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Old 12-26-2010, 11:55 AM   #85
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Thanks Dave. Good points to consider.
In real life, getting good information from people is like pulling teeth.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:35 PM   #86
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OK, here is a tip. When using POR 15, wear gloves. Do not get this stuff on your skin and let it dry. It won't come off. I spent a good part of the day yesterday sandpapering my hands. I'd rather have been doing something else.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:00 PM   #87
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For anyone who may do the shell off thing, I'm going to try to offer some insight here as to the biggest pain that I had. When getting the shell off of the frame the biggest problem was not the bracing, it was the jacking and supporting of the shell.

Because my frame was twisted and whatnot I had to brace it twice.. once to get it off of the frame and again once it was off of the frame to let the shell be level.
I came across this method on the second go around.

At first, when jacking up the shell, I used the floor to support the jack and the shell as I jacked up the shell at different points. So I wound up having spacers, be they 2x6 blocks or cinder blocks or whatever between the floor and the bracing.

So you wind up having two sets of supports at each point where you are jacking up the shell.. one for the jack and one for the support.. because you can't jack it and support it at the same point. The jack is in the way.

The more jack points that I had the bigger a pain it is, not least is coming up with enough cinder blocks and 2x6 blocks to provide all of the support points as the shell got higher and higher.

The solution was to use knee walls. I can't describe it well enough so I tried to draw some pictures.

Using knee walls I was able to slide a 2x6 board underneath the 2x4s anywhere between the knee walls and jack up the entire rear end (or front end) of the shell at one time, have supporting blocks out near the edges, while distributing the stress evenly through the knee walls.

I'll post some pictures as a follow up when I can find some daylight.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:37 AM   #88
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From what I've heard it's easier to lift the shell from above than to jack it up. Not everyone has the facility to do it that way, though. Your solution seems to have worked out well. I used a jack in the center of the floor with a 4x4 going vertically up to another one placed horizontally on top of the first one, to span several ribs. My rig is only a 19' long shell, but it lifted the whole thing at once very easily.

Best to you,
Rich the Viking
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:33 PM   #89
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I can dig it. Unfortunately there is no best way to do anything. There are always circumstances and trade-offs.

As I am finishing the rustproofing of the chassis I'm giving a lot of thought to what I need the interior layout to be.
Thoughts..
In this year/model the original layout had just about all of the functional stuff along the starboard side (curb side for you landlubbers). Galley, furnace, water inlet, battery, head, water heater all on one side. Windows on starboard side too. Port side no windows except back and front and a giant refrigerator up front. Don't need the giant refrigerator.

For power not all that fond of lead batteries. This is the 21st century after all. I think that I may want to be an early adopter of a fuel cell for aux. power. If I can afford it. They have been doing a lot of work on it with the military. I'm anxiously waiting to see how much this little bugger is going to cost. Protonex Technology Corporation - Recreation - RV Power It is supposed to come out early next year (2011).

The head is really cramped and the venting for the bathroom is subpar. No way am I going with that plan. I don't want to be doing contortions while I'm taking a shower or a squat.

I also have an idea that the breathability of the trailer in general is sub-par. The walls between the skin and the interior seem to be a moisture trap. Gotta do some figger'n on that.

Any sort of non vented heater is a no-go. I'm looking at boat heaters as an alternative. Something like this maybe.. Sig Marine / Force 10 Propane Cozy Cabin Heater Maybe vent it through the ceiling where the giant refrigerator used to be. Something like that and a smaller, efficient furnace should be ok.

I'd also like to be an early adopter on an on-demand water heater. The 6 or 10 gallon tank thing seems ponderous and inefficient. We will see what we can do about that. Maybe nothing, but we'll see.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:24 AM   #90
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As much as I'd like to agree with going to a fuel-cell, that particular one states 164 hours run time at 125W constant output on a twenty pound tank of propane so that's 20,500w output at 1025w per pound of fuel.

Did'ya know a pound of propane has 22000 BTU energy in it, and that is equal to 6400 watts of energy? 1025/6400 = 16% efficiency.

If I had a cell phone or emergency radio repeater on a mountain top and needed a failure safe back up, those numbers would look attractive...

The cells operate at temperatures from 650 to 1,000°C but the outside surface temperature is kept cool as a "household toaster" - think we could scavenge the waste heat from it up here in Minnesota?
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:26 PM   #91
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:: running off to add fuel cells to the "AirForums Contentious Topics - A Top 10" list ::
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
Did'ya know a pound of propane has 22000 BTU energy in it, and that is equal to 6400 watts of energy? 1025/6400 = 16% efficiency.
Thanks for the input.
I did some ciphering on your numbers and they are good as far as I can see.
I'm wondering if this is correct:

80 AH lead acid battery @ 12v= 80*12= 960W= 3,275 btu
1 lb of propane =22,000 btu
Approx 4 lbs of propane per gallon (cost $3) =88,000 btu

88,000 * 16% efficiency =13,080 btu
Output of above battery before recharge (50%) = 1,637 btu

So for $3 worth of propane you get about 8x more power.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:27 PM   #93
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And to keep the good info in one place: is a "marine battery" just a standard high current/low depth battery, or is it a deep cycle battery? Or could it be either?
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:35 PM   #94
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I believe a standard marine battery is a deep cycle battery. Around here they are used for trawling motors and live wells.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:56 AM   #95
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Aww gee, no dose of daily sarcasm... I feel cheated!

I ran the numbers on a Honda Eu3000 powered by propane - at full output it generates 120VAC at 1350W-hour per pound of propane. I wasn't trying to trash the fuel cell - if you have $5000 to get the fuel cell you can afford the propane.

Not being merely humorous about scavenging heat from the fuel cell exhaust, co-generation is where its at...

Let's charge that 80Ah battery with the cell while skipping a lot of variables like battery temperature and charge controller losses and active loads (LED lighting?) at the same time

125W less 3 to 5% line losses to get to the battery (remember fuses and wire can be viewed as resistors) then 85% efficiency of the electro-chemical process and another 3 to 5% loss to reach the device you are powering... 94 to 100W potential output after one hour.

So the fuel cell is a silent power source for a laptop computer, some LED lighting and charge an i-pad while waiting for the sun to come up so the solar PV panels can charge the battery...
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:09 AM   #96
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Sounds like a couple of 200W solar panels make this conversation moot for a fraction of the price?
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:27 AM   #97
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I believe that you would power your devices directly from the fuel cell, not use it primarily to charge batteries.

All of the negative issues involved with operating a generator will disappear.

Larger fuel cells are prohibitively expensive (for me anyway), but hopefully they will be affordable in the not so distant future. There are tons of people and tons of money being applied to the development of fuel cell technology.

I definitely be keeping my eyes on it. The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.
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