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Old 04-14-2018, 10:29 AM   #1
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Question Smarkey Solar Panel Mounts

Anyone have any experience with Smarkey Solar Panel Mounts?

https://www.amazon.com/Smarkey-Solar...r+panel+mounts

Any issues? How far off the roof are the panels?

Thanks!

Jay
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:55 AM   #2
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never bought it so no direct experience. the brackets seem fancy but not necessary install friendly and strong.

it says up to 200w, why is that? it should tell you how much weight it can support. weight does not correlate to watts well.

the screws appear regular wood screws, not good. you need #12 x 1.5" (or 2") stainless screws. lowes or hd.

i self made all 44 out of 2 x 2 x 1/4 " aluminum structural, 4 years and still strong. if you are savvy you can get that from metal recycle yards, dirt cheap. or get from a metal supply house they will cut and drill the holes for you, still much cheaper/steadier than what you are buyng.

this is just an idea from one who has done this multiple times. 2 cents worth.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:11 AM   #3
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I have made my own panel mounts for prior installs on our 5th wheels. I'm looking at what mounting options are available.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:51 AM   #4
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I used the simple and inexoensive mounts from Renogy for the 15 panels on current coach. Used similar mounts for 8 panels on previous coach. They get the job done.

Those linked above appear to allow easy removal of the panels. I've never had occation to want/need to remove my panels.
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:27 PM   #5
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CountryFit, can you please post a picture of one of your mounting brackets?
Did you use 2" x 2" angle aluminum? How long did you cut each bracket?
Thanks
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Old 04-26-2018, 01:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
CountryFit, can you please post a picture of one of your mounting brackets?
Did you use 2" x 2" angle aluminum? How long did you cut each bracket?
Thanks
Yes 2" x 2" right angle aluminum 1/4" thickness. i cut 4" each.
Here shows the actual brackets.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:50 PM   #7
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I used these to mount a larger 265 watt and two 180 watt panels. The larger panel took 8 brackets and the smaller panels took 4 each. I wanted stainless, two mounting screws in the roof per bracket and the 3 inch elevation of the panels. I paid $90 for 16 brackets. I mounted my panels yesterday with the help of my wife.


https://www.amazon.com/TEMCo-Mountin...01MRAKXSN?th=1
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:23 AM   #8
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astrocamper, I had seen the TEMCo's and they are on my short list.

Safe Travels

Jay
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:07 AM   #9
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Jeff, can you still remove the solar panel and leave the Temco mounts screwed/glued to the roof?
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:46 PM   #10
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It is attached to the panel with a hex bolt, lock washer, (solar panel mounting hole), washer, lock washer, and hex nut. You could unbolt the panel from the bracket. You have 3 inches of clearance to get your hand underneath to reach the top of the hex bolt with a wrench.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
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Countryfit

Had to do a remount on beach in Yucatan after frame of 315 W panel failed at two bolts in world famous winds of Isthmus if Tehuantapec. The roof of Roadtrek is curved so it was a bit more complex

Roof of fifth wheel is fairly flat so mounting 235 W panels flat is possible. Efficiency does go down without air gap but we have more solar than is usually required at 1400 W of panels. Discussed this with son who has been a solar contractor since 1982 and he has to run some numbers. He has a bunch of 2”x2”x1/4” right angle aluminum scrap along with some 3”x3”. He used 3/8” x 1” lag bolts along silicone glue to mount panel to roof. Will try your technique but will use 1” x 1/4” stripping as a large washer for the mounting bolts next to panel frame sheet metal.

The mounts son installed four years ago look good on three panels. The other three have suffered various degrees of deterioration which is entirely due to branch mishaps at different speeds.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reed Cundiff View Post
Countryfit

Had to do a remount on beach in Yucatan after frame of 315 W panel failed at two bolts in world famous winds of Isthmus if Tehuantapec. The roof of Roadtrek is curved so it was a bit more complex

Roof of fifth wheel is fairly flat so mounting 235 W panels flat is possible. Efficiency does go down without air gap but we have more solar than is usually required at 1400 W of panels. Discussed this with son who has been a solar contractor since 1982 and he has to run some numbers. He has a bunch of 2”x2”x1/4” right angle aluminum scrap along with some 3”x3”. He used 3/8” x 1” lag bolts along silicone glue to mount panel to roof. Will try your technique but will use 1” x 1/4” stripping as a large washer for the mounting bolts next to panel frame sheet metal.

The mounts son installed four years ago look good on three panels. The other three have suffered various degrees of deterioration which is entirely due to branch mishaps at different speeds.
Reed and Elaine
had to google up where Isthmus in Tehuantapec is at there looks like a gorgeous place to stay.
my roof is pretty flat so 2" x 2" worked. since yours is curved, i guess 3" x 3" x 1/4" might work better. also my roof material is fiberglass, not sure if yours is different.

have fun over there!!
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:08 AM   #13
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We were in Izamal, Yucatan ( where first Catholic Bishop translated some of the Mayan manuscripts and then had them all burned as heretical) at a lovely RV Park where we were the first fifth wheel in a number of years. Elaine noticed:
1. Spare tire was hanging down
2. One 235 W solar panel was loose

1. Tighten up the lifting winch for tire and brace with tie down strap. Never travel without extra tie downs, Gorilla tape, and cable ties.

2. Climbed up and found bits of Branch and leaves caught in panel mounts. Perhaps we should not have taken “scenic” drive on back country roads from Tulum through Valladolid to Izamal with a 12.5’ tall fifth wheel. Had glue and extra thick lag bolts and fixed things.

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Old 06-15-2018, 08:01 AM   #14
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TEMco

FYI...I asked TEMco for their recommended number of mounts per panel for GS-Star-180W-US panels on a motorhome.

"Jay,

Because this is going on your motor home, I'd recommend getting 2 sets of brackets (1 set contains 4 individual brackets) per panel. It looks like the GS-Star-180W-US has 12 cut outs on the back of the panel: 2 on the top, 2 on the bottom, and 4 on each side. I'd recommend putting 2 brackets on top, 2 brackets on bottom, and 2 on each side, assuming the panel is mounted such that the top of the panel will face oncoming wind from driving.

Thanks,

--
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Drew Lance
COO / Sales Manager
Direct: 510-490-2187
Email: drew@temcoindustrial.com"


Safe travels.

Jay
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