V1 Hydraulic Lift (#1 to 39)

V1 Hydraulic Lift (#1 to 39)

Information

This information pertains to the Hydraulic Lift Systems for the V1 campers. These campers are numbered #1 to #39.

The hydraulic cyclinders are made by custom cylinders international.

 

Problems

Hydraulic Leaks

Reports of leaking hydraulics due to the system being ‘held’ open by the hydraulic struts. The manufacturers and XPCamper stated that the issues arised due to a different material being used on some hydraulic lifts. New versions of the lift may fix the issue / be more reliable.

Misaligned Roof

The hydraulics may get an air bubble inside, causing the roof to not sit level when raised / lowered. See Bleeding Air from Hydraulics in the tip section below. 

Tips

Bleeding Air from Hydraulics

Directions for bleeding the hydraulic lines can be found in the documentation provided by XPCamper and Custom Cylinders International.

The following are some alternate ways to try to bleed a small air bubble out of the lines without resorting to the more involved methods described in the manual.

These directions are not officially approved by XPCamper or Custom Cylinders International, so follow at your own risk. I am only restating the verbal directions I was given as a courtesy to others, but I cannot be held responsible for the results.

This is a summary of the verbal instructions I was given in October 2017 over the phone by Dean at XP Camper and later by Gawain at Custom Cylinders International when trying to troubleshoot an issue with my lift system that caused the lid to raise and lower in a crooked position. Per those conversations, the following are methods that they told me to use in an attempt to try to eliminate an air bubble from the system:

 

hydraulic lift 

  • Raise the lid fully and then lower it halfway. Lower it the rest of the way manually using the manual release valve. They told me to repeat this process a few times in the hopes that it will bleed out the air bubble.
  • Raise the lid, then lower it all the way and continue to depress the “down” button on the remote for 10-15 seconds after the lid is all the way down. The idea is to force the pump to flush fluid through the lines and back into the tank with the goal of carrying the air bubble into the tank where it will dissipate. Repeat this process several times. I do not know the exact duty cycle of the hydraulic pump, but to decrease the risk of overheating the pump, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes between each cycle.
  • Raise the lid and enter the camper. Be sure to close the lower door. The main safety manifold should be open. Remove the dinette seat cushions and then remove the small hatches that provide access to the tops of cylinder #3 (back right) and cylinder #4 (back left). Using a box wrench, gently loosen the connection just a tiny amount until hydraulic fluid seeps out for a few seconds. It would be a good idea to pack the area with paper towels before bleeding the connection to catch any fluid that leaks out. Make certain that you just barely loosen the fitting enough to let oil seep out. Do not loosen it too much or the fitting might blow off which could lead to catastrophic consequences.They told me to repeat the process at the top of each cylinder as necessary. In my case, the lid visually and audibly settled into a more even position when I had identified the problem cylinder. It took just a small amount of oil seeping out of the loosened fitting to cause noticeable results. Tighten the fitting again and the raise and lower the lid to check the results. Repeat the process if necessary.
  • Check the hydraulic fluid reservoir tank. Dean told me that it should be about halfway full when the lid is in the up position. Add fluid per the manufacturer’s instructions if the fluid is low since a low fluid level could lead to the introduction of air into the system.

(Markus)

Brush Seal Retrofit

Brush Seal Retrofit

Information

Brush Seal Retrofit

The original white seal is held in place by the wood trim which effectively sandwiches the white seal into place. For those who don’t know, you can remove the screws from the wood trim and adjust the white seal to make it tighter or further from the camper wall.

I don’t care for the white seal because it leaves a dirty streak on the inside of the camper walls, plus I don’t like how it drags across the face of the windows and windows latches when raising or lowering the lid. XP came up with a brush seal solution that seems like a great upgrade, so I wanted to retrofit my camper. I had been trying to get the brush seals that XP was using directly from them, but that never happened so I came up with my own solution. I don’t know how this solution compares to what they are doing.

