Check your solar panel! - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-21-2015, 03:53 PM   #1
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Check your solar panel!

Hello everyone...

As you may know, we are working to put a kit together to mechanically anchor the solar panels to the roof.

In the mean time, please check your panel before each trip. It is as simple as climb up on a ladder and try lift the panel on each corner. If it is on firmly enough that you are loosing your balance on the ladder while trying to lift it...it is probably ok to hit the road. If you are seeing any kind of movement between the 1" square tubing that is bonded to the roof, let me now and I will expedite a fix to you.

I have had 2 others mention a failure of the panel, bringing the number up to 5. With that information, the failed panels all seem to have been installed between late 2012 and the summer of 2013. Pay particular attention to your panel if yours was installed within this period.

The larger 150/160 watt panels which are now mounted on the rear of the roof are a relatively easy install as the panel is large enough that the bolt on brackets will bolt through the shell inside the rear side overhead compartments.

The 95 watt panel is typically mounted between the A/C and Maxx Fan. Being a smaller panel, mounting with the same method as the larger panel will have bolt heads protruding in the center dome area. I have been testing a cable attachment system that I think will solve the problem of the unsightly bolts. I am waiting to receive a shipment of the correct length of cable and will then start shipping them out. The attachment through the roof will be on the upper side of the dome with easy install rivets. I will provide proper instructions, along with a video for installation as soon as the product arrives. The easy install rivets only require a hammer to install, so no to rivet gun necessary.

I will update with more info as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience.

Reace
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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Thanks Reace! We really appreciate the diligence and concern that ETI has exhibited in working to resolve this issue quickly and efficiently. It makes us very pleased that we have an Escape!
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:44 PM   #3
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I'm very impressed with there involvement, it's not a common attribute in a lot of today's companies!
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:41 PM   #4
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Wow! I don't even own one of your trailers (yet) and I'm quite impressed with how you're handling this situation. Makes me happy we're going to eventually order one of your trailers.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:55 AM   #5
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As always, ETI customer service is above and beyond.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:03 AM   #6
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I wonder if the cable attachment system will have a downward clamping effect or will be only a safety retainer ?
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
I wonder if the cable attachment system will have a downward clamping effect or will be only a safety retainer ?
Hi: jubal... Either way you attach it... if Reace figured it out it will be GREAT!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hi: jubal... Either way you attach it... if Reace figured it out it will be GREAT!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
You may be correct. I am concerned by the solar panel that was poorly installed. The epoxy is smeared and there is air gaps between the square tube and the gel coat. The installer could help but notice the potential for failure !
The fiberglass thickness and gel coat thickness in the roof is only an eighth of an inch thick.
From ETI:
Thank you for your email.
The thickness of the white gel coat and fiber glass is approximately an 8th of an inch.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:37 PM   #9
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Bob,
I'd go ahead and add some other previously discussed 3M product discussed here at post #129 Our solar panel blew off!! and then add the ETI fix once it arrives. I checked mine, very secure and no gaps, but if yours were mine, that is what I would do.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:45 PM   #10
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Bob,
I'd go ahead and add some other previously discussed 3M product discussed here at post #129 Our solar panel blew off!! and then add the ETI fix once it arrives. I checked mine, very secure and no gaps, but if yours were mine, that is what I would do.
The 3M adhesives cannot now be applied between the tubing and the gel coat. The only option would be to apply the adhesive on the sides of the tubing and the gel coat roof, maybe forming an angled application. I am probably going to have to bolt thru and find a way to trim the interior exposed bolts. I have two factory installed 95 W solar panels.
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