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Old 08-01-2015, 01:27 PM   #1
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Any recommendation for solar panels

As my 12V system seems to die rather quickly, I am considering the purchase of solar. So far, I've got a quote of $975 for Windy Nation brand solar panels installed; or $1,500 for Go Power solar panels installed.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:54 PM   #2
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have you checked out AM Solar

These High Efficiency Solar Panels turn Sunlight into Power for your RV Lifestyle

they have good product and Lewster is active on the boards is you have questions.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:25 PM   #3
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Check out the systems by Renogy.

http://www.renogy-store.com
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:30 PM   #4
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What are your goals? Just top of the batteries? Serious off grid time? Size of battery storage you have? And ask any installer for references on their solar installs on Airstreams. If they haven't got experience on AS trailers find another installer.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:35 PM   #5
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Highly recommend the AM Solar folks for the system components. We have used A&P Vintage Trailer Works in Paradise, Texas as an installer for our complex systems and custom work done at the same time.

The Classic has eight 100 watt rated solar panels and a 600 amp-hour lithium iron phosphate battery. It has a Tri-Star 60 MPPT solar controller and a Magnum MS-2812 inverted/charger. The 23D will have at least four and perhaps five 100 watt solar panels, depending on roof space, and a 300 amp-hour lithium iron phosphate battery. It will have the Blue Sky SB3024iL solar controller and a Magnum MSH3012 converter/inverter.

The goal was to have enough panels and battery that off grid camping can be done without generators for longer periods of time. The weak spot in the Airstreams when off grid camping is usually black/grey tank capacity.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:35 PM   #6
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First read about solar, then read some more.

Solar is quite simple, yet many people end up with an incorrect system. First determine yourself what you need. There are lots of resources available for that, both on this forum as elsewhere.

Van Williams
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:40 PM   #7
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AM Solar

Another vote for AM Solar. They were extremely helpful and I ordered everything I needed in a kit. I've had the system over 8 years and not a single problem. All installation directions are included so I just took my time putting it all together.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:44 PM   #8
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Van is right on reading and read more info.. for some good reading, and a guy some hate and others praise, check out Handy Bob Solar..
https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/

If you work with AM Solar guys they will steer you right. Its more the proper equipment and wire size vs lots of solar panels. With the right system 2-3 100 watts panels will keep most 6 or 12 volt batteries in good shape 90% of the time.. you might look at changing out 12v batteries for 2-6 volt golf cart batteries like the trojans t-105 or such. more capacity and heaver cells for long life.

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Originally Posted by cargovan View Post
First read about solar, then read some more.

Solar is quite simple, yet many people end up with an incorrect system. First determine yourself what you need. There are lots of resources available for that, both on this forum as elsewhere.

Van Williams
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:56 PM   #9
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Zamp Solar...portable solar panels.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:12 PM   #10
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Not to dis AM Solar, but I'm as tight as they come, so I went with (2) 100 monocrystalline Renogy panels and an eBay charge control that may actually be MPPT. I put a lot of money into larger wire and upgraded connections, along with roof-mounted breakers (in an ugly weatherproof metal Hoffman box). I figure I've got about $800 in it, not counting the gas for umpteen trips to HomeyD.

If you're not 100% comfortable with wiring, Lew and AM solar is a very, very good bet.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:56 PM   #11
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The system you should buy is dependent on your solar needs and the proper size of your battery bank. Just topping off batteries after one night or serious boondocking complete w 1000w + inverter and large Battery Bank.

Proper installation, wiring size and equipment location make a big difference in efficiency.

Lastly the efficiency of the panels, controller, inverter ...... will also make a difference in your system performance. More efficient components may cost more but will produce more power in a smaller footprint if space is important.

I have an AM Solar System w/ AGM batteries installed by Lew very efficient but not cheap.

Lots of great info. in this forum and the net in general. Ask installer about wiring size equipment, placement ... and check out references. If you don't like the answers find a different installer.

Good luck
Benn
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:48 AM   #12
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Save money.

I installed solar panels and a charge controller for under 300 dollars. Find panels that provide 15-19 volts dc which will charge 12v batteries just fine. I swapped out my wet-cell marine deep-cycle batteries for 12 volt AGM wheelchair batteries which last longer than engine-cranking batteries.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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AM Solar is worth the cost. You are getting the best possible products with peak performance. I researched for awhile some of the other options, including Renology. I was going to pull the trigger, but the specs are not on par.

"Good enough" is not the way I like to do things.

That being said, AM Solar get's their panels from Grape Solar, they are some of the best in the industry. The other panels that are excellent that you can usually buy used from eBay are KYOCERA 120 Watt panels.

You could piece together one of AM Solar's bigger kits for about $300 less, but I couldn't figure out how much would be spent on the small misc. things, but it adds up.

When I got AM Solar's kit, I understood why.
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