Keith's light weight off roader

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jailbar joe
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by jailbar joe » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:07 pm

wow .....here i was thinking my little van was over complicated (for me) i would be so far out of my depth on this
one for sure.

you seem to be flying into it keith,well done
cheers
joe


getting old is inevitable.....growing up is optional

KeithB
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:00 pm

Quote from Joe: ".... wow .....here i was thinking my little van was over complicated (for me) i would be so far out of my depth on this one for sure. "

Joe, so am I. Totally out of my depth in fact.
Thanks for the heads up on Whitworths Collyn. I am fortunate in having a marine electrician, a good local builders hardware, a Bunnings, Whitworths and aJaycar all within 5-15 minutes of home. Every one of them has given my credit card a pounding.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:32 pm

Awning and wheel arch

I have a 3.3 metre Thule motorised awning to go up on the roof skirt and it made sense to dry fit it while the roof was sitting on stands. This 27kg unit comes with two support brackets, one for each end about 150mm wide and one about a third that size for the middle. I was worried about too much load on the skirts concentrated on small parts of the skirts, so I ordered some optional brackets which are 400mm wide.

The awning hangs self-supporting on the brackets and is secured to them with a load of pop rivets. The awning will go on permanently when the caravan is in the street.

Anyhow I clamped some timber battens to rest the brackets on so that they were all in a straight and level line, ready to bolt through onto the roof skirt. But it turns out that the roof has a 2mm belly in it and bolting the brackets straight on would not work. So I put them up like you would a wall tile, using a very big bed of epoxy adhesive and tapped them true to a couple if string lines and through bolted them after the epoxy had gone off. Here’s what they looked like and please excuse the lousy focus.

Image

I think the belly in the roof skirt came because it follows the wall. And the wall was a bit out due to the tight fit of the fridge which pushed the wall out a touch, courtesy of Evakool publishing incorrect dimensions and finding themselves unable to provide an accurate general arrangement drawing. But I digress. Here’s what the awning looks like sitting on the brackets.

Image

We did fix one annoying thing though. Back on a previous page is a picture somewhere showing a bunch of Tek screws that hold aluminium strips to support the rubber wheel flares. There were temporary and needed to be replaced with something better as they sit right above the tyre tread. So we took them out, countersunk the holes, back filled with adhesive and put in flush mounted marine grade screws, which look a lot better, won’t rust, catch rubbish or schred a tyre if the suspension collapses.

Image

All of the through fittings for the wiring have arrived so I can start wiring the awning and solar panels. The longer exhaust pipe for the diesel heater has turned up as well. So there is plenty of work to do.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:45 pm

The last few weeks have been a bit slow on the World’s Slowest Build, largely due to Old Man’s issues. But we’ve got a few things done.
The doors and windows are in, but the radius we cut for the door opening was too big and left a 20mm gap in the corners that had to be filled, faired and painted. Looks good now. Also touched up a bit of paint damage here and there from all of the clamping to set the roof. I have also cut the panels to line the ceiling.

SOLAR

The solar panels now have all their wiring secured and waterproofed through the roof with the entry glands held down with Sikaflex. I’ll waterproof the roof holes with Sikaflex from the underside.

Image

Per the manufacturer’s recommendations I have also epoxy glued a bunch of safety clips to the leading edge and sides of each panel in case the double sided tape lets go, which Solar 4RVs says has never actually happened. I used 15mm PVC Gyproc edge strip cut into 40mm pieces and glued around the edges. On a few spots I glued some PVC angle to the cable glands to help secure the leading edges.

Image

I wondered about what connectors to use for the solar on the cowl and the cables for the dust fans, awning and lighting. I decided to use standard 7 pin trailer fitting as they are cheap, reliable and easy to replace. Here are the connections that go under the cowl.

Image

And here is the connection for the motorised awning. The loose wires you can see are for the awning light.

Image

Roof Vents

We can’t have zip out windows in the bathroom because of the proximity of the gas bottles and the need for privacy. So I decided to go with some small roof hatches for light and ventilation. Because these hatches cop all of the wind, rain, dust and insects, I went with two Bomar marine hatches. They are much more expensive that flimsy caravan vents, come with internal trims and flyscreens and sit almost flush with the roof. Here they are loosely in place.

Image

Because they need a 25mm panel thickness I have ordered two cutout surrounds to go on the outside rather than go butchering the hatches. They will arrive in ten days and will need fairing and painting before they go in. I've reached my 6 picture limit so will start a new post.

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:47 pm

Just continuing on from my earlier post:

Heater exhaust

I mentioned in an earlier post that the heater exhaust is too close to the gas bottles. So in pulled it out, patched the hole in the side of the locker and rerouted it through the floor towards the back. Here’s what the locker view looks like.

Image

The thing is as noisy as hell so I wrapped the exhaust pipe in some glass tape, which did not help much.

Image

The heater, with a Chinese Belief furnace is extremely noisy for 10-15 minutes after it starts up and I’d hate to be camped next to myself in a caravan park. I understand that Webaso units have the same problem. So I have ordered a muffler to suit a Briggs and Stratton 7Hp motor to see if that helps. Also on order is a spacer panel to take the locker door half in inch further out to make room for some heavy marine sound proofing for the inside of the plastic locker door. Other than that, I am buggered as to what to do for now anyway.

Putting the roof pack on.

Tomorrow is a big day. We have organised a bunch of friends and neighbours to come and help lift the roof onto the caravan tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a tight fit to get it between a big steel beam in the garage roof and the top of the van without bashing any of the solar panels.

I preparation, I lowered the caravan to get maximum clearance. In doing so I didn’t notice that one of the spare wheel carriers that I had cut of was still under the van and pointing ominously upwards. When the van wouldn’t drop down I went looking and found that the top edge of the wheel carrier which you can see here, was pressed up against the lower surface of the rear water tank and supporting about 40% of the weight of the van.

Image

So I raised the van and inspected for damage. There is a very small indent in the outer surface of the composite with no cracking and no penetration into the honeycomb. A bit of filler and it will be as good as new. Goes to show how strong this composite material is.
The other good news is that the million dollar slides arrive the day after tomorrow.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:08 am

The roof in on at last!

