RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-22-2020, 12:00 PM   #1
Winnebago Owner
 
SeeTheUSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
Posts: 228
Remove Zamp solar panels, 2018 View

I’m planning to “upgrade” the solar system on our 2018 View 24D. It currently has the factory installed flexible Zamp panels, two of the 100w ones which are screwed to the roof

Has anyone removed those panels? What sort of a challenge did that present? Are they glued as well as screwed? Wondering what sort of resealing and repair might be necessary.

Appreciate your advice.
__________________
Warren and Debbie
2018 Winnebago View 24D
2014 Tiffin Breeze 32BR, 2012 Winnebago Navion 24G, 2006 Winnebago View 23H
SeeTheUSA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2020, 12:38 PM   #2
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 1,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeTheUSA View Post
I’m planning to “upgrade” the solar system on our 2018 View 24D. It currently has the factory installed flexible Zamp panels, two of the 100w ones which are screwed to the roof

Has anyone removed those panels? What sort of a challenge did that present? Are they glued as well as screwed? Wondering what sort of resealing and repair might be necessary.

Appreciate your advice.
Depending on what you plan to do to upgrade, you might want to add the new panels over top of the screw down/sealed Zamp flex ones. There have been some reports of fibreglass roof damage under them, due to the heat generated by the sun, and them being in direct contact with the fibreglass roof.
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/i...threads/79619/
Here's a lengthy discussion about Zamp versus whatever....
https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/...4d-351421.html
__________________
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)
Winterbagoal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2020, 05:07 PM   #3
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
AJMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeTheUSA View Post
I’m planning to “upgrade” the solar system on our 2018 View 24D. It currently has the factory installed flexible Zamp panels, two of the 100w ones which are screwed to the roof

Has anyone removed those panels? What sort of a challenge did that present? Are they glued as well as screwed? Wondering what sort of resealing and repair might be necessary.

Appreciate your advice.
I have a Fuse which also has 2 flexible panels installed by Winnebago and one identical panel that I had installed right after buying the RV.

Last week I had a 4th panel installed, this one a 100 watt rigid panel and I asked the installer how much trouble it would be to replace the 3 existing flexible panels with their equivalent (or more) in rigid panels. He examined the panels on the roof and told me that they were screwed down but did not appear to be glued and the sides did not appear to be held down by any sealant so he thought it would be a simple matter to unscrew them, remove them and fill the holes. I assume your panels, as OEM as are mine, are probably identical and the installation is also probably identical.

However @Winterbagoal's suggestion of just leaving them and installing the rigid panels over them might be the easiest and safest way. If the panel installation did not cause a leak in the roof leaving them there and installing over them might be a really good solution.

However I do have one question. My experience with the SunPower panels is that they have been very, very good, sometimes producing more power than they are rated at, so why are you planning to replace them? I am doing it because I want to have 500 watts of solar due to the amount of dry camping we do and given the limited space on the roof of the Fuse I have to put some 150 or 200 watt panels up there to get the power I want, and that requires either replacing the panels or covering them, but what is your reason for replacing them? Just curious.
__________________
2018.5 Winnebago Fuse
model 23T (bedroom slide)
400 watts solar
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2020, 05:17 PM   #4
Winnebago Owner
 
SeeTheUSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
Posts: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
.... snipped ....

... but what is your reason for replacing them? Just curious.
Just in the planning phase now, but would like to have more than my current 200w. 400w would be great. If adding more, thought it would be good to swap out the now discontinued ones (that are screwed to the roof ) with more “legitimate” panels. Would certainly simplify removal if there’s no adhesive!
__________________
Warren and Debbie
2018 Winnebago View 24D
2014 Tiffin Breeze 32BR, 2012 Winnebago Navion 24G, 2006 Winnebago View 23H
SeeTheUSA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2020, 05:58 AM   #5
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
AJMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
There have been some reports of fibreglass roof damage under them, due to the heat generated by the sun, and them being in direct contact with the fibreglass roof.
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/i...threads/79619/
Which makes me wonder why no one talks about raising the existing flexible panels off the roof rather than replacing them. A simple piece of rigid plastic the size of the solar panel and some legs would be enough to raise them up, allow air under them, get the same output from them, and protect the roof.

