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FC (Forward Control Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your FC model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.......List your FC Parts here too.

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2020
DFB052686's Avatar
DFB052686 DFB052686 is offline
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Default FC Roof Rail Strength?

I am in the process of implementing the solar power system for the FC31. I have the technical basics figured out, and will be getting to it ASAP. will be adding it to the WOG as I can.

I am attaching the solar panels to the roof. And as the roof space is already pretty limited on the 31'. and the size of the panels in question is rather large (66x40") I am leaning towards mounting the panels on TOP of the goat rails, on their own subframe, the overall height estimates to be less than the A/C shroud peaks. this mounting would allow for zero extra holes in the roof, and no removal of the HUGE MAST TV antenna (I kind of like it).

My question for those more experienced than I, is this:

these goat rails feel less sturdy than they look on my 31' bus. should I be concerned about the panel assembly weight damaging them or the roof of the bus at the mountings? also, panels becoming damaged due to road turbulence(or other)underneath them?

I have seen other systems mounted this way, but no word after the fact about damage, maybe its a good sign.

if this method works well, I can add another 4 panels in the future if needed, and also the panel module would be removable as an assembly via forklift.

panels will stick out 3.5" or thereabouts on each side over the rails, vent lids and oven vent, as well as tank vent would be under a panel as well, with room for airflow, but it is a consideration
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Hesperia, California

1987 FC31 “A Rare Bird”
(300HP 3208TA/ZF)

Towables:
2007 Grand Cherokee CRD, 28’ Wells Cargo Express Wagon

Last edited by DFB052686; 08-10-2020 at 10:06 PM. Reason: add drawing
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2020
K Ridley K Ridley is offline
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I have a PT but the roof rails should be the same. I have 6 panels that I have mounted on 2 frameworks that are mounted atop the goat rails. They have been mounted for 3 years with no problems. I have them hinged so that I can tilt them up when I'm at Quartzsite and they have been solid enough that I've never felt the need to lower them in the wind. I think that mounting above the goat rails is the only way to get full use of the panels. If you mount them to the roof they will be shaded by the goat rails too much of the time.
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2020
Jim Brookshire Jim Brookshire is offline
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I also have several years of experience with solar panels mounted to the goat rales of my LXi. No issues. Mine are mounted to the rail on the drivers side and to the aluminum walk extrusions in the center. Don’t think you will have problems what you are proposing.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2020
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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mine are mounted to the goat rails too.
i put an alum angle all the way across the bus and attached to the goat rails on each side.
no problem.
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2020
Shawnthegrasshopper Shawnthegrasshopper is offline
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One of the reasons I added Goat Rails to my M380 is a place to add Solar Panels in the future.
They make mounting solar really easy!
Besides Goat Rails are Cool!
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2020
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I say "Go for it!"
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Old 08-11-2020
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kunzelj kunzelj is offline
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How does one walk past the panels if they take up the whole roof? Just something to consider.
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1988 FC-35SB 300HP/ZF (2016-current)
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2020
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunzelj View Post
How does one walk past the panels if they take up the whole roof? Just something to consider.
You simply design for your needs. I have roof top storage to access in the rear so moved mine up front. If you need full roof access you can run a row down the middle or offset to one side for a larger walkway.

I actually wanted my entire front covered to shade my living room area where we stay while travelling and at rest to help cool it down.
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'04 GL1800 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2020
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badandy badandy is offline
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I have 8 36-cell panels mounted to mine using unistrut. It's very solid and nothing has even come loose in 2 years.
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