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Is that a Solar Panel?!

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JJCruiser

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Is that a Solar Panel?!
« on: September 19, 2022, 04:10:24 pm »

We were about to pass a motorhome (not a Phoenix Cruiser) on I-80 in Nebraska last week and their solar panel fell off of their roof and into our lane.  Thankfully we were in our car and I was able to avoid hitting it.  We do not have solar panels installed on our Phoenix so I do not know how solar panels are typically attached.  I thought I should post this as some folks might want to check to make sure their solar panels have not started to loosen over time due to vibration.  I have never heard of this happening before so I would guess this is a very rare event.

We have a dashcam installed on our car.  Attached are a few screenshots that I took from the recording. 

If you are interested in seeing the dashcam video, I uploaded it to YouTube.  Here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKp_aslG1bg

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Gixxerkid3

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Re: Is that a Solar Panel?!
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2022, 08:25:26 pm »
Wow that was close.  Hopefully nobody was injured.   
Steve

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JJCruiser

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Re: Is that a Solar Panel?!
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2022, 09:41:12 pm »
Wow that was close.  Hopefully nobody was injured.

It was too close for comfort.  The speed limit on that stretch of I-80 is 75 MPH so there was not much time to react.  I pulled over to the shoulder after it happened to verify our car did not have any damage.  Others behind us were not as lucky avoiding the solar panel as multiple vehicles pulled over to the shoulder after we did.  It would have been interesting to have had a rear facing camera to see what all happened.  Thankfully no one was injured. 

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Ron Dittmer

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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
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Re: Is that a Solar Panel?!
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2022, 06:54:50 am »
I assume that fellow did not screw down his solar panel.  On one of the RV forums, maybe it was on this forum, I read someone exclusively used an adhesive to avoid drilling holes in his roof.  I would never trust an adhesive alone.

Drilling holes in the roof was one factor why I don't have solar, the ladder, or roof rack.  In hindsight, I might have had the factory delete the main vent above our 2350 bed and mount the fantastic fan in the bathroom, then add a high-mounted pass-thru vent between the main room and bathroom.  Doing so would have eliminated one big hole in our roof.

I never cared for the messy roof installation of our batwing antenna.  Unfortunately, cleaner/better digital antennas came out after 2007, after analog signaling was repurposed.

As you may have guessed by now, I have a phobia about holes in roofs.  My wife wants a sky light in our office at home, but I refuse to consider one.  We do have a continuous ridge vent (and continuous eve vents) which are naturally needed, something I accept.  I designed our house with roof lines that are most reliable (the house is a simple rectangle) but it lacks the eye catching curb appeal that the other homes in our neighborhood have with all the elevations, over-lapping rooflines and protrusions.  We have a simple hip roof but made an exception to include a simple gable for the livingroom ceiling.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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JJCruiser

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Re: Is that a Solar Panel?!
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2022, 05:57:26 pm »
I assume that fellow did not screw down his solar panel.  On one of the RV forums, maybe it was on this forum, I read someone exclusively used an adhesive to avoid drilling holes in his roof.  I would never trust an adhesive alone.


That would sure explain why the solar panel came off the roof so quickly.   The combination of a 75 MPH speed limit, a 25 MPH cross wind, and a hot sunny day to weaken the adhesive was all it took to get this solar panel to lift.

After going through this, I plan on going on the roof of our Phoenix to make sure the fasteners on our vent covers have not loosened over time.

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Doneworking

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Re: Is that a Solar Panel?!
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2022, 08:08:00 am »
I installed two solar panels on our 2350.  The first one was a standard rigid 100w panel and I installed it using a mounting kit, screwing down into the roof of the PC and cross bars.  The second one was a 100w flexible panel and I installed it using 3M tape.  I also used Dicor sealant on the edge of the entire flex panel and Dicor to cover all the screws used on the rigid panel as well as where the mounting blocks met the roof.     

That was all done six or seven years ago and I have never had a problem with either installation.  I check my roof before and after each major trip.  When I say check, I mean I check everything up there including the Maxair covers, the AC and so on.   

Candidly, I trust my own installation as opposed to some BillyBob of unknown skill up there doing it at an RV shop.  To him or her, it is just one of the jobs of the day.  For me, it is my vehicle and it cost a lot and I want to be safe and not worry about it going down the road. 


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Ron Dittmer

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  • Location: N/E Illinois
Re: Is that a Solar Panel?!
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2022, 06:18:40 am »
Candidly, I trust my own installation as opposed to some BillyBob of unknown skill up there doing it at an RV shop.  To him or her, it is just one of the jobs of the day.  For me, it is my vehicle and it cost a lot and I want to be safe and not worry about it going down the road.
2o2
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer