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Thread: RV solar panel mounting

  1. #1

    Default RV solar panel mounting

    I am about to install two 135W solar panels on my 5th wheel. The roof plywood is 1/2 inch thick and I am wondering what the best attachment method is? I am using fixed mounts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Willits, CA

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    If you intend to leave them deployed while traveling, you will need thru-bolts and backup plates in the plywood.
    Also, panel may flex and wobble in the wind, not sure how tough they really are.

    Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph # 214505 ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV
    Powerfab poletop PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe battery | 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV | Midnight ePanel || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Portland, Oregon

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    I'm about to do the same thing. If your roof is fiberglass I have heard that you can attach the brackets to the fiberglass using special 3M adhesive pads if everything can be cleaned good enough. I would use more then 4 brackets per panel if I were to try this. What charge controller are you planing to use?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Quetico, Ontario

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    I (personally) wouldn't roll down the road at 75mph into a wind with expensive, dangerous if they fly off, solar panels GLUED to my roof! Think about the flex of a vehicle or trailer and try to guess as to what happens if the flexing caused the glue bond to fail!

    Like I say,,, I wouldn't trust it!

    Please note, being a moderator does not add any weight to my opinions 300 watts Siemens/BP panels,plus a Sun 90,, making ~400. ~30 amps into Rogue MPT-3024, 450 ah of Trojan T-105, Morningstar ts300 inverter, a Tri-Metric meter.a collection of antique generators, plus 2 Honda eu-1000i's (also a BS2512 IX controller) and assorted other stuff!

  5. #5

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    I am using a Blue Sky MPPT SB3024iL.

  6. #6

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    I have 2 panels arriving on Friday, Kyocera KD135GX-LPU model. My roof is EPDM and I have ducted A/C so getting through the roof for backup plates is not really an option. I ordered fixed mounts that attach on the ends of the panels and go all the way across. I will use as many large screws as I can to go into the roof (same construction as yours). I don't forsee a problem with them going anywhere.

    Also using the SB3024iL charge controller with the temperature sensor. Debating on the IPNPRO-s remote display. :)

  7. #7

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    I'm using those same RV style brackets in the other post (Z-brackets). Not mounting mine to an RV, but rather my roof, in hurricane prone FL. I wanted a low profile mount, intended for high winds. These are beefy, and keep the panels at a low profile.

    I have a travel trailer, and previously owned a 36' Class A. I understand the roof construction issue! I've seen someone on the Motorhome Magazine Forum secure their panels with the 3M tape. "I" wouldn't trust that small amount of tape to hold them in place at hwy speeds. If it was the entire perimeter of the solar panel frame, that's a different story. Booger to ever remove though.

    If the hole drilled ends up in the A/C plenum (void), might consider using butterfly type toggle bolts. If it's only going into the thin plywood and foam insulation, there's still 16 holes (total) in the 4 mounting feet. A decent wood screw (not drywall screws) should do a fine job. Be sure to seal the holes, and the screw heads. Might use some of the liquid (self leveling) sealant intended for RV roofs.

    You can see how they used this stuff on every potential leak spot on my roof:

    I'd put a layer of that over each mounting plate, covering the screw heads as well. Should prevent leaks, and the screws from backing out. JMHO
    Central FL
    900W of solar panels, 860 AH 12V battery bank (8 6V Golf Cart Batts), Xantrex Prosine 1800W inverter, Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 inverter, 2 Prostar 30M controllers, 1 Morningstar Sunlight 10L controller, Iota 75A charger (for rainy days), Furrion 30A automatic transfer switch, Yamaha EF2400iS generator.

  8. #8
    bkobus Guest

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    How are you going to mount the plywood? I wouldn't suggest screws!

    The roof of an RV is very susceptible to leakage due to the "general" poor quality of workmanship. My trailer leaked everytime it rained after one year of ownership!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Paradise, CA

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    When I mounted a panel on my RV, I used a "kit" made for RVs. There were "L" brackets and neoprene "inserts" that had brass threads internally that tightened the insert.

    In other words: you drilled a hole in the rv plywood roof, inserted the neoprene insert, placed the bracket on top, put the stainless screw into the brass threads of the insert and tightened, which expanded the neoprene insert into a tight and waterproof attachment point.

    I did that in 2001 and haven't had any indications of leakage (like bubbles in the rubber roof) or instability.

    Where to get them? They came with my panel. But since they do exist and work well, you should be able to eventually locate some.

    Happily off-grid since 1977

  10. #10

    Default Re: RV solar panel mounting

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manytoyz View Post
    I'm using those same RV style brackets in the other post (Z-brackets). Not mounting mine to an RV, but rather my roof, in hurricane prone FL. I wanted a low profile mount, intended for high winds. These are beefy, and keep the panels at a low profile.

    Is that steel on aluminum?
    Tiny mobile camper currently in use! Off grid 30 weekends/yr. 3 Kyc 85s* in series=255W , Morningstar SS-MPPT15*, four 6V East Penn 8AGC2 AGMs @ 12V=374AH, Trimetric 2020*, Prosine 2.0, Honda EU1000i. My camper.
    *Purchased at NAWS! Along with much more not listed.

    Everything has everything to do with everything else. I learn more by accident than by design.

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