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PostPosted: May 13th, 2017, 10:26 am 
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Thanks so much for linking the microwave cabinet re-purposing. I love the ‘boat deck’ floor that hints at your marine background.

Meanwhile, it rapidly became obvious my skylight transmits too much heat, even with the grille. So my final mod today was to add an external Maxxair vent cover for insulation and UV protection. I was cautioned only mad dogs and Australians go out in the midday sun!

Installation was trivial after fighting tacky caulk residue to line everything up. I drilled four holes in the corners of the cover flange to match pre-existing holes in the skylight. Roof clearance is back to where it was with the A/C but I dont mind the fresh profile.

The pictures also show the second solar panel mounted aft that I have to skirt around exiting the ladder. Now to rest and contemplate the microwave cabinet mod.


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PostPosted: May 13th, 2017, 11:28 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz
I've been in Europe for the past month, and haven't been "connected." I come back to all this interesting discussion about skylights, aircon, taillights, etc. Cool stuff!

Rover... For skylight insulation, I just press into the garnish a piece of 1/2" Rmax (shiny side up). Works very well and is only warm to the touch at high noon in summer. It doesn't look "finished" but it's only used on rare occasion. Might not be enough in AZ, and I see you've already installed the grate, but thought I'd mention it. Side note: I'm going to re-try a glass piece for my skylight once I get some time...

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PostPosted: May 13th, 2017, 7:43 pm 
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Scott: I know, right? Forum's getting fun right now with all the mods and whatnot. Bring 'em on! (And of course trip reports are always welcome too.)

On the skylight: If I wasn't going to be looking out mine and/or getting max amount of natural daylight in (both of which I do), I would probably just put another roof vent in. It wouldn't have (or need) to be an expensive Fantastic vent since there is already one just ahead of it. Could be either something like a basic "Heng's" type (like the stock bathroom one but without light or fan, usually have an opaque white lid for a bit of a glow), or if matching was desired, they do make "blank" Fantastic Vents that just have the circular hole opening and the screen, plus crank up manually (no motor or fan). Then it can be opened to let heat out. Just another idea.

Since I do like to look out and get the non-tinted light in I basically do as Scott does, but just with a piece of foam board instead (and Reflectix is a good idea - should have thought of that as I already have friction-fit pieces for the three cab windows, but for some reason I didn't...?).

The sideways solar panel install is interesting. Can we see more? Photo from the ground?

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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 3:57 am 
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There’s always an unanticipated “cascade of consequences” after starting any new project. I too love the concept of a clear skylight to view the stars but solar heat, particularly in Arizona, became a major concern. I looked at insulating pads to jam inside but reasoned trapped heat would only accelerate breakdown of the plastic skylight. I became overly cautious after my Heng’s bathroom vent lid disintegrated at the hinge after only 3 years service! So alas the skylight grille and exterior cover rather defeat my original re-purposing concept :(

To answer BG’s question about my sideways solar panel, it is an AstroPower 120W addition the previous owner installed to supplement the original 50W Siemens panel. The installer neglected to upgrade the 7.5A fuse to the house batteries and I will save the consequences from that oversight for another “Tale from the Far Side.” For now I attach a perspective from the ground as requested.


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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 4:52 am 
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Location: Marysville, WA
My Dad spent quite a few years before he passed roaming Arizona. Heat and sun damage was always an issue for him. He started his Arizona adventure on a KZ 750 Kawasaki and ended with a 55 passenger C50 school bus. He would summer near Prescott in the Pine Forests and spent many winters in La Poza West near Quartzsite. (Some of his ashes were scattered there.) When I see your and BG's pictures it reminds me of our visits down there. :)

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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 8:28 am 
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I completely understand what you mean about projects morphing. That's half the reason I call them "mock ups" for at least three years :lol: I pretty much know I'm going to change my mind on the details once I live with something for awhile (also it helps me get past my perfectionist tendencies and actually get started on something, vs. just waiting because it could never be perfect --- I mean hey, it's only a mock-up!). Plus there are the inevitable "discoveries" along the way that add to the agenda.

You may already know this, but if you do decide to go with something else (say, an RV vent plus six spare covers you can cycle through as they age out :shock: ) it's a cinch to fill the fastener holes with thickened epoxy and then it's like they were never there (and likely no need to even gelcoat them since the new flange of whatever you put there would go right over the top of them).

I can imagine that year 'round in Arizona would be some fearsome UV. Especially if you are at altitude (and there doesn't tend to be a huge amount of shade in many places).

Thanks for the photo - our Chinooks definitely look like sisters (except my year has the stock Ford front bumper vs. the Chinook fiberglass one). I *still* haven't mounted my roof solar panels (geez, the sun will have gone red giant by the time I do that), and although I think I'm just going to go with the slight overhang of the main tier, I have played around with other placements. But nothing beats seeing an actual photo, looks-wise.

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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 1:36 pm 
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PS: Off topic, but it looks like you removed your wheel simulators. I have done the same. Well, partly, as I have done the front two wheels, but haven't done the rears yet. The front two Ford steel wheels are now painted in a Ford metallic silver. I much prefer the look and of course it's less fussy come time to do anything with the tires.

