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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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    Been waiting for somebody to mention that. Lol

    Hinge screws don't come near anything at all. I cut the self drill ends off after install just in case, but didn't need too.

    The connector box is tight, and zero side to side or up/down movement. I used longer Stainless bolts for the quick fists. These act as stopper's on the backside of the harness connector, and "Lock" it in place for front to back movement. I need to get a set of Mini quick fists to replace these. They use the same hardware. I just used what I had at the time.

    I posted the pictures without the wire grommets added. They finish off holding the cables tight and safe.

    There is also 4 weep holes for drainage.

    I messed up the paint on top (still soft) when clamped to the tube for drilling bolt holes, and was going to change pics when done fixing. You beat me to it, as that pic would show the grommets. Lol

    sq cog grommet.jpg
     
    Last edited: January 1, 2019
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  3. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    That's good news :thumbsup:
     
  4. jad2411

    jad2411 Elite Explorer

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    Why would you do that? :facepalm: :crazy:

    Jk hope you feel better
     
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  5. gmanpaint

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

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    Thanks J.

    Surgery tomorrow morning. Should be back in action soon, and starting the next mod.
     
  6. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Best of luck with that dentist trip. I've had one tooth break the back edge of three times now, the last time I got him to shorten the opposing tooth etc.

    Make him take his time when refitting(final grinding) the new tooth parts to match the others. Be sure it feels comfortable and not grinding, or catching, before saying it's all good. You don't want to have to go back again from a high stress point(like I had twice before). This time I think he got mine mated well.
     
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  7. gmanpaint

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

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    Thanks Don.

    Not looking forward to it, but I am, at the same time. Had enough of raw open nerves to last me for a while.

    Sleep deprivation is a real thing. Lol
     
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  8. RockRanger

    RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    Finally caught up with this thread. Wish I would have seen the thread before I checked out the trailer in person. A few things I saw in the pictures I missed in person and was cool seeing the fab side and how it looks now. Can't wait to see it on the trail.
     
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  9. gmanpaint

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

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    Thanks @RockRanger. Was a pleasure to show it to you, and great to see you again.

    Your only the 2nd forum member to see it so far. Other than this thread, I haven't had someone to share what has been taking up all my spare time.

    Thanks for the interest in it, and not nit picking my flaws. Lol

    Had a complication with my surgery last Tuesday, and ended up back in today for more cuts, and more stitches. Might be a bit before I can really do anything strenuous with this trailer.

    I will do what I can, when I feel up to it tho. It's killing me not to be working on it. I might have a screw loose. Lol
     
  10. gmanpaint

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

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    Bored AF today. Over a foot of snow today, and resting up after oral surgery (twice) has made Jack a Dull boy.

    I decided to deal with the pain, and not take any pain killers, so I could work a little on this a little. Just the start of a new project, nothing physically hard, just needed my wits for it.

    Have had materials for this for sometime now, and the main part arrived last week. Staring at it just sitting was driving me nutty. Ok, now that the BS is out of the way.....

    Ordered a Solar kit from Renogy the beginning of December, taking advantage of the holiday sales, to save some $$. 25% off helped on this, and they offered free shipping with the kit on top of it. Kit includes a 100w panel, 30amp Wanderer smart charger, Z mounting brackets, and all the basic Mc4 wiring.

    I mentioned early on in this thread my idea of how I wanted to mount the panel, and have had time to think it thru since. I picked up two 6'Lx 1.5" alum angle, 2x100 lb full extension smooth bearing sliders, 4'L x1" Alum channel, 2x1.5" U-bolts, and a bunch of misc stainless hardware.

    Solar slider materials.jpg

    Cut the angle the same length as the sides of the solar panel, making 4 pcs. Clamping two 2x4's to the table at the exact width of the roof rack, I used this as my work space for measures, to get the mounting track widths. With this "Jig", it was easy to line everything up and mark, drill, and bolt it all up.

    solar slider side view open.jpg
    Solar slider partial open top view.jpg
    solar panel tray complete.jpg

    It is mounted under the roof rack in the front, and slides out the front when in use. Slid back under the rack, kept safe under the tent, and locked in place, when not in use. The U-bolts in front, are for support straps of some sort (to be determined later) when fully extended and in use. Sliders are good for 100 lbs each, and this panel weighs 25 lbs, but with time/use, wind, snow, what ever, I thought the extra support couldn't hurt it. It is very firm when extended, but yeah, safer choo for the chooching.

