DIY Composite Flatbed Camper Build

I've been having a problem with the water pump pulsating. It is a Shurflo by-pass pump that does not need an accumulator.
I checked all the lines for tight fittings and made sure there was no air too. None of this helped.
In the operation manual it talks about a by-pass adjustment that should only be performed by a professional technician with proper gauges
and equipment. Well, it just doesn't seem that complicated so I adjusted until the pulsating stopped. Problem solved :)
Another glitch I'm having is the drainage from camper to gray tank. Seems it works best if the drain line does not get smaller. Guess I'll be replacing
it when we unload the camper:poop:
 
Took off for a quick overnighter to the NC mountains. "Maiden Voyage"
I was most impressed with the electrical system. The REDARC, Stark Lithium batteries, and Magnum inverter provided
plenty of power for our needs.
We arrived at our campsite for our evening meal, so we had full charge. Cooked with the induction cooktop for about 15 minutes and
heated up some veggies in the microwave for another 5. Next morning with no charging, we cooked breakfast using same units.
Voltage stays around 13.6 with fridge compressor on. After evening dinner and morning breakfast, voltage was 13.1, but started rising
as the sun came out. My first impressions of the REDARC and lithium batteries are very good. The batteries provide all the power we need and
the REDARC does a great job charging. Still have the AC to install, so we'll see how that goes.
Also noticed around 15mpg. This is fully loaded with four adults. Lots of uneven terrain and a heavy foot; probably could have done a little better:)
It was a great get away, can't wait to go again for a much longer time.
 

Attachments

Finally found "THE 12 VOLT AC". After looking and studying for more than a year at various types of AC suitable for an overland camper, not to mention making 2 purchases, I have what I've been searching for. As mentioned before my criteria was efficiency, light weight, reasonable cost, and reliability. Initially I was leaning towards a split system that required an inverter. While the seer ratings looked good, the units were still rather large and not really designed for the bumps and jolts of off-roading. This lead me to the 12 volt split system for trucks. There are a few 12 volt AC's offered here in the states costing between 3 to 4k. This seemed like a lot for an AC, so I bought a Chinese brand through Alibaba by Guchen. Total cost was around $1400.00. BIG MISTAKE!!! I won't go into the details of what ultimately was a fraudulent sale, but the quality is definitely not depicted in their advertising. Lesson learned; you get what you pay for. Serviceability is also just as important.

The Kalori Electrik sold by https://dcpowersales.com/ has arrived. I decided to go with a roof top unit instead of a spit system for easier installation. "Same efficiency"
It meets all my criteria, well almost. Price is under 3k, so not cheap but as I said you get what you pay for. The quality is definitely far above the Chinese brand and they have distribution located across the US and Canada. The unit has 3 settings raging from 8500 btu to 15000 btu. It is also light weight at 53lbs. While it does not have an adjustable thermostat, one can be added.
If you go to the website you will see the rugged conditions for which they are made. I'll post more as I begin to install.
 

Attachments

java

Expedition Leader
Anybody understand thermostats??? My Kalori is 12 volts, so I would think I need a 12 volt thermostat?
It connects in between a single line that would basically open and close the circuit. Does it really need to be a
12 volt thermostat or will something like this work? https://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct.cfm?productID=453069316
Tstats are just a switch. Most run off 24v ac or batteries (home versions anyway) no reason it needs to be for 10 v dc unless you have a power line in your wiring for it to run off. Normally it would just be a battery in the Tstat.

I used a cheap honeywell on mine, running an webasto airtop.

But yes that one would work fine, although I personally would get a digital one. Those are not very accurate IMO. They work once you know the position you like and ignore the temp numbers.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
Tstats are just a switch. Most run off 24v ac or batteries (home versions anyway) no reason it needs to be for 10 v dc unless you have a power line in your wiring for it to run off. Normally it would just be a battery in the Tstat.

I used a cheap honeywell on mine, running an webasto airtop.

But yes that one would work fine, although I personally would get a digital one. Those are not very accurate IMO. They work once you know the position you like and ignore the temp numbers.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Thanks! Made my day. I suspected it was that simple:)
 
Changed out the drainage line for the gray tank. The first go around was a blue irrigation hose that I chose for its ability to flex 180 degrees without kinking.
With it being a little smaller than my 1 inch drain in the camper, the water would come out a little in the shower drain; probably not the best design in retrospect.
Came across a washing machine drain line that works perfectly.
 

