Camper Thermal Engineering for Extreme Cold & High-Altitude: Arctic Antarctica Tibet

biotect

Designer
Hi campo,

Great images and documentation of your build. Keep it coming!

As you know, I've been very busy over in the other "Fully Integrated" thread, first, responding to your excellent specifications summary; and then, responding to others who reacted to my revised version of your summary. But will return to this thread tomorrow, to finish up my posts about windows as promised. The next step will then be researching the leads on glass manufacturers you provided in your posts, namely, Outbound and Gebo.

Have you ever come across any manufactures who make triple-pane windows and/or skylights for motorhomes?

All best wishes,


Biotect

PS -- One thing has come up over in the other thread. You specified 140 kmh, top speed. Everyone else seems to think this is much too high, and completely unnecessary. So why did you specify this figure?
 

Scott Brady

Founder
Fantastic work and consolidation of documentation and imagery/video.

I am not a fan of the cold, but somehow always end up in it ;)

 

Recommended books for Overlanding

campo

Adventurer
Hi Campo,

...
Just a few points that struck me:


1) Walls seem like a very potent area of heat loss: 40 %. It's interesting that going from 4 cm to 6 cm reduces heating needs 17 %. That's quite a bit, don't you think? Perhaps the doors do not have to be 6 cm thick, but it seems like a good idea if the walls are.....
I found out that my habitat is only partly in direct contact with exterior side walls. There is furniture, bathrooms and garage all around. So I developed the theory that this is a sort of doubled wall insulation. If it would be 2 or 3°C less warm inside the wardrobe, kitchen lockers or garage, I really do not care.
That convinced me to only use 4cm thickness on the side walls (to win space). If I would include that +/-80% off these exterior side walls are covered with the second insulation skin that is formed by this furniture and cabinets, than I could compare it with more than 6cm insulation on the side walls for my calculations. I did not so there is reserve.

.
2) Is your program able to calculate what the savings might be if you increased the thickness of the floor and roof even further? What would happen if the roof increased to 10 cm, and the floor to 14 cm, as per the Doleoni MAN KAT? Would you see significant savings?
Yes you Always see significant savings when you increase insulation.
Let’s exaggerate a little bit in my answer to make you understand better:
The RV habitat in which you live there is so small that if you breath out with 2 persons it is already warm.
The heaters that i use are so powerful compared to the thermal needs, that they will have to run on idling speed forever.
For only a few € more can install oversized heat capacity.
If you increase walls to 12cm the extra cost, extra problems and extra loose of space wil cost you 10.000's of euro's !


3) Your windows (double thermic glass) account for only 4 % heat loss. What is their total surface in square meters on your camper?
I calculated with net 1,43m² at k= 3,0 W/m²K glass surface for the windows and 0,75m² at 5,0 W/m²K for the hatches.
That seems small surfaces (compared to your plans) but imagine that it was the maximum surface that I could implement in my compact project.
The box is really filled from A to Z and living space is reduced. On the longest inside dimensions are 4,65 m x 2,34 m x 2,00 m High (remember that my truck RV is so nice and compact looking because spare wheel and motorcycle are integrated) The interior design was done starting from the garage.


In the integrated, "Liner Type" motorhome that I am imagining, with lots of big windows, this figure will certainly be much higher!! But it would also be interesting to do a calculation for triple-thermic glass. Many houses nowadays have triple-thermic glass, so it is in principle possible that a motorhome could have triple-thermic too. For all the windows except the one in the very front, i.e. the windshield.
Sorry I have never seen a triple glass in coach or RV.
I would not do it because I do not need the extra insulation and weight...but it will exist somewhere in the bus and coach world


4) Very interesting that two people inside your camper adds 4 %!!! I never would have thought that human bodies could generate so much heat.
Small bodies like my thine lady in rest or reading a book generate only some 70 Watt.
When she is doing sports or also when she is angry... it becomes certainly more than 150 Watt.
So I calculate with average 125 Watt for each person

5) It's also interesting that going from -30 C to -40 C does not increase the KW demand that much. Rouhgly 12 %.

