Our solar panel blew off!! - Page 30 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-27-2015, 01:57 PM   #291
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many of these trailers have front windows that take the full impact of the tows miles per hour with out cracking the fiber glass. The awnings, although bolted into glassed-in blocks during the build, don't seem to produce cracks, likewise the bathroom vent, sewer vent and side windows. If the airspace under the solar panel is suspected as a contributor then install a fairing. With all the modifications done on these trailers I fail to see how an attractive, yet safe solution cant be made.
I would say yes if it was engineered and tested before being put into use . Pat
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:05 PM   #292
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I would say yes if it was engineered and tested before being put into use . Pat
if your referring to a fairing, I think one of the members has already done a test on that.
If your referring to an attractive, interior and exterior solution to screw mounting a solar panel onto a fiberglass trailer I believe thats also been handled by a member. 5200 glue mount a backing plate to the roof, then screw mount to the backing plate.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:58 PM   #293
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many of these trailers have front windows that take the full impact of the tows miles per hour with out cracking the fiber glass. The awnings, although bolted into glassed-in blocks during the build, don't seem to produce cracks, likewise the bathroom vent, sewer vent and side windows. If the airspace under the solar panel is suspected as a contributor then install a fairing. With all the modifications done on these trailers I fail to see how an attractive, yet safe solution cant be made.
I agree those are all good examples of what appears to be properly mounted components. Has anyone reported any of your examples that have flown off the trailer and damaged the structure?

In this case 5? panels have come loose which points to a problem. The solutions appear to try to contain the panels so they don't fly off and cause accidents/injuries but doesn't appear to stop the damage to the trailer resulting from the mounts separating from the fiberglass?

I believe the failures of the mount result a number of factors which result in the bond and/or fiberglass failing. If you ask me which is #1 I'd say vibration from wind buffeting, trailer body flexing, temperature changes, etc. The existing mounting rails are simply too narrow and stiff ... that's why I chose a wider more flexible mount.

Time will tell, the variable is the thickness and layup of the fiberglass shell. I have seen solar panel mounts punch through fiberglass 'down' and rip off 'up' .... and we always sandwiched inside/outside support and stiffeners. I have attempted to mount mine considering only one side of fiberglass and trusting my intuition. I am trusting the shell and 160+ square inches of slightly flexible bonding area.
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:58 PM   #294
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Excluding VHB tape installations.
From the pictures that I have seen, the failure of the solar panel mounting has been a result of a poor epoxy bond to the aluminum box channel. One side fails and the other side is stressed resulting in delamination. The failures are limited to factory installed 95 W panels installed through early 2014 on escape 19 trailers.
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:50 PM   #295
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The failures are limited to factory installed 95 W panels installed through early 2014 on escape 19 trailers.
And the OP's 2008 5.0 SA.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:15 PM   #296
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And the OP's 2008 5.0 SA.
Clarification: Although our trailer is a 2008, the solar panels were installed in the summer of 2013.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:37 PM   #297
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OOOPS, thank you Bob and Dave. Time for another tall boy. I intended to say thru early 2014.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:25 PM   #298
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I just received my kit. It is different from what was described before. And I have two problems with it. My brackets include one hole to go through the roof with a 1/4"-20 by 2" screw with a 1-1/4" fender washer to be put inside in the side closets. First problem: the screws should have been 1" as there wasn't enough thread length to secure them. I learned this from Rae who told me she ordered the wrong length screws. I also noted that the top hole to be put into the side of the solar panel was only 1/2" from the top of the panel and I wasn't comfortable that I wouldn't hit the solar panel itself when I screwed through the side frame. Rae checked with Reace who asked that I drill holes in the brackets so that the screws would be centered on the side panel rather than so close to the top. I have to drill them offset from the center of the bracket so that I have some metal between the holes. Since this is a backup to the original epoxy mounting, I am not too worried about the extra hole that is now offset from where it should be.
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:01 PM   #299
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I just received my kit. It is different from what was described before. And I have two problems with it. My brackets include one hole to go through the roof with a 1/4"-20 by 2" screw with a 1-1/4" fender washer to be put inside in the side closets. First problem: the screws should have been 1" as there wasn't enough thread length to secure them. I learned this from Rae who told me she ordered the wrong length screws. I also noted that the top hole to be put into the side of the solar panel was only 1/2" from the top of the panel and I wasn't comfortable that I wouldn't hit the solar panel itself when I screwed through the side frame. Rae checked with Reace who asked that I drill holes in the brackets so that the screws would be centered on the side panel rather than so close to the top. I have to drill them offset from the center of the bracket so that I have some metal between the holes. Since this is a backup to the original epoxy mounting, I am not too worried about the extra hole that is now offset from where it should be.
Is this the hardware bracket kit for the 150/160 W solar panel ?
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:42 AM   #300
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Is this the hardware bracket kit for the 150/160 W solar panel ?
Yes, we have a 150 watt panel.
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