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Old 05-08-2012, 08:10 PM   #41
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My Allegro had a Magic Chef oven/stove. When I got our t/c it only had a 2 burner gas cooktop and a microwave. Terrible. I put in a convection microwave but we didn't like baking with it. Too small and didn't like how it cooked. We love cooking our meals. I spent some time last winter and installed a new oven. Love it. When we camp we cook. When we go to the race track we cook. My wife is known for stepping through the paddock with fresh warm chocolate chip cookies. Please consider the next owner of your t/c. If you put in a oven you can certainly use that for storage when not baking. We always store our bread in the microwave.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:30 PM   #42
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Bob, with fresh and warm chocolate chip cookies .. if it was not half way across the country we would be stopping by your campsite to visit..lol

Dave
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #43
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My wife is known for stepping through the paddock with fresh warm chocolate chip cookies.
Excellent chocolate chip cookies. Been there, done that!
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:07 AM   #44
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There are some good ideas here but also some of you are making this way to hard. Go ahead and use an apartment model refrigerator. They use less power, are bigger, and work better than RV refers. The standard unit will stay cold for a long time if you leave the door closed. My parents have had them in 3 bus conversions and no trouble with it warming up while traveling. Absorbtion refers don't work as good in very hot weather. For cooking get a microwave, a toaster oven for the ocasional baking, and a portable 110V induction cooktop. Dad uses an standard 10gal 110V water heater like you would find in an office, him and mom take regular length showers, one after the other, without running out of hot water. Your regular 12V water pump will provide adequate pressure. Use a standard RV toilet. Someone said that the gray water should be 3X bigger than black. I will agree with them. My toter has equal tanks. The gray water fills up while the black barely has anything. You can use a single tank for both with no problems if you want. They use very little water and serve the purpose just fine. For heating and cooling go with a minisplit system. These are heat pumps so they provide heating and cooling and are much more efficient than than space heaters. They even make dual zone units if you want to heat/cool the workshop separately. Look at minisplitshop.com for ideas. Used stranded wire in you conversion because solid wire tends to break with the vibration caused by driving down the road. I think that you can get away without an inverter. Do you really need 110V while moving? You can use 110V lighting but make sure to have a couple of 12V lights so that you can see what you are doing while not plugged in. Make sure that your generator is properly installed and vented. Carbon monoxide kills. Put CO detector in your rig. You can use household sinks, faucets, shower..... You mentioned a bathroom sink and a kitchen sink. Think about putting a utility sink in the workshop. Its very hard to wash your hands and arms in a tiny bathroom sink. I work on big dirty stuff and I'm always dirty all the way up to my elbows. Maybe an outside faucet would be handy also.
Funny you should mention the workshop sink. I am trying to figure out how to use a utility tub sink outside to clean up after a hard day at work. The problem is getting the water into the gray water system. I think I will need some sort of small pump to push the water into the tank.

The genny will be in the workshop, which will be vented. CO2 monitors, some sort of battery monitor and an inverter/charger/switch will be added as well I think. The inverter, which I agree is not really needed, will serve a couple purposes. It will charge the batteries while on shore power, and will power the fridge/lights when travelling. No, I dont think the fridge needs power, but might as well have power to it. Smallest inverter I have seen as a complete unit is 1000 watts. Might as well power something with it, other than a couple of cfl light bulbs...
The heating 'system' for now is already purchased, and will rock the small space I have. It's a Comfort Furnace. And I would highly recommend one for your brick and stick homes. They are not quite what the manufacturers make them out to be, but they are hands down the best electric heaters on the market.
The water pump is still up in the air. Suggestions everyone? The shower/sinks/countertop will all come from Homeless Depot or Blowes. Toilet is also still up in the air, altho I am leaning towards the Insolet.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:17 AM   #45
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My Allegro had a Magic Chef oven/stove. When I got our t/c it only had a 2 burner gas cooktop and a microwave. Terrible. I put in a convection microwave but we didn't like baking with it. Too small and didn't like how it cooked. We love cooking our meals. I spent some time last winter and installed a new oven. Love it. When we camp we cook. When we go to the race track we cook. My wife is known for stepping through the paddock with fresh warm chocolate chip cookies. Please consider the next owner of your t/c. If you put in a oven you can certainly use that for storage when not baking. We always store our bread in the microwave.
I can certainly understand your point about resale. But to be realistic... this truck isnt going to appeal to 90% of the people out there. It serves my needs, and is designed just that way. The most likely candidate for buying this rig (if I actually did sell it) would be someone in the show. I like AndyG's idea of a nice toaster oven. Between the toaster oven and the cooktop I am covered. I dont need elaborate food, just something to keep me going till next mealtime
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:30 AM   #46
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One thing to consider with electric heat is that you either have to be plugged in or have the genny running. (Or a huge battery bank with a 2000W inverter)

