In Half 1, I gave readers an replace on my efforts to carry extra “boots on the bottom” protection and evaluation work to CleanTechnica. Getting even a primary and low-cost cargo trailer constructed proved to be a much bigger problem than anticipated, however I handle to construct it, get it loaded, and take some gadgets out on a visit.
The First Take a look at Journey
I’ve lined this a bit in a number of the product evaluations, however I’m going to enter some better element on the journey itself on this article. I ended up needing to take a number of canines and a few caged pets together with us on this primary check journey, and it was greater than the Bolt EUV might maintain. For future journeys, I’ve since constructed a greater fence at house and made different preparations to keep away from taking the entire zoo alongside, so I’ll have the ability to make future journeys on electrical energy. However, sadly, for this primary journey, I had to make use of my fuel crossover.
The remainder of the setup is precisely the one I plan to drag with my Bolt. Within the trailer, I packed my Shiftpod insulated shelter, a Jackery 3000 Professional energy station, 800 watts of photo voltaic panels, an EcoFlow Wave2 AC with warmth pump, an EcoFlow Glacier fridge (the evaluation for that one remains to be in progress), bedding, meals, water, and different tenting odds and ends.
Our vacation spot? Monjeau Peak in southern New Mexico, and we selected it as a result of it’s attention-grabbing in a number of methods. The most important factor is the mountain’s dimension, with the highest simply shy of 10,000 toes. It’s additionally a part of the Sierra Blanca mountain vary, a set of tall peaks that mark the divide between the Nice Plains ecoregion and the remainder of the drier American West. From the outdated fireplace lookout on the highest of the height, you may see a broad number of forest, desert, and plains panorama. Cities as far-off as Roswell (plus the alleged alien crash website), Ruidoso, Capitan, and even some massive wind farms virtually 100 miles away are all seen, too.
Since this was the primary outing, one other benefit to this location is its wonderful web connectivity. In spite of everything, it’s not arduous to get a sign on a peak with 1000’s of toes of prominence.
How The Gear Carried out Up There
Whereas we thought we had been going to place the gear via a light check, destiny had different concepts.
For one, the everyday cool mountain air wasn’t that cool this time. Not solely was the entire area (like the remainder of the northern hemisphere) experiencing report warmth, however a thermal inversion really made the highest of the mountain hotter than the highlands on the backside of the hill. We nonetheless acquired a break from the warmth of the desert flooring, however not by almost as a lot as we had hoped.
The Jackery 3000 Professional (Learn Kyle Area’s full evaluation right here) carried out precisely as marketed. I had 4 of the 200-watt panels with me, which ought to have been sufficient, however I used to be dumb and left two extra of the panels at house. Even in respectable daylight, there was nonetheless some shade from the recovering aspen bushes on the height, and sudden clouds additionally ended up interrupting the facility.
So, whereas the Jackery carried out simply because it ought to have within the circumstances, the intermittent daylight nonetheless put a whole lot of UV gentle onto the tent, heating it up throughout the day. Even at evening, the temperatures didn’t go under 70 levels, main the tent’s insulation to holding within the physique warmth of two people and 4 canines, maintaining issues scorching even at evening. All of this led to a lot larger than anticipated HVAC power wants, which ceaselessly overran the accessible solar energy, leaving us to take care of the warmth.
However, it’s value mentioning that when the air conditioner was operating, issues had been fairly comfy. EcoFlow makes an amazing warmth pump and air conditioner, and it’s fairly environment friendly. Even within the hotter components of the day, it solely pulled round 500 watts. However, I simply hadn’t deliberate adequately for it.
All the pieces else went nice, although. The trailer carried every part up the hill proper, and didn’t have a noticeable impact on gas economic system (in Half 1, I mentioned power utilization on the Bolt, which was roughly a 15% loss). I used to be capable of efficiently check and get photos for a number of merchandise to evaluation on the journey. Bedding, meals, and scorching water (from the Yakima Roadshower, evaluation coming quickly) had been all nice.
What I’ll Be Doing To Make This Setup Work Even Higher
The aim of any good shakedown cruise is to determine what the bugs are and make enhancements. Whereas operating into issues isn’t enjoyable, it’s a good way to determine them and make it higher.
The plain factor we’ll do on future journeys is enhance our power storage. The Bolt EUV has a battery with round 60 usable kilowatt-hours of power, which might have been a good way to maintain the Jackery 3000 topped up, along with any photo voltaic power we will collect. I’m both going to wish to make use of an inverter to AC cost the Jackery from the car’s 12v battery, or run DC energy straight from the 12v battery to the Jackery on the trailer.
One other factor I noticed is that we have to have simpler entry to kitchen gear. On future journeys the place the Bolt might be pulling the trailer, charging stops might be a really perfect time to prepare dinner. Within the subsequent couple weeks, I’ll be constructing a field on the tongue that may be opened to allow us to prepare dinner with out unpacking extra of the trailer. It should additionally present a significantly better place to retailer the fridge and stop harm in transit. I’ll even be storing the Jackery 3000 and photo voltaic panels in that field for simple entry and more room for different issues in the principle cargo field.
Lastly, I’m going so as to add a few coats of low-cost paint to the trailer to guard the thinner plywood from rain within the coming months (assuming we ever get any this 12 months).
I used to be going to take a second journey this month (July), however we ended up getting sick. In an article subsequent month, I’ll write one other article telling everybody the way it goes on the primary lengthy journey with all of those enhancements!
Featured picture by Jennifer Sensiba.
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