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Post Info TOPIC: Two-way tilt solar panel


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Two-way tilt solar panel


Hello, I'm a new member - just joined today for the very purpose of sorting out this problem (and hopefully others):

I wish to add to the efficiency of a single 100-watt solar panel I added to my small trailer camper last summer. My wife and I like to camp wild without hookups - and we do so mostly in the early spring and late fall when the sun angles are low, and days short. So I'm looking for a way to install a two-way tilting device to better capture that angled sun. Two-way is because I can't always choose which way to park the camper - and I can tilt to both morning and afternoon conditions if staying in the same place for a few nights. 

Of course, I've researched this, and even the one-sided tilt legs look like a bit of a pain because of the need to unscrew nuts or knobs with washers (possibly drop them) install the leg and re-fasten the assembly. I'm truly quite surprised that no quick-release and snap-secure system has been devised (or has it and I just can't find it?) If I can't do it quickly and easily, then there's always the temptation to just not bother at all.

So - in short, I'm looking for a two-way tilt system that is easier to deploy than what's on the market and just snaps into place both up and down. If it doesn't exist - someone needs to invent it! I'm thinking that small pistons, like you might find on a hatch-back vehicle might be an intriguing way to address this if I could figure how to install the 'ball' part of the ball-and-socket ends to the panel and camper roof. It's a regular 'hard' aluminum panel that's currently screwed straight down to the roof with z-brackets.

I'd welcome any suggestions, thank you



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Hamish Tear


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Get a Portable 100 watt suite case Solar unit. you can place it where it will bet max sunshine during the day

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Thanks Danny and Cheryl,

I already have that - but I also want to be able to tilt the panel on the roof two ways to maximize efficiency. A remote panel could be stolen while we're not there.



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Hamish Tear


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I’m going to suggest you just get another panel on your roof and not worry about tilting. Will save you a lot of time and effort getting up and down from your roof.

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If you want to “mess” with your solar panel then buy a portable or tilt system. If you don’t, buy two panels and mount them to the roof. They cost only $120 or so each. However, if you haven’t done an energy survey do you really know what you need?

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Gotta agree with Jrsygrl64 for the reasons stated. Assuming you have the room for another panel. Scavenging every last drop of solar thru tilting is a lot of extra work not to mention the outlay for the tilt kit. KISS principle is fully in play here. just my 2 cents.



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no Mor/ryde IS, no solar  YET!



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Thank you - I don't have room for another panel on the roof. I don't have to get on the roof as I can easily reach all parts of the solar panel from an 8ft. telescoping ladder.

 



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Hamish Tear


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Well let's look at the available tilting options. The only ones I see are some sort of gas/hydraulic strut arrangement, manual or automatic, supports that slide in a slot or a series of holes which would require some sort of pin or threaded fastener to keep in place. The last method and manual struts would also require a trip to the roof every time you stopped. I guess you could come up with some sort of hydraulic pump arrangement but I'm pretty sure it would be expensive and require at least some sort of minimal maintenance, likely quite a bit. The long and the short of it is I think that although it could be done the more realistic arrangement would be to do what the previous posters suggested, add more solar, it's cheap, doesn't require too many trips to the roof and won't blow of the coach like something supported by gas struts might if you don't latch them down. Now if you want to do this because it would make you happy that's a different story and I say have at it. But, if you're looking for practical I think that the previous suggestion of more solar is probably the right one. You may want to get in touch with Tom Morton at Mortons on the Move and see if he knows of anything.  There is also a video somewhere out there that I've seen that discusses the tilting issue but not the exact thing you want to do.   As always YMMV.



-- Edited by arcaguy on Sunday 31st of March 2019 08:38:26 PM

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BiggarView wrote:

Gotta agree with Jrsygrl64 for the reasons stated. Assuming you have the room for another panel. Scavenging every last drop of solar thru tilting is a lot of extra work not to mention the outlay for the tilt kit. KISS principle is fully in play here. just my 2 cents.


 Thank you, I'm pretty sure this will give me extra 25% charging at least if I angle it to the sun in late fall and early spring. I agree with KISS all the way, which is why I'm looking for quick-deployment. I think I'll use gas support struts - $12.



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Hamish Tear


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arcaguy wrote:

Well let's look at the available tilting options. The only ones I see are some sort of gas/hydraulic strut arrangement, manual or automatic, supports that slide in a slot or a series of holes which would require some sort of pin or threaded fastener to keep in place. The last method and manual struts would also require a trip to the roof every time you stopped. I guess you could come up with some sort of hydraulic pump arrangement but I'm pretty sure it would be expensive and require at least some sort of minimal maintenance, likely quite a bit. The long and the short of it is I think that although it could be done the more realistic arrangement would be to do what the previous posters suggested, add more solar, it's cheap, doesn't require too many trips to the roof and won't blow of the coach like something supported by gas struts might if you don't latch them down. Now if you want to do this because it would make you happy that's a different story and I say have at it. But, if you're looking for practical I think that the previous suggestion of more solar is probably the right one. You may want to get in touch with Tom Morton at Mortons on the Move and see if he knows of anything.  There is also a video somewhere out there that I've seen that discusses the tilting issue but not the exact thing you want to do.   As always YMMV.



-- Edited by arcaguy on Sunday 31st of March 2019 08:38:26 PM


 Thank you - per previous reply - there's no room for another one on my small camper and I can easily reach all parts of the panel from an 8ft. telescoping ladder (not that I'm all the way up on it). There are quick-release pins (a round pin with a ball bearing in the end) for sailboats that I can use on all four corners to keep it flat, or to hinge, or pull out on either side as necessary. I've already decided on the gas strut idea and what you suggest about a sliding rail would be even better. Would you know where I'd find such a sliding rail? I'd never leave a tilted panel unattended, especially if wind was remotely possible.



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