Air purification strategies: can one seal up a Scamp 13? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:23 AM   #1
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Name: zack
Trailer: scamp 13
California
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Air purification strategies: can one seal up a Scamp 13?

Since it is difficult to predict when air quality may get bad, I am wanting to set up my Scamp 13 with an air purifier: that is a 12 volt fan with HEPA type filters*. To allow a small air purifier to be effective, one would presumably want to seal the Scamp from the outside air as much as feasible. My Scamp has a dometic fridge and two side panel vents on the drivers (port) side and I am thinking that that is a key area where improvement can be made. Those vents need to stay open, but I believe it should be possible to seal things a bit better between that "behind the fridge area" and the interior of the Scamp. I know a few wires need to go from the power distribution box to that area behind the fridge (both the 12 volt and 110 volt power cords for the fridge, for example). I am thinking that, overall, there is room for a lot of improvement there in terms of diminishing the flow of air from the smoky outside world into the Scamp, and that that is probably the key region to work on. I think the windows and door on the Scamp seal reasonably well, and hopefully the air conditioner should not be a big source of outside air if installed well. So with a little work, perhaps a Scamp can be as good or better than a house as a place to hunker down with an air purifier when the outside air gets bad? What do you think? Advice and suggestions are most welcome!
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Old 10-07-2020, 11:22 AM   #2
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Name: Ralph
Trailer: Scamp
Pennsylvania
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We think that being holed up in our Scamp 16 in smoke with the windows and vents sealed sounds awful. We checked the air quality forecast and cancelled 2 trips this Fall. As an aside, 8 years ago we went camping at Hickory Run State Park (PA). The smoke from campfires was so dense that it set off our smoke detector and terrified our old dog.
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Old 10-07-2020, 12:06 PM   #3
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Wildfire smoke

Quote:
Originally Posted by zack sc View Post
Since it is difficult to predict when air quality may get bad, I am wanting to set up my Scamp 13 with an air purifier: that is a 12 volt fan with HEPA type filters*.
I cannot imagine a system that would be cost effective but I want one. Until then better news coverage would help. Had I known what I was getting into I would have stayed home. Every night on network news we are hearing about the wildfires in California, but nothing is said about all the other states that are on fire.
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Old 10-07-2020, 01:09 PM   #4
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Air quality forecast site

During the fires and smoke we check this site for air quality and a forecast. Like the weather forecasts it is only approximate. Look down the page for a 4 day forecast. Here in Wenatchee the wind swirling around the mountains creates wild swings in smoke density over relatively short distances. https://aqicn.org/city/usa/washington/wenatchee/fifth-st/
You can also compare wind.com to see where the air is moving the smoke from.
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Old 10-07-2020, 01:17 PM   #5
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Internet??

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Originally Posted by cookie_c View Post
During the fires and smoke we check this site for air quality and a forecast. Like the weather forecasts it is only approximate. Look down the page for a 4 day forecast. Here in Wenatchee the wind swirling around the mountains creates wild swings in smoke density over relatively short distances. https://aqicn.org/city/usa/washingto...chee/fifth-st/
You can also compare wind.com to see where the air is moving the smoke from.
That's OK if you have internet. Both times I tried to make PHONE CALLS (including a 911 call) I had no service or a reply that said your call can not be placed at this time.
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Old 10-07-2020, 01:55 PM   #6
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Name: zack
Trailer: scamp 13
California
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Originally Posted by cookie_c View Post
We think that being holed up in our Scamp 16 in smoke with the windows and vents sealed sounds awful. We checked the air quality forecast and cancelled 2 trips this Fall. As an aside, 8 years ago we went camping at Hickory Run State Park (PA). The smoke from campfires was so dense that it set off our smoke detector and terrified our old dog.
It is not really my goal to camp in smoke. I see it more as being prepared for something that could happen. It is not that easy to predict and avoid smoke just by prior planning. Setting up a 12 volt purifier is pretty straightforward and not expensive. (For example, Tao Tronics AP001, is good 12 volt option.)
If I could get less airflow into the interior of the Scamp, not zero, but a bit less that it is now, I think that would really help. I am hoping to learn to understand better, perhaps through dialogue here, how air gets into the interior living space of the Scamp from the space behind the fridge (and around the power distribution box area, etc.) which, of necessity has to be open to the outside air. Suggestions and knowledge related to that are most welcome.
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Old 10-07-2020, 02:04 PM   #7
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Name: zack
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I cannot imagine a system that would be cost effective but I want one.
.
I don't think cost will be a big problem. I filter air at home all the time using Tao Tronics and Holmes air purifiers. It is just a fact of life now in California. That is a 1400 sq ft house. The Scamp is much smaller and should be easier. I think the key thing would be reducing air flow into the interior of the Scamp, especially through the port side. Sealing off the space behind the fridge from the Scamp interior.

