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Old 10-23-2014, 04:06 PM   #21
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There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to put holes in your Airstream roof to attach solar panels……especially large ones the sizes of rivnuts, when there are proven surface bonding alternatives. Guess you guys just don't get it !

It's your trailer. Go right ahead and put as many unnecessary holes in your roof as you please…………...
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:08 PM   #22
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....I got the "Lew no-hole lecture" before I installed 4 panels on me roof. After over 16,000 miles with the panels in place, there was not a single issue with a loose or lost panel. In fact, I put zero holes in the roof. I used the VHB tape on the combiner box and ran the cables down the vent to my gray tank. Oh, and I will be doing this same process with my '15 Classic.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:42 PM   #23
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I have no big problem with putting properly sealed holes for solar panel mounting in the roof, but now that I know there is a good alternative, VHB tape, I would not do it again. The only problem that I can see with VHB tape is that it is so strong, and so good, that if you ever do wish to totally remove it, it is almost impossible.

Go with the VHB tape system if you are doing solar systems on the roof of an Airstream.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:49 PM   #24
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If this dealer doesn't make it right, can you tell us their name? This would save someone else the same ''solar install'' aggravation. The thought of this might show the dealer the right direction to take. I do not believe in rewarding bad behavior.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by streaminwild View Post
If this dealer doesn't make it right, can you tell us their name? This would save someone else the same ''solar install'' aggravation. The thought of this might show the dealer the right direction to take. I do not believe in rewarding bad behavior.
You'll have to do it by private mail; the Forums have a policy against badmouthing dealers. Even if it's justified. I offer this advice because I don't want to see anyone get banned for a couple of weeks by the moderators.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I have no big problem with putting properly sealed holes for solar panel mounting in the roof, but now that I know there is a good alternative, VHB tape, I would not do it again. The only problem that I can see with VHB tape is that it is so strong, and so good, that if you ever do wish to totally remove it, it is almost impossible.

Go with the VHB tape system if you are doing solar systems on the roof of an Airstream.
It certainly IS strong, but there IS a way to get the stuff off cleanly! PM me if you are in need of this proprietary information.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:51 PM   #27
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You'll have to do it by private mail; the Forums have a policy against badmouthing dealers. Even if it's justified. I offer this advice because I don't want to see anyone get banned for a couple of weeks by the moderators.
Thanks for the heads up Protag. The last thing I want is a forum member being banned for anything. This is my third draft because my first would have had me banned for life.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:16 PM   #28
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Not so fast...

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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing use 3M Scotchweld tape to hold their airplanes together; I imagine it would work just as well on an Airstream.

I am unaware of a single structural application where an aircraft is bonded with an adhesive. Non-structural yes, many, but not structural.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:32 PM   #29
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I think you will find many modern aircraft are made entirely of bonded composites, including the rotor blades on newer helicopters. The newer bonding agents, applied properly,(and that is the key) are stronger than the parent material. Chevy has been holding the doors and hinges on their vehicles with glue for years, no bolts. A properly installed solar panel should never come off. Just my 2 cents- Rolland


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Old 10-23-2014, 10:50 PM   #30
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AM Solar used a combination of adhesive tape, screws and Sikaflex on our installation this summer. They were concerned that the curvature of the narrower roof of the 8' wide 23D International might not be ideal for an adhesive tape-only application and decided to err on the side of caution. They felt the effects of heat over time on a non-flat surface tape application were not completely understood.

Your 16 foot International has the same roof curvature as the 23D. They might be well advise to follow AM's lead on the redo.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:24 AM   #31
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I am unaware of a single structural application where an aircraft is bonded with an adhesive. Non-structural yes, many, but not structural.
Not pertinent. Solar panels on a trailer are non-structural, too. We're not talking about replacing all of the rivets in an Airstream with adhesive.
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:42 AM   #32
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Solar panel blown away!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
We're not talking about replacing all of the rivets in an Airstream with adhesive.

Too late. I already drilled all my rivets, and replaced them with 3m adhesive tape... Why didn't I look into this a little further???

-Red, jumping the gun...
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:51 AM   #33
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Be advised the 3m tape comes in a variety of speeds. Strong, really strong and super strong.
Seriously they are rated in pound ratings per sq inch.... Like 15, 25,45, 90.
If I recall, they start at a light grey and go to black, black being the high test stuff. There is also a cleaner and primer product available, should you desire a 3 step program!
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:57 AM   #34
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I used the light pink... So, my trailer is likely to fly apart at any second.

-Red, waiting on panels to fly off...

Actually, I never knew any of this about the two sided tape, so this thread has been very informative. Unfortunately, I have a hard time refraining from being a smarty pants... No malice intended, of course.
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:05 AM   #35
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Pink is for sissies with under 100 watt panels!

VHB tape is the best thing to come along since sliced Velveeta and Spam.
No malice intended either!
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:07 AM   #36
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I originally installed my solar panels with sliced Velveeta and Spam... That crap didn't work at all!

-Red, hoping the pink works better...
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:08 AM   #37
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Of course but did you prep the surface?
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:14 AM   #38
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Ooohhh, I didn't think of surface prep. No wonder...

-Red, getting rid of the pink sissy tape and going back to sliced Velveeta and Spam...
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:37 AM   #39
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Do the AS factory tour and you will quickly learn that the rivets are only there to hold the double sided tape that is between the skin and the ribs in place. Carefully watch the guy on the inside that is allegedly holding a bucking bar. It is for the tour show. Bar has a hole in the end of it. No bucking takes place. It's all about the double side sticky tape.
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:55 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
AM Solar used a combination of adhesive tape, screws and Sikaflex on our installation this summer. They were concerned that the curvature of the narrower roof of the 8' wide 23D International might not be ideal for an adhesive tape-only application and decided to err on the side of caution. They felt the effects of heat over time on a non-flat surface tape application were not completely understood.

Your 16 foot International has the same roof curvature as the 23D. They might be well advise to follow AM's lead on the redo.
I had exactly the same experience with my install, using AM Solar equipment and a local RV solar specialist. He was not confident in using the 3M tape only (even though I supplied it to him for his use) due to the AS curves. He used the 3M, screws, Silkaflex, and Dicor. Shouldn't blow off.
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