I had been told that retrofitting to brush seals was a big job because it involves milling a new profile into the underside of the wood trim. I don’t have time for that kind of project, so I was looking for a simpler solution. These brush seals on Amazon seemed to be the perfect product:

The aluminum flange that holds the brush is the same thickness as the original white seal. This means that the wood trim will cover over the brush seal in the same way that it covers over the white seal. No millwork required. The bristles are silicone which somehow seems better than nylon. The aluminum mostly isn’t going to be visible, but it has a satin finish that I think blends in well with the clean and contemporary aesthetic of the XP interior.

 brush seal upgrade

 

Step 1: Remove the wood trim and set it aside. For the corners, I removed the screws and then used some tape to hold the piece up near the ceiling out of the way. Remove the white seal.

Step 2: I started with the smallest section which is the piece between the door and back right corner of the camper. The brush seal consists of two parts. The bristles are crimped into a small U shaped piece of aluminum. This can be easily bent into a curve to cause the bristles to fan out. The other piece is an aluminum flange with another U channel. The bristle piece slides into the flange piece similar to how the tent fabric slides into the mounting channel around the bed. Separate the two parts of the brush seal and look at the picture that shows the bristles bent into a curve that matches the radius of the inside of the camper shell. Carefully bend the piece without kinking it. I bent it past 90 degrees and then adjusted it a little later in the process. For the other end, I included a picture of how I terminated the brush seal at the door. By bending the bristle channel just right, you can get the bristles to fan out and the end of the bristle channel can remain tucked neatly under the wood trim. This has the benefit of contributing to the weather sealing at the edge of the door and it ensures that the bristle channel is locked into the flange and won’t work its way out over time.

brush seal upgrade

Step 3: Cut the flange piece so that is about 1” shorter on each end than the actual length of the fiberglass ledge. You need the aluminum flange to be cut short enough that it will allow for the bristle piece to bend and also to ensure that sharp corners of the flange don’t damage the inside of the upper half of the shell when raising and lowering. Set the flange such that the bristles are in the right spot against the inside of the shell. Every camper is different so you will need to determine where to set the flange. I ordered two different brush sizes: 0.8” bristles and the 1.6” bristles. This is because the gap that needs to be filled is variable on my camper. Drill pilot holes in the fiberglass “ledge” and install the flange using stainless steel pan head screws. Be careful that the flange doesn’t protrude too far “out” to ensure that it won’t scratch the inside of the camper shell. I chose to set the flange such that the bristle tips are just long enough to reach the wall, as opposed to using really long bristles which would “bend” substantially against the wall. Time will tell if this was a good decision or not. The good thing is that once the flanges are installed, you can easily swap out different bristle lengths by sliding the old bristles out and new ones in.

brush seal upgrade

Step 4: Make sure the crimp on the end of the bristle channel is tight so bristles won’t fall out and then file it smooth (mine had burrs from the factory). You want the bristle channel to be at least 12” longer than the flange that you already cut. Use wire cutters to cut the bristle channel and be certain to check that it’s crimped tight where you cut it. The reason for cutting the bristle channel longer than the flange is that it allows you to bend the channel into the corner radius and then slide a second flange over the end to continue the installation. This way, the seam between flanges and the seam between bristle channels are offset so they can lace together. It’s important that you file the end of the bristle channel crimps because you want to be able to butt the ends of two different pieces together very snugly so that it functions as one continuous length of bristle.

Step 5: You should now have one piece of flange installed between the door and the back left corner, plus a longer piece of bristle channel installed in the flange such that it is curved at the corner and protruding 12” or so across the backside under the big picture window. Slide the next piece of flange over the end of the protruding bristle channel. If you bent the bristle channel greater than 90 degrees so it’s slightly pointing into the interior of the camper, you can use the next piece of flange as leverage to perfect the radius of the bend. I found it was easier to overbend and then correct it once it’s secured in place on one side than to try to get the perfect radius before installing.

Step 6: Enjoy a cold beer. And then keep installing with the staggered pattern. On my camper, the gap in the rear is much smaller than the gap along the side length. I haven’t finished the project yet, but I plan to use the longer bristled pieces I bought for the places with bigger gaps. And maybe even trim the bristle length but I haven’t tried that yet.

