Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
My son and his wife have a wonderful low slung poodleish style of puppy named Fezzik. They live in north Alabama and it snowed at least three inches last evening. So when it was potty time for Fezzik he headed for the door until he saw the snow. My son sent me this picture captioned “Do I HAVE to go out in that?”
The mail brought an item that has been needed for some time now. It is sized for crimping from 6 ga to 4/0 ga electrical wire connections.
A crimp is made by whacking the top of the silver part with a hammer until the little line on the side lines up with the wire gage of your wire. The little hand held electrical connection crimper tools stop at 10 ga size for wire. My need is to handle 6 ga wire so the voltage drop will be minimized. The main 12 volt power wiring from the factory is 6 ga. That gave me an acceptable voltage drop for the solar charging system. However my connections were made by trimming the 6 ga down to 10 ga at the connection. The hold up was the nearly $100 that the crimpers that were found at that time would set me back. This manual crimper was found on Amazon and cost $28 delivered.
The 6 ga was not needed for the amps that are being carried, but to minimize the voltage drop. The 10 ga is rated for 30 amps of current flow. The maximum that the panels can and do put out is 11 amps. So the safety factor is almost 300%. But the first class way is to use 6 ga connectors on 6 ga wire. Finally a reasonably priced crimper was found. It is definitely not as efficient as the $100+ tool, but should be way more that adequate for the 8 or so crimps needed for the Castle’s system and then likely never used again.
Now when the weather gets back to something decent, the rest of the battery installation can be finished. The leads from the Castle to the trailer tongue are about three feet longer than is desirable. With this new tool the leads can be shortened to a proper length for the duty. The proper length leads will not be able to accidentally drag on the road and cause trouble.
In answer to the frequent question "How much does it cost to full time". The answer is what ever you spend. My expenditures for 2010 came out to $2000 a month including some unnecessary expensive stupid errors on my part. My blog shows you the way of my lifestyle so you can make estimates as to what you would spend. 2011 should cost more or less is my guess.
Most of the day has been inside in the warm interior of Comfort Castle. It is guaranteed that staying warm enhances trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.