Pizza in the Sun

The other night, we made our first pizza in the RETROvan. This little convection oven burned the bottom one and undercooked the top one, but we still had fun.

And today, I installed the four solar panels on the roof. I used white Gorilla Tape to secure them and to prevent water from getting under them. The two main 8 AWG cables drop down through a single 3/4″ hole with a rubber grommet and a waterproof gland. I’ll post a photo of that later, once my knees recover from second-degree burns from being on a hot tin roof!

Here’s a shot from the Scenario One drone. Note the panels aren’t connected yet. That’ll come later this week.

I had to reorder my WindyNation red & black 8 AWG cable set because I cut off the wrong ends, and wound up with black on the positive side and red on the positive side, which could be disastrous if mixed up at at the helm. It matters because the MC4 connectors are either male or female, and I didn’t realize my $40 mistake until after I cut off one end of them. Oh well, I can still use those cables on the other side of my charger controller no problem, because they will need lugs instead of MC4 connectors anyway. Had to buy a $62 Ancor ratcheting crimper for that.

Hey, tomorrow (July 3) is the day Brett finishes installing the RETROvan’s engine, with my brand new re-welded intake manifold. All we need is a driver’s seat, considering I removed it last week in preparation for mounting my International Harvester tractor seat and Attwood Swivel-Eze adjustable pedestal.

I finally met Ron at Portland Engine Rebuilders on Friday, when I picked up the manifold. I asked him if I’d need to baby this baby, but he said, “Oh no, that’s a good weld.” Apparently with cast iron, you have to heat the whole thing up in a furnace and then weld it and let it all cool down very slowly. Someone had attempted to arc weld this manifold years ago, hence the failure. Ron and Ted had their welding shop hit it three times because they kept discovering new hairline cracks after inspection. But now it should be good to go.

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