Camper Community Forums banner
21 - 40 of 62 Posts

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oldmaninthewoods

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
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
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
thought i would take a moment to catch you all up on what i am doing with my 5th wheel camper. :)

i have abandoned the idea of making a mobile music recording studio/camper, in favor of just a camper.
i haven't done much lately, as the money ran out, sadly, and i ran out of summer. my current priorities are to replace the two tires that are bad (one blown, one ready to). at least then i can move the camper about again. sun-rot is a real thing with tires, and i recommend some tire covers, of some sort. anything that will block the UV rays from breaking down the rubber.
i hope to drop the tanks out completely, if possible. no plumbing, no need for tanks... what i plan to do for plumbing, is borrow from my days of hiking, in a way. i plan on getting a tank-toilet, or a camping composter. for washing dishes, i plan on either having a sink with a bucket under it for washing dishes (at the low end of the scale), or having only a large grey-water tank for the sink, and a fresh water tank for running water. only the sink, plain and simple, and less to worry about winterizing.
I am leaning toward the grey water tank idea. the existing tanks leak, so i still want to drop those tanks and get rid of them, somehow (not sure how yet...). i don't trust the fresh water tank as being sanitary, but i could hide a rectangular tank in a cabinet somewhere, or under the couch... the new grey water tank will go... where it fits. really depends on what it is for a tank. and where i can fit it.
for a stove, all i need is a LP cook-top. i don't trust LP ovens with a pilot light, and i don't bake anyway. ;) i will have a microwave though.
I would like to fix up my RV generator (Onan Microquiet 4000), and install it for alternate power when needed (battery charge, A/C, whatever). food storage will be in a ice cooler. no hot water, unless it is boiled.
bedroom over the 5th wheel pin-box will be as previously described, in other messages. bare floor for a air mattress and sleeping bag.
kitchen will be small, and the dinette will not be installed, in favor of counter seating. this is to save space, really. the living room will be designed around a group gathering. bench/couch on one side to cover the furnace, and a bench on the other side for guest seating. i will buy a folding table to setup for board-games, cards, and other socializing activities. i may or may not install a TV with a video player. probably will... if i can find a 12V compatible unit. so no need for generator or inverter, just for TV. i have a car DVD head-unit radio that can be the video player and radio.
may even design a L shaped couch/bench for living room...

my focus is this, create a place to sleep, eat, cook, and use the bathroom, and place to gather in bad weather. as the point, if i am not mistaken, of camping, is to enjoy the outdoors! ;) i like to hunt, i like to fish, i hike (or used to when i was less fat ;) ), and i love the outdoors. but in bad weather, i love the indoors too ;)
Just saying, i don't need too much comfort of home. if i wanted that, i would save money by just staying home. :ROFLMAO: i just prefer the structure of a camper, over a tent that a bear views as a burrito, with a meaty center ;)

~Travis
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
After looking into the prices of waste holding tanks, i may actually replace the sketchy OEM tanks, and have a clean/grey/black tank system again. the trick will be dropping the current tanks, that i hope like heck are dry...
the camper was bought with an unknown history, so...

anyway, i could have the black-water under the toilet, as usual. the grey water beside it, so the drains can be joined to one outlet (two valves). the clean water tank can go almost anywhere under the camper.
for plumbing, i expect i can use regular PVC, with rubber connectors now and then for vibration joints. the toilet will drop pretty much straight down, and the bathroom sink will have to be plumbed to the tank. the kitchen sink will also have to be plumbed back. i may move the kitchen to back right up to the bathroom for ease in plumbing, but likely not.
fridge will be a cooler, still, and cook stove will still be oven-less.
i just thought a plumbed toilet would be easier to drain... and with no shower, in theory, i could have one combined black/grey water tank. that would ensure enough space for washing dishes/hands, and with a big enough tank, plenty of toileting.
still no water heater...
i will try to plumb the water lines to enable draining, using PEX.
drain lines will be sloped, based on a level camper, but also a little extra for if the camper is un-level. just grey-water, so no risk of stuck "lumps" in the pipes.

so, slight change of plans, but i think it is for the better.

at home, i do not have the capacity to add a large waste-water drain for a camper... due to house layout and plumbing location, it just can't be done. now, a smaller 2" drain may be possible...
has anybody had luck with a RV macerator pump on the drain outlet? this may be more possible to use in my case. if not, i will have to fine a location to dump before i get home... but with a 2" or 2.5" drain, i may be able to work it in somehow. i will look again and see if i can evaluate how to add a 3" drain... maybe i can chop off a clean-out, add a sanitary Y fitting, and add in something. a 2-2.5" line would be easiest, but a 3" line may be possible, if i can build a P-trap sort of setup... i will have to check with my plumber... i don't think it needs a vent on the P-trap, as the RV tank is vented. the problem though, is that the fitting would have to be ABOVE the tank outlet, hence my question about the macerator pump idea.

