With c19 going on and being locked at home for an indeterminate amount of time, what better use than to go buy a project. A good lengthy project that'll stave away the black dog of depression and keep someone just busy enough from mainlining the news.
Enter the truck camper.
If c19 doesn't kill you, the mold will.
I bought this big rear end Alpenlite truck camper a little over a month ago.
Some details on this big pig.
It's a 2000 model Alpenlite 11'
it weighs ~2900lb dry according to the plates.
11'10 long lower floor, with a total of 19' 7".
2" of insulation in the ceiling/floors, and 1" in the walls. The frame is made of aluminum and welded together by Methy McMigwelder.
It holds 38 gallons fresh water, 23 gallons of industrial shower runoff, and 24 gallons of political promises.
There's an Onan microlite 2500 generator that runs on propane
A microwave that is functional weight, a fridge that might be full of c-19 vaccines.
1/2 roll of TP, 1/4 roll of paper towels.
The truck? that's well covered here
tldr? it's a turboed old field find that's up to the task of livin life in the
What's the clutch? Wellll It needs some love. OK a lot of love. and with being stuck at home, might as well learn how to do some woodworking. The roof was professionally replaced 5 years ago. That with the aluminum frame was about the only selling point. Otherwise this fucker would be ripe for a
It had some serious leakage leading up to the roof repair. I don't know the how or the why, but it was put away wet. Real wet. Literally every wall in this thing is soft. OK whatever, I have like 6-12 weeks to learn how to fix it.
First off, what did the color palette look like in 2000? That was 20 years ago. Can you remember last year, much less twenty years ago?
And of course,
The shitters full.
Next: all the mold
|# ¿ Apr 18, 2020 04:34|
|# ¿ Jul 2, 2020 09:29|
Nice, I'm assuming you got it for a steal? Moldy discount?
about 1/4 to 1/3 the price of one that is ready to bolt n go.
donk' drops about 2" with it on including the ~500lb of bullshit that's in it making it roughly level. It sits really high in the rear unloaded. PO was hauling it with a crewcab ram 2500 cummins with bags.
I've measured for air springs, they won't fit. It already has 710 rate extra springs, I could go bigger, ain' really worth it.
05.5+ F450 wide track axles and 40s? don't tempt me.
xpost on weights from the truck thread:
If it seriously wasn't under the c19 lockdown, I would have kept shopping. With a 6+ week ish runway, why not? Spouse and I looked it over, crawled over under, etc and determined that if it wasn't this one, it wouldn't be one at all. So we handed the guy some cash and hauled the thing away. It's seriously the best possible craigslist sale. To the point I was drawing pictures from the ad superimposed on the truck to see how it would fit. here and here
Husband had originally thought campervan, though with ultralight living, usually a lack of baths, and a perfectly capable truck, why go that direction?
Part of what sold it is the documentation.
To us, blueprints and documentation is super important. it takes hours to days of guesswork out of the equation.
As for the tanks... why not 5 lights, empty through four graduations to full. There's better ways to monitor those using capacitance, and they'll probably eventually go. It seems to work right at the moment. Though I'm not staring into the eye of Sauron that is the toilet's ball valve. Secondarily, with prior rover ownership, probably a good thing there's a light for "empty"
So with an old rotten leaky camper. (he said it didn't leak, ignorance is bliss, they all leak, just a matter of how much) There's a game plan for that, and then there's a game plan to make it not suck to live with.
First off, it has to stop leaking. From everywhere. Windows, seams, roof, panels, etc.
second, ditch the rot then apply fresh lumber. This can either be pretty trivial (it never is) or holy oh gently caress what did I do (that's more like it).
third. finish work. paint, fasteners, trim, etc. (the more liquor involved in painting, the better)
Campers do ok for getting into the sticks for a night, heavily drinking, getting into trouble, ramping up a big rear end hangover just in time for that meeting monday morning. They're not really intended to go the hell out there, especially when they're 20 years old running 40 year old technology. The 2020 models still use the same outdated parts. The upside to this one, at least the wiring is sized relatively correctly. It's rated for 30A service, aka 110V so it can be powered pretty much anywhere. Though with the hugely inefficient spaceheater of a converter, 12V deep cycles won't get you far.
The actual project here is to add some infrastructure that allows for redundancy. Think 3-600W of solar, a 3kW inverter, and 2.4kWh of lithium batteries to offset the little microlite generator. That's a good starting point for something of this size. Reskinning, repairing is cheap but time consuming. buying a higher priced model ready to run doesn't really offset that under these special circumstances. The purpose here is to have a project while stuck at home that has the potential to fulfill other roles. On top of that, the camper is going to get one hell of a surgery operation to add this tech in. No use in paying for something clean if one is just going to hack it to hell. The above modifications will cost more than the camper and can be removed. There's a buncha little lego bricks that keep each individual components happy and from blowing any other part of the system up. There's a lotta words and here's a graphic that can describe how power flows. I've omitted the inverter to battery lego in this description.
OK enough words, I promised rot. Let's delve into some rot!
Let's start up top. Where the water trickles down and makes sweet sweet mold.
Every last one of these is suspect. Especially that front window, which surprise, while a luxury, those front windows are notorious leakers. As for the EDPM to caps? Eternabond the poo poo out of it. 3M 4000 or some other sealant would work. Yeah gently caress that, kill it with overkill. More on that later.
mattress and cabinetry removed. Decidedly buckled and wet in here. It's a little spongy but not saggy under the cab, which is important. At minimum, the floor should get replaced.
Note the "double pane" storm window. This thing is going to be an enormous pain in the rear end to deal with. I've brought back a metric ton of coach windows in my lifetime, and this is a new one for me.
While on this tangent. The glass is from Hehr, parts can still be had. These are electroplated in gold. I wanted em for the GM 4104 but couldn't justify the costs. Just about every single part for this fucker is still in production and dirt cheap too. Because you know, RVs are made of staples, hopes, and promises.
This is the cabinet on the right as soon as you walk in. I forgot to get pics before going to town on it, but as you see, it's quite hosed, all the way down to the LP tanks below it.
The fridge vent was broken and came apart when he pulled the tarp off after it was loaded. gently caress. that's a critical hit. It looks pretty crispy in here.
Not pictured: soft spots of the kitchen wall, bathroom wall and ceiling, space above the entry door, and entry door ceiling. This fucker was soggy.
With that cabinet removed, this sleeping dog appeared:
Best let sleeping dogs lie. Not gonna gently caress with it. It lasted 20 years, if I gently caress with it, it'll leak.
Fridge is clean and doesn't actually stink for once.
Removed the gross jackknife sofa and of course, there's more buckled panels.
The carpet pulls out to reveal linoleum in good shape.
next up, the water test
|# ¿ Apr 19, 2020 03:15|
The previous owner threw these lift buckets in with the camper which is crucial to getting it loaded. Though still very sketchy.
THE WATER TEST. Let's wash this sucker and see what pours!
Preliminary scrub done. The EDPM layer should clean up real nice with another scrub or two.
Haha welll. I flooded the poo poo out of it. The front cap, front window, kitchen window, bathroom window, and roof vent in that goes through the rear cabinet pour.
Well. It's rotten anyway, so this is a good start.
Investigating the front window first, no wonder why it leaks. Mud isn't a sealant.
Onto dropping the inner pane.
8 spring clips and some swearing later, it's on the ground. Note the curvature. It's clearly for aerodynamics.
The fantastic fan has a thermostat only control, which is a pain in the rear end when ventilation is required
Thermostat override installed.
Tall pig is tall.
Washed all the lenses. These lights suck and until they're replaced they need to work as best as possible. The lights in the bunk were raining during the water test.
Removed the trim by the door to clean around and below it, found the generator wires chafing against the screws that retained the trim. Good catch.
Next: more interior removal, and starting on some repairs!
|# ¿ Apr 20, 2020 14:57|
The way this project was set up, is that the camper was purchased then we figured out a bill of materials to repair and repair it given the worst possible outcome. Then we stocked up on roughly 2 months worth of supplies to keep the project going through the worst of virus. The small trim parts and such can be had from various places on line. No real hurry on shipping, and the boxes sit in a 24 hour designated quarantine area.
Insulation in the ceiling:
Gluing the damaged fascia back together.The fascia on the cabinetry in this are more or less solid wood. the insets are basically fancy cardboard. The framing is all pine. The paneling and such is thinner than 1/8" and made by the lowest bidder.
