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I guess I am missing the need for all the power...
Hey Dave! Just as an example... My wife and I are planning a Transit build to be used to chase snow in the winter at remote, backcountry trailheads. For us, it's more about needing a large energy source than a large power source. I'm designing a 12-V electrical system that has 4800 W-hr of energy storage (4 x 100 A-hr at 12 V). Because we wish to avoid propane in our build (humidity, safety, reliability in sub-freezing temperatures, etc.), we will rely on a 1800-W (120 V AC) induction stove. This will be our largest power need. With short days and potentially cloudy/snowy weather in the winter, we need enough energy to get us through two or three days without recharging the batteries. The energy storage and charging capability are the limiting factor in our design not the power delivery capability. Hope this helps shed some light on designs/applications different from your own. As always, your ingenuity and insight are appreciated, both on your website and on the forum(s). Cheers!
 

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I guess I am missing the need for all the power.
Road trip vehicle to facilitate significant electric load to cook our own real food and park for up to 3 days in the shade without a need for idle charging. Propane would be a more cost effective approach. Did not want propane. System is admittedly somewhat oversized.
Incremental cost of 25% increase storage/invert/charge (from shore) by 50%. Difference in space required is <1ft-cu. At lower utilization, the system should have improved long term reliability/durability. Also allows for additional flexibility and errors in estimated use profile. Different lifestyles have different power requirements. So that is the excuse rationale for my decision.

As you mentioned earlier in one of your posts, a lifetime of hard work and financial responsibility can create the problem of not being able to put back into the economy the passive income that lifestyle has afforded those who were fortunate to enough to have been able to take that path.

Actually why do one or two people even need a 3 ton inefficient vehicle with all sorts of crap built into it to "recreate"? A mini van/family tent/Coleman stove worked just fine for a family of 4 for 2 decades. Shoot, before that it was a bicycle/pup tent/Svea stove.

Gotta go. Need to figure out how to graft on the Tri-Star and mount that second ladder to nowhere. :ROFLMAO:
 

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I could have probably gotten away with two batteries, but ...
If go with bigger cells in LiFePo4 you can fit a lot of battery beneath the passenger seat, leaving a lot of free area in the back of the van for storage in those nice racks. Below shows 200 Ah in AGM. I did need to cut away part of the back wall of the seat box and provide the aft battery a bash guard, plus raise the box about 7/16" with large fender washers. In the front left (photo bottom left) is the ground and shunt to a copper bar under a seat bolt. In the aft left is the monitor but it is going to move elsewhere.


(The posts are much more securely isolated than in this "in process" photo. I use this photo because they are hidden with the final install.)
 

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If go with bigger cells in LiFePo4 you can fit a lot of battery beneath the passenger seat, leaving a lot of free area in the back of the van for storage in those nice racks. Below shows 200 Ah in AGM. I did need to cut away part of the back wall of the seat box and provide the aft battery a bash guard, plus raise the box about 7/16" with large fender washers. In the front left (photo bottom left) is the ground and shunt to a copper bar under a seat bolt. In the aft left is the monitor but it is going to move elsewhere.


(The posts are much more securely isolated than in this "in process" photo. I use this photo because they are hidden with the final install.)
I looked at that approach long and hard and really wanted to make it work, but ultimately I ended up deciding that locating the majority of the electrical system in the rear works better for my layout. Then once I decided that I was going to go without propane and since we would like to cook somewhat extensively, the size of the battery bank got quite large That was an expensive decision! The 3 batteries are 206 AH each. So here were are.

There are a few nice single battery setups where the whole shebang (inverter/b2b/fuse block) is under the seat.
 

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Hey Dave! Just as an example... My wife and I are planning a Transit build to be used to chase snow in the winter at remote, backcountry trailheads. For us, it's more about needing a large energy source than a large power source. I'm designing a 12-V electrical system that has 4800 W-hr of energy storage (4 x 100 A-hr at 12 V). Because we wish to avoid propane in our build (humidity, safety, reliability in sub-freezing temperatures, etc.), we will rely on a 1800-W (120 V AC) induction stove. This will be our largest power need. With short days and potentially cloudy/snowy weather in the winter, we need enough energy to get us through two or three days without recharging the batteries. The energy storage and charging capability are the limiting factor in our design not the power delivery capability. Hope this helps shed some light on designs/applications different from your own. As always, your ingenuity and insight are appreciated, both on your website and on the forum(s). Cheers!
What works for me with how I use the van does not necessarily work for different uses of a conversion. I fully understand a higher power electrical system if the use requires it.
 

