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Old 03-20-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
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How to keep solar panels from being stolen?

OK, my Airstream is stored in a yard with a couple dozen other RVs, boats and motorhomes.

Not that these people are all kleptos or anything, but I have had one of the ID plaques stolen off my humble trailer. Or maybe I'm just paranoid. I dunno.

Outside of the inherent roof access difficulty presented by the curved sides of the coach, does anybody have a theft-proofing scheme that still allows for the panels to be removed for service if necessary?

I'm planning to use tamper-resistant screws like so to hold the brackets to the roof. Or maybe just Lewster-approved 3-M tape between brackets and roof, and use tamper resistant bolts to hold the panels to the brackets.

Or maybe everyone else is normal and I really am paranoid. Opinions?

Thanks!

Don
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:14 AM   #2
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I don't know, but if I was a criminal willing to take a chance on going to jail for grand theft, I would just steal your whole trailer.

Lots of scrap aluminum, (I.e. Instant cash) would make itself available with a little work with an air hammer.....

I think your best defense is good insurance.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:42 AM   #3
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All you can do is make it harder for them to take your solar panels if they really want them they will take them ! You can put the tamper proof screws ,you can also advertise by putting a alarm stickers on the trailer ,I put one on the door glass,some people go as far as putting fake or real video cameras or advertising smile your on candid camera. Make sure your trailer is parked were it's well lit up in storage area and fenced ,One thing I saw to deter thief at the campsites is a mat with a massive dog bone and bowl thought that was funny!think I'm going to get one
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drboyd View Post
OK, my Airstream is stored in a yard with a couple dozen other RVs, boats and motorhomes.

Not that these people are all kleptos or anything, but I have had one of the ID plaques stolen off my humble trailer. Or maybe I'm just paranoid. I dunno.

Outside of the inherent roof access difficulty presented by the curved sides of the coach, does anybody have a theft-proofing scheme that still allows for the panels to be removed for service if necessary?

I'm planning to use tamper-resistant screws like so to hold the brackets to the roof. Or maybe just Lewster-approved 3-M tape between brackets and roof, and use tamper resistant bolts to hold the panels to the brackets.

Or maybe everyone else is normal and I really am paranoid. Opinions?

Thanks!

Don
Pinned hex drive machine screws are getting pretty common and the associated bits that install/remove them are available in just about any 'security bit' assortment. While these: McMaster-Carr are much less common, the spanner bits in the smaller sizes are also included in such kits. Click on 'large diameter truss' and scroll to the bottom of the page. You will find the 'spanner' style machine screws there.

The mounting feet that I use from AM Solar use 1/4-20 threads, and the spanner heads for this are NOT in these assortments, making it much harder to remove them as the correct head is not commonly available.

I have used these for a couple of clients who had your concerns about security with great success.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:26 AM   #5
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The price of panels has come down enough that I have trouble imagining that this is the problem it once was.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:34 AM   #6
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That's what insurance is for. You pay some one else to worry about it.

I did ask my insurance lady if she lost any sleep worrying about my stuff. I was disappointed when she said she didn't.
Seriously, while it has probably happened, I have never heard of any one having their roof stripped.. To use them some one would have to have some tech savvy and I am sure the resale is pretty limited compared to other things that can be stolen.
I am going outside now to make sure mine are still here.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #7
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To heck with trying to get panels off the roof, I'd just break a window and clean out the inside.

But maybe it would be wise to make them easy to remove so they don't tear the trailer up getting them off, if that's their goal.
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #8
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To heck with trying to get panels off the roof, I'd just break a window and clean out the inside.

But maybe it would be wise to make them easy to remove so they don't tear the trailer up getting them off, if that's their goal.
You're just after my uber-valuable original 8-track player!! I knew it!!

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