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Old 09-29-2017, 12:31 AM   #1
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Solar question

I just picked up a vibe 268 and wed like to install solar panels on it. Does anyone already have some installed that can share photos?

TIA
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:01 PM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:51 AM   #3
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I've looked at this option too, but it sure is a pricey upgrade. I called the company that makes the kit, and it sounds like a fairly strait forward install, but they too didn't have any pictures or even an instruction guide they could share.

My local dealer hadn't done the install on any Rainiers (NW version of the Vibe) they sold. They were still happy to quote me $599 for the install cost.

I get the feeling the vendor put the kit in the trailers almost as a freebee to get their foot in the door. Then they make their money back on the kits themselves.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:35 PM   #4
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Well I installed my controller and panel today Click image for larger version

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Old 11-11-2017, 02:29 AM   #5
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Were the wires labeled inside the wall? i.e., battery and panels?
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Were the wires labeled inside the wall? i.e., battery and panels?


No, but it was the only wire that had wire nuts in them so I took a multi meter and checked them.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:10 AM   #7
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I also used the Renogy Adventurer Controller. Here's a couple photos:
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:15 AM   #8
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We only have one panel for now. What can 2 do?
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:25 AM   #9
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Double the output.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:27 AM   #10
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solar

Not same rig, but had it done by an itinerant installer, rather than a RV dealer.
Brian Boon, on Facebook.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:27 AM   #11
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I bought this as a kit from Amazon. Essentially with two 100W panels I don't worry about using electricity at night to run lights, run the furnace all night, use the sound system, etc. The next day my 2 - 12v batteries are fully charged by noonish with full sun. Because many of my camp spots are at higher altitude (colder climates) being able to run the furnace without worry was important.

Starting off with one panel is fine. You'll get to see how well one panel performs and its always easy to add another panel later if you decide to.

Good luck on your installation!
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hankpac View Post
Not same rig, but had it done by an itinerant installer, rather than a RV dealer.
Brian Boon, on Facebook.
Attachment 156212

Attachment 156213

Attachment 156214

Attachment 156215
Very nice. How are the panels mounted?
I want to install mine, but am not happy about drilling holes in my new roof...
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:58 AM   #13
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Hi,

If you contemplate adding panels later on, be sure to think ahead to the capacity of your wiring from the roof to the controller.

Google up some information on voltage drop in 12 volt systems, and go from there.

Hope this helps.

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Old 11-11-2017, 11:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HangDiver View Post
I bought this as a kit from Amazon. Essentially with two 100W panels I don't worry about using electricity at night to run lights, run the furnace all night, use the sound system, etc. The next day my 2 - 12v batteries are fully charged by noonish with full sun. Because many of my camp spots are at higher altitude (colder climates) being able to run the furnace without worry was important.



Starting off with one panel is fine. You'll get to see how well one panel performs and its always easy to add another panel later if you decide to.



Good luck on your installation!


Thanks for sharing. Ive used the harbor freight solar panels on my last travel trailer but I decided to go this route this time. So far Im satisfied
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:17 AM   #15
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panels

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Very nice. How are the panels mounted?
I want to install mine, but am not happy about drilling holes in my new roof...
Mine are mounted on attachment points, and yes drilled into the roof. There are also several other holes drilled for wires to pass into the coach and threaded to Controllers, and Panels. Lots of wiring.
The installer (Brian Boone) uses plenty of Dicor, and is detail oriented. Of several hundred installs, I have never seen a single leak complaint from his customers.

Like any other installation or system, one has to keep an eye on everything.
There are glue on installations, and those work too. One thing everyone seems to shy away from in the Solar Community is gluing flexible panels directly to the skin. Lots of issues with over heating, peeling, failure, etc.
Depending on where you are, (AZ, Pacific Northwest, etc) there are pro solar installers (not home installer, RV!) available to guide you even if you decide to do the install yourself.
One thing I found, from doing a lot of reading and shopping before ordering, Brian's blog "Got Solar Installed" has best supplies and equipment and prices, and vendors. I also learned that there is a lot more in the way of small items to purchase beyond simply the panels, controller and inverter. My build list had items I would never have thought of if I hadn't been guided.
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:51 AM   #16
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hankpc - what type of roof construction do you have? My Rockwood is the laminated type of construction with a very thin 3/8th piece of plywood to lag screws into. I was concerned that it wasn't strong enough to mount panels on so I was going to go with the flexible panels with ethernabond tape. I have done a lot of research on the flexible panels and have read a few panel failures, but a lot of people are using them successfully. I am still trying to decide which is the best way to go based on the construction of my trailer roof.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:11 PM   #17
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I can't recommend one way or the other. I suggest reviewing the info on the FB solar pages, especially regarding flex panel installs. Then ask your installer. Finally, note that the panels are the lightest part o the entire system. I watched a lady carry one in one hand while climbing the ladder. While I was prepping them to go up, I noticed that they don't weigh much at all. Brian can give you an educated opinion regarding your roof, and he is very nice about giving out information.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:07 PM   #18
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Here is my (1) 100w panel. I just ordered another one. I didnt screw into the roof I used the gorilla glue caulking to secure it.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:48 PM   #19
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Attachment 156272

Here is my (1) 100w panel. I just ordered another one. I didnt screw into the roof I used the gorilla glue caulking to secure it.
Nicely done. Your second panel will make a significant difference for your DC needs.
My solar install was my fist electrical install experience and I was surprised to learn how important proper crimp terminals are to getting the most voltage from your panels to the batteries.

Always learning,
Rich J.
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