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Old 10-31-2020, 09:42 AM   #1
20 year member!

1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Marina Del Rey , California
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 24
Hello (again!) I'm back with my 90 345LE

Quick note to all to say hello (again!). I was the 2nd owner of a super clean low mileage 1990 345LE, that I put *a lot* of time and money into when I owned it back in 1998 through 2003. I got married and sold it to buy a Prevost. Which I always regretted. I just discovered that this exact coach was for sale by the SAME guy I sold it to. He has really looked after it, only did 18,000 miles in 18 years. So without a single question or regret I bought it back! Now she's a keeper for good. So, I can still say I am still the 2nd (and the 4th) owner! I am about to embark on a complete and detailed refurbish of the coach. I had all the core mechanical/chassis components repaired/replaced in Austin at Motivated RV before I drove it back to Los Angeles last week. It drives GREAT. I'll be active in this forum as I go through the restoration over the next few months. Warmest regards to all, and I'm very happy to be back in the Airstream coach family again.
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:10 AM   #2
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1994 30' Excella
1992 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 4,725
Images: 51
Welcome back, Will!
And the amazing part of this story is that I inspected it for a potential buyer when it was listed in Austin. I quickly realize it to be one of the nicest and most original coaches, I have ever seen and urged the buyer to move on it fast. He put the deposit down and then backed out that same evening for unknown reasons.

After forums member SebasSF saw my post

he quickly alerted Will about it.
Great story, great ending, looking forward to your continuous restorations and lots of pictures, Will!
1994 30' Excella Front Kitchen Trailer
1990 25' Excella Travel trailer

1992 350LE Classic Touring Coach
AIR #13
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:12 AM   #3
Rivet Master
dadstoy's Avatar

1982 28' Airstream 280
Redwood City , California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,010
Congrats! Welcome back.
"A nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished" -
Amanda Gorman
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Old 10-31-2020, 11:08 AM   #4
20 year member!

1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Marina Del Rey , California
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 24
And this was 20 years ago!

I had a little Suzuki 'jeep' back then, I'm planning on getting a 79/80 Jeep CJ5 to tow this time! And of course my son aged 6 (now 27!)
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Old 10-31-2020, 11:10 AM   #5
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Churubusco , Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,963
Congrats and welcome, looks nice!
1983 Airstream 310 Class A Motorhome
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:09 PM   #6
20 year member!

1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Marina Del Rey , California
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 24
Generator replacement -> is lithium tech ready for this yet?

So, I'm just about to dive into the necessary replacement of the now unreliable 30 year old Onan Emerald 3 6.5k generator in my 1990 345LE . The challenge is that the bay/compartment for this is only 24.5" length, and the new Onan 6.5k QG is 34" long, so the install will involve a lot of adjusting and fabrication. Possible indeed. Just takes time and money to fit it in.

But, I've been thinking about a completely different option, which might be viable now, and I'd love the Airstream community's thoughts on this...

So, market forces related to electric vehicles are bring the costs of lithium batteries down and efficiency up. For instance I bought a group 27 'deep cycle' lithium battery for close to $1300 3 years ago from Nex Gen, and now the same equivalent is $875. And it's fair to assume this trend will continue. Expect costs to halve again and to halve again over the next 5 years.

So what I have started to explore is whether a large lithium battery bank plus a high capacity inverter charger is viable now to run ALL my energy needs. I could install today 2400 amp hours of lithium batteries with 1000w of solar to charge it (I would use the now un-used generator bay to fit extra batteries, and use a couple of other internal spots (ie under the sofa) to add the rest - noting that the new generation of Battle Born or similar batteries can be safely mounted in any position, and have no maintenance, and last 10-12 years.

So the big questions would be how to charge this sizable battery bank without a gennie, in addition to the solar? And how would I deal with the AC?

Well there is a massive power gas engine available (grin) so I could beef up the stock alternator to say a 255 amp or more and beef up all the DC wiring from that to the battery bank, so I could run the chassis engine and charge at idle while parked. And of course I could plug in to shore power whenever that's an option.

If I think about how the coach is currently wired, I would replace as many things as possible that currently need 120v with 12v equivalents - all the lighting, replace the refrigerator with a 12v/propane option, obviously keep the inverter to run the microwave and the tv/theater system and the wife's hair curlers (!)

But the big energy hogs are the original stock AC units. These wouldn't run even on this big system longer than a few hours. But there are 12v AC roof top options such as these and there are other domestic 12v AC systems for off grid living. Another option I have thinking about is installing something like this for the main AC - uses about 900w to run - - the outside unit could be mounted in the rear bay with careful airflow, and the inside unit mounted on the inside wall in the middle of the coach.

Or there are other new 120v much more efficient RV AC units available now, such as this

Anyone else here thought this through?

Best to all, and glad to be back!

Will Henshall
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Old 11-02-2020, 08:48 AM   #7
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1989 33' Land Yacht
Chattanooga , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,043
Images: 56
Blog Entries: 1
Welcome home! Sometimes we need to see what is on the other side of the fence to realize we had all we needed already. Glad to have you back in the fold!
Kathy, Tommy, & Crew, Chattanooga, TN
Air #2757
1989 SquareStream (Annie #8)
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:19 AM   #8
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 713
Images: 4
Welcome back!

We are the 3rd and 5th owners of our 1982 310. Nice to be back!
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