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thewanderlustking

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  1. Alright I will dive in then. I have one of those dremel vibratory saw/sander things. That might be the ticket....
  2. Alright, I have the correct Camco gasket already sitting in my parts box. And I have help I can abuse. But before I attempt that, I will get up there and take video or pictures of what I am dealing with for you guys first. If you guys are STILL this optimistic AFTER seeing what I am contending with, I will go for it. When I say this thing is glued in, I mean it. WD40, a heat gun, and a scraper are not likely getting it out. We are more at the blowtorch, sawzall, and sledgehammer end of things. The roof was braced, and the casing was glued/sealed to the bracing. I have somewhere between 3-6" thick of whatever it is, most of the way around the edges to contend with. But I will get those pictures next day or so in the light. Maybe I am just overwhelmed by what I am seeing, like most would if they had to replace a head gasket in a Walmart parking lot. I would be MUCH LESS intimidated by that. This though... If I damage this AC unit, or the roof, realistically the RV goes to the scrapper. So I have to approach this carefully. For now, I am going to see if I can find some how-to videos that look like what I am dealing with. And while it is almost admitting defeat, this is one job it might actually be worth it for me to farm out and pay for. There is an RV repair place less than 2 miles from me. Assuming that they would even do it for any "reasonable" amount... Good news is, the roof is only 7' wide. I recently discovered I can pretty safely reach most, if not all of it, from a ladder leaning against the side. The roof cross braces that are up there will also let me easily lay down some plywood on top of those too. It wouldn't surprise me if damage was done by earlier excursions crawling across the roof from the back... While I had tried my best to only crawl and put pressure on the braces, not easily or comfortably done.
  3. I go away for a couple weeks and come back a newbie with no posts or threads, WTH lol?! I have no watched topics and... Anyways I will stop grumbling about that. I have more important eggs to fry. (This is talking about my 1986 Mini Cruiser BTW.) I am at wits end. "She" doesn't want me to sp[end any more money on this, but I HAVE to get it to the point it is usable, and soon. From day 1 of our ownership of this wonderful piece of, awesome engineering (the Toyota part and NOT the back half...), the cover disguised as a roof, has leaked. I am fairly sure it leaks around the Coleman AC. I have patched it several times, well enough the leaks stopped for almost 2 years. But now it is back. I got replacement gaskets, then realized that the AC is glued in with 50lbs of roofing tar, or whatever they used to create a dam around it. There is near ZERO chance of removing this unit without doing either catastrophic damage to it, or ending up rebuilding half the roof. It could possibly be removed safety without damage, and I could also have a winning lottery ticket blow into my face... The AC unit actually works AMAZINGLY good! Eventually. So for now at least, I don't want to remove/destroy it. "She" wants ac. A new unit isn't too bad, but until she falls in love with this monster, that budget won't happen. And I am not tossing another $1k into this, on top of the damage removing the old one would do to the roof, to risk getting cooked on the budget, or worse running out of time when her patience with it all expires finally. Here is what I have done so far. 1) Initially the membrane, if it had one that wasn't just built up layers of RV roof paint, was peeling and leaking. The water was going under it and traveling about 3-4' before leaking inside. I was able to prove this as putting water on that spot created a faucet inside. It wasn't anywhere near where the leak inside was. I repaired this by grinding the loose bits away with a wire wheel, taping it up with some elastomer something something type tape, and top coating it with flex seal. This was a decent long term repair and I was about to tackle redoing the ceiling inside. But then another hurricane hit. It wasn't bad enough for me to remember its name, but it pounded s with rain. And a new leak. Well one in the same spot... 2) This time it looked like the water was pooling back behind the AC unit and actually going up over the rear lip of the case behind the condenser. So I tackled this two ways. I cut and bent up a chicken wire screen, and made a taller lip for this area. I filled the chicken wire with what I had on hand, black roofing tar. I then took that and used it as a filler to build up the area behind it so hopefully