I will have to check with the local sewage treatment plant and see if they have a RV dump station. some do...

so unless i hear otherwise, that it is really bad to do, i will have one waste tank, like a 62 gallon waste tank i found on eBay, and as big of a clean water tank as i can afford.

as previously stated, i plan on the camper being like a central lodge for myself and friends (who are in tents) with provisions for cooking, bathroom, and gathering in bad weather. back when i tent camped, i was perfectly happy bathing in a stream/pond, with a solar shower (hmmm... thoughts on this below) or a sponge-bath, so no need for a full shower.

on the solar shower thought... it could be possible, to have a outdoor shower hookup. install a water-heater... outdoor mixing valve (behind a hatch) with a shower head on a hose, so it can be stowed. then just get a shower tent, and tada, high-class outdoor shower ;) so i would need plenty of clean water, but the same single waste water tank, as the shower just runs on to the ground (with an outdoor carpet to keep your feet clean).
How's that for roughing it, with some camper amenities? ;)

there just isn't much room in a 25-foot 5th wheel for all the normal amenities, and enough comfort for a group of people. the former bathroom/shower/master closet/utility room was very cramped, and had no space to turn around, and i didn't like that. as i have planned, there is room for a bathroom with sink, master closet, and utility, and still have room to turn around and get dressed after climbing out of bed.

i hope to re-arrange the master bedroom to have a little more headroom by getting rid of the lift-up bed frame, and have the air-mattress on the floor. i am a big guy, and i need head-room. ;)

one of these days, i hope to get some measurements of the camper as-is, so i can draw out some layout prints for you folks. that way you can see what i am working with, and have planned. I have a CAD program (due to my CNC router i am building), so that will help... though that depends on if i can afford the $500 to renew the license this year. :eek: but having CAD plans will also help me design my ideas. i can save a base plan, and several variations around it. i think i can export to a PDF... will have to look into that.

But anyway, just wanted to do a quick update on my ideas.

~Travis
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
need a bit of critical thinking...
for my 5th-wheel, i have a 14gallon water heater, with a good tank, but bad element. now, i have a pair of 12V 600W elements from an other failed-start project. i only need one for the water-heater. my thinking is, i really can't afford a new electric-start LP water heater, and certainly can't afford a tankless. my old-old camper water-heater had a blown tank, hence me buying the 14G 110Vac (1500W) water heater, that now has a bad element.
i know how to conserve water, so 14G (or is it 20G...?) was enough before, and will be enough now. the question is, is it practical? 600W is nearly 50A! i can't run that off battery, only shore-power or generator. so would i be better off to find a 110Vac element and ONLY have hot water when plugged in? ...yes, i just picked up on the obvious answer there... either way i have to be plugged in. so really, i NEED to somehow get a RV water-heater. i can run it off 12Vdc, but for how long? i would need some pretty substantial batteries, and at least as many solar panels as the local solar-farm ;)
so, just writing it out gave me my own critical thinking. :ROFLMAO:

next order of thought... my current tanks are in better shape than i thought, i think. i looked under, and what i thought was water dripping, looks to be hardened drips of PVC cement. but i expect i will need to fill the tanks to be sure they do not leak, before committing to them. the slide valves could stand to be replaced, i think... those tend to stick and leak with age.
clean water tank... i just don't trust it. the gravity fill was open to the bugs and elements for who knows how long. i would not drink it, and who knows if it would pass the "lumps" out the drain if i flushed it. so i need to drop at least that tank, or leave it and build in a new tank. that would be classy. ;) why is your kitchen cabinets all without doors in them??? because that's where the water tank is... ;) :ROFLMAO: but seriously, i either drop the tank, or find a way to clean it. worst case scenario, i put up a sign that the water is not for drinking, and store drinking water in a cooler...
i think the tank is just under the living room floor... and i don't think it is huge either (30 - 40G?). i could potentially use that tank for washing, once i get the lumps and bugs out. and get a smaller tank for the kitchen only, and plumb it to a drinking water faucet thing... 15 - 20G should hold several people a while... a 25G tank is about 34" X 17" X 10", and i could see that fitting in a cabinet area without trouble. just when i make my gravity fill connections outside, i would need two, for each tank, and label one as drinking water. not that it would make a huge difference, as it would be filled with a hose anyway. ;) so maybe just the one tank for fresh water, and put a boil-order on it.
one way i can think of to clean the lumps out of that tank, would be to run a hose from the gravity fill, outside. plug off the vent, and run water through the tank from the bottom up, to float out the debris (with any luck). then when i drain the tank again, run it through a paint filter (flows better than a coffee filter) to check for lumps and large grit.

moving my toilet in the bathroom to the other side of the space should be fairly easy, i think. the bathroom/utility space already has a raised floor, so i can cut a larger access hole, re-plumb the toilet flange to the other side (don't want a toilet right beside my electrical panel), and be done. i assume i can use a standard toilet flange for a house, and just bolt a RV toilet onto it???

may even move the bathroom sink over there too, to really open up the utility and master closet side of the space. i am also thinking of doing away with the AC volt and amp gauges... they are open back, and i don't like the idea of open AC gauges. they looked neat at the time, but look unsafe now that i have studied them for a while. so that's $50 down the drain... but moving right along...
the rest of the power panel is fine, i just have to run more wire for various things. A/C, outlets, and so on. all lighting will be 12V LED lighting.

