Rough Road Raindrop

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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:08 pm

So I ordered up two meters of acoustical ducting from Westy Ventures right before the main freeway got shut down for bad weather. That was a bummer because I was hoping to get it installed prior to an overnight trip we had planned to test out the furnace in a real-live camping situation. Oh well. Life goes on and camping is camping, so off we went!

We loaded up in the morning, got the trailer out and moseyed on down to the gas station to top off the tank. On a lark I checked my email before leaving the gas station and, lo and behold, the ducting showed that it had been delivered. Fortunately the gas station was close to our mailbox place so we cruised over and picked it up before hitting the road. The drive to Camano Island was uneventful with a short lunch stop and a quick visit with a friend whom I haven't seen in more than a few years. We made it to Camano Island State Park with a few hours of daylight to spare, so I popped out the tools and installed the acoustical ducting.

A couple of notes on working with the ducting:
- You can cut it with a box cutter, but there is a reinforcement that is spirally wound around it. The reinforcement is plastic and can be cut with the box cutter but it is probably easier and safer to use a pair of scissors or diagonal cutters.
- The acoustical ducting cannot handle as tight a radius as the non-acoustical ducting. I had to add about six inches to one of my runs to keep it from collapsing on itself.
- It's a little more challenging for the ends to hold a nice round shape. This makes pushing it into or onto fittings a little more difficult. Not impossible, but if you're doing the install in a campsite without much lighting and all of your camping stuff in the trailer, it can be a bit more difficult than it needs to be. Two kids sitting on my back didn't help much either.

I fired up the fan after the ducting was installed and I will say, it makes a big difference. The fan is still noticeable, but it's much more subtle of a sound. I used it on both supply and return sides.

The site we were at was perfect for the kids and adults. We were hemmed in on three sides by thorny berry bushes (great at keeping the kids contained). The tree in the site was easily climbed up to about 4' off the ground and had lots of knots and holes to keep the kids entertained. We could see Mt Rainier to the south and the Olympics to the west over Whidbey Island. The beach was a short but steep walk away.

157435

But, that's not why you're reading this. You want to know how the furnace worked, right?

Well, so do I.

Because, well... after all that testing I did in the driveway....

I forgot to get the bottle refilled.

So there was no propane.

Which meant that there was no heat.

Yeah.

Fortunately my loving family decided to stick it out. We were only an hour or so from home, so it wouldn't have been a big deal to call it. I did get some good info from a little indoor/outdoor temperature dealie though. The coldest I saw it get outside while we were there was 35*F. The coldest I saw the trailer get was 61*F. It's a little chilly inside, but nothing that our blankets and being in close quarters couldn't ward off. I also had a 2 year old sleeping on my chest, which probably helped. I'm not sure how long it will take for my wife to forget about the propane though.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby S. Heisley » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:28 pm

This is an extremely well done raindrop. Very impressive. :thumbsup: :applause:

I wouldn't worry too much about getting teased over forgetting the propane but I'll bet you won't forget it ever again!!! :lol:
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby John61CT » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:46 am

If she tries, just reveal it was your plan all along.

Humans need "hardening" against the cold just like plants.

You just **pretended** to "forget" the fuel.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:55 pm

John61CT wrote:If she tries, just reveal it was your plan all along.

Humans need "hardening" against the cold just like plants.

You just **pretended** to "forget" the fuel.


My wife delivered our two kids without any pain meds. She also walked to the car four hours after each birth. I don't think there's much I can do to toughen her up :frightened: But, she's not a big fan of the cold. She doesn't ask for much so when she does I do my best to accommodate her, and she wants heat :)


S. Heisley wrote:This is an extremely well done raindrop. Very impressive. :thumbsup: :applause:

I wouldn't worry too much about getting teased over forgetting the propane but I'll bet you won't forget it ever again!!! :lol:


Thank you :) but the plot thickens...

So today I went out and pulled the propane tank so that I can take it in to get refilled. It's full. The bottle and propane weigh in at 24lbs right now with a TARE of 14.3lbs on the bottle which means that I've got approximately 10lbs of propane in a bottle rated to hold 10lbs. I didn't weigh the bottle right after I had it filled, but I did test run the furnace for quite a few hours. Either the furnace is extremely miserly in its propane consumption or my bottle was overfilled a bit.

