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Old 11-21-2015, 01:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post

5 Don't bother upgrading your converter even if it's only a single stage battery charger since you'll be disconnecting the charger from the batteries when connected to shore power or when in long term storage anyway.
This is how we do it, still have original converter/charger which works great as a converter, charger we don't need.

Isolate it from the batteries with the Battery Disconnect in STORE mode whenever on external power. Let the solar system charge the batteries. Don' t forget to switch back to USE mode when unhooking for travel or the fridge controls will not operate in STORE mode.
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Old 11-21-2015, 01:44 PM   #16
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Power Options

We choose the Airstream solar package and the 1000W inverter. We also have a EU2000i for the microwave and other emergencies. We like to dry camp and the solar keeps the batteries up easily even after we use the inverter for 3 to 4 hours and run the batteries to approx 40 percent. I do wish Airstream had sized the inverter to work the microwave but we have learned to work around it most of the time. The Airstream solar works great and is integrated well with the other systems. The batteries were upgraded as part of the solar package but they are still group 24 units. I have looked at upsizing them to group 27 batteries but it would not do lots without a new inverter. Lots of work and still does not include the wiring mods for the microwave. Good luck with your choices and enjoy your new Airstream we sure do.
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:31 PM   #17
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Does an lp conversion generator give you the option to run it on lp or gas or only on lp
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Old 11-21-2015, 04:52 PM   #18
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Where is lewster in all this? If I were to order another Airstream it would be without solar. I would install a Signature 40/MPPT/4 solar controller, a Magnum MSH-3102M 3000 watt hybrid inverter/charger with Magnum ME-RC remote monitor, an AM Solar lithium battery pack and SF-100 solar panel kits. All sized to your needs and/or pocket book. Sure it is expensive, but then you have the basics for a premium system that should last for the life of the trailer. With this inverter/charger you can use it with a small jenny to run the A/C(s). Lewster hooks all this up directly to your AC panel so all AC items are powered. I believe the factory solar, inverter, and AGM batteries are around a $3000 option. So you are getting cheaper overall as you go along. AM Solar says the only thing that causes the lithiums to go down is a bad cell. replaceable for, IRC, $175. Otherwise they have indefinite life. Now your costs are really evening out in long run. I recently spent time at the Airstream Service Center having them run AC 50 anp wires from the lower left rear to the front of the trailer through the main frame rail for the jenny. Kevin, their foreman, said there are some holes already drilled in the frame you can use. But a hole saw also did the trick when necessary for additional access we needed. It would be real simple to drill holes for the 4-0 welding cable lewster recommends to go from the refer compartment in either direction to the front rear of the trailer to access those areas for component installation. I also took out all the OEM battery boxes and sealed everything up to make it moisture proof for the lithiums. Lewster says the battery management systems (BMS) are touchy about moisture. If you are interested in all this I would contact lewster. Just p.m. him or email at [lew@gorge.net]
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:08 PM   #19
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Yes. US Carburetor kits do. They are try-fuel LP, NG, and gasoline.
Go to their website.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:19 AM   #20
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We have two AM Solar lithium iron phosphate battery installations.

The 300 amp-hour unit in the 23D is sized 11.25" x 14.5" at 84 pounds. That is less weight than the two stock lead acid batteries that were removed. It was installed just in front of the street side wheel well under the sofa. All the solar system "equipment" is installed under the sofa and street side dinette seat without modifying the furniture. The Magnum MSH 3012 is just in front of the furnace. Five 100 watt solar panels are mounted on the roof.

The 600 amp-hour unit is 11.25" x 29" at 168 pounds installed under the sofa of the Classic. It replaced four Lifeline act 300 amp-hour 6Vdc batteries at 92 pounds each and a custom stainless steel battery box that housed them on the 'A' frame in front of the trailer. The Magnum MS 2812 is positioned where the original battery charger was located under the sofa. Eight 100 watt solar panels are mounted on the roof.

