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Old 03-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by drboyd View Post
OK, I have no much the solar option is from Airstream. Here's what the components are worth, roughly, at retail.

100 Watt Panel: $200, with hardware
MPPT Controller, with remote display: $300
Wire and connections: $100 - $200 or so
Installation labor by somebody who really knows what the #$^% they are doing: $750 (that's a wild guess)

I don't know prices on AGM batteries, but you can look those up pretty easy yourself.

What does Airstream charge?
Airstream charges what you can negotiate the dealer down to. Same as with the aluminum panels, rivets, plywood sheets, frame steel, light bulbs . . .
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:46 PM   #16
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I had solar on my SOB. I mostly boon dock at festivals. Last Summer was my first one out in the Bambi. I know about a/c, I do not have a microwave, I changed over to leds. i use propane fridge and cooking...so my biggest use would be fantastic fan all night or heat all night. My question is..
Using a 1000k how long would I have to run it to top off my batteries in the AM? My work hours have me mostly getting back very late at night. On hot nights, I find the fan enough. Thanks for help.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sbb View Post
I had solar on my SOB. I mostly boon dock at festivals. Last Summer was my first one out in the Bambi. I know about a/c, I do not have a microwave, I changed over to leds. i use propane fridge and cooking...so my biggest use would be fantastic fan all night or heat all night. My question is..
Using a 1000k how long would I have to run it to top off my batteries in the AM? My work hours have me mostly getting back very late at night. On hot nights, I find the fan enough. Thanks for help.
There are too many variables to answer your question. Your degree of discharge of the batteries is unknown even with the given information. The rate of charge of your batteries from your generator is also unknown, and variable with the state of charge they begin with. Temperatures also play a roll. The type of converter/charger you have will make a difference, as well as it's rated output. What do you mean by "top off" your batteries? That is what state of charge are you willing to end at?

I am not trying to be difficult here, but without a lot more information, and some monitoring of your system, there is no answer anyone can give you with any degree of accuracy.

Sometimes just running the generator for an hour or two will be fine. That is what I would try. Or if you have to leave, chain it to your trailer and fill it with gas and go. It will run out of gas and your batteries will probably be charged. Of course maybe the neighbors will object....LOL.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:30 PM   #18
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The factory list price for the 106 watt system installed on a Classic is $2,950. The 1,000 watt factory inverter is an additional $725 and powers three outlets that become dead when on shore power.. I find that total of $3,675 more than excessive for the capability.

I had a single non-factory dealer installed 150 watt panel on the 2013 25FB and it could not recharge the original lead acid batteries during the day in the bright October sun in Albuquerque with nary a tree to be seen. The 2,000 watt Honda was necessary to top off the batteries for the next nights furnace operation that would run the batteries back down to 50%.

I have ordered six 100 watt solar panels and a Magnum MS-2800 converter/inverter that will power "all" the outlets in the new trailer all the time. There will be four 6Vdc Lifeline batteries each rated for 300 amp hours so the storage will be 12Vdc and 600 amp hours capacity.

Without installation, the materials cost for our new system with freight is just twice the factory prices above for nearly six times the capability.

Just saying that there are more bang for the bucks solar systems with third party alternatives. Check out AM Solar's Educational Pages for RV Solar Systems and read up on the where and why of solar systems.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:44 AM   #19
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Switz,

Be sure that your installer is VERY WELL VERSED in the proper method of adding you Magnum MS-2812 INVERTER/charger into your AC circuit breaker box. There are many issues with this type of conversion but when properly completed, you can operate your entire trailer (less the A/C) from your inverter when you wish.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
The factory list price for the 106 watt system installed on a Classic is $2,950. The 1,000 watt factory inverter is an additional $725 and powers three outlets that become dead when on shore power.. I find that total of $3,675 more than excessive for the capability.

I had a single non-factory dealer installed 150 watt panel on the 2013 25FB and it could not recharge the original lead acid batteries during the day in the bright October sun in Albuquerque with nary a tree to be seen. The 2,000 watt Honda was necessary to top off the batteries for the next nights furnace operation that would run the batteries back down to 50%.
Last April we spent two weeks 250 southwest of Albuquerque without hookups or generator, but with Airstream factory solar and Lifeline AGM batteries. Our batteries were fully charged by noon each day, after using lights, some tv for movies, and furnace at night. I don't recall that the batteries went down near 50%, but the factory system has been good for us.
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:51 PM   #21
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The factory supplier:
Carmanah Technologies Corp.
Building 4, 203 Harbour Road
Victoria, BC V9A 3S2
Tel: 800-667-6527
Fax: 866-607-6527
Complete RV Solar Power Solutions for Camping, RVing and Boating
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #22
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Agm

Switz, what is the AGM battery size and AH rating of the factory solar option? Also, where are you going to put 4 6V batteries? Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:24 AM   #23
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The factory solar system in years prior to 2015 models has two 53 watt panels. They replace the batteries with two group 27 batteries.

We removed the stock batteries and used the box for the BrakeRite II SD disc brake hydraulic pump and electronic controller. The four Lifeline 6CT 6Vdc 300-amp hours batteries went into a new custom stainless steel battery box.

Tongue weight with ProPride hitch head attached is 1,345 pounds.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:13 AM   #24
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One of the dealers that I talked with quoted $3,000 for solar panels I can't remember how many watts the price purchased. Another dealer quoted $1,300 for 160 Watts and $1,000 for 95 Watts. I know nothing about solar. We just bought a 28 foot Airstream and I am trying to decide whether or not to have the dealer install solar panels. Any help from someone with more knowledge than myself will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:21 PM   #25
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Unfortunately, most dealers have no clue about the proper way to install solar. They often use what ever components that will give them the most profit, not what best suits your needs.

Look for an expert in the RV solar field with broad experience to get the best system for you.


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Old 07-23-2014, 02:30 PM   #26
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Value of Airstream Solar Package?

A solar system can be very simple or quite complicated. Pricing is obviously related to what is included and involved in the install....multiple batteries, type of batteries, number and type of panels, transfer switches, inverters with different types and sizes, simple or sophisticated charge controllers and monitoring systems. Between dealers you need to compare apples to apples before you can sign off on work. As stated, go to a dealer that knows their stuff.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:54 PM   #27
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I don't have the solar package on my 2008 Classic 25fb and don't really plan to be a heavy duty boondocker. I've read several blogs of Airstream owners that installed their own systems ending up with a more powerful system than the factory option. Most seem to add 2 additional batteries.
Here is one:
http://www.watsonswander.com/2013/going-solar/

What I plan to do is go with a 120 to 200 watt portable solution. Park the AS in the shade and position the panels out in the sun. I had a 17' Casita before our Airstream and found a 60 watt panel handled all our needs on the single Group 24 battery. I now have two group 27 batteries in my AS. If I find I need more than that I'll get a Honda 2000 watt generator to assist. I'm switching all the lights to LED also. This system plus a Honda 2000 would be less than $2000.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:58 PM   #28
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Hi from AZ. . .I have the 2 panel dealer installed solar system on my '05 25 Safari. I like the 'idea' of it but will probably not do it on my FC 28. Or at least go to a better system (ala Switz) or a couple of Yamahas. My system keeps batteries charged in storage, but in use, not so much. At the Balloon Fiesta, the solar would not run minimal lighting & the furnace fan thru the night, after all day, no use charge. It also quits working every 6 months or so, requiring trip to shop. This time, I'm trying a new shop Always an interesting topic this, thanks, Craig
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