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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Window Electrical wiring Gas Motor vehicle Flooring
all, or mostly vacuumed up. the paneling in the wall, shown center-line, is torn out, showing the aluminum wall studs, and Styrofoam insulation. both looking in good shape.

Window Property Wood Fixture Building
ceiling rafters also in good shape, and also aluminum.
A/C cover remover to protect when i pulled down the paneling.

Wood Flooring Gas Telephone Hardwood
overview of electrical built-in. paneling that the power distribution is in is not yet mounted, so that i can finish running wires (same reason paneling was removed in the main part of the camper).

Picture frame Art Wood Display device Rectangle
close-up of power panel. only shows voltage on one leg of the 50A connection as my 50A to 30A adapter is a 30A Y adapter (one 30A plug for each 50A leg), and only one leg was plugged in at the time, to an extension cord.

so, plans moving forward: i need to install AC and DC lighting in the ceiling. AC lighting is for more efficient lighting when connected to shore-power, to save on battery power. once the wires are run, then i can re-insulate the ceiling, and install new paneling, making sure to make holes for lighting in advance, to avoid punching the roof with the hole-saw.
the walls will be paneled in once i get the trailering wires sorted out. perhaps it is just a bad ground somewhere...

there will be a portion of my camper that is only music recording studio. perhaps the back of the camper. because once i install my 32 channel mixer in place, it will not be moved. it is heavy... and hard to handle. i will build it into a desk to keep it from moving about. i may build a cover over the top for protection.
the rest of the main camper section will be dual purpose camper space, and vocal recording space. this will be sound insulated with two or more layers of moving blankets hung from a frame on the ceiling. that way i can have quiet space for recording vocals, and take down the blankets when not recording. this space will contain an RV fold out couch/bed, and a fold up/down table, somewhere.

the generator i spoke of, when i get it working, will go into a to-be-built compartment where the shower used to be. the floor is raised there, so i will sink the compartment down to the frame for secure mounting. this compartment will be firewall protected (steel liner). the fuel tank will be in a separate section above the generator. i will make a liner that is fuel proof, that drains to the ground under the camper. in the event of a fuel leak, i will notice the leaking, and fix it. not very EPA friendly, but i don't know of a better way to funnel leaks out of the camper, and not have it go on the ground. my fuel cell is 10 gallons, and will have a fuel shut-off installed for when not in use, and the vent will vent to outside air. not yet sure how to fill the tank yet, without opening it inside the camper... i will likely have a filler neck made up so i can fill from the outside.

one gripe i have about the pocket door between the main section and the utility/bedroom section... the sliders don't work for crap. i was going to use it, but i think i will make a door, and install a RV exterior door paddle latch on it. make it a swing door, instead of a slider. out-swing, into the main section.

it is pouring rain, so i have time now to do some writing and planning. ;) i may have had an extra cup of coffee :coffee: too, can you tell?
anyway, should give you all something to read about, if you choose. and if you feel like commenting, or offering advice, please do. :)

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
so, just finally got my taxes back from the accountant... (yes, they are a tad slow...), and i am getting back quite a bit more than i thought! so it looks like a new camper furnace will be in my near future. :D
thinking of going with a Suburban SF35Q. should be better than the screaming banshee furnace i have now. i tried oiling it, and no help. i think the bearings/bushings are sealed.

anyway, hopefully some news of some construction coming soon. :)

~Travis
 

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I installed solar on my 5th wheel some years ago. First thing is your going to have to have a huge battery bank to run your AC for any length of time and a larger inverter. Make sure the one you install has soft start. Most people use Trojan batteries but I used Crown batteries. They lasted for several years and they worked well. I mounted the panels on the roof without a problem. Just educate yourself on the right tools and products to use and how to use them. Second, an RV furnace is a gas hog. I would look at alternatives. I uses separate bottles and a buddy heater. I've seen people use a small wood heater too. I wish you much success on your camper rebuild. Here's a good source of info for solar HandyBob's Blog
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I installed solar on my 5th wheel some years ago. First thing is your going to have to have a huge battery bank to run your AC for any length of time and a larger inverter. Make sure the one you install has soft start. Most people use Trojan batteries but I used Crown batteries. They lasted for several years and they worked well. I mounted the panels on the roof without a problem. Just educate yourself on the right tools and products to use and how to use them. Second, an RV furnace is a gas hog. I would look at alternatives. I uses separate bottles and a buddy heater. I've seen people use a small wood heater too. I wish you much success on your camper rebuild. Here's a good source of info for solar HandyBob's Blog
i wasn't planning on running my A/C off of an inverter, i have a generator for the times i need air conditioning, and quickly charging batteries. my solar plan is mainly battery maintaining, and supplemental power. when running off-grid, i will be running just lights (LED) and possibly the furnace. the A/C will only be when needed for heat safety reasons.
I think i can get by with a medium sized inverter, like 3500W - 4000W. if recording music at the time, it will only be running my laptop, my audio mixer (300W - 350W, i think), and a small complement of other audio gear. no power amps for anything.
there is no longer a water-pump, as i will use water in jugs, and a porta-potty. likely won't camp for long enough to worry about needing a shower. this camper no longer has a shower anyway... think of it as a step above tent camping, for my needs. a tent with wheels, and a 5th wheel hookup. :ROFLMAO:

i will look into Trojan and Crown batteries. i planed on using just flooded deep-cycle marine, for the cost.
for my needs, the RV furnace will work, but i will have a diesel heater for backup. maybe even two... (have one already)
my previous RV furnace would go about 5 days on two 30 pound tanks. if i need more than that, i can pack up and go home ;)

i was already planning on either installing a soft-start A/C, or adding one to what i can afford. it is much easier on the power systems.

