Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-28-2013, 10:03 PM   #611
Senior Member
 
larrie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oregon Ciry Oregon
Posts: 2,604
Hal The Van

After adding two solar panels I can no longer raise the penthouse top by hand. Had to get an adjustable cargo bar to give it the initial start. This is with the spring tensioning adjusted. The panels added 53 pounds to the weight of the top.
__________________

__________________
Larrie
Read detailed trip reports, see photos and videos on my travel blog, luinil.com.
Visit my Patreon page: patreon.com/LarrieEasterly
Current van: 2002 Ford E350 extended body camper with Colorado Camper Van pop top and Agile Offroad 4WD conversion.
larrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #612
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Truth be told, I don't usually raise it by hand but literally put my back into it.
__________________

__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2013, 10:12 PM   #613
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Battery Separator

A battery separator is used to both electrically tie together and separate the van's starting battery and house batteries. It contains a solenoid that opens and closes to join the two systems. During camping the van's electrical systems should only be fed from the house batteries so the separator opens to prevent the draining of the starting battery. When the engine is running the separator closes so the alternator can charge both sets of batteries. Now that Hal has solar panels installed the battery separator will also tie together the systems when the solar controller is outputting enough electricity.

I'd posted back in December about running a wire from the starting battery under the hood to the inside of the van. That wire ends up at the house electrical system under the sofa-bed. There it's wired to this Sure Power model 1315 Battery Separator.




The wire from the starting battery comes in from the right.


The wire on the left runs to here on the main breaker.


Looking at the above picture of the separator label there are connections for "Start Lamp", "Start Signal" and "Ground". The install instructions call for a 10 amp fuse in the ground connection. I used an in-line fuseholder for this connection from the separator ground connector to the grounding terminal strip on the back of my main fuse panel.


For the Start Lamp and Start Signal connections I'll need to run a couple of wires from here to the instrument panel.


The two wires will connected to a led indicator and a momentary push button switch.


The switch will provide the "Start Signal" to the separator. The separator's normal operation is to not close until either the house battery or starting battery is at 13.2 volts. In the situation where the starting battery doesn't have enough power to start the engine then pushing this switch will close the separator solenoid joining the two systems. The install instructions have one pole of the push bottom switch going to the Start Signal connector and the other pole going to a "power on start" source. I'll be doing it a little different.

Run the two wires from the separator to the underside of the instrument panel. Decide where to put the push button and led indicator. It needs to be on the left side of steering wheel since in starting operation my right hand is cranking the engine. To do this I'll have to first remove part of the instrument panel. Start with the headlight switch. Reach in under the dash and feel around on top of the light switch for a small button. Push down on the button and you can remove the knob with it's metal post.


Next unscrew this collar from the front of the cover piece. I've already remove the cover piece in this photo.


Take out the two screws at the top and the cover pops out.


Decide where there's room for the push button.


Drill holes for the push button and led indicator and install.


After soldering wires to the push button the back popped off the first time I pressing it.


Rats! I've already drilled the hole. Where am I going to get a push button switch the exact same size? I know!
Wire up the led and replacement push button to a male plug.


The positive power for the led indicator comes from the Start Lamp wire that goes to the separator. To complete the circuit I need a ground. Add a second wire to a ground connection on the left side of the instrument panel.


For the Start Signal it needs 12 volts. Instead of "power on start" I'm going to use a "hot all time" source. There might be times when I want to tie the two electrical systems other than just during engine start. Under the dash is this white wire that powers the radio from the house batteries. Use that as my source. Instead of cutting the wire use a tap. The tap slips over the source wire. Insert the new wire into the tap then squeeze the metal tab with pliers.


After the tab is squeezed all the down close the plastic latch. Done.


Add a female plug to these wires.


Plug in the new push button and led indicator. Give it a test before putting the cover back in place.


Light comes on and I can hear the solenoid in the battery separator kick in.


Looks good.


Not done yet. The separator has exposed connectors. I could easily drop a wrench and create short against the house battery frame.


Fix this by making a protective cap from scrap acrylic pieces. The Weld-On 3 cement I use works very quick so as long as a newly made joint isn't stressed just give it a couple minutes and keep building.


The solenoid on the separator gets warm so I left a lot of open space for air to circulate. Add a foot so it can be screwed down.


That's the end of the Battery Separator post.

One more thing. The replacement red capped push button. Removed it from something I'd built several years ago.


It's the Reset Button for a computer built into a Stanley toolbox.


__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2013, 08:18 AM   #614
Senior Member
 
Scalf77's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 2,009
Re: Hal The Van

As always great work and write up. You may want to add a switch to the ground wire. This will allow you to disable the separator if needed.

-greg
Scalf77 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 09:28 AM   #615
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Thanks Greg. I'd thought about an off switch for the separator but doubt it would get much use. I can always pull the fuse. Do you have occasion to disable the separator?
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 02:57 PM   #616
Senior Member
 
Scalf77's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 2,009
Re: Hal The Van

If you have easy access to the fuse, I might not be worth the effort. I found the disconnect to used more then the start connection, which I think you did the correct way versus the SurePower approach.

First, use would be boondocking, no reason to waste those precious solar amps just to keep that solenoid on and generating heat.

