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Old 07-02-2016, 01:00 PM   #29
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solar and battery setup

OK, I found some posts that already adressed that - went with two lifeline 4CT batteries which should fit the existing housing and ordered a 400w renogy solar system on rhinorack as per the pictures posted by Boxster1971.... hopefully this works out. may have to find a solution to add a couple more batteries with this size solar array......
Renogy's kit had the small 41x21" panels which is great and of course expensive. The MPT controller may not have a temp senseor, which is my only worry at this point....., but ut us a pretty heavy duty controller it seems.
this is what I went for
http://www.renogy.com/renogy-400-wat...r-premium-kit/

thank you all!
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:49 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by fspeier View Post
OK, I found some posts that already adressed that - went with two lifeline 4CT batteries which should fit the existing housing and ordered a 400w renogy solar system on rhinorack as per the pictures posted by Boxster1971.... hopefully this works out. may have to find a solution to add a couple more batteries with this size solar array......

Renogy's kit had the small 41x21" panels which is great and of course expensive. The MPT controller may not have a temp senseor, which is my only worry at this point....., but ut us a pretty heavy duty controller it seems.

this is what I went for

http://www.renogy.com/renogy-400-wat...r-premium-kit/



thank you all!

If you intend to duplicate my 400 watt solar installation on Rhino-Rack roof racks here are a few thing to consider. I also hope you are an experienced DIY'er as this is not a project for a novice.

1) I assume your 2012 Interstate is not a 24' Extended model as I don't think Airstream made the long Interstate in 2012. If this is true there won't be room for the two panels behind the A/C unit as installed on my 2013 Interstate Lounge EXT model and you will have a challenge to find a way to get those four panels on the roof.
2) I reversed the Maxxair fan housing to make room for the solar panels in front of the A/C unit. This is a fairly simple thing to do, but the vent will then open forward so I don't leave it open when driving.
3) I installed a low profile 360 Siphon vent for the black tank. The vent installed by Airstream is the tall version and I replaced it with the short version. The tall vent will interfere with the solar panels mounted on the Rhino-Rack cross bars.
4) You won't be able to attach the Rhino-Rack legs directly to the roof track under the awning. I made an adapter from 1/4" aluminum plate attached to the roof track to provide an off-set mount for the Rhino-Rack legs next to the awning.
5) I had to remove the Awning and move one of the rear awning brackets a few inches to make room for the Rhino-Rack leg mounts I used to get the solar panels mounted in back behind the A/C unit.

Let me know if you want more details on the 1/4" aluminum adapter plates I made to fit under the awning and I will post some photos and diagrams. There are also some ready made parts now available that might be easier to install. Check out this link to thread on the Sprinter-Forum by "hein", who had an EBay store.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32720

His web site here ....
http://www.impact3d.com/sprinter_products.htm

Good luck,


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:48 AM   #31
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Hi, Florian. On the subject of solar, you didn't say why you wanted to install as many panels as you have in mind (4), but here's something to think about.

Boxster mentioned that if you don't have an EXT model Interstate, you won't have room. Well, you COULD have room if you vaulted those panels above the air conditioner. That is what my husband and I did, mounting the panels on a frame that has a hinge on one end so that it can be pivoted out of the way if the air conditioner needs to be serviced (we had an OEM roof rack that had been installed by Airstream, but a rack could be added if an owner were really, really serious about this kind of project).

Here are three blog posts describing that process (this pic below shows three panels, but a fourth could be added up front). Again, this is NOT a casual project - it takes formidable DIY skills. We couldn't be happier with our outcome, but it was a major undertaking that was only possible because my husband is a mechanical engineer.

Good luck to you.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2015_SOLAR_FROM_ABOVE.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	407.8 KB
ID:	265808  
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:55 AM   #32
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Boxster mentioned that if you don't have an EXT model Interstate, you won't have room. Well, you COULD have room if you vaulted those panels above the air conditioner. That is what my husband and I did, mounting the panels on a frame that has a hinge on one end so that it can be pivoted out of the way if the air conditioner needs to be serviced (we had an OEM roof rack that had been installed by Airstream, but a rack could be added if an owner were really, really serious about this kind of project).
There is just one problem. On the 2012 Interstate, the Fiamma F65 awning is mounted on the edge of the roof— not high on the side of the van as on yours— because the sliding side door is taller on the NCV3 vans. Mounting rails would require moving or removing the awning.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:05 AM   #33
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Well, there's a good point. Makes me wonder if he could get them length-wise instead, if he were really serious about placing all four.
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:56 AM   #34
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fitting them all

Thank you all for chiming in. Boxster, yes, I am trying to shamelessly copy your approach.
I really like the idea of mounting on the rhino racks - yes it added $600 to the cost but eliminates piercing the roof many more times.
I am aware I have to flip the fan around. I was wondering about the vent - will try to search for the lower profile. But it clears the bathroom fan? I guess I can push the panels sideways.
SO, you scared me as I forgot you had the extended version. However, I just re-measured and it should fit a regular interstate - I have 41 inches from a/c to rear door seam at sides. Even if it overhangs, I dont think that matters (except for that last year I backed up into a roof overhang while watching the rear camera...... would cost me a panel now but still cheaper than a dent)
It is true however that the roof rails end about 35" from the a/c, so I have to either cantilever the panels or run a second set of steel bars on top of the rhino rack in the other direction for additional support. I am in snow country so willl have 24" of snow on the panels at times.
SO, yes, you should all make fun of me because probably I underestimate the project, but I think I am more worried about time than skills.
Boxster, did you use the existing airstream wiring?

