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Old 06-28-2015, 01:20 AM   #1
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Adding roof top solar panels to Forester or Sunseeker

Did a search for this topic with only trailers coming up. I believe the Forester and Sunseeker come with fiberglass roofs. From the looks of the pamphlet on them it has thin fiberglass over luan, over foam,over ceiling material. There is 1.5" tubular aluminum framing across the top but looks hard to find and screwing into it may weaken it. Has anyone actually mounted solar panels on this style roof? Someone in one of the related topic said glue???
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:54 AM   #2
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There are any number of adhesives that would work on a fiberglass roof. 3M VHB tape is used quite often, 3M-4200 or 5200, sikaflex 252, and more. VBH is used quite a bit because it is so easy to work with (strip tape). Many will use only adhesive while others will use a single ss screw at the 4 corners or at least on the end facing oncoming air. Some will dicor over the mounts for added adhesion.

It's mostly just what you feel comfortable with and how permanent you want your mounting brackets to be.

I would do a little reading on a couple three different products and see what resonates with you. Personally, I screwed and dicor's my mounts, but I know more than a few folks that only used VBH and have never had an issue.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:14 AM   #3
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Yarome, do you have a class C with the fiberglass roof?
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:30 AM   #4
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Yarome, do you have a class C with the fiberglass roof?
I've never owned a class c, however, when I had my class A it had a fiberglass roof. My respond was directed toward fiberglass roof installations.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:38 AM   #5
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For the most part, looking at the various options, it's a matter of deciding how permanent you want your panels to be. Do you want to be able to remove and/or relocate your panels? Do you want the strongest bond possible with no intention of every removing your panels? Are you concerned about catching your panels on something and having them ripped off? If so, you probably don't want to use screws which may cause more damage to your roof. Do you spend a lot of time in areas of the country where tornado's or severe winds are a concern? If so, you may want to use screws.

See what I mean?
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
Did a search for this topic with only trailers coming up. I believe the Forester and Sunseeker come with fiberglass roofs. From the looks of the pamphlet on them it has thin fiberglass over luan, over foam,over ceiling material. There is 1.5" tubular aluminum framing across the top but looks hard to find and screwing into it may weaken it. Has anyone actually mounted solar panels on this style roof? Someone in one of the related topic said glue???

I have a 2015 2300 sunseeker. I put two 115w panels on top. I would suggest using Wallnuts (rubber doodads with screws). I used 2" x1/8 x 36 aluminum angle. Put silicone (for aluminum) under the angle, particularly around holes. Used plastic conduit for looks and protection. Ran wire down fridge space. Had to drill one hole to get into the cabin. Mounted controller on cabinet by entry door. Less convenient for monitoring perhaps but minimized work. Worked for me.
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:47 PM   #7
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I installed a Renogy 100 watt on our Solera (fiberglass roof class"C"). I doubled up on the mounting brackets (8 instead of 4) and used Dicor with stainless screws. No issues. Posted at the time (February 2014):
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...tml#post540288
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
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Maybe industrial strength Velcro would work. I used it to hold down a roof vent that had broken off its hinges, and it stayed on during travel near 65mph and severe thunderstorms. I used
Robot Check
from Amazon. I also use it to hold up light strips inside the MH. Great stuff!
You could add screws at the ends of the strips to secure them further. Flexible (marine) solar panels would be easier to work with also.

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Old 06-28-2015, 01:19 PM   #9
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Very nice installs guys. I currently have a Renogy 100w suitcase with only a 10amp controller, but it's the expensive digital Viewstar.
So this is definitely do-able when we get the Forester 2701DS. I will probable get a special mount so I can tilt the panels either way. Will use 3M VHB tape along with at least 4 screws and lots of Dicor, then run the tray down the fridge vent. Not sure where I will put the controller or how it will hookup to the batteries. I think there is a compartment directly under the fridge, perhaps there.
I have a Xantrex battery monitor in my class C Minnie, but I will move it over to the new Forester when we get it. I don't want to clutter up the entry with all kinds of gadgets. Plus it look like a lot of bending to get to them.

Just realized my fridge is on the driver's side and not by the steps where the batteries are. Also the DW says there is no way I am drilling or screwing anything into the roof and possibly voiding the warranty.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:55 PM   #10
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Be VERY careful using 3M 5200! That stuff is forever!
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:49 PM   #11
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My previous rv's had them mounted from the factory on top of air condition shroud had two like that


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Old 06-28-2015, 05:08 PM   #12
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Boso, I am glad you mentioned that!

I have been entertaining a 100W panel on my Salem TT without drilling any holes on the the roof. My plan is to mount the panel on top of the AC cover and get the cables down through the refrigerator vent. From the back of the fridge it will be fairly simple to route the wires to the controller. Now I am trying to figure out how to route the cables from the panel to the fridge vent (about 3 1/2 ft) using some kind of heavy duty tape that will stick to the rubber roof and survive the Florida sun. Ideas anyone?
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:46 PM   #13
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Be VERY careful using 3M 5200! That stuff is forever!
X2. But if you 'want' permanent that'll certainly do the trick.