Attachments

Getting my ducks in a row for the AC install. Since there are various applications regarding roof thickness and distance from battery, not all hardware is included. Also being imported, the unit is not pre-charged with Freon. Forgot to mention thermostat. As these units are built for robust applications, I guess they figured a preset temp of 69 degrees was sufficient. However a thermostat can be added to completely turn off the unit at desired temp. I decided to go with simple mechanical. https://www.acwholesalers.com/White...-Plate/13928.ac?question=cool only thermostat
Four #8 metric machine bolts are needed to secure unit to the roof and heavy gauge wire for power. Instructions call for 6 gauge, but Steven at http://dcpowersales.com/ recommended thicker for a longer run. I'm about 16 feet from my batteries. Unit will be located in the back on the roof so I'll need to cross the roof and come down through the wardrobe. I bought 20ft 4 gauge battery jumper cables and cut the ends off. If they are thick enough to jump start a vehicle, should be sufficient to power the unit.
Finding someone to charge the unit was a little "tricky". First I called a couple RV service centers. Each said they do not deal with that type of unit. They only install and service sealed units.
Next I tried a franchise service station. While they have the equipment to charge AC units in vehicles, they are not certified for RV units. The HVAC businesses that service homes also said the same thing. Then I called a locally owned garage. "No problem, we can do that". :)
As I was preparing for battery connect, my isolator was fried. It's rated at 500 amps. Not sure if 250 lithium amps caused this or just a cheap isolator. So I ordered a "heavy duty" rated at 1000 amps.
Hopefully this will take care of the load. Pictured below on the left is the failed switch.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Good news, Bad news, Good news....

The good news is the AC installation is done, well almost, and was fairly easy. I'm very happy with its small size and quality in comparison to the Guchen.
The bad news is the compressor is being a little finicky. It works perfectly most of the time, but sometimes it cycles on and off.
The good news is Steven at http://dcpowersales.com/ is sending me a new compressor. He has been very helpful with all aspects of the install.

If your thinking about one of these units, here is what I learned. 1.Before cutting a hole in your roof, double check the measurements on the unit. 2. Kalori calls for 6 gauge wire,
I used 4 gauge over a 16 ft run. With the compressor set on low speed, the wire gets a little warm. Set on medium speed it starts to melt the blade fuse. Should of gone with
1/0 wire. 3. The thermostat install was easy and works perfectly per Kalori's instructions. 4. Be sure to have the 100 amp fuse in place before putting power to the unit. If you fry it,
your SOL.
 

Attachments

Jeff, hope you were able to use the A/C while you were installing it - its so darn humid right now !
Installation looks good.
What size was the fuse you fried ? How many amps does this compressor need ?
Thanks, Bob
 
Jeff, hope you were able to use the A/C while you were installing it - its so darn humid right now !
Installation looks good.
What size was the fuse you fried ? How many amps does this compressor need ?
Thanks, Bob
Hi Bob, definitely have to get an early start to beat the heat around here!!
The compressor has three adjustable speeds which coincides with BTU output.
Speed 1, 53A, 7500 BTU. Speed 2, 79A, approx. 11000 BTU. Speed 3, 106A, 15000 BTU.

The unit comes from the factory on speed 2. My initial start up blew the 100 amp fuse. This may have been due to
the 4 gauge wire, length, and amperage. I'm not sure. I reduced the amperage by setting it to speed 1. I didn't have another
100 amp fuse so I used an 80 amp. Unit ran fine but the fuse got so hot it began to melt. I replaced it with a 100 amp and it has been fine.
While the fuse and wire do get warm, this happens while the compressor is running. Once the temp is reached, the compressor does not run that much.
 
Last edited:
Ran the AC for approx. 6 to 7 hours yesterday on just solar. While compressor ran, voltage would drop to about 12.8, then once temp was reached the fan would continue
to run and charge would rise to about 13.4. This was pretty much the pattern throughout a hot humid day with a high of 94 degrees. The day ended with a drenching storm.
That was a good test for leaks in which there were none.
The mechanical thermostat was set on 70, but the digital thermometer read 73. All window blinds were closed and roof vent had insulated insert in place. The window in the door was letting
a lot of heat in so I temporarily placed the reflectix bubble wrap over it. This made a big difference. Should have gone with a solid door. The camper was dark and cool.
Overall I'm impressed with the efficiency of the unit and the ability of the panels to contain temperature.
 
Top