Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-19-2014, 08:08 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Gary W Wong's Avatar
 
Milpitas , California
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 27
Solar panels for my airstream 23' international

Just purchased my Airstream in December and in need of solar panels for boondocking on a construction site for my architectural office. I have brought my Airstream back to the dealership in Fairfield, ca and they are servicing it to upgrade with 200watts of solar panel.it will cost approximately 2800.00 for the installed system.

Anyone have this done before? Interested to hear from others with solar panels and how well it works to charge batteries and run the airstream. I believe it will charge overhead day and replenish the batteries as I use them.

Thoughts?

Thanks all

Roly Poly ( family has named out airstream)
__________________

__________________
Gary W Wong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
BAB
Rivet Master
 
BAB's Avatar

 
2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,574
Sounds very pricey...but I'm sure the labor charge is the killer. I put in a 400W set myself using an AM Solar kit, also installed two Lifeline AGM batteries (a MUST if you go solar, and they run $300 each). It is not that difficult to do this project yourself if you have just modest handyman skills -- and you can follow directions! The AM Solar set-up comes with everything you need, including cable ties -- with everything perfectly marked as to what it is and where it goes. Check out their website. You will love the solar whichever way you go!
__________________

__________________
_________________
"SilverLeaf II" 2015 30' Classic
2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 CC w/6.7L Cummins
ProPride 3P
AIR# 58452
WBCCI # 3430-Unit 21
BAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 08:20 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
Gary W Wong's Avatar
 
Milpitas , California
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 27
Thanks for the input. I didn't want to tackle the install in my new airstream for I was not sure of the leaks that could happen on the roof. Installing and drilling holes for the panels scares me of course. Also I was not sure about the wiring and how does it all connect up to the batteries and all.

I know it was pricey but for peace of mind I guess it keep the factory warranty in tack.
__________________
Gary W Wong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 08:26 PM   #4
BAB
Rivet Master
 
BAB's Avatar

 
2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,574
I hope Lewster doesn't read your post. He is the world expert in solar and when I mentioned drilling holes in my roof he had an apoplectic seizure. The panels are mounted using 3M VHB double sided tape. Yup, tape! That's what AM Solar sends (with the mounting plates that secure the panels). After a whole summer towing with solar panels, I can confirm what Lewster said. That tape does NOT let loose! So, there are no holes in the roof, thus no leaks. They send you a plastic box...and you run a wire from each panel into this single box...and then one cable from that box into the trailer....I ran the wire down the vent pipe, but it's also easy to use the fridge vent. No holes, no how, no way! And, believe it or not, your Airstream is set up so you can get behind almost everything to run that one cable from the controller to your batteries. It took me basically one whole day to do the entire solar installation and I took my time and was very careful. Oh, this will have zero impact on your factory warranty.
__________________
_________________
"SilverLeaf II" 2015 30' Classic
2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 CC w/6.7L Cummins
ProPride 3P
AIR# 58452
WBCCI # 3430-Unit 21
BAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 08:40 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
field & stream's Avatar
 
2008 23' Safari SE
2007 Base Camp
Santa Ynez , California
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 362
We installed a 200 watt solar system on our 23' very recently. Have boondocked with it four times for three to four nights each and it has fully recharged each day. The conditions each time were campsites with partial sun, 40 degrees overnight, and the months were low-sun (December - March). Other considerations are that we converted all lights to LED's, and that we dress warmly rather than run the heater all the time. We also installed two 6v golf cart batteries, so we have significantly more stored power (about 30%) to start with. We are totally pleased with this system so far.
__________________
field & stream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAB View Post
Sounds very pricey...but I'm sure the labor charge is the killer. I put in a 400W set myself using an AM Solar kit, also installed two Lifeline AGM batteries (a MUST if you go solar, and they run $300 each). (snip)

Sorry to disagree, there is nothing about a solar system which requires AGM batteries. Good old flooded cell batteries will work just fine. I am on my 19th year of working with solar systems and have yet to own an AGM battery. I use a pair of $90 each Costco golf cart batteries in both of my trailers. Nothing wrong with AGM type batteries of course, but certainly they are not a MUST.
__________________
idroba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 09:50 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
steverino's Avatar
 
2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Ivins , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 276
Images: 3
Just another data point - 300w of panels from AM Solar, batteries upgraded to 2 Group 27 AGMs. Probably a 3rd would be a perfect configuration. I have about 50% of lights converted to LED. We use power conservation practices, but don't go overboard. We'll use the heater to stay comfortable, modest lighting in the evening, run the TV on inverter for up to a couple hours a day. The only time when the panels could not completely fill the batteries each day was in January, with low sun trajectory and overcast. After about 3 days I had to run the generator for a couple of hours to get us to a state of charge that would get us hrough the next night.

