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MaineErik

Solar + Roof de-Sag + Skylight + Marine Fridge + 2 Coach Batts!

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I've been slaving away - still a bit of finish work to do - but the camper has reached 100% functionality and I will be stepping back and enjoying it now!  This week me and the family (5 of us total) leave for a month long NE trip from Maine to DC to Ontario to Quebec and back to Maine - yeehaw!

Actually just remembered I need to finish the cab window screens and the hanging cot for my 8 year old -- so a bit more to do before we leave.  But here is a list of the accomplishments (that I can remember at the moment):

  • Removed the original & broken 2-way fridge and used the space to install a used 12V marine fridge found on CL (which I super insulated) and a pair of coach batteries.  Also removed the old fridge roof vent.
  • Removed the roof AC unit (works fine, just never used it) and installed a crystal clear skylight - so much nicer with the increased light and headroom!!  
  • Got a 3x3x1/4 angle aluminum and some other metal bits to de-sag the roof - even more headroom - and no more roof pond!
  • Mounted 2x100W solar panels on the roof and used a PWM controller (all HQST stuff) to control the charge (after a lot of research the more expensive MPPT controllers did not seem worth the extra cost, $20 vs $130).
  • Replaced the old (original?) bathroom skylight and super noisy fan with a Maxxair fan/vent system - quiet, sleek, so far super good!
  • Replaced all coach lights with LEDs.
  • Replaced stock mini-storage area with a captain's chair, also from CL (local guy removed it from his Toy).  Now we have 6 seatbelts a good place for my wife to sit and nurse the newborn.  It's actually really comfy!
  • Replaced stock cab stereo with used Sony headunit and put new Kenwood speakers in the dash.
  • Pulled up cab vinyl floor and installed foam and reflectix on entire floor - much cooler and I think quieter too.  
  • Replaced manifold gasket.
  • Replaced holding straps on black sewer tank.
  • Removed most of the old roof TV antenna.

Thanks to all the inspiration and information on this forum and to @Back East Don for finding this camper for us last year :)

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Edited by MaineErik

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Thanks for posting, I have been trying to figure what size angle I would need to support the roof as you did. I have 1 1/2 X 1 1/2 and it has too much deflection.

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9 minutes ago, jjrbus said:

I have been trying to figure what size angle I would need to support the roof

Actually I had a typo, I used 3x3x1/4. I corrected my OP. Even as big as this is, there is still some deflection. Ideally it would be C-chanel, but it was too pricey.

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2 hours ago, MaineErik said:

Actually I had a typo, I used 3x3x1/4. I corrected my OP. Even as big as this is, there is still some deflection. Ideally it would be C-chanel, but it was too pricey.

Thanks for the response, I am surprised that 3X3X1/4 has deflection!

 

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On 6/10/2017 at 2:31 PM, MaineErik said:
  • Got a 3x3x1/4 angle aluminum and some other metal bits to de-sag the roof - even more headroom - and no more roof pond!

Hey there! Super curious how this went - do you just 'sandwich' the existing roof between two sort of steel beams like so?
 

Sweet set-up, btw! I admire it very much!

-Neil

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On 3/12/2019 at 8:11 PM, TigersRreal said:

Hey there! Super curious how this went - do you just 'sandwich' the existing roof between two sort of steel beams like so?

I think you're asking about the exterior and interior sections of all added. The piece of angle metal on the roof does all the heavy work. The section of sheet metal on the interior creates a broad area to spread the pulling load and prevents the bolts from just pulling through the flimsy roof. The roof used to collect a couple inch deep puddle after rain, it doesn't do that now. There's quite a bit of force required to bring it back up. Make sure you don't undersize the metal goods on a project like this. 

Glad you like the work!

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2 hours ago, MaineErik said:

I think you're asking about the exterior and interior sections of all added. The piece of angle metal on the roof does all the heavy work. The section of sheet metal on the interior creates a broad area to spread the pulling load and prevents the bolts from just pulling through the flimsy roof. The roof used to collect a couple inch deep puddle after rain, it doesn't do that now. There's quite a bit of force required to bring it back up. Make sure you don't undersize the metal goods on a project like this. 

Glad you like the work!

OHHHHhhhhh gotcha! Thanks for that, it helps me understand what's going on here! 

What else do you have planned?

 

Cheers!,

Neil

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Looks sweet.

Did you replace the entire light fixtures or just the bulbs to LED?

Also, what model fridge was that?

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Just replaced the bulbs with LED style. 
Fridge is made by Norcold, I think model NR740. It performs well but is a bit on the small side for our size family.

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