Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-12-2008, 10:56 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
AronS's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Petaluma , California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16
Adding Solar Panels to a Safari 25' FB

I was wondering if any of you have added solar to a 2007 Safari SE 25' FB model that didn't come with solar? I'd like to maximize the output without having panels immediately visible on the upper radius of the trailer (preferring to keep things on the top portion) and not blocking the factory galley skylight.

If you have added solar to a similar trailer, what panels did you use and do you have any words of wisdom to share?

Thanks!

Aron
__________________

__________________
AronS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
Motoman's Avatar
 
2005 25' International CCD
1960 18' "Footer"
1959 26' Overlander
Riverside , California
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 334
Images: 3
We installed solar on our 25' CCD which has the same size roof although equipment locations may dictate a different size and panel layout. You can check out an article on our install on page 4 in the April Sierra Nevada Unit newsletter at :

http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/sn...snu-nwsltr.pdf

A longer description is found on their web pages at:

Solar Panel Installation
__________________

__________________
Don (KD6UVT) & Gail Williams

What do you want to be in life, a spectator or a participant?

SNU #157
FCU #004
Motoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 12:27 AM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
AronS's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Petaluma , California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16
Wow! That's really excellent detail, thank you, Don! Nice work too, maybe I should bring my trailer to you ;-). Thanks for sharing that.

Aron
__________________
AronS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 01:10 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Suburbia , Sunny So Cal
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,756
We had a panel installed on the center of the roof between the A/C and the vent over the bed on our 25 FB.

Almost impossible to see from ground level.

Works great all around but really shines in winter when we run the furnace all night. Charges the batts up by noonish.
__________________
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

WBCCI 6731 FCU
AIR# 13896
CA 4
Goin camping is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 01:14 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
AronS's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Petaluma , California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16
Goin camping, what size/brand panel did you go with?
__________________
AronS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 01:24 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Suburbia , Sunny So Cal
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,756
I don't remember.

But I can tell you what I do. Airstream offered three sizes of panel and I picked the middle one.

I bought the parts from and had the installation done at C&G in Bellflower. They are an authorized Airstream repair station.

Cost for parts and installation was $1,300.00
__________________
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

WBCCI 6731 FCU
AIR# 13896
CA 4
Goin camping is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2008, 09:18 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
Motoman's Avatar
 
2005 25' International CCD
1960 18' "Footer"
1959 26' Overlander
Riverside , California
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 334
Images: 3
Aron, one postscript to my install if you do it yourself. One person told me that they hit and damaged some of the wiring in the roof when they drilled for the panel mounts just above the drip rail on their trailer. The bit went in too deep. They had to cut a larger hole to expose the wires for repair and then install a patch. I would caution you to use a sharp drill bit so you don't have to use a lot of pressure and a depth gauge, some electrical tape or a ring that you clamp on to the drill bit so you don't drill any deeper than you need to to penetrate the aluminum skin and rib (if you install the mounts where the ribs are located).

Regarding dealer installation, we had Duane at Southwest Coaches in Irvine, CA install the 50 watt panel on our first Airstream, a 22' CCD. I looked at the same systems, capacities available and how they mounted and decided to do it myself because I wanted a higher capacity system than the dealers typically install.
__________________
Don (KD6UVT) & Gail Williams

What do you want to be in life, a spectator or a participant?

SNU #157
FCU #004
Motoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
davidz71's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,150
Images: 23
OR rather than drilling, use the 3M Industrial tape after preparing the mating surface. The 3M tape provided on the rocker arm mounts through AM Solar have kept all 3 of my panels rock solid for over a year with no trouble. This would eliminate penetrating the skin with the potential for leaks later on.
__________________
Craig

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
davidz71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
OR rather than drilling, use the 3M Industrial tape after preparing the mating surface. The 3M tape provided on the rocker arm mounts through AM Solar have kept all 3 of my panels rock solid for over a year with no trouble. This would eliminate penetrating the skin with the potential for leaks later on.
Ya beat me to the punch!

