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Old 11-02-2015, 09:25 PM   #21
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Winter project

I put my Aviator into the pole barn for the winter and removed the entire underbelly cover. Since the Aviator holds 94 gallons of waste water and only 47 gallons of fresh, my project is to add a second water tank. I bought a 55 gallon tank on ebay that will fit nicely. Since I have all winter, I thought I would improve everything possible. I started by removing the existing water tank and epoxied the holes made when the factory screwed two of the dinette table mounting screws right into the water tank. I replaced the screws with bolts and had to invert one that sits directly above the tank. The arrows in the picture show where the screws came through the floor and pierced the tank which butts up against the plywood. I also disassembled the black water tank valve and cleared the yuk that was keeping the valve from closing all the way. On a more pleasant note, I really like how clean it is underneath the trailer and the bright white composite floor makes it easy to see everything. I enjoy working on it and I will post pictures as I get more done. If anyone has any questions about what's under the Aviator, now's the time to ask!
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:18 PM   #22
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winter project

Tonight's work was all about cleaning up the wiring. There is a lot of wires under the Aviator and much of it is not very neatly done. There are wires rubbing on sharp metal edges and wires running unsecured in many directions. This is probably typical in most RVs. I relocated several wires and added anti-short protection along sharp edges. A bag of cable ties works wonders in tidying up things. Be sure to stay tuned for the next exciting post!
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:54 PM   #23
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Winter project

Taking advantage of some unusually warm November weather this weekend. Finished building and painting the fresh water tank bracket for the second tank I'm adding. It is made of welded angle iron mounted to the frame rails. The tank fits perfect even though it was originally destined to be in a 2014 Dutchman. Next step is to join the front and rear tank water lines together and hook the pump to the common point. Taking off the bottom gives a good opportunity to see how the Aviators are put together. I've put in some hours improving the details, but overall very pleased with the composites and solid construction.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:49 AM   #24
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Lowered sofa arms

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I cut about twelve inches of fhe bottom of the sofa arms. Now I can lay down with my 73 inch body in a 75 inch opening.

Steve Eckart
in Leander, TEX
512-260-22774
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:34 AM   #25
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Thanks for sharing the pictures Steve! You did a nice job and can't even tell you removed anything. That couch is my favorite spot to lay and watch tv so a little extra room to stretch out would be nice. What mods do you have planned next?
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:45 PM   #26
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Nice work...my wiring is like that too and will be cleaned up.


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Old 11-24-2015, 11:40 PM   #27
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Winter project

My underbelly remake continues with the adding of support to the drain piping.
I also noticed the water lines to the kitchen sink run through the frame rails and right next to the outside wall. Since I want my camper to be more cold weather tolerant I insulated those lines with 1/2" wall pipe insulation. I also eliminated the remaining braided tubing leaving only PEX tubing with PEX fittings. Shouldn't have to worry about leaks anymore!
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:52 AM   #28
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That is a great mod on the sofa! How are the arms originally attached? Do you roll out the bed to take them out?
Ken, you shame me! I know all that underbelly stuff needs attention, just can bring myself to get under the beast. I've got fish that need catching
As far as cold weather "fixing", if I have to put on a long sleeved shirt, that's our cold weather. I feel for you, but I live here for just that reason.
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:20 AM   #29
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Quote:
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That is a great mod on the sofa! How are the arms originally attached? Do you roll out the bed to take them out?
Ken, you shame me! I know all that underbelly stuff needs attention, just can bring myself to get under the beast. I've got fish that need catching
As far as cold weather "fixing", if I have to put on a long sleeved shirt, that's our cold weather. I feel for you, but I live here for just that reason.
I hardly shame you. You are the king of Aviator mods! I still can't imagine how much work it was to wire in that solar power system you've got. Once you remove the coroplast bottom it is surprisingly roomy and easy to work underneath. This time of year here winter sports haven't started and it's too cold for summer activities so now's the time to get my Aviator all shipshape. I am enjoying it but if I lived near the ocean and had a new boat I would be out on the water just like you!
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:35 PM   #30
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KenHwy61. Can you control which freshwater tank gets the water when you add water? It would take off a lot of tongue weight if you could leave the OEM tank dry or less full. My tongue weight is already 1440 lbs with the two x two batteries for the solar setup. Still about 1,000 lb under the MGVW, but tongue heavy.
Putting together the solar system just takes a little extra time running the primary wires from the roof down the side walls to the controller. That slab styrofoam is super insulation, but not fun trying to get wires through it. Two wires from the controller to the bats is no big deal.
BTW, the wires from the panels go through the roof just behind the forward Maxivent. From there it's easy till you get to the walls. I have two more panels to add [total of 800 watts] as soon as my new 60 amp controller comes in. Ten days in transit so far.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:57 PM   #31
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I kept the fill port up front and ran an equalizing line between the two tanks with the pump line in the middle so they will fill evenly. I weighed my tongue at 1340 with 2 batts and full propane but no water. I figured now the rear tank will counter-balance the front when I fill.
With two more solar panels and a new 60 amp controller you are going to be making so much power you can sell the extra back to your local electric utility!
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:15 PM   #32
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Winter project

