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Old 08-15-2011, 01:59 AM   #21
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Thecatsandi, that's an interesting theory about panels shading the roof. I wonder what affect they actually have on the roof temp... raise it or lower it ... hmm??

Robert Cross, you are right, I don't think you could get quality, durable, performing 200W panels and a comparable controller for under $1000 ... and I'm not contemplating the cost of AGMs needed to fully appreciate the 200W system when I tally.

Onemanclan, I hear you. Retirement > Solar Panels on Airstream. "Just say no"
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:41 AM   #22
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BTW, if you're just wanting to tinker and explore solar, my son bought a solar train kit for $10 on Amazon ... it was a fun project and very inexpensive.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!

A quote that I saw a long while ago still sticks in my mind..................." The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten"
I saw another post in another thread that said "buy nice, not twice"
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:00 AM   #24
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POI..

Read on news site this morning, governments around the world cutting subsidies. Wonder what the real cost might be?
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
$600-$800 range surely you jest!!!

I paid $350 for 30W of flexible power...just to keep things going on the pad.

Anyone want to volunteer what their 200W+...$$$$$

How much Sun will you have to suck before....never mind.

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Old 08-15-2011, 08:21 AM   #26
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Surely I have...

125w x 2= $1358.00 + $60.00 shipping

Not incl inst...even it your labor isn't worth anything.

Not something to cough at.

Solar RV kit 125 watt Solar Panel : WeGo Solar, Wind and Microhydro for Canada

68lb product?
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:47 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
Surely I have...

125w x 2= $1358.00 + $60.00 shipping

Not incl inst...even it your labor isn't worth anything.

Not something to cough at.

Solar RV kit 125 watt Solar Panel : WeGo Solar, Wind and Microhydro for Canada

68lb product?
Robert, you aren't making sense. I'm suggested a low cost solution, complain about the more expensive solutions, you say the more expensive posts are a "jest" and then quote something TWICE as expensive as them (and TEN times more than my suggestion)?!?
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:23 AM   #28
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One,

Sorry for the cornfussion.

My only point was.. if you want a quality proven product it's going to $$$$$.

Five years ago I got my 30w flexible panels and spent $300 and change for them.

That was & is as much as my rationalization would justify. They work well for keeping things charged at home in bright sun on the pad. Portable, can roll them up for storage.

I really had no interest in soaking the Sun while boon-docking, (the forest's we camp make it impractical), and the LPG 2000i running for an hour a day keeps things running just fine.

200w+ solar works great for those who feel they need it.

Bob
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:52 PM   #29
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I finally found the kind of solar panel that seems made for an AS. It's a flexible, self-adhesive 68 watt unit the is 15" wide and 112" long and only 2/10" thick. Peel and stick right onto the roof. deep blue color with a black border. I wired it in using the old power antenna wires and put the charge controller on the inside wall where the old antenna control was mounted. The wires were too small, but there were six of them so I ganged them into two units of three. Twenty year warranty. I have never been reconciled to framed units standing proud of the surface. It's less than $200 from: There is also a 134 watt unit that is about twice as long, but will just fit the longer 'streams.

Uni-Solar Solar Laminate PVL-Series 68 Watt
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:22 PM   #30
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Wow Those panels look cool but long. The 144W ones are 18' long but only 16" wide, and half the weight of usual 135W panels.

Looking at my roof, I think I could fit two 68W.. Am hoping to get as close to 300W as possible.

How is the adhesive? Do you think there would be a way to mechanically attach every few feet?
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:28 PM   #31
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Yes, they do have potential-12V! The adhesive is very strong. Better get right the first time! Don't see why you couldn't leave gaps if they weren't too long and didn't allow the panel to flex much.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:08 AM   #32
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I am new to my airstream but have many years experience with solar on my boat. I have (2) 50 watt panels and a simple 10 amp controller. I haven't plugged my 31' boat to shore power in over two years, I run my large chest frig 24/7 and any lighting, stereo, fans I need. This is FL sunshine with no shading issues and a couple days of rain/heavy clouds will start to drain my 180 AH battery bank. Cost was c. $500 for parts and shipping for quality Kyocera panels. On the Airstream I am thinking of a 50 watt panel mounted in place of the rock guard w/ a protective cover over, I'm thinking I could make it look almost original and given sunny weather it should keep up with lighting, stereo and fans.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:44 AM   #33
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Quality often is cheaper in the long run, but I can't always afford it. Our experience is that we wanted solar when we bought our Safari and the dealer installed an after market 96 w. system for around $1,000. It lasted little more than 3 years and wasn't installed properly either. The company went out of business and we were told their technology was way out of date when the dealer installed it.

Now we have a 200 AM Solar system. Is it cost effective? Maybe not. Does AM Solar have a good reputation? Yes. Does it give us lots of flexibility to use the trailer? Yes. Will there be a cheaper, better system down the road? Probably, almost certainly.

To get the most out of a solar system, you need AGM batteries and a better converter than the OEM one. That costs a lot too.

The idea of Airstreams has always been to provide a comfortable camping experience in all sorts of environments. Solar helps that goal be realized. It is not necessary just like a trailer isn't necessary. I'm still waiting for my flying car, but in the meantime I buy land-based vehicles to get around.

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Old 08-30-2011, 01:47 PM   #34
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Thats a nice alternative but the Watt/sq ft is less than rigid panels. I managed to get 260 W on top of my trailer with rigid panels.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:21 PM   #35
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How long can one expect your Lifeline batteries to last?
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:07 PM   #36
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Quote:
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How long can one expect your Lifeline batteries to last?
I was told 7-8 years.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:04 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
To get the most out of a solar system, you need AGM batteries and a better converter than the OEM one. That costs a lot too.
Gene
Not so sure that I agree that you need AGM batteries to get the "most" out of a solar system. AGM are nice, but I've had my deep cycle batteries for two years and I'm doing just fine. I think the difference is marginal - IMHO...
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Diva

Not so sure that I agree that you need AGM batteries to get the "most" out of a solar system. AGM are nice, but I've had my deep cycle batteries for two years and I'm doing just fine. I think the difference is marginal - IMHO...
Glad you are satisfied with your deep cycles but, I assure you, the difference isn't marginal.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:34 PM   #39
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solar

portable (or roof mounted) contact Zamp Solar out of Bend, Oregon. Steve at Zamp is SO helpful and they are have some really cool products including a new 120 watt portable panel.

NFI on my part...it is just a cool company with great panels and a wealth of solar info. Simple to use, too.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #40
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If anyone is still following this thread I have 520 watts of panels up top, and paid nowhere near the crazy prices people here are talking about. Have a look a sunelec.com great supplier great prices. They supplied both my off grid home and the trailer.
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