Q: How is SolaRVector II different than the original SolaRVector?
SolaRVector II weighs about 30% less than the original SolaRVector device. SolaRVector II has more mechanical advantage than the original SolaRVector, enabling it to lift heavier solar panels, and the locking mechanism was redesigned to reduce complexity and build time
Q: Does each SolaRVector II unit need its own switch or remote control?
A: No. The optional remote control can control up to eight SolaRVector II devices simultaneously. If you need to tilt your solar panels individually, you'll need a switch or a remote control module for each system
Q: Where can I buy SolaRVector II?
A: At this time, SolaRVector II is only available through us - the manufacturer. However, we are talking with various distributors who have asked to carry the product
Q: Does SolaRVector II track the sun?
A: SolaRVector II does not track the sun, but we are currently testing SolaRVector III, a solar tracking version. We don't have a release date or price yet
Even though SolaRVector II doesn't track the sun, it is still very effective when your RV is facing in other than ideal directions. For example, if your RV is 90 degrees to the sun's path, you can tilt your panels up to catch the morning sun if you're facing in one direction, or tilt them up to catch the afternoon sun if you're facing in the opposite direction - without having to climb onto your RV's roof
Q: How far does SolaRVector II tilt?
SolaRVector II tilts to any fixed position between zero and 56 degrees (from flat)
Q: Can SolaRVector II be installed so that it tilts in any direction?
A: No. SolaRVector II must be installed so that it tilts to the left or right side of the RV. It must not be installed so that it tilts toward the front or rear of the RV. It must be installed so you can see it while standing outside the RV - to verify that it is down
Q: Can I install SolaRVector II myself?
A: If you can install your own solar panels, you should be able to install SolaRVector II. Installation is pretty straightforward. If you're not comfortable working on your RV's roof, or working with your RV's electrical system, you should hire a professional. A fall from a ladder, or your RV's roof could end your camping trips
Q: What else do I need to install SolaRVector II?
A: You'll need wire, and since each installation is different, you'll have to determine how much you'll need. We recommend stranded 12 AWG wire. 12 gauge wire should be adequate for installations of up to eight systems. Thinner gauge wire may cause the remote control to not operate correctly
You'll need a drill, some basic tools and some electrical connectors to connect SolaRVector II to your RV's electrical system. You'll need a good sealant to seal around any holes drilled in the roof, and we recommend that you read the installation instructions before installing the system. It will give you a good idea of what's involved
Q: How does SolaRVector II attach to my RV's roof?
A: It attaches to an RV's roof the same way solar panels attach - with anchoring devices. The base of SolaRVector II attaches to the RV's roof, then your solar panel bolts to the top of SolaRVector II. VHB tape can also be used to attach SolaRVector II to the roof, but it should never be used by itself on a TPO or EPDM roof
Q: How much does SolaRVector II weigh?
A: The unit itself weighs a little more than 10 lbs (not including solar panel)
Q: How much current does SolaRVector draw?
A: The actuator is rated at a max draw of 4 amps, but the limitations designed into the system reduce the actual draw considerably. The maximum current drawn will depend on how many devices are installed, and in what mode they're operating. The first three seconds of the initial lift, for example, draws more current than at any other time, but is still less than 2 amps
In these images, the solar panel is down and locked, and the only devices consuming power are the RV's parasitic loads and the SolaRVector remote control module. In standby-mode the remote control draws only .7mA. The battery monitor, which displays an instant readout of amps, is indicating a total draw of .4 amps for the entire RV
As SolaRVector starts to lift a single 26.5 lb solar panel (the period of peak load) the load increases to .9 amps. After a few seconds, the load is reduced by .2 amps, and then again to almost nothing when the panel stops tilting
Q: How is SolaRVector II constructed?
A: SolaRVector II is constructed of 6061 and 6063 1/8th inch thick aluminum, and all parts are machined in a CNC. The main components, like the base and top sections, are MIG welded for maximum strength and rigidity. Machine screws are used to attach the hinge to the top and base sections, and nylon locking nuts and thread-lock are used on all screws. The linear actuator that raises, lowers, locks and unlocks the device has a lifting capacity of 225 lbs, a static holding force of 600 lbs and an IP65 rating, making it suitable for outdoor use
Q: How much wind can SolaRVector withstand?
A: SolaRVector was tested in the down-and-locked position (with a solar panel attached) at wind-speeds of more than 90 MPH. We attempted to determine an absolute wind-speed at which SolaRVector II should be lowered, but that proved to be impossible due to all the variables. Factors like: wind-speed; wind-angle; gust-strength; solar panel size and the tilt-angle made it impossible to come up with an absolute number. Good judgment must prevail
If you're chasing your lawn chairs across the campground, or if your solar panels are banging around in the wind, they should be locked in the down-position. (The same goes for manual tilt kits). Afterall, with SolaRVector II, all it takes is the push of a button. SolaRVector II is far more rigid and stable than an RV's awning, but it's a good idea to think of them in the same way; if there is any chance that strong winds or adverse weather could damage them, or if you're going to be away from the RV for extended periods of time, they should be stowed to prevent damage
Q: How long does it take to completely raise or lower a solar panel?
A: Less than 20 seconds in either direction
Q: One of my solar panels goes up and down at a slightly different speed than the others. Is there something wrong with the actuator?
A: No. They are not syncronized actuators, and it is not unusual for one actuator to extend or retract at a slightly different speed than another. It is not an indication of a problem
Q: How many solar panels can be installed on each SolaRVector II device?
Q: What is the range of the remote control?
A: It depends on a few things, like; where the receiver is mounted, the condition of the key fob's battery and the number and type of obstructions between the key fob and receiver. We buy the remote from a third party, and they list the range at 60 feet, however, we have repeatedly raised and lowered our solar panels at a distance of 300 feet
Q: Why do I have to hold the buttons down on the key fob to raise and lower my solar panels?
A: The remote control is programmable. When they're shipped to us, we specify that they operate in the "Push Once" (latching) mode, meaning you should only have to push the UP or DOWN buttons once, then release them to operate the system. We've learned, however, that some ocasionally get shipped in the "Momentary" mode, meaning you have to push and hold the buttons to operate the system
If yours is programmed to operate in the "Momentary" mode, we recommend reprogramming it to operate in the latching mode. It's a simple procedure, and the reprogramming instructions are in the package that came with the remote. If you can't find them, you can download them from the Installation & Support page