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I mainly have high battery capacity (810 Ah 12V) because I want to be able to run my rooftop ac (50A draw at 12V) for many hours a day with my dog in the car. If I get my goal of 150-200A off the twin alternators with my Sterling B2Bs, that means one hour of driving gives me 3-4 hours of AC. Perfect for summer road trips through the southwest to run the AC most of the day. Plugged in to shore power puts more power into the battery bank than the AC draws as well. Extended boondocking is also possible with this much battery. We’ll see how much I get out of the 600W of solar on the roof back into the batteries on sunny days

most of the time in the winter or if the weather is cool, then I’ll have some expensive paper weights in the back. But when I need it, I know I’ll be happy to have the battery capacity.

Back to the thread topic- has harryn said, it’s is very worth it to have the supplier cut your extrusion. TNutz did great on mine, the 200+ pieces they cut for me are all spot on. Will save a lot of time and headaches putting it together. Their single and dual screw gussets are also affordable and the way to go as far as cost, assembly time, and strength are concerned
 

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Back to the thread topic- has harryn said, it’s is very worth it to have the supplier cut your extrusion. TNutz did great on mine, the 200+ pieces they cut for me are all spot on. Will save a lot of time and headaches putting it together. Their single and dual screw gussets are also affordable and the way to go as far as cost, assembly time, and strength are concerned
Yes - the effect of using the double gussets is pretty amazing, very noticeable on this 1010 material.

It takes it from a "questionable size" to a "no problem."
 

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Yes - the effect of using the double gussets is pretty amazing, very noticeable on this 1010 material.

It takes it from a "questionable size" to a "no problem."
No doubt, lots of connection points make a difference. Interestingly if you look at the info 8020 publishes, angle connectors are as strong as the gussets in the plane of connection, which makes sense. Obviously, the triangulation of the gusset will do a great job of keeping the structure from racking. Not sure how much all better all 4 corners is vs 2 or even 1. Also, I would assume that the double angle and double gussets are roughly 2x as strong as the values shown on the chart. 80-20-Inc-Catalog-23 62 80/20 Inc.

One idea for making stiffer structures with the smaller profiles is to used closed sides where possible. They are much stiffer in the plane of the solid edge. For example if you had no slots on the fronts of the shelf profiles, they would be stiffer in the vertical plane. If you wanted to put panels on the frame, they could be connected to the inside edges with angles. IIRC @orton mounted his panels this way and published the drawing for his DIY connector. But I think it is for 15 series. 8020 has a nifty calculator for deflection where you just select the profile number and input the use variables This tool will calculate the deflection of profiles under different scenarios. When I was looking at 8020 for supporting the span of a bed, I found that 10 series with 2 opposing sides solid is as rigid in that plane as 15 series with slots in the same plane. If you did not need slots on the vertical sides, perhaps it might be an approach to building a roof rack from 10 series to mount solar panels?
 

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No doubt, lots of connection points make a difference. Interestingly if you look at the info 8020 publishes, angle connectors are as strong as the gussets in the plane of connection, which makes sense. Obviously, the triangulation of the gusset will do a great job of keeping the structure from racking. Not sure how much all better all 4 corners is vs 2 or even 1. Also, I would assume that the double angle and double gussets are roughly 2x as strong as the values shown on the chart. 80-20-Inc-Catalog-23 62 80/20 Inc.

One idea for making stiffer structures with the smaller profiles is to used closed sides where possible. They are much stiffer in the plane of the solid edge. For example if you had no slots on the fronts of the shelf profiles, they would be stiffer in the vertical plane. If you wanted to put panels on the frame, they could be connected to the inside edges with angles. IIRC @orton mounted his panels this way and published the drawing for his DIY connector. But I think it is for 15 series. 8020 has a nifty calculator for deflection where you just select the profile number and input the use variables This tool will calculate the deflection of profiles under different scenarios. When I was looking at 8020 for supporting the span of a bed, I found that 10 series with 2 opposing sides solid is as rigid in that plane as 15 series with slots in the same plane. If you did not need slots on the vertical sides, perhaps it might be an approach to building a roof rack from 10 series to mount solar panels?
I agree that using closed edges vs T slot edges will make it stiffer, but it is tricky to pull off.

For instance in the frame prototype that I posted in #87, I am routinely using 2 - 4 slots on every piece for "something".

The customer will be using outside slots for mounting the decorative "skin" and any access doors. This will in theory add to the stiffness some.

____

I really like the 1515 size for the roof rails.

The combination of the rail depth and mounting brackets that match it are pretty close to the minimum required clearance in the center of the roof.

Here is a photo of a panel mounted on a 148 MR using 1515 rails. There isn't a lot of room to go much lower and still clear.

