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Old 03-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #15
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2013 25' FB International
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I had the dealer install a 150 watt solar panel on the 25FB and we could add two 75 watt panels in the future. Solar panels are getting better specifications all the time, so do research independent of the dealer because he may wanting to unload older inventory.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:00 AM   #16
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Kirkland , Washington
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We are getting the rear corner bed model. We prefer this model to the FB one because it offers a seating area and large table. It should be perfect for us.
Good choice, we really like this floorplan. We looked at this when buying our first AS but went with the 19'. If we had bought this in the first place we probably wouldn't have had to upgrade size a year later.

Have you talked to Mark at Sutton RV? His knowledge and reputation is incredible, and you will possibly get a great deal.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:38 PM   #17
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Our dealer thought that the changes would be minor. He did mention that the 23' would be equipped with two HTDVs. That is not of interest to us as we don't want any TV. He also mentioned that prices would be increasing 2-4%.
Thanks for letting me know and I'm happy to think we might have beat a bit of a price increase. Hopefully there won't be any major changes that will make me wish that I would have waited a few weeks or a month or so for 2014.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:10 PM   #18
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Portland , Oregon
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Have you talked to Mark at Sutton RV? His knowledge and reputation is incredible, and you will possibly get a great deal.
I have not. I would prefer to buy from Airstream Adventures Northwest as it is local dealer in the Portland area and I can easily take the Airstream in for Service. If I cannot get a good deal locally I may turn to mark at Sutton RV.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:33 PM   #19
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
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I had the dealer install a 150 watt solar panel on the 25FB and we could add two 75 watt panels in the future. Solar panels are getting better specifications all the time, so do research independent of the dealer because he may wanting to unload older inventory.
Airstream Adventures Northwest installs Zamp Solar panels and controllers. Zamp makes kits from 60 to 450 watts as well as expansion kits. I may install a kit with two 75 or 100 watt panels, depending what will fit on the 23' Flying Cloud.

I have no idea if Zamp uses the latest technology but I do note that they offer much more flexibility than the factory installed solar. For 2013, as well as my current 23' Safari, the factory installed option is a single 53 watt panel. I had the factory install two 53 watt panels on my 2007 Safari, as a special order. I recently had the dealer replace the factory installed controller with a Zamp controller as the factory installed controller failed.

Also the factory installed solar controllers are installed on the power converter side of the battery disconnect switch whereas the dealer installed controllers are installed on the battery side of the switch. What this means is that the factory installed solar system will only charge the batteries if the battery disconnect switch is on. The dealer installed solar system will always charge the batteries regardless of the setting of the battery disconnect switch.

My dealer believes that Airstream will be switching to Zamp as a supplier of factory installed solar panels for 2014.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:07 PM   #20
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Also the factory installed solar controllers are installed on the power converter side of the battery disconnect switch whereas the dealer installed controllers are installed on the battery side of the switch. What this means is that the factory installed solar system will only charge the batteries if the battery disconnect switch is on. The dealer installed solar system will always charge the batteries regardless of the setting of the battery disconnect switch.
My 2007 23' Safari's charge controller was installed by the Airstream factory correctly and I was able to use my 2 factory installed solar panels to charge my AGM batteries while I had to put my Battery Disconnect Switch to the "Store" position to keep the trailer from draining my batteries during a period when my converter was failing. This was documented in post #12 of my "Battery at 45% even though connected to shore power" thread.

Also see the Electrical Schematic for the factory installed solar power system (from my 2007 Airstream Safari Manual).
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:17 PM   #21
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I have factory installed solar system as well. In the battery disconnect "store" position the solar panels will charge the batteries, but the batteries are isolated from the converter. This is a good thing as the solar controller does a good job of charging the batteries at the proper charge voltages, but the converter does not because it's charge voltage remains too high eventually damaging the batteries.

