Sunday, July 24, 2011

12 volt battery system installed!

I finally finished installing 12 volt battery system today. I used a standard group 24 deep cycle marine battery and a Progressive Dynamics power converter for charging and to convert the incoming 110 volt AC line to 12 volts DC. If you want to see more details on the bits and pieces I put some notes on this image. I converted the three original light fixtures to 12 volts by re-routing the wiring and swapping in 12 volt bulbs that fit into the original sockets. I'm really pleased with the results, it's looks normal and the amount the of light is very close or identical to the 110 bulbs. I'm using two 25 watt bulbs and one 15 watt in the rear sconce. It will be interesting to see how many hours we get from a charge but so far it looks good. I ran all three off the battery for over two hours then the 15w bulb only for another 6 or 7 because I left it on by accident. When I discovered that it was on all the the bulbs still seamed to be at their peak brightness. For now the battery box is simply centered on the tongue, I was able to easily mount it on the basic two-rail propane tank mount. If we decide to add a propane system in the future we will probably use a two tank rack with the battery on side and the tank on the other.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

WBCCI Airstream gathering

Yesterday I was running some errands in town and saw a nice Airstream Bambi on the road. A while later I saw a sign that said Wally Byam Caravan Club with an arrow. Now Wally Byam was the founder of Airstream and given where the arrow was pointing I figured they must be having a gathering right here in my small town! I drove over and sure enough a few trailers had arrived and were getting set up. I talked to one nice Airstream owner who showed me his really cool mid 50's 16' Bubble. This tiny Airstream was pretty amazing and had travelled from it's home in western New York state to Alaska and Baja Mexico, it had a really good 12volt power system and an icebox that looked original but had been converted to refrigerator.

Today, I was working on getting our Shasta cleaned up and out of garage and since it was hitched to the car I decided to drag it and the family over to the gathering for another visit. Once there we checked out a few more trailers and had some good vintage trailer conversations. Some of of the folks were also Tin Can Tourist members who recognized our trailer from other rallies. Turns out this particular WBCCI gathering was a "Buddy" rally where they open up registration to owners of other brands. So you if you are looking for a rally to attend you might check the WBCCI website to see if they have any "buddy rallies" on the schedule which you could attend with a Shasta or any other brand. These folks were just as interested in our Shasta as I was in their Airstreams, they welcomed our visit and I would expect the same at other WBCCI events.