Jan 14 | Case Studies

Gray Ghost Restorations Installs Solar on Airstream Renovation

Gray Ghost Restorations chooses Samlex Solar for the slim, narrow panels and simplicity of the install

Gray Ghost Restorations is a custom Airstream builder in Vancouver, BC. James Thiessen and his wife first got into it after restoring one for themselves, and found that the vintage, iconic look, combined with the ability to customize the Airstream trailer to meet their customer’s needs, really struck home. Spending much of his career building custom residential homes in Whistler, BC, James’ attention to the design and construction ensures that each Airstream renovation is built to last, with the highest quality products.

Choosing components that match the clean, modern aesthetic of the Airstream is a key consideration for Gray Ghost Restorations. He wants his customers to enjoy all the comforts and luxuries of home while out on the road. James recommends installing a solar panel system so their customers can enjoy the freedom of exploring off-grid locations in their trailer, and aren’t limited to campsites with electrical hookups. Living on the west coast of British Columbia, James and his wife will drive down to California in their Airstream and camp on the beaches along the way. Having solar power allows them to hit the beach all day and come back knowing they’ve got power for their appliances and electronics, without the need for a generator.

Installing a solar panel system on an Airstream trailer is unique because the roof is curved and space is limited. James chooses the 100W SRV Solar Panel Charging Kits from Samlex because of the slim, narrow panel design. Each kit comes with top-quality aluminum mounting hardware that he can adjust to the curves of the roof. The SRV kit also includes the SCC-30AB Charge Controller which features a space-saving design that sits nearly flush with the interior walls of the Airstream. This allows their customers to monitor their solar power system, and regulate the charge of their batteries, with a small, clean display, rather than some of the larger charge controller options on the market.

The SRV Solar Panel Charging Kits come in 100 watts, 150 watts and 200 watt options, which come with easy-to-follow instructions and all the parts required, making for a seamless installation process for both professionals and DIYers. They can also be expanded with Samlex SSP Expansion Kits so that you can have up to 600 watts of power with one charge controller.

“The Solar Panel Kits are well thought out and well put together. Instructions are simple if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, and if you do it on a daily basis, everything just fits together and works”

Samlex Solar 30 Amp Charge ControllerSamlex Solar Panel kit aluminum hardware and connecting cables 
Gray Ghost Restorations trusts Samlex America products for their reliability and durability

Most of their customers are using their renovated Airstream trailers to go on vacation but there’s a growing number of people that are living in them full or part-time as alternative off-grid housing or using them as remote offices. With the widest offering of off-grid power systems on the market, Samlex has a solution for whatever the situation calls for. Supported by a network of national and regional distribution partners, technical support experts, and the best customer service in the industry, Gray Ghost Restorations counts on Samlex products to provide reliable off-grid power to their customers.

“Having solar power is truly a game changer. If you’re spending a day out at the beach and you come back to your trailer, it’s nice to have all the power you need to run your fridge, run your lights and all the goodies, without having to fire up your generator. It’s an awesome thing having silent power.”


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