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Old 01-29-2012, 12:27 PM   #1471
RichBeBe
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Lots of info on the link. All of my knowledge is second hand and may not be 100% accurate. But you are not looking to run everything directly and not have a lose. So a 30w panel that is working at 2/3 power would give you 1.66amps at 12v. As the voltage increase the amps drop. So when the fridge is not running you will likely be close to positive. When it is cycling you will have a small lose. Assuming you are running an inverter, and a few things, and maybe a few 12v lights, you will likely be fine for a long weekend.
I would find a panel that is not mounted so you could hang it, or place it on your roof at the angles you need for maximum output.
The generators come with 12v outputs (though Honda you have to buy the cord, and Yamaha comes with it) but you than have something else to carry, gas to deal with, etc. I will say that my buddy has a Honda 1000EUi and in his van there is zero gas smell so they seal up really well.
I know you don't do things half-assed but I think there are some good half ass ideas on how to run a solar setup.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:03 PM   #1472
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Originally Posted by Geek View Post
I'm coming to the conclusion that fridges suck.

A good 12V fridge (engel) costs between $1000-$1500.
It'll draw 2-3 amps.

Lets say it draws 3 amps for math.

100ah AGM battery is 67 lbs in weight and sells for say $200.
you can run a deep cycle battery down to 50% of its capacity without damaging it so that's 50 usable ah.
So that 67 lb battery running the fridge and ONLY the fridge can run it for a whopping 17 hours without charging???

If I want to camp all day saturday and all day sunday without having to start the van it sounds like I really need 200ah at a minimum if I have a fridge?

AGM 200ah battery is farking HUGE - 137 lbs and 21" long. Sells for $500.

Am I missing something here or do fridges really suck (electricity ) ?
Assuming it would run constantly, but would it? From what I've read, a nice insulation bag and modest temperature setting goes a long way.

Assuming one packed it the night before and got it down to temp on AC prior to departure, keep it full and closed as much as possible, it wouldn't need to run all the time right?

I'm having the same reservations about running one in the vehicle as you, especially given the initial investment.

Have you dug into some of the fridge threads on Expedition Portal, Geek? Lots of really good first hand experience and analysis on fridge usage. Edgestar makes a nice, lower budget fridge that gets generally positive reviews on ExPo: http://www.compactappliance.com/12-V...efault,sc.html

Often nice used ARB, Engel, etc. fridges come up for sale on ExPo in their flea market. I run across them on craigslist occasionally as well.

Seems a lot of folks make a low budget setup with an EdgeStar fridge, group 34 Sears Diehard Platinum (rebadged Odyssey AGM) and some inexpensive battery management.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #1473
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Originally Posted by troidus View Post
How about a propane fridge? You'll already have a bottle to run the stove (unless you use alcohol), so it's just a little extra plumbing, or you design your enclosure to hold the fridge and two small bottles.
The stove is going to be alcohol. Cookmate 4200 with flush bamboo cover



Can you get a fridge that runs on the little camping bottles of propane? How long would one run on a bottle?



I do not want to install a large propane bottle and have to go through all the cabinet ventillation issues, etc.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #1474
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That's a nice stove. I was debating about cooking inside the van, but I decided against it, even though the lingering smell of bacon is not a bad thing.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:07 PM   #1475
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That's a shxtload of ice right there.
One of these will hold a lot of your favorite beverage cold for good long time. http://www.polarbearcoolers.com/pola...r-coolers.html
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:08 PM   #1476
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I spent the entire day in the garage working on the van (last weekend was bikes. next weekend will be bikes again).

The goal: I wanted to try and come up with a set of main cabinet doors to see if my idea was going to work and whether it was going to look ok or not...

So 8020 makes a set of "sliding door rails". They come in 3 foot lengths and are designed to fit in the t-slot track. These ones are designed specifically for 15 series that I'm using.

The rail on the left is the top of the door.. the rail on the right is the bottom of the door. You can see they machined arches in the bottom slots to help reduce friction. Pretty cool design and actually it works out they work really well.


I don't know the proper way you are supposed to put them in... I just tapped them in with a mallet. It is a really snug fit so it took some significant wacks. I used a piece of wood over the rails to keep them from getting dinged up.


Lower track in place


Upper track in place


Then came the "how to make the doors"

I started with a piece of my flooring. See this little slot?


With a bit of cutting I got it just right


not exactly how the slots are supposed to be used, but I want rattle free doors and this is a much smoother but tighter way of doing the slide.

I took the tops to the router


...and kept shaving some off until I had the router set at the perfect depth


...then test fit the first board.


...cut, route, fit, repeat.


