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Old 03-15-2016, 05:50 PM   #501
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That is a great solution and execution Klem.
I especially like the AMSolar story as well and am going to mod in their tilt rack capability down the line on my factory ETI Solar. Being able to tilt the panels removes much of the need for any addl portable solution.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:10 PM   #502
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Thanks Jack.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:47 PM   #503
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That is a great solution and execution Klem.
I especially like the AMSolar story as well and am going to mod in their tilt rack capability down the line on my factory ETI Solar. Being able to tilt the panels removes much of the need for any addl portable solution.
Definitely you could potentially achieve great gains you can never get from flat panels. Mine are 2 'rails' that I hope could hold a raising/rotating mount in the future.

The mounts I have can be used for other things too. Just 1x4" vinyl bonded with 5200 'fast' setting adhesive.

I'd like to see a close up picture of the raising/lowering mechanism. Can you do it with a wand or must climb up there?
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:54 PM   #504
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Here's my AM Solar story: When I picked up my trailer in April 2014 it had one 95W solar panel mounted amidships by ETI. Soon afterward I had AM Solar add a 100W panel at the rear of the trailer roof, with a junction box on the roof that would take two more panels mounted side-by-side longitudinally in the front, if I decided that I needed them at a later date.

A year later I was in the area again, and decided that I wanted the two additional panels. AM Solar told me they no longer carried that particular brand of panel (or were out of them, I don't remember) but another type of panel would fit. So I scheduled an installation of two additional solar panels in the front of the trailer's roof.

Here is where things went awry-- I assumed these panels would also be mounted lengthwise, side by side, in the front, like the original plan. But the new model panels wouldn't fit that way, so they mounted them transversally, and up high so that they would clear the bathroom vent. I didn't pay attention to the installation and was quite disheartened to see the result. The new panels were at least five inches in the air and looked awful. So I had them remove the front panel and lower the one behind it so that it was closer to the roof of the trailer.

This was a failure of communication; I should have made certain that we understood each other, and that I knew exactly what they were going to do.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:08 PM   #505
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I think you will find that some of the discussion regarding the failing of the epoxy or VHB tape was centered on the flexing of the roof weakening the bond over time. I note that the AM solar installs have the brackets at or as near as possible to the 90 degree angle of the raised part of the roof therefore minimizing the flex.

When I received the bolt kit for my panel if I had bolted the panel where the original mounting tube was epoxied I would have had to use the plastic caps to cover the bolts in the ceiling so I extended my brackets out so that when I bolted the bracket through the roof it lined up with the framing of the upper cabinets, that way the wood framing spreads the load out as well as hiding the bolt from view.

In my mind I think Reace will have this sorted for the 2017 models by building a securing system into the mold and thus eliminating having to bolt the mounting brackets through the roof.

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Old 03-15-2016, 09:10 PM   #506
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Why are those that have more than 160 Watt solar adding more? I remember hotfishtacos doing so for a compressor fridge, but it seems like that is a one-off.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:21 PM   #507
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Why are those that have more than 160 Watt solar adding more? I remember hotfishtacos doing so for a compressor fridge, but it seems like that is a one-off.
I found that two panels totaling 195W worked fine in the summer, but not in the fall or early spring (I can't tilt my panels). At the time I was trying to run my fridge on 12V when towing and it was draining my batteries down too low; the two panels wouldn't fully recharge them.

Since then I've given up on running the fridge on 12V; I now run it on propane when traveling, so I could probably make do with less solar power than what I now have. Maybe.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:49 AM   #508
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I was thinking of adding another set of 6v batteries, making a total close to 500 a/h with about 1/2 that available for use. Seems better than adding more solar, less $$$. The single 160 watt panel should keep them charged during the daytime.That should give me about 12 hours of 12v refer nighttime use.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:47 AM   #509
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It all depends on your daily usage. In a very unscientific test the best I got out of my stationary 160w in New England was 50A on a sunny mid summer day. According to online calculators, in Phoenix it'd be more like 70A.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:55 AM   #510
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Quote:
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I was thinking of adding another set of 6v batteries, making a total close to 500 a/h with about 1/2 that available for use. Seems better than adding more solar, less $$$. The single 160 watt panel should keep them charged during the daytime.That should give me about 12 hours of 12v refer nighttime use.
What is the reasoning behind running a fridge on 12V, rather than propane when not connected to 120V?

Other that a desire to use the fridge on 12V, do you anticipate ever needing more capacity than one set of fully charged 6V's can give you in a day? In most cases I would bet folks would be good with this, as you can actually go quite a few days with moderate usage on a full charge. The issue becomes keeping them fully charged, and this is where solar charge capacity comes in.
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