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Old 07-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
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2005 30' Safari
Bothell , Washington
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Solar Panels on 23 foot

We'd like to do more boondocking but need to figure out battery charging. Anyone install solar on their 23' or so flying cloud?

Suggestions ?

Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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No, but I've got two 150 watt (or maybe 160 watt) panels on the roof of my 23' Safari. I have never yet needed to use shore power or gennie since installation ... but of course, no A/C, etc. running from this system.

As to suggestions, I'd strongly suggest you contact AM Solar and/or Lewster on the Forums for advice, system design, etc.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Kooskia , Idaho
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I am putting two 100 watt Grape Solar panels on my 2014 20' FC. I got the panels from Costco.com for $160 each with shipping included. Prior to ordering them, I made a cardboard cutout to the panel size and figured out that they would fit, and where they would go. I have the entire system (wiring, MPPT controller etc.) done and the panels are the next and last step.

If you are not up on electrical things, and are concerned about how to DIY, I would consider a professional instal, or at least a pre made up kit from someone who knows Airsreams. Lewster comes to mind, of course.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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Thanks. I've been looking at the AM Solar site. I'll contact them on Monday!
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:06 PM   #5
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Tualatin , Oregon
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I can personally recommend the Zamp Solar systems...I have been using an 80 watt portable system. It is compact and very effective. I believe/heard thru the grapevine that Airstream is switching to Zamp for all their factory installs...might be worth a look...
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:18 AM   #6
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Campbellsville , Kentucky
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Have had excellent results from the 130-watt portable system I purchased from offthegridrvsolar.com.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:04 AM   #7
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2013 20' Flying Cloud
Cream Ridge , New Jersey
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I recently had a Zamp system installed at my A$ dealer 160 watts in two panels is what will fit on the roof of our 20' Flying Cloud. This system handles all the 12V electrical load in the trailer and keeps the batteries charged. I only ran the generator once for the air conditioner.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:36 AM   #8
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We use the factory-installed two 53 watt panels and glassmat batteries. Have used it for up to two weeks in cool weather with some overnight furnace use, works good. Never concerned about battery discharge between trips.

Solar is one of the most usable upgrades for Airstreams.

doug k
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:42 AM   #9
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Greensboro , North Carolina
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I just installed four 100W panels on my 28' Intl. Bought everything from AM Solar and they do a GREAT job in packaging and more importantly EXPLAINING exactly how to do the install. Really cool to see the batteries go into charge mode without plugging in or turning on my Honda generators. I managed to route all my wires behind stuff (main wire from roof into trailer went through vent...easy!). Good luck!
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:47 AM   #10
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2011 23' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
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Roof space on a 23 is tight. On our FC23FB I installed two 85 watt panels. One just forward of the AC cover and one just behind. I removed the unused TV antenna to install the rear panel. I have room for a third panel in front of the forward roof vent, but haven't found a need to increase output. We just spent three nights in a heavily shaded site at Sol Duc, Olympic NP, and did just fine even with a good bit of furnace use. Separation of multiple panels is a plus when the trailer is partially shaded in a camp site. My first panel is a Kyocera (discontinued) and the second is a Solartech SPM085P-TS 85 (purchased from Amazon), same size and specs. BlueSky MPPT controller.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:19 AM   #11
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Central , Connecticut
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JamuJoe, thanks for your post. We have one 95W panel on our 23' and were considering taking off the TV antenna to fit a second one. Glad to hear some one else did that.

Like you, we're finding that having a panel on the other side of the trailer would make a difference in a lot of the wooded sites we use.

Tom
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:03 PM   #12
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It's good to have a portable panel in case you get placed in a wooded site and your roof panel is obscured.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #13
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big horn , Wyoming
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We have (3) 100 watt panels on our 23' Flying Cloud. Got them from AM Solar and installed by Shorewood RV in Minneapolis. Very happy with results. Do not use TV, air conditioner, or microwave while boondocking. All panels are on roof, and we have done well under trees in Yellowstone Park in the fall with shorter, cooler days.

tjwyo
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:18 PM   #14
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2005 30' Safari
Bothell , Washington
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Tjwyo, how did you fit 3 panels on your 23'. I'm having a hard time seeing how 3 would fit.

Chuck
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