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Old 07-07-2013, 10:56 PM   #361
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That sounds like a good design. I have also worried that I'd forget to open up the vent, but I'm pretty sure I want to install some type of cover to keep out road debris and dust.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #362
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I have to dig up an old receipt, but I think these are the rare earth magnets I used. Source is kjmagnetics.com
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:59 AM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmbosa That looks good. I still need to do this for ours, I've just been opening the access door to give the fridge intake air which is really poor practice. What did you do on the belly? A buddy mentioned it's a good idea to have a way to seal it off to prevent tons of dust from flooding the trailer if you ever drive on a dirt road. Apparently they took their trailer down a dirt road once and there was dust everywhere.

Norm



Quote:
Originally Posted by 65CV View Post
...
What do you think of this idea?
- mount 4 rare earth magnets just inside the hardware cloth and bellypan, near each corner
- make a cover plate out of galvanized steel that has duct tape covering any area that will contact with aluminum
- snap the galvanized cover in place anytime the a/c or refrigerator is not being used
...
If I cut off airflow to the refrigerator, it should be fine since I plan to really seal that cabinet and always run a CO detector. I bought a new style refer scoop to do a much better job of removing exhaust gas. If I cut off the air to the A/C, I do run the risk of overheating and ruining the unit.

The only other method that I have thought of is an air scoop, with the closed end on the forward side of the trailer. I'm afraid it might be pretty restrictive to good airflow. We boondock a lot and will run the fridge on propane often, so airflow will be important.
The refrigerator chimney should be totally sealed, from the bottom intake to the top exhaust. If done correctly, you should not get dust inside from this area. (BTW, you need the chimney to work when the fridge is on electric, too.) When I go boon docking, I run the fridge while towing, so a cover is not practical.

The same should apply to your a/c cooling air path. Seal it so it only has access to outside air.

Your real dust problem are the other floor penetrations. Take a look at this post regarding the "dust tunnel" I had created in my modified Overlander.

I don't know about others' experience, but all my Airstreams with rear baths get dirty from the back end. Unlikely as it sounds, the high pressure area around an Airstream doing 65 mph is the back end. The low pressure area is the sides. So air is sucked out the windows (the seals aren't perfect) and infiltrates from every plumbing hole in the rear end and the rear window.

The very first thing to do to reduce dust is to replace your window seals, which will prevent them from supplying the vacuum that sucks in the dust from the back end. And woe be to him who inadvertently goes down the highway with a vent open--that's a huge vacuum cleaner, with the interior being the dust bag!

When I replaced the rotted floor in the bath in the '73 Safari, I fiber glassed over every hole and around every pipe--just one layer of cloth and painted-on resin. That reduced the existing openings from about 70 sq inches to maybe 3 sq inches. I have much less dust in this Airstream than the others.

Zep
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:54 AM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
[/I]
...
The refrigerator chimney should be totally sealed
...
The same should apply to your a/c cooling air path. Seal it so it only has access to outside air.
...
Your real dust problem are the other floor penetrations. Take a look at this post regarding the "dust tunnel" I had created in my modified Overlander.
...
Zep
There goes another hour reading another good forum thread. Some very good ideas there.

If we continue to travel the way we have, we'll be driving every winter between New England and someplace warm in some pretty gnarly weather. I am actually more worried about road salt than dust.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:23 AM   #365
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Originally Posted by 65CV View Post
..I am actually more worried about road salt than dust.
Road salt will kill your polish, but the fundamental skin seems to stand up well. Look at all the Airstreams that have been on the road for 40+ years (not to mention that many times you can't immediately wash the salt off if it's 10 degrees when you get home).

Road salt has always gotten into the belly pan and hardly anyone sticks a hose in there to clean it out. So road salt will make you worry, but it's a worry that you should push down to the bottom of your list (but wash the outside as soon as practical).

Zep
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #366
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...
It's a pretty tedious install, but I think it's worth the effort!
...
You're not kidding about a tedious install! It seemed like it took forever but really did take a few days. There are so many things in the way that I had to snake around -- wires, ribs, channels, etc. It was also a bit of a redesign to install on the side of a trailer rather than the back.

I had a leftover battery access door from the Caravel that perfectly fit 6 140mm computer case fans. They are extremely quiet and move quite a bit of air. When the AC is running, you can feel the hot air 5 feet away. The coolest part is that you can't even hear the AC from the curb side when it's running. The battery box cover looks almost original when closed. The first picture is of the fan array with my temperature sensor in front of it. The AC runs cooler when in the trailer and not in the sun, well within specifications.

