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Old 11-26-2020, 10:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Johnson City, Texas
Trailer: 2019 19 ft.
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Reinforcing front solar panel

Originally Posted by DC Boyd View Post
I will be reinforcing the leading edge. May just be a piece of Aluminum angle.
After our daughter's front-mounted solar panel failure, we reinforced the frame on our front solar panel. We added 59-1/4" long, 1-1/2" x 1/8" thick aluminum angle to the front and rear. Purchased angle from local Lowes.

Front view:

Side view:

The rear panel angle was pretty easy to attach using 1/4"-20 x 1" stainless bolts and hardware. We could get our hands underneath to put on the washer, lock washer, and nut.

The front was a different beast. The 1-1/2" angle + solar panel frame depth + height above the roof made access extremely difficult. The panel height above the roof, especially in the middle, was barely enough to get a flat hand beneath. It was too tight to reach in from the side or rear. Used ladders on the side for access, without putting weight on the roof.

Had to use 2" long, threaded full length, stainless bolts to be able to slip on the flat washer, lock washer, and nut. Attached the washer, etc. to my fingers with masking tape and felt around until my finger got the washer to slip on the bolt end. I had a 7/16" box wrench that I slipped over the nut, holding it tightly against the frame as I tightened the bolt head using a socket wrench. Took 5+ minutes per bolt, and I had to extract the wrench using a magnet tool.

Hopefully this modification will result in a long trouble-free panel life.


Mary & Gus
2019 19', Infiniti QX80
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:12 AM   #2
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Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: None, sold my 2014 5.0TA
Posts: 7,106
Certainly looks like it'll do the trick.

Happy Motoring
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:42 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 3,405
Very nice work. I don’t think there will be any further issue with yours or your daughters once this is in place on both.
Hopefully, anyone who has a similar front panel follows ur lead on reinforcing it.
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Old 11-26-2020, 12:04 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 6,080
Well that's pretty bomb proof, well done.

Probably folks with a 5.0TA with a solar panel right on the front slope should consider doing that.

Ah, the old masking tape trick. Often use it or sometimes I use masking tape on the screwdriver to hold a screw on while I place it in an awkward position.

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Old 11-26-2020, 01:32 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2005 Casita 17 Deluxe (original owner)
Posts: 783
Agree with others, looks like a good and economical reinforcement mod, well done!
Alan E.
Prospective Escape 5.0TA Owner (deposit submitted 09/09/2020 for completion 08/18/2021)
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Old 01-26-2021, 11:17 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Victoria, Texas
Trailer: 21C Jan. 15, 2021
Posts: 194
Just received ur 21C a week ago. I also reinforced the front panel with 1/8” Aluminum angle. I ran a full length 1” 3m VHB tape along leading edge of panel, stuck the angle, screwed with aluminum oval head screws.
Took very little time. Predrilled angle holes prior to mounting.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:44 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Bay Area, California
Trailer: 2021 21C Coming in Feb
Posts: 27
Planning to do the same, except instead of bolts I'll be using construction adhesive. That should avoid the access problems.


21C delayed until March
GMC Canyon Denali Turbodiesel
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