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Old 07-22-2016, 10:48 AM   #225
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Another thing that I have looked at doing to avoid high up weight is not having roof air. I saw some cabinet mounted A/C units that looked like they could be a solution. I'll have to investigate it some more.

I will tell you, though, working from home and having a project like this right outside your window makes it hard to concentrate on work sometimes. Work becomes daydreaming about RV solutions...
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Old 07-22-2016, 12:32 PM   #226
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Erik,
Alfa and some Winnebago's had basement air, Mine is an '07 5er and I have double basement air with heat pumps, no weight on the roof and the air feeds through the same ductwork as the gas furnace(in the floor). Would be a good option.
Frank
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:47 AM   #227
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I have looked at the Airstream construction before, and have considered the aluminum skin an option. It will definitely be lighter than the current sandwich construction. Not sure I would rivet it or attach it using another method. Aluminum is easy to work with in large sheets, and not too hard to weld. I think the rivets may look strange on an Elandan with a fiberglass front and rear caps. I intend on painting it no matter what, and I would prefer a smooth side.
The Airstream aluminum is anodized, so you are not seeing the real aluminum color. You could use aluminum that is anodized white. The it would be easy to match the color with the end caps. Revcon just painted the whole coach, so the rivets are de-emphiziesd. The aluminum is laid over the top and riveted to the fiberglass end caps. It also ends up being much stronger than fiberglass sandwich construction. When you approach higher speeds in most motorhomes, the side walls begin to flex and rattle. I've seen 98 mph 3 times in my motorhome, and it does not flex or give any indication of the speed.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:52 AM   #228
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I just found this post this is amazing. I though surely when I get to the last page he will throw in the towel. I have very mixed feeling about what you are doing but will keep them to myself but again what you are tackling is amazing. Please keep the pictures coming. On your lathe I have the same love for them. Don't need one but always like to have one around and don't know how to use one. I will get one spend time cleaning and getting it running and after a while think I don't need this sell it then find my self looking for another one. Got to be something wrong with us.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:03 AM   #229
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Another thing that I have looked at doing to avoid high up weight is not having roof air. I saw some cabinet mounted A/C units that looked like they could be a solution. I'll have to investigate it some more.

I will tell you, though, working from home and having a project like this right outside your window makes it hard to concentrate on work sometimes. Work becomes daydreaming about RV solutions...
Although there I some weight to a roof air I do not think it is that significant compared to the benefits. IMO roof air is more effective because the cool air enters high and settles to the floor rather than having to force it up.

You will want to build the roof strong enough to walk on so therefore should be able to carry an air conditioner.

When I replaced the EPDM and sheeting on our 5er the roof trusses were made from 1x2 on 16" centers. The trusses were slightly arched.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:19 PM   #230
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Today I stripped the floor section.

The floor section is an aluminum frame with XPS insulation, plywood sections for added strength, sheet metal for attaching interior pieces, all covered with more plywood. It's definitely a heavy construction.



The floor in the front of the house has always been a bit "soft". I put new plywood on it a while back, but the plywood didn't have the support it needed to give you that solid footing feeling. There are no longitudinal supports in the front and not really any support underneath the floor so it's no wonder it felt weak. That and the heat from the transmission, or someone left the parking brake on, had melted some of the XPS.


I got it almost all the way stripped. I just have around the wheel wells on the drivers side left. I couldn't get the screws holding the wheel well liners off with the frame lying down, so I will have to lift it up so I get better access.


