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Old 10-02-2003, 10:18 AM   #1
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Boon Docker Solar Package?

I was taking a look at the trailer specifications for the 2004 International CCD line, and there is an option for the Boon Docker Solar Package.

I tried doing a search on the forum and was unable to find anything. Is anyone familiar with this package?
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:56 AM   #2
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It can indeed come with one - I think it is a single solar panel. It is used to trickle charge the batteries. ElectricLady has one one hers (04 CCD). Most all of the other 2004 models are prewired for Solar (such as mine).
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Old 10-02-2003, 11:08 AM   #3
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I knew that the Airstreams were prewired for Solar, but was unclear on exactly what was included in this particular package.

Hopefully, we can get a firm answer from someone who has it.
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Old 10-02-2003, 12:50 PM   #4
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Geez Joshua, you are doing an awful lot of reading from China!

Try these:

Solar prewire, what does it mean?
Solar 4 Our AS (especially see RoadKingMoe's comments! Do a forum search on Honda & generator for much, much more...)
solar panels

And, of course, www.rvsolarelectric.com
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Old 10-02-2003, 01:06 PM   #5
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Bob,

I have learned more about Airstream's in the last few weeks than I have ever imagined.

I am actually in Zhongshan, China which is an area that is not heavily populated by westerners.

I end up working about 10 hours a day 6 days a week and then coming back to my hotel. There is litterally NOTHING to do here. I decided to use my time, to learn everything I can. Maybe if I learn enough and hire the right people, I could open my own Airstream store? :-)

I will tell you that I wrote Airstream and have already received a reply from them about the Boon Docker package. It has been discontinued.

I hope that all is well.

Josh
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Old 10-02-2003, 01:13 PM   #6
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That doesn't surprise me that much. With the small Honda generators that are avail, and the dual coach 12V batteries, solar cells (which I believe was the heart of the boondock package) provides little more than a trickle charge compared with demand. I considered that package, but then decided if I really, really, really wanted solar, I could just as easily put a solar panel on an interior window and connect it to the cig lighter.....I then came to the conclusion that it wasn't needed when I remembered that I had the Bambi with the dual coach batteries out boondocking for about a week with use of full lights, pump, stereo, etc and the batteries barely, if at all were drained.

BTW, swapping out the standard bulbs for LED bulbs or converting to certain florecent fixtures will extend the time of the dual batteries while boondocking....

Eric
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:16 PM   #7
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I think I am just going to go with a Honda generator. I have heard wonderful things about the EU2000.
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:08 AM   #8
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joshua,
Like Silvertwinkie, I do much boondocking from September until the end of November while deer hunting. I use an efficient PulseTech Solargizer 5 watt panel that seems to do a good job of maintaining my 2 Delco Voyager grp. 27 batteries. The trailer may stay parked for up to a month at a time and I use it 3 out of 7 days each week. I'm careful how many lights I run at a time and have a small 5" B&W TV that I run from time to time. I have also run 2 of my 4 fans for up to 7 hours without bringing my batteries down much. The bright sun helps the panel charge the batteries up while I am in the woods, while I take a quick nap after lunch and when I am back in the woods until early evening. I just bought a 14" Toshiba flat screen color TV so I have added an 800 watt Coleman inverter and a 20 watt solar panel with 5 amp controller purchased off ebay to help with these duties. Sometime in the future I plan on purchasing a 75-100 watt panel. I have also been looking at 3500-4000 watt generators to power the AC on a hot afternoon when boondocking.
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:32 AM   #9
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Craig,

Thanks for the great information. I found it really helpful. I am going to play around with my new trailer once it comes in, and then figure out exactly what my needs are.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:44 AM   #10
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joshua,
I fugure that money spent on the smaller panels will not go to waste because I can use them for charging other batteries or other projects. I have a couple of 4" small fans that I plan on mounting on sheets of aluminum and connecting to the 20 watt panel. I will place them over one of my vents to extract hot air from the trailer. I usually keep my rear window slightly open so figure this will help. It will come down before hitting the road and the 20 watt panel will then be connected to the batteries which will allow me to run more ventilation fans in the afternoon.
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Old 10-03-2003, 07:51 PM   #11
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Seeing that you're from Arizona, I picture camping where there's no shade, so you need a fan to exhaust the solar gain in the trailer, therefore you may as well put up a solar panel since you have to park in the sun anyway.

A Fantastic Fan running for about 12 hours/day on medium at 2A will take 24AH/day. The LP detector on the wall will use about 6AH all day. In the summer in AZ, a 110-120W panel should put out close to 30AH/day mounted horizontal on the trailer top.

The circuit board in the refrigerator will take about 6AH/day as will the radio remembering its settings, and if your refrigerator uses a gas solenoid, it uses 1A when on, which may be as high as 50% of the time in AZ, so there's 12AH. Another 24AH

A second 110-120W panel should do that 24 and leave near 6AH to run one 1.4A Thinlite flourescent light for 3 hours (4.5AH), and the 6A water pump for 10 minutes (1AH).

That's two panels at about $500 each plus $300 for a controller and mounting hardware.

FWIW, I believe the Airstream panel is only 50W. but I could be wrong. That's barely enough to keep a modern trailer's batteries charged while in storage.

For about $900, you can get a Honda EU2000 generator, and recharge what the fan, refrigerator, LP detector, and radio used during the day, while having reasonably unlimited use of lights, radio, TV, etc. microwave oven, vacuum cleaner, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:03 PM   #12
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I sure am glad I don't own one of the new fangled Airstreams with all those parasitic electrical draws. I guess this is why my 5 watt panel keeps the batteries up.
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:22 PM   #13
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I have one of those units with the "parasitic electrical draws" and I gotta tell ya, I had the unit out without shore power for about a week, and I had most of the lights on each night (including step lights and patio lights), the pump ran until we got close to empty on water and the stereo ran all week long......with ZERO external power to charge the batteries (except when towing to and from the campground).

I think that part of the solution is the dual batteries. I never got lower than on the green indicator on the monitor board.

Eric
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Old 10-04-2003, 03:10 AM   #14
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I second you on the power ther Silver, on my 79 I NEVER considered drydocking, boondocking, or even attempting to float my boat. The new '04.... wow - I was surprised I lasted two days with heat, stereo jamming... all on batteries..The3 onbly draw I had was drawing the drapes... Nat'l parks here I come...(and in case I get the draw.... I got a Honda Eu200) Hope I never have to use i...
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