Richard's Pop Up Mods

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  coolbreeze1 on Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:52 pm

abivens wrote:thanks, I am feeling much better. I think the doctor ordered some hammock time after a grilled hamburger lunch with my camping club! Yep that would hit the spot
I thought the doc said you needed to start watching what you eat and I don't mean looking at it. Very Happy
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  abivens on Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:22 pm

your right cool, I was just daydreamin'
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:31 am

Eat the burgers. After all, you don't want to live forever. Short happy life. That's the ticket.

Still, I keep getting older and I don't do any of the right things. Razz
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  abivens on Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:23 pm

The Lord may be afraid of the mods you would want to do to your cloud and harp once you get there.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  merrykalia on Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:18 pm

abivens wrote:The Lord may be afraid of the mods you would want to do to your cloud and harp once you get there.


Now that's funny!!! But you are probably right,

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:09 am

Yikes, you mean that's not allowed. I was thinking of adding a bottle opener to the harp. Just in case I someday take Chuck up on that beer he offered me way back when when he camped with us. I miss telling him, "maybe later."

Plus the cloud would look sporty if I added some taillight fins from an old Cadilliac. Surprised

And maybe something made from a board, some old coat hangers, a baby stroller and a lot of duct tape.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  abivens on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:11 pm

don't forget the drain right smack in the middle of the floor, lol
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:55 pm

That drain comes in handy with my plumbing mods!

I've found several cool mods on popupoportal.com. They just aren't for things I want. I'm planning on rebuilding my Factorial DTV Antenna with foil tape and plexiglass. I've got to find a scrap piece of plexiglass first. Thinking about it, I suppose any stiff sheet of plastic would work, as the TV signal doesn't care about clear or opaque. Perhaps an old thin cutting board. It has to be plastic so it's non-conductive. The foil tape should work, as cell phones use "printed" factorial antennas. The copper one I made before is just too fragile. Coat hangers are stiff enough, but brittle and hard to bend just right.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:00 pm

Well it ain't first class but it ain't white trash,
It's old and a little shaky too.
Some folks don't like campers like mine.
Aww, but my kids do.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  merrykalia on Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:15 pm

Richard wrote:Well it ain't first class but it ain't white trash,
It's old and a little shaky too.
Some folks don't like campers like mine.
Aww, but my kids do.


My kids like yours, too!!!!

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:33 am

Well, I've built a new antenna (again). This one is like the one that Kim calls my boat paddle, except it looks better. The 4 "bow ties" is my best one to date. The one made on the wooden board stopped working in the rain, because the wet wood became conductive. This one is made onto PCV, so it shouldn't have the same problems. It fits on the mast I made out of electrical conduit, so it will be easy to set-up and I unzip to reach through the side-wall to change/adjust the direction.

I'm also experimenting with an improved wi-fi antenna called a "Cantenna". It's a "waveguide" style that is made from an old chunky soup can. It's still a work in progress.

I had Miss Danger setup in "camp driveway" all winter. When I packed it up yesterday, I was reminded that I haul too much stuff. My problem is that I store most of my camping stuff in the camper, and it all goes along. I've got to learn to store the stuff in the garage, and just keep the things in the camper that I use every single time I go, and a handful of things that are often used (Like extra blankets). That would make set-up and takedown a lot faster. The popping up and down isn't the issue, it's the un-packing and then later re-packing everything that eats so much time. Those cabinets are right on the floor, and it's awkward for a big man like me to bend and stoop that much in such tight spaces. I've just gotta take less stuff, or be more inventive with easy storage of the stuff I do take.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  KralCamper on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:07 pm

Sounds like a great plan, only take what you know you'll need and then a few extras for each trip. It's been working for us, and we find the set-up and tear down is much faster and easier.

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:12 pm

So far, the wi-fi "Can-tenna" is a flop. I've got to go back and check those design specs on the internet.

I did have success with another project though. My Black & Decker Firestorm batteries got to the point of not holding a change long enough to drive a single screw, or run any of the other tools. It's the 18-volt model. (Seems there isn't an overcharge protection on Black & Decker's chargers, and contrary to the instructions, I left my batteries on the charger all the time when I wasn't actively using them. They were fried, and the new batteries were going to cost more than the tools did WITH the batteries.

Problem solved! My wife bought a little cheapo 18-volt drill from Harbor Freight. The motor in this cheap drill can't handle tough jobs. Still, I noticed that the actual battery was about the same size and shape. I waited until Harbor Freight had the "spare" 18-volt batteries on sale for $12.00 and got one. I opened up both the cheapo and the B&D batteries, and what do you know. The insides were a bunch of rechargeable c-cells welded together on both. They were laid out the same way. I took the cells out of the "new cheapo" and put them into the B&D case as one big unit, taking care not to separate any, soldered the contacts into place, and it works like a dream.

