Poll

How should I paint the truck?

Keep it camo
51 (32.9%)
Desert Tan
24 (15.5%)
OD Green
29 (18.7%)
Hello Kitty
51 (32.9%)

Total Members Voted: 151

Author Topic: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV  (Read 283228 times)

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #360 on: May 24, 2012, 08:53:39 PM »
seems to me you have some wasted space there above the batteries and below the counter top.

Not too wasted. It is a good place to put baggage or to let a 3 year old run his cars.

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #361 on: May 25, 2012, 10:22:50 AM »
Yep, Hello Kitty will blend in nicely.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #362 on: May 25, 2012, 10:48:52 AM »
ROFL,  Urbanite Metro camouflage LOL

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #363 on: May 26, 2012, 09:50:56 AM »
ha ha

Here is a crappy panorama I shot with my phone. It gives a more complete picture (punny) of the inside.

Offline Vulcan

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #364 on: May 26, 2012, 12:03:52 PM »
Lookin good!  8)

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #365 on: May 27, 2012, 01:11:05 PM »
One happy passenger



First meal in the truck

For the kiddo


For me


With the windows open I did not have any fear of cooking back there as there was plenty of air movement. At night it was not stuffy (again plenty of air movement). I really need to do a week long base camp style camp to see how it all works out. I also think I need more solar on the roof as after two days (one of which was cloudy) I was getting a little low on juice. So I figure two more panels would make it charge up faster on the sunny days.

This was just a short overnight trip and I have already started a list of things I need to add to the truck. Good learning experience.

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #366 on: May 27, 2012, 02:14:00 PM »
Might want to put one of those battery powered carbon-monoxide monitors in the sleeping area, just in case.  Similarly, a small fan blowing out the window could go a long way toward keeping any CO build-up to a minimum.

Awesome to see it go from project to working vehicle now! :)


Offline TexasGirl

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #367 on: May 28, 2012, 01:22:15 AM »
I also think I need more solar on the roof as after two days (one of which was cloudy) I was getting a little low on juice. So I figure two more panels would make it charge up faster on the sunny days.

Adding more panels may or may not make a difference on cloudy days.  While it would seem that you would get more power, there may be a hitch.

With charge controllers, the output of the solar panels must exceed the nominal battery voltage by about two volts.  If there's not quite enough voltage to charge on a cloudy day (let's say it's only 11 volts on a 12 volt system) adding more of "not enough voltage" won't help. 

With the right charger controller, panels may be wired in series, yielding a higher input voltage.  Let's say two panels were put in series, twice the voltage of what's there now.  On a cloudy day, our hypothetical case would have 22 volts coming in (instead off 11), which is plenty to charge, trickle, or float the batteries. 

If a standard PWM charge controller would accommodate the higher input voltage, the excess voltage will be dissipated as heat, which is very inefficient.  Wired in series, the panels will deliver 1/2 the charge current.   A MPPT charge controller, while costing a little more, will convert the excess voltage into useable power (current).

"But, what if I don't want to upgrade my PWM controller?"

There is a "rig-up" way to get around the cloudy day scenario, but you will need to check the max input voltage on your charge controller.  If it's several times higher than your solar panel's max output, you could re-wire the panel configuration with a "series/parallel" switch.  On sunny days, all the panels would run in "parallel" for maximum current.  On a cloudy day, flip the switch so that half the panels would be in series with the other half, doubling the voltage at the expense of getting half the current.

~TG

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #368 on: May 28, 2012, 09:31:45 AM »
Excellent post, TG.  I was unaware of the issue of insufficient voltage relative to the charge controller.

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #369 on: May 28, 2012, 12:53:30 PM »
Adding more panels may or may not make a difference on cloudy days.  While it would seem that you would get more power, there may be a hitch.

With charge controllers, the output of the solar panels must exceed the nominal battery voltage by about two volts.  If there's not quite enough voltage to charge on a cloudy day (let's say it's only 11 volts on a 12 volt system) adding more of "not enough voltage" won't help. 

With the right charger controller, panels may be wired in series, yielding a higher input voltage.  Let's say two panels were put in series, twice the voltage of what's there now.  On a cloudy day, our hypothetical case would have 22 volts coming in (instead off 11), which is plenty to charge, trickle, or float the batteries. 

If a standard PWM charge controller would accommodate the higher input voltage, the excess voltage will be dissipated as heat, which is very inefficient.  Wired in series, the panels will deliver 1/2 the charge current.   A MPPT charge controller, while costing a little more, will convert the excess voltage into useable power (current).

"But, what if I don't want to upgrade my PWM controller?"

There is a "rig-up" way to get around the cloudy day scenario, but you will need to check the max input voltage on your charge controller.  If it's several times higher than your solar panel's max output, you could re-wire the panel configuration with a "series/parallel" switch.  On sunny days, all the panels would run in "parallel" for maximum current.  On a cloudy day, flip the switch so that half the panels would be in series with the other half, doubling the voltage at the expense of getting half the current.

~TG

I was just thinking of the added current for the sunny days to help top off the batteries more so than the added voltage for the cloudy days (although on the cloudy days I was still seeing some charging)

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #370 on: May 28, 2012, 05:45:46 PM »
Generally on cloudy days there is some variation to the solar intensity.  If the level is close to the threshold (battery voltage + 2v), there will be times where it is above the +2 threshold and provide a good charge rate, times where it is only slightly above battery voltage and might trickle a little, and times where it falls below battery voltage and charging stops.

