Threading screws plus adhesive? Solar Panel Installer in North Wales?

Jan 24, 2014
31
6
North Wales
Funster No
29,835
MH
Autosleeper PVC
Exp
I'm a newbie
I've decided to go down the solar route with my autosleeper Kingham as it really likes the taste of electricity and I would really like to not have to go chasing the stuff every couple of days while I'm away. After reading a few threads here I'm concerned that the panel will go flying off the roof! I'm thinking that as well as being 'glued' to the roof it should also be attached by 'threading screws' or similar? To those that know about these things, does that sound sensible? Also, can anyone recommend an installer in the North Wales/Cheshire area? Thank you!
 
Mar 23, 2018
123
127
East Devon
Funster No
52,960
MH
PVC-Westfalia Amundsen
Exp
Since 1995
I have been talking to a local installer here in the SW as I too feel I would like the security of screws. Plus I get a healthy Funster discount :cool:
 
Aug 6, 2013
8,382
7,591
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
If you take a Poll of Funsters with panels attached & include the appropriate questions you'll find, probably, none whose glued panels have come loose. Never mind fallen off. Why put unnecessary holes in the roof?

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Dec 6, 2011
5,108
5,758
South Wales
Funster No
19,136
MH
Coach built Adria
Exp
Since 2007
the panel that was reported on a thread here as ripped off actually seems to have ripped off at the screw fixings not at the roof sikaflex fixings.

mine has formed feet bonded to the roof ( preparation and correct fixing adhesive is obviously essential ) and the panel is then screwed to the feet.

if its correctly fitted then you should have nothing to be concerned about. i would only put screw holes in the body work ( especially the roof ) if it was absolutely unavoidable.

but thats just me. we all make our choices.
 
Nov 5, 2014
912
3,763
Borders
Funster No
34,127
MH
Van Conversion
If you take a Poll of Funsters with panels attached & include the appropriate questions you'll find, probably, none whose glued panels have come loose. Never mind fallen off. Why put unnecessary holes in the roof?
But there have been reports on other forums where panels have fallen off so it is down to the individual to decide if they want to bolt them down or risk them falling off and possibly causing a serious incident.
 
Dec 6, 2011
5,108
5,758
South Wales
Funster No
19,136
MH
Coach built Adria
Exp
Since 2007
But there have been reports on other forums where panels have fallen off so it is down to the individual to decide if they want to bolt them down or risk them falling off and possibly causing a serious incident.
the problem with mechanical fixings to the roof is that the roof is very thin so the screws have only a shallow depth to anchor too. "Bolted down"! is probably not likely as the bolts would then in many cases protrude into the habitation space ceiling.

BUT! I wholeheartedly agree; its whatever helps each of us sleep at night..
 
Aug 6, 2013
8,382
7,591
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
But there have been reports on other forums where panels have fallen off so it is down to the individual to decide if they want to bolt them down or risk them falling off and possibly causing a serious incident.
The problem is that none are "bolted" on because there's nothing to bolt them to. The roof is a sandwich with the top layer being a few mm thick. Unless you put fasteners through the roof into the living space it is the adhesive that holds them on anyway. There needs to be care taken when using adhesive - especially when using proprietary plastic 'feet' - to key both the roof and the attachment but done correctly 2 of the 4 or 4 of the 6 feet would need to let go. One on its own would hold the panel. The front and rear mouldings of many A class vans are held on by the same adhesive.
 

grasscutter

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 11, 2009
1,692
3,219
East Wittering. West Sussex.
Funster No
8,848
MH
C Class
Exp
Started in 1980
Modern day adhesives are much better than mechanical fixings for solar.
As others have said why put holes in your roof.
The aviation industry have been using adhesives for many years.

