Monday, December 14, 2020

The power situation evolved

I have been busy in the background working on the Dream Weaver. She is in a new location that is covered, I will be able to work on her all winter long, primarily on weekends until we have a bit more daylight and the temperature comes up. The current status of the build is the inside is completed cleaned out, and I have placed furring strips on the walls and ceiling. I am focused on the major systems, the first of which is electrical.

I had created a system in my last post for a moderate solar system. I have changed the game and created a far more robust system that will manage the 110v AC system and the solar system. I will be putting 1000 watts on solar to the roof of Dream Weaver and I will have 400 amp hour at 24volts of a battery bank, It is the equivalent of 7.2 kWh. 

I went with a 3000 watt Victron Multiplus Inverter that will handle the incoming AC Power and a Victron MPPT to bring in the solar. There is a ton of information on both products on YouTube so I won't re-create it here. The move to the Multiplus is making change the 1/0 gauge wire I originally used to 4/0 gauge wire. That is a bit of a project in and of itself but it is required. 

I have a lot of wire management still to do, I should be testing the AC power input this coming weekend and then start routing the AC and DC runs to wire up Dream Weaver. At that point, I can clean things up and move on to the HVAC system. 

As a side note if you look at the bottom right-hand corner you see a red box, that is my diesel heater, a little heater that packs a huge clean punch. That was a great find, if you are looking for one, get the one with the White ends, not the black ones. 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Cargo Home - We have POWER!

Well from a high-level view the system went together as advertised. I would like to acknowledge Will Prose whose book I bought and used as my guide to this panel. He has multiple Youtube videos and has been a wealth of knowledge for me. He is a good communicator and speaks in simple easy to understand words so that even a guy like me can get it.

I did make some modifications to his proposed set up. All my Battery cables are 1/0 gauge. The major change was a more robust MPPT from Victron Energy. I went with the MPPT 150 I 60 - Tr. I am set up to have 8 solar panels on the roof of the Cargo Home but I have room for at least two more. I am using Rich Solar panels @ 100Watts each, which is 800Watt all running at 24v.

Here is a link to his website and the system I duplicated: RV Solar Power Blue Prints

So my previous post I had all the components mounted on the board. As I started to wire them, I made some adjustments moving the power strip to the top of the board and adjusting the red battery cut off switch.

I connected the batteries and switched the battery cutoff to battery bank 1 or "on". I have both breakers tripped to the DC side and to the MPPT which does not have solar connected. I then tested both the DC and the AC Inverter.

On this video I had connected two solar panels in series to make 24v and then connected it to the MPPT to see if I could get a flow coming in. It was a raining cloudy day but was able to pull 8watts. It worked was all I was concerned about it and I am pleased with the results.

Friday, May 15, 2020

1st Step - Solar

I am trying to get some electricity to the Cargo Home without having to run extension cords. Here is the start of my new Solar System. I am mounting the components on a plywood board. In the photo, you can see my four Battle Born 12v Lithium-Ion Batteries. That is 400 Amp Hours of goodness. I will go into greater detail as I get this wired up but as it sits I have 800 Watt Hours of solar panels, it will be set up as a 24volt system.

Friday, January 31, 2020

A New Home - now it is time to start the project in earnest

Well, the time has come to put the plans into action. As a baseline here is a shot of the trailer in its new home in a pristine state. This is a covered trailer park where I will install the solar system, windows, HVAC system, and any penetrations to the roof or walls for windows and such. I am hopeful to include videos of this project but here are some stills of the basics.

I will give you some shots of the interior so we have a clear starting point. We are starting at ground zero. I got the trailer while I was living in Texas a year ago on an awesome deal. It has some hail damage but I am choosing to ignore it, it did nothing to the structural integrity of this unit. This is a very well built 30ft long car hauler. I have great expectations for it. I am super excited about this project.

I will continue to remove all the wall paneling and the ceiling sections. The goal and first steps are to clear out the interior and work on the electrical infrastructure. I am going to have a major solar system as part of the first part of this project but more on that later. I am running a small solar generator for basic lights as I am working on this in the evenings and it is dark out. I have very limited access to the grid. I have a lot of this project to share and am eager to answer questions if you want to jump in and ask.

As with all these projects it is what the person building it brings both in the vision and capacity to build that guides the project. I have been following blogs on cargo trailers for the last two years. I don't quite understand the "haters" who have to jump in and correct someone else's project so be nice and I will gladly respond. I would love to hear about your project as well.

Here is a shot of my little solar generator. I am currently charging it on 110v but once the weather changes I can get some sun in my life and do it correctly.

A lot more to come over the coming weeks and months. I expect this project to run two years as time is not that available for me to put into this but, I am eager to move it along as quickly as I can.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

I have created a rough sketch of what I think the build will become. The biggest consideration is weight as I went a bit overboard on the robustness of the Mini Mobile Cottage and it got pretty heavy for the trailer I built it on. Therefore, as I go through the planning phase I am looking at lighter materials and construction methods that don't add bulk to the end product.

I want a lot of open space so I have designed it as such. I have a plan for electrical and a plan for plumbing. I will probably go back to what I know and use a composting toilet but I still need a grey water system for the sink and the shower. All good things to think about.

Well here is the rough outline that more then likely will change a bit in the final outcome but this is a good starting point. I did notice that the right side drawing is backward, so much for my architectural skills.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

How things have changed from the days of 2011 when I started the Mini Mobile Cottage Project. I moved to Texas for job reasons and the Cottage stayed in Oregon and I was able to return each summer to enjoy Oregon's greatness. As of April of 2018 I have moved back to Oregon, again for Job reasons and am living full time in the Cottage.

I have had to replace the water heater and the water pump as both died during the summer. I bought the same items just the 2018 editions and all has returned to harmony in the Cottage. I have decided to take on a new challenge and will be building out a 30ft Cargo Trailer, plans and pics to follow. I expect most will be done in videos as I have become fluent with my phone's video tools whereas in 2011 that certainly was not the case.

I am dusting off the old blog and will be putting content related to the build much the same as I did before. Here is what it looks like before any modifications. This is not my trailer but mines looks just like this.

It has a rear door ramp so I am thinking that end will be my garage and shop, the front 24ft will be living space. I expect the project to take about a year and a half on weekends. I have a place where I can do the work, the trailer is already living there. I expect I will do most of the work myself and have yet to finalize on the systems but have been thinking about this for a year so I have a good idea on what I want to do. There is a ton of content on Youtube around building out a cargo trailer and I will put the link to my channel on the blog but all the content there should also end up here as this is going to be my official build site blog.

Feel free to follow and share my journey,


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Opening the Cottage to AirBnB

Since I am now living in Texas for part of the year, I am going to try out AirBnB and see if I can get any one who wants to try out the cottage. It should be interesting to say the least. I did a full photo shoot of the inside so I will post a bunch of those photo here as well.

In case you are interested in checking it out: