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Old 11-03-2018, 11:54 PM   #261
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1962 22' Safari
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Another long stretch with no posts because Lorrie and I were traveling again in our other Airstream. We are back home now and the Classic has been winterized and put into storage and a few more projects around the house have been addressed, so it is once again time to begin working on Cramer.

I have to admit that the cool fall temperatures (highs in the 40s lately) don't have me too motivated to get out and work in the cold, so I've spent some time researching the last great engineering project of this restoration: What to do about the refrigerator?

Don't get me wrong, there is lots still to do, and many, many smaller decisions to make, but what to do about the the original "propane only" Dometic M50b fridge has been occupying my thoughts lately. Since I must keep the fridge looking original, dropping in a modern fridge is NOT an option. Potentially viable options could include:
  1. Trying to get the original M50b absorption guts working properly on propane.
  2. Retrofitting it with modern propane based absorption fridge guts.
  3. Replacing it with a modern fridge (propane or electric) but finding a way to keep the original door and door frame in place.
  4. Retrofitting it with modern Danfoss compressor based "ice box conversion" kit.
My current thinking is to choose option 4. There are several reasons, but the most important to me is that 1962 was the last year that Ohio built Airstreams configured their fridges to "breathe" cabin air (California eliminated that practice a few years earlier) and thus eliminating a propane burner altogether makes the most sense to me. By "breathe", I mean there is no air inlet so the burner burns cabin air. Also the condenser on the back exhausts it's heat back into the cabin as well. I do not want to cut additional inlet and exhaust vents in the side/roof of the trailer to make the fridge breathe "outside air" as all modern fridges are set up to do, because I want to keep the exterior looking as original as possible. I also don't want to risk the chance of a bad burner causing carbon monoxide in the trailer and/or burning up all the oxygen. I don't want to have to leave a window or roof vent cracked just to be able to use the fridge.

Thus a modern Danfoss based fridge conversion makes the most sense. There will be no propane burner, thus no carbon monoxide risk. Also the modern compressor based system will exhaust far less heat back into the cabin than the original absorption guts. It will use FAR less electricity when operated on electricity (either 12V DC 0r 120V AC) than an absorption 2-way or 3-way fridge.

There are downsides, with the main one being that the fridge will now always require electricity. Long boon docking sessions will be a challenge.

That said, I will go with an AC/DC version of a Danfoss compressor rather than a 12V DC only version, so that the fridge will run on 120V AC whenever we have hookups. 12V operation will mainly be while traveling down the road and maybe an occasional overnight at a Walmart or similar. I expect that the truck generator will cover us when on the road and the trailer battery, combined with the two truck batteries should get us thru one night of boon docking. If we have to go longer, we may have to investigate finally getting a generator.

That was the easy part. Now to research the many brands of Danfoss compressor based "ice box conversion" kits. I've looked into about 10 different brands, but expect I may have missed some. Most brands offer several options as far as compressor and evaporator size and shape and thus cooling capacity. I quickly decided that I wanted a box shaped evaporator that would make a small freezer compartment inside the larger refrigerator box. This basically will replicate the old absorption guts that I will be removing to make room for the new guts.

I am in the process of narrowing down the choices to 1 or 2, so that I can call and talk to their customer service to talk me thru the details. There are lots of things to consider:
  • Insulation: I am sure the old fridge is not as well insulated as modern fridges - how do I decide how much compressor, condenser, and evaporator I need to keep it cool?
  • Thermostat: Do I want a simple mechanical thermostat mounted inside the fridge, or maybe outside, or should I upgrade to a digital thermostat with a internal temperature readout that would allow the fridge set point temperature (and many other parameters) to be adjusted without opening the fridge door?
  • Compressor Speed Control: Do I want to stick with a basic fixed speed compressor (if so, how do I determine the best speed to run it at?) or have the option to easily adjust the compressor speed manually "on the fly" or even get an optional module that will control the speed automatically based upon cooling needs and also offer "easy start" protection for the compressor? The basic premise of speed control is to be able to run the compressor as slow as possible while still providing adequate cooling. Slower equals more efficient and less electrical current draw. I do like the though of startup protection, too. But these options cost money.
Decisions, Decisions. Right now the leading brand and model before I make any phone calls is the Isotherm 2501 with its "large" box evaporator (i.e. a whopping 1/2 cubic foot freezer compartment) that uses the larger BD50F compressor. This happens to be one of the more cost effective options as well as having better user reviews than some of the other brands. This is the same unit that Bubba L used to convert the Dometic M16 fridge in his 1955 Flying Cloud (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f73/...ml#post2156697). But some of the other brands better address some of the other "options" I have mentioned like digital thermostats and compressor speed controls, so a final decision has not been made yet.

