Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Behold! to solar project monster!!!
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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Behold! to solar project monster!!!

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BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 12/15/20 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For what it's worth, I fixed the original post with the pictures. Only took me 2 hours! [emoticon]
I used this site to do the job. It was developed by our own moderator of the Technical Issues forum 1492. It is very simple to use and makes posting pictures in threads extremely easy. It also automatically sizes each picture to fit our forum guidelines.

All you do is upload a picture from your computer to the site, copy the resulting URL, and then paste it into your post without making any changes whatsoever. Your picture will then appear in the post and be properly sized.

OP, you owe me a beer![emoticon][emoticon]
Barney

* This post was edited 12/15/20 07:32pm by BarneyS *


2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD


steveh27

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

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Posted: 12/16/20 05:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Saw this at Lake Panasoffkee:

[image]

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 12/16/20 09:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Barney, thanks for modifying the post -- very useful stuff. Lots to think about.


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
Our trips -- pix and text
About our trailer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single list."


Grodyman

Enemy Territory

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Posted: 12/18/20 09:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just looked at the pictures


2017 F150 CC/5.5' 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost/3.55
2018 Passport Ultra-Lite 153ML

WarpedJester

scotts valley

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Posted: 12/25/20 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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.
[image]


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.

[image]
[image]


The last thing I still need to do is install some magnets to hold it in place

[image]
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.

[image]
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.

* This post was last edited 01/07/21 07:56am by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

WarpedJester

scotts valley

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Posted: 12/28/20 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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).

[image]
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
[image]
but I will say that

[image]

Dana and I
[image]

spent the weekend
[image]
with our heads suck up my asset.

I won't lie, the work flow was sometimes constipated
[image]

but it all worked out in the end.

[image]
We do still need to pull all the AC lines over but even with 4 days we were running short on time.
DISCLAIMER:
[image]
… 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.

* This post was edited 01/03/21 07:12am by an administrator/moderator *

doughere

Mooresville NC

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Posted: 01/03/21 06:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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

WarpedJester

scotts valley

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Posted: 01/06/21 08:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

doughere wrote:

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 =/

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

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Posted: 01/09/21 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is just something about the satisfying feeling of taking something apart and reassembling it the way you want it and being "Done" with it. I did this 2 years ago with my solar, though there was no where near the "re-construction" on mine that there is on yours. Mine was a matter of replacing junky products, adding better conductors and placing the controller where it belonged. Works perfect now! Yours will too!


V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax Denali. 2015 CreekSide 20fq w/450 watts solar and 465 amp/hour of batteries. Retired and living the dream!

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