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Grandby Shell build, it takes a Village, a bit more install info, Zero Declination drop down shower curtain

Solar LiFePo4 12v system Storage Front Dinette Fan upgrade Rear camera Table Galley Bed

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#1 Stokeme

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 06:09 AM

I am documenting my individual build to share ideas. For all the posts that helped give me real life info, shared experiences & thoughtful innovation. I could better imagine my current needs. Initially I will show my roof solar panels. Some pics will post, others not. Materials .....
(Renogy) MC4 male/female cable connectors - MC4 Crimping tool - MC4 assembly/disassembly tool https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1
MC4 T Y Branch connectors
https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1
SAE pigtail - supplied in packet from FWC upon purchase of Camper
Solar Cynergy 120W Flex Solar panels (2) - 46.6” x 21.3” - (purchased from Solar Blvd, now, out of business?)
Aluminum .125 hollow square tubing - something like below - for the E to W Yakima structural attachment
This .065 square tubing could be used for the N to S panel supports. Rectangular could be used for interior panel support.
https://www.onlineme...1270&top_cat=60
Note, I did use all .125 wall thickness for my build
1/4 x 20 stainless hex bolt - locking & flat washers, nylock nut, bolt lengths determined by need
Aluminum bar strap - cut to determined need
Obviously the welding, that was generously offered to me along the way, is not a diy skill. My stacked, bolted tube frame was going to be extremely functional. It weighed the same. It was the same height (air space) off the roof. It was unpainted. My friend turned my clunky duckling into a white swan. He insisted I paint it, good idea, white Rust-Oleum. This frame will last as long as this Camper. It’s really light & I will be able to easily replace (or add one) panels if needed.

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Edited by Stokeme, 23 April 2020 - 05:47 PM.

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#2 Stokeme

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 06:18 AM

One more pic .....
I found aluminum tube to be my best frame option. I wanted 3 Solar panel capability (Alaska) & was lucky 3 could fit N to S on my roof. I wanted easy on & off for replacement. These flex panels may lack longevity. I hope to get a few years use. Replacement on EBay for Elfeland or Cynergy panels is ~$225 for 2, liveable if amortized over 3 years, better yet if longer lasting. They claim to lose a little efficiency over time. My complete roof setup, 12v @240W, weighs ~15 lbs. I have not noticed the weight lifting my roof.
My plan was to have E to W tube runners as the structural frame base. Stack the tube panel supports, N to S. Bolt everything together as a unit, & attach entire rack w/panels, to my Yakima tracks. An old reacquainted friend Paul, who is a metal fabricator, offered to weld everything seamlessly together. He added attachment feet as shown. He says the “right” metal shop may offer welding at a reasonable rate. He claims self tapping sheet metal screws would work for attaching panels to frame instead of bolts. Used the panel grommets as attachment points for the bolts but also did drill some holes into the margins.
I attached MC4 connectors to the SAE pigtail & used the T Y couplers to enable 2 panels. I ran my panels in parallel because I wanted a plug & play option to use a portable folding flex panel with my rear Camper SAE plug. Please confirm with FWC the polarity of the SAE plug to match correctly with the MC4 connectors. I really like the MC4 connectors as they have a seal ring & offer a tight seated connection.

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Edited by Stokeme, 06 April 2019 - 05:36 AM.

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#3 Vic Harder

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 09:31 PM

nice work.  I would take a look at how the wires (nice and tightly bundled) on the ends of your panels MIGHT affect output.  They could cast shade on the closest cells.  Simply moving them down/over a bit would avoid that possibility.

 

Otherwise, very nice indeed.


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#4 longhorn1

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 11:12 PM

nice work. I would take a look at how the wires (nice and tightly bundled) on the ends of your panels MIGHT affect output. They could cast shade on the closest cells. Simply moving them down/over a bit would avoid that possibility.

Otherwise, very nice indeed.

+2 on that Vic. I was thinking the same thing on the wires.
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http://texaslonghorns01.blogspot.com/

 

Ford F-250 Long bed, 2014 Grandby

 


#5 Stokeme

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 06:21 AM

I’ll roll the wires back & down, no unintended shade wanted.
The mat I got for the truck bed before Camper install & the rear backup camera that replaced my tailgate setup. I highly recommend calling Camera source, excellent customer service, it helped ensure I got what I needed. I was able to reclaim the colored, green, yellow, red, camera backup markers, that were original to the stock camera.

Mat - https://www.realtruc...-truck-bed-mat/

Camera - https://camera-sourc...-kit-16784.html

Edited by Stokeme, 06 April 2019 - 05:38 AM.

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#6 Stokeme

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 07:23 PM

Below are 2 pics that show my backup camera mounted over the top center of the rear bumper via a handy standard porthole. (2018 F150) This was basically a plug & play into the harness plug that remained after the tailgate removal.
The other pic is the Battery box with batteries run in parallel & my mounted solar controller. You will notice an extra bundle, zip tied, originally housed in the heater box. It was too hard to fit back, as the heater has very little room & gets hot! It was collateral damage from exploring a possible rewire. Safe & out of the way is all I can say about that. The batteries are positioned perpendicular. The rear battery, 100Ah, was a little too long & had to be placed vertically (N to S). The 50Ah Battery, which just fits snugly, is horizontal in front. This allows easier removal, when needed, for canoe trolling.

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Edited by Stokeme, 06 April 2019 - 05:39 AM.

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#7 Stokeme

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 11:39 PM

Shown is an aluminum Lagun swivel, table arm system, mounted to the Camper front wall. Heavy duty, easy adjust, multiple pivot. The added stainless wall mount was fabricated by my buddy. A wall mount helps sink load into the front, aluminum tube, internal Camper studs for solid support. Metal or wood plate would do the job. The Lagun system comes with a, vertical (small) slotted, height adjustable aluminum mount & 2 material spacers. High quality, marine product.
Will post again later when the table is built & mounted.

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Edited by Stokeme, 21 January 2019 - 11:51 PM.

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#8 Stokeme

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 05:07 AM

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Some new photos depicting my Shell remodel plans/dreams. This buildout is being implemented by a friend of mine, & a friend of his, who both have skills I do not possess. It has been a long process.
Shown are cutouts into the lower face panel of a Grandby rollover couch. Extension drawers will be added to offer easier access to storage area below the couch. It is being finished up this week, I think. I’m hoping to make it to some Spring color.

Edited by Stokeme, 06 April 2019 - 05:43 AM.

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#9 Stokeme

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 05:20 AM

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Drawers constructed of Hardrock Maple ply purchased from FWC. 4’x8’ sheet was $117 when I bought it last Fall. It is what they predominately use for their interior cabinetry. When drawer hardware gets attached I will take a quick pic. I purchased (cabinet) slam latches & (drawer) push button, overhead airline type, locking latches. Couch frame aluminum stability supports were custom fabricated.

Edited by Stokeme, 06 April 2019 - 04:12 AM.

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#10 Stokeme

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 05:53 AM

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Initial pic of rear passenger side corner cabinet. It will have a utility drawer at the top.
My wife bemoans waiting for all this. I wanted a lighter, off grid, energy efficient unit with some added comfort & functionality. I also just wanted something individually unique. I promised her a lower cost, I think I am on pace.
The purchase of a Shell helped me be able to add premium components such as LiFePo batteries.

Edited by Stokeme, 06 April 2019 - 02:24 PM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Solar, LiFePo4, 12v system, Storage, Front Dinette, Fan upgrade, Rear camera, Table, Galley, Bed

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