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Old 07-30-2018, 11:53 AM   #1101
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If you remove the bar, use that space to install a raised refrigerator vent like mine. Close off the lower vent on the couch end of the cabinet. The higher vent will result in better adiabatic flow over the coils and you will not need any outside vent as you proposed.
John,

In case I do not remove the bar... got an email reply from Airstream with the part number for the gasket.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:07 PM   #1102
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John,

In case I do not remove the bar... got an email reply from Airstream with the part number for the gasket.
Check the number of effective square inches that outside vent will provide. My guess is that it is less than NovaKool specifies and less than the current inside vent. That outside vent is designed for high velocity exhaust flow from the water heater, not gentle adiabatic flow.

Venting outside means that the exhausted air must come from somewhere. My AI is very tight, as evidenced by the sliding door windows temporarily popping out when I close the sliding door. With high impedance supply air and a fairly small upper vent, there may not be nearly the gain you are looking for.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:10 PM   #1103
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
Check the number of effective square inches that outside vent will provide. My guess is that it is less than NovaKool specifies and less than the current inside vent. That outside vent is designed for high velocity exhaust flow from the water heater, not gentle adiabatic flow.

Venting outside means that the exhausted air must come from somewhere. My AI is very tight, as evidenced by the sliding door windows temporarily popping out when I close the sliding door. With high impedance supply air and a fairly small upper vent, there may not be nearly the gain you are looking for.
My plan is to follow what you did. Now armed with steps on how to remove the fridge and how to insulate the area, I am more confident with that approach.

I am just not sure if I want to remove the bar or make holes/slots in it to have it serve a dual purpose bar/vent (if possible).

On the gasket, I had already sent the email to Airstream and wanted to capture the part numbers as well.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:08 PM   #1104
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You are amazing! I took mine to a cummins dealer at 20 hours. Not too expensive. They said next oil change not necessary until 250 hours. I said well, I hope I won't need to see you again! I used my first 20 hours running AC in Texas in May. Won't make that mistake again.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:42 PM   #1105
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You are amazing! I took mine to a cummins dealer at 20 hours. Not too expensive. They said next oil change not necessary until 250 hours. I said well, I hope I won't need to see you again! I used my first 20 hours running AC in Texas in May. Won't make that mistake again.
MANSDERM161 - What was the mistake, having Cummins do service, running 20hrs before changing oil (me very guilty ) or being in TX in May

WACHUKO - Loaded last set of pics, front driver/passenger E&P Levelers fully extended. Didn't realize (until now) how high off the ground the AI would be when manually lifting all fours. All tires are way off the ground. Won't see it go that high in Auto because the software slams VB Air to lowest position before E&P extends jacks. Don't need jacks to replace any tires or work under carriage, though would still be prudent to use jack stands for added safety. Hard for me to feel safe with 11,000 lbs over me and only 4 hydraulic levelers between me & sudden death

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AsFpacjR-quB9HA8U3JShosUka01
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:27 PM   #1106
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Okay... made some rookie mistakes... the 4 pieces that come down should have been with slots in two sides, not one... if I stick with these it will force me to install as you see in the photos...

If I get the ones with slots in two sides then I can slide them in the longer pieces and align the top supports with the existing holes from the hangers I removed... But if I do that then the opening for the shelf is reduced... but the support would be more towards the center avoiding these bending??

The center piece you see in the photos was the one I ordered just in case I wanted extra support in the middle... that will dependen on the shelve thickness...

Anyway, too late, too tired, going to sleep and will see what I will do... good night.
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:51 AM   #1107
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80/20 material looks great. Missing end caps that I will get later (I think that I can print them with some silver metallic ABS filament that I have at home). But the structure is solid and looks great.

I am getting the four supports with the tracks in two sides to replace those in there now... I really want them flush with the outside bar... and to have the flexibility to move them inwards if I want to reuse the holes under the cabinet.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:53 AM   #1108
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Got this from this thread: Shower curtain for 2013 Interstate


RV Designer A111 'Airstream' Drape Carrier, (Pack of 14) arrived... now Mara can install any shower curtain she wants... that is, if we can find them the day we decide to use them!!



