Penguin Our Jayco Penguin: Tug and Van weights

Dobbie

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2014
3,061
5,864
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#23
Love the thought and innovation .....I remember the old chip burner and we used one a friend had at Palm Valley years ago.

At the time we thought it was a bit over the top but it was almost quicker and better than the thermos we carried for the same thing.

also ....he used to throw a mattress on the roof of his vehicle and that really broke us up as we had camper trailers ....now, of course, roof top tents are the go.

and, I remember they crossed the Simpson many times in a Subaru Forrester but he was a very competent bushman.

I love the challenge of using the minimum of materials for maximum return.

@bigcol did you ever try the dry ice trick as well? We did, once, when packing up for a two week sailing trip. The usual meat etc on the ice and then we found a mango tree with loads of fruit so cut them up roughly and put em on the ice.

It was interesting ....the mangoes were fizzy ...so that wasn't repeated.

Mike...I challenge you to do a full roast on your chippy.
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#24
Love the thought and innovation .....I remember the old chip burner and we used one a friend had at Palm Valley years ago.

At the time we thought it was a bit over the top but it was almost quicker and better than the thermos we carried for the same thing.

also ....he used to throw a mattress on the roof of his vehicle and that really broke us up as we had camper trailers ....now, of course, roof top tents are the go.

and, I remember they crossed the Simpson many times in a Subaru Forrester but he was a very competent bushman.

I love the challenge of using the minimum of materials for maximum return.

@bigcol did you ever try the dry ice trick as well? We did, once, when packing up for a two week sailing trip. The usual meat etc on the ice and then we found a mango tree with loads of fruit so cut them up roughly and put em on the ice.

It was interesting ....the mangoes were fizzy ...so that wasn't repeated.

Mike...I challenge you to do a full roast on your chippy.
Hi Dobbie,
I was really surprised at how quickly it boiled 4 cups of water with only a handful of twigs.

Yes, I also get a lot of satisfaction out of solving problems with the simplest of solutions. Also from fixing things to keep them working rather than throwing them out and buying something new.

Ok, I am up for the challenge! It won't be for a while since I have to get more familiar with controlling the heat.
I think I can do a simple roast. A bigger roast might involve using our thermo cooker. Would that still fall within the guidelines for your challenge?

cheers
Mike
 

bigcol

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2012
6,791
10,112
113
Swan Valley Perth
#26
@bigcol did you ever try the dry ice trick as well? We did, once, when packing up for a two week sailing trip.
tired it once
- we were living in the Pilbarra at the time - and CIG (Comm Indust Gas) only ever had it infrequently, you could order it, but it still may not arrive on time
(couple of years later they were taken over by BOC and they were still hopeless)
good old days of the wild Pilbarra
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
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#27
Hi,
took the Penguin in to Bayswater Jayco for its 3-month service on Tuesday. I typed out a list of 19 items that I thought needed attention under warranty.

Really pleased with how the person booking in the van went patiently through the list making notes and putting stickers near all the items requiring attention.

Picked it up this afternoon and was really pleased with how professionally 16 of the items had been attended to. All items put into a worksheet, and an individual report on each item. The same person who booked the van in, again went carefully through each item explaining what had been done. The only items outstanding were:
1: I need to contact sales to verify that all options fitted were installed at the factory (and thus included in my Tare). Sales are all out at the Melbourne Caravan and Camping show.
2: No luck in getting my front boot and side access panels keyed alike. The front two locks are A21 and the two side panel locks are A23.
3: The slight gap (5mm) at the front and back of the Fiamma awning when it is wound in is normal.

