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Old 03-22-2012, 02:15 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by mgm View Post
Thank You for the kind words.

This is my third tour, and things are winding down now. So hopefully your son won't have to spend much time, if any overseas.

I have made the best of things and am looking forward to coming home. I just turned 27 and am almost ready to hit my 9 year mark in the Army. The time goes fast!

Just dreaming about future trips and schemes....and its the Campers turn to have some money invested in it. So thats why I m going all out with the Solar this month.

The Harley got an allowance last month and my airplane kit will get money next month...I m single obviously and don't have anyone to tell me NO

None the less, it keeps me busy....and between thinking about my friends and family and dreaming up these crazy plans, the weeks are flying by, even with all the events that keep happening here.

Projects*&*Adventures********************** - Home
Oh to be 27 again. Youre a nut and I love it! Take care of yourself over there and come back to enjoy your toys!
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:59 AM   #62
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Well....after a busy few weeks. I finally sat down and ordered my new panels...I ordered the 120W and 80W expansions panels and was planning on ordering an additional 80W down the road.
To max out my Airstream- which already has the Factory 110W Go Power system- at 395W which will max my controller ( 25amp max or 395Watts)

So i placed the order and then get an email that Go Power has come out with not only a new controller ( 30amp max or 450Watts)

But also, a new 145W panel....and they will sell it to me at the same price as the 120W, and its the exact same dimensions....

So now I need to decide what I wanna do...if I want the larger panel and be happy with the gains and not max out my current controller with an additional panel...Or If I go ahead with the larger panel, and the other 80W panel and just spend the money on the new controller?

But then I start thinking about the larger controller, and If I spend an additional $112 dollars and get two 95Watt panels instead of the two 80Watt panels, and give them the green light on the 145W instead of the 120W....Then I would have a 445Watt system that in direct sunlight could pull in 25.9amps per hours based off the ratings.....
Big decisions lol

To recap....
My original Plan
110W Factory Panel 6.7amps
120W Panel 7.0amps $611.00
80W Panel 4.6amps $435.00 (2)
395Watts / 22.9 Amps $1481.00

new options
110W Factory Panel 6.7amps
145W Panel 8.2amps $611.00
80W Panel 4.6amps $435.00 (2)
New Regulator $123.00
415Watts /24.1 Amps $1604.00

or.....

110W Factory Panel 6.7amps
145W Panel 8.2amps $611.00
95W Panel 5.1amps $491.00 (2)
New Regulator $123.00
445Watts /25.9 amps $1716.00


any ideas or opinions?
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:30 AM   #63
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Thank you for your service to our country.
Jane
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:00 AM   #64
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I just started to dabble in solar this year and I decided to go small with a portable unit. As far as solar literature goes, this thing should be awful. The wiring is too small and too long, the charge controller is as far from the battery as can be, also not MPPT. But somehow I'm pulling in some great charging amps. Far more than I ever expected.

It's really nice to be able to park in the shade and keep your panel in the sun and properly tilted. It gives you some great flexibility. So my suggestion would be to save one of your panels from rooftop mounting and keep it handy as a portable option.

Personally, I think your first option without upgrading the charge controller is a lot of power. In my limited experience with solar, one night with liberal use of lights, TV and laptop dropped my batteries only 24 amp hours. Your system would have that made up in two hours and then they'd be unemployed for the rest of the day.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #65
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Yeah, I know It may be overkill for the panels when I am in direct sunlight, I should be able to recharge pretty quickly. But I live in Ohio and often camp throughout the East coast and am never in direct sunlight due to tree cover or clouds....So I guess I was hoping to compensate for my limited exposure, with more panels to be able to milk the sun as much as possible.

Still it may be overkill....Was prepared to for my original plan...but when they offerred the larger panel to me for the same price I started thinking...

and for a mere $112 extra he will change the 80W panels to the 95W ones, So its very tempting for me.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:07 PM   #66
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Is there such a thing as too much power? I don't think so.


I hope this means you are back home safely. I can not thank you enough for your service to our nation and your protection of us here by your risk there.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:33 PM   #67
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Well.....I decided to go big....

