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Old 10-20-2011, 11:06 PM   #1
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Arizona
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Hi to all

Thought I'd say Hi. I have a 2010 16' Scamp that I bought new. I'm a fulltimer, most of the time. Long story, but the Scamp is the only home I own. I travel with my 2 border collies, Badger and Kiwi, so they have been accommodated in the trailer as well. I spend a lot of time in rugged and remote areas so this trailer sees some hard use. I was in the mountains of Wyoming all summer with travels through Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and California. This winter I'm at the southern Oreon coast. I've done a lot of modifications to my trailer to make it usable for fulltiming. I hope to share some of what I've learned. Here is a partial list:
14" wheel/tire conversion
14" spare tire holder modification
water system upgrades
LED conversion
floodlight backup lights.
cookstove exhaust hood installation
electrical system upgrades

My current project is a rebuild / redesign of the suburban heater. Too much noise and too much power consumption.
David
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:21 AM   #2
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David,

How did you upgrade your water system?
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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David, Welcome to the group! It sounds like you've seen some beautiful country in your travels. If you can, please post some photos I'm sure that many of us would love to see them
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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David,

How did you upgrade your water system?
Hi,
My trailer came with the electric water pump option which included a Shurflo pump and a small faucet in the sink. For my needs that system was useless. It would not operate at low water flow without excessive pulsing. That's a problem when you are trying to conserve water. Secondly, the little faucet was too low and short to do much of anything with. You couldn't rinse a pot or pan under it, and you could barely wash your hands. I swapped out the faucet for a swiveling high rise bar type, but the restricted flow of that smaller delivery tube made the pulsing even worse .
I finally ditched the Shurflo for a Flojet. The Flojet has an internal bypass that runs much more quietly and reduces the pulsing to barely noticable. When you have a restriction, like a partially open faucet, it bypasses the pressure surges through the pump.
Now I can rinse pots and pans, fill a water bottle, or even brush my teeth without blowing toothpaste everywhere . Kinda makes you wonder what the other parts were actually intended to do

David
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:54 AM   #5
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David, Welcome to the group! It sounds like you've seen some beautiful country in your travels. If you can, please post some photos I'm sure that many of us would love to see them
Hi Pam,
I've seen some incredible landcapes, but I rarely take photos. I'm out there everyday, so..... Maybe now that I'm here talking to everyone I'll snap some shots along my way.
David
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
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Keep us posted on the rebuild / redesign of the suburban heater. That's one thing I hate in my scamp,the heater makes to much noise.
Pictures would be GREAT of all upgrades you do.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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Keep us posted on the rebuild / redesign of the suburban heater. That's one thing I hate in my scamp,the heater makes to much noise.
Pictures would be GREAT of all upgrades you do.
I'll do that Kevin. The plan in a nut shell is to cover that noisey sheet metal housing with sound deadener. Next is to look at isolating the unit from the cabinet. Cutting down all that resonance will help a lot. I want to kill that load snap when the furnace first kicks on too. I think it is the propane valve. Last is replacing the fan units in the furnace with brushless DC fans. They cost a fraction of the original, run forever, and draw very little power. I just need to match the CFM and physical requirements. I'll document the process and parts though

If it were up me, I'd give the suburban guys a year in prison with one of their quality furnaces right in the cell . Ater a year of sleeping in 15 minute intervals maybe they would see the value in designing something that works,...ya think?
David
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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Hi David, I somehow missed your post and welcoming you to FiberglassRV. Lots of nice, helpful people hang out here.

So... welcome!
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
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Thanks Donna, I get that! I always enjoy your posts especially.

David
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:47 PM   #10
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Smile Heater Noise

DavidSo said:
"If it were up me, I'd give the suburban guys a year in prison with one of their quality furnaces right in the cell . Ater a year of sleeping in 15 minute intervals maybe they would see the value in designing something that works,...ya think?
David"

Welcome to FGRV!!

Your quote above is precisely why we use an oil filled radiator type. Of course this does tie us to a power tree. but the heater is virtually silent, and no hot/cold cycles:
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:09 PM   #11
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Georgia
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Too bad they don't make a hot water radiator system for campers, that would be quiet! Wouldn't need much for a small camper like ours.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:59 PM   #12
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
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DavidSo said:
"If it were up me, I'd give the suburban guys a year in prison with one of their quality furnaces right in the cell . Ater a year of sleeping in 15 minute intervals maybe they would see the value in designing something that works,...ya think?
David"

Welcome to FGRV!!

Your quote above is precisely why we use an oil filled radiator type. Of course this does tie us to a power tree. but the heater is virtually silent, and no hot/cold cycles:
Roger,
I love those heaters but I can't rely on grid power very often. Did you know that they make a pint sized version of that heater? It's half the height of the full size and plenty of output for a little trailer. They kind of sound like a deep fat fryer when you start them up which is very comforting
David
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:18 PM   #13
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Too bad they don't make a hot water radiator system for campers, that would be quiet! Wouldn't need much for a small camper like ours.
You know, when I first read that I was thinking it wouldn't be any better because you stiill have to heat the water.....but then

You could have a heated floor by running copper tubing in a grid like they do in high dollar homes. It would take just a tiny pump to keep the water/antifreeze moving, and probably a very small burner as well. You might even create a thermo mechanical pump and eliminate the electicity completely.
David
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:06 AM   #14
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British Columbia
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Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
You know, when I first read that I was thinking it wouldn't be any better because you stiill have to heat the water.....but then

You could have a heated floor by running copper tubing in a grid like they do in high dollar homes. It would take just a tiny pump to keep the water/antifreeze moving, and probably a very small burner as well. You might even create a thermo mechanical pump and eliminate the electicity completely.
David
They actually have floor heating that is purely electric no need for the water or tubing. It's also advertised as very cost effective and low wattage. It might have to go under tile though (weight) I wonder if anyone has tried this in an RV?
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:34 AM   #15
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Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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Electric Floor heating

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Originally Posted by WildBirder View Post
They actually have floor heating that is purely electric no need for the water or tubing. It's also advertised as very cost effective and low wattage. It might have to go under tile though (weight) I wonder if anyone has tried this in an RV?
I looked into it and it for heating a trailer I was building. The heat output is about 10-12 watts per square foot. The available flooring in a 16 foot trailer is about 40 square feet tops much of the floor is under cabinets and the like, providing at most 500 watts (12x40), this equates to about 1500 BTUs.

