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Old 06-05-2016, 11:40 AM   #71
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
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You may want to add a terminal fuse on the added curbside battery group to protect the crossover cables in case they got damaged by road debris.
Thanks. I'm doing that. Lew is fabricating the cables and I'll have an MRBF fuse on the new bank for added protection as you point out. My next project is to put the interior series propane switch in like you have done. I've been studying the AS drawings this morning to try to find where the wiring cross-over is on the GT so I can tap in after the Frig/Freezer (which are on the same 12V circuit #6).
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:31 PM   #72
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OK folks the Solar and Battery addition is complete. A big thanks to Boxter for the layout idea and Lew for the cable help and many others for a steer here and there. We will be heading out for a long trip next week with loads of Boondocking so I'll keep records on how the 300 Watts and 320 AH capacity performs. Updated the document capturing the finished product.
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File Type: pdf Boondocking upgrade.pdf (1.43 MB, 153 views)
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:49 PM   #73
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I can't wait to hear how it does. I suspect you will never need to plug in on your trip.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:07 AM   #74
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OK folks the Solar and Battery addition is complete. A big thanks to Boxter for the layout idea and Lew for the cable help and many others for a steer here and there. We will be heading out for a long trip next week with loads of Boondocking so I'll keep records on how the 300 Watts and 320 AH capacity performs. Updated the document capturing the finished product.

Nice job on summarizing your mods in one document. I really like the table format with a short write-up next to a picture. I'll start working on doing the same for my projects. I had already started a document to list my mods thinking ahead to the day when I would need to remember exactly what I did and when I might sell my Interstate.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:33 PM   #75
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OK folks the Solar and Battery addition is complete. A big thanks to Boxter for the layout idea and Lew for the cable help and many others for a steer here and there. We will be heading out for a long trip next week with loads of Boondocking so I'll keep records on how the 300 Watts and 320 AH capacity performs. Updated the document capturing the finished product.

You've done a very nice job on your mods. I was wondering if you happened to notice which connector pin they have the pig-tail connected to on the MM-DCLD.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:04 PM   #76
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You've done a very nice job on your mods. I was wondering if you happened to notice which connector pin they have the pig-tail connected to on the MM-DCLD.
Not sure what you are referring to, but if you mean the 12 volt lead I connected it to a spare slot on the 12 volt distribution panel and added a 5 Amp fuse.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:18 PM   #77
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Not sure what you are referring to, but if you mean the 12 volt lead I connected it to a spare slot on the 12 volt distribution panel and added a 5 Amp fuse.

I was thinking of the other end of the wire at the RJ11 connector. I wondered which pin was is used in the connector. Since the MM-DCLD's have disappeared from the market, it shouldn't be too hard to make one from a 6-wire phone cable. But you would need to know which pin they used.
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:29 PM   #78
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OK folks the Solar and Battery addition is complete. A big thanks to Boxter for the layout idea and Lew for the cable help and many others for a steer here and there. We will be heading out for a long trip next week with loads of Boondocking so I'll keep records on how the 300 Watts and 320 AH capacity performs. Updated the document capturing the finished product.
Back from our trip and the upgrade performed very well. We never had to run the generator due to depleted batteries though you'll see we did a bit of driving. If we had stayed in Glacier one more night it would have been close. Our site was completely shaded and the forecast was rain all day.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:22 AM   #79
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Great stuff
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:41 AM   #80
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Solar upgrade on Sprinter Van

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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
If you up your solar to 300 watts you should consider upgrading the wiring and controller. But doing that is a bigger project. So yes you could start with the new panels and see how they perform before going the next step to upgrade wiring and controller.

I also like your approach of getting more Airstream OEM battery trays and adding them on curb side to increase capacity. I've done all my electrical upgrades in stages. First I replaced the original 50 watt panel with two 100 watt panels plus new wiring and controller. Then about a year later I added two more 100 watt panels, all matched rigid panels. This year I upgraded the batteries and inverter. I now have an electrical system that meets all my needs.


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Mike, I have a 2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext and want to do what you did. How did you find roof space for your four panels? Did you remove the TV antenna? Did you purchase the extra OEM battery tray from Airstream? What batteries did you purchase? My wife and I want to do mostly boondocking. Have you any experience with portable solar? Thank you for any help you can offer.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:26 PM   #81
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Mike, I have a 2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext and want to do what you did. How did you find roof space for your four panels? Did you remove the TV antenna? Did you purchase the extra OEM battery tray from Airstream? What batteries did you purchase? My wife and I want to do mostly boondocking. Have you any experience with portable solar? Thank you for any help you can offer.
I had to flip the MaxxAir fan and relocated the TV antenna to the top of AC unit. I'm attaching a picture of my roof top with four 100 watt panels.

My 2013 Interstate had the batteries mounted inside under the lounge seat. Your 2016 has two battery trays under the van behind the LH rear wheels. I believe they are Lifeline 12V GPL-24T that Airstream has been using for years.

I had to build my own custom battery trays to mount four 6V Lifeline GPL-4CT, two on each side behind the rear wheels under the van. That gives me a total battery capacity of 440 AH. I also upgraded the inverter/charger with a Magnum 2000 watt unit that allows me to run the microwave off the inverter. That also required modifying the 120V AC wiring to add a sub panel for things powered by the inverter. I'm attaching photos of right and left side batteries installed. Also a photo of right side battery rack before it was painted and installed.

Edit: Just noticed the battery tray photo of left side is upside down.

- - Mike
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:54 AM   #82
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Boxster 1971, your picture of the panels appears to have a rail


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Old 10-19-2016, 08:58 AM   #83
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The panels appear to be rail mounted. Were the rails on when you purchased, or did you install? If you installed, what brand, how difficult?


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Old 10-19-2016, 02:43 PM   #84
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If you do not want to mess with a rigid mount approach you can take a look at my variant (post) to Boxter's roof. The '16 has the benefit of not having the antenna in the way

Also, you can buy the undermount battery cases from AIrstream if you are going to stay with the 24Ts. If you go 6volt you'll need to take an approach more like Boxter
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