water would run off and not pool. I also smeared that tar in a few other places where there was some chance that it could be leaking in. The leaks got better, IE smaller. It isn't really bad now. Honestly I could even live with it. But I also know that as soon as clean up and rebuild the ceiling from inside, any leaks will get trapped and do more damage. Now during a hard storm I will get seepage and eventually some drips. In fact as I was writing this I heard the first thunder claps. I am now sitting out in the RV in a full downpour. And lightning just hit a few houses away, FUN! That was even closer... Anyways it is a FULL on downpour. About ten minutes in. Looking up and I have a couple big drops forming, but so far the floor seems dry (my shoes did track in some wetness). Wherever the water is coming in, it is traveling. I am not going to go outside at the moment to see where it is pooling on the roof, as the lightning strikes are still VERY close. I see no moisture in or around the AC. It is about 16" behind it along a wooden ceiling beam. So, I need a good repair approach. Multiple times I have put a hose on the roof and I have repaired the areas where it is obviously a problem. But I am thinking it is still getting in somewhere else, like the roof edge/side transition possibly. The leak starts shortly after water pools. I don't like how the solar panels are mounted to the roof. Too simply have screws popped right through. 8 in total. Don't see any leaks around the ones I can see inside. The larger back one was glued to 4 pads. It came up off those with some tugging. I can easily mount all 3 up slightly higher with aluminum L channels mounted to the roof braces. While it will likely take a further hit to my amazing arodynamics and fuel economy, it will allow me to clean underneath them, or sickle remove and replace if needed. So starting point, get everything off the roof in the way. I suspect I need to then clean, grind any loose bits off, and then reseal the WHOLE roof. Maybe tape the edges first before putting down now coating? I am actual okay with doing this as routine maintenance evert 3yrs or so, if it is what will keep my roof dry, I am good with that. Alright, rain slows/stops and the leaks start pouring! There isn't actually a lot of water pooled on the roof. Some on the drivers side, but not a crazy amount. Obviously wherever this is coming in, it is traveling for sure. I marked all the spots inside with a sharpie. Not sure where to go from here. Do I drill holes up through where the leaks are and see where they pop through outside??? By pouring, I probably got a cup or two of water. Not a massive amount, but enough that left in a ceiling it would quickly destroy any repairs I do. The black tar might not have been the best idea, but it was the only thing I had on hand I could "build up" with. It is actually still pliable too. I put it on a couple months ago. At minimum, I need to go smoosh and smooth it out in a few places. It is no longer oily on the surface, so it probably could be topcoated at this point. So what next? Ideally I leave that tar up there and coat overtop of it with something like Flex Seal. I would LOVE to use that product. I have multiple cans of the spray, and a bucket of it is reasonable at $80. And readily available at Home Depot. I suspect I would need 2, maybe 3 buckets. But while I see plenty of ""Yes you can use Flex Seal on RV roofs." a few come with the disclaimer of "temporary repair." Alright so measuring down a bit lower where I can quickly take measurements, I have between 15 and 16' in roof length. And almost 7' wide. This gives me 105-112 sq feet to cover. That is with some overlap on the width and not taking into effect the AC opening. Crazy Seal sounds promising, but OUCH it is expensive. A double layer kit would be about $600. RV Roof Magic looks more reasonable. I can probably justify to the wife, $200-300. Looks like I would need 3 gallons of that. So I am probably more like $300-350 out the door if I get the cleaner and some caulk. But if I am spending more than $100 to do this, especially at the $300 range, I want to use something that's going to last me a while, and actually seal the roof up. I ready to drop $300 on this, if it gets the problem FIXED. Alternatively, I can tackle this in sections too. I am reasonably sure that it is the front section of my roof leaking. There are these support beams on top of the roof that section it off. So this isn't as crazy or bad of an idea as it initially sounds. If 1-2 gallon's gets the leaks stopped now, then the final section is easier to afford and justify later on. The bulk of the work is also in dealing with the front section. The back could be done in an hour or so I suspect. I don't have to take anything off, other than the big solar panel that is already off (at this point). Alright so advice and questions? 