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Old 06-12-2015, 11:34 AM   #127
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I NEVER drill holes in an Airstream roof to mount solar panels. 3 M VHB tape and Sikaflex polyurethane sealant is all you need..........


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Old 06-12-2015, 04:03 PM   #128
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Tape? Wow. Does it matter how big a panel? It is 39.5x39 and requires four of their regular brackets. I certainly like the idea of no screws but it has to stick! Do you know where to buy it in Lee or Collier Co?

I do not plan to be climbing up on the roof to tilt the panel but I notice that some of the mount types have black wing nuts. Does this matter that much? Or rather, does it matter any differently for an Airstream than another RV type?
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:51 PM   #129
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Panel tilting is a direct factor of off-season camping when the sum is low on the horizon. We offer tilt feet and pre-made tilt bars that lift the panels up 45 degrees for up to 30% increase in solar radiance.

I use the tape/SikaFlex combo on all panels for mer or smooth fiberglass roofs up to 160 watts, which measures 26 X 57


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Old 06-13-2015, 06:40 AM   #130
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I used Lew's method on the same size panel with the Renogy brackets. It has now traveled several thousand miles and is still rock solid. I ordered my VHB tape off Amazon snd purchased the sikiflex at Lowes.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:57 AM   #131
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Good to hear. My panel is a Renogy 150 watt and almost square shape so about 4" will stick out beyond the AC units sides (mounted behind unit) and be in direct wind while traveling. When you say same size Jarrod, do you mean my 39.5x39 or lewster's 26x57?
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:25 AM   #132
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I didn't have as good luck with the tape. Maybe the way I installed. Because the roof is curved I bolted the mounting brackets to the panels first, placed the panel in its final position, then one by one peeled the protective layer and stuck it to the roof. Because of the roof curvature only two brackets stuck on flat. The other two did not. I had to loosen the mounting screws to allow the other two to tilt to flat and stick. After retightening the panel, the brackets peeled back off the roof as they rotated back in alignment with the panel. I ended up screwing them onto the roof. Then slathered the waterproofing material all over.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:11 AM   #133
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Nope. You didn't do it correctly.


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Old 06-13-2015, 12:19 PM   #134
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I have the 100W flex solar panel from GoPower. Good performance and charging so far. Even if the output is less than fixed for the same size the advantages of a zero/low profile design in appearance vs something that adds drag/weight of the fixed case unit seem compelling.

Have also read about fixed box solar cells that were not attached properly and have come off. Do not want to worry about that.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:15 PM   #135
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Now, finally as of tonight, my roof panel is mounted with the tape. I will say that the tape seems to hold well. My panel is big and nearly square. I had bit of an issue like kscherzy with the mounts. The arched roof slopes down at the mount point and the center of the panel touches the roof which is unavoidable with that size panel. It would never work on a narrow body model. The Renogy mounts adjust somewhat to angle a bit which is what I had to do to make it work. I looked online at the other types of mounts just to compare. Those with the screw knob definitely make the panel sit up higher off the roof while the Renogy panel mounts are about an inch tall. The camper next to me in storage has panels and they were about two inches off the roof.
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:45 AM   #136
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I am reading about the heat buildup issues of mounting these flexible panels directly on the roof panels...
Would adding some insulation under them help with that or make it worse?
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:23 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
I am reading about the heat buildup issues of mounting these flexible panels directly on the roof panels...
Would adding some insulation under them help with that or make it worse?
Worse!

One of the biggest faults with flex panels is their increased operating temperatures due to lack of air circulation under the panels. As solar panels heat up, their efficiency (output) drops significantly and after a certain point, that drop is like a rock into a pond.

In addition to the decreased efficiency, they capture less solar radiance as they have a plastic protective face which is reflective. This plastic is also soft to allow the panel to flex, which also makes it highly susceptible to surface scratching, which will further decrease the efficiency.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:16 AM   #138
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Having a narrow-body motorhome like KeyAir, I think I'll stick with flexible panels, no matter the deficiencies. Love Airstreams because of their shape. I just can't see rigid panels mounted on roof of my Airstream.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:40 AM   #139
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Lew, did you get my email?
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:46 AM   #140
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Lee, got your email, will follow up with you. Thanks
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