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Old 07-31-2010, 06:03 PM   #1
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1986 Argosy
n/a , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6
Solar Zip-Dee Hybrid opinions wanted

Roughly 3 months ago I purchased my second airstream (1987 Excella 1000, 32-34') to accompany my Squarestream trailer I purchased a few years ago, which has not seen much use since it has required some work and I've been away.

The first day that I took possession of my Excella was grand, and I triumphantly towed it to the very nice Tyndall AFB FamCamp in Panama City, FL where I set it up. While toying with the Zip-Dee awning (the long curbside one, 28'), I had it nearly extended when some mis-hap occurred and the unit began to roll back in. Since I had the middle brace unit up, this came loose and of course managed to tear an 8" bit in the otherwise-pristine Zip-Dee fabric.

The question that I will pose here is: Barring cost, would replacement of the Zip-Dee fabric with rollable/flexible solar cells (for example: Flexible Solar Cells: Rollable Series) stitched together in some fashion seriously detract from the appearance in your opinion to the point where it would decrease the amount you would be willing to pay for an otherwise excellent condition A/S? How strict are the "authentic only" Airstreamers when it comes to improvements such as solar power installation? If consensus is that it at least reaches a break-even then I will go for it.

I think it would be quite convenient, apart from the well-known limitations of solar cells (which I am confident most are familiar with) and cost of the devices. I would have my shade, I could deploy a solar collector when I'm near the trailer, and it can be tucked away in 5 easy minutes. My estimation is around $ 4k for 280 W including charge controller and additional components.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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center support UP first?

THAT's a huge no no.

don't ever do that again.

who learnt you howz 2 use a z/d ?

so is the tear near the ROLLER or up near the top/trailer skin?

1. solar panels will WEIGH a lot more than fabric.

2. solar panels will be THICKER than fabric.

still IF wanting to experiment consider perhaps 4 feet of solar.

full awning length but near the TOP, closest to the shell.

this would be the best place to add the mass and weight,

and the LEAST visible when the awning is OUT.

also one could partially extend (4-6 feet) just to use the solar)

it might require a 4th (center strut arm/support)
__________

if it's FUNCTIONAL this might add value.

is it's UGLY and useless, for 1-2k$ it can be UNdone quickly.

the 80s are not exactly collectible RARE trailers yet,

and an awning is JUST an awning.

while u are at it the streetside and rear window awnings

would be NICE small solar collecting locations too...

cheers
2air'
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