Slather on some killz! When there might be enough, throw another coat on because it's not enough.
Primered and testing out the new interior accent color. Gray on white.
New inset trim installed into the rear cabinet. This is just 1/8" ply. Cardboard was most likely the original.
Rear panel skinned in:
Followed by the roof. Generic liquid nails is good here, with some screws to keep the panel shoved against the insulation and frame.
Also check out the two crimps. This was hidden behind a tupperware sized piece of plastic to keep it out of sight.
Oh, here's the kickin rad cd player wiring:
Truck bed modified for better tie down locations. These aren't technically load bearing, they get cinched down to 300lb load, with the front ones providing dynamic to 500lb.
A big box of rubber arrives!
Kick window in the rear door was the first to be replaced.
The seals aren't too hard to replace. keep em hot, use windex or some other lube, bring a strong thumb.
And the dinette window finished.
These windows don't use a rubber seal alone. they're bonded in with urethane and the seal is secondary.
The kitchen window is going to be a pain in my rear end. Sikaflex p2g is also a messy pain in the rear end. Next time I'll stick to windoweld. To repair this window, it'll have to come out and cure flat overnight. Not quite the time for it, so it can sit.
2 things He and I learned with the bus. 3M's 4000 and Eternabond are your best damned friends. Bought a big 4" wide roll and covered both caps and every single possible leak point on the roof. Removed the TV antanna itself. The mount has to stay for now, so I sealed it up in such a way that it wouldn't leak. Fridge vent and door hatch also replaced.
Gray tank vent replaced on the roof.
Scrape decals until your fingers bleed, then scrape some more! I tried two different types of decal remover wheels. one with ribbed fluting would get too hot too quickly, the solid one works a treat. Mostly, get a really good scraper, and use a sharp blade. Massaging Artists' solvent into the dryrotted decals helps immensely for removal (I didn't learn this until much, much, much later).
Finally, replaced the trim piece on the door that hides the hardware.
|# ¿ Apr 22, 2020 00:48|
Well poo poo. Should have came here and asked you guys instead of going all brute on decal removal. This thread's right at the end of week one and approaching week two.
|# ¿ Apr 22, 2020 17:53|
Another nice, quality effortthread, csb. I may have missed, or am just drunk, but weren't you setting up a move to Ukraine? Did that fall through, or is that a longer-term plan?
Yeah, I got my wish without needing to move.
On a serious note. It came down to 'helping the landlord out' and yeaaah i can't do that. Just because the US administration does it, doesn't mean I'm going to hold myself at that same bar. Secondarily, the US makes it kind of a pain in the rear end to live abroad. Lastly with the obscure tools that he and I own it was turning into a wild goose chase. It was my third attempt at leaving the US and enough is enough. I'm gonna buy some land somewhere out west and just gently caress right off.
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2020 02:18|
But, but, thatís twisted to the left.
The Hulk did it. (could have been from the LP regulator/changeover valve replacement in ~2008). To be honest, pound for pound, going full electric is worth it over having LP onboard. It'll need new LP tanks and a regulator before using the thing, the bottle literally expired this year.
The dream. Once the kids are in college that our plan. Only in Vermont rather than out west.
VT fine too! Whatever the case, buy some land and roll your own poo poo!
The bunk over the dinette is rated for 100lb. It's basically dead weight in that it'll never be used as a bunk. Did I mention it's also heavy as all gently caress?
5 of thes IKEA bins fit here perfectly with a little room to spare for a mini-library.
What can be done here is, Have bins labeled with a certain task, project, or application in mind. Make them hot-swappable with other bins. Carry on board what is needed, store what isn't off site.
They fit really well and can be locked in place with a primitive latching system. More on that later. Gotta fix the wall behind it first.
Blinds and 90s furnishings gone:
The deck on the "bunk" is only 1/8th. It's hollow inside. Good, This means lighting upgrades.
See the screws holding the speaker in? those little shits hamburgered the absolute gently caress out of my hands, many times over. If/When the madmax universe happens, I'm building a blunderbuss that fires these loving screws. Jesus h. coalburning christ these things are sharp.
"walls" ripped out below the kitchen sink to expose what lies beneath.
One switch powers the camper, the other the lift-jacks. Yes, the full current goes through the 75A rated switch.
I suspect the valve on the water heater is going to be a problem. Just a hunch.
Blinds and window treatments removed from the bunk:
Bunk cabinetry removed and the deck of the bunk comin out. The street-side cabinet at the top had significant rot and mold growing on the cloth end cap. (seriously, why is that even there?)
Stripped the carpet out. 90's apartment carpet has done its time.
|# ¿ Apr 24, 2020 21:53|
Found a home for the spare.
Front window's outer pane resealed. Wait for a warm day, heat the poo poo out of the urethane then pump into the gap while standing on the winch and the spouse pushes the pane outward. Stop every 30 seconds to warm the urethane back up. Repeat till it doesn't leak. Thumb the new seal in afterwards.
The awning is in good shape though it's not really fixed to the camper. It's real floppy and feels like it's gonna tear off any second. The mounts are rotten so it needs to come down. All 60lb of it.
The rear mount was basically floating. The installation manual for the awning says to use 3 mounts though only 2 are actually here. Though the PO or *somefuckingone* used what i swear is 30 drywall screws to hold the fucker to the camper.
All cleaned up and ready to be repaired.
Rest of the bunk deck removed. There's aluminum framing with blocks of insulation between. The original paneling is glued to the styrofoam, no real good way to remove it without damaging the insulation itself. With the aluminum L-channel and deck removed it's pretty precarious to work up here, which makes it a good first reskin.
Campers are built out of liquid nails and staples. Use plenty of both.
Let it cure for a day or three. Now that the deck is done everything around it can come apart.
Speaking of, Let's tear out some rot!
I'm very sensitive to mold, this is the perfect kinda project to delve into.
Small structural element at the front left corner had to go, the L-channel screws into it.
that beam handles the dynamic loading of the bunk since aluminum doesn't like that.
The upper and lower panel that you see here is fixed to the walls at the side, but nothing at all in the middle. They're kinda flexy bendy. Too flexy bendy.
And then this happens. Follow the L channel down the side.
That's critical. Full stop. This has to be dealt with immediately.
cursedshitbox fucked around with this message at 02:20 on Apr 27, 2020
|# ¿ Apr 27, 2020 02:17|
Alright. Well. The tie-down is under the fridge. and the tie-down is pulling out of the body. It's an aluminum frame, isn't it supposed to be impervious to this? What gives? Let's investigate.
First, find new parts of your anatomy to ruin by pulling out the ancient 120lb Einstein cycle fridge. It's too large to fit through the door, and cumbersome to really throw anywhere else, so here is where it has to live till whatever is going on is fixed.
This is really reassuring. The vent was really hosed up when we bought it, so rot here is to be expected.
Let's zoom and enhance ala 00' era lovely crime scene shows.
This goes to a power-awning that this camper doesn't have. I like the termination here.
zoom, enhance, swear
Here's some (ground) wiring chafing on the aluminum frame. Yup, They ran the wire through the frame which is additional fun when drilling it.
Get out your favorite scraper and get to tearing poo poo out.
The channel the tiedown was on is completely waterlogged and rotten. Note the structural styrofoam. This mini section will get repaired first with epoxy, then we'll tackle the next section behind it. I'm assuming it's mostly waterlogged down this side.
One can't turn a stick n' staple into a stick n' epoxy till the sticks dry out.
Investigate further, realize the rot in the structural 1x2 ends right at the fridge to dinette wall. create a chamfer to increase epoxied surface area between the two sticks of wood. Use West system in excess.
No seriously. Drown it.
OK so now's a good time to delve into how this fucker works. Aluminum and steel don't have the same properties. Steel will have a spring force and return within a certain load. Aluminum will not. This has to do with the shear modulus. This is where He and I learned something about how aluminum framed campers are built. We both assumed that the tie-downs went straight into the aluminum and everything was OK. He and I had hypothesized that the tie-downs themselves with a spring, would take care of this force.
