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Old 08-05-2015, 05:52 PM   #311
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Panel replaced and bolted on

OK, so we picked up our trailer today after having the replacement solar panel that Reace sent installed on our 2008 5.0 Classic.
There was a glitch with the bolts...on the curbside, the shop put them in from the roof down instead of the inside ceiling up so of course the button caps could not be put on. I earlier reported that the bolts were too short and the shop used their own but that was erroneous info the shop manager gave me. The bolts Reace sent were fine...just installed backwards. We had them take the bolts out and reverse them so the caps could be used. But they had ruined several caps the first time around so we'll need to get more from Reace. On the driver's side, the panel gets bolted in over the bathroom, so Reace sent special bolts to go in from the roof into the empty space between the trailer roof and the bathroom ceiling. That was specific to the 5.0 Classic because of the location of the bathroom and the solar panel.

On one set of bolts inside on the curbside, the tightening of the bolts pulled the headliner away from the curve and made a small tear in the headliner. Not sure what to repair that with. The other set of bolts on the curbside seem ok...at least no damage.

The panel seems to be closer to the trailer roof than it was when it was mounted on the rails but I can't be sure.

So now we wait and see.
Photos will be in several posts....these are the panel overview from the roadside of the trailer with closeups on the brackets.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:55 PM   #312
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Panels replaced andbolted on

Photos of the curbside .... outside. And the replacement of the grommet which broke when the panel blew off.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Curbside brackets overview post install.jpg (137.6 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg Curbside bracket closeup post install.jpg (209.6 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Grommet inside post install.jpg (142.8 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg Grommet outside post install.jpg (150.6 KB, 23 views)
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:57 PM   #313
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Panel replaced and bolted on

Interior photos...self explanatory....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Inside ceiling overview post install.jpg (115.5 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg inside ceiling closeup post install 1.jpg (103.6 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg inside ceiling closeup post install 2.jpg (93.7 KB, 34 views)
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:25 PM   #314
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"Escaping Reality" is at ETI right now for them to do the retro fit and I'm glad I didn't try it myself. I'm one who can measure twice and still get it wrong. She's having a couple other mods being done so this was a good time for them to do it.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:48 PM   #315
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Talking Installation a Success

So I installed the brackets two weekends ago. Then went travelling.
This installation was a success. A phone call from Reese gave me all the information I needed.
My wife helped me with the insertion of the screws from the ceiling up and I installed the Goop, the Bracket and the lock nuts on the top of the trailer.
One modification I did make, was to replace the self Tapping screws that was sent to mount the bracket to the panel with stainless bolts and locknuts with a fender washer on the inside of the panel to distribute the pressure a little.
In my former years I was an aircraft mechanic, so this installation was a piece of cake.
I must say though, the first hole I drilled through the roof gave me some goose bumps....but after that everything went smoothly.
Took me about an hour, most of that time was measuring and double checking my measurements to make sure I wasn't going to screw things up.
I have an escape 13 so all the measurements was individual. Reece was very helpful and told me what to look out for, (corner supports) in the roof.
Anyway, thanks to ETI for their help and quick shipping as I was on a deadline to go travelling.
So Far, So Good, no problems and I'm feeling a lot more comfortable driving now, since reading about the initial post that started this discussion.
Greg.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:50 PM   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craiginpetaluma View Post
I wonder if other solar install company's have had sucsess with 3m tape or other bonding methods ?
From my point of view even a very high degree of success with only a very small chance of failure is unacceptable. The consequences of failure could be horrible. Can you imagine something that size and weight, with hard sharp square corners and edges, going back into someone's windshield at highway speeds. If my panel did that to someone I'd be sick about it.

So a few bolts through the roof seems like a small price to pay. If I add a second panel I'll certainly be through bolting it.

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Old 08-05-2015, 06:59 PM   #317
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Is the 5.0 Classic based on the 17' body ?
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:12 PM   #318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
Is the 5.0 Classic based on the 17' body ?
I don't know...someone with better knowledge of Escape history and evolution will need to weigh in on that one.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:59 PM   #319
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I think so-the same narrow body....
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:09 PM   #320
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I really don't like the look of bolts installed through the headliner. And possible future leaks is another concern for me. I can't help but wonder if another "no new holes" solution may be to fasten the solar panel ( in my 19' ) at the same locations as the MaxFan in the front of the panel, and at the location of the A/C shroud at the rear of the panel. I think I may take a closer look on the roof of my Escape when I get a chance.
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