How to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling?
In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling?” We will discuss the steps in detail to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling. We will touch upon the necessities, and materials and also talk about the alternative installation options without drilling.
How to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling?
To attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling, these steps need to be followed.
- Plan the layout on the RV roof
- Use strut channels to install the panels
- Clean the surface with acetone
- Use heavy-duty VHP tape
- Use Sikaflex to seal the strut channels
- Install the solar panels to the strut channels
Plan the layout on the RV roof
- First, you must plan the layout on the RV roof to get a proper understanding of where you want to fix these solar panels. RV roofs are sure to have vents and other obstacles. It is important to get decide on the area where you plan on installing the panels.
- Get the measurements of the panels and plan the layout on the RV roof accordingly. Make sure there is enough space around the installed panels.
Use strut channels to install the panels
- If you are attaching solar panels to an RV roof without drilling, you will need to use strut channels to install these panels. Strut channels are easy to find and they can be bought easily. Make sure to purchase strut channels that have galvanized metal.
- These strut channels will replace the “Z” brackets in the installation process and there is no need to worry about drilling.
- Paint the strut channels and make sure that they are cut according to the length of the solar panels. You can choose to paint the strut channels with a color that matches the roof of your RV.
Clean the surface with acetone
- Before installing the strut channels and solar panels, you will need to clean the surface of the RV roof. Use some acetone to clean the surface. You can also clean the strut channels with acetone if required.
- A clean surface will give you a proper bond and it will help you to stick the strut channels with ease.
Use heavy-duty VHP tape
- To get the strut channels onto the roof, you will need to use heavy-duty VHP tape. Make sure that you get one and a half inches of heavy-duty VHP tape to fix the strut channels onto the roof.
- Turn the strut channel upside down and start placing the tape from one end. You can leave some gaps in between, but it is advised to use heavy-duty VHP tape throughout the strut channels.
- Make sure to mark the area on the RV roof where the panels are supposed to be fixed. Place the strut channels on the marked area and add pressure to ensure that the channels are fixed properly.
Use Sikaflex to seal the strut channels
- Use Sikaflex to seal all the gaps between the strut channels and the RV roof. This is an essential step since it provides more sturdiness to the channels. This will also help to keep moisture away from the VHP tape and help it last longer. Use enough Sikaflex or a similar solution to seal the strut channels.
Install the solar panels to the strut channels
- Next, you will need to install solar panels to the strut channels. This is a crucial step and make sure to follow the steps correctly.
- Before installing the panels, you will need to have “L” brackets for each corner of the solar panels. These brackets are the ones that will hold the solar panels onto the strut channels that you have installed on the roof.
- Install strut channel washers and fix them on one side of the “L” bracket. Make sure that the washers are a perfect fit for the strut channels. Fix the washers into the strut channel and secure them with a bolt and nut on one side of the “L” bracket.
- Be sure to have a hole on one side of the “L” bracket for the bolt and nut. Fix the “L” bracket to the strut channels with the help of a washer.
- Double-check the measurements and be sure to fix the bracket correctly. Use metal epoxy glue to stick the other end of the “L” bracket to the solar panel. Heavy-duty cold weld epoxy glue is one of the best options to consider.
- Ensure to use enough glue to stick the “L” bracket properly. There are plenty of metal glue products that are available in the market.
- The strut channel mounting system is an advantage and you can easily add stuff to it later on. You can lift the panels and add new brackets later on.
- You can also create a tilt if necessary with the help of these strut panels. VHP heavy-duty tape does a great job of keeping the strut channels secure to the roof.
Those were the few simple steps to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling. With the help of strut channels and heavy-duty tape, you should be able to get a proper base to install the solar panels. Metal epoxy glue is a must-have in this situation and it is essential to keep the RV solar panels stuck to the roof.
Alternative installation options without drilling
There are a few alternative installation options and there is no need for drilling. These options are familiar and are widely used by RV enthusiasts. Here are some of the alternative installation options for solar panels.
- Adhesive mounts are one of the common options that are used to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling. Adhesive mounts are also an affordable option. These mounts have a metal frame that can be attached to the roof with the help of adhesive.
- The solar panels can be attached to the frame with the help of hinges or clamps. Using adhesive mounts are also easy to install and the best part is that there is no need for drilling or modifications on your RV. The only disadvantage with adhesive mounts is that they are not ideal for extremely windy conditions.
- Panel clamps are equally used to attach solar panels to an RV roof. These are similar to adhesive mounts and they consist of a metal frame that is attached to the roof. This frame is attached with adhesive, but panel clamps are more powerful than adhesive mounts.
- One of the major advantages of panel clamps is that they can withstand windy conditions. They are also easy to remove. The only disadvantage of panel clamps is that they are more expensive.
In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling?” We have discussed the steps in detail to attach solar panels to an RV roof without drilling. We have touched upon the necessities, and materials and also talked about the alternative installation options without drilling.