Monday, May 28, 2012

Classic trailer I saw

This was parked in the place that I visited and just blogged about

Here is my favorite house

I did not get too close but from the street I could see that they had a $30 K leaded glass front door. This house looked like it was over 2500 ft.² it appeared to also have some very nice interior courtyards. This house was not for sale but it appeared from the exterior my best guess would be that the construction would be about $200 per square foot.

California lakeside living @ under $60 a sq ft.

        For those of you who believe that California is outrageously expensive, here's a small example of Lakeside living for less than $60 a square foot. If you're thinking about retiring then this might be that well-kept secret spot for you to choose. This little hidden community surrounds man-made lakes, has its own golf course, RV parking spaces, RV storage, clubhouses, pool, tennis courts and everything. For those of you who are not committed to 100% RV living this will be the closest thing to heaven. For about $60 K you can get a beautiful three bedroom two bath house or townhouse. My friend just purchased eight 3200 ft.² two-level house with the tile roof built around 2005 for $175K. Now show me just about anywhere in the United States where you can beat that price for retirement living.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Spoiler for the Solar Panels

          To help hide the roof top solar panels I installed a diamond plate spoiler. As you may recall the panels are attached with VHB 3M tape, I installed 4 extra brackets at the front edge to stop any possible uplift. The bottom of the spoiler is covered with a plastic door guard strip as it is in contact with the fiberglass front cap.

The stove pipe is from the neighbors house.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Here are the LED Lights

Flashing LED lights

       It seams you cannot cut and paste the video into the first post, always discovering something new on blogger. Enjoy the light show, its a little foggy as the camera cannot focus with all the blinking lights.

Flashing LED Trailer Light Show

        Here we go with the light show. Let me be the first one to say that the video sorta is out of focus. The reason is because the camera cannot focus with all of the flashing lights. But I think that you can still get the idea. Below are some of the 20 different colored flashing lights available, they can be programed and also go faster or slower and are quite bright.

Red and white are the brightest,
the lights can be dimmed

Red and white are the brightest,
the lights can be dimmed

This is the exterior cargo door,
the light is much brighter then in the picture
you could easily have a large patio party and light at
200 - 300 sq. ft area
The lights will also flash different colors
if you broken down on the highway this will come in handy

Here is the white light reflection on the
garage door about 8 ft away

Here is the blue light reflection on the 
white garage door about 8 ft away

Friday, May 18, 2012

Possible new camera

       My old work horse broke after having been dropped 10+ times for work, maybe I will use this camera vs. my dream camera, which costs about $2k, at least for the time being. I bought this replacement but I'm am still reading the 120 page user Manuel before opening the box and deciding to keep her.

It does have180 and 360 deg pictures and also GPS for its pictures , 
one feature I was looking for.

Fast forward to March 28 - I took about 250 pictures with the new camera as I left my old one at home when I went to visit a friend. I can report back that I set it on 5 mega pixel not the 16 mega pixel that it does & the pictures come out great. It is especially great on the zoom and it also takes great pictures in enclosed spaces in the dark. So far I am very happy with my choice. I was able to figure out how everything worked and never had read the instructions from the box once I had the camera unpacked. I did scan the instruction prior to see if it had features I liked. Set at 5 mega pixel it will take about 2700 pictures on the included 4 GB card.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

RO Water faucet and Circuit tester

        Here we go, I managed to squeeze in two more quicki projects today. The first one is a bracket to hold the reverse osmosis water filter faucet. Since I was not in the mood to drill a hole into my glass tile countertop I decided to make a faucet holder with leftovers from my diamond plate. It was not quite as sturdy as I hope it would be, so I used a second reinforcement bracket on the underside, therefore you can see the two small screws on the top. I should have made the wall bracket a little bit wider to allow for a glass to sit there and be filled, as it is its about 3-4" too short.

       The second item is a really cool little circuit tester, only about $12. I wish I had found it a long time ago. You basically stick it into the fuse holder and also put in a fuse up to 30 AMP into the circuit tester, then you power up the circuit, press the button and presto it will read out the number of amps your devices use. This little tester then allows you to install the perfect size fuse no more guessing. I was able to determine that my 4 LED computer ceiling fans only use 1.3 amps, so I installed a 3 amp fuse.

