Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-02-2015, 05:31 PM   #1
DDT
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 4
Future planning - Solar

We are still a year+ away from getting our rig (F250 next year + Rockwood 5th later) but love to plan.

We want to do some dry camping and will want to add solar at some point. I have a couple of questions:

Will adding solar to roof void the entire roof warrantee or only if it fails where I attach the panels?

Rockwood roofs are rounded, has anyone had any issues with installing panels?

This is a semi complete kit from Costco, has anyone used it? Grape Solar 400-Watt Off-Grid Solar Panel Kit

Thanks, my wife and I have been learning lots on this site as we prepare for our next adventure.
__________________

__________________
DDT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2015, 12:25 AM   #2
Fulltime family RVer
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 14,712
For the warranty side of the question, you'll need to contact Forest River/Rockwood's warranty manager. Everyone here would be just guessing.
__________________

__________________
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2015, 01:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 164
I am getting ready to put 200W on my curved roof, don't think it will be a problem.

The last camper I installed solar on I used Extra Strength Double Sided Tape instead of screwing it to the roof (I am doing the new one that same way!). I refuse to put holes in my roof!! Never had a problem with the tape in fact it would be a job to try and get the panel off. So that may help with the warranty question.

Also check out solarblvd.com, great prices and free shipping :-)
__________________
2016 Rockwood Ultra Lite 2604WS
2004 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD 5 speed Manual 4x4 Laramie
2005 Ford Mustang Convertible
1993 Jeep Wrangler YJ IL6 4.0 lifted (love it)

Happy Trails All!!
roaddiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2015, 05:21 PM   #4
Member
 
BruceM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 70
The last camper I had, a 2000 TrailManor 3124KS, I mounted 2 90w panels and that was plenty.
400w seems like overkill.
I haven't bothered with solar on my 2015 Rockwood. The LED lights are so much more efficient that we can go 4-5 days easy on the 2 deep cycle batteries I have. We usually don't want to stay longer than that at a CG with no hookups anyway.
An advantage of not having solar is that I can park the rig without having to pick a site that gets at least 2-4 hours of sunshine per day.
Now I can choose a shady site under the trees.
One thing you DEFINITELY do not want to do is drill holes in your roof.
I mounted the panels on my TrailManor's aluminum roof with 6" X 4" aluminum plate feet under each corner of the solar panel attached to the roof with Liquid Nails adhesive.
__________________
2015 Rockwood MiniLite 2109S
2012 Nissan Frontier V-6
Blue Ox SwayPro hitch
BruceM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2015, 05:54 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 60
I'm looking at having a custom class c built and solar is one of the options the company offered. 300 watts of roof mounted panels a 2000 watt inverter, solar controller and 2 agm batteries. Installed as a factory option was $4000.
Sounds spendy but it's quality materials and factory installed.
Could I have saved some money by installing it myself using cheaper components? Yes and perhaps a considerable amount but why would I want to start drilling and cutting into a new rig right after buying it when all this could have been done at the factory.
But I digress.

I really took into consideration our last seasons camping scenarios. We boondocked about as often as we had hook ups. But at nearly every spot we were in heavily wooded shady spots. We live in northern Mn where most campgrounds feature wooded shady sites. So roof top solar panels would rarely be being used to capacity if ever. At home it would be in full sun but then it's plugged in.
If you want to park in a wide open site with no trees they are available but then you have the sun beating on your rig all day which is going to cause you to run your air more which makes you run your generator anyhow unless of course you are plugged in which case solar is not needed.
Besides we all know what the beating sun does to gel coats, slide seals and gaskets, tires etc. It's well documented how hard constant beating sun can be on a rv yet this is exactly what is needed to optimize any solar system.
In the end I decided against it and will spend the money in other ways that will enhance the electrical system. A hardwired Progressive Industries energy management and protection system will be installed along with a high quality 3 stage charger/inverter and a battery monitor system.
I will also install 2 6 volt high amp hour golf cart batteries.
I will have a solar controller installed for later use and look into a 100 watt or so suitcase solar panel that can be moved to where the sunlight is and the rig stays in the cool shade.

There are several good blogs out there on rv solar systems and are easy to find. Handy Bob's Solar is a excellent one google him up.
It comes down to cost/benefit really.
__________________
Up North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2015, 06:36 PM   #6
Member
 
Grn_Mtns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Northern Vermont
Posts: 95
We have one 260 watt / 24volt panel and a morningstarMPPT controller. ~ $600

Very easy to install. With all the LED lighting you will have plenty of power
We have the prowatt sw 1000 and it works great for the money.

If you mount the panel so you pivot vertically to the south when stationary then you will have much more gain than a flat mounted 400 watt array. Good Luck!
__________________
Best,
Grn_Mtns
____________________________________

2014 3025 Windjammer/260watts solar
Grn_Mtns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2015, 07:07 PM   #7
CCRVOC
 
Ramblin Recks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Where ever we are parked
Posts: 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDT View Post
We want to do some dry camping and will want to add solar at some point. I have a couple of questions:

Will adding solar to roof void the entire roof warrantee or only if it fails where I attach the panels?

Rockwood roofs are rounded, has anyone had any issues with installing panels?
IMO a warranty is short lived. Once you drill the first hole through your roof the rest are a piece of cake and you own it. If roof is damaged by an accident, than insurance will get involved anyways. A rounded roof has it benefits, as it creates a better airflow under the panels helping in their efficiency. Most panels efficiently operate (and tested) at about 77 degrees and heat can reduce it by 10-25 %. Seems weird that a product made for the sun, is actually less efficient the more and hotter the sun.
__________________
2012 Dodge 3500, SLT Big Horn,CC,DRW,Cummins HO, EB, 4x4, 3:73, Retrax Pro, Q20, TST507, Garmin RV760, Sleek 4g
2014 Cedar Creek, 36CKTS, 640w Solar, TriStar MPPT 60, Magnum 2000w, PI EMS, WiFi Ranger Elite, Sleek 4g, Wingard DTV Traveler
Retired Army in 1995, and now retired in 2016
Ramblin Recks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2015, 05:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 164
Check out my last post in this thread --> Solar question....

I just installed my solar and posted pictures as well, works great!
__________________

__________________
2016 Rockwood Ultra Lite 2604WS
2004 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD 5 speed Manual 4x4 Laramie
2005 Ford Mustang Convertible
1993 Jeep Wrangler YJ IL6 4.0 lifted (love it)

Happy Trails All!!
roaddiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:35 PM.