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Old 11-28-2022, 02:50 PM   #1
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Solar Panel Install

Hi, I intend to install solar panels on my class A motorhome roof. It is a rubber roof, I plan on using the plastic mounting brackets , several different brands on Amazon. I want to get as much info as I can before drilling any holes. The RV is a 2018 Winnebago Intent. I don't know the exact construction of the roof, if there are better places to install screws and what length. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:30 PM   #2
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I canít really speak to your situation. But be careful. I was surprised to figure out our roof is mainly foam. I did find some metal supports generally to support AC or vents. I used a stud detector and also confirmed with the frost lines on a cold morning. I went with screws to the metal bracing, VHB tape to fiberglass roof, and 3m 5200 to seal and secure the edges. I am cautious when it comes to such things.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, did you find that the supports were spaced at regular intervals like a building is built?
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMcCarthy View Post
Thanks for the reply, did you find that the supports were spaced at regular intervals like a building is built?


No the metal bracing is to support holes in the roof for AC and Vents. For mounting the factory solar panel they have metal plates under the fiberglass. Same for the ladder.

I still donít understand how the roof holds me up when I am up there.

I also came across a PDF of the roof design. Which confirmed my findings with a stud finder and the frost lines.
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:55 AM   #5
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Hereís a video for a class C 2018 Winnebago with a TPO roof that failed. Obviously itís not what you have, but I suspect the construction would be similar.



Portable panels might be your best option.
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Old 11-30-2022, 12:11 PM   #6
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Watching that video was a bit disturbing! Unlike the Class C in the video, your Winnebago has a bit of a crown to the roof which surely helps roof strength. But, given that it's the same year and manufacturer and a not much larger coach as the one in the video, I would suggest looking closely at the roof structure before adding solar panels. Just walking on the roof will give you a fair idea of how strong it is, but you can remove the inside plastic trim from a roof vent or two and look at the roof construction. This may provide some idea of what you are dealing with, especially if there is a metal framework around the vents. You could do the same with the A/C though that's a bit more involved if the inside trim has controls in it.

If you don't trust the roof with the weight of the panels you are planning, and/or can't find metal ribs to support the panels, you could build a modest super structure that mounts to the roof at strategic locations, maybe near the side walls, and holds the panels. Aluminum would be the material of choice. There are examples of this approach in youtube videos and threads here.
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