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Old 05-17-2007, 11:25 AM   #1
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Solar Help

I would like to have solar installed on our 07 30' Classic and want to have it done right, everytime I ask a dealer what is the best why to approach it I get a different answer. I would like it the way it would be if it were factory installed, but what is that? What brand of panels, wattage (I figure 2 125W), do I need extra batteries, where to install the extra batteries, type of controller, etc. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:19 PM   #2
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You'll get some answers I'm sure. Please research the threads here at Forums, especially using Advanced Search and putting RoadKingMoe in the User Name field. Solar is an expensive battery charger. The package comes with 2 AGM batteries -- I'd hope Group 27 but the mothership's website provides very limited information:
Solar Charge System
(2) Glassmatt batteries
(2) 53 watt solar panels and charge controller display

I believe an inverter comes with the factory package to let you run 110v AC appliances but your battery capacity is very limited -- using any microwave, air conditioner or resistance appliance (toaster, hair dryer) is almost out of the question. The coach capacities don't really allow much for additional batteries, but then the recharging times would get unrealistically long! There's limited roof area but I've read of people putting larger output solar panels up top.

Solar can help the frugal boondocker who prefers this alternative. With one of the light, quiet generators of today I don't have to seek sunny campsites. There are some knowledgeable people on the Forums who could help you with your questions.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob, I actually have a Honda 3000 generator already, perhaps it wise to stick with it based on the troubles I have read about installing solar not to mention the cost.

Take care,

Scott
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:58 PM   #4
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Scott, don't let my post count give me any authority on this subject. I'm not. I cut my teeth by reading RoadKingMoe on many subjects and am merely passing on a fairly realistic perspective.
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Old 05-19-2007, 01:17 AM   #5
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Try Door #2 - Motoman!

You might also try to contact Don&Gail under the ASF moniker of MotoMan. I have seen his trailer with the solar cells firing away up there as well as the intricate controls that Don and tucked here and there. He CERTAINLY knows loads more about this that I could ever claim to.

All the best!

Axel
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:19 AM   #6
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I asked tech support for details of the solar prewire/factory package for our Safari -- Randy at Airstream provided the following response, with attached parts list for reference...
Quote:
The wires would be found around the light behind the forward ceiling
vent/behind the monitor panel/under the bed (battery area). I have attached
a parts list of the items that we use. I would not have any information on
aftermarket items.
The panels we use are 24.13"(with brackets) X 36.75". The units are from
Sunexplorer, whose phone number is 800-671-0169.

I hope this helps.

Randy
Airstream Customer Relations
Randy's attachment was entitled, "Solar.pdf" -- here's the text of the page:
Quote:
2007 SAFARI- BAMBI
ELECTRICAL, 12 VOLT

12 Volt Outlet

510807 Outlet, 12 volt
511121 Mounting plate, 12 volt receptacle

Break away Switch

0300027 Break away switch, Bargman
400407 BRACKET, BRAKE AWAY SWITCH, 28’, 27’, 25’

Solar Panel

511828 BATTERY-12V DEEP CYCLE AGM
511142-01 PANEL-SOLAR 53 WATT VLX-53
511142-02 BRACKET-MOUNTING KIT SOLAR PANEL
510696 HOLDER,FUSE,IN-LINE
510328 AGC 10 FUSE-FUSE PANEL
385947 LABEL 10 AMP FUSE MAX.
511846 KIT-CHARGE CONTROLLER DISPLAY
511851 CABLE- CAT 5E BLUE
511852 CONNECTOR- RJ45E

Monitor Panel and Sensor

511788-01 Monitor panel, CATCON Micropulse
511789-01 BOOT-SENSOR #500-20010-05
511789 SENSOR, TANK MONITOR
511286-01 WIRE FLAT TELEPHONE 26 GA. BLACK
511286-02 WIRE FLAT TELEPHONE 26 GA. IVORY
511252 PLUG PHONE 4 CONDUCTOR
511393 COUPLER-MODULAR EXTENSION, 4 CONDUCTOR
511817 COUPLER, IN LINE PHONE JACK

[page id] II-51
I believe I'll be going with Kyocera panels, myself. Possibly some combination of their 85, 65, and 50 Watt panels. I plan to play with cardboard mockups today to see how placement and fitment work out in the tiny spaces available on my little 20' model.

One idea I'm toying with is using the truck cap's rack mount to provide additional panel real estate when camping...might need a separate charge controller for that part of the setup, dunno.

I am still working out which charge controller(s) I want. I'd prefer to stay with Xantrex products, but haven't found quite what I'm looking for yet...I really like their battery monitor, and plan to install the charge controller remote panel(s) in the same area as where I installed the battery monitor

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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Takeachance,

I too have a Honda 3000. Heavy isn't it. So I got a Honda 1000 to recharge batteries when I would not need to run the A/C.

Now I toss the little 1000 in the truck it'll charge the batts quietly and easily. I suspect cheaper than a solar setup too.
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Old 05-19-2007, 11:19 AM   #8
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I have the factory installed solar on my 06 31 Classic. They installed two fifty something watt panels, a charge controller, upgraded AGM batteries. I beleive the wiring for the panels is there. I would like to add a couple more panels over the bedroom.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:15 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the feedback, yes my Honda 3000 is a tad bit heavy, I like the idea of a 1000.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:15 AM   #10
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Go with the 2000 it can run a few of the conviences.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:35 PM   #11
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Somewhere I saw a "flexible" type solar panel.
It wrapped around the contour of the roof.....

Anyone have any feedback on this setup ?
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:04 PM   #12
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They do make them but they are less efecient and more expensive than ridgid ones. A google search should turn up the source.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takeachance
Thanks all for the feedback, yes my Honda 3000 is a tad bit heavy, I like the idea of a 1000.
We have an EU1000 and it works great for us. We use it to top off the battery after a few days of dry camping. We do not have a microwave in the trailer or any other big draw items. The only thing the 1000 will not run is my wife's hair blower on high.

If you want to run your microwave or other big draw items, get the 2000. If you want to run your airconditioner you will need 2 2000s. If you just want to charge your battery(s), the 1000 will work fine.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
If you want to run your airconditioner you will need 2 2000s. If you just want to charge your battery(s), the 1000 will work fine.
OR......................you can get ONE Yamaha EF2400iS to run your air conditioner AND be able to use PROPANE as the fuel.
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