Wrong.This works on the same principle as the beam in the bunk. Something has to handle that dynamic load. In the later aluminum campers they got around the bunk fatigue with something called a K-frame. I don't actually know about the tie-down systems. Anyway the way this thing works is using a piece of 1x2 to handle the dynamic loading. That load is placed onto the aluminum frame via two sets of L channel. one at the tie-down facing upward, and the other facing down, mounted on the body that you saw in the last post. It'll work back and forth a million billion times with a really small twisting force into the wood skinclad aluminum without much care, whereas the aluminum frame wouldn't tolerate such behaviors.
Now he or I have never owned an aluminum framed rv, much less one with filon siding. This was a real ballkicker going in however we quickly realized that it is indeed fixable. This was the lowest point of this project to date, and it was kind of a rough couple days. I literally stuck to buses because of structural failures like this. Turns out, it's not so bad.
While that's off doing its thing, let's go
Bunk is solid to about ehhh here. So that'll be where new skin gets butted in place.
Inner pane of the front "storm window" installed. It was pretty warm that day + no ventilation in the bunk + getting fingerprints on things + knocking the seal off a half dozen times = creative swearing.
Ok. Now that the epoxy is curing, there's about 3-4 days till it is back to full strength. Reskinning the sub-fridge layer and reinstalled the fridge support pieces.
When in Rome. Epoxy all the things!! That buckle above the curb side front jack? let's tackle that.
Mix up your batch. put it in a syringe, inject it into the region between the insulation and wood/filon layers to soak the wood to get it pliable. Lots of patience and force is required. After that you take a shop rag, tape it to a random piece of wood, dump the epoxy on that, and jam er' in to the bodywork to further spread the epoxy around. There's about a 15 minute window to do all of this, or you're totally screwed mate. Don't take the day off here.
Use the jack mounting point as a third class lever to press the bodywork back together.
Now that its curing, install the new fridge hatch and apply liberal amounts of 3M 4000.
Inside view. Yes the sealant dam is absolutely needed.
While all this cures, remove more graphics.
|# ¿ Apr 30, 2020 02:58|
loving YES, I want a truck camper so bad. My body is ready for this thread
You so should do one. They're not worth paying much for. Out here anything under about 15 thousand dollars has been wet in some form or another. Sooo get one for dirt cheap and don't feel bad about cutting on it. You can literally rebuild one of these with 1x1s, 1x2s, 1/8, 1/4, 3/8,1/2, and 3/4 sheet ply.
Stripped the rubber off the rear bumper and painted it.
The curbside sail panel is missing a little piece metal that's now exposing the wood strip to the elements rotting it out.
After consulting with the old scrap pile and then visiting the sheet metal brake, a new part was made.
hit it with some generic spray and sit it aside. Both sail panel ends are rotted, that's a future project. It's a 1x2 stick butted on 2 sides by the aluminum frame. This at least readies it for reassembly.
Back inside, the wall behind the fridge gets built back up. Extensive cad templating is used in the rebuild of this road going boat.
At the same time, the rigging pushing against the exterior wall can now be removed.
hell yeah. This old boat looks a little bit better
Most of the decals are now removed from the rear, sides, and front.
Threw out their asinine wiring routing and insulated the fridge to bunk area. There's not enough room to further insulate to the exterior wall. This fridge is huge and it's 10lb of poo poo in a 5lb bucket.
Fridge support base installed. A new 3/8" thick panel was cut here.
Lots of grunting, cramming, removing, prying, adjusting frames later, the fridge is back in. The slightly thicker base made it way too tight. The fridge had to come back out and the top trim piece removed then trim. This was extra fun as the fridge wasn't completely removed.
And the 20 year old fucker works! At least on 120V.
replacement skin installed in the bunk just forward of the fridge.
Next we'll reskin the dinette.
|# ¿ May 2, 2020 23:52|
The plan here is to reskin the dinette in 3 sections to keep the maximum frustration indicator from going all reactor number four on us. There's 3 pockets to set, and a one shot chance at getting the window right with four radiused cuts. There's also the issue of all the wiring running through the old dinette bunk, which for the sake of this thread can be considered non-removable.
The first panels will be the fridge and upper bunk section, which means dropping the bunk out of the way.
Not pictured: stuffing more insulation into the cavity the fridge occupies.
Skinned the walls and rehung the bunk. The wire you see hanging out of the wall goes to the furnace thermostat.
To do the lower section, the L channel on the outside of the camper is removed and then the wall can be pushed away allowing the panel to be pocketed into place. This also allows the panel to be pushed in behind the fridge and cabinet wall.
1/4" sheet cut for the base.
Working our way backwards, the rear cabinet can get finished now.
Insulate the drawers from the LP tanks below, finish skinning the walls, and drop the drawer frame back in after hitting it all with killz.
Drop the cabinet deck on which concludes the cabinet's refinishing.
Cut a new skin above the entry door as follows:
This concludes the interior work required to the curb side wall.
|# ¿ May 6, 2020 23:07|
The glides in this one require lifting the drawer slightly for them to pull out. the couple times i've had this one on the road with poo poo on the counter, like one of the interior pics in the last update, nothing fell off. Which surprised even me. Generally I try to drive as smoothly as possible. Can't always predict other motorists however.
The cabinet fixtures are definitely getting replaced, hadn't thought about the slides much yet. There is more drawer type storage coming too.
|# ¿ May 7, 2020 00:40|
Everything gets painted over. whether it is rework or original. Healthy areas with wall paper get left alone. I don't know what that stuff has for adhesive but it is strong enough to delaminate the wood. That's including the cabinet fascias.
Drill holes I use wood filler in a tube. Panel gaps, seams, cracks, chips, etc I'm using the following from West system:
105 Resin (the base. Get their metering pumps, makes this stuff really easy to use)
206 Slow-Hardner (this is local temperature dependent, use their pdf to select the right hardner for your needs.)
403 microfibers (think of this to make woodglue on steroids, you can't sand this one)
407 low-density fairing filler (this is the sandable version of above, good for gap/chip filling)
killz for the somewhat damp stuff. fully damp wood absolutely cannot be replaced? 105/206/403. seal in a tomb of epoxy. (this is what we're doing with the exterior walls) The soft flooring you found? Soak it in good with some 105/206 and 403. Go for Mayo consistency so that it soaks into the layers of the wood.
Get some cling wrap/packaging wrap and tape it to a piece of scrap ply, then place your newly made support on the underside of the rotted material (it'll try to leak out if you're too thin on the filler). Paint on your epoxy from above soaking all layers of the rot then let cure. You can drill it, be aware that this combination while strong is brittle. You will be on a time crunch, have everything ready to go then start mixing. Wear gloves and goggles, it's low VOC but hardens fast and will ruin whatever clothing or tools it gets stuck to.
(I plug-filled the holes for the jack-knife sofa mount using this method)
105/206/407 would be perfect for filling the gouges in your truck floor.
Their PDFs are thorough and a good read. set your consistency to "peanut butter", paint it on, let it cure, then sand it flush.
Hardware? lol 20 pages of stuff... yeah
|# ¿ May 7, 2020 14:56|
I wish I could work this quickly and efficiently. Today I boxed in 2 wheelarches. That is all.
That last chunk was ~2 days of work. Some of it goes quick, some of it is hurry up and wait.
On the topic of the slow race, time to get started on the electrical system. In order to do that the camper body itself has to be modified to suit its new home.
The underside will be completely skinned across, with some reliefs for the trucks' bed hinges that sit a little proud.
This panel will extend the camper's base to the width of the truck's bed allowing for two cargo bays each with 16 cubic feet of storage (.45m^3).
Also the bedsides and this widened base can work together with the freeplay in the respective systems to align the camper to the truck when loading.
Here's the new subfloor. Lift the camper, pull the truck out. Walk this sheet under the camper. Drop it on the truck bed. Back the truck under the camper and set the camper on the sheet.
All the power will go down low and as far forward as possible. No need to throw two of the three batteries in the high-up open to atmosphere battery box. They'll go into the cargo bay where it's climate controlled and puts the weight lower and as far forward as possible.
What you're looking at here is 2 100Ah BattleBorn batteries, a 100Ah Victron battery, and a 3000W Victron inverter. Functionally it'll be like the drawing in the second post.
Well the converter and fuses are all on the inside, and the inverter isn't
The diagram even says so. All of the electrical systems will get relocated to where the inverter is, which means removal of the old systems and adjusting the wiring to suit the new.
The converter is a turd and can get thrown into a bin.
All of the electrical has enough free wire to divert it to this cargo bay.
