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Old 08-05-2020, 07:14 PM   #1
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Solar panels on curved High-Top?

Hi All,
This may have been covered before, but if so I missed it! Does anyone else have solar panels installed on the type of high-top roof that has the “really aerodynamic” curves on front and top?
I’ve purchased the self-stick types of panels, have
3 sets now since the people trying to help me get them installed...have had very different opinions about what works the best!
I had wanted to apply them directly to the roof, but
have run into various problems! Now I’m wondering if
they could be applied to a relatively “ thin” metal sheet so that they could snd would curve to follow the roof shape?
If not, does anyone have other suggestions to install these things....preferably OTHER than a big metal rack hanging over the top of said AERODYNAMIC ROOF?? Seems like it would absolutely defeat the purpose of that type roof, plus add a whole bunch of holes where water could come in!
I’d really love to hear how others have gotten around this problem, and recommendations for dealing with it, if any?
Thank you all,
ConnieKat
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:01 PM   #2
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Hey CKat....I have rigid and are installed on a pair of Thule racks, but I have seen some posts that talk about the flexible kind...if you hit the "search" button on the top of the page, by "quick links", type flexible solar and yo'll get any post that has that word(s) in it! Good luck! And pictures always help, can help you explain your needs etc!
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for that info. I will check into it. I have at least a few pictures, but haven’t added any for a number of
years. So I’ve forgotten how, lol! I used to have it shown under ConnieKat in the area for showing off our vans...but have no idea if it’s still there, or not. The topmost level is flat...and is where my fan is installed, but isn’t much wider than the fan, unfortunately.
Thanks again
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:00 AM   #4
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For the most part, the ceiling solar is beneficial if your Van is parked out in the sun. While you are driving the house battery should be charging through your alternator. If you’re plugging your van in to 110 while it’s sitting at your house, then the solar on the roof really isn’t necessary either. So, if you are concerned about mounting on your roof, You may be better served incorporating two suitcase panels with an extended cable.
Just thinking out loud...
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:15 AM   #5
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I'm not sure what you mean by self-stick panels. Flexible panels? Rigid panels with self-stick brackets? Three different types? Please elaborate.

And photos will help.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:00 AM   #6
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I'm in the same situation. I had scored some of the Renogy thin/flexible 160 watt panels last year for a price that I couldn't say no....Then I got a Fiberine Bubble high top and and the curves are just too steep for the panels to lie perfectly flat. I was thinking about some thin aluminum sheeting to mount them to in order to keep them as low profile as possible. But I'm not even close to that stage of my build..

I'll be watching this one!
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:27 AM   #7
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These might be helpful, 100w flexible solar panels mounted to my 24" bubble top with 3m 15lb VHB tape. The air space below also allows for cooling and wire runs.






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Old 08-06-2020, 11:41 AM   #8
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I've good example of what you don't want to do. I couldn't agree more that this huge rack is terrible for efficiency. However, I needed a rack to carry whitewater crafts (kayaks, SUPs, rafts, etc.). Here is an image with my little trailer and raft. I need to make some mods to roof rack to properly haul rafts.

I have two 100 W solar panels mounted at the front.

Rack cross bars are by VanTech out of Brooklyn, NY. I built the deck.

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Old 08-06-2020, 11:47 AM   #9
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Here are few more photos





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Old 08-06-2020, 01:43 PM   #10
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I have the extra panels, but little room to store them. Thus the roof is my best choice.
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