I am getting the Go Power Expansion 145W panel and plus two 95W expansion panels.... So that will put my system at a total of 445W and the ability to pull in 25.9 amps per hours...which should allow me to safely boondock anywhere

Now I just need to order the bigger regulator. But I should have a great system set up.... I will post some photos when i get home in late July and get everything installed.

Having a great week actually, All enrolled back into College for the fall and into the Nursing Program at Kent State University, as well as the flight program so I can finish my pilot's license.

That and I collect old boats and have been looking for a while to find one that I really wanted...and I finally did! So now with boat number 10 lol, I am done looking. They are all Lone Star Boats, and mostly from 1959....I finally found they're largest Cabin Cruiser for 59', and its in decent shape. Here is the stock photo

www.michaelsprojects.weebly.com
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:07 AM   #68
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Nice boat! Welcome home and thank you for your service. Glad you are ok.

Kay
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:03 AM   #69
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Ohio to California Trip Planned

Well,

I have alomst under 30 DAYS more before I get to get on a plane and fly out of Afghanistan and I am planning a long trip out west. Something I have wanted to do for the last few years, I have started another thread on the trip, but since I have posted all me dealings with my Camper on this thread I figured I shouldnt break form.

I have a pile of things that I need to install or put on the camper when I get home. I have never taken the Equalizer hitch that I purchased out of the box yet, so I will have to get it all set up.

I broke down and bought camping Mirrors for my truck, which should work out a lot better then the mirror extensions I have used in the past.



That and I have two new Solar Panels to add to my system which should put me at 350W and a possible charging of 20AMPs per hour in direct sunlight which should set me up well.

I broke down today and bought 25 Ceiling lights for the Camper for LED4V from Dan. They were on backorder but I am hoping they will be shipped before I get home. I went with the 12 lead LED in a warm white and hope to switch out the rest of the lights down the road.

I still need to purchase 2 Lifeline Batteries. After reading everything, 12V vs. 6V, I decided to go with the 12V, simply because I dont think I can justify all the AMP Hours and additional weight of the 6V batteries the way I camp. I am really only in my camper during the evening hours and unless the weather turns sour, I am always outside by the water or a fire. So I never burn through that much battery power and with my upgraded Solar system now, I should be able to break even on my use when the sun rises.

I wanna go with the Lifeline 31XT which are rated at 125AMP hours a piece which will give me 250AMPS which is a hundred more then what I currently have with my two generic deep cycle batteries. Cheapest I have found them is $377.00 with free shipping, going to wait a week or two and see if I can find them cheaper anywhere

Going to have the Factory install my the rest of my Solar Panels, I went back and amended my 2010 Tax return with the reciept from the Factory for thier install job, and I just recieved a $542 credit on the installation cost. So that should cover the cost them installing the panels, and going over my brakes, axles and wheel bearings prior to my long trip.

The last thing I really want to get is an Oven, i rarely use the Microwave oven because it was damaged in the flood and never seems to work properly and Its deadweight without shore power. So I think I will be better served by a straight propane over and range and have started searching for one.

Besides that, I think an extra set of sheets may come in handy.

Getting the camper all set has expensive as of late lol, but I m excited for my trip out west and I can at least rationalize these expenses when I m parked next to the ocean and hear the waves come in.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:15 AM   #70
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Trip Info

I should be home from Afghanistan around 12 August, so I wanted to give myself some time to relax and get everything ready.

The Factory is a three hour drive, but I have to go down that way to pick up a boat I bought ( as seen in the photo above ) near cincinatti, so I will take the Camper down and drop it off at the factory to have the new solar panels installed and then I will leave to go grab the boat and drag it home, and then turn and burn to go fetch the camper when its ready. Alot of driving, but I feel more comfortable letting the Factory install the panels, since they installed the original set up. That and I know if I try to do it myself, it will most likely end in me cursing. So I will leave it to the pro's

For the trip- I plan on leaving Kent, Ohio on Labor day weekend en route to the Grand Canyon.