I'll post back here when I make a final decision. Hopefully I can do the retrofit in my garage over the winter and be ready to install the fridge in the spring.

The attached photos are my original Dometic M50b fridge before it was removed.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:25 PM   #262
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Frig Conversion

Joe I also converted to a Danfoss on my Krefft frig. My reasoning was basically the same as yours, with a few differences. I have 400 Watts of solar and lithium batteries that help ease the frig's consumption while traveling or boon docking. Removing the propane/electric unit off the back of the frig allows me to insert it further into the cabinet (~3"), and a slight weight loss.

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I mounted the compressor over the frig in the cabinet. The compressor fan is positioned against the side wall to draw air from the enclosure were the panel heater used to be. It will exhaust above through the original frig vent cap. I haven't built the enclosure around the compressor yet.

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I left the original insulation in the cabinet. Fortunately there is empty space around the frig so I could add rigid foil faced insulation all around: 1" on each side, 4" on the bottom, 2" above, and 2" to the back. The door will get new insulation. The interior door panel was in numerous pieces and its taking longer to fix that than I expected.

The evaporator was a close fit to the original freezer so I could use the original door.

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Old 11-05-2018, 09:06 AM   #263
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My Spin

Joe,
You may want to call Leon down in Indiana and discuss this with him and see if you would like to have him take on the project. I took my Krefft down to him last week, and he is looking at gutting it and installing a new Dometic inside and utilizing the Krefft door and cabinet to give it an "Olde World Feel" with the benefits of today's technology.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:33 AM   #264
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Harold,
Thanks for sharing your experience. You inspired me to do more investigation yesterday to see if I could find a box evaporator (or dual plate evaporators or even a plate evaporator that could be bent) to allow me to retain the existing freezer compartment door in my M50b that is only 4" high, but 19" wide. There are evaporator options that might work, but in brands other than Isotherm. Talking with Lorrie, she supports the idea of an external digital thermostat with temp readout. I did find that Isotherm has such a model, called ITC (Intelligent Temperature Control), but I actually like the modules from some other companies better (specifically Frigoboat & Sea Frost). Still deciding what to do. I am now even considering buying the condenser and evaporator from one company and the digital thermostat and compressor speed control from a different company. Other than possible warranty issues, this seems totally possible since they all use the same Secop (Danfoss) compressors and Secop compressor control modules in their condenser assemblies.


StevieB,
Thanks for the suggestion. I did call Leon a couple of months ago after Lorrie and I stopped by to see your beautiful Commodore Vanderbilt. If I wished to retain propane operation (my options 1, 2, and possibly 3 listed above), I would probably be taking my fridge to him to have it refreshed or rebuilt. Leon indicated that he could even add a 2-way or 3-way modern absorption system to the fridge (but those are very inefficient on electricity), but he really recommended that I cut the holes in the trailer and convert it to be breathe outside air, rather than cabin air, both from a safety and absorption fridge performance perspective. Quite frankly, it is his opinion that helped me change to consider the Option 4 - a Danfoss electric conversion. At the time of my call to Leon, option 4 was not even on my radar screen, so we did not discuss if he would undertake that type of conversion. It is probably worth another call.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:54 AM   #265
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Solar panels for boondocking & travel

Joe:

As you are considering a 12 vdc/120 vac Danfoss compressor refrigerator, and you don't want to alter the exterior of your Airstream, you should look into mounting solar panels on the roof of your tow vehicle camper shell (assuming it has a shell over the pickup bed) to charge the Airstream's batteries when boondocking or traveling on the road.

