Dreadlocks outfitting of InTech Discover

dreadlocks

Well-known member
Good riddens Mr Buddy.

Picked up a Wave 6 heater for a really good deal outta Amazon Warehouse, it had a corner of the packaging slightly damaged but contents were perfectly fine.. $220/shipped. (got a cover too)

I'm going with a dual LP heater strategy, so this will end up being our secondary heater soon.. but its cheaper so its getting installed first so I can have it for this Labor Day weekend (9000ft+ planned).. I am still installing a Propex HS2800 furnace because I want a thermostat controlled heater (wont overheat on mild nights and desert/mountain temp swings are pretty dramatic, with fixed output whats enough when you go to sleep can be entirely inadequate by morning) Safe enough I can leave running with kids/dogs inside unsupervised.. potentially even heating while driving in the winter..

I cant find a higher output propane furnace that can exhaust through the floor, is efficient with power/gas and has US distributors for service. Truma VarioHeat Comfort looks really nice but with so few reviews online and no local service its too much of a gamble to import IMO.. I considered Diesel Heaters but adding another fuel tank and more issues at altitude didnt seem worth it and I like the idea of redundancy/combined output w/out an additional electrical penalty.
I really doubt this size camper w/poorly insulated canvas popouts can be sufficiently heated with 9500 BTU and high altitude which reduces output further due to lack of combustable oxygen.. The idea is on really cold nights run wave 6 on low as base heat and use the furnace/thermostat to maintain a set point.. and if furnace cycles to frequently or I want to warm everything up in a hurry I can flip the wave6 to med or high.. and if one or the other fails or gives me trouble (low batt) I have the other one as backup.

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This is temporary until I install the Propex, then I'll make copper pipe distribution manfiold w/valves hooked to copper tubing connecting the heaters, perhaps a quick disconnect port just because it might be useful one day.

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Because how the spare tire is mounted above the LP tank I cant use my distribution pole anymore.. Since I'm trying to reduce the 1# tanks I carry I got a distribution T that lets me hookup high pressure devices outside.. I got a lantern holder I bungee to the tongue for kitchen light so this will usually be connected to it.

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I also ordered a sediment filter to put between that regulator and tank for extra heater insurance, but it's yet to arrive as that was not prime shipping heh.
 
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dreadlocks

Well-known member
Took it back to Pitkin (9400ft) for Labor Day weekend, first night the heater on high did not keep up and there was a dramatic temp swing from the main cabin to the bunks.. so we drove into Gunnison and got 3 rolls of Reflectix from Ace Hardware and insulated the bunk windows, the next night I ran the heater on medium and it stayed 65 degrees while it was 38 outside.. Wife wanted it a little warmer and Sunday night I ran it on high and woke up to it at 72F and it was raining outside all morning so having a warm cozy cabin was very awesome.. This right here is what got me out of a tent and into a camper, being able to sleep w/a heat source on and no worry about everyone not waking up.. Over all really like the Wave 6, Really quiet and easy to light.. way better than any Buddy heater Ive had over the years.. but baby was not allowed out of play pin or beds while it was running and that kinda annoyed everyone and I'm now certain that if 6k btu (at altitude, so less) is only giving me 25+ degrees of heating, that the biger propex wont be enough alone for sub freezing temps.

We were rather liberal with our power consumption all weekend, radio all day, lights on all day once we added the reflectex because it blacked it out on inside nicely.. had to run generator on Sunday to charge it back up, but only took a few hours to top it back off which was quite amazing.. Some big honkin solar panels up top should do wonders.

My wife and son went on a short hike together, only about 45mins out from camp.. they did simplex radio checks with me back at base camp with the handhelds and we had good comms as long as I was outside the trailer.. everyone was quite impressed with the range and once I finally get this repeater installed it'll only get better.. down at the fishing hole about a mile away me and my eldest son were able to order lunch from ma and have it delivered, cheers to the good life.