Moving the 3 circuit breakers located behind the sink...
This low voltage ground bus bar brought to you by Lucas.
Cargo bay side epoxied in place.
Boxed in the small access hatch and put the Victron's mounting plate in. This is where the inverter will permanently live.
Epoxy your clamps to the upper rail like so:
Front endcap installed to the cargo bay
There'll be a hinged door that folds down allowing access, and doubling as small tables on both sides of the camper. The doors themselves are cut to be parallel to the tiedowns and allow maximum entry space. An unintended bonus is the holding tanks in this camper have forced heated air from the furnace, via that both cargo bays can draw off that system.
Next the bunk will get reskinned. Electrical will be an on going project spanning weeks so there will be little updates and factory horrors to share.
|# ¿ May 9, 2020 16:19|
Yeah it's designed for a modernish traditional crew cab pickup. The load is placed onto the main floor so no difference running with a flatbed.
The way it works is there's two main bulkheads at the front and rear that sit on top the main deck. The cut out notches that clear a truck bed are basically 1x2 and styrofoam. There's no real structure or weight placed here. This actually surprised me. The older wood truck campers used 1/2" ply or so in these areas for structure. Likely a departure due to the aluminum frame. All the appliances are carried by the walls. The only one that isn't, is the fridge, and it's built up appropriately to not put weight on styrofoam.
Adding the cargo bay braced that notch. It's noticeably stronger on that side. That cargo bay was built with epoxy which means it's forever a part of the camper now.
|# ¿ May 9, 2020 16:42|
drat dude youíre flying on this project. why is that 3000w inverter so huge?
Big rear end Inductors and power electronics. Here's a theory of how it works and a teardown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPfUn5ki7OM
You are doing great work on that.
hell yeah sounds mint, send it
You could probably fold it all into a flat rate box.
Somehow usps would manage to gently caress it up
|# ¿ May 11, 2020 14:33|
I'm laughing at calling a generator the Onan.
It's 2020. All the toys are lithium ion and don't need a genny.
On that, let's talk about that anchor for a minute.
Its 200lb with its support equipment, sits all the way at back, draws 2.5lb/h of propane at full chooch to generate 2500W of power.
The trucks engine, drinks ~1/2 gal at 1000rpm and with a different alternator, can easily generate 2500W of power. (To maximize battery life, 0.5C is ideal, with 3 batteries that works out to 2000W). This is to charge batteries, not really run appliances.
Though with solar it shouldn't come to that, it's there if needed.
To reskin the bunk,some structural repairs have to be made. This piece of L-channel was "screwed" into nothing. Cut a new stick a little too long, tap it into place.
Like every thing else on this camper, lets epoxy the poo poo out of it.
Brace it up and leave some masking tape for excess to runoff onto. Let sit for 24-36 hours.
While that cures, check out this outlet. You guys remember scotchlocks right? Well apparently in America it's ok to use a scotchlock based outlet in RVs. Why people pay anything over scrap weight for one of these things is beyond me.
I'm going to go with "Probably not for five-hundred, Alex."
Putting those on the "poo poo to delete" checklist.
Moving on. New nose-cone panels cut and glued. These two sucked, mostly because of my inexperience with woodworking.
Some more notes here. the fiberglass nose cone bolts to the camper, and the two internal panels bolt to the camper but in different areas. They kind of float with respect to each other. The bunk lower, and upper (where the window is) are only fastened on the sides, but not in the center allowing for wicked amounts of flex. Expanding foam was shot in here after the panels were installed to shore it up. Though not enough to affix the interior panels to the fiberglass nose cone. That needs to do its own thing. (The window actually attaches to it and not the interior through some elaborate fuckery)
And roof panel cut. With this bunk every panel was harder than the last one.
Paper aided design, ontop of taking a ton of measurements. One cut, one install. Can't afford recutting entire 4x8 sheets during a pandemic!
Cut and sat into place. It was over constrained on 3 of the 4 sides resulting in a panel that wouldn't sit pretty. Slice the panel vertically near the window and it pocketed right into place.
And the bunk is done. The trim for the escape hatch installed with screws instead of brads.
Till next time
|# ¿ May 15, 2020 15:41|
If he's running lithium he'll need an isolator otherwise the lithium tech will smoke the poo poo out of the alternator/lead-acid starter batteries.
I love everything about this build and it's making me troll Facebook for cheap "fixer upper" campers, which is....dangerous. For my marriage and for my health. I'm not interested in getting Hantavirus from an old mouse lived in camper during a different viruses pandemic!
It's a fantastic distraction from watching the world burn
As for rotbox campers in the ~$3-8k range:
(97' Caribou, $3500. Curb side sail panel is gone) ]https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd...7122332087.html
(99' Lance, $3500. Not much info other than cheap)https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/...7124186326.html
(01' Caribou, slide, $4995. Rear is delaminated)https://portland.craigslist.org/wsc...7122081943.html
(88' bigfoot. $3500. Roof is *black* with what appears to be a leak)https://sacramento.craigslist.org/r...7124318166.html
(96' Northern Lite (same as bigfoot), $6500. Actually ok looking)https://reno.craigslist.org/rvs/d/t...7116460878.html
These are ultra insulated, and built like boats. When they leak, the early ones aren't drilled so it is akin to soaking your camper in a lake.
(03' Alpenlite with slide. $4995. Clearly soggy as gently caress. )https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/...7118051385.html
(99' Alpenlite, $7900. Walls buckled like mine)https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/...7114188489.html
There was an Arctic Fox a few weeks ago for $4500 that had complete failure of one front corner and the entire underside of the cab over section leading into the lower window.
No matter the price point, anything under about 15 thousand is gonna have some kind of water damage, so don't pay fuckall for one. I paid less for this one than the two Alpenlites listed above. At the same time there was a 10' bigfoot listed locally that had been banged into a pole badly damaging the back corner for a similar price. This one won out of the two as the dude was living in the bigfoot and kind of hard to pry any information out of him.
I was wondering - does your transmission have a PTO? I think some HD pickups do, and there has to be a way to make a generator connect to that.
Yes. Three. Two on the trans, one on the xfer. That's a very slippery slope in that I wanted to drop a nissan leaf motor on one and throw tesla batteries under the main deck. (also would give me 3phase!)
To pull that off I'd need about 20 grand for the conversion, and another 8 grand to uprate the tires/wheels/axles/suspension so that it's still usable as a truck.
A ~10kW generator head can be driven off the main belt drive, or stashed away somewhere under the truck and driven by the PTO. ZF5 PTOs can be had for around half a grand.
|# ¿ May 15, 2020 19:13|
Jesus christ, good work man. A little as well.
And it all comes out of the Lippert/Dometic catalog as they own loving everything. Top cost for bottom barrel quality.
The old battery box will lend nicely to cables, hoses, consumables, that sort of stuff like so:
This is the electrical situation under the kitchen sink. The big honkin' transfer switch is for the genny. Water heater to the right, old battery box to the left.
More on that lovely ground bus.
After pulling all the cables out of the original converter, remove it.
Yup. It got so goddamned hot it burnt the linoleum.
The only thing being saved from this is the shell and the breaker panel. The breaker panel will get built up in a new enclosure.
With the electrical going into the cargo bay, it all needs to be rerouted.
White is ground on the low voltage dc side of things.
The inverter is mounted in place, AC wiring re routed.
And the wiring in this area cleaned up:
Heater vent hose tucked in the back:
The jungle gym of plumbing will be another project once the electrical is finished. Yeesh.
Here's the rot in the kitchen with an inappropriately backdated picture.
Two rightward cabinets, note the 12v outlet/ antenna amplifier/120v outlet for the tv that takes up 2/3 the usable space in there.
Why is there an outlet in the middle cabinet? It's for the microwave. That's right. The manufacturer drilled a hole in the wall and plugged the microwave in one-bay-over.
And here's where the microwave lives:
The whole cabinet needs to come down to fix what's behind it. It can't really come out without cutting the wiring or destroying the cabinet. What's better than having to fix a bunch of rot? Fixing a bunch of rot through a cabinet!
Disassemble as much of the cabinet as possible and drop it on the counter.
Just like that it all comes down. 370 rusted out screws later.
That black spot is a tell that it has been way too wet
The box dangling from the ceiling is a junction box for the air conditioner.
Well there's your problem.
