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Sealant Used When Mounting a Solar Panel

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Brian Labor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brian Labor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sealant Used When Mounting a Solar Panel
    Posted: 11 Dec 2023 at 5:30am
We purchased a 2019 191 recently.  It did not come with a User Manual.  I have swapped out the single propane tank for a dual mount.
I saw a port for solar panels on the roof, so I bought the kit with a 100 W panel.  My question is, what's the best sealant to use on the screws that will attach it to the roof?

Also, I have an extra set of wires attached to the battery that I ASSUME come from the solar panel port, but, do they go through the inverter first, or are they directly from the panel and then to the inverter?

And that begs another question.  Does the inverter act as a controller for the solar panel, or do I need to mount a controller somewhere?

Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks
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jato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2023 at 6:57am
For sealant go with Dicor, it is flexible and holds up well under adverse conditions.  That is the sealant used on your roof - used around the A/C unit as well as the FF and the 2" pipe.

Sorry, cannot help with the solar questions, do not have that on our 12 year old 177 and even though we usually boondock or camp where no electric is available, solar or a generator is not utilized.
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'17 Ford F-150 4WD 3.5 Ecoboost
Jim and Diane by beautiful Torch Lake
"...and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
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JR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2023 at 8:24am
I have mounted 4 100 watt flexible panels on the roof of my 179 using silicone on the back of the panels and eternabond tape around all the edges of the panels, leaving weep holes on the corners.  After replacing one of the panels I found out that the silicone was not needed.  As to the need for a controller for the power from the panel this power has to go to a controller before it is sent to battery/house needs in the trailer.  The kit might have a controller in it and the panel should be wired directly to the controller and fused.  Then from the controller that power should be directed to the battery (ies).  The power from the batteries should be fused and then can be distributed for the trailer's house needs also a separate lead (fused) to an switcher/inverter.  The switcher is needed to enable the use of shore power and inverted battery power.  You will have to trace out where the present wires are run to find out if they can be used for your project.  Also use heavy enough gauge wire for your requirements of your project.  If you plan on using the trailer's present power converter which is part of the trailer's fuse box, check with the manufacture (WFCO) and verify that the converter can be back fed. Hope this helps
Jay

179/2019
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Brian Labor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brian Labor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2023 at 6:00am
Thanks, Guys.  I have ordered Dicor and will go that route.  I have reservations on my ability of using Eternabond tape.  Fingers crossed.

Oh, jato, How long screws would be needed to drill into the roof without punching a hole all the way through?
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jato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2023 at 8:22am
Hopefully JR will be on the forum soon.  He is an expert in that area of mounting panels on the roof.  I have no experience in that area.  All I have done is replace all the screws that are located under the 1" vinyl trim as well as all the ones located underneath the pod from front to back with stainless steel screws.  The total number used was a few shy of 200 on my 177 and all of them were 1" long.
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'17 Ford F-150 4WD 3.5 Ecoboost
Jim and Diane by beautiful Torch Lake
"...and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
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JR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2023 at 9:05am
Brain, I believe that the roof is 2" thick and that the roof construction is of aluminum framing with 2" styrofoam in the cavities of the framing.  There are old videos on this site that covers the construction of R-Pods. Then this is sandwiched between 2 (interior and exterior) thin layers of plywood. You can verify this by removing the plastic trim pieces on the roof vent fan in the bathroom and get a side view the roof construction.  Where ever you decide to mount your panel(s) you don't have a lot of meat in the roof to attach your mounting framing to.  If you are using screws they, I feel, should be shorter than 2".  The reason that I elected to use flexible solar panels is that I would be able to mount them directly to the roof with adhesive and I would not be putting other holes in the roof that could possibly leak in the future.  But the flexible panels I chose to use have a shorter life span than the ridge panels do to the different construction process and they develop more heat from direct sunshine.  Hope this helps you.
Jay

179/2019
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Brian Labor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brian Labor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 2023 at 9:17am
JR,
Thanks.  Are there studs on the roof that can be drilled into and match the holes on the solar panels?  

Also, the pod seems to be prewired for solar, but am I supposed to mount the solar controller between the panel and the wiring port that is already installed on the roof? I do see two extra wires for the one battery we have.  So I am assuming that is wiring coming from the port on the roof, but I have no way to verify that that I can think of. 

I admit to being stumped, since power from the panel is supposed to go to the controller before going to the battery, do I mount the controller on the roof or do I mount it at or near the battery?
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David and Danette View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote David and Danette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2023 at 6:16am
     Yes there is aluminum framing or studs in the roof but not very much around AC unit and a few other places for strength and support. There are also wires in some places running through the roof and 1" to 1 1/2" screws should work. 
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Holt99 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Holt99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2024 at 9:09am
Does anyone know how to gain access underneath the murphy bed in a 2024 Rpod 203? When the bed is raised, I can look behind the backrest and see the WFCO inverter, but can't get to it. Looking to replace the AGM battery on the external trailer frame to a LiTime 230+. I'd like to put the lithium next to the inverter. New to RV's and this forum. Greg
2024 Rpod203
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2024 at 9:35am
Originally posted by Holt99

Does anyone know how to gain access underneath the murphy bed in a 2024 Rpod 203? When the bed is raised, I can look behind the backrest and see the WFCO inverter, but can't get to it. Looking to replace the AGM battery on the external trailer frame to a LiTime 230+. I'd like to put the lithium next to the inverter. New to RV's and this forum. Greg
Greg,
It would be best to start a new thread with your question. I'm not familiar with the RP203.
bp
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