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Old 11-09-2019, 09:15 AM   #1
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2017 19' Flying Cloud
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How Much Solar will Fit on a 19' FC?

I am trying to determine just how much solar can actually fit on the roof of the 2017 19' Flying Cloud. I would like to get at least 180 - 200 watts on top (and supplement that with my 100 watt suitcase), Will 180 - 200 watts fit on this trailer? I think I can get a 90 watt panel on the curbside front (not sure about a 100 w panel), but I think the antenna is in the way on the street side (on the 2017 the antenna is offset from the center line). Really no room toward the rear of the trailer - there just is not much open real estate on top of a 2017 19'.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:40 AM   #2
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2016 16' Sport
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If you look at different manufacturers you will find a combination that will easily fit 180 watts.
My 16 has two 45s and a 90 Zamp. Using different size panels is ok but they should be the same voltage. Zamp seems to be consistent about this.
I use the mounts from AM solar because the offer them in different sizes so they match the curve of the Airstreams roof. Additionally they have a big wing nut so they can easily be removed if you need walking space to work on the roof.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:46 AM   #3
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New Zamp panels

Take a look at the new Zamp Obsidian panels, they are narrower than others. I think I can get one 100 watt and two 45 watts on my 16 foot. The panels are not cheap, but if size is an issue, they might work. I am in the process of planning my solar project, I live in Oregon and plan on going over to Bend and take a look at them this winter. Keep you posted.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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Hi

A lot depends on how creative you want to get. You might get 400W up there with the right panels and some fancy mounting structures.

Bob
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitger View Post
Take a look at the new Zamp Obsidian panels, they are narrower than others. I think I can get one 100 watt and two 45 watts on my 16 foot. The panels are not cheap, but if size is an issue, they might work. I am in the process of planning my solar project, I live in Oregon and plan on going over to Bend and take a look at them this winter. Keep you posted.
The new Obsidian panels will be harder to remove if you need to access the roof. I always access the roof with a ladder leaning against the top of the main door frame. With the mounts I used I can easily remove one panel without the need for tools while on the ladder. On a larger unit this wouldn’t be an issue but with 3 panels on a 16 you will have no place left to stand.

Just something to think about.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:04 AM   #6
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Iíd consider a 200 watt solar suitcase as well. Itís my only source of solar and so far itís been completely adequate. Iíve seen it put out up to 14 amps but generally itís around 8-11 amps. I like the flexibility it affords. Also renogy makes a narrow 100 watt panel Iíd look at the dimensions and consider that or one of the zamp offerings for the roof. Have a look at the flexible panels by sun power as well.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:05 AM   #7
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Corvallis , Oregon
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Shiny16 is totally right about the mounting. I have been quizzing Zamp on the new feet and how I could use the AM solar feet. It is nice to be able to access the with the AM mounts. So far, Zamp does not have more info for me, or if I need to make something to work with the AM solar feet. Thatís why I plan on seeing AM solar and Zampís this winter.

Shiny16, great picture of your install, looks like you moved the TV mount. What size and model controller did to use.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by skitger View Post
Shiny16 is totally right about the mounting. I have been quizzing Zamp on the new feet and how I could use the AM solar feet. It is nice to be able to access the with the AM mounts. So far, Zamp does not have more info for me, or if I need to make something to work with the AM solar feet. Thatís why I plan on seeing AM solar and Zampís this winter.

Shiny16, great picture of your install, looks like you moved the TV mount. What size and model controller did to use.
I didnít move the tv mount. This is a 2020 Caravell. Some years are different. Iím not sure why.
The 90 watt panel is a factory Zamp panel. If I was starting from scratch I would personally have replace the 90 with two 45s. They could have match the location of the other two and reduced shading from the AC.

My understanding is that one 45 in full sun with one 45 with partial shading will outperform one 90 with partial shading.

