After sleeping until 10 AM to reduce my backlog, I spent the next brutally hot twelve hours installing the relay and heavy cabling that connects the car battery to the house batteries. This helps in several ways:
- With no alternator, I can charge the car battery off of the solar directly instead of using a 120V charger and inverter, which is a massive waste of power.
- With no alternator, I have five times as much battery power before the vehicle dies.
- Once all this is fixed, I’ll be able to charge the house batteries using the alternator when the engine is running, providing “free” power when I’m driving, and emergency power if there isn’t enough sunshine.
After a lifetime of bad shaving with Mauer-modified thift-store rejects, I finally got a new Braun Series 7 shaver from Mom as an early birthday present. Thanks Mom! It erased my five-day beard with no need for the trimmer, allowing myself to craft this more Abilene-compatible porn ‘stache to help me blend in. Also, I’ll be able to experience the novelty of owning a shaver I can take to an airport. Amazing!
The van looked like it had been bombed for about ten hours, and I made lots of mistakes, but when I was done, I could flip a switch and connect the car battery to the house batteries over cable rated for 350 amps. I’ve updated my Sprinter Source Build thread with the details. I didn’t finish until after dark, so I decided to simply stay at Autozone overnight. I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep. It was 84 F at 11:20 PM and I was super grimy. I staggered through a sponge bath and spent most of the night trying different setups with my the van fan and battery powered fan, different covers, etc. I think I finally got some sleep around 4 AM, but I’m totally exhausted today and am considering a hotel room tonight. The local YMCA has guest passes for $5 before 4 PM, and a shower would be amazing.
Today the two batteries are charging happily off the solar array and I can drive as much as I want to as long as I’m willing to muscle around without power steering. I’m also Using Murphy to Defeat Murphy, because obviating the need for the alternator has caused the parts I need to fix the serpentine belt to arrive a day early. I was simply too tired to appropriately shit myself with joy when I found out, which is probably ok since I’m not sure I can find clean underwear right now. I retrieved them from my local hookup’s house, and will be installing them as soon as I can get myself to leave the comfy AC of Monks Coffee in downtown Abilene and return to the Prometheus’s Forge of Autozone’s parking lot.