Duxford Logo Lister 5/1 Diesel

Mercedes 614D Vario Motorhome

Our DIY Conversion - Page 10 of 21

While the solar panels were being worked on, I had bought a couple of new flourescent lights for the bathroom, and modified them with LED clusters as the mains lights and kitchen lights had already been done.

Basic light stripped of the flourescent tube and inverter and new LED's fitted

With the cover fitted. these are going on the bathroom ceiling

Excuse the untidy desk!

Meanwhile, the other feet had been cut and fitted to the panels, but were subsequently modified to be a little longer at the ends, to give us a better position for the retaining bolts:

Panels with their full set of feet

Panels with their full set of feet, another view. Wheels are two of the repainted ones with new tyres.

We went up onto the roof on Saturday morning (15th November) and spent a couple of hours checking things and deciding to extend the feet a little as already mentioned. Once that was done we were able to get the rearmost pair of panels installed with no big issues. Then we went back to the factory and got the other two down so they could be marked up for their inner feet as well, which we did on Saturday evening. Loaded back into the car and back down home, ready for Sunday.

Sunday was a better day than Saturday as it was slightly warmer and a small amount of breeze dried things up better than yesterday, which stayed misty and murky all day. The second set of panels were installed pretty quickly with no hassles, except that I cut the back of my hand twice on a sharp piece of extrusion while fitting the last insert of the day!

Front offside panel showing the set of feet

Rear offside panel showing the different sizes for that set of feet

General view with three done and one to go. Water on the panels nearest the camera is from previous night's rain.

Rear offside panel showing the outside foot

Rear nearside panel showing the inner feet

Front nearside panel showing the inner feet

General view of all four installed panels

Overall view, the panels take up over half of the roof space. Blanking discs are the round grey things

Having got that lot done, I decided to call it a day and come inside and warm up!

The next job is to fit the connection/diode boxes and bring the wiring through the roof. We have two boxes ready to fit, but because of the positioning of the feet on the back two panels, we cannot use one of them there, so the spare new box we ordered will be drilled and assembled tomorrow.

The roof is a mass of pressed shapes which were a nightmare to get around, plus we had internal roof supports which we had to avoid when drilling holes through the roof, so it was a job that took longer than we expected.

We have sealing tape to fit under the feet and between the feet and the panels, that will be done next week sometime.

The internal layout and wiring diagram has been redefined as well:

General wiring layout

21st November

We had an issue with the angle aluminium that we mounted the solar panels on. Not a big thing but it niggled me.

The roof had a curve down to the side just where the foot landed, and the nutserts were actually at an angle to the surface of the foot. It didn't look too bad, but as an engineering job it stood out like a sore thumb.

The solution was to get some new feet made for the outer feet only, which had an included angle of 95 degrees. That sat very well on the curve and it all looked much nicer (if you were up a ladder looking at it! You can't see if from the ground)

Old angle and new piece for comparison

As we drilled them we fitted the double-side adhesive foam to the faces where they would attach to the roof and the panels, sealing the threaded inserts. We used the drill shank as a punch to get the hole clear of sealing tape.

Punching a hole in the sealing tape with a drill

On the other side

We will be moving the dehumidifier into the van this weekend as it is starting to get damp inside with me walking wet inside and raining most days.

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