7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby flboy » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:28 pm

flboy wrote:Hi Hank.. :-)

Got the final 300W installed. I still need to wrap the red and black wires to keep the UVs off, but they are mounted well. All hooked up for a total of 800W. Enough to run the Air Conditioner straight up with good sun. In any case, I will get a fast charge on the battery bank whenever I do have sun.

I did hook up the three back panels in series so I am carrying less current on the longer run of wires but at a higher voltage. The front panels are wired in parallel. Pros and Cons for both ways... will see how this does.

Here is a look at the array on the roof. I need to clean the roof, but you can see how the install turned out in any case.



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Installed with dicor tape and dicor self leveling sealer, but this is the wire access I installed. The wires go directly down to the 30a controller I installed in the electric closet. It is a little busy in there.




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The electric closet got more wires and another DC breaker. This was the best place to put the second MPPT controller (you can see it on the bottom right side). I will add a switch later to switch readout to display by the door. Just going to add an A/B switch so I can use one monitor with the two controllers. BTW.. I do hang jackets and etc. in there and store a few things on the bottom. Dual purpose!




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Here is the existing 40A controller for the 500W of panels up front.


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Ok.. have some real use feedback on solar panels wired in series vs. parallel:

I have used this new setup with the 3 100W panels in series for 36v to charge controller a few times now and will be rewiring them to parallel configuration. In cases where one panel may get some partial sun, it takes down the whole path to the lowest point. I can see the line drop advantage in full sun but for me and how I use my CTC, the panels in parallel work better. Just put in heavier gage wire to ensure little to no line loss.

My front panels which are wired in parallel noticeably outperform the rear bank in most scenarios.




Latest trip: https://youtu.be/9lZMppezhSM

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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby hankaye » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:03 pm

flboy, Howdy;

Don, thanks for the update. I'm sure it will be well received by the
Solar folks here and the rest of the forum. Gives me more to chew on
while I drag my feet.

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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby aggie79 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:31 am

Don,
Thank you for the solar update! I think our camping situations are similar - full sunshine in route, but partial sunshine at campsite. I know I (temporarily) went to the dark side with the purchase of a travel trailer, but I still plan to do a CT conversion after I retire in January 2021. (The travel trailer is an interim "bridge" between our teardrop trailer and the CT conversion. We can still camp in the travel trailer while the CT conversion is in construction.)
Sincerely,
Tom
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby Rainier70 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:14 pm

Nice solar set up! :applause:

I too went with a parallel set up on mine due to the drop in performance with series.
Did you put in individual fuses for your panels in parallel? I almost forgot to, and Mt Don reminded me of them on the electrical forum secton.

I used inline fuse holders like these:
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby flboy » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:35 pm

Rainier70 wrote:Nice solar set up! :applause:

I too went with a parallel set up on mine due to the drop in performance with series.
Did you put in individual fuses for your panels in parallel? I almost forgot to, and Mt Don reminded me of them on the electrical forum secton.




Thanks. I was surprised as there was a very noticeable difference in performance unless in full sun, then they both perform well. I expected some difference, but not that much.


I did not put in individual fuses for each panel. I put one DC Breaker after the panels and before the controller.
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby deanrd » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:02 am

Hi Flboy!

I'm considering an all aluminum trailer for conversion like yours to some degree. I also want to haul my Goldwing, which is too tall to allow for a loft bed. Looking at all the things you've added, I'm curious if you've weighed the trailer ( sorry if you stated that here somewhere, I couldn't find it). I'm debating between 7 and 10k capacity. I'm looking at an 8x22 all aluminum with 7' interior. When you've added water, bike(s) etc... with your trailer as is with fridge, solar, awning how close to GVW are you?


Thanx - Dean
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby flboy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:13 am

deanrd wrote:Hi Flboy!

I'm considering an all aluminum trailer for conversion like yours to some degree. I also want to haul my Goldwing, which is too tall to allow for a loft bed. Looking at all the things you've added, I'm curious if you've weighed the trailer ( sorry if you stated that here somewhere, I couldn't find it). I'm debating between 7 and 10k capacity. I'm looking at an 8x22 all aluminum with 7' interior. When you've added water, bike(s) etc... with your trailer as is with fridge, solar, awning how close to GVW are you?


