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5th Wheel Camper
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well, posted my introduction here: new to Camper Community, not to VerticleScope Forums
i didn't get any responses or anything, perhaps i am in the wrong forum, or something...

anyway, i am planning to use solar to maintain the battery/s for my camper, in addition to the battery charger. i currently have a 40A EPEver MPPT charge controller, and a single 100W panel.
I still have yet to renovate the power system in the camper, so i haven't mounted the solar panel yet. but i am hesitant to make holes in the roof... i was thinking about making something like a ladder rack that attaches with screws to the sides of the camper, and just sits on the top (with protective pads...), but i am still unsure.
the cable entry points i can make in the roof, as the cable gland box is a low-stress point (low wind or movement stress). i do plan to have more than one panel.

for heavy charging, if needed, i have a 100A PowerMax PM3-100, i think it is. it is a 3-stage charger. according to the manual, it can be left on, but not unattended... seems a little contradictory...

i have purchased a new AC/DC distribution panel. 50A AC, and supposedly 100A DC. (i like a lot of power available, for future needs...)

as said in my introduction, i think, i will be upgrading the AC to 50A power.

here are my power needs:
AC:
A/C-heat pump (13,500btu).
microwave oven.
a few LED recessed lights (already have on hand)
lots of audio equipment.

DC:
all lights, other than some AC high power LED.
furnace.
security alarm.


i thought i would keep the campers bathroom, but the tanks have leaks, so i will renovate the bathroom to take a porta-potty, i guess. and the fridge isn't worth saving. i will be using a 12V plug-in cooler or a 12V DC/120V AC mobile fridge.
~Travis
 

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5th Wheel Camper
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
here are my power needs:
AC:
A/C-heat pump (13,500btu).
found a little about my A/C. i don't think it is a heat-pump A/C, but just a A/C with a heater element.
Emerson Quiet Kool 13,500btu.
also, it seems it needs about 17 - 20A for the A/C! so in the future, i will be upgrading to a smaller, more power efficient unit.

as this camper is nearing end-of-life for most of the appliances, and plumbing, i don't feel so bad gutting it out for my needs. not only will i have a place to record music, in a mobile way, but i can use it as a test platform for experimenting with solar power, as i still need 12V power for the lights and the propane furnace.

sort of outside the scope of the topic title, but i also plan on re-siding this camper. trying to get rid of the ribbed aluminum, and either replace with fiberglass, or custom bent flat aluminum siding, using the trim-coil stock i use in carpentry, possibly... (have a bunch of white on hand)

i have yet to set eyes on the roof, but i plan i may (hope i don't have to) lay a new rubber-roof down. i want no leaks, and better appearance.

today i started cleaning out all the stuff i don't need, like the cabinet doors and drawers, and will hopefully start the gut-out tomorrow. the previous owner started some, but i need most all of it gone, before i start re-building.

i understand weight is an issue when building, so i was thinking of using steel-studs for any new walls, as they are lighter than wood, and fairly common to buy. there will be some wood construction, but i will try to be weight sparing. walls will just be 1/4 ply paneling, for sheathing. cabinets and other furniture will be built of a frame, with 1/4 panels in the center, like a cabinet door may be made, but for the side panels as well. as i am a carpenter by trade, this should be easy to construct, once i have a plan. the heaviest part will be the desk top, that i plan to use 3/4 inch birch ply, with a polyurethane finish.
my heaviest equipment is my 32 channel mixer board, so that is where the desk will be strongest. the mixer will be built in, so camper travel should not bother it. my workstation computer may simply be a laptop computer, for simplicity, though it would limit future hardware expansion...
the furnace location may pose an issue, but i think i can work around it by building a resting bench over it (with a padded top). access under the bench would be as simple as removing the pad and lifting the top.
the tanks, for my uses, would be useless to save (they leak anyway...), so if i can, i may just drop them out for weight savings, maybe...

back on the topic of this post, electrical...
i received today the 50A power inlet, and tomorrow i should receive the power distribution panel. :) so i can work on getting those located. probably depends on how far the wire i have will reach (6/4 AWG, should be 4/4 AWG, but i couldn't afford that right now, and i had the 6/4 on hand). i hope to have the inlet near the original location, or right by the furnace, if possible, as that is where the power distribution panel is going, now.

