Sticking down solar panels. (1 Viewer)

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May 29, 2013
2,675
20,508
Tyneside
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26,231
MH
Chausson best of Flash 10
Exp
Several years now
The last details I now need to consider for fitting of the solar panel involve finding the correct adhesive to fix down the supports for the solar panel. I DO NOT want to use any screw fixings into the roof of the MH at all.

Having been aware that many people use Sikaflex I tried phoning them, on the UK number, to speak to a technical person to ensure I got the best adhesive for the job, I got passed from pillar to post and never got to speak to anyone who could advise. I tried emailing their technical enquiry email, no reply.

So basically, can anyone advise on their preferred adhesive to fix down the solar panel supports, type shown below, and also to a website or official youtube video from the adhesive company showing their correct method of preparation and assembly to use the adhesive ?

SOLAR-M-4-247x247.png
 
Dec 31, 2010
2,766
6,171
Sunny South Shields
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14,797
MH
Frankia Platin i7900
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Since 2010
The last details I now need to consider for fitting of the solar panel involve finding the correct adhesive to fix down the supports for the solar panel. I DO NOT want to use any screw fixings into the roof of the MH at all.

Having been aware that many people use Sikaflex I tried phoning them, on the UK number, to speak to a technical person to ensure I got the best adhesive for the job, I got passed from pillar to post and never got to speak to anyone who could advise. I tried emailing their technical enquiry email, no reply.

So basically, can anyone advise on their preferred adhesive to fix down the solar panel supports, type shown below, and also to a website or official youtube video from the adhesive company showing their correct method of preparation and assembly to use the adhesive ?

SOLAR-M-4-247x247.png
I used puraflex 40 from Toolstation on western approach 👍🏻

Also give the plastic mounts a good key on the bottom I also drill some 6mm holes along the edges so the puraflex comes through then mushroom them over.

IMG-20220425-WA0000.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Feb 9, 2011
248
854
Sussex
Funster No
15,257
MH
Elddis Accordo 120
Exp
Since 2002
I used the above mounts with Sikaflex 522 and have had no issues. Ensure you have a 2mm bed of adhesive once the panel is in place. More adhesive is better than too little. I also used 522 to stick down a flexible panel on a previous van and no issues with that either.
 
Apr 6, 2019
4,097
8,146
Eye, Peterborough, UK
Funster No
59,702
MH
RV
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FourWinds Windsport 6.8L V10
Puraflex40 on my old panels with those same plastic feet - surfaces must be clean but roughed up which will vary depending on what your outer roof surface is currently. Don't mash the panel down onto the roof, 2mm thivkness of adhesive I recall was recommended. You achieve that by placing some small plastic strips into the adhesive on the feet?
 

tonka

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Jul 2, 2008
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A class Burstner 800
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Since 2000
Another vote for puraflex from Toolstation đź‘Ť
Was recommended to me by a fellow Funster years ago and fitted several panels on a few vans. No issues.

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Oct 29, 2016
4,588
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Surrey
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MH
Carthago C Tourer
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Motor Homing 5 years, caravan previously
I used those white plastic ABS panel mounts with Sikaflex also, I roughed up both the underside of the brackets and the GRP roof under each bracket, placed 2p coin under each bracket to act as a spacer, marked arround each bracket position with a pencil, then masked up allowing 4mm outside the pencil lines.
Squirted the Sikaflex to each of the bracket mating faces, then some more on the van roof, placed the solar panels and pushed down evenly on all four corners, left it for 10 minutes, then removed surplus Sikaflex with a plastic scrapper, finished off with wet finger, then I peeled off the masking tape, lovely neat job.(y)
However!
If I did the job again, I would use Ali Brackets, or even 50x50 Ali right angle section, why?, because its cheaper, you can cut the Ali section to longer lengths if you want to, and last but not least, The Pure White ABS corner mounts are not very UVA protected, so will turn yellowish after a couple of years in the sun, just like most of the utility flaps on vans.
LES
 

andy63

Free Member
Jan 19, 2014
4,672
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south shields
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29,767
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None
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since 1990
If you haven't already got the panel mounts, a piece of say 50mm alloy angle cut into suitable lengths and attached to th panel so that the feet sit under the panel and looks as neat a system that I've seen.. That was a tip from Andy (techno)..
Never used the bought mounts again and if you are prepared to use say roofing bolts to attach the panel to the angle they are easily removed for cleaning the roof etc..
I've found that pretty well any pu adhesive from any of the reputable makes is good enough.. Just clean and prep the roof and feet with a bit coarse paper and jobs, a good un..
Andy
20230126_154724.jpg

