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Thread: In search of the "perfect" camper frame

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado, United States
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    798
    regarding paint. thoughts on using something like linex or als liner? excellant bonding, abrasion and uv resistant. repairable.


    something else i thought of while reading through this thread, it might give you a chuckle, but here it is.

    i've been doing a lot of research lately on how passive solar houses work, it seems the primary concern when heating a passive solar house is having mass that can be heated from inside the house and insulating the mass from the outside of the house to keep the heat in.

    so the thought occurred to me that you have done the best you can to keep the cold out, what could be done with thermal mass type objects to keep the heat in and what could you use.

    just brainstorming here, so bear with me.

    -plywood floor with 1" foam slab on top,with concrete board and a black tile. the concrete board and tile would add mass.

    -using concrete board to duct your forced air heat.

    -using concrete board on the lower half of your walls.


    the downsides obviously would be the added weight. the idea being that the concrete board and tile are very dense, creating a slow heat sink, that releases just as slow. allowing you to burn less fuel to keep your camper warm. if you could place your windows so the sun hit the tile that would help as well.

    maybe you would have to do all of these to see some performance gains. dunno never done it before. just an interesting thought i wanted to pass along.

    and keeping mind the more windows you have the more heat loss you have. windows are horrible insulators.

    let me know if you think these are unreasonable ideas or not. i am curious.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado, United States
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    798
    with the fridge not being externally vented will it have to work harder staying cold? i am thinking the venting might have the added bonus of keeping the fridge cool without the use of propane in the colder climates.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North Idaho
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    807
    Research has shown that propane fridges just are not efficient as I would like.

    That, and a 12V system reduces the need for propane refills, as it provides multiple ways to recharge the system.


    Quote Originally Posted by bftank View Post
    regarding paint. thoughts on using something like linex or als liner? excellant bonding, abrasion and uv resistant. repairable.
    Ive already decided. Last summer I re-did the back deck on our home with a new product I had been itching to try for a while.



    I plan on using it for the exterior walls, and the Gaco-ROOF for the roof.

    I transformed this sad deck



    into....





    this....




    And Ive had the product on the "potentially good enough for camper exterior" ever since. So Ive been watching it VERY closely for the past few months. And it has done amazing.


    Quote Originally Posted by bftank View Post
    something else i thought of while reading through this thread, it might give you a chuckle, but here it is.


    i've been doing a lot of research lately on how passive solar houses work,
    ...snip...


    Our home is a passive solar home. Warm in the winter (when the sun us out) and cool in the summer (due to large eves that keep direct sunlight out of the home).

    Ive been in the construction industry my entire life, and I could go on and on about this.... But insulating and heating a camper is much different than insulating and heating a home. A home can make use of thermal mass, as you have predicable and dependable direct sunlight to soak your thermal mass.

    Look at a camper like you are looking at an ice-chest, and you will be far better off. An R-value is a simple way of rating how resistant a substrate (or wall) is to thermal transfer. Just ignore sunlight as a factor, and insulate best you can. A higher R-value will provide for a much more efficient camper. Which means, cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eureka, Ca
    Posts
    227
    agreed..passive solar would not work in a camper environment. passive solar homes have literally ton's of rock or cement to hold heat for a long while. Cement board just doesn't have the mass to hold heat more than a short period of time. Was it someone on this site that was doing hydronic (under floor water tube heating) piping for heat.. ? maybe another site.. Insulation is your best bet.. SIP concept or spray-in insulation may work..watch for thermal bridging issues also..

    Mike

  5. #75

    Default Underfloor heating

    Hello, just to let you know that underfloor heating works very well, it's now -12c outside and my underfloor heating is keeping my feet nice and warm. It runs from a eberspatcher 5 kw hydronic diesel burner, or when on hook up an electric boiler ,that will also heat radiators and or hot water,and or the engine cooling system, and or the hot air blowers. Each system controlled by valves at a manifold so I can use all or any one system at any time. The underfloor pipes are multi runs of 8mm copper fitted under a thin metal plate. The wooden planks are glued to the top of the plate. Below the metal plate and pipes is sprayed polyurethane foam insulation 40mm thick . I doesn't get too hot as the wood is quite thick, but walking around a warm floor is luxury !
    My habitation box is made with a lower steel frame with a bowed roof that's made with laminated wooden beams. The use of wood and steel works well for me. I shall be building a new truck soon and will still keep to this method. It's quick, easy and cheap. I like the look of that paint, great deck, nice view.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North Idaho
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    807
    Thanks for the post skipperted

    Unfortunately under floor heating is not an option. One objective for this camper is simplicity to increase reliability, and limiting the number of systems on-board is my way of doing it.

    Thanks for the suggestion though. It is a good one, and one I had actually considered early on. Although, I HAVE considered one of these to run off shore power when parked...




    I doubt Ill go that route though. A pad like that under a wood floor just doesnt seem like a good idea
    Plus, they are designed to heat soak a ceramic or concrete floor to hold heat.

    Do you have any photos of your rig? Id love to see another steel/wood camper!

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    47
    I just received my weekly "spam" from JD and thought of this thread...... http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...gn=email021912........
    I think your steel/wood frame will work just fine as long as you keep corrosion and rot at bay. I've had very good luck with epoxy steel primers and now prefer it over powder coating as it's easy to grind off and weld for repairs. As long as the steel is very clean before painting it does a remarkable job of preventing rust. As for wood, the cold molded boat builders have great luck with these penetrating epoxies on their builds. Looking forward to watching your rig come together
    (I know that many feel that composite foam construction is the only way to build a camper..........and in many ways they are right. However, the build process is a big part of the experience and I for one hate the toxicity of vinyl/polyester/epoxy resins and the acetone or styrene solvents. Then there is the mask wearing and itchiness of the glass fibers when you sand....)
    2011 Dodge 5500 4x4 CrewCab in Progress

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eureka, Ca
    Posts
    227
    Quote Originally Posted by skipperted View Post
    ... I shall be building a new truck soon and will still keep to this method. ....
    looking forward to your postings on your new rig..

    Mike

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North Idaho
    Posts
    807
    I think Ive been reading too many discussions on boat building forums for the past couple of weeks...

    Im itching (pun intended) to glass, epoxy coat, and paint the entire thing now....

    Comments? My only concern is strength of critical joints in the plywood skin, and epoxy+ flex. Im not certain it has enough give to do it without cracking.

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO.
    Posts
    1,580
    Now THAT ^^ is ironic.

    Personally I do not have any understanding of the process of glass either. One of the concerns I would immediately have is how to make a nice, smooth, flat surface.

    Someone mentioned above that you can use some "Great Stuff", flatten it, indent it a touch, and you can patch. That makes perfect sense, but how do you get the thing right when you are building. Do you just frame and foam first, and then come back and put the glass on second? This seems unlikely to me.

    Ah well

    Personally I like the glass, and the Nida/Rinokore products, but just buying an old freezer box sure sounds a lot easier, and ready to go.
    "Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He's the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war." -Allan Massie

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