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Old 12-05-2014, 09:41 PM   #1
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Solar in 2014

Thinking of buying 2014 27' International from an AS dealer. Opinions about having solar panels installed by dealer vs. someone else?? HELP please-----
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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Get quotes from other RV dealers for the purchase and installation. Use the info to negotiate with the Airstream folks. PM me if you want some details on why I say that.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:05 PM   #3
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Thinking of buying 2014 27' International from an AS dealer. Opinions about having solar panels installed by dealer vs. someone else?? HELP please-----
Depends a great deal on what you intend to do with your 27. How many days off-grid? What type and how many appliances would you like to operate? TV, satellite, computers, microwave, blender and cell phones? It all adds up!

If you plan to be mostly off-grid, your Airstream dealer will not be knowledgable in the finer aspects of a custom designed solar charging/inverter/AGM or lithium battery based system, nor will they possess the special skill set required for a custom, seamless installation of the various components required to meet your objectives.

Best to consult with a professional in the RV solar field that also happens to have extensive experience with the particular nuances of Airstreams.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:16 PM   #4
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I installed myself a 400 watt system on my 27 international. Got the kit from AM Solar. It cost much less than the factory installed 100 watt system. Not a hard nor technical project.
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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I installed myself a 400 watt system on my 27 international. Got the kit from AM Solar. It cost much less than the factory installed 100 watt system. Not a hard nor technical project.

Pictures and specs please! - Brad


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Old 12-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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We installed eight 100 watt AM Solar panels and associated equipment purchased through them. We had a recommended third party installer with lots of experience do the actual work.

The hardware included a Tri-Star MPPT 60 solar charge controller, Magnum MS-2812 2800 watt inverter and four Lifeline model 6ct (6Vdc and 300 amp-hour capacity at about 94 pounds weight each) batteries wired in series and parallel to create 12Vdc and 600 amp-hours of storage mounted in a custom stainless steel battery box.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:17 PM   #7
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Like Switz above, I chose to install my own system rather than order the puny and expensive system that Airstream installs. Through AM Solar and Lewster's coaching, I did my first install of 400W on my '12 28' International CCD. I have just ordered a setup for my soon to arrive '15 Classic -- 600W). AM Solar is an awesome company to deal with and the instructions they send are very straightforward....and they'll send everything you need, right down to the cable ties, should you install it yourself. I think an average handy person can do this.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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For a individual to install a solar system, based upon our experience, there are many times a second pair of hands are absolutely necessary and scaffolding will make life much easier. A third set was useful more than once.

Whilst we were doing the roof, we also converted to the Mxim skylights and very careful measurements of the flange on the roof are required before ordering. I had the factory drawing of the part, but the ones put on our trailer at the factory were, to put it mildly, not in compliance with their own paper work.

We also changed out the factory roof plumbing vent cover for a shorter and better design that fits well under one of the solar panels....
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:57 PM   #9
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Pictures and specs please! - Brad


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Here you go!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ry-106585.html
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
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Sweet! Anything you would have done differently now that you have some time on the install? -Brad


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Old 12-08-2014, 04:35 PM   #11
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Thinking of buying 2014 27' International from an AS dealer. Opinions about having solar panels installed by dealer vs. someone else?? HELP please-----


Food for thought, solar panels are great BUT to work they have to be in the sun, ok ok that is a given. Pros & Cons

Panels on the trailer.

Pro: Mounted on the trailer just park it in the sun flip a switch and boom power. Con: Your trailer is now in the sun, and it's 115F in the shade and in the trailer your thermometer just popped it's dam hot.

Reverse the temp. 32F and snow on the ground. The above is better.

Panels set up on the ground.

Pro: Solar Panels in the sun, trailer parked in the shade = cooler trailer. Con: Setting up the panels to get power and taking down to store. Snow or muddy ground it adds more work. It is very do-able and by moving the panels chasing the sun you get max output. If you don't mind the hassle you get the biggest bang for the buck.

Where ever you camp and if your handy with tools sort of dictates what set up you decide to use.

Tom
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:10 PM   #12
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Installing solar on the roof is not a job for the inexperienced. Although I'm handy with tools, I've read some of the threads of some who installed roof solar it its beyond my capabilities and probably many others.

My plan is to go portable. I'm going to purchase a 200w system portable system. Park the AS in the shade and put the panels in the sun. Anyway between the AC, two Fantasic Fans and two skylights and the TV antenna my roof on my 25fb doesn't have much space.

Can two portable 200w systems be connected to the batteries if more charge is needed?

Kelvin
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:20 PM   #13
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We installed a 270 watt (2X135) system from AM Solar. Very pleased with the quality of their components. I had my system professionally installed. I didn't feel confident doing the job myself, still feel that the extra cost for pro installation was well justified.

Extra bonus for gadget people, checking the channels on the battery monitor is way better than TV!!

A big bonus for roof mount systems is that moving day is charging day. We've never picked full sun spots because of the solar; a mixture of partial sun, shade, and full sun as the day progresses does the trick.
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