    SP in 3.jpg
    SP in 4.jpg
    SP out 1.jpg


    Wiring it all up is a job in itself, and after that, still one more modification build to be done to it. Had to order an inline exterior 30 amp fuse, and a 30 amp circuit breaker for the charger to battery, inside the T-box. Should be here in a few days.

    I think I did pretty good for a dead man walking today.
     
    Last edited: January 13, 2019
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  11. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I like it, that's a big panel.

    I want to find a small one too for battery maintenance on a couple of my cars.
     
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  12. gmanpaint

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

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    Renogy has one bigger, but is too big to fit between the rack rails.

    This one panel will work for my needs. I don't have anything that will drain the batteries past 50% discharge overnight, and this should top them back up in a few hours. If I ever need more, the charger is expandable up to 400 watts. I could plug in a roll up panel or a suitcase panel to add to it.

    Time will tell, after some actual usage, and seeing what my real consumption will be.
     
  13. gmanpaint

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

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    Found a container for the first aid storage I liked. It is a take along 6 meal packer, sold at Sams Club. Has a nice soft side material, and a soft cooler liner. Zipper front panel, and a small zipped rear pocket. Has 2 mesh pockets on the ends, and a removable shoulder strap. Came with a power drink mixing cup, and a small water tight 20 ox cup with a freezer gel insert. Won't be using these obviously, but I will be using the 6 clear storage containers with snap on lids.

    I picked up another large First Aid kit that had different items then the one I already had. Its a 351 pc with a lot of Eye care & Burn stuff, and specialty items like face shields. The other kit is a 326 pc. These kits are nice, but are bulky, and they can be a nightmare to deal with when using in an emergency situation. Most everything in these are in loose trays, and can spill out very easily on uneven terrain outside.

    Was able to combine both kits into this meal packer, and is 1/3 the size of them. Everything is sorted and like items kept together, for easy access, and clear containers for identification at a glance. Instant ice packs, and 2 freezer ice gel hard packs, and a snake bite kit are stored as well. Large gauze pads, and longer items are simply kept in a freezer zip bag. Trauma and field aid instruction booklets are tucked away Just in case. The back side pocket will keep an old charged cell phone for 911 calls.

    I will add to it as I find stuff. I want a good specialty field kit, with tourniquet's, stitches, and an emergency Tracheotomy. Will most likely get the My Medic kit for that. Hemostats, and other tools as well. Need to refresh myself, and take the first aid classes again. Been a few years since I did those, as the kids are grown and flew the coop.

    FA1.jpg
    FA2.jpg
    FA3.jpg
     
    Last edited: January 14, 2019
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  14. gmanpaint

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

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    Solar part 2:

    2 of 3 items arrived and I got as far as I could today with wiring this panel up. Inline 30 amp-1000voc solar MC4 fuse, and 30 amp inline circuit breaker.

    The negative ground PWM charger lets excess power to be converted to heat, and is finned on the back (behind a heat shield) for that heat to escape. Because of this, the chargers should not be mounted flat, as the heat would rise thru the unit. This is what I'm told by Renogy tech support at least.

    Not wanting to bolt this to the T-box wall panel, having more holes, and bolts sticking thru it, I opted to make a mount that bolts to the shelf. It's not straight vertical, as I wanted a slight angle for the stiff jacket 10 awg wires, that insert on the bottom. I placed it near the box vent.

    Here is the backside of the charger with the mount, the fuses, and the MC4 wiring.

    20190116_160131.jpg

    I ended up mounting the 30 amp circuit breaker to the box mount, with a flat 1/16"x1.50" aluminum. This little breaker is pretty slick. It's waterproof, and I can use it as a switch for the solar system, as the charger is directly wired to the battery.

    20190116_181641.jpg

    For those that don't know, always hook a solar charger to the battery first, then after power is is verified, only then can you hook up the panel. Chernobyl events will happen, if you do it the other way. This charger is a no frills smart charger. No frills as in no LCD display, but does everything those do for cheaper. lol I have a LCD battery monitor in mind, I want to use, but mounted elsewhere for easy visibility, so opted for this unit.

    After the charger wires was ran and hooked up, I switched gears, and attacked the panel wires.

    Installed the inline fuse, and routed the wires along the panel using a couple zipties, then some stainless rubber lined pipe clamps. These keep the wire jackets from rubbing on any metal edging. The jacket is very thick and stiff, and will hold up well, but status quo says add extra protection anyways.