Wait a second... That means this wall is buckled. More digging is required!
This structural piece of plywood is rotted out. It'll need to get replaced.
The wood you see behind where the piece of plywood sat is the exterior portion of the wall. That gets glued to the backside of the Filon when they're built.
So with a cross sectional look they press all this together like so: Filon | plywood | aluminum wall/insulation/beam | interior plywood. That's quite literally all these campers are.
They use what I'd assume is Elmer's wood glue based on how it comes apart the instant it gets damp. The interior plywood gets replaced like you've all seen before. The exterior plywood kinda can't get replaced. The loose stuff can be removed in some areas. Next best thing? Entomb it with epoxy and sandwich the wall back together.
The beam that supports the bunk? Yeah it's totally hosed mate.
The given here is that the bunk is not coming back apart to replace the whole stick. This is a work it out with epoxy situation. The window will need to be resealed as it is covered in 9 different kinds of silicone. While its out it'll lend nicely for clamping this mess back together. Repairs can't be started till all of the trouble spots have been found.
On that note, it's been sunny for a few weeks. Lets step outside and have a look at the wall.
Aww poo poo.
I don't recall it being this wavy when it was purchased... The window is pouring water into the wall.
|# ¿ May 20, 2020 16:26|
There is a guy on youtube who is building a 4 season camper van from scratch on a Mercedes AWD sprinter chassis.
Holy loving poo poo dude. You are stronger than I, I want nothing to do with that. I'd end up throwing the whole thing out (other than the frame) and building from scratch after using the old skins as templates.
Jesus Christ I'd just start from scratch and build my own.
I gave that a whirl in 2016 and failed miserably. Though I did learn a metric fuckton which will come in handy for Truck/Camper 2.0 if it happens. Realistically even with leaving this house in September or December of this year, I don't think two of us can pull of a ground up build in that short of a time. Supply chains and shipping have been a hassle too. This one is running 8 weeks in and its still not livable. Though it is very close as the thread is currently backdated about a month.
Yes, that is the rear leaf spring mount on a 9000 lb RV. No, there isn't anything else holding it on.
PLATE PLATE PLATE PLATE PLATE IT loving ALL
|# ¿ May 22, 2020 15:32|
Its like those flashback car fixing shows...
It certainly gets much worse before it gets better!
New support cut and placed, mostly obscured by the cabinet. It's pretty much the only photo I took so it'll have to do.
The horizontal support will be cut at an angle and all the rot removed. The angle allows for more surface area for the epoxy to bond to spreading the forces out. This and the vertical support are made of 3/4" plywood so this will be used to our advantage soon.
Pantry reskinned. This really sucked if the massive mess of liquid nails didn't clue you in. There's a dead space behind the pantry, and below it for the heater. The area behind is where all the solar wiring and such will run through.
These skins were slid behind the pantry through the kitchen side. With the cabinet and interior wall removed, as well as the L-channel at the bottom of the side, a scraper could be used as a wedge to push the wall far enough away to walk the panel in place.
The trainwreck up to this point:
Streetside cargo box painted with a deep gray.
Hey this looks kinda nice, how will it do inside?
(this cabinet is such a pain in the rear end to photograph)
Bathroom cabinet painted:
Gutted the converter which was pretty cathartic.
Pulled the lower trim strip and SURPRISE: It's soggy as it can't drain or dry
Let it dry out for a couple days and reaaally get its warp on
All of the fixtures on this side have to come off. Windows, water heater, the baggage doors. All of it.
Back inside, a series of new repair parts are made for the horizontal support.
Here it is all layered up in place:
It's three-1/4" sheets cut with bevels with the intention of layering epoxy between each sheet. Sorta like the original 3/4 ply but on steroids.
Here's the bevel cut detail.
Now it gets epoxied in a quick manner as the outside wall, all 3 layers, and the support have to be bonded together. Then clamped, all within 15 minutes.
The trick here is practice practice practice. Run through the motions 2-3 times to get it down and into muscle memory. Whatever that may be needed gets placed nearby as time is critical.
Outside view of the clamping work:
Alright, let it sit for 24ish hours, rinse lather repeat for uhhh, a while.
|# ¿ May 24, 2020 16:04|
Some original 90s colors hiding in non uv soaked areas:
Water heater removed.
In doing such released a good pound of thermite ready rust from the burner.
And we arrive at the maximum possible distortion of this wall.
Back in side, the epoxy has cured.
With this done the kitchen wall can be built back up.
This will happen in two sheets. One behind the cabinet, and another above the counter.
First the vertical support is epoxied, then the skin is laid over it
Then the cabinet sandwiches it all to the wall.
This is another area where there's a 15 minute window and a few dry runs are required to make sure that it works the first time.
Here's the cabinet back in place with a new wall behind it.
All the while the water heater area gets reinforced with epoxy.
Let this sit overnight...
Bright and early the next morning, slot the new kitchen panel in to mark out the easiest damned window cut yet. (I had actually pre-measured it, but as always with wood working, measure 3 times, cut it long, and hammer it into place)
The new panel slots in below the counter and into the pantry at the rear.
And with this the kitchen skinning is completed. Next is the bathroom and rear ceiling.
|# ¿ May 26, 2020 21:07|
That came with it. It's supposed to be a high end one though its made of plastic. It took great care to not break that stupid thing with the cabinet sitting nearby. It wont be retained in favor of one with an integrated sprayer.
Replacements for anything outside of poo poo-tier is eyewatering for what you get, as is most everything rv labeled.
They should be on standardized holes, though with the pex plumbing system in this fucker, it uses rubber seals (I call em olives) for sealing.
|# ¿ May 27, 2020 03:14|
If it's pex and standard hole pattern I'd just make a beeline for home depot TBH. Most of that stuff can be lego-ed together with pex simple enough, long as it's standard diameter tubing... But this being an RV I have no idea if they decided to use their own sizes of pex I guess.
The bathroom sink uses a combo valve to break off shower functions without having a second set of valves. it's all bog standard 1/2" pex in this.
On the topic of the bathroom, let's fix it.
Here's where panels will get replaced, starting with the ceiling.
Facing the rear of the camper. Its soft above the window but solid elsewhere.
This is just above the sink, another candidate for a partial panel replacement.
Chopping out the rot leaves us with this. The panels next to the shower get butted in behind the shower berth and into the wall. copious amounts of 4200 get used here to seal it all up.
The bathroom was reskinned with leftover remnants from the rest of the interior requiring no fresh panels to be cut.
Only noteworthy thing with the ceiling is that a shower rod hangs from it. The two panels were cut in a way to keep the seem on the outside of the shower rod.
Threw some new sheet under the sink as reinforcement while I was at it.
side note: that jungle gym of plumbing will not be used.
Moving onto the final interior panel, the entry way ceiling.
This is it for major interior skin work.
And back outside, there's always more epoxy going on. The entire rear lower sail panel by the baggage door and rear most jack has been sealed.
Now the front corner and the curve at the sail panel are being pressed back together.
Between switching projects and proverbial gears, it's nice to take a moment to clean, knoll, and organize everything.
This gives me a chance to think about the process and workflows in the next segment of a project.
Next comes painting, lighting, window refinishing, and of course more epoxy.
|# ¿ May 28, 2020 16:01|
Like any project, it's done when you're done!
With the major woodworking done, cover it in killz to ensure future rotproofing.
At the same time new led lights are getting installed. A single original 1156 light pulls about the same power as all of these led dome lights combined.
The nice thing about this camper is that its small so painting goes fast
Which is good because, gently caress painting
The kitchen cabinet gets built back up. The heater tubing, covers, and cabinet interior skins start getting reinstalled.
When the camper was dismantled the cabinets and their respective parts were labeled. Coffee cans got their hardware though most of that hardware didnt make it back into the camper.
The labeling scheme was letters front to rear, and numbers defining parts within the letter with respect to reassembly order. For instance the cabinet over the sink would be B. The wall on the microwave side is one, with the vent cover being two, and the cabinet floor being three. This thing is taking up most of my 1040sq-ft workshop and this is why. Though most of the hardware didn't get reused, each area was placed into a corresponding coffee can or pill bottle. The buses used a cubic system spanning the entire coach. This being much smaller didn't really get that treatment.
OK enough about painting.
LED pucks are installed under the kitchen counter and in the dinette. 6 more will accompany them in the ceiling.
