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Solar on truck bed cover


Jps190
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So I was washing my truck the other day and while I was standing on the bed cover washing the roof I started thinking about what a good platform it might be for some sort of rack that I could mount 1 or more solar panels on.  I could use it to charge a battery for my truckbed fridge as well as set up a switch with a second output wire so I could also plug it into the Ollie to charge the battery bank.  The nice thing about it would be that I can tilt the panels to any degree needed and face the truck in the proper direction very easily.  This is just an idea at present but would be interested in any thoughts or perspectives that the group might have.  I'm guessing I would build the rack out of aluminum.  Possible have layered panels that I could slide out when parked.  Like I said, I am open to ideas.  Fire away.

 

John

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John and Kim

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II.   Hull #887

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There are already at least two Ollie owners that have completed this mod on their trucks - hopefully they will shortly let you know exactly what they did.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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We have a diamondback cover as well. Current plan is to permanently mount 4 - 24 inch long 8020 black anodized sections to the four corners.  This will be the foundation for multiple different rack systems which I’ll probably build out of the cheaper non coated 8020. 

For a solar setup I have 3 100w 20x40inch panels that I’ll connect on the long side making a 60x40 array reinforced with angle aluminum.  This array will be suspended from 8020 crossmembers mounted to the above mounts. Hopefully, I’ll have time to put everything together in a few weeks. 
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17 minutes ago, Jps190 said:

Chris,

 

What is your source for those parts?

 

John

Try HERE.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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I have a 100w panel on my truck topper, linked to a 20W mppt controller and two 12v agms. Controller and batteries reside in the truck bed, are not linked to truck batteries and support a dometic compressor fridge/ freezer. Works great!

You have a great idea. Best of luck and let us know as you proceed with the build

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2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

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Truck is set up with Solar. We ordered our Oliver without panels as we are always under trees when parked. Solar suitcase and truck panels. DC to Dc charging for us while driving. Will be picking up our Elite 2 First week of April

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  • 1 month later...

I just finished getting the Solar panels put together and attached to the bed cover.  Panels are attached together with 1/8 inch aluminum angle and 304 stainless bolts.  After much research I decided to just build some mounts out of aluminum.  Every time I got on the 8020 site I ended up with a 500-600 dollar rack and this is really the only thing that will travel on the bed cover.

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I bought an SOK 100 AH battery that will be fed by these panels to run my ICECO fridge/freezer in the truck bed.  The battery has bluetooth and a built in heater and is very well made.  $630 direct from SOK.

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The panels are 100 watt 9BB panels from BougeRV.  Testing them in the driveway here south of Atlanta I was getting some pretty impressive yields.  They are wired in series and feed a Victron 100/30 MPPT SCC.  I am going to connect the panels to the charge controller through some Anderson Powerpole connectors.  By doing this it will be easy to disconnect from the victron in the truck and connect these to soon to be installed victron MPPT in the Oliver.  Since they are run in series and put out plenty of voltage and I can park the truck in the sun and not need a large gauge wire on the run to the trailer.

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John

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John and Kim

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II.   Hull #887

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On 2/12/2022 at 4:43 PM, ChrisMI said:

I used the 8020 extrusions and brackets (purchased from McMaster Carr) for my home built bike rack on my truck bed cover.   The cross rail for the rear tires has quick release mounts so that rail can be quickly removed to flip the bed cover open when needed.  8020 is great stuff for hardware projects.  Next tweak to the system is to add a couple mounts to carry our portable waste tote tank in between the two bikes.  

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4, 6.2L Flex-Fuel engine 

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

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3 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

@Jps190, where are you installing the sok  battery? How will you run the wiring?

I'm gonna mount the battery and solar controller in a milk crate or something similar.  It will be secured in the truck bed when in use.  Panels and battery will be removed when we are not out camping.  Wires will just be run under the side of the cover.  I don't want anymore holes in the top. 

 

John

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John and Kim

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II.   Hull #887

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2 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

@Jps190 That looks great!  I really like the ability to open the DB cover with the panel attached. Looks like 600 watts could squeeze on pretty easily…

I was thinking that when I initially planned this but I think the cab would cause shading issues in many situations.

John

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John and Kim

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II.   Hull #887

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  • 2 weeks later...

I installed a Victron 100/30 solar charge controller in the Oliver and connected it to the zamp outlet to test the truck bed solar.  The panels on the truck bed are wired in series so it is only around 5 amps which allows for using cheap 12 gauge landscape wire.  Panels were flat until around 2 pm when I raised them up.  The truck was facing southwest and I am located just south of Atlanta. Total yield for the day from just the truck panels was 1.77 KWH.  This will be plenty to run the iceco fridge and add additional power to the Oliver batteries.

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John and Kim

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II.   Hull #887

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Here is the battery and charge controller in the milk crate.  I need to secure some wires but it works great!

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John and Kim

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II.   Hull #887

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