What to do on a Sunday…Pimp Your Camper!

You might remember some time ago I fitted a fan unit and ducting to give me blown air heating in the van. It made a massive impact, providing heat quicker than the conventional fire, and spreading that heat around the van instead of it all gathering together on the ceiling.

However some weeks go I went to get the plastic case that holds my spare bulbs and found it was melted on top. It had been lying under the ducting that I’d fitted. The ducting is a light foil coated with paper. Clearly, it’s not enough to carry the heat that comes through from the fire, so I decided to fit pipe the same as the exhaust flue has. This is a quite robust, flexible metal pipe, with the other ducting acting as a sheath around it. However it’s not easy to come by so it’s only now that I managed to find some, at Perthshire caravans. Great place, got all that you could and at the right price too.

So, I started the job at 9:30 this morning, and finished around 3:30 this afternoon! To be fair, It took me almost 3 hours to drive back to Perthshire caravans as I didn’t realise I needed a new O ring, and I accidentally crushed the circular flange that pushes the O ring into place anyway. I find out later, Truma say you must replace all of these when you replace the exhaust ducting so, just as well really.

It was the devils own job to get the pipe into place. It’s thin metal and flexible, but if you want a proper bend on it you’ve got to give it some to get it to bend how you want. Working in the confined space with loads of jagged edges wasn’t at all easy. I had to take the fan out to access the space, and when I did I also saw that the sheath on the power lead that feeds the fan was cracked, and the dump valve pipe wasn’t in it’s hole. *sigh* So I rewired the fan back to the distribution box, disconnected the inline water filter, and set about forcing the dump valve pipe through the hole with the overflow pipe in. A squirt of Wd 40 helped it along as did several choice swear words 🙂

When all was done, I put it back together and put the fan on and…nothing! Not even a puff of air tut. The fan was going at a rate of knots, but was blowing nothing, and not even sweet nothings either. Luckily the pipe to the blown air outlet had come off. I hadn’t secured it properly into the flange so I got a good grip and rammed it home baby. That’s not coming back out in a hurry!

Fan on, beautiful! Copious breezes of cool air. Pressure is really good from that fan so when I need the fire on, I only leave the heat on low and the fan on medium. I find this warms the van really quickly and the thermostat keeps it lovely and comfy.
Of all the things I’ve fitted over the years this is one of the best, especially so as I sit at the computer for 8 hours a day working, so sometimes I really feel the cold.

Total price for the new pipes etc: £65 Ease of job: Medium Stress level: friggin high!

All done now though so, bring on the winter! 🙂

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