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Old 12-27-2016, 08:31 PM   #101
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Nice , thanks. I'll check it out
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:39 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
Odd that this subject came up. Two weeks ago while I was getting the "Bomber" ready for our annual Christmas trip to the FL Keys, I was leaving the unit and as usual, grabbed the plastic handle at the door while stepping down. As soon as I went for the second step, the handle snapped into right in the middle, which left me on my left side in the grass. I'm too old to take this kind of shock! Didn't break anything but the handle.
Never in a million years would I have believed that handle could break. As soon as we get home, a SS tube will replace the plastic handle. Can't imagine what damage would have been done if it had happened to my wife. A scary thought!
I'll post a picture when we return.
That sounds awful and I'm glad you're alright Eddie. I have never heard of one of those breaking before. I wonder if yours could of had an air pocket in the acrylic that made it weak.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:36 PM   #103
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Basement heater

Last November we camped in 35 degree weather and while the fireplace was able to keep the camper at 70 the floor remained cold and gave my wife and I cold feet. So I decided to install an electric heater in the basement. Because it is a confined, unmonitored space, I found a 120v 500 watt heater certified for aircraft, bilge areas and other places you do not want to start a fire. I thought it would be perfect for mounting to the underside of the floor and above the bottom insulation and coroplast.
I installed it and wired it to a control located in the living space. I am really pleased with the results. The living room floor is now warm to the touch and the basement utilities stay nicely above freezing even with temps in the teens.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:34 PM   #104
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I am happy to say that we finally have all the bugs worked out of the Aviator. Only thing can not get hot water heater to run on electric. The heating element was burnt out so replaced it. Any ideas? We camp at Camp Gulf in Miramar beach, Fl and had a blast.

Next trip to NC then end of July Osh Kosh, WI.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:16 PM   #105
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Hi Carol, We were not too far from you when we took our Aviator to New Orleans last month. 3000 miles total! As far your water heater goes, there is the circuit breaker in the bedroom to check and a re-settable push button limit behind the water heater outside panel. The outside on-off switch may be off, or the water heater thermostat may be at fault. I hope that helps.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:17 AM   #106
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I really have a peeve about screws being driven into materials not intended for screws. That being said, the plastic headliner over the dinette was starting to sag where it meets the soft headliner near the roof fan. I removed all of the plastic pieces and not one single screw was driven into anything substantial to hold it all in place. In fact, the part that was sagging, the screws went into the styrofoam insulation! It seems they missed the frame hoops by a fraction of an inch. So, I came up with a fix that will insure the screws will hold. I pop riveted strips of metal to the aluminum frames that would cover the worn out original holes. And sorry guys, those walls are not some fancy composite material. Not much denser than cardboard. Here's pics of what I did.
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Just need to tidy up a few items and she'll be solid!
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:53 PM   #107
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Nice job! Screws into nothing substantial was also a issue I had. Probably every RV owner has for that matter. I am impressed with your taking the headliner down like that. I have been tempted to do the same and replace the fiberglass insulation with spray foam but it is a big job. Seeing what you did inspires me. Thanks for sharing all the pictures!
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:32 AM   #108
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Thanks Ken. I just couldn't stand it anymore and had to do it lol. Here's a few do's and don'ts I learned and should make it easier for anyone else wanting to tackle this.

DO use some blue low stick painters tape to mark the line of the top and side panels where they meet the side walls. This will give you a guide line for the size of your metal strips. You don't want them peaking out from under your panels.
DO enlist the help of someone to remove the top headliner panel. Where the top meets the sides, there are interlocking tabs built into the top that fits over the edges of the side panels.
DO remove all the curtain snaps!! They come with built in screws and are almost 2"s long! What were they thinking! They will snag and hang up during top and side panel removal and installation.
DO remove the crown molding end caps. They cover up the corners of the plastic headliner.

