OpenWRT

Last week there was a need for a new feature on the main office router. This feature was not available. It seemed time to explore new options. The end result was an journey through the maze of the Open Source WiFi firmware world. The center of the maze turned out to be OpenWRT or LEDE.

Installation of OpenWRT went surprising well and configuration fairly easy. Options used included USB storage, sftp server and sqm (QoS). There will be a project page on this.

RV Bike mount on the Dinette

A truck camper is a very compact RV and makes it easy to get to out of the way locations. However there are not many places to easily attach bikes to the RV. You can mount a front hitch or have a rear hitch extension and probably a superhitch to support it. Or you can somehow attach the bikes to the RV itself. These will all work and there are pros and cons. I chose to make a mount that sits on the dinette itself.

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New MaxxFan for cabover roof.

The Fantastic Fan fitted from the factory proved to be too noisy for our use. This was a cheaper option with three speeds. Even the lowest speed was too loud for our taste. The end of season sales allowed us to purchase a replacement 10 speed fan with an automatic feature based on an internal thermostat. The fan also has a rain cover. The MaxxFan 7500K. This fan can automatically increase speed (and noise) as the temperature increases above the trigger point (default 76F). So it starts off quiet. You can leave it open in the rain too. We chose the smoke color as it it matches the existing fan color. Less noticeable.

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AF 1140 Dimmer for Cabover lights as well as dinette

The cabover lights in the camper are just too bright. They are LED and relatively low power. A couple of dimmer switches solved this. They physically fit with no alterations required.

Having enjoyed the change to the brightness level so much, we decided to add another one to the dinnette lamp as well. For this I drilled a hole in the side facing toward the window and mounted it there.

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Truck Camper Turnbuckles

Our camper was fitted for a set of turnbuckles for our truck tie downs (from Torklift International). The standard set comprised chains, springs and turn buckles. Both the chains and turn buckles were made from galvanized steel.

The use of these devices included turning the buckles when under load. This rapidly wore them out. The threads started to strip. Ideally I wanted a set of Fastguns but they are not cheap so I decided to make some. Or some which came pretty close. The picture below shows the proof of concept using cheap galvanized steel rod and turnbuckle.

Home made turnbuckle

I tested these to see if they behaved satisfactorily. After a few runs where they showed to be adequate I upgraded to stainless.

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Roof cover for RV fan

We decided it would be very handy if we could leave the roof vent open without any worry of rain getting in. Thankfully roof covers are relatively cheap.

Maxxair (00-933072 White Vent Cover
Maxxair (00-933072 White Vent Cover

2017 AF 1140 Solar Install

This was the first project undertaken. We knew we wanted solar panels to enable use to stay off grid and not use the generator which is NOISY!

Much research lead us to decide upon an MPPT controller allowing us to generate 40A to the battery bank when possible. Note the existing wiring to the battery is only 30A and will need replacing when or if we ever have sufficient panels to produce this amount of current. Wiring the panels in series on the roof allow them to make as much use of the lower solar power produced when cloudy or toward the end of the day/season when the sun is lower in the sky. This also reduces the current in the wiring from the roof. The plan is to have two panels on the roof and perhaps two more mobile on the ground to enable us to chase the sun when the camper is in the shade. It will also allow us to tilt the panels to remain perpendicular to the sun as much as possible. So far we just have two panels installed on the roof. And so far this has been sufficient except over thanksgiving when we were parked in the shade.

Do some research and determine what sort of install will work for you. MPPT controllers are better overall but cost a little more.

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