No more buying those expensive replacement batteries for me. I'm amazed at how easy it was. The cells were a perfect fit. Two drops of solder, re-assemble case and I was done.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  SouthWestyKim on Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:06 am

The man is a genius I tell ya..........................
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  coolbreeze1 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:43 pm

SouthWestyKim wrote:The man is a genius I tell ya..........................

I don't know if I would go that far!
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:35 pm

SouthWestyKim wrote:The man is a genius I tell ya..........................

Well, not a genius, but inventive. And I have an antenna that DOESN'T look like a boat paddle. Since I'm camping close to Kim and Carolyn, I had to class up the pup a bit. I'm considering giving Miss Danger her annual Bath. She won't like it, but her top's no longer anything close to white.

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:54 pm

Well I built another "wi-fi cantenna" and it works this time. It's a directional wifi antenna made by mounting a wi-fi "dongle" in a tin can. The version that worked for me is a 4-inch diameter coffee can. I stopped guessing at the specifics and used the calculator here: http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html.

It seems that my first version was a 3.25 inch can and I would have done better to have taped two cans together, and to mount the dongle further from the back of the can. With this 4-inch can the dongle placement is 1.72 inches from the back of the can. I just cut a hole in the can with a hack saw, bent the sharp edges back and shoved the dongle about 3/4 of the way through. (A dongle is a wi-fi adaptor that looks kind of like a usb thumb drive, they sell for between $6 and $15. I connect it to the computer with a USB extension cord.

I'm consistently getting about a 50% stronger signal when it's aimed properly. Far poorer signal when it's not aimed correctly. It also seems to work better when the dongle is vertical. I'll be working on mounting it to some sort of base so the aim sill stay true. Note, the longer the can, the better the boost, but the more critical the aim. This one is pretty forgiving.

I'm surprised that this actually works.
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Warming up the propane tank

Post  Richard on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:06 pm

I understand the idea of using electric heat in the campgrounds, since you are paying for electric anyway. A full tank of propane only costs me $15, gives about 20 to 25 hours of run time, and really warms up the PUP fast. When used with the heat strip in the ac blowing, it doesn't have to kick on very often. The down side is that the fan is loud.

I have had a problem with the furnace not firing up when the weather is cold, like into the mid 20's. It tries three times to light, and if it can't, it times itself out for an hour. It won't light unless the fan is running, but the fan runs fine. Well cold is when when I need it most. Some research on the national pop-up forums educated me a bit. Proppane doesn't actually freeze up at temperatures found naturally on earth, so that's not it. Propane in the tank is a liquid, but what burns is the vapor/gas state. When liquid expands to vapor it produces a cooling effect,which amplifies the problem caused by the outside temps. When it's warmer out, the liquid gassifies easily, and plentifully. Think of a pot boiling with the stove on high. Lots of steam, lots of volume, lots of pressure.

In the cold it is more like that same pot barely simmering, or just warm like the coffee pot warmer. It's just too cold to get the vaporization and pressure built up. I thought of putting the propane tank and lines inside the camper, but the inconvenienc and high danger kept that from happening. So what to do?

Over the last few nights I've done a succesful experiment. I slapped together a makeshift loose cover for the tank that included room for a 60 watt incandesent light bulb. Plenty of ventalation, though not on purpose. It worked like a charm. the light bulb gave just enough heat to keep the propane working as it should. My next step will be to use refletix or something similar to construct a foldable/storable cover that is easy to deploy and take down. This cover has to have a good spot for the light b ulb and base that will keep the heat in, allow for ventalation (for safety) and not let the light bulb touch either the tank or the sides. It will have to come on and off as it wouldn't be able to stand up to the wind during towing.

I have already done one other propane tank mod. I replaced the nuts and bolts that helt the tank on with pins that have bails (like the ones that hold the gate up on a utility trailer, or that are used on farm equipment. It's a lot faster to take the tank off, and requires no tools.

I'll also be replacing the drain hose with industrial grade thick walled stuff that was given to me at work (ordered wrong size for equipment, but it was the right size for my drain, so they gave it to me). That will be a pain, as they put the stuff in hard to access parts of the cabinetry.

My electronics also are due for a simplification, but that will be in the next post.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:22 pm

Complexity is the issue with my electronics. I have the flat screen TV that several of you previously owned. It is not digital, but I like it a lot. I have a digital converter that I use with my homemade digital antenna. It works great. I also have a Xfinity/Comcast provided Digital Signal Converter that is required for my home cable to work. It is used instead of the digital converter box. It also works great. My final piece is the portable DVD player. It will work stand-alone on the little 7-inch screen, but also works with the TV via the AV inputs. All of these devices have their own remotes, which are required for easy operation, even though the unit itself is often within arms reach.