Until your post I never thought about it, but it does seem like a simple and inexpensive solution. I wonder why no one has done it.
__________________
2018.5 Winnebago Fuse
model 23T (bedroom slide)
400 watts solar
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2020, 06:19 AM   #6
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
AJMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
Here's a lengthy discussion about Zamp versus whatever....
https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/...4d-351421.html
Interesting discussion.

The thrust seems to be that the flexible panels, including the Zamp panels, are not worth the trouble although there are some dissenters, but my experience has been quite different.

The "Zamp" panels on the roof of our Fuse (and also being sold today by Zamp on their website) are actually SunPower panels. The Zamp tech told me that they are the same panels sold on Amazon although Zamp has changed the connector to fit into their roof combiner. Zamp changes $640+ for them, Amazon something like $195, and a simple connector and gender-bender fixes the connection issue.

The SunPower panels on the roof of our Fuse have worked splendidly in the Arizona sun, often producing 90% of rated capacity and sometimes more than 100% and after 2 years of use have not had a single issue.

I did add a 3rd SunPower panel when we bought the RV and 2 weeks ago added a 4th 100 watt panel, this time a Renogy rigid panel, and I expect to expand to 500 watts (or there about) sometimes next year. That will require replacing the flexible panels with rigid ones because there is no more spare space on the roof of the RV for another 100 watt panel unless I am willing to use all of the space and thus prevent anyone from walking around or working on it. I will have to remove the 100 watt panels and put some 170 and/or 200 watt panels in their place to get near 500 watts.
__________________
2018.5 Winnebago Fuse
model 23T (bedroom slide)
400 watts solar
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 01:48 PM   #7
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: California
Posts: 214
I need to relocate a Zamp panel that the factory person installed in the wrong location on my 2021 Navion. I plan to leave the Zamp roof mounts alone and put on rocker type feet that use VHB tape to stick to the roof. The rocker mounts provide 40mm of height which is enough to clear the Zamp mounts.

With the relocation of the 100W panel I will have space for a Zamp 190W or similar size panel to have 390 Watts or about 20 amps at 20 volts.There is space for a fourth panel in the 100W size to get to 490 Watts but that is a lower priority than replacing the Zamp PWM controller with a MPPT one.

The Zamp triple port is a poor design as it means having excess length of cable laying on the roof. With a combiner box one can cut the cables to the length needed which is very straightforward. The Zamp kit used by Winnebago is more suited to a quick and dirty installation by unskilled workers or consumers.
Elkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2020, 02:18 PM   #8
Winnebago Camper
 
CoreyinWP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
Posts: 47
Couldn't you cut the wires to length and splice in the Zamp SAE plugs? No need to use Zamp panels,,,they seem very expensive. I am looking to add to mine and will just order ones that I see appropriate and add the connectors on.
__________________
Corey and Tammi
CoreyinWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 01:44 PM   #9
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: California
Posts: 214
I have been considering cutting the cables and doing a splice and using heat shrink tubing for a weather seal. I have also thought about mounting a combiner or C-box on the roof and running all the wires to it.

As for SAE plugs even the installer outside of Eugene OR did not know for sure if Zamp uses SAE plugs much less whether the 3-port cap needs a male or a female connection at the end of the cable. The Zamp website is worthless in providing details and they are far less responsive than other solar component companies I have dealth with in the past.

I will be relocating a Zamp 100W Obsidian panel that the Winnebago factory installed incorrectly. I plan to trim off the existing feet and put on new rocker feet with VHB tape from Amsolar. The tech person at AMsolar told me that when they install the ultra thin Obsidian panels they add side rails to make them more rigid and less prone to flexing.

