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 > Your search for posts made by 'JimK-NY' found 343 matches.

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RE: Replace OEM fuel tank?

When doing a lot of driving I like to stop at least every 4 hours....that is barely a half tank of diesel for my 2018 Ram. I have never had an issue with the tank size. For a break after driving 4 hours, I like to stop for a while so the time spent refueling is not a concern. I typically refuel, use the restroom, spend a few minutes in the camper checking emails, planning routes, and just plain taking it easy. I often take a short nap. After a decent rest, I am ready for another 4 hours. In the Summer when the days are long, I often do a couple of rest stops and feel relaxed and can easily handle 10-12 hours of driving. If I try to avoid or shorten my rest breaks, I feel beat up with only about 8 hours of driving. Four hours on half a tank? What size tank do you have? Four hours of highway driving is maybe 240 miles with little or no delays due to traffic, construction or road conditions. Under decent conditions, my mileage with the loaded camper is about 15 mpg. So that works out to about 16 gallons. My highway mileage is typically a bit less than 15, but I also rarely travel more than 200 miles at a stretch. My tanks is whatever is standard in a 2018 3500 Ram CTD. I think that is 33 gallons.
JimK-NY 01/17/22 12:29pm Truck Campers
RE: Replace OEM fuel tank?

When doing a lot of driving I like to stop at least every 4 hours....that is barely a half tank of diesel for my 2018 Ram. I have never had an issue with the tank size. For a break after driving 4 hours, I like to stop for a while so the time spent refueling is not a concern. I typically refuel, use the restroom, spend a few minutes in the camper checking emails, planning routes, and just plain taking it easy. I often take a short nap. After a decent rest, I am ready for another 4 hours. In the Summer when the days are long, I often do a couple of rest stops and feel relaxed and can easily handle 10-12 hours of driving. If I try to avoid or shorten my rest breaks, I feel beat up with only about 8 hours of driving.
JimK-NY 01/17/22 08:36am Truck Campers
RE: Let's talk air bags...

When I first bought my camper, I had the dealer finish setting up my Ram 2500. That included airbags. The ride was really bad with lots of sway. I cranked up the Rancho shocks to help. The ride became stiff and harsh and the sway was still an issue. I tinkered and found dropping from roughly 45 psi to about 15 psi helped a lot. A year or so later one of the airbags tore. I hardly noticed the difference since I had dropped back to about 10 psi. Later I got rid of the airbags and went with Supersprings. Wow, what a difference. I was able to lower the shock settings and had a great ride with minimal sway. No more airbags for me! On my new Ram 3500 truck I still needed a bit of help mostly to keep the headlights from pointing too high. Timbrens solved the issue. I could still aid Supersprings but I seem to be doing well without.
JimK-NY 01/16/22 11:41am Truck Campers
RE: Calculated MPG

.....mpg becomes moot to me, as it will be what it will be. I am not a fanatic about mileage, but I have found that paying attention can make a considerable change. I live on the East coast and really like the southwest and western US. My RV trips tend to last for several weeks or months and average about 12,000 miles. Paying attention and adjusting my driving can have a huge effect on mileage/fuel costs. For example, on the open road, I have found a sweat spot driving about 60-65 mph. I gain little at 55 or so and lose a lot at 70 or so. I tend to make some adjustment with headwinds/tailwinds and other conditions. I don't want to doddle on the highway but I also hate to see my mileage drop from 14-16 to 10-12. Often the cost savings are worth a few extra minutes of driving a day to make up for a lower speed. After years and tens of thousands of miles of RV travel, I must admit that recording fuel purchases makes little sense. It is now just more of a habit. I do like being able to look back and see dates and places for my previous trips. A simpler ships log would probably make more sense. I also reset the trip odometer at the start of every trip. Again, there is no reason except just curiosity.
JimK-NY 01/15/22 06:15am General RVing Issues
RE: Calculated MPG

I recorded date, gallons and location for each time I fueled for the past 10 years and close to 100,000 miles of RV travel. I have to admit that the gallons are the least useful information and I rarely calculate mileage except for average over many fill ups. What I have found most interesting and useful are the location data. When taking a new trip, it can be interesting to see the routes and times it took for past trips.
JimK-NY 01/14/22 05:21am General RVing Issues
RE: Making A Warmer Truck Camper Bed

I completely turn off the heat at night. By morning the temps in the camper are often down to 40 degrees or less. I have had no issues using a hot water bottle to get started and several fluffy blankets. If anyone is interested Costco is currently selling Pendleton sherpa fleece blankets that are extremely warm and only cost $35. Two or three of those should do it down to really low temps.
JimK-NY 01/12/22 02:32pm Truck Campers
RE: Making A Warmer Truck Camper Bed

A 2 liter hot water bottle and cover is $13 from Amazon. It will prewarm plus stay warm for hours without any electricity or need for a large inverter.The typical pad is at MOST 200w, so stop with the large inverter nonsense. In this case I guess "large" is relative. I have avoided the use of any inverters except a very small, plug in inverter that I need only to charge camera batteries. My phone, laptop, and my wife's CPAP all run or charge using 12 volts. Many of us with truck campers have limited space for a large battery bank or for lots of solar panels. I removed the slide from my battery box in order to fit in 2x150 AH AGM batteries. I have about 1/4" overhead and front clearance to jam them in. My roof only has room for 2x135 watt solar panels. Rather than try to expand my system or use a generator frequently, I conserve electricity. That means no electric coffee pot or other appliances and certainly no electric blankets.
JimK-NY 01/11/22 08:46am Truck Campers
RE: Making A Warmer Truck Camper Bed