I had hoped to keep the whole thing tighter to the side wall, but the front to back rail was right in the way. I ended up moving it about 3" further from the wall, guaranteeing a bit of an island effect in the galley.

I also made a bit different base, using a strainer drain from the big box stores (Danco #319935). I epoxied one piece of 1/4" plywood to another of 1/2", cutting a 5" diameter hole in the thicker one and just enough in the 1/4" ply. After 3 coats of West Systems, I potted the drain so there will be minimal water remaining. I had a couple sheets of 1/8" red rubber around and covered the whole base with it. Hopefully I won't have any leaks. The second picture shows the installation before the rubber was installed.

The last difference from Toastie's design is that I used a larger inlet on one side of the AC rather than making two holes. Last picture is of the final install.

It's running now in blazing sun and 95 degree heat. I want to give it 2 hours before checking temperature... fingers crossed!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:55 PM   #367
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That looks like a very nice, clean, well-planned install.

Norm
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:30 PM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmbosa View Post
That looks like a very nice, clean, well-planned install.

Norm
Thanks. I'm happy with how clean and quiet it is, but it only dropped the temp into the mid 80's after an hour and a half. That said, this is as bad a heat wave as we ever get. Also, no awning or curtains up right now -- I'm sure they help a lot.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:31 PM   #369
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This heat is horrible (at least for us.) It took 20 minutes for the black-on-black Chevy Impala I drove today to feel comfy - and GM A/C can usually freeze meat.

Tom
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:15 PM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65CV View Post
You're not kidding about a tedious install! It seemed like it took forever but really did take a few days. There are so many things in the way that I had to snake around -- wires, ribs, channels, etc. It was also a bit of a redesign to install on the side of a trailer rather than the back.

I had a leftover battery access door from the Caravel that perfectly fit 6 140mm computer case fans. They are extremely quiet and move quite a bit of air. When the AC is running, you can feel the hot air 5 feet away. The coolest part is that you can't even hear the AC from the curb side when it's running. The battery box cover looks almost original when closed. The first picture is of the fan array with my temperature sensor in front of it. The AC runs cooler when in the trailer and not in the sun, well within specifications.

I had hoped to keep the whole thing tighter to the side wall, but the front to back rail was right in the way. I ended up moving it about 3" further from the wall, guaranteeing a bit of an island effect in the galley.

I also made a bit different base, using a strainer drain from the big box stores (Danco #319935). I epoxied one piece of 1/4" plywood to another of 1/2", cutting a 5" diameter hole in the thicker one and just enough in the 1/4" ply. After 3 coats of West Systems, I potted the drain so there will be minimal water remaining. I had a couple sheets of 1/8" red rubber around and covered the whole base with it. Hopefully I won't have any leaks. The second picture shows the installation before the rubber was installed.

The last difference from Toastie's design is that I used a larger inlet on one side of the AC rather than making two holes. Last picture is of the final install.

It's running now in blazing sun and 95 degree heat. I want to give it 2 hours before checking temperature... fingers crossed!
Hi John,
We've installed a few window AC units in Airstream's. The first one we did was mounted in a similar way as you've done, but we had an open grill on the outside & no fans. It wasn't very effective

Then we did another one that was mounted on a slide out tray so the noise & condensate was outside, also not very effective at bringing the temps down much. We modified this configuration so the recirculating air was being pulled from the rear of the trailer forcing circulation. This helped some, but it was tedious to set up the temporary ducting. What we've discovered is that the cool air really needs to be dumped into the trailer from the ceiling area.

Our latest variant is a Tractor trailer cab system designed to cool cabs when the engine is shut down while the driver is sleeping due to anti idling laws. The system is a split system & will be installed in a 55 Flying Cloud. The condensor & fan will be mounted outside the trailer body in the rear portion of the bellypan cavity, using this area as inlet & outlet ducting. It will pull air from the coolest area beneath the trailer & dump the heated air on the opposite side of the trailer out the bellypan. The evaporator & the compressor will be mounted inside the trailer under one of the beds. The cool air will be ducted up into a closet & dumped into the trailer through a vent at the top of the closet. We will also be able to duct some of the cooled air to the forward area of the trailer. We will be doing testing before the final configuration is "nailed down".
Colin
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:07 PM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin H View Post
...
We will be doing testing before the final configuration is "nailed down".
...
Colin
Colin,

Thanks. I look forward to the results.

BTW, I was reminded of the excellent work you folks did as I had to disassemble or cut through panels and woodwork. Great stuff!