We had a bunch of neighbours come around this morning to help lift the roof on. In basket-weaving chardonnay-sipping Balmain, it’s the nearest you can get to a barn raising.
It went on okay but I had to trim about 6mm off the leading corner of the front awning bracket to clear the roof beam.

Image

Image

Image

It still needs to be centred by about 10mm to make it fit nicely. But the seal has settled well all around and, just looking at it, I think it will come out of the garage without having to remove the roof. The main roof hatch and the awning will go on when it's in the street.

Today has been a real milestone. Happy days!

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Lance » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:51 pm

Ripper Keith, you've been a tad concerned about that roof, well done to all your helpers.

Ya needa biga garig mate :lol:
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:17 pm

Lance I am in a state of perpetual shed envy. But this build is in Sydney's Inner west where hardly anyone has a garage at all.

Meanwhile this heater noise is driving me crazy.

If you or anyone else has got any ideas on quietening this heater, I'm all ears. I can't use anything with a lot of flow resistance on the exhaust and I don't know if the muffler I have ordered will work or not.

The exhaust pipe is 1 inch convoluted stainless steel, which is not all that great for smooth flow and has a length limit of 1500mm for that reason. I was wondering about rolling up a pipe out of bronze mesh, surrounding it with fibreglass wool, putting a metal surround over that and using it to replace the existing exhaust pipe.

Would that quieten it down? These measurements we taken inside the garage and should be a bit lower outside. Here's where we are at:

Background noise: 43dba
On warmup no hatch in the locker at 12 inches: 85dba
Ditto with hatch in locker (not sealed, just pressed in and no sound proofing): 74dba
On standby no hatch: 65dba
12 inches from exhaust on warmup: 85db

85 dba is about the same as heavy traffic, a noisy restaurant, a diesel truck passing, a lawnmower or a freight train at 100ft and so on. You get the drift. The problem is that every time you have a shower or turn the fan heater on, it goes into blast mode. I had no idea it was going to be this noisy and I simply have to fix it. There's no space to insulate the inside of the locker, other than the door face.

I suppose I could build another box around the locker, but that's a shipload of work and won't address the exhaust noise.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:07 pm

Keith

As you will be aware this can be quite a problem due to the log power law involved and that there is often more than one cause. Fixing that may then reveal another that it was masking. By far the best sound shielding is loosely held sheet lead. Or the sheet bitumen product from Whitworth.

Alternatively is it too late to replace it by the Webasto LPG or diesel air and water heating unit? Still bit noisy at about 71 dBa at 7 metre - but not absurdly so.

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by GerryP » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:52 pm

Keith, we have one of these cheaper units and are pretty happy with the noise levels. Yes, it starts up full chat and while the noise is noticeable, it doesn't last long before it settles down. Once it gets to that stage you hardly hear it.

Perhaps your crowded shed is amplifying the noise? I have a supplied muffler and have wrapped the exhaust with heat proof exhaust tape, but mainly because it's close to a water tank.

May I suggest that perhaps you don't worry too much more about it until you get the van out in the open and away from nearby sound reflective surfaces.
Cheers, Gerry
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:13 pm

Thanks Collyn and Gerry.

I am a great hater of generators in camping areas and can't live with the fact that I could be an offender. When the heater is on standby and just keeping the towel rail warm, it is reasonably quiet. But if we want to use it to run the fan heater at night, the noise will be a problem, particularly for other campers. This heater does not come with 240 volt element option, but we can use the aircon for heating in really cold weather if we in a caravan park.

I do take your point about the garage raising the noise level though. But Collyn's quoted figure of 71dba at 7 metres is still a bit much for me. Changing the unit is not an option at this stage. I have used the Whitworths stuff to good effect and am picking up some of this other stuff tomorrow for the plastic hatch. The exhaust pipe might be a bit too hot for this stuff.

https://www.roadtechmarine.com.au/engin ... e/p/MGA100

I'll have a play with making up a long straight through muffler, if only for the intellectual exercise.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:57 am

Keith

I've had two of the Webasto units - one in our OKA and the other (a Dual Top unit) in the TVan.

They could not be heard inside the units and not inside an RV by anyone nearby. They do not appear to be an issue even in quiet campsites. (I did use silencers on both inlet and outlet and mounted the units on rubber.)

I too wonder if the issue is that you have it in an enclosed smallish space that reflects sound - and possibly causing harmonic and sub-harmonic resonances in that space?

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:56 pm

Thanks Collyn. I do hope that I don't have a harmonic going on and am hoping that my noise measurements in an enclosed space have mislead me.
A video on Youtube was recommended to me that highlighted the difference in performance between to types of mufflers that you can get.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj8da4WQaac

They look pretty much identical; but one has a dog leg inside and the other is straight through. I have one dog leg type on the heater now. Contrary to what anyone might think, the straight through one works a lot better and the tester got a 10dba reduction by using two in series. So I have ordered four of those mufflers at an affordable $13 each to try out. It's a lot easier and cheaper than fabricating something. I'll keep adding mufflers until I either get no noise benefit or a smoky exhaust.

I picked up some really good marine insulation this morning for the plastic door which claims a 27dba reduction when used in engine compartments. There is no space to get more insulation around the inside of the equipment locker which, I mentioned some time ago, that I have made way too small.

I also picked up the multi-million dollar slides this morning and I can see why they are so expensive. They are beautifully made and all machined out of solid material, rather than roll formed stuff. They are a bit heavier than the other ones though and I'll have to live with that.

I'll pull the aircon units and the steel drawers out of the slide-out this afternoon and remove the gate in preparation for the slide replacement, which will be a big job that I am not looking forward to. All new holes to drill, back fill with epoxy, glass over, fair and paint.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:11 am

It all seems like Sisyphus - without the causal sin!

Hopefully it stays at the top of the next hill!

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:33 pm

Slides

After a great deal of mucking around, I got the old slides off today and filled the old holes with epoxy filler. They were held onto the body with 8mm dome head bolts with flat washers, spring washers and Nylock (if that’s the correct spelling) nuts plus a dab of blue Loctite. Several of them had seized and I had to do a fair bit of butchery to get them out.