6) Clearly wall thickness is not the only thing that's important; type of insulation also matters, right? Most expedition motorhome campers nowadays seem to be made out of "self supporting sandwich plate panels of fibre glass composite.... with polyurethane foam insulation, reinforces polyester." But I wonder: are better forms of insulation available? Have you heard of flexible Aerogels, for instance? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerogel or http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aérogel .

I have chosen for sandwich plate insulation with extra 4mm plywood inlay both outside and inside .
To get more strength.
That has been chosen after lots of research on impacts and accidents and after having seen an exploded Un$cat 60 mm body who went on its side by inattention of the driver.
If my RV goes on its side there is a possibility that it will stay complete and repairable.
Look also closely at the structure of the divisions inside.
That is like a one longitudinal and one lateral reinforcement cross.
This chose was 87kg extra weight and some 10 % les insulation value than classical sandwich plate with no wood.


Last but not least: What is your primary language of communication? French? Dutch? German? If you let me know, then wherever possible I will try to provide links (for instance, for Wikipedia) to websites in your best language.
My native is Flemish (=Dutch) and i speak the ones you mention +some words Italian and Spanish.
I am certainly not so good in languages.
I am participating on this forum and your thread because I want to improve my written English.
So you are of great help.

Thanks Campo


All best wishes,


Biotect






Hello Biotect
I have written my red answers in your quote

All the best Campp
 
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campo

Adventurer
Campo, where did you get those hatches? Interesting alternative to the typical euro hatches.
Hi Scott
Those hatches are mainly used in boats but lot's of peaple use them in expedition vehicles becaus they are stronger than classical RV stuff.
Gebo, Lewmar and some 5 others have them.
I suppose euro hatches as you mention are the fragile double plastic Dometic Seitz ones ?

regards Campo
 

ScottReb

Adventurer
Or the ones made like a door or hatch. Full thickness material with hinge and latches. Hatches and doors get pretty spend so that looks like an alternative.
 

biotect

Designer
.
Fantastic work and consolidation of documentation and imagery/video.

I am not a fan of the cold, but somehow always end up in it ;)

Hi Scott,

Many thanks for the praise and encouragement. It helped motivate me to finally complete the transfer of posts about Antarctic vehicles from the "High Altitude Heating" thread.

When researching Arctic and Antarctic expeditions for the list of possible thread subtopics (post #4, on the first page), I came across your Arctic Ocean expedition in 2007, and your Expedition 7 to Antarctica and the South Pole in 2013:


19. Expedition West's "Arctic Ocean Expedition", Winter 2007 – see http://expeditionportal.com/arctic-ocean-expedition-a-solo-vehicle-adventure-to-lands-end/ , http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/965-Arctic-Ocean-Expedition-Winter-2007 , http://www.expeditionportal.com/adventures/arctic_ocean/planning.html , http://www.expeditionportal.com/adventures/arctic_ocean/ , http://www.expeditionportal.com/adventures/arctic_ocean/trip_updates.html , and http://www.expeditionportal.com/adventures/arctic_ocean/trip_updates.html

20. Expedition 7 in the Arctic and Antarctic – see http://expeditionportal.com/expeditions-7-arrival-at-the-arctic-ocean/ , http://expeditionportal.com/expeditions-7-launches-new-website/ , http://expeditionportal.com/expeditions-7-completes-bid-on-south-pole/ , http://www.expeditions7.com , http://www.expeditions7.com/segments/russia-siberia , http://www.expeditions7.com/segments/antarctica , http://www.expeditions7.com/videos , http://vimeo.com/album/2548286 , and http://www.antarcticachallenge.com/?pageid=5172 .

.......................

25.
The Antarctica Challenge Expedition, the first 4x4 vehicles to reach the South Pole – see http://www.antarcticachallenge.com/Pages/3632 , http://www.antarcticachallenge.com/Pages/4925/catId/20/offset/8&nc=1 , http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/miscellaneous/2010-12/south-pole/ , http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/toyota-hilux-6x6-arctic-trucks-first-drive-2013-11-11 , http://www.4x4offroads.com/toyota-hilux-south-pole.html , http://expeditionportal.com/hey-lets-drive-to-the-south-pole-okay-deal/ , and http://www.caradvice.com.au/22091/arctic-trucks-hilux-conquer-south-pole/ .

