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Old 03-01-2006, 05:20 PM   #29
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You may laugh now... but I will succeed. It may mean smaller and shorter parties though! Or go easy on the curry...

I have just sourced an 80watt solar panel or two to help me out, so, as they ...onwards-and-upward.

Chuck

PS Its great fun driving an Airstream in the UK. All other drivers are so dumfounded they keep giving way to me, haven't stopped at any junctions all day

PPS Tim, Lightwater is about 2.1/2 to 3 hours from here, it would be good to meet up with some one who knows other 'Streamers
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Old 03-01-2006, 05:37 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckles
You may laugh now... but I will succeed. It may mean smaller and shorter parties though! Or go easy on the curry...

I have just sourced an 80watt solar panel or two to help me out, so, as they ...onwards-and-upward.

Chuck

PS Its great fun driving an Airstream in the UK. All other drivers are so dumfounded they keep giving way to me, haven't stopped at any junctions all day

PPS Tim, Lightwater is about 2.1/2 to 3 hours from here, it would be good to meet up with some one who knows other 'Streamers
Chuck,

I'm not laughing, really. I am wondering what you're going to do with a solar panel in a country that has a reputation for having very little sun . Again, I'm just kidding you. I wish you every success. With so many narrow roads, I was curious how you maneuvered a motorhome around the UK . Maybe you could take your Airstream to Lightwater sometime . Keep us posted on your progress, and stick with shorter parties .
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Old 03-01-2006, 06:50 PM   #31
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Well, the sun shines in the UK (somewhere) every day! Actually, it shines most places in the UK most days (excepting Manchester) for some period of time, but Chuck is right to develop as many alternative sources of charging (batteries, and Pubs) as possible. Also, it helps to park near public houses with extensive shrubberies......nevermind. Tales of my youth. In any case Chuck will probably find that the recent UK weather is abberant (his social calendar non-withstanding) and more usual weather should reduce his average daily AH consumption considerably.

A further note: my referigerator, when running on propane in the old Winnebago would often go out in high winds, and the automatic re-lighting device would often use up some juice, sometimes incessantly. I eventually fugured out how to solve this problem, which reduced my sleepless nights if not my overall electrical consumption.

Rob Alley
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:14 AM   #32
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Thanks for the encouragement!!

We have used solar panels on a single 110AH battery for many years. Bearing in mind it is an "old technology" unit it managed very well, but there again electric demand was very low in comparison, (Convection heating and hot water, Gravity loo! (It is a one up from the "bucket-and-chuck-it" and not so many lights. We don’t use TV – haven’t time!

One does have to breath in on most occasions, particularly with the new breed of Euro-trucks coming here. Where we live we have the windiest, twisty narrow roads in the UK within a 12-mile radius so I get plenty of practice. In most cases there is only room for one vehicle at a time, even on the straight! Hence the "narrow" Airstream.

I hope to install the Solar's (work permitting) the coming weekends before the next party! I will keep you posted

Chuck (and Mary of course)
As the joke over here goes I sing, and she cooks! With a surname of Berry all is revealed; Mary Berry is a very good cook (so is the other one…)
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:36 PM   #33
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Good luck!!

I would be interested to know what kind of mounting device(s) you use (and find) for attaching your panels to the AS. There isn't a lot of spare room on the top of a 310, and none of it is straight, square, level, or plumb!!

Best,

Rob Alley
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Old 05-21-2006, 04:56 AM   #34
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We have now put the new (Genset free) system to quite substantial tests. I have now 2 sets of 6v, 225 amp/hr batteries ( I think you may refer these to golf cart batteries?) in parallel to each other. There is a 30 Amp mains charger (UK 230VAC), a Battery-to-battery charger, that runs off the alternator and acts as an isolator (See products at www.sterling-power.com).

There is a 3000watt modified square wave 115VAC inverter, 800 watt pure sine wave 230VAC inverter and at present just one flexible 85watt solar panel. I may add a second one later when funds are replenished!

The batteries remain at 12.65VDC minimum even when the inverters are run, as required. I have seen 14.6VDC volts after a very sunny day!

The only draw back has been the location of the batteries. The space under the step still holds two of the six-volt batteries and where the genset was, is the other two, behind a firewall of course. All cables are 35 mm, with blade fuses at 120amp. What I did find was that a 80 amp gold plated tube glass fuse had a voltage drop of 0.75 to 1.2 vdc across it, so they went!

