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Old 01-12-2015, 03:52 PM   #29
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We have an AM Solar aftermarket setup on ours, and it is wonderful for charging batteries on the road, keeping fans running when we leave the dogs in a parking lot in cool weather, and properly charging batteries when stored. IMHO the AS prewire and 50-some watt factory solar is pointless. Ours is about 150 watts and will keep our fans running in the desert heat for days. I don't really want to carry a generator...


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Old 01-17-2015, 10:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by sailorii View Post
There are many parallels between Airstreaming and sailing.
It was a CLOSE decision to buy the Airstream instead of a sailboat. I currently enjoy a 10ft Sunfish on the small lake I live on that surprisingly satisfies my need to sail... mostly because there is only room for myself and a cigar on board. But also because it's 30 ft from my house.
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Old 01-18-2015, 12:23 AM   #31
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No solar panels on Bambi the Second.... yet. I am wondering if some of you can say more about the roof mount vs. portable panels. Do those of you with portable panels lock them when you're off-site (as we do with our generator)? Can you normally move them enough to make them functional in a wooded campsite? Any issues with breakage when traveling on bumpy roads?

Since we don't run or even bring most electrical appliances anyway, we've been able to nurse our batteries along for several days. We also travel with a battery tester and a battery recharger. The kicker for battery use does seem to be the fridge and furnace fans. However, we freeze blue gel cold pacs at night, then put them in the fridge with the food, picnic-cooler style, during the day, then refreeze them again at night. This system has worked really well, and during the day when we're out and about, we can save batteries by simply turning off the main switch. We keep the furnace at a low temp at night when we have to use it.

We just bought a pocket-size solar panel kit from REI, suitable for recharging cell phones and e-readers. (Kinda cute!) We have a portable inverter for recharging the laptop in the truck.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:51 PM   #32
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This is a 405 watt lay out on an Eddie Bauer 25', totally worth it, check out AM Solar-they are awesome...


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Old 02-05-2015, 11:30 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
No solar panels on Bambi the Second.... yet. I am wondering if some of you can say more about the roof mount vs. portable panels.
It's true that roof mount can't always get the ideal sun coverage. Yet even in terrible conditions like heavy tree coverage I always got some amount of power. On my prior SOB I had portable panels. Problem is one must attend the panels during max solar time, roughly 10 am to 2pm to keep moving them to stay out of the shade. Pretty much wrecks the day. I can last about 3 days in solar darkness with fixed panels. After that I move to a sunny campsite.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:09 PM   #34
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...here's part of a 600W AM Solar package I installed on my new Classic this week. I can't imagine not having a solar system. Nothing neater than using the sun to charge batteries, especially if you want to go off the grid, and having the option has worked well for me. Yes, I do haul a 3000W generator for A/C, but flexibility with two ways (other than a campground) to charge batteries....well, for me that's what 'Streaming is all about.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:10 PM   #35
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:12 PM   #36
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Anyone with a system installed know the weight it adds? No clue what one of these panels weighs but I bet it's not light!
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:36 PM   #37
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14.5 lbs per 100 watt panel. I have four. Let's assume the entire 400 watt kit adds 100lbs including wire overall to the trailer.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:46 PM   #38
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Put as many solar panels as you can fit on the roof.... it will be too much in the summer and not enough in the late fall/spring. If you want to go crazy, put in an inverter to run everything but the Air Conditioner. We love it

Also, upgrade your fantastic fans to the the ones that you can set the temp on and will auto close if it rains. The speed on the fan will vary as needed and it keeps the noise down. You can swap in the upgrade kit from inside, the only roof work is the rain sensor.
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:38 PM   #39
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Weight varies with the size and type of panels. We have 135W panels they are about 20lb each not a big deal. We also have an AM solar set up; 540W w/ 4 6V 300amp batteries. The batteries are 90lb each.

I get around 30 - 35 amp/hrs midday: clear day, no shade , panels not tilted. Get a total of 30+ amps in the bank on a really crappy day. YMMV

This spring will be in AZ and UT for 17 consecutive days with no hookups . We plan to move to the next location every 3-4 days dumping and refilling the tanks as we go. Don't think we will have problem. If we run amuck we can always hit a commercial CG for a night to charge up if we need to.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:39 AM   #40
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Okay, so they ARE light! I'm running out of reasons not to do this.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:50 AM   #41
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About 2 weeks ago I installed 3 120 watt flexible panels, 360 watts. They weigh 4 lbs. each. I've got my inverter on order so haven't installed that yet. However, I disconnected my converter and haven't needed it since then as my solar recharges my batteries every day...and that's with my furnace running every night with its 12v 9 amp fan blowing.



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Old 02-07-2015, 07:44 AM   #42
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And just in case you're wondering where to put the various solar components, batteries, inverter, etc.......here are a couple of shots from recent installations:

The first is from a 30 classic that has everything placed under the front lounge and the second is a 27FB with everything forward of the bulkhead under the bed.....essentially in the front storage compartment.

These are both 'in-progress' shots and do not have finished wiring in loom, wrap-tied and in place.
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