Fulfilling a dream

Got the wife to help me out with some of the metal work today. Only a couple more pieces of diamond plate to go. Sadly, I lost one of the pieces I had bent for me the same day I picked them up. We also did some painting where the old propane cabinet was mounted. It does need another coat though.



We did get the compressor in and charged only to find out the compressor itself is seized up. I did work when we first brought it back, but it seized since then. I have a new compressor, an exact replacement, coming in, we'll cut the old one on out, braze this one in and wire it better. This one was wired in stupidly. The condenser fan is wired into the compressor, inside the starter relay cover. Any time you'd have to do anything you'd have to reach around behind it and blindly remove that cover then reassemble it. It could have just been wired into the control module instead.

Skinned knee, a rite of passage for every child. :)
He always has something skinned. He's a lot like me when I was growing up. I'd rip something open and come up and patch up and go back out again. He grabs the first aid kit, cleans and patches himself up. He's a good helper too, and enjoys cooking, especially grilling.
Exterior lights are working. I'm going to try to run a wire to the window side panels to light up the menu boards.
Haven't been able to log in since the forum change because I created my account through my google sign in. That's now broken due to a URL mismatch between the forum and the Google API. Tried to contact staff several times about it, so far, no luck.

Yes, it's me.
Yay! I'm finally back. With the forum change, the login via Google got blowed up. It just got fixed a few minutes ago. Lots of updates. We're close, wife has been working on all business documents we need, which as been a real PITA. The last thing we needed to finish with the trailer is getting the fridge running. We had tested the compressor when we got it home, but it has since seized up, which meant buying a new compressor and installing it ourselves.



That went ok, had a buddy of mine come over that knows how to braze copper pipe. But while fillling it, we noticed a strange thing happening with the pressure, and the next day we were completely out of coolant again. Then I realized, we never pulled the rubber plug on the other service port and capped it, because we got distracted while working with the compressor. He was away for a week, so I bought myself a MAP Gas torch, cut a piece of copper pipe, sealed one and and brazed it myself.

We got it running that it was cooling, but we found we had a freezing issue.

Which we solved with some insulation

I also added a pair of 12v IP67 rated fans inside the fridge to give some air movement across the evaporator, the next morning I woke up to this:

We had finally broken the 41F barrier. But then another problem arose, the inverter doesn't have enough umph to run the compressor. There's a huge inrush current flow to start the compressor. I tried to mitigate that buy delaying the condensor fan starting for 60 seconds, but that wasn't enough. The choices are buy an expensive RV soft start and hope it works, or get a bigger inverter. We pick up a 3500/7000W inverter tomorrow. The compressor will start on our 4300W generator without problem so I think the inrush is just a little more than 4000W, and our 2000/4000W inverter isn't enough.

In between working on the fridge and running produce across state lines, I installed this huge solar panel on the top of my truck.

With it and the other panel on the trailer I can now generate up to 25.5A, while the trailer with everything on is drawing about 18A. On a good sunny day, we can run completely off of solar power, making us the quietest truck out there, everyone else is running large generators. We now have a pair of marine batteries on board, and with the truck connected via the trailer plug, there's 3 in parallel.

I did have the trailer at a refrigeration service place for them to look over it and they gave us several things that we should do, which one was add more ventilation to the cabinet. I finished that yesterday.


I also mounted a 10" 12vdc fan on the louvered door to the cabinet to draw air out, it'll switch on with the other condenser fan.

With the addition of the big ass solar panel on the roof, that meant a larger charge controller in the trailer. There's a Renogy 30A in there now, and the 20A is now mounted in my truck. I plan to take the other inverter and mounted it in there too, with another marine battery so if we're out camping, or anything else, we have power directly in the truck.

We're looking at a November 10/11th opening, 1 year from the day I killed a horse and this all got rolling.
Oh, another update that I forgot about. Wife and I spent a couple of days driving around to businesses that we thought would be good places to setup. Every one we talked to gave us a go ahead. Three hardware stores, in different parts of the county, 2 gun shops, one along a very busy road, the other next door to a large production facility. They even told us that if we tell them we're coming the day before, they'll contact that facility and let them know. That was our plan all along. Also a large mennonite owned nursery that gets mobbed on the weekends. These are all places that we could setup for early to late lunch and be done by 3pm.