(Markus)

 

Problems

None

no problems reported.

 

 

Tips

None

No extra tips reported.

 

 

Dometic Windows

Dometic Windows

Information

The Dometic Windows come in various sizes. The ones in the XP are:

V1 Model
Window – Main Door – Model S4 – 500 x 300 – AGS50500X0300
Window – Above Stove – Model S4 – 500 x 300 – AGS50500X0300
Window – Next to Sink – Model S4 – 600 x 600 – AGS50600X0600
Window – Rear Window – 1450 x 600 – AGS51450x0600
Skylight – Roof – Model Heki 3 Plus – H3DOM133625S

To double check window sizes: A sticker in the window has a long code. Somewhere in that code is the measurement of the window. Look for the number is the position marked with red below (they are not red on the sticker)

AGS50500X0300

 

Dometic S4 Window

Problems

Repair Instructions

Repair insturcitons for S4 windows can be found HERE or through the button link at the top of the page. 

(James Young)

Stay Arm Failure

The plastic arm that hold the window open can fail for a few reasons. It may not want to close. It may not want to open. It may be stiff. Or it may open and close without latching.

The arm is a simple device. A plastic sleeve that slides up and down over a notched arm. At the top of the plastic sleeve is collar. A metal spring tab sits over this collar, compressing a small spring, which in turn holds a 4mm metal ball bearing in place in the collar. As the sleeve slides up and down over the top of the notched arm, the ball bearing ‘sits’ in the notches and hold the arm in place. Opening or closing the window puts pressure on the ball bearing, which in turn puts pressure on the spring, which gives way, releasing the ball bearing from the notch and allowing the arm to slide to the next notched position.

The arm or ball bearing may become rough or contain some debris. Cleaning these usually helps restore a smooth action. WARNING: The clip, spring and ball bearing have a habit of wanting to be lost the minute they are unhooked. So, take great care when removing the clip. As you remove the sleeve the ball bearing can come out where the spring goes in but also but of the end as it pops off the sleeve.
To replace. Slide the sleeve partway onto the notched arm. Add the ball bearing into the collar on the arm, then the spring, then the clip. If the ball bearing is 

Emergency Kit – A few XP Owners have lost one, some or all of that trifecta of bearing, spring, clip. There is a ghetto version if you can not get to Dometic for a spare.

– 4mm Ball Bearing (just big enough to fit in the hole – source from a cycle store)
– Spring from a ball point pen (May need to cut to size)
– Zip Tie

The ball bearing should fit in the hole BUT NOT slide up inside the spring. Ensure the spring is a low enough diameter that the ball bearing does not go inside, but just spins on the end. 

(James Young)

Dometic Heki 3 Skylight – Blind String Failure

Sometimes the string that guides the bug screen or blackout blind can come undone. Here is some info on how to repair that issue.

Truck Camper Adventure (Article) : Repairing & Restringing a Broken Midi Heki Vent 

YouTube (Video): How to repair a Heki Frame

(James Young)

 

 

Tips

Closing Bug Screen

Closing the bug screen by pulling down the handle can be a fiddly process. The bug screen gets stuck half way, one side comes down more than then other, and then the latch is awkward to make contact at the bottom.

Make it an easy task. Instead of pulling down on the bug screen, close the blackout blind instead and then, without releasing the bug screen, pull the blackout blind back down with the bug screen intact. 

(James Young)

    Cleaning

    The plastic Dometic windows scratch very easily. Try to ‘air off’ the dust or dirt with a compressor. Then try spraying with water to remove most debris. After they are mostly clean, use a LOT of water and a soft cloth to gently wipe the windows. Allow to air dry.

    A 3M plastic polish can be used to remove any light scratches.  

    (James Young)

      Stay Arm

      The arm that holds the window open  has a habit of losing its clip and associated spring / steel ball. Avoid having this clip come off accidentally by using a small zip tie to hold it in place.

      (James Young)