The most crucial part of installing solar panels on your caravan is the installation itself. If you don’t install them correctly, they will not generate enough power to charge your batteries properly, and if that happens, you may as well forget about using them at all.
There are so many different adhesives available for this type of job, but it’s essential to find one that suits the material you’re sticking together.
Here are a few key points we’ll cover, among more that you need to know:
- Best adhesive for caravan solar panels
- How do you stick down a flexible solar panel?
- What is an advantage of using solar panel glue?
There are several alternatives you can use to stick solar panels on your caravan. Read through the article to find out!
Best adhesive for caravan solar panels:
Adhesives used for caravan solar panels need to stick well when exposed to the elements. They also impact how easily they can be removed and re-installed if required, something that is important if you want to change your setup in the future.
Adhesives used for caravan solar panel installation should stick to both surfaces pretty well, not damage the surface they are stuck on. The best adhesive options out there do all three of these things well!
Some adhesives can begin fading over time, leading them to look rather unsightly after a short period of use around your vehicle.
Another important consideration before picking an adhesive type is whether or not it will be able to stand up against the weather.
If you’re installing your solar panels on top of a caravan, then chances are they might get exposed to some heavy rain and other environmental effects like that from time to time.
You’ll also need an adhesive that can come off if needed without damage. It’s essential for people who want to change their setup around in the future, so it will always be usable even with new technology!
Adhesive options available include silicone sealant, spray glue, acrylic solvent cement, and many more.
Which one should you go with? Some of them may work better than others, depending on what type of surface you are sticking them to and how many substrates need to be stuck together.
Silicone sealant works excellent on surfaces like glass or metal but is not suitable for silicon rubber or plastic materials. It’s also one of the most expensive options out there.
Spray glue is a good option if you’re looking at adhering two flat objects together, especially if they are made from wood, ceramic tiles, etcetera. This is my preferred choice for caravan adhesive, as I use it all the time in different projects!
How do I apply the adhesive to my panels?
If using spray glue, ensure that you have a reasonable distance between your hand and the solar panel not to create any droplets that could interfere with electrical contact. You will need to press down hard on both sides of each panel, just enough for it to stick but not too much that you damage the cells!
If they’re stuck down well, there’s no problem if some adhesive oozes out from underneath because it will be waterproof.
In most cases where there is a vent point, this should be left open until everything is already stuck in place – make sure that you don’t do what another customer did by covering it up with insulation tape; otherwise, your solar panels won’t work as well as they should.
What is an advantage of using solar panel glue?
Using adhesive instead of screws or another method provides many benefits, including ease-of-use and convenience.
Without any need to worry about screws or drilling, solar panels can be installed in a matter of minutes! Glue is also an effective method for protection from the elements such as rain and wind because everything is sealed well enough without gaps for water to build up.
When you use adhesive materials such as spray glue, there won’t be anywhere for misplaced dust and dirt particles to gather which could affect power output and the durability of the panel over time.
If you’re looking at using one of these off-the-shelf adhesives, then please don’t use too much – not only could this result in less power being generated, but it might even get stuck onto your roof after a while because it’s sticky!
Most solar panels you buy will come with their adhesive material pre-applied, but if not, it’s worth making sure you use the right kind of glue.
A good example would be 3M VHB 4940 if you ever need to check what qualities are required for your application in the future; this product is also known by various other names in some cases, including double-sided foam tape.
How to stick solar panels with insulation tape?
As the adhesive is not recommended for sticking solar panels, you might wonder what the solution is instead! Insulation tape will provide an effective seal for your cells, so it’s worth considering as an alternative.
However, some prefer not to go this route because of the effectiveness or lack thereof when protecting against water ingress.
If using 4mm thick tape, then only apply two layers on each side of the panel, which should do the trick; you can use even shorter lengths if required but don’t put one piece right up against another because it needs some space due to
Its thickness (bear this in mind, especially if you fit them onto curved).
