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Old 01-17-2020, 09:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
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Solar Mounting

I知 planning on installing 7/8 Unistrut on the roof for solar panels. I知 running it longitudinally. I知 considering 8mm blind stainless steel rivnuts with a rubber seal. The skin of the bus is .060 aluminum. I was thinking of a nut every 2 feet.

Is that going to be strong enough and stay watertight?

Thanks
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:04 PM   #2
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Seems rivnuts would be useful for something you plan on removing more than once. Is that the case?

We're doing something similar w/ unistrut, but it will support both panels & a catwalk. My plan was to simply bolt through the roof into the ribs, & seal with 3m 5200. Of course we have access to both sides at present (gutted).
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:46 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
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Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Seems rivnuts would be useful for something you plan on removing more than once. Is that the case?

We're doing something similar w/ unistrut, but it will support both panels & a catwalk. My plan was to simply bolt through the roof into the ribs, & seal with 3m 5200. Of course we have access to both sides at present (gutted).
Yeah, I’m starting to think through bolting through the ribs is probably a better way to go. I saw on McMaster Carr sealing washers. I thought that I will through bolt with a carriage bolt, then the sealing washer on the outside, then some sealing stuff (sikaflex?), then the unistrut, a lock washer, and a nut
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:22 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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3M™ Marine Adhesive/Sealant 4000 UV
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:19 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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Year: 1990
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My roof walkway (to which my eight panels are hinged) and the panels' lower supports are all bolted through the roof ribs with 3/8" and 5/16" stainless bolts from underneath, with EPDM washers sealing against the roof. So far so good - after several winters of sometimes very heavy rains I haven't had even one single drip coming through all those roof penetrations. I would NOT trust just the roof skin to hold against the wind when driving at 60-plus MPH - that's almost hurricane-force wind. You've got lots of strong roof ribs, more than on any other vehicle on the road, so why not use them?

John
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