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 > Your search for posts made by 'BigfootBill' found 16 matches.

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RE: Considering building camper from scratch...

If you are doing a full build with metal and are planning on hard mounting, why use a flatbed? If you can use the deck that sits on the frame rails and structural supports for the "truck camper" you would be able to shave cost and weight. Consider doing a frame mount build - think hook lift truck but you dont necessarily need to use that style of system to install and remove it. You can install a separate flatbed or dump body, etc when you want to use the truck for other purposes.
BigfootBill 10/21/20 10:41am Truck Campers
RE: Need Suspension Mods

it sounds like you must have over load springs, that work as the truck body drops the springs come into contact with the overload spring perches on the frame. Your not loaded enough to make them come into play full time so they BANG every time the springs hit them As you crank up the air bags they you are raising the back so they never hit again. This. Ditch the airbags and add lower Stableloads . You’ll be all set. I'm not convinced that this is true with a 4000 pound camper. The lower pressures he was experimenting with should have allowed the weight to compress the suspension enough to get full engagement out of the various parts of his OEM suspension. I was having issues and called airlift who makes my bags and tech support recommended running up to 95 psi. I find I like the ride around 75 psi so consider trying out higher pressures. Air it up and see how high you can go before those extensions you talk about lose contact and you may find that you can go higher pressure and still be comfortable with the suspension. In addition to raising the vehicle as the pressure increases, the "firmness" also increases. It's a dance between the vehicle springs and the airbags and the goal is to find the sweet spot where they work together the way you want.
BigfootBill 09/16/20 07:19am Truck Campers
RE: Shimming camper to minimize side to side movement

I use 2 1x4's wrapped in cloth for this purpose. It makes it a less forgiving install when backing up to the TC but i find that they help me to align the truck by watching where they fall on the sides of the camper through the back window.
BigfootBill 07/30/20 04:28am Truck Campers
RE: New to Truck Camping

Not to steer you away from what you have decided but just to give you another option... Over the weekend I was camped next to a Lakota gooseneck horse trailer with large living quarters. It had a very large slide and was being used as a camper without bringing along the horses. I would guess it may work with your current truck and then could be sold if you decided to change your setup. It was a long though; you would loose some manoeuvrability that would be had with a TC/bumper pull horse trailer.
BigfootBill 07/27/20 08:50am Truck Campers
RE: Airbags not working with overloads

And now to close the loop... I put 500 miles on the truck camper over the weekend and was very happy with how it ran. Still experimenting with the pressures but it seemed like 65-85 was the best for highway and then I was dropping down to 45 for city driving. I had no bottoming out, even on 81 in PA which is good enough for me. There may be some shock upgrades in the future but for now I will drive it as-is and put some more miles on the setup.
BigfootBill 07/27/20 04:28am Truck Campers
RE: Airbags not working with overloads

For those of you following along, I added a 2 inch spacer at each of the 4 contact points for the upper overloads and when the camper was loaded back on the truck, with 5 psi in the bags, the truck bed was sitting 1/2 inch higher than before. 75psi took the bed up another half inch to give me about an inch of travel. I am taking it out this weekend and will play around with the pressures but right now, I think I will go with the KKeller suggestion and do some surgery on the lower airbag mounts. The design is set up so that the location of the bag in relation to the bracket can be adjusted with slotted holes, but now that I know where it should be, I can mark the mounting spots and lose the wrench space.
BigfootBill 07/21/20 01:55pm Truck Campers
RE: Airbags not working with overloads

ON my 2006 I replaced the thinner overload pads on the frame with a set of these (you will need 2 sets, or 4 bumpers) click here I found an old post on here where someone had done this exact mod. It may have been you, I dont remember. If these end up being a similar length to what I get narrowed down I may try these, especially if the unloaded truck is slapping the overloads on bumps too much.
BigfootBill 07/20/20 09:39am Truck Campers
RE: Airbags not working with overloads

