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Solar panel in the luggage rack
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unibagel
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Can you post the link to the hinges? Thanks!
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jackbombay
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Agna wrote:
Here are the hinges I am using. They have a removable pin, so I can take the panel off. Bought these from Amazon for about $10.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I removed the front cleats and these fit perfect in the indentation. I'll post more pics when I'm done.


Cool piece of hardware there!

unibagel wrote:
Can you post the link to the hinges? Thanks!


Here yo go,

https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Part-Depot-Stainless...1YM98P3N6C
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VanDwellerFeller
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Agna wrote:
I'll post more pics when I'm done.



Have you posted the pics yet? Looking for ideas. I don't know which panels you have but I have the Renogy 100W panel and I'm curious how it fits with those hinges. How did you latch/lock it? I was thinking one or two of these but not sure how it'll fit on the other side with the pop top seal or the rattling with a lock on it. There may be better options. Still in the brain storming process.

https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-LOCKABLE-HO...ETDP2A0K44
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VanDwellerFeller
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich_T wrote:
The panel rotates around the two front brackets that are attached with codderless hitch pins. The hitch pins also are used to connect the tilt support bar and serve as a quick method of removing the panel.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I think these hitch pins might be the weak link in terms of rattling on rough roads, but then again, there are a lot of other rattles in my van...


Where do you get those hitch pins? Is it a certain size?
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Rich_T
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

The codderless hitch pins came from Ace Hardware. I chose 1/4" dia for no particular reason other than it looked about right.

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macjack
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Rich_t, that is an elegant and highly functional hard panel mount. Like the locking and tilting functions.
On my setup, the ľ inch plexiglas support panel by itself under the flexible Suoki panel didn't survive the winter cold, loaded with snow, and with my friend stress testing my cv joints by doing donuts in a rutted ski area parking lot. Hilarious, fun, and ill advised, the cv oints survived and the plexiglas panel cracked. I decided to replace it with a 2'x4' (18gauge?) perforated steel sheet, cut to fit the Suoki panel.

Heavy enough to be super solid without actually adding too much weight..
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

UV resistant tape wrapped over the cut edges. We'll see how long it stays stuck. So far so good, kinds, so long as the panel is on top..
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Solar panel mounted on top of the steel sheet, under aluminum flat bars across the front and back edges.

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Still nice and low profile, and the solar panel remains easily removable with a wrench I leave in the glovebox
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I think luggage rack mounted panels make the van marginally more aerodynamic on the highway than with the open luggage rack. I may be wrong but I notice less wind noise up there than without the panel. Smaller low pressure area creating less turbulence?

I am thinking that since this is not stainless, I might want to paint it so it doesn't leave rust trails in my luggage rack.
Any suggestions on painting the steel sheet?
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owokie
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

macjack wrote:
I am thinking that since this is not stainless, I might want to paint it so it doesn't leave rust trails in my luggage rack.
Any suggestions on painting the steel sheet?


Looks good, I have a similar setup. You consider using wingnuts for ease of removal? As for the perforated steel, I'd plastidip that thing.
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macjack
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:05 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

owokie wrote:


Looks good, I have a similar setup. You consider using wingnuts for ease of removal? As for the perforated steel, I'd plastidip that thing.


I used to have wing nuts. Not significantly more convenient, as the wrench is so easy and I leave it in the van. I suppose the main reason for the non-wing-nylock nuts is a nominal nod to security. You need a wrench to get it off the roof, discouraging the casual unprepared solar thief.

Like the idea of plastidip. Perfect use of that coating!

pics of your setup, owokie?
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hansh
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

This panel never came up during my searches. I wanted to leave a reference to it on the forum for others. I wanted a 100W panel, but I needed it to fit in the luggage rack so that my racks stay clear for the cargo box and for paddleboards. I was hesitant to go with a trimmed flexible panel d/t seeing reports of thin panels having decreased longevity. I donít know if thatís true, but I was happy to find this rigid panel and not have to risk it.

Anyway, this panel fits perfectly on a 1 inch riser. I set it up to be tiltable/removable using all aluminum support.

100W Renogy Compact Design


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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davevickery
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

hansh wrote:

100W Renogy Compact Design


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

That looks perfect.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Yes, thanks for sharing, that is the fit I have been looking for. A 100 watt that fits down inside the front luggage area without any trimming of anything, wow. Already ordered, should have it hooked up for our Turkey Day camping trip.

Mark

davevickery wrote:
...
That looks perfect.
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Steve Arndt
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

How did you run the wiring inside from the luggage rack?
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

I don't know how the OP did it, but I ran wires from my solar panel, through that drain hole, through a grommet in the canvas and down the drivers side b-pillar.
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kevtherev
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

My Brother in law stuck his 100w to the roof of the westy
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I strung the panel across the luggage rail
And yes it stows flat for travelling.
I need the tilt in the low winter sun

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My pal fixed his flexible panel directly to the roof


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Getting good amps from my 150 watt array.
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mtnride1
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

I prefer a portable panel. It is nice to park in the shade and I am able to move the panel around to follow the sun. 120 watt panel with 165ah battery under the van and my 48ah under the drivers seat.
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kevtherev
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

mtnride1 wrote:
I prefer a portable panel. It is nice to park in the shade and I am able to move the panel around to follow the sun. 120 watt panel with 165ah battery under the van and my 48ah under the drivers seat.

Alas in some parts leaving an expensive solar panel lying around all day with no one around invites the light fingered variety of human scum.
Too easy to steal.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

The ideal portable panel is one that fits in the luggage rack and can be used in place or moved away from the van. One of the 100 W panels that folds in half so that 1/2 of it is active and providing power was a decent solution. But this would be a lot better with some hinged and quick release mounts so it can lay flat or rotate up 45 degrees, or pop it out of the mounts and set it up on the ground. I think most places, you can get enough power from a 100 Watt panel not to have to worry about having it optimally placed.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

This would be the ideal panel for one of the vendors to make a clever mounting kit for.
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henry_de_la_cour
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:47 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

hansh wrote:

...Anyway, this panel fits perfectly on a 1 inch riser. I set it up to be tiltable/removable using all aluminum support.

100W Renogy Compact Design


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Hi Hansh,

very nice execution. Looks perfect to me. I recently had the opportunity to buy such an compact design here in Germany.

Could you provide me more detailed views of the mounts? Did you bought a ready-made rack and modified it?
How did you managed the cable routing to the inside?
I would like to copy your systems as it fits perfectly in the the roof rack.


Best regards from Germany
Henning
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Syncronoid
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that one can buy a 100 watt panel for the luggage rack space, I upgraded from 3x20 to 1x100. That's an extra 20% for my system for 227watts total.

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Syncronoid wrote:
One final shot of the finished setup. With both arrays (127watt and 60 watt), I'm getting about 7.2 amps to the battery on this full sunny day.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PopnDough
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:55 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

I managed to install one of those Renegy 100W compact solar panels on my '85 Weekender, and for some reason I wanted it to fold up, and rotate, so I bought a 16 inch aluminum lazy susan bearing, and 2 Renegy tilt mount sets.




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I also bought a locking surfboard strap w/steel cable to lock it down to the holddowns.

It takes like 10 minutes to set it up once you get it down, and I made 2 sets of braces at different lengths so you can tilt the panel at a steeper angle.

It can rotate 360 degrees(although the poptop would block the sun some if you faced it backwards) as long as the wires don't get twisted too much.

I just barely got it installed the day before my camping trip to Maine, so I spent 2 hours the first night at my campsite hooking up the wires, but after that, it ran my little fridge off a 50ah battery pretty well. I glued it down with some leftover marine adhesive I had.
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