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Old 02-08-2015, 12:42 PM   #43
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I got a link from a GoPower tech that is interesting. A sponsored project report. Try going to
GoPower! Solar Flex Installation Video | 1960 Airstream Ambassador Blog!
See if that helps you. It is what I may follow.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:16 PM   #44
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I have 500 watts of flex panels (NOT Go Power) and while they fulfil my solar charging needs, they have between 60-70% of the output of the hard panels that they replaced.

The specifications on the panel labels are at STC, or standard test conditions, which are only found in the lab. Flex panels have lower output, especially in low light or transient lighting situations due to their design and higher heat retention caused by lack of bottom ventilation.

Just something to consider.


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Old 03-10-2015, 10:27 AM   #45
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We have 2 160 W panels and upgraded to the lifeline batteries and a 1000w inverter. We were off grid in San Simeon a few weeks ago, had the tv, all the lights, speakers, outside lights and the heater on. The batteries were at 60% at 7am. They were at 100% by noon, the inverter ran the Krups coffee maker with no problems.

When we priced out our options on our 2014 25ft FC, we looked at 2 2000 W generators. We went for the solar and the awning package instead. I am very happy with our decision.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:52 AM   #46
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I just started installing 405 Watts from AMSolar. I'll be honest, I was pricing around and thought that AMSolar was over charging on a few of their components. I was coming up a few hundred dollars less than the kit I purchased. But, I purchased it anyways and when I got it, I understand why they get such great reviews. What's included and the detail in separating things out, the small instructions, including every last nut, zip tie, connector and heat shrink tube. It was well worth it. Even that, the costs can get lost in those small details. Honestly, unpacking it was like getting a product from Apple. I am very particular about these things. I will always recommend them from now on.

I purchased 3 ~ 135 watt panels.



A matter of fact, I was more confused on how to install my 6 wire converter than I am by their kits. Lew was also a great help, and a few of the folks I follow on Instagram who have similar setups.

I think that I might be adding a 4th panel in a couple months of testing. It will either be another roof panel or a portable one I can move around on the ground.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:58 AM   #47
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Bold, I think you may be correct to supplement with a portable panel. With you being from Anywhere, USA, you will probably find yourself in "Mirkwood, Midwest USA" under heavy deciduous cover from time to time.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:12 AM   #48
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How and at what point does the portable panel wiring hook into the AM Solar system?
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:14 AM   #49
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How and at what point does the portable panel wiring hook into the AM Solar system?
They don't.

They usually have their own charge controller attached to the back of them and alligator clips (think jumper cables). At least the ones I have book marked do. With 15ft ~ 20ft cord being common.

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Old 03-10-2015, 06:24 PM   #50
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Bold,

Screws.......do I see SCREWS????????? WHY SCREWS ????????? I NEVER use screws for an Airstream installation.....but then I use SikaFlex 221 around the rocker foot as a bit of bonding insurance and as a water seal for the VHB tape........I don't use Dicor for anything.

On the topic of portable panels, unless your portable panel is identical to what's on your roof and you can make a proper connection prior to the cable entry from the combiner box to the charge controller, it won't work.

It is better to use a stand-alone system that can connect right to your battery bank rather than trying to meld one into an existing solar charging system.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:31 PM   #51
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Because I'm paranoid. I am also going to put SikaFlex 715 around them when it's not 89 degrees inside my storage unit.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:42 PM   #52
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Because I'm paranoid. I am also going to put SikaFlex 715 around them when it's not 89 degrees inside my storage unit.
I get it!........... but after over 60 Airstream solar installations, I have NEVER had a panel lost or even out of place............and have never used a screw. Just sayin'
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:51 PM   #53
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Lewster: I pick up my 2015 Serenity 25' AS in late April and I'm considering solar. Do you have any recommended installers in CO? I don't have time to install my own stuff. Also any thoughts on how many panels to consider installing on a 25' unit? We boondock a lot and I do have gens, but prefer not to run them very much. Any thoughts? Feel free to email at bigcgar@aol.com.

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Al


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Old 03-17-2015, 12:22 AM   #54
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Bigcgar,
I would whole heartedly think about one of your first trips to visit Lewster either in Oregon this summer to get a great solar installation done. You wouldn't be the first to do it this way. I have an awesome solar/inverter/charging/battery backup system.


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Old 03-17-2015, 01:04 AM   #55
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Bigcgar,

What K9CarCrate said. I made a trip last June to see Lew in Hood River. He had my solar installed in two days. I turned it into a great visit to Oregon, down the Gorge and to the Coast. BTW, I love the solar and it works great. Two panels and new batteries on my 16 footer.

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Old 03-17-2015, 01:28 AM   #56
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Or you could visit Lew in Naples in the winter like we did! He put four panels on our 27 FB last month while we toured Florida. Good excuse to leave the Oregon rain! We LOVE the install Lew did! (It helped that gas prices were at an all time low too👍 for our 12,000 mile road trip)


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