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Old 03-04-2015, 02:56 PM   #1
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Solar Panel Mount to Rubber Roof

I just puchased a 300W Renogy solar charging system with 40A MPPT charge controler. I havent decided how to mount the 3 100W aluminum frame solar panels with Z-Bracket mounts to the rubber roof of my 2013 Leprechaun. I've seen it done with wood screws, rubber well nuts, and glue on mounts. Does anyone have any experience with this or mounting recommendations?


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Old 03-04-2015, 08:01 PM   #2
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Yes, here's what I did...dang pictures flipped when I uploaded them. Basically I drilled thru the roof and inserted the anchors. Add a wad of sealant under the hinge and tighten. Sealed the top with lots of dichor. Been a bunch of years now no problems.....ok the pix didn't flip upside down.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:27 PM   #3
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Nice idea and install. Thanks for the info. I like those hinged mounts.


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Old 03-05-2015, 05:45 AM   #4
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Thanks. The hinges make for easy angle adjustment, although I don't do so during a trip. Never needed to, I have plenty of capacity. At home I angle them to prevent standing water.

On another note, I just realized how filthy the roof was when i took the pix.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:26 PM   #5
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RPAspey, do you have any close up pictures of the hinges and mounts? I have been looking at different ways to be able to angle the solar panels (haven't install yet, to cold here in Canada). What did you use for prop rods? thanks.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:23 PM   #6
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well, yes, somewhere..

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamin533 View Post
RPAspey, do you have any close up pictures of the hinges and mounts? I have been looking at different ways to be able to angle the solar panels (haven't install yet, to cold here in Canada). What did you use for prop rods? thanks.
I did take pictures during the build process, but can't seem to find the specific pictures of the hinge. I basically used aluminum 3" x 3" x 3/16" for the base. I then removed the pin from the galvanized hinges and bored out the pin to 1/4". The pin was replaced with a removable pin from a farm parts store. The assemble was loosely assembled with stainless bolts. The hinges were then bolted to the aluminum frame of the solar panels and laid on the roof. Holes marked and the roof anchors installed. Once the base was tightened to the roof, I carefully tightened the bolts that hold the hinges to the aluminum angle (by waiting, the pins are easier to remove as they align properly)

Here is a link to most of the pictures I took during the process:
Solar Panel Installation - RPAspey


Oh, the rods are simply 1/4 plated steel rods from a hardware store.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:30 PM   #7
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I used four ss brackets for each panel. Each bracket is secured to the roof with 2 1inch ss hex head screws, covered in goop (dicro sealant). I have pics of the install but I still have to sort them.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:25 AM   #8
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RPAspey, thanks for including the pictures. I never considered just using stainless rods to hold the panels at different angles. From the pictures you did an excellent job. I just hope my installation turns out as good. Thanks again.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:51 AM   #9
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Like I mentioned, I don't angle them during a trip. I actually made rods with specific lengths to give me the right angle for the latitudes we generally camp at. Never used them.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:17 PM   #10
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Well I mounted my solar panels today. First I tried the snaptoggles but there was so much insulation in the ceiling that I couldn't get it to work. Luckily the holes I drilled were 1/2" so I was able to go back to plan A which was 1/2" X 3/4" rubber well nuts with 1/4-20 brass nuts. They worked great. They all tightens up well and those panels aren't going anywhere. Of course I used plenty of Dicor to seal everything up. I'll start wiring them on Monday. This weekend is for my favorite hobby... Metal detecting. Click image for larger version

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Old 03-13-2015, 07:37 PM   #11
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They look good. Did you figure a way to tilt them?
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:46 PM   #12
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I have 6 x 100 watt Renogy panels and a 40 watt Tracer MPPT controller. They are arranged 3 in series then hooked up in parallel. It keeps the volts up and the amps down as 12 vdc does not like to travel far without losses. Can't believe how much power they provide. I added two more 125 AH batts and haven't wanted for electricity since. They keep the batts at or above 12.8. When I turn something on, it uses the incoming power first, then from the batts if the draw is above what the panels are producing. First thing in the morning at sunrise, they start into boost charge to bring the batts back up. Why I didn't do this years ago, I don't know.
All the panels are mounted with wellnuts and Goop. They are only 3/4 inch above roof, so no wind can get under them. Seagull poop and leaves are my only problems.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPAspey View Post
They look good. Did you figure a way to tilt them?

Hi, no I didn't make them so they could tilt. Just used the supplied Z brackets. My plan is to try the three panels out this summer and if I find that I need more I will add them this fall or next spring. I'm planing to purchase the 100W portable/foldable panels soon in case I park in shade.

Thanks for all the help. The snap toggles are a great idea I just couldn't use them in my application. Good thing I had already purchased the well nuts.


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Old 03-14-2015, 06:52 AM   #14
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Keep us updated on how things go. I know I like the updates and so do a lot of others.

Solar is awesome for camping.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPAspey View Post
Keep us updated on how things go. I know I like the updates and so do a lot of others.

Solar is awesome for camping.

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Finished the solar install. Works great. Next month the inverter.


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Old 03-31-2015, 10:21 PM   #16
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I love the hinge with the removable pin. I need to do this as well.
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