Luckily, the old slides won’t be reused anywhere because they are cactus. They have been loaded at well under their quoted 227Kg rating and are spewing ball bearings and bits of plastic ball cage without the caravan having moved anywhere. They are deflecting at the end by 70mm with the aircon and steel drawers removed from the sleeper. The data from the Timken Rollon slide company allows you to calculate the deflection which I think will be less than 25mm.

Here’s a shot of the old failed slides on the left and the new multimillion dollar ones on the right. The old ones have a slide within a slide against a fixed base. As the slide extends the whole shooting match gets thinner.

Image

On the left you can see where the end of the outer and inner members have failed allowing bearings to spew everywhere. On the right you can see the multimillion dollar slides. They don’t have a slide within a slide. They have an intermediate slide which goes half way out and allows the smaller section to extend. Unlike the nasty slides, they are reversible and have countersunk 5mm countersunk attachments at 80mm centres along their entire length.

Both types of slides weigh the same. So I guess you get what you pay for. Now to fit them. In order to get the seals to seat properly I have only a1mm or so of tolerance. Wish me luck on that one.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by jailbar joe » Wed May 01, 2019 10:17 pm

okay...goodluck keith.....they sure do look robust,i hope they do the job and serve you well :D
cheers
joe


getting old is inevitable.....growing up is optional

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat May 11, 2019 6:26 pm

Brakes and Slides

Brakes

Because the brake callipers had been laying around for years, I sent them out to be reconditioned and they are back in place. The Hydrastar electric over hydraulic unit is in, squeezed into the front locker, complete with breakaway switch and is working fine.

Image

I bled the Hydrastar unit no problem. But I couldn’t bleed the sponginess out of the calliper lines. As it turns out, I had installed the callipers on the front of the disks instead of the rear, to make connection of the hydraulic lines a little easier. But I had stuck with putting the left hand calliper on the left side and so on, which meant the callipers were upside down with the bleed screws at the bottom of the calliper instead of the top.
So I’ll swap them over and bleed the system again.

Slides

I have been mucking around with these new multi million dollars lides for the last couple of weeks. The problem is to get the slides in with the slide-out in exactly the right position, up/down, sideways and absolutely plum so that the rear panel slides into place onto the seal perfectly when the slides are loaded. I have jacked up, wedged up, put in temporary timber runners, done a lot of scrotum scratching and measured a thousand times before being happy that it’s right. Is it’s not, the caravan will fill with dust.

There is a nice video in Italian with subtitles that tells you how to install the slides with a charming gent named Mr Tosi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpsVpb1 ... sVpb1uvMU

If I was installing these slides with 360 degree access like Mr Tosi in the demo, all would be fine. But it's not.
I pulled out the old slides, filled all of the old holes, established new holes reinforced with epoxy and put on some paint.

Image

We have a fixed upper rail, an intermediate sliding rail not fixed to anything and a lower rail which is fixed to the slide-out. Mounting the fixed ends of the slides onto the caravan was easy enough, with the outer five screws being drilled and installed through factory holes in the intermediate sliding member.

Image

With the slide-out accurately set on blocks in the out position, you then extend the sliding lower rail and place ten screws onto the slide-out with all of the boring out, hole filling with epoxy, redrilling and so on that goes with that. Below you can see the five holes in the intermediate member that you drill through to fit the last five screws on the fixed rail on the caravan.

Image

Then comes the problem. We come to think about the five screws that have to be installed into the slide-out through the holes in the intermediate member at the closest end to the caravan.
It seems that the only way I can get access to these holes is to slide the thing in, at which time the holes are inaccessible because they are covered by the body of the caravan, adjacent to the when arch, as well as the slide-out itself.

So it looks like I will have to slide the thing in, mark the position of the lower fixed rail and intermediate slide and the mark and drill some holes into the wheel arch on both sides through the intermediate member so that I can push the screws in from underneath, inside of the wheel arch. When they are all in, I fill the holes in the wheel arches, glass over, fair and repaint.

Wish me luck with that.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by jailbar joe » Sun May 12, 2019 9:49 pm

and i thought i was beating myself up with some of the crazy stuff i do.......

can't be of any worthwhile assistance other than to wish you a lott of luck...if i was praying man i would pray for you,
i don't know if there is a translation service that applies to youtube like there is for emails....maybe the hard part is verbal
in the clip ??

i hope it comes together soon for you and the solution is not to hard to arrive at.

goodluck keith
cheers
joe


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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Mon May 13, 2019 1:12 pm

Re: praying

Don't!

A medical study showed a minor negative correlation - so if he/she/it is listening 'whatever' may be marginally anti (or the 'error' is within the relevant standard deviation!)
Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Tue May 14, 2019 10:18 am

Collyn wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:12 pm
Re: praying
Don't!
A medical study showed a minor negative correlation - so if he/she/it is listening 'whatever' may be marginally anti (or the 'error' is within the relevant standard deviation!)
Collyn
With the total absence of Divine intervention, I think I have found a solution by drilling just one hole in the wheel arch. I managed to get five screws and a shim into one side, with the assistance of skinned knuckles and the liberal use of carnal verbs and lower pelvic nouns. Will post some pictures once I see it actually working. May take a day or two for the epoxy to go off in this cool weather before I can test the newly installed slides.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by muzz_on_line » Tue May 14, 2019 12:49 pm

Hello Keith

You have made my day.
with the assistance of skinned knuckles and the liberal use of carnal verbs and lower pelvic nouns.
I have nether heard it said (written) so eloquently before.

To think that I thought your build was great, your use of the English language has trumped it with spades.

May have to quote you once in a while. :mrgreen:

Muzz

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Tue May 14, 2019 2:18 pm

Potis anomala verba sinelapsu declinare . . . !

