Solar Panels part 1

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This is 400 watts of solar panels on the rear shell.  Not all of the mounting screws are installed in this photo. The frame is designed to put all of the weight on the side walls rather than than the roof. This will be joined by 3 more panels on the front shell, which brings the system to the maximum 150 volts open-circuit voltage handled by my MPPT solar charger.  No, I don’t expect this to produce 700 watts! Rather, I expect 100 to 200 watts in partial shade, in the typical shaded campsite. The goal is to keep the batteries charged under the load of the electric refrigerator and all of the other typical RV loads. Or I could park this in full sun and run the ham radio at high power, without the generator.

 

Little bits

Besides all of the major customizations I’ve written about here, I’ve installed:

  • Husky 4500 pound Brute electric jack with wireless remote. Takes a lot of the work out of hooking up to the tow vehicle, installing the weight-distributing hitch, and unhooking. Once the tow vehicle is connected, I raise this to max, lifting both the rear of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and it makes it possible (not just easier) to install and remove the weight distributing hitch bars properly.
  • Blue Ox BXW0550 SWAYPRO Weight Distributing Hitch 550lb Tongue Weight for Standard Coupler with Clamp-On Latches. This is a driving safety device, it torques front of the vehicle downward via the hitch receiver, thus moving the center point of the trailer tongue weight between the two axles rather than behind the rear one. Trailmanors don’t get much sway anyway, and the Jeep came with an automatic leveling device, so this just makes the drive a bit easier and safer.
  • Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Control. This couples the trailer brakes to the vehicle brake and is mandatory for towing a trailer. The Jeep came with a plug for this to attach to, so it was only necessary to mount it and plug in.
  • Two 6-volt GC2 batteries, case, locking frame. 12 volt 220 amp capacitiy, should keep the ‘fridge, fans, and electric part of the furnace running through the night without a problem.
  • New power converter. This is the electric panel and battery charger. The old one was known for its overvoltage and lack of regulation.
  • Progressive Industries EMS-HW30 power manager, detects shore power issues that could result in a shock hazard or equipment damage, and shuts down the power.
  • New RV stove grommets so that the stove grill won’t bounce off during towing.
  • Oxygenics shower head for the shower, it’s an aerating shower head that makes the shower use less water while remaining effective. At Bullard’s Bar we all took “navy showers” while the trailer wasn’t hooked up and we were hauling water in a 5 gallon can.  Around 3 gallons used per shower, and we all got squeaky clean.
  • Dream Lighting 12Volt LED Panel Light with Switch – 5″ White Shell Ceiling Downlight – Warm White Panel Downlight for Kitchen, Roof, Cabinet and Cabin. Replaces the bathroom florescent light and one kitchen light. Really bright and has a little blue LED so you can see the power switch at night. Powers up in the “off” position, which is right for an RV.
  • A 6 gallon sewage tote, to discharge the gray or black water into while not hooked up and haul it to a toilet. Works for campsites without RV hookups.
  • A 5 gallon fresh water jug, to haul fresh water at campsites that don’t have RV hookups.

A lot of little stuff too, like a sink mat, a water pressure regulator, sewer hoses and fittings, little rubber bumpers to replace ones that rotted.