Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-28-2015, 10:56 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1979 25' Tradewind
Currently Looking...
Elizabethtown , Kentucky
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 11
Solar Question

Hey guys! I had a question about solar panels. Can you use a portable solar panel not mounted to the Airstream to charge the batteries? I was envisioning using a portable panel that rests on the ground and directly connect it to the battery? Do you have to have a charge controller to prevent battery overcharging? I don't really want to mount panels on my 1979 Tradewind, but would like the benefits of solar. Can you directly connect the panel to the battery?
__________________

__________________
mdyer99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
TinTin's Avatar
 
2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
Canmore , Alberta
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,762
Images: 6
Yes, you can use portable solar panels to charge your batteries. These will usually come with a multi-stage charge controller and attach directly to the batteries. They come in wattages from approximately 30-150 watts. Some advantages to portable solar: trailer in shade, panel in sun; the panel stays with you should you change trailers.
__________________

__________________
Bob and Nancy
http://www.rwcphoto.smugmug.com
Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out!
TinTin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 11:39 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
2013 20' Flying Cloud
Between Here and There and Nowhere , what have you got?
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 119
I use a Zamp solar panel. Two hinged panels have fold-out legs attached, that fold flat into it's own rugged carrying case with handle. Legs tilt panels back about 45 degrees. The charge controller is attached to the back and it comes with a long cable. Cable has a heavy duty quick disconnect on the end which couples to short cable attached to your batteries. This part stays in the battery compartment.
Neat and quick. A bunch of different wattage's are available. Mine is 200W
__________________
openroad118 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 04:06 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
1979 25' Tradewind
Currently Looking...
Elizabethtown , Kentucky
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 11
Does this ever hurt the Airstream's 12v system while charging the connected coach battery?
__________________
mdyer99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2015, 05:04 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
TinTin's Avatar
 
2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
Canmore , Alberta
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,762
Images: 6
The solar charge controller should be a multi-stage type, ie will not overcharge the batteries.


Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums
__________________
Bob and Nancy
http://www.rwcphoto.smugmug.com
Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out!
TinTin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 08:14 AM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
2013 20' Flying Cloud
Between Here and There and Nowhere , what have you got?
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 119
I never had a problem. The TriMetric setup indicated juice going into the batteries.
On a side note....charging was a lot quicker in clear-air states like Arizona, v: Washington, midwest, southeast
__________________
openroad118 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 09:27 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
jimmini's Avatar

 
1989 29' Land Yacht
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,594
Images: 43
Here is my 190 watts.Works grate
They do make portable ones that hook right to the battery but most are only about 100 watts.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC00877.jpg
Views:	107
Size:	155.8 KB
ID:	231324   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC00878.jpg
Views:	90
Size:	598.5 KB
ID:	231325  

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC00889.jpg
Views:	97
Size:	396.1 KB
ID:	231326  
__________________
Jimmini :
AKA : TUMBLEWEED. Just an old buzzard with a itch to yonder.
Cowboys have a way of looking at things a little differently than most folks.Their wisdom is simple and more down to earth.
jimmini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,217
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ar-124920.html
__________________
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 10:45 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
mefly2's Avatar
 
2015 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Western , ** Big Sky Country ** Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,283
Yes - we have had great luck with both Zamp and Goal Zero ... the GZ is a nicer package.
__________________
mefly2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 04:33 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
gandttimes's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB International
2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 801
I posted somewhere else about my solution which was to put 3 100watt flexible renogy panels on the cap of my truck using a short run of #10 gauge to a proper 2pole Pollak ( female)plug on the truck. Inside the trailer I properly mounted aTM2030 monitor and a TS 2030 Solar control with cutoff fuses close to the batteries. I ran #6Awg to a connector by the batteries to which I can attach 20ft of#6 welding cable which plugs into the truck so I can charge while driving and park my trailer in the shade and move the truck around in the sun. The next mod will be mounting the panels on some sort of a tilt up form so I can make better use of the low angle sun when we camp in the north.
So far on our 3 month trip it has been working perfectly.
Have to get a reprogram on the controller so I can equalize a bit easier ( automatic) but otherwise no complaints.


George
__________________
gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2015, 06:55 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
TheCabin's Avatar
 
2013 25' FB International
Liberty Corner , New Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 188
We also have the ZAMP 200W portable and find it to be our only charging system that really works on the Airstream. Great product. We plan to install the Boondocker in the spring so that there will be 2 charging systems that really work.

But, how do others carry it? We have the case for it but have never found a way to secure it inside the trailer while traveling so it ends up in the TV.
__________________
TheCabin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2015, 12:04 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,217
I'm looking at Zamp. The only issue I have with the 200w is the size of the panels and its about 47lbs compared to about 34lbs for the 160. I could slide the 160 folded on end and still close my tonneau top on my truck but I won't be able to do it with the 200. I would have to lay it flat. I have some recliners I have to lay flat so I could place it on top of them. I might still consider the 200w setup.

Regarding storing in a 25fb you could put it on end between the queen bed and the front windows. Stuff a towel in there to prevent movement. Guess it won't slide into the hall closet.

Kelvin
__________________
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2015, 08:43 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,217
I'm finding many Zamp dealers have backorders for the 160w and 200w systems that won't be filled until June. Apparently the west coast dock slowdowns have delayed shipments of solar panels from Asia.

Kelvin
__________________
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2015, 10:13 AM   #14
4 Rivet Member
 
LiLNomad's Avatar
 
2007 25' International CCD FB
Northridge , California
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 423
Images: 3
I just purchased a small solar panel to trickle charge my batteries. Its sitting on top of the battery box since I dont have a propane tank cover but I was able to lock it down with a pull away cord and small padlock, just to make it inconvenient for it to walk away since the trailer is in storage. I purchased the 7watt from Northerntool.com. Working well.
LilNomad
__________________

__________________
LiLNomad 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
Airstream solar pre-wiring compatibility with AM solar robi Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 6 06-11-2014 10:31 PM
Solar Install AM Solar outdoors717 Generators & Solar Power 3 07-15-2012 08:11 PM
a solar question JohnnieWinon Generators & Solar Power 35 10-29-2006 02:04 AM
Solar Charging System Question Mod-Streamer Generators & Solar Power 1 01-16-2006 11:33 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:16 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.