Karin's Campster Renovation - Page 14 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-15-2018, 03:26 AM   #261
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Last week it finally warmed up to being around 50 degrees for the daytime high. So now I am back to work on my Campster project. I am finishing up the insulation on the vertical walls this week. I can't put in a lot of hours a day on it as there is a lot of bending involved.

Pictures of what I am working on coming next week, right now it is too chaotic inside with supplies and tools being shoved from one side to the other while I am working.

As to the insulation, last summer I installed wood 5/8" thick furring strips, mostly cedar. Into those spaces I pressure fit 1/2" thick foam that had reflective mylar on one side. No adhesive used on the shiny surface as that would have destroyed the reflective quality. On the white side of the foam to reflect the heat source needed for keeping warm on cold nights and days I have put on a layer of aluminum foil (heavy duty cooking foil) that is held in place with aluminum tape. The foil and foil tape completely covers the wood furring as well as the foam thereby creating a complete moisture barrier all around. Why a moisture barrier? You know that issue of people finding mold behind the walls against the inside of the fiberglass shell? You get that mold growth when moisture is trapped back behind the walls with of course some type of material to feed on which might include dirt as well as wood, etc. No moisture getting back there means no mold!

This week with most of the insulation work done, with the exterior day time high temperature right at 50 degrees, while not using any heat inside the trailer I am very comfortable working in a fleece pullover. My hands and face don't feel cold. So at least that checks off one critically important goal off my list, the ability to be reasonably comfortable in 40 + degree weather without having to use fuel to run a heater. At the moment I am not getting any solar gain during the day time as I am parked on the north side of a two story building and the sun is not reaching the trailer during the day time.

I saw on the internet an interesting, relatively new, window film product from 3M called 3M Thinsulite Window Film. You can't purchase it in the stores and it is not a product being installed by the auto industry as window film. it is part of their commercial building product line where it is only sold to professional installers. One of the things it is being used for is to put on the inside of single pane windows in historic buildings. It apparently comes very close to being as effective of a heat barrier as a double pane window. Plus it also blocks 99 % of the UV rays and cuts the glare by about 16 %. This is not a tinted window film, it is meant to be invisible. It is rated as the most effective window film 3M makes, about a 40% improvement in heat control which is a decent amount of improvement for our single pane trailer windows. It keeps buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter Of course it will not solve the issue of a metal frame that has no thermal break bringing the cold from the outside into the interior of the trailer.

There is a commercial installer of 3M Thinsulite in the Seattle area, I might have to pay them a visit and do some persuading to get enough of it for my Campster. But that is not an immediate priority, just a project to put on the wish list for later, perhaps in late July or August.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:25 AM   #262
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
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under sink fresh water and waste tanks

Of course put off figuring out what I will use for my fresh water and waste tanks until I could no longer put it off. But now I really do have to get the required fittings for the gravity water inlet and the vent for the grey water tank through the fiberglass shell before I finish up the insulation.

But without the tanks on hand or at least the measurements of what tanks I was going to purchase I was at a dead stop for being able to finalize the area in the cabinet under the sink which is where I am locating the tanks.

My friend offered to buy me a pair for my birthday, very sweet of him indeed and I was just about to order some. However today I was out running errands and decided to stop in at my local Goodwill store. I try to get there once a week as I have found a number of items useful for my Campster renovation project. Things went my way today, there sitting on the shelf were two, 5 gallon heavy walled HDPE, brand new, tanks and I only paid $6.00 for the pair of them. They were missing the screw caps for the 2" diameter opening but I did not need those anyway. But at least the missing caps meant everyone else had passed on purchasing them.

These tanks are super stout, thick walls, reinforced with extra thickness at the top and bottom. I had seen them online but you really never know just how sturdy something is when buying it online. These tanks are safe for use for holding drinking water. They are at least 3 times stronger than the blue colored AquaTainer brand that most people put under their sinks. This is the brand I purchased. API Kirk Containers, "Samson Stackers". They come in 3 sizes 2.5 gallons, 5 gallons and 6 gallons. You can find them on Amazon, they don't cost a lot more than the AquaTainers but they are far superior in quality to them. Mine are the "natural" color which I like because they are slightly transparent so I can see how full they are.

