Strut channel for roof of RV

Gould

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
291
You nailed it. I know some of the newer higher end RVs are putting the more efficient appliances like AC units in the basement. Grande Design does an okay job of keeping the vents and AC in the middle of the roof but then they throw random pluming vents off the the side.
 

eXodus

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
968
My God there's so much unnecessary i can't stand it
Fridge Vent - doesn't need to go through the roof when you have a DC Compressor type - a upper wall vent is sufficient.

Antenna 's (my RV has 3 separate penetration's - stupid design) - why not put them on the A/C unit? There already whole bunch of cables going up the roof - adding A shark fin antenna like cars have up there - easy. Or when we get rid of the A/C - get the antenna integrated into a window - like modern cars have.

Sewer vent - you can plumb that through a wall.

A/C units - get a Mini split integrated into the side compartments I happy give up a bit storage space fore efficiency and quiet.

Then we would only need the vents which could be underneath the panels.
 

Lt.Dan

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
1,584
Location
Visalia, Ca
There's even an attic ventilation right smack dab in the center, it can be ANYWHERE, but they placed it right where its in the way.
 

eXodus

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
968
You nailed it. I know some of the newer higher end RVs are putting the more efficient appliances like AC units in the basement. Grande Design does an okay job of keeping the vents and AC in the middle of the roof but then they throw random pluming vents off the the side.
Basement A/Cs are already better. But they are still single speed compressors and have ducts / plenum running all through the coach.

A mini split integrated would have a Ducted Ceiling unit (cold air drops down) and the outdoor unit close to the floor. - Cold air again, covered from all the elements under the RV.
 

Hendo7

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
193
Location
Arizona
look into van ladder racks they are light and be well spaced for cooling
weather guard comes to mind and i am sure theres lots of other
 

Hendo7

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
193
Location
Arizona
There's even an attic ventilation right smack dab in the center, it can be ANYWHERE, but they placed it right where its in the way.
take that heavy AC out and put a skylight in place , install a 110v mini split,save money save weight and have more room for solar panels
 

Lt.Dan

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
1,584
Location
Visalia, Ca
take that heavy AC out and put a skylight in place , install a 110v mini split,save money save weight and have more room for solar panels
I've thought long and hard on this, but with the way my RV is designed, there's no where for the ground mounted compressor to sit. Unless someone can find me a super short one that I can mount to the roof
 

Hendo7

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
193
Location
Arizona
I've thought long and hard on this, but with the way my RV is designed, there's no where for the ground mounted compressor to sit. Unless someone can find me a super short one that I can mount to the roof
the 110v mini splits are small inside and out , hopefully you can mount the outside unit on a wall bracket,there are companies that make flexible coolant lines and some have quick disconnects that being said the outside unit could be on a hinge and folded down during transport (using flex lines) .just a thought
 

JoeHam

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
2,946
I've thought long and hard on this, but with the way my RV is designed, there's no where for the ground mounted compressor to sit. Unless someone can find me a super short one that I can mount to the roof

A number of youtubers have mounted them on the rear bumper.
 

Lt.Dan

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
1,584
Location
Visalia, Ca
A number of youtubers have mounted them on the rear bumper.
I dont have a rear bumper. I have a toy hauler model so the ramp folds down everywhere we go.

I'm also almost over the legal limit of 65' overall (truck and trailer), so I cannot add much more length
 

swill4wd

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
18
The big question is, will a mini-split designed for stationary residential use survive over the road vibration and shock? My long haul trucker friend says electronics and such only last a few years in his truck.
 

Lt.Dan

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
1,584
Location
Visalia, Ca
Does the outside unit need airflow in both directions? I have a dead-space in one of my slides that I could mount the outdoor unit into, then have 1 whole side exposed to the outside.

Maybe even have it on a track, where it slides out of the rig on a tray?
 

Hendo7

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
193
Location
Arizona
mini splits from Mexico are so inexpensive ($250 or less )for the small 110v ones if it breaks replace ,its just finding someone to bring it across the border, for me its easy to get one being close to the border,easy to install ,they are a nobrainer
 

ed1380

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
102
Does the outside unit need airflow in both directions? I have a dead-space in one of my slides that I could mount the outdoor unit into, then have 1 whole side exposed to the outside.