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Tue May 14, 2019 2:53 pm

Thanks Muzz. Your words are very kind.
Collyn wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:18 pm
by Collyn » Tue May 14, 2019 2:18 pm
Potis anomala verba sinelapsu declinare . . . !
Collyn
Good Heavens Colin.
You have offended my lifelong commitment to avoid big words like "corrugated iron".
To make matters worse, my four years of studying Latin (if that's what it is) in the 60's have long deserted me. Along with a good number of other facilities which have lamentably followed suit.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Tue May 14, 2019 3:12 pm

Mea Culpa!

It credits you not just with getting that hole right - but 'the ability to conjugate irregular verbs without making a single mistake'.

People who mess with Latin
Should be put in a vat with some fat in
And put on to boil
With plenty of oil
And left there from Vespers to Matin.

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Tue May 14, 2019 5:41 pm

Ten screws in two days!

Collyn, irregular verbs should eat more fibre.

After many lamentations and much wringing of hands, the ten inner screws are in at last. It took two days.
I had a bad start because the sleeper was tipping forward a little bit and wrecking the alignment of the back wall against the seals. So I used some refrigerator slides that were lying around and packed the front up so that I could move the sleeper in and out while fitting the slides, without interfering with the fit at the back.

Image

The method was to drill a one inch hole in a strategic spot in the inner wall of each wheel arch, which you can see in the picture above. I didn’t mention earlier that the slide had to be shimmed out by 2mm on each side as it is thinner than the original one. I had already put some 1mm thick washers behind the fixed slides, but it wasn’t nearly enough. So I cut a piece of 2mm fibreglass from some epoxy angle and match drilled it to the holes in the slides. Here is one of the two shims. I had already done the same on the back ten screws.

Image

The tricky bit was to position the intermediate slide over the hole and then mark it and make sure it couldn’t move. Then move the sleeper in and out, climbing under the wheel arch each time, until the appropriate screw hole could been seen through the wheel arch wall and the intermediate slide. This wasn't easy because the suspension is right down on its haunches to that the caravan can clear the ceiling. Then, holding everything very steady, you insert the shim piece and slide it along until the appropriate hole in the shim can also be seen through the wheel arch. That means the three are lined up.

Then you drill through from under the wheel arch and open the hole from the other side with an 18mm spade bit. Then you push the screw through from the wheel arch, fill around the screw from the inside with epoxy putty and pull it down with an oversized washer, spring washer and a Nyloc nut. Each one took over an hour, once I got the hang of it.

Here you can see the screws in place on an epoxy bed with the one inch hole to the left of shot.

Image

I think I will make up a flush mounted removable plug for these holes for future maintenance access. Tomorrow morning I’ll put a fan heater in there to help the epoxy go off properly, torque up the screws, cut off the excess and put the drawers back. Provided of course that the slider still does as it’s told.
Then it’s back to more wiring.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by jailbar joe » Wed May 15, 2019 9:28 pm

good to see you have beaten it keith....there is a lot to be said for profanity....without it i don't think
many projects would be completed

at least from here on it should be easy :mrgreen:
cheers
joe


getting old is inevitable.....growing up is optional

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun May 19, 2019 3:29 pm

Dunno about easy Joe, but I'm hangin' in there.

Anyone got any noise reduction suggestions?

I spent a little time today seeing what I could do about the heater noise. Here is the current exhaust setup with a muffler inside the locker at the front with the heater.

Image

Yesterday I installed the locker door with some really good marine insulation on the inside of it. There is no space to do the rest of the locker. I also tentatively added two more mufflers onto the back end of the exhaust, which did not cause any smoke, to see what would happen. Here are the current results:

Background noise: 50dba (43 last time)
On warmup with hatch in locker closed and soundproofed: 72dba (85 with no door last time)
On standby door closed: 55dba (65 last time with door open)
12 inches from exhaust on warmup: 82dba (85 last time)
12 inches from exhaust on standby: 54dba (not measured last time)

There is a marginal improvement but still quite bad. The changed background noise should not have had much effect, except for the standby figures. I think I'll reinstall with four mufflers and see how it goes. It may be a lot better when its out of the garage. I might have to revisit the problem after it's registered. In the meantime, I'd appreciate any noise reduction suggestions.

Meanwhile, the new slides are in and working very nicely; but there's no real weight on them as yet, because the aircon brackets are out being modified. I have also fitted a door to the rear locker on the slide-out and made a start on the bathroom hatches as well as the slide-out wiring. More pictures soon.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by GerryP » Sun May 19, 2019 7:35 pm

Keith, I'm not quite sure, but are you measuring on startup, or are you letting it run for a while and then checking? The reason I ask is that our heater (and I believe they're all very similar) is much noisier when it first starts up. It starts 'flat out' and then winds back, over a short while, to a very quiet idle. When ours has been on for say 15 - 20 minutes, you can barely hear it running from outside. One of our travelling buddies has a Webasto and it's much the same as our Chinese unit.
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun May 19, 2019 7:38 pm

Gerry I am measuring on startup. That's because the heater furnace will be running a fan heater inside during cold weather and I expect it to be cycling on and off quite often. But time will tell.
Thanks for your comments.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by GerryP » Sun May 19, 2019 7:47 pm

Keith, ours doesn't seem to cycle, but rather it just drops down to a slow idle. If it cycled, then it would need to energise the glow plug each time and that uses quite a bit of energy. The combustion air fan and the room supply air fan are both on the one motor, so as the unit idles down, so does the internal, as well as external fan noise levels. However, most of the noise on startup is the noise of combustion. If you monitor the fuel pump 'ticks', you'll hear the difference in combustion noise as it speeds up and slows down.
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun May 19, 2019 8:58 pm

Thanks again Jerry. So it does look very much like I am worrying needlessly.
I'll report back on how it goes in the field.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by J.REEVES » Sun May 19, 2019 9:06 pm

Hi Keith,
Just to clarify you are using a diesel HWS and room heater all in one unit aren't you which is not quite the same as the standard diesel heat?

I have fitted a couple of Chinese diesel heaters for friends and one heater came with no muffler. I was surprised that when we ran it the exhaust noise level was almost the same as the heaters with a muffler.

Does that insulation material on the exhaust help reduce any noise?
What kind of room heating output does the heater have and can it run at different outputs?
The basic diesel heater output on max is usually about 2000 to 2200watts but can drop to a very low output. If the heater does require to cut in and out the outside temperature is not really that cold and you probably don’t need it to be in service.
As said the standard diesel heater once up and running and reached temperature set point cuts back and is not really noisy (in my opinion).