With this there's no need for the dome lights that were originally there.
Sidenote: Almost none of the 12v systems are operational at this point so the bunk and dinette lights aren't powered. The main fan has its own feed, and the bathroom light, fan, entry light, kitchen cabinet lights are on the same circuit.
These were easy.
The ceiling. Yeah that won't be easy. Its solid styrofoam. which means pulling cable through it.
The CFL is removed, and new wire is chased from under the cabinet (that dual switch you were seeing, one switch is for under cabinet, one is for overhead) to the ceiling.
A light won't be obscuring this hole that was cut by apparently a tweaker, a custom made plug will have to do.
Back to epoxying the side.
The area around the original battery box was good and rotten as the battery box leaked.
The hatch basically fell out on its own, which allowed access with a sawzall to remove the HDPE battery box that was stapled to the now missing hatch frame.
To start, the wall is pressed back together. When this cures the frame that the hatch bolts to can be rebuilt.
The battery hatch has holes in it for venting lead acid batteries. There won't be any lead acid batteries going back in so this door and the storage box will need to be fixed accordingly. I was getting quotes of $150-200 to replace this hatch. ehhh
With curing completed, a frame is built and epoxied to the camper
The outside skin is a little wavy under this door. Better than it was by a long shot.
Bonus shot of the backside of the stove. Checkout the fancy factory work to plumb the LP line at the top right. Yup, they cut right through the counter support.
Since the windows are going back in soon I decided to look em over to find any issues. The kitchen window will need to be reurethaned with all the silicone bullshit going on so that is a given.
This was found on the kitchen window. The original pane was busted out, and the replacement doesn't fit. The radiused edges don't even touch the frame! That too, was pouring water inside. A new pane would be pushing a couple hundred bucks.
|# ¿ May 30, 2020 16:48|
haha you should see the bus lpg conversions. hoooo boy some can be quite interesting. Just vent the fucker and since propane gas is heavier than air, so make sure it has a way to vent out and not fill a cavity or your boat.
I grew up around the stuff and it doesn't bother me. It's like any other energy source. Give it the respect it demands and it won't turn you into hamburger. Hell my dad would check for lpg/nat gas leaks with an open flame. (I use soap in a spray bottle)
Honestly I want to go the other way and convert this one from LPG to Diesel, the cost isn't in the cards yet. It's bad enough I spent more than the camper on the power grid, stove too? not yet. 2020 is long as gently caress though so we'll see.
|# ¿ May 31, 2020 03:26|
Thanks buddy. Let's keep on plowing through this disaster.
This is a Hehr 5900 series (5902iirc) window. They're symmetrical. Which means one of these is fixed, and the other is a slider. What if the pane that is cut wrong is just flipped to the side that slides? That should work as its sizing isn't as crucial.
Break it all down and flip the panes
And as you see, holy poo poo, it worked.
Transferred the latching mechanism to the mis-cut piece just fine.
That'll do for now. The glass will get bonded in when we're closer to reinstalling.
Epoxying the corner where the water and power inlets are. Some 1x2 sticks were cut to repair this area.
Sail panels built back up and epoxied:
It's only about 25mm/1inch of plywood then aluminum framing.
Scotchlock outlets thrown out. Added two under the cabinet.
The reason why they are there, is that so when he and I are working, our laptops can plug in on the inner side of the dinette letting us get in and out without tripping over cables.
Outlet under the kitchen cabinet replaced. Added a second one there for reasons.
Adding an outlet under the cabinet overhang now. The lovely fake wood skin started to come apart and feeuuuuuuck.
I'll just skin it over. Whatever it could use the extra strength anyway.
Power restored to the 12V curbside:
These coupled with the overhead lights should cast no shadows when my goony self is leaning over the sink or stove.
And the dinette side:
|# ¿ Jun 2, 2020 01:32|
No USB-C PD for powering laptops? DC-DC that way.
That's actually a good question. I even went as far as re routing the original solar wiring into the dinette bunk for this project. However The efficiency of the inverter makes it not worth the hassle in short. It's 93% efficient at stepping 12V to 120. Because of this the inverter will pretty much always be running.
The only use case I can think of where the inverter would be shut down is for radio interference. And for that, the laptops would probably be stowed too.
Secondarily. My fabricobbled lenovo is indifferent of 12V or 120. It's the mulitfuel junker of laptops. His machine run on a ~200 something Watt 120V brick. His machine would need more current than usb-c is intended for, and the losses over dc would be fairly high for the stretch of cable.
|# ¿ Jun 2, 2020 06:10|
New panel for the step cut and placed
Now that i'm looking at it, might as well replace the street side panel under the stove too.
The battery tray gets more epoxy reinforcement:
And at the same time, so does the sail panel:
Removed the bathroom window as it looks suspect and could be a leaker
So a water test is done. Pour water on the pane and push up. If bubbles can be seen expanding and contracting where the pane is bonded to the panel, there's a problem.
Suspicions confirmed. No big deal, a single piece like this wil be pretty easy to rebond.
The window screens on the street side windows were repaired:
West System has a filler for fairings that is sandable. I kinda wish I had it much earlier in the build.
All of the panels on the inside? Let's gap fill with this filler.
Since working with this is all new, it's best to start in areas that won't be seen often, like the bunk and the bathroom.
Basically mix it up so its as thick as peanut butter then crackfill with it. Let sit for 24ish hours and hit it with your favorite sander. This filler is made of small glass beads so wear a mask! You don't want silicosis.
While we're in the bathroom, look at how faded this sink is:
Moving onto some more electrical systems.
In the entry way cabinet an outlet was installed for the 3d printer.
Every real boat has a machine shop.
And the 110V side is finalized. Ignore the 12v stuff.
Ground bus next to the inverter is installed
Two of the three batteries are permanently mounted in place behind the fuses/disconnects.
The breakers/busbar was reused with a new enclosure seeing as how fuckall was available on the market that is suitable.
Amended diagram to show power flow:
And i'm seriously getting the itch to ditch the genny. Here's what it would look like without.
Using batteries to charge batteries:
The system works, which will make working inside a lot easier with corded power tools now.
Small milestone here as the camper was without 110V power for about two weeks.
|# ¿ Jun 5, 2020 16:52|
Why ditch the genny even if only as like an emergency backup? You probably my explained this already.
This sits in in my ear like tinnitus.
Digging into it further:
1.8 hours run time at 2000W to replenish the battery capacity at 0.5C.
genny will consume roughly 4.5lb(~2kg) of lp. 4.23lb to a gallon, so this is ~1.05 gallons. The current US average for LP is $2-3/gal. ($2-3/3.78L) Effectively 2-3 bucks to recharge.
Spinning the engine a little faster to 1200 rpm will consume ~2/3gph(2.52lph) to meet the required demand. That works out to be about 1.2 gallons(4.53l). The current average is $2.40/gal. $2.88 to recharge.
Pros: it opens up a rather large metal lined cargo box. Removes ~200lb from the very far rear of the rv which would free up load capacity and shift the center of mass forward.
Cons: it takes up valuable space and weight. With it in place it allows for triple redundant power generation. (solar, main engine, genny)
Another thing to consider is the other power generating source, the main engine.
The alternator on it is a fire hazard at best rated for 1400W. No way should that thing get used in continuous duty. Some upgrade parts that pilfer the medium/heavy duty truck world will be our go to here.
2300W is cheap and easy to find, 2800W less so, priced accordingly (little over double the smaller one), and is rated for intermittent duty in the case size that I can use.
To upgrade the alternator, cabling, and a DC/DC converter rated for the demand it can get $$$$spicy. Full rabbit hole the upgrade could purchase 2ish lithium batteries. I'd rather have the capacity.
After drawing up that latest diagram, I did think of a cheaper way that does away with the huge converter and cabling. using a small inverter on the truck itself, then plug the camper's shore power source into it. It would cut the costs of that specific project to about one-quarter, reduce cable diameter required, and line losses. (for DC interconnects we're talking single to double-ought cable). It would also mean the truck has its own AC source which is helpful.
Also noteworthy, if it's cold enough the main engine won't start, it's probably too cold to charge the batteries. Though it shouldn't ever get to the point that the main engine, the coach batteries batteries, and solar are out of commission. A winter in Alaska? sure. probably not happening in this thing. I'd need to start a fire under the idi's oil pan for that.