Adding panels is good up to the point they exceed the current rating of the charge controller.  When that happens, some will do an automatic shutdown, but many cheaper ones just let the magic smoke out. 

Try not to let the magic smoke out of any electronic device.  As long as the magic smoke stays inside the box, the product will work just fine.  But once you see the magic smoke getting loose, it will no longer work properly.  I have yet to see anyone get all the magic smoke back into the product where it's like new again.

~TG


Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #371 on: May 28, 2012, 07:44:55 PM »

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #372 on: May 28, 2012, 08:24:28 PM »
That's coolest RV on the block!  ...or anywhere!!

Have the neighbors said anything?

~TG

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #373 on: May 28, 2012, 08:43:05 PM »
That's coolest RV on the block!  ...or anywhere!!

Have the neighbors said anything?

~TG

All the time. The guys are all "hell yeah" the wives are "over my dead body"

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #374 on: June 01, 2012, 09:03:00 AM »
Another two panels ready to go up


It got dark quick.


The LED lights are on a magnetic base so it makes them easy to reconfigure


And these two lights do rather well. I think I will have to get some more :)

Offline Dawgus

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #375 on: June 01, 2012, 11:13:25 AM »
Might want to put one of those battery powered carbon-monoxide monitors in the sleeping area, just in case.  Similarly, a small fan blowing out the window could go a long way toward keeping any CO build-up to a minimum

 Great idea. Maybe consider surface mounting a bathroom exhaust fan and venting it outside with a drier vent pipe.

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #376 on: June 01, 2012, 11:31:59 AM »
There is already a exhaust fan on the truck.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #377 on: June 01, 2012, 01:51:21 PM »
Those exterior work lights are awesome, cmx!

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #378 on: June 05, 2012, 09:55:33 AM »




Too bad I was not parked in a better place to get these HDR images.

Offline slingblade

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #379 on: June 05, 2012, 04:00:47 PM »
Nice shots.

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #380 on: June 06, 2012, 08:41:43 PM »
Nice shots.

Thanks. I need to get some HDR images like that out in the wild instead of in front of the house. :)

Offline archer

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #381 on: June 07, 2012, 08:44:59 AM »
Thanks. I need to get some HDR images like that out in the wild instead of in front of the house. :)
yes you do... get out there!

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #382 on: June 07, 2012, 09:29:25 AM »
Cool shots, cmx!

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #383 on: June 07, 2012, 09:40:05 AM »
Are you shooting HDR shots with a DSLR, or are you post processing the shots or both?   I'm interested in playing with HDR but don't know enough about my camera yet.   Great shots, can't wait to see more!!!!!

Offline vagabond1101

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #384 on: June 07, 2012, 09:59:33 AM »
Did some more research about the cabinets.

After going to Home Depot and looking at the ones I posted above I am having second thoughts about them. They seem to have been made in a half assed way. The top is actually smaller than the drawers under them so there is some space on either side which looks like crap. Another problem is that with the way the hinges are on the vertical cabinet you can not put it directly next to the cabinet with the drawers. This is not acceptable.

Looks like Lowes sells a more thought out unit. A little more expensive but seems more refined and complete. I am going to do a drive by tomorrow to put eyes on it and see if they are as good as they look online and worth the extra cash.

Here is the HD unit


Here is the Lowes unit


The only thing that bums me out about the Lowes cabinet is that they do not have a five drawer unit that would go with it. I would have to get two of the same.
Speaking as an aircraft mechanic, the BEST toolboxes I have found short of snap-on would actually be Kobalt toolboxes and they can be found at Lowes.  They're very well made and very durable, pricewise my personal toolbox which has around 13 drawers and is about 4-5 feet wide for around 700 dollars.

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #385 on: June 07, 2012, 10:32:42 AM »
Are you shooting HDR shots with a DSLR, or are you post processing the shots or both?   I'm interested in playing with HDR but don't know enough about my camera yet.   Great shots, can't wait to see more!!!!!

Both

Nikon D300s body and I think I shot that image with the 18-35mm
Post processing using Photomatix
I used a total of 7 images at different exposure to compile the image.

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #386 on: June 07, 2012, 10:44:22 AM »
Man, this whole project is just too cool.  All these DIY RV projects make me green with envy (olive drab in this case). 

A friend of a friend stopped by my 'stead while traveling through in his converted Sprinter van and he'd put in a diesel powered stovetop/heater. He said it was designed for boats and vented outdoors.  When you wanted to use it as a heater, you put the lid down, a fan came on and blew across the stovetop.  Never a chance that you'd forget to fill the propane tank and be without heat or the ability to cook since you have a full tank anytime you travel.  He said it was his most expensive addition in his whole conversion, but wow, what a stove!

Offline TLBones

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #387 on: June 07, 2012, 02:07:56 PM »
WOOT!

LED Headlight. Yes they are DOT approved.


CMX could you let me know where you aquired these/what brand?   I'm thinking of putting them in a CJ7.
Thanks

Offline cmxterra

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #388 on: June 07, 2012, 05:30:56 PM »
CMX could you let me know where you aquired these/what brand?   I'm thinking of putting them in a CJ7.
Thanks

They are made by Truck-Lite and do come in a 12v configuration. I got mine on Ebay. Look around and you can find them for a good price.

Offline Gumpmann84

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Re: M109A3 - My soon to be new and improved BOV
« Reply #389 on: June 16, 2012, 06:02:41 PM »
Just found the thread. Very. VERY. Jealous.
Keep it camo, but get rid of the black, very few black patches in nature. Lots of tans, and a few greens.
Awesome!