i will check out the Blog, see what it has to say. :)

~Travis
 
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
so, found the problem with the trailering lights not working correctly. it was, as i expected, a bad ground.

while walking around the camper, however, i found a tire had blown at some point. looks like weather rot, as the steel belts are rusted.

as for the generator proposed location, where the shower used to be, is off the table. on the outside is the awning support arm. so i will try for in the back, on the drivers side. used to be the kitchen, and the floor is rotted anyway. so if i can get the floor that is rotted tore up there, i can mount the generator there, and build the sealed (to the inside) compartment. the real trick will be cutting the aluminum frame to fit the vented compartment door i bought., while still maintaining support. i think if i build a wooden frame, and fit that in place, then i can cut the camper skin to a hole already cut into the wooden frame. the aluminum frame will be attached with angle brackets to the wooden frame (secured with aluminum rivets). then i simply mount the door and frame that i bought. :)
inside, i need to build a sealed compartment, lined with metal, just in case, and sealed for carbon-monoxide. then i just have to replace the floor plywood. :)

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
man is it hot and humid outside, i just finished building the wooden frame for the hatch. when i cool down, or tomorrow, i will make the hole in the side of my camper. the door frame came with foam weather seal around the outside, but i think i may use a sealant as well. i rather like Geocel, but it may prevent any future removal, if i should decide to do the siding. maybe just a silicon, for now will be fine.

as i will be having quite a bit of audio equipment in my camper, for recording music, i ordered an older style alarm system. it is wired, and works with the alarm-system 12V smoke detectors i got as well. the wired alarm system is 12V powered, so it will work. i plan on using a buck-boost DC-to-DC converter that will output regulated 12V DC power, with anywhere from 9-23V of input. may put a very slight strain on the DC power system, but i hope the solar will take care of it. in winter, when there is snow on the panels... my landlord snowblows, so i will have to wait until after that to clean them off. that should "help" prevent flying rocks from breaking them. not sure what i will do to keep them from icing up...
but i plan on having every single hatch with a alarm sensor on it (dang neighborhood kids... stole my original landing gear crank out of a compartment).

i haven't progressed on the flooring removal, as i discovered the floor is the only thing between the inside, and outside there... no under-belly, or insulation of any kind... (may have to fix the no insulation part, somehow) so if i remove it, the inside of my camper becomes a haven for neighborhood cats and rodents.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Finished installing the wooden frame for the generator compartment door, and installed the door... looks like utter crap. where i located it, i had planned on it overlapping a previous hole, but it didn't cover that far... i have caulking to seal it for now, but it needs new camper skin... or at least a better way of patching the gap. i want to re-skin the camper anyway, but not right now, so it will have to stay looking like crap for now.

i didn't get the floor torn up yet, as i just have not gotten to it.
for those that want to see my ToDo list of what i have to do, i have made a page on my website for it. (just as a heads up, my website is NON-COMMERCIAL, as i don't have ads, or sell anything, that i am aware of.)
I try to keep the list updated so you can tell what i have and have not done. it may not be complete, but i am working on it. not even sure if the Gallery works yet...

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
So, been a while since an update... waiting for the IRS to deposit my TAX Return money, before i can continue much.
but i have been busy with various things, like trying to get the generator running. i suspect it really does need the control board...
i am working on installing my security/fire alarm system... got the control center installed, and the interface panel, as well as the smoke detectors. i also added a Enforcer pager, so i can be notified (providing i am within RF range). i just need to install the window and door sensors, and hide the wires in the to-be-built sound insulated walls (for the studio mode).

but once i get funding, i can really start construction. :)

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
went out tinkering on the RV generator, as the new carb arrived via UPS... now the fuel pump has crapped out... seriously considering making the new generator compartment door into a battery compartment door, and buying a portable generator...
it could just need a fuel pump, and maybe a control board, but i think i am done with it. mark it down as another one of my failures, and moving on. total investment:
generator - $100
carb - $25
starter - $28
$153

a lot of people told me to go portable, but i thought i could get this one running. anybody in Maine, or very nearby, want to buy a $150 project? :ROFLMAO:
now i am looking at the HFT Predator 9000W inverter generator...

now, about moving the batteries back... it would require large battery cables for the distance. i would likely remove the flooring there, in case of acid spills, as i am going with flooded lead-acid deep-cycles, due to cost. the floor would be replaced with some sort of battery tray. i think i could fit 4 batteries back there, easily. perhaps some golf-cart 6V batteries, if i can find some new ones available.
a battery box would be far better than a generator box, as i only have to insulate for heat/cold and sound, no different than a wall. no frame vibration... all in all, it is and will be better.

