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Old 05-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #1
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burnsdl's Avatar
2012 27' FB International
Full-Timer , South Dakota
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NorCal Solar installation Recommendation?

I am looking to add solar to my 2012 27FB (CCD), specifically - 3x 100 watt panels and all the accompanying items (charge controller, wiring upgrade, combiner box, etc.). I've been looking hard at AM Solar for parts and installation. I'll also note that I've previously upgraded batteries to a set of T-105's and have also swapped the stock Parallax converter to a PD4645 multi-stage charger.

Begin the procrastinator I can be at times, I foolishly neglected to lockdown an install date with AM Solar and was told today that the first available date is Sept-12. Naively, I was hoping to get there in the next few weeks. While I do not *need* the solar now, I really *want* it now in order to have it prime summer boon-docking usage.

I'm shying away from Airstream dealer installs as they are partnered with Zamp kits which offer only PWM charge controllers and I want MPPT. Also, I'm really impressed with AM Solar panel technology. And yes, I fully understand the price premium associated with their products.

That said, I did contact the newly opened San Francisco Airstream dealership which offered to install the AM Solar parts at shop labor rates, which they estimated to be 3-4 hours. That seems incredibly quick and left me skeptical. To be honest, I was not terribly impressed with the service guy. While he was super friendly, he had never heard of AM Solar and opened admitted he had been away from Airstreams "for a few years" and wasn't immediately familiar with the current set-up and factory solar pre-wiring. I've not contacted Toscano in Gilroy, CA.

AM Solar did recommend Idle Wheels RV in Placerville, CA as a local installer, but I could not find much information on them. Their YELP reviews certainly are not good.

All of that is to say, I would place an order with AM Solar tonight (for parts) if I had confidence that I could locate a knowledgable partner to complete the installation. Does anyone have experience or recommendations with NorCal solar sales and/or installation - I'd greatly appreciate any insights as I likely won't be able to visit Eugene until November.

Thanks, _dave

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Old 05-20-2013, 11:03 PM   #2
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2005 30' Land Yacht 30 SL
Castro Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 348
I don't have solar experience: actually, the small panel that was factory installed on my moho may not be working, the light never comes on. However, I suggest you PM a A/S friend, Airslide, for some advice or maybe a discussion about installation.

Cliff & Andrea,
2 cats, but they stay home
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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2015 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Western , ** Big Sky Country ** Montana
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Keep us informed ... always good to hear solar info; we enjoy ours!
Suggest you also review the many threads in the solar sub-forum for some great install details.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
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I plan to do a very similar install myself on my 2013 27FB. I've contacted AM solar and got a quote for 300 watts and stuff for less than factory option and a much bigger system, including inverter. Shouldn't be to hard, maybe a few days.
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