Vanistan - a minimalist diy camper - Page 11 - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #101 of 108 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:59:AM
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Doubt that an adjustable panel mount would be used very often. Your parking orientation would be limited and the process of raising the panels would not be worth the effort.

Just fill the roof with panels.

The option of a second portable panel that could be positioned at the campsite does have merit. A flexible panel that could be rolled up and a rack that can be folded up or disassembled for storage would work.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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post #102 of 108 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:42:AM
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Originally Posted by orton View Post
Doubt that an adjustable panel mount would be used very often. Your parking orientation would be limited and the process of raising the panels would not be worth the effort.

Just fill the roof with panels.

The option of a second portable panel that could be positioned at the campsite does have merit. A flexible panel that could be rolled up and a rack that can be folded up or disassembled for storage would work.
Or maybe just crank up the van?
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post #103 of 108 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 11:17:AM
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Or maybe just crank up the van?
Correct. Much simpler than moving the van for correct orientation to the sun and then playing with a tilting mechanism. A short time running the engine would provide more amperage than the small marginal improvement with tilting panels.

The advantage of a gas engine is the fact it can be idled. The accepted practice with a current Sprinter diesel engine is they should not be idled due to the emission controls.

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post #104 of 108 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:06:PM
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do any of y'all use something like THIS THING for theft prevention?

If I'm not mistaken, a car with a chipped key will NOT start with any other key, nor can it be hot-wired. The only way to steal one would be to:

1. Steal the key

2. Use a tow truck

I don't think the wheel lock would prevent the van from being dragged off by a tow truck. Remember the old steering wheel locks? I watched a show that had convicted car thieves showing the efficacy of anti-theft systems; one guy took maybe a half dozen strokes with a hacksaw to cut the steering wheel and bend it to remove the lock. Maybe 15 seconds at most. The same may go for the wheel lock, especially now that cordless reciprocating saws and grinders (fitted with metal cut-off wheel) are available at every hardware store. Or unbolt the locked wheel and put the spare in it's place.

I'd be more worried about the stuff INSIDE being stolen than the entire van. An alarm system doesn't stop a crowbar. If there's anything you absolutely want to keep, it should be in a safe that is secured to the vehicle.

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post #105 of 108 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:09:PM
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Oh yeah, on the solar modules; power output of the module does not need to be equal to the amount of power you'll be using at a given moment, but for charging the system enough to provide power for the times that you ARE using it. Also, only plan to achieve 60-70% of the rated output, due to conditions. Anything beyond that is a bonus.
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post #106 of 108 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 12:41:AM
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I'd be more worried about the stuff INSIDE being stolen than the entire van. An alarm system doesn't stop a crowbar. If there's anything you absolutely want to keep, it should be in a safe that is secured to the vehicle.
all of the contractors are using these now to protect there tools in the back, putting them on all of the doors except the drivers door because evidently the drivers door is harder to release the lock.

https://www.inlad.com/slicklock-locks-hasps
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post #107 of 108 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 12:50:PM
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I have a 32 volt 300 watt LG solar panel that states output is 9.4 amps. The solar controller is a 15 amp max. output Morningstar Sunsaver MPPT.

The MPPT will convert the high voltage panel output to your approx. 14 volt charging amperage. So in ideal conditions the panel will produce 300 watts. The MPPT controller does not create power but it does change the high voltage and low amps to lower voltage and higher amps. Watts in = watts out. 9.4 amps x 32 volts = output amps x 14 volts. So output amps at 14 volts would be about 21.5 amps at 100% efficiency. A PWM controller does not harvest the higher amperage available from a higher voltage panel.

In real world with incorrect orientation to the sun and hot conditions where the solar panel is installed it may be about 70% efficient. 21.5 amps x .70 = about 15 amps. Sunsaver controller may be slightly undersized for the panel but is smaller and cheaper than larger controllers. Did have a discussion with a Morningstar technician and he explained to me that even if the controller is slightly undersized that the total output would not be materially changed. His comment was the panel starts at low amperage in the morning and peaks to the maximum amperage around noon and then declines to low amperage at night. The only lost energy with a slightly undersized controller would be at the top of the bell curve around noon which is minor compared to the overall energy. All you lose is the very little energy that is above 15 amps around noon.
Hi Dave:

I have seen your Sprinter build and must say the design and craftmanship excellent! Same for your Transit!

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post #108 of 108 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 01:25:PM
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Thanks for sharing the photos!
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