My 1966 Alaskan camper has a 12 volt Engel marine refrigerator, and the Alaskan's single AGM battery that powers the Engel is charged by two 100 watt solar panels mounted above the camper's roof. The two 100 watt solar panels keep the Engel running on 12 vdc 24/7. Details are found here:

http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/t...in-1966-8-nco/

I later installed an DPDT A/Off/B switch in the Alaskan to direct the solar panel energy thru Anderson connectors to a second solar charge controller in my 1955 Flying Cloud, to charge the FC's AGM battery when I am traveling down the road or boondocking. I can also attached a remote detached solar panel to the FC's Anderson connector to charge the FC's AGM battery when stationary. Details are here:

http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/t...%E2%80%99-nco/

You will have to determine the number and size of the solar panels if you are interested in this approach, but I thought it as worth mentioning as a possible alternative to always using a generator. Take from it what you will and Enjoy!
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:22 PM   #266
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I find this aspect of the restoration very interesting; keeping the original looks with improved behind the scenes mechanics. I'm following along to see how it all works out.

Me, I'd through a block of ice in a pan in the fridge and call it good.

David
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:02 PM   #267
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Time for an update. For a variety of reasons to numerous to detail here, I have not started actively working on Cramer yet this spring. I did, however, eventually decide to have the fridge professionally rebuilt and converted from a propane absorption mechanism to a Dan Foss compressor based system, rather than making this conversion myself.

As previously discussed, the conversion to an electric compressor will allow for more efficient fridge operation and will result in the fridge dumping less waste heat into the Airstream cabin, since cutting vents to allow the fridge to breath outside air like a modern Airstream was not an option I wished to consider.

After receiving glowing reports, I chose National RV Refrigeration in Shipshewana, Indiana to do the conversion. The owner, Leon, is busy during summers, but tackles unusual vintage fridge rebulids during the winter months. The conversion of the Dometic M50 from Cramer was scheduled to be his last vintage project on the 2018-19 winter, so we made a trip to drop off the fridge in early March.

Once there, we found that he had a donor M50 that was identical to our original fridge (color, door opening direction, etc.), but in better condition (less rust, less cracking on the door inner liner, etc.) so we decided to have him restore and convert that fridge instead, using a couple of missing pieces from our original Cramer fridge.

Attached are a couple of "before" photos of this donor fridge, showing the old absorption controls complete with mouse nest. I will detail what changes were made and show the "after" photos in the next post.

Donor Dometic M50 Fridge:
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:16 PM   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
Time for an update. For a variety of reasons to numerous to detail here, I have not started actively working on Cramer yet this spring. I did, however, eventually decide to have the fridge professionally rebuilt and converted from a propane absorption mechanism to a Dan Foss compressor based system, rather than making this conversion myself.

As previously discussed, the conversion to an electric compressor will allow for more efficient fridge operation and will result in the fridge dumping less waste heat into the Airstream cabin, since cutting vents to allow the fridge to breath outside air like a modern Airstream was not an option I wished to consider.

After receiving glowing reports, I chose National RV Refrigeration in Shipshewana, Indiana to do the conversion. The owner, Leon, is busy during summers, but tackles unusual vintage fridge rebulids during the winter months. The conversion of the Dometic M50 from Cramer was scheduled to be his last vintage project on the 2018-19 winter, so we made a trip to drop off the fridge in early March.

Once there, we found that he had a donor M50 that was identical to our original fridge (color, door opening direction, etc.), but in better condition (less rust, less cracking on the door inner liner, etc.) so we decided to have him restore and convert that fridge instead, using a couple of missing pieces from our original Cramer fridge.

Attached are a couple of "before" photos of this donor fridge, showing the old absorption controls complete with mouse nest. I will detail what changes were made and show the "after" photos in the next post.

