Since the W floorplan is becoming popular, I just want to share a no-drilling method I used recently for my W. I learned this method mostly from discussions on this and other subforums. I'm happy to report that in a ten-day dry-camping test, the system performed well, and panels are very firm on the roof, after 1,200 mi driving on highway and bumpy road in mountains.
Material with link:
Renogy 200w kit
30A ANL fuse
between battery and controller
MC4 in-line fuse
between panels and controller
3 M marine sealant
. Perhaps should have gotten the fast cure version.
3 M VHB tape
Miscellaneous items: Ring terminal (6AWG), Dicor, Touch n' foam
1. Prepare panels. Attached sticky feet to back of panels. Used six feet per panel. Adjusted them to the lowest position. Marked on roof for position of feet.
2. Prepare roof. Avoided early morning and late afternoon when there was condensation on roof. Cleaned thoroughly with 50% rubbing alcohol. Let it dry for a couple of hours. Some people sanded the roof slightly to remove dimples. I opted not to do that.
3. Install panels. Attached panels to cleaned, marked positions. Placed a piece of plywood on top with some weight to press the panel down on roof.
4. 24 hours later, applied 3M sealant around and on top of the feet. Let the sealant to cure for 5 to 7 days. Maybe a fast cure sealant is better here. Finally, applied Dicor on top and around 3 M sealant.
5. At this point, I added two home-made brackets for front and rear end using 3M VHB double sided tape bought on Amazon. The vertical position of bracket is adjustable. Although others haven't used this type of brackets, I feel more comfortable after using them.
6. Pulling cables. Important: before pulling cables, mark the ends with a masking tape for connection to positive or negative ends. Also cover the ends with electric tape so you donít accidentally short the batteries or panels while making connections later.
7. Remove refrigerator vent cover: remove caulking and unscrew. Cut wires to join three grids. Tape cable for protection against sharp edge.
8. Wire cables from top vent down, open the access panel from side, have a helper to pull the cables out, to the outside first
9. Locate the copper propane line (front corner to the right), remove caulking carefully to expose the hole. Wire the cables down the propane hole to the the space below the vent next to water heater.
10. While pushing the cables down the propane hole, one person catches and pulls the cables from inside, below the water heater.
11. Bring the cables up to water heater compartment, find the drainage pipe in the back, follow the pipe and wire the cables to the space below sink. Zip tie the cables to the drainage pipe later.
12. Remove drawer from below the sink. Find the hole behind duct where a bundle of wires go through to connect to battery. This is the hardest part for me because the space is very tight. Be careful not to tear the duct or accidentally disconnect any wires.
13. Working from both above and below coach, remove foam caulking carefully. Use a blunt stick (I used a chopstick) and carefully poke through. Be careful not to touch the duct.
14. Working from underneath the coach, push battery cables up through the hole.
15. Locate a position for the controller. Find the beam behind for strong support.
16. Drill another one-inch hole ~ 2Ē below controller for cables.
17. Connect battery cables to controller: working underneath the coach, wire cables to battery compartment through an existing hole.
18. Once the cables are inside the battery compartment, first cut the positive cable and attach the 30A ANL fuse. Connect the cables to battery. Cut the cables to length and connect the other ends to controller. Follow the mark and make sure cables are connected correctly. Now the controller should power up.
19. (optional) Before connecting panel cables, check the panels with a multimeter and make sure each panel is working and producing 12V or more.
20. Connect panel cables: first add a MC4 in-line fuse to the positive cable (on the roof), then join positive cables of both panels using branch connector, repeat for negative cables. This is a parallel connection for 12V. Cut the cables to length. Connect the free ends to controller. Now the controller should display the state of charge.
21. An easy way to make sure both panels are working properly: cover one panel at a time with a piece of plywood and if the controller shows approximately half of amperage then it is working.
22. Fasten cables to roof or battery compartment (outside) with Eternabond, or to pipes with zipties. Fill holes with Dicor or Touch n' Foam.
Here is the finished look. The feet covered in Dicor are visible on the side, so are the two extra homemade brackets at ends. The cables are taped down. I had checked multiple times during the trip, and panels and cables are firmly attached, no worries
I'm still finding out what the max output the 200w panels have. At times I saw over 8 amp and 17 volt, in line with what Renogy tech told me. But I wonder what others get.