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Old 08-26-2023, 04:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2023
Location: Nova Laboratories
Posts: 1
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.


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Old 08-26-2023, 08:13 AM   #2
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Location: GTA
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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
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Rosarito
Posts: 42

Here are our experiences...
A used reefer has odors, absorbed moisture, and weighs a "!ton!" more than an empty box.
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.
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:
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