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Old 12-06-2008, 11:01 AM   #15
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Really neat Zep GOOD JOB. I'm very jealous. I cant do fab work like that.
Roger
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:29 PM   #16
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Just curious, but what are your lines made out of? When I installed my Olympic I wasn't able to come up with anything other than copper and the job was a bear. Nice job.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:02 PM   #17
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Zep.

Sexy setup...Hope you dont mind if we plagerize your concept...this will definatly work in my Avion where the clearance between the cabinet and dinette is tight.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63air View Post
Just curious, but what are your lines made out of? When I installed my Olympic I wasn't able to come up with anything other than copper and the job was a bear. Nice job.
Copper up through the floor. Then a 6' propane hose (available at Camping World for about $14) with standard flare fittings. The final piece is a 90 degree "swivel" fitting from Camco (Olympic). The fitting doesn't swivel, but it is adjustable to the angle you want.

You can see I moved the propane fitting on the heater in order to reduce the bends. It's on a very easily bent aluminum tube, so moving it to the bottom of the heater was fairly easy. This probably means you can't use the standard floor mount feet any longer, but you could easily adapt a plywood base to allow for the greater height.

As I mentioned earlier, I am going to move the hinge line away from the door and shorten the swing arm length. This will get the heater more in the middle of the panel. The nice things I have discovered are (1) the hose is more flexible than I anticipated, which leads to (2) the hinge line doesn't have to be directly over the centerline of the stress relief opening. I'll just put in another length of "L" extrusion with three nutplates and the mechanism will continue to hide the orginal mounting holes, even though they aren't really that objectionable.

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Old 12-09-2008, 11:00 AM   #19
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That's a really great idea. Nicely done too. I was going to try and figure out a way to install a central forced air unit, but that looks like the way to go. Thanks for sharing Zep.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:23 PM   #20
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How efficient?

Zep,

Excellent install. You definitely have more talent than I. While I enjoy DIY projects my modifications tend to turn out a bit more... "rustic".

How do you like the heater? I am in Colorado like you and am considering replacing the forced air furnace in my 22' Int with a catalytic heater. I mostly boondock and would like to be rid of the electricity hungry furnace.

My one concern is whether the catalytic alone is sufficient for heating. I am conservative and keep the trailer "jacket comfortable" in the winter. Since your trailers are about the same size as mine I am interested in how well the catalytic is able to keep the trailer reasonably warm in temps down into the teens and single digits.

Appreciate your thoughts. jk
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:32 PM   #21
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...My one concern is whether the catalytic alone is sufficient for heating. I am conservative and keep the trailer "jacket comfortable" in the winter. Since your trailers are about the same size as mine I am interested in how well the catalytic is able to keep the trailer reasonably warm in temps down into the teens and single digits...
Full report coming in the New Year. I'm heading out to Seattle, Mono Lake, and back to Colorado. I expect many nights to be below 20 degrees, so I'll have good data to report.

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #22
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Full report coming in the New Year. I'm heading out to Seattle, Mono Lake, and back to Colorado. I expect many nights to be below 20 degrees, so I'll have good data to report.

Zep
Awesome. Sounds like a great trip. Look forward to reading the report. Enjoy! jk
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:43 AM   #23
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Zep, sounds like a great trip.

We stumbled across Mono Lake this year on our way to Death Valley and were just blown away by the beauty. Very exotic sight for a Virginian. We also visited Bodie and wished we hadn't gotten there so late. It is worth more than the hour we could spend there.

Happy trails - Pat
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:58 PM   #24
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Bodie is fantastic at sunrise. Was there once, no one around, and three military fighters came screaming overhead at very low evelation. Startling, incongruous and awesome.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:39 AM   #25
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Back early. Miserable trip (while driving), but nights in the Sovereign were comfortable.

First, the conditions: 3,375 miles, 10 long days of driving, not one day without significant road ice. Night time lows down to -5, daytime highs usually 26 or so, but we saw 36 on two days. Worst weather in the NW in 30 years.

The trip was planned for coastal Oregon and Seattle, so we expected lows of 30 degrees, with maybe an excursion or two down to 15. Highs typically are mid-40s. Actual temperatures never got this high. So the challenge was what to do about the sub-freezing daytime temperatures while driving. With some trepidation I decided that the heater had to run pretty much all day (had to keep the canned goods and drinks from freezing, and keep the fridge from freezing the veggies). The beauty of a catalytic heater is that there is no flame and it won't "blow out" due to a big bump.

The Olympic Wave 6 heater worked great. For days when the outside temperature was in the 20s, I ran the Olympic at low. When the temps were below 10, I ran it at max. The trailer remained above freezing despite being in a continuous 45-65 mph gale with a not-so-good door seal. The other drafty source were the holes under the kitchen cabinet for the water drain lines. Neither of these were fixed during the trip due to the extreme cold--caulk doesn't like to be applied below 40 degrees and the weather stripping adheasive won't stick.

The only significant problem was condensation. When the heater was at max all day, there was enough to wet the floor under the windows in the front of the trailer (the heater is up front). If you've seen my other thread on the Sovereign and all the window modifications I'm doing, you may recall that one of the windows (next to the door) is only single pane. It collected roughly half of all the condensation, sometimes as frost and sometimes a water that would run off immediately.

Due to the extreme conditions, we hooked up to electrical every night, sometimes with 20 amps, but mostly with 30. Surprisingly, once the trailer was warm (like 50 degrees), two 1500 Watt ceramic heaters were sufficient to maintain comfort all night, even when it was 5-10 degrees ouside. On the coldest night (it actually got colder than -5 most of the night) we used the Olympic and one ceramic heater, with a Buddy heater for a few hours.

I haven't refilled the propane yet, but I ran the heater pretty much on medium or max for 85 hours straight and then another 35 hours on low and used less than what I estimate to be 10 gal of propane.

In summary, the Olympic made the trip possible, but due to the length of the Sovereign you need some heat source in the rear. We were surprised that a ceramic heater was sufficient back there, but I think that's a testament to the fact that there weren't any air leaks in the aft part of the trailer. For boondocking, I think that a Buddy heater in the back on low would do fine. I just need to get the door seal fixed and other leaks blocked to see if I'm right about this. I can't emphasize enough how significant the draft was from the holes under the kitchen cabinet and they're only 1" in diameter with a 5/8" pipe in them!

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Old 12-29-2008, 06:03 AM   #26
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It goes without saying the trip didn't follow the original plan. Business cancellations nixed Bodie, sliding backwards on a hill west of Portland nixed getting to the coast. Some days were beautiful, every day on the highway was terrifying (try chains over Snoqualmie Pass where the Sovereign is trying to slide to the inside of the turn). Here's some samples...

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Seattle ice...
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Road grime and salt was constant
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Thick fog in eastern WA and OR
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Glad to be back in Colorado where temps are in the 50s!

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Old 12-29-2008, 06:20 AM   #27
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Great pictures, sounds like you had an interesting trip. I need to turn the heater up a few degrees...
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:20 AM   #28
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Zep,

Great trip report. A testament to your driving abilities. Makes me wonder, can you stud a trailer tire?
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