I don't want to run the genny all night when it's chilly so I will have to have some sort of fossil fuel. Diesel heaters are not cheap, so propane it probably will be, as much as I hate to. Hot water and cooking can be done quickly on electric, and usually during "generator hours".....so heat is the only thing forcing me....

Unless I find an affordable diesel heater.....
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:32 PM   #47
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12V electric mattress pads are available for overnight warmth. They do not heat as rapidly, or consume as much energy as a typical 110VAC electric blanket, but they do seem to do a good job because they are under you and under the covers as well, where the heat is well trapped. I think mine draws about 6A at 12V = 72W at full power. It has a thermostat control.

Of course that doesn't make the floor any warmer when you get up in the middle of the night to pee.... for that I recommend the Platinum Cat propane heater which is vented, very efficient, and has all the safety features you would want. There are much cheaper catalytic heaters out there, but they are mostly not vented and that can be deadly if you don't crack a window.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #48
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You haven't met my sweetie yet......she'll go anywhere and do anything, thank goodness, as long as it's 72.5º......hey, it is what it is.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:17 PM   #49
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one of the guys that works/travels with me puts the electric blanket under him. he swears that puts the heat to his back and works better.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #50
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Most electric blankets are not made for use as mattress pads. The heating element wires will break, and/or the wires are too widely spaced and get too hot and can burn you or start a fire. If it works, great, but I would bet the manufacturers documentation specifically warns against doing it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #51
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Most electric blankets are not made for use as mattress pads. The heating element wires will break, and/or the wires are too widely spaced and get too hot and can burn you or start a fire. If it works, great, but I would bet the manufacturers documentation specifically warns against doing it.
OK, I am callin the ICC to report a hijacked thread...

I have just about decided on the Insolet. No pump outs is nice, no black tanks is nicer (more room for storage boxes). Only worry I still have is someone mentioned the liners not working the way they should.

I asked this previously, didnt get too many replies. Outside of space considerations, is there any reason not to use a regular household 20 gallon water heater? I know it will take awhile to heat up, not overly worried about that. Has to be on it's own 20amp circut, not worried about that either. I have the space under the counter for it, so not an issue there either. I think I will make a little spring platform for it, to cushion the road. Other than that, I cannot think of a single reason not to use it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:37 PM   #52
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Next topic. Inverter combo. I need suggestions for brand as well as location to buy an inverter/charger/transfer. I was thinking about Xantex, they have been around for awhile. But all suggestions are welcomed. I dont need more than 1500, and in truth, I can get away with 1000. Only will be running a small fridge, and some 20w cfl's.

Also need input on a good ac/dc adapter. I found one mostly for marine applications, and it's fairly expensive because it's waterproof, which I dont need. I am sure I can find a decent adapter for less than 60 bucks?
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:02 PM   #53
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I don't know what you mean by an AC/DC adapter?
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #54
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I don't know what you mean by an AC/DC adapter?
Just as there are adapters for converting DC to AC power (inverters) there are also adapters to convert the opposite.. from AC power to DC for items that run on DC power only (ie ceiling fans). I did find some cheaper (around 15 bucks a pop) so when the time comes I will use those.

Got to where I store the truck today. It was supposed to be to register the truck, get it to Queens where the show is, and work on it tomorrow. But NY state has decided to make my life miserable. Now I am spending 2 days to insure and register the truck (the insurance was done by noontime EST. They are in Cali so I had to wait that long). This is the only state I have ever been in that requires a vehicle inspection BEFORE you register it. AND they wont issue me a temp reg to get the truck back to the dealer I bought it from to get it done. And you are asking why didnt the dealer do it in the first place. Well, I wanted to register/insure in the state of Maine where I own property, but the town didnt want to register it, since I am not a 'full time' resident. And the snowball grew bigger from there.

