Stop Road Dust

The 20 miles of dirt and washboards to Chaco did a number on my Overlander. Yikes. The worst part was the fine dust that settled in all the kichen drawers. What the heck?

So after a little thought, I determined that the layout provided a perfect wind tunnel from the back access door to the kitchen cabinet. This will be true for any rear bath model that has under-bed storage that is accessible from an outside door. I know everyone has noticed the road dust that is most prominent on the floor of that bathroom after a long drive. This is because the high pressure point on the shell while driving is at the rear–air is being sucked out the leaky window/door seals on the side and dusty air is being sucked in from the back.

The Overlander design has a “tub” that is offset from the shell, so there is a path around the tub to the bed, then forward.

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The old Univolt sat on top of the battery and under the partition between the bed and the bath, which opened up a huge hole in the partition. Likewise, the wheel well passes under the bed/kitchen partition and provides a large hole there (the partitions were not fitted, even loosely, to the wheel wells). [Photos are down through an access panel in the bed support.] The fuse block used to be on the face of the Univolt, very hard to see or access, as it was about 8″ behind the door opening. It’s now on the small panel that latches up under the bed platform and can swing down into the door opening. If I had not previously installed the IntelliPower converter, I wouldn’t have been able to seal up the Univolt hole.

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A couple of suitable small panels, caulk, and expanding foam stops the airflow. You can see some of the foam around the drain pipe to the right of the IntelliPower. In addition, some foam was used to seal the air paths in the belly pan around the kitchen-side frame rail and the pipe chases in the fresh tank. Only time will tell if those fixes are effective. The panels are installed at the red lines in the floorplan above.

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Can’t wait to get on the road and see if this was worth all the work.

The next step will be to seal the rear access door in a way that allows for access to the dump and water drain valves, but completely seals the door off from the interior. This step is necessary to reduce the dust/road grit that winds up on the bath floor. I asked AEROWOOD if we could make a suitable door to accomplish this–his answer was it would be easier to build an air-tight containment box inside the door. Darn…