So, our baby is back home and we are all very happy!

cheers
Mike
 

Jeremy Johnson

Active Member
Sep 6, 2015
75
127
33
North Queensland
#28
Hi @mikerezny , Any help you could give us would be appreciated. We are in North Queensland and our 3 way fridge really struggles up here, sits around 7 degrees most of the day and won't freeze anything, mrs can't have ice cream.:(:(:( I am very interested in your fridge mods. My first mod here was going to add a sail track to the fridge side and fit as per your picture. Then add an awning. I am just unclear on how to fix to side of van or pop top. ( We have an expanda ) Second mod was the fridge fan. I am not very electrically minded and struggle a bit with this type of thing. Is there any chance you can take some photos of the wiring you have done so I can utilise in ours. Also how is your sail track mounted to the van?
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
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#29
Hi @mikerezny , Any help you could give us would be appreciated. We are in North Queensland and our 3 way fridge really struggles up here, sits around 7 degrees most of the day and won't freeze anything, mrs can't have ice cream.:(:(:( I am very interested in your fridge mods. My first mod here was going to add a sail track to the fridge side and fit as per your picture. Then add an awning. I am just unclear on how to fix to side of van or pop top. ( We have an expanda ) Second mod was the fridge fan. I am not very electrically minded and struggle a bit with this type of thing. Is there any chance you can take some photos of the wiring you have done so I can utilise in ours. Also how is your sail track mounted to the van?
Hi @Jeremy Johnson,
here is a list of mods I have done and tips to improve the performance of the Dometic 2350 fridge fitted in our Penguin.
I will try to take some photos later this week and post them here.

With all this, the fridge will cool even on 12V. Haven't run it much on 240V. On gas, even in 39C heat over three days, the freezer kept ice-cream frozen. We can mostly keep the fridge below 6C. The freezer is always between -12C and -18C whenever I have checked. I just have a small mechanical thermometer in the freezer.

1: Bought a shade cloth. The Penguin has a standard sail track fitted along all four sides of the roof. So that was easy.
Ours runs the full length of the van and the fridge vents are mostly in the shade.

2: Fitted a 120mm Be Quiet Pure Wings II fan from PC case gear. Picked up 12V from the stove, put in an inline fuse and a
fitted a 55C Normally Open thermostat which is fitted on the pipe at the top of the fridge before it bends around.
Mounted the fan on the top vent, to the far left, with four cable ties. The fan draws about 100mA. At worst case it would use about 2.4Ah per day. It runs almost continuously on warm to hot days and cycles on and off on warm nights.

3: Made sure I ran heavy cable from the tug battery to the 12 pin plug. The voltage difference between the tug battery and the fridge terminals is 0.81V. After a couple of hours driving (12V operation), the fridge is always colder than when we started. It is not unusual to come home or arrive, with the fridge around 1C.

4: Mounted a small voltmeter across the fridge terminals. We check the voltage and compare it with the battery voltage in the tug as part of our check after we hook up. Luckily, out Prodigy Brake controller will display the battery voltage. If both readings are the same, we have a problem. Probably forgot to switch the fridge over to 12V. Or, a burnt out 12V element. It is usually 0.7-0.9 V difference. Any more than that and there will be a loose connection that needs to be found. Haven't had that happen yet. After 3 months, I found the screws on the 12-pin van plug were semi tight. If it happens again, I will be fitting Anderson plugs.

5: Filled in all the gaps between the fridge and the walls and floor to stop hot air from the back of the fridge mixing with cold air from the sides of the fridge.

6: Put aluminum-backed polyester insulation around the vertical boiler on the left-hand side of the fridge and along the top. This make the boiler more efficient and reduces the amount of heat reaching the cabinet walls. Before this, we found that, on hot days, that the heat conduction along the cabinet walls was significant.

7: There is a drain channel inside the fridge that runs under the cooling fins. Seems to me that this also collects the coldest air and channels some of it down the drain hose. I fitted a loose fitting bung into the drain hole, reducing the amount of cold air that could escape. Have never had any problem with water building up and not getting away.

8: Fitted a small LCD external temperature gauge. On of those indoor-outdoor types. The outdoor sensor is wired into the fridge and cable-tied to one of the shelves. that way we can always see the van indoor temperature and the fridge temp.

9: Found plastic boxes to fit all the shelves, including a good one that turns the bottom shelf into a crisper tray. The idea being to reduce the amount of cold air escaping and warm air entering every time the fridge is opened. This make a big improvement. Most noticeable is how little the fridge heats up in the middle of the day after the fridge is opened and closed and how quickly it recovers to its previous temperature.

