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SoonDockin

Oklahoma

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Posted: 04/09/22 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an Arctic Fox 1140 with the round roof. I have some 200w panels that are 5ft by 26". I can use the simple z mounts and have the same issue if I ever want to remove them. So I have been considering using 2 4040 aluminum extruded rails mounted with L brackets so its somewhat level. I end up with only 8 8mm screws holding the entire assembly down. Will this be enough?


2019 Ford F450 KR
2018 Arctic Fox 1140 Dry Bath


Lwiddis

Near Mammoth, California

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Posted: 04/09/22 01:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With the low cost of panels and their generally long life, can you see a reason to remove them?


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 04/09/22 01:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends on what those screws are attached to.

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 04/10/22 07:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm considering 3M VHB tape....Good reviews on solar mounting without drilling..


Lifepo4-380ah/Lithium NMC-140ah/Solar-400 watts/Wagan & Giandel PSW/Engel & Iceco 3-1 compressor fridge freezer/5K Window AC/Honda 2K

Lwiddis

Near Mammoth, California

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Posted: 04/10/22 07:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Friends have used tape with no issues. One of these days I’ll see an RV solar panel on the side of the road ripped off by wind…someday.

SoonDockin

Oklahoma

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Posted: 04/10/22 05:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the top plywood on the Arctic Fox is around 1/4". I doubt I could trust just VHB tape but can see it and a couple of screws keeping it attached fairly well. I have given up on the extruded rails and am using L brackets screwed into the sides and roof. Less points of failure.

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 04/10/22 07:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just VHB tape, on a solid roof, will be stronger than a few #8 screws. I don't know what the roof of the Artic Fox is made from, but I'm always loath to drill holes in any roof.

Solar panels generally last a long time and do not fail often but it does happen. There is no standard size and the product offerings churn, so mounting them in a way that allows some flexibility in the shape if you have to replace them (without having to plug the holes previously drilled) is an advantage.

I glued the panel mounts on my Bigfoot roof with 5200 about 8 years ago and they are still there. I just stuck a 420W panel on the upper deck of my boat with VHB, I don't think it's going anywhere either.


Bigfoot 10.4E, 2015 F350 6.7L DRW 2WD, Autoflex Ultra Air Ride rear suspension, Hellwig Bigwig sway bars front and rear

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 04/11/22 06:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SoonDockin wrote:

I can use the simple z mounts and have the same issue if I ever want to remove them.


What "same issue" are you referring to?


2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2018 Arctic Fox 992 with an Onan 2500i "quiet" model generator

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 04/11/22 06:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HMS Beagle wrote:

Just VHB tape, on a solid roof, will be stronger than a few #8 screws.


VHB tape attached to rubber roof membrane, with the rubber roof membrane being glued to the underlayment of the roof is a horrible idea.

On any rubber roof RV, the panels need screwed down to the wood under the rubber roof.

memilanuk

Dry side of the Cascades

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Posted: 04/11/22 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ this

Another option for roof rails that I used was low-profile aluminum strut 'rail' or channel - also known as 'UniStrut'. Typically used for mounting electrical conduit or boxes, it's available slotted, unslotted, in galvanized or zinc-coated steel, etc.

I went with the low-pro (13/16" height) aluminum to save weight - but I had to special order them from McMaster-Carr. Even paying exorbitant shipping for four 10 ft sticks, it was less than half what any of the electrical supply houses around town were quoting to order it in for me.

The actual connectors (cone nuts, etc.) are commodity items easily sourced at most hardware stores.

I contacted the RV manufacturer (Adventurer) and got a print showing the layout of the roof structure. I confirmed using a stud finder, and was able to sink screws into almost all the studs - both the aluminum tube framing, and the few wood members. There were a few that I couldn't because of location - I used well-nuts for those.

Pretty sure it's better attached than most setups using z-clips.

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