Thanks for all the different perspectives. I stole from several of you to get to where I am. I did various loaded and unloaded measurements and it was eye opening from several perspectives. 1 - With only the suspension loaded with the camper, air bags not present, I was about half an inch off the bumpstops, which is why I was having them hit some on my drive home after purchase. 2 - With the airbags aired down, and siting fully on the bags internal stops, the camper ended up being perfectly level taken on the refrigerator. Although the tire wells were different heights, various factors ended up combining to be where I wanted even though I didn't realize it. With that information, I am going to play around with upper overload stop extension lengths to try to get the fully loaded suspension to be just above the air bag bump stops to try to be close to level when aired down and then air up the bags to get 1-1.5 inches of travel in the suspension when driving and see how that rides. This will end up being a long way around to getting to where a large percentage of truckcamper+airbag users end up with the upper stable loads and airbags. Once I have the airbag pressure and overload extensions dialed in, I expect that I should be happy with the ride. KKeller - thanks for the pictures. I had a similar thought to cut down the lower bracket for the airbags to get it sit closer to the axle (my bags replace the factory bump stop, directly under the frame) and may still do that depending on how my extension experiment goes. I can gain about 3/4 inches from that lower bracket.
BigfootBill 07/20/20 09:32am Truck Campers
RE: Airbags not working with overloads

I am wondering if it is a Dodge Ram issue as I have not heard of this before with the Super Duty's? I am thinking it may be a 2wd issue. I had gotten the numbers from airlift when I was researching what bags to get and both the 2wd and 4wd models had the same minimum size, when fully compressed, but the 4wd had 2 more inches of travel in the bag. It is my understanding, without doing any actual research, that the 4wd has the rear blocked up to maintain the same truck rake or angle that the 2wd has, while the front is higher due to the design. This means that the distance from the frame to axle is larger in the back when the truck sits level, as the front is higher. I am still not sure if this is actually the case, however, as I would guess I need to raise the front about 2 inches to make the truck level when the airbags are sitting on their internal bumpstop. Maybe the question I should be asking is how many people are actually level in the camper when they pull into a level parking spot.
BigfootBill 07/17/20 04:19am Truck Campers
RE: Airbags not working with overloads

Thanks all. I am going to take some measurements and then pull the airbags. With the airbags fully aired down to 5psi, sitting on their internal bumpstops, the camper already feels quite a bit more unstable than before, before putting air in and getting off the tips of the overloads. In order to fix this, I see needing to do additional improvements (more money) in order to try to get back to where I was stock. I have the first camping trip coming up next week so I am going to go back to where I was before, fully stock and see how it rides loaded up with water and family. I believe in the future I will be looking towards aftermarket axle bumpstops, hydraulic or other progressive design and overload extensions or adding a third overload/helper spring to each side. I do like the idea of an adjustable spring rate, which you get with airbags. From my initial searching, I could also get that with torklift lower stableloads but would need to lift the camper off the truck to pivot them out of the way when I got to where I wanted to stop for the night. Not ideal, but nothing ever is. My last option is to modify the current airbag brackets to try to get more compression room so that they are not flat when the truck is level but I'm not sure there is enough room based on their design.
BigfootBill 07/17/20 04:11am Truck Campers
Airbags not working with overloads

I just put on Airlift airbags on my 3500 and am finding that it is preventing the load from being carried on the overloads. I have done a fair amount of googling and am not finding people with my particular issue, could just be me? When I bought my camper in Ohio, it loaded up nicely and the truck sat with the frame perfectly level. I was happy with how it rode for the most part but some of the harder bumps on 90 felt like I was hitting the bumpstops so I was hoping to get a little extra cushion. I read some of the various options and didn't want to mess with the suspension (engage overloads earlier, etc), just wanted the option to raise up a little bit if the situation dictated. I added the airlifts, which install in the place of the bumpstops and am now finding myself in the situation where the upper and lower brackets plus airbags are fully collapsed/pancaked with 5psi and the overloads are just barely touching the stops on the frame. Fully aired down, I am also no longer level when loaded up which means I will always have to block up the front when parked. Now it looks like if I want to use the airbags, I will need to put some extensions on the overloads which will put me even higher in the rear for normal travel. I have no interest in raising the front to compensate for the additional lift in the back, not sure what my options are even if I did with a 2wd. Has anyone gone on this journey and have any suggestions?
BigfootBill 07/15/20 07:01pm Truck Campers
RE: Weatherproofing 04 Bigfoot