anyway, wanted to update, in case anybody want's to follow along, or chime in with advice.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it occurred to me i may want to do some actual camping with my camper...
this can still be done, fairly easily. it may not be all the camper comforts, like a full-size bed, kitchen, fridge, etc... but if the previously mentioned "resting bench" is more of a bed/bench combo, i could easily toss a sleeping bag on it, load up a cooler, pack a camp-stove for outdoor cooking, and keep the porta-potty idea, and the studio becomes a camper. :) a little more "roughing-it" than a full-luxury camper, but a few more extra comforts than a tent. ;) hey, camping is what you make it, right?

on the nature of power... i was thinking too about eventually getting a generator, so i would not have to restrict myself to RV parks with 50A service. thinking of saving up for the HFT Predator 9500W inverter generator, @ $1,999. it has a 120/240V 30A connector, so i could get an adapter to plug it in. i know it isn't a Honda generator... but i can't afford Honda generators ;)

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
pulled out the non-working fridge this morning. what a PITA that was, but glad i did. it had to go, and i wouldn't have noticed the fridge roof vent cover was missing, otherwise... i am so glad for aluminum framed walls! only rot is the paneling, and that can be replaced! i used a product from 3M called All Weather Flashing Tape to make a temporary "cover" for the vent. i will do it properly (or my version of it) some other time, when i have some aluminum out that i am working with. the roof itself, though a little rippled, looked free of leaks, but i hope to re-rubber it at some point in the future. then i can do away with things like the TV antenna, fridge roof vent, and so forth.
this afternoon, after removing the scary looking stove, i will be getting rather friendly with a saws-all. ;)
everything must go, aside for necessary wires, of coarse...
any appliances i pull out, if there is anybody in the area that needs parts, you are welcome to any and all. free, as i don't think there is much value in much of it. the fridge will be a pain to get rid of.

one thing i like about doing demo on the inside of a camper, the cabinetry is just light frames, and thin panels for weight savings. i will try my best to build back as light as i can, as i have only got a half-ton truck, so the less weight, the better (the chevy dealership has assured me the tow capacity is around 12K, and the trailer is marked as 7K).

it is a bit aggravating, seems like everything i get into with this camper, reveals some new horror. so far, only one mummified critter found...

i am leaning toward keeping the bedroom somewhat intact. i was going to make it storage, but with a bit of work, and a new mattress, and it can be used. will have to figure out why the bedroom A/C vent doesn't blow... and i hope it has nothing to do with a critter.

without much involvement from others, i rather feel like i am talking to myself here... ;) i don't mind just blogging, if others find it interesting to read, but... ;)

something i haven't covered yet. what am i going to do with the LP gas system. i need it for the furnace, but nothing else. so i will likely just cap off the gas line after the furnace, or just run a copper line direct from the regulators (will be new) to the furnace. at some point i need to test the furnace for operation though. i have a diesel heater available as a backup, but i would prefer the LP furnace, if it works.
so i need to cap off all the unused gas lines, and power the furnace, just to see if it runs and makes heat, without being a flame-thrower is either direction. i will have a LP gas, CO, and a smoke detector handy for the test, when i am ready. once i am assured it functions, i will pull the burn tube out and give it a good cleaning... actually, i will do that first, for safety. they like to collect a pile of rust. my old camper furnace made good heat, but the burn tube turned out to be dead. probably why it made so much heat... :ROFLMAO:

today, i plan on trying to tackle everything in the living room/kitchen. i will tackle the bathroom and bedroom another day.

anyway, time for lunch, then back at it.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
tore out most of the kitchen, and what did i find? a mystery electric water heater... and a very rotten floor... :mad:
kind of expected, but not to the extent i found... so once i finish tearing out the kitchen (another day, i am beat), i will need to rip up the floor and replace it... at least i will know it is good then, but still... with the cost of materials, i wasn't expecting most of a new floor.
the existing electrical, i had to just snip wires... i will have to use my wire tracer and tone them out later. some can be eliminated anyway. water pump... gone. stove hood... gone. fridge... gone. the remainder of the 12V should be simple to trace, and i left plenty of wire to splice into. on the 120V side, i snipped at the distribution box, so there should be enough wire to junction out and run to the new distribution panel.

