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Old 04-20-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
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1958 22' Caravanner
gregory , Michigan
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OK I am almost ready to cut into the AS Caravanner

After reading the adjacent thread about Precision temp water heaters I have almost decided to go with the PT RV5000. What is the best way to cut the side out of the trailer. I never had a propane heater in the original trailer so can choose my spot.

Metal drill at corners and reciprocating saw with fine metal blade?

I like the ease of installation of the Precision Temp Shower Mate, but the cost is up there. Does anyone think its worth buying the High wind and Winter add-on for the PT RV5000?


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Old 04-20-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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I would not consider a reciprocating saw to cut the outside of the AS. Consider a small router or nibbler, the reciprocating saw and metal shears will bend the material along the cut and may not be covered by the flange around the heater. Check the flange dimensions before you use them.

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1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 04-20-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
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Originally Posted by airdoxy View Post

Does anyone think its worth buying the High wind and Winter add-on for the PT RV5000?

I do. Even in Arkansas.

But I'm in my Excella in the winter.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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1968 30' Sovereign
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When I cut into the side of my classic trailer to make a refrigerator vent, I looked at the rivet lines and carefully measured the opening I needed to make. I started with the small hole made by a drill. Then I used hand metal shears to nibble away the metal, hoping I would not find a hidden wire of any kind. I was very fortunate and the vent install went smoothly. I can certainly understand your reluctance in cutting into the side of your trailer.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
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Oxford, , Mississippi
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I'd say stay away from recip saw. Things can go bad real fast if you make a mistake. A good jig saw with a fine metal blade might work OK, put blue tape down so the shoe of the saw doesn't mare the skin. I think the best would be an air nimbler, but hard to justify buying if you only use it once. Eastwood Company, check the web site, has a good manual metal nibbler. I bought one last year and it works well and does not distort the edge like shears can.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:34 PM   #6
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2000 30' Limited
battle ground, , Washington
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small hole and look around

inho, small hole first, then inspection mirror with flashlite, then creep up on it with tin snips. the alum is easy to cut with sharp snips (not the 40 year old ones in the tool box-spend a coupla $ and get some new ones) don't use the recip-it'll jump around too much and the length of the blade will cause additional woes inside...slow and small is the ticket.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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Harbor Freight has a pretty cheap nibbler that worked well on belly pan material for me. Your sides might be thicker than that, but it was WAY easier than a snips & the cuts were smoother.

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Old 04-20-2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Eureka Springs , Arkansas
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I agree with 68 Twind. I hired a RV tech to install furnace and water heater in new location. I marked where I wanted it, but couldn't watch the initial cuts. He used a sabre saw with masking tape on base. No Sweat (except from me!).

PS: Rivet lines mark where NOT TO CUT!!
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:51 PM   #9
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1958 22' Caravanner
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Thanks All! I like the cautious approach. I am now even leaning toward the 'Shower Mate' unit, because it requires only 3" opening in and 3" stack exhaust out. Maybe its worth an extra $400 to keep the old tin can looking original.

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