6x14 Build Log

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby tylerjd » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:39 pm

Yesterday I took a load of stuff 60 miles down the road to put in storage. Maybe 500-750lbs of stuff, so let's say the trailer was a little above 2000lbs. It was the first real trip for the trailer of any length.

According to my math, I got about 9.2 mpg (normal is around 20). Ouch. That said, I had to do about 80+ miles at 65mpg (had to be on the freeway with a speed limit of 75, didn't feel comfortable going 55 on it). Hopefully, when I can average 55mpg I'll get a little better mileage out of it. The good news is it felt completely stable at that speed (and even the couple of times it drifted up to 70).

The brakes did a great job. I even had to dial down the power setting once they got warmed up because the trailer was yanking on my tacoma pretty good. I don't regret the money or time spent on those one little bit.
Currently renovating a 14' Cargo Trailer.
Build Log: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=68975
Off-site Build Log: http://tylerjdisney.com/trailerblog/
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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby tylerjd » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:26 pm

First solar panel is mounted up. Didn't like the idea of using self-tapping screws in the ladder rack, so I used 1/4" bolts.

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This experience is starting to get familiar - I think about, dream about, hem and haw about, how to do some aspect of this project, thinking it's going to be some big deal... then I just go out there and get it done in a couple hours.
Currently renovating a 14' Cargo Trailer.
Build Log: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=68975
Off-site Build Log: http://tylerjdisney.com/trailerblog/
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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby Padilen » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:55 pm

I towed mine minus my bike. Not sure what my weight is but more than yours for sure. I got around 9 too. What makes mpg worse is the 75 speed limit. There is no follow of traffic. I set Cruse for 72. If I passed 55-70 vehicle and pulled back in right lane. The 75+ would fly by. I'd come up on another 55-70 and be stuck unable to pull back out and pass. Than all the traffic I passed earlier went back around. If I pulled out to pass in a break of the faster traffic I had to keep up with them.

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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby tylerjd » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:05 pm

Padilen wrote:I towed mine minus my bike. Not sure what my weight is but more than yours for sure. I got around 9 too. What makes mpg worse is the 75 speed limit. There is no follow of traffic. I set Cruse for 72. If I passed 55-70 vehicle and pulled back in right lane. The 75+ would fly by. I'd come up on another 55-70 and be stuck unable to pull back out and pass. Than all the traffic I passed earlier went back around. If I pulled out to pass in a break of the faster traffic I had to keep up with them.

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Yep, frustrating. I just now looked up how to tell my phone to only give my directions "avoiding freeways". I have to drive from Santa Fe to Southern California soon, and no way am I dealing with I-40 the whole way. I'll take the back roads, stick to 55mph, and catch up on podcasts. :thumbsup:

I'll be interested to see what mileage I get with a 55mph max. Luckily I work remotely, so I almost never actually *need* to put in a lot of miles in a short amount of time.
Currently renovating a 14' Cargo Trailer.
Build Log: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=68975
Off-site Build Log: http://tylerjdisney.com/trailerblog/
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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby McDave » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:26 pm

tylerjd said,
"I have a question for anyone with experience on vent placement: I have a fantastic fan sitting in a box waiting to be installed. My thought was to install it directly over the toilet room in the front/left corner of my trailer, and to have some vent/grille in the wall or door between the main space and the toilet cubby so air can flow in. I'm thinking this might be a poor choice, as it might would reduce the airflow felt through the main space. It might be a better idea to put that vent in just outside the toilet room; this would maximize felt airflow through the main space, but also be close enough to the toilet that it'd do a decent enough job of sucking fumes up and out when that room is being stress tested. (you know what I mean).

I will have at minimum an operable window closer to the rear of the trailer, so the fan has something to pull through.

Also, I've read about the strategy of putting one fantastic fan fore, and one aft, and have one suck and one blow. I assume that this is total overkill for a 12' long trailer, but would love to hear corroboration for that theory.

Thoughts?"
I would think that "vapors" from that area would naturally want to rise due to the heat associated with the process. Not familiar with the composting fixture but tanks are vented with a pipe to allow said vapors a place to go and allow air in to replace the volume when dumping, and air out when filling. In that case, a positive air pressure in that room would force unwanted vapors to find another route of escape, like the vent pipe. I have a vent fan in my bathroom to remove steam/exhaust from shower hot water. The water in the toilet and in the shower trap prevent gasses from coming in from the tank when fan is on. I do have a vent from bath to cabin and it will move a considerable amount of air, especially if there is a way to let fresh air into the cabin. So, I would think that if the compost is sealed to the cabin and vented outside, you could do the same and have the suction fan in bathroom and a vent to cabin plus a fresh vent in cabin, probably as low and far away as possible to draw the coolest air in and across the cabin while exhausting the hottest air at the ceiling. The effect may even work by convection alone as the cool dense air would push the hot less dense air out the vent without the fan. You may need to provide for a damper on fresh intake to control temp and minimize dirt infiltration.
My thoughts...

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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby Viper_Twig » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:00 pm

Checking in. Cool build man. I too can't wait to get my mountain bike loaded up with a cold fridge full of beer!