[video=vimeo;61642115]http://vimeo.com/61642115[/video] [video=vimeo;63788186]http://vimeo.com/63788186[/video]
[video=vimeo;74443321]http://vimeo.com/74443321[/video]
[video=vimeo;87254932]http://vimeo.com/87254932 [/video] [video=vimeo;88083658]http://vimeo.com/88083658 [/video]
[video=vimeo;97401838]http://vimeo.com/97401838[/video]



As stated on your Expedition 7 website, the purpose of Expediton 7 is to traverse all seven continents with the same Toyota Landcruiser. And so in 2013 you guys finally tackled Antarctica and the South Pole. Fantastic concept, and terrific video footage. The narrators (they seem multiple) have wonderfully calm voices, a nice contrast to the usual hyperactive enthusiasm of voice-overs on expedition videos.

Was then wondering if you might be willing to clear up something that I am still a bit confused about. The "Antarctica Challenge" expedition in 2013 also took 4x4s to the South Pole, apparently a first-ever; see the links for item 25 in the quote above. This does not seem to be the same expedition as yours, but the time-overlap is suggestive: both journeys to the South Pole occurred in 2013. And both were conducted in concert with Arctic Trucks. Did you encounter the "Antarctica Challenge" expedition at some point, just as you encountered Prince Harry's "Walk of the Wounded"? See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-harry/10515617/Prince-Harry-and-his-Walking-With-The-Wounded-team-reach-South-Pole.html .

The Expeditions 7 Antarctica video above mentions Arctic Trucks; that you crossed Antarctica with a Toyota Hilux and not the Landcruiser; and that you were joined in Antarctica by a 6x6. So that's why it seemed possible that the "Antarctica Challenge" expedition might have been somewhat related to yours.....:confused: ....On the other hand, the "Antarctica Challenge" expedition seems to have taken 4 vehicles, instead of your 2; and the vehicles pictured in the articles about the "Antarctica Challenge" look very different from those seen in your video.....

In any case, glad that you are enjoying the thread, if not the cold.....:REOutIceFishing:

As for cold, well, I am German-Canadian, so I grew up loving it. When I was a kid my parents had a house above a ravine looking out over a river in southern Ontario. In the winter the river would freeze solid, and became a corridor for snowmobiling and/or cross-country skiing. I loved going out with my German Shepard named "Gigi", my Karhu cross-country skis, and just a single-piece racing suit made of the thinnest fabric possible. The temperature might have been -15 C or worse, but once I got moving, I'd work up a ferocious amount of heat, and the racing suit would be just fine.

Needless to say, it would be great if you would be willing to post any and all thoughts about "Camper Thermal Engineering" for extreme cold, and/or equipping & modifying vehicles for extreme cold in Antarctica.....:)

All best wishes,



Biotect

PS -- THANK YOU for creating Expo!!!
..
 
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biotect

Designer
Hi campo,

Many thanks for your responses to those questions.

It's interesting to hear from a thermal expert that it really makes much more sense to simply increase the heater size, as opposed to wall thickness.

Also very interesting comment about roll-over protection for the walls using plywood. Does your camper have additional roll-over protection, like some kind of internal roll-over bar? I get the impression that campers mounted on three-point or four-point pivoting sub-frames don't have this kind of internal roll-over protection. At least not like a MAN Neoplan bus (the roll-over bars are in red):


cityliner_safety_cabin_gross.jpg 20120920050224115.jpg


Did you take a picture of the "exploded Un$cat? If you did, that would be great to see! And wonderfully wry comment about human wattage output, dependent on mood.....:sombrero:

As you know, the fall term at my Art College begins shortly, so we will have to put the TerraLiner project and its thermal needs on the back-burner for a bit. But thanks to your prompting, in this thread I've thought through windows to a much deeper level. And in any case, I now need to research retractable skylights in greater depth; additional RV window manufacturers; the possibility of triple-pane glass ; and the R-values of different products, such as Burstner's "Panorama" window..... I need to do all this research before we could even begin TerraLiner calculations.