Based on what I have seen, a typical house equilibrates with the outside air in about an hour. I don't think a Scamp is much worse, and it could be better with a few mods, I am hoping.
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Old 10-07-2020, 02:25 PM   #8
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Name: Ralph
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If you have a vent fan. Turn it on blowing in. Close windows and door. Walk around outside and feel for air leaks. Think about how each can be tightened up. The door will probably be the biggest air leak followed by the refrigerator vents. Spray fire foam ( red) might work around the perimeter of the refrigerator from the outside access door. Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:37 PM   #9
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Scamp Leaks

If you put the correct size fan on your filter you should be able to pressurize your Scamp without plugging leaks.
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:28 PM   #10
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air purification

Hi Zac
I took a little bit different approach to air purification at home. Instead of sealing the house, then purifying the air. I purify the air coming into the house. The filters are are not true "hepa" but they are electrostatic and MIRV 11. 1 still useable, the other Im about to change. This after a about a month of heavy use. The idea is that air coming in pushes inside air out. In my house, I direct air by opening windows strategically. the purifiers are in a window and a sliding door and shrouded with window/curtain arrangement.
In the trailer, 12v fans in a widow or door. Filters are available in virtually every size imaginable.
There are 2 main reasons for not sealing the trailer. Most important is the build up of CO and CO2. The other is condensation.
Just my opinion. Happy Trails.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:10 PM   #11
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Name: zack
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My methodology is pretty different from that. Let me describe it here, just to be clear. It is basically the same approach for a house or a Scamp, although the Scamp presents some different issues with regard to reducing outside air flow.

In a house, I shut all doors and windows and then run portable stand-alone air purifiers (basically a fan and a filter). Those will gradually improve the air quality inside the house (or travel trailer) by filtering out "particulate matter" as they force air through the filter. Typically with a large Tao Tronics and one other purifier running, one can go from pretty bad air to pretty good in under an hour. I'll attach pictures of the purifiers below. Also, I use a small portable sensor made by ecowitt to measure pmi2.5 and AQI (air quality index) so I can tell when what we are doing is working.

(Technically, let's say the outside air has an AQI of 150. That means the density of particulate matter* in the air is 55 micrograms per cubic meter. So it is not a lot, in a Scamp, less than .001 grams. If you start out equilibrated with the outside, then the goal is to get that out of the air and into the filter. Additionally more bad air is leaking in all the time through various spots, and the purifiers working inside have to be big enough to stay ahead of that.)

Analogous to how putting towels under the house doors seems to help, I was thinking that one could make some small modifications to diminish air flow into the Scamp interior. I certainly would not use the stove or burn anything at all, since all windows are shut. My feelings is that absent any cooking or anything, CO or CO2 build up would not be an issue. Am I wrong about that?

My feeling is that most houses and travel trailers tend to let some outside air in even with windows shut, and that a typical equilibration time (1/e) is about one hour at best. I am thinking that maybe simple air purification using portables might be useful to a lot of people who will be caught or stuck in bad air in the future. Hoping to hear what others think.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:35 PM   #12
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Name: zack
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The large one you would presumably need shore power for. The smaller purifier only draws about a half an amp on 12 V. The air quality monitor runs on batteries.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:36 PM   #13
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Air quality monitor
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Old 10-10-2020, 06:22 PM   #14
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Name: zack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookie_c View Post
If you have a vent fan. Turn it on blowing in. Close windows and door. Walk around outside and feel for air leaks. Think about how each can be tightened up. The door will probably be the biggest air leak followed by the refrigerator vents. Spray fire foam ( red) might work around the perimeter of the refrigerator from the outside access door. Good luck.
That sounds promising. Good idea.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:21 AM   #15
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Totally sealed just might not be the best idea.
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Old 10-14-2020, 10:40 AM   #16
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same question different reason

I have also been very interested in trying to better seal our Scamp not because I'm trying to purify the air, just to try to keep the dust out when we're traveling. It is terrible and we get dust all over dishes and everything else any time we go down a dirt road. Our Dometic frig went bad after only 3 years (no help from Dometic BTW) and when I replaced that I was able to seal that entire area and the adjacent area as well. That made a substantial difference because Scamp had done a really crappy of isolating the areas from dirt that comes in through the cooling/ventilation vents for the frig. But, I have not figured out any good way to seal where the vents are for the furnace and that seems to be a big source of the leaks. I stuff a rag in the area where the plug comes out of the shell and that helps. Overall, we have been disappointed with the tightness of the Scamp which we thought would be better in a fiberglass shell construction. Ours does seem to have been a particularly bad assembly job though from what I can gather and have seen in others.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:38 AM   #17
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Check out this web site. You can purchase a device that monitors your air quality. They have several models and the mini might be the one to have for the camper.
Think about CO2 buildup among other things.
https://www.airthings.com/wave
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookie_c View Post
If you have a vent fan. Turn it on blowing in. Close windows and door. Walk around outside and feel for air leaks. Think about how each can be tightened up. The door will probably be the biggest air leak followed by the refrigerator vents. Spray fire foam ( red) might work around the perimeter of the refrigerator from the outside access door. Good luck.
Ralph has the right idea. I have done exactly that once. You will be surprised how much air leaks out the window weep slots, and you don't want to seal them, for sure.

The volume of Scamp 13 is not that large and it is the people (one? two?) inside who are a big source of pollution (non-particulate) and CO2, and some of the materials inside out-gas as well. HEPA (it stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters only particles.

I would only go after some of the biggest leaks, like the door, the fridge cabinet, leave the minor ones to get some air to survive. Then you may want to use the HEPA filter to catch the particles, but the smoke smell may still remain.
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