Florian
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:02 AM   #35
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Boxster, can you clarify which 360 is low profile enough?
https://store.lci1.com/products/waste-management
it seems the gen 2 is higher than the regular one - so just the regular one?
thank you
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:47 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by fspeier View Post
Boxster, can you clarify which 360 is low profile enough?
https://store.lci1.com/products/waste-management
it seems the gen 2 is higher than the regular one - so just the regular one?
thank you

Yes the regular one is the height of the one I installed. Apparently they make them in several heights. Here is a photo of the taller version I removed as it was too tall to clear the solar panels mounted on the Rhino-Rack cross bars. Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1467603949.187610.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	87.0 KB
ID:	265903

I also searched and found the tall ones on eBay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RV-360-sipho...r/371662021387


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2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:09 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fspeier View Post
Thank you all for chiming in. Boxster, yes, I am trying to shamelessly copy your approach.

I really like the idea of mounting on the rhino racks - yes it added $600 to the cost but eliminates piercing the roof many more times.

I am aware I have to flip the fan around. I was wondering about the vent - will try to search for the lower profile. But it clears the bathroom fan? I guess I can push the panels sideways.

SO, you scared me as I forgot you had the extended version. However, I just re-measured and it should fit a regular interstate - I have 41 inches from a/c to rear door seam at sides. Even if it overhangs, I dont think that matters (except for that last year I backed up into a roof overhang while watching the rear camera...... would cost me a panel now but still cheaper than a dent)

It is true however that the roof rails end about 35" from the a/c, so I have to either cantilever the panels or run a second set of steel bars on top of the rhino rack in the other direction for additional support. I am in snow country so willl have 24" of snow on the panels at times.

SO, yes, you should all make fun of me because probably I underestimate the project, but I think I am more worried about time than skills.

Boxster, did you use the existing airstream wiring?



Florian

No problem copying my install - that's why I posted the info. I'll dig up some additional photos and post them in a separate thread.

I posted the info on the lower 360 Siphon vent in another post. The bath vent just clears the panels even when fully open.

I did not use the existing solar wiring - it is only 10 gauge to controller and 12 gauge to the batteries. That is not adequate for 400 watts that can push up to 20 Amps to the batteries. I used a junction box on the roof and ran new 6 gauge wire from panels to controller and then to the batteries.

I bought all my components from AM Solar as a kit and it included everything right down to the wire labels. I highly recommend them as a source for solar components.


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Old 07-03-2016, 10:57 PM   #38
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amsolar

I was going to buy from amsolar but seems like they are out of the 42x21 panels so went to renogy for that reason
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:25 PM   #39
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Hello Everybody,

Slowly this project is making progress. The wait time for most of the parts from airstream was five weeks.

I have installed the original fridge and the cuisinart microwave with all the trim pieces, and put in two agm 6v house batteries. This week I will tackle the solar system.

I have two requests if someone can help me out:

The electric step from project 2000- can someone read off a part number from the manufacturer or at least the width of the step? I found a way to order the project 2000 direct but need the exact model.

As for the second row captain seats and pedestals, this is an airstream part and its in the parts booklet. However airstream claims this is a Mercedes part. It is not, however I am sure the seats are made by a third party for airstream. Any chance anyone can find a tag on their second row captain chairs?

Thank you all very much,

Florian
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:42 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fspeier View Post
Hello Everybody,

Slowly this project is making progress. The wait time for most of the parts from airstream was five weeks.

I have installed the original fridge and the cuisinart microwave with all the trim pieces, and put in two agm 6v house batteries. This week I will tackle the solar system.

I have two requests if someone can help me out:

The electric step from project 2000- can someone read off a part number from the manufacturer or at least the width of the step? I found a way to order the project 2000 direct but need the exact model.

As for the second row captain seats and pedestals, this is an airstream part and its in the parts booklet. However airstream claims this is a Mercedes part. It is not, however I am sure the seats are made by a third party for airstream. Any chance anyone can find a tag on their second row captain chairs?

Thank you all very much,

Florian
These two items are in the 2012 Interstate Parts Manual and since they are probably the same as in the current models, you ought to be able to get them from Airstream, although I would hate to think what Airstream might charge from them.
https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...tate-parts.pdf
However, looking at my second row captain's seat, the only information I could find was on the swiveling base: "Norco Industries Part Number 117016"
The Project 2000 step had no stickers, but I have a PDF of the step and it looks like the model number is 10856, but I think you should verify that by searching online.
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