Part 2: Seagull Water Filter and Preliminary Electrical Actions


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The Trip

During the purchase process I explained to the salesman that we were going to "slaughter" the Lance to mount it on Thor.  He was aghast, but claimed he understood the objective.  After all, I did force him to view Thor complete with dirt, brush scratches and oil stains, so there could be no mistaking our intentions.  I asked many questions about gaining access to wiring harnesses and plumbing.  He and his service team were very helpful.  The photos below describe the installation of the Seagull water filter and the preliminary electrical modifications.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

To gain access to a wiring harness, the microwave had to be removed.  Note the latch at the center of the photo above: this is the rear restraining latch for the microwave to prevent it from bouncing during transit.  The micro was in there nice and snug; no motion possible.

Once the microwave was out I placed it on the counter to allow access to the cabinet.

For whatever reason the  plug for the micro was installed in the microwave compartment but with the plug on the opposite side of the wall.  The wire had to run through the notch at the top left of the wall.  Since the opposite side of the wall is a normal cabinet, I assume they did it this way to preserve the look of the cabinet interior.

A photo of my work-in-progress circuit diagram for our enhancements.  Only a few enhancements were planned, but these required substantial work.  Solar would be added as well as a 3kw inverter with control and monitoring displays.

The water filter finally arrived.  This fellow was very expensive to the tune of $1200.  It is a very nice filter that allows filling the tank with potentially contaminated water.  The water produced is very good tasting.  The filter canister is quite large and requires a robust mount (not provided).  Above, a test fit to prove the filter will fit in the intended location under the sink.

When the mounting actions are complete, we expect the Thor-Lance combination to be about as high as the HiLo when the top is raised.  But, the Lance is way, way more comfortable and deluxe.

The plan was to fabricate a mount for the water  filter out of plywood and some scrap angle iron.  The parts were assembled and a plan was devised.

Channels in the plywood were routed out to allow passage of large, robust zip ties.

Final spacings were determined before cutting the mount and attaching the angle brackets.

An 1 3/8" hole was drilled in the brand new counter top.

The tap will be installed in the hole with special gaskets.

The filter and mount were attached to the cabinet walls.

We tapped into the 1/4" PEX faucet supply line using Shark Bite fittings.  These are pricey but work so easily.

We placed the tap at a location that makes it look as if it was intended to be there.  With Lance's high-pressure water system, this tap really pushes the water.

Next up is to determine the location for the inverter and high current wiring.  The area above is under the bed and is accessible by lifting the mattress via the gas spring assist mechanism.  The base of the bed has been removed as well as the gas springs to allow easy access to the area.  The 3kw inverter will go on a mounting board in the area between the blue tape and the far wall.

A special, high-performancec 40A solar charge controller was ordered.  Since this unit has a voltage converter, it is big and has large heat sink fins and will require a vertical mounting location.  I intend to mount it on the inside of the exterior wall near the water pump.

A shot of the circuit breaker allocation of the existing panel.  We intend to migrate the circuit breaker functions for the general purpose and microwave circuits to an AC subpanel that is driven by the inverter.  We will also split out the refrigerator line from the general purpose and put it on its own breaker.  The Converter breaker will be used to power the inverter/converter.  And, if necessary, we will parallel two of the defunct breakers to serve as the power for the inverter/converter (it can use up to 30 amps).

The physical wiring diagram of the existing system.

Use, temperature, torque and wire requirements for the DC side.

The existing breaker panel before I tear into it.

The upper right side of the cabinet will hold the electronic package for the home entertainment system.  We will extend the microwave power line to power the system.

Removal of the combined AC/DC panel reveals the huge mass of wires.

To gain access to the required wiring bundles and passage ways, the refrigerator and microwave had to be removed.

The refrigerator cavity had insulation on the top and sides.

The insulation hid some substantial wiring bundles.

Solar DC circuit breaker and AC subpanel on plywood mount.  This will be mounted under the bed in the "cubby" on the vertical wall so the switches are facing up.  The solar 30A breaker doubles as an on/off switch and will be upstream of the MPPT charge controller.  The sub-panel will handle inverted power for the microwave, interior sockets and 2-channel truck battery charger.

So far, so good.  We did not get any big surprises during this part of the effort, but there is still plenty of time for that.

Next: layout high current wiring and inverter mounting location.  Fabricate a mounting board, install components and install board in cubby.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2019, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.