So over the next month it would be great if you were to continue posting various thermally-related aspects of your build. So far you have covered:

1. General introduction (done)
2. Parameters for the calculations (done)
3. Theoretical calculation (done)

So what seems still pending:

4. Description of the 2 main diesel heating systems
5. Description of the other heaters
6. Discussion about how and where i have to test it
7. In between maybe something about altitude

Please note in advance that if I do not respond immediately to your posts, it is only because over the next few weeks I will be insanely busy. But I will respond, eventually, probably at the end of October, or beginning of November.....;)

All best wishes,


Biotect


PS --
Webasto claims that it is the market-leader for large, high-end marine and RV skylights -- see http://www.webasto.com/int/markets-products/marine/roof-solutions/roof-solutions/20-40-series/ , http://www.webasto.com/int/markets-products/marine/roof-solutions/roof-solutions/60-series/ , http://www.webasto.com/int/markets-products/marine/roof-solutions/roof-solutions/80-120-series/ , etc. Webasto claims that it is the only manufacturer who makes truly trouble-free, ultra-robust, large retractable skylights. Do you agree? Would Webasto's large retractable marine skylights also prove suitable for a motorhome?
...
 
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ScottReb

Adventurer
The webasto skylights look great, but... I think they might not be the best cold weather option. IMHO I dont think a skylight would be the best option, especially for cold weather. I dont see any way to insulate without a removable add on panel. I dont know if it would an advantage over a solid hatch. Other than you would get sunlight when the panel was not in place vs the hatch.
 

campo

Adventurer
Condensation on the hatches is the biggest problem at low temperatures.
I have to go on with the still pending
...
4. Description of the 2 main diesel heating systems
5. Description of the other heaters
6. Discussion about how and where i have to test it
7. In between maybe something about altitude
 

campo

Adventurer
As calculated above I need something between 6000 and 10.000 Watts as maximum heat capacity.
If I take the smallest 6.000 I will have difficulties to warm the RV up in case of cold starts.
But if I do not let cool down the interior in these extreme situation at -40°C up to -50°C then I can do it with only 6.000 Watt.
When I take the 10.000 Watt versions I will not use this maximal power for more than 95% of the heating and travelling time.
Remember that in overnight situations in tempered climate zones I will only need 500 Watt heat capacity.
You understand that a heater of 10.000 Watt can than become a problematic solution.
It runs constantly too cold on idle and wil commute between its off and low positions and never reach its good warm functioning level.
The too cold combustion for very long periods can cause soot formation. .
.
The 3 main reasons to decide for 2 heaters instead of 1 are;
- Larger heat range possible between minimum and maximum power stages.
- The best of two worlds (take the advantages of an air heater AND the advantages of a water heater.)
- Have some redundancy. It is important accessory .Without heater your trip is over.
.
The AirtronicD2 warm air heater is certainly one of the best products that was ever made by Eberspächer of Esslingen Germany.
It is very reliable and relatively easy to install.
At the first start it goes quickly up a sort of turbo heating level (2.200 Watt) but once that the ambient is on living temperature it
commutes deeper down until a sort of idling modus (850 Watt) is reached where you can almost not hear it any more.
This makes it the most comfortable heater for overnight sleeping in silence.
I will put only one central warm air outlet in the middle of the compact interior to avoid long lines and losses.
.
.Airtronic_D2_D4.jpg
.
.

