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Old 07-08-2016, 06:19 PM   #121
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Ran a test today using the hollow wall anchors on a piece of styrofoam with 1/8"luan on top. I drilled a hole in the Stickyfeet for the screw to go thru. Had excellent tightness (didn't remove tape covering). Have to allow for the thickness of the top of the hollow wall anchor by cutting a small round section of the 3M VHB tape around the screw hole. No problem.
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:33 PM   #122
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Almost done!

Today I washed the roof, laid out the position of the panels and marked them. I sanded down some of the dimples a and drilled the holes for the hollow wall anchors. I tapped them in and wiped down the area with 50% alcohol and water. I placed the mount on top and screwed the hollow wall anchors tight. I replaced all the mounting bolts and plugged in the cables and it's working fine! When it cools down this evening or tomorrow morning I will raise the panels up with those blocks, wipe down the area again with 50% alcohol and water. After it dries, I will remove the red film and lower the mount while screwing in the hollow wall anchor screw. Then I should be done for 72 hours until it cures. Then I will apply 3M 5200 Marine adhesive caulk around the mounts and that is a slow cure of 7 days. I know this is overkill, but I need peace of mind traveling in high gusty winds.
Special thanks to HopHed for the suggestion of raising the panels with wood blocks and just dropping the mounts into place.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:39 PM   #123
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6 x !00 watt Renogy panels mounted with "GOOP" and well nuts into 10 GA cable down a hole in the fiberglass roof, down the side wall into the area under the dinette. Made a lexan pod to mount all temp and voltage/amperage instruments. I used breakers between the controller and panels and between the controller and battery bank.
I'm using the MT-5 remote monitor on a wall at eye level just inside the door. The system has worked flawlessly for about three years. Also use a 5,000 watt inverter to a Progressive ATS504 switch. Five AGM batteries make up the 600 amp hr bank.
The only problem I have with the system is seagull poop. Normally have about 68 vdc coming from the panels until I get dive bombed! Out comes the ladder.
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Old 07-09-2016, 08:59 PM   #124
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Blackhat6mike, you've got a very nice setup there!
Looks like you used the Renogy mounts. I wanted to be able to clean leaves and debris from under the panels easily. The StickyFeet is a 2 part mount attached by a bolt and washers.
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:53 AM   #125
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Done except for caulking

This morning before it got HOT, went up on the roof and removed the base portion of the mounts, cleaned the roof sections with 50% mixture of iso alcohol and water. It was then easy to prop the panels up on the blocks, pull the tape, slide down the base mount and screw in the hollow wall anchor screw. Kudos again to HopHed!
Panels are working fine this morning. The 3M VHB tape needs to setup for 72 hours. On Wednesday morning, I will finish it off by caulking with 3M Marine adhesive sealant 5200. That takes a week to fully cure.
For now, the cables are sitting up there with no anchor as I want to shorten some and lengthen others and will secure them.
Happy Camper Here!
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:57 PM   #126
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RichM

RichM, I see in your photos way back that it appears you ran all your sets of 8 cables to a combiner box rather than use the y combiners. Am I correct?

HopHed's photos look like he used a double strand cable for a clean look and may have a Y combiner in there somewhere, am I right Bill?

I'm currently looking at my options, I already have the Y's but want to leave the option for 1 or 2 more panels in the future.

Anyone know is it OK to leave the extra cable wound up under the panels or should they be cut to exact length needed. Also can the Y combiners be placed under the panels or is that a bad idea because of heat?

The best thing about this solar is that the batteries will be fully charged when I arrive at the CG or back home and not dealing with the BIM that only charges off the engine alternator for 1 hour without a reset.
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:32 PM   #127
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Yes, ran all 4 panels directly to combiner box to minimize losses on parallel wiring. Bought combiner box pre made with all fittings for 4 panels. Used 10 ga solar cables with pre-installed connectors to run from panel connector to box . Bought double length needed for each run , cut in middle to length. That gave one male and one female wire to run to box. Now I can disconnect a panel when needed. Once combined , power runs 6 ga to controller with 40 amp breaker and 12 volt isolation switch on way to controller.
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:37 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich.M View Post
Yes, ran all 4 panels directly to combiner box to minimize losses on parallel wiring. Bought combiner box pre made with all fittings for 4 panels. Used 10 ga solar cables with pre-installed connectors to run from panel connector to box . Bought double length needed for each run , cut in middle to length. That gave one male and one female wire to run to box. Now I can disconnect a panel when needed. Once combined , power runs 6 ga to controller with 40 amp breaker and 12 volt isolation switch on way to controller.
Very nice!
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:53 PM   #129
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If you decide to use or later switch to a combiner box, the web site is Imagine Instruments LLC - Sensors, Controls & Instrumentation for Industrial, Scientific & Automation Applications. Many configurations, definitely a time saver. Good luck.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:01 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
Today I washed the roof, laid out the position of the panels and marked them. I sanded down some of the dimples a and drilled the holes for the hollow wall anchors. I tapped them in and wiped down the area with 50% alcohol and water. I placed the mount on top and screwed the hollow wall anchors tight. I replaced all the mounting bolts and plugged in the cables and it's working fine! When it cools down this evening or tomorrow morning I will raise the panels up with those blocks, wipe down the area again with 50% alcohol and water. After it dries, I will remove the red film and lower the mount while screwing in the hollow wall anchor screw. Then I should be done for 72 hours until it cures. Then I will apply 3M 5200 Marine adhesive caulk around the mounts and that is a slow cure of 7 days. I know this is overkill, but I need peace of mind traveling in high gusty winds.
Special thanks to HopHed for the suggestion of raising the panels with wood blocks and just dropping the mounts into place.
Just got back from round trip to Seattle. Unfortunately dropped phone from pocket climbing up on roof so been out of commission since Thursday.