Donor Dometic M50 Fridge:
Joe, as you are aware, we used the Isotherm with the Danfoss compressor. We couldnít be happier with the performance so far. We did add a couple of fans and mounted to the original chimney for intake and exhaust. Good luck
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:45 PM   #269
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Fridge rebuild and conversion. The agreement with Leon at National RV Refrigeration was to do the following:
  1. Sandblast and powder coat the door skin, and all exposed front panel pieces, including the hinged, vented access door at the bottom.
  2. Sandblast and powder coat all of the interior shelves from which were suffering from peeling chrome and rust. One small shelf was missing, so we donated the one from Cramers original fridge, so that we would have a complete fridge when done. The gold anodized trim pieces at the from of each shelf were removed for sandblasting and powder coating, but were reinstalled afterward to keep the appearance as close to original as possible.
  3. Remove all of the original absorption parts (except for the temperature control knob behind the hinged, vented panel at the bottom of the fridge (this was kept to keep the fridge looking original).
  4. Install a new Dan Foss compressor based cooling system in the space below the fridge (i.e. behind the hinged, vented door). This system was to be able to operate on either 12V DC or 120V AC and would have a compressor fan for improved performance. In Leon's experience, the added current draw of the fan is more than compensated for by a reduction in compressor current draw due to reduced coolant temperature/pressure.
  5. The plan was to allow Leon to determine the best compressor option (BD35F or BD50F) as well as the best evaporator shape to retain the original freezer shape and freezer door. He intended to investigate available evaporator options as well as having a custom evaporator mode to fir the space.
  6. At Leon's recommendation, we agreed to a simple mechanical compressor control for simplicity and reliability, rather than more complex electronic controls that can vary compressor speed, etc. The control knob would be mounted behind the hinged vented door at the bottom to keep it outside the refrigerated cavity for reliability.
When we picked up the fridge yesterday, it looked fantastic! We found that Leon had selected a vertically stacked BD35F compressor/condenser assembly that fit just behind the fridge where the old absorption parts used to be. If this proves to be sufficient, the benefit is reduced current draw of the smaller compressor motor compared to the larger BD50F. The vertical orientation allows the fan to blow in the upward direction for maximum effectiveness (less chance of recirculating warm air back thru the condenser and fan) and less fan noise. The compressor control module and temperature dial control were mounted behind the hinged vented door.

The white powder coated shelves look fantastic and will be easier to keep clean. I believe Leon had a custom evaporator made. In any event, the new evaporator forms the floor of the freezer compartment, (similar to how the original evaporator formed the floor of the original freezer compartment). In his testing, Leon said he was able to freeze ice cubes in the freezer, which is a good sign, though he cautioned that keeping ice cream firm might be a challenge without better insulation of the freezer compartment.

The real test will be when this fridge is installed in Cramer and is operating on a hot day. Leon noted that we may eventually find it necessary to insulate the inside of the freezer door and possibly add insulation below the evaporator to allow the correct balance of fridge and freezer compartment temperatures. These are tasks that are easily within my capability to fine tune. I may also add a layer of bubble foil insulation where I can around the outside of the fridge when I install it.

I have no doubt that this is a nicer finished product than had I done it myself! I am very happy with the decision to have the fridge professionally restored/converted.

Restored Fridge Photos:
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:02 PM   #270
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Wow that looks great like a brand-new old one!
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:56 PM   #271
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Hi and welcome to a cold, wet spring. The M50 fridge in the photos looks great. Cramer will love it. You can be the folks next door to Bubba when he displays his "Free Beer Next Door" sign. Cold beer kept in the fridge.

David
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:38 PM   #272
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Congrats!

Joe,
Looks FANTASTIC!!! I knew that you would be satisfied with Leon's craftmanship.

