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Old 11-12-2021, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Excited to be here.

This forum is a throwback! I played an online video game from 2003 that had an online forum in a similar style to this one.

I bought a box truck (see my avatar. I saw someone say that you can't post pictures or links until you've done 5 posts, so I don't think I can post pics yet). It is a salvage vehicle because it was vandalized. I was able to get it at an auction for "$2,300" which I put in quotes because there were all sorts of fees and it had to be shipped since it was a salvage with no plates, so it ended up being around $4,000 (better not to look too closely).

So far I've painted it white I'm studying to get a master's degree in organizational leader (with a focus on non-profit camps!) I would have done more already, but I've been really busy. It is a internship program which is nice because I get to learn by doing. This box truck is also something that I got because I wanted to learn by doing. I got inspired by youtubers like ChrisFix who explains a lot of mechanic solutions, which made me feel like I could tackle bigger projects.

Somehow I stumbled upon this forum (forgot how already haha) and for sure this baby could use some efficiency mods! It is definitely not shaped aerodynamically. I would love to hear input from the community here. I've looked at a lot of stuff for the inside of the truck (gonna use it as a camper and a workstation), but I don't have any ideas really for the outside of it. I was already going to fix the rust spots to fill in the holes and make it aerodynamic, but after seeing the stuff on this forum, it makes me want to go crazy with it haha.

Definitely something that I'm interested in doing is the alternator delete. I don't know enough about cars to know what I don't know, but I imagine that I just need to charge the 12v battery with a DC-DC buck converter from the 48v battery that I'm going to have (to store energy from the solar panels that I'm going to put on top).

Another thing I'm interested in is the boat tails, but the thing is, this box truck can fit in a standard parking spot, which is one of the reasons I was so excited for it, so I'm thinking I could do a DIY version of those trailer tails. Has anyone tried something like that? I was imagining that it would need something like a fiberglass foam composite to keep it stiff but lightweight.

Then it seems like I should try to streamline the bottom of the truck so that the bottom is aerodynamic, as well as making the transition from van cab to box trailer more smooth. Also those mirrors are ugly and I'm sure they are horrible for mileage. I know mirror delete is a thing, but I'd feel really irresponsible to do that since this thing is so big. Is there like a standard recommendation for aerodynamic mirrors? Is this another thing I should try to make with fiberglass? Should I go high-tech and do those "mirror" cameras?

Then I was also thinking of the AC delete because it has the reefer, but correct me if I'm wrong, but the AC would be run off the battery if I do a alternator delete, so it wouldn't really save anything for me other than being able to get rid of weight, right?

Ultimately I'm looking to ecomod at a "mild" amount. I'm going to be adding some weight when I add my bed and stuff like that, but at the same time, I love efficiency and while this obviously isn't an efficient vehicle, I'd love to mess around to try and make it better.

And then the last crazy thing would be making it hybrid. I'm going to put a 2-3kw solar setup with a 5.12kwh, 48v battery, so it would be able to do some pushing, but I haven't been able to figure out a thing for it. I'm pretty sure it is just not cost effective, right? Would I be able to use the alternator? If I'm too clueless now should I just not even try?

Thanks

(also I love aptera and I'd love to buy whatever version of a van/commercial vehicle that they make, but I imagine that it is 5-7 years away from reality. Composite materials, solar panels, aerodynamics... what a fun/nerdy company

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Old 11-12-2021, 11:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Two threads from earlier this year (found via the search function):

ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/ambulance-aero

ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/7-3-psd-ambulance-needs-help-mpg

In the latter one, I gave my best suggestion at Permalink #6:



We had one member who did the front edge treatment on a trailer. On a box van they could be perforated guards over twin stacks. Get the exhaust out from underneath so you can bellypan the whole thing.

Maybe the best thread from 2018? ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/new-seeking-aero-advice-my-brick

Quote:
Would I be able to use the alternator?
15hp altermotor: /ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/controller-mods-build-e-assist-altermotor
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Old 11-13-2021, 04:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So what a 16 ft box or bigger?

Electric vehicle power is typically 100 volts or better just to keep the current somewhat sane. Unfortunately 48v is wee bit weak but that divides into 12 easily and happens to be the power requirements for a commercial server UPS that does 120. Used commercial UPS without batteries are almost free.

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Old 11-13-2021, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
So what a 16 ft box or bigger?
It is a 12 ft box! So all in all it is about 20 ft long, which is the size of an F-150.

Quote:
commercial server UPS that does 120
You're saying for this to be used as an inverter?
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Old 11-13-2021, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I started to ask, but let it go. 48V sounds like a lead-acid realm to me. With modern battery technology, 100+ seems doable.

I'd be looking for something to integrate road and house loads with shore, solar and regen (Serpentine belted altermotor replaces the starter and alternator) inputs.

What I intend to get as soon a I sell a car is the EcoFlow Delta.
Quote:
EcoFlow Portable Power Station | EcoFlow DELTA Power Station
https://ecoflow.com
"The EcoFlow DELTA is the best portable power station for emergency backup power or off-grid activities such as camping and tailgating." "The EcoFlow RIVER is a mobile power plant for all your gear." "Unlike many traditional power stations, the EcoFlow RIVER supports fast charging. It can charge from 0-80% in 1 hour."
What would you think of a drop-leaf tailgate with a pop-up boat tail/porch roof?
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edit: It looks like you have 5 posts. Can we have a closeup of the front edge of the van with something for scale? I'm curious about routing those twin stacks. You might be able to scavenge chrome perfed heat shields off a big motorcycle. It should really help the underbody aero.

If the perfs are inlets and the outlet is a [vertical slit] Coanda nozzle, exhaust heat would help push you down the road (not that you could ever tell. ).
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When you think about the area over the cab, the most advanced designs mimic Luigi Colani. I'll have to look for an example.
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Last edited by freebeard; 11-13-2021 at 07:01 PM..
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Old 11-13-2021, 07:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Even though you're going to rely on solar panels, I always take alternator deletes with a grain of salt.
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Old 11-14-2021, 08:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
I started to ask, but let it go. 48V sounds like a lead-acid realm to me. With modern battery technology, 100+ seems doable.
I was thinking of getting these a 48v 100ah waterproof LiFePo4 battery for $1650. I'd post the link, but it says I need 15 posts.

And then maybe even the 12v 100ah too, but I think that just charging the battery from the 48v battery makes more sense. Was hoping to do 2000w of solar panels with a slide out mechanism. It would have an inverter that is 3000w with 6000w surge that is $750. So for the battery and inverter it would be $2400. It would be similar to the delta pro, but without the outlets already ready, but also able to hand more solar panels. I'm using those because of price, but also because I'd want to have something that I could put in a house later.

Quote:
What would you think of a drop-leaf tailgate with a pop-up boat tail/porch roof?
I'm definitely curious as to what would be a good solution for being able to have many functions. I was thinking of a slide out deck from under the box and then slide out panels from on top of the box, but that wouldn't be out while driving. I was thinking of making something like the trailer tail. I was thinking a plastic or a fiberglass foam composite.
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Old 11-14-2021, 08:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'm definitely curious as to what would be a good solution for being able to have many functions.


The drop-leaf design provides a solid floor to the boat tail, and rigidity an inflatable won't have. Reconciling the taper to the box van shape would be the trick. I used a 'stinger' that stores over the roof.



This was built to aerohead's design, and is rigid. A boxed cavity rather than a truncated tail.

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