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  #1  
Old 6th September 2014, 05:30 AM
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Default Solar Panels on Columbus rooftop camper

Having carried around a 15 kg 120 watt folding solar panel I decided to opt for the more recent semi-flexible panels.I picked 2 x 100 watt and they weigh around 2.2 kg each; so I am saving 10 kg in weight.I wanted to attach them permanently to the roof of my Columbus roof top camper so there was no set up involved when camping, and the angle of the camper when open is great for picking up the rays.

I was going the attach / glue them straight onto the surface of the camper but I read that there should be an air gap behind the panels to allow heat to escape; hmmmm.I decided to use some Stayput vertical fasteners http://www.stayputfasteners.com.au/index_2.html and these worked very well indeed.Base Plate = 35 mm x 16 mm, Post length to latch when down = 9 mm (double size),Post diameter = 9mm.I got some small O Rings to place on the post first; this worked out really well as it holds the panel very firmly once locked in place.

I drilled 4 holes down each side to suit the Stayput posts. I put the posts into the holes in the panel and placed the panel in positon on the roof of the camper.Then I traced around the base of each fastener with a pen as best I could and removed the panel; with a fastener I then completed tracing the position of each fastener base onto the roof.I then applied a “blob” of Sikaflex adhesive/sealant to the Stayput base and stuck each fastener in place; be careful not to push the fastener down too hard or all the sealant will get pushed out. After letting the Sikaflex set for a couple of days I put the O rings on the posts and mounted the solar panel.

For the wiring I used 2 x Y MC4 solar panel connectors to bring the positives and negatives together from each panel and these then feed into my CTEK 250S Dual DC-DC charger.

Since the install I’ve had a few weekend trips and a Simpson Desert crossing with lots of corrugations and the panels are just fine.

I’ll get some pictures tomorrow (if it stops raining!).







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Old 6th September 2014, 07:25 PM
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Nice Kevin!
Suscribed to the post!
I am going the same way as you with that, but instead of Columbus, on a Maggiolina Adventure!

Last edited by EGlacius; 7th September 2014 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 8th September 2014, 07:25 AM
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pics added
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Old 9th September 2014, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
pics added
Sorry Kevin! ¿Where are the pics?
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Old 9th September 2014, 05:51 PM
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Can you see them now?
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Old 9th September 2014, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Can you see them now?
Ok, now I can see. I don't know why I thought yow did install on the Forester! jeje!
What do you do when the tent is open with the cables? The cables are extra-long? Have you pics of the Ctek installation? I was thinking using Sikaflex 11c to attach the panels, I didn't have read about the air gap! But it makes sense.
Thanks a lot man!
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Old 9th September 2014, 09:48 PM
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The camper was on the Foz and can still go my Foz if necessary - but it's not wired up for the panels (as yet).

The cables stay in place. I don't have pics of the CTEK installation but it attaches inside the front window of the canopy using heavy duty / rough surface Velcro - it works well and I have attached in this way in two cars now; for the other car (not one of mine) I attached the CTEK to the rear quarter panel behind the rear seat.
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Old 10th September 2014, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Can you see them now?
I can't...

Are they in the first post??
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Old 10th September 2014, 05:49 AM
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^ yep. I could see them even without logging on
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Old 10th September 2014, 06:07 AM
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I'm with Pedro. What pics??
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