Regards,
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:46 PM   #273
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Time for an update. it was a busy summer between travels with our other Airstream and home projects such as rebuilding a deck, etc. Therefore I did not accomplish much on Cramer between my last post and the end of October. During the little spurts of time I did have to work on Cramer, I worked mainly on the stove and fridge:

Stove:
1. Test: I lit the stove to prove that it still worked.
2. Clean: I gave it a light cleaning and tried to remove as much rust as possible and discovered that some parts might be too far gone to be successfully stripped and re-plated.
3. Ad: I put up an ad looking for a another stove and a few months later found one a few states away that I picked up. Some parts are better on my original stove and some are better on the donor stove. I should be able to make one good stove between them, but several parts will still need to be re-plated.
4. Next Steps: Disassembly and re-plating remain on the "to do" list at this time. Hopefully I can get this done over the winter.

Fridge:
1. Test/Fan: I tested the fridge and initially it cooled quickly and made ice cubes, but soon would not stay cold. I found the compressor cooling fan was not turning and Leon sent me a replacement fan, which I installed. (I hope to test this new fan soon.)
2. Gasket: When the fridge initially worked, it quickly built a lot of frost inside, so I decided the original 56 year old door gasket should be replaced. I decided to change from the original "D" style gasket to a more modern magnetic gasket and purchased one custom made to my dimensions from BA Refrigeration. I can wholeheartedly recommend BA Refridgeration if you need a fridge door gasket. After my initial choice proved to thick to allow the door to close and latch shut, they sent me a second choice at no extra charge.
3. Hinge Spacers: While the second door gasket fit well on the latch side, I felt it was compressed too much on the hinge side, so I made 1/8" thick spacers for the hinges so that it had even compression all around. Once I retest fridge operation I will paint the spacers white to match the rest of the fridge.
4. Diagnostic LED,etc.: When I found the fridge wasn't cooling, I decided that I should buy and add a Diagnostic LED to aid in trouble shooting in case I had any more problems after the fridge was installed and the fan would not be so easily visible. I decided to also move the control module to a more serviceable location, add a master On/Off switch so I can completely disconnect the fridge from 12V and also add a small 1 Amp fuse to protect the small gauge wires going to the fan and Diagnostic LED.
5. Next Steps: I hope to test the fridge operation soon and then paint the hinge spacer before reinstalling the fridge into Cramer.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:30 AM   #274
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Since the first of November, my focus has shifted to working directly on Cramer:

1. Safety Chains: I installed new longer, stronger safety chains.

2. Below Floor Drain Lines: In finally cut all drain lines to length and installed all of the below floor plumbing, in some cases using rubber couplers for vibration isolation and ease of service. For those parts glued together, it was quite a puzzle to figure our the assembly order. This plumbing connects the bath tub drain, bath sink drain, gray water tank, gray water and black water vales and the "collector" to which the sewer hose will attach. The drain lines are all secured to spacer blocks to ensure the proper pipe slope. The only thing remaining undone is final permanent installation of the gray and black water valve handles, which will wait until I have time to make a close out panel to cover the original dump valve handle hole (which was not reused). I hope to test this drain plumbing for leaks when we get a warm spell so that I can then reinstall under floor insulation and the removed section of belly pan over the winter.

3. Under Bed Plumbing: I started to button up all of the plumbing under the bed so that I can permanently reinstall the bed base.

a. Accumulator and Water Pressure Regulator: I moved the accumulator from rearward to forward of the water heater to make room to add a water pressure regulator on the city water inlet to the rear of the water heater. I added the Water Pressure Regulator.

b. Fresh Water Tank level Sensors: I also added level sensors to the fresh water tank (for the monitor panel I will be hiding). It took a while to determine the correct height for each sensor (there are 4), as there is is some water at the bottom of the tank that will not drain without significantly tilting the trailer and there is similarly an air space at the top of the tank that cannot be vented without significantly tilting the trailer to allow air to escape and water to thus fill completely fill the tank. I wanted the sensors to be as accurate as possible. The tank I ordered was advertised as 30 gallons. Doing the math, I calculate it would hold about 28 gallons if you could completely fill and empty it. Given the locations of the outlet and vent pines,Ii calculate the tank will hold about 23 to 24 "usable" gallons. I set the sensor heights to indicate approximately 5 gallon increments (1/4=5 gallons minimum remaining, 1/2=10, 3/4=15, and full=20).