I still want to change the bedroom/bathroom/utility room door from a sliding pocket door (i am a carpenter, and i hate pocket doors), to a swing door. i will use a latch similar to the entry door, just to make finding parts easy.

Still have to replace the floor in the kitchen... it is still rotted, and despite me waiting, it has not replaced itself yet. not really a big deal, i just have to get the material.

i have a large hatch on the side in back that was supposed to be for a in-board RV generator. now i am thinking of insulating it, and making it a cooler space. that way i can access the cooler from inside, or slide it into place from outside. it is a really big hatch, so i have to find a good use for it.
I had thought of moving the batteries back there, and i may still yet. wouldn't be that hard to do, really. tie it to frame ground for the negative, and run a long heavy cable for the... scratch that. not moving the batteries, but moving the whole power back there. my AC power inlet is up front, but i have plenty of 6/3 wire, so i can run that back, move the power panel back, batteries back, charger back, solar charger back (with longer wires for the solar panel hookups). it could work out better!

i could change the kitchen from a sideways U shape, to a standard U (counter on back wall, cooking and cooler on one side, power cabinets on the other (lower) side. with uppers as well. it could work out better than my first plans...
this would empty the space in the lowers of the master closet space, so i could just have some access doors down low for the wires that pass through, and the heating ducts. i could build a little bench seat in there that is removable, so i have a place to sit while i get dressed (handy as you get older ;) ).

all these plans, i am starting to get real excited again about this renovation. 😍
sometimes i just have to talk myself into things ;)

now, batteries... i know, there are many choices i should use, but deep-cycle marine/RV batteries from Wal-Mart are what i can afford. when i get a new battery for the camper, i will make a note of the group size for later, and check the actual size so i know how many will fit in my battery compartment. i am thinking a total of 6, if i buy as i can afford, will fit. 3 down low, and 3 on an upper shelf (welded steel, to handle the weight). i am thinking if i use Anderson connectors to connect the batteries in, with inline fuses. that will make it easier to replace in the future too. thinking either 50A or 175A. probably 50A, as with two batteries, and two 50A connectors, i can pass 100A. more than enough! heck, 50A for just one is a good start. i doubt i will be drawing more than 50A, to begin with. unless i use those water-heater elements... :ROFLMAO:

~Travis
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
got to thinking... usually a bad thing (me thinking), but in this instance i think it may be a good idea.
I have a 8KW diesel parking heater left over from my previous camper, and i just test fired it and it still works, makes heat, and turns off as expected. so, i was wondering what to do with the space in the forward compartment (under the 5th wheel over-hang). the battery was there before, but it will be empty after i move the electrical. i think i can mount the diesel heater in there, and duct the heat and air intake up into the bedroom for backup heat. the burn air and intake can be routed down the bottom of the compartment, and outside, with the exhaust directed sideways, not under the over-hang or camper. i am not particularly interested in dying in my sleep. not crazy about dying while awake either, but that is a whole different story.
my plan is to set it to one side as far as possible, and dust the heat up, and the air intake just forward into the utility room, where the steps to the bedroom are. i will build a divider around the heater, as i intend to store the sewer hose in the front compartment, perhaps. will perhaps make a compartment liner if i do, and provide some ventilation.
i intend to use insulated ducting to and from the heater, as well as Styrofoam insulation around the heater, just to keep it from cold-soaking, and blowing ice air as the heater fires up.
i intend to use kerosene in the heater, as in the very cold months in Maine, diesel tends to gel, and plug filters and such. kerosene does not seem to do that. we do the same with oil-fired furnaces in houses, where the tank is outside in the cold. this tank will be in the cold, as i don't want to spill fuel oil on the floor inside... thinking about a small inboard boat fuel tank, so i can add a fuel fill outside, but that may be going overboard (no pun intended...)

