As Gordon drilled, rubber TPO, luan plywood, several inches of closed cell foam insulation, and more luan plywood came up. If you have a smaller budget, then this may be the overall limiting factor of your RV Solar system. Had we not found this removable panel, we would have carefully tacked the wires from the junction box to the side cabinet wall with plastic cable tacks. Then Sikaflex 715 was applied into the hole at the point where wire emerged. Precision RV is a recognized leader in RV Solar Installations nationally. All Rights Reserved. Tom and Pat’s sons, Donny and Michael, also volunteered to help with the installation. Above: Pat and Tom Emerick helping Gordon get the solar panel on the roof, Above: Attaching the feet brackets onto the panel. Built for your RV, camper, trailer or van, Colorado Standby can help with your solar needs. |. Giosolar 200 watt kit + 20 amp charge controller + cables . This includes all installation components. If you’re installing flexible solar panels, the same process applies in the section above – simply glue them to the RV roof using the adhesive recommended by the panel manufacturer. We even watched a couple movies at night with the installed television and entertainment system. These were the lowest readings gathered during our experiment and occurred as we were running the heat to take off the morning chill. Above: Removable panel in our wardrobe closet where we ran wires from the junction box. Since we wanted to leave room for adding more panels in the future, we placed the single panel where it would fit best and work in a two or three panel installation. If you are trying to find an RV Solar Panel Installation Company, you can count on Bob's RV Solar Panels to match you with professionals in your area who can take care of your solar panel … Copyright © 2007-2020. By disconnecting the battery bank cables in this order, you prevent the possibility of electric shock during the installation. The most common RV roof type is rubber, made out of a material known as EPDM or TPO. The experts here at AM Solar can help you install solar panels on any RV, Trailer or other rig you bring us. We installed a Zamp Deluxe 150 Watt RV Solar Kit (ZS-150-30A-DX). If you’re looking to DIY install your RV solar system, you’ll need to know how to mount solar panels to your RV roof. This DIY Camper Solar System Guide is a multi step, complete educational series that by the end, you will know what all of the parts of a solar system do, how they work together, what you'll need for YOUR specific system… Y… This would be a relatively convenient location for daily observation, was directly underneath the planned junction box installation point, and was suitably distant from anything that would interfere with it. Again, we only anticipate needing one 150-watt panel given our positive experience with the 150-watt installation on the Northstar, and similar experiences with other solar-equipped truck campers. An additional panel could later be placed on the passenger’s side front leaving just enough space between the panels to walk and inspect roof seals. If you like the WindyNation approach of a complete kit but our top … Run It All. First, we went to the battery compartment and disconnected our camper battery bank. Then the hole would be filled with Sikaflex 715, the same roof sealant used on the rest of the camper roof, and covered with the junction box, itself sealed with Sikaflex 715. At 7:00am every morning, the battery voltage read between 12.0 and 12.2 volts. Tom was pleased that the wire run distances between the solar panel, junction box, and solar controller would be kept as short as possible. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Then the panel was carefully flipped over and placed into its previously determined position on the forward driver’s side. The camper needed routine maintenance, and lacked amenities and features we could add, study, and document for the magazine. Fortunately, our eleven-foot floor plan offered plenty of roof real estate options to place a panel of this size. Once drilled, the hole would pass the 8-gauge wire from the junction box down through the wardrobe to the solar controller. The number of solar panels and watts you will need will depend on your electronics usage in your RV meaning if you have the usual coffee maker, hair blower, a microwave perhaps, and a TV the estimated wattage you will need is between 400 to 600 watts of solar panels. We’ve written it to suit any size of system… We offer complete RV solar panel system installations for travel trailers, off the grid campers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and RV … For efficiency, we decided to place the single panel and junction box on the driver’s side front. Once the locations for the roof mounted solar panel and junction box were determined, we moved inside the camper to plan where the Zamp solar controller should be mounted. This is the most common type of mounting bracket that comes in RV solar kits. Other than loading up and filling with water, we are not permitted to work on our rig, or park it overnight. At the time, we were camping in a Northstar 8.5 Arrow U with a 150 watt Zamp solar panel and controller, one Group 27 battery, and all LED interior and exterior lighting. Above: Gordon and Tom checking and re-checking the wiring. With the hole drilled, the 8-gauge wire was fed into the camper and underlying wardrobe through the hole. To properly challenge the solar and battery system, we operated the camper as normal, charging the laptops daily, using the propane furnace in the morning, and running interior lights and fans as needed. Above: The 30-amp 5-stage PWM (pulse width modulation) solar charge controller with LCD display – click to enlarge. Pretty simple so far, as we have basically just brought the power produced by the rooftop-mounted solar panels inside the RV. A few months later we found a decade old camper in Oregon that fit our requirements for a camper project. I usually see this product being incorporated in a good Renogy flexible solar panel review considering its effectiveness and high satisfaction rating.This is an excellent choice, especially if you aim to choose the right RV solar panels. Most single or double panel solar panel systems are installed by professionals who regularly install solar panels in a few hours. When a battery is on float charge, it is fully charged and maintaining its full charge from the solar panel. Home » Truck Camper Mods » Camper Projects » Installing a Solar Panel System. If the wrapping paper can fly off, the photo will, too. In addition to what’s included with the kit, you’ll need to add a battery to make this a functional system … Tom had us check and re-check these wire connections with a multi-meter to make sure they were done correctly. Simply search “RV solar mounting hardware” to explore your options. How to install a 12v Solar Panel System. The sheet of rubber lays over a layer of wood, so the best way to mount solar panels to this type of roof is to screw them in with lag bolts. You don’t need holes for flexible solar panels! Full-time RV'er Marvin Braun can help you with your RV Solar needs today! The … It would be like taping a picture frame to wrapping paper that has been stuck to your wall. That’s the good news. Above: Drilling the hole in the roof for the 8 gauge wire. Even before the project camper arrived, we acquired a 150-watt Zamp solar panel system and solar controller. During this period of time, the solar charge controller was in bulk charge mode sending the highest voltage the installed solar panel and charge controller were rated for. Founded in 2007, TCM is the RV community's number one source for news, reviews, guides, newbie advice, destination ideas, maintenance recommendations, modifications, and more. Simply use the adhesive recommended by the solar panel manufacturer to glue the panel to the roof. Colorado Standby now offers RV solar panel installation & kits. Panels must be mounted to avoid shading from the air conditioner, TV antenna and storage pods. You’ll still want to install the appropriate mounting bracket to your solar panel. Then Gordon and Angela kill two batteries, and learn an expensive lesson; Installing A Solar Controller. Above: The diagram in the Zamp instructions for the install – click to enlarge. WindyNation 400 Watt Solar Kit. Sikaflex was then applied to the bottom edges of the junction box before the junction box was placed into position above the 8-gauge wire. Install your Inverter (Optional) If you want to use your AC appliances like your microwave, laptop, … Farewell furnace! When the screws were in, Sikaflex 715 was used to cover the solar panel bracket feet. Then you will map out where the bracket feet will land, clean the roof and foot with alcohol, wait for it to try, and then install the VHB tape per the instructions. With Team Emerick on board, we were ready to go. We knew we needed to drill this hole, but it was still somewhat terrifying to see it happen. Once everything is set, your panels will be unmovable – and the great news is you’ll have no additional holes in your roof to monitor for leaks. We prepared the solar panel for installation by screwing the solar panel feet brackets to the panel. During our experiment, Angela monitored the Zamp ZS-30A solar charge controller. Above: The wiring inside the Zamp junction box. With the panel now on the roof, we connected the 8-gauge wires to the Zamp junction box including the corresponding positive and negative wire connections. Above: The connectors and resettable circuit breaker was included in the kit. Gorilla tape was used to hold the panel wiring to the inside upper panel. Everything in life has compromises. We’ve connected the solar panels to the combiner box, ran wire inside the RV to the location we are going to mount the solar charge controller, and installed a solar panel disconnect switch. Then it was time to do something we would otherwise never do; purposefully drill a hole in the camper’s roof. This will eliminate any possibility of you getting an electric shock while installing the solar system. Above: The Northstar 8.5 Arrow U in the Outer Banks during the solar test – click to enlarge. https://www.renogy.com/blog/installing-solar-panels-on-your-van-or-rv Once they are screwed in, you’ll want to cover each hole with Dicor or another RV-safe self leveling lap-sealant. Getting to the point of having freedom from the need to be connected to shorepower, or from cranking up a generator for hours at a time when boondocking, requires taking a close look at one’s energy needs. A third panel is not likely, but could be added on an available space towards the rear of the camper roof. Above: The solar panel bracket feet being secured onto the roof. Then, we measured the dimensions of the Zamp 150-watt solar panel. This system is nearly identical to the one in the Northstar and, with the three-port solar panel junction box, would allow us to upgrade to two panels (300 watts) or even three panels (450 watts) in the future. RV Master Techs has installed a countless amount of solar panels on motorhomes here in Arizona to include: Glendale, Scottsdale, Peoria, Surprise, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, and surrounding areas. Take a look at some of the installations we have done and consider giving us a call if you would like us to set up your RV with solar … With a never-ending goal of living as simply as possible, we live in a HOA townhouse community. You can also get tilting hardware, make custom brackets, or use brand-specific hardware like Renogy’s brackets. Solar + Battery Powered RV Air Conditioning: Off Grid AC?. You can disable footer widget area in theme options - footer options, How to Mount Solar Panels on Your RV: Step by Step Installation, 2020 DIYRVLiving.com. We prepared the solar panel for installation by screwing the solar panel feet brackets to the panel. Even on cloudy days, the system reached float charge, but did so later in the day. It also applies to the shore power if you have them on at the moment. RV Solar Panel Installation While an RV solar system is simple to maintain once it’s installed, getting it set up isn’t as simple as slapping some panels on top of your RV and calling it a … If you want to be able to run absolutely everything using only solar power, you will need a system … The junction box was then screwed into the roof with stainless steel screws. It was a non-slide hard side floor plan – our personal preference. nuCamp RV has produced a video showcasing the 2021 Cirrus 620. 190 Watt Solar Panel … This kit includes physically flexible solar panels that can be mounted on the curved roof of any RV. When we told Tom about our solar panel system, he offered to help. Get Rv Solar Panels Installed. Tom is a retired Plant Facility Manager from Allen Organ, and happens to own an Arctic Fox 990. No widgets added. Sample RV solar kit cost as of January 2020. 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