Hanwha Azdel Inc. composites has a Lynchburg plant (Forest, Virginia, USA), and Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, and Ontario (Canada). This is where the US consumed Azdel product comes from. The plant(s) is quite massive, with a train yard, outdoor composites hoppers for train loading, the works. Hanwha Azdel Inc. is OWNED by the Korean corporation: Hanwha Corporation (or, the Hanwha Group).
Azdel is used in MANY small quantity applications, and shipping a few containers at a time from Korea to the USA would be hellaciously costly (both time-wise and the cost of shipping itself) to their US/Canadian customers (could you imagine !?).
Azdel (from the public patent office) makes light-weight reinforced thermoplastics (LRTs and LWRTs) and low density glass mat thermoplastic composite (GMTs), and hybrid thermoplastic composites (HTPCs).
More great info as read with coffee in hand!
I recall your extremely robust long-term trial running strictly solar to run your Tundra/Apex in searing 29 Palms. I think the Danfoss compressors are pretty well the norm across most (all ?) of the built-in compressor fridges in North America, today.
You mention the ARB portable...this reminds me of the extensive expedition fridge review in my Overland Journal (2 years ago, think?). This may also be the best option (no ripping out absorption, all the mess of installing new compressor). Just buy an ARB, back seat it, plug into 12V, done// Hmmmm?
True. I recall Woodhog's wrting about his "system"...thanks!
Your Outfitter roof "testing" sure does answers so many questions! Sorry it happened but somebody had to do it! Now I don't have to experiment. Didn't want to do it anyway as I'd rather leave it up to a professional. haha
...trust us to scrape branches, run into hail, and drop steel cutting heads on the camper!
From your links, it looks like you've got the NovaKool DC/AC fridge ?
Checking the supplier data, the fridge-only NovaKool draws 2.2 amps (with non modified factory-set compressor speed resistance); the fridge/freezer model draws about 4.5 amps.
Have you run your fridge on battery-only in 85F+ temps? Have you run your fridge on truck-to-camper plug-in charge mode for very long periods (ie. driving 8+ hours) ?
The leading edge of our roof has a radius/wrap down, where our TPO is fully exposed (at least 2 inches of it x 7 feet wide) to rock hits. I can see along the aluminum banding holding down the TPO many good-sized divots where rocks have literally gouged the aluminum (like a bullet hitting metal at an angle, but on a lower velocity scale). I'm certain that many a rock has hit that leading edge TPO radius, with absolutely no visible damage. Readers must also know that under our TPO (between the TPO and aluminum roof framing) is a full webbing sheet of industrial felt about 3/16ths inch thick, that forms an critical impact suppressor (this is an installation requirement written by the TPO manufacturer engineering applications people) against large hail and other high-velocity impacting.
On another parallel note of interest:
Some years ago (about 5 years ago) I was using a professional tree pruning stick (24 feet long), with a ~20 LB hardened steel razor-sharp pruning head attached, and was raising it up to about ~21 feet when the pruning head came off the fiberglass extender as was deploying the cutting lever. The head somehow bounced off a branch a few inches below the ~21 feet extension, and dead-fell right on top of the rear part of our camper roof, bounced a few feet up, and landed on the ground. I climbed up onto the roof of the Outfitter to inspect damage: one depression looked like it MAY have penetrated the TPO (I really couldn't tell if there was a breach) about 1/8th of an inch long; another imprint about 8 inches from the 1st, but the 2nd impression I was sure hadn't penetrated. Anyhow, I patched both depressions immediately (with my TPO repair kit). The IZOD impact strength numbers of TPO are extremely impressive (tested at -40C).
TPO is incredible strong, I'll tell you. It reminds me of the stuff called "Spectra" polyolifin I used on a Central American sea kayaking expedition I had done in the late '90s. The sails I had used (supplied by the Folbot Company (in the Canadian Maritimes) folding sea kayak owner, at the time) was made up entirely of Spectra, very similar in strength to TPO. Spectra is of course ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which is at least 15+ times more abrasion-resistant than carbon steel (the Spectra material is only about 8~10 mills thick!). DSM, a European chemical company, supplies Spectra to ballistics protection and armoring manufacturers.
