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Old 06-18-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
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Going Solar

In my ongoing quest to create trailer perfection (!), SilverLeaf will soon have a solar installation. While rooftop real estate is precious, there's room for three 100W panels, and my calculation is that 300W will be adequate. Beyond that? That's what the two Honda 2000's are for. Really excited about this next project. Also glad that I didn't bite on the A/S solar package when I ordered my trailer, as the package I ordered from AM Solar will give me a lot more for my $. I installed a Trimetric a year ago, so that'll compliment this next project. And, a special thanks to Lewster for all of his suggestions with my electrical projects. Ordered two Lifeline AGM's from my local battery store on Monday. Once this install is complete, I'll be taking a L-O-N-G voyage...either Nova Scotia or Banff. Hmm, maybe both?
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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Keep us updates on the installation and send pics. I'm doing a shell off now and would like to install panels!
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:33 PM   #3
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Will do. Gotta pay it forward for all the help I've had. I spent a LOT of time reading about what other folks had done before I decided to do this. AM Solar also has a terrific website, and there are several YouTube videos that make this look less intimidating. Still deciding whether I'll rivet the brackets onto the roof (with ample amounts of Vulkem), or use stainless steel screws. Right now, I'm leaning towards the rivet option.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
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The 3m tape and dicor provided by AM Solar has been working great for us.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:58 PM   #6
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The 3m tape and dicor provided by AM Solar has been working great for us.
Been very happy with the tape on mine as well for over two years now.

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Old 06-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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Will do. Gotta pay it forward for all the help I've had. I spent a LOT of time reading about what other folks had done before I decided to do this. AM Solar also has a terrific website, and there are several YouTube videos that make this look less intimidating. Still deciding whether I'll rivet the brackets onto the roof (with ample amounts of Vulkem), or use stainless steel screws. Right now, I'm leaning towards the rivet option.
DON'T PUT HOLES IN YOUR ROOF !!!!!

I have had solar panels on my service vans since 2005 and all are held on with 3M VHB tape that is provided by AM Solar. They have NEVER lifted, budged or moved in any way. In fact, when I got my current service van (see avatar), it took all I could do to remove the old mounting feet to transfer the panels!

YOU DON'T NEED ANY MORE HOLES IN YOUR ROOF!!!!!!!
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:31 PM   #8
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I got the message. I have some of the 3M VHB and have used it liberally in all kinds of places....it is great stuff. Oh, and A/S uses it inside the clearance lights to seal them to the housing. I found this out when I was hooking up my Voyager WiFi rear view camera and had to tap into 12V from the center clearance light on the rear of my trailer. I didn't break the plastic, but that tape does NOT let go. So, I'll use it on the panels.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:50 PM   #9
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I got the message. I have some of the 3M VHB and have used it liberally in all kinds of places....it is great stuff. Oh, and A/S uses it inside the clearance lights to seal them to the housing. I found this out when I was hooking up my Voyager WiFi rear view camera and had to tap into 12V from the center clearance light on the rear of my trailer. I didn't break the plastic, but that tape does NOT let go. So, I'll use it on the panels.
BAB, what number VHB tape have you used? I was out at the 3M site and there are quite a few choices. I'm thinking of doing some solar myself and not crazy about drilling hole in my roof. Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:46 PM   #10
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BAB,

We have a 27FB and were able to fit 4 of the standard sized 100w AM solar panels, 3 on the curb side and 1 on the street side. I think we could have shoehorned in a 5th panel by using the smaller, higher efficiency 100w panels that AM Solar sells. I know the 28 is a rear bed setup and that it probably has a very different roof layout than mine. IMHO having 400w is the way to go if you can fit them on the roof and worth the added expense of the smaller 100w AM Solar panels. Good luck on the instal, you will love the freedom of solar.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:53 PM   #11
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The last 28 that I put solar on had 8 of AM Solar's GS-100 panels. It was quite a set up.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:54 PM   #12
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The last 28 that I put solar on had 8 of AM Solar's GS-100 panels. It was quite a set up.
Wow! What did they have for batteries?
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:07 PM   #13
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Wow! What did they have for batteries?
4 Lifeline GPL-6CT 300 amp/hour XL golf cart batteries for a 600 amp/hour battery bank and a 2800 watt Magnum MS 2812 pure sine wave inverter/charger..........and a bunch of other goodies! Took a solid week for the installation.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:17 PM   #14
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4 Lifeline GPL-6CT 300 amp/hour XL golf cart batteries for a 600 amp/hour battery bank and a 2800 watt Magnum MS 2812 pure sine wave inverter/charger..........and a bunch of other goodies! Took a solid week for the installation.
Wow, that is quite a setup!
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:42 PM   #15
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Where did you mount the batteries?
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:46 PM   #16
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Under the front goucho
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #17
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First Use Report: Just back from two weeks: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine. My AM Solar panels worked great. Though I had hookups most of the time, it is WAY cool to be driving for a good part of the day, then look at the meter and see that my Lifeline AGM's are at 96% when I arrive. Coupling those with the new 2000W Inverter made a big difference in my enjoyment of my trailer. BTW, don't see how I could get more than 4 panels on my roof, at least of the same size I installed!)
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:57 PM   #18
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BAB, I just did a couple of weeks out west, no hook ups, and was at 100% every day by noon. Fridge and WH on propane. We watched TV every night and used the electric coffee pot in the AM. We left the 1500 watt inverter on all the time except when under way. 4 AGM batteries and 300 watts of panels. You may wish to check your hook up to see why you were at only 96% by days end unless you were just having typical east coast weather. Rain, fog, wind, followed by rain, fog, and wind. And salt. Don't forget to wax her up again. Jim
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:32 PM   #19
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Pretty sure I'm getting plenty of panel output, haven't had much "full sun" -- and talk about thunderstorms through NJ and PA! I promised some photos of the install, so here they are. Mounted the controller and breaker (between panel collector and controller) in the empty panel at the bottom of my wardrobe. Remote is mounted up front with my other electronics.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #20
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I had a bit of sun advantage since in Alberta it gets dark about 10:30 PM and the sun rises at 4:30 AM. It looks like you are most likely OK given the nasty weather. Great install. Jim
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