My life and travels in bullet points

Posts tagged “installation

24 Hours Isn’t Enough Time In A Day

It’s really hard to update my blog as often as I’d like to with so much going on.

Just an overview of what’s been going on the past couple of weeks:

I finished the trailer: added all the tie down points, wheel chock (holds the motorcycle wheel) and new tires. I found a 55 gallon drum on Craigslist for $25; it smells like fruit punch, even full of veggie oil. Matt and I installed the filters on the wall of the trailer; they filter the oil from the drum before it goes into the RV. Tara found some old “storage bags” that were originally made for car trunks. I hung those and they work great for holding filters and misc odds and ends. Matt and I also hung the bicycles in the trailer but I’m hoping to find a spare tire bike rike to go on the back of the RV so I don’t smack my head on the bikes getting in and out of the trailer. Here’s a half way finished photo:

I’ve made 3-4 trips to the storage unit (we got a 5×10 unit to store important keepsakes and few other items, like our dining room table, my homebrewing equipment, etc) and spent days upon days packing, getting ready for the estate sale. The estate sale went really well, minus the bunghole that stole our router. Now we just have a couple things left to sell on Craigslist and some boxes of smaller stuff to donate.

I also found an awesome home for my dog, Bear. My mom is an animal lover so I know he will be well cared for (and spoiled rotten!). By now I’m sure he already has his first leather recliner. Thanks, Mom! ;)

I had a big get-together with all my work buddies to finish off the last of the homebrew. Out of everyone that came, only one person was still employed. I had fun conversating with everybody. I’m really going to miss their friendships. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep in touch.

Most of my time was still spent working on Benny and the veggie oil conversion with Matt Janssen. But that’s a post unto itself. I’ll try to write out the details and post photos within the next week.

Same-ies

Greasers

Not only is Matt a talented mechanic, he’s such a cool and inspirational person to be around. He enjoys a lot of the same things I do and we have a lot in common. I can’t wait to travel and run into them again.

This week I’m taking care of a couple odds and ends before we head out of town, including a day wasted at the DMV turning in the truck plates (it’s going to be parked at my dad’s house), filtering more oil, and some small errands.

I’m hoping to be ready to go and on the road by Wednesday or Thursday, so I can finally relax and breath.


Solar Panel Installation!!

Yessssss! Tuesday this week we finally received our solar panels in the mail (I’m so excited).

yes!

I got my kit from Alter Systems. It includes:

  • 2- 80 watt Sharp solar panels
  • 8 mounting brackets
  • 30ft of #10 wire
  • 2- 6ft #10 wires
  • 2 wire connectors
  • Morning Star charge controller
  • 600 watt Samlex inverter

So I figured I would get a jump on the install first thing Wednesday morning.I had to run to the Depot and Checker for some odds and ends not included in the kit (30ft of #6 wire, misc wire ends, 30ft of split flex tubing, electrical box, 100amp inline fuse, and grommets.)

misc peices

I hooked the wires and connectors to the solar panels, and put the mounting brackets on them.

attaching wires to panels

I mounted the panels on the roof of the RV in a location where they wouldn’t be shaded by the air conditioner or any other vents. I also mounted an electrical box to put the connections in to protect them from the elements. Any place I pierced a hole in the roof ( screwing down panels and drilling holes) I sealed them with Dicor sealant.

solar panels!

electrical box with connectors

Then drilled a 1/2 inch hole directly above an existing support tube, and fed the wires from the panels to the charge controller, which I mounted under the sink, that way it would be close to the batteries and easily accessible but out of the way.

1/2 inch hole in roof to feed wires into

support tubing holding wires

charge controller

I took some of the #6 wire and ran that from the charge controller to the batteries. BAM!! Now we have free energy. :)

battery bank - 2 for engine, 2 for solar array

Now for the fun part: hooking up the inverter. I mounted the inverter in an outside compartment on the RV and drilled a 2in hole into the compartment to feed the wires from the batteries to the inverter. If you can see to the right of the inverter on a block of wood I mounted the blue 100amp inline fuse. And the black wire plugged into the left of the inverter is the shore power cord, which runs to the a/c breaker panel inside.

inverter with inline 100amp fuse

The only thing left to do is get a breaker, and mount it above the other two, which will be the on/off switch for the RV’s automatic battery charger. The reason for the breaker is so that the inverter doesn’t charge the batteries when the panels are charging them (not good). Now I have to wait till Monday to see if one of the RV stores have the breaker, because the depot doesn’t carry 30 year old breakers.

ac breaker panel

Oh and thanks Dad for coming over and giving me a hand. :)