 

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In agreement with @carryingforks : 3030 seems a really great size for the extrusion. The connector and profile availability is lower; but I'm mostly good with the standard 4-slot profiles. Worked with 2020 and series 10 in the last rig and both seemed a bit more "bendy" than I want. 15 seems a bit large. 30 hits that Goldilocks spot.
@gregoryx Where did you source economy tnuts and roll-in nuts for 30mm extrusions? I'm finding some of these can be hard to find.

Also, do you know if any standard size carriage bolts fit the 30mm series?

Thanks in advanced!


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Amazon. Though they got a bit tougher in the last couple months; looks like they're all in stock now.

Here's some that I've ordered (hundreds of each):

I wouldn't use carriage bolts; but those hammer bolts work the same.

And then every possible variation of M6 x 1 length and head-type for different applications. Thousands.
 

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I wouldn't use carriage bolts; but those hammer bolts work the same.
Why wouldn't you use carriage bolts?

I have used carriage bolts for both conversions and have not had any issues with them in 10 years. On Sprinter conversion I used serrated flange nuts and did find some that loosened. Changed to elastic stop nuts on Transit build and have not had any issues in last 5 years.

All my 80/20 is series 15 so 5/16" carriage bolts instead of the series 10 that uses 1/4"

Connection strength is not an issue with series 15 as it is with series 10.
 

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No issues with them. But if hammers meet the same objective but with the advantage of simple assembly / disassembly? 🤔
The extrusion manufacturers sell "drop in studs" with different thread lengths that look equivalent to the hammers. I used them when I wanted a carriage bolt but no longer had access to the end of the extrusion to install a regular carriage bolt.

3293 (8020.net)

See them in 5/16-18NC but not 1/4-20NC. Are they available 1/4-20NC for 10 series? If not another reason to use 15 series.
 

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Thanks @gregoryx and @orton

I assumed carriage bolts would be cheaper (these add up) compared to hammer bolts. But maybe not for stainless steel carriage bolts.

Going on a slight tangent here: did you guys use stainless steel bolts? Most of the available tnuts are carbon steel ... thinking there isn't much to gain from mating carbon steel nuts with ss bolts ...

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Thanks @gregoryx and @orton

I assumed carriage bolts would be cheaper (these add up) compared to hammer bolts. But maybe not for stainless steel carriage bolts.

Going on a slight tangent here: did you guys use stainless steel bolts? Most of the available tnuts are carbon steel ... thinking there isn't much to gain from mating carbon steel nuts with ss bolts ...

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Used SS carriage bolts and SS elastic stop nuts wherever they could be used. Bought them from an industrial fastener supply company to reduce the cost. SS does require a thread lube to prevent galling. When using carriage bolts you do not use Tnuts.

Did use 8 end fasteners where I did not want the connectors visible. Also used quite a few plated "hammer" bolts from 80/20 when I needed to add a stud after structure was completed. If I had known hammer bolts were available from other suppliers, I would not have bought from 80/20.

Also used a few carbon steel two or three hole "economy nuts" with a set screw when I did need a treaded nut in the extrusion slot. Less expensive and easier to install when you have access to the extrusion end to slide in the economy nut. Put set screw in one hole and a bolt in the other. Use bolt head to move the nut where you want it and then tighten the set screw.
 

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Thanks @gregoryx and @orton

I assumed carriage bolts would be cheaper (these add up) compared to hammer bolts. But maybe not for stainless steel carriage bolts.

Going on a slight tangent here: did you guys use stainless steel bolts? Most of the available tnuts are carbon steel ... thinking there isn't much to gain from mating carbon steel nuts with ss bolts ...

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All the cheap stuff I've bought claims to be stainless steel; but it's not. It will rust with some water exposure. I replace the ones that rust. Most of them have not. We've gone through the van and checked / re-tightened / loctite-d a couple times; stuff seems pretty solid now.
 

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I used 1500 extrusion throughout the van, and had the same question as posed in the original post, so I am using 1000 series along with 1500 in a desk, reloading bench I am building. It was clear immediately that the 1000 series would not be satisfactory to me for the main section of the desk where the loads of running the press take place, but as framing for shelves, and some other cabinetry, it is nice to have the extra space freed up. As a hybrid it looks good, and gave me enough 1000 series experience to understand its benefits.

I find the panels I have used (1/4”- 3/4”), add structure only in some situations, when I bolt them into the extrusion using multiple tee nuts, or the (very expensive) offset threaded panel hangers. Most of the time I am capturing panels in the extrusion channels, and finishing with a gasket to eliminate rattle.
 
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