Solar panel mounted on roof or portable?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by Prinler, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Prinler

    Prinler New Member

    5
    3
    Apr 16, 2018
    Barstow CA
    I picked up a 170W solar panel for a song and a dance and I want to incorporate it into my pup but am not sure if mounting it to the already heavy roof w/AC was a good idea or not. Its a larger panel and it fit on the roof in front of the AC. Not sure if i should mount it or just make a stand for it.
    Actually i have 2 panels total i could use.

    What would you guys suggest.
     
  2. Mogimus

    Mogimus Active Member

    376
    32
    Apr 29, 2015
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    That would depend on where you mostly like to camp and if it’s shaded or not.

    I placed brackets on the roof for my panels (2-100w) and place them up there most of the time but I also made a tripod stand for them and a long extension cord for the times that we camp in the mountains or under heavy shaded areas. Works well for me.
     
  3. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    2,294
    49
    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    I am using a suitcase panel, that I can move as the sun moves, and don't have to worry about parking in the shade
     
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  4. Prinler

    Prinler New Member

    5
    3
    Apr 16, 2018
    Barstow CA
    I camp in the desert mostly. I am in southern california... tons of sun!
    How do I mount them? I am not sure how thick the roof is or whats under the surface.
     
  5. Mogimus

    Mogimus Active Member

    376
    32
    Apr 29, 2015
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Well, first of all, welcome to the portal from another SoCal-er :)

    Roof build would depend on your trailer year, make, and model.

    My Fleetwood has an aluminum roof with 3/4" styrofoam and 1/4" plywood under that. I mounted similar brackets to these using some VHB tape and a couple rivets for added safety and then sealed around the tape and rivet with some Dicor self leveling sealant. I do not drive with the panels installed but those brackets are solid! I then installed riv-nuts on the frame of the panel so I can mount them onto the roof brackets or the stands with a simple knob.

    Installation onto an ABS roof might be different tho...

    IMG_7047.JPG IMG_7026.JPG IMG_7040.JPG
     
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  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    10,635
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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    With both our popup and TT, we have kept the panels free-standing. If the camper is in the shade, we can often have the panels in full sun. In a few sites, being able to reorient them during the day has been helpful.
    Since we began using the same set of solar panels on our TT that we'd had on the pup, when we realized we needed more wattage, having them free-standing made changing easy. We still have the original set, hidden in a not-very-useful section of storage. We can use them to charge our free-standing storage battery (Goal Zero Yeti 150) separately from the Zamp panel charging the trailer batteries.
    We have a cable to lock them, so no fear of them easily wandering off. (We also had thought the cable would keep the panels tethered in windy conditions, but they have proven to be more resilient to wind than we expected.)
     
  7. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    Sep 10, 2017
    Ferndale MI
    mine is freestanding, made simple legs out of flat aluminum stock. attach them with 1\4 nuts and bolts.
     

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