Another couple of months have gone and I’m beginning to feel the pressure of the massive amount of jobs left to do in so little time…  😯

Got a good deal on the insulation panels. So many choices… In all honestly I didn’t have much knowledge in how to rate a material from another… All I knew is that the Gigi did came with polystyrene and it was 35mm thick, full of water, dusty and messy, and I definitely wanted something better than that…

First thing I did I went on Wikipedia and looked at the insulation rating chart. After looking at the chart it seemed like an easy choice to pick a material with a better RSI Insulation value than 0.88 of the original polystyrene…

I quickly realised that thickness and weight of the material do actually play a part as well in insulation, so after measuring what I actually needed I went for few panels of XPS (expanded polystyrene) but in high density water resistant and 50mm thick. Now going by the company rating, this XPS in 50mm thick has a rating of 1.8… I hope they didn’t lie…  😉

What I love about XPS is that is very lightweight but not as brittle as polystyrene because of the much higher density. It is also very easy to cut but is not much flexible.. not really a problem as I don’t have any round surfaces to cover. Reason for going for the 50mm was that there was a gap in the ceiling between the roof and the internal panel and that also the walls already had 50mm insulation. So it just made sense to get one size for the whole vehicle.

I finally got around installing the new LED front spot lights that I did purchase few years ago on fleabay. Is one of those combo spot/flood lights and it does turn night into day…

Then the solar panels went on the roof and I’m actually pretty pleased with how they fit. It was actually much easier then originally thought as I just used those plastic mould where they just glue to the roof and there is no need to drill any holes. For this job Sikaflex 252 was the chosen adhesive due to the high stress those panel will be subject when at high speed…

I would like to tell you that this delivery went ok, but I would then, have to lie, as with my usual luck, one of the panel was actually broken at the delivery (forklift damage) but because the panel where wrapped in black plastic on the pallet, I was only able to find this out the day after when I started to lift the panel of the pallet. You can see on the right the damage made by the fork when it hit the panel instead of going under the pallet.

I did called the company immediately and to cut the story very short, I was able to get a replacement within a week. I’m always very happy when a company does stand behind their customers, and therefore I have add their business into the links page, or you can go there directly: https://www.solaronline.com.au/

They are not cheap, but I wanted peace of mind as far as warranty with this equipment and as it turned out I made the right choice..

Another lesson learned was that most panels do come with a 5 to 10 years warranty where these panel do come with a 25 years for both power and product. It does say something about their confidence in their products. They also are monocrystalline and have an average efficiency of 20.4%.

Six panels for a combine total of 2000 watt connected to an 80Amp MPPT and four 138Ah batteries connected in series and parallel, so to retain the entire system at 24 volts.

Hopefully my calculation were correct and this system should be self sufficient even in adverse weather. To help with this the panel were connected all in parallel, so that if one panel get some shade, the others can still give you 100%

For the MPPT an Outback 80 was chosen due to the large number of positive reviews. It also came with 5 years warranty and it does support the 2000 watt in the 24 volts array of my system.

As it turned out, the mistake made by the panel beater back at Christmas of installing the rear door to far forward, it became a good thing when it was the time to find a location for the home batteries. Yes, those 20cm made the difference from having the batteries under the coach and losing one of the bin, or having them right where I need them most, right at the back where all the heavy equipment is mounted. Because of this, I was also able to save lots of money for the cables, than now only need to be a metre long and therefore much thinner…

Because of the new battery location, I also made the choice to utilise the rear of the coach as the main electrical panels and to add a subpanel above the fridge for the remain of the system (lights, water pumps, fridge…) I’m quite happy of the results so far and more importantly happy to have been able to positively utilise the previously lost  space.

In the picture you can see the battery box, with not a mill to spare from the door opening  😀 , the Outback, the bus bars, the fusebox and the 2000 watt pure sine inverter from Jaycar..

All I can say about the red paint is that it was very, very cheap..  😎

Next will be the installation of all the insulation in the ceiling and finally the removal of the glass windows, so that the new skin can finally be glue in place. I have also already purchase the ceiling panels and the floor vinyl for both living space and tiles for the bathroom and the windows..

If the weather is good, next month will be the beginning of the real transformation, from coach to Motorhome…

I can’t wait to see the first real window going up and be able to open it, to get some fresh air…