Interesting that AI, instead of using end caps for the rails, just crimps the aluminum channel...



Poor way of doing it specially since there is an end cap available for it... I will try to clear the way again and see if I can insert a proper end cap. Makes it easier when needing to change the curtain, or just to remove and wash the existing one...





For the new shelf, I ordered the finishing trim (channel insert, end caps) and also ordered four supports with the tracks in two sides to replace those in there now...to fix the mistake I made on the initial order.

.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:49 AM   #1109
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80/20 material looks great. Missing end caps that I will get later (I think that I can print them with some silver metallic ABS filament that I have at home). But the structure is solid and looks great.

I am getting the four supports with the tracks in two sides to replace those in there now... I really want them flush with the outside bar... and to have the flexibility to move them inwards if I want to reuse the holes under the cabinet.
WACHUKO - Really impressed with your vision on this project to use 80/20. With regards to the 4 supports w/ dual tracks - I do like the supports flush with outside bar BUT then again I also like re-using the existing hanger support holes vs.adding more holes. I don't know that bending would be a concern even if the 4 supports were out on the extreme ends. I mean, what amount of weight would you realistically be putting on it? I personally dont put heavy items that high for obvious safety reasons when vehicle is moving. Besides, that thing looks like it can support a hippo

So I guess it boils down to do you need as much width on the shelf for your intended bins or do you want to re-use existing mounting holes? I do think it will look great either way
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:40 PM   #1110
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The mistake was being in Texas in May when everyday was already clise to 100 degrees, which led to running generator due to necessary air conditioning!
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:17 PM   #1111
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Apologies upfront for the long post. I tend to do this with all my initial threads as I join a forum. Just to give some background as to how I got here. In this case, I am going in all backwards into RV life… instead of researching the parks, facilities, things to know before you get an RV, etc… We just went and got one and now need to learn about it…

Never been one to camp but when I have done it, I really do not mind roughing it out. The idea of going out and seeing everything the USA and Canada has to offer has always been in my bucket list.

I had been looking at a Vistabule teardrop as a way to start small and see how things worked out. Well, my wife's idea of roughing it is staying at a hotel... so as much as I wanted that sweet looking Vistabule, it was a no-go with my wife.

I was not about to get a large towing vehicle to then get a large trailer... to me that was too much work and I worried about having to park, deal with the risks of pulling a trailer, balancing loads, etc. I know that there are things like a weight distribution hitch and sway control solutions to minimize the risk, but that was just not what I wanted. A small teardrop, I felt comfortable with... anything larger for towing, not so much...

So I started looking at what was the most effective, size wise, motor home that would provide some of the comforts that my wife would buy into, without scaring me to death driving it. Enter the Class B motorhomes. Long story longer... looked, did my spreadsheets, looked some more, YouTube videos, websites, etc. And narrowed everything down to something built on the Mercedes Sprinter. Selection came down to the Airstream and the Roadtrek. Roadtrek got eliminated after being able to see them side to side with the Airstream and not liking the interior build quality on the Roadtrek as well as the lack of safety features that were included in the Airstream. I mean, if I was seeing this on a new unit, what can I expect from the Roadtrek years down the line?? And I really liked their ETrek unit... but could not, for the life of me, buy it with so many issues that I saw and the lack of the security features.

Initially I was set on getting a 4x4 (and in the back of my mind, still wish I did) but came down to my senses that I was not going to go out that far into the unknown to need it... That and mixed feedback on harsher ride/softer ride (depending on the thread I read) that air ride was better, etc… still… I still have the feeling that I should have gone with 4x4… this one I might regret.

Also, initially, I wanted the normal unit and not have to waste money in any special edition version… enters the wife… she goes into a Tommy Bahama at the local dealer (Tampa RV) and falls in love with the darker tan seats, the matte cabinetry, and all the small details the TB has… on a purchase like this… best to get what the wife wants. Happy wife, happy life and all that.

