Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-28-2015, 09:20 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Coach
Atascadero , Texas and California
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10
Cost of Upgrading to 200 W Solar?

We purchased a new 2014 1/2 Airstream Interstate in June of this year. It has the standard 50 W solar. I would like to upgrade to 200 W of solar panels. Can anyone give me an idea of the cost involved in I have this done at the Airstream dealer locally?

I did speak briefly to the service manager asking for a "ballpark" estimate. The estimate was $2200-$2300. I am not sure if this included a different controller or not. The estimate just seemed awfully high to me for two 100 W panels and four hours of labor.

Also, does anyone have a recommendation for the brand or type of solar that would be the most efficient for the AI?

The dealer did install new batteries in the 2014 AI when we purchased it in June. We just returned from a nine day trip to multiple national parks in southern Utah. Too bad that the AI refrigerator does not have a propane option. The refrigerator is a boondocking limiter in a big way.

Thanks for your help.
__________________

__________________
Doug Odom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 10:04 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6,917
Images: 54
Check out these folks for a great deal of expert advice and information.
__________________

__________________
MICHAEL
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 10:25 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Jim Foster's Avatar
 
1965 17' Caravel
1983 27' Excella
Walnut Grove/Laguna Woods , California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,604
Send a message via Yahoo to Jim Foster
Much the same situation. PO installed a 55w panel and controller. I purchased two 100w panels from Costco on line for $150 each, bought some 2"x2" aluminum angle, some bolts, pop rivets and sealer from the hardware store to make and install brackets. Installed on the roof and connected to the existing line from the 55w panels. Installed a Blue Sky controller for about $150. Took me less than three hours to do the whole job including making the brackets.
__________________
Past President, El Camino Real Unit WBCCI#6620
Street Rod Builder (see avatar)
Kite flier (check out links below)
http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?feature=mhee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y1_U2XQ0bI
Jim Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 10:39 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
carl2591's Avatar

 
2005 31' Classic
Garner, , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 623
for attaching panel to the roof i highly recommend the clips AM solar uses along the the adhesive they use as it does not need make penetration into the skin.. no holes no leaks..

Lew will be here soon to make recommendation as well i suppose.

$2300 is TOO high to add panels.. it make sense to go bigger is your charge controller can handle the added amps.. not to bad to upgrade to the morning star units.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Foster View Post
Much the same situation. PO installed a 55w panel and controller. I purchased two 100w panels from Costco on line for $150 each, bought some 2"x2" aluminum angle, some bolts, pop rivets and sealer from the hardware store to make and install brackets. Installed on the roof and connected to the existing line from the 55w panels. Installed a Blue Sky controller for about $150. Took me less than three hours to do the whole job including making the brackets.
__________________
Carl, Raleigh NC
2-24-16 got a 2005 Classic 31D
Timeshare owner/user since '99
TUG2.net check it out for good rental deals
2003 F-250 SD, CC, 7.3L PowerStroke
WBCCI#1691, Piedmont Unit #161, Region #3
carl2591 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 10:43 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
AnnArborBob's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,633
Images: 12
In my experience, Airstream corporate and many (most?) of their dealers are basically clueless when it comes to solar power for RVs. The factory Airstream "solar package" is basically an overpriced battery trickle charger. Some dealers may have gone out of their way to learn about solar but they would be the exception. I would start by looking at A.M. Solar's web site (Welcome to AM Solar_Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987) and then contact them to see if they have a factory trained installer in your area. You can also check around with fellow RV'ers in your area who may have worked with an experienced solar installer. In general, I would shy away from Airstream dealers.

We worked with Lew Farber of Master Tech Mobile RV Systems for our solar and total electrical redo and have been way more than pleased. Lew is a regular contributor to this forum and his screen name is "LEWSTER." You can PM him and see if he can help you.
__________________
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
AnnArborBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 11:08 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6,917
Images: 54
Sorry there was supposed to be a link to AM Solar on my first post. Can not seem to get it to post.
__________________
MICHAEL
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 12:10 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
kaylorsan's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
Los Gatos , California
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 76
I recently installed 300W of new solar panels that I bought from AM Solar. I also added a magnum inverter/remote, all new wiring and a new charge controller/remote (Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512i(X)-HV along with an IPN ProRemote.). Total cost for all was ~$3400. I did the install myself with verbal support from Lewster and AM solar.

I have a 2012 AI that come with 50w of solar. There was no way that the existing charge controller or wiring could handle the 300W. That all needed replaced, along with my original inverter/charger. The entire magnum setup was about $1300 with the remote, wiring, fuses, etc. That puts the Solar at about $2100.

The price may seem a little steep, but it is a very high quality system and I am quite happy with it. Your wiring in the 2014 may be able to handle the additional wattage which saves a lot of work and some $. The 100W kits form AM solar run about $380 (I got free shipping and there was no sales tax). The kit has everything you need (wiring, mounts, etc)

More info on my change out can be found here.http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...es-134338.html

I wish you success with whatever path you choose.
__________________
kaylorsan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 12:10 PM   #8
TAC CA-420
 
'55 Airlight's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Santa Monica , California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 115
Images: 95
<<Too bad that the AI refrigerator does not have a propane option. The refrigerator is a boondocking limiter in a big way.>>

Sorry to read you don't understand the massive downside of the absorption-type RV fridge. Irrespective of whether or not you are running on propane or 120VAC, if there is excessive ambient heat -- say temps in the 90F range, its performance is pathetic, even with aftermarket 12VDC fans working to exhaust the heat and draw outside air across the condenser.

After this past spring/summer season of miserable heat in the Pacific Northwest (and generally everywhere else in North America) where I had to throw out spoiled food more than once or twice, I have given up on absorption refrigeration (RV-type) in favor of 12VDC compressor marine-type refrigerator, which shall replace my Norcold N-300.