Now I'm off to troubleshoot the propane/furnace system. :thinking:

But first, coffee and lunch.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby tony.latham » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:32 pm

Makes me wonder if I shouldn’t go for a five pound bottle?

I calculated that a Propex could run for 12 hours with a five pounder.

Next time you’re bored, please snap a profile photo of your ‘drop with that bottle.



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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby John61CT » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:02 pm

Sometimes opening the valve too quickly kicks in the excess flow "check valve".
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:48 pm

tony.latham wrote:Makes me wonder if I shouldn’t go for a five pound bottle?

I calculated that a Propex could run for 12 hours with a five pounder.

Next time you’re bored, please snap a profile photo of your ‘drop with that bottle.



Tony


Tony, you'll probably be fine with the 5 pounder. Propex states 142g/hr for the HS2000, 150g/hr for the HS2211. This is interesting because I thought that the HS2211 was the same furnace as the HS2000 but with a different exhaust routing and the water resistant casing. I'm figuring that on my test firing in the driveway that I should have gone through at least a pound and a half, but it doesn't look like I've gone through anything from weighing the bottle. I'm kicking myself for not weighing it after the initial fill. Oh well. Also, I double checked and I thought I'd ordered an 11lb bottle but in reality I ordered a 10lb bottle, AT doesn't offer the 11lb. This might be where the extra pound came from if they fill by weight. If I still had it in my mind that it was an 11lb bottle then I could see the guy just filling it to 11lb. I haven't noticed a capacity anywhere on the bottle itself, just a TARE weight.

Your time estimate is slightly on the conservative side based off of their numbers. I figure you should get closer to 15 hours of run time on a five pound bottle, assuming you're not tapping into the propane for cooking. I'm figuring that the 10lb bottle should give us around 30 hours, but I plan on eventually tying my stove and possibly a propane fire pit into it.

Here are the best pictures I have of the propane bottle in the wild:

157448

157451

Here's a zoomed in version. For some reason the trailer shape looks distorted. I'm not sure if this was the camera or the shivering camera operator:

157452


John61CT wrote:Sometimes opening the valve too quickly kicks in the excess flow "check valve".


This was one of the things that I thought might have been happening, but the issue was there even after disconnecting, reconnecting and opening slowly. I have one of the inline level indicator dealies that is supposed to show whether the bottle is full or not, but it's always read empty. I took it out of the system and checked the hoses. I found that the hose had some sticky goop inside the brass portion. It wasn't down at the check valve, but it did restrict the path for the gas by about 25%. I cleaned that out and reconnected everything but left out the level gauge. The problem got a little better, but not by much. Next up, I popped off the regulator cover and increased it by 1/4 of a turn and now everything is going great. I need to get the ingredients to make a manometer to double check my pressure, but so far everything is working much better. The furnace cycles on and off as it should. The bummer is that the way I've installed the regulator protects it pretty well from damage, but it makes it a huge pain to adjust it. There's just enough room to get a thin washer into the screw driver slots and turn it. Hopefully I only have to do this once or twice, otherwise I'll have to rethink my regulator mounting solution.

Also, while I haven't shown it yet, I've finished making my cushion covers. Each of the cushions is 3" of medium/firm foam with a 1" memory foam layer. The covers are water resistant and each has a zipper to make it possible to change out the cushions without having to start all over. I used some of the leftover material to make snap on curtains for the tongue box storage, like so:

157450

The cushions are usually covered in sheets and a wool blanket, so the pattern isn't quite as overwhelming as in that picture.

Things are coming together just in time for me to go back to work. I've gotten my first night of camping in for the season, but now I have to lay up the trailer for a couple of months til I get back. :thumbdown:

On the plus side, we've already begun making reservations for a three week road trip for when I get home, so at least I have something to look forward to :)
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby tony.latham » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:10 pm

Louis:

Here are the best pictures I have of the propane bottle in the wild:


Thanks for the pics. I've been staring at a paint roller all day and seeing your 'drop gives them a bit of relief. That trim around the front windows must have been a bear.

:thinking:

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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:37 pm

tony.latham wrote:Louis:

Here are the best pictures I have of the propane bottle in the wild:


Thanks for the pics. I've been staring at a paint roller all day and seeing your 'drop gives them a bit of relief. That trim around the front windows must have been a bear.

