Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Search
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Open Roads Forum  >  Search the Forums

 > Your search for posts made by 'WarpedJester' found 10 matches.

Sort by:    Search within results:
  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

Great Job. I'm with you in wanting to do it RIGHT. We got a new trailer last year, and I've been working on it since. I'm sure part of the reason we got a new unit was because the old one was out of things to do. Doug i look forward to the day that there is nothing left to do on this rig.. that said.. i keep coming up with way too many new ideas =/
WarpedJester 01/06/21 08:35pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

Wires wires everywhere! Happy holidays everyone. This weekend was a long weekend and that was a good thing because I needed to take care of todo list items like oil change for the genny which is my lifeline until I get solar up and running as well as addressing a flat tire (always fun). We also had an opportunity to fix a cosmetic issue that was causing us mental anxiety and last but not least we dived into major rewiring this. So with that said, lets dive in On the cosmetic front: After altering the plans of the side cabinets to include a second cabinet door, the 5 gang light switch was no longer centered over the left cabinet door and that was going to drive me, and likely Dana, mad so that was going to need to get fixed. PSA: Changing plans in the middle of a project will never cause you issues of more work Dana dived in to that project. Pulling the cabinet doors back off she removing the 1/4 ply skin with no issues at all… snicker… I mean no issues other than every single brad nail pulling through and staying with the cabinet. On the bright side, Dana got to enjoy her podcasts while she pulled out each of the (way too many) brads that I had fired into it. In my defense, I didn't think we would be replacing it any time soon. And more in my defense, it was Dana's idea to add the second cabinet that resulted in the light switch being offset so really, she did this to herself. So really, when you think about it, this was in no way on me at all… Once that was over, she got a new sheet of 1/4 ply cut for it and followed in on her heals with router in hand and knocked out all the holes for cabinet. Pro tip: a 4'x4' sheet of ply does NOT fit into an early model Hyundai sedan. I'm pretty sure Dana is not going to let me forget that one for a while. Last but not least we made the call to split the 5 gang panel into two 3 gang panels. This worked out well as it breaks up and "defines" the switch sets. The left set operates exterior light which are porch, awning, and one extra for another project later (flood lights). The right set of three are for interior lights which are the main living room light, the light over the cabinet and the last will be counter accent lighting (again, another project for later). width=640 Waiting on a new 3 gang to come in so in the interim I just went all Frankenstein on the 5gang I had. On the solar front: We decided it was about time we sat down and started thinking about how we wanted to set up the lower compartment where the batteries, fuses and transfer switch would live. Now I will say that this was the first time we really sat down to take a look at this and while I have had a general idea for how to fit thing, I have not done some serious planning on it so this was going to be more of an exploratory venture, stuffing batteries in, moving them around, moving them again, and again, then thinking of all the possible options we had to modify the compartment to make our lives harder. After that the only real work on that area we did was to drill a 5" hole from the living area strait down into the battery area which will act as the output vent. I'll give more details on this when I figure them out. Wiring!: Ok with everything else out of the way, including tire and oil change it was time for the main event which was pulling all the house 12v wire from the stock rear fuse panel to the new one we installed in the new cabinet. And when I say all the wire… I mean ALLL the wire. we systematically chased, followed, pulled, fished, cut, extended, rerouted, retied, and reconnected ever single 12v wire to the new fuse box. I can now say that I have gotten so deep into of ever hole, nook, and corner of my rig, even a proctologist would blush. We even got to play with Dana's new endoscope. Dana also got to spend some quality time with her hand stuck up the RV's back side de-constipating the wiring by pulling spray insulation out from around the wires so we could see and manage runs. That took a while but once again... Podcasts for the win. Ill spare you from most of the many MANY pics of wires everywhere but I will say that width=640 Dana and I spent the weekend with our heads suck up my asset. I won't lie, the work flow was sometimes constipated but it all worked out in the end. We do still need to pull all the AC lines over but even with 4 days we were running short on time. DISCLAIMER: … What could possibly go wrong? There are still a few DC wires I need to run and I want to add new runs of heavier gauge wires to new power ports but again… project for another day. At this point we are getting scary close to being ready to start wiring in solar gear and getting them set up and that scares the **** out of me. I have not done this before, so I am going into this with limited learning and know experience. SO that’s the update this week. Be on the lookout for a few other independent posts regarding solar system prep/programing as well a chat on 12v "lighter socket" plugs and why I hate them so much. Enjoy the rest of your holiday and happy new year! -Warped Moderator edit to re-size pictures to forum recommended limit of 640px maximum width.
WarpedJester 12/28/20 08:16pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

