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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Drilling holes in trailer roof to install solar: worth it?

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mr_andyj

Georgia

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Joined: 11/13/2004

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Posted: 03/03/21 08:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Called 3M VHB tape. Very High Bond.
Make sure to get a thicker version as it comes in different thicknesses. The thickness is like padding, and thick padding will conform to uneven surfaces better. 2mm should be plenty.
Similar to "double sided sticky tape" but VHB tape is much much much stronger of a bond.

As mentioned above... with rubber roff you will have to drill. Just make sure the screws going through the roof are accessible (not hidden under the panel) so you can re-do the decor lap sealant every year or two.

Otherwise tape on brackets with 3M VHB tape. I bought some aluminum angle iron from hardware store and used that as the mounting bracket, you can buy special brackets too.
For my last project I only had the brackets at the short sides, taped to the roof and I used two self-taping screws at each end to attach the panels (put one screw in on each side before taping so you don't put the brackets too far or too close together.)
The tape hold incredibly. Mine was on metal roof, and fiberglass roof and also a rubber-painted aluminum roof. I have never screwed into a roof (I have never had a rubber membrane roof either tho).

mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 03/03/21 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I advise strongly against those flexible panels.
Get aluminum frame glass panels.

The flexible panels have a shorter warranty period for one. Flexing can break things inside, so flex it once and never again.
Putting those directly to the roof means a lot of heat builds up under them, enough to "burn" the roof (get it hot enough to discolor the roof), and heat will damage the panels (degrade them over time). Panels need air under them.

You can certainly use portable panels, but since you have all that roof space just install on the roof. Solar will keep your batteries always correctly charged/topped off so that is a huge plus also.

jrloucks

Ontario

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Posted: 03/15/21 02:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a small 60W portable solar panel to start. But I was always worried it was going to 'grow legs' and disappear. Eventually I purchased a 100W rigid solar panel and mounted the panel to the roof of our Class C using some Renogy RNG-MTS-ZB Solar Panel Mounting Z Bracket Mounts.

https://www.amazon.ca/review/R3A3ER2DUE46B5/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00BR3KFKE

memtb

Wyoming

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Posted: 03/16/21 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ve done it on 5 rv’s......a very difficult thing to do, as I’m always afraid that I will not get the hole “EXACTLY” where I want it. I use a plastic electrical junction box to run the panel wires into, and use pvc from the junction box into the rv attic. The junction box is screwed to the roof, with a very generous amount of epdm roof sealant between the rv roof and the junction box! memtb


Todd & Marianne
Miniature Schnauzer's - Sundai, Nellie & Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500, 6.7 Cummins, 6 speed manual, 3.73 ratio, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom, 39'
2007 Bigfoot 30MH26Sl


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