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Old 07-01-2013, 11:32 PM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
General Zog... I failed to bag up a sample and send it, I'll try to get on that tomarrow. Apologies.

Including window frames about 475 feet of rib & stiffeners in my 27' need to be finessed with thermal breaks. The true ribs hold about 1.75 sqft of contact area and figuring the pop-rivets at one per linear foot on the ribs equals 0.22 sqft of aluminum conductor. The stiffener - stand offs are larger, say 1.95 sqft. So, after a thermal break is installed the pop-rivets are less that 6% of the previous untreated area.

Remember we're not looking for R-1, just better than the R-0 that exists as is.

A Heat Transfer Textbook, 4/e
In my haste to get crap done, I went ahead and put the PVC tape on for a thermal break so I won't be able to test the beads.
I did a very unsophisticated test. I put the PVC tape on one rib and not on the other rib. I clamped 1' square pieces of .025 aluminum on each rib. I did not have a surface thermometer. It was 100 deg here at 5000' near noon on June 26 so there was a ton of energy hitting the roof. I waited an hour and checked back in. Inside the airstream was about the same as outside. In both cases, the area several inches from the rib was warm but not hot. The bulk insulation actually was doing a good job. Where the ribs touched the test piece of inside skin, they were both really hot. They were so hot that it was impossible to touch them for more than a few seconds, it was close, but the PVC separated system was easier to touch than the one without a break. Later in the day, the PVC coated one was significantly cooler than the other one. This, and the fact that it was cheap and available, was enough for me to go ahead and install the PVC tape on all my ribs, window frames, and anything that bridged the inner and outer skin. It looks something like this.

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Old 07-03-2013, 08:33 PM   #240
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Shopping.

Today I bought the 6 gallon pilot only Atwood water heater. It fits well in the existing hole

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and seems to have the least things to go wrong.
I've thought about the tankless options but can't get past the issues with the Girard or the price of the Precision Temp tankless choices.
Here is the inside look at where the water heater will sit.

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I also picked up 10 4x10 sheets of .032" 5052 mill finish aluminum from ONeill Metals in Ogden, UT. They were super responsive and answered all my questions. I am getting ready to start working on the end caps. I've seen some great threads on this site which I will use as my guide.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:17 PM   #241
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Started work on the interior aluminum skin
The first step will be the toughest: the endcaps.
I am doing a segmented design like the 13 panel airstreams of old and the many examples in the forum.
I decided on the following approach. I established a center point in the front window and drew it on a piece of tape on the front window. The lines will radiate out from this center point to equally spaced points on the first rib. I made marks spaced at 9" apart from the starting point (47" off the floor along the first rib) up to the top center. There will be an odd number of segments and the middle segment will be 9" wide as well and bisected by the top center line. I then used a long straight edged flat piece of aluminum sheet to trace lines from the center point to the marks on the main rib.
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In this picture, the faint lines are the arcs formed this way. Each line represents the top of one segment and will line up with the straight edge of a piece cut from .032 aluminum sheet. Since the angle increases as I move from the center out, the spacing at the top of the window increases as I go further to the outside.

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I am starting at the bottom and each segment is cut out to match the lines plus 1 1/2" and aligned to the top line. To measure each piece, I assume that the top edge is straight and then measure the height every 12" of length to approximate the shape. The bottom edge will be underneath the segment below it so the exact measurement is not critical as long as it is big enough.
Here is the first piece I cut to fit. After I placed it in, I cut the angle to the window which will be covered by the window trim.

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Here are the first 2 pieces:


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Old 07-04-2013, 10:50 PM   #242
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Are you using 100% new (.032) aluminum on the interior? Is that also what you used on your floor?
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowdyATX View Post
Are you using 100% new (.032) aluminum on the interior? Is that also what you used on your floor?
Yes,
It is all new .032" aluminum for the interior skins, while for the floor I used .125". I still am not sure it was the right decision and I am assuming some risk of failure down the road, but it made sense to me. My main concerns are failure of rivets, compression of the foam in the torsion box of the floor, and corrosion caused by aluminum floor and steel frame.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:33 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by worldinchaos View Post

I would tell you all about the amazing differential equations of heat transfer that I have, and provide you with a copy of a great textbook on momentum, heat, and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics, but in the end, the only thing that matters is your real life experimental results. You have truly awakened the scientific side of my brain to this question, because I realized that my job's FLIR thermal imaging camera would be great for understanding the differences in temperature of the shell at various points with this stuff applied. It would be able to tell us the variations in temperature with better than 0.1 deg F accuracy and 320x240 resolution. We could set up side-by-side comparisons along the length of the trailer. So, wanna make a road trip to So Cal?

I really hope you get some good results, because otherwise when I find my next Airstream renovation in a few years, I'll find myself setting up an adult science fair project on this.

