How to Install a Solar Panel to the Roof of your Caravan
What’s the best adhesive to use for installing solar panels onto a caravan we hear you ask?
Sikaflex of course! Specifically, Sikaflex 252 is the adhesive we would recommend time and time again for this important job. The easiest way to get the best result, one that will stand up to bumping and banging about the countryside in a caravan is to ensure that you prime and prepare your surfaces properly.
Let’s get a little technical for a moment. These instructions are only valid for the substrates we are talking about, and they are the most common ones for these materials. If your caravan or solar panel mounting bracket are made from something different, call the Sika Technical Help Desk on 1300 22 33 48 for a more specific recommendation.
Your caravan roof is likely to be made out of Fibreglass with a gel coat finish. Your mounting brackets for your solar panel are likely to be either Mill Finished Aluminium or Anodised aluminium – it will say on the product box or label which, so check that first.
What you’re going to need:
For the Mounting Brackets – Lightly abrade the surface that you are sticking to the roof using the Scotchbrite pad and clean to remove any dust using a clean dry rag.
Using a cotton cloth, apply the Sika Aktivator 205 (you only need a little bit!) and allow to dry for 10 minutes, but don’t leave it more than 2 hours.
Apply Sika Primer 206 G+P in a light, uniform coat using a brush or foam applicator, and set aside for anywhere from 30mins to 24 hours, depending how busy you are! Then apply your spacer tape (4 mm to 5mm thick) to the primed area, ensuring it is stuck down well. This will ensure that the adhesive is at the correct thickness to function properly, so it’s pretty important!
Applying the Adhesive – Apply Sikaflex 252 to the bottom of the mounting bracket or fibreglass roof. Make sure that you have trimmed the nozzle of your cartridge to an appropriate size so it’s only just bigger than the bracket to give a nice, clean finish, and use a high quality caulking gun to ensure that your application is smooth and even. The thickness of the Sikaflex 252 should be about 8mm high, or twice as high as your spacer tape.
Assembly – Bring the mounting brackets and the caravan roof together and push down until the mounting bracket is touching the spacer tape. This will leave a really thin layer of adhesive between the bracket and the spacer tape and give you a bulge of sealant around the tape and bracket, forming a waterproof seal. Leave the whole lot to cure for 24 hours and you are good to hit the road again!