Time for a an update. I've continued to tinker a little bit with Rusty but mostly these days I'm just enjoying it. We've put 16k on it in the last year and a half or so for a grand total of 35k. It's hard to believe it's so young yet so old.
Anyway, in the south we need AIR CONDITIONING! Actually, mostly we just need it for dehumidifying. "It's not the heat, it's the humidity". I had thought about this idea for awhile but it was on the fence due to having to cut my front screen. My pop top is older before the screens zipped out. Many thanks to Mpfreivald (username) for pushing me over the edge. You can read about this cheap and easy mod here:
I did essentially the same thing, but with a couple of small things different, mostly for my personal storage needs. Everyone's floorplan and personal needs are different so I wanted to show a different idea of how storing this setup can be minimized. Also, my PH fabric is old and in pretty bad shape. I recently tore the clear plastic on one of my rear windows. The shock cord around it is breaking down, and it just basically needs replacement sooner or later. I priced new fabric at about $800. I figure if this doesn't work out it will just put me closer to getting new fabric, and modding it for the air before I install it.
First, and worst, cut the screen.
There is a pretty big overlap in the canvas and screen, at least on my van. So much so that I was able to add a few snaps to the screen so I can put it back together when not using the air conditioner. The slits up the sides are still there of but I'm considering some strip magnets or something if it's a problem. Of course, I can still close up the front canvas and just not have the window and everthing is still usable. I can even adjust the zipper to just have either corner of the front canvas opened.
To install the AC, unsnap the screen and roll it cleanly down with the canvas
Here's the frame and support I came up with, essentially the same as Mpfreivald's, but it breaks down a little smaller for storage. No PVC is glued.
With AC in place the cord can be routed behind the front counter where I put in a receptacle for the coffee pot.
Then I made a cardboard template and replaced it with a fluorescent light diffuser from Lowe's ($10). These are very flexible thin plastic in a variety of styles. I chose a cracked glass looking one that would still let plenty of light in with the air conditioner in place.
Once I got it right I cut it so I could store it easier. I attached it in the middle with a LOT of packing tape, still flexible but won't fail for awhile and you can hardly tell it's there.
For now I'm using pipe insulation to seal everything, but it's kind of bulky and a pain to put all the little pieces in place. Still just about two minutes to set this up but not ideal IMO.
Here's another big reason I hesitated on doing this. Where to store? I didn't want to have to make room for lots of random, odd shaped pieces. Here is the AC stored, which won't need to go with us except for summer trips.
And here's everything else
The bag with the frame and insulation is light so it goes in the roof box and the clear plastic goes folded behind the driver's seat.
Thanks again to Mpfreivald for a great idea to build on!
More to come............probably