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Old 02-21-2020, 05:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Land of high fuel prices and lousy roads; Kalifornia
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Solar Panel Positioning?

I am about to mount 2 large solar panels (68" x 26") on the fiberglass roof of my Winnebago RV. Will be attaching the panels using VHB tape, and 8 Z-brackets per solar panel.

I see that most solar panels are mounted along the long axis of the roof. However, It would be better if I can mount both these panels perpendicular to the long axis of the roof. They will be mounted at the back end of the RV.

Any concerns with mounting these big panels perpendicular?

On our Nth motorhome. Currently: 2007 Winnebago Journey 34H Diesel Pusher
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:07 PM   #2
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I don't see anything wrong with mounting them sideways. Make sure you get the good VHB as there is a lot of the Chinese knockoff out there.
I used Newpowa brackets with VHB to the roof and 2 screws per bracket into the panel.

However, after installing them I decided to add 2 more screws per panel into the roof and then sealed it with Dicor. Just couldn't stand the thought of one coming off.
My factory mounted panel also had 2 screws per bracket into the fiberglass roof.

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Old 02-21-2020, 06:10 PM   #3
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Aerodynamics (lift at freeway speeds?) could possibly be a problem, depending on how much air gets under them, but I've seen smaller panels mounted crosswise. Maybe others know of other potential concerns?
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 Wrangler JKU (sold @ ????)
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:10 PM   #4
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I have used east-west on 4 coaches. With big panels, sometimes the only solution.
Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:14 PM   #5
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No. I have three larger (48 x 78") panels on my 5th. One is sideways near the front edge of the front cap. The other two are set farther back and parallel to the long axis. I made heavy duty Z brackets and used 6 per panel. After 20,000+ miles no sign of any problem. Those brackets are made from two 6" pieces of 1/4" aluminum angle 4 x 5", bolted together. All hardware is stainless steel.

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Center and front panels
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Overall view
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Fred & Denise (RVM157) New Mexico
2007 Excel Classic 30RSO & 2015 Mini Winnie 22R
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:53 PM   #6
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Two recommendations: Skip the VHB tape and use 1/8" butyl tape between the bracket and roof. It will adhere about as well as VHB, and do a better job of sealing the screw threads against water migration. And use stainless steel screws. I just installed 2 250 watt panels on our Sunstar that way, and then sealed the screw heads with self leveling Dicor. I used 3/4" #12 stainless hex head sheet metal screws.

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