The shelf is about 3-4" too short for my taste

The fuse tester in action

Anderson Power Pole 12 volt cabinet outlet

        This 12 volt double outlet came out a little sloppy for my taste. It's really designed to be installed into a thin metal cabinet. It's also square and has strange edges so it's somewhat hard to install. This outlet can be used with any of the Anderson Power Pole connectors so you could make your own quick connect custom cable. It's not really needed but I guess because I bought it, I wanted to install it versus sending it back. I think the cost of this item was about $13. Maybe later if I get ambitious one day I will install it into a metal plate to clean it up a little bit.

I did not have 2 - 15. Amp fuses so for the time being I put one on a 10 amp fuse and the other on a 15 amp fuse.

In total now I have about 8 - 12 V outlets inside and outside the trailer.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Blue light special

       Here is the view in the dark , there goes the stealth view , but it still looks really cool. Anybody have a relay to make it into a flashing BLUE LIGHT ?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Pimp Meisters fan at night

I'm still impressed how quiet the fan runs on high speed , 
it really lights the interior with only the 4 fans

The Pimp Meisters new fans

       Well never let it be said that here at "OverTheTopCargoTrailer" we don't come up with some really crazy ideas. I had looked at some of the fantastic fans a long time ago and I concluded that they were very expensive at about $300 a pop. To top it off, adding insult to injury it requires that the old vent housing be completely ripped out and the new one installed a 3-4 hour job. That to me means a possible leak and I don't like possible water leaks. This week I ran into some flashing computer LED lights at Fry's electronics and that give me some more new and CRAZY ideas. So after I have installed the new Maxx Air vent  I then decided to take 4 x 120 mm computer fans with blue LED lights and install them directly into the vent cover. They run super super quiet at only 30 DB. One thing that I really hate is loud running fans, while watching TV. Each of the four fans is rated at about 79 CFM on high speed. So that is almost 316 CFM total same as fantastic fans, total project cost $70 maybe ? The fans are also 3 speed fans so they were  $13 each, for $6 you can get simple clear fans 1 speed without the LED lights, but not for us here at "OverTheTopCargoTrailer" only the best will do.

       Since the stupid people at Tap Plastics are closed all day Sunday I was really, really aggravated at them. I had the whole day for this easy project. I was looking for a quarter inch piece of white Lexanne that would be easy to drill the 4 x 4.75" holes for the fan. Since they were closed I was forced to go to Lowe's to purchase a 2 x 4 plastic panel for florescent lights cost only $10. This material was a big hugh PIA to work with.  It was way too thick to cut with a knife, and it was way too thin & brittle to drill a hole with the hole saw or router. Damn those people all to hell at Tab Plastics for being closed on Sunday. 

Here is the back side before I secured all the wires
I laid the plastic on top of the screen
and siliconed everything into place
it was dry in 3 hours

Some wires have been secured
testing fans

The view from the bottom 

A short day time video 
I will do short night time video latter tonight after dark
in day light you barely see the lights

Stay tuned more LED lights are coming

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New 14" roof vent replacement

         As I found out when I went to Camping World I was told there are four different kinds of plastic vent covers. WOW who would have guessed ? I decided just to replace the old vent with the bigger Maxx Air vent. As I already have the underfloor whole house attic vent monster fan. I am deciding on installing some smaller computer vent fans into the ceiling they only run at about 30 - 40 db , they also come with speed adjustments and cool blue lights :-)). Stay tuned to see what happens ?

       The old vent was only 4 years old , parked in the driveway. It might only last 2-3 years on the road. Out with the JUNK - in with the new and better stuff

The attachment brackets 

The Maxx Vent cover 

New view

The old vent 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Today's final solar charge , day one.

        Here you can see the first day results, the 400 amp hour Surrette batteries received 67 amp hours as they were mostly full :-)) . Always keep your batteries as full as possible. A total of .9 kilo watt hours was charged. The max volts used were .26k. The max volts produced from the panel were 120 DC. The max amps charged were 18.3 The max volts to the battery was 14.7 volts during bulk charging, the min volts was 12.1 volts during startup.