Maybe even have it on a track, where it slides out of the rig on a tray?
yes. fan on one side and fin stack on the other
 

eXodus

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
968
Does the outside unit need airflow in both directions? I have a dead-space in one of my slides that I could mount the outdoor unit into, then have 1 whole side exposed to the outside.

Maybe even have it on a track, where it slides out of the rig on a tray?
People are cutting holes in the floor of comparts and installing grills into the doors - so the mini split is getting air from the floor and blowing it out through the door. The front bay in a 5th wheel comes to mind with that large door.
 

K8MEJ

Owner, Off-Grid Power Systems
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
255
Location
Central Ohio
I'm planning to mount the outside heat exchanger on the front of the trailer, behind the propane tanks where my lead acid batteries used to be. I don't have many options inside my TT for the wall cassette, though. They make ceiling mount cassettes, but so far I've only found 240 volt models that are approximately 24" x 24", which is quite a bit larger than the standard 14" x 14" cutout size on our campers. I have only recently started thinking about this project so I haven't scoured the internet for solutions.

For something like "The Meg", consider a single outside unit that can handle multiple zones. You'd have multiple inside cassettes but only a single outside unit. Those may only run on 240v though. I only have a single AC unit on my TT, so a smaller mini-split would work for me. So far 12k BTU seems to be the largest I can find that will work with 120v.

Routing the high and low pressure lines between the inside and outside units needs to be considered if you don't want the final installation to look like something the Clampetts would install. And, you need a simple path for condensation the hose from the inside cassette to drain.

If anyone finds something sized more appropriately for RVs please share it.
 

Pitownpi

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
39
Here's what I did. I have eight Rich Solar 200 watt, 24 volt panels. Next year I will replace the rooftop A/C with something more efficient. Once I do that, I can fit two more panels on the roof. I could do it w/o replacing the A/C, but that would make it difficult to walk on the roof.

I ended up using aluminum unistrut, stainless steel sping nuts, and EcoWorthy aluminum tilt mounts. I don't think I'll be tilting panels very often, but it's very nice being able to easily tilt them for maintenance, wiring, etc.

In full sun, I get about 1200 watts out of the 1600 watts.
View attachment 47777View attachment 47778View attachment 47779
I'm using 3 x 400w Trina panels (80"x40")
2 will be flat mount, one tilt.
Using two sets of the 41" Ecoworthy tilt kits for the one tilt panel had to modify them a bit to allow the entire thing to fold up without removing the short support piece.
I will get some of the same aluminum unistrut, spring nuts...GLAD TO FIND THIS POST!. trying to decide on 13/16" or 1-5/8" tall unistrut; either 2-1/8" or 2-15/16" gap between panel frame & RV roof....leaning towards more space to get my hands under.
My thumbknob bolts are under the panel not sticking out as yours as the vertical support also is attached and swings out after removing the thumbbolt and lifting panel.
(Flat mounts will have 2-5/16" clearance using the curved two-piece brackets)
I can get a 34° angle this way. Will have to shift the entire leg for winter angles near 50°.
Also going for 8 curved brackets per panel for my flat mounts, two M6 bolts versus one for each mount to the panel. They are big panels.
I've had the panels up, screwed the 2 piece brackets down, then took it all back off.
I'll install the bottom part of brackets then recoat roof. Then install panels.
 

Attachments

  • P_20210513_170707.jpg
    P_20210513_170707.jpg
    831.2 KB · Views: 51
  • P_20210513_170658.jpg
    P_20210513_170658.jpg
    867.3 KB · Views: 51
  • P_20210515_104957.jpg
    P_20210515_104957.jpg
    399.7 KB · Views: 48
  • P_20210515_104936.jpg
    P_20210515_104936.jpg
    487.8 KB · Views: 51
Last edited:

Pitownpi

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
39
Picked up my aluminum unistrut P_20210519_132414.jpgfrom Grainger today, very quick!
I only need 79" to mount my tilt panel, but thinking to mount the entire 10' pieces for possible future needs...went with the 1-5/8" tall to give me a little more space under panel to reach in and unscrew thumbbolts for tilt deployment.
 

JoeHam

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
2,946
Does the outside unit need airflow in both directions? I have a dead-space in one of my slides that I could mount the outdoor unit into, then have 1 whole side exposed to the outside.

Maybe even have it on a track, where it slides out of the rig on a tray?

I believe @cinergi has it with just the fan side flush mounted.
 
Top