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jcferguson 02-04-2006 05:36 PM

Tow questions
 
I have a couple tow related questions as I prepare for my first trip to frozen Illinois next weekend.

1 - the charge line from the tow vehicle to the airstream, I want to know more. Where should this line be attached to the vehicle (battery positive directly?) What kind of voltage comes to the trailer on this line? Do I need to worry about my AGM batteries with this kind of charging? Do I need to disconnect when I stop to not drain my vehicle battery? The p.o. of my tow vehicle has wired up a couple lights next to the hitch with a toggle switch to turn them on and off. This line was also wired into the previous tow vehicle umbilical receptacle. I checked the output on this line while the truck was idling and got 11.20V and wonder if I should just wire this into my umbilical as the charge line?

2 - my airstream came with a weight distributing hitch, I think it is a reese which has a fixed receiver for the tow vehicle. It looks like the ball height might be about 1" too tall for an exactly level airstream. How perfectly level should the airstream be?

thanks for help,

Carlos

uwe 02-04-2006 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcferguson
I have a couple tow related questions as I prepare for my first trip to frozen Illinois next weekend.

1 - the charge line from the tow vehicle to the airstream, I want to know more. Where should this line be attached to the vehicle (battery positive directly?) What kind of voltage comes to the trailer on this line? Do I need to worry about my AGM batteries with this kind of charging? Do I need to disconnect when I stop to not drain my vehicle battery? The p.o. of my tow vehicle has wired up a couple lights next to the hitch with a toggle switch to turn them on and off. This line was also wired into the previous tow vehicle umbilical receptacle. I checked the output on this line while the truck was idling and got 11.20V and wonder if I should just wire this into my umbilical as the charge line?

The umbilical cord carries the charge line. It should be hooked up to the battery terminal positive in the tow vehicle, and fused with 30-40A, depending on the wire gauge that runs from the battery to the hitch connection, and from there through the umbilical chord. The truck's alternator will supply a charge to both the vehicle battery and the trailer's batteries while you're driving. I am unaware that this would hurt your AGM batteries. There will be a considerable voltage drop between the truck's battery and the trailer's batteries, due to the losses in wire length and through losses in the connectors. Even though, with the trucks engine running, 11.2 V seems sorta low. I don't know what the wiring was configured to, so advice on the light circuit is difficult. I know that my Overlander and my TradeWIND both had a junction from the charge line the fed power to the electric tongue jack and breakaway switch.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcferguson
2 - my airstream came with a weight distributing hitch, I think it is a reese which has a fixed receiver for the tow vehicle. It looks like the ball height might be about 1" too tall for an exactly level airstream. How perfectly level should the airstream be?

thanks for help,

Carlos

I believe that the more level your trailer is, the better it and it's contents will survive the towing rigors. Your propane refrigerator will also work more efficiently and live longer when it is level.
You should buy an adjustable hitch shank, so that you can get your rig levelled. Some say that it is better to be nose high, then tail high ( on the trailer). I believe that level, or as close as possible to it, is best.

wrepete 02-08-2006 03:08 PM

Carlos, can you give me the source for the 100amp circuit breaker you have used? My searches have come to naught.

I check your site at least once a week, and really enjoy your inventiveness and skill of execution. What a pleasure to see it. Your stove installation has helped me see what I would like to do with the Propane Fireplace [Newport P9000] that I'm preparing to install. Thanks for the inspiration.

FiveGreers 02-08-2006 03:47 PM

Amazing job!
 
I just found this post and started reading through the whole thing, and, like everyone else, I'm so impressed with the amazing job you've done! Top notch! Congratulations-she is beautiful!

jcferguson 02-08-2006 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrepete
Carlos, can you give me the source for the 100amp circuit breaker you have used? My searches have come to naught.

I check your site at least once a week, and really enjoy your inventiveness and skill of execution. What a pleasure to see it. Your stove installation has helped me see what I would like to do with the Propane Fireplace [Newport P9000] that I'm preparing to install. Thanks for the inspiration.


I got the circuit breaker from waytek (waytekwire.com). Expensive, 26$, but I like the switch built in so I can take everything off the batteries if I want.

Tell me how you like that propane stove, I thought about it when I was heater-hunting. It's a nice looking heater, and you can see the flames too, right?

Thanks,

Carlos

ArtStream 02-08-2006 08:48 PM

Carlos,

Just finished the complete thread. Just blown away by your attention to detail and sense of style. Thank you for taking the time to share your vision with all of us, Bravo!



