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Old 04-13-2007, 06:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by audiobox
...Davidz71 states, "Since the antenna support is only 6" wide (3" each side of centerline of the trailer), I don't see what the problem would be to mount each AM100 panel on either side of the antenna support."

I would be concerned about the shadow from the antenna, which could put a major dent in the output of whichever front panel it's falling on. My wife and I don't care about having TV reception, so that was a painless decision for us.
Craig
No problem. Raise the antenna and the antenna does not cast a shadow on the panels. The aluminum support is almost 2 feet from the base of the antenna which is next to the A/C. My trailer will be positioned at home and at the hunting camp for it not to be a problem.

Mitch, next week I will order a 2 panel system with tilt bars and 3M tape for the rocker feet. The system plus UPS shipping came to $1,721 I believe.
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:09 PM   #16
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Motoman, I experienced problems with the first link past pg. 3 but the second link was fine. Thanks.

audiobox, great pictures and good commentary for each picture. Thank you also.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by davidz71
Motoman, I experienced problems with the first link past pg. 3 but the second link was fine. Thanks.

audiobox, great pictures and good commentary for each picture. Thank you also.
Glad there was something there for you. I think you're really going to like having those panels as your silent electrical workers. Long after the sting of the inital investment fades away, the pleasure of having your batteries constantly tricklecharged will continue to please you.

Craig
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:27 PM   #18
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Glad there was something there for you. I think you're really going to like having those panels as your silent electrical workers. Long after the sting of the inital investment fades away, the pleasure of having your batteries constantly tricklecharged will continue to please you.

Craig
You are difinately right about that! I have been using a 5 watt Pulsetech Solargizer solar charger for 5 years now and for the last 3 years I have added a 25 watt panel I bought off ebay. They really have helped but I wanted something over and above what I have now (and mounted so I don't have to worry about putting them out). I only run the generator when I want to watch TV but after changing batteries next year then I will be able to use my inverter which I have done already 3 or 4 times when I don't want to fire up the gen. The gen has also been great when the fans could not keep up with an extremely hot day when boondocking. When it is that hot, I have also taken a cot, placed it under the big awning and taken a nap.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:12 PM   #19
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http://http://www.solarpath1.com/us6...FRMzgQodulhpBQI've been reading these threads with great interest. We dry camp a lot, and I'm interested in solar to keep my 2 batteries charged. The trailer came with 1 battery, but I added another last year. I was hoping to find someone locally that installed on RVs but so far I've only found the local airstream dealer. They have a single 125w panel with charge converter kit for about $1500, plus installation. I'd be looking at around 2k. I checked out the AM solar site listed on this thread, and it sounds like a good system. Could someone tell me what they think of the kit from the above link from Solarpath. It's a 65w panel with converter. If it could handle a second panel. Do you think 2 65w panels could handle charging 2 size 27 batteries while dry camping?
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:17 PM   #20
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Charlie, if you are willing to do it yoursellf you can get a 260 watt kit from several suppliers for about the same price, $1500. I bought mine from Solartron Technologies in Victoriville, CA. Their web site is http://www.partsonsale.com/slrelecar.html Two 65 watt panels will charge your batteries in good light. I went with the larger system to better charge during low light conditions such as winter and cloudy day.

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Originally Posted by Pacerized
http://http://www.solarpath1.com/us6...FRMzgQodulhpBQI've been reading these threads with great interest. We dry camp a lot, and I'm interested in solar to keep my 2 batteries charged. The trailer came with 1 battery, but I added another last year. I was hoping to find someone locally that installed on RVs but so far I've only found the local airstream dealer. They have a single 125w panel with charge converter kit for about $1500, plus installation. I'd be looking at around 2k. I checked out the AM solar site listed on this thread, and it sounds like a good system. Could someone tell me what they think of the kit from the above link from Solarpath. It's a 65w panel with converter. If it could handle a second panel. Do you think 2 65w panels could handle charging 2 size 27 batteries while dry camping?
Charlie
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Old 04-18-2007, 12:43 AM   #21
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I also visited the guys at AM solar. They were very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiobox
Sorry I'm late getting back to this thread, I think the reply auto-notify email must have hiccupped with the URL name change. Mitch, Davidz71 has pointed you to the pricing. The 3M mounting tape is great because you don't have to pierce your shell, which has an innate desire to spring a leak anyway. The slimmer, high output panels really help with the AS narrow roof and integrating the panels with one of Am Solar's MPPT solar charge controllers and the serious wiring they include makes for a great system. Like Davidz71, I want to routinely run Fantastic Fans all night (and day) off-grid, which is why I also opted for a companion multi-AGM battery system. When AMS installed the system, they used a simple shop vice to match the angle on the stainless steel foot mounts to the curve of the AS roof. It's easy (says the guy videotaping the guy actually doing it) and it will ensure a tight bond with the 3M tape (surface prep is key here).

Davidz71 states, "Since the antenna support is only 6" wide (3" each side of centerline of the trailer), I don't see what the problem would be to mount each AM100 panel on either side of the antenna support."

