Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-13-2016, 10:37 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Solar panel help

So i have a 1993 b190 airstream and the generator stopped working the other night. I live in this van full time and want to install a solar panel and battery set up to run my space heater, tv, and laptop. Heres a list of questions ive asked myself. What will fit? What brand inverter and solar panels should i buy? What wattage do i need? How many batteries should I get? Should I attach the batteries to the alternator? How much should i pay for this set up? How long will charge hold? Can i get a whole nights sleep with the space heater? Will i have to cleab snow off of them? Any other questions i should be asking? Do you have any answers. Please help with easy to understand and detailed information.
__________________

__________________
CgZito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2016, 11:35 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Nixa , Missouri
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,887
Get the generator repaired and look for a propane catalytic heater. Space heaters take too much power to run off inverted battery power.

Use solar just to charge the house batteries to power lights, TV, laptop/camera battery charging. A 300w sine wave inverter can handle the TV and small electronics battery charging. 200w of solar and 200 ah of battery would work for that power scenario. Once you start wanting to run AC appliances off batteries then you have to increase your battery capacity and add more solar to charge the increased capacity within a reasonable amount of time. Solar panels is limited by the amount of space on your roof.

You could purchase a portable solar panel that plugs onto the battery terminals with alligator clips.

You have to keep the snow off the panels and angle them to the sun to get best results. I may be difficult in Maine during the winter.

How many batteries does your van have and what size?

Do more research and wait for spring and summer for adding solar after you get your generator repaired and a propane heater installed.

Kelvin
__________________

__________________
2008 Classic 25fb "Silver Mistress"
2015 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins. Crew Cab, 4x4, Silver
2010 Tundra 5.7L, Double Cab, 2wd, White
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2016, 11:36 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 474
Running an electric space heater from solar power wouldn't be a very efficient ($$). It would be much better to get a small catalytic heater and plumb it into your LP system. Just as an example, a small 1500W heater combined with two type 31 batteries (100 AH usable capacity) would only last 100 AH / 125 A = 0.8 hours. So stick with LP.

Now the TV and laptop could very well be served with a small system. One type 31 battery would give you 50 AH of usable battery capacity, or 50 AH * 12 V = 600 WH, meaning that you run a 100 W appliance for 6 hours. A 100 W panel could charge it back up during the day. A small 300 or 600 W inverter would be suitable. My guess is that you could DIY a simple 100W solar setup including a type 31 AGM for less than $1000.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2016, 11:49 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
batman's Avatar

 
1964 22' Safari
modesto , California
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 541
I suggest you contact "Lewster" here on the forums.
Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357


-Dennis
__________________
batman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2016, 06:20 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 474
Lew's a great resource, but there's also a bunch of other folks who can help you, especially if you're wanting to install the system yourself. Go ahead and keep asking questions and I'm sure Lew will shine in when appropriate.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 12:17 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Thanks

Thank you for the quick and informative responses. Right now I have two batteries. One deep cycle coach battery and a starter truck battery. Both are pretty big. I had imagined I would have a total of 4 coach batteries to charge. Will this still not be enough? Is there a solar panel combination i could make fit on my roof that will charge 4 batteries and atleast let me warm up the van for a few hours? Can you elaborate more on the alternative lp system? The generator is an onan and cummins onan wants 1000 just to fix it. I noticed my 800/1200 watt heater would work full force but still cause the 2.8kw generator to kick back a nd struggle, but it stayed on all night.

Also my furnace which uses lp does nothing to heat up my van. I have to vents, one by the toilet and one by the side door. The side door doesnt heat at all. But the bathroom gets kind of cozy after a while. Any more thoughts or alternatives? Id like to make this van as self sufficient as possible.
__________________
CgZito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 12:58 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 474
IMHO you'll spend much more money trying to get a solar setup to provide heating, compared with adding a catalytic heater running on LP and adding a small solar system for your computer/TV. You'll probably run out of roof space for the number of panels that you'll require.

So maybe you can visit campingworld.com and search for "Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Safety Heater". You can plumb this into your LP system.

If this seems reasonable then we can address the solar configuration.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 07:36 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
IMHO you'll spend much more money trying to get a solar setup to provide heating, compared with adding a catalytic heater running on LP and adding a small solar system for your computer/TV. You'll probably run out of roof space for the number of panels that you'll require.

So maybe you can visit campingworld.com and search for "Olympian Wave 3 Catalytic Safety Heater". You can plumb this into your LP system.

If this seems reasonable then we can address the solar configuration.
Actually yes this sound like a good idea. The olympian wave 3 catalytic heater. Although never heard about it before. Where does this go? how do i install it? Are there any places close to manchester nh?
__________________
CgZito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 09:08 AM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 474
Here's a good primer on installing the heater.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 09:56 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
Here's a good primer on installing the heater.
Good article thank you. So why would i choose a wave 3 over a blueflame? Also where in my airstream van coukd i permanently install a vent free propane heater. Most designs of the airstream are very similar. I am actually looking to do heavy modification from throwing out the sofa bed and cutting a 28 inch hole in a corner next to the generator start up switch threw the microwave compartment up to the tv jack and ac switch. I want to move every thing around. This b190 has such little space in it. Is there an idea for a good place to renovate allowing a heater? Creative Ideas?
__________________
CgZito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2016, 10:46 AM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 474
No preference for the catalytic vs blueflame. Just make sure the BlueFlame heater includes an oxygen sensor cutoff if you go that route. I'm not familiar with your layout so perhaps other folks will shine in with some placement suggestions for you.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 11:13 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
Stil need advice for solar panels.

Going back to solar. Which solar panels will fot on my 1993 b199 air stream van? Where? What wattage and inverter will i need to run a tv, laptop, fridge, hair dryer, phone charger, video game console, electric razor etc. ??

What gauge wires? What is the best kind of solar panel? I need as many details as i can get so i can begin this project.
__________________
CgZito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 11:33 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 474
There are many different ways to approach your questions. Since you're "B" van might be rather limited on top, why don't you take a look at AM Solar's panels and tell us how many panels you think you could fit on the roof? From there we can help with selecting the solar charger, sizing the wire, etc.
__________________
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
ProPride Hitch, 400 W Solar
alano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2016, 11:07 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
1994 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
PORTLAND , Maine
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 23
I did take a look at their website. Not sure what the dimensions are of any available space on my van. Seems small though. Difficult to getup there because i dont have a ladder. Im hoping yo find a b van owner whos done this before.
__________________

__________________
CgZito 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
Solar - help with figuring out panel voltage ddruker Generators & Solar Power 9 01-10-2013 04:46 PM
Solar Panel Help Needed DaCosta Generators & Solar Power 14 06-02-2010 08:13 AM
Solar Panel Trouble Shooting Help upstateart Winter Living 8 01-31-2010 07:13 PM
Help on solar panel installation Les Gilliam Generators & Solar Power 3 11-27-2002 08:28 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 09:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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