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Reflectix made all the difference in the world
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Wildlife Tally:
28 Hawks
6 Buzzards
4 Mule Deer
3 Marmots
1 Golden Eagle
1 Skunk
 
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Grassland

Well-known member
How tongue heavy are you right now, out of curiosity? (Without motorized cargo in the rear)

And the reflectix in the tent ends is just between the screen and the zip up flaps on three ends?
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
I havent been on calibrated scales, I used the bathroom scale method and came up ~700# IIRC.. its a lil more than I'd like but my air suspension does fine and im not loosing any sleep over it.. I put 1200# of tile in the hatch once and the bags managed to lift em up from loading position and make it home just fine, tho you definitely felt it.

and yeah you just zip up the reflectix between the screen and flaps, store em under the mattress.
 

Grassland

Well-known member
I havent been on calibrated scales, I used the bathroom scale method and came up ~700# IIRC.. its a lil more than I'd like but my air suspension does fine and im not loosing any sleep over it.. I put 1200# of tile in the hatch once and the bags managed to lift em up from loading position and make it home just fine, tho you definitely felt it.

and yeah you just zip up the reflectix between the screen and flaps, store em under the mattress.
Yeah that's getting a bit much for tongue. But I hear you for your rig being OK with it, and in your comfort zone.
Its the problem with Toy Hauler arrangements. If you have no intention, or even if you do intend to haul toys, its so easy to load up the tongue.
With the one window, door window, and the roof vent, is it still super dark on a bright day inside? Or is it only really dreary days that it seems gloomy, with the reflectix that is.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
with the reflectix in the windows its dark inside, you could nap in middle of day or sleep in easy.. all the canvas that is not the windows is basically opaque and so is the insulation.. but I dont mind, lights are really good.. without insulation the popout windows let alot of light in, open or closed.. I'm thinking of putting some of my heavy duty neo magnets in corners of vent and windows so I can put up insulation around them for winter camping.. it'd black out inside w/lights off.

Tongue its the main reason why I went with a single lithium, 30lbs vs 180lbs in battery.. I'm thinking of putting a composite LP tank on it, to save weight and so I can visually check level.. but as it is it tows very well with my rig, Ive towed many tandem axles on leafs and these tandem torsion axles are amazing.. it just glides down rough roads and over bridge gaps, even with speed.. and now that I'm towing on air I dont know if I can ever go back to springs on my TV.
 

Agfadoc

New member
You've done a great job.

It looks like you were taking pictures with the countertop off while doing the new inverter. Is that how you had so much access to the battery area?

I had a popup for many years and the reflectix in the windows and on the roof was a lifesaver. I plan to get a thermal blanket that will sit on top of the bed pull out as a protector and insulator of the bed. I also lined the bed under the matterss with Refelectix not knowing for sure if it did anything, but on a popup all that was under you was a piece of plywood.

My first mod will be a battleborn battery, Victron monitor, and an inverter upgrade, it's a chunk of change, but it's not like we opted for the cheapest trailers either. Mine has the detachable chord and I can't get to it right now but I am hoping the area behind the inverter wont be an issue with no chord storage. 2nd mod will be the wave 6 or 8, but I have to plumb in a 20# tank somewhere. Maybe just go with a 10# as it will only run the heater. (so I plan for now.)

Read the lipo install in the other thread, any additional tips would be great, was wiring up the new inverter as easy as it looks?
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
the counter top has a hinge and some hydraulic lifts so the original fridge could be accessed from the inside when it was closed, you can see part of it in post #3.. I have not taken any photos of this feature, should take some.. but yeah thats how I got easy access to the battery compartment.. easy is a relitave thing,

By inverter (DC to AC) you mean converter (AC to DC)? I dont have an inverter yet.. thats waiting til post-solar install.. mebe mid season I'll have one.. I'm eyeing the Victron 1200VA unit, very low idle consumption and very high efficiency and surge capability.. should be good enough to run coffee maker and microwave w/out firing up genny.