The photo shows the layout in the genset bay, but the 230 VAC inverter was not fitted at the time, also the solar panel was not fitted so the little black box, the solar charger controller, at the back shows no wires. Across the back is the Battery-to-battery charger with the 3000 watt inverter below it. The 30 Amp mains charger backs on the firewall with two of the batteries the other side. Above that is the switchgear for remote operating within the coach. The white box with Blue wires is the fused distribution panel for 230VAC and in the foreground a 230 to 115 VAC 3500 KVA transformer to run the appliances when connected to electric (shore) hook-up, which is very rare.

Most of the existing wiring from the generator was used to monitor and switch over the various stages of power requirement. There is still some more remote controls to go in, but at least it all works!

The solar Panel is a SOLARA SM 225M (www.solara.de). It is not totally flexible but it can assume the curve of the Airstream roof easily (3mm per 1 meter bend) It is less than 7mm thick approx., and can be glued down with Sikaflex or similar. I also set in S/T Screws at each corner for added fixing.

Any one want additional info please ask
Chuck
Dorset (The “not as sunny as Texas” county of England but better than most others!)
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:43 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralley
WOW!! I would re-calculate your actual usage. 320 AH daily ....
I'm curious--what does your loo need electricity for? The seat warmer or the aiming sight? (Sorry, too good to pass up!!)
Rob Alley
Maybe it was 320 Watt-hrs? Just kidding.

Hey, anyone got a good design on an LED aiming sight? Something that is timed, so in a groggy state you can just hit the switch and it will turn itself off in a minute or so. I'll get around to it one of these days, buy why reinvent the wheel?
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:05 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
Maybe it was 320 Watt-hrs? Just kidding.

Hey, anyone got a good design on an LED aiming sight? Something that is timed, so in a groggy state you can just hit the switch and it will turn itself off in a minute or so. I'll get around to it one of these days, buy why reinvent the wheel?
Ha! Ha! - a minute or so? wait till you get on a bit....... 5 minutes minimum!

Perhaps we should stop there before we all "take the ..............."
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:00 PM   #37
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I know this is an old thread, however my question fits right in with these "experts".

I want to run my roof A/C while on the road without running the generator. I have been told that even with the engine running and a good alternator, I will not put enough juice back into the batteries to power the inverter running the a/c. Could a solar panal supplement the alternator and keep enough power in the batteries? Has anyone tried this?
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:49 AM   #38
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Roof ac

You would probably have to tow a 40' trailer covered with solar cells and filled with batteries to have enough power to make it work.

Neal
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:49 AM   #39
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Quote:
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I know this is an old thread, however my question fits right in with these "experts".

Could a solar panal supplement the alternator and keep enough power in the batteries? Has anyone tried this?
No. My shortest answer.
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:04 AM   #40
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by tx-lawman
I know this is an old thread, however my question fits right in with these "experts".

I want to run my roof A/C while on the road without running the generator. I have been told that even with the engine running and a good alternator, I will not put enough juice back into the batteries to power the inverter running the a/c. Could a solar panal supplement the alternator and keep enough power in the batteries? Has anyone tried this?
My inverter rated 3000 peak 2500 running, just about runs one AC but after a while cuts out. I am a bit annoyed about it, as the rating was a bit ambitious by the manufacturers.

Actually I will ask a question here, can you run two inverters to the one job? i.e., could I connect the 3000 watt and the 700 Watt inverter (Both modified sine wave) together to increase the capacity to run more kit. The Batteries will certainly run it all, for a short time without recharge although the solar will help to slow down the discharge rate...... Just a thought, but perhaps worth investigating

Chuck
Dorset UK
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:45 AM   #41
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Running rear AC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat370
The 370LE MH system is not the same as all other models.
On all 370's came standard with a inverter charger not a
converter charger like on trailers. When pluged into shore
power the inverter charges only the house batteries. The
starting battery starts the engine and the Onan generator.
When the Onan plant is running the house batteries are
charged with the inverter and the start battery is charged
with the DC charge system from the Onan plant. The only
you can charge the start battery when pluged into shore
power is to use one small jump cable from the positive post on the house battery to the positive post on the start
battery or use a small AC battery charger. Pat370
This is one thread I found that PAT did on his 370.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:50 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
when i first got my Moho I left it plugged int shore power thinking I was doing myself a favor by saving battery life. It fried both fairly new GM Delcos in a short time. I replced with an inexpensive Wal Mart chassis battery and a more expensive yellow top house one, used the disconnect blade, and I have not had a problem since. I check the charge level every week or so, and plug in when it drops below fully charged if not driving the coach.
Just reviewing this very topic.

The new chargers are self regulating as far as output is concerned.

Full charge
medium and float on most.

Many of the pre 90 Charger models were full charge constantly and fried many good battery's. One was better to turn these off if the unit sat for more than 2 weeks or so.

or a variable range charger with float was not working properly. If the battery got fried.
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