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Old 11-16-2014, 04:09 PM   #71
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ArcticFox... my dates are wrong on leaving Castle Rock to Las Vegas. Mid January we will be in Las Vegas and then heading to Quartize, AZ and then Tucson, AZ to the Rock, Mineral and Jewelry show that begins around February 1st.

We were down to -12F at home and our well head froze up until the sun rose the next day to warm it up to 17F or so. We went into Boondocking mode, paper plates, draining faucets for drinking water and were ready to ask any neighbors with running water for three 5 gallon jugs to run the stools and have drinking water.

We drained the fresh water tank, water lines, hot water tank on the trailer after our last trlp. But even though parked in our garage at 41F... we could not just move into it and shower, etc.

Camping outside in a trailer this cold, you would have frozen up solid off the grid. This was nasty for November. Mid January in the desert is looking pretty good. Once, we are able to get past the first night at the Sandia Casino in Albuquerque, NM and it is not below freezing!

Shoveled off the snow on the decks today with a low of ZERO. I can tolerate any kind of HOT... but COLD... we only have two Blue Heelers for a "two dog night". This has been a two dog and a pile of sleeping bag weather!
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:32 PM   #72
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Thumbs up Working for my dream

"What my purpose as an Airstream owner is to give those Forum members, who are dreaming about owning one in their future, some confidence and comfort in knowing that all Airstream owners... dreamed before owning."

Oh thanks...I will read this whole thread because this is one of our major concerns... we are planning and dreaming everyday of owning an Airstream... Hopefully in a couple of years. But costs are a concern, for a normal retired couple, will it be too expensive? We've never owned a trailer but it's been our dream for the longest time that as soon as we are retired, we will just get on a car and drive, the times that we've done it has been heaven .....so to be able to enjoy so many beautiful places without having to get on an airplane, to be able to take our dogs.... to carry our home with us! And to have a classy Airstream as this traveling home..... priceless So thank you for the encouragement
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:07 PM   #73
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Camping Dogs... I love the handle!

#1 You are looking for an Airstream for... your dogs. Not for yourselves.

There are some excellent deals on used 4 to 6 year old Airstreams! They sell fast as the previous owners some times only used them several weeks a year. When we purchased our new 2014, a used 2010 25 foot came up on Craigs List that looked absolutely perfect... but too late for us. It has sold since then.

Used Airstreams. You will pay more than the RV used price guide indicates for loan value by 2X, 3X or more... that is because it is an Airstream and holds its value. If you are lucky, find a local AS owner to help you look it over. They know what to look for. Trust me, you do after 8 years.

Good luck and welcome to the happiest trailer owners in the world! After covering for the purchase price, it is all forgotten. When you tire of the trailer... ours sold in three days and it was not cheap.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:20 PM   #74
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Just an update from a post on Generator versus Solar Panel installation under another Thread.

I have flip flopped around after getting a 2000w Honda generator for off the grid camping when I need to charge the batteries... and to power the HDTVs that you get with new Airstreams. One thing I do miss is knowing the batteries are being charged while we are out hiking among the mountains seeking lost treasures... which sometimes just a good view is enough treasure to bring back with us.

I started pricing a 150 watt Solar Panels and installation today. The first bid was $1500 installed. That threw me off some, as panels are running in the $250 to $350 range on EBay... so I need to get an education on more than size and price. I was quoted 6 hours to install... and I thought that odd as well, since my 2006 was prewired and so is my 2014 International. I figured maybe 2 hours for labor, but my handy man attitude at the worst... three hours if I had directions and did it myself.

That price did not include Gel Pack or 6volt cart batteries either, but the two 12v Interstates that come with the trailer.

So, another headache trying to make some sense of where to go and what to ask. Looks like some research and stopping at some RV shops, maybe a battery shop that sells Interstate batteries that had Solar Panels on display for sale and maybe installation if I bring a ladder.

I may not even need the control panel. I just hate starting at the bottom of the low information end of a decision. My wife just shrugs her shoulders and says... it is your decision... honey. We plan to keep this International for 5 to 10 years... so off I go on another "Cost of the Airstream Lifestyle".
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:38 PM   #75
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My son and I installed 200 watts of solar. The AS panel pre-wire is too small size to use. It took less than two hours to mount a junction box on the roof, place the panel and wire it, including cutting an opening in the overhead bin end for the charger/control panel and routing all the wire through the clothes closet, under the bed, and connecting to the correct side of the the battery relay.

Manufacturers instructions were easy to follow. Only hard part was getting the panel brackets in the right place and keeping them there while we got the sealant under them, the rivets in place, and the panel installed with it aligned right. Took three hands 😞😜

The system keeps the batteries nicely charged, looks very tidy, and the junction box on the roof is inconspicuous. We did not have a roof fridge vent to go through. I think the system is an obsolete (now) one from AM Solar. The supplied charger is 4 stage, temperature sensing, and fairly smart.