UPDATE ON THE SOLAR PROJECT! Little late getting this out but none the less here it is! So what gone done this past week? Well this past weekend was a lot of lay out, staring at things, changing design plans (because again, changing plans in the middle of a project never goes wrong), and moving ever closer to getting things mounted. Lets start with a couple non-solar cabinet design updates. First thing up is finishing the front of the cabinet with a heater grill. Some off you may have noted that in the past posts the open gap where the heater intake should be. Now I have had a game plan in my head and finally got a chance to run with it. The frame of the grill is a recycled cabinet door. I wanted to reuse the frame of it so as to keep with the same shape and look of all the cabinet doors but just the frame alone with a flat grill wasn't going to cut it. So using the center plate of the cabinet as a buck, I formed a grill over it, and I think it turned out well. The last thing I still need to do is install some magnets to hold it in place My plan is to paint the grill the same color as the cabinets so that it will further blend int the cabinet and make the shape further stand out and match the rest of the cabinets. OK, so, moving on to Solar. Now, I am going to tell you now that this was one of those days where lots got done but it looks like we have little to show for it. That said, our focus was on starting to do layout and fitment of the solar hardware. width=640 Doing a little layout planning for what will be the back wall off the solar compartment. One alteration that was made early in the design was to switch to a "false wall" design so that we can run all the wires behind and hide them. So once we got all the components laid out, we marked where all the holes will go and will be mounting the hardware to the wall with T-nuts and some nice cap screws. Total side note here. I would have loved to use black chrome hardware for the "pretty" factor but a 1" size 8 screw cost over $4 so that idea went out the window right quick and in a hurry. So we are just going with good old black coated hardware. Adding to the superficial topic, we decided that we are going to wrap all the compartment panels in felt and add some LED lighting for effect, but I am going to hold off on showing pics of that for now as I want to wait till that process is more complete for effect so look forward to that. Anyways. This post is late getting up and I am already day 2 into the next project weekend so I want to get this posted now. As always, more to come soon. -Warped Moderator edit to re-size picture to forum recommended limit of 640px maximum width.
WarpedJester 12/25/20 10:37am Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