Michael

wrepete 02-10-2006 08:22 PM

Good Help
 
Carlos, thank you for the reference to waytekwire. They have some really good stuff.

I got the Dickinson fireplace unpacked today; it really looks great, and appears to be very well made. I'm going to post what I'm doing with it on another thread about fireplaces, but since my post is quite long I will just send you a private message about it. I hope the hole in my roof looks half as good when I'm through, as yours does. Thanks again for sharing your good work with us!

till 02-16-2006 07:18 PM

WOW!!!!!!!!

Amazing thread. Bookmarked for referance.

DaisyandDave 02-17-2006 06:30 PM

Carlos,

Your work is exquisite. You are an artist. I shared your thread with my husband who is equally impressed. (We had a terrible fight today over the airstream...the worst one we've had in years) We just got it delivered and jeez it's a mess...cat poop, mouse crap...and he said, "Well, it's got to be gutted" and I looked around at his many unfinished projects and his bizarre (sometimes artistic...but come on...a lamp shade perched on a solar outdoor light that is attached to a piece of rebar, that I nearly impaled myself on the other morning) and I screamed, "NOOOOOOO". "Let me finish" he said, "you never let me finish" and all I could see were those disgusting white plastic open weave boxes that he likes to carry his dirty extension cords in being carted into the trailer in place of cabinets and him grinning with "Let's go camping..." sigh...and then your stupid web thread with the beautiful glowing wood...I hate you:)
Marita

jcferguson 02-17-2006 09:04 PM

Ahh, Marita, after your kind words I'd like to side with you, but your husband is clearly mis-understood. An artist like your husband needs encouragement, understanding...

I'm thinking that a solar outdoor light could be welded to the frame of my airstream, perhaps with a nice sturdy piece of rebar. Covered with a lampshade, it might throw a nice glow out onto the lawn. Yellow green against deep blue night sky.

Gut that trailer!

I went camping last weekend, believe it or not, with the bed supported by 6 wooden crates that look a lot like those plastic open weave boxes you describe.

Good luck, this forum is a great source of information, and the airstream project is a wee bit longer term than I had originally thought...

Carlos

cnssanders 02-18-2006 12:58 AM

Carlos,

Thanks for sharing your progress on this awsome undertaking! It is refreshing to see people going outside the box and following a dream. The thought and workmanship that you are putting into this project shows the craftsman you are. There are more tips and ideas in this thread than I can digest in several readings, let alone one. I hope they archive this for future referance. This is a wonderful forum, and its nice to see so much support and interest in airstreaming!
I am a relatively new owner and am looking forward to restoring my 67 safari sometime in the future, distant future, since it is being put to regular use by my family right now. We love to camp and explore this awsome country!
Thanks again and "Lord willin' we'll see ya down the road!"

jcferguson 02-23-2006 03:10 PM

Door
 
3 Attachment(s)
I had left the inside of the door 'til now trying to decide if it should be aluminum or wood - I decided on Aluminum, there is an awful lot of warm colored wood going on already. I removed all the interior metal and then used 80 grit sandpaper to take off the zolatone, then worked down to 320 grit and finally polished it a bit by hand with 0000 steel wool. It looks hand worked for sure, I think some might not like how un-uniform it is...

I found window closers at Blaine to replace the missing door in a door closer - they were about $5.85 each... the next step up was about 40$ each, I think these look fine, they are silver painted metal, very sturdy.

jcferguson 02-23-2006 03:17 PM

Fireplace surround
 
7 Attachment(s)
I am happy with my woodstove and so I decided to make the temporary insulation panels permanent. They are made with 3003 aluminum, pretty soft stuff. I used a shear and brake to bend them into shallow pans that then hold 5/8" insulation board and sit far enough away from the wall for convection to carry hot air away.

1/2" Aluminum tubing creates little stand-offs that make the air gap behind. Even though the stove is just 1" from the shielding, it stays cool to the touch on the wall side.

I added an "always open" vent to make the space safer. The vent runs from inside the wheel well up a 3" pipe to just behind the stove. Cool air is sucked in from under wheel well and heated and carried up to the ceiling by convection currents. It sort of swoops off my curved ceiling protector and then curls down to the stove intake. I used sticks of incense and watched the little smoke trail to see how it all worked - I feel better knowing this air intake is puffing fresh air into the space. Any water that is thrown up by the tires will just drain back down through the grate.