I have 200 watts of solar capacity and 200Ah of LiFePO4 battery with which charging can stay ahead of the battery draw in my vintage 15' airframe trailer.

On these forums I have come to understand that more than a few Interstate owners are disappointed in the performance of their Nova Kool 12VDC compressor marine-type refrigerators because they need improved aftermarket venting (Nova Kool uses the same Danfoss compressor as the other brands) but what do you expect for a $150K Class B Airstream? Sophisticated engineering?

Start figuring out some exhaust venting equipped with .2A DC exhaust fans.
__________________
"Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands... A journey, in fact, appeals to Imagination, to Memory, to Hope,the three sister Graces of our moral being.
Sir Richard Francis Burton
'55 Airlight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 12:57 PM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
2016 23' Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
leavenworth , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 13
Freezing pipes......does anyone know if you need to blow out the water lines for below freezing temps.? Have drained the pipes with a valve under the trailer ,..hot and cold. I know anti-freeze in toilet and p- traps under sinks . If you blow out with compressed air how many lbs of does it require? what is the max air you can use,. Help please. @2015 flying cloud woodguy2
__________________
woodguy2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
2004 19' Bambi
LOS ANGELES , California
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 10
Is anyone thinking about the Tesla Battery option?
__________________
coveredwagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 01:14 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Tega Cay , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by '55 Airlight View Post
<<Too bad that the AI refrigerator does not have a propane option. The refrigerator is a boondocking limiter in a big way.>>

Sorry to read you don't understand the massive downside of the absorption-type RV fridge. Irrespective of whether or not you are running on propane or 120VAC, if there is excessive ambient heat -- say temps in the 90F range, its performance is pathetic, even with aftermarket 12VDC fans working to exhaust the heat and draw outside air across the condenser.

After this past spring/summer season of miserable heat in the Pacific Northwest (and generally everywhere else in North America) where I had to throw out spoiled food more than once or twice, I have given up on absorption refrigeration (RV-type) in favor of 12VDC compressor marine-type refrigerator, which shall replace my Norcold N-300.

I have 200 watts of solar capacity and 200Ah of LiFePO4 battery with which charging can stay ahead of the battery draw in my vintage 15' airframe trailer.

On these forums I have come to understand that more than a few Interstate owners are disappointed in the performance of their Nova Kool 12VDC compressor marine-type refrigerators because they need improved aftermarket venting (Nova Kool uses the same Danfoss compressor as the other brands) but what do you expect for a $150K Class B Airstream? Sophisticated engineering?

Start figuring out some exhaust venting equipped with .2A DC exhaust fans.
I am one of the ones having trouble with the refrigerator not cooling in hot weather. In June, the dealer "fixed" it by installing a fan behind the unit. We went on a 3 week trip in August, and had the same problem. I called airstream and they said I need to get the "latest" fix which is a resister. Presently I am waiting for the dealer (a different) one to call me for an appointment. So we shall see.
__________________
gghayes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 01:24 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
1967 26' Overlander
Spartanburg , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 288
Your owner's manual should have instructions how to winterize your A/S. If you don't want to use RV antifreeze, you will have to blow the system out with air at about 40 psi thru the water connection. Get an adapter from an RV store or most hardware stores. Start by opening all drains including the HW heater and fresh water tanks. Don't forget to run the pump dry and blow the faucets by opening one at a time with drain valves closed. When done I usually put a few cups of RV antifreeze in the fresh water tank and one in the HW heater in case some water remains.
__________________
Jacob D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 01:34 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
IanPoulin's Avatar

 
2011 28' International
Aldie , Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 498
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by coveredwagon View Post
Is anyone thinking about the Tesla Battery option?
Its a slight tangent from OP, but the Tesla Battery Wall isn't worth the cost, weight or ability IMO. Each wall is 4'x3'x2/3' in size, weighs 220#, puts out about 6A at 120v.

Since you'll want either 2x or 3x just to run the AC systems, the limitations add up quickly. if you resign yourself that you wont run the AC and just use 12v systems, then who cares - just use solar and the house 12v battery system.
__________________
2011 Airstream International Serenity 28'
2016 Ford F250 Crew 4x4 KR Diesel
IanPoulin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 02:22 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
1969 27' Overlander
Sun Lakes , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 35
local dealer sale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Odom View Post
We purchased a new 2014 1/2 Airstream Interstate in June of this year. It has the standard 50 W solar. I would like to upgrade to 200 W of solar panels. Can anyone give me an idea of the cost involved in I have this done at the Airstream dealer locally?

I did speak briefly to the service manager asking for a "ballpark" estimate. The estimate was $2200-$2300. I am not sure if this included a different controller or not. The estimate just seemed awfully high to me for two 100 W panels and four hours of labor.

Also, does anyone have a recommendation for the brand or type of solar that would be the most efficient for the AI?

The dealer did install new batteries in the 2014 AI when we purchased it in June. We just returned from a nine day trip to multiple national parks in southern Utah. Too bad that the AI refrigerator does not have a propane option. The refrigerator is a boondocking limiter in a big way.

Thanks for your help.
Our dealer is running a special for a 200W with the controller, installed for 1500.00. I don't remember the brand.

Desert Autoplex, Mesa, AZ you can look them up on the Web
__________________

__________________
Redleger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dealer cost to install solar? Goin camping Generators & Solar Power 27 11-07-2007 05:27 PM
$200 +/- for bearing and brake service? Kistler Axles 18 01-29-2005 10:26 PM
Breaking the 200 mark 83Excella Our Community 1 03-04-2003 09:11 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.