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Old 06-06-2016, 09:35 AM   #337
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My experience camping in the trees with a portable panel on my prior trailer was mixed. Because sunny spots are fleeting I had to sit at the campsite and constantly move the panels. I had 25 feet on those and found it to be very limiting. The 16 foot extension on the zamp panels could be an issue. Now if they could be 100 feet that would make a difference.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:09 AM   #338
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There would not be adequate voltage to charge the battery if a 100' cord were used unless it was a very large wire gage like #2 or larger. The wire sizes required for long distances were the downfall of Edison's DC power versus Westinghouse's AC power.

We used 2-0 copper wire for the four feet between the battery and the Magnum inverter to preclude voltage drop and carry the several hundred amps @ 12Vdc.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:51 PM   #339
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2017 Airstream Solar Option: 80 Watt Solar Panels

The Airstream Factory Solar Package Option for previous years used 50 or 53 watt solar panels.

Starting with the 2017 models, Airstream is offering the Solar Package Option that uses 80 watt Slim Line Solar Panels, says Patrick Botticelli of Colonial Airstream, 7:50 into the video below, as he points out the new features in this 2017 Airstream Classic 30J (rear queen bed), which has 2 80-watt solar panels, providing a total of 160 watts!

2017 Airstream Classic 30J New Features
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #340
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The 160 watts will create about 120 watts in the real numbers (75% of advertised capacity) and perhaps close to 6 amps of charge (our eight 100 watt panels the Classic each create 5.5 amps of charge capability and I have seen close to 600 watts input on a bright day.
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:01 AM   #341
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AGM Batteries

Hi All,

I have had excellent service out of my AGM Batteries on our 2013, 30' Classic. It has been 2 1/2 years now and they are still going strong.

My question is, what has been the life span of your AGM Battery before replacement?

I am wondering when I need to start thinking about replacing them.

Your experience would be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:52 PM   #342
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Our original Lifeline AGMs still charge to full voltage going on five years and over 1,000 nights camping. We have kept the original Parallax converter/charger until recently, but almost always isolated it from the batteries with the battery disconnect switch. Let the solar charge them, unless there is not enough sun, then the Parallax charged them.
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:03 PM   #343
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Hi All,

I have had excellent service out of my AGM Batteries on our 2013, 30' Classic. It has been 2 1/2 years now and they are still going strong.

My question is, what has been the life span of your AGM Battery before replacement?

I am wondering when I need to start thinking about replacing them.

Your experience would be much appreciated.

Thanks
There are many factors that affect the life of AGM batteries. My 2 Lifeline AGM batteries showed signs of degradation at 5 years of age. Our local dealer told me that an average lifespan is 5 years.

YUASA's FAQ's answer: "Sealed AGM batteries typically last 3 to 5 years on average. 6 to 8 years is easily obtainable with proper maintenance. Typically sealed AGM batteries will give warning before completely dying. They will start slower, and require more charging. This is your clue to replace the battery. Typically they do not fail all of a sudden."

Additional info: How I changed my Lifeline AGM batteries.
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:36 AM   #344
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Thanks Guys. I would say these are some good batteries.

dkottum, in reference to the "Battery Disconnect Switch" is this something you added to your Airstream or is this standard on Airstreams. Also why did you replace your Parallax converter/charger and what did you replace it with?
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:58 AM   #345
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Thanks Guys. I would say these are some good batteries.

dkottum, in reference to the "Battery Disconnect Switch" is this something you added to your Airstream or is this standard on Airstreams. Also why did you replace your Parallax converter/charger and what did you replace it with?
I believe all late model Airstreams have a Battery Disconnect Switch, that actuates a relay to isolate the battery from all equipment (except the propane detector) when not hooked to external power. When hooked to external power the Battery Disconnect Switch serves to isolate the batteries from the Parallax converter/charger (single stage battery charger). This is how we have used it for near five years, normally allowing our factory solar system to charge the batteries.

We changed the factory converter/charger this spring to a PD4655 unit because it has a three-stage charger for our batteries, we don't have to be concerned about the Battery Disconnect. The new charger will charge the batteries without damage to them over the long term. As for the converter section of the original Parallax converter/charger, it was working well and did a fine job providing consistent 12vdc to our Airstream when plugged into external power, even when the external power source was not consistent in ac voltage.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:57 AM   #346
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Thank you soo much for this education. You explained it so I could understand it. I will implement this option when the time come.

Thanks again for your concern and taking the time to share your knowledge.

Have a blessed day.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:21 PM   #347
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Factory Installed Solar Panels Won't Charge

Hey we need some help here. We have a 2013 Eddie Bauer with factory installed solar panels and inverter. We have had 0 problems with this system until today. The panels stop charging the batteries. We showed zero solar charge amps. Our lights on our main system showed green and yellow with the yellow bean possibly softer. There was no clicking sound which tends to happen every 4 minutes. We called the company that manufactures them in Utah and they told us that because our green and yellow lights were both on that we needed to reset the fuses. They described a fuse that was by the red 10 guage wire. We found 2 fuses with twist caps and we unplugged both of them for 60 seconds. The system came back on with the red power button clicking as normal for all of 10 secs with 1.2 solar charge amps and then went back to the same situation of the green and yellow light on and no power button clicking on/off. Although neither fuse seems to be broken does anybody know if these fuses could be the cause of this situation? I can only read one is a 1 amp and we cant figure what it is for as nothing happens when I unplug it and replug it and the other fuse is too hard for me to read but appears to be a higher amp and does power both the monitor and lights on the main system so I was just thinking of going to the hardware store and starting with new fuses especially the 1 amp. We will go get a tester and see if we have 16 v from the panels as well, we have 13.3 from the battery. Any other thoughts? Utah is closed but we will go that route again tomorrow after the above thoughts and any other help. Thx all.
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:33 PM   #348
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We also have the factory solar but I'm certainly not a solar expert. If you are not on external power and your batteries read 13.3 it sounds like they are fully topped off, it would not show any solar charge amps until the battery voltage dropped down. I don't recall our controller clicking on and off when the batteries are fully charged. Could this be?
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:24 PM   #349
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We also have the factory solar but I'm certainly not a solar expert. If you are not on external power and your batteries read 13.3 it sounds like they are fully topped off, it would not show any solar charge amps until the battery voltage dropped down. I don't recall our controller clicking on and off when the batteries are fully charged. Could this be?
Oops I meant to type 12.3. You would be right on what you said about 13.3.
We changed the 1 amp and 10 amp fuse that went to the controller and monitor. All systems reset and go for 4 minutes and then total failure again. Atkinson thinks our controller is bad. We are moving to a plug in spot and I am going to change 2 more fuses that we learneed about- inside the controller panel are two fuses one to battery and one to the panels 25 amp and a 15 I believe. If that doesn't work after we check voltage of panel, battery, and monitor (could be a loose connection at monitor) we will change out the control panel. Even though this is a bummer anyone thinking of solar....get it, it is life changing (if you don't need air). Aloha
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:30 PM   #350
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Battery Losing Charge

We have a 2007 25' Classic (front bed) with Airstream dealer installed solar panel. Last week we noticed the battery was low on water and added some. Today the batteries are almost dead. Nothing was turned on. Even the monitor panel was turned off. There is also a clicking sound behind the radio. Oddly, when you turn the outside light on, the clicking sound stops. We have had the unit since March and the solar panels were charging the battery fine. Any suggestions on things to check? Could the batteries be going bad?? Thanks!
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