Looks good with mounts done which was the most critical part. When you do the 5200 do not use alcohol for the cleaning. Use acetone per instructions. I also did another light sanding around the areas the 5200 was going(top of mount and around mount). You will be very happy with the end result as the 5200 dries rock hard.

After 2500 miles and some gusty winds coming down the coast the panels are good as expected and very confident not going anywhere unless the roof comes off with it.

Also in regard to my wiring, yes, I did have a "Y" connector under the panel joining the two then the 10 gauge wiring down the fridge vent.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:33 PM   #131
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Thanks HopHed, your suggestion for the 2" blocks made all the difference. I don't want to go overboard on the 5200, just some overlap and about 1" around the base. Then I will go over the entire lower base with Dicor as I must cover the screw for the hollow wall anchor and don't want water collecting there. I may want to check it in the very distant future and I can remove the Dicor but not the 5200.
if you're in the area sometime, stop in and take a look. Always open to suggestions.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:01 AM   #132
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Turned out very nice Sage, can never go wrong with a little overkill. You will find yourself making little adjustments every couple of weeks. One thing to note for your pre flight checklist, wash the panels before you leave with a hose, makes the at camp paper towel wipe down much easier! Have you tested what you have coming in to the batteries on a solid sun day?
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:37 PM   #133
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Done for a while! Went up this morning and taped down the cables with a few inches of EternaBond tape here and there. Also applied a dab of 311 sealant to cover the hollow wall anchor screws. The roof is hot and the 5200 seems to be setting up quickly. In a week or two, I will apply 311 sealant over the mounts for cosmetic reasons.
Many thanks for all the suggestions and information.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:17 AM   #134
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Looks good Sage. Enjoying reading your post thru the process .
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:04 AM   #135
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Looks good Sage. Enjoying reading your post thru the process .
Thanks, tough decision which route to go on panel mounts.
Taking the MH out Monday and going down to San Diego. CG will have hook ups, so it won't be a real test. I wanted to see if the 200 watts gets the house batteries back up by the end of the day. Will have to start a real exercise program for the generator as our one or two trips per month gave it a work out. Now I will only be using it to defrost meals and for the DW's hair dryer.
Have to get a Fantastic Fan vent cover so I can leave the fan on auto mode and set it for 80˚.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:56 AM   #136
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Added my Renogy portable 100w suitcase to system

I rewired my Renogy portable 100w solar suitcase(out of warranty) bypassing the existing mounted 10amp controller on it. It will now attach to the Anderson quick connect mounted at the front of the passenger's side rear wheel well.
I can quickly rewire it back to allow battery clip usage of the portable 100 watts for friends and family.
In the mean time, this will come into the system fused and just before the controller at the battery cutoff switch. This switch will allow me to disconnect all, or either the main 2 roof 100w panels or the 100w portable.
Having the portable will give me the freedom to move it around to get sunlight should the roof become shaded.
Last thing will be the applying of the 311 caulk when it cools down a little. The 3M 5200 adhesive caulk is rock hard after 11 days.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:56 PM   #137
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photo of controller and wiring

As previously mentioned, I put the controller along with the cut-offs, fuses and Xantrex battery monitor in the cabinet along side the trash bin. Added 311 caulk over the tops of the mounts.
I'm done, really done! Thanks to all for the information and reassurance.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:50 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
As previously mentioned, I put the controller along with the cut-offs, fuses and Xantrex battery monitor in the cabinet along side the trash bin. Added 311 caulk over the tops of the mounts.
I'm done, really done! Thanks to all for the information and reassurance.

Now that you are done with yours you can come and do mine. Lol. Nice job Sage.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:15 PM   #139
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I arrived very late to this thread but it seems popular for many of you!

Here are some very nice 12V panels for you all to consider:

DM 158w solar panel, solar module 158w, 12V Solar Panel

Two 158W panels for $268 plus shipping. You cannot beat that. I used four of these on my FunFinder travel trailer. You can see my blog about these sorts of installs at:

https://cuernoverdesolar.wordpress.com/

Lots of photos about how to mount panels, etc., there so perhaps helpful for all of you. Best note is the panels! You will have a hard time finding panels of this size at this price and they will mount very nicely on your rigs.

I have one question about the built in wiring on the newer coaches. Apparently they use the Renogy products and allow you to have external panels (suitcase). Is the internal wiring from that connector to the battery decent? What size? Any insight you can provide.

I have a buddy that just bought a 32" Forester and he is asking me to help with solar.

TIA for any info.

Kelly
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:33 PM   #140
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As previously mentioned, I put the controller along with the cut-offs, fuses and Xantrex battery monitor in the cabinet along side the trash bin. Added 311 caulk over the tops of the mounts.
I'm done, really done! Thanks to all for the information and reassurance.
Nice Job Sage - the porto-panel is my next adventure!
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