Jump to content

Zamp solar panel add-ons


Recommended Posts

This size seems like it would fit on both sides up top. The feet are even made for curved roofs. There is even an extra plug-in on the factory roof install for the solar panels. It would be super easy if you could get an SEA splitter cable and just plug them in, then you would just have to mount the feet. Just wondering if anyone has done anything like this. The whole parallel vs series and panel compatibility is beyond my expertise. Though it would be nice to have a 500W system.

 

https://www.zampsolar.com/90watt-long-expansion

 

https://www.zampsolar.com/y-connector

 

 

30-AD-90L-InstallGuide.pdf

  • Thanks 3

- Mike


Nashville, TN


2018 Elite II - Spirit of Adventure Hull #308  - Toyota Tundra 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just keep in mind, the more stuff you hang up top, the harder it is to get up there to clean and wax the roof and service stuff like the air conditioner. With a single big factory installed panel, you can unbolt the curb side, install a set of extension bars, and tilt it WAY up so you can easily crawl all over the roof on a foam pad. The awning keeps you from sliding off... if you have two awnings this won’t work since there isn’t enough clearance to get the panel high enough.

 

B933F407-4B93-4BB2-B34E-51BFB91322AB.thumb.jpeg.996dae72e106d989e3008950f42051ef.jpeg

 

I personally think on this compact trailer that a big remote solar panel makes more sense, one you can move with the sun and use when the trailer is shaded.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I just ordered (2) Zamp 90 watt panels. @Overland, what do you think about mounting them at an angle instead of flat. How did you do your drivers side? Do you think the awning on passenger side would cause any shadowing if mounted at an angle?

- Mike


Nashville, TN


2018 Elite II - Spirit of Adventure Hull #308  - Toyota Tundra 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am really naïve about the solar capabilities (or not) of the Oliver.  I purchase the Oliver solar panels but in my very brief time of ownership have not used them (the camping we have done thus far has included hookups).  My question - I have a plug in on the side of my Oliver for additional solar (I guess portable kits?).  How much more solar can I get form this side plug-in and why would that not be a good way to increase solar capacity?   The roof-mounted Oliver provided option is 340watt, I did upgrade to the four 6V AGM batteries, will a plug-in solar portable add-on require more battery or a more robust solar controller?  No that I am currently in the market, but, just trying to understand.

KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

Link to post
Share on other sites

KWR, you can use your trailer without an electrical hookup. I never bother plugging in when power is available, unless it is stinky hot and I want to run the air conditioner. Try it, it is one less thing to fuss with when you arrive and leave. That is why the solar option is there, to free you from that cumbersome umbilical cord. The only exception is if you are parked in shade or the days are short.

 

Since you have a port on your trailer, you can plug in an external panel directly, as long as it isn’t bigger than about 130 watts and has its own built in controller. The Furion port connector is limited to 10 amps. I think the Zamp port can carry more current but I am not sure. The port is wired directly to your batteries, it is independent of your onboard system. You don’t need any more batteries, your system is perfect as is.

 

A portable panel can be moved around and aimed as needed to stay in the sun, so you can park under a tree in hot weather to reduce the solar heat gain. Down sides include cost, you need a place to store it and any extension cables in your tow vehicle, and it might get stolen if left unattended. You can use a cable lock around a tree but that is easily defeated. The folding “suitcase” units are more compact than the single panel versions, and usually come with a padded case. The roll-up flexible solar blankets used by overland vehicles are super light and compact but uber expensive.

 

Most people who travel with a generator to run the air conditioner don’t bother to have an extra solar panel, since you can run it for an hour or two and have fully charged batteries. I don’t plan to buy one in the foreseeable future, but I like this one, it is only 20”x 27” x 3” when folded.   ..... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079JVBVL3/?coliid=IQOA7UNUKCHSA&colid=1X5H11EH41351&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Mike, I have awnings on both sides so they mount the same. Oliver did the mounts for me and I’ll post some photos below. You might call service and see if they’d do the same for you.

 

Not sure about mounting them at an angle since what you gain one side you’d lose on the other so it would probably be a wash at best. Some of the Ollie solar pioneers mounted their larger panels at an angle like you’re talking about so you might search some of the early posts for photos.

 

It would be nice to somehow hinge them or attach them with pins so that they can be removed for cleaning. Though as mine are, I can clean under them though it’s a bit of a bother.

 

The A/C is the only thing to worry about shading the panels but that’s late in the day when you aren’t getting much solar anyway and shading those panels won’t affect the others.

00106573-3E2F-47B9-9B12-9806AB62C759.thumb.jpeg.2fdad1ad0443fb737baf9c8d35727c60.jpeg

403E532C-FEEB-4FB1-B05C-938D50C3ADBF.thumb.jpeg.42cd5564f873e28a8f638f3be2c642bd.jpeg

CD690CA9-A820-41C5-ACAE-FF46F6502793.thumb.jpeg.15e1a4130a8c4b1e7785a6507b85ca9f.jpeg

249299C0-6EAC-4FD4-9610-0E17F37D7A34.thumb.jpeg.7ce3127bfef6569dd8f2bc7cc21cda2a.jpeg

F35561C9-A203-4F8A-A7E9-32E164090FB4.thumb.jpeg.640f87e9931369728f57a8a4d86687d6.jpeg

3C906DFA-6E30-404B-BFD5-0714334A49A9.thumb.jpeg.a909a871ed4330064f5db42565b69e8d.jpeg

  • Thanks 1

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Overland, thanks for the additional pics... trying to decide if I want to try and fab myself or ask OTT service if they would do it. Its looks fairly straight-forward.

