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 > Photo Thread - Post a Photo of Your Truck Camper Here

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SpknTC

Pacific Northwest, Wa.

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Posted: 03/16/21 07:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]


Ford F450 6.7L PSD DRW 4X4
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n0arp

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Posted: 03/18/21 07:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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2021 Ram 5500 Limited 84CA Cummins 4x4 w/ flatbed
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 2.0T (follow or TC toad)
2015 Keystone Alpine 3730FB 2925W/22.8kWh, 30K multi-split
2016 Arctic Fox 1140 WB 1800W/11.4kWh

fpoole

PNW and Beyond

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Posted: 03/18/21 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice and having the solar panels up like that doesn't cause any problems other than height..
I see the wind breaker in front, but ???? not sure how the wind swirls back around like on the highway... 65mph... and 5 panels up there?? 2 x 200w?
nice


Frank Poole
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2016 RAM 5500, C/c, 6.7 Diesel, AISIN HD 6-spd, 19.5 DRW, 72 Gal fuel, 4x4, 10’ Alum FB, 440 Amps, 4.10 Axle
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n0arp

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Posted: 03/18/21 08:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fpoole wrote:

Nice and having the solar panels up like that doesn't cause any problems other than height..
I see the wind breaker in front, but ???? not sure how the wind swirls back around like on the highway... 65mph... and 5 panels up there?? 2 x 200w?
nice


Height is just a couple inches taller than the AC unit, under 12’6” loaded on the truck. No issues with the rack in several thousand miles at 70mph. We know several people with similar racks on fifth wheels and class As, and modeled it according to their successes. 5x360W for 1800W total. Up and over is the way to go. Sorry for the brevity - replying from my phone.

fpoole

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Posted: 03/18/21 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wow no problem on brevity, I hate using the phone too, so that's great...
I was looking to upgrade my panels, 4 x 180 and only saw the 200s which should fit, but heck, now I'll look for the 360w, heheh, Yikes... never have to much power..
Thanks, no need to hurry on any reply, wait till you get to the laptop as I do.. cheers..

n0arp

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Posted: 03/18/21 10:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fpoole wrote:

wow no problem on brevity, I hate using the phone too, so that's great...
I was looking to upgrade my panels, 4 x 180 and only saw the 200s which should fit, but heck, now I'll look for the 360w, heheh, Yikes... never have to much power..
Thanks, no need to hurry on any reply, wait till you get to the laptop as I do.. cheers..


Yep... I much prefer a proper keyboard to elaborate with.

Most residential panels are rougly 40x66" - and you'll find those panels range from 250W up to around 400W. We have that size panel in a 325W variant on our fifth wheel, and a newer version in a 360W variant on the truck camper. If you can stretch to a 40x78" commercial panel, you can get even more power in the same width. 5 panels * 40" = 200" of panels, or 16.6'. We went with the 66" panels so we had room to walk on either side of them for maintenance purposes.

The rack is all aluminum with stainless hardware, and mounted through the roof using around a hundred molly bolts because there isn't much to grab onto up there. It's also tied into the AC chassis and luggage rack for additional anchor points.

fpoole

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Posted: 03/18/21 10:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, ok, something I'll look into..
Mucho Thanks...
I hate phone typing too.. heheh, 2 strokes forward, 1 stroke back, a PITA they are..
Thanks for the info.
Happy Trails...

Bert the Welder

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Posted: 03/19/21 09:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jshupe wrote:

fpoole wrote:

Nice and having the solar panels up like that doesn't cause any problems other than height..
I see the wind breaker in front, but ???? not sure how the wind swirls back around like on the highway... 65mph... and 5 panels up there?? 2 x 200w?
nice


Height is just a couple inches taller than the AC unit, under 12’6” loaded on the truck. No issues with the rack in several thousand miles at 70mph. We know several people with similar racks on fifth wheels and class As, and modeled it according to their successes. 5x360W for 1800W total. Up and over is the way to go. Sorry for the brevity - replying from my phone.


Love to see pic's of the top and shots of the rack and mounts, if you are able and inclined. I was about to ask how big the battery bank is.....but just occurred to me that with all that solar, you might only need 1! LOL!


"> 1998 GMC 2500, 10.5 Okanagan, My better/smarter half, George and Finnegan(APBT), all I need.


n0arp

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Posted: 03/19/21 11:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bert the Welder wrote:

Love to see pic's of the top and shots of the rack and mounts, if you are able and inclined. I was about to ask how big the battery bank is.....but just occurred to me that with all that solar, you might only need 1! LOL!


We have a 48V system for 120VAC loads in addition to the factory 12V system I haven't decided what to do with yet -- on our fifth wheel, I removed the 12V batteries and use multiple (Victron Orion) DC-DC converters in parallel, but on this one I'm not sure I'll bother.

12V is two group 29 120AH (if I recall correctly) batteries. 240AH total, 120AH usable @50% DoD. Lead acid.
48V is three SimpliPhi 3.8kWh batteries. That's roughly [email protected] LiFePO4.
120V is provided through a Victron Quattro 48/3000 inverter.

Panels -> SmartSolar -> 48V batteries. Since the rig has AC power 24/7, a Progressive Dynamics converter (though somewhat inefficient in this manner) just floats the 12V system. If I want to decouple them for any reason, I just unplug the converter but I've only done that once when we were low on the 48V batteries and I didn't want to run the genset until morning and didn't want it to kick on automatically (as it's programmed to do). That let us run the 12V loads (mainly furnace that night) off the 12V batteries.