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Now of course I need to insert the sink drain into the waste tank and the water fill hose has to hook onto the water tank. Fortunately it is easy to do with a couple of items from the hardware store. First of all I got a flexible, PVC coupler. The 2" x 1.5" is the size needed. The threaded fitting for the top cap is 2" and this fitting stretches over it for a nice tight fit, then you cinch down the band clamp. Here is what that piece looks like:

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Working upwards from the top of the tank towards the sink.
Into the top of that coupler on the waste tank you insert a trap adapter, here is what it looks like:

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The tail piece from the sink drain slips into it. I used a flexible tailpiece section so that it is easier to get the waste lines hooked up. Here is what that part looks like:
Click image for larger version

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Then with a small piece of straight tailpipe I will connect the tailpiece to my Hepvro valve which is sometimes called a waterless P trap. It keeps stinky tank odors from coming out of the sink drain, a critical item if you have a waste tank. It is self venting so that means less plumbing work to do I am sure many of you have seen this product mentioned before. You will also need a fitting that screws onto the actual metal sink drain and then connects into the top of the Hepvo but I am not showing that piece at this time.

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Of course the tanks I purchased do not have any drain valves at the bottom so that is another item I had to purchase. A while back I learned what product to use to add them. It is called a Uniseal Grommet, great product which makes adding inlet and outlet ports an easy thing to do. They come in a wide variety of sizes. The way it works is you use a hole saw of the size required for the specific grommet, then clean up the edges of the hole and push in the grommet. Next you take your appropriate sized piece of pipe or your barbed fitting and push it into the hole in the grommet. It is a very tight fit, that is why they don't leak, a little soapy water on the pipe helps it slip in easier. You can see it being done in several youtube videos, just use the keywords, Uniseal 5 gallon bucket.

I have ordered several of the Uniseal grommets, one for the waste tank drain, a smaller diameter size for the fresh water tank drain and a couple of small diameter Uniseals for the vents on the top of the tank. The cost was under $8.00 for all the grommets I needed. Shipping naturally cost more than the products I was buying. I found an online store that sold the very small 1/4" diameter size which I wanted for the vent tubes. Here is the link to that store. https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/it...lickid=popcorn
Here is an image of the Uniseal grommets:
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I won't be hooking up the sink for quite some time yet so no photos of it all put together with all the pieces hooked up. But I did want to get started posting about how I am doing it as I know other people are trying to figure out what to do about under-sink tanks before they go camping this coming season. It is pretty easy to do if you know what to buy. But I did not figure it all out in a day, I have been thinking about this for way too long putting the pieces of the plumbing puzzle together a little here and a little there.

Of course you don't have to use the same containers I am using, you can use the Uniseal grommets with 5 gallon buckets or with the AquaTainers or Jerry Cans and with standard Poly RV tanks too.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:08 PM   #263
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Grey Water Disposal Information

Thanks Karin for all the info. Those white Samson water containers I discovered are not available in Canada as I'm working out the logistics of setting up a sealed grey water system as well.
I have no access under the sink so it will be connected to the sink drain on the outside of the trailer, with a hose into a 2.5 gal AquaPak container. Hose will be screwed into top of container cap, minus the spigot. The only issue I see is the air plug. The old ones used to have a screw on cap instead of the little plastic arrow pin that disappears sometimes. I might need to cement that thing into the hole so it could be classified as a completely self-contained unit. Unless you have any ideas??

When it is full it won't be too heavy to carry, but if I decide I need a 5 gallon set up I'm thinking I'll try my wheeled luggage cart for transport.