Wherever possible, avoid using insulation tape because there’s a chance that it could get stuck down with adhesive by accident.
This is something that should be avoided at all costs because it can make life more difficult in the future; you might find yourself tearing up the insulation if you try to remove the offending objects from your solar panels!
Also, bear in mind that sticking cells together will likely reduce their efficiency to a certain extent, so don’t go overboard; otherwise, you’ll end up losing power over time.
How do you stick down a flexible solar panel?
To stick down a flexible solar panel, you’ll need to ensure that the adhesive is strong enough to hold up against all types of weather.
They are usually attached using an adhesive made specifically for this task. If you’re looking at putting them on your roof, then it’s vital that they can stick well in hot conditions, but also in cold months when condensation is formed on metal surfaces like this.
If you want to stick one down on top of your van or caravan, then simply attaching it in the center should be enough in most cases – unless you plan driving in callous off-road conditions with curbs and rocks.
Flexible panels are not known for having their edges ripped off by wind or anything like that! They do, however, get moved around a lot if you’re driving on bumpy surfaces, so it’s essential to make sure that they have adhered properly.
You don’t need any unique adhesive for flexible panels as they’ll stick down quickly enough with an off-the-shelf adhesive such as spray glue or similar materials.
Just be careful not to use too much and block any of the ventilation points – not good! Flexible solar panels can also include magnets to help keep them stuck in place depending on what surface you’re putting them on.
Even though this makes them easier to install and remove, it can still affect how well they work in some cases where the magnet is affected by temperature fluctuations.
Why do flexible solar panels fail?
Flexible solar panels are known for their ease of use when it comes to installation, but they are not always great for durability. They can be instrumental in some cases that involve extreme heat or cold – this is why they are favored by the military amongst other customers sometimes.
They do, however, have a tendency to move around if you’re driving on bumpy roads with them installed, which means you’ll need to check every so often that they haven’t moved out of place.
If they get torn off or ripped even slightly, then your flexible solar panel might not work at all afterward because the electrical circuits would probably be broken in some way.
Another problem associated with using too much adhesive is that you might block the airflow and make the panel too hot or cold and thus affect how long it lasts.
Can you put solar panels on a pop-top?
It’s possible to put solar panels on a pop-top, but not every type of adhesive will work for this. You’ll need to make sure that they can hold on properly in hot conditions without allowing condensation to build up inside your caravan or motorhome.
If you’re looking at putting them on the roof, then it’s crucial that you can remove them later on quickly enough so that there is no effect on how well the top works, so using sticky tape is not an option!
If you want to save some money and have some time available, feel free to use an off-the-shelf adhesive such as spray glue which should be acceptable for this particular application.
One thing that might affect how well they stick down is the shape of your roof, so make sure that it’s as easy to stick on as possible rather than having too much work cutting around shapes and angles.
If you’re looking for something bulletproof, then flexible solar panels are not recommended because they can get ripped off if they are stuck down too hard into position.
You’ll also need to be careful about ventilation points; otherwise, condensation will build up inside, which can cause damage. There are specialist adhesive materials available for this purpose so look at taking a trip out to the nearest caravan accessory shop if you want to go down this route.
Why should I avoid using screws on my solar panel?
Screws can be okay in some cases, provided that you’re careful about location and position. Still, it’s much better to go for an adhesive fix instead because there are several reasons why they don’t work as well as others do.
For example, you might have problems with screws if the panels are not flush against your car or caravan roof.
You also need to take special care when fixing screws. Otherwise, you might have mechanical problems in the future – this becomes more of an issue as time goes by.
You can use adhesive on just about any surface, including metal, and it’s straightforward to apply because there is no specialist equipment required or anything like that.
There’s nothing to say that you have to stick them all down at once either, so why not try doing a bit at a time?
If you’ve got some spare adhesive leftover, then save it for later on because it could be needed next year or perhaps sooner, depending on how long they last before needing replacement.