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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:16 pm
by TinkerTailor
Took a while to get around to posting about the maiden voyage. It went well! Fun, short first family camping trip. We went to Anthony Chabot Campground which was really nice except for the abundant poison oak (cut back pretty well in the camping area and on trails, but pretty much covering the hillsides). Tough to keep two young boys from tearing through the woods, but we had a lot of fun riding bikes, making s'mores, doing a little fishing on the lake, etc.

One thing that I've ordered is a set of 4 bigger leveling bolt-on jacks because with the two smaller ones I took the camper definitely shook a bit when any of the 4 sleepers inside shifted in their bags.

Here it is hitched and ready to tow:

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Set up to camp with nice lighting:

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Another site shot:

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Tearing down camp:

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Storage/hauling of gear when folded up:

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A few quick questions:
Do you leave vents open or closed when storing your campers?
Do you take out the mattresses?
Any general storage tips?

I bought a fabric pop-up cover that I'm going to use because we tend to get a fair amount of rain, and I'm planning to stash a Damprid canister or two inside between trips. Thanks to everyone for your support and ideas throughout.

Still to do, but no rush:
1. Install a support beam across the roof (on the inside) to prevent roof-sagging. Cut an optional support post that can be wedged in between the beam and the floor if camping when heavy snowfall is expected.
2. Make a folding heat shield for the wood-burning stove and burn in the stove itself.
3. Install the diesel heater and battery in the tongue box.
4. Possibly cut 6 inches off the tongue to make it easier to park on the street.
5. Install the bolt-on jacks.

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:56 am
by OP827
Congrats on your first trip!

I leave vents open since they have fly screens and located out of the rain and potential critters access. Also have a small PC fan for toilet and it runs constantly on low RPM to slowly pull the air to outside.
The mattress and cushions are out of camper and stored inside home when the air gets humid. We live by the lake and have dew every night during summer time which also may accumulate inside of uninhabited camper. It depends what climate you are storing it in. If it is raining all the time and humid, then I would remove mattresses and pillows to avoid mold issues. If it is dry and cold, then it might not be necessary.
So far the camper was stored in garage as there is some work to do, but eventually I may store it outside and then will have to think about how to protect it from heavy snow load and weather and may need some cover.

For stabilizers I made these ones below, similar to valterra stabilizers idea. There are lots of videos of "diy rv stabilizers" on the net. These ones seem to work good, almost no rocking now, just a bit more work to put them up comparing to commercial lead screw action bolt-on units.
I had to modify the design by adding a cross piece due to my frame configuration, which actually added stability as well.

Image

Happy camping!

Oleg

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2021 5:10 pm
by TinkerTailor
Thanks for your support, throughout, Oleg.

I appreciate the advice on storage. Your stabilizers look solid. Haven't had time to get mine on yet. I'll post when it gets some more use or I check some things off my to-do list, whichever comes first.

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:46 am
by TinkerTailor
Hello all -

Quick update: Not much has happened with the camper since the first trip other than installing leveling jacks. I'll post some picks at some point, but there's not too much to speak of - I just ordered some bolted them on, more or less.

In the last few days I've started the process of getting the heating systems up and running. I have put the all in one diesel heater together and did a test run (not installed in the camper yet, just to try it out). I'll hopefully be able to install it in the tongue box this weekend if all goes well.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RN ... UTF8&psc=1

I'm also going to try to burn in my gstove tomorrow, if possible.

https://www.gstove.com/

I'll be throwing together a folding heat shield with some corrugated metal roofing for when that is in use. Once that stuff is all in, I'll be ready to do an overnighter up in Tahoe.

The plan is to head up early with my older son, get to the mountain around opening, ride all day, then pop the camper up either in the parking lot or on a nearby mellow street, snooze, do a half day of skiing, break camp, and then head back home. :twisted:

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:53 am
by TinkerTailor
Burned in the gstove:

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Here are some pics of the work on the diesel heater install so far:

Biggish hole drilled in the plastic/wood tongue box bottom for the exhaust outlet which gets hot.

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Some adhesive, reflective heat shield laid down under the heater area.

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Aluminum plate with a smaller hole for the exhaust installed.

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The vent for the hot air to enter the camper and some plastic tubing to run wires for the heating controller and power cable installed.

