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2018 Ram Promaster 159 wb
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! New to this and the forum. We installed our 4 100 watt solar panels yesterday directly on the roof with the VHB tape and self tapping screws.
Problem is, some screws are loose. A little baffled by this since some tightened just fine. We used the self tapping 1 1/4 inch screws for reference.
now we just have some holes that are too big for the screws to grab onto.
Anyone have any advice on how we can properly secure these brackets?
 

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Hey everyone! New to this and the forum. We installed our 4 100 watt solar panels yesterday directly on the roof with the VHB tape and self tapping screws.
Problem is, some screws are loose. A little baffled by this since some tightened just fine. We used the self tapping 1 1/4 inch screws for reference.
now we just have some holes that are too big for the screws to grab onto.
Anyone have any advice on how we can properly secure these brackets?
Use bolts and lock nuts instead of self tapping screws.
 

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Rivnuts are a great idea for this purpose, however they have to be very tightly rivited, otherwise there can be issues in tightening the bolt as the rivit portion can start to turn. IMO they are the right fastener for the job

You may have ran into a structural member behind the roof skin with the selftapper. That'll force the self tapper to rip through the outer panel before it has even been driven home

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2018 3500 EXT Camper Conversion in CT (TX for now due to Covid)
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I would suggest just replacing the screws with bolts and nuts. Self tapping screws, sheet metal screws, etc are all dependent on the strength of the sheet metal to hold. The sheet metal on the promaster is just thick enough to support the paint. Drill a hole and use a 1/4 inch bolt. Seal the hole well.
 

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2018 Ram Promaster 159 wb
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Discussion Starter #5
I would suggest just replacing the screws with bolts and nuts. Self tapping screws, sheet metal screws, etc are all dependent on the strength of the sheet metal to hold. The sheet metal on the promaster is just thick enough to support the paint. Drill a hole and use a 1/4 inch bolt. Seal the hole well.
We actually did just that and it worked well, thank you.
 

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2018 159" HR, Colorado
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Sheet metal screws are not generally used to fasten heavy objects like solar panels. Like others have responded, your best course of action is to use a rivnut. The rivnut will allow you to unscrew the bolt at a later time without needing to access/remove your ceiling.
 

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2018 3500 EXT Camper Conversion in CT (TX for now due to Covid)
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Sheet metal screws are not generally used to fasten heavy objects like solar panels. Like others have responded, your best course of action is to use a rivnut. The rivnut will allow you to unscrew the bolt at a later time without needing to access/remove your ceiling.
I love rivnuts, but I would not suggest a rivnut in the thin sheetmetal of the promaster roof. They are just not likely to hold all that great and are likely to spin in the hole eventually. I know pulling down a ceiling would not be fun, but I think using a bolt and nut is a better plan.

Rivnuts in the exterior sheetmetal is also likely to be difficult to seal and prevent corrosion in. The good thing is that promasters are quite corrosion resistant.
 

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The good thing is that promasters are quite corrosion resistant.
I wouldn't say that tbh! I just don't think they are old enough in the states yet, plus you're drier climate surely helps Now unless there is different steel used compared to Europe, but the panel shapes and therefore water management will likely be the same.
Here in europe the Ducato x250 has been around since 2006. Many are no longer roadworthy due to rust. The main area to go is the end of the rocker panel in front of the rear wheel, as water gets trapped and seeps through damaged stoneguard which usually lines the wheelwell.

My advice, cleanout and re-seal your wheelarches!

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2018 3500 EXT Camper Conversion in CT (TX for now due to Covid)
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I wouldn't say that tbh! I just don't think they are old enough in the states yet, plus you're drier climate surely helps Now unless there is different steel used compared to Europe, but the panel shapes and therefore water management will likely be the same.
Here in europe the Ducato x250 has been around since 2006. Many are no longer roadworthy due to rust. The main area to go is the end of the rocker panel in front of the rear wheel, as water gets trapped and seeps through damaged stoneguard which usually lines the wheelwell.

My advice, cleanout and re-seal your wheelarches!

Sent from my SM-A415F using Tapatalk
Always good advice. I treat all my vehicles with metal protectant regardless of make or model. I use oil based products and spray it inside panels, underneath, everywhere. My vehicles split time between texas and the northeast where they salt the roads, so displacing salt water is important. I try to give each vehicle a full treatment every two years and will touch up the most likely corrosion spots more often.
 

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2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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Always good advice. I treat all my vehicles with metal protectant regardless of make or model. I use oil based products and spray it inside panels, underneath, everywhere. My vehicles split time between texas and the northeast where they salt the roads, so displacing salt water is important. I try to give each vehicle a full treatment every two years and will touch up the most likely corrosion spots more often.
Do you have a brand of product that you had good luck with?
 

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Do you have a brand of product that you had good luck with?
I have two different ones. On my Subaru Crosstrek I used Carwell Rust Cop.

One my prior class B van and my Promaster I use Amsoil Metal Protect or Heavy Duty Metal Protect. The heavy duty goes on thick and leaves a brown waxy coating so you don't want to spray that where it could clog any small holes, but it sticks really well to the undercarriage.

I suppose I prefer the Amsoil metal protect line, but nothing I have sprayed with either has rusted in 5+ years including a few Northeast winters.
 

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2018 RPM 136" HR, 300W, in MA
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All newly registered members MUST make an introductory post in the Introductory Post Forum as per forum rules. "Promasterforum.com Introduction Section " Please be aware until you do make the required introductory post any posts you make may be deleted.
Due to a shipping error, I received x4 excess sets of Renogy solar panel mounts when I installed my panel.

If you need these angle brackets + hardware, contact me directly. They will be free if you'll cover the s/h, probably like $5, via USPS first class CONUS only.

This offer extends to EVERYONE btw, if anyone is in need of solar panel brackets, I am paying it forward.

I ended up making my own mount/rack out of 80/20.

proof:
 

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Hey everyone! New to this and the forum. We installed our 4 100 watt solar panels yesterday directly on the roof with the VHB tape and self tapping screws.
Problem is, some screws are loose. A little baffled by this since some tightened just fine. We used the self tapping 1 1/4 inch screws for reference.
now we just have some holes that are too big for the screws to grab onto.
Anyone have any advice on how we can properly secure these brackets?
Renogy makes plastic corner mounts that glue on .If you use the correct sikaflex product they wont come off and maybe itll cover up the other holes.
 

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sorry to get to this post a little late.

If it works. Great!

Personally I think it is a mistake to drill holes in your roof or trust glue exposed to the elements to hold. I recently followed this article and was able to install 4 200 watt panels and 2 fans using the built in mounting points and unitstrut. DIY Unistrut Solar Panel Roof Rack | Fit 800 Watts on a Ram Promaster Van! Only change was buying two square panels instead of the retangle from the same source and off setting the fans to the sides. Very little tolerance but is doable.
 
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