How to Mount a Solar Panel on a Trailer

How to Mount a Solar Panel on a Trailer
Solar panels are popular with RV and trailer-camping enthusiasts. The panels save money in the long run and do not require the use of fuel. Generators are effective but they are noisy and require maintenance and fuel. Solar panels are mounted to the trailer and wired to batteries. The batteries hold the stored energy and power the trailer. The number of batteries used and the size of the panels determine the amount of available power.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Mounting

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mounting tracks
  • Mounting hardware
  • Drill
  • Solar panel
  • Regulator
  • Battery
Step 1
Unplug all batteries, generated power and ground lines to power sources. It is important that the trailer is not receiving any power during the installation process.
Step 2
Locate the area on the roof of the trailer where you will install the panels. The area must be clear of objects and components. Also avoid vents and preexisting power lines. The outside edge of the solar panel also must be positioned over 6 inches from the roof edge.
Step 3
Measure the width and length of the solar panel to be installed. Use a pencil to mark the dimensions on the roof of the trailer. The measurements must be exact for the security of the panel.
Step 4
Position each of the tracks on the roof of the trailer. Align the tracks to cover the length of the solar panel. Place the panel in the track to double-check the accuracy of the measurements.
Step 5
Use the hardware that comes with the mount and screw the track to the roof with a drill. Only screw through the holes that are already built into the tracks.
Step 6
Position the panel in the track and use the matched hardware to screw the panel to the track. The holes are set to align when the panel is in the correct position.

Connecting

Step 1
Locate a preexisting electrical hole in the trailer. Run the solar panel wires through the electric conduit and into the RV.
Step 2
Connect the solar panel wires to the regulator. Turn on the regulator and allow it to run an initial test on the panels. A green light will indicate the panels are properly connected.
Step 3
Place a battery in the trailer and connect the battery wires to the regulator. The battery will charge as long as the panels are exposed to the sun. The regulator will control the flow of electricity and protect the battery.

Tips & Warnings

 
Add raise bars to the track for setting the panel at an angle. The angle will be adjustable and will make it possible to maximize the amount of energy captured.
 
The track and panel must be secured to the roof of the trailer. If the track is loose, the panel may be lost during travel.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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