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Old 08-24-2013, 09:19 PM   #1
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Solar paneling!! How much? How many ?

I would like to buy SOON a used airstream

I want to get solar panels for off grid living at times.

Has anyone dome this to their airstream?
How mnay did I you use?
What was the cost ?


Any advise is appreciated

I'm next to research composting toilets and why ppl use them
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydays View Post
I would like to buy SOON a used airstream

I want to get solar panels for off grid living at times.

Has anyone dome this to their airstream?
How mnay did I you use?
What was the cost ?

Any advise is appreciated

I'm next to research composting toilets and why ppl use them
I've read lots of good info on the panels and kits by http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/smar...s_for_rvs.html
Lots of good info here just do a search for solar panels and start reading.
Good luck.
Mike
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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I recommend this guy.

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Happydays... Do research before your purchase. I had my solar installed by the dealer. their original asking price was more than twice what competing RV dealers were charging for the same unit and install. By negotiating, I got the going rate in the community.

In talking with people who use a lot of solar, the consensus is that most of the panels today have roughly the same performance and life expectancy. The common wisdom at the time was a price of about $3.00 USD per watt.

That said, I still went with Boesch panels. Also, do a QA of the install before you accept it. I found wires run over sharp aluminum edges. The dealer redid the wire fastening with clamps and appropriate protection.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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Great

What is the average cost to solar your airstream

How long does it last each day if your in the sun?

What does it power etc
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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I just added four 100W solar panels along with controller, etc. I purchased the entire set-up from AM Solar. Outstanding service and not all that difficult to install. They provide absolutely everything you need -- cables, all wiring, fasteners, etc. 400W of solar ran me just under $2,000. Then I pulled out my stock Interstate batteries and installed two Lifeline AGM's at around $300 each. Great install, nice to generate solar power, but not "cheap" -- you could do it for a lot less, depending on how much power you want to generate and how you want to accumulate it. LOTS of knowledge on AirForms. LEWSTER is an expert on this subject and he was very helpful as I approached this project. Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydays View Post
What is the average cost to solar your airstream

How long does it last each day if your in the sun?

What does it power etc
The average cost is highly dependent on how many panels you're having installed, what kind, and who is doing it. So, I am not sure there is an answer there.

The only thing solar does is charge, and keep charged, your batteries. If you want AC current, you need to have an inverter in your Airstream. That takes DC current, and makes it into AC to run things like your TV, etc.

As you use power from your batteries, the solar panels recharge them during daylight. The time to get your batteries recharged is dependent on a couple of factors... How far down did you drain them. What kind of condition are the batteries in to start with. How much sun is out.

Typically, we see our batteries fully charged by around noon, but they are a bit old, and have been totally drained a couple of times. I suspect that a new set would recharge much more quickly. We are not particularly heavy power users when boondocking.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
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An afterthought... If your inverter is hardwired into the Airstream, there are typically just a few outlets wired to it. Around the TVs and DVD, maybe in the bathroom, galley, and usually one around the dinette. These are only hot when you have the inverter running. The normal AC outlets are only hot when you're connected to external power.

If the inverter is portable, it will plug into a 12VDC outlet (cigarette type), and the AC outlets are a part of the inverter itself.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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Figure out how you plan to use your electricity by visiting AM Solar's web site and then buy one of their kits complete with a 2000 watt (at least) pure sign wave inverter. Buy some more batteries. I use 4 AGM batteries and a 1500 watt inverter all wired in so that all ac outlets are powered by the inverter. I watch TV, run computers, vacuum, make coffee with the electric coffee maker. I just do all the stuff I would do at home and the batteries are normally at 100% by noon. I have never had a problem with the system and have been off grid for 2 weeks. I run the fridge, furnace, and wh on propane when running from the inverter. It is invisible with no racket to upset any neighbours, and I don't pay for full hook ups when I am not boon docking. Jim
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