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Old 02-21-2020, 09:57 PM   #1
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Trying to max out solar on e350 eb

Iím trying to get as many watts on top of my e350 eb passenger van as possible, but also trying to keep it as stealth looking as I can.
Due to the stealth factor Iím planning on hiding the panels in a basket-style roof rack. Yes, like the one Aluminess makes.
Unfortunately, after reading the specs for Aluminessí eseries eb roof rack, I see their width is 57Ē towards the rear of the rack (61Ē towards the front).
ALL the panels I have found, and combinations of smaller panels, come to approximately 58Ē, which is larger than the 57Ē that Aluminess says.
So, I could get smaller panels but I would be giving up lots of space on the roof/rack that I want to maximize.
Iíve searched for other racks, but none of them come close to the size of the Aluminess rack.
Iím not asking the question of ďhow many watts do I needĒ so I donít need to be convinced I need less wattage.
Wondering if anyone has been through this before and could point me in a direction.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:52 AM   #2
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Build your own rack to your specs out of angle aluminum. Cheap and easy. Mount it on Yakima/Thule bars or the like. Much cheaper than an Aluminess. The rack is overkill if you just need to mount solar.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:07 AM   #3
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For my build I used black anodized 80/20 extrusions to build a low profile frame to enclose the 4 solar panels on the roof. From street level you canít see the panels, just the sides of the extrusions.

Look at post 95 in my build thread.


https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...-20698-10.html


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Old 02-22-2020, 08:25 AM   #4
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Max solar w no storage capability on roof? Stock van or modified roof?

How about two LGNeON 60 cell 360W (or more) end to end. 39.5 wide x 66Ē long
https://d3g1qce46u5dao.cloudfront.ne...data_sheet.pdf

Re: Stealth - how is a van with a sports roof rack / basket stealth?
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:50 PM   #5
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Just curious as to how many watts your shooting for
On our 5th wheel we got much more out of our solar when I installed lithium batteries. I found I didn't need as much wattage. Just a thought.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 1der View Post
Max solar w no storage capability on roof? Stock van or modified roof?

How about two LGNeON 60 cell 360W (or more) end to end. 39.5 wide x 66Ē long
https://d3g1qce46u5dao.cloudfront.ne...data_sheet.pdf

Re: Stealth - how is a van with a sports roof rack / basket stealth?
Roof is stock. And yes no storage on top.
When I mean stealth I mean I donít want people to notice the solar panels. Lots of regular (non camping) vehicles driving around with roof racks.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lilnuts2 View Post
Just curious as to how many watts your shooting for
On our 5th wheel we got much more out of our solar when I installed lithium batteries. I found I didn't need as much wattage. Just a thought.
So far Iím able to fit 800 watts on the alluminess rack. Was planning on going with lithium.
Shooting for a kilo watt if possible.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:58 PM   #8
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Dont believe its been mentioned yet, and I'm not familiar with your motivation to "max out for wattage" - But, assuming you're charging your house batteries through the alternator while you're driving, the Solar is then most beneficial when you are parked. If in your travels you prefer to take advantage of shaded areas when you make camp (as most of us do when its available), then a bunch of panels on the roof will not provide much...better off with a long cable and a couple suitcase panels you can position in the sun, and/or a generator.
Just thinking out loud.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:05 PM   #9
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^^^right, Iíve found the best combo for us has been to have both fixed panels on the roof and a 100W suitcase panel I can pull out when the roof panels are in the shade or I need a bit more input
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