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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby tylerjd » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:15 pm

McDave wrote:I would think that "vapors" from that area would naturally want to rise due to the heat associated with the process. Not familiar with the composting fixture but tanks are vented with a pipe to allow said vapors a place to go and allow air in to replace the volume when dumping, and air out when filling. In that case, a positive air pressure in that room would force unwanted vapors to find another route of escape, like the vent pipe. I have a vent fan in my bathroom to remove steam/exhaust from shower hot water. The water in the toilet and in the shower trap prevent gasses from coming in from the tank when fan is on. I do have a vent from bath to cabin and it will move a considerable amount of air, especially if there is a way to let fresh air into the cabin. So, I would think that if the compost is sealed to the cabin and vented outside, you could do the same and have the suction fan in bathroom and a vent to cabin plus a fresh vent in cabin, probably as low and far away as possible to draw the coolest air in and across the cabin while exhausting the hottest air at the ceiling. The effect may even work by convection alone as the cool dense air would push the hot less dense air out the vent without the fan. You may need to provide for a damper on fresh intake to control temp and minimize dirt infiltration.
My thoughts...

McDave


That makes sense, thank you. My toilet is basically just going to be a sealed box, with a small screened inlet on one side and a tiny little computer fan blowing to outside. So I could put a small damper on the toilet box inlet for when the fantastic fan is pulling on it. :thinking:

I just saw in another thread that you've been out to China Lake in your career... I grew up in Walker's Pass, 30 miles outside of town. Long shot, but you never crossed paths with anyone with last name of Swedblom did you? Retired back in the late 90s. He also did some time in Alamagordo / white sands, but that would have been the 70s I think.

Viper_Twig wrote:Checking in. Cool build man. I too can't wait to get my mountain bike loaded up with a cold fridge full of beer!

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Thank you! Yeah I am really stoked on the notion of being able to camp out for weeks at the base of whatever lift-access park or trail system I want! :beer:
Currently renovating a 14' Cargo Trailer.
Build Log: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=68975
Off-site Build Log: http://tylerjdisney.com/trailerblog/
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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby hankaye » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:40 am

tylerjd, Howdy;

Just as an aside, in my home (5th wheel RV), the throne room door stops about a full inch
from the floor while the top fits against the facing as a normal door would. There is a vent
with fan, directly above the throne, which I keep cracked open just a tad (slightly larger
then a smidge).

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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby tylerjd » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:40 am

Got the second panel on today. I wish I hadn't written how easy I was finding doing stuff yesterday, because I definitely jinxed myself. I managed to bolt the ladder rack on wrong at first, snapped at least 2 screw heads off, etc etc. Was a long frustrating work session but finally got it done. Next, I think, will be the roof penetration both for the panels and grounding, and for wiring for future roof-mounted lighting and such.

Image

Image
Currently renovating a 14' Cargo Trailer.
Build Log: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=68975
Off-site Build Log: http://tylerjdisney.com/trailerblog/
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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby hankaye » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:00 am

tylerjd, Howdy;

What are the dimensions (LXW), of those panels, they look huge.
Also, what is their wattage rating?
Have you any concerns about 'lift' while traveling?

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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby tylerjd » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:10 am

hankaye wrote:tylerjd, Howdy;

What are the dimensions (LXW), of those panels, they look huge.
Also, what is their wattage rating?
Have you any concerns about 'lift' while traveling?

hank


Hi Hank, 39"x65". 250w each. Yep, not small. I'm planning on working while off-grid in this trailer, my computer hardware has not insignificant power requirements, and my clients won't be terribly amused by "Sorry I couldn't get your project done on time, I turns out I undersized my solar panels!"

And yes I do have concerns about lift. I'll be taking another trip to the storage unit tomorrow, but keeping it to a max of 55mph, so I'll see how that goes.

Any recommendations with regards to that? I had an idea to build a small 'wing' - not sure the right word - in front of the panels to keep the wind from scooping underneath the panels.

Another idea is I can mount the panels to the underside of the racks instead of the top side, so they'd sit about 2" lower to the roof. Might help?
Currently renovating a 14' Cargo Trailer.
Build Log: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=68975
Off-site Build Log: http://tylerjdisney.com/trailerblog/
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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby hankaye » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:57 am

tylerjd, Howdy;

I not an aeronautical engineer but I stayed in my RV last night ... :)

To try to fabricate something that would work with the curve and the angle needed
for an effective deflector will require a good amount of head scratching. You'll also
need to bridge the gap between the two or there will be a void that will create a
vacuum and increase the drag (not good). That said, the amount of open space between
the panels and the roof creates air flow (good stuff), my suggestion would be to add
a section of angle (>), to the front of both to divert the air instead of having it hit the
flat frontal area of the panel. may not look like much help but it will help prevent lift
which is something you don't want (now where did that panel go :thinking: ).
Only some idle thoughts with a cup-o-coffee.

hank
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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby lrrowe » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:15 am

Exactly what I was planning on doing with my panels when installed. While mine will not be elevated as high as these, I am going to add something as a deflector in front of the forward leading panels. I have not seen that done much by posters here (maybe I just missed them), but I am paranoid enough about what could happen, that I look for areas to improve so as to prevent potential problems later.
Bob

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Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby McDave » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:22 pm

Hey tylerjd,
I'm McLovin' that stuff. Those racks are nice and look as if they could be easily added on to and modified for additional cargo, lights, awnings etc. The space between panels and roof looks good for air flow and the roof paint looks great as well.
The issue of lift can be your friend or foe. Become familiar with the principles and then use the physics to your advantage. Kind of a Fung Ku/Judo thing, Grasshopper. Those Grande Panels del Sol are muy bueno! Can you give me the 411? Source and $$$ ?
Doin' great work, Amigo. Keep that stuff up.

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Re: 6x14 Build Log

Postby aggie79 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:31 pm

Love the work! Maybe some day I'll get to build a CT conversion.

I'm not an engineer, but I'm wondering that, if you add a front "air dam" below the solar panel that doesn't seal to the roof, have you now created a wing/airfoil profile? Would this cause more lift/drag than the flat profile of the solar panel itself?


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