Love following and learning from your major renovation. A woman after my own heart although I grew up in a woodworking shop and on a sailboat. Carry on.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:35 PM   #264
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Just a couple of observations. My Campster has a fresh water tank up front under the drivers side bench. Its hooked to a faucet with a hand pump on top. The faucet is next to another faucet which is connected to a standard hose connector outside.
The other comment is that water weighs approximately 8 lbs per gallon. Thats how I know that my 1/2 gal plastic jars, when frozen, are 4 lb blocks of ice. Just thought it might help making your weight estimates.
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:18 AM   #265
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Just a couple of observations. My Campster has a fresh water tank up front under the drivers side bench. Its hooked to a faucet with a hand pump on top. The faucet is next to another faucet which is connected to a standard hose connector outside.
The other comment is that water weighs approximately 8 lbs per gallon. Thats how I know that my 1/2 gal plastic jars, when frozen, are 4 lb blocks of ice. Just thought it might help making your weight estimates.
Roger
thanks Roger, I already did know what water weighs. Of course I doubt that you considered the fact that we women frequently move a lot of gallons of liquid around in our lifetimes. We usually do most of the grocery shopping in the households. We move gallon sized milk jugs off the grocery shelf into the cart, then into the house and fridge. Then back out of the fridge to the counter. Yeah we are pretty much experts at it.

I also knew how the original Campsters were configured, I enjoy looking at the photos people post of their trailers and I manage to pay attention to such things as faucets and drains. Yet another woman thing that men don't give us credit for. We women typically have long and very close associations with the plumbing in our homes including the plumbing under the sinks since we have to clean under there.

Men in forums can be endlessly amusing with what they think women can't relate to.
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:45 AM   #266
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Name: K C
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Originally Posted by BarbinBC View Post
Thanks Karin for all the info. Those white Samson water containers I discovered are not available in Canada as I'm working out the logistics of setting up a sealed grey water system as well.
I have no access under the sink so it will be connected to the sink drain on the outside of the trailer, with a hose into a 2.5 gal AquaPak container. Hose will be screwed into top of container cap, minus the spigot. The only issue I see is the air plug. The old ones used to have a screw on cap instead of the little plastic arrow pin that disappears sometimes. I might need to cement that thing into the hole so it could be classified as a completely self-contained unit. Unless you have any ideas??

When it is full it won't be too heavy to carry, but if I decide I need a 5 gallon set up I'm thinking I'll try my wheeled luggage cart for transport.

Love following and learning from your major renovation. A woman after my own heart although I grew up in a woodworking shop and on a sailboat. Carry on.
There are more than a thousand boats moored at the marina that is on the street where I am! I am a registered liveaboard individual on my friends boat but I normally spend most of my time in the workshop space just up the street from the marina. I would have loved to grow up in a woodworking shop.

On the subject of vents in a waste tank. It is essential to have one. Think of it this way and you will understand, the water going in will be displacing the air and that air has to get out so the water can go in. You also need a vent so the water can flow out more easily. My tank vent is being created with one of the Uniseal adapter fittings that goes into a hole I drill into the top of the tank. A barb adapter fitting goes into that Uniseal, a hose slips over the barb. The hose goes up to a vent fitting with a barb on it that goes through the wall to the exterior of the trailer. Grey water tanks can be stinky so I want that air to exit outside of the trailer. The vent fitting in the wall is designed with a cap to keep the rain out and a perforated screen to keep the bugs out. I have the vent about a foot higher up the wall than the top of the tank, tanks slosh while on the road so it needs to be up at least that high. The vent I am using is one from the boat supply industry, but is typically used to vent the gas tanks. Here is an image of the vent fitting, it is a Sea Dog gas tank vent, made of nylon (see photo). I chose this through the hull vent fitting because of its relatively small size, the cap on the exterior is only a half inch thick and about an inch tall. It fits through a 5/8" hole. Click image for larger version

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No RV supply stores in my neighborhood, the closest is about a half hour drive, but there are lots of marine supply stores so that is where I do a lot of my shopping.

I my arms are strong enough to lift 5 gallons of liquid but my spine is damaged. I want another 20 years of camping before I give it up. I will stick to 2.5 gallons as the maximum size of liquid container I lift in and out of a vehicle.
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Old 03-23-2018, 05:00 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
thanks Roger, I already did know what water weighs. Men in forums can be endlessly amusing with what they think women can't relate to.
KC, if you'd read a little closer, Rogers comment on water weight comparison was for Barb. Also, your comment of men on forums being amused of women relating is WAY off the mark. I certainly don't know which forums you follow to form that opinion but from posts/comments on this site, there are many women that have the answers for us dumb men and give the info without being condescending.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:21 AM   #268
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dave in sort of checking on fiberglass rv I found a pie chart showing there were more women members here than men. I found it interesting and commented on it very quickly I was advised my comment was sextist which was not my point at all.




sadly we have to be oh so careful now!


