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Old 07-08-2018, 11:34 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: arizona
Posts: 61
Default Mounting Solar Panels

i have 3 harbor freight solar panels i'd like to mount on my 85 hilo...they are about 12 inch wide and 48 inch long...what is the best way to secure them to the roof?

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Old 07-09-2018, 09:12 AM   #2
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Location: Pine, AZ
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You'd have to use screws, I think, something like lag screws and possibly put them in a frame specifically designed for that purpose.

However, if they are the panels I'm thinking of, I believe you're wasting your time. I think they are rated at 15 Watts each, for a total of 45 Watts. In practice, if this is the case, you will generally see about half that output or a total of no more than 22 Watts on a good day. At a charging voltage of 13.5V, this only delivers 1.63 Amps to your battery. That's essentially a "trickle charge", and will not do much for you while camping.

I tried using 4 of the 15 Watt panels when I first got my HiLo and found them to be more trouble than they were worth. I had them on a stand that I could set up outside and orient perpendicular to the sun. They now live in the landfill.

If you want to dry camp and charge your battery with solar, you need at least two 100 Watt panels. I have three. They are lightweight, flexible and are held on the roof by EternaBond tape. I have a thread on my installation in this forum if you want to look for it.

- Jack

Hi-Lo 1707T - Tire Minder TPMS on Tow Vehicle and Trailer, 300W Solar Battery Charger, Equal-i-zer WDH
2014 F150 Platinum 4x4 3.5L EcoBoost SCrew
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: arizona
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i looked for the thread and couldn't find you remember if it was in general discussion?,,,also do you remember about how old the post is?..thanks in advance
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:21 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 55

One word of caution: My factory installed panel quit working so I removed it, at which time I determined the roof panel had several pin holes rusted through the metal. This was caused by dirt and debris that had accumulated between the solar panel and the roof. So I would suggest if you do install solar panels, install them on long enough spacers to allow cleaning.
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