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PostPosted: June 16th, 2017, 6:21 pm 
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Scott wrote:
For skylight insulation, I just press into the garnish a piece of 1/2" Rmax (shiny side up). Works very well and is only warm to the touch at high noon in summer. It doesn't look "finished" but it's only used on rare occasion.


Scott,

I wanted to thank you for this simple idea. I had some foam board I'd use for the same purpose (generally in June/July with high sun, presuming I have not found some shade to camp in). But your idea sounded better, so I cut a friction fit piece of Reflectix (the foam board needed some tape "help" to stay up). The new way is perfect! I can even "taco" it a bit if I want light on one side of the room but not the other.

In scorching news, way back in February I offered to see a friend through the process of getting a new RV, fixing up the previous one, giving a few backing lessons (it's a trailer this time), etc. Little did I know the process would drag on into late June! It would normally be too hot where I am at this time of year (Arizona, approximately 4,000' elevation), but now there is even an abnormal heat wave. Ay-yay-yay.

A natural question might be do I wish I had my AC. Well, I suppose if there were no consequences (such as having to drag a 100# large box around on my roof, and give up my skylight), but there are. Also, he's got his AC pumping away day and night and.... it's not THAT much more pleasant. I mean it's not like walking into a Starbucks where you immediately want to put on a sweater. It's a bit cooler than outside, but then also not so breezy and a tiny bit stuffy. If it were going to be much longer (I don't THINK it is), I'd get a cheap window AC from Wal-Mart, make a plywood panel with a cutout, and "roll it up" into the passenger cab window (I have hookups for once!). Not that desperate yet (talk to me Tuesday at the peak of the heat wave :D). I do have morning and afternoon shade, just not mid-day.

But what I did do this morning, was take a ~18"x18" square of Reflectix and tape it to the roof, over the skylight. I also took a ~15"x15" piece and taped it over the Fantastic vent lid (I still open it, but it shades the opening with the lid partway up). This has really cut down the sun/heat. I also have an 8' long piece that I always carry with me (rolled up behind the driver's seat). The long piece comes in handy because I can put it in one side or the other between the curtain and the side window for sunny afternoons in summer (especially say if I'm driving and don't care about the view anyway).

It's quite breezy and dry where I am, so that helps quite a bit. And it cools down reasonably overnight. But hoo boy, I can't WAIT to get on the road again! North! Even a dry heat can be too hot!

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PostPosted: June 16th, 2017, 7:56 pm 
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Oh great! Glad you found it useful. Edit: I had more time to go back and read your post. That was pretty smart to put the Reflectix on the roof. That had never occurred to me. That strategy would probably result in the least heat transfer. Do you use masking tape on the gelcoat? It seems if I use anything else, especially after extended sun exposrue, there's adhesive cleanup duty of some sort.

The glory of my skylight has remained topside only. I had a flimsy plastic garnish trimmed to size in there for about a year, and it has been OK aesthetically, but it turned into a spider/fly/dust trap. I had the inner flange almost up against the skylight (a very slight gap about .050"), but the garnish has warped from UV and heat, now stuff can get up and over the flange. Hope that makes some sense. For quite a while, I've had this grand idea of covering my hull liner ceiling with a sheet of quality wood laminate and casing in the vents with wood trim and ditching the plastic garnish rings. I got the panel shaped and installed, but before I could trim out the vents, the panel fell down. The ultimate insult. Even at 1/8" and very light weight, sticky backed velcro all around wasn't enough. Looks like I'll need to screw it to the roof. Program change. Here's what it looked like for test fit with plastic garnishes (forward garnish a bit warped) before falling down in the middle of the night. :lol:


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2017, 11:23 pm 
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I like it! (But yeah, the nerve of it to fall down!). I have thought of doing something similar -- putting something non-carpety on the central "tunnel" of the overhead. Would give me a place to smash mosquitoes :lol:

I don't know if yours is the same, but I believe my roof is a sandwich of thicker fiberglass (the outer roof), Nidacore, and then a thinner but still reasonably substantial inner fiberglass skin. So that inner skin would take screws easily (the Nidacore varies in thickness, but it's pretty obvious how thick it is where the vents are).

For now the roof-side reflectix is just a heat-wave stopgap, and I have it up there with blue tape. Can't leave that too long or you have blue concrete. The best outdoor tape I've had is 3M 225. That lasts forever outside and then still comes off. Miracle! But since I can't get it through work anymore, and it's like ten million dollars per roll, I have sadly run out.

For my Fantastic Vent experiment (trying low profile base and flat lid to see if I can get rid of wind noise), I got some supposedly easier release duct tape (3M something-or-other). We'll see if I have to rent a jackhammer when I go to remove that and do the real installation (have to try freeway run first).

On boats its very common to have some sort of clearish hatch or skylight, and then very often there will be a Sunbrella/canvas panel that snaps onto the outside when protection is desired from sun/light/water (oftentimes there is varnish involved). So that's what gave me the idea. I may put some Snads on the outer edges of the skylight plastic and then either just mount female snaps on the Reflectix or make something fancier. After two years this is the first time I really needed anything on the outside (always lucked out with shade, or it would be winter with low sun angles, etc.), so this is the first I'm considering it.

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