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Old 03-23-2018, 01:47 PM   #269
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Name: K C
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a grand

Bob, as to the statement:
"sadly we have to be oh so careful now!" That statement in itself says a lot but perhaps not in the way you had hoped. It is not the least bit sad that people are now being more careful. In fact that is something to gladden the heart and rejoice about.
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:05 PM   #270
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KC, if you'd read a little closer, Rogers comment on water weight comparison was for Barb. Also, your comment of men on forums being amused of women relating is WAY off the mark. I certainly don't know which forums you follow to form that opinion but from posts/comments on this site, there are many women that have the answers for us dumb men and give the info without being condescending.
Dave it is a good idea to start a reply with a person's name if it is being directed towards a specific individual. If you don't do that in this thread that I started to discuss what I am doing then it is highly likely that I will think a reply is meant for me, especially when a reply is not referenced back to the person they were replying to by using the reply icon.
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:01 PM   #271
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Happy Trails. EVERYONE
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Old 03-23-2018, 05:53 PM   #272
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I think the wheeled portable tanks are great. As to the weight one can move around, that is easy to adjust by only filling them up to the capacity that works for how much you can comfortably move. No math needed, it only requires lifting up on the handle once in a while as you fill it up to test how heavy it is feeling to you. You can put a shut off valve on the hose you are using to fill it up for a quick stopping of the flow. There is no rule that says you have to completely drain the holding tank, you can make more than one trip to the dump site.

My emergency portable waste and fresh water tanks are 2.5 gallons, a very common size plastic container that can be purchased locally in hardware and auto parts stores. I know I can physically lift a filled one up into my vehicle or from the vehicle into my trailer. I can also lift the fresh water one up to my gravity fill fresh water inlet without undue stress and pain. I won't have the room to devote to a large sized wheeled container as I need to carry some business supplies on longer trips. With a 4 cylinder engine and tiny trailer, a modest budget as well as physical limitations I will have to make a lot of compromises. My reality is an acceptance that workable solutions can include some inconvenience at times.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:54 PM   #273
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I think the wheeled portable tanks are great. As to the weight one can move around, that is easy to adjust by only filling them up to the capacity that works for how much you can comfortably move. No math needed, it only requires lifting up on the handle once in a while as you fill it up to test how heavy it is feeling to you. You can put a shut off valve on the hose you are using to fill it up for a quick stopping of the flow. There is no rule that says you have to completely drain the holding tank, you can make more than one trip to the dump site.

My emergency portable waste and fresh water tanks are 2.5 gallons, a very common size plastic container that can be purchased locally in hardware and auto parts stores. I know I can physically lift a filled one up into my vehicle or from the vehicle into my trailer. I can also lift the fresh water one up to my gravity fill fresh water inlet without undue stress and pain. I won't have the room to devote to a large sized wheeled container as I need to carry some business supplies on longer trips. With a 4 cylinder engine and tiny trailer, a modest budget as well as physical limitations I will have to make a lot of compromises. My reality is an acceptance that workable solutions can include some inconvenience at times.
I think your plan is more than adequate. We have the 12 gallon tank and a fill lasts us all year. We have a 5 gallon waste water tank that rarely gets even a gallon in it. This is because it's quicker and easier to get water from the faucet outside than to use the hand pump. It's usually easier to do dishes outside because of the limited counter space so we dump the waste water in the campground sink. Of coarse, no shower.

