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Cost to fit solar

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Cost to fit solar Empty Cost to fit solar

Post by Knick-Knack Wed Jun 19, 2024 8:01 pm

We were at Slindon CCC site recently and got talking to someone who used to have a Nuevo like ours. We got around to talking about solar panels (which our van does not have).  They had had a panel fitted on their Nuevo by Sunstore in Sussex and had been very pleased with it. As it was not too far away, we called in at Sunstore before travelling home. They normally only do booked appointments (as we found out), but they were able to fit us in after a short wait, which was very accommodating of them.

They gave us a quote for a 120w panel with mppt comtroller, (for the leisure battery only as we keep our van at home, use it fairly regularly, and it is old enough not to have too much automatic nonsense to drain the vehicle battery).  I thought that the "provide and fit" price seemed high, so we did not place an order.

At home, I looked on their web site, and as far as I can see the appropraite 120w kit is around £270 all in.  The full "provide and fit" price from Sunstore was just over £700.

I am mean. I know I am mean. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is. But is over £430 a reasonable amount for fitting, or is it far too much? At, say, £75 per hour (plus VAT, I suppose) that is getting up towards 5 hours. It just seems such a huge amount.

Deprecating (or other) replies eagerly awaited.

Nick.
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Post by IanH Wed Jun 19, 2024 8:14 pm

Google Photonic Universe 

They have all you could need

Find a 100w or more panel

Panel fitting kit


Roof cable gland

Dual battery controller with remote display.

That plus cable and fuses from 12v planet is all you need

Go to members factsheets 
Find Executive a new project, all mine in there. Identical fit in 5 vans now. Zero problems
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Post by groundhog Wed Jun 19, 2024 9:43 pm

Interesting we had a sunstore solar panel fitted when our van was new, they didn't fit it as it was done locally down here in Cornwall. It seemed like the first panel they supplied had a fault, it was checked by Marquis Plymouth who wrote a letter saying it was faulty. They did replace but if I was fitting new now I would probably shop around elsewhere. That does seem steep for what is basically not that hard a job, on balance I think you made the right decision not to go with them.
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Post by Caraman Wed Jun 19, 2024 11:01 pm

As a Salisbury person you could try:

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Keith Biffen from Amesbury carried out our last two annual habitation services and might give you a quote to fit a solar system.  Worth a try.

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We used Essanjay in Poole to fit a levelling system who seem to do everything.

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Unfortunately Webbs our closest caravan workshop at Old Sarum doesn't touch motorhomes but I have found our next closest at Tilshead Caravans on the Stockbridge Road does.  Maybe they will give you a quote.

The electrics are dead easy.  The tricky bit which puts most of us off is fixing the panel to the roof and getting the cable into the van.
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Post by RML Thu Jun 20, 2024 7:28 am

These may be worth a phone call too..
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Post by CC Thu Jun 20, 2024 9:56 am

I can highly recommend Nigel & his Father Roger at Offgrid Power Solutions based near Wantage in Oxfordshire which is not so far away from you, they fitted us a DC to DC charger & split charge relay on our last Campervan at almost half the cost BlueFix & others wanted, just as soon as I can get down to them with our new Broadway I’ll be going to them again for DC to DC, Lithium & battery master etc

I personally wouldn’t go anywhere else, lovely family business that allow you to stop overnight on their farm where they have a big barn workshop, then Mum gives you a lift into wantage to have a look around, then picks you up when your vans done or you’ve had enough, they even gave us a couple of jars of homemade honey from their farm

They have a YouTube channel with lots of info & they are now at most of the shows. If you email Nigel he is very friendly, informative & helpful, it might take a day or two for him to get back to you if he’s busy but they will always respond in my experience.

I’d expect a substantial saving over the price you’ve been quoted. Also if you are a member of Motorhome fun & tell them they give you a 10% discount.

Find them here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Post by Molly3 Thu Jun 20, 2024 9:54 pm

Have you considered doing it youself  you can fit flexible to the roof easy and and safer  , very unlikely to blow off no screws needed , have a look at van of the same model to check the cable holes in the roof , it is a bonus if you do not fitted panels as you can choose the controller you want
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Post by Knick-Knack Sat Jun 22, 2024 6:54 pm

Thanks for all the helpful replies. I might have had a go myself in my younger days, but I don't really fancy climbing up a ladder with a shiny new 120w solar panel. Also, for some reason which is beyond my imagination, the roof is not flat; it has an irregularly shaped raised section which makes fitting more challenging.

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Post by IanH Sun Jun 23, 2024 6:13 am

Go to Members factsheets 
Find exec a new project 
In there is my solar installation 

Have used semi flex panels in the past they do work but have also failed, when they do, if glued down like mine were, they cannot easily be removed, indeed in one case I glued the replacement on top of the failed one. 

Also good airflow under a panel is beneficial.

At a glance. In your case I'd bin the TV aerial, use that for the cacle gland and use the space between the roof hatch and the raised moulding for the panel. There are many infinitely better yv aerials than that one
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Post by CC Sun Jun 23, 2024 8:57 am

Knick-Knack wrote:Thanks for all the helpful replies. I might have had a go myself in my younger days, but I don't really fancy climbing up a ladder with a shiny new 120w solar panel. Also, for some reason which is beyond my imagination, the roof is not flat; it has an irregularly shaped raised section which makes fitting more challenging.

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I would just get aluminium brackets & sikaflex to the raised profile sections, you don’t need a bracket on all four corners, as long as you get four fixings in total, neither do you need to use mechanical fixings like screws or bolts like I see so many doing, it’s a recipe for water ingress further down the road. As long as you abrade the surface & it’s clean the panel is not going anywhere once the sikaflex is cured. With that space you may be limited to a 100w panel have you measured? I struggled to get anything bigger than a 130w panel on our last Broadway, also I used the big bulky plastic corner brackets which I’d never use again, they are an absolute pig to remove if you want to change or upgrade the panel, when I changed my panel I went over to the aluminium brackets & they were so much better, just put a self tapping screw through the lugs into the frame of the solar panel & sikaflexed them down, way better & cheaper as well. 

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Post by The Bargee Sun Jun 23, 2024 10:43 am

Are those mounting bolts on top of those half round GRP pillars each side of the roof? You might be able to mount a couple of cross bars to bracket a much larger panel to.

You could always get rid of the TV serial as many of us do and use one of the stubby ones, that seem to be better, or internet tv.

The problem with the alloy Z brackets that I realised after fitting my new panels is that it is going to be a devil of a job getting to the nut or bolt heads underneath if the panel needs to be changed. Probably possible but very fiddly. It might be better to use captive bolts through the bottom edge of the panel surround with the nuts underneath the Z bracket. Then at least it should only be a one-spanner job to undo.
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Post by Morsefields Wed Jun 26, 2024 10:43 pm

Knick-Knack wrote:Thanks for all the helpful replies. I might have had a go myself in my younger days, but I don't really fancy climbing up a ladder with a shiny new 120w solar panel. Also, for some reason which is beyond my imagination, the roof is not flat; it has an irregularly shaped raised section which makes fitting more challenging.

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wow it looks really clean too!
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