Sunday, April 25, 2010

New tires

Since I bought my camper in 2006, I never bought any tires. Last year I bought four wheels (winter tires and rims). Since then they spent 6 months in storage, and two of them were installed on the rear of my camper last fall, when I had to replace one broken summer tire.

Two weeks ago I ordered two new tires, Barum Vanis, that will be installed on that rear axis.

I need to replace them before the next weekend. May the third is one of polish national hollidays, so it will be a three-day weekend. It's too cold for any camper trip without internal heating source, but we're going to my parent's cottage. I don't want to drive there on winter tires.

Today we visited my parents-in-law in their summer home, because I wanted to tidy the camper a bit for the season. Last week I removed most of the garbage from inside and ordered all the equipment that I carry with me in the proper places. But I have much more to do.


  • I washed the dishes that weren't washed since our last camper trip in autumn,
  • I poured 10 liters / 2.5 gallons of water to the clean water tank,
  • I tidied a bit in the inside,
  • I wanted to clean the fridge, but it scared me off.

Things I still have to do:
  • install the gel batteries back (at the moment they're stored at home),
  • install back all the solar charging stuff,
  • install a panel for monitoring and measuring the performance of the solar system.

This panel will consist of four switches and three measuring devices -- a voltmeter and two ammeters:
Od Volkswagen Transporter T3
The red circles are the switches, the red and black rings are the sockets for banana plugs.

From left to right:

  • two sets of sockets, connected to the gel batteries directly,
  • green switch that will connect the gel batteries with the starter battery, to recharge the camping batteries when engine is working,
  • yellow switch that will turn on the lights on the panel,
  • voltmeter that will measure the battery voltage,
  • blue switch that will connect the solar panels to the solar charge controller,
  • ammeter (max 8A) that will measure the current from the solar panels to the charge controller,
  • red switch to turn all the camping electrical equipment on,
  • ammeter (max 20A) to measure the current used by the camping devices,
  • three sets of banana sockets, connected to the battery via the charge controller.
Why five sets of banana sockets? The main part, with three sets, will be used in most cases. I will connect here, for example, the 12/230V inverter, and other external devices.
The second part will be connected to the gel batteries directly, to allow me to use electricity when the solar charge controller will disconnect the three main sets (when the voltage in the batteries will drop below certain level). Here I will also connect my gel battery charger, that will be used on campsites with electricity.

Today I will try to install the tires, I have them in my camper already:

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