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Old 05-20-2020, 10:47 PM   #1
BRB Rig
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Locating Place to Drill Outside Top of Hauler Wall

We own a 2015 Fuzion Toy Hauler and we have a frame with solar panels that we want to affix to the driver's side of the hauler garage, between the LR slide and the ladder. We need to attached four hinges as close to the top as possible (see red arrows) to hold up the 200lb+ frame and panels.

Does an aluminum or wood top plate run across the top of the wall for us to drill into? Do vertical common studs run every 16"? Any help appreciated.

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Old 05-21-2020, 10:28 AM   #2
AbHDToyHauler
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Are you then going to have it hang down vertically while travelling and angle it like an awning to catch sun? You don't want to just mount them on the roof? I know it's your project and none of my business just asking because I am going to mount my four solar panels here in a few weeks and I am going on the roof. Maybe your idea is better? You could run a plate in inside and bolt through like a big clamp. Make sure you seal holes extremely well or water will find a way in. Best of Luck .
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:33 AM   #3
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Are you then going to have it hang down vertically while travelling and angle it like an awning to catch sun? You don't want to just mount them on the roof? I know it's your project and none of my business just asking because I am going to mount my four solar panels here in a few weeks and I am going on the roof. Maybe your idea is better? You could run a plate in inside and bolt through like a big clamp. Make sure you seal holes extremely well or water will find a way in. Best of Luck .
No worries about asking. Our roof is already full, sporting 8 panels. We're installing 6 more on a single frame. I like the idea of the plate on both sides. Just wondering if there's a double top plate up there that runs the length of the hauler. Good luck with your installation!
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:40 AM   #4
AbHDToyHauler
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Thanks. I am going to use that same idea (clamping through wall) to hang a pull down mount for a large TV in the garage . We don't use our loft except to store things so I will bolt through walls clamp mount to wall and then when we want to watch big screen just pull it down. Hopefully it works or wife will skin me alive. LOL
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:22 PM   #5
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No worries about asking. Our roof is already full, sporting 8 panels. We're installing 6 more on a single frame. I like the idea of the plate on both sides. Just wondering if there's a double top plate up there that runs the length of the hauler. Good luck with your installation!
I doubt seriously that there's more than about an 1 1/2" aluminum horizontal stud at the top of the wall & minimal studs in the wall that won't be on 16" centers. There should be vertical studs on either side of the windows.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:52 PM   #6
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I doubt seriously that there's more than about an 1 1/2" aluminum horizontal stud at the top of the wall & minimal studs in the wall that won't be on 16" centers. There should be vertical studs on either side of the windows.
Thanks TT. You might be right about the studs. I've watched and paused the Keystone videos they released right around the time our hauler was made. I'm banking on the vertical studs.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:30 PM   #7
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Check the outside walls on a cool damp morning, you'll be able to see every stud location.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:39 PM   #8
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Check the outside walls on a cool damp morning, you'll be able to see every stud location.
We've been praying for a morning like that. Unfortunately, the Arizona has been relentlessly hot and dry.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:37 AM   #9
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You can go to this link, https://www.keystonerv.com/brochures...ved-brochures/ download archived brochures for all Keystone models. In most (maybe all) of the brochures is a drawing depicting the construction advantages. While it's not a "diagram of the structural components" the drawing for Fuzion's in each brochure year will give you some good suggestions about how the roof/sidewall union is built. I'd say, "There's not a lot of metal in that area".....

That said, the Fuzion is a 102" wide trailer. Somewhere I read a "warning" for owner's to not tow with the "side attached roof ladder" in place, but to remove it before towing and store in the garage. The reason for that was to comply with the width restrictions in many states. If you attach "fold down solar panels" to the sides, you may find some legal issues if you're ever involved in a "sideswipe accident" and the investigators cite you for being "wider than allowed"... It may never happen, but if it does, you'd be in a "pickle" if cited.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:08 AM   #10
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You can go to this link, https://www.keystonerv.com/brochures...ved-brochures/ download archived brochures for all Keystone models. In most (maybe all) of the brochures is a drawing depicting the construction advantages. While it's not a "diagram of the structural components" the drawing for Fuzion's in each brochure year will give you some good suggestions about how the roof/sidewall union is built. I'd say, "There's not a lot of metal in that area".....

