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Old 04-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #15
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Are your batteries vented to the outside? They should be.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:39 PM   #16
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Mine are, same location as the factory vent. Though am considering moving the batteries to under the bed closer to the axle for weight placement. Will need to add a vent there if I do, in addition to fabricating an enclosure.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:45 PM   #17
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Lou

I can easily go 4 days boondocking with my 2 6v batteries. I can probably go longer, but I have not tried.

I also am planning on going solar. This will allow me to camp in the quietest location possible without having to start up my gennie. It will also help if I need more electrical power to operate cooling fans or the furnace fan motor in cold weather. I will be following your solar activities to learn from you.

I have not installed my "Curve" toilet yet. I am more than a little concerned about cutting the toilet console to install the new toilet. I don't really need the new toilet installed until early May which is the soonest that my wife will be able to go with me.

Dan
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:03 PM   #18
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Great thread!
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:45 PM   #19
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Dan,
Previous boondocking trips have been during colder weather and the furnace fan drew down our single 12v battery pretty substantially after 2 days/nights. Rather than run the generator, we are hoping a 130 watt solar solution will eliminate the need. I'll report here after we have a chance to try and compare.

Incidentally, the solar kit we have is a portable foldup type rather than permanent mount, to allow placement for maximum exposure while at shady sites.

Lou
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:34 PM   #20
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TV Antenna Type

I installed a 22" LED TV about a year ago and have only used it once or twice to watch movies on because I did not have an antenna. BTW, I have a Vizio TV that operates on 12v dc. This has worked very well so far. No high priced inverter needed and no inverter losses either.

I have thought long and hard about what kind of antenna to install. I thought about one or those indoor antennas that mounts on a window, but figured that would only bring in stations when you are close to a city and good camping usually means you are not right next to a city. I also thought about the typical bat wing antenna, that most new(er) Airstreams have. I decided I did not like the looks, the complexity and the fact that the antenna was permanently mounted. As far as the complexity issue, I had a similar antenna on my 84 Excella and I had problems with it going up and down and with it rotating.

I stumbled across the Jack Antenna and liked what I saw. It seams to perform very well, is simple and is small and light weight. I thought about permanently mounting the antenna on the TW, but did not like the idea of mounting a piece of white plastic on top of my vintage TW. It probably would not look that bad since I am planning on painting the roof white anyway, I just decided I didn't want to do this if I could come up with an alternative.
So, I ordered the Jack. It comes with a mounting bracket that allows it to be installed on a pole. The photo below shows the Jack with the included metal mounting bracket.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:20 PM   #21
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Jack Antenna Mount

I have also been thinking about buying a flag pole to fly the American Flag. I looked at Amazon and found that I could order either a 14ft or a 20ft pole for about $32 or so. I decided to order the 20 ft pole. My logic was that if I only used 10 feet of it that the pole would have 2 layers of pole and would be stronger. I went ahead and ordered the flag pole and the Jack Antenna at the same time. I figured that I would mount the Jack on the flag pole, but was not sure how I would do this.

When I received the flag pole and the Jack, I saw that the top of the flag pole was very small, 1/2", and was not the type of pole that would work for mounting the Jack to, using the enclosed metal mounting bracket shown in the above post photo. I believed that the only way that the light weight small aluminum flag pole, 1/2" at the top, would support the Jack would be if the Jack sat directly on top of the pole at the center of mass of the Jack.

I figured that I would use a short piece of 1/2" cpvc, a 1/2" cap and a 1/2" coupling to fabricate a receptacle on the Jack to slide the top of the flag pole into. Step one was to separate the top and bottom halves of the Jack to see if there was room for the 1/2" cap. The first photo shows that there was room, but parts of the two circuit boards would need to be removed with my Zip tool first.

The second photo shows shows the assembly installed in the Jack, but all you see in this photo is the cap. I made a small mistake which I will try to explain, so you don't make it. Of course this is usually unavoidable the first time, but I still should not have made this mistake. I drilled the 5/8" hole in the center of the right/left side to that the support would be as close as possible to the center of mass of the Jack. The problem is that the hole needs to be offset about 1/16 to 1/8" for the cap to fit into the confined space for it. This means that the hole needed to be oblong and not round. This results in the assembly not being as tight as needed once it is installed.

In terms of assembly sequence, first the cap is glued to the short piece of 1/2" cpvc, then it is inserted thru the 5/8" hole in the lower half of the jack, then the 1/2" coupling is glued as a sleeve onto the pipe and against the lower face of the jack. The completed assembly is shown in the third photo.

The last photo shows the Jack sitting on the top of the flag pole.

