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Old 07-08-2020, 09:55 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2019 16' Sport
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 9
2019 Airstream Sport 16rb Upgrades

Hey Airstreamers,

I thought I'd share some upgrades completed on my 2019 Airstream Sport 16rb. Covid-19 has caused me to spend more time in the driveway with my Airstream!! I am extremely happy with my upgrades and thought I'd share some of the mods. I am especially happy with the solar & lighting mods. I hope this inspires DIYers out there.

Mods to date:
1.Convert Factory LG (22LJ4540) IPS TV to use 12v (22w) instead of AC – EASY
- Purchased UpBright New Car 19V DC Adapter Replacement for LG -Amazon -LG Adapter $12.99
- 12v Socket to tie into fuse box (distribution panel) and connect to LG adapter. Amazon Noco GC018 12-Volt Adapter Plug Socket With Eyelet Battery Terminals $6.95

2. Install usb-c plug in the front where the Stereo is installed – (Medium) Tools needed to drill hole and remove stereo and add a fuse.

3. Replace burned out RED LED marker light – (Medium)
- Amazon - 1 Airstream Red Tear Drop LED Marker Light 10-leds $18.95
- Heyco 2030 SB-375-4 Black SNAP Bushing (Package of 250) , You could reuse the one that was there if your careful.
- Heat shrink Butt Connectors – Kuject 120PCS Solder Seal Wire Connectors, Self-Solder Heat Shrink Butt Connector Waterproof Insulated Electrical Butt Splice Wire Terminals for Marin $12.95

4.Replace Crazy Office bright interior LED lighting.
- Used the Butt Connectors from above.
- Ordered replacements from led4rv.com - 315 Lumen 9 Warm White LED Rigid board sku2268 - $9.95/each. I replaced all of them – Amazing difference. (be careful with the heat gun, to not melt the plastic. Or use a regular butt connector.

5. Install Black A-Frame powered Jack (Medium). – Generally easy install. However because I moved the batteries to the back of the trailer I needed to run a fused power lead to the front. Amazon Bulldog 500187 Black A-Frame Jack with Powered Drive $203.00

6. Solar install – IT IS AWESOME!!! RUNS MICROWAVE , KEURIG COFFEE, and Fridge when driving on a sunny day.

Parts:
1 -Renology 100-Watt 12-V extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel. $169.99
2- Renogy 50 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel - Ultra Lightweight, Ultra Thin, Up to 248 Degree Arc, for RV, Boats, Roofs, Une $97.89
3 - Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel - Ultra Lightweight, Ultra Thin, Up to 248 Degree Arc, for RV, Boats, Roofs, Un $179.00
(Installed on the roof with industrial outdoor velcro (lots of it). So far hasn't moved in wind and rain! Velcro allows for water not to be trapped.

2 - Solar Panel Connectors 10AWG for MC4 to SAE Adapter PV Extension Cable Wire for RV Caravan Solar Panels Battery Charger kit with Two SAE to SAE Polarity Reverse Adapters (These, I used to reverse polarity so that I could keep the correct polarity and guage wire in the front compartment (water bin area) to connect to Charge controller.
3. amzdeal Wire Crimper Battery Cable Crimping Tool for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 AWG Cable Lug Crimper with Cable Cutter $29.09 (Needed for lots of crimping.
4. Bay Marine Supply Busbar – 4-Post 3/8" Power Distribution Block (250A Rating) – Pair of Red & Black Bus Bar (with Complimentary Electrical Grease) $25.99 (I used several throughout my design at different amperages.
5 - ACP1033 NEMA 5-20P plug to IEC C19 SJT 6 foot 20A 125V power cord with UL certification. NOTE: This is a NEMA 5-20 plug with a prong turned 90 degrees. It will only fit into a T-slot NEMA 5-15 outlet. (Used to connect to Samlex Innverter/Charger) , You can also buy the hardwired version though. $18.99
6- Victron SmartSolar MPPT Charge Controller - 100V - 30AMP [SCC110030210] $226.00
7 - Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor $206.00
7. Two Battleborn 100Ah 12V GC2 LifePO4 Deep Cycle Battery $1049/each
8. Samlex EVO-1212F 1200W Pure Sine Inverter/Charger $599.99 ( To fit this in the back , once you take the converter out you can cut the lower half of the distribution box off (Dremel), this give you room to install the inverter/charger.
9. Samlex EVO-RC-PLUS Remote Control $124.99
10. Marine Heavy Guage wire, 200A Fuse, miscellaneous connectors and switches about $200.00
11. Transfer Box so that the AC would not be powered by Solar but would work in conjunction with the Samlex.
12. Weber Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill (Converted to LPF) to work with Airstream – Hard – just buy the one already converted. It works great though.

