Adhesive Installation of Solar Panels

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    Paul Boyle

    I don’t want to drill into my 5th wheel roof to install my solar panels. 3M makes an adhesive 5200 which makes a permanent bond and  4200 which can be removed.  A fair number of installers use them for solar installation.  Any thought or information on these?



    Some info in an article on AM Solars website


    Fiberglass roofs – We have been using a type of 3M double-sided tape on our mounts since the mid 1990’s, and we have never lost a panel.  As long as the tape is properly installed on a clean surface at the correct temperature, it will hold.  As an added level of protection, we use a layer of Dicor self-leveling sealant around the entire perimeter of the mount, and cover the screw holes/heads as well.  The sealant protects the tape and any potential roof penetrations from water intrusion and decay.

    Rubber Roofs – Along with the 3M double-sided tape, we also include stainless steel ¾” pan head sheet metal screws in the Rocker Foot Mount Set.  While the 3M tape will hold to your rubber roof, your rubber roof may not stay attached to the plywood it is bonded to.  The sheet metal screws will penetrate through the rubber, into the plywood, to keep your rubber roof from separating while the wind force of highway speed driving pulls at your panels.  Again, we bury the entire mounting feet with Dicor self-leveling sealant for weather resistance.  Some customers use the screws for an added layer of protection on fiberglass roofs, but we haven’t found that to be necessary.

    Eddie & Aileen

    Hi Paul, I looked into stick-on Amorphous Solar Panels for our rig back when I started into the solar “Quest”. The two things that was against the stick on is adhesion to the EPDM rubber roof and how solar panels need air to flow under them to cool off or thay will not work to potential. A hot panel will de-rate its power up to 40% depending on how hot it is and panel type. Also we had a spot or two on our rubber roof that did not get enough contact glue when the rubber roof was put on at the factory. This could pull up even if the 3m was stoutly stuck to the top of the rubber roof. One more “Big” thing that kept us away from stick-on type was I wanted to be able to tilt our panels. I will tell you once you go “Tilts” on your panels you never want to go back! We gain 40% to 50% pointing our panels to the sun in the winter. The name of the game is to get as much from the sun as possible in a set amount of time, and some days you get even less time.

    If you use strong installation techniques, and good mounting hardware like heavy aluminum angle brackets, SS screws with lots of Dicor sealant and Eternabond tape, you will not regret the installation. It’s kinda funny how many will not mount anything to the top of their RV in fear of water damage, but will climb up and staple/”Nail” Christmas lights on the roof of their “stick-built” house. If you think about it an RV roof is easier to repair and take care of than a regular shingled house.What ever way you go good luck, and send us some pictures of your install.:good:

    Happy Trails!!!  :bye:


    AM Solar is who we contacted about putting solar on our 2014 Cougar f/w. They referred us to Greg there East Coast installer. We told them what we wanted. They quoted us a price of close to $4000 and it was just two panels, invertor and not half the system we have now for the same money. Personally we would never refer am solar to anyone. There more than friendly when taking to them and that’s because there a business. Now that we know better, as we say here in the south we were fixing to get stuck, gouged, or prodded.

    We spent many hours researching solar over a years worth. wewere like you skeptical about putting screws in our roof. After a hour long conversation with Mr. Eddie and seeing his solar setup we knew he was the one. We was right there beside him the entire installation and he educated us every step of the way. When we left we felt confident we knew how to use and trouble shoot the system. He give us a education on solar in the way we could understand and continues to call and check on us.

    We show off our system to anyone that’s interested and those who know anything about electricity and solar always comment on how neat and professional things look. Its the little things they notice that we never knew made a difference in the operation of the system. When they point out the differences of if they had done this instead of that, we know we went the right direction in our choice of installers.

    I wish I’d saved the email from am solar so we could show you. Good luck in your installation and boondocking adventures Paul and if you ever like to talk to us please feel free to call and chit chat.  Its 252-341-6779 Rush and Lola Songer.

    Paul Boyle

    Thanks! I was only gathering information and not looking to us AM Solar.

    Mike Fischer

    We do have AMSolar panels, and are using their adhesive. We know quite a few other RVers who have the same setup and have had no problems with the panels coming unstuck. We just installed the first two panels (out of six) last week and have only driven once since then but they don’t seem to be moving at all. Whatever panels you go with, just make sure you clean the roof thoroughly with alcohol (assuming smooth fiberglass roof) first, and if it’s cool outside, warm up the roof a bit with a heat gun before sticking the adhesive to it.

    We did get a quote from one of AMSolar’s recommended installers and the labor was pretty crazy. We decided to still go with the AMSolar kit, but to do a self-install. I’m sure we could have saved some money by buying the gear elsewhere but being complete newbies we liked the fact that their kit includes everything we could possibly need in one package… switch, breaker, shunt, controller, remote, roof cables, interior cables, heat-shrink connectors, lugs, etc… and they have good “how to” videos that show almost every step of the self-install process.


    • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by Mike Fischer. Reason: Clarified use on non-AMsolar panels
    Paul Boyle

    I believe I will watch Ray’s solar panel installation on YouTube again.

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