Sunday, June 30, 2013

brunnhilde's door catch

The door catch is a very important element of the thermal management for Brunnhide. For me the best way to keep the camper cool is to first try passive ventilation. If more help is needed try a solution that does not consume a lot of energy. In Brunnhide the skylight in the bathroom is the most important part of the ventilation. I rely on it when parked and camping. Depends on the weather I would leave it open in one of the three positions. The skylight sometimes is used in conjunction with the low power ventilation fan or just by natural cross ventilation with the other windows or the sliding door.

When I have a need for a solution in this compact camper I seldom turn to the RV products. To me most of these products are overpriced, poorly designed and absolute crap in quality. For instance, a RV-ready plastic wine glass for $7 plus shipping. I can buy a crystal one for crying out loud. I can buy a 6 wine glasses from Ikea for less.

the skylight in the bathroom is the most important element in the ventilation system
Obviously the bathroom's skylight is only useful if the bathroom door is open. For this I devised a simple door catch using bungee cord. This door catch is for keeping the door in the fully open position.While I won't willfully do, it is relatively safe when the vehicle is in motion.

no drilling required - it take advantage of the door latch
Keeping the door in the fully open position is often not possible when I am using the kitchen. For this I have been using a simple solution to keep the door open a crack but able to use the kitchen. The solution is also quite simple and also take advantage of the door latch.
door catch for keeping the door open just a crack
There is a catch with this simple solution. The vehicle must be parked pointing downhill so the door will naturally swings open due to gravity. For me this work most of the time as I tend to park point downhill.
 simple is good

I have been wanting to refine this such that it works regardless on how the vehicle is parked. Here is a prototype made of cardboard.
cardboard prototype
the prototype takes advantage of the door latch just like the version before it; however the door knob has to be turned to the closed and latch position
One of my design goal of this refined version is not to rely on the door latch. Instead I would use the shaft of the door latch mechanism. The reason is I want to minimize the wear and tear of the door latch mechanism. It took me about an hour's worth of elbow grease to make it once I firmed up on the fabrication method and material. Here is the final version.
some elbow grease

when not in use it does not impede the door's operation.
the strut holds the door open a crack in compression or tension

you cannot buy highly personal device like this

there is no need to turn the door knob to use the door catch - when the door is open hello kitty is sideways
when the door is closed and latched hello kitty is upright
Here in Portland, Oregon we are in stretch of scorcher days. Summer is generally very mild but each year we have a few stretches of dry and hot days when a high pressure parks itself in central Oregon. I have gotten quite good in thermal management strategies in my house. Yesterday the outside temperature for the good part of the day was over 90F (measured in the shade at the North side of the house). I manage to keep the inside of the house at 79F at 18:00 hour with passive management technique. Even though I have installed 2 mini-split air conditioning systems, over the years they get very little use.
outside temperature at 18:00 hour
living room temperature at 18:00 hour
mini-split ac that is very common in asian countries - slowly here in the US people are waking up to the smell of the flowers (these sensible products); i have these for 15 years

fixed the diesel leak on top of the filter - it has plagued me ever since i own brunnhilde; i wonder if I would see the slight improvement on fuel mileage
saw this cute advantage trailer while taking a long walk around the neighborhood - i can see he/she have a lot of fun building it

the big one is for making coffee in brunnhilde - i can't tell you what the small one is for...
bought a new chinese chef's knife for brunnhilde
 this one is a bit big to carry in brunnihilde

 it now can be stored standing for easy retrival

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