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...using some kind of heavy duty tape that will stick to the rubber roof and survive the Florida sun. Ideas anyone?
Eternabond'll do ya. Quick and easy to work with, but you could just dicor a few spots to tack them down if that's what you have handy. I wouldn't go the full length of the wires and you'll want to keep the wires under tension while the dicor sets. Eternabond it's just pull and stick.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:53 PM   #14
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DAF44 you could put some dicor over the wires would level out and the wires won't go anywhere I live in southern nc gets pretty hot here as well I think the av shroud is the best place if it will work for you I think that's how most manufactures do it


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Old 06-28-2015, 08:59 PM   #15
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Thin flexible panel

I couldn't stand to punch a hole in a good roof, so I bought a flexible thin film 100 watt panel and glued it on with silicone. It is solid, and pretty much permanent.
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:39 AM   #16
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Boso, I am glad you mentioned that!

I have been entertaining a 100W panel on my Salem TT without drilling any holes on the the roof. My plan is to mount the panel on top of the AC cover and get the cables down through the refrigerator vent. From the back of the fridge it will be fairly simple to route the wires to the controller. Now I am trying to figure out how to route the cables from the panel to the fridge vent (about 3 1/2 ft) using some kind of heavy duty tape that will stick to the rubber roof and survive the Florida sun. Ideas anyone?
Lots of Dicor. Use uv safe wires and I ran direct to the frg vent, cold side away from heat/flame tube and glued them to the food w Dicor.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:22 PM   #17
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I have installed solar panels on my Georgetown roof, which is made of thin fiberglass over plywood. The 3M VHB adhesive would probably work well on a thick fiberglass roof, such as the type used on a van camper raised roof, but I would be very hesitant to use it on the thin fiberglass roof sheet used on our motorhomes which is not bonded to the plywood underneath.

My install is the same as what JLeising suggested earlier: I used 4 sets of "Z" brackets per panel, with #10 stainless steel screws because they have a large "bite" to secure into the plywood underneath the fiberglass. Before installing the screws and brackets, put a gob of Dicor over each drilled screw hole. After all the brackets are secured to the roof, cover them with additional Dicor.

You want to use #10 UL listed sunlight resistant photovoltaic wire for the panels to a roof junction box. From the roof down to the controller and then to the batteries use #4 or #6 cable to minimize voltage drop. Because the heavier gauge cable is typically not available as sunlight resistant, I installed it in conduit on the roof. Install the solar controller as close as possible, but never in the same compartment as the batteries.

Select a roof location where the panels will not be shaded by any vents, air conditioners, TV antenna, etc. Because most solar panels are made of individual cells wired in series, if just one cell get shaded it can shut down the entire panel. It's just like those old Christmas lights, where if one bulb burned out, the whole string stopped working. It is also a good idea to plan the roof install and select a solar charge controller to allow for additional panels in the future.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:21 PM   #18
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Boso, I am glad you mentioned that!

I have been entertaining a 100W panel on my Salem TT without drilling any holes on the the roof. My plan is to mount the panel on top of the AC cover and get the cables down through the refrigerator vent. From the back of the fridge it will be fairly simple to route the wires to the controller. Now I am trying to figure out how to route the cables from the panel to the fridge vent (about 3 1/2 ft) using some kind of heavy duty tape that will stick to the rubber roof and survive the Florida sun. Ideas anyone?
I think the factory mounts on the ac schroud have to be smallish panels to just trickle charge the batteries. Even just one 100 watt, and I strongly suggest two, would catch enough wind to rip the ac off the roof. Don't be afraid to put screws in the roof. Do it with big fat stainless screws like others suggest and lots of Dicor.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:47 PM   #19
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I think you are right about the trickle charge but the rv's I had with them also had 2000 watt inverter trickle was all that I ever needed if I needed at all dry camp for a week watch tv or play radio all I wanted only run generator for air at races


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Old 09-06-2016, 11:22 PM   #20
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I have a 2015 2300 sunseeker. I put two 115w panels on top. I would suggest using Wallnuts (rubber doodads with screws). I used 2" x1/8 x 36 aluminum angle. Put silicone (for aluminum) under the angle, particularly around holes. Used plastic conduit for looks and protection. Ran wire down fridge space. Had to drill one hole to get into the cabin. Mounted controller on cabinet by entry door. Less convenient for monitoring perhaps but minimized work. Worked for me.
Hello Gerry, You mentioned you have used aluminum angles... Did you attach them together in a "Z" shape with one attached to the roof, the other attached to the panel and bolted together? [I have been investigating this option for the past couple weeks given that it provides the capability to unmount the panel for service/replacement -- yes the angle attached to the roof will stay there but that's minor]

Also, did you put one 36'' length on each side of the panel (obviously on the length)? Which panels you have, the 100W renogy?

Thanks!!
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