We designed and then worked together with the NRVTA in Texas over the winter of 2021/2 to upgrade our system to new heights. Literally. At least, different heights.
Yes, we drove to Texas! It was 80 degrees on Christmas day!
This was an amazing experience, with fun, hardworking people. We were also part of a solar class, allowing students to learn by working with their hands and helping to install our system upgrades.
Since the new design involved removing our old panels before installing our new, upgraded panels, this left a lot of holes in the roof and the membrane. To account for this, we decided to paint the whole roof in multiple coats of 945 sealant from Afcat, which gave us a thick, waterproof roof coating. The process to do this involved removing panels, removing AC, and removing old communication antennas. We then trimmed up the holes and patched with Eternabond tape. Finally, we rolled out gallons of sealant over everything.
Once the roof was dry, together we and the team (and students!) at the NRVTA got to work installing the new panels. Since we were using residential sized panels, we utilized a rack system from Iron Ridge.
We also wanted seamless roof coverage, which meant going over the air conditioners. If we kept our old AC’s, we would be over the height limit in most eastern states, so we installed Coleman Mach 8’s which were shorter. We ended with an overall height of 13.5′, which is actually two inches shorter than our previous height. The reason our previous height was so tall was because we had installed 2″ lift blocks on top of our axles. Now, we get to be under the height limit AND keep our lift blocks.
This was pretty awesome, being able to work on and share the install with others. We worked with Derek Green at Cross Country RV Tech and Solar, as well as Todd Henson and his crew at the NRVTA. We had to spend a few months in Texas, waiting for some parts, and then for the install, but now we’re back in the PNW, and utilizing our new system.
It’s given us even more freedom, and we’ve been able to share our available power with others.
There are more photos available in our gallery here.