Someone doing extensive boondocking might have different needs. Our trips have been fairly short so far.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:39 PM   #274
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Another option for grey water under the sink is to use a cleaned out 5 gal tile glue bucket. It has a rubber seal, so is a lot better seal than normal buckets, and you can do much of the same stuff (drilling, etc) as KC did, and they are available lots of places if you do any tile work, or have friends that have had anything tiled.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:02 PM   #275
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Thanks Karin for all the info. Those white Samson water containers I discovered are not available in Canada as I'm working out the logistics of setting up a sealed grey water system as well.
I have no access under the sink so it will be connected to the sink drain on the outside of the trailer, with a hose into a 2.5 gal AquaPak container. Hose will be screwed into top of container cap, minus the spigot. The only issue I see is the air plug. The old ones used to have a screw on cap instead of the little plastic arrow pin that disappears sometimes. I might need to cement that thing into the hole so it could be classified as a completely self-contained unit. Unless you have any ideas??

When it is full it won't be too heavy to carry, but if I decide I need a 5 gallon set up I'm thinking I'll try my wheeled luggage cart for transport.

Love following and learning from your major renovation. A woman after my own heart although I grew up in a woodworking shop and on a sailboat. Carry on.
Barb, just a note about the availability in Canada of the bargain priced, lucky thrift-store find, containers I myself am using.. By logging into the Canadian Amazon website I was able to find a supplier within Canada for the same containers. Here is the name of this product from the Canadian source. Of course there are many choices of water containers to choose from that will work for the purpose including those made for RV tanks.
Dynalon Baritainer 405594-2070 HDPE/QUORAL Jerry Can, Natural, 20L Capacity

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Old 03-23-2018, 11:14 PM   #276
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Another option for grey water under the sink is to use a cleaned out 5 gal tile glue bucket. It has a rubber seal, so is a lot better seal than normal buckets, and you can do much of the same stuff (drilling, etc) as KC did, and they are available lots of places if you do any tile work, or have friends that have had anything tiled.
Agreed, the main issue is getting the bucket tanks sealed around the inlet and outlet and getting in a proper vent so there are no leaks and no odors inside the trailer. It cost a little extra to do that step of using a Uniseal gasket to adapt containers for the tanks but it does not a lot extra cost.

Of course it is only those of us whose trailers never had waste tanks who might want to to add one.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:46 AM   #277
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"The foil and foil tape completely covers the wood furring as well as the foam thereby creating a complete moisture barrier all around. Why a moisture barrier? You know that issue of people finding mold behind the walls against the inside of the fiberglass shell? You get that mold growth when moisture is trapped back behind the walls with of course some type of material to feed on which might include dirt as well as wood, etc. No moisture getting back there means no mold! "
I went back and forth about this when i was doing my insulation. I had, at one point, covered all the joints with Tuck tape to make a moisture barrier to stop condensation on the outer walls. But then it occurred to me that if there was a leak and water did get behind the insulation, there would be no chance of it drying out and the wooden frame would surely rot again. So i removed the tape. Since my trailer has the jalousie windows that are bound to fail at some point, I thought that was the better choice. Now, i am second guessing my strategy and only time will tell.
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:41 PM   #278
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Since my trailer has the jalousie windows that are bound to fail at some point, I thought that was the better choice. Now, i am second guessing my strategy and only time will tell.
There is always a risk with any approach of how one finishes a trailer be it furring strips, some type of marine carpet, ensolite, etc. But one of the things I wanted was to be more comfortable in colder temperatures without having to add a lot of heat. I am not likely to have other leaks for some years to come as all the thru hull fittings have been recently install with butyl tape or other brand new seals.

I can't build out the furring deep enough to get decent R value out of standard insulation therefore a radiant barrier was going to be needed to give me some assistance with slow down the heat from migrating outside. The more complete the radiant barrier the better. That means covering the furring strips as well. So while mold is not my biggest priority it certainly does not hurt to keep moisture out from behind the walls. My furring strips are cedar, they are rot and mold resistant so I am not overly concerned about them. If there is a leak the water would eventually find its way down to the floor by via one tiny gap or another in the epoxy used to secure the furring strips to the shell.