Thanx - Dean


Hi Dean. When I am fully loaded (food, clothes, accessories) to include the Victory Kingpin (~706 lbs wet)and 64 gallons of fresh water (534 lbs) , I am just a little over 6,000 lbs. Trailer is rated for 7,000 with 2 3,500 lb axles. Before I haul to Sturgis this summer, I will replace both axles with 5,000 lb axles when I put on load range E tires. Although I have some margin, I really wish I had put under 5,000 lbs axles to remove any constraints since the F150 is good to pull over 9,000 lbs.

If I was in your position, I'd get the 5,000 lb axles out of the chute. It is going to cost me $500 an axle to upgrade now. I do not remember what the factory upgrade was when I had it built in 2016, but I did not even consider it for some reason. I need new tires at this point anyhow so not counting that as an upgrade, but rather it is maintenance.

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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby deanrd » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:40 am

flboy wrote:
deanrd wrote:Hi Flboy!

I'm considering an all aluminum trailer for conversion like yours to some degree. I also want to haul my Goldwing, which is too tall to allow for a loft bed. Looking at all the things you've added, I'm curious if you've weighed the trailer ( sorry if you stated that here somewhere, I couldn't find it). I'm debating between 7 and 10k capacity. I'm looking at an 8x22 all aluminum with 7' interior. When you've added water, bike(s) etc... with your trailer as is with fridge, solar, awning how close to GVW are you?


Thanx - Dean


Hi Dean. When I am fully loaded (food, clothes, accessories) to include the Victory Kingpin (~706 lbs wet)and 64 gallons of fresh water (534 lbs) , I am just a little over 6,000 lbs. Trailer is rated for 7,000 with 2 3,500 lb axles. Before I haul to Sturgis this summer, I will replace both axles with 5,000 lb axles when I put on load range E tires. Although I have some margin, I really wish I had put under 5,000 lbs axles to remove any constraints since the F150 is good to pull over 9,000 lbs.

If I was in your position, I'd get the 5,000 lb axles out of the chute. It is going to cost me $500 an axle to upgrade now. I do not remember what the factory upgrade was when I had it built in 2016, but I did not even consider it for some reason. I need new tires at this point anyhow so not counting that as an upgrade, but rather it is maintenance.

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Thanx for that :) Right now I'm between a Mission EZ-Hauler and a ProLine (NH). Not sure what changes on Mission for 10k, but I need to research better. Mission also has a beaver tail and I don't really want that. ProLine wants $2k extra for 10k. That is upgraded frame, axles, chains and tires. A little on the high side, but I can customize with them and get some features I would have to add later to Mission. Decisions to make :)

Thanx again for all the info on your build!

Dean
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby flboy » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:49 pm

deanrd wrote:
Thanx for that :) Right now I'm between a Mission EZ-Hauler and a ProLine (NH). Not sure what changes on Mission for 10k, but I need to research better. Mission also has a beaver tail and I don't really want that. ProLine wants $2k extra for 10k. That is upgraded frame, axles, chains and tires. A little on the high side, but I can customize with them and get some features I would have to add later to Mission. Decisions to make :)

Thanx again for all the info on your build!

Dean



Sounds good... I should have mentioned that I did have the frame upgrade and tongue upgrade when the trailer was built. That is something that cannot be done easily afterwards and I wanted the more robust frame. The frame upgrade consisted of additional joists in the floor and the tongue included a third piece of frame in the center and they also increased the length of the tongue which really helps for backing up (no chance of truck bumper engagement with the trailer body when you jackknife).

So if you do not feel the need for the 5,000 lb. axles right now, at least get the frame upgrade. Axles are not hard after the fact. Good luck!
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby Rainier70 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:59 am

flboy wrote:
Rainier70 wrote:Nice solar set up! :applause:

I too went with a parallel set up on mine due to the drop in performance with series.
Did you put in individual fuses for your panels in parallel? I almost forgot to, and Mt Don reminded me of them on the electrical forum secton.




Thanks. I was surprised as there was a very noticeable difference in performance unless in full sun, then they both perform well. I expected some difference, but not that much.


I did not put in individual fuses for each panel. I put one DC Breaker after the panels and before the controller.




