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Old 08-26-2023, 04:09 AM   #1
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Default 16' Reefer box as starting point?

Host vehicle is BMY M923A2. More than capable to handle the weight.

I have a near identical box that's not insulated, and realized the cost to insulate it would cost more than a reefer box I've been keeping my eye on... about 3x as much.. and it'd never get close to the insulation/ruggedness of the reefer box. 4-6" should net close to R25/R30.

Reefer unit has been removed, leaving hole in front which I can patch easily.

I can run electrical on surface, everything is planned to be 24V. A little conduit never hurt anyone.

The question is.. How do you not suffocate without compromising the insulation?

Getting fresh air in/out is the opposite of what they're designed to do, and while adding fans/vents is easy, it would seem like I'd just be poking holes in a boat - letting in the stuff I'm trying to keep out.

Obviously I'd need to run some calculations on airflow, but it looks like for the size of my box, a constantly running small computer fan would be enough to get enough fresh air in/'stale' air out... although that doesn't take into account for moisture accumulation.


Thoughts?
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Old 08-26-2023, 08:13 AM   #2
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Google heat recovery unit.
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Old 09-24-2023, 10:27 PM   #3
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If I had a reefer from which to begin, the last thing I'd do is go poking holes in it for more than a window, or three. And where the hole in the front is, I'd be adding a split (residential type). My rig has an underside APU (6KW) powered by a Perkins diesel tied into the rig's main fuel. However, the plan to rooftop solar and a couple packs out of something like a Ford Mach-E. My pal has six 400W panels on a 16" trailer and is running a 9000Btu air conditioning system 24/7/365 and keeps it at 70F year around in Central Florida. My rig box is 24' long, so more panels!
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Old 09-25-2023, 12:38 AM   #4
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Here are our experiences...
.
a)
A used reefer has odors, absorbed moisture, and weighs a "!ton!" more than an empty box.
.
.
b)
Our earlier version of our ExpeditionVehicle had an enormous 24L x 8W x 8H reefer.
Our Cummins 8.3 through the Allison 3060 struggled with that amount of mass.
.
You might theorize the six inches (6") of factory insulation simplified temperature control, but heating that cubic space was nearly impossible.
Something didn't compute.
.
We dumped the whole shooting match, started over.
.
2003, for our ExpeditionVehicle next version, we switched to a 12L x 7W x 7H dry box.
We insulated with:
* adhesive-back acoustic against the inside of the wall and ceiling, a gap, then
* one-inch pink-board, another air-gap, then
* two-inch foil-side poly.
.
The floor has one-inch pink-board covered by half-inch marine plywood, painted on all surfaces to seal.
Two decades full-time live-aboard, that pink-board shows zero indication of crushing or crumbling.
Pretty much good as new.
.
Our windows are 3010 (three feet wide by a foot tall) dual-pane sliders designed for a stand-still house.
We mounted these at our eye-level standing inside, about eight feet above pavement.
.
For heat, we use one Wave 3 catalytic heater set on 'LOW'.
We always open two windows on opposite walls.
Escaping warm air carries humidity and odors.
.
We rarely use the heater above about 40f.
However, the windows are always open at least a half-inch.
.
Our insulation weighs practically nothing.
The primary advantage to our system is the air-gaps, the dead-air trapped between the layers.
Plus... these materials are engineered to not absorb moisture.
.
.
c)
Our latest conversion is a 40' semi-trailer.
We acquired it as a reefer, but the odors were overwhelming, the wood rotting, the humidity gassing gagging.
.
Initial Stage:
We hired some local goofballs living in a warehouse-pallet hovel covered with blue plastic tarps.
In about a month, that wonky crew stripped the interior to bare aluminum.
It was a scummy disgusting mess.
They earned their ten fedbux an hour.
.
Simultaneously, we lowered the roof by 18"/.5m.
.
With the success of our air-gap system, we duplicated the insulation concept of our ExpeditionVehicle.
.
.
An aside:
One yuge problem maintaining temperature in a factory RecreateVehicle:
* big picture windows so you can sit in and see out.
Those big windows are impossible to keep from weeping, because of the temperature difference inside-to-outside.
Constant condensation.
.
With your potential build on an ex-military, might you head down narrow trails?
Small windows are a small target for branches and jealous by-standers.
.
Although your vehicle has the GVWR, any reduction in mass equals better fuel mileage, better handling and acceleration, and longer tread-life.
.
.
"But but but LM!, how do you live in such a tiny space!"
We do not live in our rig.
We live out of it.
.
.
Our introduction with plenty of portraits, plus our reasons for our decisions:
https://vanlivingforum.com/threads/e...8/#post-576110
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