When I picked these batteries up (two different trips), the battiers were bundled in manageable segments that weighed about 42 pounds each. Copper jumpers were used to connect each module to produce the 12Vdc when the parts were mounted in the trailer.

The link below to the AM Solar lithium iron phosphate battery page shows various configurations that can be assembled for the three larger battery sizes to fit a space situation.

AM Solar's Products for RV Solar Battery Charging Systems Lithium Batteries
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:53 AM   #21
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I have 2 2000 Honda's. Easy to load, 50 lb. each. I found a gas can that is easy to use and spill proof. They start easy, takes me about 30 sec. to go out and start one to make coffee in the AM. I also use then around the yard, have 11 achers. Check on line to save a lot on the cost.
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:48 AM   #22
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Other thoughts

Alano's post is good advice. I went through U.S. Carb for my LP gen. I ran my gen for AC all night several nights on propane this summer. It is very economical and no mess or worry of gummed up carb when in storage.
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:53 PM   #23
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Has anyone used or considered wind power? We park under trees. Currently either plugging in or using the Genny.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:48 PM   #24
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I've seen RV's with Wind, but I suspect there is takedown/setup work that is involved with that, that you won't see with Solar. Not exactly driving down the road with a windmill.
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:32 PM   #25
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I like to camp off the grid for three weeks during hunting season in Colorado but didn't want to spend lots of money for upgrades. I drool over the some of the Cadillac electrical installations readers have posted about on this forum but I have other priorities. The stock Airstream trailer is marginal for boondocking in cold weather so necessary upgrades on a budget are as follows:
1. Solar. My trailer purchased used had one solar panel on the roof (I think 100 watts) and a controller so I didn't have to purchase solar. I wish I had another panel. One isn't enough to charge the trailer if the furnace runs at all.
2. Generator. I have a Honda EU 2000 and couldn't live without it.
3. Three stage converter. Mine is made in China and isn't the best but it gets the job done for about $250. This upgrade is cost effective as it will double the life of your batteries over the stock single stage battery frier.
4. Group 27 batteries. Stock group 24's are inadequate in cold weather. Mine are drowned cell. AGMs would increase battery life for double the cost. Group 27's will fit in the stock battery box. I had to drill the rivets out of the battery door and replace them afterward. These will allow me to run the furnace all night at a low setting down to 20 f.
5. Catalytic heater. I don't run it when we are sleeping but it keeps the trailer nice and warm. Very useful when temps are in the 30's and we are trapped inside when it is raining or snowing.
6. Seal and weather strip windows and doors.
That's it. These mods will keep you comfortable in Cold weather. I estimate the cost at about $3,000.
One the wish list:
1. Another solar panel.
2. Group 27 agm batteries.
3. LED lights throughout.
No inverter, I would have to double my battery bank to have useful a.c. power. I am not camping to watch television. If I need a.c. power for the hair drier or microwave I run the generator.
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:03 PM   #26
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"Has anyone used or considered wind power? We park under trees. Currently either plugging in or using the Genny."

You would be rolling up your awning and folding your camp chairs before you had enough wind speed for useful power generation. I have a wind turbine on our sailboat, and need 15 knots of wind to see 50 watts of production. Useful when the wind blows 20 knots steadily throughout the night. Requires a tall, strong mast with guys or braces. Not practical on a travel trailer.

Our three 80W solar panels are spaced along our FC23FB roof so that shading of one will not kill production from the others. This helps when camping in a forest.

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Old 12-01-2015, 01:37 PM   #27
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Well that's a bummer. I'm thinking then that solar with panels that we can place out in the sun away from the AS might be our best shot. The kind of camping we would be doing would be 1 or 2 months in a single spot before moving on. We don't have enough income to move anymore frequently than that. This summer with a few large financial problems that wiped us out and left us in one spot for five months proved it.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:41 PM   #28
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Portable panels are good. I have 4 panels on the roof (all tilt-able), and plan on purchasing two additional panels from AMSolar and hinging them together myself to make a portable setup that can better follow the sun.
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