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Old 02-17-2021, 07:13 PM   #1
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Default Adding solar panels to Roadtrek Play

I'm considering upgrading from my 2001 Roadtrek 190 to a 2021 Roadtrek. The 2021 Roadtrek Play fits all my needs, but I'd like to add solar panels to it (and am not really ready to pay an extra $35K for the Roadtrek Zion just to get the panels). The Play comes "prewired" for solar panels, but I'm not sure what all would be involved in installing panels on the camper roof. Anybody know what would be involved? Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:54 AM   #2
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Talk to AM Solar and see what they would charge. Certainly a whole lot less tha $35k. You can buy the parts from them and do it yourself.
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:10 PM   #3
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Be careful if you go with "flexible" panels. While they're light weight and maintain your rooftop aerodynamics (helping gas mileage), some of the flexible panels are poorly made.

I bought some no-name flex panels from eBay, and put them on my Riadtrek 170. Three years later, they are hazed over and producing zero power. The sun baked the overcoating and possibly cracked some internal connections.

So while I like the idea of thin light-weight aerodynamic panels, clearly I should have got something with a warranty and a strong company behind it. The second issue is often the catch, a warranty is only good if the company is still in business.
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:32 PM   #4
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I have a 2004 Pleasure Way. Instead of roof mount just bought a 200w Dokio folding suitcase system and cable extension on Amazon for under $400. Haven’t tried it yet but I wont have to park in sun and it fits in the small closet or behind drivers seat. Maybe consider this option!
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:07 PM   #5
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I have a 2007 Roadteck Agile that I installed a 170w solid solar cell on the roof between the air conditioner and the roof vent. The wiring goes through the roof and down to a solar controller and then to the house batteries located under the rear seat. There is a plastic box over the penetration for the wiring entering the roof. Works great and will keep the house batteries charged while boondocking. The solar cell is mounted on 4 mounts secured to the roof with screws and sealant.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider1 View Post
I have a 2004 Pleasure Way. Instead of roof mount just bought a 200w Dokio folding suitcase system and cable extension on Amazon for under $400. Havenít tried it yet but I wont have to park in sun and it fits in the small closet or behind drivers seat. Maybe consider this option!
I was looking at those and other cloth framed collectors and passed on them. There seemed to be quite a few reviews about the fabric not standing up well to sun exposure, to the point that one seller actually stated that best practice for fabric life was to keep the panels out of direct sunlight. I went with framed suitcase panels.

I would suggest treating the fabric with some sort of UV block to extend the life of the fabric.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:00 PM   #7
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Good idea. Any suggestions on uv resistance products?
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:30 PM   #8
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Good idea. Any suggestions on uv resistance products?
The only thing coming quickly to mind is Scotchguard from 3M.

I think quite a few "waterproofing" sprays may also have UV protection.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:12 PM   #9
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I may be interested in upgrading from my 1995 RT 190 to something a bit newer. If you are serious about upgrading i would appreciate some communications.
THANX------ Glenn 715-630-0190
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRERDMAN View Post
I'm considering upgrading from my 2001 Roadtrek 190 to a 2021 Roadtrek. The 2021 Roadtrek Play fits all my needs, but I'd like to add solar panels to it (and am not really ready to pay an extra $35K for the Roadtrek Zion just to get the panels). The Play comes "prewired" for solar panels, but I'm not sure what all would be involved in installing panels on the camper roof. Anybody know what would be involved? Thanks.
Thank you all for your responses. In a similar vein, have any of you added extra batteries to your campers?
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:49 AM   #11
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Thank you all for your responses. In a similar vein, have any of you added extra batteries to your campers?
With lithium batteries you donít need solar panels. Fifteen minutes of generator or engine will equal a days solar harvest, why bother? You could add 200AH of lithium for $2500. That is a lot less than $35k and you could keep the original batteries.
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