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Old 12-07-2016, 01:02 PM   #31
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Like the mount, it should not get plucked off by low lying branches, as happened to us (almost) in Yucatan. This mount would permit a second 315 W over the Fantastic Fan on our 2002 Roadtrek.
Reed and Elaine
Yes it could, and my husband is trying to convince me to do exactly that with ours (we bought extra panels and store them in our house until they prove to be needed).

However I enjoy the light that comes down through the Fantastic; we have an Ultra Breeze covering it, which blocks some of the light but it's still quite bright. So I'm not sure if we need a fourth panel just yet. But if an owner instead covered their Fantastic with a vaulted solar panel, it would eliminate the need for a secondary rain cover, so that's something to think about.

Our solar system is being sized to accommodate my main work computer, which requires somewhere in the neighborhood of 240 watts. We have a DIY lithium upgrade in progress right now, so we haven't done any real-life testing as to whether we can get away with these 3 panels or whether we need more.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:09 PM   #32
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Elaine love the Fantastic Fan so putting a second 315 W panel might be difficult. Our total of 415 W seems to be sufficient. We can run the a/c for 2 or 3 hour without running the LFP battery suite (4.5 kW-hrs) below 50% status of charge.

Think we will put something on the front 100 W panel that will keep it from getting snagged. Have seen a few exampled of "air dams" that should worm.

Reed and Elaine
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Old 12-07-2016, 06:19 PM   #33
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Think we will put something on the front 100 W panel that will keep it from getting snagged. Have seen a few exampled of "air dams" that should worm.

Reed and Elaine
I did try a DIY wind fairing in front of our new 3rd solar panel addition, but found it to cause too much air turbulence at highway speed causing the fantastic vent fan to rattle like crazy, so I removed it… try a temporary air dam first before building a permanent one, it might save you time and money in the end.

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Old 12-28-2016, 06:59 PM   #34
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Greetings;
I like how the rear view camera is mounted. I can not find a vehicle specific camera for my 2002 Roadtrek Chevy 3500 Express van. It looks like a license plate camera is used with brackets. Could a close up photo please be sent or posted. It would be greatly appreciated as I would like to duplicate the set up.

Best regards,
Craig
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:36 PM   #35
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Greetings;
I like how the rear view camera is mounted. I can not find a vehicle specific camera for my 2002 Roadtrek Chevy 3500 Express van. It looks like a license plate camera is used with brackets. Could a close up photo please be sent or posted. It would be greatly appreciated as I would like to duplicate the set up.

Best regards,
Craig
Do you mean our rear view camera? The one that is visible behind the solar panels?

If so, I don't have a concise blog post with sourcing instructions... somehow that one never got written. But this Air Forums thread authored by my husband has quite a lot of detail and also pics of the installation process.

He created a special mount for it by duplicating the roof curvature on a mock-up. The system also has side cameras, which actuate when the turn signal is pressed. My favorite part of it is the nine-inch monitor in the cab. Those tiny little dash-embedded "a$$ cams" are pretty much useless IMO. I wanted a BIG monitor so that I could actually see what is going on back there. And to the sides.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:29 AM   #36
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We drove down from Oaxaca to the Isthmus of Tehuantapec which has world famous winds. We got caught in a 60 mph or so cross wind and the mount to our 315 W solar panel ripped out of the panel. We had to tie/tape the panel to rear of Roadtrek. Had comments from locals when we filled up with fuel, generally on the tone "how does that panel work back there?" Answered fine headed north but not efficient heading south. They laughed. Younger son and family joined us on beach in Yucatan and we fabricated the mount shown in photo. Bought 4 cm L-channel aluminum in Playa del Carmen. Got great help from the folks in the aluminum shop. We put 2.5 cm aluminum stripping on the aluminum tie channel on the solar panel (this is quite thin aluminum and this provided what was effectively a 5' x 1" washer). One section of aluminum channel was bolted to the solar panel. Second section was placed on top of Roadtrek, holes were drilled and the two sections (on each side) were bolted together. The entire ensemble was then bolted and silicone glued to roof. Do not think this will come apart.

The winds in Tehuantapec rolled seven semis on one day a few months before.

The day after the panel separation, our sewer tubing came undone - and son Charlie and I fixed this on beach. Had to dig a trench under the rig to do this. OK he did most of the work. He brought a 10' section of sewer hose down when he and family joined us

Ah the joys of travel

Reed and Elaine
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:50 PM   #37
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RT.SS - if the air dam had been in contact with the solar panel, there might not have been as much turbulent air flow. Is that panel mount your design? It looks quite good.

There was 2" hail in northern New Mexico and it damaged a lot of solar panels. Panels should handle 1" hail but 2" is more than they can handle. Looked up hail velocity and found "...Hail can falls much faster, because its diameter can be larger. Its fallspeed is approximately given by 1.4 D0.8 at sea level. This means "... penny hail= terminal velocity of 35 mph, quarter hail = 50mph, golfball hail = 66mph, baseball hail = 85mp and softball hail = 117mph..." 2" hail has 8 times the mass and 50% higher velocity. One of son's friends ran out and put a sleeping bag over front window but it was still shattered. House owner's insurance took care of damages for folks
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Old 08-19-2017, 11:25 PM   #38
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Cool chart! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:03 AM   #39
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Phoebe 3 - Hail can really do in our panels. 246 people were killed in a hail storm in India in the 1980s. 3" hail will go through a roof: almost 45m/second. Saw a photo of a guy who got caught in moderate hail while out running. His upper body looks like a bad case of measles with 1" purple spots.
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