:thinking:

Tony


I dunno... I could stare at a paint roller for quite a while if it meant I was getting a new shop :thinking:

The window trim wasn't too bad. I started with the middle window. I ran two very long pieces of all thread through the center holes on the top and bottom portion of the trim rings with the poly-carbonate sandwiched between the two trim rings. It helped having an extra set of hands. I then did two nuts as jamb nuts on each of the pieces of all thread, on the inside part of the trailer. I used another nut from the outside of each all thread rod to tighten the whole sandwich together. The jamb nuts sucked the inner trim ring into place, I just had to double check to make sure everything stayed lined up. Once I had the center tightened together I put a couple of long bolts with nuts through the next holes and tightened the nuts to pull it in. After that, I pulled the center all threads out and replaced them with the final bolts. I did that from the center out, alternating left then right. Install a long bolt to suck it in, remove previous long bolt and replace with final short bolts.

It was a lot easier than trying to install my prefabbed roof/ceiling by myself :? I built it on the floor and then lifted it into place. I also managed to install it upside down, which I didn't catch until after screwing and gluing it into place. I think that's the biggest downside of working solo... there's not usually anyone to catch your mistakes until they're well established. The roof/ceiling upside down isn't the end of the world, but if I'd done it right then I would have a nice crown for shedding rain instead of a small valley that tends to collect water. I did seal the heck out of everything up there.

I've learned a lot building this trailer, my next one should go much better. :thumbsup:

One other issue that I ran across on this last trip was that I finally bottomed out my suspension, and the tire does indeed make a wee little bit of contact with the fender. I've got the material to make a new spring hanger for up forward, so I'm planning on moving the forward mounting point down 1" and forward 1/2". I'm pretty sure it happened when I hit a pothole on the freeway. It was a harder hit than planned because by the time I realized that it wasn't a shadow I didn't have many choices other than hitting it full bore or trying to swerve. I've been very impressed with the towing manners of the trailer. I don't consider myself all that experienced at towing, but the trailer has just been great in that regard. We had a pretty good outflow this past week from the Fraser Valley, which meant that I was dealing with a lot of crosswind across the farmland stretches of the highway and the trailer just shrugged it off and stayed right behind me where it belonged. Buffeting when passing big rigs was non existent. I read all these horror stories about people needing weight distribution hitches and how sketchy the braking is and how the trailer pushes them around and I can't help but feel that we went the right direction with our trailer. It's truly a joy to travel with.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby tony.latham » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:48 pm

Louisd75 wrote:
tony.latham wrote:Louis:

Here are the best pictures I have of the propane bottle in the wild:


Thanks for the pics. I've been staring at a paint roller all day and seeing your 'drop gives them a bit of relief. That trim around the front windows must have been a bear.

:thinking:

Tony


I dunno... I could stare at a paint roller for quite a while if it meant I was getting a new shop :thinking:

The window trim wasn't too bad. I started with the middle window. I ran two very long pieces of all thread through the center holes on the top and bottom portion of the trim rings with the poly-carbonate sandwiched between the two trim rings. It helped having an extra set of hands. I then did two nuts as jamb nuts on each of the pieces of all thread, on the inside part of the trailer. I used another nut from the outside of each all thread rod to tighten the whole sandwich together. The jamb nuts sucked the inner trim ring into place, I just had to double check to make sure everything stayed lined up. Once I had the center tightened together I put a couple of long bolts with nuts through the next holes and tightened the nuts to pull it in. After that, I pulled the center all threads out and replaced them with the final bolts. I did that from the center out, alternating left then right. Install a long bolt to suck it in, remove previous long bolt and replace with final short bolts.

It was a lot easier than trying to install my prefabbed roof/ceiling by myself :? I built it on the floor and then lifted it into place. I also managed to install it upside down, which I didn't catch until after screwing and gluing it into place. I think that's the biggest downside of working solo... there's not usually anyone to catch your mistakes until they're well established. The roof/ceiling upside down isn't the end of the world, but if I'd done it right then I would have a nice crown for shedding rain instead of a small valley that tends to collect water. I did seal the heck out of everything up there.

