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Old 08-05-2015, 12:02 PM   #301
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Here is the kit we got for the 95 watt panel. Note that Reace sent 8 of the small bolts and caps and then realized that one side of our panel had to bolt in over the bathroom. So he sent the two bolts with a rubber sheath to install (from the roof down) into the space between the roof and the bathroom ceiling. The rubber is supposed to scrunch up as the bolt is tightened...kind of like a alternate version of a molly bolt for drywall.
We had the work done yesterday and are picking up the trailer this afternoon...will post pictures.
We already know there was a problem. The bolts for the non-bathroom side (curbside) were not long enough so the shop used longer bolts of their own and put them in from the roof down (wrong) That meant the snap caps could not be used. They tried to glue the caps on but the bolts were too long so they drilled out holes in the center of the caps...looked really ugly in the trailer. We asked them to redo it with their bolts but inserting them UP through the ceiling, not DOWN from the bracket and put the snap caps receiver and caps on (glad we had the extras) Not sure how it will turn out. We might have made it worse. It did tear the headliner some. Lots of angst.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:40 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMLNM View Post
Here is the kit we got for the 95 watt panel. Note that Reace sent 8 of the small bolts and caps and then realized that one side of our panel had to bolt in over the bathroom. So he sent the two bolts with a rubber sheath to install (from the roof down) into the space between the roof and the bathroom ceiling. The rubber is supposed to scrunch up as the bolt is tightened...kind of like a alternate version of a molly bolt for drywall.
We had the work done yesterday and are picking up the trailer this afternoon...will post pictures.
We already know there was a problem. The bolts for the non-bathroom side (curbside) were not long enough so the shop used longer bolts of their own and put them in from the roof down (wrong) That meant the snap caps could not be used. They tried to glue the caps on but the bolts were too long so they drilled out holes in the center of the caps...looked really ugly in the trailer. We asked them to redo it with their bolts but inserting them UP through the ceiling, not DOWN from the bracket and put the snap caps receiver and caps on (glad we had the extras) Not sure how it will turn out. We might have made it worse. It did tear the headliner some. Lots of angst.
The instructions we received with the mounting kit were very poor. The promised instructions and or video from ETI was never posted . Maybe the screws that were provided were intended to be installed from the inside of the trailer and the nuts outside on the brackets ? From the instructions and hardware provided I surmised that 1 self taping bolt thru the panel and 2 screws thru the roof per bracket for the 19. Four brackets and 8 holes per panel !
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:46 PM   #303
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The instructions we received with the mounting kit were very poor. The promised instructions and or video was never posted . Maybe the screws that were provided were intended to be installed from the inside of the trailer and the nuts outside on the brackets ?
Absolutely, they were supposed to go from inside the trailer up through the roof and through the brackets. We thought we had made that clear to the shop guys. Not sure if they actually understood that but in any event they said the bolts were too short (didn't call us to check) and when they put THEIR bolts in they did it from the roof down....thus the issue with the caps. I provided my own detailed instructions but.....
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:58 PM   #304
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IF, in the future you seeing the original panel mount lifting from the fiberglass will this new mount be adequate? Or what would you do then?
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:10 PM   #305
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IF, in the future you seeing the original panel mount lifting from the fiberglass will this new mount be adequate? Or what would you do then?
Ours was the panel that flew off and started this thread...so the original panel mount is somewhere in the plains of southern Colorado....

The natural next question would be, if this panel comes loose, then what? I don't have an answer for that. Reace said this is stronger than the railing system was...
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:57 PM   #306
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I've had a few phone conversations about mounting solar panels on Fiberglass trailers with the folks at AM solar in Oregon . They have been using 3M tape for sometime now to mount their panels. They claim to have no reported failures of any kind using the 3m tape. I Don't know the number of panels they have installed, but there first available reservation for an install from today is mid October, with two rigs being worked on at once.
Reese told me the curved roof of an Escape creates more air space under the panel than the flat roof of most RV's and a better system than 3m tape is needed.

They stress the importance of surface condition, prep and proper temputure and cure time for the tape, No freeway speeds for 3 days.
I know Escape used the tape at one time, but I don't know therethe results, probably not good because they don't use it anymore.

I wonder if other solar install company's have had sucsess with 3m tape or other bonding methods ?
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:41 PM   #307
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Absolutely, they were supposed to go from inside the trailer up through the roof and through the brackets. We thought we had made that clear to the shop guys. Not sure if they actually understood that but in any event they said the bolts were too short (didn't call us to check) and when they put THEIR bolts in they did it from the roof down....thus the issue with the caps. I provided my own detailed instructions but.....
Would have been good to know the screw orientation and described in the vague instructions . Hopefully this information will help others with the installation.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:37 PM   #308
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[QUOTE=shrncnddck;102463]We installed the fix kit on our rear panel yesterday. It was relatively easy, although we now have a button-tufted ceiling over our dining area.

In our case, the epoxy stayed safely bonded to the fiberglass. It separated cleanly from the aluminum square tubing instead. The failure in our case seemed to be a warped panel. one corner naturally sat a half inch above the roof and required a good five pounds of pressure to push it down. We readjusted the support bolts before installing the fix kit.
Now we're waiting for the cable kit for the forward panel, which has
Pictures of the button tufted ceiling please !
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:49 PM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMLNM View Post
Ours was the panel that flew off and started this thread...so the original panel mount is somewhere in the plains of southern Colorado....

The natural next question would be, if this panel comes loose, then what? I don't have an answer for that. Reace said this is stronger than the railing system was...

Hello Fran and Dave .... I have been wondering about your panel that came off. Was it a retro fit or was it an original installation when your trailer was new? Thanks, Tom
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:37 PM   #310
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Hello Fran and Dave .... I have been wondering about your panel that came off. Was it a retro fit or was it an original installation when your trailer was new? Thanks, Tom
It was a retrofit in the summer of 2013 when we purchased it from the original owner through ETI.
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