We upfit it with 2600W of solar & a mini split AC unit!
When we started on our journey, we were traveling in our 2015 Peterson Industries Excel fifth wheel. Because the business started up SO quickly and unexpectedly, we were not fully prepared to run a business while traveling, so we found it very difficult to tow the fifth wheel and still have the need to store all of our tools and inventory in the bed of the truck. After several months of craziness, we decided to purchase a 1988 Airstream Excella – 34ft. We LOVED that Airstream, but just didn’t have the time needed to put into the renovation. We did upfit it with 2600 W of solar and a mini split AC unit!
The Airstream was enjoyable, but wanted something a little newer and a bit more space as the ’88 was a narrow body. We found a 2006 Airstream Classic with a Dinette Slide Out, which are pretty rare in general! We purchased it and traveled for a while. As some followers are aware, we didn’t have much extra time for ourselves, so we never even had the opportunity to put a system on this Airstream because we were doing everyone else’s.
The Airstreams taught us one big lesson: Downsizing Does Make Sense (yes, that’s from our friends Larry and Alice of Downsizing Makes Cents – be sure to check them out!).
As we still owned our 2015 Excel, which we kept in storage, we decided hey, we’re downsized and experienced enough now to run our business and life from a much more comfortable unit. In March of 2021, we moved back into the Excel, but we do still have our Airstream with a Slide Out because we do love it and want to travel in it for fun, not when we’re working.
Our system includes:
3540W of solar with 8 – 330W REC N Peak panels via Northern Arizona Wind & Sun and 9 – 100W Renogy Eclipse panels
2 – Victron MultiPlus Inverter Chargers
3 – 150/100 Victron MPPT’s
8 – 100Ah Battle Born Batteries
1 – BMV712 battery monitor
1 – Cerbo GX
1 – Touch 70 Screen
Mini Split AC unit with 2 heads and 1 compressor – after removing the RV ACs from the roof, so we could maximize the solar
What can we do with our system?
Well, we can live comfortable off-grid, run the ACs and other large loads….not at the same time. There’s a misconception about these systems being 50Amp service and that’s not the case. We still have to practice power management and obviously weather conditions are a big factor as well. We love having the freedom to not have to worry, especially if we’re staying in a park and lose shore power. These systems are so awesome, but it’s not for everyone.
Recently, while boondocking in CO, we were bringing in enough solar to charge our batteries, live as normal, and charge up our friends’ batteries while plugged into our rig and they also live like normal during the day.
*Unfinished product photo
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Are you ready to cut the cord and explore this beautiful country outside of busy RV parks?