I wind up with a big tangle of wires and too much time to set-up. I have to have a multi-outlet power strip, as each device also has it's own power cord. A digital TV with a built-in DVD player would solve the problem, but regular readers of this thread know that's just not my style.

I plan to find a way to keep these things set-up and wired up, with the "tangle" all managed neatly, possibly inside the cabinetry. The problem is that everything has to fold down in a pop-up, and household electronics have to be padded for transport. I may not hit the full goal, but I will certainly get this more simplified than it is right now. I'll post photos of the process when I get it all figured out.

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  chuck on Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:13 pm

Richard wrote:I understand the idea of using electric heat in the campgrounds, since you are paying for electric anyway. A full tank of propane only costs me $15, gives about 20 to 25 hours of run time, and really warms up the PUP fast. When used with the heat strip in the ac blowing, it doesn't have to kick on very often. The down side is that the fan is loud.

I have had a problem with the furnace not firing up when the weather is cold, like into the mid 20's. It tries three times to light, and if it can't, it times itself out for an hour. It won't light unless the fan is running, but the fan runs fine. Well cold is when when I need it most. Some research on the national pop-up forums educated me a bit. Proppane doesn't actually freeze up at temperatures found naturally on earth, so that's not it. Propane in the tank is a liquid, but what burns is the vapor/gas state. When liquid expands to vapor it produces a cooling effect,which amplifies the problem caused by the outside temps. When it's warmer out, the liquid gassifies easily, and plentifully. Think of a pot boiling with the stove on high. Lots of steam, lots of volume, lots of pressure.

In the cold it is more like that same pot barely simmering, or just warm like the coffee pot warmer. It's just too cold to get the vaporization and pressure built up. I thought of putting the propane tank and lines inside the camper, but the inconvenienc and high danger kept that from happening. So what to do?

Over the last few nights I've done a succesful experiment. I slapped together a makeshift loose cover for the tank that included room for a 60 watt incandesent light bulb. Plenty of ventalation, though not on purpose. It worked like a charm. the light bulb gave just enough heat to keep the propane working as it should. My next step will be to use refletix or something similar to construct a foldable/storable cover that is easy to deploy and take down. This cover has to have a good spot for the light b ulb and base that will keep the heat in, allow for ventalation (for safety) and not let the light bulb touch either the tank or the sides. It will have to come on and off as it wouldn't be able to stand up to the wind during towing.

I have already done one other propane tank mod. I replaced the nuts and bolts that helt the tank on with pins that have bails (like the ones that hold the gate up on a utility trailer, or that are used on farm equipment. It's a lot faster to take the tank off, and requires no tools.

I'll also be replacing the drain hose with industrial grade thick walled stuff that was given to me at work (ordered wrong size for equipment, but it was the right size for my drain, so they gave it to me). That will be a pain, as they put the stuff in hard to access parts of the cabinetry.

My electronics also are due for a simplification, but that will be in the next post.

regardless of the cost.. reaching over and plugging in my $30 electric heater.. just seems easy.

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:43 pm

Indeed, Chuck, you are right, considering that you have real walls, rather than canvas.
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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:52 pm

Yikes, I looked in Miss Danger when I got home from work. My light bulb in the cabinet was out. No idea how long it has been out. My central floor drain may come in really handy again this spring due to frozen plumbing or water heater. I hope not. I did not see any obvious water puddled around. We will see when I put pressure on it.

That, my friends is why I should have drained the water heater and blown out the water lines with compressed air. Bulbs do not notify you when they blow.
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Moisture in propane??

Post  gwtriker on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:48 pm

The problem with your loss of propane flow when it's below freezing may be caused by moisture in your propane ... not necessarily liquid water but water vapors. In addition to the cold temps, as the higher pressure propane gas in the tank passes thru the pressure reducing valve it is further cooled. The valve has a very small oriface ... any moisture in the gas freezes, forming little ice crystals that can / will plug it. Your adding some heat (light bulb) keeps the crystals from forming

We lived in upstate New York with a 1000 gallon propane tank sitting on the ground exposed to really cold temps with no problems. Propane used for heat, hot water and cloths dryer ... big demand compared to rv heater.

Check the web for ways to dry out your tank


Last edited by gwtriker on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:01 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Richard's Pop Up Mods

Post  Richard on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:08 pm

Thanks for the tip on the water vapor Triker. I will see if I can find a way to remedy this.
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