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Old 11-11-2011, 09:23 AM   #29
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My wife and I will be traveling to Arizona this winter. Can any one recomend a company to insall a solar system there?
Thanks,
Jay
Jay,

When I was researching solar these folks were very helpful.
Bob
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #30
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My wife and I will be traveling to Arizona this winter. Can any one recomend a company to insall a solar system there?
Thanks,
Jay
Try Oasis RV in Tucson. They are a big Airstream dealership.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:29 AM   #31
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Thanks Bob and Lumatic I will look into them after Xmas.
Jay
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:39 AM   #32
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Steve, we all have different preferences or needs. I intend no offense to anyone who needs A/C. The point of sharing experience here is to inform those who are undecided about power sources.

I'll certainly admit that TX is hot and we don't head there for camping in the summer. I enjoyed it quite enough during our 12 years in Dallas. With most of our lives spent in LA, MS and TX, and active in scouting, we camped many a summer night in tents. That was then - now the bones really like a queen bed in a comfortably equipped aluminum cocoon. Still, we prefer the natural night sounds to that of a generator & A/C unit and will seek such. That's our style, others have their own.

We did travel OK, AR, LA and MS in June/July this year (not the best timing, but we had family to visit in MS) and did seek A/C refuge during one night stopovers in R/V parks. It's great to have that option. We also camped quietly unplugged in some very nice state parks. It's great to have that option.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:47 AM   #33
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Jay,
I've had really good advice and prices from RV Solar Electric in AZ RV Solar Electric Store
I purchased the kit from them and did my own installation on our Casita, and had them ship my panel and controller to my Airstream dealer for installation when we bought our new unit.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:50 AM   #34
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JamuJoe,

You are absolutely correct, everyone has their own needs. When we go camping in Colorado, we don't use airconditioning either, which I might add is not anywhere near as often as we'd like.

If I lived where you do, I wouldn't even own a generator. Actually, I bought mine for dual purpose. Camping in hot weather, which we have a lot of, and power outages here at home, which we seem to have too many of.

Relative to camping here in hot weather, and the most likely need of airconditioning, I just see it that if you must have the generator anyway, why spend the additional money for solar also. Seems redundant to me.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:11 AM   #35
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Can't help but notice, and comment, virtually all of the posters on this thread that are proponents of solar live where airconditioning is not really needed, especially at night.

How strange is that?

If y'all spent some time down here, any time from 1 May thru late October, you'd either be toting a generator or staying in one of those awful RV parks.
Well in Kansas I have the solar option but also have a Yamaha EF2400 that can run the AC. In early spring and late fall the batteries charge up just fine on solar but in the summer we stay at state parks with electric or bring the generator along. We only stay in private campgrounds when we're attending a rally. I like having both the solar and the generator.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:59 AM   #36
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Jamujoe,
RV solar electric seems to be just what I am looking for. I will call them latert to see if they do instalations.
Thanks,
Jay
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #37
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Well in Kansas I have the solar option but also have a Yamaha EF2400 that can run the AC. In early spring and late fall the batteries charge up just fine on solar but in the summer we stay at state parks with electric or bring the generator along. We only stay in private campgrounds when we're attending a rally. I like having both the solar and the generator.
Brad... I'm with you. Our solar set up (as minimal as it is) serves us very well, unless it's hot as blazes out...and then we are best off heading to cooler climates. But I do like having the generator option as well. I feel prepared for anything that comes along, especially if we are traveling in unknown areas with unknown facilities.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:24 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by TBRich

Brad... I'm with you. Our solar set up (as minimal as it is) serves us very well, unless it's hot as blazes out...and then we are best off heading to cooler climates. But I do like having the generator option as well. I feel prepared for anything that comes along, especially if we are traveling in unknown areas with unknown facilities.
Likewise, we prefer the quiet and seamlessness of our solar but have a gen for hot summer days as a fallback.

BTW, having AZBambi Decor made blockout drapes has proven to be really nice for blocking out the summer sun and keeping the interior cool! Thanks again!
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:27 PM   #39
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Fire Up the Solar Panel

Our 2006 Safari came equipped with a 110w, minimum I assume, solar panel and with the converter and wiring installed at the factory. Since we spend almost no time at camp sites that provide electricity, we do not use the AC and have no TV(s). Once you are above 3500 feet elevation the air is thinner and warms us faster and has less humidity. I find Amarillo, Texas as the beginning of dry air. Hays, Kansas as the transition. Central Nebraska. etc....

The small trickle panel keeps our batteries topped off to 100% most of the time. The furnace running can put a dent into the power available, but you have to do everything in moderation. Minimal use of lights. Keep the water pump off unless needed. Minimal use of outdoor lights at night. Just common sense ways to conserve battery power, so... I can listen to the radio.

Once you are in summer humid conditions, I am packing a generator. I can handle 90 degrees with 8 per cent humidity, but you push the humidity to 80 per cent and you may as well prepare my cemetery plot. The solar panel becomes an overpriced accessory. Oklahoma... southeast Texas... just bury me alive to show mercy. When you see fur coats in winter Tucson and I am wearing short pants and a tee shirt... you get the idea.

If you have a solar panel and want to make it useful? Move to the mountains. Otherwise, Honda exhaust is like smelling a fresh pie before dinner! Just let me at it and save my life.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:03 AM   #40
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Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I think we will have the factory install the system. We have a generator from our first Airstream and will most likely travel with it, although the new ones are so much quieter....so maybe we will get a new one! I don't want to be "those noisy people"!
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:10 AM   #41
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I love my solar panels, it allowed camping where not many can go or want to go. If I use it once a year it is worth it...
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:32 AM   #42
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We installed a 200W system on the Tin Pickle last year; I've really liked having the batteries charged every day as I need power for my CPAP machine at night. I've replaced almost all the incandescent interior lighting with either LED mr16 task lighting or indirect LED strip lighting; this is a huge win in terms of power consumption.

We don't own a generator; the only place I camp regularly where I would need one is Burning Man since air conditioning would be handy there. My inclination there is to hookup with a camp that has a 24/7 diesel rig, though.

Boondocking with solar is quite nice indeed. I go for a hike or read a book, and the batteries get charged. No gasoline, no noise, no problems.

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