1) Recommendations as to something GOOD to use, that either keeps me under that magic $300 budget, or is so so awesome that tackling it a section at a time makes sense. 2) Do I need to clean beyond a good power washing? I would probably get any product/application specific cleaners recommended. 3) Do I need to do anything further along the roof edge? Tape? Caulk? 4) Can I leave the black tar stuff on and go overtop? I am sure this isn't ideal. But if I pull it off I have to redo that one section behind the AC with something to "dam" it up some. I would rather put some flex seal tape or something like that on top, then seal over that if it is a concern. 5) Would Flex Seal-ing the aluminum roof skin from underneath help? Or hinder? I am going to have to get in there and do some clean up with a grinder. Currently, portions of the luan ply final skin are down. Above that was pink styrofoam insulation, and it looks like another layer of thin ply before the aluminum outer skin. There are some wooden cross beams, and at least one rusty steel one for supporting the AC. I assume there is another in front of it. Getting everything out of the way, and then flex sealing from underneath would at least clean up how it looks enough to be "campable" and give me time to see if I have fixed the leaks... My plan for ceiling reassembly after leak repair is to remove what I can, eliminate that last ply layer against the outer skin (wherever it is damaged). Clean and probably seal from underneath. Pink foam glued to outer skin, and then put up a final luan inside skin. Probably with screws to the wood cross beams. I am sure a couple of those will need replacement. Right now this is at the point that if I can stop the leak, while I have some work to do inside it isn't a "cut the roof off and start over" type of job. That is the point that would have me set it on fire, or give it to the first fool crazy enough to give me a few grand for it. The engine mechanical and electrical systems on this, I can handle comfortably enough. Rebuilding the interior where needed, not too bad. I can resew and reupholster anything inside too. But most of that is wasted effort if the roof keeps leaking and destroys it.... HELP!
  4. Age is enough of a reason for the fan to come apart. But it looks like it was possibly just removed... I don’t see the center section at all. If the fan came apart, something “should” be left of it... If it were me, I would drive it to the shop, considering how much a tow for an RV costs. But my shop is less than a mile away from the house and I have the ability to repair any further damage that could occur, and the experience to know before I am really getting in trouble making choices like that. With even very basic tools, a water pump, fan, and clutch really aren’t hard to do on that. As for the rest of the mess, inspect and replace what is needed, or replace all three to be safe then you should be safer to drive it to the shop for further inspection. If you’re uncomfortable giving it the green light.
  5. KonCon you can QUICKLY verify if it is or isn’t the head without complex tools or even taking it to a shop. But, check belt tension first. A head gasket on these isn’t a hard job, if you have the tools and basic experience. But once you get in there, you are going to need to change basically EVERYTHING you touch. Doing it yourself, about $300 in parts. I could do it in 3-4hrs. A shop would charge about $600 for parts, and about 4-6hrs labor. Possibly a head deck, maybe 150-200. So anywhere between $800 with hopefully a ceiling of $1500. Any shop quoting more than $1200, doesn’t really want to do it. To check the head-gasket, go to Autozone and borrow or buy a block tester kit. Watch a couple YouTube videos, it is super simple to use. If you buy one, the kit and fluid won’t set you back much more than $50. Although another consideration is that most shops won’t (likely) charge more than $99 for a cooling system diag…. They have the tools on hand to quickly look at everything and narrow it down. If you brought it to my shop, I would check in this order. 1) belt tension, quick check of fan clutch when cold 2). coolant level in tank and radiator 2) if level is low, pressure test system and check for leaks 3) warm up, verify thermostat operation. 4) look at radiator with a thermal camera (not a tool most shops have, EXPENSIVE. A laser thermometer can be used, but camera gives a better picture.). 5) check fan clutch hot 6) block test for head gasket If you happen to have the original copper radiator and decide it is the radiator, find a shop that can rebuilt or re-core it. MUCH better and more efficient radiators than the new plastic and aluminum ones.