Hey everyone, Back again with another installment of updates on ..umm installments? I know the first post here was long so im just going to dive right into this quick update. If you want to know all the details then grab a beer and read the first post here. Moving on… this weekend's work was a lot of fiddly bits, change of plans mid-build (which never bites me in the arse) and a bit of modding. Oh and the obligatory arguing with Dana because I want to do things the hard way and she wants to do things the logical, sensible, and easy way. Starting off with the changes in plan. Now I realize that some of this may be hard to wrap your head around since I really have not explained the details of the cabinet so I am going to do that here and now. If you are a "TL;DR" kinda person then feel free to skip down to the next section if you like. Let's take another look at that cabinet SketchUp and I'll do my best to explain why I designed it the way I did and please bear in mind this is really being built to fit my needs. This cabinet will be accessible from three side, 2 from inside the RV for "insidy-RV-things" (I just coined that term but I'll put it in open domain so feel free to make it a thing (#IRT! *wink). The back side will be accessed from a storage bay style hatch which is how we will get to most of the solar stuffs. The Insidy-RV-Things: So this was the original design. Bottom left is the heater cubby with the front grill for intake. Above that on the left is storage for my garbage and recycling cans. Later when I add the countertop I am going to cut in a access hatch that drops strait into the trash for easy clean up from food prep. The tall cabinet opening on the right is where I am going to build in drawers for silverware and what not. I went this route so that I didn’t have to build a bunch of drawer fronts and catches for each drawer. The one door to hold them, one door to rule them all!.. Ehh hmm sorry. On the side is the access to system services. The bottom box will have the solar system main cutoff switches, 4 in total so I can cut off the batteries, MPPT, solar panels, and Inverter/charger. The top opening will house the new RV breaker box (with some modification but more on that later) and some "service switches" such as the slides, awning, and generator at the top, all of which will be closed up behind the cabinet door. The outsidy-things: On the outside of the RV, this cabinet more or less lines up with the original access panel for the old fridge but it’s a bit small so I have ordered a larger baggage door and will cut the access hole bigger once it comes in. this is where most of the solar equipment will be homed, save some fuses, shunt and batteries which will go in a storage bay below this build. Yes I know I said I didn’t want to sacrifice storage but turns out you can't have your cake and eat it too (who knew?). At least I'm only eating up one storage bay and not two (that’s a 50% savings for 300% the work!). The back of the solar area will have a false wall so that I can run wires behind everything and keep things looking all nice and tidy. The back wall of the trash area is removable so I can access said wiring. That leaves me all of an inch between the two walls for all the wires to run through. TL;DL READERS, this is where you pick up the story… Ok, so now that we are all caught up on the details, lets talk about changes that have been made. To start with I have added a 5-gang light switch panel to the side above the cabinet door. Now, lets get to OMG out of the way… yes these are your standard AC house switches and yes I am all too aware of the potential failings of this decision. I am going save you time and just say I will be dedicating a post on this topic and save you all from a run-on about it here. so that was my mid-week quicky project and in full disclosure, the only switch I have wired right now is the right-most one which is for the main room lights. Come the weekend it was back to Dana's house to dive back in head first. Now Dana being the wonderful and delicate sweetheart she is had noted in a prior week that the side of the cabinet just looked odd with one offset cabinet. Well in her words I believe it was something like "…it looks ugly and I don’t like it.." Like I said, she's pretty soft spoken. Love you Dana!! In fairness, I thought so too but I did not want to admit it because well what can I do? That's the side of the drawer cabinet. I could stick a false cabinet door on there…. GAHH!! No, no I can't. I CAN NOT STAND fake cabinet fronts of any kind. It drives me nuts. Ok then what can I do? there is all of literally an inch of space behind that wall…. Hmmm… ooooooooOOOOOHHHH….. COVID CABINET!!! Nobody can claim that I am not using ever last inch of space now! Moving on… the last major thing we did is mod and install a new fuse panel/beaker box. Then we pulled it back out and modded it because again, I like making life hard First we cut off the bottom lip of the fuse box so we had more room at the top for the aforementioned "service switches" I then pulled out one half of the 120v breaker strip and fabricobled a rail to mount in PV fuse holders and the lighting breaker. Some elec-chicken out there hates me right now for sure. Egads! My short update post seems to have gotten away from me.. Ok well the rest of the weekend was spent with fiddly bits like cutting the side cabinet doors down to fit and doing a lot of looking at the solar bay and figuring out how to fit everything. And now I see that the light switches are no longer centered over the cabinet door…. DANA!!!!!!!!!!! That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for the next installment of "what the hell is this guy thinking. Also keep an eye out for my post on the house switches.
WarpedJester 12/14/20 07:39pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

This must be a record for the longest first post. :) Yeah i am sorry. i dove into this project before really giving any thought to conical it so this first post was a catch up on all the planning and work up until current. going forward i am going to try and post shorter updates.
WarpedJester 12/12/20 03:04pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

This site has a great option for posting photos. Take a look at the top post in the DIY topic for the information. thank you, i will have to look into that.
WarpedJester 12/12/20 03:02pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

Unfortunately, I don’t think google photos allows hotlinking, so even if you were to put the correct codes before and after your image URL’s, google will block the attempt to link the image. Use the ***Link Removed*** web app to host your pictures on IMGUR instead. It’s free and easy. Just edit your original post with the new links. :):) I did test and the google links will work, i just need to not be lazy and update the post with live links but thank you for alt photo link site!.
WarpedJester 12/12/20 03:00pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

That's a lot of information and RV updates. My solar equipment is mounted on a side wall of the basement storage and hence it takes no storage space. One small cable comes up to a remote monitor and the second cable is for the laptop to track more detailed solar performance when desired. Hope you have a plan on how to park because the A/C shadow will reduce your panel output. Are you going to tilt the panels or is flat mounted adequate? Yeah i know AC shadow will an issue. i did think about doing tilt but right now my life is parking where i can evey day so its not really functional at the moment to plan and build a tilt system. that said, i can always come back later to the idea.
WarpedJester 12/12/20 02:58pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Behold! to solar project monster!!!

No photos! yeah sorry, the link to the photos are there but you have to copy and paste. By the time i got to posting this, it was late and i was falling asleep at the keyboard. i should follow up and add live links at some point soon.
WarpedJester 12/12/20 02:52pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Behold! to solar project monster!!!

