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Author Topic: Solar panels  (Read 1049 times)
Lou
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« on: October 03, 2011, 07:27:55 pm »

Hi ,  My name is Lou and I am a newbie to the PC forum. We got a great deal on a 2009 2350 with slide and only 7400 mi. We really like the Cruiser but health problems (now resolved) kept us close to home this year. We had sold a Chinook  with a solar charger which kept the coach batteries fully charged . Has anyone installed solar on a PC? Don't know if what's under the fiberglass roof will hold the mounting screws. Thanks!
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billy
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2011, 09:41:45 pm »

Hello Lou, my name is billy. we don't do enough dry camping to warrant a large solar. I bought one from northern tool, 15w just enough to keep the batteries up when in storage. I also have a portable 80w, folds up and easy to move.   http://www.rvsolarnow.com/
Check-um out. billy
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 11:33:59 pm by billy » Logged

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Lou
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 10:29:19 am »

Thanks Billy. I am thinking about a 30 watt which I believe was on the Chinook. Did you screw your panel to the roof? The Chinook was factory installed so it had plenty of tie-down support. I worry about it flying off while doing 70 down the interstate. With the Z flush mounting kit, there are only 4 screws holding it.
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billy
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 12:13:07 pm »

I installed mine up front next to the CAP, I used 4 #10 SSteel Screws. I used the EPDM roof sealer. The 15w needed just a little air flow under it so I used a 1/2" plastic spacer. Knowing me I used way to much sealer but what the hell. My next step will be to seal the leading edge. Where the panel sit next to the front cap. I'll still have the air flow from the sides but in the front where the air would be the greatest when driving there will not be any. If this does not confuse you JUST ASK ANOTHER QUESTION.     pulling hair out   pulling hair out
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 04:55:49 pm »

To find the steel rafters, I advise to get a pair of magnets out from an old computer hard drive.  They are extremely strong.  They should be able to find the steel beam easily.  These are examples of computer hard drive magnets.

Ask the PC factory this question:  Is the steel rafter a box beam, an "L" beam or a "T" beam.  If a "T", you won't want to hit the center.  If an "L" or box beam, you will.  Get instruction on how to best locate and screw into a rafter.

About getting the wiring from the roof solar panel down to the inverter where you'll need to make the final connection.  Assuming your fridge is not in a slideout, it has a roof-top propane exhaust vent.  Run the solar panel wires down that chimney.  The wires come out the bottom just inches from the inverter.  The exhaust vent is not going to damage the wires as there is little heat.  The chimney is for propane fumes.

This was told to me by the PC dealer I bought my rig from in 2007 when I was considering large roof top solar panels.  I did eventually decide against the investment.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 04:59:33 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350, Ordered Without A Slideout
mciai2000
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 07:54:10 pm »

Lou:

I had the factory make me full length roof rails to carry my kayaks on. I attached the rails to the roof with the enclosed supports.  I found out that the roof is made of plywood, fiberglass and a solid white material(could not figure out what that is).  At any rate the roof is solid enough to drill into and get a grip as it were to hold the rails and the kayak.  I did hit a few solid pieces that grabbed more(I assume they were the rafters).  I measured the space in between them to see if I could figure a pattern but that did not work. Anyhow I travel at a high rate of speed and never had a problem with the kayaks and wind pulling them up.

DJM
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Lou
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 12:30:55 am »

Thanks for all the good ideas and advice. I also called Kermit and he sent a layout of the roof structure for the 2350. There are aluminum studs every 2 feet on center across the roof. He said it is importamt to get at least two of the four mounts into one of these. The diagram shows location of framing for the acnd and fans so finding a stud should be fairly easy. Running through the reefer vent is what I'll do.
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 12:49:22 pm »

Lou,

Remember the refer vent idea applies only to a unit where the fridge is NOT in a slideout.

Could you email me a copy of that 2350 roof diagram?  I would love to have it for reference.  Any clarity from Phoenix USA on the style/shape of the metal rafters used?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 03:00:47 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350, Ordered Without A Slideout
Lou
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 01:39:44 pm »

Hi Ron, I believe he said 2x2" aluminum studs. The reefer dosen't slide out so that should work fine. I'll be happy to email you the roof layout .
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ron.dittmer
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ExtColor: Full Body Gray
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 03:07:50 pm »

I got the diagram Lou.  Thanks!

I wonder if the same 2x2 box aluminum studs are used throughout all walls and ceiling.

The wood/foam/plastic floor sandwich has what looks like a nice strong steel box framing as seen on their website slideshow on the making of a PC.

Has everyone here watched and listened to their "construction" slideshow?

Here it is:  http://www.phoenixusarv.com/tour.html
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 03:16:48 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350, Ordered Without A Slideout
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