  6. If you look around you can get 6 of the correct tires for $600-700. If you can get them with taxes and installed at that price, EXCELLENT deal! The correct tires (usually) have a “c” at the end. This denotes “commercial” and not load range. Mine are load range D. These are MUCH MUCH heavier duty than basic passenger tires. I believe my Nexens were $80 a piece. But I’m getting them at cost. Looking at Linda’s link, I can’t say about the first one the Acceleras (I had these in my cart, but was able to finance a set through work). Thunderers are not good tires in my experience. The next, Nexens, I have. They have a good rep. The Hankook Vantras are AWESOME. I would have gone with those myself, but I was able to get the Nexens for almost $200 less.
  7. Google and eBay are your friends. Google the name and number on your rear lens. You will find more information to go by and be able to figure out what manufacture it is. For the power cover, search eBay for “rv power cover” or “camper power cover.” You will come up with pages of options to dig through. You may not find the exact one, or you just might. RV/camper parts are fairly generic. Just a matter of finding something close enough that you can make it fit.
  8. That is so much simpler of an install than I was seeing in my head. That shouldn’t be hard to recreate! I have the clips to use the arms side mounted, I guess? But I think the Trans Awn 2000 were intended to be used staked down.
  9. Would it be to much to ask for some pictures?! That sounds brilliant! Is it on both doors, or just the main or screen door? And while I’m being a pest, how high from the top of the door to the bottom of the awning??? If I could get away with mounting it as high as possible on the wall, it would be the most ideal compromise. Don’t like the idea of gluing and bolting it, but it would be quick and simple. There the top would act like a rain gutter, I think. Have to stare at it a few…. Mounting it up a little higher to the support beams would be slightly more work, but nothing through the wall to contend with. Unfortunately, it puts the clips out of reach even for me. So I’m carrying a milk crate or step stool of some sort. This puts the awning up a bit higher, and maybe even safely out of harms way of the door though. But I need a small gap so rain doesn’t get dammed up on the roof. Everything is a compromise. Still, it seems worth it to have that set of issues and a nice 10’ awning covering the whole side and entry way.
  10. Maineah that's actually interesting and NOT what I have been told or understood for many a year.. Read again though and check out the small print. Better yet, here you are! (And not posting this to argue or be contrary with you, I am actually surprised by what I read.) Next: I actually have my 609 certificate and have always wondered how it was possible for parts stores to sell these cans... I am thinking that small cans of R12 found on eBay probably wouldn't qualify for "substitute" refrigerant though. AC is super simple, yet complicated at the same time. It is pretty difficult to get just the right amount in a home DIY job. Older systems were somewhat more forgiving, but modern systems need pretty precise amounts put in to work just right. Where the shops really get you, is in the labor. Especially to do an evaporator. If a customer at the shop tells me they are going to do it themselves because they can't afford the labor, I will always evacuate it, then recharge it once they are done for free. At this point they have already paid for diagnostics and any freon they needed to top the system up.
  11. Crikey! I thought I had problems, Turtle's home setup makes mine look tame! I was a roaster years ago before I started wrenching. I miss it. That sent me down a rabbit hole looking at modern roasting options. Wow, just WOW!
