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Old 07-22-2019, 03:20 PM   #1
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Chicora , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 56
Solar Install - 2016 27 FB Twin

My Airstream is a 2016 27 FB twin.



From my previous trailer, I have the following:
- two 160 watt panels
- 100/50 Victron charge controller

- Victron BMV 700 with Bluetooth
- 4 - 100 Amp/hour Battle Born LiPoFe4 batteries



I recently bought 4 more 100 watt panels from Renogy.



Now the challenge, getting all of the panels on the roof with two A/C units, two skylights, a shower fan, and a bathroom fan , and a fantastic with cover, and the grey and black tank vents.


First, let me acknowledge that there is no way to do this without something being shaded except at high noon at the equator.


That being said, I have already run #4 welding cable from the front storage compartment to the upper part of the wardrobe. In the front storage compartment, I connected an external port with a cover for additional portable input if I wanted it sometime in the future. In fact I installed this port for the two 160's to be used as portables until I discovered what a PIA that really is.


Okay, so here I sit at a campground hooked up to 50 amp service looking at my neighbors camper. I can see, without my glasses, that it has Phillips screws in the side of it, but i digress.


I initially started working with AM Solar. While I continued to do research on exactly what parts I needed. I wanted to buy the AM Solar kits to install all 6 of my panels but the sticker shock nearly took me out of the game. Pasts to install the panels was going to be way more than the panels themselves. OK, I can understand a company wanting to make money but like I tell every sells man, I don't mind you getting rich, just please don't try to do it all on me.


I also have a friend in the metal business. Later this week, I pick up my mounting legs. Again, let me state up front that I understand drilling in the side of a PV panel will void the warranty. So why would a sane person do such a thing? Well, the way I see it, I could destroy at least two PV panels and still be money ahead vs the AM Solar mounts.



Please note that I have already drilled through the two 160 watt panels. There is nothing there except aluminum. NO problem!


I'll post some pictures when I have this all installed along with the parts I used.



Maybe I'm making the right decisions, maybe I'm not. Time will tell. If it all lasts at least ten years, I'll call it a success.



Any way, opinion ant thoughts are welcome.


Man, it is much nicer on either BLM land or at home on my 8 acres. Why do I pay to camp so close to the next camper? At least it is fun to watch then back into their sites.



Take care.


Jerry
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:54 PM   #2
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2015
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How do you fit 4 battleborn batteries into it. If you had to do it over would you use the 160 watt panels.



Thinking I might add solar but AM Solar is so over priced althought it is not far from me. Don't think I want to pay double or triple for Zamp panels vs another brand.


Dave
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
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I have the same trailer and took a similar approach with home made feet for my Renogy panels. You can check out my install at:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...-a-164507.html
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
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NCR , Ontario
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wow , i wish i could fit and afford 4 BB lion batteries );.

i have 1 now and plan to add 2nd next summer

we replaced our stock unit with a Victron 3k inverter/ converter. it work in conjunction with the solar panel and BB lion battery.

we also get remote and phone access.

now all outlets can be used , no more 1k limit

this is our schematic with 360 w via 2 roof panels and one panel on the back window
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:39 AM   #5
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2016 28' International
Trois-Rivieres , Quebec
Join Date: Jun 2018
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Yes AM Solar can seem expensive, but having gone through the whole DIY install last year (see signature) all I can say that it's been a real pleasure not to worry anymore about power or keeping the battery bank healthy.

And as far as the installation goes, not a single hole was drilled in the roof, all was done with 3M VHB tape (covered by a good layer of quality self leveling caulking which will make sure that the VHB adhesive is never cooked by the sun). Have fun!
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DIY Solar: 500W Renogy panels, AM Solar hardware, Blue Sky MPPT controller and monitor, 470ah (C20) Rolls battery bank.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:02 AM   #6
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Chicora , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoResults View Post
How do you fit 4 battleborn batteries into it. If you had to do it over would you use the 160 watt panels.



Thinking I might add solar but AM Solar is so over priced althought it is not far from me. Don't think I want to pay double or triple for Zamp panels vs another brand.


Dave
The BattleBorn batteries fit nicely in the front outside storage compartment. It was a bear to hook them up. I mounted the 60 amp battery charger obove the batteries. The inverter is also hung from the ceiling of the storage compartmemt. I have room left over in the same compartment to store my extension cords.

The 100 watt panels fit the roof much better than the 160s. If I was starting with no panels, I would have just went with 6 - 100 watt panels.

Everything from AM Solar is priced very high. I think that it is priced high because they have invented their own materials. Don't get me wrong, it all looks good and is likely easy to install but I don't need to pay that much for things I can either make myself or have made for a lot less money.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
I have the same trailer and took a similar approach with home made feet for my Renogy panels. You can check out my install at:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...-a-164507.html
After reading through your post and looking at the pictures, that was when I deceided to tackle the job of adding the panels on my own. Thanks so much for sharing.
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