And so it begins…. Prologue: This first post was started late into the project so there is a lot to catch up on and I do expect to get a few "TL;DR's". That said, I have added a lot of pics and tried to inject a bit or humor to make this elephant-sized post a bit easier to consume. This project is in mid proses to my intention is to continue to update this thread week by week as I make headway. The goal is to share my project in the hopes of inspiring others and to get feedback and inspiration from the community. So with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy. Hello all! Sooo… this has been a long time coming but I am finally getting around to "breaking ground" on my first solar system. I'm not going to lie, Its both very exciting and freaking me out. It's odd, I have already done a lot of work in the form of planning which has felt like a hill to hike (more on that later). Additionally I have already spent a lot of money getting all the parts and pieces which was another hummock to crest. That said, now it's time to start building and fitting and programing what not. While I was anticipating this being another rise to summit, it's still intimidating. Before I dive into the details, I want to first set the stage with a little background on me and the environment that this project is being inserted into. After a "Life event" I transitioned to 1986 26' motor home named Oatmeal and while I loved him to death and had big plans for him, that fact was that he was a project and not one I could do while living in him, which seems funny when I think about all the plans I have for my current motor home (that’s called foreshadowing). Speaking of… after finding a good home for Oatmeal around April, I transitioned into my current home which is a 2014 Sunseeker 3170DS. This is of minor relevance to the project but I picked the 3170DS because A) as a full time home, I wanted as much floor space as I could get and B) I have 4 kids that visit and being that this model has bunk beds, I have enough bed space for all 4 of them at once. That said. It also gives me a lot of space to play with and modify. Finally, my living situation is that I do work full time in an office (I am one of not even a handful that needed to stay behind in house to support remote staff) so while I cannot travel , I also cannot afford renting a "parking space" for my RV so I am 100% urban camper/street sleeper/stealth camper (if you can call parking a 31 foot class c motorhome "stealth"). OK, so here I am getting settled into my new digs and new way of life with the intention of spending a good loooooooong time in it, getting to know it, and taking time to really think about what I may want to do in the future…. 2 months later my mind is hatching all manner of plans for mods, updates, changes and more but through all that, what became abundantly clear very quickly was that my power situation was not going to work out. My RV comes with 2 flooded lead acid batteries and a Onan 4000 genny to charge them. The issue is that I am a digital-life kind a guy (hey I work in IT what can I say) so the batteries get drained fast and as a result I have logged a lot of hours on my genny to keep them charged up (over 4000 hours logged in 8 months). "So a dude you going to get to the build any time soon?" Yeah, yeah I'm getting there. OK, the stage is set the goal is solar now we just need to figure out where to cram all the solar hardware. Now I'm sure the thought that is going to cross many people's minds is "just shove it in a storage bay" and that’s not a bad plan but I am not one to give up storage space and I have a bad habit of making things hard on myself. So lets take bets, what is the most effective way to not eat up a bunch of storage AND make this build more complicated than it needs to be?... Well, if you said rip out the refrigerator and cabinet that houses it then 10 points to Gryffindor! Now lets take a moment to take this in. that is a floor to ceiling cabinet that houses not only the fridge, but also the heater, and the "convenience center" panel. Now if that not enough to make you question my sanity, did I mention that this cabinet also houses 90% of all the wires that run through the RV? Yeahhhhh… I don’t recall if I was questioning my decisions at this point but I'm pretty sure my friend was (that’s her in the corner of the pic… LOVE YOU DANA!!! Ok so.. We got everything ripped out lets take a step back and assess the situation… I now have a lot of room… wires coming from 5 different ways including the middle of the ceiling, and a giant hole in my wall where you used to access the back of the fridge. Ok.. Im not panicking… yet. I have a plan which I am sure will work.. Maybe… I hope… DANA!!!!!!!!!! Where do we go from here? Deep breath.. Ok, so now its time for a game plan which I have at least half though out. I need to put the heater back where it was. I also want to build in more counter space since this model of RV is woefully lacking in that department.. And ya know.. If I make that hole in the wall a bit bigger…. Hang on I need to pull up Sketchup and do some thunk'n… oK, here we go… I did some measuring and counting, I even had to take my shoes off for some of the counting, and I think I got a game plan. If I make a cabinet just a tad deeper then what was there, say 25 inches, I can fit my trash and recycling can under it! Im liking this so far but wait. I was trying to solve a problem….. OH yeah.. A