  12. Well I can't comment on the "RV-ing specific" setup, but I have traveled back and forth across the country multiple times by car, and in my slightly younger days, did plenty of backpacking and bike camping. I would agree with mustmrk and Linda that a french press takes an almost annoying amount of water to clean. Still, it is probably my favorite method to brew coffee though. Especially when camping or traveling. I have a Snow Peak Titanium french press that I have had well over 20yrs. I can't tell you how many Bodum presses have exploded on me over the years, I would not travel with one. My Snow Peak only has one drawback, it makes a single cuppa. But it can also be used to heat the water. My second favorite coffee brewing method is the Areopress. Absolutely brilliant coffee! Still just one cup though. But much easier to clean. Basically, it self cleans when you pop the puck. Whenever I go camping with the wife or others, I use Melita cone brewers. If you are a coffee snob, this is not an ideal brew method. There is little control over the taste. This is fine for a cup of Folgers, or whatever your favorite brand of store/shelf coffee is. Easy to clean up. This is my go to lazy, or in a hurry method. It is also light and small enough that there is no reason I wouldn't take these in the RV. But I am still taking at least one of the other two, especially if I am taking nice coffee. I have camped, traveled, and daily lived with a Hario Mini Slim grinder. It is the PERFECT grinder to solo travel or pack with. A little too small for more than single use though. The Kyocera and the Hario Skerton look to be identical. Even if just using store/shelf coffee, upgrading to beans and fresh grinding them does make a NOTICEABLE difference. I am going to be grabbing a Skerton sometime soon. When traveling and camping, the coffee ritual is probably the most important and enjoyable part of the day for me. I am more relaxed and not grabbing a thermos and running out the door. So the extra effort for me is more than worth it. I am not in a hurry and can truly sit and enjoy it.
  13. If you found the gaskets cheaply/easily online, just buy two. But please let us know if the Armor All trick does the job too.
  14. It is a Trans Awn 2000. Overall condition is very good. I have all the extra bits, arms, mounting pads, arm holders etc. I don’t believe I am missing anything. The cover has a slight bend in one spot from the brutal removal process, but I shouldn’t have any issues straightening it out. It looks worse in the pictures than it is. It’s just a bit dirty from sitting on the ground past week or so. Even if I go by the 6" guideline, I am a bit worried about the corner of the doors ripping the awning. Both the outer door and the screen door have kinda sharp edges. To some degree I can smooth it out and lessen the "sharpness" of those edges (and I defiantly will), but... The outer door will be pretty easy. I can round the corner and attach a bit of round plastic tubing to it easily enough. The inner screen door is going to be a little harder. And if you see this below, 6" means I am mounting it to the roof support rails, so slightly above the roof edge. The slight gap would let water drip down and the roof drain, but still keep rain/sun off anyone underneath it There are three of these roof beams. I could easily attach L brackets or similar to them to mount the awning to. This is kinda my plan. Shortening the awning would solve some problems, but potentially create others. Cutting the aluminum parts would be pretty easy, use a chop saw and go slowly. But getting a clean and straight cut on the vinyl will probably require a little more thought. While mounting it up slightly above the roofline means reaching it will be difficult without a step stool, it also means I can have the whole side, entry door and all, covered. I am just concerned about the door edges... Awnings aren't cheap. This one wasn't too bad at $150, but still expensive enough I want to be careful and get it done intelligently. The effort to clean the crap off the back and install it though, is going to be pretty high. So far, I have only found this picture of a Mini Cruiser with an Awning... This ISN'T mine lol. just a reference picture. So staring at that last picture, counting corrugations, measuring, more staring, more measuring... I come to the conclusion the door in that last picture, is 5-6" shorter than mine. I guess no complaints here since I can still bump my head. But it isn't making plotting out the mounting points easy. If I mount the assembly as is say along the strip by the door top, I could have one lower brace mounted as low down as possible. I could have the second one mount up higher on the bottom of the cab overhang... Not sure I like that idea or if it is smart though. I have the upper support bars too. Humm... Okay I found the instructions here: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/trans-awn2000/Trans-Awn2000.pdf They don't say a whole lot in regards to the actual installation guidelines. Nothing about the height above a door. I saw one reference for 6", and finally found another saying 10-12". Seems that the lower side mounts are only there for putting the awning back up. In normal use, I guess the bars actually get staked to the ground. I finally found an article here that gives some vague general guidelines. I am on the right track. I should cover the door though, so back to that concern... Looking at the construction of this, I COULD easily shorten it. The only difficult part really being the fabric, just like I was thinking. But if I cover the door, that isn't a concern.
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