Sunday, May 27, 2018

Getting A Tidy Cab.Finally

Finally got rid of the nasty patch of rust on the air-cleaner. An expensive job at the body-shop; so I had a go myself with three aerosol cans of paint, three packs of wet-n-dry and a tube of bondo. It looks alright from a distance.

The wood-rimmed 18 inch steering wheel replaces the original 22 inch model and gives more room in the cab.

The new cloth seats have thinner backs and also make for a roomier driving position then the old vinyl ones.. They also have better side-support on both back and seat. The cup-holder is also a new addition and takes the place of the intercom system that linked the cab with the rear seating area.

Rear view of the truck at this weekend's campsite. Not the most level of sites; the truck was level but the ground dropped away and made for a high step up into the back.

The Mack and the Bigfoot Bike are going to be seeing a lot of each other from now on.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Pony Corral Sunday Night Cruise 2018

A car with my name on it and age next birthday.

Deflated air ride.

Old classic from 1958.

Custom hood.

Just nice and simple.

Roadtrip car on the roadtrip blog.

Three Shelby Mustangs.

1927 Roadster.

Short Impala.


Bright sunshine doesn't make for good car photos but this is one of the better ones.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Solar Power Switched On.

The last of the unused slide-out trays was used for the batteries. It was too narrow so needed a shelf fixed on top but plenty capable of holding the weight.

I went for four 6 volt, deep-cell wet acid batteries rated at 235 amp-hours each. The slide-out will make it easy to top them up with distilled water. 

A lot of care was needed in wiring the four 6 volt batteries to give a 12 volt output. First, a pair in series and then the two pairs in parallel. The inverter  is 2000 watt pure sine wave with wired remote control switch. Inverters work best when installed close to their batteries; you can't get closer than that.
The batteries power everything that is 12 volt inside the living quarters and are independent from the 12 volt truck system. I fitted a 12 volt outlet on the bottom edge of the shelf for the external shower.

There is already plenty of wiring in the vehicle with 12 volt, 115 volt and 240 volt circuits. I have used some of the old 240 volt wires to connect up the interior lights, the fridge, the water pump and extractor fan. I am leaving the fridge switched-on 24/7 at the moment to give the system a test. So far the batteries have been full all the time after taking two days to get maximum charge.

All the solar panel and  house battery stuff came from " The Battery Man " in Winnipeg. They had it all in stock and worked out what cables and connectors that I would need to do the job. I might have got it a bit cheaper on the Internet but I was happy to purchase it locally and couldn't fault their service.

The charge controller is an important bit of kit as it saves the batteries from being over-charged and stops them discharging into the panels during the night. Overall the whole system was very easy to install, most difficult thing was running the cables down from the roof and keeping them out of sight.

The roof-rack adds about 12 inches to the height of the truck, taking it up to 12 foot 6 inches. The solar panels are not really noticeable when laying flat on the roof. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Mother Of All Roof Racks.

____ With the weather finally warming-up; I take some time away from the road and get stuck into work on the Mack. It has been sitting in the yard all Winter without turning a wheel and I haven't done much to it. But now I get a chance to get on with the build and use all the bits I have been buying during the last six months. The roof rack and the solar panels are the number one priority. Here are some photos of the progress.
The frame is made from Unistrut 1 5/8 inch steel channel. It comes in 10 foot lengths and will fit in the cab of a Kenworth W900. It comes in Hunter Green, which is handy when you cut all your lengths and can spray the sawn ends with an aerosol.

I made it in sections to make it easy to lift on to the roof. It is 13 foot long, 8 foot wide and 12 inches high. it takes the running height of the Mack from 11 foot 6 inches to 12 foot 6 inches. 

I used some of the alloy sheet that came out of the Mack for panels on the rack. These were storage cabinets from in side the living area.

I don't have a lot of room to work in and the rack covers most of the deck. If you drop anything; you can bet it will go down one of those cracks between the boards.

The front of the rack has an angle of 45 degrees to help with aero-dynamics.

All ready to come to pieces and be carried up the ladder to the roof.

Building on the roof which is made of thick steel chequer plate and quite capable of carrying the extra weight. It was not easy joining up the sections when they were so close to the edge but the straps helped.

The tow-balls are the fixing points for the frame that will hold the solar panels. They will hold it firm when driving but can be easily disconnected to tilt the panels in any one of four directions when parked in the sun.

The solar panel frame [upside-down] with towing hitches at each corner and some alloy angle to hold the panels level.

The two 150 watt solar panels fit snug in their frame. I just hope the hitches fit snug round their ball.

The frame in position on the rack on the roof. Just undo two hitches and lift the frame to tilt towards the sun. 
____ That's the story so far. Next job is fitting the solar panels, running the wires down inside the truck, putting in the house batteries and the controller and a 100 other little things that are bound to crop-up.