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Old 04-29-2014, 10:43 AM   #43
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Hi K9CarCrate,

A Question from a vertically challenged Airstreamer....

How do you get the panels to tilt? Is it manual or powered? Do you use a ladder?

Thanks, Bugs
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:25 AM   #44
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Hi K9CarCrate,

A Question from a vertically challenged Airstreamer....

How do you get the panels to tilt? Is it manual or powered? Do you use a ladder?

Thanks, Bugs
Total manual operation. You would have to use a ladder.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:46 PM   #45
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Awwwwww....Come on! It won't hurt .........MUCH!!!
Very funny.

Just talked to our CPA regarding the solar tax credit that you mentioned, Lew. CPA says we'd get 30% credit. That's good!

Lew, sent you email with some more questions this morning.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:48 AM   #46
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Bugsbunny, Tiato is correct, I would need to use a ladder to angle the solar panels. Although it is more efficient to angle them perpendicular to the sun, I really cannot imagine angling the solar panels other than to clean under them. I went to Spartanburg, SC this last weekend(it was sunny), ran fans on high, pump, microwave(as needed), kenwood, TV, the refrigerator, an additional 1.7cuft freezer, left the inverter on all day and it didn't make a dent into the battery capacity. I need to experiment more, but I might consider carrying one of those nifty collapsible ladders available at Campingworld.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:25 PM   #47
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Hmmmmm....I had been considering using my dealer's techs to install a solar upgrade sometime in the future. It is a good sized shop. My plans just got changed. Seems they will "only install what they sell". I understand that (kinda), but what they sell is NOT what I want. Reading all the posts, and seeing the work of "lewster" and AM Solar has spoiled me. I do not intend to do anything until I see some results from the battery monitor being installed this week. (actually under mild protest from the Service Manager) Then I will get an idea of just what my usage may be, and can plan accordingly. I have a good tech that understands what I want and agrees. It is just getting it done may be an issue in the future. Forewarned is forearmed.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:05 PM   #48
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I went to Spartanburg, SC this last weekend(it was sunny), ran fans on high, pump, microwave(as needed), kenwood, TV, the refrigerator, an additional 1.7cuft freezer, left the inverter on all day and it didn't make a dent into the battery capacity.
Your alternator was carrying the load as long as the engine was running. The generator would do so when you were using the microwave. So to make a judgement as to efficiency, one needs to know how long both the engine and generator were off while all of the loads were on.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:36 PM   #49
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microwave(as needed)
I'm left wondering if you are you saying the Magnum will run the microwave without having to fire up the genset??? Or were you running the genny as Shark seems to be assuming.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:25 PM   #50
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I'm left wondering if you are you saying the Magnum will run the microwave without having to fire up the genset??? Or were you running the genny as Shark seems to be assuming.
With 440 amp/hours of batteries and a Magnum MS-2012 sine wave inverter/charger, Steve has no problems running his microwave solely from his batteries (by system design). He might see battery voltage drop to under 11.0VDC, but this is simply a transient voltage while under a larger load (see my postings on Peukert's Theorem) No generator required.

The batteries bounce right back to near where they were once the load is removed.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:31 PM   #51
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Lew, sent you email regarding possible scheduling.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:49 AM   #52
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73shark and Russ240, to confirm what Lewster said, there was no generator or alternator running to run the systems. On the first day, the systems ran for approximately 11 hours and the second day about 9 hours. The new system fully charges the batteries to capacity without any float drop. The system was designed so that it should not be necessary to plug into shore power to top off the batteries as long as there is sufficient amounts of sunlight to drive the solar panels. There was also an upgrade to the controller and temperature sensor. Steve.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:53 AM   #53
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If the AM Solar system equipment is a first choice, then I suggest contacting them for their very "short" list of recommended installers. "Lewster" is one of those installers and from what I read on the forums is busier than a one armed wall paper hanger and may not be close by to do an installation.

Due to our scheduling and foreign travel plans, we were able to retain another approved installer, "A&P Vintage Trailer Works," near the Northwest side of Dallas Fort Worth. Since Paul and Ann are also restorers of Vintage trailers, they were able to do some custom wood cabinetry work while the unit was on location along with the disc brake conversion and installing the Maxim skylights.

The drop shipped cost of the components provided by AM Solar were about a third of the total project cost. There are a lot of man hours involved in putting the panels, junction box and wires on the roof, adding a new 50 amp service entrance to be able to shed load off of the 30 amp rated contacts in the Magnum MS-2812, designing and fabricating a custom stainless steel battery box for the four Lifeline 300 amp-hour batteries and and running conduit for the wiring front to back in the trailer in conduit under the floor. We also installed additional power outlets in convenient locations since the trailer was opened up, so to speak.

So when looking at the total cost of just the solar equipment, that number is just the tip of the iceberg of the project total cost. Depending on the complexity of the system, the installation costs could be one to two times the equipment cost.

As has been posted before, proper installation is the heart of these systems and the size of all parts must be properly selected for the ability to process the power generated to charge the batteries and convert the battery power to AC.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:41 AM   #54
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Switz,

You want a job as my front man!!!!!

Couldn't have said if better myself.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:46 AM   #55
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I am forewarned... 😀... But not surprised.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:24 AM   #56
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Wow. Now I want a well designed system like this too. Lewster, do you have a camping area for all of us lined up for this?

And if I may be so bold, what is the ballpark price we're looking at for a system like this on a 345? Or do we not discuss these things on the forum?
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