Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-12-2023, 11:18 AM   #1
Junior Member
AnnB's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 10
adding solar panels

hi all, I'm looking to add solar panels to my 2006, E350 pop-up penthouse sportsmobile, for all the usual reasons. But i'm wondering about the consequences of adding weight to the top? I use a ratcheting cargo bar to raise the penthouse, but could also use a scissor jack (both terrific ideas from other forums here!) (I'm also going to ask the trailer place to look at the spring system, as suggested previously too). Anyone have any concerns to bring to my attention? I'm thinking 200W right now, and the Renogy system says the panels are 14.1 lbs / 6.4 kg each, plus the frame of course. I also wonder about the flexible panels - although they don't look very good for permanent attaching. (I also have portable solar panels and a Jackery that i use, but you can't just plug that in and go for a hike....) Thanks!

AnnB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2023, 04:59 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 575
As mentioned on the forum previously - flex panels seem to present mounting problems re glue, mounting tape, etc. Suit case panels offer better placement options for "following the sun", etc., so long as you have appropriate place to store them. Safe weight ranges for PH top seem to be in the 200 - 250 lb area and may require spring adjustments.
doublevan2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2023, 05:34 PM   #3
Senior Member
Twoxentrix's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,215
Russ, I'm pretty confident you meant 100-150lbs.
Pop-top weight limit(s) has come up several times over the years, and while some people haven't had issues with 175 to 200lbs, the recommended limit from Sportsmobile is 150lbs on the Electric Tops (A while back I uncovered a Sportsmobile directive stating as much)...not sure how that would translate to the manual version).
Twoxentrix is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2023, 05:44 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 575
Oops - yup you're right Felix ! MY BAD --
doublevan2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2023, 08:00 AM   #5
Junior Member
AnnB's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 10
thank you both! the weight limit comments are really helpful -- i was wondering that too. so a couple of solar panels should be fine - and i wasn't planning on adding much else up there (hard to reach )
AnnB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2023, 01:40 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 2
We have been using a 180 watt panel for 8 years. Got it professionally installed in Fresno at Sportsmobile now Field Vans. Can be off grid until the water tank runs out. Electric lift. 2006
ChrisZedona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2023, 09:31 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Texas
Posts: 142
My solar is not mounted. I have 2 Dokio folding suitcase style 300w panels that connect to my MPPT controller via a custom Y to Anderson 50 amp cable.

Dokio 300w portable panels.

I massively oversized my system unless I want to get stupid and try to run my Starcool off of it... I have the Dokio Kickstands for the panels as well,

Dokio Kickstands / brackets.

Using 25ft cables I can set up the camper in the shade, and insure my solar panels are in full sun without worrying about what it will do to the penthouse roof...
dbhosttexas is offline   Reply With Quote

« Mobile App Changes | - »
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:22 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.