I have more 'before' pics, I will post them later. Right now I am off to get something to eat. Hopefully it will improve my mood.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #55
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OK, so what you are calling an AC/DC adapter is commonly called a "converter" in the RV world. In the world of general electronics it is called a DC power supply, or a battery charger.

Cheap converters, or battery chargers as are often used in the RV world are very low tech. and don't do a particularly good job of charging the battery or providing clean DC power. They often require a battery be connected at their output in order to smooth the voltage. They usually don't have temperature compensation or multi-stage charging as is recommended by the battery manufacturers for faster charging and long life.

More modern, and more expensive converters are true multi-stage chargers and will provide clean DC power even if no battery is present. Some provide temperature compensation and other features as well. The best battery chargers monitor the battery temperature, not the air temperature in the vicinity of the charger. Any good design also has built in protection from overheating. Many have variable speed fans, because even at relatively high efficiency like 95%, they still make a lot of heat when pumping 90A at almost 14V into a battery. They should have access to fresh filtered air, not stuffed in a metal box and left to bake in the sun.

I have had good success with the Iota brand and have used the 75A and 90A versions. They have multistage charging capability either with a built in module, or a cheap external module that you buy and plug in. They provide good clean DC power, even without a battery. They are not temperature compensated, which some will consider a fatal flaw, but if you are using them as a DC power supply then that doesn't matter.

Fortunately most things that are designed to work off of 12V in the automotive world are made to handle a wide range of voltage from about 11V to 14V without difficulty.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:34 PM   #56
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Aha, I was wondering about that. Yes, a converter/charger is what they called mine I think. I have an Iota. Seems to work pretty good.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #57
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Aha, I was wondering about that. Yes, a converter/charger is what they called mine I think. I have an Iota. Seems to work pretty good.
It isnt a charger. It takes the AC power out of the outlet in the RV, and converts it to DC power to run the vent fans. They run about 15-20 bucks. I was looking for a solution to the problem of everything in the truck running off AC except the damn vent fans in the roof.

I was wondering what Doc did to solve that problem, since his rig and mine are mostly the same. But I didnt see any holes in the roofline of his truck, and the ac is a splitmount. Btw, thanks a lot Doc, for giving me yet another choice to make in the world...lol. I was all set to get the Coleman AC unit and stick it on my roof
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:10 AM   #58
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AKat, I don't have any roof vents on my rig. If I want fresh air, I just open a window. If I want cool air, I turn on the AC. I'm all about simple, even to the detriment of fancy.

As far as ac/dc, I run most everything in the living space on AC power and the generator pumps plenty of 12V to keep the truck batteries charged for the 12V lights and water pump. Remember that the toilet is waterless and I have AC, LED, house lights when on shore power. I don't use much 12V power unless I'm driving.

*side note* check your batteries BEFORE you go on a trip. I didn't on this last trip and it cost me $400 to replace 2 stupid batteries. If I had replaced them while still at home, I could have used my normal repair shop and that would have only been $260. So I paid my "stupid" tax.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:00 AM   #59
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AKat777, I have lost track of your design intent. Do you have no 12V house batteries at all? If so, you are coming to an unusual design solution, but if it works for your mission that's all that matters. Most people in your situation would take 12V from the starter battery for occasional and minimal loads. Even one ceiling fan running all night while you are asleep is not a minimal load, so you might be better off not doing that. Not being able to start the truck in the morning would be a bummer. On the other hand, plugging the starter battery into a proper 3 stage charger with say 10A capacity would keep it fully topped off at all times and replace whatever your fans draw. That way you would still have 12V when not plugged into shore power for fans and other things as long as you don't draw too much for too long. Such a charger migh also have anti-sulfation technology and extend the life of your starter battery, especially if it sits for long intervals without running the engine. Having full time 12V might be handy for emergency lights, an entry light on the outside for finding the lock with they keys when it is dark, CO detector, or little accessory things like a cell phone charger, etc.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:31 PM   #60
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Ran, I too always have a 10 amp charger on the truck. I hook it up if I'm going to be sitting for a long time.
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