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Old 10-20-2017, 10:04 AM   #1
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Panel roof attachment

I know the thread must exist but I could not find it. I have solar panels, mounts but I can't be sure what ia a safe way to mount panels. Screws or do I need rivets? It's a typical metal roof on a bus.

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Old 10-20-2017, 12:59 PM   #2
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I know the thread must exist but I could not find it. I have solar panels, mounts but I can't be sure what ia a safe way to mount panels. Screws or do I need rivets? It's a typical metal roof on a bus.
Most (smart) people mount small brackets to the roof into ribs- rivets are best. They then mount a rail to the bracket, raising the rail off the bus skin. Then they use the clips to the rail.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:19 PM   #3
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Man that was just in time, I am at place to get rivet gun. Seems much more sensible the way you described it. I don't want to be a dummying so I will try and emulate what smart people do. Thanks again.

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Old 10-20-2017, 08:32 PM   #4
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Man that was just in time, I am at place to get rivet gun. Seems much more sensible the way you described it. I don't want to be a dummying so I will try and emulate what smart people do. Thanks again.

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Home Depot didn't have the rivets I was assuming that would be good, 1/4" steel. Covered with Henry's I was going non stainless. On second thought I need to come check my mounts to see how that will work together.

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Old 10-20-2017, 09:42 PM   #5
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My roof's central walkway from which my panels are hinged, and the outer attachments for their telescoping struts, are all bolted through each roof rib with 3/8" stainless bolts and Nylok nuts coming through from underneath. Crowns have a roof rib every 19", and I used 18 ribs. This means I have a total of 72 bolts holding everything in place, so no risk of anything coming loose, ever! And for the inevitable question about weather-sealing all those penetrations, each bolt has some EPDM rubber washers that make a watertight seal against the roof and prevent water wicking down past the bolt threads; after last winter's torrential El Nino rains here I had no water leaks at all from any of my 72 bolts (but water did seep at in the front roof hatch, an original fitment from the factory).

Just remember that driving down the road at 65 MPH is producing the same windload on the panels as a mild hurricane, so don't take any chances with securing them.

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Old 10-20-2017, 10:33 PM   #6
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My roof's central walkway from which my panels are hinged, and the outer attachments for their telescoping struts, are all bolted through each roof rib with 3/8" stainless bolts and Nylok nuts coming through from underneath. Crowns have a roof rib every 19", and I used 18 ribs. This means I have a total of 72 bolts holding everything in place, so no risk of anything coming loose, ever! And for the inevitable question about weather-sealing all those penetrations, each bolt has some EPDM rubber washers that make a watertight seal against the roof and prevent water wicking down past the bolt threads; after last winter's torrential El Nino rains here I had no water leaks at all from any of my 72 bolts (but water did seep at in the front roof hatch, an original fitment from the factory).

Just remember that driving down the road at 65 MPH is producing the same windload on the panels as a mild hurricane, so don't take any chances with securing them.

John
How did the bolts attach to the ribs? I worry about putting holes in them. On the other hand I don't see another way but drill into them in some way. Holes in the roof don't worry me, the sealants right now are pretty effective as well as those gasket bolts. I'm making a 2x4 box around the brittle e exit that is now ripped out. Using those gasket deals and Henry's caulk,paint, tape and epoxy for fiberglass because I refuse to lose that battle. Slept in some miserable places but not this time.

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Old 10-20-2017, 10:56 PM   #7
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Home Depot didn't have the rivets I was assuming that would be good, 1/4" steel. Covered with Henry's I was going non stainless. On second thought I need to come check my mounts to see how that will work together.
Lol, no they don't. But these guys do
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:45 PM   #8
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3M VHB tape, needs good prep but no holes
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:26 PM   #9
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How did the bolts attach to the ribs? I worry about putting holes in them. On the other hand I don't see another way but drill into them in some way. Holes in the roof don't worry me, the sealants right now are pretty effective as well as those gasket bolts. I'm making a 2x4 box around the brittle e exit that is now ripped out. Using those gasket deals and Henry's caulk,paint, tape and epoxy for fiberglass because I refuse to lose that battle. Slept in some miserable places but not this time.

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I just drilled holes through the ribs' flanges. Subtle? No, but it's strong. Heck, I could probably lift my bus by the solar panels!

Incidentally, your bus isn't a 1992. Crown was killed off by General Electric ("We Bring Good Things To Life") in 1991, so it's probably a 1990 or 1991 - very few Super IIs were made in 1989, their first year of production.

John
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:54 AM   #10
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True. Feb 91. Forgot to change it. One of the last I suppose.

Apparently the ribs can handle it. Thanks. Only problem I have with the rivets is that will be only project for rivets for me until I do version 2 makeover involving ripping ceiling out and who knows what else. Right now I want it on the road for winter and rains which are very soon. I don't understand a couple things about rivets like the various options, washers or w/e they have. In the meantime I could bolt it.
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