Take it or Leave it ?

Posted on by David Burley

transfer solar panel

A growing trend amongst motorhome and caravan owners for fitting work for us is de-installation / migration work, i.e. a customer owns a motorhome, they have invested £1000s having satellite equipment installed, gaslow, solar panels etc. They then sell on this motorhome to a dealer, but motorhome dealers do not appear to take into account high value accessories when doing part exchange pricing and so owners are left with a quandary, do they hand over their accessory adorned vans for X amount, take ownership of a new vehicle and pay Y amount on top to purchase new equipment and have it installed or alternatively take their old vehicle to a fitting workshop and pay to have the equipment removed and reinstalled on their new vans.

Their are disadvantages of course, it isn’t an open and shut case. Modern electronics are hardy enough but the cabling used has been sat on the roof of a van exposed to the elements and UV for a period of time. The longer that time period the more chance of an issue with removing that cable as it may have become brittle over time etc.

There are other costs to take into account. Removing satellite domes usually means purchasing a new set of mounting feet for use on the new van, these could set you back up to around £40. The same goes for satellite dish systems which will require a new mounting plate to affix to a new vehicle, these are more expensive and can cost as much as £130-150.

Moving a solar panel can mean leaving the existing mounting brackets in place and replacing these when mounting the panel on your new van.

Migrating something like a Gaslow system can be easy taking the system in its entirety if it is an in locker installation, however if the filling point has been situated in the side of the van and not in a bracket inside the locker then a gaslow transfer kit will need to be purchased costing £32.

Finally once the items have been removed, especially with roof mounted items such as solar panels / satellite systems there remains holes to be filled which may require the fitter to use blanking plates and the like which again cost money.

So as you can see it isn’t an easy decision to make, factor in de-installation costs which can be costly as sikaflex sealant can be extremely difficult to remove and so is time consuming, time = money. Once you take into account the fitters hourly rate and the parts (mounting plates / feet), transfer parts / blanking plates and the general age / condition of the equipment you are transferring, then sometimes it might actually be better to leave the original equipment fitted and buy replacements for your new van, at least then you get new warranty and the latest technology.

transfer solar panel

About David Burley


David lives & breathes motorhomes, an ex Fulltimer who has years of experience living in a motorhome and now drawing on his Royal Navy Technical engineering background for installation work.

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