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Old 07-25-2015, 03:12 PM   #251
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That would work too. I was thinking of the inside double nut serving as a spacer.

Gotta agree about not wanting 4 plastic caps visible. It's the sort of thing that you either have a bunch of them and that gives a certain look or you only have 4 and they look like an afterthought.

I like my pole mounted panel. But if I decide to add a second panel it will likely use the same method as Klem. A polymer bar acting as a thermal break.

In any case I won't be putting any bolts through the visible headliner. The distance between the rear side cabinet faces is ~50". I'll put my mounting blocks far enough apart so that the bolts from underneath are in the cabinets, out of sight. They'll be insulated with caulk or foam even though they won't be directly exposed to exterior cold.

On the top I'll span the distance with 1" x 1" light aluminum square tube. Sort of create a roof rack. Then I'll mount the panel to the cross bars.

Ron
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Old 07-25-2015, 03:35 PM   #252
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Yes, or fender washers.

Ron
Ron still do not like going through roof and then using washers . If I had to really would like nice , thick backing plates instead . Like your idea better . Pat
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Old 07-25-2015, 03:37 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
That would work too. I was thinking of the inside double nut serving as a spacer.

Gotta agree about not wanting 4 plastic caps visible. It's the sort of thing that you either have a bunch of them and that gives a certain look or you only have 4 and they look like an afterthought.

I like my pole mounted panel. But if I decide to add a second panel it will likely use the same method as Klem. A polymer bar acting as a thermal break.

In any case I won't be putting any bolts through the visible headliner. The distance between the rear side cabinet faces is ~50". I'll put my mounting blocks far enough apart so that the bolts from underneath are in the cabinets, out of sight. They'll be insulated with caulk or foam even though they won't be directly exposed to exterior cold.

On the top I'll span the distance with 1" x 1" light aluminum square tube. Sort of create a roof rack. Then I'll mount the panel to the cross bars.

Ron
Is Klem's installation screwed or bolted through roof ? Or is he just using the 5200 ? Pat
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:27 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
That would work too. I was thinking of the inside double nut serving as a spacer.

Gotta agree about not wanting 4 plastic caps visible. It's the sort of thing that you either have a bunch of them and that gives a certain look or you only have 4 and they look like an afterthought.

I like my pole mounted panel. But if I decide to add a second panel it will likely use the same method as Klem. A polymer bar acting as a thermal break.

In any case I won't be putting any bolts through the visible headliner. The distance between the rear side cabinet faces is ~50". I'll put my mounting blocks far enough apart so that the bolts from underneath are in the cabinets, out of sight. They'll be insulated with caulk or foam even though they won't be directly exposed to exterior cold.

On the top I'll span the distance with 1" x 1" light aluminum square tube. Sort of create a roof rack. Then I'll mount the panel to the cross bars.

Ron
8 plastic caps in the roof vinyl per panel.
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Old 07-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #255
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Is Klem's installation screwed or bolted through roof ? Or is he just using the 5200 ? Pat
24 hour 5200 with weight for a couple days. Over 160 sq inches of contact area. You could watch the PVC slowly form to the roof.

Then I screwed the panels to the PVC frame.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:55 PM   #256
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24 hour 5200 with weight for a couple days. Over 160 sq inches of contact area. You could watch the PVC slowly form to the roof.

Then I screwed the panels to the PVC frame.
Ah, I thought you also put some screws up from the bottom. Given my previous experience with 5200 I wouldn't expect yours to go anywhere any time soon. I would for myself, if I could put them in a place, like inside a cabinet where they couldn't be seen. But then, I'm just a belt and braces kind of guy.

Just saw a Thule roof rack out in traffic. Thought, "whoa, ready made solar panel mounting system".

Ron
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:09 PM   #257
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Ron,
Your comment got me thinking, why not, for those with trucks, cover the rear bed with solar panels. I have a tonneau cover and I'm sure I can velcro maybe a couple 100 watt panels, run the wire with your umbilical to the trailer?? Have to figure out the best wiring, any ideas?
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:34 PM   #258
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... why not, for those with trucks, cover the rear bed with solar panels. I have a tonneau cover and I'm sure I can velcro maybe a couple 100 watt panels, run the wire with your umbilical to the trailer??
Sure, but with the cab ahead and the trailer behind, the panels will be at least partially shaded much of the time. A partially shaded panel can easily put out only a small fraction of the power of a fully exposed panel, because the current is limited by the most shaded cell (panels are sets of cells connected together), and voltage is determined by the sum of voltages of the cells (some of which might be in shade).

The roof of either tug or trailer is a better location. If the truck doesn't have a sunroof, a panel up there would likely produce as much power as a much larger panel on the tonneau. With the enormous double cabs and small boxes of most trucks now, the cab roof is an attractive mounting location... if there is no sunroof to block or anything else carried up there.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:56 PM   #259
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Sure, but with the cab ahead and the trailer behind, the panels will be at least partially shaded much of the time. A partially shaded panel can easily put out only a small fraction of the power of a fully exposed panel, because the current is limited by the most shaded cell (panels are sets of cells connected together), and voltage is determined by the sum of voltages of the cells (some of which might be in shade).

The roof of either tug or trailer is a better location. If the truck doesn't have a sunroof, a panel up there would likely produce as much power as a much larger panel on the tonneau. With the enormous double cabs and small boxes of most trucks now, the cab roof is an attractive mounting location... if there is no sunroof to block or anything else carried up there.
Another problem with a tow vehicle or truck mounted panel is you won't be charging if the truck is separated from the trailer. Spend the day away from the campground, or park in a space small enough that the tow vehicle needs to be parked somewhere else, and no charging...
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:30 PM   #260
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24 hour 5200 with weight for a couple days. Over 160 sq inches of contact area. You could watch the PVC slowly form to the roof.

Then I screwed the panels to the PVC frame.
Thanks Klem . Pat
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