i had intended on having the distribution panel under the couch, but i think that would look kinda ugly. so back to the combo bathroom/utility room plan. bathroom on one side, and utility wall on the other. the bedroom will be defined with a short double-bi-fold door that i will be building. i want it somewhat loose so air can flow for heat and A/C. for the same reason, i will be installing a louvered vent in the pocket door. the pocket door will be lockable, to slow down the riff-raff, when i am recording clients. ;)
the living room will become my vocal recording booth. my plan is to use a RV couch/bed, and have it surround-able by a heavy curtain, floor to ceiling, for sound canceling. but made so i can put it away, and have a living room.
there will be no kitchen, to speak of. it will be my workstation, as mentioned. but i am waiting until the inside of the camper is a blank-slate before i start to design that. it may even change between now and then. i could possibly move it to the living room...

but i have reduced my priorities from my Tax Return budget down to, i hope, a leak-free blank slate, with working power and A/C. that includes repairing the bedroom. i don't expect to be able to save the whole bedroom, as i want to remove the bed frame, and just have a air-mattress, or pad on the floor, to make it simpler. i can then make some covered side boxes to store clothing in. or just secure some wire baskets to the floor ;)

my utility wall will likely be made of 3/4 plywood, so i can organize my various power meters, solar charge controller, power distribution panel, and so forth... actually, maybe just a 1/4 inch plywood panel, with cabinets around it would look nice. it is easier to mount in 1/4 plywood...

i seem to be rambling on... does anybody care? not much activity around here. ;) several reads of my post though...

i will try to do better about updating with pictures... so far there is nothing impressive to take a picture of, but i really should document everything. if nothing else, so you all will have something to look at, and not just read about. i have a YouTube channel... could be possible to Vlog my progress, if that is something you all would be interested in. i wouldn't be able to Vlog while i work, but i can take video of my updates, and maybe some commentary, if i can get my camera gear sorted out.
comments? suggestions? anything???

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
forgot to bring out my digital camcorder, and my phone battery is dead... so while my phone charges, a quick update.

kitchen is almost gone (torn out). the wall paneling is in pretty bad shape behind it, as well as behind the fridge (due to the missing vent lid).
anyway, back to work. :)

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Floor Wood Flooring Fixture Gas
This is an overall, somewhat of what was the kitchen. to the right was a dinette, before i bought it, that was torn out. on the right, was a sink, stove, and fridge. the wires hanging down went behind the fridge.

Wood Gas Road surface Composite material Asphalt
under the sink is pretty rotten. particle-board... so replacing that is a must.

Road surface Automotive tire Wood Asphalt Gas
under the stove is/was the power inlet. water leaked in the inlet door and rotted the floor. the new inlet is a detachable 50A, with a rain-guard sort of protection.

Window Purple House Floor Comfort
the bedroom will likely get a set of new doors on the cabinets, the bed frame is coming out in favor of a air mattress on the floor. makes it more simple to replace if needed. just roll up the old, and un-roll the new. then add some air... ;)

overall, i want click-in laminate flooring. even under the bed. wall and ceiling paneling will be replaced as needed. the knee-wall before the bedroom, where it steps up over the 5th-wheel part, will have bead-board, like a cheap MDF wainscotting, on the face of it. just to add a little bit of class to a run-down camper. ;)
the "door" between the bathroom/utility room, as said will be a pair of bi-fold doors, made to match the cabinet doors (pine frames, with 1/4 inch panel in the center, or perhaps more bead-board in center). the bedroom will be painted, as well as the bedroom and utility cabinets.

