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Old 02-22-2004, 10:11 AM   #1
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souped up solar...

article in trailer life on a couple of new solar products....anybody get feedback?....what is this new mttp technology?...for real or just a new sales gimmick?....

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Old 02-22-2004, 10:21 AM   #2
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norby,

Can you give me some mfg names, web addresses, etc.? I don't subscribe to TL and can't find it locally... but am interested in solar...

Thanks,

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Old 02-22-2004, 10:49 AM   #3
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www.amsolar.com
www.amsolar.com
siemens is another...also check solar in our forum
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Illegitimous noncarborundum(dont let the bastards wear you down)

The only true nobility is found through giving good food to your friends- Anton Careme

beauty is in the eye of the beerholder-cosmo fishhawk

if something is too good to be true, its usually gone before i get there-mister boffo
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Old 02-22-2004, 10:51 AM   #4
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you can also pick up trailer life at barnes&noble...
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Illegitimous noncarborundum(dont let the bastards wear you down)

The only true nobility is found through giving good food to your friends- Anton Careme

beauty is in the eye of the beerholder-cosmo fishhawk

if something is too good to be true, its usually gone before i get there-mister boffo
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Old 02-22-2004, 11:11 AM   #5
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sOLAR......

I get TL second hand from my folks and that article caught my eye also. My SOB from a few years back had a panel added and I never wondered if the battery was dead after a break in camping. The system in the article is way beyond my prior experience but seemed very worthy of an AS. My concern is in wiring so all fits seamlessly both electrically and visually. The old SOB panel was just wired to the battery w/o any controller. The controller in the article (dare I say ad) is the HPV-22 with a AM-100 panel both by AM Solar. I'd fix the panel w/o any directive hardware (not likely to point at the sun track differently at each parking) but being a newby I'd rahter not create holes, even for screws, in the skin. The Old SOB had the panel ( a fexable marine type) simply glued to the sheet metal with silicone. I'll be watching this string for ideas also.
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:16 PM   #6
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You know, the AS brochures have a Boon Dock Solar option listed... Anyone know what that is all about?
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Old 02-22-2004, 05:47 PM   #7
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I think the Boondock Solar was discontinued last fall.

Really... Use the search function and you will find countless approaches. You must do a realistic assessment of how many amp-hours you'll be needing. One can exceed an Airstream's roof area pretty quickly -- and go broke trying. Also take note of tradeoffs vs. using one of the quieter generators to recharge (eg, Honda EU2000).

Almost forgot -- Welcome aboard Airstreamforums, me hearty! Aargh!! (Ever participated in Talk Like a Pirate Day? Not too early to plan -- Sept 19 is fast approaching...)
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Old 02-22-2004, 05:48 PM   #8
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I agree, do a search. You will find that Road King Moe did a quite extensive posting on draw, etc.....

I too seem to recall that the package was discontinued as well....

Eric
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Old 02-22-2004, 07:59 PM   #9
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If you're going to boondock seriously, and before you consider solar, invest in a good amp-hour meter like the Heart Link 10. KNOW how much power you're actually using first.

You can disconnect one battery and run the positive side of the other through a multimeter with amperage capability (be careful not to exceed its rating), and by turning things on and off sort of figure out how much current each uses, but that doesn't tell you how much things that turn on and off over time, such as the refrigerator gas solenoid and the furnace fan, use on different temperature days.

Here's a good price on the Link 10 from a reputable mail-order dealer, and here's the User's Manual you can read and get familiar with.

Even if you later decide to go the generator route, this meter will be invaluable for battery management.

Solar panels mounted horizontally flat on an RV roof provide much less than their rated output. They are also rated at very cool panel temperatures, which you won't see in the real world. For example, a 120W panel provides between 20-30AH/day, depending on time of year. That's enough to run one Fantastic Vent on medium for 8-12 hours, and that will just about offset the heat gain of parking in the sun in a smaller trailer.

IIRC, the original Airstream boondocker option was a 50A panel, about enough to keep batteries charged while in storage. They may have increased this to 100A later. I'm not sure of the Airstream options, however.

I can tell you that with two Fantastic Vents, two skylights, and the air-conditioner, there are only two stretches for panels, one about 52" and one 56", on a 34' trailer, and there is the potential for the AC to partially shade one of them.
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Old 02-22-2004, 08:05 PM   #10
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Straight from the source! I think Moe is right on about this one!

Eric
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