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Roof Rack Solar Panel Installation Outline

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by OneFastGeek, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Apr 22, 2019 at 7:39 PM
    #21
    GZeus24

    GZeus24 bystander

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    Following up on my plan to copy this install, I did it this weekend. It worked out real well and has been rocking away since Saturday. Thanks for the guidance!
     
    Manfred likes this.
  2. Apr 22, 2019 at 8:01 PM
    #22
    OneFastGeek

    OneFastGeek [OP] Grand Master Fu

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    @GZeus24 That's great! Please share any pics you have. Did you use the same components? I’d be curious if you did anything differently.
     
  3. Apr 23, 2019 at 3:48 AM
    #23
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 IG: great_white_taco

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  4. Apr 23, 2019 at 7:44 AM
    #24
    Grand dude

    Grand dude Well-Known Member

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    cool stickers and a baseball card With clothes pin, sounds awesome ! wicked
    Thank you for the heads up I appreciate it :fistbump:
     
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  5. Apr 23, 2019 at 7:30 PM
    #25
    GZeus24

    GZeus24 bystander

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    No pictures right now as I was hurrying to get it done for a trip this weekend. Your write up was dead on and I pretty much copied it. I think I used all of the same components you did including the solar panel kit and the penetration cover. It took most of an afternoon to situate the panel, the cover and the cables right, then a few hours the next evening to finish off the controller and battery connections. The supplied cables in the kit are good but the lengths are 'backwards' for this install - too long from the panel, too short for the battery - so you have to fab a little.

    I connected mine to the starting battery and I let the BlueSea ACR auto-switch it to the house battery once that is fully charged. I like that setup better as it always ensures the starting battery is good to go as the primary task. In general, this shouldn't make much difference in function since once the starting battery is charged which takes less than an hour, all the energy goes to the house battery that is powering the fridge and lights. The auto-switching works like a charm. (Big thumbs up for the ACR if anyone is thinking about a dual battery setup.)

    I also put a quick disconnect in the line right after the fuse comes off the battery. This will allow me to connect a different battery to the panel (like a trolling motor battery) or my 100w folding solar panel to the truck battery when my roof is in the shade. Just kind of adds utility options. I am a little concerned about mounting the kayak up there but think I may have that sorted out. The panel is about 1/3" below the rails and I have some rail guards that should help add some clearance too. If all goes well on this trip I will do some measurements and add another panel if I can make it fit.

    Thanks again for the excellent guide. This mod may not be for everyone but it fits my need and I think its fantastic.
     
  6. Apr 24, 2019 at 4:26 PM
    #26
    OneFastGeek

    OneFastGeek [OP] Grand Master Fu

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    @GZeus24

    Thanks for the great feedback. I'm glad I could be of help for your solar project.
     
  7. May 8, 2019 at 1:42 PM
    #27
    Naveronski

    Naveronski Well-Known Member

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    This looks like a great project.

    I’m adding a fridge, but my battery (optima yellow 27f) is pretty new, so I’d rather not change to a dual or 31 setup if I don’t have to.

    How well would this keep a single battery charged? Can it power a fridge?
     
  8. May 8, 2019 at 1:51 PM
    #28
    OneFastGeek

    OneFastGeek [OP] Grand Master Fu

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    @Naveronski I can't say for sure in your application. However, the main reason I did this, was to power our 65 quart Whynter fridge. When the panel is getting full sunlight, my battery is still getting a charge when the fridge is running. My fridge also cuts out at a certain user programmable voltage, as a back up.
     
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  9. May 8, 2019 at 2:11 PM
    #29
    Naveronski

    Naveronski Well-Known Member

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    So parking the truck and expecting this to run the fridge for several days probably isn’t ideal, but as long as I drive it every so often, I should be fine
     
  10. May 8, 2019 at 2:19 PM
    #30
    OneFastGeek

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    It all depends I guess. How much sun are you getting all day. How much draw does your fridge have? Factor that against how many amp hours your battery is, etc. My panel is capable of 500Wh per day; can fully charge a 50Ah Battery from 50% in 3 hours (depending on the availability of sunlight). Good luck getting it all to work tho.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  11. Aug 29, 2019 at 12:52 PM
    #31
    kgarrett11

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  12. Dec 26, 2019 at 10:00 AM
    #32
    ready6delta

    ready6delta REGULAR GUY

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  13. Dec 26, 2019 at 3:01 PM
    #33
    OneFastGeek

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    I realized I lost all my photos. I'll try to get them reposted after the holidays...
     
  14. Feb 6, 2020 at 4:40 PM
    #34
    TheNatural

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    Really looking forward to seeing those photos. If anyone that copied the write up happens to have pics I'd love to see those too. I'm particularly interested in how the solar panels mount below the prinsu cross bars - that sounds really slick.
     
  15. Feb 6, 2020 at 4:48 PM
    #35
    zippsub9

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    Shit bolted onto other shit, and junk.
    I did 3x100 watt panels in series to a solar controller/inverter with encompassed fuses and relays and remote screen to a 100 AH LiFePO4 Battleborn battery. My plug to the grid comes out the floor under the truck and my inverter plugs hang in the bed with a DC box and AC plugs from the inverter as well as a break for the panels when I need to remove the top.

    82A0D3A0-95C4-4969-9E9B-75C592479D63.jpg 32E12B2E-A5EB-44C4-A958-C7A6F494A8B8.jpg 67FB114F-C3BB-46EB-BAD9-63FD2B7581F9.jpg 9F6D0F2F-B00C-41BF-9C5C-649D26DBD252.jpg 39058049-9F47-4561-A789-FC79FB4C937B.jpg B5A8F1C0-4F53-4416-AC30-BD564B050758.jpg
     
    Waited many moons and mightym like this.
  16. Feb 6, 2020 at 4:49 PM
    #36
    zippsub9

    zippsub9 Well-Known Member

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    I can take more pics when it stops raining some day.
     
  17. Feb 7, 2020 at 8:05 AM
    #37
    Hyland33

    Hyland33 Well-Known Member

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    Nice setup! I run a 50ah Battleborn in my truck with a 190W panel up top. I'm just powering some 12v ports right now but i'll probably pick up a small inverter at some point. Runs my dometic and charges all my electronics.
    9tLBbInySOW5+LamUmgCxg.jpg fullsizeoutput_21f.jpg
     
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  18. Feb 7, 2020 at 8:47 AM
    #38
    TheNatural

    TheNatural Well-Known Member

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    Very nice set up. Is that what people meant earlier in this thread when they mentioned the solar panels fitting between the bars? It looks like a very nice fit width wise, but I was picturing the solar panels being mounted between the cross bars and recessed a little bit. I was hoping I'd be able to throw a kayak or something up there without it actually making contact with the panels. Did you use the renogy 100W solar panels?
     
  19. Feb 7, 2020 at 8:56 AM
    #39
    zippsub9

    zippsub9 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC they are Renogy. I spent a long time researching panels. Everything from recycled home panels to semi flex. These accommodated the most power to still fit cleanly on my topper. You could recess them a bit more if you went with higher risers on the bars. There are still many options to mount stuff over top the panels. A simple bracket on the side rail with a crossbar over top can support kayaks or canoes. I am fairly OCD but also wanted to finish it so I could get back to camping.

    EDIT: it was richsolar not renogy, sorry I pulled up my Amazon order history.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  20. Mar 4, 2020 at 6:06 AM
    #40
    OneFastGeek

    OneFastGeek [OP] Grand Master Fu

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    I found a few pics, but I am still digging around to see if I have backups of the pics that were hosted elsewhere. Hope to see more folks posting their solar setups.
     
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