Various install Pictures attached (Some when I was not fully installed yet, e.g. I have more panels up top).
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:19 AM   #2
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2018 16' Sport
Charlotte , Vermont
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 363
Images: 1
Wow, you've been busy. A lot of this is greek to me but I look forward to studying your upgrades more. Thanks for sharing!
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Kim
Charlotte, VT
2010 F-150, 5.4l, V8, 3.55; Bramble: 2018 Bambi Sport 16
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:44 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 16' Sport
Tacoma , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 64
Thanks for posting, rpm2019!
I'm going to do some of your upgrades to solve some things I don't like about our Sport 16RB - way-to-bright interior lights, run LG tv off 12V, and a few others.
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:58 PM   #4
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2016 16' Sport
Ottawa , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 1
Great mods, we are looking for softer lights

I am happy to see that the lights made a difference. I think that will be the next project. Thanks for sharing the information.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:05 PM   #5
hbf
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2018 16' Sport
Gilroy , California
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Thanks for sharing you're upgrades. I have a 2018 Bambi Sport 16 Rb that I was consider trading up, but have decided to keep and upgrade with solar. Any updates on how your solar installation is working out? Thanks...
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Old 01-18-2021, 07:48 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
2019 16' Sport
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbf View Post
Thanks for sharing you're upgrades. I have a 2018 Bambi Sport 16 Rb that I was consider trading up, but have decided to keep and upgrade with solar. Any updates on how your solar installation is working out? Thanks...
Thanks! The Solar upgrade worked out well last year. I love the fact that I can run the microwave when needed. The system charges fairly quickly during the day when I'm out fishing. For me, the two lithium batteries are just enough. I also liked having the batteries located in the back (shorter heavy gauge wire runs). This summer I will post more details on the installation.

The industrial velcro holding the solar panels to the roof held up on my 3000 mile trip to Yellowstone and back. Next summer I will add another small panel.

Full Disclosure, The solar upgrade took a lot of research and I spent a lot of time learning the details (e.g. from these forums). I also have an electrical engineering background. RV electrical grounding is very different. I would caution starting this work if your not electrically savvy. Always take all necessary safety pre-cautions and seek out a professional where needed.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:08 AM   #7
hbf
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2018 16' Sport
Gilroy , California
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 3
Appreciate the update and "full disclosure" as I do not have an electrical engineering background. I'm hoping to gather enough information from this forum to inform my selection of setup and to find a qualified installer, so I look forward to further updates. And your post has me reconsidering lithium as I was uncertain where I could install the batteries in my Bambi.
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:49 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
2021 16' Bambi
Shelburne , Vermont
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 7
rpm2019: thanks for posing the photos. I'm looking to do something very similar with a 2021 Bambi 16RB (expected any time now) with 3 BB Lithiums and a Victron charger/inverter 3000. It looks like there is enough space below the bed to fit everything.

Question: Did you have to do any additional wiring back to the front of the trailer? I've been wondering if there are any 12V buses or tie ins to the solar plugs on top or the trailer power plug. I know there's the main power switch under the dinette seat. Did you relocate that?

Thanks again for the photos!
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:43 PM   #9
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2019 16' Sport
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 9
I had to make several changes - My goal was not to run the heavy gauge wire from front to back hence the decision to move the BB batteries to the back. Also to fit the Samlex I cut out the bottom part of the distribution panel since you'll not need the charger anymore. The cover still stays intact (used a Dremel). Two BB (the upright ones) fit perfectly and seem to be enough for my coffees and weekend excursions. I put a main cut-off switch in the back near the distribution panel.I also re-used the front main cut-off switch to cut off solar since the wires from the roof solar box are in that area. Also added a AC sub-panel to the back (because I don't want the invertor powering the AC). It powers everything else when on. When it's on shore power it will power the AC. Please be careful not to confuse DC ground with AC neutral in the RV. There were many fuses I added etc. My RV is in storage but in a month or two I will take it out and take pictures.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:46 AM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
2021 16' Bambi
Shelburne , Vermont
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 7
I agree on the heavy gauge wire run. When you move the batteries back, do you just tie in the original 12V line (that went from the cutoff under the dinette bench to the original charger) to the batteries in the back?

I want to make sure I still have the solar and alternator charging going to the back of the batteries and assume that I can just wire that line from the batteries to the 12V bus that ties in those charging sources. Any issues with the wire gauge and losses from back to front.

Again, thanks for the help and will look forward for the pics.
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