I'm an AM Solar dealer/installer, and I use the 3M 'VHB' (very high bond) tape for every install that I can. It works especially well on bare meal like Airstreams. I used it initially on the system that I have on my Sprinter roof (a 200 watt, 2-panel system with a 2000 watt sine wave inverter and 300 amp/hour Lifelines), and it holds remarkably well!! The best part is that it can be removed without leaving a trace....very difficult, but do-able.

As davidz71 said....NO LEAKS!!!! and no extra sealant required. Just clean as specified (very important) and stick it down.

I have a nice big roll of the stuff if anyone needs some. Not cheap! But definitely worth it!!!!
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2008, 07:16 PM   #10
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,754
Quote:
Originally Posted by AronS
I was wondering if any of you have added solar to a 2007 Safari SE 25' FB model that didn't come with solar? I'd like to maximize the output without having panels immediately visible on the upper radius of the trailer (preferring to keep things on the top portion) and not blocking the factory galley skylight.

If you have added solar to a similar trailer, what panels did you use and do you have any words of wisdom to share?

Thanks!

Aron
I have two on top of my 31 Classic. you cannot see them from the ground. I want to add two more 85w class. There is room.
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2008, 07:29 PM   #11
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,754
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Ya beat me to the punch!

I'm an AM Solar dealer/installer, and I use the 3M 'VHB' (very high bond) tape for every install that I can. It works especially well on bare meal like Airstreams.
You just solved a big road block! I did not want to drill any holes in the top of my trailer!
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2008, 11:39 PM   #12
1 Rivet Member
 
AronS's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Petaluma , California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16
Update

I ended up with the AM Solar AM-100-22 kit and it worked out great. I used the 3M tape to mount the brackets but just in case I mounted the front brackets above a rib so I can drill through should I get anxious about it but it sure looks like the tape is going to hold tight. I was able to fish the power cable through the refrigerator vent as recommended in the Airstream manual then I mounted the controller in the shallow cabinet above the fridge and connected to the prewire at the bottom of the fridge compartment accessible through the outside rear fridge panel. I had to join the yellow and green wires for the factory pre-wire kit to the existing battery bus under the front bed but it was really pretty simple--much more so than I expected.

I've not been out camping with it yet but on the late afternoon I checked the battery charging output I saw 5.4 charging amps which seems entirely reasonable considering I wasn't optimally positioned.

AM Solar was terrific to work with--they asked lots of questions to make sure I got the right parts, shipping was a reasonable $25, and the packaging of the parts was personalized and perfect.

Because of various roof vents I only have room for one panel between the AC and the bedroom vent. I could in theory extend the mounting brackets to rise above the vents to add another but I think I'll be fine with the one panel for now, I'll know more after a few trips and I always have the E2000 generator just in case.

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom and experience, it was very helpful.

Aron
__________________
AronS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2008, 05:20 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
rseagle's Avatar
 
2004 22' International CCD
Spotsylvania , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 663
Images: 33
To use the 3M VHB tape, do you need to remove any white paint on the roof to get the best possible bond?
__________________
Bob
---------------
"THE BAUXITE BUNGALOW"
2004 22' CCD
1997 F-150
TAC VA-12
AIR# 4749
ex WBCCI# 1430
rseagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2008, 10:13 AM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
Pfredd's Avatar
 
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
1977 31' Sovereign
1977 Argosy 24
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 64
For anyone interested, I documented the installation of solar panels on my Argosy.

You can view it in the Airstream Projects section of my Web Site.

Dave
__________________

__________________
--
Visit my web site for Airstream Photos, Projects & Blog
Pfredd 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
Flexible Solar Panels joecolao Generators & Solar Power 42 04-02-2009 01:14 AM
solar panels for my 22' flying cloud urbanfood Generators & Solar Power 11 11-07-2007 10:47 PM
Why Not Free Standing Solar Panels? bhunt Generators & Solar Power 18 02-05-2007 02:39 PM
Solar Panels or Generator? Ron C Generators & Solar Power 7 07-11-2005 12:19 PM
Solar Panels VONZIPPER Generators & Solar Power 7 03-18-2002 08:47 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:39 PM.


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.