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Putting panes on roof. Need advice.


saflyer
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OK, I don’t have any shops around here that have a handle on solar installation so I’ll have to do it myself. I’m hoping to get advice here. My HR Ambassador has an aluminum roof. I’m very afraid of drill ping and screwing into it. Can anyone answer these questions? Is there any consistency in where the factory ran the wires for the air conditioners, vent fans and lights. My rear run box is in the bedroom wall at the far rear of the coach, passenger side. Can I expect the wires to run straight line to the A/C’s or go forward on the right side of the coach then 90° to the units?
 

Are the wires generally run just below the aluminum roof on top of all the layers of insulation and other materials or are they run below these layers just above the ceiling layer? What about the vent rant and ceiling light wiring?

I’m fortunate that two of the solar panels will be left if center behind the rear A/C and one immediately to its left then one just forward of the rear A/C left of the center of the motorhome. How much should I worry?

Ed            
‘05 Ambassador 

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Ed, after many trips to the Wapakoneta, assembly plant, while at the ramblin'pushers maintenance rally,  I learned that "all" wiring is run in the upper right corner of the roof. They had a floor plan of the coach that stood vertically that they were working on and manually ran each wire from the rear corner to the location of the device. I don't remember if the wire is run over or under the insulation but it should be easy to find it by removing a ceiling light. The bad thing is replacing a failing wire, though the talk of using the ductwork as a path seems convenient.

Gary 05 AMB DST

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3m VHB does a great job with no drilling. I bought 1/16” 2” aluminum angle and cut 3” lengths for mounting feet. Each one has 6 square inches of VHB tape. Very secure. 
The am solar mounts have 2 square inches and claim they’ve never had a problem 
cheers

Walter

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2 hours ago, wamcneil said:

3m VHB does a great job with no drilling. I bought 1/16” 2” aluminum angle and cut 3” lengths for mounting feet. Each one has 6 square inches of VHB tape. Very secure. 
The am solar mounts have 2 square inches and claim they’ve never had a problem 
cheers

Walter

My concern with VHB on an aluminum roof is that the paint has to hold, unless we remove the paint to bond directly to the aluminum roof. But I'd rather not drill holes, so what to do?

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If the paint is solid, it'll be stuck to the AL very firmly and will be a great base for the adhesive. Just scrub it real good with a fine scotchbrite pad to remove any oxidation.

If the paint isn't in good shape, remove it stick the VHB to bare AL.

There are many varieties of VHB. I can't remember if it was on here or IRV2 where I listed the appropriate types of VHB. The have soft, medium and firm tape, thick tape/thin tape and several varieties of adhesive for different applications.

Cheers,

Walter

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Lo

18 minutes ago, wamcneil said:

Here's my old thread on the subject:

 

Nice! That's just what I want to do. Custom fabricate some simple L brackets to mount & get 2 for 1 tilting from one set of Renogy tilt mounts. Since my roof is aluminum, I'll sand the paint off to expose some clean smooth aluminum for VHB tape to adhere. The epoxy paint might hold, but I'd rather not find out other otherwise rolling down the highway. Thanks!

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Thanks. It has worked out pretty well.

With each mount having 6 sq in of adhesive, the paint shouldn't be under a lot of stress. If it's in descent shape, I'd be inclined to scrub the surface real good to remove any chalk and leave it. 

If you've got areas that are peeling, then by all means, sand it back to bare AL.

One of these days soon I'll cover the brackets with eternabond tape and calk around the end to protect the VHB...

These are the metric thumbscrews I bought to supplement the ones supplied in the renology kits:

Amazon.com: FarBoat 4Pcs Threaded Knurled M8x40mm Long Stud Thumbscrew Screw Knob Stainless Steel with Black Plastic Plum Blossom Six-Pointed Star Head Screw Grip Knob: Home Improvement

Edited by wamcneil
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Fabbed my brackets too.  3M 5200 and pop rivet in each leg.  Over 10 years still tight.  Fiberglass roof but had same concern on wires...used a stop on the bit, no problems.

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With a fiberglass roof, I glued plastic corners (similar to these https://www.ebay.com/itm/143657226718 ) using a high strength Sika Flex adhesive.  I forget the number, it might have been 252 or 221 or 552 but I don't recall for sure, so get comfortable with your own research.  It may have been   https://www.amazon.com/AP-Products-017-90915-Sikaflex-252-White/dp/B08TDZMWHM but too long ago to remember.  Don't forget to check the expiration date on the glue cartridge.  After marking the footprint of the plastic corners, I roughed up the roof and plastic corner with some sand paper before glueing.  They are holding firmly after a few years, and I feel good not having any holes.

 

Edited by amphi_sc
Corrected cut 'n pasted link
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11 hours ago, Twomed said:

Fabbed my brackets too.  3M 5200 and pop rivet in each leg.  Over 10 years still tight.  Fiberglass roof but had same concern on wires...used a stop on the bit, no problems.

Pop rivets. Hadn’t thought of that. Drill just through the aluminum then shove the rivet in. It couldn’t cut into ant wires. What do others think of this?

Ed

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