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Old 12-26-2017, 05:34 PM   #1
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2018 22' Sport
Chino Hills , California
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Solar install 22ft Sport

I thought I would share my solar install project.
My Airstream is a 2018 Bambi Sport 22Ft. The dealer wanted $1500 to install solar on my Airstream. Thought I could do it for less.
My components are.
1. Two Grape solar 100 Watt RV panels paid $200 for both.
2. Victron MPPT 100/30 smart controller paid $226.
3. Solar panel feet. 1 set from Renogy (outer mounts) 1 set from Grapesolar paid $50
4. 15 feet of solar extension cable 8 gauge paid $35
5. Roll of 3m 4950 tape 1/2 inch wide paid $22
6. Aluminum wind shield paid $50
7. Zamp roof box adaptor paid $5
8. Dicor Sealant paid $11
With some misc costs I ended up paying about $600.

After doing some research, installing the components wasn't very complicated.
I've attached some pictures of my project and if anyone has any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:47 PM   #2
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Belmont , California
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Thank you for sharing. I am considering a similar project on my AS. I have a few questions, if you don't mind.
1) Did you use the factory pre-wire? Did you notice what gauge they are?
2) Where is your controller located?
3) Is there a reason you went with solid rather then flexible panels? I am thinking to install flexible.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:48 PM   #3
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Solar install 22ft Sport

I have a similar setup.

Pre-wire is only 10 gauge wire. Didn’t bother using it. It came up in a bad spot, and I plan to add several more panels which would overload the skinny factory wires. Went with new 6 gauge input and output wire to the controller.

My controller is mounted in a carefully routed-out (Rotozip tool) hole in the closed end of an overhead cabinet next to the wardrobe where the wires come in from the roof. The MPPT controller has a faceplate with digital voltage or current readout, switches, etc that need to be monitored.

Flexible panels have had issues in the past. Rigid panels seem to have better durability and do not go cloudy from the intense sun and UV exposure here in Southern California. They also mount above the roof. They stay cooler for more efficient output and help keep my AS interior cooler. Almost like an awning over my roof.
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:12 AM   #4
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Thanks rmkrum. 10 AWG is good news.

I had 2 x 100W panels installed on my previous rig with an MPPT controller. On a good summer day I would see 8A and 17V from the panel, which is close to 140W and about the maximum I would expect.

Putting on my engineering hat -

The resistance of 10 AWG wire is about 1 ohm per 1000 ft. If we assume 25ft of wire for the round trip between the controller and the 3 port box, that is 0.025 ohm. 8A running on 0.025 ohm drops 0.2V, or about 1% loss. 6 AWG wire would lose 0.5%. The difference is not enough to justify the effort of running a new set of wires.

There will be additional loses in the connector. I do not have data for that, but it should be small. I would treat the terminals with dielectric grease, because corrosion could be an issue.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:12 AM   #5
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What is the black car to the right of the trailer?
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronkarpel View Post
Thanks rmkrum. 10 AWG is good news.

-----------------------snip-------------------------------
Putting on my engineering hat -

The resistance of 10 AWG wire is about 1 ohm per 1000 ft. If we assume 25ft of wire for the round trip between the controller and the 3 port box, that is 0.025 ohm. 8A running on 0.025 ohm drops 0.2V, or about 1% loss. 6 AWG wire would lose 0.5%. The difference is not enough to justify the effort of running a new set of wires.

There will be additional loses in the connector. I do not have data for that, but it should be small. I would treat the terminals with dielectric grease, because corrosion could be an issue.
Our main reason for running a new cable was the location. I have a panel combiner box above the closet within a foot or two of the MPPT controller. I'm quite sure the drop over that distance is negligible. Probably lose more in the wires from the panel to the combiner box.

The factory pre-wire was in a bad location in the middle of the roof (by the forward fantastic fan), and did not terminate where I needed it to go. It landed under the front bed by the battery bus bars. Don't know what the factory was thinking on that one.

Since I had to cut a slot in the roof anyway, the longest run is from the MPPT controller output side to the battery ground buss and the battery side of the use/store relay. Was an easy run into the closet end of an overhead storage bin. Hardest part was cutting the hole in the roof in a shiny trailer...
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Old 12-27-2017, 01:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing. Why 2 100W panels rather than a single panel? Honestly curious as I am evaluating options for our 22FB. I could understand 2 smaller panels to flank the roof mount items (a/c, vent, etc) just wouldn’t expect it for mounting them together.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:20 AM   #8
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2018 22' Sport
Chino Hills , California
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Hello all and thanks for the interest in my solar set up.

1. I did use the 10 gauge pre wire in the airstream as I only had two panels and the run of the 10 gauge wire was very short on my airstream.
2. I used two panels because I had the room for them. I ran them in series for better charging under certain situations. I didn't use flex panels for the same reason others have state about reliability.
3. My controller is located under the bed right where to prewire ends are located. I don't have a display monitor for the charger but the charger I have has built in blue tooth so I can check it with my smart phone. I actually really like this capability.
4. To answer the most important question, the black car is a Lexus haha.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:19 PM   #9
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Solar panel video

Here is a link to a video of my solar panel install.

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Old 03-06-2018, 09:31 PM   #10
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what the the dimension of your panel

i have a 22fb also so i want to see which panels can fit
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
what the the dimension of your panel

i have a 22fb also so i want to see which panels can fit
Here is the link to HomeDepot and the solar panels I used. They are on sale for $98.00 each. I'll been very pleased with them so far.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-So...100W/204211365
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:37 PM   #12
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will this solar module fit on top of the front of my as 22FB

http://www.solartrader.ca/heliene_16..._1337prod.html

and from the OEM

http://www.heliene.ca/products/detai...,10,20,581,729


166W
mono
59L x 27W

This grape 100w poly module is
40L x 26W
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:58 PM   #13
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as well
i see there are THREE ports on top of the as 22fb

in the manual it seems that only one port has been wired
if this true
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:44 PM   #14
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Any reason you added a fairing to the panels?
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