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Old 02-26-2014, 06:46 PM   #31
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Location: Texas
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Re: 1987 Ford E350 Former FBI Mobile Command Post

Lets see,
If you use a charge controller you dont need a diode to prevent backflow at night, the controller will do it.

Your panels are probably listed as 36v panels, most put out 5 or so more watts than they are listed for, you will certainly want an mppt controller since it can take 12/24/36/48v as input and put out 12v to the batteries, be sure to calculate the wattage/voltage output of you panels to make sure the controller you get can handle it, as I recall my controller can take up to 150v as input,

Depending upon how much stuff you put on your roof you need to make sure no shadows ever cross the panels, even a small shadow of just a few square inches can drastically cut the output of a panel, as odd as it sounds panels dont like being hot as it decreased their output so many will mount the panels a few inches above the roof, you may want to consider putting them up 10/20 inches depending upon what else needs to be up there.

In texas it is against the law to keep amber/red lights on the roof even if they are turned off, might want to check your local laws, I put clear lenses on mine and disconnected the blinker function,

I put an isolator on mine but if I had to do it over I would just put in a manual switch,
My conversion thread, viewtopic.php?f=9&t=466746
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:31 PM   #32
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Re: 1987 Ford E350 Former FBI Mobile Command Post

Heres a thought for your bed.
The seat of the bench is double layer -both on piano hinges. you can flip it up to get at the storage underneath-the top will flip "out". I made up 4 squares-1" tubing vertical and some 1"x 1/8" flat stock horizontal. They are hinged on one side.

The span across the middle is twice as long-so i have a piece of 1" square -with the ends cutdown to lie flat-that goes across the span.

On top of that, we have a full size air matress. It sets up quick + is solid.
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:36 PM   #33
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Re: 1987 Ford E350 Former FBI Mobile Command Post

sdwarf36, very ingenious idea for your bed!
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:58 PM   #34
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Re: 1987 Ford E350 Former FBI Mobile Command Post

Location - The state called paradise.. Where the big Kahuna Lives.
Thanks about the shading issue; reason why I am going to wire the panels in parallel instead of series. Also if one takes a hit and is damaged in series would take all of the panels offline; in parallel you'd lose one panel. My other concern is hooking the alternator into the system and not using an isolator to protect the MPPT controller when the alternator is running a current into the battery bank? Can it block that as well using the same diode you mentioned?
That is exactly what I intended to mount the panels about 4-6 inches of off the roof; to get air flow under them to help cool then and also kinda like carrying my own shade around with me. I might and have thought about a deflector on the front edge of the roof to kick the air over the panels while driving. I don't want to have the air get under them at highway speeds.
LMAO on the sue-namie name; maybe get the license plate with it on it.
I have checked my current laws and can have "amber" all around and can only use them for a 'road hazard" situation.
Many thanks on the bed pictures; my idea is almost exactly like the one you show. I am considering putting a rectangle tube stock around the flip out part edge to reinforce it and the legs made out of the same material. IF I was crazy and wanted to spend big bucks maybe could have used linear actuators to deploy the bed. You know push a button, lights go down and Berry White starts to play. LoL..
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:56 AM   #35
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Re: 1987 Ford E350 Former FBI Mobile Command Post

Well it has been raining here very hard for many weeks. Also got hurt and slowed down the project; but the goodies are finally starting to arrive. My Tailgater sat dish system finally arrived and that is in the future to be installed. More of the kitchenette parts have arrived and FINALLY my fuel pump hanger assembly arrived. Also now have some sunny days and jumped on removing the tank. it also had allot of crap in the bottom so gave it a good shot of liquid laundry detergent and put on face shield and fired up the pressure washer and stuck it in the hole where the hanger goes and blasted allot of that junk loose and rinsed it out. The highly trained federal ASE grease monkey did an unbelievable generator install; they cut the fuel line feeding the engine and use a "T", then ran a semi transparent plastic fantastic line to the generator fuel cutoff value. You cat see the line where the tank was and the line going to the cutoff valve. I can't figure why they did not do it the right way and use the fuel tap on the hanger for the generator? It is there for that use; you can see it in the picture. Also the pipe stops at the 1/4 tank level so the generator will run out of gas and you still have a 1/4 to run the vehicle.
rusted old hanger assembly

New hnger assembly

Plastic fuel line to generator

plastic fuel line to cutoff switch for generator.

Also as I mentioned previously no rust on this rig at all.
I also thank you for the bed ideas. What I decided was I got folding legs from amazon and they are heavy enough to easily hold the bed and people. Lift the cushions, start to open the bed and deploy the legs and lock them in place, set down and pull cushions into mattress position. My MPPT solar charge controller and other parts have also arrived.
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