Iím open to criticism on this thinking.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:16 AM   #9
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
Newtown , Connecticut
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I've got 3 90's. required relocating the factory installed to accomadate 2 more.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:24 AM   #10
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Oh Shiny16, that can be a entire worn hole by itís self ! I think your install is great and that is a good point about two 45ís. Also, did you use a Victron Solar controller ? A 100/30 or 100/20. Do you even use or need a suitcase for extra juice or shade issues. I was going to keep my Zamp plug and run into the controller also, so I can use my 100 watt suitcase.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:25 AM   #11
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Worm hole... sp
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:28 AM   #12
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We have a sport 16 and have 2- 90 watt Zamp panels. Located in the front, just ahead of the AC. Shiny 16 , I wish I had the wing nuts, great idea to be able to remove the panels. I bought the trailer used, and brackets have a ugly pile of self leveling caulk on each mount.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitger View Post
Oh Shiny16, that can be a entire worn hole by itís self ! I think your install is great and that is a good point about two 45ís. Also, did you use a Victron Solar controller ? A 100/30 or 100/20. Do you even use or need a suitcase for extra juice or shade issues. I was going to keep my Zamp plug and run into the controller also, so I can use my 100 watt suitcase.
I had a Victron controller on my previous camper. This one came with the 90 watt factory panel and Atikins controller. So far it seems adequate. If I was starting from scratch I would use the Victron.

I have not had a need for a portable panel so far. I might purchase one for next season. There are some shaded spots I like. You will get mixed answers on the subject of wiring a portable panel to the onboard controller or just using a portable with its own controller plugged into the Zamp plug that comes on most models.

One thing to remember with the smaller units is you are limited to how much battery you can fit. You can over think the efficiency of the solar to the point that it really doesnít matter because you wonít have any place to store the power.

If we were talking about larger units I would default to guys like Uncle Bob to be more up to date on the most efficient systems.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sport 16 STL View Post
We have a sport 16 and have 2- 90 watt Zamp panels. Located in the front, just ahead of the AC. Shiny 16 , I wish I had the wing nuts, great idea to be able to remove the panels. I bought the trailer used, and brackets have a ugly pile of self leveling caulk on each mount.
Do you know if the mounts are drilled in or installed with 3m tape? The caulk and tape can be removed. It might be more work then you would want to do though.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:59 AM   #15
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Placitas , New Mexico
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Compressor Fridge

Shiny 16 - Thanks for all of your info. We just ordered a 2020 20FB Caravel as we are downsizing from our 2016 Flying Cloud 25fb. We too are considering what to do with solar. How is yours working with supporting the new Novo Kool Compressor refridgerator?
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:03 AM   #16
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we have 3 panels on our 22fb
2x100 on the roof
and 1x160 hinged on the back rear window

we use a suite of victron devices
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:31 AM   #17
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Shiny 16 - Thanks for all of your info. We just ordered a 2020 20FB Caravel as we are downsizing from our 2016 Flying Cloud 25fb. We too are considering what to do with solar. How is yours working with supporting the new Novo Kool Compressor refridgerator?
The 16 has the Nova Kool 3100. It was running in my driveway for 5 days with partial sun. It was always 100 percent at the end of the day. I’m not quite sure you would have those results using the lights, fans etc.

I would order without solar and just do a bit of research. With the prewire it’s just too easy to install. I would have done the same but it’s tough to find one on the lot without solar.

One thing I would recommenced with the Nova Kool is a remote thermometer. It gets really cold and you waist energy. I try to adjust it to hold 40f and save on the compressor run time.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:40 PM   #18
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2018 16' Sport
Corvallis , Oregon
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Shiny16, thanks for the info. You are totally right on the smaller trailers, you only need so much solar and battery size. Small trailers donít use as much either, when we are at the lake for 4 days, we use 15-20 aH a day, the 100 watt suitcase tops that off every day, but on shady sites, 5 aH at best. It came with one Interstate and for cheap and easy, I put a second one in to match. But on 4-5 days of boondocking, the batt can get to 50% even with the suitcase. So my plan is for 190 watts on the roof and 2 T 105ís or Lifelineís, also thinking about tongue weigh too. Still have a few months to decide.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:36 PM   #19
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2017 19' Flying Cloud
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Originally Posted by brundom View Post
I've got 3 90's. required relocating the factory installed to accomadate 2 more.
This is a very timely thread as I’m also planning a solar install on my 2017 19’

My plan was to go with the 90W Zamp panes as wel but after measuring wasn’t sure how they would fit on the street side. How did you mount yours?
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:59 PM   #20
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Beaverton , Oregon
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I installed two 100w Renogy panels on my 2015 19 Intl this summer. I removed the tv antenna, since we never watch broadcast tv on the road. The VictronConnect controller used my iPad as a control panel. It all works a charm.




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