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Night Shade: Adventure trailer build thread.

Discussion in 'RV / Trailers / Camping' started by gmanpaint, May 15, 2018.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    So I screwed up.

    I was surfing FB a week ago, and did a knee jerk reaction without thinking. I "Accidentally" bid on a set of these cool dual 45 watt pod lights. An hour passed, and I forgot all about it, as the bid was low, and I have watched these climb and climb up until the last minute. I figured I didn't have a chance. Wrong........

    They contacted me, and told me I won. The price was 1/3 less than what they sell them for. Good deal for some quality lights, but dang it, I didn't expect to win them! lol

    Now I have to figure where to use them. On the tow rig (has plenty of lights as is), or on the trailer? If on the trailer, one in front, and one in back? Both facing rear, or both front? I already have 2 pods on both sides facing sideways. Hmm.....

    Specs:
    • Power: 45W
    • Output(Forward): 5000 Lumens per pair
    • Color: 6000K
    • Voltage Required: 12-24V
    • Outside Material: Aluminum
    • Impact Resistant Lens
    • Mounting Bracket Included
    •Weather Rating: IP68
    • Life 30,000 Hours
    • LED Chip Size: 7 X 5W each
    • Housing Size: 3.5" Tall x 3.25" Wide x 3.125" Deep

    These are 3 lights in one. 30w white front, 15w amber sides, and they have a random strobe feature. Ok, so here is where I am lost. No directions came with these. There is 2 power leads, and one ground. So two switches needed, one for white, and one for amber.

    I used my 12v power source and tested them. Both lights work, and are bright as the sun, but.... how the heck is the strobe feature used? You would think with a feature like that, they would have included some kind of directions. Sheesh. Guess I have to call them.

    Zues dual pods amber.jpg

    I was so mad at myself for winning these, I left FB, and haven't been back since. :angryfire:
     
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  3. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Down to these two name choices.

    SHADOW BOX

    VS
    NIGHT SHADE
    Might take me another 3 months to decide. lol

     
  4. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks for the pictures. I looked on the inside of my RV storage doors and the back side of the latches are covered, but it would not be that hard to expose them. I just need to figure out if its worth all the work.

    You could just call it "The Trailer"
     
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  5. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Been calling it that for a year now. It's too generic, and I feel like a soul less bastard, talking to it that away.

    I want it to have a normal life in the trailer society, and fit in like a healthy inanimate object should.

    I can call stuff for what it is at home, not out in public.

    A computer, or a kitchen blender has a serial number. An inmate has a number. The household furniture is called for what it is.

    A vehicle has a VIN number.

    A vehicle that your passionate for, also has VIN, or what I call it...
    A Vehicle Identification Name. A family member has a name.


    How do you identify it in a crowd? Imagine your favorite band, being called "That Band", or your favorite movie called "That movie".

    Just because I talk to my possessions, doesn't make me crazy (does it?), it just means I have a heart. :p











    Now where did that damn dog go?


    DOG!......................... DOG!...................HERE DOG!................ C0ME TO HUMAN!
     
    Last edited: November 20, 2018
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  6. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Been researching for the kitchen build. Found what I want. This is a company out of Australia, but they don't sell over here. I would buy this unit in a heartbeat if it was. I will use this unit as the base idea for mine. They are pretty much a glorified Chuck box, but with a few extras. Drifta is an Outback Overlanding company, and has a great Bizz philosophy. I would support them in an instant if possible.



    They have a smaller unit that would be plug in play, but even if they shipped here, the cost would be pretty high I imagine. Our Dollar is stronger than theirs right now, as $1000 AUS is only $750 USD (aprox), so maybe it would be worth it. I sent them an email asking if they have, will, or do ship here.

    I think the fridge will be going in the front compartment, and slide out sideways. If I can get it to work with a slide base. Bottom of the door width is narrow, because they was built around the fenders. I would need to make a base about 6" high to work. This opens up one half of the rear compartment for storage of gear. With the fridge in the back, next to the kitchen, I lose all the easy accessible space behind the fridge. That space could utilize a fresh water tank, but all that weight on the same side is a no go. Rather have the water tank up front, sharing the lower half of the front compartment.

