Spring Updates

Warmer weather means it is time to fix and clean and update.

First I ordered a much needed, long wanted SOLARDOME roof vent cover for the camper.  The original has held up for 50 years and was last repaired with fiberglass tape. Looked like crap! Ready for a change but budget dictates when this will happen.
Amazing the old one never leaked even in 60 mph winds while in Florida.

There are a few sources for these and I chose Inland Rv in California for mine. They offer a very sturdy model that comes in smoke grey, which I like. After a mess up with UPS shipping who evidently could not find my address, though they have been there many times..............I finally got my new dome after 3 weeks.
I checked out methods of installing it, and decided to pull the old one off, withe the lifters intact. This means spreading the metal clips that are in the vent, and pulling the lifters out with the top. Better than sitting on the roof. This can be done, but at my somewhat ancient age I am not inspired to climb onto the roof of the Airstream anymore.

I will measure the new cover and install the lifters, then replace it on top and re-clip the lifters in place. Photos to come.....
 I have wrestled with the air conditioning issue for some time. We used a window unit in the front window, supported by a small wooden table arranged over the lip of the window and onto the propane tanks. This has been mostly successful for us, but in mid 90s southern temps it does not make the trailer comfortable during the day and blows on your head while using the couch.
At a cost of $35 and in use for 5 years it seems to have done the job. We don't typically camp in August which is the hottest month here,,,,,
But seeing a deal on a used roof air unit got me thinking -- which is always dangerous.

I went around with the idea of putting that ugly lump on the roof-- but just could not do it. A better look is the low profile models, but at $1000+ this was not an option for me
I re-examined the mini split ductless units. These have the main unit on the tongue of the trailer and the blower unit mounted inside. Requires running the hoses and lines under the belly pan ( or elsewhere) to get into the camper. Worth looking at but not my idea of an option.

Lastly I looked into portable air units. These have come a long way in the past few years and are affordable and efficient. I decided to try one. I found an open box deal on line at less than 50% of original price. If I chose to NOT GET a remote I could save even more. So for about $130. I purchased a 10,000BTU model.

I set the unit into the bathtub in my Overlander. Vented the exhaust hose out the back window with some clear packing tape holding the hose vent onto the screen. I surrounded this with clear heavy vinyl using velcro to hold it to the sides of the screen. This had worked for me in the front window, and survived many years and many rains. The velcro makes for easy removal when ready to travel.
The drain is at the lower rear of the unit and will run when needed, out the bathtub drain. This seems like a fine plan.

So far temps have only been in the low 80s,and the unit cools very well and is surprisingly quiet. I used a short extension cord to access the wall plug in the bathroom. We will have to wait for mid 90's to see how effective it will be but I am optimistic. Also it can be pulled out and stored for winter.
So maybe a win win for us?
Onto one more unexpected item.-
The front window of our trailer has been plexi glass for years. In fact it came to us with that stuff  installed.
It has never broken and only displayed a few scratches. I intended to upgrade to Lexan at some opportune time.
 The time came a few weeks ago, when a very strong wind blew through the open camper door, and lifted the window out of its frame on smashed it on the ground. Evidently the seal had dried out releasing the window and the plexiglass cracked from impact. A few of us were outside talking when this happened and it was like " what the heck was that" and all of a sudden- no window.I had to tape the broken piece back in to get through the rain on the ride home. I had just redone the shelf behind the window and did not want a leak to ruin the job. Clear havy duty packing tape worked super well and will come right off the aluminum, something that gray duct tape will not do.
Now onto the big box store to get a new sheet of Lexan cut. I will go with smoke gray to match the new roof vent cover and seal it in place in the track with 3M Trim seal which I have found to be very permanent. The only issue is the window clips, there are 3 on the old plexi and I am not sure if they will come off. If not these are 6$ each plus shipping. So not too bad,
All this should make us good to go for another year! Let's hope so.