Which would be an operating condition to set that if it's below freezing to keep the furnace running(clearly!) to ensure the batteries don't get too cold. (the furnace runs on 12V too) The holding tanks, fresh tanks, and both cargo bays have ducted heat. A fan does need to be installed somewhere so that it all ventilates.
The batteries/Victron inverter run with a couple safeguards. If the batteries' voltage falls below a threshold we've set, it'll let us know. right now the only thing it can do is shut the 12V/120V systems off. Later when we're done bulldozing through repairs He and I can start working on the software side of things. This of course requires some work to the truck as there is no ECU, computer, cruise control servo, or any kind of engine management on it.
Like any system, there's a budget. Adequate data collection ensures that the budget is adhered to.
The genny won't be touched until the repairs are done, its weighed, and shakedown trials are done. Wouldn't want to remove it then realize oh crap, well enough could have been left alone.
Holy wall of words. tldr: it's a heavy sucker that's a third redundancy for generating electricity.
|# ¿ Jun 6, 2020 16:19|
In a case with lead acid batteries it would be viable to keep the generator. LiFePO4 changes everything so to speak.
If you remember the cab-over lump pressing from the other side, well it's time to do it to the street side
With all the fixtures removed made for an easy press.
While that does its thing the windows can be readied for installation.
The glass and frames are cleaned up to be free of oil and debris. While that happens the urethane is being warmed up in an oven to around 55C
It goes quick and like with epoxy, do a dry run to get the movements down. Use a piece of tape or something to mark which side goes out.
Then install the rubber seal and these are ready to go.
Back inside the camper, there's a floating template of the table.
Kidding, it's a marine style table mount that swivels and its removable. With an extra mounts this table can be moved elsewhere. With a bumper mount for instance it could be used for outdoor grilling.
The original mount was in the floor, so this wall doesn't have the strength to support this mount. We'll need to epoxy some wood in place to reinforce the frame.
Which looks like this
The height was adjusted to compensate for cushions so the old holes were filled in with West systems' finest.
And the mounting base itself:
While that cures, move onto some more puck lighting.
This is where He and I had to get pretty creative as this foam is pretty dense.
Drill the prerequisite holes and sharpen a fiber glass rod. Place it in the drill and make a channel for the wire to ride in
This first hole was where the antenna swivel handle dropped through. It was removed a while back and sealed off as best as possible (the mount is still up there). Inside the hole was enlarged and styrofoam insulation packed around the remaining part of the mount.
Drilling that channel makes the fiberglass rod howl like a banshee. It also gets quite hot so it has to be drilled at a very leisurely pace.
Pulling cable is always a party. Through tiny channel, more so.
The lights snap in pretty easily and can be removed for future painting.
And first operation!
I may try to pwm-dim them later. There's only passive components on the pcbs so it should take to dimming.
Moving to the rear, this exterior light switch panel was updated to the later rv type
This matches what's under the cabinets now.
The table support is cured enough to drop the table top back on it.
Back outside, a new switch was dropped into the jack as this one is intermittently working.
There is still no power to test it though.
With the side wall clamps removed the new 12v bus wire can be chased from the inverter to the fuse panel.
Melting heatshrink on battery power.
It's plugged into the kitchen outlet heh
And now that the sun has finally hosed off, enjoy the last two days of work from the bunk:
Next the street side wall is gonna get more repairs, more puck lighting installed inside over the dinette, and dealing with the holding tanks.
cursedshitbox fucked around with this message at 16:01 on Jun 7, 2020
|# ¿ Jun 7, 2020 15:56|
Thanks guys. With the lockdown and not wanting the virus its afforded a lot of extra time that gets poured directly into this camper. Usually around this time of year we're in the middle of nowhere in the truck/bikes or on a plane headed anywhere but here.
It'll go through some getaway shakedown runs however the intention is traveling full time for a while setting out closer to the end of this year. Which is why we're sciencing the poo poo out of this.
Its secondary purpose is a utility like the truck is for when a piece of land is purchased. It can be removed from the truck and placed on the land which would allow us to build a shop/cabin in comfort.
|# ¿ Jun 8, 2020 16:36|
Walking the balance between overkill and underkill is key. Efficiency lies somewhere in the middle of that.
Two of the three dinette side lights in. The one next to the fridge means the fridge has to come out to chase the wires into the shelf over the dinette. Nothing like doing the same work twice!
These went pretty quick. By this point the process of getting the holes drilled and wire chased was down solid
A new waterheater arrives.
it's still a 6 gallon unit. However where this one differs is an electric element and a mixing valve. On either gas or electric it has the effective capacity of 9 gallons. With electric and gas together its supply is continuous.
For those times in a campground, luxury showers can be had. Though the real luxury i'd say is using the outdoor shower. Neighbors probably wouldn't like that idea.
(side note, look how bent up the exhaust is, and the unit is slightly wider)
The frame around the window is getting epoxied back together now:
And this cab corner is more solid now than it ever was.
Funfact, the weld in this corner was broken. It's no big deal now as the aluminum tube is impregnated with epoxy. With all the wood nearby it wasn't possible to tig weld it without starting a bonfire.
With the window cured this is the current state of the wall:
The next section to get pressed is the area near the ventahood/heater/battery hatch.
Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with this wall. Though is that a train?
Back under the counter the area where the waterheater and drawers reside was reinforced with a plate.
There's just enough room beneath the lower drawer to stuff the microserver in. Another outlet is needed for that guy, haha.
Alright enough show and tell, let's do the needful.
With the fridge out of the way chasing the wire is an easy task.
That's it for puck lighting!
I found a new fridge. Which means this one can go. There was nothing inherently wrong with this one though I found a pretty efficient compressor based model for a song.
It's too big to fit through the door so I have to pry the cooling unit off the back.
nothing like prying on tubes containing Ammonia
The body weighs almost nothing.
The cooling unit though is a spine buster.
Side note, The fridge still works and it's a great candidate for a compressor conversion. If anyone wants this or most any other leftups they're welcome to em.
And with just a little daylight left, the macerator was connected up and both tanks were drained.
dude used papertowels. No further details required here.
Moving on from poo poo talk, let's see what the lights looks like.
Overhead, without under counter lamps.
All the puck lights on.
With the new outlets one was added to the streetside in the bunk.
Another angle of the wiring in the fridge cabinet
With the next day, New fans were installed!
The old one in the bathroom had a tiny little fan on it. This guy pushes some serious air.
These were also used in the Gillig bus you all remember. They rock. Way overpriced for what they are(lol Dometic), though still nice to have.
And the main fan replaced:
it looks like these use fan motors from a motorcycle. In my opinion the old fantastic fan would push more air, though it used more power (and had a massive motor).
I then stripped the mirror off the bathroom door.
And somefucking how it still weighs north of 20 pounds. Yeah no, screw that.
Roof view with the new fans installed:
Back inside, a new less faded bathroom sink gets installed.
Plenty of 4200 used here to seal everything up nicely.
Powered the monitor up and hey, shitter's empty!
Next we'll reinstall the windows and start building the streetside back up.
|# ¿ Jun 9, 2020 22:50|
Alright windows! Been waiting on this moment for like two weeks!
Windows and waterheater installed like so
Plenty of 4200 and some masking tape to make em pretty. Had to embiggen the hole for the water heater by about an inch. It seriously barely fit in like 3 dimensions.
All the while the wall next to the heater is being repaired.
The keen of eye will notice this is where we sliced a relief notch in this wall.
And then we epoxied the hell out of it permanently sealing that section.
While that is curing the shower and furnace cover is installed. We're taking the "good enough" approach with the back corner of this wall and may revisit it later.
While that series of epoxy is curing the sail panels were finished:
And speaking of baggage hatch. It's open to atmosphere to vent batteries. That won't work at all. It's also some weird size so replacing it is a custom $150 order.
Orrr I can part out the door from the old water heater and fill it in.
It's even fade matched!
Now that the epoxy is cured enough, the ventahood vent, battery hatch door holder, and bathroom window is installed.
The modified battery hatch and electrical/plumbing access hatches are reinstalled
More on the water heater.
This is next to the cabinet slides for the kitchen on the front side of the camper.
Had to notch the insulation a little to clear the sink drain. This water heater isn't as deep as the old one which affords us space for water filters now.
And here's how the wall came out.
It's far from factory fresh though it's much better than it was.
