Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-30-2022, 11:12 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Nevada
Posts: 1,361
Need Help to Install Solar Panels

I would like to install 4 100 w panels on the roof of my Rockwood. I don't like climbing around on the roof now that I am in my 70s.

I called the only local RV dealer that does this kind of thing. They quoted me a labor rate of $140 per hour. I cannot even believe this.

Who else might be willing to install some panels, wire them together and install a drop through the roof? Anyone have any good ideas?
ppine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 11:47 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Posts: 1,349
local electrical or solar installer may be cheaper than RV shop
Mobile RV tech not a lot cheaper than a shop!

local handyman could do it because it is only small system
be prepared to supervise the install.
question them on how they intend to seal any holes
Make sure they have their own INSURANCE in case they hurt themselves.

I'm 66 starting to slow down too...
good luck...
__________________
Tarpon Springs FL
2022 Salem 24RLXL
Aussieguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 11:51 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 8,571
$140 an hour shop rate is pretty normal around here, a little low actually.
Call some mobile RV outfits or one of the millions of companies that are ringing your doorbell everyday wanting to install solar on your house. Surely, some of them would do an RV.
Unless you already bought them, I would look at higher wattage (200watts at least) panels so you would need less panels.
Good luck
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 01:54 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
PhilFromMaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Maine
Posts: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by ppine View Post
I would like to install 4 100 w panels on the roof of my Rockwood. I don't like climbing around on the roof now that I am in my 70s.

I called the only local RV dealer that does this kind of thing. They quoted me a labor rate of $140 per hour. I cannot even believe this.

Who else might be willing to install some panels, wire them together and install a drop through the roof? Anyone have any good ideas?
140 dollars per hour is the going rate for shop work here also.
__________________
2018 Coachmen Freedom Express Liberty Edition 231RBDSLE
PhilFromMaine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 02:53 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1,021
price of panels, batteries, install labor$$. you can pay a lot of nights for electric, water restrooms.etc. and relax , you are not young anymore.do the math.
Thomas ho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 03:19 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
PhilFromMaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Maine
Posts: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas ho View Post
price of panels, batteries, install labor$$. you can pay a lot of nights for electric, water restrooms.etc. and relax , you are not young anymore.do the math.
Yes, but you can't camp in the same places.
__________________
2018 Coachmen Freedom Express Liberty Edition 231RBDSLE
PhilFromMaine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 03:23 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1,021
if you are camping why do you need 400 watts of solar. i still camp on 100
watts of solar , 1 battery and sun shine.
Thomas ho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 03:33 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta
Posts: 1,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas ho View Post
price of panels, batteries, install labor$$. you can pay a lot of nights for electric, water restrooms.etc. and relax , you are not young anymore.do the math.
No Campground fees: Solar cost $1600 = $330 per year over 5 years.
Campgrounds fees: $80/night = Only 4 nights per year over 5 years = $1600

There, did the math.
__________________

2007 Surveyor SV230
- 200 Watts Solar/MPPT Controller - 230 AH Battery Bank (Two-GC2) - 600 watt PSW Inverter - (2) 2000 watt Inverter Generators - LED Lighting
2009 F150 - 5.4 Litre with Tow Package

Boon Docking 99% of the time.
boondocking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 04:57 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Colorado
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas ho View Post
if you are camping why do you need 400 watts of solar. i still camp on 100
watts of solar , 1 battery and sun shine.
400 watts is what many forum members recommend as the minium. But a 100 watt panel will give the camper battery only about 5 amps on a sunny day in June. But how much charge in December? About 2 amps if you're lucky. 100 watts may be ok if you're trying to charge one battery but if you've got 2 or more, then having a 400 watt system can make huge difference.
440scout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 05:10 PM   #10
Always Learning
 
ependydad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Four Corners, FL
Posts: 21,723
If you're a Facebook user, there are various groups for solar installations. I know that people often ask for installers in their areas.

