This month, several “first time use” items were tested and adjusted for the intended purpose, that is full time Motorhome.
As the electrical rear, middle and bins section were completed, I got the chance to see things at work like: water pump, air heater, water heater, fridge (full of food), shower, toilet, kitchen stove and sink.
It all started when a bush fire broke up in the paddock next door. We all had to help to put it out, and we did quite successfully, without any major losses other than a couple of the SES fire hose. At the end of the day, we had to go back into town to refill the water tank, so I got an extra 1ooo litres to fill the tanks inside Gigi.
First problem was that somehow if you put the water in too fast it does create an air pocket of about 150 litres between all the tanks. Eventually all the water went in, but I’ll have to sort the breather’s problem out.
Once the tanks were full and the water pump connected, I had to adjust the pressure as the pump was hovering around the 60 PSI, where I wanted to be around the 40 PSI to comply with the rest of the system. Easy fix by rotating the grub screw on the front of the pump anticlockwise.
After that, there were no more water issues. Every tap works and I even got from the US the Ultra Low Flow shower head that apparently can work with as little as 2.5 litres of water per minute. I should be able to review this thing in a week or two.
The air heater is just great. On level 3 (half way) out of six on the controller, it sets the temperature inside at a comfortable 22°. Considering that in the past few weeks the outside temperature at night has plummeted down to 5°, I find it remarkable how easy and quick it gets up to temperature. Then it automatically turns itself off until the temperature drops again below the setting, when it starts again but at a very low speed.
When it first start, the impeller does spin very fast to quickly reach the desired temperature and it is very loud. However, at the low speed, you can barely hear it spinning. When you think about the fact that it keeps you warm all night for less than a litre of diesel, you can only smile and feel good about. One thing that did surprise me a bit was the actual power consumption. At full speed, it does use as much power as the fridge. I then noticed, a little smell of diesel outside where the exhaust is, but only when you have just turned the unit off and only for few seconds. I guess that does make sense as the last bit of fuel in the burner is cooling off.
The fridge has also performed well so far. Full of food, it does cycle about 5 times in the 24 hours. The best part about it is that, at night, it only draws about 4 to 5% of the battery bank capacity, living me plenty of juice for everything else onboard.
With water onboard, the next item tested was the toilet. I’m happy to confirm that it really does work and feel like a normal home toilet. The flush is more like a jet spray as water does come out from several holes around the entire rim, making the dirty business disappear very quickly down the black hole into the tank.
I don’t think there is a real need for the hand spray, unless you are planning to have a shower while sitting on the loo.. 😀 There is no smell either, as it always retain a bit of water above the gate valve effectively making a double seal from the tank
The water heater once the timer controller was installed, did fire up straight away and within 15 minutes the water got really hot. Quite impressive. But there a couple of things that I don’t really like. The first one is the controller itself.. It is sold as a 7 day Digital timer and it is very expensive as well. Once you started to play with, you quickly realise that all you have is a three programmable times within 7 days. That it. That’s all it does. This will have to be replaced!
The second problem is the noise. It is very loud, much more than the air heater, so it will be a real problem if you are thinking of using it in a campground around other people. It doesn’t smell but even with the expensive larger exhaust muffler, is still ex