From window out to window back in was 13 days with 16 days encompassing this entire area of work. While it seems like it was an undertaking, it was less stressful than going through the corner that's under the fridge. By this point you could say we've gained experience and acclimated to solving problems with epoxy.
Next round starts the finish work inside! First though the fridge cabinet needs to be modified to suit the new fridge.
|# ¿ Jun 11, 2020 17:28|
Huge progress since the start. It's like you've taken the factory parts as a template and improved along the way.
A good way to learn how something goes together is to take it apart. It's a lot easier to build upon and improve than it is to build from scratch.
Now that you mention Dazzle. gently caress.
Here's a couple ideas i've drawn up for the exterior.
I've also fallen down the rabbithole of leaving it naked with a fake telco/energy/resource company branding logo for more stealthy camping operations. Fun would be the Nasa worm or Portal themed.
cursedshitbox fucked around with this message at 00:24 on Jun 12, 2020
|# ¿ Jun 12, 2020 00:22|
IMO your graphics need the camper in them, with the graphics on the camper in the graphics.
Go all in and build a scale model
|# ¿ Jun 12, 2020 15:12|
Now this one is awesome
So this was a higher end truck camper, and what that generally means is you get the same Dometic catalog with iron filled oak cabinet faces and plated potmetal screws over just potmetal screws.
They didn't bother to box the cabinets in. All that weight and they couldn't be arsed to even box in a cabinet.
So they were boxed in. They'll get painted to match later. On topic, there'll be an RGB strip that sits on this overhang on both sides that'll be addressable.
Back outside the trim piece for the bunk overhang and jack plates were reinstalled.
It pulled in the bunk's filon nicely.
Ok time to go build a fridge frame. The new fridge is slightly shorter and narrower yet gives us an increase of 0.9 Cubic Feet.
I took a 1x2 and a piece of leftover cabinet wood since the required width is weird and epoxied them together with about a dozen deck screws angled in 3 axis to the surrounding wood.
The whole camper might come apart but this? This will stay.
There's four pieces of wood that hold that corner together, they're all screwed and glued as it were.
Alright more about that fridge that's going in.
It's built by a company called Isotherm. They build fridges for the marine industry.
This model wants about 100W regardless if its 12V or 120V. There's actually a pair of Secop compressors in it which will allow the fridge to work at angles up to 30* If we're camping at 30* we're probably camping on the sides.
It's effectively two independent units with some nice trim and support plates holding it together.There were a few constraints to make it fit, Including getting it through the door, and the CR195 fit that bill.
This fridge also weighs less than the original rv fridge.
Lastly, I lucked out trawling the internet and found a blemish model that I got for 50% discount including shipping with a full manufacturer warranty.
There's a lot more work to be done to the fridge cabinet before this goes in.
West systems sandable fairing filler. mix it into your epoxy. Perfect for gap filling duties.
This wall had a buckle in the lower 2/3 that need a bunch of fill to clean up.
Slather it on, use a straight blade (old piece of rotten trim) to smooth it out, let it dry, sand it flush, paint it!
this stuff is literally structural bondo and ITS AMAZING.
Throw some paint on it and it's hardly noticeable. The huge gaps that were filled with trim pieces are gone.
This whole coach is going gapless now. And another week was added to the project just like that.
This side of the door frame was arguably worse however by this point I was getting better at filling and sanding. This corner was so bad in that there were screws just sticking out of the wall into the neighboring cabinetry. I went back in with a dremel and shaved the ends of those off as they held the door frame in place.
Roughly three passes of filler to get this corner good. An improvement over using a hand sander would be to cut a jig at the exact angle and pass sandpaper over it using the jig. That'd keep the radius more consistent.
First coats of the accent colors going on, the roof, wall, and cabinet gaps are filled in.
The piece of wood pushing up on the roof is holding a pressplate while some epoxy is setting. There was a little bubble of the wallpaper on the ceiling right at a seam that had let go during replacing the panel next to it. Gluing that back down so that it can be filled over and smoothed out without damaging what's there.
cursedshitbox fucked around with this message at 16:30 on Jun 13, 2020
|# ¿ Jun 13, 2020 16:25|
And with several coats of paint it hardly looks like something that was bonded together.
Because watching paint dry is a slow tedious process a new piece of sanded ply was put here. Much nicer than the knotted up holy mess that preceded it.
You can also see the kitchen cabinet getting filled with fairing filler.
While the fridge is out, new 14AWG speaker wire is pulled to the various areas in the coach. The tiny stuff that was in here wouldn't be acceptable for an led, much less where we're going.
Outside the corner jack and turnbuckles are reinstalled.
It's now clear to roam about the driveway.
The kitchen cabinet is now ready for final painting after sanding and a few coats of killz.
And very carefully the fridge is slipped through the entry way and placed into its home.
sanded and painted the ceiling seams
And looking rearward, this is what the ceiling looks like now:
A lot less RV like which is good.
(I do QC in the evenings to find things to address, hence the little bits of blue masking tape you see stuck to various surfaces.)
Next is more finish work and a connection to the I N T E R N E T.
|# ¿ Jun 15, 2020 19:53|
The curbside wall gets more fill work as it is made from 2-3 different panels and dutifully beat all to hell.
The pipe you see running along the floor/wall is the drain for the fresh tank, that'll get moved to the cargo bay and the holes filled. This kind of stuff doesn't need to be seen.
This wall will need like 8 more rounds of filler and those doors need to go anywhere but there. They're so sloppy that they over-extend on the hinges and have 1/4" gaps all the way around.
In the bathroom the final coat of primer is dry and ready for color.
While I'm in here the new faucet gets dropped in.
There's no shower taps as it were, the black plastic part on the sink faucet is where the shower hose connects.
The faucet itself can be rebuilt, including the flimsy looking shower port. That'll be a service kit we carry on hand for obvious reasons.
Outside of the bath, the kitchen cabinets are done being primered and ready for caulk then final paint.
The bundle of wire you see goes to the water heater. Originally the water heater power switch was behind the stove, which I could think of no better way of wearing a pot of hot camp chili.
The new controls will live in the little rectangular inset below the pantry cabinet. The pantry cabinet door covers that, which I'll fix later on. By the way, the cabinet doors combined weigh 18.4kg(40.5lb) so I'm not really inclined to put those back in.
This is the campers connection to the internet. It's from a company called Winegard and uses the ATT network.
It has wifi and a gps module as well. The modem itself is basically a category none device which will get upgraded to category 12 later on.
The dome itself has tons of space inside for upgrades.
It's the tallest point on the camper now.
We've actually had it a while, before the camper or even this year. It was purchased for Comcast/PG&E reasons so that we could keep working in the event of a power/internet outage.
It's slow, but reliable.
The $150 endcap for the awning that's busted? yeah I'm not buying another.
an hour in cad and 7 or so hours of printing. Though I'll probably have to adjust the part once or twice to get it perfect. That's the fun of rapid prototyping.
When the front one is done, a rear cap will be created using the front as a template as its completely missing.
The clearance lights on the street side were replaced with LED units to match everything else so far. Even the truck it sits on is majority LED at this point.
One of the bunk lights is out, and the socket is completely gone. It's a hassle to get just that one light as they've changed the housing for obvious reasons requiring a larger hole. Nothing thrills me like the thought of embiggening a hole with wiring and other poo poo behind it. I poured over options for the better part of 6 weeks before arriving at these lights. They're slightly larger than the ones that were removed, and don't have an inset bulb that sits in the bodywork.
Also chrome is pretty tacky, so out with that and in with black that matches all the other trim.
And all of the rear ones replaced.
This is a pretty easy project, use plenty of 4200.
Back inside, caulking and final paint starts at the rear.
LED vs Incandescent on the camper.
(the amber corners/clearance lights on the truck are still incandescent, i'm pedantic about pattern and have yet to find a set that's acceptable)
Bonus stupid build quality things. The factory tucked this dumb front window in behind the cabinet.
It doesn't line up with my truck and I'm not cutting a hole in the headache rack so we'll insulate/seal this guy off from use.
Here's the finished entry with its interior lighting.
|# ¿ Jun 17, 2020 18:56|
|# ¿ Jul 2, 2020 09:29|
burn the originals, dunk em in epoxy. Now they're light weight carbon!
|# ¿ Jun 18, 2020 18:05|