Thursday, October 6, 2011

Modifying "Freedom" to living quarters and field photography studio. Any good ideas?

The day I bought the Travel Trailer and what it looks like now.

View from Dinette/Photographic workplace toward the bedroom.

View from the Dinette/Photographic workplace toward the kitchen.

Dinette/photographic workplace with equipment I would usually bring with me.

Dinette/photographic workplace with just the computer.

Hi Photographer friends,

My recent purchase of a 20 years old travel trailer (baptised "Freedom") was a great deal, I believe. There were no water or structural damages. I'm in the process of modernizing it to fit my needs as traveler and photographer.  So far, I spent about $1,000.00 re-painting it, changing wheels and  re-packing bearings , installing a new water pump, upgrading the air conditioner, repairing the awning, repairing the refrigerator, removing the old carpet, changing the mattress, and coating the roof with rubberized sealant, just in case. The outside of the trailer now looks much better, and the inside is the next step.

All conveniences such as the gaz stove/oven, the microwave oven, the heater, the air conditioner, the stereo system, and refrigerator, all work flawlessly. The toilet and shower are in excellent working order. The trailer is very livable as it is.

If we camp in a facility that has all hookups such as water, sever and electricity, it's going to be like being at home, but...we will likely be camping in remote areas where no hookups are available, that is if I want to take pictures in the wilderness or remote areas.  In such places, we will still be somewhat autonomous, but cannot run the air conditioner, micro wave and all other 110 volt electrical devices. Here, in the desert of California, the temperature gets up to 100+ degree F in the summer.

My truck does have an inverter that can supply up to 1000 watts of power, but obviously not enough for the AC.

That brings me to the electric requirements, especially when using the travel trailer as a field photographic studio. Although I have a laptop that can run on its battery for about six hours, and an iPad 2 that can run even longer, I would like to run my printer, and maybe the future flat screens. As for internet access, my Verizon iPhone and iPad 2 can communicate on the web, but only if Verizon 3G is available. My iPhone can even work as a hot spot for up to four long as I have Verizon signals available.

I will purchase a generator a little down the road, one that will supply 3500 watts peak and 3000 watts continuous. That will probably supply all the power necessary.

Now...some of you are electricians or electrical engineers. Can you help or give me some ideas about setting up my photographic portion of the trailer. I want to run a regular PC, monitors, a printer, and dvd player with the flat screen. Would an array of solar panels (not bigger than two feet by six feet) with a 12 volt deep cycle Optima battery as reserve and the a power converter be enough to run that during the day? How long would it last at night?

Any other ideas? Did some of you already converted a similar camper?

I know it's probably silly for me to want all of these, but it's all about photography and convenience.

Hope to get good ideas and advises on this site or through my email.

would be nice to make it as "Green" as possible.

Thank you for your visit.

Yvon Bourque
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