There is a bit more to do before the bed base goes in for good.

That's it. You are now caught up. I will remain actively working on Cramer going forward now that camping and outdoor project season is over, so expect updates to become more frequent.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:16 AM   #275
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Joe, you should see a bit of light at the end of that tunnel. Our fridge with the Danfoss compressor has worked flawlessly since Spring. Iím glad you decided on that redesign. On our 55 Princess stove, once we got it to working, we had the top and vertical back re-chromed. Great to see you back on Cramer and the progress youíve made.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:15 PM   #276
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2016 30' Classic
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Time for another update. I have worked on Cramer at least an a hour or two (often more) every day since my last post, except for the day we got an unseasonable 10" of snow! The tasks have been many and varied with most not worth photos, ranging from removing dangling original propane lines from below the belly pan to routing and clipping gray water tank level sensor wires, installing the furnace case, temporarily reinstalling the bed base and kitchen-bedroom wall, and air pressure testing the fresh water pex lines, etc.

Regarding the furnace case, I wanted to get that installed to make the outside of the trailer mostly weatherproof (there are a few unfilled rivet and screw holes I still have to deal with). The furnace case is riveted in place thru a layer of butyl tape to seal it to the exterior skin, but the aluminum trim pieces that surround the black steel plate will be installed later as time permits. I still have to modify the aluminum chimney to allow the new furnace exhaust to "breathe". The new furnace will not be installed inside the case until I run the new propane line, as routing this line will be easier done before the furnace is in place. I am not yet ready to run new propane lines, because part of the belly pan is still off the trailer.

Regarding air pressure testing the pex lines - learn from my mistake. Testing showed I have a pressure leak on the cold water side. The hot side holds pressure. I tried to find the leak using soapy water with no success, so I decided I should add a couple of shutoff valves so I could isolate different sections of the plumbing to help locate the leak. I added a shutoff valve going to the water pump in case the check valve in the water pump was faulty. I also added a shutoff valve going to the toilet hand sprayer and toilet flush valve in the rear storage compartment in case one of those valves was leaking. After installing these and doing another air pressure test, I found that the leak was not in any of the isolated sections. It appears to be in the "core" of the cold water plumbing. I am left to surmise that the leak in mostly likely in the revised plumbing lines to the accumulator or check valve. In my haste to install these devices, I ended up reusing sections of pex. If you have ever removed a pex line from a Sharkbite fitting, you will notice that the ends are scratched. I am guessing that these scratches are not allowing the Sharkbite internal O-rings to establish an air tight seal. SOOOOO, when I get time, I will remove the bed base and replace those sections of pex line that were resued with new pex and then restest. I probably have enough left over pex to do this at no cost EXCEPT more of my time. My recommendation - never reuse a pex pipe that has been previously inserted into a Sharkbite fitting unless you can cut the damaged end off.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:24 PM   #277
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Good advice Joe. I don't have much experience with "push to connect" fittings except to know they work good and save time. It is certainly plausible that taking a sharkbite fitting off would scratch the pipe and make resealing a problem.

David
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:59 PM   #278
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Once again, learn from my mistakes. Do not make assumptions. Be careful air pressure testing pex plumbing.

Since my last post, I replaced every reused piece of pex. The air pressure leak continued. Most removed ends did not look to be badly damaged. The Sharkbite website allows reuse if the ends do not look damaged, but I changed them out anyway.

A couple of days ago, on the warmest, driest day in weeks, I was able to pull Cramer home and water pressure test the cold pex lines. There was no leak found after leaving the lines pressurized for over an hour. I did not water test the hot lines because of dwindling daylight and because they previously held air pressure for over 36 hours. I also put water in the fresh tank and ran the pump and found no leaks at the tank fitting nor anywhere from the tank to the pump. I then emptied the fresh tank and blew out the lines, because winter is coming. I thus declare the interior plumbing good, which will allow me to continue re-installation of the interior. Yeah!

