Archive for May, 2009


May 21st, 2009

Miguel showered with sparks while cutting a hole in the back of Trog for a vent to draw in cool air for the refrigerator compressor.    Here’s a mess of pix.



May 18th, 2009

I went to Bamboo Hardwoods today to pick up some 1/2″ bamboo for the drawer fronts and some more 1/8″ for door and cabinet panels.     Here’s one of the front doors with bamboo panels and speakers mounted.


and an interior shot, taken later with the wire routing. interior insulation and speaker crossover visible.    I also wired up a red LED light which will illuminate when the door is opened.


The seals around the windows are kinda shot.    I have been ignoring the windows the whole project and now it is time to address them.


Another path

May 8th, 2009

I saw this the other day.    Not a bad idea — take a flatbed, strap on a shack and you are done.



Rollups now Flipouts

May 8th, 2009

I love the firetruck style rollup doors on Trog.   However, they don’t work at all with a camper layout as the rollup tracks would completely bisect the living area.    To fix this, yet retain the look, I have constrained the tambours using some aluminum U channel to make flipout flaps.    They are hinged at the top.



When open, they will allow a lot of cross-flow breeze.    I am debating whether or not to put an interior window of some sort on the forward flaps.     The drivers side rear flap opens to gain access to a storage area.    The passenger side rear flap will expose the exterior shower control and showerhead.

I think I will also repaint the flaps a different color.  I am considering a metallic silver — something that will look like bare aluminum or stainless.

The flaps will be supported by gas springs — they just arrived in the mail today so I’ll put them on soon.    I also need to figure out how they lock from the outside.



May 6th, 2009

With the roof flipped back over I installed the Solar Panels.    Two Kyocera KD-135 GX-LP panels to give up to 270 watts of electrical generation.    That should be enough to keep up with the refrigerator, heating fans, lights and other loads.


I considered mounting them like this:


which would have allowed room for a roof rack, but I decided on the end-to-end format because I would still have the ability to use the pole-chocks for long poles for desert or other camping structures.    It’ll also prevent me from adding a roof rack and loading the roof up with further weight.    It’s already much heavier than I’d like it to be.

The solar charge controllers is a Blue Sky 2512ix maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller.     MPPT controllers are more efficient because they operate the solar panel at the voltage where it produces the most overall power.   Conventional chargers operate at battery charge voltage (typically 13-14V), while the MPPT controller has a DC to DC converter to convert the MPPT voltage to charge voltage.


The Kyoceras produce maxiumum power at 17.7V.   More info on MPPT controllers are available in this PDF.