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Old 05-07-2015, 11:46 AM   #393
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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So is there a layer of plastic over the solar panels? I can see what looks like ripples in a plastic layer. Also I am worried that since there is no air gap between the panels and the trailer skin that the trailer will heat up really fast in the sun. Those almost black panels will absorb a lot of heat. Are the individual elements also flexible or just the interface between them?

Perry

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Originally Posted by timzog View Post
Renogy 100 watt flexible solar panel install.
I purchased 2 of these panels for about $210 each.
Attachment 233550
To install on the roof, I cleaned the roof surface with acetone, applied VHB tape at all the comers and trempro along the entire perimeter.
Attachment 233551
I peeled off the tape cover and carefully stick it in place on the roof.
I used a j roller to stick down the tape and gently pushed around the perimeter to stick the trempro sealant and then put everything in the garage on there to hold it down.
Attachment 233552
I attached the wires with a Y coupling that used the original MC4 connector. I cut off the end and attached a ring fitting and sealed with heat shrink.
Attachment 233553
These were connected to the 5/16 Blue Sea pass throughs and tightened after application of antioxidant pasta and then connected to the panels.
Attachment 233554
I am not happy with the cable management and seriously considered cutting the panel cables to the right length but that would void the warranty.
Cleared off some snow today and got 1.18 amps at 4:30 PM on an overcast day.
Attachment 233555
Attachment 233556
Can't wait for a sunny day.


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Old 05-07-2015, 01:14 PM   #394
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1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
So is there a layer of plastic over the solar panels? I can see what looks like ripples in a plastic layer. Also I am worried that since there is no air gap between the panels and the trailer skin that the trailer will heat up really fast in the sun. Those almost black panels will absorb a lot of heat. Are the individual elements also flexible or just the interface between them?

Perry

There was a protective layer on when I installed them but i took it off.
So far so good on the heat. The bulk of the heat transfer to the inside comes through the ribs so I am not sure if it is any worse. So far it does an OK job of staying cool in the sun.


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Old 05-08-2015, 01:00 AM   #395
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
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Had plastic on my Renogy flexible panels as well. From the looks of the installed panels in your last photo, looks like yours does too. They should peel off pretty easy from the corners. Easy fix!
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:15 AM   #396
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Ogden , Utah
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3 years of work well worth it.

I'll post more renovation pics later since I've done a lot in the last month without posting much. I finally updated my account so I could add more pictures. Long story short, we got everything working and went to Goblin Valley and Arches this weekend. Here is our campsite in Arches.
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We got quite a bit of rain, but we fired up the Newport Dickinson fireplace and relaxed in comfort. Everything else worked perfectly (except the hot water heater, which is my next project Our batteries were never below 90% thanks to the solar panels. The 2015 Pilot with an Eaz Lift hitch and one friction sway control did a great job even with high winds and big rigs on the way home. I found it actually got better mileage (14-15mpg) when I kept it at 3500 RPM and locked it in D3. When I let the car pick the gear, it was more like 12 mpg. The P3 brake controller worked incredibly well. It was so much better than our old Hayes equalizer.
We slept 5 comfortably with a new addition of a new side dinette bed and the pancakes were perfect!!
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More later
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:23 PM   #397
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Ogden , Utah
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Exterior door

The door wasn't closing right and it was still covered with the ugly fiberglass stuff. I drilled some 3/4" holes in the interior skin to access the hinge bolts. It was a bit tricky to get a socket on the nuts, but I finally got them out and took the door off. I built a template of the door frame and mounted it on some saw horses. I drilled out all of the interior skin rivets and then cut some new sheet for the interior. I insulated the door with 2 layers of reflectix with an air gap and then installed the new sheet with the door clamped in the template to get the bend just right. I installed the lock with just a few holes in the interior skin.

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Old 07-01-2015, 12:20 PM   #398
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1964 17' Bambi II
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Nice work!
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:10 AM   #399
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
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And he makes it looks easy... ...thanks for posting!

Fine stabilizer system there set up while camping! On the bumper could you use round pipe or a box beam and make that the BW tank hose storage?