 

I am hoping with the extra wattage I won't need to lug around my 100w suitcase solar anymore.

 

@KWR, you can buy other cheaper brands than Zamp for the outside SAE solar input,  you just have to make sure and reverse your polarity at the controller or buy something like this

 

https://www.amazon.com/Tecmate-OptiMATE-CABLE-Adapter-polarity/dp/B00AHCWGOO

- Mike


Nashville, TN


2018 Elite II - Spirit of Adventure Hull #308  - Toyota Tundra 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I was thinking about what @Overlander and @John said regarding cleaning and the fact that I don't have an awning on the curb side. Thought these might work on both sides in the same fashion (tall version at least on passenger side). If I mount them the way AmSolar recommends with VHB tape and sealant I don't even have to drill any holes. The mounts would be on each end and if it worked out properly you could lift up for cleaning and/or tilt when warranted.

 

https://amsolar.com/rv-mounting-accessories/91m-35mz

Feetdimensions.thumb.png.e2d8fa47f52416ee9148a9a41bab2168.png

Rocker1000x.thumb.png.59ed52ebf5ad6e63d6c18572a64b51f5.png

RockerFootMounts1000x.png.25a617f6246c7f4e51343e43206dd459.png

ContouredFlat.png.39eea7e94711e697b17545d1afeb3d3f.png

- Mike


Nashville, TN


2018 Elite II - Spirit of Adventure Hull #308  - Toyota Tundra 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Looks like it would work. Of course, it would take a lot of faith to trust VHB tape only. I know it should work - I think half my truck is put together with that stuff - but...still.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think those brackets would be fine, but personally I would choose 3M 4200FC Marine adhesive/ sealant and large stainless screws to mount them to the roof (fully bed the brackets on a layer of sealant and also cover the screw heads after tightening). The RV (Dicor self leveling?) sealant they show in the second pic is barely acceptable and it requires constant vigilance and occasional renewal when it starts to fail... why not use a forever trouble-free mounting method? Be very aware of the instruction cautions. ....  https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Marine-Adhesive-Sealant-Fast-Cure-4200FC/?N=5002385+3291170224&rt=rud

 

Drill the knobs and secure them closed with nylon wire ties, they will loosen, just like the ones on your main panel. Good luck and post pics.

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/how-to-install-safeties-on-the-solar-panel-mount-knobs-important/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

I think I'd trust screws least of all.  Rivet nuts (if you can find some long enough) + VRB tape + 3M Caulk is probably what I'd want to do.  Of course if you can get access, then bolts would be best.

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

Link to post
Share on other sites

The 4200 is plenty strong for using with big self tapping screws, it is an extremely tenacious adhesive. But it is NOT a caulk, it is designed as a bedding compound, with a full layer underneath the entire bracket foot. Just using it around the perimeter of a dry mounted bracket would have little strength.

 

I would caution to not use rivnuts in fiberglass, it is not a very good method unless there is a metal backing plate. A rivnut relies on the friction between the “teeth” on the swelled part and the material it is connected to, to keep it from turning. Fiberglass is not strong enough to resist that twisting effect. If you over-tighten the screw, the rivnut may spin, and then YOU are screwed. You have to drill off the head, rip the rivnut out, and then patch the nasty hole....

 

These fasteners would probably be a good choice.... https://www.pointsunknown.com/blog/2016/10/lessons-learned-rivnuts-vs-plusnuts/

 

I think the panel would shear off from the brackets if you ran into a tree branch, regardless of how you have the feet attached. But that is something I would not like to experience.

 

Soooooo, how does Oliver mount theirs? Does anybody know? They can’t use nuts on the back side since you could never reach them. They must have an aluminum plate under there.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 2

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The people at AmSolar have been very nice and helpful. Ended up purchasing everything through them. Plan to do the install when we get back from the Smoky’s. Pulled this from their website...

 

“ Roof Attachment

Fiberglass roofs – We have been using a type of 3M double-sided tape on our mounts since the mid 1990’s, and we have never lost a panel.  As long as the tape is properly installed on a clean surface at the correct temperature, it will hold.  As an added level of protection, we use a layer of Dicor self-leveling sealant around the entire perimeter of the mount, and cover the screw holes/heads as well.  The sealant protects the tape and any potential roof penetrations from water intrusion and decay.”

 

So I am going to give it a try and will post pics later. Thanks for everyone’s input.

 

 

  • Thanks 2

- Mike


Nashville, TN


2018 Elite II - Spirit of Adventure Hull #308  - Toyota Tundra 


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Can't wait to see your install.  AMSolar gave me a ton of advice on my electronics install, even though I didn't buy any large components from them, only lugs and some wiring and stuff.  Great people and if they say you can tape them down, I believe them - nonetheless, I'd still be nervous.  At some point, I want to reinstall my front panels, since I don't like how Oliver did them, so I'll want to know how your experience goes.

 

Welcome to the Big Solar Club. :)

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...