I first got my box van in October 2018, and after 5 cold months of working on making it livable, I was on the road again with the season of Aries and spring’s return.
For the first 3 months I was packing my solar panels up in bubble wrap and a cardboard box each time I drove to a new location. From Idaho I crossed Washington and made a few stops in Oregon over the course of the last 3 months. First stop was to visit a few days in Hood River with some friends who grow permaculture gardens and run a nonprofit teaching art and gardening to developmentally disabled adults. Then I went on to Dexter to visit an Intentional Community which will always be in part my home, Lost Valley. Made a stop in Springfield to visit some friends along the McKenzie River, and then down to Ashland to see friends I met at Anarchapulco this February, and ended up staying for about a month taking care of over 60 fruit trees and planting 5 large raised garden beds on their land. Now that I am on the road again, I spend the last day of the Taurus season mounting my solar panels on my box van.
To avoid making holes in my roof, I obtained 2 pieced of galvanized J channel and had then cut to the width of my roof.
I used roofing screws long enough to go through my solar panels and into the top metal sheet of the J channel, but not long enough to pierce the bottom.
I got my 4 100 watt solar panel kit from harbor freight, and each panel has holes for screws in the top and bottom so that the 4 panels can be attached.
According to the box and reviews of my solar panel kit, they are able to pick up light angled or flat. This seems to be the case, as they pick up the light very easily even if not angled. This made mounting them easy, not needing to make them tilt.
Once I had attached my panels to the J channel, I climbed up my ladder and had a friend lift the panels up so I could grab them and pull them on to the roof.
once I had them adjusted right where I wanted them to be, I screwed all four ends of the J channel on to the lip of my roof, where I could safely make a hole without creating any leaks.
A challenge I came across in this process was not having the correct drill bit for sheet metal screws, so eventually, I decided to just tighten the screw driver around each screw individually to get this task done without needing the correct bit.
When I was nearly finished mounting the panels on my roof, the sky darkened and it began to rain. I continued mounting the panels and singing in the rain, “Fuck the System” ( https://youtu.be/arbc1BjdCms )
The task was not completed without giving a little blood to my home. In palmistry, the finger that I cut is correlated with the archetype of Saturn, connected to the concepts of limitation and restriction and the earth element, all seemingly very appropriate.
Here is a view of my panels mounted on the roof. I can now drive and not have to pack my solar panels up each time! This task is not totally finished, but it is functional for now. I plan to cut a hole for the chords to run in, but for now they are just going through a different hole. 😄