If you have anymore questions please read the outback 80 Manuel , it is a short 80 pages , that way you will learn more. <<< Click here  >>

Then click on the data sheet tab and read all the details

On a final note I would strongly recommend that if your panels 
are installed flat on top of an RV that you would wash then 
maybe once or even twice per month. 
It has been raining here a lot in the last month
and I can tell you even so, my panels were extremely FILTHY. 
If performance is critical & MOST RV panels are grossly undersized, 
I would even go as far as to say ridiculously puney  
and combined with poor wiring & poor batteries - most people get maybe 50% 
of the rated amount from their system,
if they are extremely lucky

Worlds most powerful solar cargo trailer is on line

         Here is the proof , 840 watts working hard to charge the small 400 amp hour batteries. In the First picture it's only about 9 o'clock AM in the morning and the panels are cranking out 16 Amps to charge the battery. The batteries are pretty full to start with as they are not being used right now. You can see the first charge was the bulk charge. During the bulk charging my electric meter was reading as high as 14.8 Volts. There are about a million setting that can be tweaked on this Outback 80 charge controller but those will have to wait for another day.

      I did have a little hassle crimping the MC4 connectors with the tools available to me "since i did not relish spending $975 for the special UL listed German Rennsteig tool crimping set. See the video below. As I had some other cables I was able to get it to work - just not the exact way it should.

Bulk charging by 9 am already

Absorbing charge around 11 am

Absorbing charge around 11:30 am

Float charging by noon time
the max peak charge into to the batteries was only 260 watts
and around 17.3 amps
So there is plenty left over for even the most cloudy days, 
Its a little bit overkill - but isn't that what OverTheTop is all about

Relaxing and watching the TV in the 88 deg heat,
as you can see the whole charging process took less then 3 hours
and only required about 500 watts to top the batteries off
on a good day the panels can produce about 3000+ watts

How to use the right tool and crimp MC4 connectors

If you wanna buy the tool click here !!

This video is even better - but no cute girl...SORRY

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pigtails for the propane connection - DIY style

           As you may or may not recall I was informed by my friendly propane dealer that in order to operate this Bosch GHW 1600 instant hot water heater I will need two 5 gallon bottles of propane supplying gas at the same time. If I was only using one bottle then most likely the bottle will freeze over and will not operate the heater properly. In order for this to work I would need to purchase a set of pigtails allowing me to connect both bottles together. But, but, but these are not very easy to find. I asked my local propane dealer if he would make a set for me to my specs, but he very politely told me to go fly a kite, they only make them if they install the system themselves as it was too dangerous for a DIY guy who may blow himself up. You gotta keep all the gas turned off until all your connections are completed & you leak test the connections.

         I then asked him politely if he would sell me all the parts that I needed , because I had the tools to make the thing myself "AND" to my great surprise he was quite happy to sell me all the parts...."GO FIGURE" ??  I guess its just a matter of asking the right questions - so I can blow myself up.

        This is different from the normal RV set up as those would switch from one bottle to the other when empty, but here we need both bottles at the same time.

As you can see only one bottle & one regulator
not good enough for those long endless showers

We need to end up with 2 bottles for adequate gas supply @ 117,000 Btu
also 2 bottles should make about 600 gallons of hot water, 
or about a 6 hour long shower at 150 deg
for those of you in "FL" who can't sleep without
the answer to this question

First I cut the 3/8" soft copper a/c pipe
Thank god I got this 1 year ago or else I would need to
get a 2nd trailer loan from a bank to afford this today

Step 2 is bending the pipe
tool made in USA Please

Don't forget to ream / clean the pipe interior of sharp edges

Here is the flaring tool by Yellow Jacket
Made in the USA - Please
doing this by hand you will almost certainly
kink the pipe

For those without flaring tools this nipple can be bought
it just needs to be welded onto the bent pipe

Here is the tool in action a screw is turned to make the flair
simple as eating apple pie,
almost nothing can go wrong

If you did it right here is what it should look like

Or you can weld it together with this connector

Now the Gray 2 stage gas regulator can be attached 
& you have double the gas supply