after taking the pictures (i took a video too, but i don't think the sound came out...), i proceeded to remove the tub. and guess what i found under it? i bet you will never guess... i found the biggest mouse nest i have seen packed into a space in my life! i decided to call it done for the day there. i will evict any residence, living or dead, tomorrow. i sprayed it heavy with air freshener, and closed up. :ROFLMAO:
Sink Property Photograph Toilet Plumbing fixture
i am debating on a plan modification to the bathroom/utility room cabinets. the bathroom is a tad smaller than i thought, and one of the cabinets in there is the hanging-clothes closet. i don't need both sides. being on the Autism spectrum, i have no use for a significant-other... so i will construct a wall between the two sides, and use the left for power/utility. i will construct a hinged panel for the power gauges (i like gauges...). the power distribution panel will be below the cabinet, where the above-depicted vanity (to be torn out) is. there, like the above cabinet, i will make a vented (top and bottom) panel to mount the power distribution panel. the reason i like vented panels is this. air goes in, smoke comes out (if there is a fire). if smoke comes out, the smoke detectors go off and save my life. if the space is closed in, the smoke stays in and i burn up, or die from the much slower accumulating CO that leaks out.
so power distribution down low, gauges and solar monitor up at eye-level. batteries, by the way, will be in the battery compartment under the 5th wheel section. it is already vented (i may solar power-vent it...), and i will seal it off better from the human-side of the wall. my 100A battery charger/converter (PowerMax PM3-100) needs vented air, so it will likely go down with the batteries. it will be circuit-breaker protected from the batteries, and rest of camper (as will each battery). that way, the only wires between the battery compartment and the human compartment with be a single pair for 12V. my battery voltage/current meter is semi-wireless, in that it only needs power at each end. the communication is wireless. that too will be in the battery compartment, between the battery bank, and everything else (negative-side current sensing).

now, i love working with Arduino electronic micro-controllers, so at some point i will likely re-do the power monitoring to allow an Arduino to monitor as well. may as well include some of my hobbies to make it all fun. :) would be neat to be able to monitor all power functions right from anywhere in the camper. ;)

anyway, before i have to start naming chapters here...

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Trying my phone for wider-angle pictures.
Fixture Wood Flooring Floor Hardwood
in the bathroom/utility room, i removed the vanity and toilet. there was a panel behind the vanity that i removed out of curiosity.behind it, i found enough room for the solar charge controller. :) the gauges and such won't be at eye-level, but i can still mount the remote display for the solar controller high enough to read. the AC gauges (volts and amps) are mainly for diagnostic, and power usage info.

Window Vehicle Floor Fixture Flooring
it is raining, so the demo and bedroom mattress ended up in the back of the camper.

with all the demolition being almost done, it is exciting to see the empty spaces, and being able to plan for the building portion. a bit of fresh paneling, here and there, some paint, some flooring, and some furniture built... sounds easy... if only it wasn't so expensive, with material still being so pricey.
unfortunately there is so many staples poking through from the other side of the wall paneling... looks like heck... i will be adding extra sound insulation, so most of the walls will be built in a bit. add some paint to that... i can see it all now, and it looks far better than it does right now. ;)

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
did a little "fun work" this afternoon, to take the stress off of finding more rot, everywhere i turn.
i ran 4awg wire from the battery compartment, into the utility section, inside the cabinet. i crimped on lugs with my hydraulic cable crimper (i love it!). plain lugs at the battery, with a disconnect on the positive side (50A, will upgrade to a 100A later), then into my fuse distribution panel. i also ran a 4awg wire out to later connect to the charger, from the fuse panel, using the manual designated charger connection. now, the circuit it protected by two max30A listed fuses, so this limits the charging to about 60A, and i am fine with that, if the system doesn't keep blowing the fuses. i hope 2 batteries will not charge at more than 60A...
if i need to, i can run direct from the charger to the battery, through a 100A breaker.

i was disappointed that the listed as 100A DC distribution panel was only rated for 50A, but with my needs, i really hope i don't draw more than 50A.
i was expecting a lot of DC load, as the first camper i had picked out had 2 slide-outs, but i bought this one instead. i already had the 100A charger ordered (it was on sale at the time for $82!) no slide-outs in this one (they would probably not work, and leak, if it did... :ROFLMAO: ).

with the lower amps, i can actually run my DC panel through my solar (MPPT) charge controller, as it has a 40A rating for the battery and load sides. should be enough to run a 12V furnace, and some LED lighting... and maybe an onboard stereo, if i so choose.