    Edit:
    Drifta sent my email to them, to the only supplier they use on this side of the world. They are in Vancouver BC. They say they ship to a MN hub, then use a smaller freight to my door. The costs are three times what Drifta sells them for by the time I would get it. I would also have to figure out how to pay the sales tax in MN, before they would release it.

    That's not even the big issue. They only order & receive these 3 times a year, and only order what is paid for in advance. If I order/pay one next week, it arrives in April. If I order/pay next month, it arrives next September!!

    Time to by some more tools, and get to making my own. Par for the Course with me!!
     
    Last edited: November 21, 2018
  7. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Centaurus, thanks for making me look like the sane one here.

    :D
     
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  8. Turdle

    Turdle Freelance Stuntman Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  9. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Lol, no.


    Had a conversion van in the early 90's. That's what we called it. Electric fold down bed, and a bar on the inside of the back doors. Pull down privacy blinds, and surround mood lighting.

    Man, I miss that thing.
     
  10. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I too talk to vehicles, but only the Explorer and the boat, OK sometimes the RV. They have more personality than most vehicles. It seems that when I personalize a vehicle, the process creates an emotional attachment. The boat was personalized mostly by my Father which makes it very special to me. The RV was/is personalized by both my Father and myself. The Explorer...I think I have been over nearly every inch of that thing in the past 24 years. My daughter was a baby when we got it, now she is graduating college next month. It is part of our family. It has been a source of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. It has been totaled twice and both times brought back to life. All of that creates an emotional bond with a completely inanimate object that has gotten me into some incredible places and back. Sometimes on a flat-bed tow truck, but it has made it back. I feel you, Gman.
     
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  11. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    We used to call them Stabbin Cabins.
     
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  12. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Yeah, you totally get it.

    Time to give them names. :)


    Stabbin Cabin. lol We used to call the ice shanties that, when winter lake fishing, up towards Canada Eh.
     
    Last edited: November 20, 2018
  13. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Cross member on. Wiring made with Anderson connectors. Winch on, and new cover.

    Winch pigtails made.jpg
    Winch pigtail thru box port.jpg
    Winch on new cross member.jpg
    Winch upper mounted.jpg
    winch wire cable storage bag.jpg
     
    Last edited: November 25, 2018
  14. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    How about.... No thanks, you can hold the cheese, and how about, not posting and deleting later on, screwing up post counts? Eh?

    :salute:
     
  15. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Have to make my own kitchen slide out. Twas a pipe dream, thinking I could just buy one.

    Dear Santa:

    Gman needs a new table saw, a new router (w/bits), and lots of big wood clamps.

    P.S. I haz cookies, I haz milk, but can get whisky if preferred.
     
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  16. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Trailer stuffing for Turkey day...

    A Ridgid Hybrid 475 cfm 10" fan. Runs off the 18v batteries or an extension cord.

    Ridgid Batt Fan.jpg

    22" Ridgid case. IP67, with lid gasket, parts bin case stacked & locked on top.

    Husky 750 Lumen Led light & Usb charger for the 18v tool batteries

    stacked & locked Ridgid boxes.jpg
    Ridgid parts tray box top.jpg

    Pelican style cases IP67
    22 in Pelican cases.jpg
     
    Last edited: November 25, 2018
  17. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Finally got the battery charge cable hooked up and ready to connect to the tow rig. Added the chains, but have to shorten them a bit.

    Chains & charge cable on tongue tube.jpg

    Swapped the glass 100 amp fuse for a 100 amp circuit breaker, for the incoming power from the rig to batteries. I like the on/off with a push of a button on these things, plus don't have to replace them if they pop. Now every major circuit has one of these.

    All 3 100 amp circuit breakers t box.jpg

    I have a handheld 40 channel Midland CB I carry for a spare. I decided to use the stuff I already had, and add it to the trailer. The CB will be held in one of those knock off brand pelican cases from Harbor Freight, and in a side box. It has multiple power hookups, with rechargeable batteries, or a 12v plug in. It also has it's own antennae, but also has an plug in for a regular coax antennae. I mounted the 5 ft firestick to the rack upright. It sticks up past the tent by about 1.5 ft. I need a HD spring for it still. Just have to plug in for power, and connect the coax, and ready for use if needed at base camp. One day I will get a handheld Ham and license for it.

