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Old 10-03-2019, 09:56 AM   #11
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Thule Roof Track

You may want to consider a Thule roof track. Mount the panels to the roof track using L brackets. This offers flexibility in the future. I'm with the others. I would not trust the tape.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hohner View Post
You may want to consider a Thule roof track. Mount the panels to the roof track using L brackets. This offers flexibility in the future. I'm with the others. I would not trust the tape.
Trust the tape! Tracks are a great idea, but properly applied, the VHB tape works fine. Our panel has 5 years and 60,000+ miles on it, fastened with 5 surprisingly small brackets with VHB tape. I check it regularly but it is always fine, despite the bone rattling back roads we often find ourselves in.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:47 AM   #13
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I have 1 panel mounted with tape and it is has been working fine for a year now. I did adjust the brackets to be as flush with the PH roof as possible and cleaned it well before mounting. I did slope the panel a little to the front so that wind would push it down a little.
So far so good...
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:56 PM   #14
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I used 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200 to glue my mounts to my fiberglass hightop. It has a long cure time but that was not a problem for me. I didn't want to drill any mounting holes in my roof--it has about a 4" space between the outer roof and inner ceiling so mechanical fasteners would be difficult.

A friend asked about the strength of the adhesive and I answered him: "The Overlap Shear Strength of the 3M 5200 Adhesive on fiberglass is 362 PSI. On each corner of the solar panels is an aluminum bar 2" x 8" which is glued to the fiberglass roof. 16 square inches of adhesive has 5792 PSI, with each panel having a total of 23,168 PSI. I think the solar panel itself would fail before the adhesive would." My math might not be entirely correct by I know this adhesive is used to boats together. Also, it is a permanent bond.


https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...3241623&rt=rud
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:24 PM   #15
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Has anyone out there used the self-stick solar panels? Id like to learn a bit more about them, and
the degrees of success or failure for this type of panel? Also any recommendations ( if any) for the
best brands? I have a mid-high top on my van, but it
is a bit oddly shaped. Makes it hard to add racks for regular type panels!
Thanks guys,
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Hohner View Post
You may want to consider a Thule roof track. Mount the panels to the roof track using L brackets. This offers flexibility in the future. I'm with the others. I would not trust the tape.



I used the exact setup on my Sprinter poptop- Thule tracks with aluminun rails bolt to panels- elevated off roof maybe 3/4"- neat-clean- no problem, been installed 3 years lots of road miles. I would not even consider direct adhesive mount
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Vailcomp View Post
I used the exact setup on my Sprinter poptop- Thule tracks with aluminun rails bolt to panels- elevated off roof maybe 3/4"- neat-clean- no problem, been installed 3 years lots of road miles. I would not even consider direct adhesive mount

One other advantage to having solar panels installed off a surface, is that they will run cooler which keeps they're efficiency up. The downside is if they are in a position to flex with the significant headwind of driving, they will start developing cracks on the electrical leads.




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Old 10-03-2019, 08:21 PM   #18
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I returned the hard panels My current plan is flexible panels mounted to coropast (air gap + rigidity) with VHB and mount that to the van with 3M Dual Lock velcro. Next year sometime I'll likely get a rack setup done and switch to hard panels. If the flexible panels are still good I'll set them up on my dock to charge batteries for a trolling motor on my small aluminum boat.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:01 PM   #19
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After 12 years driving around in 2 different vans with solar panels I've never had a failure. Each panel is fixed via roof mounts bolted through and sealed with an adhesive sealant. Everything I've ever attached anywhere with only adhesive has eventually failed. And I'm a good driver and I always were clean underwear.

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Old 10-04-2019, 02:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r27d View Post
I returned the hard panels My current plan is flexible panels mounted to coropast (air gap + rigidity) with VHB and mount that to the van with 3M Dual Lock velcro. Next year sometime I'll likely get a rack setup done and switch to hard panels. If the flexible panels are still good I'll set them up on my dock to charge batteries for a trolling motor on my small aluminum boat.


Wait.....now were introducing 3M dual lock Velcro to the mix?!? While I hold that stuff in high regard, Im not sure I would use it to secure panels to the roof, flexible or otherwise. I dont think it has a VHB backing either.
I like leaving the option open to be able to swap out panels as needed if one fails or as better, higher wattage ones become available. No swapping things out if its directly adhered to the roof with 5200, a little more doable but still difficult with the VHB but much easier if its just bolted into a track.
Ive done it all, I used VHB on four 1 sections of 2 angle aluminum to secure a panel to our travel trailer without any issue, no tracks, so not much of a choice. The van has them bolted to the roof rack on the CCV too for easy upgrades, and I used to have a setup on the SMB poptop using brackets into the Thule tracks, which can also be added to your top.
Good luck, but Id reconsider using dual lock
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