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How To Install Solar Panel On Camper Van Without Factory Roof Rack Rails Dodge Mercedes Sprinter




These solar panels have been one of the best additions to the Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter camper van. Each panel is a high quality 100W Renogy Solar panel originally intended for residential solar installations, but work great on mobile installations too.




The first step of the process was to install a roof rack rail system. I didn't want to permanently install the solar panels on the roof, whether through drilling and screwing it in, or permanent adhesive mounts. Ultimately I will be using the roof rack rails for other things too, like an awning, and they also allow me to re-position the solar panels as necessary.


Unfortunately, pre 2007 Sprinter vans do not have a factory rack option, so I had to buy 16ft heavy duty L track, and glue it to the roof using industrial strength adhesives.

2007 and later Sprinters have an (optional) roof rack, and would make it much easier to attach the solar panels. I believe that the Ford Transit and Dodge Promaster vans also have (optional) roof rack rails.


The 16ft airline track (L track) was cut to 14ft length to fit on the flat portion of the roof. SikaFlex 252 Black was used to glue the rack to the roof. The appropriate Sika cleaner and primer were used before the application of the SikaFlex 252. The bond appears to be extremely strong.


One of the nice things about L track is the variety of fittings available that can be used: http://www.uscargocontrol.com/Ratchet-Straps-Tie-Downs/L-Track-Stud-Fittings-Accessories

The only thing that I would like, which I have not found is a T-nut style fitting instead of the available stud style fittings.










3D PRINTED L TRACK CABLE CLIPS FOR SOLAR PANEL WIRE ROUTING


These cable and wire clips are designed to snap into L Track (aka airline track or load track). They can be used to route electrical wires, cables, tubes, or whatever else you need to guide along. The opening slot along the bottom allows them to be slipped over cables before instead into the L Track.



▼ WHERE TO DOWNLOAD


This solution improves the cable routing of the solar panels ontop of my Mercedes Sprinter van. Since the van didn't originally come with roof rails, I previously installed L track on the roof to mount the solar panels and accessories.










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