To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

The Truck Question

What is the truck question? To keep or not to keep, that is the question. And if we keep, where to keep to avoid the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

Back in '12, we sold the truck. No problem until we needed a vehicle to commute to a job in the suburbs of Richmond. A little car was fine for several years. Then we moved to Nevada, and learned about "boondocking." Car goes to a kid, and we're back in truck world. Three trips across country later, and we think we'll keep the truck instead of sell it.

F474F4C5-92B0-4A88-B6F7-C9B23ED11CCF 1 105 c
F474F4C5-92B0-4A88-B6F7-C9B23ED11CCF 1 105 c

The truck is now in a storage yard in Hanahan, SC. It seems to be a small town outside North Charleston. A quick Lyft or Uber from the marina.

There's a barely-visible rectangle on the hood. That's a 20W solar panel, connected to a little 8A charge controller under the hood. With luck, this will keep the battery topped up.

Here's the details on the panel.

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A5E8A283-45DE-4E6F-8578-D701EB72F755 1 105 c

It's a generic flexible panel. Dakota Lithium has a variety, as do other vendors. Renegy pops into mind.

The controller has a Sun Power label on it, but all the 8A controllers are more-or-less identical.

You connect it to your battery with springy clips. And you connect the panel with a polarized SAE connector.

The springy clips were part of a generator setup that had a big polarized plug instead of some standard automotive SAE connector.

A light touch with a drill let me bolt some big-old 10 gauge loop connectors to the plug's prongs. To be sure it didn't bump anything, I put it into an old applesauce cup and wrapped it with duct tape to keep it there.

At some point, I may buy a Powerwerx Bullet/SAE to Alligator Clips Accessory for Power Tender Plus wiring harness. These are (now) a commodity item for all of the solar arrays on RV's and solar battery maintenance being done nowadays. (Just to be sure the positive and negative poles are correct, I may also get a gender-bender in the order.)

I didn't purchase a wire this time because I messed up the order for the panel and utterly forgot controller and wire. Then. When we arrived here in Charleston, there wasn't enough time to order the missing bits. The controller was at West Marine. The other parts were spares on the boat.

Next time, I'll double-check my order.