John
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:13 PM   #372
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
This heat is horrible (at least for us.) It took 20 minutes for the black-on-black Chevy Impala I drove today to feel comfy - and GM A/C can usually freeze meat.

Tom
Duh! D'Oh! (insert other Homer Simpson Quotes here)

I didn't measure the temperature of the trailer interior when I first turned on the AC. I assumed that I was cooling it from ambient temperature -- 95 degrees or so -- and was disappointed with the 1 1/2 hour results. It was probably WAY hotter when we turned on the AC.

Your hint was inspiring. I may have cooled quite a few degrees without realizing it. I was in a bit of a rush and did too fast a test.

I'll try again tomorrow with some additional steps
-- measure real temp before turning on AC
-- rig up an old sail as a temporary awning
-- put up some fabric over the windows to simulate curtains
-- think before whining online
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:52 AM   #373
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I went camping overnight last night. The weather is very hot 90's and very humid. The inside of the trailer during the day was about 78 degrees. Last night it was about 67 degrees inside. We had blankets on & were quite comfy. I keep a small 12v fan blowing the air around so it's evenly cool. I also kept all the shades pulled during the day. My trailer is substantially smaller than yours, but hopefully your a/c will work as well as mine does! Quiet as a mouse!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:18 PM   #374
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MUCH better AC test today. Starting earlier so the Overlander wasn't completely overheated and covering 3 windows made all the difference.

I started the AC at 8am with the trailer fully shaded and outside temp at 80. It dropped in less than a half hour to the mid 70's. It's now running with an outside temp of well over 90 and the inside is still in the 70's -- with relative humidity in the 40's. Perfectly comfortable.

I am sure that it will be fine for us. We very rarely camp in this kind of weather. It's SO much quieter too.

BTW, by "covering windows", I'm talking about hanging blue shop towels over the screens. Insulating drapes just might work a little better.

Becky, I think the 12v fan is a great idea.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:49 PM   #375
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Major kudos to my friend Emmett who came to visit for a week this month from Germany. We are part of a group of several friends who have a history of helping each other with major projects -- removing inground swimming pools, installing brick driveways, recovering from hurricanes, etc.

Emmett is overseas in a rental and loves to come back to the states to help with "big impact projects". This was a major impact for me. We are far further along than expected this month and can finally work with a brand new floor in air conditioned comfort.

Thanks Emmett!

btw, when are you back for a week?
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:06 AM   #376
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When the trailer came back from Colin's, it was treated with POR-15. I didn't get around to coating it until just recently. Someone mentioned that it degrades with UV light, so I called the company to see if I had to strip it first. They said that I just needed to scuff it up, recoat it with POR-15, then top coat it. Front hitch and rear bumper trunk are done.

The trim between the sidewall and bellypan was pretty nasty. I didn't feel like spending hours cleaning polish from behind screws, so I chucked the polisher and cleaned them up before installing. Clecos to the rescue again.

Bumper trunk lid is next. Seems like the exterior work never ends.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:16 AM   #377
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I'm debating about what to do with the refrigerator vent. Our son is a terrific metalworker and has offered to make a vent for us. We're leaning towards duplicating the look of the original heater vent that is on the street side, now our grey tank vent. It's very simple looking, but seems to fit. I've seen Shari's vent in Norm's thread and think it's beautiful, but not a fit for our era.

Pics, in order are:
- example of our son's metalworking skills
- the Airstream vent opening that I plan to use, stolen from Norm
- our current vent cap. Plan on duplicating this, but in a long oval

Any thoughts or experiences you'd like to share?
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:07 PM   #378
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Hey John

I'm looking at my fridge vent and I guess it's a wall heater vent for my trailer as well. I really like these examples I saw on a beautiful 57 Caravanner when I was in ABQ at the restoration rally,they look to be made out of stainless. The trailer belonged to one of the instructors out of Colorado. I'll be watching to see what you do.
You sure do nice work,keep it up.
Mike
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:38 PM   #379
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Thanks, Mike.

Do you have any pics from the inside of that vent? I'm wondering how they were sealed to the outer skin.

John

p.s. Interesting avatar!
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:07 PM   #380
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Thanks, Mike.

Do you have any pics from the inside of that vent? I'm wondering how they were sealed to the outer skin.

John

p.s. Interesting avatar!
Hey John
No luck on any other pictures. I might be able to contact the caravanner owner for some pics.
Hope you like my avatar, smallers better right? Maybe just not to that extent!
Mike
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