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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Camper (FWC) Side Window Curtain Modification

My long side window on my Fleet shell had a one-piece curtain 52” long.  

The problem is that there is too much curtain to bunch up in one direction to allow light in.  The right side as shown below is an escape window that is hinged in top.

The left side has two screened louvered windows, that take up about a third of the total window space.

The curtain isn’t insulated either

The solution is to use the reflective insulation material (InsulShine) I used for my home-made thermal pack to line the curtain.  See my blog post on my thermal pack build http://macaloney.blogspot.com/2018/02/thermal-pack-for-fwc-camper.html?m=1

My front window that faces the truck cab, and the rear door window has the InsulShine insulation from last year modification.  I ran out of time and didn’t get to modify the side window curtain.




After measuring where to make the split in the curtain, I wanted to have what I call a flap so the curtains overlap.  I sleep on the lower bunk often and when I move I don’t want the curtain to open or separate and allow cold air in.  So, it was important to integrate a flap into the design,



Abovevthe material was cut and Mylar insulation was added.  Last year I stuffed the InsulShine in the window cavity as it wasn’t yet sewn to the curtain.



In the picture above you will see the flap on the long side .  It has 2” Velcro on the other side of the flap.  On the smaller side I have a 1” opposite Velcro so the curtainand flap can stay positively closed if I want to.



Now the InsulShine instillation is in place.  Visible are the two pieces of the Velcro that keeps the flap together.



Now with curtain completed and installed with flap Velcro’ed together it looks like one curtain again, but now I can open the louvered windows and open just that side to let air to flow in.

Brent

macaloney@hotmail.com

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Speed Control For Endless Breeze Fan



The Endless Breeze portable 12 volt fan is made by Fan-Tastic Vent.  I use it in my Four Wheel Camper (FWC) to move air around the camper.  It also works good outside the camper on a 12 volt extension cord.  I have Fan-Tastic vents in the ceiling of my camper that I have a also modified with the PWM motor speed control.  Here is that modification post.  http://macaloney.blogspot.com/2018/?m=1

As with the Fantastic fan/vent in the ceiling of my FWC, the motor runs at a high speed for me on the low setting.  The Endless Breeze comes with a speed switch that gives 3 speed settings and my modification does not change the 3 speed settings if the PWM is fully on.  As with the roof units the fans can be noisy even on the low setting, thus adding the PWM speed control a nice change for noise when sleeping.

My problem:

When I just want the fan to provide a light breeze In my FWC camper, I want to be able to set the fan speed to what I want for air movement.  I also would like to conserve my solar power LiFePo4 battery system with lower my current draw when running the fan all night.

The answer:

Below is the PWM speed controller that I bought from Amazon.  What Pulse-Width Modulation does in this case is sends 12 v on and off.  The faster the 12 volt pulse the faster the motor spins.  When the pulse is off there is no power draw.  Therefore a 50/50 cycle the motor uses half the current.



Here is what WIKI has on PWM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-width_modulation

I tested the current draw of the fan to ensure that the 2 amp PWM will work with it.  I did this by putting the PWM between the fan’s 12 plug and the battery.




Above is the open fan with the 3-position speed switch with a plastic cable tie holding wires from the PWM I added.  

With the PWM fully on the 3-position switch still functions as it was designed.



On the other side of the fan top from the 3-position switch I have installed the PWM



Above you can see the open space opposite the 3-position switch where the PWM fit nicely.



More of my wiring.  The added wiring is run along the fan edge like the wiring that comes with the fan.



Here is how the fan looks now with the PWM added to the top.



My test showed that the PWM would adjust the speed of the fan from full speed to off.  I set the speed to be a constant light breeze and  I was only drawing .49 amps.

Note the PWM has a light on the circuit board that shines through the white plastic so you can see that it is turned on.

Brent

macaloney@hotmail.com










Friday, September 14, 2018

Speed Control For Fantastic Fan in FWC





Most of the time my Fantastic fan is too high a speed on low setting.  The Fantastic fan comes with a speed switch that gives 3 speed settings.  I can just open the vent on the Fantastic Fan for natural airflow, but some mechanical draw helps.

