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Old 10-24-2021, 07:54 AM   #1
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Solar system long term maintenance

I am buying a new Classic and would like to hear from Renegade owners who have solar systems on what their experiences are with the systems. One of my first concerns is all the holes they will need to put into the roof to install the panels. For 6 panels, that will be at least 24 holes to mount them that could potentially leak. The panels will no doubt get a lot of vibrations and wind forces going down the road.

So far we dont do a lot of dry camping except when we are at the track, and then we run the generator so we have air conditioning. So I am trying to decide if the nice to have option will be more bother then benefit it us.
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Old 10-24-2021, 08:20 AM   #2
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Insist and verify that they bed those brackets in 3M 5200 and you will never have a problem. If they use the commom RV industry caulk yeah you should be worried if you keep the coach a long time.
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:38 AM   #3
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Solar system long term maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twomed View Post
Insist and verify that they bed those brackets in 3M 5200 and you will never have a problem. If they use the commom RV industry caulk yeah you should be worried if you keep the coach a long time.


The factory is gonna do it how they want to do it. If thatís not how you want to do it you should order without it and have it done aftermarket
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Old 10-24-2021, 12:03 PM   #4
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The factory is gonna do it how they want to do it. If thatís not how you want to do it you should order without it and have it done aftermarket
This^^^^^
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Old 10-24-2021, 12:49 PM   #5
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Insist and verify that they bed those brackets in 3M 5200 and you will never have a problem. If they use the commom RV industry caulk yeah you should be worried if you keep the coach a long time.
3M 5200 is a "permanent" adhesive sealant, meaning you will never be able to remove anything without damaging everything it's adhered to (roof fabric, etc). If you think you will "ever" need or want to remove it use 3M 4200.
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:49 PM   #6
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IMHO Don't waste your money on solar for the RV. You are already paying for a generator in the RV. The diesel to create the small amount of electric the panels make won't be noticed when your using it. The only place it would benefit is if it were parked where there was no shore power to keep the batteries up when not in use.
I am not anti solar, I have 10 KW on my house. I also have it on my Classic that I did not spec out. I would gladly return it for a refund.
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Old 10-24-2021, 08:19 PM   #7
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Our Classic doesnít have solar but we are investigating it. We also go to the track and it would be nice to run the generator less while we are there. I am also like you, drilling that many holes in the roof makes me nervous. Our prior RV leaked and I donít want to go down that road again.

Have you looked into the flexible panels that stick to the roof? I havenít investigated the pros or cons yet, but didnít know if you were aware they existed. Not sure how hard the stick on panels would be to remove if you ever wanted to.

Iíll be curious what others have to say.
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:13 AM   #8
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The factory is gonna do it how they want to do it. If thatís not how you want to do it you should order without it and have it done aftermarket

Not only is this 100% true, even if you order without solar, your rig may still arrive with it. Ask me how I know.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:30 PM   #9
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I have 760 watts of solar and 3 lithium batteries that have been installed for several years. I can go days without running the genny, with modest electrical usage. I regularly get on the roof to clean the panels, but to be honest haven't really inspected how the panels were mounted and the condition the mounting points might be in. But just like any other mounting point on the roof, or hole to run a wire, I'm sure it will eventually need a new squirt of sealant. Regarding the need for solar, I cant disagree more with those who say "just run the genny". I regularly boondock or stay in State campgrounds that don't always have full hookups. These places also have quiet hours. If all you are going to do is park at a crowded RV park 10 feet next to another RV and just plug in all the time, then sure, why have solar. I have an RV to get away from it all, and the last thing I want is some fool to run their generator all day right next to me.
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Old 10-25-2021, 05:42 PM   #10
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ÖRegarding the need for solar, I cant disagree more with those who say "just run the genny". I regularly boondock or stay in State campgrounds that don't always have full hookupsÖ
KFed, do you also have a propane refrigerator, or is your solar/lithium capacity sufficient to run a residential fridge?
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:46 AM   #11
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Uncle Mike, I have a residential Samsung fridge. And yes, the 300ah of lithium is adequate to make it through the night without discharging to low. Once the sun comes out, the batteries quickly reach full charge and maintain all day. When dry camping and we have a really cloudy day or Im parked in full shade, I'll run the Generator at bed time just to increase my comfort level. The nice feature of a Lithium is it will charge faster than a wet cell, so generator run time is much shorter. My plan is to add another 200ah and then I'll be set.
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:53 AM   #12
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Have you looked into the flexible panels that stick to the roof? I havenít investigated the pros or cons yet, but didnít know if you were aware they existed.
The Internet and the literature say that the stick-on flexible panels don't have a good lifespan. One to three years compared to 25 or so years for the rigid panels.
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:59 AM   #13
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I have 4 panels on my Ikon and 4 Li batteries. All Victron equipment for electrical needs (solar controller, 2 3000w inverters, dc to dc switching, and an auto former) and the solar does work well for charging the house batts. If I run the center a/c going down the road, the additional amps are nice to have so the alternator does not have to work as hard and at the end of the day, the house batts are much closer to full charge than without the solar system additional amps. If I don't run the center a/c, the batteries usually don't fall below 90 to 95%, and sometimes are even higher.

I have not had to do any maintenance yet, but I will clean them next time I am on the roof. I imagine they are a bit dusty, but I have seen no drop off of power so they can't be too bad yet.

The Ikon was already configured before I bought it so I did not have a choice on getting solar, but from what I have seen so far, I can't complain about it.

On my Prevost conversions, I did not have any solar, but had multiple alternators, up to 4, and as many as 4 inverters in the last 2 Liberty coaches. Makes trying to compare kind of hard. They also had a mixed 12v and 24v system.

So far the Ikon has been doing very well.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:58 AM   #14
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I have 4 panels on my Ikon and 4 Li batteries.
What amp are the batteries?Can you run an AC unit off the batteries?
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