What's this camper doing in a rice field?

No, this wasn't leading edge anything - this was just fun. It demonstrates the advantage of having been Grad School trailer trash. One knows how to tie a pickup camper down with mobile home strap and anchors so that it won't blow away in 70 mph gusts from a nearby tornado. It's a fuzzy picture, but you can see them coming down from the roof on 2x4 padding at the back and between the two side windows.

Dr. Scott had a limited budget, and I modified an old pickup camper to hold and protect his field instrumetation. On top, you can just see the rain bucket can, and the mast with the pyroheliometer and anemometer that I refurbished and got working again. The tilted panel on the near front corner is solar panel that charged the 12V deep-cycle marine battery for power to a Trase TDR logger and a Campbell Scientific CR21 datalogger. The camper sits on a dry-block foundation, further stabilized by dropping the corner jacks to additional blocks. On the other side, cable come out an access panel, buried underground to sensors in a trench wall and the nearby levie.

This gave us a place to come in out of the mosquitoes and pouring rain to download data to a laptop computer, as well as keeping the dataloggers out of the weather. It could have used air conditioning, but the power line was too far away, and there was no money for a transformer on the pole. This kind of setup can go anywhere a pickup can.

Donald L. Baker - 1998

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