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Old 12-24-2018, 08:52 PM   #1
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Berkshire roof construction

We will be adding solar panels to our new 2018 Berkshire 39A and, for peace of mind, will add screws at the supports in addition to the 3M VHB tape and Dicor sealant.

I believe the construction is fiberglass over plywood supported by framing. For optimizing screw length, does anyone know the thickness from roof surface to bottom of plywood?

Thanks.
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:22 PM   #2
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Berkshire roof construction

The roof is fiberglass/wood/styrofoam/. The fiberglass and wood make up less that 3/8" and the foam is about 1-2" thick depending on the roof locations (side or middle). Yo should have a 10 A sunsaver solar controller mounted in one of your compartments and pre-wired to the roof. There is a sticker on the roof showing where to drill the hole for accessing the wires. As far as mounting, you don't need much more that a 3/4" screw to hold down the panels. Have you looked at the flexible panels? You can install them without screws and just use eternabond tape all along the edges.
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:34 PM   #3
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Thanks, CZNEDY.

I already have the panels (rigid) but, due to recent surgery, don't have access to the MH. I'm in the planning/procurement stage at this time but hope to install in a few weeks. 3/4" screws sounds good for what you described.

Thanks again...and heads-up for Santa!
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:48 PM   #4
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Not problem. Have a Merry Christmas. Here are a few pics from mineClick image for larger version

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Old 12-25-2018, 11:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFather View Post
We will be adding solar panels to our new 2018 Berkshire 39A and, for peace of mind, will add screws at the supports in addition to the 3M VHB tape and Dicor sealant.

I believe the construction is fiberglass over plywood supported by framing. For optimizing screw length, does anyone know the thickness from roof surface to bottom of plywood?

Thanks.
The roof is multi layer. 1/8 luan then Styrofoam this is repeated three times. Three inches thick in the middle and two inches thick at the sides. You should use well nuts to anchor the panels. that is the only thing that will hold. There is hit enough meat to hold a screw. There is a great wright up on installing solar in the book "My Best RV DIY Projects". You can find it on Amazon if you are interested.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:07 PM   #6
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:43 PM   #7
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Thanks, Dan. I've never used one, but looks good for the application of fiberglass & plywood.

Reminds me of one of my favorite tools - the Marson Thread-setter, for setting blind threaded metal inserts in sheet metal. The inserts are shaped similarly to the well nuts and are threaded inside. The insert is placed and set (permanently expanded) with a tool acting like a riveter tool with a threaded mandrel. Once the mandrel is unscrewed and removed, what remains is a threaded insert for attaching something else. I love it!
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:34 PM   #8
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If you use flexible solar panels like the Renogy or Go-Flex, you can tape and glue them down. No screws needed. The Go-Flex people gave me my solution:

I use 3M or Scotch Very High Bond (VHB) double-sided tape with a black rubbery core. (Don't use the flimsy white core stuff.) Then, I seal the edges with Sikaflex (Sika Pro) grey construction adhesive, which runs very nicely seals water, and remains flexible.

Both do a nice job of the hard part, which is adhering to the back of the plastic panel which seems to be a variant of polyethylene.

You can get the VHB tape by looking for vendors on the 3M website. I got a big roll from a shop that uses it to mount signs. I was also able to get some (much smaller roll) at Lowes after putting "3M VHB" into their search engine. The stuff was high in a corner of the store and nowhere near the cheap stuff with the white core.

You can get the Sikaflex in the building supply department, since it is not near the caulking compounds. I use it for all my sealing on the roof and body because it looks much neater than the Dicor and other RV sealers. It also lasts very well.
–Gordon
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