Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sun Touch heating mat

Here is my newest idea & my test of the product so far. Below is the Sun Touch tile floor heating mat approx. 6 ft x 30 inches. The specs for this size say it will use about 180 watts,  put out about 540 btu, well I measured about 162 watts maybe or 1.35 amps.  Just like everything else, you only seam to get about 90% of what you pay for. 

My Idea was to install this under my mattress and it would be a nice slow heating system where none of the heat would get lost. Just to make sure it works - I wired the mat directly into a plug & plugged it into the wall outlet or extension cord. Since I have misplaced the stupid $150 thermostat I decided to just install this on a regular switch or a timer with 30, 60 or 240 minutes, works just as well and is  much cheaper.

On my first try I put the mat over a tarp which was laying on carpet and put my sleeping mat on top, after 15 minutes it was barely warm - so the heat was going in all directions. Maybe it was 80-90 degrees if I was lucky. On my second try I put a 1/2" foam board under the mat and this time I could feel the heat was coming all straight up at me, when I inserted my hand I would guess it was about 120+ deg right where the foam was. I would guess that if you want your tile floor hot in the morning you had better get up about 1 hour early, this thing does not work fast. 

My idea when installing this mat under my bed is to cut a 1/2" plywood board 30" x 72" and install the mat under some tiles on this board. Then it will then be laid over 1/2 - 3/4" foam board & the mattress will be put on top of the tiles, this way the heating unit can be removed in the summer time when not needed and save maybe 80 lbs in weight.

Testing the mat with a regular plug.

Ops wrong spec sheet, for this mat it says 180 watts
but only uses 165 when tested.

When laid over a foam board the mat got quite hot.

Follow up electric heating is working great..... :D :D 

I roller out the 30" x 60" tile floor wire heating matt directly under the mattress onto the plywood and it does take
about 1.5 to 2 hours - but then the temp got up to 112 deg :D :D at a nice steady 160 watts
with a 12" mattress it keeps it just perfect.

I will next try put the whole thing on a dimmer switch & see if I can find the magic 85- 90 deg set point.
that is much cheaper then the $130 fancy controller. I just put the outdoor remote probe under the mattress - cost $25 for both 
Why heat the whole trailer when you can just heat your sleeping compartment ?

Tonight I will try my experiment with the hot water heating hopefully & report back results. 

:beer: :beer:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Dehumidifier trailer test

        I purchased this small 25 pint unit at Home Depot for around $158.  It's pulling about 8 ounces of water from the air per hour of run time. Set on low fan speed the unit runs very quiet and one can still watch the TV in the background. The unit uses about 400 watts per hour. Adding the TV and cooler I am using about 500 watts per hour and the 500 watts = about 1,500 Btu which heats the trailer very nicely to about 20 deg above the exterior temperature.

       I would strongly recommend this unit, or a larger unit to anybody living inside a RV during the winter months where the humidity is above 45% as the high moisture is causing lots of hidden problems to your unit.

Cost from Home Depot $158

Controls for the unit.

Measuring the power used

Starting interior temp was 55.7 degrees

Monday, December 10, 2012

My New Lark Trailer Design - first try with Sketchup

             Here we go, this is my first try with what I would like inside the new solar concept trailer, as I get better using the program I will post updated changes. Today  Dec 10, 2012 I mailed the letter to the Lark Factory to see if they can build to this design, with all my future diagrams the design seams pretty easy to understand exactly what I am looking for. The nice part is, if the Lark Factory downloads the free program I can e Mail  them my design directly & they can spin the model around in 360 deg view , making it super easy to understand exactly what my design is. If only all customers are this easy to deal with in what they are looking for.

For those of you who would also like to play with the program here are the links: click below

Get the free version ONLY !!! and Install the Mac version 

Here you can watch video's how to use program : Click below

Click on the picture to get a larger view

Here is the view of the rear cargo door

Nice looking rear gate I liked ,
diamond plate, 7 LED lights & chrome sides and top

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Almost completed trailer update

         Slowly I am coming the end of first phase of my construction, a few small minor touches are still needed. Soon I may be hitting the road for the coming adventure. The first stop will be Santa Cruz along the ocean. 

            I have also decided to see If I can get the Lark Factory in Georgia to build a newer bigger, better stronger unit for the upcoming part 2. The letter to the factory has been sent and I am waiting for a response from them, hopefully they will be on board with the next adventure. 

          Here is a recap of some of the current features to date. Remember this is my very first attempt at building a cargo trailer, almost everything I did I have never ever done before and extensive research & steep learning curve was required to complete this project.

          If your interested in something like this project, materials like these are approx. $30k including the trailer , the labor involved is over 500 hours - not including the research of another 500- 1000 hours to find the stuff. If you would like to get your own custom built trailer let me know, maybe we can work out something. You may want to compare this to a tiny house at the , most of their units which are the same size are going for over $50k but do not include a off grid 840 watt solar system - their units are more designed to be connected to water & sewer utilities on a property, where this unit is designed to be closer to 100% self contained. One single person could be out in this trailer for 20-30 days , the limiting factor being food and water carried on board. This would also be the perfect BOV ...Bug Out Vehicle if one would so desire.

The 100% one of a kind glass tile shower,
installed on Schluter Kerdi foam board

The 100% one of a kind glass tile shower

The 37 gallon front water storage tank,
Reverse Osmoses 2 tank water filter

The upper bathroom cabinet

The bathroom

The 45,000 Btu DCS burner

The 45,000 Btu DCS burner & ARB 63 Q cooler

View of 9" thick queen bed out the rear drop down door,
2 - 360 degree 12 volt fans, with 1-4 hour shut off timers

27" -  only 35 watt LCD 1080 TV

Matching Glass tile counter top,
 1750 watt Magnum inverter
DVR - recorder , HD22 100 hour recorder & 
2nd  TV 

A peak inside the electric panel,
it looks scary but everything works great

400 amp hour Surrette L16 Batteries

The 20+ different colored LED lights
One of 2-  360 deg 12 volt fan

The 20+ different colored LED lights

Rear cabinets & 2nd 37 gallon water tank

Carpet on the rear deck

The Jacuzzi 180,000 Btu Water heater

Front view 
 180,000 Btu Jacuzzi water heater,
Cabinet for propane bottles,
700 Line color camera & DVR

The roof holds the 840 watt solar system
4 x 210 watts panels.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fire at the crack house, midnight Van BBQ

         Now I know none of you guys will believe this, but these crack heads whet inside the crack house to get loaded first before "I called the fire department" , they stayed inside the whole time for 2+ hours until the 3 cops left - so they would not get busted for DWI.  This kind of shit happens all the now I could make a 25 year long movie with 2000 episodes about this crack house alone.
This is the worst house in California, not just in the city of San Jose.

It took the fire department 12 minutes to arrive from the start of the fire, they are about 1 mile away.

After about 3 hours & 3 squad cars watching & waiting , the tow truck finally arrived.

Car arrives 43:17

Car catches fire 10 seconds latter 

Driver jumps out & goes into the crack house.
Stays inside for 3 hours till cops leave.