We should get our Interstate in a month or two… as there was not one available (after we back out of buying a ’18 pre-owned unit with 3600 miles & without air-ride).

This is what we got: 2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS – US$149K purchased from TampaRV ( http://www.rvone.com/ )

So now I want to be ready for when it gets here…

1. What are the must-do mods (besides diesel and miles )?

2. Solar System Upgrades?
  • I already read that the first thing I should do is to get a decent solar controller: From this thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...de-170658.html -
  • Victron BlueSolar 100/30 MPPT Charge Controller - 30 Amps / 100 Volts http://amzn.to/2ud3Bho $201.45
  • Victron VE.Direct Bluetooth Dongle http://amzn.to/2uOgKkF $59.90
  • Because I just got into this immense debt to acquire this AI... I can't afford switch over to full lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries and a trip to Lew... so I will follow the humble approach of doing the swap for Lifeline 4CT batteries in the stock location. And later add a second tray (will order that in advanced since these seem to be backordered from Airstream) and additional batteries to double the capacity.
  • Should I also look at a larger inverter now or wait for when I go with LiFePO4 batteries?? If I do it now, should I go with 2500 or 3500 watts? The plan is to be able to run the A/C for a few hours...

3. Chassis protection? Should I be going under and coating everything with paint or anti-rust coating?

4. Read several threads of broken headlights… will get the front cover with 3M clear protection film.

5. Plan to make the front seats work as two additional beds for when the kids come with us... using a similar setup as to what Roadtrek did or just wait for a similar solution that is coming from Airstream (I think I read or watched somewhere that they were coming out with something similar...)... or just make my own.

6. Memory foam top for the bed...can't be comfy with all the different contours the seats have. But then, how the heck do I put it away. These memory foam tops are super compact until you open them the first time

7. Lots of threads on what gadgets to buy for the kitchen... reading those.

What else?


#6 - We too are new to this AI family, but have had a couple of months experience so far. My wife is also not a huge camper, but has humored me and actually enjoyed some of our limited experience. Bedding was/is a huge issue for both of us, and like you I thought memory foam type bedding - over the peaks and valleys of the AI bed - would take up way too much of the limited room in the AI. Enter the Exped Megamat 10 sleeping pad from REI. It expands nicely on its on, let’s you tweak the firmness, and two of them together almost fit perfectly in our Grand Touring bed area (with just enough room to put a small tray by the wall to hold things like your glasses and phone). I was lucky in that our purchase was timed with REI’s 30% off sale.

When you want to use the seating vs beds, the Expeds roll up nicely and store easily in the back overhead compartment. We also ordered a custom sheet to hold the two Expeds together. Working great so far. Enjoy your travels!
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:24 PM   #1112
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The mistake was being in Texas in May when everyday was already clise to 100 degrees, which led to running generator due to necessary air conditioning!
MANSDERM161 - I am glad you were not referring to your Cummins dealer experience as the mistake. I also just realized you live on the beach. You probably never use A/C there. 100 degrees is probably par for the course in TX as it is here in Las Vegas. We hit 99 in April during my 1st test run of AI camping where I discovered my Firefly does not communicate properly with the Dometic A/C. Talk about being upset
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:29 PM   #1113
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The Cummins dealer was great and recommended by the people that run the storage facility I use. I just got back from Ohio and my RV is plugged in at home till sometime tomorrow when I will store it after cleaning. The air is on....I need air conditioning! It's been hot at the beach too! I just returned from 2 full days of service at Airstream in Jackson center....all warranty issues. They were great too!
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:37 PM   #1114
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#6 - We too are new to this AI family, but have had a couple of months experience so far. My wife is also not a huge camper, but has humored me and actually enjoyed some of our limited experience. Bedding was/is a huge issue for both of us, and like you I thought memory foam type bedding - over the peaks and valleys of the AI bed - would take up way too much of the limited room in the AI. Enter the Exped Megamat 10 sleeping pad from REI. It expands nicely on its on, let’s you tweak the firmness, and two of them together almost fit perfectly in our Grand Touring bed area (with just enough room to put a small tray by the wall to hold things like your glasses and phone). I was lucky in that our purchase was timed with REI’s 30% off sale.