I kept going until I had two doors. Then I flipped them over and glued a layer of luxury liner pro to the backs of them. The LLP really adds some mass to them (and sound deadening) and makes them feel "significant".



Cheryl & I had ran to Ace this morning. $34 netted me not very much stuff
That said.. we found these really nice stainless handles that are quite heavy/stout and are nice and smooth so they won't catch pant legs or anything... They were $4.65 each which sucks because I'm going to need more than 16 of them



So after fitting the handles I put everything together for the front two doors to see how it turned out:



The cabinet will be getting a shelf in side that'll make it an upper and lower cabinet to better use space (as well as various dividers).


They were a lot of work.. but I think the result is worth it?
They slide smoothly and easily. They have significant mass which is going to hopefully keep them from rattling and will help deaden the sounds coming from inside the cabinets (remember the back of the front panels are sound deadened too). Now I only have 6 more doors to make (for the lower cabinets alone). Doh!




Yes.. I know the front faces are horizontal and the doors are vertical.
Some day I'll change the front faces to vertical with offset faces to match.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:11 PM   #1477
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dude seriously awesome craftsmanship! i envy the space (oh, and the skill and patience too).
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #1478
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So after I finished the first set of cabinet doors.. I decided to play with my "sink pod" some more.

Cutting, routing and fitting boards... until that wonderful last gap... 3.25 inches gap.. 6" wide board.



I got the board cut down and then needed to create notches in the corners for to go around the fasteners in the corners



After screwing up a board (or two)... I finally got all the pieces right.



So the sink pod will be able to be mounted in a few different locations depending on needs







but once the stove pod is done, it'll probably end up about right here (with the stove pod between it and the rear cabinet)


So that hardware photo from earlier... see the ball handle knobs? and the studs that thread into them?



These will allow the bolting/unbolting of the various pods with just a quick turn of your fingers



....or at least that's the current concept

So just those couple of items took an entire day. At this rate, the van will be done in 2079

As it sits right now:





ALL THREE of the other sides of the sink pod need to be opening doors.
I still have no idea how I'm going to do it



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Old 01-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #1479
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How easily do the doors slide? Will the aft ones slide forward under aggressive braking?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:25 PM   #1480
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Fridge/Stove idea

I think I'd look into a LP fired stove and fridge. That's what the RVs run. I'd think it'd be relatively easy to mount a tank to a frame rail and put a quick-connect in the doorway step area. I think there are A/C units that are LP fired, too. IDK, maybe you though of that already.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:29 PM   #1481
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Originally Posted by a1fa View Post
That's a nice stove. I was debating about cooking inside the van, but I decided against it, even though the lingering smell of bacon is not a bad thing.
Truth be known, I couldn't give a poop if the van had a sink or a stove... those items are for my sweetie. She's a master chef and I want to give her something better than we have when tent camping (..and of which I'm the beneficiary )

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Old 01-29-2012, 04:31 PM   #1482
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Originally Posted by Hardware02 View Post
How easily do the doors slide? Will the aft ones slide forward under aggressive braking?
I don't think they will due to the extra mass the LLP added to them.
If it turns out they do I'll add some latches (8020 makes some that fit right in the t-rail).

I'll try and take some video of it to show the force required.. I really think I kinda lucked into the sweet spot of "just enough" force required. That was part of my "slot design" for the bottom rail.. they definitely would have slid easier in the stock position (and likely have rattled ).
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:33 PM   #1483
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Originally Posted by ducnut View Post
I think I'd look into a LP fired stove and fridge. That's what the RVs run. I'd think it'd be relatively easy to mount a tank to a frame rail and put a quick-connect in the doorway step area. I think there are A/C units that are LP fired, too. IDK, maybe you though of that already.
I appreciate your input

There are actually laws are regulations you run into as soon as you put a propane tank on board... about how it is secured, ventilated, etc. From what I understand.. those laws exist for good reason as well. In an accident the last thing you want is a pressurized bomb flying around in your vehicle I've read some pretty scary stories of people who have done it wrong (ranging from fires burning the vehicle to the ground to explosions caused by leakage/an ignition source).

I'm really trying to avoid propane... my heater is going to be diesel powered off the primary fuel tank.

Here's a question - does anyone make a DIESEL fridge?
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:09 PM   #1484
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Nice work!

How far out do those handles stick - they look they might get annoying quickly if they start catching on things

Of course, the simplest sort of door handles are finger holes

Any particular reason on the Engel fridge rather than a Dometic or Norcold?
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:19 PM   #1485
RichBeBe
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Originally Posted by Geek View Post
Here's a question - does anyone make a DIESEL fridge?
The exist, I am not sure how efficient they are though. But a friend had an old boat that had one on board. It never worked right, but I remember it being there.
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