Sunday, August 30, 2009

summer vacation

This is what I did on my summer vacation. I did most of the work during the last week of July and managed to finish the heavy work before freight picked back up. Now it's a matter of rearranging and adjusting the final fit.

This project involved two parts--installing auxiliary batteries that are powered by solar panels and rearranging my storage.

The power system gives me electric power to run my computer, ventilation, electric cooler, and heater (yet to be installed) without having to use the van's battery. It consists of two solar panels mounted on a ladder rack, two agm batteries, and assorted charge controllers, fuses, and circuit breakers. The jury is out on how well this system will work, but it does produce electricity when the sun is out, and there is power available when I connect to the battery bank. More to follow as I get more photos and rearrange the controllers and wiring.
Where I lose almost three hundred pounds of cargo capacity with the solar panels and extra batteries, the rearranged shelves give me more than two extra feet of cargo space. I took the ikea shelves I installed previously and cut them in half, so their depth is less than the depth of my rear wheel-wells. Any freight that can get past the wheel wells will get past the shelves and can be pushed as far forward as the driver's seat.

All I need now is an auxiliary air conditioner that weighs nothing and requires no power.