I would be concerned about the shadow from the antenna, which could put a major dent in the output of whichever front panel it's falling on. My wife and I don't care about having TV reception, so that was a painless decision for us.

"It is a great system but it seems that I must be having a communication problem regarding my question to AMSolar about where to mount the panels."

AM Solar is a small shop that does great work and when it gets into "the season," Dave, the head installer, has RV's parked up and down the street and sometimes Greg and Deb, the owners, are off conducting a seminar somewhere. These guys have been there, done that and literally, "written the book" on RV solar installation and are sometimes deep into multitask mode. I had to be persistent too, but it all worked out. Give 'em a call and see if you can talk to Greg or Dave. Dave did the both installations for us and would have the hands-on perspective about an AS set up.

Craig
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:56 AM   #22
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They have a wide selection, but I guess you have to call for their prices. 260W would be great, but I think I only need enough to keep my batteries up, and I'd like to stay under $1,000. The SolarPath kit is only $349, but it comes with a 4 amp charge converter. I'm not sure if that could handle a second 65W panel. By contrast the AM Solar kit is $939, but comes with a 100W panel, and 22 amp converter. I also found a company in Utah called Sun Cowboy that offers a kit with a 115 W panel, and 10 amp converter for $649. I'll probably end up having to do this myself to stay within the budget I've set, but time is hard to find.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoman
Charlie, if you are willing to do it yoursellf you can get a 260 watt kit from several suppliers for about the same price, $1500. I bought mine from Solartron Technologies in Victoriville, CA. Their web site is Solar panels at unbeatable prices ! Two 65 watt panels will charge your batteries in good light. I went with the larger system to better charge during low light conditions such as winter and cloudy day.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:24 AM   #23
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Do you think 2 65w panels could handle charging 2 size 27 batteries?

Yes, under normal conditions.

I have a 120 watt panel that keeps my two 27s charged back up each day.
I have used the AS as an obscenely comfortable base camp in the boondocks while hunting. We spent 3 days with a DVD movie each night and nighttime temps in the upper 20s to low 30s. The solar panel worked very well however, I think if it had been much colder the furnace blower might have run the batteries uncomfortably low. This would then be a problem of needing more batteries.

Quote:
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We dry camp a lot, and I'm interested in solar to keep my 2 batteries charged. Do you think 2 65w panels could handle charging 2 size 27 batteries while dry camping?
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:11 PM   #24
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Airstream 25,
We're working on ways to reduce use of juice. For heat you add more batteries or go catalytic heat. (96% efficient and no ac or dc power) We added an Olympic Wave 6 heater to our CCD 25 last November. I really enjoyed the warmth using the camper as a hamshack many nights through December and January. Just have to keep open about an inch a window at one end and a roof vent at the other. Helps also to have gas leak detector and CO detector just in case.

Our 25 has forty-three (yeah, 43) 12v bulbs in interior lighting. We changed approx sixteen of them to 5 watt xenons so we can cut in half the juice if we turn lights on. (Kept the main ceiling lights and a few others at 10w because we infrequently use them or want full brightness for cleaning or tasks)

Loved reading Motoman's solar install -- great step-by-step and photos. Now to budget and dream . . .
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Old 04-19-2007, 07:55 PM   #25
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I think I'm close to making a decision on trying solar with a local installer who has a good deal on a set up using 2 80W sharp panels. I was wondering if any of you with solar experience could give some input as to how much is lost when camping in shade. We dry camp a lot, but some of it is in open areas like Utah, and others in shaded areas. One of our trips this summer will with 3 different 4 night stays along the pacific coast under very shaded sites. Do you still get a decent amount of power from the existing light even when parked under trees, or is the loss too much to consider solar a good choice to recharge your batteries under such conditions?

Thanks: Charlie
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:13 PM   #26
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Charlie, I can't answer your question but will tell you that after adding two 100 watt panels, I'm hoping that the AM65 solar panels will show back up again for mounting toward the front of my trailer. I am then thinking about an extra 80 watt panel/seperate charger I can lean or mount on a stand and place in the sun if I end up in an area that has no power and the panels are shaded. Overkill, yes but I could hook up to the trailer umbelical cord usually connected to the truck.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:06 PM   #27
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Hello Don:I have a 25ft Classic and am considering installing two 130W Kyocera panels. Northern Arizona Wind and Sun seems to have a pretty competitive price. I would appreciate seeing your photos and what you used for mounts. I was considering the flat mount that NAW&S lists. Don Stewart donjulie@roadrunner.com
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:49 PM   #28
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AM100 solar panels/system is in and it looks quite good. Last weekend I was in Knoxville, TN. to meet potential in-laws (my little girl) and this next weekend is reserved for my duties as a chapparone/coach with Special Olympics. I give them a weekend once a year. The week following looks like a good weekend to install both panels and the rest of the system. I can't wait! I guess I might as well replace both vent seals while on top and in that area. One is leaking and both have the screens torn.
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