    Deciding on where the slack line should reside was a coin toss, plus I am on pain meds from surgery, and figured best leave it to luck. lol Choice was in front or in back, each have their own complications. Front won, so the wire is tight along the panel up to the front, with the side routed on top in the gap between panel and slider, dropping thru the U-bolt. With the slack needed for the slide in/out, it was then ran down the front of the main box. I used more stainless rubber lined clamps, using the existing trim bolts, and ran across the expanded metal to the T-box.

    Solar Inline 30 a fuse.jpg
    Solar wiring in panel track.jpg
    solar wiring down main box.jpg

    This is where I stopped. The stainless 6-12mm cable glands did not show up yet, and I need them to know what size holes to drill in the back of the T-box, to run the wires to the charger. That's it, 2 wires is all that is needed for this trailer to have solar powered battery charging. So close to having another system completed! :party:

    The MAGM batteries have 115 Amp hours each, with a total of 230 Ah. But..... since your not supposed to let them drain past 50%, the total Ah's is really 115 Ah. This amount should last a few days at a time running everything onboard, before a charge is needed, but with 3 methods of charging, these "Should" never reach a 50% drain, and definitely not near that over one night of use.


    So I don't feel like I am talking to myself here, how about...... :feedback: good or bad, let me know how I'm doing please. I'm not a trailer builder, I'm just building a trailer, and everything is brand new to me here. Thanks!

    Edit: Today I realized that letting fate decide (coin toss) on 2 ideas, while on pain killers, is not a good idea. lol I am re-doing the wire routing for this panel, so the wires look better, work better, and doesn't interfere with anything. Had to order more stainless clamp mounts for the new routing.
     
    Last edited: January 19, 2019
  15. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I have that same solar charge controller in the RV. I wanted a no-frills controller because I have all kinds of crap in there already to tell me battery voltage.
     
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  16. gmanpaint

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

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    Yep, same here. Reviews on this charger are positive, does what's needed, and has a 5 yr warranty.
     
  17. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    You are killing it, meaning good, badass etc. I hadn't thought of how to connect the controller and panel. I have a small $20 Battery tender model for small panels, it may be 2x3" and not thick.

    I wish/hope the LiFEPO4 batteries evolve a little more. Those weigh nothing but can only take a limited amperage amount. The ones I like can handle just 60amps from an alternator, and at $350 you can't afford to buy three or four to get that up past 140amps or a typical alternator.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H0NIJO...colid=246RRPWYWS26&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
     
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  18. gmanpaint

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

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    Thanks Don! :)

    The Lithium Ion batteries wanted to use for this thing, are crazy expensive! Way out of this poor mans budget. I'm with you there, and hope they do evolve and come down on price.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FDHRP4...&pd_rd_r=a482616b-1b5c-11e9-85ad-2949e9cdafab

    There is another alternative for mobile power. It's a methanol burning generator that you can buy the fuel by the jug. One jug would last me a year $80/ea. Like $40/Liter for it, and is available in many places across the country. The size I would use is about $1000 total for everything. It's silent, clean power, and self efficient. I think I would go this route over the high priced Lithium batteries and solar combined.

    The eco-friendly power source for your RV | EFOY
     
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  19. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    That's great. I love the options for being off the grid and have plenty of power. I like that Renogy brand too, those seem to be fine with using in a normal vehicle(add in parallel to the main battery). If the price was right, I'd want to put one in the rear corner of my truck. Some are small enough to fit in tight spaces(6.5x3.6x4.4" etc).
     
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  20. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    You're telling me!
    Trailer is looking awesome BTW
    Earlier this year I pulled the trigger on switching our whole house from flooded lead acid to Lithium Ion batteries.....we went from 16ea 6v batteries to 8ea 12V lithium batteries. I wanted to get 12, but they are so expensive the other 4 have to wait. So far it was SOOOOO worth it, these batts outperform the old lead acid about 3:1 for output and 5:1 for charge time..... I can't wait to get 4 more
    We are 100% off grid with a 48V system, solar and propane/gas/diesel generator options
    So far its been worth the investment and time to save the $$$$ for the Battle Born LiFeP04 batteries they are awesome!!
    [​IMG]
     
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  21. gmanpaint

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

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    That's awesome!!! Congrats on getting away from the "Man" and being as self sufficient as possible. And thank you!

    I seen those battleborn units for less than $1k/ea. Always great to get a good review, of a product I know nothing about. A big bank like that warrants a bank loan. Lol
     
    Last edited: January 18, 2019

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