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Old 06-17-2019, 08:44 PM   #1
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Roof Supports in Freelander 20CB

Does anyone know if there are roof supports in the 2018 Freelander Micro?

If there are, how can I find them?

Looks like the plywood is only about 1/8" thick if that.

I am trying to install supports for roof mounted solar panels.

Thanks

Rick
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
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I don't know if there are trusses in that unit, but if there are you can probably find them with a good electronic stud finder.

You also might try contacting Coachmen and ask if they have drawings of the roof. We used to not get anything, but lately they've been more forthcoming about literature on our units, so you may get lucky.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:34 AM   #3
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Thanks. I think I may have found 1 that goes across the roof near the door. Not sure. I will try the stud finder from the outside on the roof if it would ever stop raining.


Something has got to be holding that roof up, I hope!
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hummelr View Post
Thanks. I think I may have found 1 that goes across the roof near the door. Not sure. I will try the stud finder from the outside on the roof if it would ever stop raining.


Something has got to be holding that roof up, I hope!
I was told recently that there are beams going across all along the roof. I forget what they said but found out they were correct trying to run wires for fans on each vent. I am looking to mount solar panels but will use other methods rather than drilling into roof. Plenty if success stories using other ways. Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:08 AM   #5
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When I was adding a power vent to the center roof vent, I took the antenna apart to get access to run the power wire (only the front most and bath vents are pre-wired for power). It looks like there is aluminum square tubing going across the roof with syrofoam in between. Not sure the spacing. Rubber roof membrane does not appear to be adhered to 1/8 plywood (at least is wasn't as I was removing old vent and caulk around vent).



Good luck with your solar info. Would really appreciate a post install post. I want to add a couple panels to our CB20 in the future and it is always helpful to get lessons learned from others.


Jay
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:10 PM   #6
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Solar Panel Installation

I agree that just gluing down the solar panels will not hold. The roof membrane barely holds to the 1/8" plywood. All gluing would do is glue the panels to the roof membrane which could easily come off.


Here is what I did:


I purchased the "Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystallin Panel Solar RV Kit" on Amazon. I also purchase 1 extra set "Renogy 2 Sets Solar Panel Mounting Z Bracket Set of 4 Units" . I added an extra bracket to each long side of the solar panel. I just had to drill the holes for the brackets on the panel and they installed fine. I used tons (maybe 4 tube) of "Dicor 501LSW-1 Epdm Self-Leveling Lap Sealant" during the installation. Some under the Z Brackets and some over each bolt. More around the outsides of each Z Bracket. BEFORE installing the solar panel to the roof, make sure you pull the cables out from under the panel. Otherwise you will be in a world of hurt trying to get the cables out!


You can see from the photo where I placed the panels.


One edge of each panel comes through the roof into the upper cabinets. I used regular bolts, washers and nuts to secure them since it does not really matter how it looks since you can only see the nuts if you look into the cabinets. I used 10-32 bolts and 8-24 bolts; washers and nuts (whatever I had laying around in the garage) to secure the sides of the panels that are above the cabinets. I had to use 2 1/2" to 3 1/2 inch bolts. It really depended where the bolt came through. Above the counter top area, I had to use 3 1/2 inch bolts.
For the other edge of the solar panel, I used "2-in x 1/8-in Concrete Anchors" (molly bolts) that I bought from Lowes to secure all the Z bracket bolt holes except for the outside hold on each of the outside Z Brackets. In other words, all but 2 of the holes I used the Concrete Anchors.


For the outside hole, I used 10-32 bolts with Tee Nuts. The bolts do come through the ceiling but I used "Krylon Appliance Touch-Up Paint Specialty Gloss" paint on the tee nuts. If the bolt stuck through too much, I pulled it out and added washers on the roof side so that it was flush with the ceiling.

As for the wiring, I checked the voltage and amps of each panel before I connected them together. I also checked again after I connected them together. I put a piece of duck tape around the end of each "Positive" cable so I would not get mixed up. The cables from the solar connectors were too short to connect together so I made 2 extension cables using the leftover cable from connecting the battery up to the "adventurer Li 30A PWM flush mount charge controller". I bought "RENOGY 5 Pair MC4 Male/ Female Solar Panel Cable Connectors" from Amazon to make the cables. I watched the video and it looked real easy. Not so for me. I was lucky to get the 2 cables made before I ran out of connectors. Renogy does sell some extra cables pre-made.



I came through the ceiling with the cables in the cabinet to the right of the microwave. I glued the "Renogy cable entry housing" to the roof with "SIKA Sikaflex-252 White Polyurethane Adhesive" which I bought from Amazon. I took the cable down through the cabinet, drilled a hole through the back of the counter top inside the cabinet, fished the wire around all the stuff under the cabinet and hooked it up to the "adventurer Li 30A PWM flush mount charge controller". I used "Self-Adhesive Cable Management Zip-Tie Anchor Mounts" to nicely hold the wire up against the ceiling and walls within the cabinets. I also used "Self-Adhesive Cable Management Zip-Tie Anchor Mounts" which I bought on Amazon with lap sealant on them to hold the cables on the roof. This keeps them from flopping in the wind.


As for the installation of the "Adventurer Li 30A PWM flush mount charge controller", I put it on the panel with all the other switches. I cut a hole in the panel and flush mounted it. You will need to take apart the cabinet space next to it to do all the wiring. I used real short bolts and nuts to hold the controller to the paneling.


As for the connections to the battery, I fished the wire from the battery area, down through the holes in the battery area and used all the existing wires as a guide to fish the wires up into the RV area at the back of the paneling where all the other switches are at. I did a lot of zip-tying of wires together.

Sounds like a lot of work. It was not really that much. Must of my energy was expended going up and down the ladder getting stuff I needed for the installation.



It also helps to have someone inside the RV to hold the nuts while you turn the bolts with the screwdriver.


Hope this helps.


I would like to thank my wife for the Photos.


I have gone about 1000 miles so far and the panels still remain on the roof and I have not noticed any leaks
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:14 PM   #7
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Solar Panel Installation Photos

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Old 04-22-2020, 08:17 AM   #8
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I also thru bolted my panels. Took long ss bolts,ran a nut all the way up on bolt, ran the bolt down thru the bracket, inside the rig installed a washer and cap nut, went up on roof installed decor ,and tightened down nut previously installed till all was snug.
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