Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-28-2012, 08:56 PM   #15
tpi
Rivet Master
 
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
I find the solar panels worthwhile. If for no other reason I can bring the RV back to storage lot with batteries in any state of charge. The solar system will automatically charge them. Extending or eliminating time between charges is just icing on the cake.
__________________

__________________
tpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 10:45 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
mefly2's Avatar
 
2015 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Western , ** Big Sky Country ** Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
For modest power requirements like lights, your 12v for fridge, water and furnace... it can extend your stay a lot longer... You'd have to consider your power requirements and see if it would work for you.

As far as the cost... it's getting cheaper all the time, but to me the value is in being able to stay silent and leave no footprint... for a nice 200W system could be $1000 to $1500... where a 1500W generator (a good one) could be $1000. A generator can top you up in an hour or so... and run a small A/C if needed...

To me that would be the deciding factor... if I was going to run the A/C anyway...
Our experience leads us to the same conclusions ... generators here ...
__________________

__________________
mefly2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 06:53 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
Skater's Avatar
 
1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,344
Our trailer came with a large solar system installed. We generally do not use it, but mostly because we camp with electrical hookups. On the other hand, we spent a weekend at Shenandoah National Park back in May, no hookups, and the solar performed BEAUTIFULLY! It was cool enough at night that we needed the furnace, so in the morning the batteries were fairly run down. We went on a hike, leaving the fans running (it was one of THOSE days - cold at night and fairly warm during the day) and came back to a fully charged, comfortable temperature trailer, with no effort on our part.

I brought our Honda generator that weekend but never used it. I saw plenty of other people with them running, though. (Note, we do not drink coffee.)

All of that said, what if it had been overcast that Saturday? I might have needed the generator then.
__________________
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
Skater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 07:06 AM   #18
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,294
My Interstate came equipped with a solar panel. I use it mainly for storing my unit. It keeps the house batteries completely topped off in between trips (literally right at 100% rated capacity on both Group 24 batteries). It's only a 50w panel, though, so I don't expect too much else from it. The charge controller in my solar panel system will only do a float charge; it won't ressurrect a depleted battery.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 08:44 AM   #19
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 11,153
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
My Interstate came equipped with a solar panel. I use it mainly for storing my unit. It keeps the house batteries completely topped off in between trips (literally right at 100% rated capacity on both Group 24 batteries). It's only a 50w panel, though, so I don't expect too much else from it. The charge controller in my solar panel system will only do a float charge; it won't ressurrect a depleted battery.

^^^^^^^^^
Our experience also, 30w works well keeping the batt's maintained, at home on the pad, no shade.(flex panels, not permanent install)

Not so much, boondocking in DEC Adirondack campgrounds.

Those who can rationalize the install love the solar option, like most things Airstream, a lot depends on how you use your trailer.

Bob
__________________
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 09:03 AM   #20
Rivet Master
 
DanielB's Avatar
 
1974 31' Excella 500
Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,073
Blog Entries: 8
and then there is the whole not burning fossil fuels and low carbon footprint thing.. Cutting down on burning coal and/or fracking might worth a dollar or two to you.
__________________
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
- Andrew Carnegie
DanielB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 09:06 AM   #21
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielB View Post
and then there is the whole not burning fossil fuels and low carbon footprint thing.. Cutting down on burning coal and/or fracking might worth a dollar or two to you.
I don't buy the "low carbon footprint" argument, since it doesn't take into account the carbon footprint of the factory where the panels are made.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #22
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
masseyfarm's Avatar

 
1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,271
Images: 55
I live on the marginal solar production zone and I would have to say I am satisfied with what I have at this point.

I also have solar charging my home battery bank that powers my home alarm and, in emergency, other devices for a short period. This makes this a no/little maintenance item.

On the motorhome, on a bright day even without sun, my batteries are always topped off for limited use. When the sun is shining, I can run the fridge, WiFi, laptop, GPS, Coffee Maker, etc with no problem on 12V and the Solar will keep the batteries topped off till dusk. I will then switch the fridge to LPG till the next morning. A larger battery bank will allow more intermittent demand.