We also went down to the metal shop that's been supplying us and did lunch for them. They got to see all the metal that they've supplied for us, which is nice because so many times they never get to see the final product of the work they do. I really appreciate them because it's hard to find shops that are willing to do small work. But they're happy to help out, plus he likes it because I always drop off drawings for him to work off of.
Your project has come a long way. More than a project, actually. Awesome job! Truly an inspiration. Thanks for sharing. :)
I second Slaphappy! Awesome work! I tried and I might try again to reach out to the old/ex girlfriend for food truck advice. She's still out there with her BBQ truck.
Surveillance cameras are coming along. I have 3 mounted, one more to go. I have a DVR with a 1TB drive in it and 4 more ports for cameras. Everything is POE so I only have to run CAT5, easy enough. On the front one, I mounted the bluetooth adapter for the Charge controller, should give me better range than it being inside a metal cabinet inside a big metal box. Only had to drill a hole big enough for CAT5, and the box has gasket material between it and the trailer and between it and the camera.

Got the 55A charger installed just a bit ago. Also got the outlet wired back up in the compressor cabinet and the inverter wired into the breaker panel. Everything is plugged in and running. The charger is doing it's thing on the batteries and it's staying ahead of the usage from the compressor. We produced almost no solar today because it's been overcast all day. Which is why we got the charger, for days like this and overnight.

The "shore" power connector.

A 5000W AIMS power inverter. More than enough to start the compressor. I 3D printed the high voltage shield and little girl filled in the letters. She has a steadier hand than I do anymore. She also painted the trim on the chicken.
I’m impressed with your skills, and the effort you’ve put into this project. It’s cool that you’ve involved your kids in this too, as I’m sure it will instill some of your positive attitude in them.
I’m impressed with your skills, and the effort you’ve put into this project. It’s cool that you’ve involved your kids in this too, as I’m sure it will instill some of your positive attitude in them.
Thanks. I've always tried to include my kids into work like this. I assign tasks based upon their skills. A few years ago we were restoring a boat for fishing, and they did a good job in helping with that too.

Today while running water from the water heater I noticed a yellowish tinge. Looks like scale buildup inside the heater. Solution is to partially fill it with vinegar and let it sit for a few hours. Tried pumping vinegar into it, since I can't do it via gravity, and then realized that the way I was pumping it in bypassed the vent, and I pressurized the heater chamber. Had to drain it to release the pressure. Now I figured out a way to put in a flush fitting that includes the vent.

I did get the 2000W inverter installed in my truck today, connected to a deep cell battery. Then the 20A charge controller in there is connected to it. When the truck's solar panel isn't connected to the trailer, it can be connected there. I tested it and I can charge my bike's battery and my drone batteries at the same time.
After the 3D printed chicken turned out so well for the top of the flag pole, I decided to print a pig so we can change them out. I found a nice model already designed, just increased it's size. It's printing in pink ABS, and it looks a little bit like the Pink Floyd ping. Wife nixed the idea of making the eyes glow red. It'll be done in 33 hours.
When I had the trailer up at the Refer shop he gave me some suggestions for helping the fridge compressor. One was adding vents in the sides, the other was another fan to pull hot air out of the cabinet. I got that done today, wired into the same delay relay as the condenser fan. It appears to be helping out. I shut down the fridge lastnight before bed because the evap unit was frozen over and it wasn't cooling properly, mostly because the pressure control device I can't get it set right, and the guy said that could be a problem and I should get a thermostat instead. I have a thermostat coming in today, which I"ll wire in with the pressure device. The pressure device won't control temp, but it will protect the unit burning up if the coolant leaks.


When I looked this morning around 8:30, the fridge was at 41 even though it was off all night. I started it, and within a few minutes it was below 40, and it's now maintaining 32. If I can get the thermostat to hold that temp, it shouldn't freeze up.

On another note, the big solar panel on the truck charged my bike battery this morning. Yesterday afternoon it charged both drone batteries. On a good sunny day, there's enough power to run both chargers at the same time. The drone charger draws a lot.
Wife and I just got home with a new to us fryer. One came with the trailer when we brought it home, but I sold it because at the time I didn't know of any place in the area that would work on such things, a couple weeks later I found a place so I'm kicking myself for that. But we just got a better one for free, well, kin of, it cost me two stings from a yellow jacket. A friend has had an old food truck sitting out back of his place for years and told us we could have the fryer. It's dirty, but it looks like it's functional. Once I get it cleaned up I'm going to take it up to the shop to have them go over it and make sure it works and is safe. It'll take a little modification to make it work in the trailer, but at least I don't have a warranty to void like when I installed the griddle.

I'd love to find another one just like this one. Two fryers with the ability to run 4 baskets would be awesome. Problem is finding a new one that fits in the space I have. Depth is a problem, the shelf is only 22" deep.