I would like to say first off I have been on this forum for the past 4 years just looking and not as a registered user. I now am ready to throw some stuff in the forum.
This year for camping at the farm I am taking a high tech approach. I have made 5 LED panels, a 12v power supply in a cooler, and a rig for the bed of my truck for comfy sleep when i need it.
12v Power Supply in a cooler: I work for a company that more or less throws away 12v 7amp hour or more batteries that are 40% dead. With that said I have been slowly taking a few home here and there. I have taken two 7ah 12v batteries and taped them together side by side as you will see in the pictures and wired them in parallel so that i now have roughly 14ah of 12v power per battery pack as i call them. Inside a cooler i have mounted a terminal strip that the batteries are connected to so that I may easily have room to power any 12v appliance that i want. The reason for making this in a cooler is so that once the lid is on it becomes weatherproof. On the side of the cooler I have mounted a 4 square box with a cover plate for an outdoor box and mounted led illuminated rocker switches in the plate so that i may turn the LED panels/ fans on and off. If you would like to know more please don't hesitate to ask.
LED Panels: Each LED panel has 16 5mm flat head bright white light. I have ran 4 LED's in series across and paralleled them down making 12v worth of LED's so that no resistor is needed. Each one of the panels pulls .09 Amps/ hour meaning off of one of my battery packs mentioned above I am able to run all 5 panels for a rough estimate of the whole weekend of Bonnaroo. My plan is to take my 10' x 10' ez up and place an LED panel on each corner and one in the middle. I will be putting the LED panels inside a single gang pop in box and covering the box with plexi glass that is sanded to help diffuse the spotlight effect of the LED's. I will zip tie each box in place where it goes on the canopy once on the farm and run the wiring previously at my house before Roo and just fold it all up so that once I arrive I may connect each one into the circuit and be done. All of the wiring for these will run down one corner post where the Power supply will be. I plan on setting up the Switches where you can have either the center light on or off and the perimeter lights on or off. EDIT: Added the finished product of the LED's.
Fans: I am getting some radiator fans that operate off of 12v and they move a lot of air. I plan to run the wiring the same as the LED panels and place the 2 fans i am getting on the last switch. This is just for air movement so that the stagnant hot air isn't just sitting there.
Truck tent with flag pole: This year i am trying out camping outside where i used to just sleep in the back of my SUV with AC. So with that being said I am making an airy bed of my truck tent. I have constructed this with black plumbing pipe. I have a flange mounted against the back glass side of the bed of my truck so that i can put a 3/4" piece of black pipe in it. The pipe goes up 5' where there is a T. At the T one side goes towards the tailgate where i have another flage mounted at 7' away from the other in the center of the bed with another 3/4" piece of pipe with a 90 degree elbow on it. I have a piece of 1/2" pipe connecting those two. Thus making a piece of pipe 5' tall and 7' long down the middle of the bed of my truck. From the other side of the T i will be placing another 5' piece of pipe straight up in the air for my flagpole. I will have guy wires coming from that down to the front bumper of my truck. I will be placing a tarp over the Pipe down the middle and attaching it on each side of my truck with bungees. Thus making a tent like structure in my truck bed. Then i will be placing enough pallets to stack even with my wheel wells and placing a queen mattress on top of those.
Hope this helps someone out. If not o well i will still have a nice time at the roo and hope to see you guys there in a month!
The palest would be to just raise the mattress off the bed of the truck for 2 reasons. One so that it can fit all the way in and now be bowed up where the wheel wells are. Two so that if by any chance rain does get in the bed of my truck the mattress would be off where the water would settle and not get totally drenched.
Gotta say, I love it. I'm doing a DIY Hammock site this year for 5 people. Gotta ask though- With the "tent" being part of your truck, won't it start to heat up a lot faster than a standard tent in the morning? The fans still help I guess, but it seems like the cooling effect will just negate itself in the back of a hot truck. But hey, I just get caught up in the heat... I like the fact that you're using pallets to avoid any rain problems.
Great job maintaining DC throughout! Inverters kill 50% of your power. It can be hard to find DC-designed appliances, but it's so worth it; the low-draw LEDs are perfect. Have you considered any kind of charger for these batteries? If you don't mind idling your truck for an hour, you could transfer a goodly amount of juice into your DC cooler. Of course, most chargers are designed AC to DC, so you would need a solution that used cigarette-lighter DC as a source and could clip onto your cooler battery's terminals.
And forget concerns about the pallet-- you had me at "queen mattress." Might want to invest a little thought on wind-proofing, and perhaps an extra tarp to screen the sun off the morning side of your tent. Some visqueen over the mattress qhile you are in Centeroo might be prudent. Nothing sucks like standing in front of your favorite act, in the rain, wondering what sort of wreckage you will have to cope with before you can bed down that night.
@roofanintn: Thanks for the heads up... WHOOPSSSS!
culloweird: I plan to use one of the silver heavy duty tarps under the big tarp that is seen in the picture so that it will be completely shaded and hopefully block out alot of the heat. The flap at the end of my truck will connect onto my ez up so that air can free flow throughout the bed. With the fan pulling air in and a flap left open over my cab it should pull the hopefully cooler air in and blow the hot air that will rise to the top out that flap.
Iron John: I have so many of the 7ah batteries and a couple of 33ah and 26ah batteries that i doubt i will need to charge anything. But in the off chance i do i do have an inverter to plug in a battery charger for when i get in the ac of my car for an hour or so i will let them charge. As far as wind proofing, it was quite a windy day when i did my setup on the truck and let it sit there all day like that and nothing moved what so ever. I think it should hold alright but i do plan on getting some tarp sharks that attach to the tarp and provide essentially another grommet but better and attaching some more bungees just to be on the safe side.
Dont worry culloweird i will be posting on here how well everything worked and if i would do it again or not. Instead of palets now i plan to use a queen size mattress bed frame. Just one of those cheap ones you get and use wooden slats. and all i would have to do to get above the wheel wells is may 4 concrete blocks under the corner posts. Keep me off the bed of the truck so if rain gets in the mattress wont get fooded, make a storage area under the mattress, and dont have the bulkiness of pallets.