That said, the Fuzion is a 102" wide trailer. Somewhere I read a "warning" for owner's to not tow with the "side attached roof ladder" in place, but to remove it before towing and store in the garage. The reason for that was to comply with the width restrictions in many states. If you attach "fold down solar panels" to the sides, you may find some legal issues if you're ever involved in a "sideswipe accident" and the investigators cite you for being "wider than allowed"... It may never happen, but if it does, you'd be in a "pickle" if cited.
Thank you for the wisdom and warning. We had no idea about the width restrictions in some states. I’ll check out the brochures this morning. I really appreciate the tips.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:44 AM   #11
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All it takes is a trooper to notice your trailer is wider than normal and than gets behind you. Looks for TV mirrors sticking out and able to see. If in doubt and has time will stop you. Over width, inadequate mirrors, illegal overhang sides are the type of cites in this state are used.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:22 AM   #12
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All it takes is a trooper to notice your trailer is wider than normal and than gets behind you. Looks for TV mirrors sticking out and able to see. If in doubt and has time will stop you. Over width, inadequate mirrors, illegal overhang sides are the type of cites in this state are used.
Thank you Ken/Claudia. We just measured the width of our rig. It's 100" wide. With the ladder, we're at the allotted 102". The solar apparatus is 2" wide, so we're right at the limit.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
You can go to this link, https://www.keystonerv.com/brochures...ved-brochures/ download archived brochures for all Keystone models. In most (maybe all) of the brochures is a drawing depicting the construction advantages. While it's not a "diagram of the structural components" the drawing for Fuzion's in each brochure year will give you some good suggestions about how the roof/sidewall union is built. I'd say, "There's not a lot of metal in that area".....

That said, the Fuzion is a 102" wide trailer. Somewhere I read a "warning" for owner's to not tow with the "side attached roof ladder" in place, but to remove it before towing and store in the garage. The reason for that was to comply with the width restrictions in many states. If you attach "fold down solar panels" to the sides, you may find some legal issues if you're ever involved in a "sideswipe accident" and the investigators cite you for being "wider than allowed"... It may never happen, but if it does, you'd be in a "pickle" if cited.
We checked out the brochures and, oddly, they don't cover our model, the 325. Nonetheless, I'm sure that the frame and wall specs for the year of our Fuzion are the same.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:47 AM   #14
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We checked out the brochures and, oddly, they don't cover our model, the 325. Nonetheless, I'm sure that the frame and wall specs for the year of our Fuzion are the same.
You won't find a "this is the way your roof/sidewall is built" diagram on any specific model. Keystone considers those drawings as "confidential material" and doesn't share it with the public. What you'll find, in the brochures, is a "very vague, generalized depiction of how that brand of trailer is built. Some brands have wood frames, some have aluminum frames with wood rafters, some use steel stamped rafters, some use a combination of many different materials in a very wide types of structure...

What I was trying to convey is that you can get "some generalized idea of what you'll probably find" from the brochure... The bottom line, as I said, is: "There's not a lot of metal up there"...
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:35 AM   #15
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Just to springboard of John's comments.... I seriously doubt that given what I would assume are focal points for the design team of lower costs and lighter weights that whatever is inside that structure wasn't designed to hang extra weight from while bouncing down the road.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:19 AM   #16
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This shows generic wall construction from Keystone. Does not specify size or thickness but it looks like it is about 1.5" aluminum square tubing or so. May or may not have the structural integrity to hold 200 lbs off the side. I am not an engineer but that sounds like quite a bit of side load where it was not designed to be.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:46 AM   #17
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Try a stud finder on the outside and see what you find... On the inside measure from the top of the windows to the ceiling... Right above the ceiling there should be a wood stud that form the perimeter of the inner roof assembly and rests on the top of the outer aluminum wall frame... I also saw a video where they said that in the top wall aluminum frame they insert wood inside the aluminum to give the screws used to attach the ceiling assembly to the wall something to screw into...

My bet is it’s just above that small window or vent... Can you remove the inner frame of the vent or small window to look inside?...

Would it be possible to hang your solar array frame just inside the toy hauler door from the ceiling... Then open the toy hauler door and swing the solar array frame out and up to make a nice sun shade roof for the ramp (That I believe makes into a back deck)... this would only need a couple L brackets to pivot from and save you from drilling into and cobbling up the side a nice shiny rig...
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:28 AM   #18
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Thank you for the comments. We successfully found the means to securely affix the solar wall. It's been three days and the wall is doing its job, accumulating an abundance of solar.

We are at 102" wide, so we're legal. We've towed 600 miles with the new wall and don't notice the 230 lb. addition.

The frame was designed and manufactured by 8020.net. The lego-like material is strong and we didn't have to weld. The wall is hung by 8 hinges and we'll be adding actuators to lift it. The 8020 grooved frame pieces are designed to securely attach to it. We're happy we went this route vs. using angular aluminum.

Some of the hinges are held by threaded rivets, and we took AbHDToyHauler's advice and drilled through, bracing several hinges from the inside of the garage. We managed to catch the top of the horizontal Happijac beam to give the brace a solid base to rest against.

All in all, you're correct. There isn't much up there. However, we found wood below the wall at the top which helped.

Thanks for your support. Love the forum. Love our wall!



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Old 05-29-2020, 01:11 PM   #19
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BRB Rig—if you don’t mind me asking. What kind of battery bank do you have. Brand and quantity, and AH ? We go down to WHY in the winter. Thanks so much
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:41 PM   #20
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BRB Rig—if you don’t mind me asking. What kind of battery bank do you have. Brand and quantity, and AH ? We go down to WHY in the winter. Thanks so much
Hi Paul and Patty. We have a 960ah bank of Expion360 Viper 120ah batteries.
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