An interesting construction detail is that the last 2 inches of the floor frame is wood. Seems really strange to me to have a welded aluminum frame and then add two inches with wood.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:23 PM   #231
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And for all of you wondering why I've been stripping it down to the bare structure, here's why:


Cracked welds. This one was right in the corner of where the steps attach. It seems that the steps had put a load on the corner, and it was not welded all the way on all sides which weakened it. Now I know I will need to inspect all the aluminum frames just for peace of mind.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:30 PM   #232
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Although there I some weight to a roof air I do not think it is that significant compared to the benefits. IMO roof air is more effective because the cool air enters high and settles to the floor rather than having to force it up.
It's an interesting point, Gordon. Optimizing A/C unit location for driving or camping. Glennlever mentioned in a post earlier on that I have to consider the primary use, in that case for the engine access. The same is true for the A/C units. We do not have A/C in our bricks house, and I haven't fixed it in the Suburban for the last couple of years. I didn't use the A/C when I lived in it in Gothenburg.

But if we head down to the continent I will definitely need A/C. The other thing with many camp sites down on the continent is that they only have 6A service Even though it's 230V, that's not much to run an A/C unit on.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:34 PM   #233
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Erik,
Alfa and some Winnebago's had basement air, Mine is an '07 5er and I have double basement air with heat pumps, no weight on the roof and the air feeds through the same ductwork as the gas furnace(in the floor). Would be a good option.
Frank
I like the idea of basement air as it gives a sleeker look to the roof line. Since Gordon Dewald mentioned it may be a problem, how do you find your indoor climate when running the A/C units? And how is the noise level?
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:40 PM   #234
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I just found this post this is amazing. I though surely when I get to the last page he will throw in the towel. I have very mixed feeling about what you are doing but will keep them to myself but again what you are tackling is amazing. Please keep the pictures coming. On your lathe I have the same love for them. Don't need one but always like to have one around and don't know how to use one. I will get one spend time cleaning and getting it running and after a while think I don't need this sell it then find my self looking for another one. Got to be something wrong with us.
Thanks Halftimer! I am working without a deadline; kind of just prodding along... I don't think I'll end up throwing in the towel, but I may take a break from the project from time to time as long as I can store it inside. It's got so many different aspects of it that it's easy to take a break from one section and start on another.

I'm sure everybody has mixed feelings both about other people's projects and their own. I've always enjoyed customizing vehicles, and this is my first RV build. Even though I like to do mild customs, I still enjoy watching friends and others build both super original restorations and full blown customs.

Right now I'm painting the lathe. It gets worked on when the weather is bad, and the RV when the weather is good.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:52 PM   #235
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I can't believe your not finished with this yet. What's the hold up?

Seriously, this is intense... I tip my hat to you sir.

I was just thinking... if you do plan on using luan or plywood in the construction somewhere, I'd recommend using marine plywood. The glue will not degrade if moisture gets to it, so it's a lot less likely to delaminate. Yes, it's expensive, but it's probably worth the extra expense in the long run.

Don't use any treated wood... especially over the aluminum frame, as the chemicals used to treat the wood will react with the aluminum and corrode it.

Just my $.02... Good luck...

-cheers
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:58 PM   #236
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I can't believe your not finished with this yet. What's the hold up?
I don't know - I was sure I'd be done with it by now! I've got a bunch of other projects just waiting to get started on as soon as this one gets done.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:41 PM   #237
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Erik,
We live in the 5er full time, this summer we are staying in west central Florida, average highs in the mid 90's and humidity in the mid to high 70%. The basement A/C has worked like a charm. I have 8' ceilings in the main area, so no problem with the heat rising. Don't discount it. The noise is about the same as a roof air, just a different place, and it is mostly the blower making all the noise. Another couple in the park that stays the winter has a 40' Winnebago MH and they have had no problems either. It just gives you another option..
Frank
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:00 AM   #238
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Erik,
We live in the 5er full time, this summer we are staying in west central Florida, average highs in the mid 90's and humidity in the mid to high 70%. The basement A/C has worked like a charm. I have 8' ceilings in the main area, so no problem with the heat rising. Don't discount it. The noise is about the same as a roof air, just a different place, and it is mostly the blower making all the noise. Another couple in the park that stays the winter has a 40' Winnebago MH and they have had no problems either. It just gives you another option..
Frank
Thanks Frank!

It's always good to hear about first hand experiences.
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