I would not have an RV dealer install them. They might get the roof part done right but they're likely going to bugger up the rest of the installation.
__________________
Officially a SOB with a 2022 Jayco Precept 36C
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | Was a Fulltime Family for 5 years, now we're part-timing on long trips
ependydad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2022, 06:33 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: Tarpon Springs FL
Posts: 1,349
In the days before the interweb ... we had a notice board at the office
when paying our fees ..... browsed our board


"Wanted, gut to install panels"
Pay ... two cartons.
__________________
Tarpon Springs FL
2022 Salem 24RLXL
Aussieguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 10:46 AM   #12
wls
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Mid-Mich
Posts: 460
I've got 400 on top, installed myself, also have 2Ė100-watt suitcase panels. Maybe the suitcase would work for you
__________________
2008 Dodge 3500 Dually, Cummins. Amsoil Bypass Oil Filter, 36 Gal aux fuel tank. Mag Hytec Trans pan. Mag Hytec Diff Pan. 6 speed autostick. 3:73, Timbrens, Smarty JR. Equipped.
2016 Cedar Creek 38FB2
400 watt Rich solar on top,200 watts of suitcase
wls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 03:33 PM   #13
Happy Keystone Owner
 
dbarr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 629
I wouldnít think it would take long to put the panels on and drop the cables through the roof if thatís all you want done.
My 4 didnít have me up top for much more than 30 minutes.
__________________
'15 F150 Ecoboost Maxtow Scab '19 Keystone Laredo 225MK
Days camped 2020-37 2019-36, 2018-24, 2017-46, 2016 -56, 2015-33,
2014-47,

Years camping....55
dbarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 11:57 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 320
$140 is reasonable nowadays. I would however ask if it includes materials to spec and how many hours.
__________________

2021 Cedar Creek Cottage 40CRS

Victron MultiPlus-II 12/3000/120-50 Solar installation
SacRV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2022, 08:17 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
PhilFromMaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Maine
Posts: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarr View Post
I wouldnít think it would take long to put the panels on and drop the cables through the roof if thatís all you want done.
My 4 didnít have me up top for much more than 30 minutes.
That is super fast! Realistically, any installer will want between 150-200 dollars per panel and that is if they will even take a partial job.
__________________
2018 Coachmen Freedom Express Liberty Edition 231RBDSLE
PhilFromMaine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2022, 08:57 AM   #16
Happy Keystone Owner
 
dbarr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilFromMaine View Post
That is super fast! Realistically, any installer will want between 150-200 dollars per panel and that is if they will even take a partial job.


Itís only 8 screws per panel and mc4 connectors. Not that time consuming
__________________
'15 F150 Ecoboost Maxtow Scab '19 Keystone Laredo 225MK
Days camped 2020-37 2019-36, 2018-24, 2017-46, 2016 -56, 2015-33,
2014-47,

Years camping....55
dbarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2022, 10:25 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 15,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by SacRV View Post
$140 is reasonable nowadays. I would however ask if it includes materials to spec and how many hours.
$140 is not only reasonable today, compared to what it might be tomorrow given the trend in prices, it is DARN reasonable.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will." (Japanese Proverb)

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2022, 12:11 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
PhilFromMaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Maine
Posts: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarr View Post
It’s only 8 screws per panel and mc4 connectors. Not that time consuming
There is a old land surveyors tale about a man who wanted an estimate to set 4 iron pipes on his 1/8 acre lot. The land surveyor gave an estimate of 1000 dollars (1980). The property owner said "that's outrageous, I could set those iron pipes in an hour!". The land surveyor said: "so could I, and I am only charging you 100 dollars for driving in 4 iron pipes and 900 dollars for knowing where to put them."

Point being, the installer is not only doing the work, he is taking on the responsibility to make sure it is done correctly. In this case he is drilling a hole in the roof and it has to be in the "right" spot and sealed properly. Most likely, he will stand behind the quality of his work.
__________________
2018 Coachmen Freedom Express Liberty Edition 231RBDSLE
PhilFromMaine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2022, 01:00 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Nevada
Posts: 1,361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas ho View Post
if you are camping why do you need 400 watts of solar. i still camp on 100
watts of solar , 1 battery and sun shine.
Because I camp in the winter with snow on the roof. I camp in cloudy weather and short days.
ppine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2022, 01:03 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Nevada
Posts: 1,361
I have 2 100 watt solar panels on the ground now.
I am getting ready to do some longer trips and bringing the lady along. She wants to have some power. It is no big deal to add 2 panels and get serious about making solar power.
ppine is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
panel, solar, solar panel

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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:59 AM.