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Old 12-20-2016, 10:05 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Hi! I am new here with A new Bus!

Hello, Fellow Skoolie owners! I just purchased my 2003 E-450 7.3L about a month ago. I just purchased 8, 150W Solar Panels. I was looking on amazon and the mounting brackets are almost the same price I paid for the panels!"65$" per panel...45$mount?

It does have a curved roof so I was wondering if you guys would have a better/cheaper way of mounting them so they can tilt during the winter with less expensive mount or by making a Rack for them?

I looked around for older posts but I cant find what I need.

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Melo1111 View Post
Hello, Fellow Skoolie owners! I just purchased my 2003 E-450 7.3L about a month ago. I just purchased 8, 150W Solar Panels. I was looking on amazon and the mounting brackets are almost the same price I paid for the panels!"65$" per panel...45$mount?

It does have a curved roof so I was wondering if you guys would have a better/cheaper way of mounting them so they can tilt during the winter with less expensive mount or by making a Rack for them?

I looked around for older posts but I cant find what I need.

Thanks in advance
Welcome! What are you planning on doing with the bus?
Sandi
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:20 PM   #3
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I plan on camping in it and road trips I just wanted to have the extra panels for extended camping trips and staying in it on my friends property for a few months
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:31 PM   #4
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Welcome Mello, glad you are here.

To my surprise i mounted my panels flat and have not had a problem with the sun being so low in the sky, and i only have 2 up there.

I think i read here... or somewhere that the tilting only provides a small amount of extra in winter.

Congrats on the bus
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:39 PM   #5
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I was wondering what brackets I can use? I have seen people just use some adhesive and not have to drill into the roof?
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:24 AM   #6
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I haven't sat down to work out the details yet but Iceni John fabricated mounts for his panels and I want to do something similar.... they mount to a rail near the center of the roof (I think he left a 12 inch walkway between his roof hatches) and fastened them down with hinges on that side and has the other side rigged where they can be down against the roof for travel (20 degrees off horizontal I think), or he can raise them to be flat, or angled up at 33 or 45 degrees.... don't remember the lesser angle but full up is 45. Search around in the solar section for the post, I think that's where it is now.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:39 AM   #7
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And please let us know what you end up doing. Lots of pictures help. This is the most detailed option I've seen:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/di...tem-13553.html
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:17 AM   #8
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just use pivot points on the lower edge of panels.
then a rod or two per panel that holds the panels at the desired angle.

Something like this where you lift panel and the tighten the friction part to hold it.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:21 PM   #9
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Thanks guys! I am still not sure what screws to use, drilling holes for 8 panels seems like a lot of holes and chances of the roof leeking and if I need to have nuts holding it down on the inside?
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
Welcome Mello, glad you are here.

To my surprise i mounted my panels flat and have not had a problem with the sun being so low in the sky, and i only have 2 up there.

I think i read here... or somewhere that the tilting only provides a small amount of extra in winter.

Congrats on the bus
I agree with "town cat". You have enough to do with your new bus without worrying with tilting them for more energy. Flat will be good enough... certainly for now. I have 480 watts charging four six volt golf cart style batteries. Nice and flat. Works great.

You can always work out tilting mechanisms later if you think you need it. I doubt you will. Don't mount anything around them that will shadow them. Nothing. Even the smallest shadows will significantly reduce your output.

Welcome aboard!

Ross
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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Construct a rack with four to six legs.
Then you only have four or six fasteners going into the roof.

Or you could get fancy and install bolts up thru ribs and roof skin and weld them in 100% from above.

Or secure a length of unistrut lengthwise on the roof with two or three fasteners thru roof.

Mount panels and other stuff to the rack(s) or struts.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:46 PM   #12
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You have a ton of wattage there for an occasional use camper. I'm only planning 400w on mine and I will be full time living in it!
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:48 PM   #13
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Get yourself some slotted angle iron, fasten it down every 2nd or 3rd rib (through the ribs) or weld it on as someone else suggested.... the slotted angle already has holes in it which will make mounting your panels a lot easier.... fasten the hinges for pivotable panels on the slotted angle and on the panel frame, then use your strut or other mechanism to raise and lower the panel as needed.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleO7 View Post
Construct a rack with four to six legs.
Then you only have four or six fasteners going into the roof.

Or you could get fancy and install bolts up thru ribs and roof skin and weld them in 100% from above.

Or secure a length of unistrut lengthwise on the roof with two or three fasteners thru roof.

Mount panels and other stuff to the rack(s) or struts.

I realy like this idea I dont think the roof is steel tho I think it might be tin but I have no clue
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:54 PM   #15
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Nice bus. That size would work for me. Just myself so anything bigger, 72 passenger, would be waaay to excessive. Smaller is better for me. I'm going to be doing the work in a garage so I'm limited by length anyway. What's your total length, bumper to bumper? Gotta make sure I can close the garage door.


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Old 12-25-2016, 03:04 PM   #16
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I am not exactly sure because its parked out at my parents house but I think its 25 or 26ft and 9ft wide.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:24 AM   #17
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You have a ton of wattage there for an occasional use camper. I'm only planning 400w on mine and I will be full time living in it!
plan on adding to your system!
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:16 PM   #18
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plan on adding to your system!
We are pretty power efficient, we sleep when it's dark rather than use lights much, and nearly everything we run is 12v. I have worked some sort of miracle getting my SO to turn things off when not using them. Of course it doesn't hurt that we will be driving at least little bit every day.
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