10: Keep the fridge filled as much as possible. More stuff, means the fridge has more cold mass and can recover more quickly after the door is opened. Also more stuff means less cold air to escape. Less air coming in means less condensation on the cooling fins and less icing up.

11: Open the door as little as possible and open and close it slowly to reduce the air circulation. Especially in the middle of the day when the outside air temperature is highest.

12. If we have room in the freezer, we put in a freezer block. On hot days, we take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge after we have finished lunch. Then put it back in the freezer before we go to bed.

13. Try to avoid putting room temperature items into the fridge during the day. We put drinks, UHT milk, dinner leftovers etc in just before we go to bed.

14. We take things out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost first thing in the morning.

15. The only pre-cooling we do is to turn the fridge on to 240V a couple of hours before we leave and ensure that everything going into the van freezer comes out of our house freezer and everything going into the van fridge comes out of our fridge.

16. When we take things out of the fridge, we try to get them back into the fridge as soon as possible, but being midfull to not keep opening and closing the fridge more than necessary.

Sounds like a lot of effort but it is easier than it seems. In my childhood, on Fraser Island, we had a kerosene fridge, and I remember being clipped behind the ears more than once for opening the fridge more than necessary. So, some of the above ideas were instilled into me from those days. More lately, friends of ours live in the Glass House mountains without mains power, and they have a gas fridge which also needs a bit of care if you want to keep things cold or frozen.

But with all this, we have never had any problem keeping food in good condition. Never had to throw anything out, or had anything in the freezer melt. Always had cold drinks, frozen ice-cream etc. We have also never had any problems with things freezing in the fridge.

I hope this is of some help. I will try to get some photos. Don't hesitate to ask for more information or better explanations.

kindest regards
Mike
 

1DayIll

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2016
460
472
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53
South Morang, Victoria
#30
But with all this, we have never had any problem keeping food in good condition. Never had to throw anything out, or had anything in the freezer melt. Always had cold drinks, frozen ice-cream etc. We have also never had any problems with things freezing in the fridge.

kindest regards
Mike[/QUOTE]

Have just been to Warrnambool for the weekend and had to turn the fridge down to setting 2(240V) as it was freezing everything inside. It was great at getting all the drinks cold but not so good for the fruit and vegies!
 
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mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
1,322
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#31
But with all this, we have never had any problem keeping food in good condition. Never had to throw anything out, or had anything in the freezer melt. Always had cold drinks, frozen ice-cream etc. We have also never had any problems with things freezing in the fridge.

kindest regards
Mike
Have just been to Warrnambool for the weekend and had to turn the fridge down to setting 2(240V) as it was freezing everything inside. It was great at getting all the drinks cold but not so good for the fruit and vegies![/QUOTE]
Hi @1DayIll,

I forgot to add in my previous post that we always leave our fridge set to "2".

The crisper tray on the bottom 'shelf' and containers on the top two shelves seems to help in keeping an even temperature and prevent fruit and veges in the crisper from freezing.

cheers
Mike
 
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mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
1,322
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#32
Hi,
went away for 16 days a couple of weeks ago. First day, arrived at Mellville Caves around lunch time.
Up went the top, on went the gas, pumped the gas fuse, and
inside to start the fridge on gas,
inside to start the fridge on gas,
inside to start the fridge on gas,
outside to check I had turned the gas on,
furiously pumped the gas fuse,
inside to start the fridge on gas,
inside to start the fridge on gas,
inside to start the fridge on gas,
lift the cooker lid, couldn't light any of the burners.
"What the *^&%%$^%$^ *(&(&(&(&(&%&%$" I said.
Freezer and fridge completely stacked with food.
Gas fuse said the bottle was not empty. Discoonnected the hose, plenty of gas when I pumped the fuse.
So gas bottle and fuse seemed ok,
inside, lift the cooker lid, couldn't light any of the burners.
OK, change to a new bottle, ditch the gas fuse.
inside, lift the cooker lid, couldn't light any of the burners.
Outside, tap, tap, tap the regulator with the handle of a srewdriver. Take out the bung under the regulator for connecting the pressure tester.
Couldn't smell any gas.
TAP, TAP, TTYAAAPPP, Noted that my hammer was in easy reach!!!!!!!!
inside, lift the cooker lid, couldn't light any of the burners.
&*&^*^*&^*^*, &*^*&^*&^*&, Late Friday afternoon, 50 odd ks North of Bendigo, probably too late to get to Jayco in Bendigo. 200ks drive back to Melbourne.