i have not tied in any of the AC circuits yet, to the distribution panel, as i have not traced them out yet, nor do i have the junction box for splicing the circuits properly. i also have not installed the AC power inlet yet. it is raining, and i didn't feel like trying to seal around a hole in the rain. tomorrow is supposed to be better. i need to pick up a 50A double breaker anyway. though i may have one in my stash, somewhere. at least one good enough to test things with. i will replace with a new one anyway.

i have decided to not run the DC ground into the fuse panel. it does not have any LED blown-fuse indicators, so i have only got to tie it to frame ground, and i believe the frame-ground also ties to the AC earth-ground. so i will need to provision for that. i will likely just find a good frame-ground point, and tie it to both the common load-side ground, and the AC earth-ground.

electric brakes: the breakaway system requires a battery source. i could tie into my camper batteries, but i want it to be standalone. i have a small lawn-tractor battery that i can wire to the frame-ground, trailer-light-ground (if not the same, but they should be). the positive then routes to the breakaway-switch, and then to the trailer brakes wire. i will install a dual-battery isolation charging diode between the vehicle charge line, and the brakes battery. perhaps a small solar panel too, to maintain it. maybe...
i should install a small voltage monitor to check the battery now and then, in case i have to throw a charger on it, or something. i could even install a battery maintainer between the camper AC, and the brakes battery...
i like to make things complicated... have you noticed yet? ;)

the wiring is not yet cast in stone, so i can still change it. but i think a plan is coming together...

oh, now that i have nicely crimped 4awg wires... the solar charge controller only accepts up to 6awg or maybe only 8awg wire. so most of what i just did was all for not... :ROFLMAO: 🤦‍♂️ i don't think i even have any 8awg wire, other than the AC supply wire i have... a little stiff to work with, but maybe. i think it is actually 6awg though.
so off to eBay to source out some 8awg wire... no local store has 8awg, except maybe Wal-Mart in the Car audio amplifier section. could still work, in a pinch.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just uploaded my initial tour of the camper to YouTube.
i must say, being my first time talking on my channel, i never noticed my accent before this video... :ROFLMAO:
audio quality is a little poor, but maybe better next time (cheap mic).

Hope it gives you all a little better view of what i am working with. it looks bad, but i am in the demo phase on a 1989 camper, so it is going to look bad. i hope to do some video updates as i get some better progression. i will keep up with the photo updates as well.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
found something interesting... 12V lights are all on the same circuit, as well as the furnace.
found something less interesting... furnace motor has bad bearings.
so slight bump in the road for heat. i have a diesel heater i can install, but the point is, i was counting on the furnace working.
the problem with using the diesel heater, is i may actually need 2 of them. one for the bedroom area, and one for the rest. i don't think one heater will handle the entire 25 foot camper.
but, right this instant, i don't need heat anyway. it will be built in, but i don't need it right now, as far as worrying about it. what i will do is just keep a location in mind.

i still have a little cabinetry in the remainder of the living room to remove, as well as, apparently, the furnace. unless i can get the bearings lubed somehow... may be best to just replace it, if i can find a new one... just found some new ones on eBay. may put on my TODO list, when i have the money.

not sure if i am just running out of steam, or money. but i am slowing a bit. i think all the rot, and failing furnace, has me burned out. not giving up, just feeling overwhelmed.

i did manage to get the lights working off battery power, and the battery is charging right now, off an extension cord to the charger. i have the solar charger in place, but i have no mounted solar panels yet, as i don't have any way yet to get the solar wires from the inside to the outside, without leaking... it is on my list, though.

so, in summery, what is still good on this camper? the frame, and wall frame, and roof frame are all good. the roof doesn't seem to leak (now). some of the lights work great (the LED lights the previous owner replaced). the furnace turns up, but no gas, so no heat. the old deep-cycle battery i had on hand seems to be taking a charge well.

let me break down some things i need to do, and what i need to do them.