So I will leave on or around 1 September and head west and arrive and relax at the Grand Canyon on the 4th
5- Begin Hike- South Rim to North Rim 23 miles Lodging Booked at Mather Campground in the South Rim
6- Hike-
7- Return from Hike
8- Relax- depart Grand Canyon and check out Havasu Falls- hike in and swim
9- Hoover Dam- Arrive at Vegas- Set Up Camper at Nellis Air Force Base
10- Pick up Lil sister
11- Depart Vegas- Arrive San Diego Camp Pendleton, San Onofre Beach
12- Surf and chill
13- Surf and chill
14- Depart San Diego- Destination Unkown- or stay We will just drive up the coast- may check out Malibu or just find a cool beach to camp at
15- Head towards Fresno- I may go and get the camper all set up at the Park prior to picking up a friend, the Airport is only like an hour away per mapquest
16- Explore the Sequoia and Kings National Park- General Sherman and Tunnel Tree and just soak it all in
17- Finish Sequoia and Kins and head to Yosemite- Crane Campground not far from Yosemite Valley,
18- Yosemite
19- Yosemite - Possible Half Dome Hike if I can talk in my lil sister
20- Depart Yosemite- Arrive San Francisco-
21- San Francisco Explore- Depart-
22- Napa Valley
23- Redwood
24- Redwood
25- friend and sister to the Airport and I start heading east towards home
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:49 AM   #71
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A few more purchases.....Today

Well, My day ended a little early today and I finished reading an Airstream Blog that I found to be very useful and actually ordered a few items today.
Riveted

With boon docking, I figured I could use some extra water. So I bought a Moeller water jug, and I will hang onto some of our water coolers here, to keep it somewhat cold in the back of my truck, in the event that I choose to use it as drinking water.


They also use some bamboo shelfs in their cabinets to help organize and seperate items. So I took them up on that as well. The cool thing they had found was this really cool wine holder that locks the bottles in and can be laid on its side, so after some ebay searching I found one cheap and it should come in handy after Napa Valley.

I may have a lead on an oven now and then I should be pretty well set to have my camper pretty well prepared for boondocking.

I am going to try and find a different shower head, since my little sister is flying out for a few days and she isnt skilled in taking short showers, I am making every effort I can to conserve water. Looking to find a shower head that only puts out around 2.5-3 gallons a minute.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:44 AM   #72
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Oxygenics hand held showerhead, it's the best! There was a thread about it just a few days ago.

For your sister (who probably has more hair than your average G.I.)
Get a small plastic bucket (or WWII combat helmet). Fill bucket with hottish water. Use washcloth & soap to scrub off, dump water over hair if washing it - add shampoo and wash hair, scrape hair with hands to get as much soap & water out as possible. Rinse with Oxygenics.

Happy trails and be safe here and overseas. We sincerely thank you for your service.

Paula
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:35 PM   #73
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Well,

After doing some reading, it seems like the Oxygenics shower head is the way to go, so I pulled the trigger on that last night. My parents are going to tease me again for having all this stuff show up at their door. I got rid of my apartment before I left for Afghanistan, so all my purchases have been piling up since I have been gone. I think i have now taken up a large section in the Garage with all this stuff.

Thanks for the tip on the shower head
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:18 AM   #74
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Leaving Afghanistan and heading back to the States finally. I found a new stainless Amana oven to install in my camper. I often camp without power and the microwave hasn't seen much use. Going to let Jackson center do the change out when I get home. Not long now
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:19 AM   #75
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I have so enjoyed this thread and so very happy to hear you are on your way home. Thank you and thanks to all over there for your service to our great country. You may be single now, but with ALL those toys, you are bound to attract an eye or two:-) Welcome home!!!
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:43 AM   #76
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MGM - I live in Medina, OH and would like to talk to you about the Salvage Title issue - I'm considering exactly the same camper with hail damage. I'm having issues with insurance - would you kindly contact me?
Thanks,
Liz
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:32 PM   #77
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The Adventure Continues.....

Been a while since I have been on the site, but I figured I would post an update to the life of my camper. My salvaged 2007 25ft Safari has served me very well over the past 8 years. She has crossed the Rockies several times, and been next the Pacific Ocean as well as the Atlantic Ocean and everywhere in between. She has had many projects and has grown with me overtime. I just pulled the trigger on a 2014 30ft FB Bunk Flying Cloud. Long Story short, after some deliberation- I don't think that I will part with the Safari. I pulled the interior and installed a new floor in 2016 and have upgraded all that I can and the camper is still in great shape.

Excited to use the 30ft'r but the Safari is still the favorite
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