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Old 10-14-2007, 09:03 PM   #57
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SilverGate, I was wondering do you have two 12 volt batteries, or two 6 volt batteries? Thanks George.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:20 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchinup1
SilverGate, I was wondering do you have two 12 volt batteries, or two 6 volt batteries? Thanks George.
I've got 2 12V AGM batteries. Attached (hopefully) are some battery charging basics that I found helpful.
Larry
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Charging Procedures for Lifeline AGM Batteries.pdf (29.6 KB, 246 views)
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:09 PM   #59
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Thanks Larry!

I upgraded my batteries too, i got the AGM 6 volts. It looks like i will have to do a little battery box work to make them fit, i need another half inch in height. I have three 65 watt uni-solar panels, i was going to use on my floating dock. I think i will use them when we go on our cross country trip this may. I also upgraded to a 3 stage charger, i think that will be it though, i want to upgrade to a bigger airstream.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:20 AM   #60
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Mrchinup1: We have two 12-volt AGM LIFELINE batteries installed by the Airstream Factory as part of the Solar Package Option when our trailer was built. See close-up photo of one of them below. BTW, the batteries fit fine in the battery compartment supplied by Airstream and we keep the lid locked.

We changed out the lid knob with a combination locking knob, called a ¾" Keyless Cam Lock from Rockler:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=11231&filter=combination%20lock
(See photo below.)

Thanks George, for your question.

Isinclair: Thank you, Larry, for attaching the PDF file on "Charging Procedures for LIFELINE AGM batteries".

Bill

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Old 10-15-2007, 01:45 AM   #61
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Solar Power Basics

Isinclair: Welcome to this thread, Larry. I note that you have two 53-watt factory solar panels with two AGM batteries on a ’05 Classic. I agree with you… I wouldn’t do without them!

Thank you for attaching additional information on Solar Power Basics and AGMs in your post #56 on previous page. I note that this information includes an article, "Amps, Watts, Volts: The Math Can Get Confusing", by Michael and Susan Snowden, along with a wealth of additional information from them (See link below).

Michael and Susan Snowden wrote an excellent article with photos in the Fall 2005 issue of Airstream Life, page 73-78, "Powering Your Airstream with Sunlight – A Short Course on Solar Panels, Electricity, Batteries, and Curious Guests".

See: http://www.airstreamlife.com/extra/solar.html

Thank you,
SilverGate
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:01 PM   #62
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Solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverGate
Isinclair: Welcome to this thread, Larry. I note that you have two 53-watt factory solar panels with two AGM batteries on a ’05 Classic. I agree with you… I wouldn’t do without them!

Thank you for attaching additional information on Solar Power Basics and AGMs in your post #56 on previous page. I note that this information includes an article, "Amps, Watts, Volts: The Math Can Get Confusing", by Michael and Susan Snowden, along with a wealth of additional information from them (See link below).

Michael and Susan Snowden wrote an excellent article with photos in the Fall 2005 issue of Airstream Life, page 73-78, "Powering Your Airstream with Sunlight – A Short Course on Solar Panels, Electricity, Batteries, and Curious Guests".

See: http://www.airstreamlife.com/extra/solar.html

Thank you,
SilverGate
Thanks for the link Bill. I missed this one. Information is a powerful tool for knowledge. When I stop learning, I'll throw in the towel (then I won't be able to rid my solar panels of snow in the winter)!!!
Larry
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:18 AM   #63
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Follow-up Info on the Rockler Keyless Cam Lock

See additional info and photos regarding the Rockler Keyless Cam Lock...
For the battery compartment, posts #321 - 323 at:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f396...-29471-23.html

You can set your own 3-digit combination...

This zinc lock replaces any ¾ in. keyed cam lock.

Mine is Part #36655, which is 1&1/8th in. long for stock (in this case the battery box inner rim) which is 7/8" or less thick.

Our battery box inner rim is 5/8 in. thick.

SilverGate
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:56 AM   #64
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Solar Charging System Update

The more non-hook-up camping we do, the more we appreciate our factory-installed solar charging system,especially as the cost of fuel increases and the economy falters.

During our recent desert camping, we also tried out new electronic products that help us utilize electrical energy more efficiently...

Such as the Kensington Ultra Portable Power Inverter 150, MacBook Pro, iPod and i-F3 Portable iPod Speakers.

See details in my article, "Safari Solar Power", in my column, History Safari Express.

Solar power is moving from just a "feel-good" issue to a viable alternative to fossil-fuel derived electricity. Share your solar energy charging system components, issues, and ideas here, along with ways you are learning to utilize energy more efficiently.
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:32 AM   #65
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Solar panels saved batteries during converter failure

Two weeks ago my Parallax converter suddenly failed while I was running two Fantastic Fans and had interior lights on while doing interior cleaning. I was shocked to see that the batteries were at 45% even though I was connected to shore power.

(See details of the problem and solution at: "Battery at 45% even though connected to shore power" and at "End of summer dreams")

By placing the "Use/Store" switch to "Store" that night, I was able to keep the batteries from going lower, and the next day the solar panels brought them back to 100%.

The dealer replaced the converter under warranty and, after a couple of days on shore power, the AGM batteries were brought back to peak performance and retained their charge.

So this is another reason why I'm glad I have solar power.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #66
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Hi Members,

My name is Mark Spilsbury, and I work for Carmanah Technologies Corp. We supply the solar portion to Airstream. I just thought that if any of you have any solar related questions I'm here to help

Mark
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:57 PM   #67
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Refrigerator fan switch helps

Earlier this year we were doing non-hookup camping and one night it was cold enough to use the furnace (I had forgotten to fully close a Fantastic Fan vent). The furnace also uses quite a bit of electrical power to run the fan, so our batteries were down the next morning and the day was cloudy, so it took longer for our batteries to re-charge from our solar panels.

After we got home, Larry installed a on-off toggle switch for our refrigerator fan. Now we can conserve our electrical power better by turning our refrigerator fan off at night when we are not generating power.

Larry attached an on and off toggle switch to a metal door strike and attached that to a hole on the edge of the fan with a screw and nut.

This switch also helped us maintain a better battery charge when our Parallax converter died last week.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #68
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Hi SilverGate,

This is AirSolarGuy, I work for Carmanah Technologies Corp. We are actually the supplier of the solar modules to Airstream. We bought Intermountain Solar a few years back. Looks like Airstream still has not updated their manual. I will send another email about it.

Regards,


AirSolarGuy
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:41 PM   #69
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Taking the Plunge!

I have ordered two Lifeline batteries which should be installed in about one week. I have scheduled installation of two solar panes from the factory with the digital controller. Now all I have to do is wait and shake the moths from the checkbook.

Looking forward to less winter maintenance troubles with the batteries and more battery life while spending time in the desert off grid. I will still use the Honda gen sets for the air and days when the sun doesn't cooperate but things should be better than before.

Thanks for the information on this thread. I found it very helpful in making my decisions.

Corky
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:43 PM   #70
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New Install - Airstream Factory

I just had the factory in Jackson Center add the solar panel and controller to my 28' Safari SE. Judging from the fotos in this thread there may have been some changes in what units are used by the factory. Installed were a 110V panel from Carmanah and a GPR-25 Digital Controller. Attached is a link that describes the controller, http://www.thesolarstore.com/gallery/GPR_copy1.pdf

Note, there is a jumper setting to use for either sealed or flooded batteries. although not much difference in the charge rates, I did make a trip back to the factory to get it set properly to avoid any possible damage to the Lifelines. (I think only about a .3 volt difference in the charge settings.)

Looking forward to more excursions off the grid.

Corky
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