Monday, July 4, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
|Parts and pieces laid out.|
I had this idea for a movable, more direct and functional light for the camper that was also 12 volt (most of our camping is dry) and "cute". My idea was to take a work light meant for emergency tire changes or working under the hood on the side of the road and add a cheap little lamp shade from the craft store to give it that "I'm not a work light" look. So I picked up this cheap little work light from eBay (there is still 364 of them left, lol) and then I bought a little shade meant for the candle lights that people put in their windows at Christmas time (using a coupon it came to $1.40). I liked this light because it had the longer, straight cord at 10 feet. It can reach anywhere in the camper and my 12 volt plug is pretty much in the center of the camper. I also liked it because it was really small. I was also looking at this one at Walmart for $6, but it is much bulkier (can't find the Walmart link at this moment). But it has a retractable cord that is maybe 6' or 8'. But again bulkier. The only reason I may still try something out with it is because I am sure it is much brighter than this little one I choose over it. So all I did was open up the wire of the shade that goes over the bulb a bit then slid the cord into an already opened up piece of a clip that went around that. I used a suction cup on the window itself, my walls are textured even though a command hook will work if I decide on a permanent spot on the wall that folds in first. I have one up already in the center for a little sign I hang up when camping. Here are a couple pictures. I'll call this Chandler v1.0. I am happy with the concept, execution and the looks of this but I just wish it was a bit brighter. The clear plastic is just glued to the red top over a bulb soldered in, maybe I'll drag Mike over to radio shack to help me find one just a tad brighter. Either way for a total cost of $5.65 I am very happy with my little light and will give it a test run this coming weekend at Otter River.
|My movable 12 volt Light|
Sunday, June 26, 2011
We'll be going back out in three days. Well Mike, Kenzie and the dogs will go out Thursday and I'll be out with Taylor Friday after we're done with work. We'll be at Otter River site #50.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This post contains a bit more detail about the solar panel setup and connector. Search the blog for keyword solar for other details.
|Two Pin Connector From Radio Shack|
|2-Pin Plug Opened, Plug in only one way.|
|Small controller that came with solar panel (3 amp, max output of the solar panel is 1.68 amp).|
|Alligator clips on battery from controller.|
|Simple power gauge.|
|Line in from the solar panel (to the connector). Plug is before the controller.|
|Cable from panel through power opening.|
eta on 6/30/2011: I came across a website today about RV mods and it had a really good solar write up. It has a lot of the information I found all over the place in one place. Granted the install is more complex than mine and it's meant for a larger camper with a full roof and permanent set up but the general info and background is very useful if you're researching for your own project.
Monday, June 20, 2011
|either. So after replacing the locks on the access panels (lost keys) we looked to see if there were similar "locks" but as a thumb turn rather than a key lock. A key lock would've done the trick too, but I didn't want to have to worry about losing the key to something else again. We found such a thing at Lowes.|
|Mike notched out enough room for the stop to turn and hit the back of the cabinet. It's perfect. I know that most do not have household oak cabinets in their campers so if you're doing this to your camper you either may not have to notch out anything or you may have to add some thickness or something for it to catch on and where it catches may need to be reinforced on a thinner camper cabinet. This, along with the bed lift is on my list of favorite add ons.|
|Looking Top Down|
|From Inside, notched out. Catches on the cabinet facing.|
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Memorial Day weekend, from Thursday the 26th until June 1st. We had a quick thunderstorm on Saturday and a bit of a shower Monday morning, otherwise it was a gorgeous, sunfilled, warm weekend. The new LED lights and solar panel did great. The battery kept a full charge (at least according to the simple gauge mounted inside, forgot the digital voltmeter at home). I am sure the LEDs had a lot to do with it too. The LEDs were a bit dimmer and we may need to add a reading light but that shouldn’t be too hard and well add another LED. I think even some of those solar powered landscape lights would do the trick. A lot of them are pretty nice. Or an LED strip, people seem to be outfitting their cars with them, it would work well in the camper.