The biggest concern I have is how you insulate the rivets to prevent them from simply transferring most of the heat through. I know they are small compared to the rib-to-shell contact surface area, but they are still direct metal connections nonetheless. Also, how much air flow or cooling effect are you going to have on the interior? Are we talking about just delaying the inevitable temperature rise, or are we trying to minimize the heat transfer between a forced-cooled interior and the sweltering exterior?
I never replied to this so I apologize. We are not putting in a central AC, but I am thinking about keeping the option of a vented portable AC that we can bring along when it is going to be really hot. Most of our camping will be mountains and deserts so it will usually get cool at night. In those cases, we are just looking to delay an increase as well as minimize propane use and condensation in the winter. By the way, a road trip to SoCal sounds good. I used to live in Pasadena and miss it sometimes. I missed the chance to do a careful experiment, but am still toying with leaving off the PVC on on one section just for fun.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:09 PM   #245
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More progress on the front end cap.

I cut them out based on my lines starting at the bottom and sliding in each additional piece. I used only factory edges on the visible seams. It took 2 sheets to get all the edges I needed. I'll use the remnants for all the hidden places. I used my grizzly shear to make most of the cuts and finished the edges with a file but all the cut edges are buried underneath the seams. I used 1" spaced pegboard to lay out the rivet spacing and offset. I drilled one hole than used a cleco to position it. Than I used a felt tip pen to mark every other hole along the straight edge. The pegboard is flexible enough to bend to the contour.


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I worked my way up from the bottom and made pretty good progress. I made one of my overlaps too small and paid for it by having an extra line of holes on one seam that are just filled with rivets. Overall I am pleased with it. I think the back will go faster.


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Old 07-23-2013, 11:49 PM   #246
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More progress on the endcaps. Moving on to the back, it is not going faster, but it is going better.

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It is cool how these two dimensional pieces make a 3d shape when they are riveted together.
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Since this is the bathroom ceiling, I need lights. I am using the led lights without a bracket from led4rc. 9 Warm White LED 5050SMD Down Light SKU138 (D5050WW9)
I am riveting them directly to the interior skin. I drilled 3 1/8" holes around the perimeter and attached them to the skin after wiring them up.

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These require a 2 1/4" hole and fit perfectly. I ran each of these on a separate power line which will run back to the vanity.

I also added a smaller white light that I got on clearance from Imtra marine. They require a 1" hole and a easily installed with rivets. This will be the bathroom night light. The current draw is really low.

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I also got some of these in blue and red by special request from my kids who want them for night lights in their bunks. I wanted these to have local switches so I tried to figure out a very low profile switch that could mount directly in the wall of their bunks but also be replaceable if there were problems. Most switches snap in or are attached by a threaded nut on the back. This would not be accessible on the inside of the skin without pain. This is the solution I came up with: I used a threaded rocker switch that required a 3/4" hole and attached it to a round plate(the cutout from my other lights worked out perfectly). This is the plate I made pretty easily with a 3/4" hole saw and a 2 1/4" hole saw.

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Here is the switch installed on the right with the blue lights on.

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This is as far as I've gotten so far. This is really slow going. I can't imagine installing a complete 4' x10' sheet at one time.



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Old 07-24-2013, 05:16 AM   #247
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Wow! It looks fantastic. Lots of work & planning there. It sure paid off!
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:11 AM   #248
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It's looking great. Keep it up!
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:57 PM   #249
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More progress on interior skins.



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Old 07-27-2013, 09:43 PM   #250
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The last piece is in on the curbside end cap. In all of these pieces, I cut the bottom edge straight. When the 2 dimensional piece bends around the curved structure of the end cap, it assumes a pleasing curve, at least to my eye. I was careless about matching the spacing of the two sides and instead focused on efficient use of the material. The street side is going to be a bunk bunk bed so they will not both be visible at the same time.

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Old 07-31-2013, 07:22 AM   #251
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More lighting...

I bought some pretty inexpensive reading lights that use an MR-16 bulb. I don't have LED bulbs for them yet, but they are readily available. The only problem was how to mount them since they wouldn't have good contact if attached directly to the aluminum skin.
I ended up removing the nut that attaches the stem to the base and attaching that to a custom base that I made with 1/8" aluminum plate and a 2 1/4" hole saw. This will sit flush against the skin and provide plenty of support with 4 flush pop rivets to attach to the .032 aluminum skin.


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I mounted two of these in the front on either side of the window. They can rotate 360 and tilt so they will be very versatile.

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Old 07-31-2013, 09:10 AM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzog View Post
More lighting...

I bought some pretty inexpensive reading lights that use an MR-16 bulb. I don't have LED bulbs for them yet, but they are readily available. The only problem was how to mount them since they wouldn't have good contact if attached directly to the aluminum skin.
I ended up removing the nut that attaches the stem to the base and attaching that to a custom base that I made with 1/8" aluminum plate and a 2 1/4" hole saw. This will sit flush against the skin and provide plenty of support with 4 flush pop rivets to attach to the .032 aluminum skin.

I mounted two of these in the front on either side of the window. They can rotate 360 and tilt so they will be very versatile.
I absolutely love my LED spot lights in very similar locations. I frequently angle them and rotate them to light up a given area. They were also very helpful while working on the trailer interior and allowed me to leave all the portable work lights elsewhere.

Lookin good!
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