Posted in Sustainable Homes and Living

Progress on the Fuel Efficient Camper Conversion

As I described a while back when we are working on a fuel efficient and lower emissions RV-Camper Van.  Ours is based on a converting a RAM ProMaster  van into a self-sufficient camper.

Last time we gave an initial description of our thoughts and deeds so far on the conversion — this is an update on what has been done since then — its getting pretty close.

The electrical system has been completed except for the installation of the solar panel on the roof.

Overview diagram of the electrical system.
Nearly all of the electrical system — batteries, inverter/charger, solar charge
controller, breakers and distribution panel.
Testing the solar panel (which will go on the roof) with rest of system.

The electrical system provides power as 12 volts DC or as 120 volts AC from the batteries, and provides for charging the batteries from solar, or the van engine, or shore power.

Floor and Paneling:
The floor and the paneling for the walls and the ceiling are completed.

The floor incorporates an inch of polyiso rigid board insulation and is finished off with some conventional kitchen flooring.

The finished floor

Insulation board and underlayment going in.

The wall and ceiling paneling are both hardboard paneling with insulation underneath.

Paneling going up 

Just about completed paneling with trim.

We added three windows.   Nothing like cutting big holes in the side of your new van!

Now with windows!

kind of breezy in this configuration.

Also completed or mostly done:

  • Furnace
  • Grey and fresh water tanks and plumbing
  • Roof ventilation fan
  • Galley, sink, stove.
  • High efficiency electric refrigerator 
Thanks to Gordon’s post, we are probably going to go with a homemade composting toilet.

The grey water tank is a bit unusual in that its home made…

All the details on progress so far here…
Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini Recipe
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.

Posted in Healthy (& Tasty!) Eating

Coffee-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Ancho Chile Sauce

Coffee-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Ancho Chile Sauce Recipe
This roasted beef tenderloin recipe has the deep, delicious flavor of coffee and the light heat of chiles, making this an impressive main dish for your next special occasion. While the beef roasts, make the easy bittersweet ancho chile sauce. Serve with roasted potatoes or buttered noodles to soak up the extra sauce.

Posted in Sustainable Homes and Living

Solar Heated Stock Tank Does Well In Really Cold Climate

Its the time of year to think about doing a solar heated stock tank that will save a lot of ice breaking and electricity for tank heaters over the window.

Karolyn has worked  out a nice design for a solar heated stock than that performed well over the very cold winter last year in Minnesota.

South wall of tank is solar collector that heats tank.
Drinking opening with flaps provides improved freeze protection.
This design is rugged and provides good freeze protection.

October 9, 2014