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Old 12-24-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default Mounting solar panels on Fun Finder roof

I have a 2012 FF 189 FBS and would like to mount solar panel(s) on the roof. Any tips you have for where to drill, location of roof ribs, how best to caulk, length of screws, etc. would be much appreciated. This is the more modern, slightly crowned roof, not the older flat type, but I have no idea where the roof structure is located vs. styrofoam panels.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:21 PM   #2
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It's been done. Check out this thread.
http://www.funfinderclub.com/phpBB2/...ighlight=solar
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Old 12-25-2014, 01:06 PM   #3
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LJAZ-
Thanks for the reply. The pictures are helpful, but do not tell me anything about how to mount the panels on a FF roof, how to find structural members for securing screws. I don't want to drive down the highway with panels that are just screwed into 1" of foam insulation. It looks like he paid a company to do the job and just took pictures. Note, he does not answer questions posted by other forum members about the solar install.
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Old 12-25-2014, 05:16 PM   #4
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Did you ever think about a flexible panel like this? I got mine from Renogy dot com - 100W for about $200 (I think). Might be a little easier to mount on the roof? I chose to just have mine be "portable" so I can move it out from under trees when parked in the woods...

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Old 12-25-2014, 05:30 PM   #5
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Default Wow! How?

Michelle, how is that panel secured to the roof, and how do you remove it, and how do you get up there, and how do you deploy it when it is off the roof? This looks like the product I have been waiting for!!
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Old 12-25-2014, 05:59 PM   #6
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Merry Christmas, Dan!

Not my panel - I found that picture online to show it mounted on an RV and that it is so thin that someone with more ability than I have can probably figure out a way to safely mount it without any hole drilling - and YOU'RE just the guy to do it!

For me, I built a crude (so crude, it would most likely make you laugh...) PVC mount. It's not adjustable for tilt, but I'll work on that when it gets a little warmer outside.

Here are a bunch of pictures from the guy's photobucket site I swiped my pic from. Shows how he went through the roof on his RV.

http://s181.photobucket.com/user/huc...36d22.jpg.html

Here's my panel. I don't think I've taken a pic of the frame thing I made (too embarrassed!)

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Old 12-25-2014, 06:01 PM   #7
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I have a collapsible ladder to get on my roof; but the panel is never up there. I carry my panel around in a child's sleeping bag - either on the bed or in the back seat of the truck.
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Old 12-25-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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And this is my 8 ft. ladder (heavy little thing...)

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Old 12-25-2014, 10:11 PM   #9
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Default Got it

Michelle, thanks for the link -- he actually does not show how to attach it to the roof. But I like the idea of a portable folding panel -- it looks very light! How about draping it over Abby's back (perhaps with a bungee cord around her tummy) and then training her to stand in a patch of sunlight, moving every so often to stay in the light?? That could work!
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:32 PM   #10
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Never met the dog, have you? She's MY boss. If anything, I'd be the one standing and moving around in the sunlight.

And the one I have doesn't "fold"...it just bends and is really really thing and lightweight. Folding ones are available, I believe. Like heavy little briefcases.
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Old 12-26-2014, 09:18 AM   #11
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Yes he did say he had them professionally installed. Was hoping he might chime in with more details. But maybe he doesn't visit the forum anymore.

You might try contacting Cruiser and see if they will disclose a structural diagram of the frame. Another member was able to do that a couple years ago, but I have no idea if they still will.

The other option would be an electonic stud finder (not the magnetic type} They are available reasonbly inexpensively and would be helpful even with a diagram.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:15 PM   #12
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Good tips. Thanks LJAZ
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:53 AM   #13
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With our first Fun Finder (2008 X-160) they sent us a structural diagram so my husband could install something...don't remember what. And again, Cruiser sent something to the dealer when we wanted to install a MaxxFan where no fan existed.
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Old 12-27-2014, 09:37 AM   #14
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Michellep-
Thanks for the encouragement. At LJAZ' suggestion, I sent an email to CruiserRV yesterday requesting such a plan. We'll see if someone follows through.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:40 PM   #15
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Default Solar Panel fastening to a FF roof. I fouind the answer

Thank you to those who replied. I found one answer to my question regarding how to fasten solar panels to an RV roof on the Renology Solar website in their online installation manual:

http://renogy.com/wp-content/uploads...ral-manual.pdf

They recommend the use of well nuts for thin RV roofs like I have...see the above link for an explanation. Naturally, liberal caulking is in order too.

