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Old 10-16-2008, 09:24 PM   #1
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Maximum solar on 27/28 Int'l CCD?

Colonial says it's only possible to get 100 watts of solar on the roof of a new 27 or 28 CCD, and that "many customers have tried for more but couldn't make it work"

Is this true? I feel like I've read about people with more than 400 watts worth of panels on similarly sized units..

?

-d
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:27 PM   #2
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I guess it would depend on the solar panels. You may have to do some searching but if you have the money I'm sure you can find small ones that put out that much power.. But 400 watts is a lot.. most stuff should run of 100-150 watts. Why not use a generator .. hooked up to propane... Solar is only good in direct sunlight or somewhat cloudy days.. I like to camp under trees... The sun is hot....just my 2 cents..
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:57 AM   #3
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Depending on the model and the options, there may not be as much space as you think for panels. Our 34 has very little after subtracting the air-conditioner, two skylights, two Fantastic Vents, and the Winegard antenna.

There is a difference between the amount of panel that will fit and the amount of panel that will work. You have to consider the shadows of the vent fans, antenna(s), and primarily the air-conditioner shroud. The output of a solar panel can be grossly reduced by even partial shadowing.

You also need to consider the factory wiring. It's only 10 AWG, and in our 34, quite a long run. For multiple similar 12V panels, it may be far better from a voltage drop perspective to run them as 24V, 36V, or 48V in series to a MPPT controller that can step down higher panel voltage to 12V.

All this being said, it just may be the dealer wants to sell you the factory solution and that's all they offer.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:08 AM   #4
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You might want to call JC and ask them. If you give the VIN # , they will tell you how many will fit of the different size panels. JC installed 4-120 watt panels on my roof and 8 Optimas under the sofa, an MPPT controller and 3000 watt inverter on my 34. They would not fit lengthwise, but did fit crosswise. Of course your trailer is the same width as mine. I also gave up my front skylight (is was the only one I had on my unit). I also have 2 ACs on my unit. They put an aluminum patch on the roof and placed a solar panel there. That was fine with me, since they let in a tremendous amt of heat in summer and let a tremendous amt of heat escape in winter. Not to mention the potential leaks down the road.

We still have a propane generator for back up as Purman suggested. We prefer boondocking and use our Fantastic Fans. We had the bathroom vent changed to a 2 way F.F. and also use 12v endless breeze fans.

Everyone is different and has to decide what is best for their situation.

Happy Trails, 'shaker
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:17 AM   #5
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'shaker,

Your setup sounds almost like mine to a "T". I also have 8~Optima's under the couch and 4~120 Evergreen's on the roof. My panels are all aft of the A/C unit cross-ways.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:26 AM   #6
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Dwight,

I followed David Tidmore's recommendations. He did alot of tweaking on my unit. All of it terrific of course! He had already left Roger Williams before I had the solar installed so I had it done at JC. JC also put in a separate breaker box so all the the outlets will work off of the battery bank. I have a 12v plug by the TV in the bedroom and another behind the curtain by the credenza. I use these outlets for the Endless Breeze fans.

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Old 10-17-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
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Very interesting about David taking credit for your setup and I guess mine as well. I came up with the design of how I wanted my trailer configured and wired. I even purchased the panels and components and took it all to Roger Williams and had David while he was still at Roger Williams do the work. It is beginning to make sense as to why David was asking me where I obtained the various components and their prices. Don't get me wrong, I have known David for almost 10 years and he is a smart guy - I just wish he would give the full story to folks.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:50 AM   #8
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Daivid has done alot of work on my unit. I don't think I will ever find anyone that does the calibur of work that he does. The list of improvements that he did is long , and all of it was fabulously done. I will eventually get some pics posted. 'shaker
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:07 AM   #9
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I agree, the crew (Robert and Denver) at Roger Williams still continues to produce great work. David was an asset to RW and the Airstream community.

Two summers ago, we were in JC and saw one of our friends, Rob Shook. He was the quality assurance guy at JC. Rob and his family were in our Unit when they lived in the DFW area. Rob and his crew liked the electrical work that David and I designed on my trailer and even took photos so they could perform similiar work on units at JC.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:18 AM   #10
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Dwight,

If the "our unit" means HOTC, we are members also. Will be at the Oct. campout in LBJ. Don't know if you plan to attend,but would love to see your unit.

OOPS! Guess I better stop hijacking the thread. 'shaker
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:18 AM   #11
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We are also members of the HOTC. Our family, along with David, Bret, Rob Shook and others were in the North Texas unit several years ago before the HOTC was formed. The HOTC unit was largely formed with folks from the North Texas unit.

Back to the original thread. I am sure JC is able to pull certain solar components off their shelves for trailers coming down the line. If you want a different version or equipment, then most folks make changes after their original purchase.

In my case, I liked the Evergreen panels. I also looked at their many models (Spruce, Ceder, etc) to find the physical size and wattage that would meet my needs. I also wanted a 3000 watt inverter to power the entire trailer if I so desired. I can run the frig going down the road on the inverter (saves on LP usage) and on really hot days, stop about an hour from the destination and turn the A/C on and have a cool trailer to step into when I arrive at the campsite!
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:42 AM   #12
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I had my 28' Excella looked at by both Airstream and and approved rep for Airstream and the Airstream group feels the roof is a little "too busy" with sky lights, air conditioner, etc but the approved rep feels he can put 2 100 watt panels on it and be satisfactory. The factory wiring is too light so new wire would have to be pulled to be adequate.We carry a 3,000 watt (3,500 surge)Yamaha with us anyway while we are boondocking. Wouldn't hurt for you to search around and get some quotes.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:32 AM   #13
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I have my panels mounted about 6" higher than the roof on a separate aluminum frame. The solar panels generate a lot of heat and need a clear air space underneath them for circulation to keep them operating efficiently. This allowed me to clear several vent caps and also prevent the heat from the panels to transfer through the roof and into the trailer.

As you know, the number of solar panels or capacity does not matter if you don't have the storage capacity to store the energy, hence the number of batteries some of us have. We go to a lot of Federal Parks and they have "generator hours", even using our Honda 3k does not seem to matter to them! But with our solar setup and whole house inverter system, we don't need the generator except the recharge the batteries when the panels can't keep up.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:08 AM   #14
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The International Signature Series & International Ocean Breeze 27'FB & 28'W trailers have two skylights, two fantastic fans, One air conditioning unit, a radio antenna, a digital Wineguard antenna, bathroom fan, shower fan and plumbing vents on the roof, the amount of roof space left is minimal. There is not enough room left to mount more than two 50 watt panels that would be aesthetically pleasing and would allow minimum code clearances for vents, fans and air conditioning.

The Safari SE & Flying Cloud 27'FB & 28'W trailers have one skylight, instead of two, which frees up roof space to add another panel.
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