Tag Archives: vandwellers

Upgrading Solar on the Vome

So the time has come to show some more of the VOME build out.  SO, here’s another “how did” video and a little introduction.

I wanted to increase the ability to charge my house batteries in lower light levels, without unpacking the folding  panel and just the overall redundancy the extra panel would provide.  Spending time in all kind of places presents challenges for using solar.  Out west in the desert areas it’s a sure thing you can find the sunshine you need.  The shade of a forest is a different story, no different book.

I mounted the panel from my old van on top of the VOME near the rear since the rooftop real estate was a bit crowded.  My plan was to leave room for expansion, and now we expand.  Let’s look at what I did and “how did” when it came to mounting these on a fiberglass roof.  But first consider the roof is actually two “skins” an outer one and an inner one.  The problem this presents is I can’t get to the outer skin from inside to install a backing plate.  That’s why I’ll be using a fastener called a well nut.IMG_20160813_100404.jpgHere’s a video that explains how these fasteners work… Kayak Fishing – Hardware Installation Options, Rivets and Well Nuts.  Now that you’ve seen how they work let me also point out they work to provide a certain amount on isolation from vibration.  IMG_20160813_100415.jpgThe one I’m using here is for a 1/4″-20 bolt and required a hole that was 1/2″ in diameter to allow it to be inserted.IMG_20160813_100512.jpgUsing stainless steel bolts and washers to anchor the brackets on the panel to the roof.IMG_20160813_113348.jpgNotice how as you tighten the bolt it not only expands in the hole to grip it also seals against the roof.  Because there is only rubber in contact with the fiberglass it will not try to wear it’s way out.IMG_20160813_113457.jpgThe outcome???

Well I’m satisfied.  The electrical outcome???

Well turning on everything I could and with the sun playing hide and seek behind clouds the buss voltage bounced happily between 13.1 and 14.2 volts.

This allows us to be more independent in our travels and adventures.

“Get out, Be safe, Go adventure.”


Living in a really small space

The ultimate fuel-efficient traveling home.

Would you think it possible to live in a space as small as this?

This week I met someone who is not only living but having a great time doing it. Below is a video where he explained the features and reasoning  of the engineering he put into this wonderful ride. The Prius is an interesting vehicle in it’s own rights.  Follow this link to go to the Toyota site.

This is a very clean installation on the drivers side that gives Brent accurate monitoring of what’s going on with his house battery.

But the ideas and engineering that Brent has put in is pretty sharp.  Like the house battery installed behind this panel that also holds a voltage display, 12 volt power outlet and USB charging port.  He runs an inverter and charger off of the vehicle’s main battery which the Prius is monitors and starts the engine to recharge automatically.  In fact he can set the thermostat in the Prius to start and maintain the temperature where he is sleeping.

What a great idea, a table with no legs! And at not even 2″ thick it slides into a very small storage space.

Brent’s engineering background was evident in excellent utilization of nearly every inch of space.  He designed this table to use the door’s tension to hold it in place against the little white wedge block.  AND,  it works on either side of the car.  He explained this is something that anybody can design for their vehicle using cardboard templates to trace the shape of the door and the fender well.

Another really neat feature was his water supply. How about built-in under the storage compartment he designed behind the passenger front seat.
Another really neat feature was his water supply. How about built-in under the storage compartment he designed behind the passenger front seat.

His use of space was not only designed in square inches, he considered cubic inches.  Here’s an example, under his bed is a well laid out storage area divided into compartments and beneath that is his water storage.  So his design has used every cubic inch behind the front passenger seat to the fullest.  Very impressive!

I had a great time interviewing Brent and learning how to make a very small space work as an efficient roving home.  Below is a link to the video posted on YouTube where he goes into detail all of the features.

Until next…

Get out, Be safe and Go adventure.