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Old 06-05-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
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More random design ideas

First, thanks to Truckasaurus who is well ahead of us on his project and whose Sketch-Up design has been very helpful.

We're going to finally get the frame and floor renovation done within the next month or two. Oh, and maybe we'll get the windows and door gaskets tight so the Airstream is no longer an aluminum aquarium.

Frame and floor requires some design decisions on electrical and plumbing systems.

I think the AC will need to go on the roof. I don't like the ductwork idea so I'm thinking about two propane micro-heaters, one forward and one aft. The LP gas plumbing should be simple enough.

On the water side, we have the fill tube forward and could but the fresh water tank behind the sofa (in its OEM location). We could also look around the axles. I know opinions are sharply divided on composting toilets, but I really like the idea of no black tank. My wife and I plan to spend most of our hiatus at campgrounds with facilities... and to use the head in the coach lightly. A gray water tank is necessary, but we're looking at moving the weight to near the axles.

On the electrical side, the entire coach will be rewired. I like the idea of dedicated ground wires on the 12v lighting side (rather than ground to body). I also like the idea of additional wiring to make the marker lights work as turn/stop indicators. The convertor, breakers and other wiring will be accessed through the rear panel and located under the bed. I'd like a rear bed design that allow the mattress to be removed to allow top-down access to everything.

We're hoping to incorporate solar panels, AGM batteries and LED lighting inside. I think a retro "gas light" would be kind of fun.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
First, thanks to Truckasaurus who is well ahead of us on his project and whose Sketch-Up design has been very helpful.

We're going to finally get the frame and floor renovation done within the next month or two. Oh, and maybe we'll get the windows and door gaskets tight so the Airstream is no longer an aluminum aquarium.

Frame and floor requires some design decisions on electrical and plumbing systems.

I think the AC will need to go on the roof. I don't like the ductwork idea so I'm thinking about two propane micro-heaters, one forward and one aft. The LP gas plumbing should be simple enough.

On the water side, we have the fill tube forward and could but the fresh water tank behind the sofa (in its OEM location). We could also look around the axles. I know opinions are sharply divided on composting toilets, but I really like the idea of no black tank. My wife and I plan to spend most of our hiatus at campgrounds with facilities... and to use the head in the coach lightly. A gray water tank is necessary, but we're looking at moving the weight to near the axles.

On the electrical side, the entire coach will be rewired. I like the idea of dedicated ground wires on the 12v lighting side (rather than ground to body). I also like the idea of additional wiring to make the marker lights work as turn/stop indicators. The convertor, breakers and other wiring will be accessed through the rear panel and located under the bed. I'd like a rear bed design that allow the mattress to be removed to allow top-down access to everything.

We're hoping to incorporate solar panels, AGM batteries and LED lighting inside. I think a retro "gas light" would be kind of fun.
LPG lights are nice, "BUT" you must leave a vent open, and thery still smell up the place. Also the burner material is fragile, so buy extra's.

Andy
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:56 AM   #3
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It's a retro thing. I remember camping as a kid with the "ssssss" of propane lights. Yeah, the mantles fall apart, but also I like the idea of a light or two not dependent on power.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
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Hi Hampstead

I have a LPG light in my trailer. I have never used it. I might if I were boondocking for an extended stay. I don't think they are fun. Mantels don't really like to be turned off and on. And I would worry about leaving in on while not in the camper. I am also concerned that the heat might discolor the ceiling covering. It is at face height and I would worry about someone getting burned. I plan on taking mine out because I have hit my head on it enough already. Also, the gas supply line is routed thru the fridge vent, which I don't love. I also think it might be after market because it did not match the original, long since gone, avocado color sceme.
I go to the Arcadia Bluegrass Festival out by you. Maybe I'll see you there. Dave
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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Dave,

I live just around the corner from the Arcadia Volunteer Fire Department and Carnival Grounds... close enough to hear music with the windows open. If you need anything, just let me know.

As for propane lighting, I'm not sure I'd want to use it all the time. Propane mantles throw off a good bit of heat. I think they would be a nice addition if I can find a convenient place to put one or two.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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Hampstead,
All sound like good ideas. I wish I knew more about composting toilets in an RV application. I know you don't like the idea of a roof top AC, but have you looked at the Carrier AirV The roof top shroud is only 7.5" high and you could probably paint it silver. Are you going to go with an on-demand water heater? I too love the old propane lanterns. Our gunting cabin is lit with 7 old Humphrey lanterns when we aren't running the generator. They do generate a lot of heat, but we have had no experience with any orders. But they might smell a little in the confines of and Airstream. I can attest to the fact that they discolor the ceiling even with the modest heat sheild that they come equipped with. And as you've already mentioned the pre-formed mantles are quite fragile and quite expensive. The last time I had to buy some they were all but $8.00 a mantle. Though a Coleman mantle will do in a pinch and are much cheaper.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:09 PM   #7
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Being a boondocker, frequently in cooler weather, I would love to have a propane lamp. I would have no more concern using a propane lamp than I do using my oven. Of course, you need to ensure adequate ventilation, but the benefits way outweigh the negatives to me.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:30 PM   #8
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Ventiliation is key... and I guess I grew up on the smell of Coleman lanterns. I've also stayed in cabins in rural Montana where everything was propane (no electricity). You can truck in propane, but you can't truck in kilowatts. These were the days before solar panels and wind turbines.

I think the key on heat and discoloration is improved shielding... a fabrication challenge waiting to happen.
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