That sort of thing
 
Jan 1, 2014
593
1,385
France
Funster No
29,512
MH
Dethleffs T7010
Exp
Since 1974
Can't understand why people try to cut cost on fixing panels etc. to the roof of your van!
Use the correct Sikaflex depending on which roof and mounts you have or as many professionals are now using Dekasyl MS5 with the activator pack, not a cheap alternative but peace of mind is not often cheap.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,994
157,766
On the coast in West Sussex
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658
MH
Carthago Compactline
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
I wouldn't use those plastic brackets, nearly every panel that falls of has been fixed using plastic brackets.
Far better to make or buy some aluminum brackets.
If you do use the plastic brackets you need to make sure you use the correct grade adhesive that is compatible with both surfaces both plastic & the roof material.
 

MisterB

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Feb 25, 2018
6,487
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Adria 670 SLT
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enough to know i shouldnt touch things i know nothing about ....
The last details I now need to consider for fitting of the solar panel involve finding the correct adhesive to fix down the supports for the solar panel. I DO NOT want to use any screw fixings into the roof of the MH at all.

Having been aware that many people use Sikaflex I tried phoning them, on the UK number, to speak to a technical person to ensure I got the best adhesive for the job, I got passed from pillar to post and never got to speak to anyone who could advise. I tried emailing their technical enquiry email, no reply.

So basically, can anyone advise on their preferred adhesive to fix down the solar panel supports, type shown below, and also to a website or official youtube video from the adhesive company showing their correct method of preparation and assembly to use the adhesive ?

SOLAR-M-4-247x247.png
i use black mounts and black sikaflex but i also add two extra side brackets along the longest side.
 
OP
OP
Sandancers
May 29, 2013
2,675
20,508
Tyneside
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26,231
MH
Chausson best of Flash 10
Exp
Several years now
I wouldn't use those plastic brackets, nearly every panel that falls of has been fixed using plastic brackets.
Far better to make or buy some aluminum brackets.
If you do use the plastic brackets you need to make sure you use the correct grade adhesive that is compatible with both surfaces both plastic & the roof material.

That's why I tried to contact an "expert" at Sika, but the experts didn't want to talk !
 
Feb 14, 2021
4,009
8,784
Milton Keynes, UK
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79,219
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Burstner Lyseo 727G
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19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
Keeping an eye on this thread as I will need to stick my new one down soon.

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OP
OP
Sandancers
May 29, 2013
2,675
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Several years now
Finally getting to talk to experts ! Turns out that Everbuild, who manufacture Puraflex40 and Sika are now one Company !

Anyway, talked to an expert at Sika about mounting the panel brackets. As mentioned in #3 Sika522 is the one the guy at Sika recommends. I had looked up the type of material that Chausson used to manufacture my vehicle, rather unhelpfully Chausson informed me that the coachwork is made of polyester and it has an anti-hail roof, but not what the roof is made of ! I do know that the main part of the roof is not GRP. I discussed with the guy from Sika what material it might be, he suggested polyester or ABS but that 522 would work just fine with either or probably any plastic which could conceivably be used.

He gave the following procedure to follow when using it.

Lightly abrase both the bottom of the ABS mounts and the area of the roof where it is to be stuck. (If using aluminium mounts, give the ali a bit more abrasion, be more wary with anodised ali.)

Wipe dust from areas.

Wipe over areas with Sika activator 205, let dry for an hour.

Apply Sika522 and assemble mounts.


I then contacted Bostik to talk about Bostik360, straight through to a helpful chap who promised to look into the whole question and get back to me. But meanwhile I found the following info from a company called Sunshine Solar;


Applications

  • Elastic bondings and sealings in e.g. bus-, caravan- and trailer construction.
  • Bonding of metals, glass and plastics.
Features

  • Colour: White
  • Cartridge Size: 290ml
  • Silyl Modified Polymer
  • Solvent-, isocyanate- and PVC free.
  • Good UV-resistance and ageing properties.
  • Permanently elastic in a temperature range of –40°C to +90°C
In general STR 360 adheres well without primer on clean, dry, dust- and grease free substrates of aluminium, stainless steel, galvanised steel, zinc, copper, brass, powder coated metal, most lacquered metal surfaces, glass, PVC, polyester (GRP), painted and lacquered wood, etc. No adhesion on untreated polyethylene, polypropylene and teflon. In case of high adhesion demands the use of Simson Prep M is recommended. Prep M degreases and prepares the surface of the substrate in one step. On plain, untreated wooden surfaces and other porous substrates Simson Prep P is recommended. In case the joint is exposed to UV radiation the bond surface has to be protected by UV-blocking methods like Simson Prep G. For more details concerning Prep M, Prep P and Prep G consult the specific technical information data sheets. For not mentioned substrates and additional information consult Bostik.