Some things that can help the standard diesel heater run quieter:
There are some combustion air intake type mufflers and some people mount the fuel pump in a box lined with sponge and mount the box to the chassis so the pump is suspended in sponge so there is no physical attachment to the chassis.
I have no experience with the diesel heater/HWS so it maybe noisier than the stand alone diesel heater.

Keep up the good work and stop blaming yourself if something goes wrong, leave that for when you get older!

JR
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun May 19, 2019 10:21 pm

John, thanks for that. Just to clarify:

My system consists of a Belief furnace which pumps through a reservoir of coolant with a coil inside it to heat the hot water. Before the coolant returns back to the reservoir it splits into two circuits, each with its own manual control valve. One circuit goes through the towel rail in the bathroom and the other goes through a fan heater in the saloon area, with both returning to the reservoir through a common line. The fan heater has a two speed fan and a thermostat control plus a manual over ride of my own design, plus an tiny auxiliary coolant pump to help it out.
Here's what it looks like.

Image

The furnace is rated at 4Kw and the fan heater at 1.7Kw. The towel rail uses almost nothing.

I have fitted a couple of Chinese diesel heaters for friends and one heater came with no muffler. I was surprised that when we ran it the exhaust noise level was almost the same as the heaters with a muffler. Three mufflers for me seemed to be a little quieter than one.

Does that insulation material on the exhaust help reduce any noise? I don't know is it does because I haven't tried it both ways.

What kind of room heating output does the heater have and can it run at different outputs? See above.

The basic diesel heater output on max is usually about 2000 to 2200watts but can drop to a very low output. If the heater does require to cut in and out the outside temperature is not really that cold and you probably don’t need it to be in service. True. In fact I'd close the coolant control valve to the fan heater when it is not needed.

As said the standard diesel heater once up and running and reached temperature set point cuts back and is not really noisy (in my opinion). Good news.

Some things that can help the standard diesel heater run quieter:
There are some combustion air intake type mufflers and some people mount the fuel pump in a box lined with sponge and mount the box to the chassis so the pump is suspended in sponge so there is no physical attachment to the chassis.
Mine is on a wobbly rubber mount with flexible lines and is barely audible. I have not fitted the inlet air silencer yet and I need to relocate one of the mufflers to make space.

I have no experience with the diesel heater/HWS so it maybe noisier than the stand alone diesel heater. I hope not.

I'll do some more testing over the next few days.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Mon May 20, 2019 9:08 pm

An old uni mate of mine, who is also a retired engineer, is a very fine furniture maker, which is his hobby. Turns out the most amazingly beautiful stuff.

He has agreed to make the nine kitchen drawers for my caravan build. I was concerned about weight so I asked if he could make them from paulowinia, because if its light weight. He got back to me today.

"Keith," he said, "that poulowinia is not much better than balsa. It's furry and you can't get a finish on it. So we're making them out of Australian cedar. It's only twenty per cent heavier."

Wow! You could have knocked me over with a feather. It's going to be a very large bottle of Scotch (perhaps a case) for this most excellent and generous of mates.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Wed May 22, 2019 6:42 pm

Heater noise

Thanks everyone who commented: you are right. The noise should not be a problem after all.
The first time I fired the fan heater up, the thing went into startup mode with the associated noise. But I have since started the furnace up on two occasions , let it settle down to standby and them turned the fan heater on. It stayed quiet.
All that worry over nothing.
Thanks for your help.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:23 pm

Solar cabling almost complete

I have finally got the cabling for the solar all run and connected, but the bus bars are not yet mounted.

Image

Here you can see the cabling for the solar panels with all the negatives on one bus to be wired to the solar controller and the positives on another. There will be separate removable heavy cables down to the controller. All the cables are marked with which panel they belong to.

There are also some other wires there for lights, dust fans and so on, which will go onto their own terminal strip with an earth back to the battery. The whole lot has to be shoe-horned into that little box thing that’s there. Then the ceiling lining goes on followed by a little locker door to give access to the bus bars.

All this fuss is to allow the roof to be removed.

The seals for the slide-out are almost finished and I’ll post some pictures when they are presentable. The slide-out is now pretty much weather proof. The aircon is in place after welding up the floppy support brackets and repainting them. Still waiting on the aircon man to come around so that I can finish the wiring inside the slide-out.

The end is in sight. But you have to stand on something to see it.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by jailbar joe » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:14 pm

thats a pretty impressive layout there keith...i'm glad i changed my mind about solar for mine...saved a few headaches for sure...

good to hear the end is in sight.....just hope its not to big a step to see it :lol:
cheers
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:42 pm

Thanks as alway, Joe, for the encouraging words. Right now, a bloke could do with some encouragement.

More heater woes

We haven’t done much on the seals this week because the rain has prevented us working while the slide-out is out. But I hope we can get it all finished over the weekend.
The wiring on the roof is very complicated with cables all over the place. The trick is to install it so that the 24 cables between the body and the roof can be removed easily, should the time come to take the roof off. That’s about two thirds finished.

Meanwhile, the diesel heater has been giving problems. I reported previously that noise was no longer a problem. That’s because I have found that the furnace was cutting out. There is so much heat stored in the system that the fan heater and towel rail keep working for some time after the furnace dies.

The furnace runs for an hour or so and then turns itself off. Lovely and quiet but everything goes cold after a while. I tried lots of combinations with fan heater on high or low and control valves in different positions, all with the same result.

Today I wondered whether the heater was getting enough air with the locker door closed. So I ran it for about four hours with the locker door open. It was a lot noisier of course, but it didn’t cut out. Then I closed the door and presto, the furnace cacked its dax again.

So it looks like the furnace it either running out of air or the ambient temperature is getting too hot. I have contacted the supplier to see if there is an ambient temperature limitation on the furnace and am now running a little fan heater in front of the open locker door to see if I can make the furnace trip out. But it doesn't seem to be hot enough.