Thanks for the suggestion of eternabond. I have seen it floated around as a solution for sealing up roof penetrations and it would make even more sense for the straight joint as Bert is suggesting. As everything else on this camper is pristine, I am trying to avoid putting tape on it. I may be the only one that knows but it would bother me nonetheless. I am going to use it as-is for now and once it is parked for the winter, will pull off the joint cover and see what I find and go from there.
BigfootBill 07/08/20 11:06am Truck Campers
RE: Project B.I.G. Built-in Inverter Generator

Bump If we can help you fix your Bobcat so that you can get back on this let us know! I am interested to hear how this install works out for you.
BigfootBill 06/24/20 07:10am Truck Campers
RE: Weatherproofing 04 Bigfoot

I finally got around to reaching out to Bigfoot and got a quick response from Grant, as I was expecting based on reading about how he went the extra mile. For those that may be interested, or the small population that does have a 3000 10.11, here is the answer that I got: The roof is fitted and then cut at the joint of the front and rear cap to a butt joint. It is then bonded with a urethane sealant. He said that this is the "weakest link". Not sure if that was referring to just the roof or the entire camper exterior in terms of preventing water intrusion. I will plan on pulling the molding and resealing this winter.
BigfootBill 06/24/20 06:57am Truck Campers
RE: Weatherproofing 04 Bigfoot

Thanks for the input. I went to look at this Bigfoot expecting a rubber roof and was surprised to find the fiberglass. From talking to the original owner, the fiberglass roof was an upgrade from the factory. After curing, the Hengs that I added appears to be the same as what was up there previously and has bonded well to the original sealant. I will keep an eye on it to identify any separation that may occur. Beagle was correct in that after doing some prodding, I believe that the side compartments were sealed with caulk that has faded and cracked similar to what I was seeing on the roof. I will plan on resealing with appropriate caulk. Also thanks to Ford for the suggestion on how to massage some more life out of the windows. I will take the tightening approach and see where it gets me. As mentioned by Grey, my model is not the standard clamshell design and because of that, does have some vertical joints on the roof, such as where the front nose cap meets the roof piece. I don't want to disturb some sort of seal in there if not necessary. I am considering a hail mary call to the new manufacturer with the understanding that they are not technically the same company that built my unit. I am open to any other suggestions that anyone feels like tossing my way from this perspective. Thanks for the warm welcome.
BigfootBill 06/16/20 10:56am Truck Campers
Weatherproofing 04 Bigfoot

First of all, thanks to all for all the info here. I read for several months before finally buying my first truck camper last week. I have ended up with an 04 Bigfoot 10.11SL as a second owner from someone who bought it new upon retirement but has had it stored away for the last several years - a barn find if you may. Based on discussion, I don't think that it was ever resealed and so I am going about addressing that. On to the questions: I have started with several coats of Hengs on the roof over what was there and cracking based on what I have read here. 1 - It appears that there is something similar to what I am putting on the roof on the side compartments that was "tooled" similar to what would be done with caulk. Should I try to apply a thin coat of Hengs in this location? 2 - How can I tell if the windows need to be resealed or should I just jump in and do them all for peace of mind? 3 - As a fiberglass construction, the Bigfoot design has several seams where the fiberglass meets. These joints are covered by some sort of semi flexible material that is bent over between two finishing pieces that are caulked. Should I be considering exposing these joints to reapply whatever sealant is hopefully currently doing its job? Thanks for all of your help and guidance. The drive home was more pleasant than any trailering experience I have had and solidified that my choice was correct for my situation with a truck camper over travel trailer.
BigfootBill 06/15/20 09:25am Truck Campers
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