Frequent Questions: Mounts

Do I have to penetrate my roof? 
With standard fiberglass roofs, 3M double-sided tape and Dicor sealant are usually sufficient.  On rubber roofs, we recommend using ¾” stainless steel sheet metal screws, along with the double sided tape and DiCor sealant, to ensure that your rubber roof stays bonded to the plywood structure beneath it.  Go to our Mounts page to learn more about our mounting hardware.

What will I gain by using tilting mounts? 
When solar panels are tilted toward the sun their cross-sectional surface area exposed to the sun increases.  In other words, the panel looks bigger from the sun’s perspective and therefore it can collect more solar energy.  Tilted panels also transfer more of the sun’s rays to your cells, as opposed to reflecting them off the glass.

Tilting is especially beneficial in the winter months.  In Phoenix, AZ during the month of December, a panel tilted at 30 degrees off horizontal to the south, will produce about 73%* more power on an average day than a flat mounted panel.  In the month of June, that same tilt angle will actually decrease production by 10%* since the sun is higher in the sky during that time of year.

*PV Watts analysis by NREL, 77% Derate Factor

With tilted panels comes responsibility.  If you don’t put the panels flat before driving it will be much easier for wind to rip them off of your vehicle.

Can I get an automatic tilt or tracking mechanism? 
We do not sell any automatic tilting or tracking kits, but we have run across some clever engineers who have designed automatic systems for their personal use.  It’s our opinion that these systems are certainly impressive, but reliability concerns and costs limit their practicality to a very small niche market.

Has anyone had a panel blow off? 
In all our years of working with RV solar panels, not a single panel that we have installed has blown off.  We attribute this successful track record to our well-thought-out designs, tight quality controls and attention to detail.