Posts Tagged ‘vintage campers’

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We just got back from a fortnight trip with out Spartan Manor to Pennsylvania and Mid Ohio, to test the A/C and fridge in hot, muggy summer weather.  The A/C passed with flying colors, the fridge, not so much.  We used it last fall, in cool temps, and it did fairly well, but it struggles to keep it’s cool in warm weather.20728230_10214593978665809_5666013374635989023_n

These gas/electric fridges need air flow over the cooling unit in order to operate, and the consensus was that I didn’t have enough airflow.  The exhaust stack was a 4″ vent through the roof, to which I added a small fan, which helped a little, but still left us with temps in the fridge cabinet in the low 50’s.  Then we added a fan to the cabinet, which makes noise but doesn’t seem to help at all.  In a last ditch attempt, I took the freezer door off the interior, which made the fridge compartment a little cooler, but a freezer that wasn’t below freezing and frosted up.

Yesterday I took the back of the cabinet off again, and made a new exhaust plenum.  This one is 3 1/2″ x 14″, three times the size of the old 4″ flue, and I kept the little fan, which is on a thermostat.  It turns on when the stack temp is greater than 100 F.  It certainly LOOKS like it should work better.

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This morning, after running all night, and with a case of (cold already) soda and 6 pack of beer inside, the interior is 46.  The freezer compartment is cold, the partial bag of ice and  inch of water that had melted from that is frozen solid  again in the Tupperware container I put it in, so the freezer is once again below 32.  I’d be happier if the cabinet temp were 40 or slightly below, but if this is as good as gets, we can live with it now.  We may resort to keeping a block of ice in the freezer, and one in the crisper drawer to help with getting the fridge cold, if we have to.

In retrospect, I’d have left the original compressor and coils in the fridge and simply run it on 110V, as I just got a 2000 watt inverter which would easily power the fridge while traveling.  Which was the only reason we had it converted to gas in the first place.

So, live and learn.  It has given me something to do this past couple of days, as opposed to working on the roadster, which I wanted to have ready for next weekends “Relix Riot” car show, but there’s always next year…

Addendum:  I discovered, via a Google search, and You-Tube video that there IS some temp adjustment these “automatic” control RV fridges.  Inside, on the fins of the cooling unit, on the fin next to the right hand wall of the fridge, is a little plastic clip.  In the clip is a little gizmo called a “thermistor”, which, by sliding the whole thing up, or down, the fin, lowers,  or raises, respectively, the cabinet temp.  This one was just over halfway up the fin, so I slid it all the way to the top.  If I’m fortunate, and have said the correct incantation, the fridge should get colder.  Or, I’ll be drinking warm beer…

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Dramatic progress on the Spartan Manor. The interior is all varnished, it looks great. Frustrated by difficulty I had rolling and brushing the final costs of polyurethane, I tried spraying it. Much better, although it acts like un-catalyzed enamel, easy to hang a curtain. I soon got the knack of it again.
I made the bathroom door from a short wardrobe door and upper cabinet door from the salvaged 49 Royal Mansion my friend Mike at New Holland brewing gave me. I’ve used 6 of them in this build, they look heat.
Hopefully this burst of ambition will continue, I’d like to have it done for the Gilmore Red Barns show the first weekend in -August. It could happen!

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IMG_4881 The Del-Ray tuck camper is officially DONE! Well, Kim is going to make curtains , but it’s “campable” now. New cushions , new water system , bathroom re-skinned, toilet working , new mattress, fridge checked, windows and roof re-sealed and caulked. The GMC, designated beast of burden has new dually hubcaps, there’s a complete new stainless exhaust waiting to go under it, so other than the steer horns going on and plow frame coming off, it’s ready to go. We’re ready for adventure!