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Old 05-24-2020, 04:42 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by tcharsch View Post
17 years ago AM Solar (Eugene, OR) installed our panels using short VHB tape strips on the bottom of the mounting brackets -- about 1" x 3"; no screws. Still holding fast after all these years. I'd go for no holes in the roof!
I am about to put 100 Watt panels (4) to start on my new Dutch Star. My question is regarding how do think 48 sq inches of 3 M VHB 5952 using the ABS plastic mounts will hold on the fiberglass roof? The mounts contacts 9 sq inches each on the 4 corners and 6 inches each in the middle of the two longer sides
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:53 PM   #44
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In the "no holes" camp

After much research, I used 3M VHB tape to attach 6 modified standard solar brackets for each solar panel, with Dicor liberally applied around the perimeter of each bracket. 4 years and 50K miles later, no problems. Sold that coach in February, and did the same thing with my new Newmar Ventana - 4 panels installed the same way. If you follow the instructions for cleaning the roof, installing the tape and apply Dicor around each location, my experience has shown that screwes are not necessary. I've also used the VHB+Dicor system to attach the solar combiner box, cellular antenna and other additions to my roof - all without screws and without issue.

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Old 05-24-2020, 05:08 PM   #45
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:40 PM   #46
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I put silicone on my screws, then used silicone around the entire bracket on each one
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:41 PM   #47
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I went with what Renogy recommended on a TPO/EPDM/PVC roof. Well nuts.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:46 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by tcharsch View Post
17 years ago AM Solar (Eugene, OR) installed our panels using short VHB tape strips on the bottom of the mounting brackets -- about 1" x 3"; no screws. Still holding fast after all these years. I'd go for no holes in the roof!
I too used tape. I got it with the panels from AM Solar in Springfield Oregon. I have read in research that after hurricanes in Florida, the signs that are still mounted to walls are the ones taped on. Mine are glued to the fiberglass roof. I think you might have to screw them down if you have a rubber roof. I would call AM Solar as this is all they do and have been in business for years.
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:48 PM   #49
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We do not know very much from this video besides a panel came off. No real idea how it was attached, what the roof deck was made of, who did the work, etc. It appears he had six light weight brackets, perhaps standard Z brackets per panel.

None of us want anything to fly off our roofs or from anywhere on our RVs. I've seen plenty of stuff come off pickups and a few commercial trucks. Another reason I like to leave plenty of space in front of me when I permitted.

If you watched the entire video and then selected the next one he made, you would know that he tapped the solar panels on. No screws. His fix was to tape it on again! Why, because it lasted four years! Screw them on.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:03 PM   #50
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If you watched the entire video and then selected the next one he made, you would know that he tapped the solar panels on. No screws. His fix was to tape it on again! Why, because it lasted four years! Screw them on.

Not knowing there was a sequel to his first video, I did not watch it. As I've said way above how you attach panels depends on the roof's construction. My Excel 5th has 3/8 or 1/2 plywood under the EPDM. Our Winnie MH roof is thin fiberglass bonded to foam. Nothing there to screw to. Could use some expanding anchors and perhaps VBS tape both. That day may be coming for me to decide.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:03 PM   #51
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Screw and glue solar panels

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Just to be safe - if someone is reading this thread who has an EDPM (rubber membrane) roof, do NOT only use VHB tape or other adhesives. You must screw the panels down or mount them to rails.

If you do just use adhesive, your panels will go flying away with portions of your roof still securely attached to them.

And always use some form of safety cable so that, if they do pull out, you don't decapitate someone behind you.

Many of your vehicle parts/panels are glued now days and hold well, but I don't know what glue they use. I do know it sets fast. When we mounted antennas to building roofs (in a previous life), we always avoided penetrating the roof due to leaks. That would be best for leak prevention on your vehicle, but I don't know how you would make glue work on it.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:09 PM   #52
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I guess I'm pretty much a loner, but I glued fiberglass standoffs to my fiberglass roof and screwed sideways thru the standoffs into the side of the panels. Only been three years and 50k miles but it is very solid and no holes in the roof to worry about leaks. About 650W on top.

FWIW...
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:19 PM   #53
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VHB tape just like the professionals use. Just ask them, not a bunch of non-pros like us! ;^)
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:23 PM   #54
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Glue fiasco

I bought a National Tropical 5 yrs or so back, there was one solar panel on the roof, a cheapie.
The panel was waisted & it was glued down so I pulled it up & holy crap under that panel the fiber glass roof was surface cracking all over because of the heat with no air space under it for years so what ever you do put a good air gap between your panels & the roof how ever you screw or glue them.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:26 PM   #55
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Be very carefull if you screw them on. I screwed them on my Monaco Executive and hit 110v wires. Hundreds of dollars later, I learned my lesson.
Listen to the pros at AM solar. they have very good how-to video's on their website.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:33 PM   #56
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Get bigger (more watts) panels. You won't be sorry!
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