Some plastic drilling was required. The id of the pipe is less than 1/2". It needed to be drilled out to 1/2" so it would fit over the flag pole. Also the 1/2 coupling needs to act as a sleeve, not a coupling, so the id needed to be drilled out completely to 5/8".
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:44 PM   #22
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Jack Antenna Field Test

So I had designed a built, jury rigged?, an assembly out of 1/2" cpvc pieces to mount the Jack antenna on top of a portable light weight flag pole. It all worked fine inside except that the cpvc assembly was a bit loose on the Jack antenna- gorilla glue to the rescue. I laid a bead of gorilla glue between the cpvc assembly and the Jack antenna, kind of like putting in a bead of caulk, and once it dried everything was secure.

I went camping this past weekend to Bandits Roost Campground (10/10 in my book) and went to Melrlefest, probably the best outdoor music festival on the east coast. I mounted my Jack antenna to the flag pole, raised it to a level of about 12 feet, connected the antenna and signal amplifier to the TV and got five good channels. Everything worked fine for 4 days through wind and rain. I just rotated the flag pole to adjust the antenna for the best signal, see photos below.

All I need to do now is paint the cpvc assembly white and figure out a good way to permanently run my cable into the trailer from the antenna. For my test, I just ran it through one of the ceiling vents.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:47 PM   #23
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Thetford Curve Porta Potti Install

In post #10, I mentioned removal of the original toilet, using the black tank for a gray tank and installation of an alternative toilet, either composting, a European cassette type or the new Thetford Curve Porta Potti.

When you look at the space available for the original toilet, it is really limiting. I really believe that the only toilet that will fit in this space is the new Thetford Curve Porta Potti.

I have had the toilet for some time, but just installed it last week before going camping with my wife and our 3 year old grand daughter. I have been putting this off, because I was scared about cutting the fiberglass console, you know the point of no return.

I can tell you now that the project was a success although I am not finished with the trim yet. Anybody have a source for a "cloth" hinge and some plastic trim for the 1/8" thick fiberglass console. I can also tell you that I was very lucky. One critical dimension, I did not even think about. More on this later.

Here are some photos of the new toilet and with it installed. More details on the installation will follow.

Dan
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:33 PM   #24
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I just returned from a music festival where I camped and used the new toilet in my Tradewind for 5 days. I only pea in the toilet, but it worked great! It was so nice to get up and use the toilet 2-3 times during the night without resorting to the jug or just going outside. After 5 days it was only 1/2 full. I figure it my wife is with me, it will last 5 days for the both of us. I did not empty it into the toilet until I returned home. You just remove the top section from above and then pull the lower section out the back (see photo #4 above) and dump it into a toilet. It really worked well!

I have ordered trim for the edge of the fiberglass hole and an aluminum piano hinge for the access door to flush the toilet from McMaster-Carr (thanks perryg).

Dan
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:56 AM   #25
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Nice looking install, Dan! I hadn't envisioned the easy removal of the waste tank through the rear access door. Seems a very practical solution. I especially like the way you maintained as much of the original bath as possible while incorporating the new toilet. Kudos!
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:19 AM   #26
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Nice job on the toilet. Please post pictures of the trim when you are done. I may have to go this way with my 64.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:44 PM   #27
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Nice Install Dan - and great thread! I am also considering a composting toilet so that I can be off grid as much as possible. I am following with great interest as I have also recently purchased a 66 Tradewinds! Have fun with your projects!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:34 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louaxtjr View Post
Nice looking install, Dan! I hadn't envisioned the easy removal of the waste tank through the rear access door. Seems a very practical solution. I especially like the way you maintained as much of the original bath as possible while incorporating the new toilet. Kudos!
Lou

I never thought about removal of the bottom of the toilet (waste tank) out the rear access door either. I got lucky; the lower part of the toilet just fits through the opening. This is the one dimension that I never checked because I never thought about it.

Even though the "toilet console design" presents lots of problems in replacing the toilet, an advantage to the console style along with the use of the Curve toilet is that once the toilet is removed, the entire rear of the trailer is accessible for plumbing work, converter access, inverter access, power cord and extension cord storage and battery access. I have 2 six volt golf cart batteries and I still have room for 2 more six volt batteries.

So now I have a new plastic Curve toilet that works just great for peeing. No plumbing connection is needed, although I still have the sprayer from the old toilet. I can use this to fill up the flushing reservoir, 4 gallon, in the top of the toilet. It probably weighs about half of the original china toilet also.

The new toilet is also quite high. The toilet it self is 17.5" high plus the 3.25" platform, hiding the plumbing drain and water lines, for a total height of 20.5", taking into account the 1/2" cork floor. The 20.5" toilet works well for both my wife and me. It also works well for our 3 year old grand daughter. She climbs up on the toilet and rests her feet on the console. She can flush toilet also.

I am looking forward to installing the trim for the toilet. I will post photos when I complete this work.

Dan
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