When you want to use the seating vs beds, the Expeds roll up nicely and store easily in the back overhead compartment. We also ordered a custom sheet to hold the two Expeds together. Working great so far. Enjoy your travels!
EDDIEBURNS - WELCOME to the forum. It probably took you the couple of months to read through WACHUKO's list and the detailed posts. Very good resource & good reading too. I do not remember if we got our self-inflating sleeping pad from REI or Costco. But they all pretty much work the same way. It is the best solution for us too. We use 2 if just me/wife or 3 if grandson is with us.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:07 PM   #1115
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#6 - We too are new to this AI family, but have had a couple of months experience so far. My wife is also not a huge camper, but has humored me and actually enjoyed some of our limited experience. Bedding was/is a huge issue for both of us, and like you I thought memory foam type bedding - over the peaks and valleys of the AI bed - would take up way too much of the limited room in the AI. Enter the Exped Megamat 10 sleeping pad from REI. It expands nicely on its on, let’s you tweak the firmness, and two of them together almost fit perfectly in our Grand Touring bed area (with just enough room to put a small tray by the wall to hold things like your glasses and phone). I was lucky in that our purchase was timed with REI’s 30% off sale.

When you want to use the seating vs beds, the Expeds roll up nicely and store easily in the back overhead compartment. We also ordered a custom sheet to hold the two Expeds together. Working great so far. Enjoy your travels!
Welcome to the forum!!!!

Yeah, we got rid of the foam top we bought during our first trip and went with these:



Alex confirmed they worked for him and I went and got three more. I use three in the back and one for the front bed. And if the kids are not with us, we only take out two and leave the front bed at home.

They work great, and all four fit in the back cabinet with spare room for bed sheets, towels, windshield cover, table support tube, bag with beach stuff, and a few other things...and solved all our issues. That rear top compartment is pretty decent size.

Do share more of your adventures!! Great group here in the forum to help and also to share.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:34 PM   #1116
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That last update I made from my phone... now at home and looked up those Exped Megamat 10 sleeping pad from REI... yikes$$

No, no, no... I do not have the same ones... mine are from Academy Sport the Venture Outdoors 2" Deluxe Self-Inflating Mat... paid 40.00 for each...

On other news, air filters and spark plugs for the generator arrived.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:36 PM   #1117
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The Cummins dealer was great and recommended by the people that run the storage facility I use. I just got back from Ohio and my RV is plugged in at home till sometime tomorrow when I will store it after cleaning. The air is on....I need air conditioning! It's been hot at the beach too! I just returned from 2 full days of service at Airstream in Jackson center....all warranty issues. They were great too!
First of all, glad that to read that you got everything addressed. Can you share what were all the items fixed?
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:16 PM   #1118
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WACHUKO - Really impressed with your vision on this project to use 80/20. With regards to the 4 supports w/ dual tracks - I do like the supports flush with outside bar BUT then again I also like re-using the existing hanger support holes vs.adding more holes. I don't know that bending would be a concern even if the 4 supports were out on the extreme ends. I mean, what amount of weight would you realistically be putting on it? I personally dont put heavy items that high for obvious safety reasons when vehicle is moving. Besides, that thing looks like it can support a hippo

So I guess it boils down to do you need as much width on the shelf for your intended bins or do you want to re-use existing mounting holes? I do think it will look great either way
The shelf is 58" wide. The existing holes, where the clothe hangers were installed, are at 38" apart. That leaves 9.25" on each side of the support. and an opening of 36.5" in the center. That was my original plan and I am thinking of just moving forward with it... but I do want the down supports to be flush with the front and for that, I need new one with the track in two sides (already ordered)... at the end I will have three areas to store stuff: one that would be 38" x 12" and two that will be 9.25" x 12". This is looking at it from the front and seeing the two supports... the actual insert (if I remove the middle bar) is 58"x12" (59.5" x 13.5" actual size counting what goes into the channel) Also got to keep in mind that the area gets smaller as it goes up to the ceiling. At the ceiling, the width is 56" from side to side. At the height the shelf is, that is where I have 58" side to side. I hope that makes sense.

