Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-04-2017, 01:56 PM   #1
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
solar trailer

I have a shuttle bus, but have been thinking about creating a trailer with solar power. I see the advantages are many, I am in my mid 60s and am not going to climb on top of the roof of my rig anymore.

The trailer would have solar panels, the batteries, inverter and amp hour meter.
Harbor Freight sells trailers for under $300 and I have one already.

When boondocking the trailer can be in the sun and the bus in shade (if available). Everything can be inspected regularly. Even ideal pitch for solar panels can be achieved, yet I don't think that is a priority.

Hook up can be a conventional hook up for RV AC and the batteries can be placed over the axle and not unbalance if put into the rig.

Obviously easier to install panels and add to them.

I have never seen this, but the idea is a no brainer to me, however I would love to hear your opinion if you have experience or not, but your reaction pro and con would be beneficial.
Bluespoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 02:15 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Kent, WA (Seattle)
Posts: 408
Year: 1987
Engine: 6.9L Diesel
This sounds like a really cool idea. I wouldn't use a $300 trailer assembled with bolts out of a box, I'd want to use an enclosed trailer probably. But I love any kind of trailers and I'm fond of modular functions. Would you plan to keep your house batteries in the trailer or your vehicle?

It would be cool if you had some sort of folding system so you could fold out two solar panel flaps. I think that would work better in a non-enclosed trailer. However for mobile purposes I would rather have the solar panels on the bus. I would hate for someone to run off with my solar trailer while I was taking a nap.

My main two critiques are

1. you would not have a lot of space to cover with solar panels unless you have some sort of moving components.

2. Trailers don't seem very secure separated from a vehicle. I would get paranoid about someone running off with my solar trailer.
TAOLIK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 03:22 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
milkmania's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,267
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Winner winner chicken dinner!






Love this trailer!!!!
__________________
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
milkmania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 03:26 PM   #4
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
This sounds like a really cool idea. I wouldn't use a $300 trailer assembled with bolts out of a box, I'd want to use an enclosed trailer probably. But I love any kind of trailers and I'm fond of modular functions. Would you plan to keep your house batteries in the trailer or your vehicle?

It would be cool if you had some sort of folding system so you could fold out two solar panel flaps. I think that would work better in a non-enclosed trailer. However for mobile purposes I would rather have the solar panels on the bus. I would hate for someone to run off with my solar trailer while I was taking a nap.

My main two critiques are

1. you would not have a lot of space to cover with solar panels unless you have some sort of moving components.

2. Trailers don't seem very secure separated from a vehicle. I would get paranoid about someone running off with my solar trailer.
Well, I have those concerns as well, I also have an old horse trailer that could be used, but it is double axle and way over kill used at present for storage.

I spent 30yrs in steel fabrication, I could simply weld up the trailer or just build a new one. The axle for a new one would run $200, don't think I need brakes with such a light load. Well as far as security goes, it goes with the bus and so I would be there and when parked at home could put a lock on the trailer. If someone determined to steal it, we can't stop them, but can slow them down and make theft unattractive. At home this allows me to have solar power for tools or for events and can be moved anywhere. Am also considering it as an outdoor galley and extra storage for my shuttle bus. I have lived in busses for decades and prefer to cook outside and keep the smoke and grease outside, inside need to heat water for coffee and for cup of soup etc. That just releases water vapor. The thing I like about building something is that I can use a better axle, but not sure one is needed from the HF one. The HF trailer I have is at least 10yrs old, if I worried about the bolts nothing that locktite could'nt cure. If I were hauling sand or dirt or steel scrap that would be a concern, but likely total wt will be about 200lbs and having everything available. RE security, when traveling would have a wood cover on the box to hide everything from sight. For example 2 solar panels could be on the inside of the cover and two of them on a panel on top. So that when opened, I would have 4 panels exposed and since they are hinged could be infinitely adjusted. I see online some solar trailers using full sized utility trailers, I want something small and light that I can move around by hand on site.
Bluespoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 03:36 PM   #5
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
One of my biggest reasons for not putting on the roof. I live in the pacific north west, we have lots of trees and homes have low power lines. I already lost my vent ripped off the roof from someone's house power line.

So, if I roof mount solar panels, will need a roof rack to house the solar panels and protect them. I could buy a couple of HF trailers for the price of one roof rack and likely could buy more of them.

Mounted on a low trailer, this is not an issue, but all the time have branches brush the top of my roof, the likely of a solar panels being ripped off the roof is extremely high. Not a problem if mounted on a trailer.
Bluespoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2017, 04:20 PM   #6
Almost There
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 75
One idea for theft prevention is to use a military style Pintle trailer hook up. They are available cheaply on Amazon.com and any place with trailer supplies, just makes it more difficult for thieves since they are more likely to have a towing ball, but anyone can buy a pintle hitch and bolt cutter, but again, just makes it more difficult.
Bluespoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2017, 09:50 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 138
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: E450 Ferd
Engine: 6.0L Diesel
Rated Cap: 20 window lickin Jeffies
I have a couple of HF trailers. Rickety little POS. I decided I would make a garden trailer out of one of them, so I cut a foot out of all the crossbars, but it back together in it's narrower form, then welded all the connections. Man, talk about making a difference! This thing is pretty damn solid now, and I really like it. Wouldn't hesitate to drag it down the road. One thing I DID do is to add a couple more feet of length to the tongue. Made a yuge difference in the way it tows and maneuvers.
Goatherder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2017, 09:20 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,419
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
About the only method to secure any tow rig is a wheel boot like the cops use. I had a trailer stolen that had a lock covering the whole hitch. Cop said they just chain it up to their ball and drag it somewhere they can spend time removing the lock. He knew because that's how someone stole his trailer...the one parked in his yard right next to his police cruiser. Even with security camera footage of the theft, it was never recovered.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2017, 01:37 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 138
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: E450 Ferd
Engine: 6.0L Diesel
Rated Cap: 20 window lickin Jeffies
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
About the only method to secure any tow rig is a wheel boot like the cops use. I had a trailer stolen that had a lock covering the whole hitch. Cop said they just chain it up to their ball and drag it somewhere they can spend time removing the lock. He knew because that's how someone stole his trailer...the one parked in his yard right next to his police cruiser. Even with security camera footage of the theft, it was never recovered.
You can also string 3/8 case-hardened chain thru the holes in the wheels and around the frame, and lock w/ a case-hardened padlock. About the only way to get it then would be a cordless grinder or a cutting torch. Most tweakers don't carry those around...
Goatherder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2017, 08:27 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,419
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Cordless powertools are a thieves best friend!
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.