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Testing the heater and syncing the remote control.

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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:10 pm
by TinkerTailor
Got the diesel heater mostly installed. Screwed into the tongue box with the air intake inside the box. I put a small vent in the box near where the air intake is so fresh air can come in. Kept the air intake within the box so that it doesn't have to work quite as hard to heat the air. Exhaust runs out the bottom and over to the side farthest from the intake. Still left to do: Pop up the camper, reattach the heater control panel via a longer thermostat wire, mount the controller inside the camper, and install the vent cover. Hopefully I'll get it this weekend. Also plan to make the fire shield and try a mini burn in the wood burning stove inside the camper just to see how she goes. Then we'll be ready for a snow trip.

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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 9:07 pm
by featherliteCT1
Looking good! :thumbsup:
My understanding is that the exhaust tube should slope downward, with no swan necking at any point, to make sure that the water produced by combustion can drain out the drain hole in the muffler. Otherwise, water will collect in the exhaust tube and create unwanted back pressure. I cannot tell from your photo whether there is continuous slope to the drain hole. If so, not to worry!

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 12:03 am
by TinkerTailor
Thanks for the tip - I'll take a look and double check the slope. I suspect I'll need to adjust it now that you mention it but thankfully shouldn't be too difficult.

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 12:10 am
by TinkerTailor
Finished the installation. Not pretty as I need to get a vent cover I like better and decide after a cold weather trip where I want to mount the controller on the wall and how to minimize visible wires, but the controls are inside, the heater is out in the box (you can still hear it, but it's definitely quieter), and it blows hot air inside on demand. Pretty cool.

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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:56 pm
by GPW
Pretty warm actually ... Plus all that insulation... Well done !!! :thumbsup:

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:40 pm
by OP827
You have a stove with fire view and this diesel heater, that will keep you warm all night, this is very nice!
How loud is that diesel heater pump clicking from inside? I am also considering this kind of heater, but never seen one in person. Thanks for sharing your progress!

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:38 pm
by TinkerTailor
Nice one, GPW - I like it.

Oleg, it is definitely audible when you are right there with the heater. It didn't sound nearly as loud when I ran it in the tongue box. Hard to say as I haven't slept with it on a quiet night - I installed and ran it midday with passing cars occasionally and a five year old boy playing in the trailer, so there was ambient noise. Maybe a catalytic heater if you're sensitive to noise? Cost more than a Chinese diesel heater, though.

Hope to get it up to the mountains soon...

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2022 5:17 pm
by OP827
Thanks for sharing your experience with diesel heater so far. Catalytic heater still requires fresh air ventilation for safety and I would not be feeling safe sleeping while it is on than with a diesel heater in outside box like you did. Having the diesel heater located in tongue box appears logical.
Did you do anything with the fuel pump to make its clicking less pronounced, like hanging it on rubber bands or sound proofing it otherwise or it is all as is from a factory?

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2022 1:57 am
by TinkerTailor
Hi Oleg -

I didn't modify the fuel pump attachment. I'm going to wait and see how it is overnight and then will go from there.

I opened up the machine to take a look inside before installing it, and the pump is attached to the side by means of a pretty thick, heavy rubber bracket. I'm not sure if that's standard on these or not, but it does look to me like it should provide some sound damping as the rubber is not at all resonant. Not sure, but I bet some people probably install the pumps on the models that don't come preassembled with metal brackets direct to a hard material and then get some amplification. We'll see how it goes.

I do like that the gas, etc., is not in the living space, though there could still be issues and so I'll always have a carbon monoxide detector running, of course.

Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:26 am
by TinkerTailor
Ok, so the wood stove install is done. Made a heat shield with corrugated metal roofing and heat resistant tape. I put an aluminum angle across the bottom of both sides for more rigidity, but the upper part was still a bit floppy and flexible, so I put threaded inserts in the walls and can stabilize it with bolts to the walls. A heat resistant mat underneath with a hole cut to allow air in through the marine louver vent under the stove. The stove is screwed into the floor with brackets that are loose enough to have some play for when the chimney is installed.
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Got a vent cover on the diesel heater inlet.

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Put screws in the wall to hang the carbon monoxide detector and an thermometer that tracks indoor/outdoor temps (outdoor sensor hangs outside).

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Officially ready for a snow trip as soon as life allows...