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Old 10-04-2003, 06:27 AM   #15
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That's what I can't understand. With dual 105 amp hr. batteries on full charge to begin with, I have had no problems with lack of power. I guess when you start running inverters, leaving an outside light on all night, running all your vent fans and just not paying attention to your battery bank then you end up with no power.
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidz71
That's what I can't understand. With dual 105 amp hr. batteries on full charge to begin with, I have had no problems with lack of power. I guess when you start running inverters, leaving an outside light on all night, running all your vent fans and just not paying attention to your battery bank then you end up with no power.
That's just it, I was being totally power wasteful for about a week, using everything under the sun that could use power (even a 12v DC vacuum) with all the little battery drains as well.

I figured I had the 140amp alternator in the car that could recharge it if I went dead.

The coach power indicator never left full charge all week.

Not sure what size battery they have in there, but I gotta say, I bet I could get 3 weeks, maybe a bit more out of them if I was conserv given the exessive load I took from them that week boondocking.

Eric
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:04 AM   #17
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Boondocking 'til the lights are dim or the batteries are dead is the bubba-RVer method. The batteries will last only 1/4-1/3 as long as batteries which aren't discharged below the 50% charge level.

The Airstream panel battery indicator is about as useless as the black tank indicator. There's a green light for above 12 volts, a green one for above 11 volts, a yellow one for above 10 volts, and a red one for below 10 volts (labeled 0-9). Since it measures battery voltage under load, and the amount of load varies the voltage a battery with a specific charge will show, voltage isn't a useful indicator under these conditions. It also doesn't account for the effect of temperature on capacity.

Resting voltage is a more accurate indicator of charge, however, when the master DC power disconnect switch is shut-off, the Airstream panel is dead. Doesn't matter though. By the time a resting battery drops below 12 volts, it has less than 20% charge anyway. Besides, even when the master disconnect switch is off in a modern Airstream, the LP detector is still drawing power (about 250mA I'm told), so the batteries are never really "resting."

Some have tried to come up with a guide for determining state of battery charge by measuring voltage while under load. However, as mentioned, this voltage varies with the amount of load. One such attempt is here: The 12V Side of Life.

One might look at this and assume that as long as the top LED on the Airstream indicator is lit (the coach power indicator never leaves full charge (12V)), they're above 50%. However, I'd recommend when doing this, that there's at least a 5A load per battery (i.e. when at night with several lights on). With a very light load, the full charge (top 12V LED) may stay lit until the batteries have dropped below 30% or even 20% charge.

To me anyway, using a 5W solar panel is like wearing sunglasses to keep the elephants away. Under peak conditions, perpendicular to the sun on a cloudless day, with a panel temperature of 77F (ambient of about 50F), it's putting out 1/3 amp, according to Siemens ST5 specs. Even allowing an average of 1/4 amp, that's only 2AH over even 8 hours. Hey, if you think it does some good, go for it.

FWIW, I know the tiny refrigerator in a CCD doesn't use a gas solenoid, but does the small one in a Bambi? Look for a valve in the gas line with electrical wires.

The water pump isn't a big draw. At it's 6A max draw, it's rated to move 2.5 gallons per minute, which should suck that 24 gallon tank in a Bambi dry in less than 10 minutes. That's 1/6th of an hour times 6A = 1AH. So one tank of water in a Bambi should be only about 1AH and even with a 54 gallon tank, barely over 2AH.
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:45 AM   #18
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Craig,
Where did you get your 14" Toshiba flat screen?
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Old 10-04-2003, 05:33 PM   #19
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"The water pump isn't a big draw. At it's 6A max draw, it's rated to move 2.5 gallons per minute, which should suck that 24 gallon tank in a Bambi dry in less than 10 minutes. That's 1/6th of an hour times 6A = 1AH. So one tank of water in a Bambi should be only about 1AH and even with a 54 gallon tank, barely over 2AH."


The only info I have is anecdotal, but I went a week using an inverter to power a tv/VCR a couple movies a night, never dropped below first green light. Later we went 3 days, did a LOT of dishes, and dropped to the second light the third night. We just figured the water pump pulled more power than the inverter.
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Old 10-13-2003, 10:52 PM   #20
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Best Buy has LCD Tvs from about 700.00 up. The sanyo ones have the ability to mount via an arm that swivels. I was out looking at them today.
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Old 10-14-2003, 10:19 AM   #21
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Joshua,
Based upon the info that I gained from this forum, I put a single 110 watt Shell/Siemens panel on my 25C with a Solar Boost 2000 Charge controller and two Trojan T-105 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in series. I wired it all myself as they didn't pre-wire my 1999 unit. Really easy to do.

In practical use in northern MN and the Michigan Upper Peninsula we get up to one week before the batteries drop to an unacceptable level. This is for a family of four that is not generally known for conservation at home.

We camp in the woods making sure that we have several hours of clear sun overhead, but by no means are we out in an open field or taking extreme measures to maximize the sun on the solar panel. We let common sense rule.

The best part is that since the trailer is stored outdoors between trips, the batteries are always fully charged and ready to go.

Lastly, we are not big on TV out in the woods, so our power is mostly lights, water pump and the usual parasitic loads.
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:42 PM   #22
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solar/wind

Has anyone tried using the marine wind turbines for charging batteries. Reallt the marine people seem to have more info on using wind and solar powering. P.S. the wind turbine cant be used while driving but on a grey day at the beach, you still get wind.
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:47 PM   #23
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Solar Package

My Airstream is scheduled for production on 3/24/04.

My dealer quoted me $690 for the 53 Watt Solar Panel w/Interior Indicator Panel.

I really like the cleaness and no hassles of the solar but am I better off with the EU2000?

All thoughts are appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:55 PM   #24
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I was under the impression that Airstream as of the last quarter of last year had dropped the boondocker package.

In a nutshell, I would say you are far better off with the eu2000i than the solar package.

As Moe pointed out, just using the fantastic fans will go beyond what the solar cells can provide and to get them at 100% you'd have to be at full direct sunlight. The gen on the other hand can more than power and recharge the coach several time over compared to the solar. The gen is small and light and overall I believe less of a hassle as it provides a better overall solution...at least from my perspective....and even if the solar package was still avail, the gen unit only costs a few hundred more and has over 10x the output. Two gens can be tied together and run in par to run even the largest of RV A/C units.

Eric
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:59 PM   #25
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Solar Package

I was told the same thing about it not being available. My information comes from Vicki Lazier @ Airstream and my dealer today.

Thanks for your opinion.

Doug
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Old 03-08-2004, 04:09 PM   #26
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Old 03-08-2004, 04:38 PM   #27
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Dicky Rigel (President of Airstream) was at the Sarasota Rally and I caught part of his presentation/q&a . The Factory is looking to add a "real" solar system with 2 larger panels and 2 glass mat batteries. I do not know if or when it will go into production but he was talking about it like it was in the pipeline.
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:09 PM   #28
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wind

I've got a solar panel on my sailboat just to keep the battery topped off to help start the engine and the nav lights.

As far as wind turbines, they are popular with blue water sailors but if you've ever been next to them they drive you nuts. Even the "quiet" ones are noisy as they rotate. Lastly, unless you're out in some treeless, windswept environment you probably won't have enough wind to generate. Most wind turbines need a minimum of 8 or more knots of wind to even start to be productive. THe faster the blades go, the more production.
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