So for now I will set it aside until the new parts get here. Got to say... that bottom section is going to look great. Everything will have end caps so that it looks finished.

As they say, pictures are worth... do not mind the mess, we are packing for the trip. Heading out Thursday. Work got in the way again and not going out for the 7 days we wanted... Thursday-Sunday will have to do
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:55 AM   #1119
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Repairs included night shade, dvd replaced as was defective, macerator housing and pump, firefly update, leaking galley sink, black tank flush did not work, checked wiring of fusion and updated...she still speaks in broken english, but she did not try to constantly reboot during trip back, drawers realigned, loose trim replaced, front TV removed at my request and holes plugged, repaired broken wheels on screen door, checked magnum and inverter fan , checked all tires, overall, I think I had 22 items by the time I got there. They were great!
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:11 AM   #1120
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Repairs included night shade, dvd replaced as was defective, macerator housing and pump, firefly update, leaking galley sink, black tank flush did not work, checked wiring of fusion and updated...she still speaks in broken english, but she did not try to constantly reboot during trip back, drawers realigned, loose trim replaced, front TV removed at my request and holes plugged, repaired broken wheels on screen door, checked magnum and inverter fan , checked all tires, overall, I think I had 22 items by the time I got there. They were great!
Thank you for sharing the list! Glad to read that it was a good experience going to the mothership. That was a long list!!


Updating my list , but also figured I would split it into mods I will make and wishlist (for those items that the cost is not something I will be able to tackle for a long, long time):

Pending mods:
  • Fix slow leak in rear tire, driver side, in the inner wheel. Yeah, I know...still have not fixed this.
  • Rear shelf - work in progress. Using 80/20 material.
  • Make the covers for the windows with Reflectix
  • Get a decent and powerful small vacuum to carry with us.
  • Redo the cover of the foldable bed. I need to round the corners that I forgot to do and are damaging the vinyl. Will recover each piece of wood panel separately in a different material (cloth and beige color). Got everything that I need for this task.
  • Fridge ventilation modification. Following this thread: Refrigerator ventilation - for now it is between 29.1º-44.7º - I want to do the penny test on the ice cube to make sure stuff in the fridge is not at risk. I also noticed an additional vent in the back of the fridge... but not sure where that vents to since the top is blocked by the TB bar insert. Looking at the threads from John to figure out the best approach to take...
  • Light weight roof rack in the rear of the roof... using three set of these brackets - I know it will not be for anything heavy, but having the flexibility to carry something and when not in use, not blocking the solar panels, would be a nice to have. I am still not sure if the awning mount is in the way... will take a closer look next time I am cleaning the solar panels.
  • Buy and install a drain valve for the fresh water tank (suggestion from Protagonist) to replace the plug currently there. I have been looking at very compact ones and tight 90º elbows to keep it all as close to the tank as possible.
  • Install the ShowerMi$er. Parts moved from the garage to inside the house… that is progress Just need to see when I tackle this one…
  • RakAttach swing-away hitch - size large. This will allow opening the rear doors even if the Vespa or cargo tray are in place. Sweet setup that I saw on Mark's (Lotus54) AI
  • Prime Design - Rear Door Access Ladder

Wishlist:

Oh and my luck ran out with the HOA... need to move my AI from the driveway . Looking at storage places. No complaints, I knew I was pushing my luck keeping it there for the past 8 months ( 8 months! how time goes by!!! ).
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Safe travels!
Wachuko
WBCCI #26769
2018 Airstream Interstate 3500 Lounge EXT Tommy Bahama w/ARS
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