I took the plastic vent trim down inside my FF and had a nice view of a roof cross section. Basically, it is styrofoam sandwiched between luan sheets. The roof sheet appears to be 5 ply and about 3/16" thick...not what I thought would be best for a typical wood screw. The well nut might provide a sturdier hold. Although, if you don't care what your ceiling looks like, you could always drill clear through and use bolts and tee nuts...no thanks. BTW- CruiserRV responded quickly to my email request for a roof structure plan, however, the plan they sent, as detailed as it is, does not show all roof joists and I cannot find them with an electronic stud finder.

I plan to buy the Renology premium 100 watt solar bundle and use a couple of Trojan T-105 6v batteries.

Heading to Quartzsite, AZ for "The Main Event" in January and several days boondocking on BLM land.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Solar Panel fastening to a FF roof. I fouind the answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfunfinder
Heading to Quartzsite, AZ for "The Main Event" in January and several days boondocking on BLM land.
That sounds like an interesting experience and I hope you can share that with us along the way. I've never camped on BLM land but have read about it and plan to do it someday so I'd like to hear about your experiences. We'll be doing just the opposite this January ... staying next to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and paying through the nose for full hook-ups etc. (At least it will be above freezing)



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Old 01-03-2015, 05:01 PM   #17
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Default solar panels

I have 3 200 watt panels mounted on my 244 Funfinder roof.

I cut 2 inch by 2 inch wood the same width as each solar panel and used a galvanised plate 2 inches by 3 inches screwed onto the ends of the wood and pop riverted onto the solar panel frame.
This ensured a 2 plus inch air gap under the panels to aid cooling.

Attaching the wood to the roof first without the panels attached.
I drilled 3 off approx. 1/2 inch holes in the roof that allowed toggle bolts to fit thru. And about 3/16 thru the wood to put the toggle screw thru.
(google "toggle bolt") you will need them about 4 inches long.

Sealer: I used "fixall" and applied it around the holes I drilled in the roof and the length of the wood.
Then put the toggle bolts screw thru the wood and attached the winged nuts to the the screws and pushed the wing nuts thru the roof, the expand open and then do the toggle screws up. It can be a bit of fiddle getting the toggle bolts to spring open inside the roof, you have to scrap out polystyrene I used a 90 degree allen key.
Seal around all the edges of the wood, so the seal is two places around the holes drilled in the roof under the wood and around the wood.
Paint the wood to increase durability.

Last place solar panels on wood and pop rivert the end plates on the wood to the solar panel frame.
It has proven to work well over the last two years.
Our solar system is
600 watt 12 V panels on the roof
40amp 12V PWM solar controller
200 AH AGM batteries, now mounted over the axles under the seats.
Plus we take another 100 to 300AH AGM in the TV.
Plenty of power to stay bush camped indefinitely.
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:16 PM   #18
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Hey Tony,

Just curious about your signature ....

Is your Grand Cherokee powered with the 3.0L VM Motori V-6 turbo diesel ?

Neil



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Old 01-03-2015, 05:58 PM   #19
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No its a 2007 and has the German mecedes V6 3 litre OM642 diesel no issues at all.

I think they started fitting the Italian diesels here around 2012, they seem OK just some issues with the gearboxes when towing I believe they need to drop down a gear instead of just leaving them in D when towing around the 2012 -2013 models.
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:06 PM   #20
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Thanks Tony for the reply. The Eco Diesel here uses the German built ZF 8-speed and it's been flawless as far as I can tell, based on my own experience and several forums I follow regularily. It incorporates a "Tow/Haul Mode" which is usefull for towing at the higher capacities. In the Ram truck version, people love the towing characteristics and capability .... it's the most highly praised attribute of the entire package.

Thanks again,
Neil



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