Spring through fall, the batteries are filled within a few hours, and, all electrical load during the day (fans, refrigerator, etc) is satisfied by the panels. Thus sunset arrives with batteries topped off.
steverino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 10:47 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
switz's Avatar

 
2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,799
Images: 8
The relatively new 100 watt panels from AM solar will fit on either side of the air conditioner on the 25' or longer wide body Airstreams. The panels themselves are 20.7" wide and 40.8" long. The installation panel support feet require an overall length of 44.175" with the panel.

We were able to mount four in line on each side our Classic model 30.

Get a piece of cardboard and cut it to the overall size and see how to mount it on the roof of the shorter narrow trailers. If one gets creative in positioning the panels, more panels than one might expect could be installed.
__________________
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
switz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 10:49 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
Gary W Wong's Avatar
 
Milpitas , California
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 27
Thank all for the great information. I think I am in good shape with the solar decision to upgrade. I'm not sure if the dealership will upgrade the batteries but I doubt it. All the lights in my Airstream are LED and so that is a good thing.

I will look to conserve during the January month time to make sure we can get thru it. We do have a gas generator also so the Yamaha generator will be brought with us during that time.

I see I am in company of owners who know a lot about solar and how to install them. I am concerned about the double tape over time for no tape is that strong. Is everyone using tape for install?
__________________
Gary W Wong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 10:51 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
Gary W Wong's Avatar
 
Milpitas , California
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 27
Swift, they are installing 200wats on mine and on a 23' I am sure there are limits to the locations from the standpoint of the airstream layout.
__________________
Gary W Wong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 11:05 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
kscherzi's Avatar
 
2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,136
Images: 24
You might qualify for the federal solar 30% tax credit.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Airstream Forums mobile app
__________________
kscherzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 11:08 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
Bigcgar's Avatar

 
2015 25' FB International
2011 23' International
Larkspur , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 175
I too have a 23' international and have been thinking about a solar set up. When I looked up on the roof there doesn't seem to be much space up there except for the area on the back side between the conditioner and the fantastic fan. So I've been considering the Zamp Solar 200 watt portable. Does anyone have any experience with these. The big downside is someone walking off with it. I'm semi handy so could probably do my own install, but just curious what the forum solar gurus recommend. Lewster you are the the AS expert, any thoughts?
__________________
Allan & Vicki
Larkspur, CO
Be well, fish on!
Bigcgar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Gary W Wong's Avatar
 
Milpitas , California
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 27
Yes it looks like that is the only location but I will let you know when I pick up my airstream in a week. The portable solution was also a choice but to have to setup and lockdown the system each tome should be too much work. Permanent installation is the best solution. I know it is a higher cost than I wanted to spend and all seems like it could be installs on our own but I figure to have them install it saves me the time and labor to work it out. Besides it is a business expense also. The Airstream is a architectural trailer that I can bring to the job site and it doubles As a recreational vehicle also. So I figure write off the cost of all of it.

Does this really qualify for a tax credit?
__________________
Gary W Wong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2014, 11:30 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
field & stream's Avatar
 
2008 23' Safari SE
2007 Base Camp
Santa Ynez , California
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 362
We just put two 100 watt panels on our 23'. One runs lengthwise above the rear of the awning, the other across the top behind the A/C, and both are barely visible from the ground. There is room for a third lengthwise on the street side. (If you do choose to go with 6v golf cart batteries the battery box will have to be made taller.)
__________________

__________________
field & stream is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2008 AIRSTREAM SAFARI SPORT 17 w/ SOLAR PANELS eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 03-29-2013 03:20 PM
1985 airstream 31ft sovereign travel trailer ,loaded ,solar panels ,mint cond eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 06-14-2012 06:50 PM
1985 31 ft airstream sovereign ,mint condiion ,1 owner ,solar panels loaded eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 11-13-2011 12:30 PM
Solar Panels or Generator? Ron C Generators & Solar Power 7 07-11-2005 12:19 PM
Solar Panels VONZIPPER Generators & Solar Power 7 03-18-2002 08:47 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.