Thanks for the info on Solar. We had located a kit with mono-crystalline silicon wafers. It had what appears to be very high efficiency producing 9 amps from a 160 watt rating. That seems to be enough to keep my batteries charged up taking into account our camping style. We move every day or every other day so the truck charges the batteries as well. In the event we thought that we could always add another panel if this wasn't enough.
Should work out ok
Unfortunately I hadn't measured the usable space ----- and when I did I learned that it is around 40 inches between the vents. The panel is 60+ inches. So that is a non starter.
I went to the website of the company you recommended and found a panel, for a good price, of 100 watt rating and also high efficiency. Its also about 40 inches. If I put two of them on the roof, I think they would fit for a total rating of around 200 watts and 10+ amps.
Shadows are one thing to consider. In general, if part of the panel is in a shadow, the output of the entire panel will drop. I believe the amsolar panels are wired so that they do a little better than non-rv panels but you still want to avoid mounting them where any roof protrusions will cover them for a substantial part of the day.
I have an air conditioner and a Winegard antenna which doesn't leave much room. Maybe a panel on top of the a/c.
I suggest you check out the amsolar.com web site. They are highly regarded in the Airstream community, and even if you do not buy from them there is some great information there.
They sell some rocker foot mounts that will work on a curved roof:
The rocker mounts are usually installed with an adhesive as the main source of strength with a rivet or screw mainly to hold them in place until the adhesive cures.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-300 watts is probably about right.
Be sure to think through the wiring and charge controller placement as it is a significant part of the labor and materials.
I think it's a matter of preference and park policy.
I personally only remove my TC from the truck during the winter. It's a huge hassle, in part because mine is an older rig with 3 manual jacks. In part it's just a hassle to load and unload with any TC.
On the other hand it does take a certain amount of time to get lined up right, level, and hooked up.
It is true that some campgrounds do not allow TCs to be unloaded, either because they have problems getting them moved out of the way if the occupants just leave, or because they are an in area prone to flooding.
Refrigerator question, if I may.
I've noticed a lot of folks going to electric refrigerators in their campers. I must say, I was within just a few hours of doing the same, until doing a little cleaning and disassembly/reassembly on our gas unit. Then, lo and behold, its up and running, albeit taking about seven hours of time, and propane, to get down to cooling temperature. So, I guess my question is WHY change them out? Are the gas types inherently evil, or just what is the reasoning?
Over 40+ years the fridges ultimately fail completely or deteriorate to the point where they no longer cool well (door seals) or are a nuisance to deal with (interior plastic parts cracked or broken). Parts availability is spotty so replacement is the best choice.
Replacing a 2-way (120v/propane) fridge with a new 2-way (120v/propane) fridge of similar size is expensive and time consuming, both because of product cost and because the dimensions of the new fridges are, in most cases, slightly different and require modifications to the cabinetry.
People who are trying to complete their restoration on a tight budget usually then opt for a "dorm fridge" especially if they are new to RVing. While they do work out OK for some people, I wouldn't want one. We want to be able to run the fridge when stopped at a restaurant or other point of interest or when visiting friends and parked in their driveway. Lots of times when it isn't practical to run a cord.
Now, once my (intended) solar system is in place, I'll probably be more inclined towards electric, especially a two-way reefer. But it seems to me that gas would be of great benefit when not in a campground until solar is available.
I have been up on the roof of my C-11 and have come to the conclusion that there isn't sufficient space for a meaningfully large solar installation. I do have a roof-mount antenna added by a previous owner, and an air conditioner. You have to look at the shadow-free space you're able to get.
Took off the metal plate under the rear fiberglass tub that covers the black water valve and P-trap for the shower. I am working on getting the shower pan out.
Question: what would be the best way to unscrew the nut on the ABS shower drain? Meaning, the thing in the hole in the floor here:
Do I need to take off the whole fiberglass pan? Does somebody make a really stubby crescent wrench I could use?
I was unable to unscrew the drain from above. Whether you can do so will depend mainly on what kind of sealant was used between the drain and the tub. I had to cut the pipe at the trap and unscrew it with a pipe wrench.
The shower pan is ABS, not fiberglass.
Also, at first glance the underside of my black tank looks solid, a little rusting at the bottom screws but that's about it. Folks who redid their leaky tanks, how did yours look compared to this?
Mine had patches from previous repairs.
I sanded it and patched it with epoxy and fiberglass mat, then overcoated it, using components from West System.
- What were your experiences getting windows in good shape? Mine are jalousie, original panes, look like they need new weatherstripping. On the front cabover windows, the loose flap of material that runs over the top has gone brittle, and I'll have to see if that can be replaced.
I was unable to get the weatherstripping I needed from Vintage Trailer Supply and instead got it from http://www.all-rite.com/ - there are two kinds you need, one for the top of the window, and one for the bottom. I can look up specific parts if you can't find a match.