By this juncture with compressor fridges being used for years in adverse conditions by off-roading pop-up truck camper maniacs, what brand(s) have stood the test of time (and efficiency) ?
We are looking to replace our Norcold 3.2 absorption unit with a 3.x or 4.x compressor, in the Outfitter Caribou 8.
As a side note: a few organizations in the US were/are developing turn-key lithium systems for the RV industry (not the up-scale luxury yachting buyer, where costs can be ~$5000 for appx 300ah !). AM Solar was one lithium RV developer; the other is SmartBattery Lithium company.
SmartBattery lithium has a "drop-in" LiFePo4 Group 31 footprint replacement for our current AGMs (in our 100ah range) for $1300 each (comparing the price with our existing AGM batteries at $170 each + tax). The weight compare is: our current AGM weight = ~70LBS each : the LiFePo4 100ah weight per battery = (an incredible) 28LBS each. Charging is at 14.6V; charge time is an amazing 2 hours at 50 amps (investigate the mode of charging carefully). The expected lifetime for an RV user is in the 10x an AGM lifespan (that would be roughly 60 to 80 years of lifespan). Operating temperatures for this battery is: 4 below zero F to about 160F (this blows any ancient lead-acid or AGM environmental operating temperature out of the Universe).
Anyhow, as I said, we will probably go this route in 3 years (with this battery, with its built-in smart battery full automated protection: undervoltage preempt; overvoltage preempt; short circuit preempt; Reerse; ICB; and CB).
My disclaimer: do your due diligence; this is what we are contemplating, and don't endorse this route for anyone. Your mileage may/WILL vary.
....I've been watching the lithium battery (all genres) development for some time now; however, due to price and issues with the odd fire, will wait the development out for another 2 or 3 years.
As a note: the current LiFePo4 appear to be a good alternative with a proven non incendiary history (but I understand that smoking one is not impossible or out of the question: careless maintenance; no charging BMS in circuit; etc).
....sounds like you want to navigate both urban and tight little-maintained "service roads".
We have been doing this since we picked up our pop-up truck camper (Outfitter Caribou) in 2005. Parking and navigating all manner of urban areas across North America: no problem, with our 2500HD long bed, and 8-foot pop-up. Just check underground parking for height if you go this route.
....we've got a TPO roofing membrane stretched over an aluminum roofing frame, on the Outfitter. TPO is indeed extremely resistant to tearing, impact and incoming ultra violet radiation (in fact, TPO loves UV; it thrives under UV radiation).
Thanks for the video link!
"I walked away from the deal based on non disclosure of a structural defect or damage, the dealer is not returning my deposit."
....this is Canada. No one can simply "keep" a deposit if a buyer decides to back out of a purchase for any reason whatsoever. If you, for example, went to buy a new or used car, an aircraft, boat, refrigerator, insurance, ANYTHING, and gave a deposit for later delivery in this country (Provincial laws vary, but they are essentially the same cross-country in principle/intent), and you decide to back out of the deal FOR ANY REASON, you deposit MUST be given back IMMEDIATELY. Even signing a contract, you have a cooling off period where you can back out of the deal NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON. No lawyer needed.
Forensics on "the roof depression":
Sabconsulting nailed it: this depression likely existed for many seasons (or, years) based on his evaluation of the concentric evaporation stains.
You could PM me the chap's contact info. If I decide to go this way, or:
I have a CNC shop near us that could laser-shoot a precise 3D model of the cap, and quickly mill out the corners for us using any metal I desire (this would incapacitate our rig for some x time, so I would do this over winter storage IF I go this route).
....yes, the torque and stress on the stainless screw application vis the awning on Outfitter would pose no problems overstressing the screw (this includes potential shear).
Nice repair/upgrades Cal!
Where (and what part number) were you able to get the nice aluminum radius corners ?
Also, thanks for the heads-up on rear roof-mounted awning screws. I'll check ours later today for rusty screws, and replace with stainless. If the rear awning ever flew off the rear of our roof on our crowded Eastern highways, it could potentially kill someone driving behind.