Unscrewed the bung covering the pressure adjustment. Wound it in a turn or two and wound it back out.
Still no gas at the cooker.

Then, I chap in a camping trailer wandered over to see if he could help. He had replaced his regulator three times in 20 years. Common problem. He always carries a spare. But not the same as fitted to the Penguin.
Suggested winding the pressure adjustment all the way in and back out again. Then tap, tap, tap.
Then, finally some smell from the bung under the regulator, and then some gas into the cooker, and then the fridge lit.
Sigh!!!!.
No more problems for the next 16 days.

Still with me, this far??????

Procrastinated this week, trying to avoid ringing up Jayco Bayswater, trying to think how am I going to get this fixed if it is so damned intermittent. Especially, if they tell me it will be three weeks before they can look at it.
Filled with an inner glow after touring the Jayco factory this morning, I phoned Bayswater Jayco this afternoon and told them my story and explained how it would probably be difficult to get it to play up if I brought the van in.

The service lady, said. 'Absolutely no problem. If you bring the regulator and the chassis number in we will just give you a new one. We have them in stock'. It really was one of those "I want to give you a big hug moments"

So, off to Bayswater tomorrow to get my new regulator.

cheers
Mike
 
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mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
1,322
93
65
Mount Waverley, VIC
#33
Hi,
quick update on our Penguin.
Got back from Queensland and found out that the two pop rivets, yes pop rivets, that hold the hinges to the lids for the storage areas under the seats had come through. This is just plain sloppy workmanship. Why would anyone expect a pop rivet to hold in a 3/8 piece of plywood. No backing plate, no washers, nothing.

Anyway, I am not surprised and I bought a Jayco knowing that I would be fixing silly things like this. Actually, I probably enjoy it: a bit of whinging, a bit of thinking, a bit of work, and a nice feeling of a job well done!

Glued and screwed pieces of 1/2" by 1 1/2" along both edges where the hinges went and now the hinges are in for good. Also added a cross piece to strengthen the thin ply. Surprisingly, one seat had an aluminum cross piece and thus less strain on the hinges. The other side had none. Was one of them built on a Friday?

GREAT NEWS! We got home today and the Penguin has now clocked up 10,000km since November 18th last year and have slept in it 77 nights.

cheers
Mike
 
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mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
1,322
93
65
Mount Waverley, VIC
#35
Hi,
now on to another topic: tyres.
Noticed the passenger side tyre on the Penguin looked a bit down. Actually down from 40psi to 25psi!

Pumped it up and used the spreadsheet posted by @Drover to estimate that for our GTM and the tyres fitted as standard by Jayco that the pressure should somewhere about 40psi. The recommendation on the compliance plate is not even close, so I am ignoring that and sticking to the industry formula and the tyre manufacture's specification.

Had some spare time this afternoon, so decided to get of my butt and go put the spare on. Good practice since I can't remember when I last had to change a tyre. It is well over 10 years ago.

Like riding a bike, it all came back and I had the suspect tyre off and the spare on.

Then I decided to take a good look and see if I could find anything that could be causing a slow leak.
It didn't take long to find it on the inside wall of the tyre. The bubbles are from some soapy water I sprayed on.

IMG_4552.JPG


Boy, am I happy that I found that before I did any more traveling. I wonder at how long it has been in there.

I am assuming that since the nail is in the side wall the tyre is a write-off. Is that correct?i
If so, here is my dilemma: I had intended to do tyre rotations with the tyres currently on which are GT-Radial KargoMax ST6000 185R14C fitted as new by Jayco. Then when they were worn out replace them with Light Truck equivalents.

