Thursday, July 28, 2011

My trailer

I researched various manufacturers before I ordered my trailer, finally going with X-tra Tuff Trailers in Eastman, GA. They offerred a 5 year full warranty plus built it to my specs! I drove down and picked it up and paid for it in cash, which the owner Kim Sheffield really seemed to like! One nice thing I really liked was the fact that they put on a real RV style flush lock on the side entry door, with deadbolt capability on the inside. The trailer has Dexter axle, and LED lighting, and it is BRIGHT!!

My solar power comes from roof mounted 80 watt panels that I bought from AM Solar. These people are super nice and very knowledgeable! I store my power in (2) AGM Lifeline batteries, 220 amp hours each. I use a Cobra model 1500 watt inverter that I bought from and it has a low voltage alarm, which lets me know when my batteries are getting low.

Because the batteries are sealed, they do not require venting. Which means I can have them in the trailer and not have to worry about getting poisoned from the gas! The solar panel cord runs into the trailer right to the batteries, and the inverter is tied direct to them as well. Naturally, the batteries are tied together, so they both charge equally at the same time.

My wind turbine is a 400 watt low wind (4mph) that I bought from Mikes Windmill Shop in Show Low, AZ. Mike and his wife are another couple who are very nice and extremely knowledgeable! Again, the power cord from the turbine runs down the front of the trailer directly to the batteries. I have a water heating coil that serves as my dump load to dump excess power from the turbine when the batteries are full. You need this, because these batteries are $265. each, and you don't want to risk burning them up!

The mast for the turbine is custom built by Dave Hoskins at Aluminess Products in California. There are only 2 of these in the world, and my friend Pat Bonish in Cedar Key, FL has the other one! This mast is made of ALUMINUM, and it telescopes up into the air and locks in place with a pin......hook an air hose onto the nipple at the base and raise it up into the wind! When you are ready to bring it down, you add a shot of air to take it up a little, pull the pin, then pull the air release valve at the base and it slides down. REALLY, REALLY SWEET!! Trust me, there is no one making a mast like this for RVs, much less custom mounts for cargo trailers, NOWHERE in the USA!

I could go on and on about my solar/wind power system, but will just say it is doing EXACTLY what I need/want it to do for me! One reason I have both is because I have learned that when the sun isn't shining and charging the solar panels, then the winds are usually blowing like crazy! So, I can pull off the road and KNOW I have power available to run a cooling fan or watch my satellite tv or make coffee or sleep under my electric blanket, or charge up my cell phone or my laptop, or watch a DVD! All with FREE power supplied by Mother Nature!

The finishing out of the interior of the trailer is a work in progress, and will be documented here as it happens. Meanwhile, check out these links for solar, wind, cargo trailers!

And heres a GREAT site of my friends Pat and Cindy Bonish.....

I will be heading out tonight for Bluewater, New Mexico. May not make it online for a few days, but will update when a connection is available to me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Stealth trailer

Having my shower base put in today so will actually be able to use it! Bought the pan base at Lowes, and the pvc piping to rig up the drain, as well as the pvc pipe to rig up the shower curtain holder. If you check out this you will find pics and plans from a guy that I modelled my trailer conversion after, with a few layout changes.

His trailer does not have solar and wind power like mine, but his is comfy, and mine is as well. I sleep just as good in my cargo trailer camper as these guys with half a million dollar motorhomes!! And on the title to my trailer, it even says CAMPER, so I'm just waiting for someone to tell me its not a camper!

I get ridiculed from people telling me I can't possibly be comfortable in this trailer.....I think comfort is a state of mind....I have concluded some time ago that all a person really needs is a roof over his head, a place to sleep, food to eat and clothes to wear, and money to spend....I have all that and am grateful! Anything else is just "stuff", and we all know what George Carlin said about stuff!

Well, enough of that for now.......getting ready to roll west Thursday evening just before the sun goes down....I-70 west to St. Louis to I-44 west......can't wait to see what lies ahead in Oklahoma and the northern tip of Texas. Going right through Amarillo, then into New places and new faces...who knows, maybe the love of my life is waiting for me in Bluewater, NM.......

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Preparing to wander

I have accepted employment in an area of the country I have never been to before---the American Southwest!! New Mexico-----Bluewater to be exact! Going to workamp at a Bowlins Travel Center just off I-40, between Gallup and Albuquerque. This will give me the opportunity to finish out the interior of my stealth camper, and the resources to do it. This blogging is all new to me, but will get the hang of it! This will be a 1300 mile trip, need to be there August 2, so will be leaving central Illinois on Thursday, taking my time, driving on cruise at 55 to 60.....

More on all of this later...........