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Old 10-22-2014, 02:02 PM   #1
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Solar panel blown away!

After just 1,650 miles, my dealer installed solar panel blew off my 16 ft. International while traveling at approx. 60 mph. No real damage to my Airstream, just two brackets left on roof and two holes where brackets once were. And two wires. No sign of the panel

Anyone else had this problem?
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Wilto View Post
After just 1,650 miles, my dealer installed solar panel blew off my 16 ft. International while traveling at approx. 60 mph. No real damage to my Airstream, just two brackets left on roof and two holes where brackets once were. And two wires. No sign of the panel

Anyone else had this problem?
That's a new one on me. But if I see it by the side of the road, I'll pick it up and save it for you.

But seriously, where exactly on the roof was it? I suspect that the reason mine is behind the air conditioner is to ensure that the slipstream can't get underneath of it to tear it loose. Without seeing a picture, I'll also guess that the two holes are in back and the two brackets are in front because the panel came loose from the front brackets first, allowing the front edge to lift and pry the rear brackets loose.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:02 PM   #3
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By the sounds of it, the brackets were screwed down instead of being bonded to the skin with the 3M tape that folks recommend. Once the front screws ripped through the skin by upward pressure, the whole thing got lifted and ripped off. Funny that one set of brackets is still there, but the weak point in the back must have been the screws into the panel. I can't recall anyone reporting a loss when using the double sided tape for mounting.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tomzstream View Post
By the sounds of it, the brackets were screwed down instead of being bonded to the skin with the 3M tape that folks recommend. Once the front screws ripped through the skin by upward pressure, the whole thing got lifted and ripped off. Funny that one set of brackets is still there, but the weak point in the back must have been the screws into the panel. I can't recall anyone reporting a loss when using the double sided tape for mounting.
or it could have been the other way around? Front bracket still on and back ripped off? Can't tell from the original post.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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Could the brackets have been screwed into the skin, and not the ribs?

I hope your dealer will make it right for you, could have been very nasty had the panel struck another vehicle.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:26 PM   #6
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Sounds like some pretty shoddy work by your dealer. I hope they are capable of making it right for you!

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Old 10-22-2014, 03:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
That's a new one on me. But if I see it by the side of the road, I'll pick it up and save it for you.

But seriously, where exactly on the roof was it? I suspect that the reason mine is behind the air conditioner is to ensure that the slipstream can't get underneath of it to tear it loose. Without seeing a picture, I'll also guess that the two holes are in back and the two brackets are in front because the panel came loose from the front brackets first, allowing the front edge to lift and pry the rear brackets loose.
The two upper brackets are still intact. The holes are where the lower brackets pulled out.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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Sounds like some pretty shoddy work by your dealer. I hope they are capable of making it right for you!

Waiting to hear from the service manager. Had hoped there would be an immediate "don't worry, we'll make it right" but that hasn't happened yet.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:45 PM   #9
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So, was there no adhesive used at all? Only drilled holes? Poor workmanship if that's the case.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tomzstream View Post
By the sounds of it, the brackets were screwed down instead of being bonded to the skin with the 3M tape that folks recommend. Once the front screws ripped through the skin by upward pressure, the whole thing got lifted and ripped off. Funny that one set of brackets is still there, but the weak point in the back must have been the screws into the panel. I can't recall anyone reporting a loss when using the double sided tape for mounting.
I like the idea of using double sided tape so there's no penetration. It appears they used the standard mounting brackets supplied by Zamp, with just one bolt per bracket. Upper side of the panel could not have been fastened securely which would have put all the pressure on the lower brackets. Just my guess. Hope the dealer has read its Vision Statement and Commitment to "provide timely, relevant and accurate communication".
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
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Another issue with solar system illiterate installers. Many Airstream dealers are clueless on proper wire sizes and installation techniques to preclude this type of event and subsequent damages.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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Another issue with solar system illiterate installers. Many Airstream dealers are clueless on proper wire sizes and installation techniques to preclude this type of event and subsequent damages.
Other than the panel installation on the roof, the rest of the installation was clean and worked flawlessly.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:19 PM   #13
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I saw one solar panel come off. The owner was able to recover it and have it re-installed.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Wilto View Post
After just 1,650 miles, my dealer installed solar panel blew off my 16 ft. International while traveling at approx. 60 mph. No real damage to my Airstream, just two brackets left on roof and two holes where brackets once were. And two wires. No sign of the panel

Anyone else had this problem?
Sounds to me by the limited info in the initial post, (screws or rivets) just the holes left says, either the rivet holes are to large or the screws were not tight enough. Sounds like shoddy workmanship for sure.

I used 3/16 rivets, 4 brackets per panel w/each bracket having 2 rivets in the the panel and 2 rivets to the roof with sealer, AOK.
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