I've learned a lot building this trailer, my next one should go much better. :thumbsup:

One other issue that I ran across on this last trip was that I finally bottomed out my suspension, and the tire does indeed make a wee little bit of contact with the fender. I've got the material to make a new spring hanger for up forward, so I'm planning on moving the forward mounting point down 1" and forward 1/2". I'm pretty sure it happened when I hit a pothole on the freeway. It was a harder hit than planned because by the time I realized that it wasn't a shadow I didn't have many choices other than hitting it full bore or trying to swerve. I've been very impressed with the towing manners of the trailer. I don't consider myself all that experienced at towing, but the trailer has just been great in that regard. We had a pretty good outflow this past week from the Fraser Valley, which meant that I was dealing with a lot of crosswind across the farmland stretches of the highway and the trailer just shrugged it off and stayed right behind me where it belonged. Buffeting when passing big rigs was non existent. I read all these horror stories about people needing weight distribution hitches and how sketchy the braking is and how the trailer pushes them around and I can't help but feel that we went the right direction with our trailer. It's truly a joy to travel with.


:thumbsup: :beer:

T
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby KTM_Guy » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:37 pm

Louisd75 wrote:
I've learned a lot building this trailer, my next one should go much better. :thumbsup:


I said this to my wife the other day and she listed all the things that need to happen first before I can start another. :o
Tile the master bathroom floor.
replace the tub faucet in the spare bathroom. This also means a full tub retile.
Finish the shed.
The list goes on. :frightened:

I haven't told her yet but I have been doing some rough drawing to build a roof top tent. She wasn't a fan of them that is why we are building the teardrop. But there are some places I want to go that I just don't want to pull a trailer.

I have a #5 tanks, and am kind of wishing I have a=the #10. When I got the #5 I wasn't planing on the Propex. That with the Partner Steel stove, may not last as long as I would want. And the propane camp fires sound like a good idea here with the summer fire bans.

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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:34 pm

KTM_Guy wrote:I said this to my wife the other day and she listed all the things that need to happen first before I can start another. :o
Tile the master bathroom floor.
replace the tub faucet in the spare bathroom. This also means a full tub retile.
Finish the shed.
The list goes on. :frightened:

I haven't told her yet but I have been doing some rough drawing to build a roof top tent. She wasn't a fan of them that is why we are building the teardrop. But there are some places I want to go that I just don't want to pull a trailer.

I have a #5 tanks, and am kind of wishing I have a=the #10. When I got the #5 I wasn't planing on the Propex. That with the Partner Steel stove, may not last as long as I would want. And the propane camp fires sound like a good idea here with the summer fire bans.

Todd


I very briefly looked at RTT's a while back. I've stayed away from them due mostly to their weight. The Tacoma isn't known for it's payload and RTTs are not all that light. The ones that are light tend to use low quality stuff. I've also visited the idea of putting an RTT on top of the trailer. The downside is that I'm not exactly sure how I could easily do that, especially since the trailer won't fit through my garage door with the Fantastic Fan open halfway, let alone with an RTT up there. My dang driveway slopes down to the house so it effectively makes things taller as they go through the door.

I made a little manometer this morning to measure the regulator output. With the propane on and nothing running I was sitting right around 10" of water column. With the Propex running it would dip down below 9". I adjusted it and now I'm sitting at 11" water column with it running, about 13" with everything off. Propex calls for a minimum of 11" so I'm pretty sure that low pressure was my issue. I shut it off and fired it several times and it started with no issues each time. I'll let it cool overnight and give it another shot in the morning, but I'm pretty sure that I've resolved the problem.

Only 112 days til my next camping trip!
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby KTM_Guy » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:19 pm

What was your altitude when you had problems? When I was checking with Westy about what elevation the Propex will work I was told in the 8-9,000' range most regulators would work but above that it needed to be tuned but I can't find the email now what the pressure was. But he said with a properly tuned two stage regulator people have been using them to 13'000'.

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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:43 pm

KTM_Guy wrote:What was your altitude when you had problems? When I was checking with Westy about what elevation the Propex will work I was told in the 8-9,000' range most regulators would work but above that it needed to be tuned but I can't find the email now what the pressure was. But he said with a properly tuned two stage regulator people have been using them to 13'000'.

Todd


Hi Todd,

I don't think altitude was the problem, we were camped at this pin: https://www.google.com/maps/place/48%C2%B007'18.4%22N+122%C2%B029'14.7%22W/@48.121769,-122.4879712,136m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d48.1217691!4d-122.4874089

I'd guesstimate that we were about 100' above sea level, give or take a little.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby S. Heisley » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:22 pm

:thinking: I'm wondering if you've got a bad regulator or if there is a blockage somewhere in the line.

Oh! Also, if the propane gets too cold, it can cause problems. Don't know if it gets cold enough in Washington state; but, it might....
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