I should have clarified that the purpose of the inline fuses on the panels is simply to protect the panels from each other, not to protect the controller. The theory is that with a parallel solar setup a short or failure in one panel could damage all of the others since they are connected before the fuse to the controller. It is a very small chance that a problem would ever happen, so it isn't mentioned much. I too have a fuse/breaker before my controller.

You have done an exceptional job on you trailer, and I love seeing the new tweeks you come up with. CTs are truly never done!
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby flboy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:10 pm

Thanks Cindy. You are right, we are never done working on the CTC. I will go on the road in July for about 4 months... so the real test is yet to come.

On the solar panels, I suppose that could happen where individuals cells short out however, a whole panel is unlikely but a valid scenario nonetheless. What occurs when the Photovoltaic (PV)cells breakdown is a gradual loss of voltage internally between PV Cells which combine in the panel for an aggregate output. This is the failure mode observed whether cells open or short internally.

Typically you'd notice the degradation of voltage/array production and isolate the panel way before it ever becomes enough of a current sink to blow the fuse in any case. Positive lead wire shorting to ground probably has more chance.

Even with a full on panel short ( + lead short to ground) , I can't see exceeding the amp rating (and worse case, the insulation temp rating) of the wires or the individual panels. I can see scenarios in series/parallel combinations where you'd want fuses between each bank to protect wiring. That would be in arrays way beyond need of the average CTC.

In any case, can't hurt to fuse between panels if you want to and you should if at all concerned. Some will recommend for sure. In my case after I weighed the risk, it would just be another 16 connections to maintain up on the roof (2 per fuse times 8 panels).


Hope this makes sense. The logic is that a panel cannot source current to itself, the other 2 or 3 remaining panels in most setups cannot source enough to burn lead wires, and battery(the large source) is already isolated with fuse and controller. Also, each remaining panel will only supply its max (assuming full sun) and a short should not hurt it since that is where it can operate. As I understand it, the shorted output will not damage the panels because they will only supply , at most, max individual current which they are designed to do when they are in full sun.

In full disclosure, if you do the math and strictly by the book, I do admit that my 500W parrall array (100W panels) is theoretically needing fuses to protect wiring in a worse case scenario in full sun, but I have never seen these arrays near full output in direct sun due to many variables. I may consider adding some on that side if I see better performance out West. Only wire at risk anyhow is 1 short wire (+ and-) at 12 ga. under whatever panel were to become the dead short as I have 10 gage homerun to junction box from under each panel to minimize losses. Still alot of margin on 12 ga wire as they can handle much much more than thier rating before they were to exceed temperature rating of insulation ( ie. Meltdown). Alot of margin built in for dummies like me especially since the wires are not contained in walls or near flamables. Lol.

BTW.. If I were recommending to someone, I say put them in for sure. It is good advice. Ok for me to risk myself.

Just really explaining why I did not put them in and maybe why it is not shown on most setup diagrams.




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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby Rainier70 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:50 am

Awesome explanation! Thank you.

And, yes, as I said it is theory.
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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby flboy » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:15 pm

Putting on some new Goodyear Endurance Load Range D tires and replacing the original bearings made in China with some Timken bearings. I wasn't going to replace the bearings, but when I saw "made in China" stamped on them, I decided to replace while I have them out for repacking. I will keep the ones I take out for emergency only when traveling. The brake pads look good. Will test the magnets tomorrow when I reassemble. O'Reilly Auto Parts carries them I'd I need to replace any.

Just maintenance, but much needed.

Decided not to replace the axles after all. It was a lot of expense and it appears the load range E tires won't fit well under my existing fender wells. So no point in heavier axles. The load range D tires give me a lot more margin so with full load, still not getting near to limits in any case. Will be able to run 65 lbs pressure with the new tires and they should run cooler. The original tires that came on the trailer were load range C with 50 lbs max.

I will post pics of the new tires when I install them tomorrow after reassembly of the hubs.

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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby BigDave_185 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:39 am

Looks like a good day of wrk ahead!


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Re: 7'*18' V-Nose Cargo Trailer Toy Hauler Conversion

Postby hankaye » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:10 am

flboy, Howdy;

Don, looks like you're havin' fun. While ya got the wheels off it gives
you a chance to clean that section behind the tires. :roll: , ;) .

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