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Old 07-24-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
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Looking at purchasing a 2007 Interstate, can solar?

I'm looking at purchasing a 2007 Interstate. Is there any way to hook this up with solar panels?


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Old 07-24-2015, 08:10 PM   #2
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It may be pre wired for solar panels. My 06 is.


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Old 07-24-2015, 11:26 PM   #3
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It may be pre wired for solar panels. My 06 is.


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That would be great. Do you have them? What was the cost involved and how well do they work?

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Old 07-25-2015, 06:56 AM   #4
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We didn't get them, because the price to add was $3,000, and because we had the onboard generator.


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Old 07-25-2015, 08:39 AM   #5
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Greetings Karen and Jay. We have a 2007 Interstate built on a 2006 T1N Sprinter. We haven't yet installed a "solar system" (Protag chuckles) but we do plan to. My husband has done some research and while I don't recall the technical details, I do recall that the price these days is closer to one grand rather than three. It would be a tight fit, but there is room on the roof. I will ask my husband for more details later today.

Additionally you say you are "looking to" purchase... we bought our 2007 ten months ago, and since that time, I've continued to follow the sales listings (although not everyone sells through the sites I track). If you'd like my two cents worth on what I think your target purchase price ought to be, please feel free to PM me.

Last but not least, you should know that there are some issues that recur frequently with Interstates of this era, irrespective of how lightly used they are. The most common of those involve the plumbing system and I recommend that you have that stuff carefully inspected pre-purchase. We paid to have an RV inspection done but we were buying out of state and did not know our inspector, who proved to be total crap. *ALL* of the repair issues with our Interstate were missed during inspection. If you'd like to read about some of those misadventures, please see the Repairs tab on my blog:

THE INTERSTATE BLOG

Good luck!

Alison and Lawrence
League City, TX
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:07 PM   #6
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There are new 80 watt panels that are only about 2ft square. A couple of those should be able to fit on most anything since they don't have to be mounted together.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:44 PM   #7
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There are new 80 watt panels that are only about 2ft square. A couple of those should be able to fit on most anything since they don't have to be mounted together.
You could mount one of those on top of the air conditioner shroud, I would think, as well as on the roof.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:58 PM   #8
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I added 100 watts of solar, all the solar controls, new AGM 6 volt batteries (2) so no requirement for venting, to the house side of electrical and have yet to use the generator to charge these batteries . approximately 1800.00 including labor.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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and have yet to use the generator to charge these batteries .
You may want to consider using the generator anyway. Generators suffer from neglect, and should be operated at least once a month, for about an hour at a time, to ensure they remain in good working order. Otherwise you may find that when you do need it, it won't work.

If you don't think you're ever going to use the generator and don't want the hassles of running it periodically, you might as well remove it and save some weight.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:34 PM   #10
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The full answer to your question depends on what you hope to run using the house batteries and solar. The standard solar panels used by Airstream are adequate to keep the batteries charged in storage and possible keep the lights, water pump, vents, and TV working. With more solar panels and higher capacity batteries, you can dry camp for extended periods of time and maybe even use the microwave assuming careful power use and management on your part. Once the air conditioner comes into the picture, and really the microwave as well, you are limited to shore power or the generator and even with the generator you cannot run everything at the same time.
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:28 AM   #11
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You may want to consider using the generator anyway. Generators suffer from neglect, and should be operated at least once a month, for about an hour at a time, to ensure they remain in good working order. Otherwise you may find that when you do need it, it won't work.
....
This is true - just be careful where you run it. The generator is one of several reasons why I nicknamed my Interstate "Ticket Bait". Even if you surmise that you're in an area where you couldn't possibly bother anyone, someone may materialize who is bothered by it. Many jurisdictions have noise ordinances or other "general offense" ordinances of one widely-interpreted kind or another, and I've drawn police attention by turning the danged thing on. This is one of the reasons why I want to add solar.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:01 PM   #12
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I purchased a100w solar suitcase which I recently used at a 4 day music festival, not once did I need to use my generator. Last year at tbe same festival I needed to fire up the generator daily. I am so impressed with the solar suitcase that I intend to add a permanent 100w panel to the roof of my 06/07 AI. I will keep the solar suitcase for those times I'm parked in the shade.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:19 PM   #13
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Solar on any RV

I'm pretty much only reiterating everything everyone else has said but you can put solar on any RV...whether it's pre-wired is of course another question, but I've had solar put on every RV I've ever owned...only one was pre-wired which saved me a few bucks in the end, but unless you're going to be doing the work yourself, expect to pay just as much (or more) in labor as you will in parts. You can find some pretty decent deals on the internet if you look hard enough. Good luck to you! And, whether you go solar or not, definitely go AS...Interstates are awesome...I've been tempted to get this '16 Grand Tour on my dealers lot...there are just times you don't need a 36' DP (then again at the same time I'm also about to trade my 36' in on a 45'...but that's another story)
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