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Fleet roof measurements for solar panel install?


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#1 EnviroProf

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:26 PM

I ordered a fleet with two roof vents and Yakima tracks and am trying to design the solar system before I have the camper installed. I'm driving about 1,500 miles to pick up the camper, and then am continuing on for about another 3,000 miles before returning home. My plan is to bring the panel, charge controller, mounting bits and cable adaptors, etc. and install the solar setup on the road.

 

I've been learning about all the previous solar setups by WTW members on this forum, especially from http://www.wanderthe... +power +scotty

 

While I have several (painful) weeks to get this done, I would like to begin shopping for all the parts and maybe catch a sale. As I am planning to put one large panel between the vents, I'm reluctant to order a panel without measurements. I'd like to add a portable panel, but will probably wait until returning home for that.

 

Would any Fleet owners be willing to measure the distance on the roof between the vents, and the distance between the Yakima tracks? 

 

Thanks

 

 

 


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#2 Vic Harder

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:48 PM

take into account that you don't want the vents to drop any shade onto your panels
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#3 williak

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:06 PM

Prof,

 

Here are the measurements from 2012 Fleet, Yakima tracks, 2 vents-

 

Yak track rail center to center: 54"

Yak rail center to camper edge: 11"

Yak rail center to vent lid drivers's side: 11.5"

Yak rail center to vent lid: 27.5"

vent lid to vent lid: 27.5"

vent lid to rear camper edge:39"

vent lid to front camper edge:27"

 

 

The panel attached to the rails is a 160 watt solar synergy from solar blvd. The panel attached to the cross bars is a 100 watt from grape solar and is meant to be removed for remote placement if camper is in shade, etc. It can tilt up from one of the cross bars in low sun angle situations.

 

Have fun!

 

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#4 EnviroProf

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:30 PM

Williak, you da Man! Thanks for the measurements and photos of your setup. That is really close to what I want to do and that gives me the info I need to order some panels.

 

I want to never mess with the 160, and then design something for a second panel, maybe semi flexible type for weight, that can be removed for when camping in the shade. After slogging through all the detailed threads by Vic and others, I think I will try to buy both from the same company so that the voltage will be the same or close enough that I can avoid two controllers. 


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#5 ckent323

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:26 AM

EnviroProf,

 

You did not say if you have a camper pre-wired foe solar and if you know where the wires are.  In case you (or others) do not know where they are here is some info:

 

The location of the wires not only varies from model to model, it also varies from year to year.  

 

I suggest that if you have not already done so that you contact FWC and ask for the location of the wires.  They marked the location on the build plans for each camper up until they standardized the pre-wire set-up (sometime after 2008 - 2010 or 2011 I think).  

 

I believe FWC started pre-wiring for solar in mid-2005 for some models, then for all models in 2006.

 

I have a 2007 Keystone and have very recently exchanged emails with Terry Budd at FWC to locate the pre-installed solar wiring. He has been very helpful.

 
I hope this is helpful,

Craig

I have a 2007 Keystone and have very recently exchanged emails with Terry Budd at FWC to locate the pre-installed solar wiring. He has been very helpful.

 

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#6 EnviroProf

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:31 AM

Good idea Craig. I should probably contact FWC as I gather all the parts and pieces together before I leave to pick it up. As my camper is new, it should have everything prewired. From reading other posts it sounds as if all the prewired options (solar, vents, ??) terminate near the batteries or fuse box. You would hope that both of the solar plugs wires are labeled, but I'll take a voltmeter with me so I can make sure that I'm connecting the right wires. 

 

I haven't seen the dual battery setup and other electronics on a new Fleet in person, so I'll just have to wing it when I pick it up. My plan is to set up a pretty simple temporary system so I can continue my trip to the west coast, and then I'll complete the final system when I get home and can put more thought into placement of various components. I don't want to be cutting holes in cabinets and mounting controllers or monitors until I've lived with the camper a bit. This first trip should be a good shakedown cruise.


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#7 Sharx

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:09 AM

Williak, I would love to see another pic with the 100w at an angle and another close up of the way you get it set that way.  I am looking for ideas to do the same with a secondary panel but have the stock aluminum rack on my '15 Fleet so would need to adapt.  Nice install for sure.


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#8 DonC

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:40 AM

here's my Fleet with two 100w panels mounted to Yakima tracks

 

IMG_0921.JPG

 

 

Before installing mine I asked FWC if they had engineering data on the best mounting location for two panels - front and back, front and middle, middle and front.  Never got any specific info.

 

I also asked given a specific configuration of panels, which roof lifts do they recommend on front and rear.  Again, did not receive any guidance.

 

I was hoping to hear something like - front and middle is best location for 100 w panels and use 40# lifts in rear and 30# lifts in front.  It seems they don't have that information.

 

I also carry a flexible 100 w panel for early am or late pm if in camp at that time.


Edited by DonC, 18 July 2017 - 02:51 AM.

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#9 williak

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:45 AM

Sharx,
 
The "Z" metal attached to the 100w panel is part of a bracket for securing  a table to a FrontRunner rooftop rack. I picked that up thinking I would attach under the camper cab overhang to stow the panel for easy access. I wasn't brave enough to drill holes into the overhang though, and then stumbled on this idea. The Front Runner bracket is steel, but I would think you could use heavy gauge aluminum L bar.
 
The bar clamps are just-re purposed Yakima cross-tube clamps.  To incline the panel for low sun angle, the clamps on one end would be unscrewed, and loosened on the other end so the assembly can rotate on the cross-tube. Haven't yet worked out a way to secure the panel when inclined, but I have lots of spare yakima parts in the garage.

 

To be honest, I haven't tried to attach/re-attach in the field, but the idea is to unscrew the tube clamps, then carefully lift off. Likely easier said than done and could require some climbing skills I'm not sure I have, or maybe pack a ladder, but we'll see.  In reality, the panel will likely stay on the rack on most trips. I wired a second plug near the rear tie-down access door, and added a 20 foot extension to the panel cable, so I can just keep it plugged in while on the rack. 

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#10 Power Wagon

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:55 AM

Clean those panels ; )
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