The grates are just 1/8" aluminum sheet cut and drilled.

jcferguson 02-24-2006 06:35 PM

weatherstripping
 
I put weatherstripping on the door today (it's 50 in Ioway) which is no fun. By the end I think I figured out how to apply the stuff... It takes a few days for the foam to compress and it was all I could do to get the door shut. I'm going to climb in and out the window tonight and hope it smashes a bit before tomorrow.

jcferguson 02-24-2006 06:38 PM

Sound
 
3 Attachment(s)
The car stereo I installed has an aux. input in back, I made a little jack next to the shelf. I also ran a line from the stereo through a piece of conduit to the center back under the window so I can plug in back there where a bed will be (the stereo has a remote!).

jcferguson 02-24-2006 06:48 PM

Curb side workbench
 
4 Attachment(s)
I glued up a 10' x 28" piece of cherry and sanded it to just less than 3/4" for the curb-side workbench (8" x 24" for the other side). The bathroom will be just to the rear of the door, then this workbench will run the rest of the length of the trailer to the rear window. Another workbench will run from the stove back to the end - between the two I should have enough space to use the trailer as a studio - 17 running feet of table surface... The benches are wide enough that they would overlap the window if they went straight back, so at a certain point they will curve over to meet the wall at the edge of the window. It looks nice in the space.

Just to the rear of the bath will be an icebox that opens from the top, then a little desk with a cut-out for my knees just below the window, then a stack of drawers, and then a bed in back with storage below. The bed will somehow fold out of the way under the workbenches - I am putting off that bit of engineering.

The little knee desk is pleasant - 20" wide for my legs with a window directly in front to look out, I can reach my stove and fan/vent without moving from my seat. The cover I made for the wheel well is a nice foot rest. I might make some shallow drawers above the wheel well as I don't really need 28" of depth there.

uwe 02-24-2006 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcferguson
I put weatherstripping on the door today (it's 50 in Ioway) which is no fun. By the end I think I figured out how to apply the stuff... It takes a few days for the foam to compress and it was all I could do to get the door shut. I'm going to climb in and out the window tonight and hope it smashes a bit before tomorrow.

Carlos,

Which gasket did you use and on wich surface? got any pics?
I am about to do the same job, and am wondering about the clearance as well.

jcferguson 02-24-2006 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uwe
Carlos,

Which gasket did you use and on wich surface? got any pics?
I am about to do the same job, and am wondering about the clearance as well.

I used the gasket from vintage trailer supply, with the gasket adhesive he sells. I will post pics tomorrow. Basically I just tried to apply the gasket an equal distance from the edge of the door all the way around. Maybe 1/4" so that when it is closed the gasket flattens out just a bit in from the edge. It's hidden when closed but has as much contact as possible. I put it on the door itself, on the 1 inch flange that runs all the way around the door.

When using that glue, I would go sparingly and carefully. It's not too hard to apply it neatly to the gasket, but putting it on the door in any kind of "neat" way is difficult. I just used less and drew a pencil line all the way around the door to indicate where it would go. If you goof up, rub it off while it is still wet, it kind of pills up. When it dries, much harder to get off. I did as instructions called for, one coat on gasket, one coat on door, let both dry, then a thin coat on the gasket to "rewet" it before attaching. It says to only do 3' pieces but I wanted a continuous strip, so I just started at the center top and worked down each side, rewetting about 2' at a time.

Carlos

uwe 02-24-2006 07:29 PM

Carlos,
What are you going to do for lighting abover the work areas? Did you run wire for work lights yet? It might not be bright enough even during the day to have sufficient light on all the work tops.
20in is narrow for a knee space. Are you sure that's going to be comfortable in the long run?

jcferguson 02-24-2006 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uwe
Carlos,
What are you going to do for lighting abover the work areas? Did you run wire for work lights yet? It might not be bright enough even during the day to have sufficient light on all the work tops.
20in is narrow for a knee space. Are you sure that's going to be comfortable in the long run?

I am going to run a big "u" of aluminum track, the kind that has a beam lowered down from the ceiling - all the way around over the tables. During the day there is plenty of light for my work. The one 20 watt bulb I have now is good for a single workspace at night. I imagine I will have about 5 lights on that track and can direct them wherever I need.

I think the 20" is o.k., though I know it is smaller than most desks. It's a trade-off between space for my icebox insulation and storage drawers and knees. I tried out a bunch of desks and then set it up this way to test it. 18" seemed like a minimum comfortable space, so I added two. I sort of like having something to let my legs flop out against. I will use a tall stool in the space, since the counters are 39" - the stool will store under the desk. I can alway change this later if need be - I think it will be around for a while before I get to making the drawers, I could just make them smaller and expand that space.

Carlos


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