I don't care about the cosmetics and only want the panels in the optimum location and securely attached to the roof. With a fiberglass roof a mount using VHB is the best way to go. Just be sure to follow the directions provided including using isoproply alcohol for cleaning the surface beforehand. A fellow had a VFB mount fail and he had ignored the instruction and used acetone instead of the isopropyl alcohol to clean the roof surface and then he blamed the VHB. All solvent are not the same, quite the contrary.
Elkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 01:55 PM   #10
Winnebago Camper
 
CoreyinWP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
Posts: 47
I have a panel coming on Tuesday. Will let you know on the SAE. If using vhb, there is also a primer I have used. Dicor over the foot. Never had a problem with past installation.
__________________
Corey and Tammi
CoreyinWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 04:25 PM   #11
Winnebago Camper
 
CoreyinWP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
Posts: 47
Here are the connectors for the new panel
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DDD6F041-F320-4C89-AA1F-2B2B714C6495.jpeg
Views:	3
Size:	153.1 KB
ID:	176098   Click image for larger version

Name:	A0E5D99F-C910-4155-B452-7A771A8B6A70.jpeg
Views:	4
Size:	251.8 KB
ID:	176099  

__________________
Corey and Tammi
CoreyinWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 06:45 AM   #12
Winnie-Wise
 
Kayak73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: NW Georgia
Posts: 351
Warren,

I had one of the original Zamp panels on our View fail early in ownership. I watched the guys replace it - it was a bear! Yes, they are "glued" with sealant and a lot of it. Essentially removal means destruction and as careful as they were on the roof they did make some scratches, gouges and mostly cosmetic damage.

During the testing process I was on the phone with a great Zamp engineer and the following recommendations ensued. First the 3 port connector needs to be replaced with their new model. The original panels WGO shipped on our rigs have at most a likely two year lifespan - they will become opaque, cloudy etc. He actually set me up with a warranty replacement number which I was supposed to do this Fall but so far have not. His recommendation was removal, repair the damage or have it repaired by fiberglass folks and then install their rigid panels.

The discussion can get long and tedious from this point and it involves more work. New solar controller mounted near the batteries to reduce voltage drop and using 24Volt panels not 12 which allows the existing wiring to be adequate if the new controller is located near the front (batteries).

I tried to keep it short but the guys at Zamp are great to work with. I've just been in the Pandemic lazy mode where everything seems to run together and focus happens infrequently.

If you decide to leave the original panels in place they should be covered completely by the new rigid panels. I would stay far away from flexi panels although there are some panels out there which are giving good service. The other thought is it so far has been difficult to find the higher voltage panels to fit on our roof space but the search continues. Far more efficient considering voltage drop. You could forget the Zamp 3 port, use industry standard connectors as well but you will need to get a quality connection entry on the roof.
__________________
Bill and Brenda + Mia
RIP Mobius - in our hearts
2018V24D, '13 Tiffin BR32, Tiffin 34TGA, '11 Aspect 30, 06View23H, '00 HHiker II 5W
Kayak73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 07:56 AM   #13
Site Team
 
creativepart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Spring Branch, TX
Posts: 3,285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayak73 View Post
During the testing process I was on the phone with a great Zamp engineer and the following recommendations ensued. First the 3 port connector needs to be replaced with their new model.
Bill, what’s the reason behind replacing the 3-port roof portal?
__________________
2017 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2016 Lincoln MKX Toad
creativepart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 08:42 AM   #14
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 8
I removed both panels, from a 2019 View, and replaced them with standard panels. Both panels were glued and screwed and left a lot of adhesive behind, which I could not remove. The gel coat, under one panel, had a lot of surface cracking due to the heat generated by surface mount panels. The roof does not leak, and the cracks are only cosmetic, but it doesn't look very good. I called Winnebago about the cracking and they handed it off to the roof manufacturer. If you have flexible panels, mounted directly to the roof, I would get rid of them before you get serious roof damage.
barney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 06:22 PM   #15
Winnie-Wise
 
Kayak73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: NW Georgia
Posts: 351
Creativepart...our '18 View had the older 3 port entry from Zamp. According to the engineer it has connectors inside which can/will come loose. The new 3 port is designed to prevent that issue. If the connector inside the older 3 port comes loose it must be removed anyway, might as well replace it.