I also put water in the black and gray tanks to test the below floor drain plumbing. Three problems were found.
  1. There was a black tank leak between the original black tank and the VTS adapter plate that allows a modern Valterra dump valve to be used. This will have to be taken apart and reworked. I already added Permatex around the rubber O-ring after my first test yielded a leak before the tank was installed in the trailer. More Permatex is probably required.
  2. The black tank valve housing cracked around two or three of the four bolts securing it to the adapter plate. I can only assume I over tightened them. Will need to order a new valve and be more careful next time (and trust thread locker).
  3. While there were no leaks from the gray tank or gray water piping below the floor, there was a leak at the bath tub drain. I am assuming the drain flange did not seal properly with plumbers putty. I will need to remove the drain fitting and redo the plumbers putty or switch to silicone caulk.
Because another cold front is coming, I am not sure if I will get to redoing these drain related items until it warms up in the spring, but I should have enough interior work to keep me busy all winter . . . plus it will be warmer working inside the trailer with a heater going. I might even consider getting new propane tanks, regulator and lines so that I can at least get the furnace working over the winter. I cannot run the line to the water heater until the belly pan is closed up, so that line will probably have to wait until spring if I do not repair the drain plumbing until then.

Oh, yeah, while Cramer was home, I also gave it a quick wash to get 7+ years of brown dust off it. It looks much better as a dull gray than a dull brown.

During all of this work I did not take any photos worth posting.

You are once again up to date.
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:56 PM   #279
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Good news that Cramer passed the real world water test of the fresh water plumbing. On the other hand, it is always a bit discouraging to have to rework the waste water plumbing problems found. Much better now than somewhere on the other side of the planet.

You mentioned winter is coming to your part of the country. Well, winter is hear in the Rockies. How would you like to work on my trailer's plumbing. Bring a shovel and warm clothes.

David
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See my 1969 Globetrotter 21' Renovation Project:
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:43 PM   #280
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Time for an update. I moved Cramer to a different storage building at the end of November. It is now further from home, but costing less per month, so a good change overall.

Then I started looking for a new truck in early December because of the good incentives, so a few days of trailer work were lost, but I now have a 2019 Sierra Denali 2500HD Duramax instead of a 2015 Silverado 2500HD Duramax. My rational for the change, in addition to the incentives, was that my pickup cap and most of my other accessories would transfer to a 2019 truck and fit (saving significant money and time), but would not fit the new 2020s, as well as the fact that the new for 2020 Silverado and Sierra are longer, wider, and taller (all negative changes to me), are significantly more expensive (by the time you get all the bells and whistles, which I would), and are uglier (I know this is subjective, but that's my opinion). I changed from a Silverado to a Denali so that it feels like a different truck, yet familiar at the same time. Anyway, by the middle of December, I was ready to get back to work on Cramer.

I have worked on a variety of things, but the major project has been on the propane (LP) system. I have:
  1. Removed the old LP regulator and the rest of the old main LP line below the belly pan.
  2. Had an old 30lb aluminum LP tank that I already owned re-certified and converted to an OPD valve.
  3. Bought a 2nd used 30lb aluminum LP tank.
  4. Installed an LP quick connect for a grill or generator as well as a new main LP line.
  5. Installed an LP branch line to the new furnace. Branch LP lines to the stove and water heater are not yet ready to be installed, so I capped the main line after the furnace tee to allow me to test or use the furnace as soon as it is ready.
  6. Installed new hoses over the LP lines, as LP line protection was a required modification for the Around the World Caravan. The original hoses were just too petrified to reuse.
  7. Physically installed the new furnace inside the old furnace case, though electrical wiring and ducts are not yet connected.
  8. Installed the new furnace exhaust duct, though I still have to modify the original furnace chimney to fit over it.
  9. Installed the aluminum LP tanks as well as a new regulator and LP hoses on the trailer tongue.
It feels really good to look at Cramer and see LP tanks on the tongue for the first time in 8+ years! I still need to bubble check the LP fittings for leaks and finish the furnace install, but hopefully I will be able to fire up the furnace in the near future. I will probably be back at work on Cramer tomorrow, but it will likely be a few days before my next update to this thread.
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