If you install your own system, it will be a bit more cost efficient, and you will better understand how to care and maintain it.

Bottom line, yes solar is worth it, if for nothing else than the joy of getting power from the sun for free. (Installation costs ignored.) Don't go for a panel too small to be of use, and when installing, don't go cheap on the wire size.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f313...ml#post1109933

Dave
__________________
masseyfarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 11:57 AM   #23
Rivet Master
 
webspinner's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,269
Images: 15
We have 200 watts of solar on our Tradewind and we love it for a number of reasons:

It is nearly hassle free - no generator to set up or unload, we just flip a switch and we're charging the batteries and running the inverter for 110.

It gives us power for an unlimited time without refueling. We are limited only by our two propane tanks, not our generator gas. And we never have to deal with gas cans.

It has a lower carbon footprint compared to a generator. Both produce CO2 in their manufacture. Generators continue to do so, whereas solar panels do not. I don't have time right now to gather all the data for the break even point of solar vs. gennie - maybe later.

BUT

We are on the west coast where we hardly ever use AC. For that, we need to be plugged in. Our "infinite" use depends on our conversion to all LED lights and no AC.

We can charge the batteries back up during an overcast day, but not when camped in full shade. If you camp a lot in the woods, this would be a consideration.

For ease of use and low maintenance power, solar can't be beat.
__________________
Barbie
Our travel and renovation blog: http://tinpickle.blogspot.com/
webspinner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 02:30 PM   #24
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
This thread has received some edits and is now reopened. Please keep a cool head when posting. Imagine working through a disagreement with a friend or relative with whom you'd like the relationship to stay positive. That exemplifies the Community Rules objective contained within the 'Be Nice' instruction.

Thank you,
Bob
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 05:41 PM   #25
4 Rivet Member
 
crisen's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Fairbanks , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 268
Images: 5
I hope this isn't out of place in this thread but I have a question. We don't have solar panels but I am considering adding one. How do the panels mount to the trailer?

I am concerned about two things, the extra holes in the roof and since we have some really rough roads here about the durability of the panel while towing. I do try to slow down on the bad spots in the roads but sometimes you just get surprised.
__________________
Rick
"When you find yourself in a hole - quit digging!"

2012 1/2 Eddie Bauer, 2016 Ram Laramie 3500 SWB 4x4 6.7L Cummins 68RFE
crisen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 06:11 PM   #26
Rivet Master
 
webspinner's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,269
Images: 15
Rick, our panels are attached with, believe it or not, tape. Not just any tape - it's a very special, extra strong, no-holes-in-the-skin tape solution. I'm not sure if it came with the solar panel kit or was simply recommended. It's worked fine for thousands of miles of towing, and in blistering heat and freezing cold.
__________________
Barbie
Our travel and renovation blog: http://tinpickle.blogspot.com/
webspinner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 06:30 PM   #27
4 Rivet Member
 
crisen's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Fairbanks , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 268
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by webspinner View Post
Rick, our panels are attached with, believe it or not, tape. Not just any tape - it's a very special, extra strong, no-holes-in-the-skin tape solution. I'm not sure if it came with the solar panel kit or was simply recommended. It's worked fine for thousands of miles of towing, and in blistering heat and freezing cold.
I had not thought about tape, I may need to look into this. By the way what do you define as "freezing cold". It is -25 F here right now and we sometimes get -50 F.
__________________
Rick
"When you find yourself in a hole - quit digging!"

2012 1/2 Eddie Bauer, 2016 Ram Laramie 3500 SWB 4x4 6.7L Cummins 68RFE
crisen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 07:35 AM   #28
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,135
Images: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisen View Post
I had not thought about tape, I may need to look into this. By the way what do you define as "freezing cold". It is -25 F here right now and we sometimes get -50 F.
It is relative; down here the locals consider "freezing cold" anything close to 32F. Still seems silly to me after living in Maine for so many years.

3M makes several different industrial strength outdoor tapes that are being used more and more by manufactures and contractors. They are available at Amazon and Lowes that I know of.
__________________

__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF 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



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:47 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.