A while ago, my sister Mariclair sent me a link to this manual for a Telescoping RV Tower. Rich, who together with M.C. runs O’Connell Solar – and designed our own RV’s solar energy system – had just spent three days at Southwest Windpower and thought it would be cool fodder for the blog. Cool indeed.
I looked into it further and discovered the tower is designed for using the Air X Marine small wind turbine with an RV.
Then when we were getting a tour of Tugboat Margot from my brother in law Tim back in Troy, NY, I noticed an Air X mounted on a boat docked nearby and filmed it in action.
While this particular tower mount wouldn’t work with our rig without some serious modification, seeing the wind generator do its job got me thinking…
The Air X seems like a great way to power a battery bank. This little green generator is small and lightweight at only 14 pounds, yet is rated for 400 watts in 28 mph winds. It will provide 38 kWh/month at just 12 mph. It is made of cast aluminum with three carbon fiber blades. And it is smart too! With a microprocessor-based smart internal regulator and electronic torque control, it is quiet and will shut down once the battery bank is charged or during high winds.
But the telescoping tower mount is what makes it great for RVers. You simply drive your rig onto the base, attach the Air X and extend it skyward. Unfortunately, the wheels on our Arctic Fox are positioned beneath the slide-out. With our awning on the other side, there is no convenient way for us to use this tower mount out of the box. The only other drawback of the tower is its size, weight, and cost, all of which are more than that of the turbine itself.
But I am bookmarking this one. If we ever become long term hosts or go seasonal somewhere without hookups, it is definitely something I would consider.
3 thoughts on “Power your RV with wind energy.”
Funny, but my wife and I used an Air X on this very tilt-up, telescoping tower mount for several years while camping on the Columbia River each summer with our girls. We had a couple of small solar panels and two 100AH AGM batteries and the Air X provided meaningful power in our boondocking spot. I came across your blog post when my wife asked me how we could sell the package. It’s hard to tell what it’s all worth, but the tilt-up tower doesn’t seem to be available anymore. If anyone’s interested, I have the telescoping tower pole; drive-on, tilt-up base; Air X generator in good condition, and ~10 gauge connecting wire. I also have a piece of 4″ PVC drain pipe with caps on each end that we used to transport the telescoping pole. We mounted that under the rear of the travel trailer with galvanized strapping and it was a great way to transport the pole around. This is definitely not for a weekend camper – it’s only really useful if you’re staying somewhere longer-term and have reliable winds, as we did in the Columbia Gorge.
Thanks for the feedback!
With the avent of the Air Breeze, looks like they are finally admitting that 400W is a unrealistic output for the turbine. They are now claiming 200W and with a month production of 20-30KWh at 10-12mph winds. Stand by to see if that is a realistic figure.