DONT remove the soft vinyl headliner just in front of the hard plastic head liner. It was unnecessary and the hardest part of putting it all back together. It is glued in place with some kind of pink expanding foam adhesive that I could not find. I put it back up using Great Stuff in the blue can. It holds great!!
Instead, just slip the metal strips in between the soft headliner and styrofoam insulation and pop rivet to the aluminum frame hoops.
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Scraping all that adhesive off was time consuming.

I also removed the table top for easier working access. Also, in the 4 upper corners of the gray fiberglass window frames, I gorilla glued in strips of 1/4" thick oak planks on the inside of the frames, where the insulation is. They were glued and clamped in where the long screws that hold the hard plastic headliner protrude. This gives something for the screws to bite into upon re installation. I also glued the same strips of oak at the bottom inner corners of the center frame for the bottoms screws to bite into. Do NOT over tighten any of these screws. Just enough for the screw heads to make light contact with the headliner itself. To much tightening will crack the plastic.

If I left any bits of info out, post up any questions.

A word about spray in foam insulation. I've read good and horror stories of using it. If not done properly, it can leave a lasting smell. I imagine there's the VOC's to worry about.
Cheers!
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Old 06-12-2017, 04:40 PM   #109
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Foam Insulation in headliner

I used the "open core" type spray in foam as it doesn't expand with the same force as the closed core stuff. I used the black stuff that is normally used to simulate stones in a water fountain. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but it works. It fills the area without forcing the panels down.
I removed the screws along one side of a panel, sprayed all the way across back in about 6-9 inches and put the screws back in and waited to see what would happen. Once it expands as far in one direction as it can go, it starts pushing in another dirrection. I did it one panel at a time and gave it plenty of time to expand to its max. I did them each on a separate day to make sure it was finished expanding and curing.
I believe it would be a huge mistake to use the standard closed core (crack sealer) type as I've been down that road before. What a mess!!!
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:41 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
I used the "open core" type spray in foam as it doesn't expand with the same force as the closed core stuff. I used the black stuff that is normally used to simulate stones in a water fountain. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but it works. It fills the area without forcing the panels down.

I removed the screws along one side of a panel, sprayed all the way across back in about 6-9 inches and put the screws back in and waited to see what would happen. Once it expands as far in one direction as it can go, it starts pushing in another dirrection. I did it one panel at a time and gave it plenty of time to expand to its max. I did them each on a separate day to make sure it was finished expanding and curing.

I believe it would be a huge mistake to use the standard closed core (crack sealer) type as I've been down that road before. What a mess!!!


The blue stuff is low expanding. What it comes out as is pretty much what it will be when cured. I did some test beads on cardboard just to verify this. I also did half n half at a time and put it up while still wet. No signs of pushing out and it is up there good lol
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:47 PM   #111
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Thanks Naviator for the tips on removing and reinstalling the headliner. Taking it down was pretty easy but putting it back up was a lot of work! I ended up not using spray foam to insulate due to the equipment cost and big mess potential. I did use several small cans as an adhesive to glue the insulation I did use to the walls and ceiling. I pulled off the fiberglass and went with a thick cotton based insulation that absorbs sound better. While I had it all apart, I took a cross section view of the sidewall. It looks like it is a double aluminum frame filled with thick foam sandwiched between two layers of Azdel wallboard.
I also have had problems with my microwave door swinging open while traveling so I used a slide latch to solve that problem. To brighten up the living area I removed the black glass cabinet door glass and had a local copper artist make these inserts for me. It is a rendition of the lake Superior lighthouse and harbor where we keep our camper. I am starting to run out of mod ideas so if any of you have any others please share!
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:34 AM   #112
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Nice work Ken!! I like what you did with the door inserts above the TV. My friend, Sharkgirl, is an artist and said she would paint me some inserts to put in mine. As far as mods go, I'll be busy catching up with the rest of you guys lol. I'm definitely going to do the front curtain treatment that some of you have done. Looks a lot nicer than the "clown pants" that came in them. What are you guys, and gals, using for that back splash?
Cheers!!
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Old 08-21-2017, 09:20 AM   #113
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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.
How well did adding the insulation in the rear cap of the Aviator work out for you? Is the rear bedroom any quieter? Did it all end up in the underbelly?