Why is there a need to also have a Hydronic D5 warm coolant heater ?
Because I need a warm water heater for the calorifier and the 2 grey and black water exterior tanks.
The coolant loop inside these calorifier (boiler) will take up like maximum 1500 to 2000 Watt when the sanitary 20 to 40 litres are cold like +5°C.
This for only a short period until the boiler is warm.
The Hydronic D5 water heater will also have to regulate.
It has as maximum power 4.800 Watt medium is 2.100 Watt and the most important is small with 1.200 Watt.
Remember why small is beautiful.
The heaters will run for extreme long periods on the lowest power level and only shorter periods in medium and high.
If the lowest power level is like 2.500 Watt it will continuously commute between off and on what is not funny at all.
That is why a Eberspächer Hydronic D5 is for me the best.
The water system will be complex to install with different heat exchangers all over and including a special electrical 3 way valve regulation
on the exterior tank heating loops.
Also 3 different temperature controllers and ventilation speed regulation will be installed on this system like for the garage and bathroom.
.
.
kit H2 SDC14033.jpg
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These Eberspächer (called Espar in North America) gasoil (=diesel) heaters function down to -40°C according the technical descriptions.
For some military applications they are released down to -46°C. For deeper temperatures, if you can find them somewhere on the
planet, there will be no warranty anymore :wings:
Most vehicles for that low temperatures are build for only Artic use and are not comfortable at all.
.
The alternative product would be to take the Webasto Airtop 2000ST (2000 – 900 Watt) + Thermotop Pro 50 eco (5000-2.500 Watt) water heater.
The main disadvantages of the Webasto’s are that the heat and regulation range of both these comparable heaters is less wide than with the Eberspächer chose specially on the low heat side.
The other disadvantage is that the Webasto combustion principle is one that needs maintenance.
Other features for the expedition vehicle are for me less relevant in my comparison.
.
Regards Campo
 

campo

Adventurer
Airtronic D2 air heater.
Underseat position next to 24V air conditioning compressors.
One central warm air outlet.
.
.



.
.
Hydronic 5 water heater position with electrical and thermostatic tank regulation watervalve.
Above is the distance command panel for some extra electrical 24VDC heaters

20140905_213029.jpg

.
Parts of the ventilation inlet system

red ventilatiebakje.jpg
.
Deep in the garage are som technical distribution centers, individual valves.
The calorifier, sanitary water pump, filters and the garage heating sytem for the fresh water tank.
Here uncovered.
.
20140824_153912.jpg
.
.
In the garage there is a 350 litres watertank
positioned in the middle on the chassis.
300kg winchlift and available space are enough for things like BMW 600
Also partly uncovered for the picture.
.


.
.


3 speed water air heat exchanger with 2000 Watts for the bathroom
Type is Helios 2000
Here is the uncovered built picture.
.
20140201_210320.jpg
.
.
The place for the dog is on the floor
.
red Zitgroep SDC19928.jpg
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

biotect

Designer
Hi campo,

Well, I finally had some time available to finish up the long series of posts, #90 to #112, in which I rough-ballpark the TerraLiner's windowing requirements, at http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/130958-Camper-Thermal-Engineering-for-Extreme-Cold-amp-High-Altitude-Arctic-Antarctica-Tibet/page9 , http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/130958-Camper-Thermal-Engineering-for-Extreme-Cold-amp-High-Altitude-Arctic-Antarctica-Tibet/page10 , http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/130958-Camper-Thermal-Engineering-for-Extreme-Cold-amp-High-Altitude-Arctic-Antarctica-Tibet/page11 , and http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/130958-Camper-Thermal-Engineering-for-Extreme-Cold-amp-High-Altitude-Arctic-Antarctica-Tibet/page12 .

The conclusion in post #112 runs as follows:


*****************************************


16. Conclusion


*****************************************



You get the picture: I am imagining a TerraLiner with lots of natural daylighting. As I wrote in post #104, for me lots of natural daylighting is a symbolic as well as an aesthetic requirement:

....the light-filled “open-ness” of the VW Microbus seems to symbolize that it has nothing to hide; that it is curious about the world; and that it wants to “see” the world through as many windows as possible (no less than 23, in the Samba version). So for me, generous windowing is as much a symbolic, psychological, and almost "political" consideration, as it is an aesthetic one, a matter of designing an interior that will be filled with lots of natural daylight.
But I also understand how wanting so much window-surface, in a motorhome that is supposed to handle Arctic conditions, might seem a bit contradictory. I don't know if it can be done, or what is necessary to make it feasible. But if could be feasible, and the fuel-consumption that so much windowing might entail could be kept within acceptable limits, then this is what I would prefer to design.

Now the R-values for a bonded, curved, single-pane front window will be much worse than the R-values for the KCT windows. But this is true for all fully integrated motorhomes, as well as for van conversions. So the motorhome industry has come up with various solutions, as described above. Once again, perhaps the most elegant solution I've seen thus far are the blinds installed in the "Charisma" motorhome by Concorde:


Charisma Cab Area 3.jpg


I don't know the R-value of KCT windows, and could not find the information on their website. And of course the R-value of the windshield at the front of the motorhome will be anyone's guess. It will all depend on its thickness, the manufacturer, the glass technology used, etc…… This is very technical information, and it's probably not the kind of information that would be easily available on-line.