Sorry to keep boring all the forum non-Aviator members, but I'm back at the underbelly makeover again! Now that the new second water tank is in and the electric wiring is all cleaned up, I am starting on the duct work. The Aviator Wright Flyer has four outlets from the furnace. One to the rear bedroom, one to the bath, and two run to the front living room. In typical RV fashion, the two flexible living room ducts were pushed through a space really only big enough for one crushing and tearing open one of the ducts. To solve this problem I ran one duct to the front passing through the first vent and on to the second. I am putting adjustable type vent registers to control the air flow between the two. That leaves me with an unused flexible duct to which I plan to add a damper and control it with a cable in the utility closet. This will allow me to heat the underbelly only as needed. The photo is a close up of the Aviator floor taken where I removed a floor vent. It is 2 inches thick and made of a composite material sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:00 PM   #33
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That composite floor is worth it's weight in gold as it's not affected by water and it's really strong. Judging from the flimsiness of the heater ducting, I figure there is some restriction in the path somewhere. Would like to replace it with thin walled PVC, but haven't looked to see if there is an acceptable path for it to the vents. Even if some of it can be replaced, that would make a big difference in the air flow and retention of heat. I converted our sailboats ducting with 4' PVC and it made a huge airflow increase.
Went fishing today. I think they heard me coming!
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:25 PM   #34
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That composite floor is worth it's weight in gold as it's not affected by water and it's really strong. Judging from the flimsiness of the heater ducting, I figure there is some restriction in the path somewhere. Would like to replace it with thin walled PVC, but haven't looked to see if there is an acceptable path for it to the vents. Even if some of it can be replaced, that would make a big difference in the air flow and retention of heat. I converted our sailboats ducting with 4' PVC and it made a huge airflow increase.
Went fishing today. I think they heard me coming!
You could run PVC ducting. I gave it some thought but have to draw the line somewhere. Besides I hardly ever run the furnace, just once in a while to burn out the cobwebs! The trailer is very well insulated and the electric fireplace alone is enough to keep it at least 40 degrees above ambient. I spent 3 days in 20-30s temps with no problem. On the sunny southern shore where you live the furnace just takes up space!
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:39 PM   #35
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The only time I've cranked up the furnace was to see if it worked. It didn't! The distribution box was missing two covers. Yep, quality control!
The insulation is so good, we also just use the fireplace to heat. Does the job just fine.
As far as the PVC upgrade in the venting, it's just one of those things to make mo better.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:51 PM   #36
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Sometimes I think we are the only two Aviator's owners around! I must say my wife and I do enjoy having the only Wright-Flyer probably in the entire Midwest. I've never seen another anywhere, not even on the highway. When I'm done underneath I'm seriously thinking about insulating between the back wall and rear cap. A quiet bedroom is the key to happy camping! That would be a lot of cans of foam but I'm leery of using fiberglass batts because if they happen to get wet they tend to stay wet and mice don't seem to mind nesting in it. Have you done any more thinking on this?
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:04 AM   #37
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Winter project

With fairly warm weather my winter project continues. I have been posting pictures as I go to document how the Aviator is put together. The ductwork redo is now complete. To finish, I replaced the original generic plastic floor registers. I found some that have scroll work that match the window valances. I painted them "oil rubbed bronze" to match the cabinet hardware to tie it all together. Also is a photo of the short circuit protector for stabilizer jacks. There is one in the front and one in the rear attached to the bottom of the floor above where the jacks are located.
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:14 PM   #38
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Wright Flyer

As much time as you have spent under the Aviator, you would have saved time by just turning it over to work on it. Crawling around on the ground is not an activity I enjoy.
The vents look cool! Where did you get them? Since we don't use the furnace, I just put brown Gorilla tape over them to keep the trash out. Installing closable vents is now on the list.
I installed 14 cans of open core foam into the rear cap area via the wall plugs in the cubbies beside the bed. No idea how much of the area I filled as I can no longer get my snake camera into the area. For all I know it may be all piled up in the underbelly below the end cap. I put several cans into the upper position light sockets over the back window and there is still room there for more.
Headed for Lanier Islands in N. GA Wed for a week, then down to Jolly Roger RV Park on Marathon Key, FL from Dec 23-Jan 1. We got the last spot available. Expensive!! But warm and on the water. [our only two requirements]
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:50 PM   #39
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Winter project

Turning it over would have made things much easier! Spent most of the day under it today. Just about all done and its a good thing because I've about had enough of crawling around! I will wait until spring to put the belly cover on because I want to check for water leaks. I am pretty confident everything will be good for a very long time and I also like the fact I found no real design flaws and the camper is structurally very well built. I got the vents from a local home center and am real pleased with how they look. Makes a big difference for very little money.You might be able to take out a rear upper clearance light and look down with your scope to see how the foaming went. I am very jealous of your upcoming trip. Sounds great!
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:47 PM   #40
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I'll send pix. Lake Lanier first, then Gulf of Mex later. Got a feeling LL is going to be cold...by my standards. DW will be attending a continuing ED class for her real estate teaching license at the convention center there on Lanier Island.
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