Without the Airstream and YouTube DIY community, we would not have been able to complete this project. In that spirit, we would like to add to the body of knowledge with our twist on the solar install which we split between the tow vehicle and Airstream. ("Split" = Tow Vehicle and Airstream have have separate solar panels, batteries, chargers etc and are able to be connected to allow transfer of electricity from tow vehicle to airstream as needed).
1. Flexibility: Can leave Airstream parked in a less solar efficient space (shade) and move the tow vehicle to sunny spot
2. Easier to tilt panel on Tow Vehicle
3. Tow vehicle alternator is a secondary charge source. Every time you drive the battery recharges.
4. Can get away with only 4 panels on the 2018 airstream and use the Airstream prewired solar cable (lower gauge) and not have to run new (larger gauge) cable.
1. Cost: increased components: 2nd charge controller, dc to dc converter, cables, breakers.
2. Decrease in efficiency IF bulk transfer of energy from tow vehicle battery to Airstream battery via dc to dc converter (78% on 12 volt
systems if measured via watts)
3. Extra weight on the tow vehicle
Also included an idea for the Airstream Jack disconnect security switch. (Basically cuts the electricity to the jack when camping, so it can’t be accidentally or intentionally activated and ruin your stabilizers)
Links for Components discussed in the video
0 - Intro
3:02 - Tow Vehicle Install
10:24 - Outside Airstream Install
12:53 - Inside Airstream Install
26:00 - Transfer Switch Diagram
26:14 - Jack Disconnect Switch (mislabeled on the video)
AIRSTREAM PORTION OF THE INSTALL
-Four 100 watt Renogy Solar Panels. Wired: two in a series and two in a parallel.