Summer would hardly be summer without some projects. While we were busy paying attention to other tasks we managed to get some projects done.
A barn quilt is a quilt pattern painted on the side of a barn. We decided to do one painted on a 4’x4’x1/2” medium density overlay plywood panel. This plywood is commonly used for outdoor signs, the plywood part is waterproof and the surface is a smooth waterproof paper.
The pattern is one we found on the internet. Even with 6 colors, it seemed easy enough to lay out and paint. Well, almost easy. There was a lot of masking tape involved, paint, wait over night, and tape, and paint some more. Everything got at least two coats. And even with multiple coats we didin’t use more than a 1/4 of any of the 6 quarts of quality house paint we bought. They don’t sell it in smaller quantities.
We attached it with screws to the front doors of our barn. The sun helped the final cure of the paint. We think it looks good.
Painting the Roof of the Coach, New Air Conditioners
The roof of the coach is fiberglass, over time especially in the sun, the gel coat surface of the fiberglass starts to oxidize. It gets dull and chalky. If you rub your hand on it it comes off with a white residue.
The gelcoat can be cleaned with a rubbing compound and then finished with a non-slippery polish. I did this before we put on the solar panels and it took about 4 days.
There are paints that can be applied to the roof after the surface is sanded with a 220 grit sand paper and carefully vacuumed and cleaned.
The solar panels, the satellite dish, and the old air conditioners were removed from the roof.
It was pretty dirty under the solar panels. The roof was sanded, vacuumed, and cleaned. There was a lot of masking tape applied. A polyurethane primer paint was applied around all of the panel mounts, roof openings and anything else still on the roof. It cured overnight and then a full coat over the entire roof was applied with a roller. After that cured up overnight, the roof was swept and a second full coat of primer was applied.
And then three coats of white polyurethane paint with ceramic micro-beads mixed in. The ceramic beads are hollow and add some insulating value as well as some surface texture that makes the roof surface non-slip. I like that.
The air conditioners that were on the coach were original. They both still worked but were making more and more noise. As long as they were off, I decided to replace them with newer, more efficient air conditioners with about 10% additional capacity. I sold the 20-year-old air conditioners for about 1/3 of the cost of the new air conditioners. Not bad.
Solar panels back on, new ACs installed, satellite dish moved towards the passenger side by about 6 inches.
The original roof vent for the refrigerator was removed and replaced by an aluminum panel with a passageway for the solar panel cables.
A new thermostat and interior covers finished up the air conditioner installation. All seem to be working fine. The air conditioners have two motors, one for the fans and one for the compressor. And they are quieter.
Start Battery Wiring Modification
This is a project that I hoped would improve the process of starting the coach. When I start the coach it seemed to turn over slower than I thought it should. I had all of the parts since I did the Lithium Batteries two years ago. I just needed to find some time and motivation. I am glad I finally did.
The start batteries are each connected directly to positive and negative bus bars. A big cable goes from the positive bus bar to the starter motor. The negative side connects to a shunt, a switch, and then to a big cable that goes to the negative side of the starter motor. There are other wires connected to both the negative and positive sides. By eliminating the original single connection posts and battery connections, more power should be able to get to the starter motor.
It worked! The starter motor turns at least twice as fast now. Much easier on the starter motor, start batteries and the big engine.
Somehow we (maybe mostly me) decided we need to define garden edges a bit more and add some additional bricks around the backyard fire pit. About 300 50 pound concert pavers later we had newly defined edges around trees, bushes, and the fire pit. Almost every brick had to get cut to make the curves. It was a bunch of work but they look good and make mowing much easier.
And there were almost 100 bags of mulch that need to get spread too. We have pavers and bags of mulch left over for next spring’s projects.
There were more projects too, they are coming up in the next post.
More Later, Much Love,
Roger and Susan