Project Caravan – Almost There

It has been a while since I last wrote anything about this caravan project. It is partially because we have mainly been waiting for things to arrive, plus I am running out of hours in my days.

But some advances have been made. Last time you saw the project we were busy with the wires and insulation and sealing all that inside the walls. That has all been finished now! Also the battery found it’s place on the floor. and everything looks tidy.

We left the trailer waiting for the working week, with the idea that the following weekend we would build it with the intensity of a squirrel high on cocaine. There was a surprise waiting once we finally made it to the scene on Saturday morning.

A bed.

There was a bed frame occupying the space that was earlier a floor. Waffle’s dad had been clearly unable to stay away from the project. The bed is built so, that it also works as a storage and hides the battery. The bed bottom has hinges and is cut in half on the middle, so we can easily get under it to reach what ever we have stored in there. Also the frame for the door had appeared.

Trailer, caravan, teardrop

We had to stuff our squirrels back to where they came from and start doing the small bits. I went around the outside, armed with a scraper and some filler, aiming meticulously at the screw holes and other cracks, to make sure no water would be stored in there and that the surface would be even and smooth for the aluminium to lay on.

After that the wood was also oiled, by Waffle, to make it water resistent already. We do not want any issues with the moist here!

In the meanwhile Waffle was fighting his battles on the inside of the trailer. He was working on the switches and electricity outputs and lights as well as the mounting of the charge controller and its monitor.

We have 4 spot lights in the roof, consuming about 2 watts each. On the walls, on either side, we have bright, twistable reading spots that consume 3 – 4 watts. To make searching of things easier there are long led strips under the bed and inside the cupboard that will appear later on, to the top front part of our trailer. All the lights together are swallowing about 20 watts of electricity.

Then we have charging points, USB ports and cigarette lighters, for juicing up the phones and hooking in the TV and the cool box. For them Waffle created small wooden stands to enforce the wall a bit and make them sturdy.

There are also the switches. We have a main switch, which makes sure the whole circuit is dead and a switch that…. On top of that there are also the switches controlling the lights and the power to the TV.

With the installing of those we made a small mistake. Waffle accidentally short circuited them and made the cables melt. Good thing nothing started burning. After a quick study on electricity, circuits and switches we realized that only the positive current should run through. The negative wires need to bundled together and be forgotten. After that we put on some fuses too, to make sure that a mistake like that would not destroy the whole installation, but just pop a fuse.

We were almost ready to give a go for the solar panels. We plugged the cables in, threw the panels onto the roof and rolled the caravan out, what an exciting moment. The trailer was safely standing outside and the moment of hitting the switch came.

It was partially cloudy and the panels were a bit dirty too, so we were not expecting too high amount of current to hit the system. Once Waffle read the numbers on the monitor we were pleasantly surprised! We were producing enough power for all the lights and still pushing a bit into the battery! The total amount of power coming from the sun was about 100 watts, that I would call a success! Especially when nothing burned nor exploded!

 

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So now we practically have our own power station. Some bits are still missing until we get the thing on the road. So the next post will be about treating the walls weather proof, making a door and the additional bits we are requiring to make the trailer livable.

I’ll also try to get some better pictures for you guys to look at!

Until then then!

Parts One and Two and Three!

 

 

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