As things stand, however, you could probably do a pretty good rough-ballpark calculation for the TerraLiner using the following figures:


(1) Camper Box 9.5 m long, running from 1.6 m above grade to 3.95 m above grade, i.e. 2.35 m high.

(2) Double-pane or triple-pane windows: 10.83 m[SUP]2[/SUP]

(3) Single-pane front panoramic window: 5.5 m[SUP]2 [/SUP]

(4) Three skylights, double-pane or triple-pane, appox. 3.0 m[SUP]2[/SUP]


But as suggested above, all of these windows and skylights should be equipped with very effective "roller thermal shades", so that during the night they would be more effectively insulated against heat loss. And during the day, the same roller blinds and/or smart glass could render them opaque and resistant to solar gain.

So campo: if you still have time/interest in running the calculations for the TerraLiner, here are some additional suggestions:


(a) The camper box has gotten a bit bigger: it's now 10 m long, x 2.35 m high

(b) For the sake of simplicity of calculations, you could use a figure of 11 m[SUP]2 [/SUP] for the double-pane windows on the sides of the camper box, and whatever R-value that your own double-pane windows have.

(c) Same regarding the skylights: whatever R-value your own skylights have, for approximately 3.0 m[SUP]2 [/SUP].

(d) The single-pane front panoramic window will now be segmented, as discussed in posts #871 to #875 and posts #907 to #911, at http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/124789-Fully-Integrated-MAN-or-TATRA-6x6-or-8x8-Expedition-RV-w-Rigid-Torsion-Free-Frame/page88 , http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/124789-Fully-Integrated-MAN-or-TATRA-6x6-or-8x8-Expedition-RV-w-Rigid-Torsion-Free-Frame/page91 , and http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/124789-Fully-Integrated-MAN-or-TATRA-6x6-or-8x8-Expedition-RV-w-Rigid-Torsion-Free-Frame/page92 .

These panes of glass will be flat and easily replaceable, but they will also have to be made of safety glass, the kind that shatters into small bits when struck. I am not sure if “double pane safety glass” exists. So for now, for calculation purposes just assume that the front windshield is a single-pane sheet of glass 5.5 m[SUP]2[/SUP] . Just like the window in the Burstner Panorama.

(e) It would be great to know what the thermal load would be when all windows are covered by thermal shades, as discussed in posts #106 to #112, at http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/130958-Camper-Thermal-Engineering-for-Extreme-Cold-amp-High-Altitude-Arctic-Antarctica-Tibet/page11 and http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/130958-Camper-Thermal-Engineering-for-Extreme-Cold-amp-High-Altitude-Arctic-Antarctica-Tibet/page12 . But of course this all depends on just how thermally efficient the thermal roller shades will be, once they cover the windows. Perhaps using an R-value somewhere mid-way between the R-value of an uncovered double-pane window, and the R-value of a 6 cm thick wall, could provide at least a "rough ballpark" estimate?

(f) Finally, I am particularly keen to know what the thermal requirement would be in Siberian winter, assuming:

  • All outside walls are 6 cm thick
  • The floor and ceiling are at least 10 cm thick
  • Average daily temperatures in the Siberian winter: -30[SUP]o [/SUP]C ; frequent lows of -40[SUP]o [/SUP]C ; extreme occasional lows of -50[SUP]o [/SUP]C .
If it's a choice between a thicker floor or a thicker ceiling, which would you choose? In the DoLeoni MAN KAT posted earlier in the thread, the floor is 14 cm thick, and the ceiling 10 cm thick -- see http://www.doleoni.com/wp/en/man-kat-1-a1/ . Any idea why the floor of the DoLeoni MAN-KAT would be more heavily insulated than the ceiling?

Anyway, looking forward to your posts about on-board electrical heating systems, if only because (as you know) I am contemplating an “all-electric-heating” set up, thereby eliminating the problem of diesel heating at high altitude.

All best wishes,


Biotect
 
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