AC electrical:
need to install and wire-in inlet.
need to mount distribution panel.
have: 50A twist-lock inlet, 6AWG wire for inlet to panel, 50A cable (when delivered), 50A to two 30A Y-adapter, one 30A to 15A adapter, distribution panel.
need: 50A double breaker, other breakers, circuit wire 12AWG & 10AWG (A/C)

DC electrical:

have: one old battery, unprotected battery disconnect, some 4AWG wire and crimp lugs, solar MPPT charger (EPEver Tracer 40A), AC to DC charger (PowerMax PM3-100), one 100W mono solar panel.
need: ground busbar (have one 3-position in distribution panel), multi-pack of fuses, 12AWG wire (lights), 10AWG wire (Furnace), circuit breaker protected battery disconnect, solar power inlet glands.

Roof:

seems leak-free, but at some point i may re-rubber the roof to be sure.

Siding:
it is UGLY... and has some holes (currently with caulking in them to prevent further damage.
i would LOVE to be able to re-side this camper with smooth fiberglass, and re-seal all the windows, and remove un-needed hatches, and water inlets.

Tires:
one new, 3 are good.

Brakes:

supposedly good, but i want to re-do the break-away system.

Trailer Lights:
no idea what current state they are in...

A/C:
works, but needs to be re-tied in to new distribution panel.

Heat:
fix or replace furnace.

this is just a start...

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
installed the 50A AC power inlet, used 6awg wire to the panel. i only had a 40A breaker on hand for the panel master, but it will do fine until i am able to get a 50A double pole breaker.
also wired in the battery charger to the AC power... though i am still waiting for the power inlet cord to arrive (today, supposedly), so i can only meter out the connections to test them.

AC volt meters arrived today, so i can get those installed, i hope. AC amp meters arrive, who knows when. but i suspect those are easy to add later. they use current sense coils around the wire, so i have only to pull the red and black source wires out, slip the coils over, and reconnect the wires back in place. no idea if they require power, or if they source directly from the current sense coils. they are analog meters, so i suspect they do just that. if not, i will tie them to the same power sources as the volt meters.

AC power for the A/C will be run when i figure out what clipped wire supplies it, and what one goes nowhere now (to be traced). wire will be run to a junction, with wiremold.
new outlet power will also be run in wiremold. mainly to save from having to build a wire channel, and i may have to do that anyway. somehow i need to run 12V DC power to lighting too, so i may just build a wire channel down near the floor, like an oversized (slightly) baseboard. it will be made removable for future add-ons.

later today, i "hope" to tear out the little bit of remaining cabinetry, and the remainder of the couch frame around the furnace. i will pull the furnace for one of two reasons. either to try and fix the one i have, once it is pulled. or to simply replace it with a newer, less noisy model (the likely choice).
i also have some other stuff i need to do, like posting some items for sale, so i can make a little money to continue working on the camper. i do work for a living, as a carpenter, but i don't make money as fast as this camper seems to be using it. ;)

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well, the humidity came up, and so did the temperature... so rather than hot tear-out, i did a little more electrical, before calling it a day early.
i installed the AC volt gauges, and then i traced some wires with a tone-tracing tool (not to be used on LIVE circuits!!!). i found some dead-ends, and pilled the wires back through. i also discovered an outside outlet i didn't realize was there. but more importantly, i found the A/C power wire.

so here is my plan, for some day. outside outlet will be on a 15A breaker, all on it's own (so i can turn it off when not in use, and GFCI it). the A/C will be on a 20A breaker, as per the tag on the A/C, and will be on it's own breaker as well. all other outlets will be on one circuit, on a 20A breaker.

load balancing will be as such: pole-1 will power A/C. pole-2 will power everything else.
A/C takes a lot, and is least necessary, year-round. the rest can run on a 15A extension cord adapter, if necessary. and i have a 50A to two 30A Y adapter, and a 30A to 15A adapter as well. so when adapted, A/C on a 30A, and everything else can run on 15A. in theory, i could run it all on a single pole of the 50A, but why make things simple... ;) besides, my home plug-in will only really be 30A 240V (2-pole 120v), until i can afford better than 10awg wire out to the plug-in. it will be a 30A breaker in the main panel.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
picked up a used Onan Microquiet 4000 GenSet for my camper. needs a little work, but i only paid $100 for it. my plan is to build a firewall-compartment where the shower used to be, and install the generator there. i will have to also install a fuel tank (gasoline), and i will likely make a compartment above the GenSet, with a firewall in between, for the fuel tank. likely a fuel-cell.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
on my new-to-me Onan genset, it would seem the seller was correct, that it needs a new control board...
it is getting fuel, power, but spark is weak and intermittent, suggesting either a bad coil, or bad board driving the coil. i had it firing now and then last night, but now, not a single fire. so i will start saving for a new board. one from Flight Systems seems a bit more reasonable than an Onan one (300-5046).

