Frequently Asked Questions
A: One solar panel per device
Q: Does each SolaRVector device need its own switch or remote control?
A: No. The optional remote control can control up to eight SolaRVector devices simultaneously. If you need to tilt your solar panels individually, or in separate groups, you'll need a switch or a remote control module for each system
Q: Where can I buy SolaRVector?
A: SolaRVector is available through us - the manufacturer
Q: Does SolaRVector II-X or SolaRVector II-XR track the sun?
A: No, but SolaRVector III-60 does. It's a solar tracking version of the same system. The release date and price will be announced soon. (It's awesome!)
Even though SolaRVector II-X and II-XR don't track the sun, they're still very effective at providing addtional power, even 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 either the morning or afternoon sun. That will give you half a day of increased charging over flat panels - all from a single axis system
Q: How far does SolaRVector tilt?
SolaRVector II-X tilts to any angle between 0 and 60 degrees
SolaRVector II-XR tilts to any angle between 0 and 50 degrees
Q: Can SolaRVector be installed to tilt in any direction?
A: No. SolaRVector systems must be installed so that they tilt to either the left, or right side of the RV, not to the front or rear. All SolaRVector systems must be installed so you can see them when standing outside the RV - to verify that they are is down and locked
Q: Can I install SolaRVector myself?
A: If you can install your own solar panels, you should be able to install SolaRVector. Installation is straightforward. However, 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?
A: You'll need wire, and since each installation is different, you'll have to determine how much wire you'll need. IMPORTANT: 12 AWG wire must be used when installing six or more systems. Thinner gauge wire may cause a drop in voltage, which could result in the remote control not operating correctly
You'll need a drill, some basic tools and some electrical connectors to connect SolaRVector 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 first. It will give you a good idea of what's involved
Q: How does SolaRVector attach to my RV's roof?
A: SolaRVector attaches to an RV's roof the same way solar panels attach - with anchoring devices. The base of SolaRVector attaches to the RV's roof, then your solar panel bolts to the top of SolaRVector. VHB tape can be used to attach SolaRVector to the roof, but it should never be used by itself on a TPO or EPDM roof
Q: How much does SolaRVector weigh?
A: SolaRVector II-X weighs about 10 lbs (not including solar panel)
SolaRVector II-XR weighs about 15 lbs (not including solar panel)
Q: How much current does SolaRVector draw?
A: The actuator is rated at a max draw of four amps, but the limitations designed into the system reduce that draw considerably. The maximum current drawn will depend on how many devices are installed, and in what phase they're operating. The first three seconds of the initial lift, for example, draws more current than at any other time, but is less than two amps per device
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. In standby-mode the receiver 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 constructed?
A: SolaRVector is constructed of 6061 and 6063 1/8th inch thick aluminum. All parts are machined in a CNC, and the base and top sections are MIG welded for maximum strength and rigidity
Q: How much wind can SolaRVector withstand?
A: SolaRVector II-X and II-XR were repeatedly tested in the down-and-locked position (with a solar panel attached) at wind-speeds of nearly 100 MPH. We attempted to determine an absolute wind-speed at which solar panels should be lowered when they're up and the RV is parked, but that proved to be impossible due to several variables. Factors like: wind-speed; wind-angle; gust-strength; solar panel size and tilt-angle make it very difficult to come up with an absolute number. Good judgment must prevail
Residential solar panels are significantly larger than RV solar panels, so SolaRVector II-XR is more susceptible to wind damage than SolaRVector II-X when the panels are up. If you're chasing your lawn chairs across the campground, or if your solar panels are banging around in the wind, they should be lowered and locked in the down-position. (The same goes for manual tilt kits). Afterall, with SolaRVector, all it takes is the push of a button
SolaRVector systems are 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 your RV for extended periods of time, they should be lowered and locked to prevent damage
Q: How long does it take to completely raise or lower a solar panel?
A: SolaRVector II-X... approximately 20 seconds
SolaRVector II-XR... approximately 40 seconds
Q: One of my solar panels goes up and down at a slightly different speed than the others. Is there something wrong?
A: No. The actuators are not syncronized, and it is not unusual for one actuator to extend or retract at a slightly different rate than another. It is not an indication of a problem. If you have run your solar panels up and down several times without reaching the full-up or full-down positions, and they appear to be getting further out of sync, lower them to the full down position and start again.
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. The manufacturer of the remote lists 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: We buy the remote from a third party, and 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, then release them to operate the system. We've learned, however, that some have been shipped in the "Momentary" mode, which means you have to push and hold the UP or DOWN 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 Support page
SolaRVector is a registered trademark. All SolaRVector systems are patented