You can see from the pictures below that the little plant locker is pretty crowded. And the electric over hydraulic brake unit is going to add more heat to the equation.

Image

We have to air vents which you can seed below.

Image

They consist of two one inch black PVC pipes filled with 3mm cocktail straws compressed together and coated with oil to catch any dust. One goes down into the bottom of the locker and the other exits from to top. You can feel a little bit of warm air coming from the top vent when the furnace is running, but not much.
In am thinking aloud here and wondering if the suction fan on the furnace has enough grunt to pull air down through the tube filters and is tripping because it runs out of oxygen.

In either case I can add a little fan like this:
https://www.jaycar.com.au/97mm-x-94mm-1 ... e/p/YX2532
to the warm air exit (there’s no room on the other one) to come on whenever the furnace is running.

But I am mulling over another option, either to do on its own or in conjunction. The composting toilet has its own little computer fan that runs continuously to keep the loo under suction and to provide air for the compost bed. It draws its air from the bathroom, which has worried me regarding pressuring the van to keep dust out.

So I am wondering what would happen if I duct the loo air inlet into the locker and draw the air from there. That would have three benefits. It will supply warm air to help the composting. It will eliminate air leakage when trying to pressurise the van and it will draw fresh air into the locker. If the loo fan isn’t man enough I can upgrade it.

Much thinking to do.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:14 pm

CORRECTION:
After running the fan heater in front of the locker just now, with a towel covering the top half of the opening, the heater tripped out after an hour or so. So it looks like a temperature problem, rather than an oxygen problem.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:41 pm

Essential to keep dust out (of RVs generally) is to remember to keep the sink and bathroom basin plugs firmly in place. As the RV moves up and down on its suspension the down bits pump dust into the interior via the plug holes!

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by J.REEVES » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:08 pm

Hi Keith,
Just wonder do you have a diesel heater controller that can display fault codes?
As yours is a HWS and heater there may not be a fault code.

I know that a straight diesel heater has high body temperature cut out and in fact if power is lost it is possible that the CPU can suffer heat damage as it needs the fan running to cool down.

Having two 1” inlets filled with 3mm cocktail straws compressed together and coated with oil may be just too much restriction for the heater. I believe that most diesel heaters use a fan that is basically just a fan and does not behave like a positive displacement fan/pump and so performance can be affected by the smallest of restrictions.

Sounds like you have proven this by leaving the door open.

JR
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:02 pm

John,
I agree with you on the air restriction and am thinking of adding a little centrifugal blower that will come on with the heater. The challenge is to keep dust out and the noise in.
I have connected up the error reader control panel, relayed the results to the manufacturer and am waiting to hear back.
I changed over the fuel pump to a spare I had, but that made no difference.
When it trips out with the door closed it looks like the internal temperature is only about 40 degrees. The silver insulation on the door is only a few millimetres shy of the furnace body and may be reflecting heat back onto it.
Right how I have my workshop vac pulling air out of the discharge port to see if that solves the problem. Overkill I know. But it's all I've got.
This is very frustrating.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:45 pm

J.REEVES wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:08 pm
Hi Keith,
Just wonder do you have a diesel heater controller that can display fault codes?
As yours is a HWS and heater there may not be a fault code.

I know that a straight diesel heater has high body temperature cut out and in fact if power is lost it is possible that the CPU can suffer heat damage as it needs the fan running to cool down.

Having two 1” inlets filled with 3mm cocktail straws compressed together and coated with oil may be just too much restriction for the heater. I believe that most diesel heaters use a fan that is basically just a fan and does not behave like a positive displacement fan/pump and so performance can be affected by the smallest of restrictions.

Sounds like you have proven this by leaving the door open.

JR
:razz:
I think you may be right re this. We had a Webasto unit (in a small enclosure) in our TVan and had similar issues unless we left the lid open. We had no issues with dust damaging it - despite living in the Kimberley and almost always on loose dirt tracks. I feel the straws to be overkill.

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:56 pm

I agree with you both on the straws. Definitely overkill. Strangely, the thing tripped out in less than an hour with my workshop vac sucking air though the closed locker while the fan heater was putting a bit of load on it. It was on standby all night with the door open, no problem. Have now been running for another hour with the door open and fan heater running and have just closed the locker door, with the straw-filled standpipes removed to see what happens.
We live in hope, in spite of the fact that Murphy was an optimist.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:19 am

The heater tripped out again last night. I restarted it with the locker door just open by an inch and was amazed at the amount of heat coming out the top of the door.
I have checked for exhaust leaks. I wonder is there is anyone who has successfully installed one of these heaters in an enclosed locker.
To make matters worse, if I start cutting holes in the locker to put some blowers in, I will fall foul of the LPG rules due the the proximity of an ignition source to the gas bottles. I'm not a happy camper right now.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by J.REEVES » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:58 am

Hi Keith,
Sounds like a bit of a problem. I know my diesel heater which sits under our kitchen lounge gets reasonably warm. In fact originally I covered the heated air ducting with extra insulation to reduce the trapped heat.

In all the years of travel on many dirt roads I never experienced heater problems due to dust until last year crossing the Gulf and the Great Central Road. Dust partly blocked a small air inlet around the glow pin which made the heater take two goes to start.
I have not done it yet but I will be fitting a dust cap on the combustion air inlet soon. My problem is access as the inlet is under the van and I just don’t wish to crawl under the van to fit and remove the cap so am thinking of lengthening the inlet to the side of the van. The gas heaters comes with a special cap to cover the combustion air and exhaust in and out.

You probably have the manual on you HWS/Heater but just in case.
The manual has 14 alarm codes on page 12 which you should be able to deduce from the number of flashes on the controller:
http://www.dieselheatingaustralia.com/w ... MANUAL.pdf

Looking at the manual the HWS/Heater construction is much different to the straight diesel heater.

Looks like you are going to need some kind of forced air cooling which will cut in when the heater is turned on. I expect you will only be running the heater when you are stopped so could have a cover over the forced air inlet and outlet and remove before starting. Possibly direct the two pipes away from the gas bottles but that does not look to be a real problem anyway, I am not a gas rules expert. Maybe increase the pipe size to 2” once you are sure this is the problem.