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Nov 5, 2014
912
3,763
Borders
Funster No
34,127
MH
Van Conversion
The problem is that none are "bolted" on because there's nothing to bolt them to. The roof is a sandwich with the top layer being a few mm thick. Unless you put fasteners through the roof into the living space it is the adhesive that holds them on anyway. There needs to be care taken when using adhesive - especially when using proprietary plastic 'feet' - to key both the roof and the attachment but done correctly 2 of the 4 or 4 of the 6 feet would need to let go. One on its own would hold the panel. The front and rear mouldings of many A class vans are held on by the same adhesive.
That is a good point as the other forums I have mentioned relate more to self build conversions which are usually based on a metal roof van. There was one incident I can recall when the paint, on which the panel was glued, separated from the roof and hence the reason for the panel coming off.
 
Sep 26, 2013
2,551
2,134
Market Rasen
Funster No
28,295
MH
Self Build
Exp
Since 2003
If you have a tin roof then use self tappers through the high part of the rib, did mine seven years ago and as long as you put some sealant on as well then it will be fine and no fears about it coming loose.
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
14,303
25,032
Plympton, Devon
Funster No
24,219
MH
PVC, Murvi Morocco
Exp
2013
I used both adhesive (Sikaflex) and stainless steel self-tappers on our PVC. The reason for the screws was partly because I wasn't convinced how well the paint was stuck to the steel roof, a few small patches had fallen off over joints. With a conventional MH this may not be an issue but with a PVC you aren't sticking the panel to the bodywork - but to the paint. :)

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OP
pengy
Jan 24, 2014
31
6
North Wales
Funster No
29,835
MH
Autosleeper PVC
Exp
I'm a newbie
If you have a tin roof then use self tappers through the high part of the rib, did mine seven years ago and as long as you put some sealant on as well then it will be fine and no fears about it coming loose.
Definitely a steel roof! What is your van? Looks similar to mine 🙂
 
OP
pengy
Jan 24, 2014
31
6
North Wales
Funster No
29,835
MH
Autosleeper PVC
Exp
I'm a newbie
That is a good point as the other forums I have mentioned relate more to self build conversions which are usually based on a metal roof van. There was one incident I can recall when the paint, on which the panel was glued, separated from the roof and hence the reason for the panel coming off.
That's one of the reports I read. I have a PVC with a metal roof too.
 
OP
pengy
Jan 24, 2014
31
6
North Wales
Funster No
29,835
MH
Autosleeper PVC
Exp
I'm a newbie
Thanks again for comments. :giggle:I think the fog may be clearing a little. With a coachbuilt adhesive only would seem to be the way, but with a PVC adhesive and screws are probably more secure. I've a PVC so I think i'll be looking for screws for added security.
 
Reactions: DBK
OP
pengy
Jan 24, 2014
31
6
North Wales
Funster No
29,835
MH
Autosleeper PVC
Exp
I'm a newbie
If you must screw it down it only needs a couple at the front...... Unless you have 5 or 6 reverse gears.
If it is going to come away it will be the front acting like an air scoop.
That's a good idea. It's the thought of driving into a strong head wind!
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
14,303
25,032
Plympton, Devon
Funster No
24,219
MH
PVC, Murvi Morocco
Exp
2013
Forgot to say but at the bottom of this post you should see a link to how I fitted a panel to my PVC. :)

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TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
12,295
17,223
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
When people ask me about bonding accessories to the roof, is it safe? I say go into your kitchen. Get out the baking foil and a bean tin. An aluminium roof, the outer skin is the equivalent of 2 or 3 layers of foil. A steel roof barely more than a bean tin. would you trust screws into either of those. Even a grp roof is only 3-4mm thick on the outer skin

mask the area that the feet of the accessory will be in contact. thoroughly clean the area to remove wax. scour the surface with a green kitchen pad to roughen and remove any loose surface paint. then clean with isopropyl alcohol or sika activator. apply plenty of urethane adhesive and a couple of 4mm tile spacers to prevent too much adhesive being squeezed out. place the accessory and wipe away excess adhesive. wait for a skin to start forming and remove masking tape

24 hours later, it will be bonded so well, that it will need cutting off

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