Now, I am up for one tyre. What should I do?
One option come to mind. But the first question: Is it imperative that both tyres on the road be identical? I suspect the answer is yes.
I could by buy one LT tyre and keep it as a spare. Then when I next have to buy one tyre, buy another LT, fit them both and use the remaining KargoMax as the spare.
Is that a good idea?

Any other suggestions?

If having LT tyres is a good idea?
Any recommendations on what I should buy or avoid? I should point out that this is not an OB Penguin but we do travel on dirt roads.

cheers
Mike
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#36
1. How old are the tyres ?? If around 5 yrs chuck em and get new ones.

2. Buy a well known brand of LT tyre and throw it on as spare, that way they will still be around when you want more. The known brand, Bridgestone etc will last better than some rice wine brand.

3. No need for any type of off road tread, waste of money just a nice ATR or HT tyre is good for a trailer, they are only getting dragged around.
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
1,322
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#37
1. How old are the tyres ?? If around 5 yrs chuck em and get new ones.

2. Buy a well known brand of LT tyre and throw it on as spare, that way they will still be around when you want more. The known brand, Bridgestone etc will last better than some rice wine brand.

3. No need for any type of off road tread, waste of money just a nice ATR or HT tyre is good for a trailer, they are only getting dragged around.
Hi @Drover,
thanks for the helpful advice.

The van is only 8 months old. I am fairly sure the tyres are about a year old as per the date stamp on them. But I will check that tomorrow.

What does ATR and HT mean?

cheers
Mike
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#38
oh well age isn't a worry................if you Google that tyre brand you will find some suppliers around the place so should be able to get a replacement, they aren't a great tyre but the are stocked and not being that old may as well go the same then..
ATR means All Terrain they can have a slightly more aggressive tread than a HT, Highway Pattern up to a reasonably chunky pattern, on a trailer the less aggressive the better really as the wear better especially on dual axle as the drag on the rear set isn't as much compared to a chunky pattern, since the wheels are lazy, that is not driven they don't need heaps of grip just a little bit for sideways movement.

and it's always advisable to have the same rubber all round then both will have the same on road behaviour more so on your car especially if it has all wheel drive, using non matchiing types on a car with AWD can actually throw engine codes even put it into limp mode..................
 
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mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#39
Hi,
just checked the tyre. It was manufactured in the 22nd week of 2016.
Hopefully, they will be worn out before they are old enough to need replacing.

We have done about 12,000km and the tyre is about 1/3 worn. That means I would get a bit over 30,000 kms out of them.
Is that about what I should expect from them? They are 185R14.
I would estimate less than 10% of that distance has been on unsealed roads.

cheers
Mike
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
732
1,322
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65
Mount Waverley, VIC
#40
Hi,
have to tell you of the great service I got from Bayswater Jayco today.

Yesterday, I thought I would investigate why whenever we first pull up to camp we have to pump the manual pump a few times to get the water from the tank up to the tap. I thought, what this needs is a non-return valve on that hose down near the tank.

Easy, Peasy. Went to have a look yesterday and saw this white plastic thing in-line with the hose. Turns out it is a non-return valve!
So, it mustn't be working. Pulled it out and cleaned it and re-tensioned it but not convinced it isn't faulty.

Emailed Bayswater Jayco describing the problem. Got a nice email from them this morning: 'no problems, we will put a replacement in the mail to you this afternoon'. Couldn't be more pleased.

Did some more inspecting. One of the locks on the front boot was sticking. I thought it was catching on some of our gear in the boot. No, it was the lock itself. Didn't seem to have any lubricant, unlike the one on the other side. Pulled it out, cleaned and oiled and greased it. Now nice and smooth. Hopefully good for a few more years.

Then, continuing, I inspected the two catches on the side exterior hatch. The nuts on the levers were loose and needed adjusting and tightening. Now locks way more securely then it ever has AND is now much more waterproof since the catches now pull the door in against the rubber seal more securely.

cheers
Mike
 
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