We're parked at a great campground, but near a road that has some significant road noise at night. We've been thinking about adding some foam or batting back there to take the edge off. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-21-2017, 11:04 AM   #114
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I have looked into this quite a bit. There is a small gap under the fiberglass cap if you drop the underbelly cover where you could stuff some insulation upwards but filling the whole area would be difficult. I did remove the outlets and spray foamed behind to keep out cold air drafts but filling the whole area with spray foam would not be easy but may be possible if you removed a top rear clearance light and sprayed down. The rear wall is a few inches thick foam sandwiched between two layers of Azdel so not to bad as far as insulation goes. The only practical suggestion I have thought of (but not tried) for noise reduction is try to cover inside the back window with foam board. If you really look at the back wall most of it is covered by the bed and cabinets making the window the the most likely place noise would come in. I did put bubble foil in the bedroom windows which really helps with keeping the bedroom dark and keeping the sun from heating things up. If you come up with something let me know because in my seasonal spot the rear wall faces the road and I do hear some traffic noise.
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Old 08-21-2017, 11:35 AM   #115
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That's helpful. I thought about adding in slow expanding foam from the clearance light openings. it's pretty good stuff for existing sheetrock walls so I think it could be done without any risk of "pushing" the cap off if there is actually a bottom for it to push up from.

I've also considered adding 1/2 or 3/4 polystyrene foam board insulation to the bedroom windows. I used that in a boating application and it did a good job of knocking down the sound.Good to know I'm in good company with that thought.

Like you, we've already applied the Reflectix bubble foil in the bedroom windows to keep out the light. We even added some black fabric to one side so the windows just look deeply tented from the outside. Does a great job of keeping the light out. Also use it on the big front windows to help keep the summer heat out.

I'll get out the endoscope and take a look around to see what the options might be. Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:12 PM   #116
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Winter camping

While most of the Aviators were sold in the South, a few are in cold climates. I believe there is at least one in Canada so I wanted to report that the Aviator does pretty well in cold weather. We spent 4 days on the lake Superior shore with temps in the 20s-30s. Using only the fireplace combined with a 400 watt heater I had previously installed in the basement I was able to keep the camper at 72 without using the propane furnace. The best part of winter camping is that there was no one else in the campground. It is almost strange to have it all to yourself but we sure enjoyed it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:57 PM   #117
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Hi Ken,

Can I get info on where you purchased the heater?

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Last November we camped in 35 degree weather and while the fireplace was able to keep the camper at 70 the floor remained cold and gave my wife and I cold feet. So I decided to install an electric heater in the basement. Because it is a confined, unmonitored space, I found a 120v 500 watt heater certified for aircraft, bilge areas and other places you do not want to start a fire. I thought it would be perfect for mounting to the underside of the floor and above the bottom insulation and coroplast.
I installed it and wired it to a control located in the living space. I am really pleased with the results. The living room floor is now warm to the touch and the basement utilities stay nicely above freezing even with temps in the teens.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:25 PM   #118
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RK, I got it from a company called Air Craft heaters.com. It is a small Texas company. I had them make a heater with no built-in temperature control so I could control it with my own thermostat. It works great.

Aircraft Engine Pre-heaters & Cockpit Heaters & In-flight heaters
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:28 PM   #119
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👍👍👍 I'll be picking one up as well.

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RK, I got it from a company called Air Craft heaters.com. It is a small Texas company. I had them make a heater with no built-in temperature control so I could control it with my own thermostat. It works great.

Aircraft Engine Pre-heaters & Cockpit Heaters & In-flight heaters
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:03 PM   #120
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front window defogger

When camping in cool weather the large front windows sometimes fog up when my wife is cooking. To help stop this I made a defogger out of some automobile duct work and 2 100watt ptc heaters. I wired this to a temp control that will power on the system before the window glass cools below the dew point. It is all mounted completely out of sight underneath the window ledge. I will try it out when we head to Gulf Shores this spring break. I am definitely looking forward to the Alabama beaches and sunshine!
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