Mounting solar on an RV roof, slight angle or no?

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  • TucsonAZTucsonAZ Solar Expert Posts: 136 ✭✭
    Re: Mounting solar on an RV roof, slight angle or no?
    Iceni John wrote: »
    I'm presently making support frames for my eight Sharp 255W panels that will be on my bus. I buy almost all my metal from Industrial Metal Supply - they have a new branch in Tucson. I bought my 6061 angle and 6063 channel from them, along with the stainless tubes for the telescoping support struts and the stainless piano hinge. IMS stocks most of the standard sizes of aluminum and steel, such as these: http://www.metalreference.com/10%20AL%20Ext%20Channel%20Equal.htm Otherwise, Orange Aluminum stocks some sizes and extrusions that IMS doesn't carry, but shipping to AZ could be expensive.

    Definitely keep enough airgap under the panels so air can naturally convect under them, but also make the panels easily detachable just in case you have to replace one. Stainless hardware may be better than gr.8, but use plenty of anti-sieze to prevent thread galling.

    John

    Awesome info, thank you and I'm looking forward to seeing how you put yours together, do you have any photos? I have been getting my aluminum for a very, very good price, the 96' (12 eight foot pieces) of two inch 1/16th cost me $37 for example. Due to my budget and time constraints that means that I'm using what I have even if it's an 8 versus a 10 on the ideal scale.

    As a climber that often trusts my life to the hardware I'm putting into a wall I have not been fond of stainless, when it fails it just snaps versus bending and having some notice that the bolt needs to be replaced. Maybe that followed over, either way I saw no advantage to stainless in Tucson and the grade 8 is stronger than stainless so it makes more sense. I'm using two way prevailing torque locking nuts with once inch washers and eight 3/16th rivets on each panel. Short of welding the panels directly to the roof, I can't imagine them being fastened any better.
  • TucsonAZTucsonAZ Solar Expert Posts: 136 ✭✭
    Re: Mounting solar on an RV roof, slight angle or no?

    Just to update, I spent the night fabbing up brackets so the panels will not be drilled into in any way and will still be over an inch off the roof surface. I'm happy with the outcome and will post pictures when I finish the job.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Mounting solar on an RV roof, slight angle or no?
    TucsonAZ wrote: »
    Just to update, I spent the night fabbing up brackets so the panels will not be drilled into in any way and will still be over an inch off the roof surface.

    Whew! What a relief! I really feel much better knowing that you will not drill into your panel frames :D

    --vtMaps (looking forward to your pictures)
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • SkykoSkyko Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Mounting solar on an RV roof, slight angle or no?

    Interesting thread as we are just at the point to be ready to mount our four 270 watt panels on a similar aluminum roof with no openings. I fabricated aluminum side brackets which will allow a rack to be placed on the roof to attach the panels while still keeping no screw holes in the roof itself. I will probably drill the hell out of my panels as I don't give a **** about warranties.

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  • TucsonAZTucsonAZ Solar Expert Posts: 136 ✭✭
    Re: Mounting solar on an RV roof, slight angle or no?
    Skyko wrote: »
    Interesting thread as we are just at the point to be ready to mount our four 270 watt panels on a similar aluminum roof with no openings. I fabricated aluminum side brackets which will allow a rack to be placed on the roof to attach the panels while still keeping no screw holes in the roof itself. I will probably drill the hell out of my panels as I don't give a **** about warranties.

    Attachment not found.

    I actually would have drilled the panels but there was such a little margin to hit the right spot I decided it wasn't worth the risk. I had no option but to poke holes in my roof, I wasn't a fan but it had to go that way to keep the stealth look I need and make sure they're secure. Looks like it may rain now, hopefully I will be leak free, I took precautions for sure.
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