Thread: Solar panel storage mod

  1. #1
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    Default Solar panel storage mod

    Before I go reinventing the wheel...

    I was staring at my Chaser trying to think of ways to store the solar panel so I didn't have to keep opening and closing the tent. I came up with two idea's.

    A. Weld together some sort of frame that mounted to the Thule rack and positioned the panel just in front of the RTT at an angle so that it would act as an air damn/deflector. Other than the potential aerodynamic benefit it could be used with out having to take it off. A quick remove system and plexiglass would also be incorporated somehow.

    B. Making a suspended droor like system from the Thule mounts between the RTT and the top of the trailer.

    I have already completed my ritual walk through of Ace and Home Depot seeking inspiration and parts but didn't find much.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Joe
    2008 T4R SR5 V8 w/2-1 Revtek lift & 265/70-17
    AT Chaser

  2. #2
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    I like B - My thoughts are suspend it under the roof top tent with 2 long pieces of C channel going from front to back. Put a stopper of some sort on the front and a removable keeper at the back. Simple slide it in thru the rear. Some sort of security is necessary.

    You could also build a basic box out of 1/4" plywood. Simply bolt it to the bottom of the Thule rack. Spray it with a black bed liner product. My guess is the box would weight 15 pounds.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
    Justin
    2006 Adventure Trailers - Chaser #15
    2012 Surly Moonlander
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    2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gear
    I like B - My thoughts are suspend it under the roof top tent with 2 long pieces of C channel going from front to back. Put a stopper of some sort on the front and a removable keeper at the back. Simple slide it in thru the rear. Some sort of security is necessary.

    You could also build a basic box out of 1/4" plywood. Simply bolt it to the bottom of the Thule rack. Spray it with a black bed liner product. My guess is the box would weight 15 pounds.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    I've been working up a similar design in my head to store my panel too, except I am envisioning it inside the shell, up tight against the ceiling. Must think more...

  4. #4
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    Regardless of where it is mounted, what I'm seeing is one end having a 'V' receiving end detail with outboard angle ramps for lateral control, and the other end having one of either of these types of clamps arranged to push the front of the panel into the 'V's.

    Vertical Handle Toggle Clamp


    Horizontal Handle Toggle Clamp


    Note that De-Sta-Co makes very similar clamps, either will work.
    I used to swerve around my hallucinations, now I drive right through them.

  5. #5
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    Are you designing it so you can gather power while on the road?

    Or is it just a method of storage when not in use or traveling, allowing for easy deployment?

  6. #6
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    Martyn,

    Plan A was for both considerations.

    Plan B was for the latter.

    I'm well into the R&D of plan B right now. Will probably go into production mode sometime tomorrow .

    Later

    Joe
    2008 T4R SR5 V8 w/2-1 Revtek lift & 265/70-17
    AT Chaser

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quietrover

    I have already completed my ritual walk through of Ace and Home Depot seeking inspiration and parts but didn't find much.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.



    Joe
    Joe, cool idea, the only thing I will add to this thread is start walking the virtual isle of McMaster.com you will truly be inspired!

    Drew
    Drew F.

    '76 FJ40... 4" lift, 35" MT/R's, ARB Snorkel, Warn 8074, Power Steering, Saab Seats, Custom rear tire carrier, soon to be scratch built expedition trailer.

    My rig... "Maude"

    My camping trailer build up thread.

    "Make a life, not a living..."

  8. #8
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    I'm no solar expert, but a friend of mine from high school runs www.thesolarpowerstore.com and he told me a while back that an advantage of flexible solar panels over rigid panels is that a flexible panel will continue to generate power even if it gets a hole in it (for example from a rock). I'd be fearful that a rigid panel used as an air dam might be susceptible to damage.
    telwyn
    1982 Land Rover Lightweight
    2006 Range Rover Sport
    1967 m416 trailer

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by telwyn
    I'm no solar expert, but a friend of mine from high school runs www.thesolarpowerstore.com and he told me a while back that an advantage of flexible solar panels over rigid panels is that a flexible panel will continue to generate power even if it gets a hole in it (for example from a rock). I'd be fearful that a rigid panel used as an air dam might be susceptible to damage.
    Plan A was going to involve a sheet of plexiglass for protection and either be of drop in with a hinged plexiglass door or slide out design.

    I did have the thought of somehow sewing/gluing a couple of flexible panels on the RTT cover... Talk about a multi-tasker!

    Edit: Skip that fantasy, I just saw the prices of flexible panels!
    Last edited by Quietrover; 07-27-2008 at 05:29 PM.
    2008 T4R SR5 V8 w/2-1 Revtek lift & 265/70-17
    AT Chaser

  10. #10
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    Didn't turn out as bad as I thought it might!

    http://picasaweb.google.com/FMDairma...ey=DJU-5gqUHp4
    2008 T4R SR5 V8 w/2-1 Revtek lift & 265/70-17
    AT Chaser

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