JR
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:09 pm

Thanks heaps John.
I can't find my original manual and am trying to figure out the little plug-in control panel. The manual you sent is a big help.
Jaycar have a nice little centrifugal blower that will push 1 inch water gauge and will do 740 litres a minute at free flow.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/97mm-x-94mm-1 ... e/p/YX2532
I might make up an adaptor and see what it can push through the one inch pipe, before butchering everything to install bigger pipes. if I can get say 200 litres a minute, I should get an air change every 20 seconds or so.
So I'll try that first.
My one concern is that, when I stuck the vacuum cleaner suction down the air discharge with the door shut, it tripped out.
I'll call Diesel Heat tomorrow.
Thanks again John. You are always a great help.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:15 pm

KeithB wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:09 pm
Thanks heaps John.
I can't find my original manual and am trying to figure out the little plug-in control panel. The manual you sent is a big help.
Jaycar have a nice little centrifugal blower that will push 1 inch water gauge and will do 740 litres a minute at free flow.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/97mm-x-94mm-1 ... e/p/YX2532
I might make up an adaptor and see what it can push through the one inch pipe, before butchering everything to install bigger pipes. if I can get say 200 litres a minute, I should get an air change every 20 seconds or so.
So I'll try that first.
My one concern is that, when I stuck the vacuum cleaner suction down the air discharge with the door shut, it tripped out.
I'll call Diesel Heat tomorrow.
Thanks again John. You are always a great help.
Keith
The Diesel Heat boss ( I forget his name! used to sell the Webasto product - way back . Give him my regards please - he was very helpful when I was writing about the product.

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:00 pm

Collyn wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:15 pm
The Diesel Heat boss ( I forget his name! used to sell the Webasto product - way back . Give him my regards please - he was very helpful when I was writing about the product.
Collyn
Collyn
Graeme Yost sold the business early this year I think. The new owner is Nick Tanner, a very nice bloke too.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:09 pm

I've used about 15 litres of diesel trying different combinations to get this heater to work. I put an accurate temperature sensor on it and it runs well up to 52 degrees in the locker and then it trips.

Tried different combinations of fans with no luck. I think the specified maximum ambient temperature for these heaters is 80 degrees. So, talking to Nick at Dieselheat, it looks like it might be a dud CPU. Going we're to try a replacement and see if that does the trick. Nick has been fantastic in his support and perseverance, even though the heater is miles out of warranty. I shudder to think how I'd be with an eBay cheapie.

Mind you, the thing works a treat when it's running. I can see it being toasty in the coldest weather. The idea of ducting warm air from the heater locker in to the composting loo won't solve the problem. But I think it will make the loo compost a lot better. Will look at that after I've got the heater working properly and the thing is registered.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by J.REEVES » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:54 pm

Hi Keith,
15ltrs, you are giving it a work out!
So you cannot get any codes from the controller as there are a couple for temperature.
Could be a temperature sensor fault maybe the flame temperature sensor.
ECU.JPG
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:00 am

John, I got a hold of the manual for my model from Dieselheat which has all of the error codes. I am consistently getting: "Error 51: Flame sensor check over high temperature during the self-checking time". Gotta love the Chinglish.

Nick at Dieselheat tells me that he's only seen this problem once before and it was fixed with a new CPU. So he's lending me one, complete with a wiring harness, to try out. Changing the flame sensor means it will have to go back to Tassie for surgery.

Nick has been a bit of a Godsend on this one. I've been tearing out what little hair I have left. It's funny that the three biggest problems that I have had on this build are from things that I have bought that haven't worked as advertised: the fridge (two trips to the factory); the slides (the less said the better) and now the heater (15 litres later).

The rear seals are almost complete, the hold down catches are almost on and the wiring for the pop top roof is well on its way. I look like getting the aircon man around next week and we're off to order a mattress and select fabrics on Monday. I bought the bathroom fittings today. Still waiting on my old mate to come around and measure up for the drawers. Only 45 jobs left!

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:24 am

Keith

You may wish to have some thought about the tyres.

Tyres oxidise constantly. This is normally 'pumped out' in the course of driving (but it still advisable to renew after seven-ten years anyway). If not used, however, that oxidisation seriously hardens and weakens the tyres.

This became known more widely around 2005 or so when two CMCA members had blowouts on tyres on a big MAN and an ACCO that had been built over a course of many years, Both were on their way to a CMCA Rally and the tyres blew out after only a short distance on both vehicles. I too had a similar experience with a 1971 Haflinger that has been unused for ten years.

Tyre companies now warn of this. https://rubberchemtechnol.org/doi/abs/10.5254/1.3548213

It can be avoided by using nitrogen instead of air (if not using the tyre for long periods).
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:51 am

Thanks Collyn.

I haven't bought any tyres yet and will use the two spares off the tug in the first instance to make sure they fit okay. There's not enough headroom in the garage to get any tyres on till it's out in the street. I take your point though and often find myself wondering whether tyres sitting on the back of vehicles out in the Aussie sun are wasting away faster than the ones under the guards.
I like to use one of those cheap digital thermometers to check tyre and bearing temperatures on a trip. It's funny how the ones on the sunny side of the car always get seem to about five degrees hotter.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:09 pm

What size are they to be?

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by J.REEVES » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:30 pm

Keith,
Changing the CPU is worth a go and it would be good to have a spare if this is not the problem.

As you mentioned earlier the heater works OK with the door open so really sounds like an overheating issue.

From the manual: In the case of overheating (for example, lack of water, poorly vented coolant circuit), the overheating sensor is triggered, the fuel supply is interrupted and the heater turns OFF. Once the overheating has been eliminated, the heater can be restarted manually by turning OFF and ON again.
I really think you have an overheating problem maybe even the CPU has its own high temperature protection.

Possibly the cubical area is just too restricted to allow good air circulation and something is getting to hot. The air you have going into the compartment is enough for combustion but you may need to try and get better air circulation to stop overheating. Possibly attach a temperature probe on the CPU with the door closed and see what temperature you get and then try other locations if that is OK.