The converter upgrade was a significant pain in the neck, literally.. my back hurts thinking about it.. the shore power cable box (that the BatteryProtect is mounted onto) interfered with the new converter, I had to take a notch out of the corner of that box and the only thing that I could use to make the cut was an Oscillating Plunge blade.. but once I made the clearance it was just wiring it back up which was pretty easy.

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yeah its expensive gear, but I've tried to do this cheap before and was not happy with the results.. not pissing my money away this time.
 
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dreadlocks

Well-known member
moar heat, installed propex hs2800 to prepare for some early season adventuring.. now I got ~16k BTU of LP heat and a 1500W 120V heater, should be good for anything nature throws my way.. (I know famous last words eh)

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Still needa clean up some of the wiring and mount that dangling intake pipe.. I'm parked about 6in away from the fence so I cant really work over there very well with ice still on the ground.. will button that up when I yank trailer out later.

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With sides up in back yard it took very little effort to maintain 72F inside with it in the 20F outside overnight, saving gas to test again on a single digit night.. but I feel pretty confident I can do full winter camping in snow if I just toss a few cots in here at least.. I see snowmobiles in the future.
 
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dreadlocks

Well-known member
Today I wired up a 12v to 5v voltage regulator w/a nicely soldered and shrink wrapped wiring harness, its hidden behind the speaker box.. it provides power for my handheld radio charger and a Bluetooth Trailer leveler. I didnt really like it when my wife would have to get between the car and the trailer to watch the level as I was backing up, now she can just focus on keeping me outta the trees and my phone will tell me how level the trailer is.

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The 6 Gang Radio charger is held down w/Velcro, I'm going to get some little brass hooks and use rubber bands or something like that to keep them from flying out of the charger while on the road.
 

mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
well I see it every day, but yeah.. It gets some looks, however I'm used to it.. before this my previous expedition rig was a Diesel Golf that I was the only owner of.

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Had Tow Bags on the back, loaded it up with about 1000# of gear for ~1500# total and 150lb on tongue and got an amazing 36mpg @ 75mph.. you can see the antenna for my GMRS repeater mounted to it, the flexible 50W panel was later replaced with a framed panel mounted to the bars sometime after this pic.. I was not very good about taking pics of this rig apparently.. held all our tent gear and with 2/3rds of the rear folded it still held my crew in the car (2 adults, 1 child, 2 dogs)

About the time we decided to have a 2nd kid, VW offered me nearly all my money back on a 4 year old 65k mile vehicle and I decided it was time to upsize everything since I had nearly paid it off.. Got a good deal on the Q7 because the premium on diesel engines vanished after the emissions scandal, and with the big cash payment its actually cheaper than the Golf was when I bought it.. there was a short time where people lost their minds and nobody wanted these fine vehicles and value fell out, its recovered a bit but still not like it was.. My dad wants a Diesel Merc Sprinter for his retirment and I looked hard in 2014 and nothing was within his means, but now were having trouble trying to decide which one would be best for him.. oh how the tables have turned, and its quite sad.
You mentioned tow bags. How were they installed and what kind were they? I have a Porsche Cayenne with steel suspension and airbags would be good for when I tow a trailer .
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
Firestone Air Spring Kit, you vacuum them down, squeeze em inside the springs and I pumped em up to pressure by hand to keep ass from sagging and being too bouncy..

I think I looked into the Touareg/Q7/Cayenne's capability to take these with their steel suspension, and IIRC they are unable due to the coilover design.. here's a pic of your springs: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Yv8AAOSwwmBcY0EE/s-l1600.jpg
As you can see, your not squeezing an air bag inside that.

Your not supposed to run weight distribution hitches either. I made Adaptive Air Suspension a requirement and stood firm on that; its oh so nice, I dunno if I'll go back to steel again for a tow vehicle.
 
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Teardropper

Active member
In your photo with the propane tank –is that a regulator to the left? I've never seen one that looks like plastic?

I've got the blue Propex I'll be installing in my next teardrop and I'll also be running a Partner stove off the same tank. Wondering if I'll need two regulators?

T
 
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