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Old 09-01-2013, 06:20 PM   #881
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Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post
It's like living in a resort! Really sweet! Do you rent weekly? :-D
Sometimes I think I'd swap a trailer spot for someone who would keep the pool clean. ;0)

Last fall I bought a bunch of solar cells just to goof off and build panels when the weather is too bad to be outside. Well, this weekend it's was too hot to be anywhere that wasn't air conditioned. I had already built a 60w panel and today I finished a 120w and ordered a mppt controller.

Kinda tough to take a photo of a panel, all ya see is the reflections of the trees.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:26 AM   #882
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Vernon,

I may have missed it, but did you coat the aluminum interior with anything? Glisten? Diamond Coat?
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #883
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Vernon,

I may have missed it, but did you coat the aluminum interior with anything? Glisten? Diamond Coat?
My interior is bare but I will be testing some of those in the next few months. Glisten looks good on paper if i precut the new panels and spray before installing.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:54 PM   #884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
Sometimes I think I'd swap a trailer spot for someone who would keep the pool clean. ;0)

Last fall I bought a bunch of solar cells just to goof off and build panels when the weather is too bad to be outside. Well, this weekend it's was too hot to be anywhere that wasn't air conditioned. I had already built a 60w panel and today I finished a 120w and ordered a mppt controller.

Kinda tough to take a photo of a panel, all ya see is the reflections of the trees.
Since I love building stuff, anything and everything, and I plan to install solar, I must ask-- details? Any good walkthroughs or DIY guides online that you recommend. I just started googling and found a few, but nothing straightforward. This sounds like a fun project. Is it more cost effective than buying new panels? I have very low power demands in my trailer with LED everything, no A/C or electric appliances, etc. It would be wonderful to never have to plug it in at home, and now that the rest of the trailer is getting finished up, I could actually focus on this.
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:51 PM   #885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
Since I love building stuff, anything and everything, and I plan to install solar, I must ask-- details? Any good walkthroughs or DIY guides online that you recommend. I just started googling and found a few, but nothing straightforward. This sounds like a fun project. Is it more cost effective than buying new panels? I have very low power demands in my trailer with LED everything, no A/C or electric appliances, etc. It would be wonderful to never have to plug it in at home, and now that the rest of the trailer is getting finished up, I could actually focus on this.
Peter,
Like you, I decided to do this mainly for the fun of doing it. The basic cells came in an un-tabbed kit from Everbright Solar via Amazon - $116.90 + free shipping for 180 watts. I bought EVA film from Ebay and 1/8 tempered glass locally. Soldering the tabs on the cells is shown a zillion times on youtube. the rest of the assembly is very well documented on -

Making decent solar panels part 1

This is a 3 part series on sealing the cells. I made my oven from 3/4" aluminum covered foam insulation and for a heating source I used 2 110V ceramic cube heaters. A shop vac worked pretty will to pull out the air bubbles. I have a few but they are all sealed inside so the cells aren't exposed to humidity. The metal frames are scrounged, one of them is from a shower door, the other is made from cabinet door track sections.

I built a 60 watt and a 120 (double 60) watt. The 60W has an open circuit of about 18V, the 120 is configurable for parallel (18V) OR series (36V) of the cells.
I havent kept up with cost but I'm guessing the panels have cost me about $1.15/W delivered. Including batteries and nice controller bumps it up to +-$3/watt

My controller is backordered, giving me more time to decide where to mount the cells. I'm giving serious consideration to leaving them portable or perhaps a release-able mount on top of the truck bed shell. I'll probably cave and stick the big one on top of the '63 Overlander...
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:21 PM   #886
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What an excellent link there on making solar panels. That is indeed a very cheap price for the panel itself, as the best price/quality balance I have found is $2.40/W without controller (I already have 2 gauge cables going to the roof and ample battery capacity). Since I have enormous difficulty understanding the value of my own time, I will probably be going this route.

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:11 PM   #887
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I had a PM asking about the street side bed and its ability to 'slide' across the gap and essentially turn the bedroom into 1 super sized bed. Here is the only photo I could find, the small circles are the ends of the wooden slides. The wooden top just slid over and propped on the opposite side for support. I think I've seen those slides for sale at ODM or VTS.

Hope that helps Beverly!
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #888
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I've been rereading this thread and was wondering about your reskinning of the interior with the 3003 series aluminum you used. Any specific reason you went with that type of aluminum? My local supplier would have to order that but they do have 5052 in stock for $52 for .025 4x12 which sounds reasonable. I see the 3003 is softer and thought maybe that's your reason.
Your trailer is so nice,has to be a great sense of accomplishment and great job posting all your work.