We went 48V in this because we have 48V in our fifth wheel, and already had six of those SimpliPhi batteries in there. We move three batteries between the rigs and have them on Andersen connectors. I built simple trays for them to sit in using angle.

I don't have a photo of the rack or mounts on hand, but most uprights are just 1-1/2x1/4 aluminum bar with stainless bolts to sections of 2x2-1/4 aluminum angle. Each piece of angle is cut 8" long, and mounted to the roof using four molly bolts. If we ever remove the rack, we can just remove the bolts for the uprights and leave those "feet" behind and not worry about patching a bunch of holes.

This is a photo I snapped of a sticker I added... hah, for all the looks and questions it gets. You can see some of the construction. It was taken before the outer edge supports were added. The wind dam is for tree branch/limb management as much as anything, and is connected from the top using exterior stainless door hinges. I then rested it on the front cap and hand bent 1x1/8 aluminum bar to secure it to the rack on the roof - so I wouldn't have to put any holes in the cap.
[image]

This photo is of a cracked panel - user error. I was trying to break some galled stainless threads loose and lost the wrench on the opposite side of my impact, and the wrench handle smacked the underside of the panel. A sad casualty due to my stupidity. [emoticon] [emoticon] It shows the feet I was talking about.
[image]

The bars that run under the panels to support them are made for mounting panels on residential roofs. They come with bolt mounts that wedge the panels against the bars and hold them under normal conditions. Since constantly moving at highway speeds isn't normal conditions, I added four L brackets with four Teks screws in each one (two into the panel, two into the rack, for an additional 16 total screws per panel) for additional security. Then I stitched all the panels together on the outer edges using 3/4-1/8 aluminum angle and more Teks screws, and the outboard "legs" bolt through it and the panels. It takes about ten minutes to remove all the bolts and screws to pop a panel off for maintenance.

Anyway, hope that provides what you're looking for.

* This post was edited 03/19/21 11:28pm by an administrator/moderator *

Bert the Welder

Van. Island

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Posted: 03/20/21 12:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jshupe wrote:

Bert the Welder wrote:

Love to see pic's of the top and shots of the rack and mounts, if you are able and inclined. I was about to ask how big the battery bank is.....but just occurred to me that with all that solar, you might only need 1! LOL!


We have a 48V system for 120VAC loads in addition to the factory 12V system I haven't decided what to do with yet -- on our fifth wheel, I removed the 12V batteries and use multiple (Victron Orion) DC-DC converters in parallel, but on this one I'm not sure I'll bother.

12V is two group 29 120AH (if I recall correctly) batteries. 240AH total, 120AH usable @50% DoD. Lead acid.
48V is three SimpliPhi 3.8kWh batteries. That's roughly [email protected] LiFePO4.
120V is provided through a Victron Quattro 48/3000 inverter.

Panels -> SmartSolar -> 48V batteries. Since the rig has AC power 24/7, a Progressive Dynamics converter (though somewhat inefficient in this manner) just floats the 12V system. If I want to decouple them for any reason, I just unplug the converter but I've only done that once when we were low on the 48V batteries and I didn't want to run the genset until morning and didn't want it to kick on automatically (as it's programmed to do). That let us run the 12V loads (mainly furnace that night) off the 12V batteries.

We went 48V in this because we have 48V in our fifth wheel, and already had six of those SimpliPhi batteries in there. We move three batteries between the rigs and have them on Andersen connectors. I built simple trays for them to sit in using angle.

I don't have a photo of the rack or mounts on hand, but most uprights are just 1-1/2x1/4 aluminum bar with stainless bolts to sections of 2x2-1/4 aluminum angle. Each piece of angle is cut 8" long, and mounted to the roof using four molly bolts. If we ever remove the rack, we can just remove the bolts for the uprights and leave those "feet" behind and not worry about patching a bunch of holes.

This is a photo I snapped of a sticker I added... hah, for all the looks and questions it gets. You can see some of the construction. It was taken before the outer edge supports were added. The wind dam is for tree branch/limb management as much as anything, and is connected from the top using exterior stainless door hinges. I then rested it on the front cap and hand bent 1x1/8 aluminum bar to secure it to the rack on the roof - so I wouldn't have to put any holes in the cap.
[image]

This photo is of a cracked panel - user error. I was trying to break some galled stainless threads loose and lost the wrench on the opposite side of my impact, and the wrench handle smacked the underside of the panel. A sad casualty due to my stupidity. [emoticon] [emoticon] It shows the feet I was talking about.
[image]

The bars that run under the panels to support them are made for mounting panels on residential roofs. They come with bolt mounts that wedge the panels against the bars and hold them under normal conditions. Since constantly moving at highway speeds isn't normal conditions, I added four L brackets with four Teks screws in each one (two into the panel, two into the rack, for an additional 16 total screws per panel) for additional security. Then I stitched all the panels together on the outer edges using 3/4-1/8 aluminum angle and more Teks screws, and the outboard "legs" bolt through it and the panels. It takes about ten minutes to remove all the bolts and screws to pop a panel off for maintenance.

Anyway, hope that provides what you're looking for.


That's great! Thanks! Looks like a nice efficient method. I saw a roof rack mounted solar panel set up somewhere that looked similar. Covered the most of the roof. Was on a van though and the steel rack tilted both ways and was counterbalanced with springs so looked to take quite little effort to lift and tilt. Yours reminded me of it.
Thanks again!

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