The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Generator Working Using Trailer Propane

Yesterday I picked up the 30# propane tank from Ferrellgas, the propane source, who properly purged the tank (see post below) and refilled it. Now, at long, long last, it's working with the generator. This is significant because now I can use the trailer-mounted propane tanks and not need to haul around the smaller 20# tank inside the tow vehicle to be used as the fuel source for the generator. This gives the advantages of being safer as well as offering greater fuel reserves for longer use and simplifies the system with fewer parts.

With the two 30# tanks containing about 14 gallons of propane, and the generator able to run about 4 hours per gallon, it could run a total of 56 hours before running out of fuel. Of course it is unlikely to be needed continuously, so it could easily support several weeks electricity needs, especially when considering the solar panel would supplement electrical power generation.

This is a major milestone in the evolution of the rig (truck and Airstream) so that it can be used "off the grid" in such places as the beach where no plug-in power is available.

The propane supply is split between two tanks, only one of which is in use at any given time. This allows the use of one tank until it is empty, whereupon a switch is made to the full tank, and the empty tank is driven to the nearest propane station to be refilled and put back into service. This method allows uninterrupted operation of refrigerator, hot water heater, space heater, all of which are propane-fueled.

The big advantage of using propane as the fuel to power the generator is that it uses a fuel that is already being stored on the front of the trailer. Most generators are gasoline fueled and therefore require a tank of gas to be stored inside the tow vehicle, and since it is an enclosed space, it is a safety concern. Another safety concern is in refilling the generator's gas tank when the generator is already hot. These are not issues when using the propane solution.

This makes the most perfect sense to me, but I have not seen any other rig set up this way.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Interior Project

Some t-shirts with designs that are being considered to be used for throw pillows:

Some posters for the walls:

Friday, April 9, 2010

12 volt tutorial

While enduring the learning curve of all things electrical (in the Airstream), I ran across this excellent tutorial on all things 12 volt:

What I found extremely informative is the chart above.