Thanks
Mike
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:39 PM   #889
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I've been rereading this thread and was wondering about your reskinning of the interior with the 3003 series aluminum you used. Any specific reason you went with that type of aluminum? My local supplier would have to order that but they do have 5052 in stock for $52 for .025 4x12 which sounds reasonable. I see the 3003 is softer and thought maybe that's your reason.
Your trailer is so nice,has to be a great sense of accomplishment and great job posting all your work.

Thanks
Mike
Mike,
My 3003 selection was very scientific...thats the only alloy that my local supplier carried at that time.

I will say that the .025 is pretty easy to ding, I have a few places where i tapped it while installing walls and such, it does leave a dimple. The .032 I'm using now is noticably stronger. From my limited expertise, 5052 would be a bit stiffer alloy and lots of folks use it for belly pans.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:44 PM   #890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post
What an excellent link there on making solar panels. That is indeed a very cheap price for the panel itself, as the best price/quality balance I have found is $2.40/W without controller (I already have 2 gauge cables going to the roof and ample battery capacity). Since I have enormous difficulty understanding the value of my own time, I will probably be going this route.

Thanks!
My controller is due to arrive today, the Trimetric will be here early next week. I believe my plan is to mount the 60W panel on the roof of Dolly and use an external plug with extra cable to attach the stand mounted 120W panel. That's the plan as of now...
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:08 AM   #891
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$400 of stuff and the install only lasted a few hours. What a let-down.

Dolly is charged - The Solar controller is in the closet so I don't have to look at the blinkin' light at night, the Trimetric is flush mounted on the AVI panel.

I've elected to use a higher voltage setup, 36V OC, to see how the mppt controller works. The side benefit is the wiring from the panels to the controller can be reduced in gauge.

Reports forthcoming!
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:29 PM   #892
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I rounded out my solar package, adding some golf cart batteries. I also finally added the 12v power ports above the mini shelves.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:08 PM   #893
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Beautiful work as always Vernon.
Is that the west marine distribution panel?
tim
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #894
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Vernon,
I agree with Tim, your workmanship is excellent, as always! I also have a few questions.
1. Did you add three 12 volt batteries for your 36 volt system?
2. Where did you put them?
3. How are you converting the 36 VDC down to 12 VDC? I imagine that someone makes a pulse width modulator system that will efficiently put our a regulated 12 V very efficiently, but I've never looked into it.

Regards,

Steve
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:48 PM   #895
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Quote:
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Vernon,
I agree with Tim, your workmanship is excellent, as always! I also have a few questions.
1. Did you add three 12 volt batteries for your 36 volt system?
2. Where did you put them?
3. How are you converting the 36 VDC down to 12 VDC? I imagine that someone makes a pulse width modulator system that will efficiently put our a regulated 12 V very efficiently, but I've never looked into it.

Regards,

Steve
Steve,
My system is 12V, the solar panels output 36V and the charge controller does some magic by picking the best voltage/current load combo and then converting it to the 3 charge stages. It's all black magic to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunner View Post
Beautiful work as always Vernon.
Is that the west marine distribution panel?
tim
Ya know, I think I got that from McMaster Carr. Dang those things are crazy expensive!
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:23 PM   #896
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We were supposed to go camping today but Mother Nature instructed us to stay home by sending rain all day. I decided to finish up some reading lamps that hang under the little shelf over the bed.

I've got some LED's on order.

Hopefully the rain will stop tonight and we can try out the new lamps.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:07 PM   #897
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Those are some serious woodworking skills! Best looking lights I've seen yet!
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:19 PM   #898
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Hey,

I ran across some original paperwork on your cool propane light the other day. It was called "a thousand eye globe". And it was $1.90

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Old 10-31-2013, 08:21 PM   #899
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There was this too...
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:29 PM   #900
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Those lamps ARE mine! That is soo cool.


Dolly went camping this weekend, solar power and all at Rocky Springs on the Natchez Trace. Saturday morning and the 2 golf cart batteries were down to 88%, the big panel peaked at 80W charging them with the really low sun angle. I'm likin' the portable option, camper in the shade, panels in the sun!

Nuttin is better than cookin on a griddle. Bacon, toast and eggs smell awesome!

The leaves are just starting to change and the Snow Birds are arriving a few weeks later than normal
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