Lots and lots of questions there
I myself would stick to things that would determine whether the drive is worthwhile. Whether or not there's a remote for the jacks probably wouldn't make the cut IMO
I see it as the buyer's responsibility to determine whether the make/model/year of camper are of interest or not.
Unless you are buying a basket case as-is for an as-is price the questions that matter the most are:
- are there any leaks where rainwater gets in
- do all the systems work
- can you test all the systems before you buy
Interesting. I had the remnants of the "removable clothes rod" in my bathroom, but they were in rough shape and the rod itself was missing so I took them out.
Does anyone know what the storm windows were like?
We currently have a Sportsmobile 2WD and are kicking around the idea of getting a 4WD vehicle. Not sure yet whether we want to go with another Sportsmobile or with a truck camper. (We currently have a Dodge 1500 and it's getting time to buy another. If we go the truck camper route we'd buy a 2500/3500).
My question is this, where do you have to "watch out" where you are going?
1. Branches and other overhead obstructions. If there are just a few you can trim them with a pole saw
2. Unusually narrow road areas or brush extending into the road, depending on how many scratches on your rig you're willing to tolerate
3. Mudholes longer than your wheelbase.
4. Fallen logs and similar obstructions, unless you're willing to saw them and clear them.
5. Potholes and uneven areas bad enough to pose a tipping hazard or that may cause the side of the camper to tilt into brush or other obstructions
6. If the rear of your TC overhangs the back of the truck then you're at risk for dragging the back of the camper when you hit a dip in a rutted road or when there is a sharp angle upward in the road.
7. Areas intended more for Jeeps than pickups may require a shorter turning radius than you can achieve
Be aware of the legal/political environment around you as nationwide the trend is towards closing roads to vehicles if they truly require 4wd for access.
Is it pretty easy to travel this way? I guess I look at all that overcab/height/weight in the back and wonder how it affects the truck handling etc.
The overall handling situation will depend on your rig. I find that tree branches are the main limitation. In the desert southwest it might be different.
I was wontering what may be an easy fix, if any, for when I drop my camper and want to go. Maybe unscrewing the the two screws is no big deal and I am getting overly anal about making things easy. I was thinking of using my front plate (we have two here in Minnesota)but would like to hear from other to see if they have found a clever way of doing this.
Hi Ben. I'm from Minnesota as well and have to deal with the same DMV and enforcement environment.
If you're driving/parking someplace that is full of cops looking for an excuse to hassle you then there isn't much of any substitute for moving the plate. The main problem is that it is easy to forget and easy to lose the screws, and if you load up the camper and realize once you're done that you've buried the plate well now you have to unload and start all over.
If you are outstate and are not driving around late on Friday and Saturday nights you can get away with more. I had a winch on my truck for 5 years that obscured the front license plate and only had a problem once, when an Edina cop hassled me while I was pumping gas. They never hassle me when the snow plow covers the front plate. Rear plate of course they're going to be more picky.
A fact to consider is that displaying plates the wrong way is not a moving violation so if you do get ticketed you just pay your $120 and go on your way, no effect on insurance or drivers license.
I'm prepping my 2005 f-250 shortbed crew cab for a TC. So far I have a 2nd battery mounted under the hood, an AGM deep cycle. My other thing I am going to do is replace the power lines going to the 7 way trailer plug with 8 gauge right to the deep cycle with a 40amp fuse at the battery. The deep cycle will be the camper battery as its isolated from the truck once the ignition switch is anywhere but the run position.
Excellent mod, I have done the same. You may find that you need to use a larger fuse to avoid having it blow.
Other than adding some torque lift tie downs, I think I'm good to go. Any other thoughts on this setup?
For a smaller TC that's probably all you need.
Larger TC and you'll wish for air bags and a hellwig bar especially if you travel longer distances. You can wait until you get the TC and see how it handles.
I am in the middle of repainting the bathroom. As I posted upthread, I've repaired the plastic pieces and repainted them with two-part polyurethane, and my Artistic Director decided that I have to repaint the walls before putting them back in.
I did some experiments and came to the conclusion that, with a solvent wash followed by light standing, alkyd paint will adhere. I'm using Interlux Brightside paint, a one-part urethane that is much easier to work with than the two-part "perfection" that I used on the plastic pieces.
I guess the C-10s had a plastic medicine cabinet. Mine is stapled up pieces of 1/4" ply. I reinforced it with a coat of epoxy before painting.
The other photo shows the new ABS drain plumbing, and my mods to the freshwater plumbing. The original plumbing had the copper tubing flare terminated and connected right to the faucet with a flare to 1/2" nptf adapter. Today's nylon faucet shanks don't seal so well with that setup so I'm switching to the now-standard flex lines with the braid cover. The copper lines have to be fastened to something so I added a support, and quarter-turn shutoffs for installation and service convenience.
With the old copper lines I had to shine them up with 400 grit sandpaper to get them to seal to the compression fitting on the quarter-turn shutoff.