It doesn't have to go under tile. It can be used under a Pergo floating floor.

I will say we lived in a post War II house that had radiant heting in the floor. It was absolutely wonderful. Everyone was forever sitting on the floor.

The following site gives more information.
Laminate Floor Heating - ThermoSoft

It seems that in general we're able to keep a satisfactory temperature in our Scamp 16 with an 800-1500 watt electric heater, 2400 to 5000 btus. It makes me wonder how efficient a propane heater is that produces 16,000 BTUs.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:01 AM   #16
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"It seems that in general we're able to keep a satisfactory temperature in our Scamp 16 with an 800-1500 watt electric heater, 2400 to 5000 btus. It makes me wonder how efficient a propane heater is that produces 16,000 BTUs."




Judging by the temperature of the exhaust, I would say the efficiency of my propane heater is not very good.

David, welcome to forum. Raz
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:51 AM   #17
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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Propane Furnace

The following is based on intuition.

The inefficiency of the traditional Propane furnace, even if silenced, is still a fault of the system.

It appears a device like a 3000 BTU Little Buddy or a small electric heater is adequate to meet the heating needs of small fiberglass trailers. This suggests that the efficiency of a Propane furnace is 50% or less. It seems the heating solution needs a different approach.

I have no great affinity for the hot water heater, another low efficiency product when running on propane, but 100% efficient on electricity. However, it seems that a small radiator running off the water heater with muffin fan level air flow thru it could provide adequate heat in a small trailer. My recollection is that a foot of hot water base board radiator provides about 500 BTUs of heat and that's without a fan.

It does seem the water heater could provide the necessary BTUs. Could the water heater be made more efficient?

Certainly the water heater has much in common with the Propane furnace. It sits there mostly unused, probably not providing hot water for more than 30 minutes a day.

It seems that the propane side of the hot water heater is designed for rapid heating at the cost of inefficiency when running on propane. Could it be just as effective with a less jet engine like heating system?

We find that when running in the electric mode with a 600-1500 watt electric Hot Rodd that we have adequate hot water for showers and other usage.

It seems to me that it would be posiible to combine hot water heater and the propane furnace into a single solution with increased efficiency, quieter operation and space savings.

Safe, warm travels
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WildBirder View Post
They actually have floor heating that is purely electric no need for the water or tubing. It's also advertised as very cost effective and low wattage. It might have to go under tile though (weight) I wonder if anyone has tried this in an RV?
I have a friend who has floor heat in his Scamp 5er, if you contact me offline I will put you in touch with him if you are interested.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
I'll do that Kevin. The plan in a nut shell is to cover that noisey sheet metal housing with sound deadener. Next is to look at isolating the unit from the cabinet. Cutting down all that resonance will help a lot. I want to kill that load snap when the furnace first kicks on too. I think it is the propane valve. Last is replacing the fan units in the furnace with brushless DC fans. They cost a fraction of the original, run forever, and draw very little power. I just need to match the CFM and physical requirements. I'll document the process and parts though

If it were up me, I'd give the suburban guys a year in prison with one of their quality furnaces right in the cell . Ater a year of sleeping in 15 minute intervals maybe they would see the value in designing something that works,...ya think?
David
A couple of questions...
Is your Scamp a standard? We don't consider our furnace excessively noisy, but many people do, and I was wondering if the deluxe cabinetry might be the why.Also, ours is a 12Kbtu and the newer ones are16K, they appear pretty much alike, suppose the smaller one is quieter?
Also, we have not experienced the surge in our pump. Ours is a 2004.
I was wondering if that was due to a different year pump or the fact that we have a hot water heater and shower which may act as a buffer as you described for the shurflo.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:37 PM   #20
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Arizona
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A couple of questions...
Is your Scamp a standard? We don't consider our furnace excessively noisy, but many people do, and I was wondering if the deluxe cabinetry might be the why.Also, ours is a 12Kbtu and the newer ones are16K, they appear pretty much alike, suppose the smaller one is quieter?
Also, we have not experienced the surge in our pump. Ours is a 2004.
I was wondering if that was due to a different year pump or the fact that we have a hot water heater and shower which may act as a buffer as you described for the shurflo.
Floyd, I'd say mine is sub-standard since I opted for all the less deluxe items . No carpet in mine either. Yeah it has the fiberglass cabinets and the heater is mounted direct to the cabinet. I'm quite sure that makes it louder and I plan to build a good wood mount for mine inside the cabinet. A few people have said that they believe their 12K units are quieter. Perhaps they are putting out a little less air. I'm going to look into downgrading mine to 12K if I can. I think all the parts on these are interchangable. Mine puts out too much heat for the small space.

I don't know about the pump but it could be that mine is different. The extra plumbing that you have probably provides more ballast as well. That is a good observation! Mine is plumbed direct to the sink and man it was a jackhammer! The Flojet is barely noticable even with the faucet barely cracked.
David
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