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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Behold! to solar project monster!!!

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WarpedJester

scotts valley

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Posted: 12/12/20 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

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.

[emoticon][emoticon]


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

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Posted: 12/12/20 03:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bill.Satellite wrote:

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

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Posted: 12/12/20 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gbopp wrote:

This must be a record for the longest first post. [emoticon]


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.

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Posted: 12/12/20 03:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some of us have raised the panels to avoid A/C shadows and in my case this also alowed better panel placement.


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Posted: 12/12/20 05:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Five hundred words a day would be good mannerism IMO.


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profdant139

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Posted: 12/12/20 07:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Warped, I am really looking forward to reading your post in detail! Let me encourage you to edit it and add the photos. Of course, it will benefit all of your readers.

But it will also benefit you! A couple of years from now, when you need some info about your project (upgrades or whatever), having a complete record on this forum will save you a lot of time.

I know this to be true from personal experience!

Good luck, and thanks in advance.


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MrWizard

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Posted: 12/13/20 02:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Next time please use "url" link tags for Google photo links
unlinked text requires a copy then paste in browser to view that picture, active url link just click and view, much easier for the members to use, I got tired doing copy then paste , view pix , then do it again
So I made this cut down copy with active view links


WarpedJester wrote:

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!



https://photos.app.goo.gl/cPq5xm6xDHwfXEb27




BAM! Now that’s what im talking about. And with a mockup of the outside wall with the hatch opening just for effect.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/oyN2jVtuGScAmEpP7

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

https://photos.app.goo.gl/BVhSGFzXySdTq5dNA

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..

https://photos.app.goo.gl/VcFa8WbMeMFkuYrj8

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?..

https://photos.app.goo.gl/4cEyaG37QZQQAWhH6

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…

https://photos.app.goo.gl/39DXEJyGG7npLArAA

At what point do you classify a project as "beyond scope"?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/FLRq4ayY2t7Epgh29
https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/08/........nfire1_xp/05onfire1_xp-superJumbo-v2.jpg

Little nip here, little tuck there….

https://photos.app.goo.gl/bQeVjCYiGFSDciVf9

Hot ****!.. Wait.. ****.. Those wires are nowhere close to the cabinet.. I need to take a quick break and look up the definition of a fruitless endeavor..

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… not that’s looking better..

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Da5YyheY6ScUvZEy6

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)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/HcY2WjNXE7rfY3CV9

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 ****.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GdqtTJLUQy2RweBW7

Umm… Holy ****! 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??!!!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/9T3vZVM5Wf662REu7

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…

https://photos.app.goo.gl/9VcBeJjj2jAwX1Ap9

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.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UpBBd7o3aJPjqH96A

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!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/V7YTHGJyg9abzCyw7

And a few hours later and we have 800W of power bolted down.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MEc2BDuTX5yeVFcN6

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.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GeyCmWyUuo4RxJiy7

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…

https://photos.app.goo.gl/gjckoGwHQTHwoZPj8

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.


* This post was edited 12/13/20 02:40am by MrWizard *


I can explain it to you.
But I Can Not understand it for you !

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2112

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Posted: 12/13/20 04:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks MrWizard

Warp - love the cabinet, nice work


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WarpedJester

scotts valley

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Posted: 12/14/20 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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:

[image]
[image]

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:
[image]

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.

[image]

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!!!

[image]

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

[image]

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.

CA Traveler

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Posted: 12/15/20 08:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad to see you found a pic post solution! While the cabinet is unique to you it's good to see what a creative mind can do and there are ideas that others can steal - err borrow with permission. Good job.

I wouldn't overthink the use of AC switches for low amp DC lights. And yes I understand the additional arcing involved with DC switching.

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