This month it has been great! I’m finally getting good sleep at night and the weather has been excellent (cool and dry).
It doesn’t look like much work has been done, but it is only because I’m working on 2 side and 2 levels at once. On one side you have the main kitchen with the sink and the diesel stove and 4 metres of cabinets above. Below that you have all the plumbing and the electrical (that has to work on both 24 and 230 volts), plus the water heater and the air heater all needing hoses and ducts to work.
On the other side you have the main power switches, the fridge, the kitchen pantry and again cabinets above, while below that you have another electrical panel for all the bins electrical devices installed, plus few hoses and electrical conduit for the 230 Volts wirings..
The only good thing about this is that once this central part of the project is done, the dining and living section will feel like a piece of cake in comparison.
Once the main kitchen was complete I started to add the accessories, like the double bins on runner and the carousel in the corner, that BTW it does fit without any problem with the diesel stove. Then I added a glass at the end of the bench and a knife wall mount that I think it does look pretty good on the silver splash back wall. I’m also very pleased with the end result as far as the bench top colour and the sink size.
The diesel stove works great and you can read all about it HERE. The fridge was also a pleasant surprise in regard to the fact that works very well and doesn’t make much noise. It has such thick insulated walls, that if you don’t open it, it barely does come on. As mentioned before it does use very little power. Now, I know is winter, but in the RV the temperature has been hovering around the 24° in the day. I was actually counting how many times the fridge did came on on the 24 hours period.
During the day it did came on 3 times for about 40 minutes and not a single time at night. Now the funny bit is that at the moment the fridge is using only 3% of my battery bank, so by 8am the battery were fully charged already. I think the setup is working as intended and while in summer I’m sure it will come on more often, I’m not worry the least about passing the 20% threshold originally planned. I also notice that it does work better when on 24 Volts than when on 230 Volts. (it does stay on for less time between cycles). Finally it does reach the 4° Celsius even at the lowest setting.
The main control panel will take sometime to be completed, but I did expect that, as all the wiring laid out since the beginning, it now need to be connected and tested. It also take quite a bit of room and in a way I’m happy to have chosen to have sub panels around the vehicle, so that it will not look like a messy bundle of wires all in one place, and having chosen 24 over 12 Volts, while still using thick wires, it made me gain a system where there is virtually no voltage drop across any length of wire and they do run cooler.
Having power now connected, it also mean that I can work longer hours in the evenings as there are plenty of lights. It feel nice to work under your own lights, powered by your own batteries, in a nice warm environment, while outside is already dark and getting colder (last night it was 1°).
I also managed to find a location for the small monitor I had left over when I got rid of my computer. I’m glad I kept it as it is just the perfect size for the bedroom. When I said small, I actually got to remind myself that most RV TV are not much bigger that this 27″ monitor. It will be connected to the main entertainment unit at the front via HDMI cable, so the quality of the picture should be good.
In the last picture you can see the beginning of the main electric panel where all the power gets distributed to the other sub panel located in each of the other areas. So far we got the fridge circuit breaker and the power converter for all the lights. There will be another power converter mounted for all the other accessories, so in the end I will have the choice of Solar, Main or Generator for the entire vehicle, but not the constrain of having all the inverter,converter on all the time like some commercial large RV.
This is a truly split system that can work all on Solar, all on Main or all on Generator. Or you can have some on Solar while some on Main and some on Generator. Because all the power doesn’t go or come through one single box, I guess the key word here, is choice!
Finally another positive note about a true split system is that if one component do break down, you can still get around by using the other system..