Note: I had upgraded my Four Wheel Camper’s Fantastic vents because  the rear one was a vent only and this is where I cook.  The front one over the bed was powered.  Here is my modification on this conversation.  http://macaloney.blogspot.com/2018/02/vent-to-power-vent-conversion.html?m=1


(Above is the upgraded vent only to power vent/fan with temperature control)

My problem:

When I just want some powered exhaust from the vent with my window cracked open below, I don’t need the fan on spinning very fast.  I also would like to conserve my solar power LiFePo4 battery system with lower current draw.  A side benefit of the slower speed is the fan runs much quieter for sleeping.

The answer:

Below is the PWM speed controller that I bought from Amazon.  What Pulse-Width Modulation does in this case is sends 12 v on and off.  The faster the pulse the faster the motor spins.  When the pulse is off there is no power draw.  Therefore a 50/50 cycle the motor uses half the current.



Here is what WIKI has on PWM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-width_modulation


I needed to test the current draw to ensure that the 2 amp PWM will work on the Fantastic Fan. 



I dropped the cover of the Fantastic Fan and put my clamp meter on. The inspection showed 2 amp controller would work.



I then temporarily wired in the PWM and tested it.



My test showed that the PWM would adjust the speed of the fan from full speed to off.  I set the speed to be a constant light draw and I was only drawing .59 amps.

This low draw with lower window cracked will provide powered heat extraction cooling the inside of camper and making my Engel compressor fridge run easier.  Since I have the temperature control on the Fantastic Fan when the fan turns on my solar battery system will have no problem providing the power needed.



The spot I was able to fit the PWM was next to the speed switch.



This is the way it looks with PWM installed.  Note the PWM has a light on the circuit board that shines through the white plastic so you can see that it is turned on.



Above is the installed PWM controller ready to adjust the speed to what I want it to be.

It works in both exhaust venting or power fan pushing in air.  As stated I have it set to start on venting on low speed once it gets hot inside the camper by setting the temperature control in the upper right corner in the picture above.

Brent

macaloney@hotmail.com





Thursday, September 13, 2018

White Perforated Window Coverings for FWC Camper

I first became aware of perforated vinyl window coverings as Fire Chief, when our ambulance vendor suggested it on a new ambulance purchase.

My first exposure to the use of perforated vinyl for RV’s was when I saw my friends Dan and Brenda’s RV mini bus conversion, with the windows covered.  At this time, a couple years ago, I was on my travels with my Prius. 

When I traveled in my Four Wheel Camper / Tacoma this year, I didn’t like that I had to put up and take down curtains only for privacy.  I decided I wanted to try putting the white perforated vinyl on my camper.



Above is my Amazon purchase for Perforated vinyl.  I bought more than I needed and will share the extra with my friends.



I started with the side window area.  The right side is fixed glass and my starting point.



I tape the vinyl sheet at the top and peal the paper backing down from the top.  As I do I press and deal the vinyl to the glass dealing with wrinkles first and then pull the vinyl back off window and press to the sides and corners.



I use a credit card to move the wrinkles as I can.  Care needs to be taken not to tear the perforated.  I trim with a sharp utility knife blade.



Above is an example of the left and right top window now has the perforated vinyl applied and the bottom right doesn’t.  This shows the visibility you have and how much is reduced when you apply the vinyl.



Above the side windows are all covered including the smaller crank windows.



Here is the final look with all windows on the side covered.



I also covered the rear door window.  This still allows me to view out the back through my Tacoma’s rear view mirror.  



I did not apply the perforated vinyl on the window that needs the rear cab window so I would not reduce my visibility.

The issue of security and privacy is not as much of an issue on this cab window as there is a lot of glass over a distance to try to peer through.  I will use the curtain here as needed.

It’s amazing how well this product works, but if it is lighter inside than outside the camper, you can see in the camper a bit.  There is an advantage not covered above using the perforated vinyl.  That is I get ambient light in and at night in a lit area.  You don’t need to use the flashlight for all nighttime activities.

Brent

macaloney@hotmail.com