~Travis
 

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5th Wheel Camper
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Started installing my 5th-wheel hitch today. man what a PITA! and i am not done yet. the frame portion is done, but i still have to put together the head.

~Travis
 

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5th Wheel Camper
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got the hitch finished! well, except for the electrical extension kit...
did my first hitch-up, and was surprised that the height was already just about good, so it lifted and locked right in. what a process to remember though:

open the jaws of the 5th-wheel (swing hitch arm up, and pull out to lock the jaws out)
slide my Thule track-rac forward (will slide right off when i actually haul the camper)
unlock my king-pin anti-theft lock
lower the tailgate
back up to the king-pin
set the camper at the correct height
back under and lift the camper onto the hitch until it latches into the hitch
pull on the camper a bit to make sure it is locked in
swing the hitch arm down to lock it
plug in the electrical and connect the breakaway switch
raise the tailgate
raise the landing-gear
remove chocks from between wheels
and it is ready to go.

and that list is not exactly opposite of unhitching either:

lower tailgate.
lower landing gear until load is off hitch just a bit
unhook electrical and breakaway switch
put chocks between wheels
back up a little, just enough to take pressure off hitch slide
swing hitch arm up, and pull out, and swing back down again to lock open
carefully drive out from under king-pin
...and so on...

i am sure those of you with a 5th-wheel know how to do it, and maybe i didn't do it correctly, but that is what i did after reading the manual once. ;)
one thing i didn't do was grease the hitch-plate. but in my defense, i wasn't really going anywhere.
so i plan on connecting up the wiring extension kit after lunch, and seeing what else i need to do to tidy things up... like finding some place for my spare tire when the hitch is in place... (gotta get my spare tire winch fixed...)

~Travis
 

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5th Wheel Camper
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have discovered that most of the trailering lights no longer work on my camper... this is an issue.
the plan to resolve is to remove the interior paneling, and find all the lighting issues, and fix them. should be much easier at that point. i suspect the issue is the connections are likely just poor contact, or dead bulbs. i would like to replace all with LED, but first i need to find out what works, and what does not.

I had intended to replace the flooring this weekend, but i forgot and bought a generator fuel tank, and generator compartment door, and therefore ran out of money this week... :(
I have some items up for sale to raise money, and also my tax refund that still has not arrived... so i am not flat broke (i work, too ;) ) just waiting on that money in order to buy some big items for the camper...

~Travis
 

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5th Wheel Camper
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Having just purchased a fuel tank and compartment door for my RV Onan GenSet, it would seem the starter is on it's way out, and i think the compression is rather low. it has good spark, and i think it is getting fuel, as the exhaust smells a little of gasoline. but compression, i don't know. i can hardly get to the spark-plug, but i will try my compression tester tomorrow.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
tore out some paneling that was in bad shape, and to my joyous surprise, no rot behind it!!! :)
tore out some ceiling paneling too, and the roof looks in good shape. i thought it was rubber over wood paneling, but it is rubber over aluminum, so the ripples are from the expansion of the aluminum, not rotten paneling! :D
i put the spare battery for the generator on to charge, so i can try some more troubleshooting with that this afternoon. like a compression test. bad compression means i scrap the generator and use a portable. good compression means i can move forward with it.
pretty quick, i have GOT to vacuum the camper out, now that the floor is covered with mouse "sprinkles". and no, i don't mean cute mouse shaped sprinkles to go on top of your ice cream... :sick:
the above "sprinkles" are also why i didn't do a photo update, as nobody want's to see that.

~Travis
 
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