Good luck hope the new CPU fixes the problem.

JR
:razz:

KeithB
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:10 pm

Collyn, I'll match the tyres on the caravan to what's on the tug - BFG KO2 285 x 33 inch LT. They will handle the GVM, which will be at least 1,000Kg over the tare. The 200 Series mag wheels are the limitation on GVM as I think they are rated at just 2500kg a pair. There is no stamping on them indicating maximum load. I think the GVM will be about 2,850 or maybe a little less. Without any reason for believing so, I think about two thirds GVM is suitable for off road work. But I'd welcome your opinion on that.

Thanks John. The CPU is supposed to be able to run at 80 degrees. But we'll see if a new one fixes it. However, I will take the combustion air from outside. I think it was a bit dumb to to what I have done with the combustion air intake. Will also, per your suggestion, ditch the drinking straws. I have put my workshop vacuum on the outlet air vent and it made no difference to the tripping problem. Nor did a blower on the other side. The other thing I can do later is to move the muffler outside and glass tape the exhaust pipe inside to keep the heat down. I will also duct some of the hot air into the toilet, once the intake is outside. At least that will keep the dunny seat warm.

Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:17 am

Keith - that size seems just fine.

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:52 am

Collyn wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:17 am
Keith - are you sure the (tyre) size you have in mind are adequate?
Collyn
Collyn the BFG tyre tables indicate a maximum load of 1450 Kg per tyre at 80 psi for the same tyres that are on the tow. I'll probably run them at less than that as I think (or hope) my loaded weight with full 400 litre water tanks will be about two tonnes - with possibly 150kg on the draw bar.
Perhaps use the 4psi rule and keep and eye on their temperatures to get the right pressure at full load.
I have taken your advice to heart and am planning to run the rear tyres on the tow at higher pressures when towing and am harbouring a forlorn hope that someone in the family will buy me a TPMS for Christmas.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:08 am

Keith

Many owners do not understand that the tow vehicle's tyre pressures are one of the most vital factors in assuring caravan towing.

It is essential that the front tyres must never have pressure increased (and can usefully be reduced by 2-3 psi). The rear tyres must be 7-10 psi above the non-towing pressure.

This is even more important if using a WDH. The reason is that the WDH reduces the tow vehicle rear tyre loading (thus reducing their 'cornering power') but cannot reduce the yaw (sway) forces - now imposed on the tow vehicle's rear tyres less able to resist them. Raising their pressures, however, partially compensates - but not totally.

There are of course many other factors of which excess speed is way up the list.

Re tow ball mass - this is less critical with centre-heavy short caravans. What is the overall length?

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:08 pm

Collyn, the main body is 4.2 metres. The extended drawbar will be about 1300mm long and houses the equipment locker which contains about 45kg of gear, with two 4.5 kg gas bottles on top plus there are two 10 litre diesel tanks on the front of the van.
The axle is set about 650 back from the centre to allow for the gate, aircon and spare tyre on the back as well as the BBQ and batteries being very slightly aft by about 700mm. The slideout sleeper is mostly aft of the axle as well. The water tanks have about a 400mm forward bias to the axle. The galley and fridge are both forward of the axle. On my sums, there's almost an even weight split between the wheels.
I think it should tow okay, but I have sacrificed ramp-over angle a bit but putting the axle well back. The departure angle is the same as the tow.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:39 pm

Keith
In my opinion, anywhere from 5%-10% tow ball mass should be just fine for towing your laden trailer at up to 110 km/h. It should be rock steady and only barely affected by passing trucks etc. If only more were like this!

The local industry seems to be going barking mad - producing some product that barely a new tow vehicle can handle. It can only get worse as vehicle makers attempt further to reduce emissions by making lighter products. One example as the 2015 or so reduction (with utes) from 3.5 mm to 3 mm for chassis rails.

Collyn
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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:30 pm

Collyn I seem to recall that, in the old days, the laden weight of the trailer could not be greater than the unladen weight of the vehicle. That was good rule, which seems to have gone out the window. And I don't believe the towing ratings quoted for most new vehicles.
So it looks like we're going to be seeing more bent and busted chassis.
Keith

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by Collyn » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:05 am

KeithB wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:30 pm
Collyn I seem to recall that, in the old days, the laden weight of the trailer could not be greater than the unladen weight of the vehicle. That was good rule, which seems to have gone out the window. And I don't believe the towing ratings quoted for most new vehicles.
So it looks like we're going to be seeing more bent and busted chassis.
Keith

Keith

The explanation is that tow rating use is based on criteria other than towing a pig trailer via an overhung hitch. It assumes a fully laden vehicle's ability to stop and restart on a given gradient, its mechanical ability to withstand such stresses etc. In essence, it is what that full laden vehicle can pull on the end of a rope. Some caravaneers seem unaware that by far the largest use of 4WDs is military and that of dual cab utes is ditto, plus tradies towing short trailers.

The main issue in this area (of overhung hitches) is not so much the weight of the trailer but its length and where weight is distributed.

The major year-long survey now being undertaken at ANU may show up such issues. I was involved in having ANU undertake this (and they have my published work on vehicle stability in this area).

Collyn
The problem is not what people do not know, it is what they think they know that simply isn't true.

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Re: Keith's light weight off roader

Post by KeithB » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:19 pm

Got the aircon running today. On low setting and in "Silent" mode is is very quiet and, in this cold Sydney weather, was putting out a lot of heat. It was drawing 48 amps via the inverter when the compressor kicked in, which is pretty much what I expected. I'm guessing an average draw of 25-30 amps when used sensibly. So it should be okay for tropical nights. We will only use it for heating in caravan parks.

I mentioned to the aircon guys who did the pipework that I was still trying to figure out how to get a little pump organised to get rid of the condensate water from the indoor unit. The bottom like is that the water has to go uphill to clear the bead head. They steered me to a local supplier that has a range or pumps designed for the purpose and which clip in under the wall unit and connect to the aircon's power. I put one in, tested it with a load a water in the little reservoir and it worked a treat. It's rated at 14 litres an hour. I'll figure out a way to cover up the pipes and post some more pictures soon.

Keith

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