked with Gulfstream, and was told that my roof is 3/8" plywood covered with rubber membrane. Yes, these are 2-100 watt panels. I have decided to go ahead and use well nuts 3/8" x 1". these are supposed to work for material from 5/16" to 5/8". My kit includes their Z-brackets, so that is what I will use.

I have read to put Dicor sealant around the hole before inserting well nut, as well as Dicor over the bolt head when done.

Panels are arriving later this week. Hoping for the best.


Get some 3/8" OSB plywood and practice with the well nuts and make sure your happy before application on the trailer.

Be careful not to get the membrane caught in the drill bit when drilling 3/8 is a pretty big hole.


to avoid damaging the membrane with the drill bit I used an appropriate size hole punch to take out a nice round piece of membrane when I screwed my brackets down. Dicor under the bracket before the screws installed, then Dicor on the screw heads and bracket frame


2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
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Darklock

Georgia

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Posted: 03/22/21 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1L243 wrote:

Darklock wrote:

Thanks everyone for the input. I have checked with Gulfstream, and was told that my roof is 3/8" plywood covered with rubber membrane. Yes, these are 2-100 watt panels. I have decided to go ahead and use well nuts 3/8" x 1". these are supposed to work for material from 5/16" to 5/8". My kit includes their Z-brackets, so that is what I will use.

I have read to put Dicor sealant around the hole before inserting well nut, as well as Dicor over the bolt head when done.

Panels are arriving later this week. Hoping for the best.


Get some 3/8" OSB plywood and practice with the well nuts and make sure your happy before application on the trailer.

Be careful not to get the membrane caught in the drill bit when drilling 3/8 is a pretty big hole.
good idea.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 03/22/21 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lap sealant is cheap. Roof repair is not. Use lots of it.

3 tons

NV.

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Posted: 03/22/21 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1) At each mount drill a small pilot hole thru your 3/8” plywood
2) Install #10 pan-head screw
3) Caulk over top
4) It’s now Miller time!

craz z

Montana

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Posted: 03/24/21 10:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A good studfinder helps find cross beams if air is a concern airdam the leading edge of the panel with eternabond

Lags sika dicor all work well together rivnuts in 1/4 Luan is marginal at best

I like to find the best anchor points first then drill holes in the panel frame for mounting as the predrilled holes never end up where you want them

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