View Full Version : A.M. Solar Panel Installation

02-03-2012, 03:22 PM
A. M. Solar (http://www.amsolar.com/) came highly recommended to us...I believe it was Brad Townsend, but my memory is a little fuzzy on that.....my brain is lot like a flooded cell battery....the closer it gets to being "full" the more resistance there is to new information....where my brain is different is that the more new info it takes in the harder it is to access what is already there....lol. We went to their website and read about their company, their product, and how a solar charging system works. The information provided by them is really great for a total lay person such as myself. I was impressed, so I went down the list of installers and found one (The RV Guy, Inc. - http://www.thervguynm.com/) who was somewhat mobile. He, Mike Sylvester, spends the winter months at the Escapee Park in Jojoba Hills (Aguanga, CA). When we contacted him, he and his wife had just arrived in SoCal for the winter, and would be traveling up to Fresno, I think, to visit family for Christmas, so we were on their way. They stopped by Rancho Jurupa just before Christmas and did a pre-inspection of our coach in order to determine our min/max electrical usage, determine how to route the cable, where to place the charge controller, and monitor, etc. A couple of weeks later I received an e-mail proposal with three different options. We chose the two 150 watt panel option as it seemed to make the most sense for us. The Blue Sky charge controller is a 3 stage charger with an equalizing mode (not sure how effective that would be), and also gives us the capacity to add another panel in the future if we choose.

We then set the date for our appointment which would involve us driving down to Aguanga and staying in the park where Mike and Lisa Sylvester live (we are just around the corner from them on Granite Loop). We arranged with A.M. Solar to ship the package directly to Mike and Lisa, so everything was waiting here for us when we arrived.

We arrived at the SKP park Monday (January 30th) afternoon and pulled into their boondock are for the night (our site was not available until the next morning). We moved into our full hookup site the next morning around 9:30am, and Mike and Lisa came over about 10am to start the work. We ran into several routing issues that were each resolved to our satisfaction. The first day (Tuesday) involved routing all the cable, and mounting the controller and monitor. Installation continued Wednesday with the actual installation of the two panels, and then hooking up all the wiring.....it got too cold to apply the sealant, which is the last thing done. Mike and Lisa had their annual park meeting to attend yesterday morning, but were able to come by around 2pm and finish applying the sealant, and give us some instruction on the use of our system. We had planned on being here only two days, but frankly, it is so dang nice here we are happy we will be here until Saturday morning (the sealant requires 24 hours to cure before we can move the coach).

Here are a few pictures of the process.....

02-03-2012, 03:27 PM
And the final pictures....as a side note, there were NO holes drilled anywhere in the rood to install either the cables, or solar panels, which is always a plus in my book. Both Elaine and I are very impressed with Mike and Lisa's professionalism. After spending Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and part of Friday with them, we now consider them friends....and that is a bonus.

In their original e-mail proposal they gave us a high and low of hours needed to install the system. In the end the number of hours they actually spent installing our system exceeded the high estimate by 5-6 hours, however, they honored their "high" estimate. So, here are the numbers:
A.M. Solar - 2 - 150 watt panels, Blue Sky Charge Controller, Blue Sky Monitor, cabling, wiring, sealant, etc. - $1,820 (rounded off)
R.V. Guy, Inc. - $1,113.00 (a more modern coach might take fewer hours). So for just under $3,000 we have our solar charging system installed. I know most of you could probably have installed this system, and I probably could have if I wanted to spend a couple of weeks, which I didn't want to do....lol, so for me it was money well spent, and we gained new friends to boot. In addition, we do have back up support should we have questions, or issues.

Brad Townsend
02-04-2012, 01:06 AM
Great Job Clarke.
Wondering how the roof brackets are being held on the roof if there are no holes.
So how many amp hours were you down this am.


02-04-2012, 02:27 AM
3M 5200 or SILKAFLEX (both are a POLYURETHANE adhesive)