Curious how you finally affixed the license plate...
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:16 AM   #400
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1980 20' Caravelle
Ogden , Utah
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If I don't show it on Airforums, it didn't happen:)

So I've been slow making progress, but even slower sharing it on the site.
I'll start with the deadbolt installation.
I was totally dissatisfied with the existing door lock for travel since I did not want to have my door fly open and smash into the side of the trailer at 60 mph.
I bought the Valterra deadbolt sold at VTS which has a rod welded on to the end of the deadbolt. This allows for a much smaller hole in the relatively thin door frame. I chose to install it in the body of the trailer instead of the door since it is a more convenient location and won't cause problems with the screen door.
I cut a square hole on the inside and fortified the location with 4 pieces of U channel I made on my Harbor Freight metal brake all installed 90 to each other in a square. I attached the deadbolt piece with screws to a piece of U channel and all 4 U channel pieces were riveted to the exterior and interior skin making a strong box. The deadbolt can be removed from the inside by removing the two screws but it is not easy to get in and out. There is just one hole in the door frame and I didn't end up feeling like it needed any reinforcement. It works great and keeps the door locked.
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The inside hole is finished with a 1/16" square plate with rounded corners. I realized that I don't have a picture, but I'll add one later.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:33 AM   #401
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Lexington , Minnesota
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You are wise about location of deadbolt. Chris accidently installed ours on the door and we can't lock it from the inside because of the screen door interference. OOPS! He's still trying to figure out how to redo it 2 years later. I think we'll just have to bite the bullet and redo it correctly where you located yours. We were going to redo the door skins anyways....

Kay
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #402
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Ogden , Utah
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Rear stabilizers

So I did this last spring, but am just getting around to posting

I made a rear stabilizer system modeled after the Valterra system RV Stabilizer, 14"-28" Universal, Boxed - Valterra.com | Valterra.com

I think this is simpler. I installed a mounting point on each side of the main frame with some 3/8" stainless bolts, lock washers, nuts, and a big washer to get the fender washers about 1/2" away from the frame. This gave a nice handle for an angled piece of 1" square tube to dig into. I bought 1" and 3/4" square tube with holes in it and that provides an adjustable length leg that can be secured with simple pin hardware from the big blue or orange store. I bolted on feet made from 1 1/2" aluminum angle and drilled a hole big enough for an S hook on a regular old cam strap. In a minute or so, I can grab the two pieces from the back of the car, put them in place, tighten the strap and the trailer is very stable. My front stabilizers are the original ones, but the back ones were in really bad shape and I didn't like where they were mounted. Anyway, here are some pics that hopefully show what I did.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:39 PM   #403
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Table and bench

I wanted a table and bench that could move forward and aft depending on what we wanted. So I mounted two cherry support runners, one at bench height and one at table height. I set up a jig on the drill press that allowed me to drill holes every 6" and that let me make a series of holes 6" apart on each rail. The hole was big enough for a 1/4"bolt. On the back of the runner, I drilled holes big enough for a T-nut that I hammered in from the back. The runners were mounted to the interior skin with 3/16" x 1/2" pop rivets. When possible, I attached them to the frame, but the skin attachment seemed really strong. The idea is that the table and bench will rest on top of the runners and can then be attached to the runner with the 1/4" bolts. The table can also be attached by the same method to the front of the bench to make a bed platform.
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The main supports of the bench were assembled with lap joints reinforced with some short carriage bolts. I had some figured maple for the vertical pieces, used poplar for the lower slats and cherry for the back slats. I attached the slats with pocket screws. I bought some pocket screw plugs in cherry to fill the holes in the cherry slats. After sanding and polyurethane, it came out pretty well. It has just enough clearance to slide over the lower bunk bed to make more hanging out room.

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The table was made with a piece of 1/2" oak veneer plywood. I rounded the edges and finished it with epoxy and polyurethane. The edges aren't very attractive, but they are OK. I used a 1x2" cherry apron for extra support and also to attach to the runners. Since I used the same jig to drill holes for the table apron as the runners, the table can move in 6" increments along the runner.
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The table leg attaches with the same screws and can be removed for storage or when the table is used for the bed.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:44 PM   #404
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image of interior deadbolt installation

Here is the interior picture of the deadbolt showing the latch and the plate that is pop riveted to the interior skin.
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Old 01-16-2016, 01:43 PM   #405
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Looks like a good lock solution. The old ones suck
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Old 01-22-2016, 11:55 AM   #406
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Ogden , Utah
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TruckFridge TF130 with Danfoss compressor

Just received my new fridge. The exterior box arrived in excellent shape with only minor nicks and cuts, but the internal box was not impacted at all. It is from Truckfridge. It is a TF130. It looks just like the CR130 from Isotherm (But is several hundred dollars less) and has a Danfoss compressor and low amp draw. Max is 6 amps. It has 4.2 cu ft total with a small freezer. They estimate 40 amps in 24 hours. I'm going to add extra insulation and try to maximize air flow to the compressor to see if I can reduce the daily load. I will also upgrade to 2 6V golf cart batteries and may add one more solar panel to get up to 300 watts of solar. I'm thinking about adding even more solar, but am not sure about that yet. It opens to the right and it is on the left side of my kitchen so I may switch it to open to the left. It would be easier to load and add a cold drink coming from outside the way it is, but would be easier to access from the kitchen if it opens on the left.
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