Barney...yes, the surface under the flexi panels is yellowed and some slight cracks after only one year. We saw that when the original panel was replaced. I agree completely, get them off and go to rigid panels for less headache. I don't think that original sealant could be removed without causing some real damage. It took two guys pulling and one using a long tool to try to "slice" the sealant from the panel that was replaced - really stuck on tight. Of course now, a year later, the other panel is opaque and need replacing. It will be rigid panels for me.
__________________
Bill and Brenda + Mia
RIP Mobius - in our hearts
2018V24D, '13 Tiffin BR32, Tiffin 34TGA, '11 Aspect 30, 06View23H, '00 HHiker II 5W
Kayak73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2020, 02:50 PM   #16
Winnebago Camper
 
CoreyinWP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
Posts: 47
Added a panel

Just added a 175 watt panel today to the zamp system. Used a Nupowa solar panel and bought a sae connector with a reverse polarity adapter. Worked like a charm and all in about 200 bucks.
__________________
Corey and Tammi
CoreyinWP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2020, 10:24 PM   #17
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: California
Posts: 214
The Voc output from "12 volt" panels is between 18 and 21 volts and not 12 volts as mentioned. What is important is to have the same Voc from all the panels on the roof. The factory Zamp Obisidian and the Zamp 190W put out 20.0 and 20.4 V Voc respectively.

A panel that is close enough is the Renogy RNG-100MB 100W with a Voc of 21.2. The older Zamp Legacy panels have a Voc of 18 volts and are not a good fit with the newer panels.

The factory wiring and the 3-port cap are substandard and it makes sense if one want a longer lasting setup to use the AMsolar 10 gauge wire and a top quality combiner or C-box in place of the Zamp 3-port roof cap. Winnebago uses the two panel, ZS-30, and 3-port cap from the Zamp kit as a quick and dirty way to add solar for the fridge. It is really a shoddy offering from Winnebago in every respect.
Elkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2020, 11:11 PM   #18
Site Team
 
creativepart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Spring Branch, TX
Posts: 3,285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkman View Post
The factory wiring and the 3-port cap are substandard and it makes sense if one want a longer lasting setup to use the AMsolar 10 gauge wire and a top quality combiner or C-box in place of the Zamp 3-port roof cap. Winnebago uses the two panel, ZS-30, and 3-port cap from the Zamp kit as a quick and dirty way to add solar for the fridge. It is really a shoddy offering from Winnebago in every respect.
Hate to admit it but I totally agree with you on this. While I feel the same way I have taken the lazy way out and just mostly lived with the OEM setup.

I’m getting decent output. My batteries stay fully charged in storage. And the little dry camping we do is easily accomplished.

The wiring is too small and those silly SAE connectors are really insecure attachments. BUT it’s there, it works and it’s paid for. So inertia rules the day.
__________________
2017 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2016 Lincoln MKX Toad
creativepart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2020, 07:27 AM   #19
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
AJMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
The wiring is too small
Which wiring are you referring to? The wiring from the rooftop combiner to the solar controller on our Fuse is 8 gauge and that seems more than sufficient for a 20 amp max input considering it is only running about 2 or 3 feet.
__________________
2018.5 Winnebago Fuse
model 23T (bedroom slide)
400 watts solar
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2020, 07:32 AM   #20
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
AJMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkman View Post
The factory wiring and the 3-port cap are substandard and it makes sense if one want a longer lasting setup to use the AMsolar 10 gauge wire and a top quality combiner or C-box in place of the Zamp 3-port roof cap. Winnebago uses the two panel, ZS-30, and 3-port cap from the Zamp kit as a quick and dirty way to add solar for the fridge. It is really a shoddy offering from Winnebago in every respect.
The guy who did the install of our last solar panel suggested replacing the Zamp combiner with something more professional, so that corresponds to your comment, but I don't understand your statement about the wire gauge.

Presumably the solar panel manufacturers are using the proper size wire in what they provide for the output from the panel itself and the wire from the Zamp roof top combiner on our Fuse is 8 gauge, so why would 10 gauge be a better solution? What am I missing here?
__________________
2018.5 Winnebago Fuse
model 23T (bedroom slide)
400 watts solar
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
panel, solar, solar panel, view


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Zamp Solar Controller When Changing Batteries SteveD49 Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 16 07-26-2020 09:29 PM
Added a Zamp Solar Panel kmessinger Winnebago Class B Motorhomes 2 06-23-2020 04:29 PM
Wrong manual for Zamp Solar Charger jcurtisis Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 8 01-08-2020 10:32 AM
Zamp solar panels on Micro Mini? Celtic74 Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 3 09-07-2019 09:17 PM
Zamp Solar Panels 2018 View 24D Kayak73 Winnebago Class C Motorhomes 42 06-29-2018 11:01 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×