    Pardon the plastic and drops. I covered it to keep it clean while working near it.

    CB Ant installed.jpg

    For when we are kicking back at camp, and it's pitch black out, I got 8 mini pod lights that change color, and has a remote. They can dim, motion sensor, timers, and might change a tire if asked nice. I attached rare earth magnets to them, and can move them around where ever I want. They will be stored away when not in use.

    mini pods blue.jpg
    mini pods red.jpg
    They do Green & bright white too.

    Last but not least, I made the control panel cover. All Aluminum frame and alum tread plate, alum rivets, stainless hinge and screws/bolts. Used a mini fulcrum latch, and had to make my own bracket to the box for it.

    Open

    Control box cover open.jpg

    Closed

    Control box cover closed.jpg

    I plan on making a switch ID label, laminate it, and attach to the back side of the cover.

    Dear Santa...... Please send Elves with wood working tools, and have them help me build the camp kitchen. I still haz cookies and bourbon for you. K, thanks.

    bah humbug baby.jpg
     
    Last edited: December 6, 2018
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  18. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    OK, call it finished and take it camping. Report back
     
  19. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Only about 70% done. Going to be a while before any real use happens. Interior build is over the winter, and shooting for early spring for maiden voyage.

    Long list of items to do still. I need time to earn, and save for most of them.

    I wish I had the extra cheese to just finish it all at once, but I threw the big sack of cheddar, at the beginning of this build, to get it where it is now. Sacrificed a lot for that, and have to build that back up. Winter is my slow time for work, so yeah, just doing what I can for now. Which is alright, gives me something to do, and I like that. Getting a kick out making something from nothing. I still get wide eyed every time I see this thing. Pretty cool feeling to say "Wow, I built that". Even though there isn't many folk here, interested in this sort of thing, I'm thankful I get to share the experience with Y'all.

    The tow rig is down with electrical issues, and is also being repaired (hopefully) over this winter. Until that's sorted, this trailer ain't rolling anywhere.
     
    Last edited: December 26, 2018
  20. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    When the main cabins large dome light was installed in the center of the rearward compartment, I didn't think of the sensor switch. It has to be touched to activate, and it was too far away from the rear door to reach easily. I decided to remedy that today.

    Made a new aluminum bracket for it. I had some black powder coated 1" sq alum tube left over from a custom handrail job, they worked perfect for this. Hey, I'm a recycler! :D Ends are 1-1/4" alum angle, and some 1/8" alum flat stock for the light.

    This bracket spans the center frame rail, and the rear frame rail, with the light in the middle. 4 self tap bolts and it's secure as the Pope Mobile. It's now easily reached from the rear cabin door. This light is amazing. Blue soft light when idle, and 3 brightness settings to it, all with a touch sensor switch. On High, it's too bright to look into. On low, it's nice and easy on the eyes. Powder coated aluminum, and HD shock resistant. Them Aussies don't mess around.

    The bracket & light loose, ready for install.

    main cabin light bracket.jpg

    Installed, snug as a bug.

    main cabin led installed.jpg

    Switched on (front section lights on too)

    Main cabin lights on.jpg

    And a diff view of the front 3 10w led pods turned on

    front interior leds on.jpg

    This light is brighter than all 3 of those pod lights up front, and lights up every sq inch of the rear compartment.

    Trying to make progress with materials and Items I already have on hand. Work has already slowed to a stand still for the winter, so yeah....Priorities.

    I have a few things I can do still with what I have, so hopefully that keeps me busy until work picks back up.

    Adios MoFo's!!
     
  21. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I lost the cover for the Blue Sea fuse box in the Tongue box. I searched everywhere for it with no luck.

    I went on their website, to buy a replacement. Couldn't find just the cover, so I emailed them asking if they would sell me just the cover.

    They responded a few hours later, and said they don't sell them in the catalogs or list them individually on the website, but would send me one.... For free!

    I replied thanking the person. To my surprise, they replied back. This time the person says, they are sending me an entire unit complete, to use the cover, and keep the fuse box for a spare, then wished me Happy Holidays. Wow! How cool was that! These things aren't cheap for what they are.


    It arrived today, as told! Sweeeeet Christmas!!

    Free fuse box.jpg

    Remember Kids.... If you want good Karma, do good things, and do them often. ;)
     
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