Mike went out on Thursday and I came out and helped him finish setting up after work. My dad came up for the afternoon too, so that was nice. I was back out Friday after the kids went to school and we went to Mackenzie’s Memorial Day function at school. Then they didn’t come out until after her school dance that night. Mike was in his cast and sling all weekend but he still did some cooking and got some fishing in. It had to be the quietest Memorial weekend ever at Otter River, it was wonderful. I guess the party animals found somewhere else to go other than state parks. I wish I could have stayed longer but the girls and I went home Monday evening and Mike stayed out until today (the first). He had his cast removed yesterday and is really sore so I am going to leave work early to pack up whatever the girls and I didn’t pack up the other day before we left. He kept Deogee with him and we have Haily. It’s pretty pathetic how much they miss each other, even though they saw each other yesterday when Mike came home for his doctors appointment. Mackenzie called me this morning to let me know Haily was acting funny again, depressed.
We are planning on host camping in August, then we have the Rainbow girls for a weekend at camp too so we will probably do both trips back to back so we’ll just move from the host site to the group site. I’m hoping Mike and I can get a few weekend trips in too. I’m gonna end up using most of my vacation in August for the host trip, but that’s okay, I’ll work when it’s snowing out this winter!
Monday, May 9, 2011
- Power (Pmax) : 30W
- Maximum power voltage ( Vpm ) : 17.5V ;Maximum Power Current: 1.68A
- Cable lengths : 12.5'
- Open circuit voltage ( Voc ) : 21.95V
- Charge controller prevents overcharging of 12-volt batteries
Friday, May 6, 2011
- Bulb Type:BA15S Base (Single Contact)
- 93B2 1156 1141 Bulb Replacement with LED
- Lumen:80 Lumen Color Temperature:Warm White 3100K
- Working Voltage:10 - 16 V DC, Power:1.44 Watt
- LED:15 LEDs, SMD3528
Old incandescent bulb:
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
With my 10 year anniversary gift card from work I am going to pick up a small solar panel and some led light bulbs for the camper. Things I would like but just can't see spending the household money on. I looked at clothes and jewelery but I keep coming back to these things, sad, I know, lol.
Here is the solar panel I have decided on at Amazon.com. It is a 30 watt mono-crystalline panel with a power controller (which probably isn't needed but it's only an extra $12). From what I learned in my research mono-crystalline cells are the oldest technology but they are also the smallest and most efficient. Poly-crystalline is a close second and then the thin film technology is called amorphous which I didn't spend too much time on because they are the largest and least effiecient, supposedly the least expensive but the price differences where not really worth noting, at least not on Amazon. I am going through Amazon because of the gift card, but honestly it's hard to beat the prices and no one can touch the free shipping. I asked a lot of questions on the Aliner Yahoo group list and between them and google I am pretty happy with this choice and I'll place the order later today.
To help out the drain on the battery when dry camping I am going to put LED bulbs in the two light fixtures in the camper. They both are single bulbs, old style 1141. This style isn't as easy to find the LED bulbs in, so they are more expensive then the common wedge types used in current models. It wouldn't cost more than $10 probably to update ours, but there isn't anything wrong with ours so why bother. I settled on these small bulbs because they had a good review. I was looking at brighter bulbs but honestly I hate bright white light. I made sure the ones I picked where the warmer light (3000-3100K not the 6000-6100K).
I'll post update once the order comes in and we get everything put in. I'm hoping it comes before Memorial Day as we're spending the weekend at our favorite spot, Otter River State Forest which does not have any hook ups....not that we wouldn't make it the weekend on a single charge, but it would be nice to try it out!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Mike suggested the brown stripe, picked it up locally and applied it. We think it really pulls it together. We had an extra logo because the vendor had made a mistake so Mike used it on the rear and added the green stripe with a concave cut near the wording. It's raised up so it sits over the lights and spare. Like a new camper, love it! Well worth all the hours agonizing over the right logos, fonts and colors as well as all the picking and cleaning up from the old logos.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Today we applied the green stripe on both long sides. We're thinking of not adding anything to the front (not sure yet, suggestions welcome!) on the back we're going to put the wording, Aliner LX and a variation on the green stripe. We're also going to add a small one inch stripe under it all. We were up in the air about the brown stripe but now that the thicker green stripe is on we think it would really tie it in with the wording and all.
Friday, April 29, 2011
I am beyond happy with this! Source of the logos is signnetwork.net. It is a small business in Canada but shipping is very quick. There was a mistake with my first shipment and she corrected it immediately and we had the replacement in just a few days. We'll add more pictures once the stripes are added.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
- Replace the tires.
Paint the sink/heater cabinet.
- Put a removable shelf in at the seat for the laptop.
- Lifts for the bed.
- Seal off opening under the bed.
- Replace the vent that I broke over the winter :(