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2010CabOver Solar Install

Alaskan solar

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#1 RoadHermit

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 12:32 AM

I recently finished installing two 140 watt panels on my 10' CO Alskan. Thought I'd share the install. I didn't want to use adhesive only on the roof and I didn't like the idea of bolting completely thru the roof either. I called 3M and asked about the VHB adhesive. They would not tell me the adhesive alone was enough to hold the panels to the roof even though it's been done for years and I have not heard of a failure yet. 3M suggested adhesive and mechanical fasteners. I guess that's a CYA statement for liability. What I ended up doing was using the boat rack as supports for two 2x4's that I bolted the panels to. Turns out that lined up directly with the spot Bryan at AKC said to bring the wires thru so I ran the wires down the side and brought them in right below the cabinet bottom in that channel and ran the wires over to the "umbilical cord that has all the other wires running down to the battery. I took several pics so hopefully I can get them attached. I've had the 12v fridge running for a week or more with sunny and cloudy days and so far the Trimetric has not gone below 96% full. It will be interesting to see how it does in low winter sun.

 

Greg

2010 AKC 10' CO

2013 GMC 3500HD 6.0L

 

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#2 Freebird

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:43 AM

I am seriously considering adding solar to my 10' CO.
Thank you for the photos. Looks like a good route to go. Nice job on the mounting of the panels.
The pictures are very good close ups. What would be the chance of you posting more photos at a greater distance so I can orient myself to the location on the camper?

Thanks in advance,
Fb
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#3 RoadHermit

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:35 PM

Fb,

 

If you have the factory boat rack on the Alaskan then it's simple to visualize the orientation. The panels are mounted one on either side of the front bar. So the front panel is between the cabover vent and the front bar and the rear panel is between the rear vent/airconditioner (depending on what you have) and the front bar. If that doesn't clear it up let me know and I'll take more pics. PM me so I know you sent a response as I don't log on often enough.

 

Greg


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#4 Freebird

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:21 PM

The top is easy to grasp both the concept and the image. I was wondering on the wire pass through location, exterior and interior shots.
I should have done a better job of requesting what I was looking for. Sorry.

Fb
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#5 RoadHermit

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:54 PM

Fb,

 

I'll take some more photos.

Greg


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#6 RoadHermit

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:42 PM

Fb,

 

Here's a few more pics. The wire from the panels come down the driver side inside a flexible electrical tube, I don't know what it's called, got it at Home Depot. The penetration to the inside is a hole drilled to enter into the channel behind the overhead cabinets. I used a piece of PVC pipe through the wall and a PVC elbow on the outside and inside glued together. Snake the wires through before gluing. I used 6 ga wires for minimum voltage drop. The wires are run in the channel behind the cabinet over to the factory umbilical cord. Un-velcro the cloth cover and insert your wires down to the charge controller. I mounted mine inside the battery compartment under the couch. Closer to the batteries the better. Hope this paints a clear picture. Let me know if you need further explaination.

Greg

 

 

 

 

DSC00534.JPG DSC00536.JPG DSC00538.JPG DSC00539.JPG


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#7 Freebird

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:21 AM

Yes, it does answer my questions of location. Thank you very much.
My CO does not have the roof rack, so it was not a good point of reference for me.

Much appreciation,
Fb
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#8 Rusty

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:44 PM

sacrificial boat?


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#9 nixfwc

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 04:12 AM

My 77 CO has had a 100 watt panel mounted on the roof using VHB adhesive without screws. Do to the need to add another 100 watt panel ( had to replace my dead 3 way fridge with a Novakool requiring more power) to have enough watts. However on getting up on the roof I discovered one of VHB glued feet had pulled loose after our trip to Alaska. I never was comfortable with the panel just glued on as the roof flexes quite a bit. My roof seems to be a three part roof with folded seems down either edge, not a one piece roof.My feeling is that 1.) two glued panels on the roof Is going to cause too much flex, 2.) screwing the panels through to the roof beams is going to lower the curvature of the roof and put a low spot on the roof where it may leak and 3) I am reluctant to put any holes into roof. I don't have the roof rack but it seems it will be easy enough to build one. The mounting bolts are there so it looks as if the camper originally had a roof rack. It seems a trade off as I will be putting something more into airstream and lower my gas mileage. Anyone else had this problem and worked it out? Love to hear about it. Thanks


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#10 Happyjax

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 07:25 PM

I am glad to see this as I am seriously considering an Alaskan and getting solar. Good job on using #6 wire. To many people go with #10 or worse yet #12. This makes a big difference in voltage drop :) Nice job :)


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