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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I felt like a stud this weekend. Got so much done on the Outback...even for a rookie.

1. My first de-winterization. Found some good instructions online that helped. I think I did it right.

2. Fixed leaks. The only visible leak was under the small sink. Just needed to tighten the connections. I checked every connection I could find, including behind the shower faucet. Most were a little loose, so I tightened, but not too much.

3. Tightened lug nuts. Several were a little loose.

4. Washed the camper. Big, long hummer with the slide open!

5. Did the queen bed insulation mod. Purchased a 25' by 16" aluminum foil / air pocket roll of insulation for $15 at Home Depot. Laid it on the queen slide and used a staple gun to secure. Looks great.

6. Did the DVD install mod. Drilled a hole in the cabinet above the sink to allow cords to pass from there to the TV shelf. 9x9x2 DVD player sits in the cabinet on a shelf above the kitchen sink.

7. NEW MOD: Trimmed the miniblinds using scissors around the knob that you turn to open / close the windows. Now the blind blades stay put when opening / closing the window and you don't "ruffle" the blinds when doing so.

8. Fixed the A/C unit thermistor. Turns out the thermistor was fine, just wasn't sticking out of the hole in the ceiling A/C unit. I loosened the cord to give some slack to get the thermistor to protrude 1/4" from the A/C unit. Works / looks perfect.

9. Tightened (but not too much) the 4 bolts that secure the A/C unit to the roof. I did this from inside the camper after removing the panel.

10. Caulked around the shower faucets, along the top of the surround, around the shower sprayer holders, and around every tub surround mounting pin. Water ain't going anywhere in my shower except into the tub!

11. Tested the hot water heater in both electric and gas mode. You will know if electric is working if you hear a faint, high-pitched tone when listening near the heater. That and you will have hot water (duh).

12. Tested all water faucets using both city and fresh water connections. Tested for leaks when connected to city water (increased line pressure).

13. Removed all those goofy black and white stickers (on the outside of the camper) that denote the city and fresh water inlets, the location of the outside shower, etc. I think we all know where those are, and removing them cleaned up the appearance of the trailer. I left the stickers that remind me to check tire pressure and lug nuts.

14. Opened the panel below the fridge to inspect the water pump. Tightened connections. Our pump is mounted to a wooden box under the fridge on rubber mounts. I have seen posts about the pumps being loud. Seemed fine to me when de-winterizing. The furnace is MUCH louder.

15. Purchased a plug-in fanned heater with an oscillating (sp?) base. We use these in our house sometimes in the study as an extra heater when it gets cold. We hope this will prevent needing to use the furnace...WHICH IS LOUD!

I think that is about it. Was a really fun weekend.

ONE QUESTION: How do you all fill the hot water heater at the camp site? I remember a post about making sure the pressure release valve is open. We rarely will camp with full hookups, so I will need to fill the fresh water tank at the campground. Here is what I did after de-winterizing to test. Please advise:

1. Open hot water bypass to allow water into tank (already done after de-winterization).
2. Hook up water supply to CITY water inlet. Turn on water.
3. Open pressure release valve on hot water tank. Wait for water to flow out of presure release valve. Close pressure release valve.
4. Stop city water, remove hose.
5. Fill fresh water tank.

Is that correct? I do this because I want those 6 gallons on water in the hot water tank AND I want all 45 gallons in the fresh tank. I don't want to use 6 gallons from the fresh tank to fill the hot water tank. I want all the water I can get from the start!

Thanks, Randy
 

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Wow Randy you were busy. Not sure you can call yourself a newbie anymore either! That one post has got to be good for another 15 post counts.

I like Mod #7 too, I had the same thought this weakened while we were camping but didn't have any good scissors to make the cut with.

As for how to fill, you have it right. I do the same thing, once I fill the tank with water. Once its full and I've purged the air from the hot water tank I then also run water through all the lines, getting out all the air I can. I figure I've then got 6 gallons in the hot water tank plus the full fresh water tank.
 

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Way to go Randy. It makes me tired just reading about all the stuff that you got accomplished.


I know what you mean on the volume level of the furnace blower. The separate heater is a good idea though. I have a little tower heater that is about 2 feet tall and oscillates as well. Last time I went out, I sat it on the dinette table blowing into the queen bed. Temperatures overnight were in the low fortys and the furnace didn't kick on once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is EXACTLY what I needed to hear, Phil! The first night we camped my wife and I heard every kick on / turn off the furnace did...all night long. Not a restful night's sleep. The kids slept fine, as they would not know it if a parade went through their rooms at night.

Our portable heater sounds similar to yours. Is it about 15" high and has a digital thermostat on it. It will turn on and off based on the temperature in the cabin. Glad to hear it worked for you. My wife will be pleased. We planned on doing the same thing this weekend while camping...place it on the dinette and let it do it's thing.

If it works, I am thinking the propane we have in the two tanks from the dealer will last us all season long!

Randy
 

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Yup, my thoughts exactly on saving the propane. Keep in mind that with the heater pointed at the queen bed, the bunk house does get just a slight bit cooler. Fortunately for me, the rest of my crew in the bunk house likes it alot cooler than I do at night, so it works out quite well. Also, the bunk area tends to retain heat a lot better than the queen area. (since it isn't hanging out in space)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Phil,

Yep, we noticed that, too. The slide area is a little cooler. I hope the insulation mod I did will help with that.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I forgot to mention...for those of you considering the queen bed insulation mod, the 25 foot roll of 16" insulation is the exact amount you will need. I had 6" of material remaining. No waste!

Randy
 

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Tips on the heaters that I've learned. Ceramic heaters work great. Make sure they have a tip over switch if you are going to use them around kids (or adults for that matter). I found in the larger 28' campers like mine I can put one in the front and one at the rear, each running 750 and I won't blow a circuit. You can't plug in by the bathroom as that plug is shared with the front of the camper. Running at 1500 will get you to warm and blow breakers if you are not running on 30amp service. Fan driven heaters will blow to the back of the bunk pretty good. I used the furnace to warm up the camper then let the ceramic heaters keep it warm all night and we were almost to warm. I did crack the vent in the bathroom and that helped to keep things comfortable as well as to deal with the condensation.
 
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