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Old 07-15-2017, 04:27 AM   #1
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Has anyone here installed solar on the fr3 ? Is there a way to get schematics of the roof? How do we know where to drill?
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:28 AM   #2
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I'm working on solar install on our FR3 30DS right now and got one set of panels installed. I'm using Grape Solar 180W panels, 2 installed long ways to make ~10ft long panel (360W) on each side. I'm installing them up front, just in front of the forward AC unit on either side of center. Using a stud finder works pretty good. Our 30DS must have 1" aluminum tubing as roof truss. Since when I screwed into them, it dropped down 1" after punching through the top of the tubing, then proceeded to drilled through the bottom of the tubing. Its rock solid though. I have yet to run wiring, but I think I'll drill through the roof just above the cabinet by the front door. We'll see. I'll post some pictures later today.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:33 AM   #3
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There is a roof stud layout posted somewhere here. I couldn't find it. But I don't really think u need to worry about it.

During my factory tour I discovered the FR3 roof cap is pre assembled as a cap with two sheets of ply curved over the wooden frame struts. Then coated with glue and the (TPO I think?) vinyl top material.

So my point is that (for solar) you probably have about 1/2 inch of material to bind with the proper wood screw, that u may want to make stainless. You should not hit electrical but might hit the front to back air conditioner ducts that are simply cavities. Assuming u cover your screws correctly with lap sealant that would not be an issue either.

Note that I believe the sides of the roof cap are shallower than the center. If you were installing a stand up dish antenna such as a traveler, that was heavy and was going to be motorized I would want that layout and to attempt to hit some studs.

But keep in mind with the available real restate up there after avoiding the radio antenna, the vents, the the crank up exhaust fans, the AC unit, you may not be able to hit the studs with your panels anyway.

My panels are low profile flex and sit directly on the roof and are sealed all around so I have no wind drag. But honestly, if I had it to do again I would have gone with conventional panels, clips and hinges on one side so I could tilt the panels. I find that my install (around the front AC unit and behind my sat dome) often causes one panel to be partially shaded most the time. My 200 watts at best produce above 6A in full sun. Usually enough for me.

Good luck.
Post note. As usual Kansas replied as I was typing. . Great info from him as always.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:43 AM   #4
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Some pics this morning before I start on the LH side panels. Most of my work is around making the tilting brackets.

Also to Technoricks point, some newer studfinders will help you find the AC wires under the roof. I borrowed a friends of mine and was in the clear. I just have a basic one and it was able to locate the studs. You can see where the tape is under the TPO membrane if your roof isn't too clean like mine :-), and its a good reference.
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:00 AM   #5
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Many have written about running wires down the fridge vent. I had no luck with that so I drilled a pilot hole with a long thin drill bit up from inside the closet open shelf. From there I went up and using the hole location drilled down to get a larger hole.

The advantage was I was sure to be in the corner inside the bin and was able to connect on my way down to
1 my solar shut off
2 my solar controller
3 my inverter remote control panel and then straight Down to the batts from inside the corner closet wire chase.
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technorick View Post
many have written about running wires down the fridge vent. I had no luck with that so i drilled a pilot hole with a long thin drill bit up from inside the closet open shelf. From there i went up and using the hole location drilled down to get a larger hole.

The advantage was i was sure to be in the corner inside the bin and was able to connect on my way down to
1 my solar shut off
2 my solar controller
3 my inverter remote control panel and then straight down to the batts from inside the corner closet wire chase.

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Old 07-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #7
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Thank you so much. Very valuable information
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:14 PM   #8
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Finally got both arrays up top. Whew. I wouldn't recommend installing solar in the middle of summer. Now will be the time to take Technorick's advice and route the wiring down into the closet are and out through the floor to the charge controller/batteries.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:18 PM   #9
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Wow, looks very nice.. great job!!!
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