Thank you to 66Overlander for keeping me from making a horrible mistake and draining my shower right into the gray water tank without a trap! As a result of that reminder, I went back to the drawing board on my water system. I think I have a better design now, but I am somewhat concerned about the new location of my fresh water tank; ahead of the front axle. I'm going to need to do some calculations to see how that is going to affect my tongue weight, but I think it just might be okay.
So now, moving from front to back, the water system will consist of:
- 56 gallon fresh water tank
- 12 v pump
- Drain for the sinks
- Drain for the shower
- 27 gallon gray water tank
- 14.6 gallon black water tank
- Bladex dump valve assembly
I think I'm going to start the welding this weekend, to accomodate this weight (as long as I finish all the wire-brushing first). I have also made the decision to "freeze-proof" the water system using a filament to generate heat around the pipes and tanks. It has to be 12v
and have a low draw, though I haven't found the exact product I want to use yet. I figure I might as well add something like this as long as I have the whole thing taken apart.
I think I'm also going to replace the original water heater with a model that can run off of propane, but I haven't done much research into this just yet as I've been focusing on items below the floor for now.
I'm going to replace all of the wiring. Again, this is one of those "might as wells" since I've got it all taken apart. Of course, this task can be done w/ the shell back in place and the A/C running
I'm going to switch some of the original two-prong outlets out with GFI outlets, probably just in the kitchen and bath where appliances would be used and/or lots of water present. I think I might replace all of the other two-prong outlets with grounded three-prong outlets.
My trailer originally had two wiring systems; 12 volt
and 120. I'm going to keep it this way. However, I am going to move the battery location from the tongue to where the old water tanks used to be, up front. I'm going to also use a bank of three RV/Marine batteries and set up a good charging system. To the 12 volt
system I am adding a water pump and the heating for the water system.
I'm going to replace the refrigerator with a two-way model also, but I think we'll still camp with a generator in warm weather so we can run the A/C which will almost definitely be 120v only.
I've found out that the new Airstreams use a "foil" type insulation. I think that I will most likely go with something like Radiant Barrier's TempShield double-bubble product. This provides a raidant barrier in addition to a conductive/convective barrier. They have a similar product that can be used to wrap the pipes as well. I think I'll use this product in the walls, as well as under the floor, between the frame rails. This product also serves to sound-proof and functions as a vapor barrier.
However, I still really like the idea of filling the open spaces in the belly with solid foam. Not just for insulation purposes, but also because of the protection this offers against the belly becoming a home for all manner of unwelcome guests once again (and filling up with dirt). So I think I'll use the foil/bubble insulation as well as foam in the belly.
I want to also spray on or apply some type of rubber coating on the frame members (bulkheads) that the interior skin attaches to. This is to attempt to stop outside temperatures from conducting into the interior.
A/C and Heating
I'm pretty sure that I'll be going with the under-bed 120v A/C system. I'm still not certain if I'm going to take apart a room air conditioner to fit it under my bed, or if I'm going to use one of my friends wine-cellar type units (it depends on what type of price he can give me!). I will probably end up running a duct up the wall so that the cool air can be blown down from the ceiling to the front of the trailer.
For heating, I've also been toying with the idea of radiant-under-the-floor heating. I've been in a few hotel bathrooms that had it and it's just awesome! It really feels great under the tile, but I have a lot of questions regarding safety in a trailer with linoleum tiles, etc. I've only ever seen it done on concrete floors with porcelain/granite/marble tiles. I'm not a big fan of heaters unless it's REALLY cold outside, so I'll probably just pick up a Coleman Powercat or something like that for in the bathroom or bedroom if it's extra cold. I don't think I'm going to have a place to put the in-floor furnace oddity back in. If I can find space for it though, I'll definitely keep it, in part because it's pretty uncommon. I need to take some measurements to see if its depth (it sticks down about 10" below the floor) will work up in front.