Leaking windows are a big concern. I have older windows, with the style of slider I have water does stand in the lower channels. It does so because of the slope of the upper half of the trailer. Eventually I will be making some mini window awning covers that can be fastened in place to keep the rain off the windows. Not for use while driving but they will help for when parked. At the top the awning will slip into a vinyl awning rail channel. At the lower edge it can be fasted down against the wall. But they can be pulled out at an angle as well so that the window can be opened when it is raining without having the rain come into the window. There will be two versions of them, one of clear vinyl so I can see outside and the other made with a reflective tarp material. Keeping the hot sun off the glass makes a huge difference on a hot day. But you won't see the completion of this project for a while yet as I have other things to get done first. But I do have most of the materials for them. Not a difficult project to sew as they are rectangles. Much like making a simple window curtain. Easy to store when not needed, just roll them up and put them in a tube to store in a cabinet.

The reflective material I will use for the window awning project is cut from a thermal tarp blanket. They are very sturdy as there is a layer of mesh under the reflective material. I found them in my local supermarket, the kind of place that sells home and sporting goods too. I gave one of those tarps to my friend last year and he hung it from the side of his popup shelter to block the hot sun. Nice portable sun screen, not too big but not too tiny either. Mostly of them are in the color emergency orange but the one in this photo is blue.
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:34 PM   #279
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Hi Karin,
Like you I have done countless repairs on the body of my trailer and have sealed all fittings well so I am confident that I will not need to worry about those for quite a while. I have also purposely created ways for water that does get in to gather in the low parts of the trailer with drainage hole located there. But yes, it is the windows that concern me.
I have been pondering the issue of covers for quite a while now and would like to be able to come up with something that is a bit like the rockguard on the front so that there is protection when travelling. But I really like your idea of the awning rail above the windows and the thermal blanket material. We use huge orange versions to cover our septic tank and field during the winter. I would hope to find a less jarring colour.
A lot of my fall or spring camping will be done in BC so something like your awnings would be really helpful in those wet months.
Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.
A quick search turned up both blue and red blankets available nearby.More expensive than yours but big enough that I will only need one.
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:21 AM   #280
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Hi Karin,
Like you I have done countless repairs on the body of my trailer and have sealed all fittings well so I am confident that I will not need to worry about those for quite a while. I have also purposely created ways for water that does get in to gather in the low parts of the trailer with drainage hole located there. But yes, it is the windows that concern me.
I have been pondering the issue of covers for quite a while now and would like to be able to come up with something that is a bit like the rockguard on the front so that there is protection when travelling. But I really like your idea of the awning rail above the windows and the thermal blanket material. We use huge orange versions to cover our septic tank and field during the winter. I would hope to find a less jarring colour.
A lot of my fall or spring camping will be done in BC so something like your awnings would be really helpful in those wet months.
Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.
A quick search turned up both blue and red blankets available nearby.More expensive than yours but big enough that I will only need one.
With the Campsters boxy shape I will be installing the vinyl awning product "flex-a-rail" all around the trailer at the top of the wall except at the 4 corners of the trailer. You have to be able to slip the keder rope that is sewn to the top of the window coverings into the track and that can happen at those corners. I will use VHB tape along with a few screws to secure the rail. Since this is not a big heavy awning in a big metal box I think the vinyl railing is adequate for the purpose, if not I can always switch out to metal at a later time.

The closeup photo I did see of one window rock guard seemed to be fabricated from a stock awning rail that incorporates a gutter. That was the top section that mounted to the trailer. Then the rounded slot the awning rope normally goes into was used to capture the hinge for the rock guard. I thought it was an interesting concept of construction. Not very clean lined or elegant looking but certainly functional and it did help divert the water away from the top of the window. I thought about making a rock guard but probably not in that style. Profile of a similar type of awning/gutter they used to make the original rockguards on some of the trailers. You can see by looking at this image how the round knuckle of a standard style hinge can fit into that section the awning rope would be put into. The depth of the gutter spaced the awning rail slot out away from the wall so the framed section of material worked at the right distance from the wall of the trailer Someone in the design department had a good eye for an easy money saving solution by using a commonly available extrusion instead of a custom made one as well as commonly available hinges that could be purchased for a low cost. So I don't think you would have too much trouble building rockguards that also divert the water away from the windows.

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