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Old 09-06-2010, 01:33 PM   #1
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New to forum - hello. Some ??s

I'm new to trailers and to this forum. I've had RVs before but never an Airstream. I'm planning to get a 22' Airstream Sport. 2009. I can't find any information on how to power the Airstreams when not plugged in. I of course would use the generator on my RVs when not plugged in to power AC, etc. What do you do with an Airstream when not plugged in? Thanks much. Appreciate it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to the airforums, 42570!

Airstreams are just like any other trailer, you can use the built-in batterie(s), get a roof-top solar panel, a wind generator, or of course you can use your generator.

Does that answer what you were asking?
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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battery

I don't know anything specific about the Sport, but most Airstreams come with battery/ies that power a 12v. system for lights. When not plugged in you are boondocking and may need to use a generator. Some folks use solar power to replenish batteries.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:42 PM   #4
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We've got a Sport and yes it does have a battery. There is a disconnect switch for it behind the couch.
OK, let's talk power.
First, no Airstream trailers come with a built in generator. The big motor homes do but not our trialers.
First is running on LP gas and batteries. By conserving battery power (use the lights as little as possible, run the water pump only when you need it, run the heater as little as posible) you can make a weekend with no trouble. Also, you can recharge the batteries from your tow vehicle when the 7-way plug is attached to the tow vehicle.
You can go even longer on battery power with solar cells but these are very expensive. You don't get much wattage for your buck here. Figure about $1000.00 for a solar cell system that will keep up with demand.
Next, get a generator. You need a 3000 watt generator to run everything in the trailer at the same time. With a little planing, you can get a 1800 watt generator and only run the AC or the microwave; but not both at the same time. If you just want to run fans, lights, TV and charge batteries, then a 1000 watt generator will do.
The last choice is to only camp where there is a plug in. Most of the time I'm at a site where there is power and water. This is the most comfortable way to go.
We have boondocked several times and just made do with the battery supply. This is often the most rewarding type of camping but not to good for the long run.
We've got a 3000 watt generator that we could use with the trailer but I've never camped with it. I pluged the trailer into the generator for a test run; everthing worked great. (We live near New Orleans, the generator is for after a huricane)
It all comes down to what your comfort level is. If being a little hot or cold is fine with you, then power is not that big of a deal. If you need AC, heat and daily showers you may want to look into back-up power.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
We've got a Sport and yes it does have a battery. There is a disconnect switch for it behind the couch.
OK, let's talk power.
First, no Airstream trailers come with a built in generator. The big motor homes do but not our trialers.
First is running on LP gas and batteries. By conserving battery power (use the lights as little as possible, run the water pump only when you need it, run the heater as little as posible) you can make a weekend with no trouble. Also, you can recharge the batteries from your tow vehicle when the 7-way plug is attached to the tow vehicle.
You can go even longer on battery power with solar cells but these are very expensive. You don't get much wattage for your buck here. Figure about $1000.00 for a solar cell system that will keep up with demand.
Next, get a generator. You need a 3000 watt generator to run everything in the trailer at the same time. With a little planing, you can get a 1800 watt generator and only run the AC or the microwave; but not both at the same time. If you just want to run fans, lights, TV and charge batteries, then a 1000 watt generator will do.
The last choice is to only camp where there is a plug in. Most of the time I'm at a site where there is power and water. This is the most comfortable way to go.
We have boondocked several times and just made do with the battery supply. This is often the most rewarding type of camping but not to good for the long run.
We've got a 3000 watt generator that we could use with the trailer but I've never camped with it. I pluged the trailer into the generator for a test run; everthing worked great. (We live near New Orleans, the generator is for after a huricane)
It all comes down to what your comfort level is. If being a little hot or cold is fine with you, then power is not that big of a deal. If you need AC, heat and daily showers you may want to look into back-up power.
Thanks much. How exactly do you mean you can recharge trailer battery while being hooked to towing vehicle? Also, when you are at an RV site, is it 30 or 50 AMP power? Thanks much.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:20 PM   #6
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Welcome to the A.S cult. I am in Glendale Ca, would love to show you my 25' ccd . Ive installed a 200 watt Welcome to AM Solar - Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987 system . you can private message me , set up a date & time .This photo shows panels, I am also working on replacing skylight & fantastic fan.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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The 7 pin connector sends 12 volts DC from you tow vehicle to the trailer. You can use this to recharge the trailer battery. Just be sure to run the tow vehicle or you could have two dead batteries.
All of the Airstreams with one AC unit have a 30 amp feed. You go to the 50 amp feed with two AC units.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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Welcome to the A.S cult. I am in Glendale Ca, would love to show you my 25' ccd . Ive installed a 200 watt Welcome to AM Solar - Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987 system . you can private message me , set up a date & time .This photo shows panels, I am also working on replacing skylight & fantastic fan.
Thanks for the offer. How long does the 200-watt system give you when you're just powering off the batteries? Can you run everything in the trailer?
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:01 PM   #9
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The 7 pin connector sends 12 volts DC from you tow vehicle to the trailer. You can use this to recharge the trailer battery. Just be sure to run the tow vehicle or you could have two dead batteries.
All of the Airstreams with one AC unit have a 30 amp feed. You go to the 50 amp feed with two AC units.
Perfect, thanks. How long I wonder would it take to recharge trailer batteries from running tow vehicle with trailer batteries half-dead, for example.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:40 PM   #10
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Perfect, thanks. How long I wonder would it take to recharge trailer batteries from running tow vehicle with trailer batteries half-dead, for example.
Many people appear to think that this means of recharging the battery is marginally useful at best.

A separate generator, say a Honda or Yamaha, gives far better results in a shorter time period. It also uses less fuel and produces less neighbour-irritating noise.
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
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Many people appear to think that this means of recharging the battery is marginally useful at best.

A separate generator, say a Honda or Yamaha, gives far better results in a shorter time period. It also uses less fuel and produces less neighbour-irritating noise.
Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:31 PM   #12
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Perfect, thanks. How long I wonder would it take to recharge trailer batteries from running tow vehicle with trailer batteries half-dead, for example.
Depending on the trailer battery(s)..."days" wouldn't be out of the question for a 1/2 discharged battery system.

I recovered about 10% for a 3 batttery system when towing several hundred miles.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:38 PM   #13
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We have never camped in a spot where we have full hook ups. Our 1970 Safari always runs off the battery power, and we've never run out of power (Usually camp for for 4-5 days, at most). We use the lights, water pump and power only when needed. (After all, it IS camping! ) Usually, we'll plug her in at home about 24 hours before we leave to cool the frige and recharge the battery, then we're good to go.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:57 PM   #14
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We use a single 130 watt 7.35 amp Kyocera photovoltaic solar panel to charge our batteries. It is not on the roof, but instead plugs in (via a charge controller of course) to the battery box. Very nifty setup. It's on a 20 foot tether so we put it in the sun while we keep the 23' International in the shade if we can. Never run out of juice now.
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