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Old 07-05-2015, 10:59 AM   #15
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Solar-Aftermarket is the way to go. I have 400W, a Magna 2000 inverter/converter, and four Lifeline 6V batteries. As a backup I have two Honda 2000 generators for days when the sun does not shine.

Satellite-I have it and have not used it for a year. (Wanna buy one? I am in Bridgeport, CA for the summer.)

WD hitches are a must but you do not have to spend a lot of money, an Equalizer will work just fine.


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Old 07-05-2015, 12:00 PM   #16
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2004 25' International CCD
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I really wonder why there is not a standard or optional propane or gasoline generator that is installed on the Airstream. But that said, go with the WD hitch, get solar later from one of the regular contributors so you have a big enough and effect system for more then battery maintenance. Just buy enough tow vehicle for the worst case towing, like up and down mountains and include the 4WD option. My tow vehicle--a 2006 2500, short bed Dodge Ram with diesel and 4 WD. I have towed a 31' Featherlite SURV gooseneck (SuperGlide hitch) and a 25' Airstream bumper pull from California to the Mississippi River many times and use it weekly for my 21' ocean fishing boat.

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Old 07-05-2015, 12:05 PM   #17
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My answer is "it depends".... on all of it...

solar.... if you're going to boondock a lot, its a fine thing. The cost from the factory is probably higher than from other sources. But you have the advantage of the factory installation warranty. We travel a lot in the south in the winter and the north in the summer. We use the a/c more than we don't and solar isn't going to help with that.

Satellite.... the advances in digital TV and antennas have been large. For most of our travels we use the "Jack" antenna with an LCD TV with great results. We usually leave the satellite antenna at home. Only once or twice have we not been able to get decent reception for all three networks.

WD Hitch.... here's a bag of worms..... with a 3/4 ton PU, it is probably a decent idea but not required IMO. With a 1/2 ton, it probably is. Most of that has to do with how much tongue weight plus the weight of the crap you're carrying in the truck bed. Sway is more of an issue, particularly if you're going in the mountains. We towed our 25' AS with a 3/4 ton for a long while. On a long, flat run, I often didn't bother with the WD but only hooked up the sway linkage and all was well. One time, with our former 25' AS, I only had the sway hooked up and was rear-ended by an idiot kid doing 85mph vs my 65mph. The rig jackknifed, skidded across the freeway and rolled. The hitch destroyed the rear of my 3/4 ton truck but luckily let go without rolling the truck too. Had I had the bars of the WD hitch attached, I'm sure it would have rolled the truck too. In summary, I would have one installed but I always evaluate the situations I anticipate (no, I don't anticipate rollovers but they indeed happen).

I'm sure I'll get some flak over the WD business but that's how I see it.
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by M and M View Post
Howdy. Don't know if I've posted this correctly, but I'm seeking input on whether it is advisable to purchase the following for a new Int'l 25FB:

Solar Panels
Weight-distribution and anti-sway bars for a 3/4 ton truck and 25' trailer

Thanks for any advice you have.

M and M
Yes to all yhe above.

85 Watt after market solar is on my third Airstream. 10 years old and does what I need.

Winegard Pathfinder Xi Satellite for DISH service as we're often far from a TV station.

Equal-i-zer Hitch with 600 lb. bars, instead of 1000 lbs. as salesmen recommend. That's because of the heavy duty 2500 DMax. Equalizer factory tech "unofficially" agreed.
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:06 PM   #19
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We been on the road 4 week now an in National Parks you do not get anything, NO TV or WIFI.

And some of the real nice RV Parks outside of the parks tell to make sure that you have a minimum of 50ft of cable for electric hook up and sewer pipe.

You all so have to use the rv parks WiFi which is not good because you share with everyone else in the park.

We bought a MiFi and up our data plan and OH boy is it great.

We do miss the Cable TV but remember that you are doing this to get away and after 42 of marriage we are talking to each other a lot more.

Not saying it's all good talk, but better than watching the tube
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:57 AM   #20
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For us:
Solar- It would be nice to keep the batteries topped off, but we never boondock. We could have bought a trailer with factory solar instead of the one we got.
Satellite- We have the equipment left from our previous trailer. It is a very simple setup. Bring a receiver from home and a manually adjustable dish antenna in a carrying case. We have never used it in the Airstream. There are plenty of over-the-air channels to watch. The equipment is in the Airstream, but I still need an HDMI splitter (or disconnect the Blu-ray player) to hook it up. Too much sugar for a dime.
Weight distributing/sway control hitch- Absolutely. I couldn't imagine towing a rig that sags in the middle and fishtails at every gust of wind or downhill grade while blinding oncoming traffic at night and having no steering control or braking control on the front axle-
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:04 AM   #21
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I hate to beat that dead horse but....

Solar - we do not have it but do not plan to do any camping where we don't have electricity but if we were to get it I would probably go with factory for the warranty from Airstream

Satellite - just another expense I don't want. If you already pay for Dish or DirecTV then it would not be a big deal if you can bring a receiver from home that you already pay for. I have AppleTVs installed on both of our TV's and we use Airplay from our iDevices. If you load the movies/TV shows on your ipad/iphone before you leave home you can easily watch them on your TV's - you do not even need Internet for this to work (check our youtube channel for more info)

WD hitch/sway control - ABSOLUTELY!!!
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:09 PM   #22
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Is there any other benefit of the high cost of the factory solar? Like all of the cabling and interfaces are complete? Something that you would have to deal with aftermarket is drilling holes and mounting stuff etc...
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:39 PM   #23
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I posted elsewhere the exact amount I paid AM Solar for my 405 watts of solar, and it was still cheaper than that crappy 85W system you get from Airstream. The only benefit to factory is you didn't install it. Lew has repeated elsewhere on the forums how lousy Airstreams factory wiring is.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:37 PM   #24
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Our factory solar consists of two 53 watt panels and two Group 24 Lifeline AGM batteries, as well as a decent solar controller and monitor. The wiring is no problem. The system is nicely installed at the factory during assembly.

In four years travel 6-7 months a year it has worked well for us and still does. It provides enough power for factory entertainment systems, computer charging, lights, water pump and furnace when he sun shines. In overcast weather it is less effective, but there is some charging depending on cloud cover. The weakness is not the solar panels, it is the storage capacity of the batteries, which we plan to upgrade if/when they fail.

List price was about $2500, we bargained for less. We like it for our varied use with and without hookups. We travel without our Honda 2000i generator since we have leaned how to manage the solar we have. It's not crappy at all, we like it.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:09 PM   #25
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Good for you.

Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Our factory solar consists of two 53 watt panels and two Group 24 Lifeline AGM batteries....

... List price was about $2500
You over paid for 106 watts. Just because it's working, and you like it, doesn't mean it was a good deal.

Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
The wiring is no problem. The system is nicely installed at the factory during assembly.
You clearly haven't seen the way they wire things:

My argument here is that the factory solar, is never a good deal.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it, until someone comes up with a better argument than "we like it".

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