Mounting Solar panels on Camper roof.

I am looking to mount a couple of 85W solar panels on the roof of my Goldstream ( like a jayco) camper.

I want to be able to mount / store them on the roof, then have them easily removable so I can have one or both independant on the ground for when I am parked in the shade. Obviously it would have to be lockable in some way when on the roof.

Has anyone done similar or got any ideas?

Specifically can you mount to the roof without a roof rack etc?
Do you need a gap for air circulation when in the sun?
Are there any slide on / clipable rails that I can use.

Any ideas welcome. I know Unisolar panels can address many issues but have the others and if you are in the shade they still wont give a full charge.

Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Scoops - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 12:42

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 12:42
Hi BooBook2,
I recently mounted 3 unisolar panels on my camper trailer. I built my own frame using the pre-made fencing frames you can buy at bunnings. I then put a very big hinge on 2 of them allowing me to lift them in the direction of the sun. I went with unisolar as there is no glass plus the shade/charging ability. I decided to stay clear of having them easily removable to avoid them being stolen.

One thing to keep in mind, unisolar (framed) panels are getting harder to get these days as no longer in production.
AnswerID: 350759

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 15:21

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 15:21
Boobook 2, there needs to be an air gap underneath them so that they don't get too hot. Heat reduces their performance. They usually recommend about 50mm minimum, from memory. It also provides shade to the roof, keeping the van cooler.
Unisolar (framed) are fine, but they are bigger than others of the same capacity. Unisolar (adhesive) are great too, but only have a 5 year (might have been 2 years? You should check) warranty compared with 20 or 25 years for others.
They need to be 'lift-able' so that you can clean the leaves and stuf out from underneath them from time to time.
Ours are all attached together along the edges and are hinged along one side for cleaning.
We never tilt them or remove them for extra performance - too much trouble - better to just add another panel when you can.

OK196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 350782

Reply By: Member - Niss42 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 16:29

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 16:29
G'day Boobook2.
I mounted 2 panels on the Patrol roof rack, which are secured with window locks.

niss42Image Could Not Be Found
AnswerID: 350797

Follow Up By: Findanomad - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 17:57

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 17:57
What a great idea.
I've seen a few different versions of lockable but removable which is what you want if the batts are in the trailer and you use the vehicle once set up.
FollowupID: 619102

Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 18:16

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 18:16
That looks pretty good Niss42. Along the lines I am thinking.

Nice lateral thinking.....
FollowupID: 619107

Reply By: Boobook2 - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 08:47

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 08:47
Does anyone know of a supplier that makes drawer runners that are easily detachable? That might work.
AnswerID: 351101

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