place for solar stuff!!! Well I got ya covered because if we look at the back side, which will be accessible through that hole in the wall…. BAM! Now that’s what im talking about. And with a mockup of the outside wall with the hatch opening just for effect. OK ok, I can make this work. Oh, BTW, the side of the cabinet that will face the door will house the breakers, cut off switched and fuse box Wait, fuse box??? What??, but the fuse box is in the back under the bed.. Why are we dragging that into the mix???? Did I mention I like making my life hard? Well we got a game plan, we have a sketch up plan.. Its all smooth sailing from here!! And if you believe that then please PM me because I have a killer deal on a bridge for sale. This will be easy. All we need to do is build the frame, skin it then bring it in and bolt it down.. Yeah.. Umm remember I said 25 inches? Anyone wanna make a guess at how wide the door is? If you guessed 24.5 inches then you get a cookie. To add to that, we had to build this thing around all the wires and gas lines from the heater and fridge. Ok.. Umm plan B.. We will just build it bit by bit into the space.. Umm.. Ok, im seeing now that we are going to need to do something about all then wires .. Umm. Shoot well, hmm.. OH wait, what if we build a upper cabinet and route all the wires from the ceiling down through the upper cabinet, into the wall and down? Sure but I really don’t want to have to build another cabinet.. Hmm… well what about that one on the other side of the door?.. Umm… sure, I guess.. I mean, its like twice as big as it needs to be and it has a bunch more wires running through it already, and the TV is partially supported by it.. Yeah.. This is clearly the right way to go about this… At what point do you classify a project as "beyond scope"? Little nip here, little tuck there…. Wait.. Those wires are nowhere close to the cabinet.. I need to take a quick break and look up the definition of a fruitless endeavour.. Ok.. So we drill a hole here, cut some wires and fish them through there.. No no, Dana.. Through there.. THERE.. ACK!! Gees… its ok, ill heal.. Ok… now that’s looking better.. I think we are finally making some headway.. Now we just need to cut the floor panel that will separate the heater compartment from the rest of the cabinet.. Then cut it again because measure once and cut twice. Now we can change the plans in the middle of the build.. And cut the panel a third time…. And… perfect on the first try! (of the third time) So far so good. Wires are everywhere, the RV looks like a cyclone moved in for the weekend and my nerves are about as frazzled as the wiring at this point. Let's press on and get the front frame back on and while we are at it, let's toss on a temporary top so I have some more useable space to cover in stuff. Umm… I think we are getting somewhere. I mean, the wire monster is still there but most of the convenience center works and I have a clean counter for a moment. Spoiler alert, that won't last. All we need to do now is make some cabinet doors.. Umm.. Dana, you know how to make cabinet doors?.. Well yeah but I would like something that matches the rest of the cabinets.. Yeah we do have the ones we ripped out but they are all the wrong sizes. Wait! Hold on.. I'm having another bad idea.. What if we cut them all up and glue them back together smaller??!!! For the record, Dana said that worked better than it had any right to. Also for the record, I agree. Ok, so here we are with a half-finished cabinet what else should we do while we are at it? Well this is totally unrelated but lets move the TV… This does nothing toward our goal of solar but with the cabinets gone I had to fill the space.. Now that I look at it, I think I need a bigger TV. Ill add that to the list.. Back to the cabinet.. It would be nice to have all the light switches in easy access regardless if you are in the RV or outside at the door. Ok sorted. "Hey Dude. This was a post about a solar install" Yeah.. That reminds me, you know what the best part about A.D.D. is?... Wanna go ride bikes?.. Wait.. Oh yeah sorry ok.. Solar. Well I still got to order a door for the solar compartment so let's go play on the roof! And a few hours later and we have 800W of power bolted down. Ok, so now we are all caught up.. "wait what? Umm dude this was a post about a solar build??" Yeah I know but this is as far as we have gotten. I ordered a custom sized door for the solar compartment and apparently that takes about 8 to 10 weeks so we have some time till that comes. So now its time to do some wire planning and layout in prep for the next steps which will be installing the solar hardware. Now I do have the wiring diagram planned out. Hopefully I have done all my math right but I'll tell you what, everyone can take a look at it and give me some feedback. In the meantime. We will be working on getting some other odds and ends done and I will keep updating this thread with progress. "Hey Dude, what about the fridge?" Oh yeah… about that… Did I mention I am going to rip out the entire cabinet that the sink is in and build a chest style cooler into it? Yeah… But that is for another day. For now. I hope you enjoyed this post so far and again, I will be giving updates on the progress as we go.
WarpedJester 12/11/20 08:30pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
Sort by:    Search within results:

New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.