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
just finished installing a roof wire gland for my solar panel wires!
first thing i did was cut an access hole in the ceiling paneling in the utility room. i pushed back the insulation, and drilled a pilot hole up through the roof aluminum. from the top, i used a hole-saw to cut a 1.75" hole, using the pilot hole as a guide. then i prepared a backer board for the under-side of the roof aluminum by centering the roof gland box over it, and tracing the outline. i then used the hole-saw to start a hole in the backer board, for locating. i also made marks on the center of the hole to align front and back. i inserted a screw part-way into the center of the started hole to use as a handle, and stuck the backer board up through the access hole, above the insulation, so that the inserted screw was pushed out the hole in the roof.
from above, i used the screw in the backer board to center the board, so the started hole lined up with the hole in the roof. then i inserted three screws through the roof aluminum into the backer board, near the center hole. then with the backer board held in place by the roof aluminum, i used the drill and hole-saw to finish the hole through.
now would be a good time for it to rain, i thought to myself... ;)
with the solar panel wires inserted into the roof glands, and the glands assembled into the gland box, i washed the roof aluminum with acetone to remove the age film, and did the same to the mounting surface of the roof gland box, to be sure of no contaminants. then i applied caulking to the roof gland box mounting surface, and pushed the gland box onto the roof, centered over the hole in the roof. i then used stainless screws to attach the roof gland box to the backer board, sandwiching the aluminum roofing in between, and holding it tight and flat.
then i fished the solar wires from the roof access hole, to the solar MPPT charge controller, and made my connections there (red wire to positive, black wire to negative). i left the cover for the roof access hole off so i can check for leaks when it rains.
i then carried my one 100W solar panel (one, so far) up to the roof, and connected the connectors already in place. i placed the panel in the sunny part of the roof (about 45% direct sunlight), and climbed down to check the charge controller display. drawing 0.7A standby (alarm system, likely), and charging at about 3A :D
not much, but with the partial charge i gave the flat battery, i suspect it will be enough to go the night, until it starts back up in the morning... and so on. i will keep an eye on it, but i think it will be able to hold it's own, on standby, with just the one panel. i plan on adding more panels in the future.
now i just hope for no wind, until i can secure the panel on the roof... i have no panel mounts yet...

what i had in mind was something that mounted to the side roof frame rails, or directly to the roof rafters, if i can seal it. then mount some rails to clamp the panels to. this would get the panels off the roof directly, but in trade-off, when under tow, would unfortunately allow wind to pass between the roof and panel, hopefully without breaking the panel...

i also picked ip a piece of 12" x 24" diamond-plate aluminum (it is what they had in store) to use as the outside panel for my new RV furnace. so perhaps tomorrow i "may" get around to installing that. if i can get the old one out easily.
it is my intention to have two ducts going to the bedroom, and two to the main room, with the furnace intake in the middle, roughly. this will, i hope, distribute the heat evenly. i "hope" to pick up some insulated 4" duct tube, but will use non-insulated if it is all i can find. all i found so far is bare fiberglass inside, and i can't see that being healthy. i will likely have to use regular hose (heating specific).
as the furnace will be built in, so to speak, i will have to fashion a intake grill from something...

~Travis
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
just finished installing my new furnace, minus the duct work. :D
i put it back in the same hole, that was the correct size already, so it went sorta quickly. getting the old one out took longer, actually.
i didn't get the outside panel, so for now i have a 1/8" diamond-plate aluminum panel. looks a little odd, but it "may" be temporary, or i may make it fit better.
i won't boar you to death with precise details, like my last long post, but after a blown fuse (thermostat wire grazed the furnace case), and some other non-events, like hurting my wrist trying to hole-saw the aluminum plate for the vents, and it was ready for a test fire. i did punch out two vent holes in the plenum, to keep it from over heating.
I must say, i am impressed! it is a Suburban SF35Q, and man is it nice. other than the air movement, and it moves a lot of air, i didn't even know it was running (burning), until i noticed it was producing heat! i had to put my ear down to it to hear it burn from the inside!
the old furnace, by comparison, other than the fan bushings howling, sounded like a fighter jet taking off, while on fire. ;)

i am very pleased with this furnace! i got it off eBay from rvpartsandsupply, for $649.95 (free shipping), so if you need a replacement furnace, and don't mind making stuff to install it (or you can buy the factory panel... i am just too cheap ;) ), this may be the furnace for you.
not trying to SPAM here, really i am not. i am just so pleased with the furnace, i wanted to share. :)

next on the furnace ToDo list: install duct-work, and run a LP gas line to the regulator in the LP tank compartment. i test ran it off a long space-heater style hose and regulator, run out the door, so the tank was outside.
being that fall is almost here (leaves are already starting to fall), i need to get the furnace working fully so i can have heat to work on the camper in the winter, if i choose.

~Travis
 
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