Duxford Logo Lister 5/1 Diesel

Mercedes 614D Vario Motorhome

Our DIY Conversion - Page 9 of 21

The solar panels themselves were next up for work. Each panel comes fitted with 2.5sq mm cables, but we changed this to 6sq mm to cut down on voltage drop in the long run to the controllers.

Solar panel connections as supplied

Solar panel connection box opened and new 6sq mm cable fitted

Solar panel connection box close-up. Diode is inverse-connected across the output

Both rearmost panels done and waiting for the aluminium angle feet to be cut and fitted

A quick bit of work on a Saturday morning saw the second mushroom vent get fitted, and like the first, it was slowed by the cold days and lack of sun.

New vent on the left, last week's effort on the right

We got the four panels down from the factory while the paint was drying on the vent hole and set them out as we expected them to be, together with their connection boxes.

General view of the four 100W panels and their connection boxes

Compare these with the four 80W panels on the trailer.

General view of the four 80W panels and their connection boxes on the drawbar trailer

Closer view of the front two panels

Closer view of the rear two panels

While the outer edges were fairly easy to fit, the inner edges run over a mixture of bumps and valleys, requiring the feet to be made in small sections, rather than the continuous lengths on the outside.

As a bit of a diversion from the roof, I took the front wheels off for repainting and fitted one of the wheels that had been repainted, along with new tyre and wheel trim.

New tyre and repainted wheel

Back to the solar panels and their feet. I had one length of the aluminium angle in the factory with a second length on the way. I cut the four outer feet which used up all but 14" of one length, and got those four drilled and fitted.

Clamping the pre-drilled angle to drill through the frame of the panel

Closer view of the angle and clamping G-clamp

M5 nutsert fitted

Hexagon head M5 bolts

Foot finished

Back in their shipping cases, waiting for the other side to have feet made and fitted.

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