Second, I really try to keep the starting battery isolated from the house system. I believe the bidirectional aspect of the 1315 and the start circuit wired per Surepower instructions have masked more stating battery problems, that have then gone on to become bigger issues. I would rather get a idea that my starter was going bad.

Third, debugging problems, it just makes it easier to debug battery issues when you can isolate them.
Scalf77 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2013, 06:49 PM   #617
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Quote:
First, use would be boondocking, no reason to waste those precious solar amps just to keep that solenoid on and generating heat.
Excellent point. I haven't had a chance to test everything in the field yet so I'll have a better idea after that.

Thanks for the info.
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #618
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Electrical Outlets

As the electrical system has progressed I thought it was time to add a 110 outlet. This is the front panel from the sofa-bed laying face down. Found what I thought was a good place to mount the electrical box. There are several types of electrical boxes but used one that was on hand.


Create the opening for the box by drill four holes from the back with a spade bit.


Formica covers the front side of the board. To reduce the possibility of splintering the finish I'd stop the drilling from behind after the spade bit center emerges and flip the board over and finish the hole from the front.


Use a jig saw to complete the opening.


Check that the cover plate will hide any sins in the cutting of the opening.


To mount the box I added a couple wood pieces on each side then bent a backing metal strap such that the front of the box was flush. Then bolt the box to the strap.




For the wiring I used a heavy duty power cord. This is the type of cord that has the standard three prong female end that matches most every computer power supply. Work with computers long enough and you'll end up with a bunch of these.


Bolt the front of the sofa-bed in place.


Plug the new outlet into the main power strip.


It's because of this outlet that I went with using a power strip instead of hard wiring all the outlets into a junction box. Since I have occasion to disassemble the sofa-bed I'd need a way to disconnect this outlet so the power strip made more sense.

The weather has been heating up lately so I wanted to use a fan in the van. Need to install a 12 volt outlet for that. Here's one I'd used before. Notice it has a plug so it too can be disconnected.


Like the new 110 outlet, wire it to the inside front of the sofa-bed.


Mount it so the outlets are horizontal.


Wire it to the fuse panel and ready to go. For a 12 volt fan I can highly recommend a Endless Breeze from Fan-Tasic. Does a great job without draining the battery.
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 10:11 PM   #619
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,293
Re: Hal The Van

Disco Lights

After finishing up with the solar panels I wanted the next project to just be for fun so decided to add a Red-Green-Blue LED strip. It has a controller that allows different effects so I'm calling them Disco Lights. And just to clear this up early on, Yes I lived through the Disco Era and had a blast. Owned a bunch of polyester shirts with the big pointed collars that you could never quite get the sweat smell out of after spending the night dancing.

Before installing the lights I'll have to do some disassembly to the penthouse trim. This is the trim piece that covers the front edge of the roof cut.




Here are the two lower brackets for the penthouse roof front hold down clamps. To allow for the bolts that stick up the top trim piece has extra room underneath it.




This is the bottom trim piece. It also has to be removed. It's held in place by a series of screws.


And the bolts for the lower brackets.




Here's the trim pieces now out of the way.


How it looks with the bottom trim piece removed.


The LEDs come as a flexible strip on a roll. The small white box is the LED controller. Runs off 12 volts. It also comes with an infrared remote. These cost about $15 on ebay.


The plug on the controller is this standard size female barrel connector. Search through old wall-wart transformers and you should find a match. Cut off the plug.


This and the next several projects are all electrical and for testing purposes I needed a 12 volt benchtop power supply. Here's what I used. It's the power supply from a old computer. There are several tutorials on the internet for converting most any computer power supply into a benchtop supply like this. It's fairly easy and besides costing next to nothing these types of power supplies can crank out a lot of well regulated watts. I wondered what use negative 12 volts is. Turns out going from +12 to -12 gives 24 volts.




Mount the controller on what used to be the top of the roof. There is room under the top trim piece for the controller.


Need to run wires up to the controller from the main fuse panel. Drill a hole and add a grommet for the wiring through the roof near the front left corner of the penthouse reinforcement metal work.


Install the wiring to the controller and add a on/off switch to the bottom trim piece.






To protect the LED strip I'm using a 1/2" square "Impact-resistant Polycarbonate Square Tube" that I bought from McMaster-Carr. The strip easily slips inside the tube.


The flexible LED strip can be safely cut every so many inches at one of these marks.


I cut the LED strip so it runs the length of the metal ledge for the penthouse top.


To hold the square tube in place I used these rare earth magnets secured to the tube with VHB tape.


Since the tube is laying on the metal ledge I only had to add one magnet every foot. The magnet holds the tube to the inside edge.


The magnets are strong enough to cause the square tube to snap back in place if pulled away and released.


Plug the light strip into the controller.


Give it a test.


Not the same as a lighted dance floor but still fun.



I need to add a soundtrack to the video. Maybe a little Donna Summers.
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
https://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 04:47 PM   #620
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 104
Re: Hal The Van

Ha, I have 32ft of that stuff just waiting to be put to good use! If you want more, I found a really good source that is pretty cheap. 32 feet with everything you need for $80. Probably don't need that much but sounded like fun!

Nice work and thanks for the vid!
__________________

dudewithvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×