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Old 11-18-2014, 10:20 PM   #76
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For high quality roof-mounted solar systems in the 150-300 watt range a price near 10.00/watt professionally installed wouldn't be too far wrong. This would not include the batteries. Larger systems in the 300-500 watt range would be priced a little lower per watt.

Mounting difficulty certainly varies with model of Airstream, having a vented fridge simplifies things for the installer. Professional installation of our 270 watt system took 6 hours of steady work.
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:54 AM   #77
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I suggest reading the primer on the AM Solar web site to get up to speed on the Solar specific vocabulary. They sell complete kits with proper wire sizes and equipment. They also have a list of recommended installers.

Welcome to AM Solar_Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987

We installed eight of their 100 watt panels, a Magnum MS2812 2,800 watt inverter/charger and four Lifeline model 6ct batteries in a custom stainless steel battery box (6Vdc batteries rated 300 amp hours each). The batteries were wired in series and parallel to produce 12Vdc and 600 amp hours of power.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:21 AM   #78
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One word "PRICLESS"
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:08 AM   #79
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Discontinued upholstery fabric can be found online at Toto Fabrics. They will send free samples so you can feel the fabric and see how it looks in the trailer. We used their fabric for our entire interior. Pics in our blog, link below my signature.
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:02 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
I suggest reading the primer on the AM Solar web site to get up to speed on the Solar specific vocabulary. They sell complete kits with proper wire sizes and equipment. They also have a list of recommended installers.



Welcome to AM Solar_Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987



We installed eight of their 100 watt panels, a Magnum MS2812 2,800 watt inverter/charger and four Lifeline model 6ct batteries in a custom stainless steel battery box (6Vdc batteries rated 300 amp hours each). The batteries were wired in series and parallel to produce 12Vdc and 600 amp hours of power.

Switz,
Wow! That is the best. You most likely do not have to learn the "electrical jig". I copied Rawn77 on my initial set up and although it has been great, and his next set up is even better, I think I will copy yours if there is a next time. Big time juice. Nice going. Jim


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Old 12-06-2014, 07:01 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Camping Dogs... I love the handle!

#1 You are looking for an Airstream for... your dogs. Not for yourselves.

There are some excellent deals on used 4 to 6 year old Airstreams! They sell fast as the previous owners some times only used them several weeks a year. When we purchased our new 2014, a used 2010 25 foot came up on Craigs List that looked absolutely perfect... but too late for us. It has sold since then.

Used Airstreams. You will pay more than the RV used price guide indicates for loan value by 2X, 3X or more... that is because it is an Airstream and holds its value. If you are lucky, find a local AS owner to help you look it over. They know what to look for. Trust me, you do after 8 years.

Good luck and welcome to the happiest trailer owners in the world! After covering for the purchase price, it is all forgotten. When you tire of the trailer... ours sold in three days and it was not cheap.

Thanks for the advice! Yes will do tons of research before our purchase, however we are a bit afraid of used because we are not as handy as y'all seem to be. ( maybe we'll get better with practice) :-).....
Yes :-) we are looking for a way to vacation all of us including our furry family :-) plus we do not like to fly at all! So this seems perfect! So exciting.....
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:23 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Camping Dogs... I love the handle!

#1 You are looking for an Airstream for... your dogs. Not for yourselves.

There are some excellent deals on used 4 to 6 year old Airstreams! They sell fast as the previous owners some times only used them several weeks a year. When we purchased our new 2014, a used 2010 25 foot came up on Craigs List that looked absolutely perfect... but too late for us. It has sold since then.

Used Airstreams. You will pay more than the RV used price guide indicates for loan value by 2X, 3X or more... that is because it is an Airstream and holds its value. If you are lucky, find a local AS owner to help you look it over. They know what to look for. Trust me, you do after 8 years.

Good luck and welcome to the happiest trailer owners in the world! After covering for the purchase price, it is all forgotten. When you tire of the trailer... ours sold in three days and it was not cheap.
For whatever it's worth, I just bought a 1996 34' Excella 1000, from the original owner, it's been towed less than 5,000, since new. After new skylights, tires, brakes, and an interior redo, it'll be on the road for under $30,000.

So my next decision is which one do I sell, the 1996 34 footer, or the 2001, 30 footer?

Larry
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:58 PM   #83
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So my next decision is which one do I sell, the 1996 34 footer, or the 2001, 30 footer?

Larry
Oh Larry just keep them all and get a "Fleet Discount" on your insurance.....
Sorry could not resist.....lol

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Old 12-08-2014, 07:35 AM   #84
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Oh Larry just keep them all and get a "Fleet Discount" on your insurance.....
Sorry could not resist.....lol

Cheers
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Ah yes, and that brings up another subject........insurance. I just went to war with "Good Sam" regarding that, after getting a rate increase of more than 75% over the past two years, I finally wised up and went to Allstate.....

I'm trying to convince my wife that we should completed customize the 34, and go full time, but it seems to be an up hill fight....life is good...

Larry C
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