Solar Panel Transportation

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by Econ, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone come up with a reason that solar panels should not be carried on the A frame of a camper in a vertical orientation if cushioned from the road vibration with foam rubber? This would free up TV space.
     
  2. rsdata

    rsdata Active Member

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    sure why not? let us know how it works. I would purchase cheap foam mattress pads from Walmart or such to use as cushions front/back and bottom and help lock it into position.
     
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  3. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    They're sturdier than they look. Just don't sling 'em around by the wires. :)
     
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  4. LjohnSaw

    LjohnSaw So many fish, so little time...

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    Why not permanently attach them to the roof and be done with it? If you mount them cross-ways with a hinge at the peak of the roof, you could make it adjustable to point forward or backward at the campsite depending on the sun's location.
     
  5. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    my extra flexible 100W panel is glued to the roof, worked fine so far

    my rigid panel, which is "portable" lives on the home-made rear privacy "shelf" in our Jeep, though it could be inside the closed Aliner if need be.

    Do not permanently put a rigid panel on your roof if at all possible - its extra lift weight for the springs (and you) - and their anchorages
     
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  6. Jenkamus

    Jenkamus Active Member

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    My 100w panel is mounted to the roof. We have it screwed into framing but no issues here.
     
  7. Chris I

    Chris I Member

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    That still really limits your options for chasing the sun with the panels. I use a 10ft extension cable, and that allows me to move it around the site. Even partial shade on the panels will drop the watts collected by 50% or more. So unless you really like parking in full sun all of the time, it's best to keep them off the roof.
     
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  8. Colewood Fleetman

    Colewood Fleetman New Member

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    We used 3M VHB tape (not the stuff you get at Home Depot…not strong enough) to mount our 100w panel to the roof skin on our 04 Yuma…yes, it adds weight to the lift mechanism but it seemed to be the best option.

    Four years that thing has been up there, and has not come off in ANY weather! 60mph New Mexico cross winds? Nope. Tornado producing storms at home? Nope! Have to say, I was skeptical when reading about using TAPE to secure a flat, sail-like, 40lb panel. But, the science said it would hold, and others had done it with no issues. Just clean clean clean everything the tape is going to touch and let it sit for a few days to fully bond. Then, no roof holes ‍ and your panel is safe and secure. Now, it’s on to a new owner and she knows to keep an eye on it, but not to worry.
     
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  9. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside... Silver Supporting Member

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    I think horizontal would be a better option ;)

    Using quality VHB tape, like @Colewood Fleetman did is an excellent option. A lot of TTs have Solar attached like this with no problems. I used z-mounts on my solar panel on my TT and a lot of dicor.
     
  10. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    !!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for all the responses. I live in the Deep South. We do not voluntarily park/camp in the sun. We merely transport the panel to the campground and are looking for a way to free up TV space.

    This is an Aframe at 142 pounds I am the lift system. <<GG>>

    50' of 10 gauge extension cord of various lengths.
     
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  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Probably depends on how you can attach it for travel. We have two solar systems, the original Goal Zero set with 4 panels that clip together and the Zamp, which folds and goes in its case. We sometimes transport the Zamp in the bed in our TT, but it mostly travels in the backseat area of the truck, with the fold-up seats it is a great cargo space, and the solar panel stands on the long edge so doesn't take much space. The other panels are stashed in an otherwise less-than-useful space under one dinette bench, which takes a bit of work to get them out and put them back, but it's OK. If we're moving from one dry camp to another, we'll just stand the assembled GZ set next to the Zamp in the back seat.
    We have chosen not to install our panels, because it gives us more flexibility in placement, since our trailer may often be in shade, and we can orient the panels out in the open.
     
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  12. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    I've gone a couple thousand miles with mine dropped in the bed of a pickup between a slide-in camper and the front of the bed. Every so often they'd get picked up by the wind and start to rise...so we don't do that anymore unless it's a short drive. (Moving panels between 2 RVs is reason enough to avoid a permanent mount. But it has been very rare that we've put panels on the roof so that's another reason.)
     
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  13. McSkippy

    McSkippy Active Member

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    I think he was asking about transporting them, not deploying them, hence the title of the post.
     
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