To eliminate the ignorance problem, I bought a couple of POL to ACME adapters so they have a hard time messing it up. LOL
Do the propane dealers fill right through the adapter using an ACME threaded fill hose? Or do they take it off and fill through to POL?
A few words on propane.
Like many of us I have the ASME 5 gallon tanks. I had one of them refilled at an RV repair place where I was having the C-11 sealtech tested. We went round and round on certification and stuff and he finally agreed to do it.
Anyway when he was done he must have stuck an O ring in there because the POL fitting leaked and when I went to figure it out, well, there was an O ring in there. I have the stock hard nose POLs and they are a metal-on-metal design and the O ring just ****s up the system.
I still had leaks and finally figured out that he removed the other tank and put it back even though it was full. No O ring but he didn't tighten the POL enough. These things have to be wrench tightened, and if you have little plastic handwheels on them like mine did when I got it, you should take them off.
So the pilot light for the furnace went out while he had the tanks out.
Anyway that was a couple of weeks ago and last night I wanted to run the furnace. Now I have the original gas valve still in there and always have a hell of a time getting it to work because it's so stiff it doesn't want to pop out, usually takes a few tries.
Well I got sloppy on the third try and while it was my fault for not doing everything the right way there was a bunch of gas that accumulated in there and I don't have nearly as much hair on my left arm now. It will grow back and I'm wearing long sleeve shirts for the next month :)
But I think it's high time to tear into the furnace and put in a new gas valve. Wondering if anyone has done it. It's a nice setup, really, sealed combustion, before it's time. More or less the same idea as the Dickenson propane fireplace. I ordered a new valve a few minutes ago. Looking at the furnace, I see that the bottom of the combustion chamber comes off with screws and I'm guessing the burner and pilot and everything is attached to that and will all come out. I'm going to take it all apart and try to fix some of the creaks and klunks while I'm in there.
Meanwhile, keep a close eye on the propane dealers, they don't know how to deal with POLs any more. And be careful lighting the pilot in the furnace, in that confined combustion chamber gas can accumulate if you're sloppy pushing the dial in.
Besides, my original tank wasn't supported on the front side because someone cut the hole, for the tank, too large.
On my rig the tank slides around in the square hole.
I'm planning on bedding the tank in some "great stuff" urethane foam once I'm done epoxying it. I'll wipe a coat of motor oil or grease or something on the tank first so the foam won't stick, then put everything in place in my rig and spray in the foam and let it harden.
Question , why not use a bolt on flange to the tank as original so you would have a mechanical joint in addition to the epoxy ?
The epoxy joint is stronger than the tank walls -- there's at least 5 square inches of bond surface on the flange, and that stuff has a tensile strength of 7300 PSI. So the bond strength is somewhere around 36,500 pounds and in practice that means something else will give first, bolts or no bolts. (And that's just for the flange, not including the layer of fabric on top of it. I'll post more pics.)
But the real reason I didn't is that bolts concentrate stress at the bolt head and, without some thought given to distributing the stress, could lead to a crack at the bolt head.
I tried my tank when I repiped all the ABS piping (really bad workmanship with many joints having little or no glue on them) and I started having leaks.
I think you've posted extensively on the problems with the drain piping, and it was a problem area on mine as well, although I only had a couple of joints that leaked. I repiped everything just as you have.
The first time I checked the tank, before the rebuild, I had no leaks. Upon close inspection, there were many hair line cracks. I gave up trying to save it and had a custom stainless steel 20 gallon tank made.
How much did the custom tank cost?
I'm mainly trying to save a buck or two here. I was using the epoxy mainly for the plastic pieces inside the bathroom so I'm only out around $50 in additional materials, including the new valve.
Well, who knows. Mine has PE fittings, but I don't think the tank is PE.
In any case, epoxy sticks to it.
Here are my repairs before adding the flange. I used the non-woven fiberglass matting with West Systems epoxy. I have since figured out that Jamestown Distributors has a house brand epoxy that is quite a bit cheaper and would use that instead if I had it to do over again. It's not like I'm building a racing boat. I applied the matting, and wetted it out and added one more coat of epoxy and then sanded with an orbital pad sander and 80 grit.
I also sealed the insides of the cracks and relief holes with epoxy and placed enough near the flange in a pool to bring up the level of the bottom of the tank to be the same as the bottom of the flange.
Then I applied a Valterra flange. There's plenty of other stuff that would work but these are readily available. I had to enlarge the hole on the tank slightly with a drum sander to allow the inner lip of the flange to fit. I applied epoxy to both surfaces and held the flange down with a weight, then applied more fiberglass mat over the flange. I chose a hub-type flange so that I can fiberglass over the outside of the hub for more strength.
The clamps help hold the mat in place.
I've since removed the clamps and added another layer of epoxy.
The important thing here is to distribute the load widely enough to avoid any more cracking.
The new valve will be slightly shorter and I think I'll try to line up the control shaft at the top of the little recess so I can put the greywater control (which is cable operated) below it.