At least that's how I understand it.

doug k
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:38 PM   #22
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My 2007 23' Safari's charge controller was installed by the Airstream factory correctly and I was able to use my 2 factory installed solar panels to charge my AGM batteries while I had to put my Battery Disconnect Switch to the "Store" position to keep the trailer from draining my batteries during a period when my converter was failing. This was documented in post #12 of my "Battery at 45% even though connected to shore power" thread.

Also see the Electrical Schematic for the factory installed solar power system (from my 2007 Airstream Safari Manual).
I was only repeating what the technician at Airstream Northwest Adventures told me. He was referring to current Airstreams as the dealership was not in business in 2007.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:41 PM   #23
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I have factory installed solar system as well. In the battery disconnect "store" position the solar panels will charge the batteries, but the batteries are isolated from the converter. This is a good thing as the solar controller does a good job of charging the batteries at the proper charge voltages, but the converter does not because it's charge voltage remains too high eventually damaging the batteries.

At least that's how I understand it.

doug k
I was only repeating what the technician at Airstream Northwest Adventures told me. I have gotten good service there, but if his info was incorrect it causes me some concern.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:16 PM   #24
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Portland , Oregon
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We purchased a new 2013 Flying Cloud 23D today We are due to take delivery on Friday April 5th. We are having an Anderson Weight distributing hitch installed. We are also having the factory Atwood 88000 series coupler replaced with a Quickbite 7700XT. The Anderson hitch gets good reviews in the forum and we won't have to deal with the heavy spring bars of the Equalizer hitch any more. The Quickbite also gets good reviews by forum members and Anderson has stated that the Atwood 88000 series couplers are not compatible with their hitch.

We are also installing a DirecLink brake controller in our tow vehicle, a 2013 Lexus GX-460. We previously had the Prodigy P2 in a 2006 Toyota Sequoia SR5 and it performed well for us. We are hoping the DirecLink will stop smoother without causing any skidding of the Flying Cloud's tires.

We are having a Zamp solar single 150 watt panel installed and we are replacing the 2 way refrigerator with a 3 way model. We always felt that the factory installed solar (two 53 watt panels) on our 2007 23' Safari never performed as well as the 100 watt solar we had on our previous 2002 TrailManor. We hope the Zamp performs well. Of course we now live in the Pacific NW and will not get the solar intensity we did in the Vegas area.

Other options include two Fantastic fans, Fiamma bike rack, Lifeline AGM batteries, two MAXX AIR II Vent covers, 600 watt inverter, switch for the refrigerator fan (we may change out the fan for a quiet computer fan as I did on our previous Safari). As we never watch television in the Airstream we are having the Samsung 22" HDTV, wall mount and blu-ray payer removed. We are giving these items to the people who purchased our 2007 Safari. We will use a Bose SoundLink II blue tooth speaker to play music wirelessly from our iPhones and iPads.

We took many great trips with our previous Safari, including two 3 month trips to Alaska. We are looking forward to many more trips including a 6 month trip around the perimeter of the lower 48 as well as southern Canada in the next year or so.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:19 PM   #25
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In any case, Steve, glad to see your still staying with a 23' Airstream trailer!

Congratulations on your new purchase!

Best,

Bill
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:10 AM   #26
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In any case, Steve, glad to see your still staying with a 23' Airstream trailer!

Congratulations on your new purchase!

Best,

Bill
Yes, we think a 23' is the perfect size for two people.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:07 AM   #27
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Agreed! And in our case two people and two dogs!
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:49 AM   #28
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Congrats on the new trailer! Did you wind up having the frig and oven modifications done? And what Lifeline AGMs are in it - two Group 24s, or did you go 6-volt?

We've been very happy with using the Directlink controller with our Durango, not just for the braking smoothness but also the ease of mounting the unit control head on the dashboard.

Also agree with the electronics edit - as much as I think we'd sit and watch DVDs, we'd probably just watch our two iPads instead.

Tom
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