PRODUCT CODE: BOS360


I will wait and see what info I get from Bostik technical before making a choice, but looks like they are fairly similar to each other.
 
OP
OP
Sandancers
May 29, 2013
2,675
20,508
Tyneside
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Chausson best of Flash 10
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Several years now
Something to be aware of atm is temperature , from memory sikaflex is something like minimum temperature of 10 degrees and ideally 15 degrees

Yes, that is very true.

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Apr 3, 2019
1,676
3,089
UK
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59,597
MH
Burstner Travel Van
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Few years now
Sika 522 is a minimum of 5c according to the data sheet. I was going to fit a new TV aerial a few weeks back but had to wait until last week when it warmed up a bit.
 
Aug 26, 2022
306
586
North Cumbria.
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90,895
MH
Hobby Vantana
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Since 2013
I will be using 2x2 alloy angle for my panel and puraflex 40 to stick them down. The product data sheet is not very helpful, so a question for the expert funsters who have stuck similar alloy brackets down : How many 300ml tubes would you expect to use for 2 x 1640mm brackets ?
 
OP
OP
Sandancers
May 29, 2013
2,675
20,508
Tyneside
Funster No
26,231
MH
Chausson best of Flash 10
Exp
Several years now
I will be using 2x2 alloy angle for my panel and puraflex 40 to stick them down. The product data sheet is not very helpful, so a question for the expert funsters who have stuck similar alloy brackets down : How many 300ml tubes would you expect to use for 2 x 1640mm brackets ?

I found out that you can buy unequal ali angle at 3" x 2" which means a greater footprint of adhesive with the same height of solar panel.

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Apr 24, 2018
912
4,119
France
Funster No
53,567
MH
2001 Hymer B544
Exp
Since 1992
Surface preparation of the plastic moulds is absolutely critical.

I was doing a whole bunch of jobs to prepare our camper last summer while also finishing up with work. I fitted 6 panels to the roof with the moulded plastic mounts and Sika and forgot to prepare the mould surfaces. The plastic things are moulded and arrive coated in silicone mould release agent.

I left them for a week to cure. When I checked, every panel and every mould popped off the roof with one finger.

I wouldn’t have travelled a mile without losing all the panels.

I removed them, spent a long time scraping the adhesive from the roof, de-siliconed the moulds with spirit and properly roughened the surfaces. Then I refitted, also using screws as I made myself paranoid. They have now done about 4000km with no issues. Thankfully no leaks either :)
 
Last edited:

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,994
157,766
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Surface preparation of the plastic moulds is absolutely critical.

I was doing a whole bunch of jobs to prepare our camper last summer while also finishing up with work. I fitted 6 panels to the roof with the moulded plastic mounts and Sika and forgot to prepare the mould surfaces. The plastic things are moulded and arrive coated in silicone mould release agent.

I left them for a week to cure. When I checked, every panel and every mould popped off the roof with one finger.

I wouldn’t have travelled a mile without losing all the panels.

I removed them, spent a long time scraping the adhesive from the roof, de-siliconed the moulds with spirit and properly roughened the surfaces. Then I refitted, also using screws as I made myself paranoid. They have now done about 4000km with no issues. Thankfully no leaks either :)
If I'd had your experience I would have binned the plastic brackets & used alloy.
 
Aug 26, 2022
306
586
North Cumbria.
Funster No
90,895
MH
Hobby Vantana
Exp
Since 2013
use a pair of these mounts, with Sika522


Amazon product ASIN B09K6FB5RH
My van is a Ducato, so with ribbed roof, which means that I intend to fasten the panels down on the long edge at 1640 long. I still have the option to use short brackets on the forward edge where the ribs allow in order to help to stop the panel lifting. Hence my request for the amount of sticky stuff required to stick them down. I quite like the tip to use 3x2 angle as this will give me a larger area to stick down.

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