Author Topic: Extending roof rack fro solar  (Read 755 times)

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Offline nab

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Extending roof rack fro solar
« on: April 02, 2019, 01:11:41 AM »
I was wanting to mount a solar panel under my roof rack that slides out forwards when parked up. To make things easier I was wandering if any of you engineering gurus could comment on my next thought.

My roof rack current overhangs the last mounting bracket by 800mm (550mm past the canopy). There a 3 mounting brackets evenly spaced over 1100mm mounted to the canopy. The roof rack is an aluminium Tracklander 1200x2100mm, it has 20x40 aluminium unistrut style crossmembers.

The roofrack currently has an awning mounted on both sides and some recovery tracks. Thats all that is usually up there, sometimes 2x double swags if not taking the camper. I don't want to mount it on top of the roofrack as firewood and other random bits are often thrown up there and the solar panel would likely get damaged.

What I want to do is run 2 lengths of unistrut down the length of the roofrack and mount the solar panel in front of the roofrack (effectively over the cab of the ute, between the awnings). Solar panel will be approx 1000x680mm and weigh 10kg.

Is that too far to have 10kg flexing all over the place?
Maybe a couple of arms (like gussets) from the canopy to the end of the roofrack?
Maybe mount the solar panel to the top rail at the front, angled down to the unistrut?




Offline lloydus67

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 01:32:00 AM »
Have you considered something else like a wind deflector option

Something like this but mounted from a roof rack bar to your canopy

Not a great picture but like this
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Offline jwb

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 07:06:01 AM »
A mate and his son have setup a slideout panel on both of their vehicles
Slide out when parked although rearward facing or completely out and facing direction needed if in the shade.
Works well for them
They're high voltage style panels using mppt controllers.

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Offline jk

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 10:59:23 AM »
Something like this ?
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Offline GBC

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 11:18:56 AM »
2 lengths of unistrut fixed under the existing rail, panel on top with 2 fixings per side and it will brace itself laterally without a worry (glass wont flex in that plane). Vertically, when the wind gets under it could cause some buffeting on the roof, but you aren't going to break the panel or unistrut. A couple of screws through the panel back into the rack won't hurt, but won't achieve a lot either.

Offline edz

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 02:42:51 PM »
Yes its only 10 Kg hanging out the front in a 100 Kph  breeze at times, for me a light frame attached to the rack underside and triangulated back to the canopy front panel .. The solar could be angled to act as a wind deflector [ Seems to work ok on a mates Troopy that way ] just faces the truck into the sun most days camping .
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Offline nab

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 03:39:53 PM »
Jk, that is exactly what I had planned initially, but sliding out the front of the roof rack. Do you know what kind of slide he used?
Still likely to go that way, just considering options.

We do travel on corrugated roads in our travels, reckon that will have much impact on the panel hanging so far out the front?

I have roof bars for the cab, not too keen to take them on and off with the canopy though.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 03:46:30 PM by nab »

Offline jk

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2019, 07:00:17 PM »
Sorry mate, not sure on the build specs. I downloaded that photo years ago because I thought the idea had merrit and was going to look into building one the same.........but then had a change of heart so never went any further with the idea !
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Offline nab

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2019, 08:21:35 PM »
I can kind of see from the grainy pics anyway haha!!!

Offline bellony

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2019, 11:05:54 PM »
I would look at something like the one JK posted, only I would use Teflon slides or something very simple so all the dust and crap can be pressure washed out. If using slides I don't think bracing back to the canopy is required as they would only be extended out when stationary.
JK, any idea on how long the slides lasted being out in the weather and dust?
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Offline jk

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2019, 05:59:49 AM »
No mate, I only have those two photos !!        Can't remember which site I found it on  ???
2004 V8 5 speed IFS landcruiser with "ATS"
 
2005 Cape York Explorer Extreme with "ATS"
   
McGirr is my Russell Coight and I'd follow him "Almost" anywhere !!!!!!

Offline nab

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Re: Extending roof rack fro solar
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2019, 10:32:53 PM »
As a follow-up, I decided to mount it the front of the rack like a wind deflector.



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