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Old 12-08-2015, 02:47 PM   #1
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Cumming , Georgia
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Solar panels

OK, I am really clueless here. We have a 2015 FC 28, 50 amp service with OEM factory 24 batteries. Will be taking unit to JC in spring for some warranty work and considering solar.

1. Besides panels, will I need different batteries, electronics?
2. Approximate cost for the basic system and install should I consider?
3. Might I be better off having system installed by a third party, i.e. RV World? I live in Atlanta, a Airstream wasteland.

Any suggestions?

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Old 12-08-2015, 02:59 PM   #2
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Airstream installs an unpowered and over-priced system. 3rd party is your best bet for value. How will you use your system?
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:08 PM   #3
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Their is a master RV tech on this forum who specializes in solar installations, I believe he's in Naples, Fl. which is only a day's drive from Georgia. His name is Lew Farber, his forum handle is Lewster. A Google search & a phone call might prove beneficial. Maybe if he sees your post he'll comment.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:17 PM   #4
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Yea, Lewster has been recommended by others. I'll give him a call.

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Old 12-08-2015, 04:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DeltaRon View Post
Yea, Lewster has been recommended by others. I'll give him a call.

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Old 12-08-2015, 04:46 PM   #6
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Depending on what you are looking to do with the system, DIY is also an option. There are many of us that have done it. And lived to talk about it!
Bill and Janice, We're lovin' it! (Airstreaming)


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Old 12-08-2015, 05:10 PM   #7
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You can purchase very low cost fold up panels and put them up at your site. The roof mounted are great unless you are parked in the shade.
Same power output. They fold up and are light weight. No install cost and you take them with you if you sell the unit.
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:12 PM   #8
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I agree you should not let Jackson Center or any other Airstream dealer do your solar. Take it to someone who specializes in RV solar systems such as Lew. I did my 600 watt installation myself, but I did lots of research beforehand and learned most what I now know about Airstream solar installation by reading Lew's posts and modeling my system accordingly.

Lew's your best source for a quality installation that's right-sized for your particular needs.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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Solar panels

I did both of ours myself. If you are not up for that, take it to Lewster. Do it right, do it once.
There is a place in Quartzsite Arizona that has done a great job on Airstreams, but that is a bit of a drive.

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Old 12-08-2015, 08:31 PM   #10
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To get up to speed on the world of Solar systems, I suggest the AM Solar primers:

AM Solar's Educational Pages for RV Solar Systems

AM Solar was the source for all the equipment we used on both the 2014 31' Classic (nine 100 watt GS-100 panels, Magnum MS-2812 converter and Tri-Star MPPT 60 solar charge controller) and a 2015 23D International Serenity (five 100 watt GS-100 panels, Magnum MSH-3012 hybrid converter and BlueSky 3024iL solar charge controller). The Classic's original four Lifeline model 6ct 6Vdc 300 amp-hour batteries that weighed 92 pounds each plus a stainless steel battery enclosure were recently replaced by one 12Vdc 600 amp-hour lithium iron phosphate battery at 168 pounds. The 23D received a 12Vdc 300 amp-hour lithium battery that weighed 84 pounds as compared to 97 pounds for the two stock Interstate batteries. AM Solar is now able to ship their lithium iron phosphate batteries via at least one motor truck freight company.

These two solar installations plus many other customizations were done by Paul Mayeux and his crew at A&P Vintage Trailer Works in Paradise, TX, which is just northwest of the DFW airport.
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2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Tuson TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:42 PM   #11
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I agree, if you are not up to DIY, Lewster is your man.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:42 PM   #12
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My DIY system included (4) 100 W panels, a solar controller and included a battery monitor, something I would recommend as essential. Using the existing solar pre-wiring made the job much easier and saved time and money. Total cost was less than $1500 as a guide.
Al, K6IV
2015 30' Classic, "Chez Nu"
2014 RAM 2500 w/Cummins Diesel
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