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Old 10-11-2012, 02:13 PM   #29
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Switch is a good idea, although it's no big issue to just disconnect the ground lead from the batts. I think I even have a 1,2, both, and off boat batt switch kicking around here somewhere. Not sure if it's Perko. One of the red round ones.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:18 PM   #30
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I wonder if you get new batteries from a Walmart if they would exchange them if they are dead while under warranty ????? I just got two new ones while we were out in Montana in August. Have to look into their warranty.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:05 PM   #31
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Switch is a good idea, although it's no big issue to just disconnect the ground lead from the batts. I think I even have a 1,2, both, and off boat batt switch kicking around here somewhere. Not sure if it's Perko. One of the red round ones.
Yeppers, that's a Perko switch. Properly connected and switched to off would be as good as disconnecting the batteries. It would take a little effort to install it of course.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:30 PM   #32
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I wonder if you get new batteries from a Walmart if they would exchange them if they are dead while under warranty ????? I just got two new ones while we were out in Montana in August. Have to look into their warranty.

I was thinking Sears DieHards, for the same reason.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:17 PM   #33
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Probably work with Sears too. Any of the large retailers I'd think. My batteries went bad this past summer. I just bought the trailer and didn't know their age and stopped at a Walmart in Montana where they tested them for me. They were bad so I replaced them and have no problems since. At least for the time being. In the past I took them out but since I have a 4 stage charger now I may try and leave them in and on charge.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:52 PM   #34
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Gringo, I believe that Lewster recommends 3M double sided tape for attaching solar panels to Airstream roofs. I think he used this product to attach panels to the roof of his Sprinter service van. It comes in several widths and thicknesses. 3M's website lists several types for various appllcations.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:23 AM   #35
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The flexible solar panels come with a mastic on them already no need to use anything else. Snakecharmer is talking about how Lewster mounts rigid panels.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:34 AM   #36
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Yup, you are right, Wazbro. Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #37
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yes, and thanks for the information. that 3M tape looks like some serious stuff, too. I can think of other applications for that, mounting stuff inside the trailer without drilling holes.

Ideally, I guess, the perfect solar solution would be a series of flexible, interconnectable tiles that could cover the top of the trailer and be mounted on the available surface and be able to accomodate the openings needed for vents, skylights, aircon, etc. I wonder if a layer of solar cells would also help keep the trailer cooler in direct sunlight by blocking it from the aluminum top. As we found out last year when the OAT dropped to 17 deg.F, that aluminum is an excellent thermal transfer medium. I happened to touch a sensitive part of my anatomy to it when bending over in the bedfoom to pick up a pair of shorts, and I bet my scream was heard for quite a distance. I didn't blink for several hours after that one. Airstream frostbite.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:45 AM   #38
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I think I heard that scream, thought it was a coyote!
Your perfect solar idea does sound perfect, bet the shade would help!
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #39
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I've got two of the flexible Unisolar panels installed on my roof - I don't think they are going to help much in terms of insulation. They are black, and they are bonded directly to the roof with mastic that looks a lot like black roofing tar - so I think if anything they are going to make the trailer hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter.

If you had rigid panels suspended above the roof of the trailer, with an air gap in between, I can see how that would help insulate the trailer. But the very easy installation of peel and stick flexible panels right to the trailer roof (which is what I have) is pretty compelling.

I am sure that some day soon someone will come up with affordable, flexible tiles with an easy interconnect system that you can just adhere to the roof and cable together.

I ended up cutting one of my Unisolar panels into three pieces and manually wiring the pieces back together because i didn't have two 18 foot long by 15 inch wide areas available on my roof.
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