~Travis
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Winter has arrived, here in Maine, USA.
still have some prep to do before the snow falls... dang, missed that deadline! ;)
fortunately, my tanks are empty, and plumbing is currently not there, so other than taking the solar panel off the roof to protect from ice from the snow-blower, it is effectively winterized, though when i disconnect the solar panel, i will need to remove the battery and place it on a maintenance charger for the winter. the battery really has no life left, but i would rather not let my Core return blow up inside my camper from freezing... i hope it hasn't already, actually. last check it was fine, but... the volts were pretty low. i plan on buying new batteries, but i don't want a compartment full of acid either.

this weekend will be a good time, if i have the time, to clean out my camper too, and organize the parts for it. say nothing about finding my tools and getting them organized as well. i am not an organized person... i tend to leave things where i last used them, for when i come back on task. ;)

i didn't happen to get new tires for my camper... i discovered my truck was not registered, and that took priority. but i still have intentions to get tires. if i can do it for $300 or less, i may do it this weekend. what better time to change tires than when you are kneeling in snow, on frozen ground. ;)

~Travis
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Just mounted a pair of RubberMaster 225/75/15 tires on my 5th Wheel camper. i thought they were some cheep tires, just to get me by while i renovate the camper. turns out they are made in America, supposedly! load-range E (10-ply), speed range M (88Mph).
I learned something else i didn't know about my camper... it has shock-absorbers... i honestly didn't know they came with shocks. learn something new every day ;)

so now, as far as road-ready status: need a new electrical (to tow vehicle) hookup cable and connector. need to update the marker lights... all of them (some work, almost ;) ). and then just register the camper when the renovation is done!

it seems strange for that portion to be so close to being done. the tires were a big part of holding me back, but that is now behind me, and on to the next... the kitchen floor replacement. as in full plywood replacement... other than what is under the walls. a little hard to replace that. ;)
I think i can do the replacement with just a sheet of plywood. and i will either paint the underside, or something to protect it. just to keep the moisture out, mainly.

~Travis
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
just received some Anderson SB50 connectors, and some 8AWG wire. :D
the plan with my batteries is to build a rack inside the former generator compartment door, and keep my batteries there. with what i have for connectors, i can connect 5 batteries in parallel. hence the reason for the 8AWG wire. less overall load per battery, and i can still run most everything off just one battery connection, if it comes to that. my biggest load will be the furnace blower. the lighting will be all LED. though i may add a car dvd-player/radio, and wire in some speakers, plus a small to medium 12V TV.
Each battery will have a SB50 connector, so i can slide in the batteries, and plug them in, allowing tighter space, with no need to support the batteries while making the connections.
there will be a master disconnect switch, and each battery will be fused for 40A. battery isolation will be possible by pulling fuses.
now that i think about it... my DC distribution panel is only rated for 50A anyway... so it is almost a mute point to worry about drawing more than that. ;)

i just realized a snag in my plans... the battery compartment can't be very deep, as i have plumbing that needs to run past it. this coming spring/summer, after i replace the rotted flooring, i will pick up a single battery in the Wal-Mart group number i will likely use. probably the smaller deep-cycle, so i have room for plumbing. i will use that one battery to get measurements for the battery rack. the rack will be constructed from heavy steel plate, with heavy steel angle stock for the side supports. i will cover the underside of the top shelf with 1/4" plywood, in case the battery hold-down doesn't work, and the battery jumps up on a bump. the rack will be sheathed in thin gauge steel, for a firewall. but the side to the compartment door will be open to the door, as the door is vented, and i don't want battery charging gasses building up in the compartment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Renovation not only restores the camper but also gives you positive vibes whenever you enter into it. You can renovate your old 5th wheel camper by installing modern technologies into it. Like, you can install a latest solar panel and fix it with crown batteries as they last for years, through this you can enjoy in your camper even in summers as they can run AC invertor smoothly. Moreover, you can update your camper’s furniture and paint to refresh the inner condition.
 

·
Super Moderator
5th Wheel Camper
Joined
·
178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
going to try two products on this camper. i bought a winter compatible "Arctic Blue" vehicle connection cable, see if it really stays flexible in Maine, USA winters. but mostly for the heavy-duty electrical connection.
Also, i got some sort of charge relay that only connects the tow-vehicle charge connection when the tow vehicle is running. supposed to protect the vehicle battery from dying while connected.

Now, i just have to wait for weather warm enough to install them. ;)

i have two options on my plate, as far as a shower. indoor, back where it was, or outdoor in a shower tent..
if it is outdoor, i can build cabinets into the former shower space, like for clothing storage, or whatever else i would store there.
if it is indoor, i have to fix that bit of plumbing, as it was broken before i bought the camper (frozen, likely).
as much as a PITA it will be to restore back indoors, i am leaning that way. just for the simplicity of setup.

i am starting to think that this camper project will be an odd-ball one. will look nice and fresh inside, and ratty on the outside. at least it shouldn't be a huge theft issue. ;) keep it ratty, but weather tight outside, and comfortable inside.
 
21 - 40 of 62 Posts
Top