A 2 liter hot water bottle and cover is $13 from Amazon. It will prewarm plus stay warm for hours without any electricity or need for a large inverter.
JimK-NY 01/11/22 06:43am Truck Campers
RE: Making A Warmer Truck Camper Bed

It seems hard to believe but the area under my mattress was just a raw piece of plywood. I sealed that with a couple of coats of enamel paint so no moisture soaks into the wood. For normal Summer use, I occasionally check but there is never any moisture under the mattress. When the outside temps are cold, around 40 degrees or below, I need to raise up the mattress with a foot stool and then use my 12 volt fan to dry the area. I do that once or twice a week before any serious dampness accumulates. There are pads that can be used to keep the area dry but I don't want any increase in thickness because the ceiling space over the bed is already minimal.
JimK-NY 01/10/22 10:08am Truck Campers
RE: Making A Warmer Truck Camper Bed

Heated mattress pad. The typical heated mattress pad is going to use about 80-120 AH per night. Plus the ones I have seen are all 120 v so you need a larger inverter to use one and the inverter will waste considerable extra power. If your rig is hooked up, fine, but I would just use a space heater in that case.
JimK-NY 01/10/22 08:31am Truck Campers
RE: Making A Warmer Truck Camper Bed

I tried Reflectix to seal off some of the vents and windows. It is almost worthless. The R value of Reflectix is 1.0. Fabric covers and window shades are a lot more attractive and perhaps even more effective. Fortunately my Northstar was built with European windows which are double layer with a layer of air sealed between the layers. They are fairly effective especially if I close the shades which traps another layer of air. If you have single layer windows, I recommend heavy fabric curtains. Do not cover any vents. You need to use them and exhaust fans whenever you generate a lot of moisture such as using the shower or cooking.
JimK-NY 01/10/22 08:23am Truck Campers
RE: Making A Warmer Truck Camper Bed

I have a 3 season Northstar camper which does not do all that well when temps are freezing or below. I have found a few mods that help. A lot of cold air seems to come in through the back door. I hung a heavy curtain in front of the door that helps a lot. I have an 8" thick mattress that provides great insulation, but it feels really cold initially. I use an oversized hot water bottle. It will take boiling water and has a knit cover to prevent being burned. I put it in the bed a bit in advance. It warms the bed and the heat lasts for hours. With enough blankets, I am usually comfortable without even running the heat at night. I hate hearing the furnace run all night plus it uses a lot of battery power. Condensation under the bed is a problem but I do not want the claustrophobic feeling of raising the bed so I just prop up the mattress periodically to make sure the area under the mattress does not become damp. One of the biggest improvements I made was adding carpeting. I bought inexpensive, indoor/outdoor carpeting from the home center and spent a couple of hours getting a perfect fit. I was initially concerned about the carpet getting dirty but that is not an issue. I can easily pull out the carpet and beat off the dirt. If it gets really bad, I wash it. Even in the coldest nights I can get out of bed and walk across the floor to use the restroom without getting icy cold feet. The next major improvement was to seal off the space between the camper and sides of the truck. I used slabs of rigid foam insulation to get a good sealed off area. That also keeps the wheel well storage areas clean. That is where I put extra boots, dirty laundry and misc items such a big extension cord and paper goods.
JimK-NY 01/10/22 07:01am Truck Campers
RE: Norcold 9.7 (10) cu ft 12 volt compressor fridge?

I have a conversion to dc compressor, the draw is about the same. It’ll consume between 50-100ah depending on the outdoor temps. 200ah lipo and 400w of solar has no problem keeping up. I see you are from Arizona. At this time of year your 400watts of solar will be capable of producing a maximum of 86 AH/day. That might keep the Norcold running but with little to spare. Again that is the maximum. A cloudy day or camping in the woods can mean zero solar input. I have a pretty efficient NovaKool which is half the size of the Norcold. On a warm Summer day it can easily chew through 80 AH or more. I would expect the Norcold would hit twice that. It takes a lot of solar, a big battery bank and a backup generator for prolonged cloudy/shady camping. That is a lot of expense just to run a refrigerator.
JimK-NY 01/07/22 08:52am Truck Campers
RE: Where did the Non weekend RVers go?

That seems to be true of many forums I have visited including those involving my hobbies. I believe in the early days of the internet there was a lot of interest and participation in the forums. Now a google or YouTube search can answer about any question.
JimK-NY 01/03/22 02:57pm General RVing Issues
RE: Happijac new vs old?

A couple of years ago, I needed to order a replacement for one of my old jacks that had frozen with broken parts. A tech rep at Tweety's had all the information on recommended replacements and compatibility of parts. I suggest you give a call and see if they can help.
JimK-NY 01/03/22 12:10pm Truck Campers
RE: Amp draw vs battery bank & solar array = totally confused!

It seems lots of ideas have been contributed but to my understanding it does not seem the concerns of the OP were answered. I have a few comments that might help with my understanding of the OP's issues. First, it seems the OP is trying to start with an energy use audit. Trying to base that on manufacturer's specs is not going to work well. Instead actual measurements are needed. My solar system can do this for me. With consistent solar light I watch the steady amp charging amount. I then turn on the appliance being audited and note the decrease in amps. Looking at a computer, even a small laptop, is extremely important. They take a significant amount of power, probably more than most people realize. In conjunction with the initial audit, it is highly important to find ways to reduce power consumption. First would be to avoid use of major appliances such as the microwave or an electric coffee pot. I only use my microwave on rare occasions when I have shore power or when I specifically start up the generator for using it. I found a way to make great coffee with just boiling water heated with propane. Even small adjustments can help. I avoid the use of an inverter. I found 12 v chargers for laptop and almost all other items. I never found an option for camera or flashgun batteries so for them I use a small, cheap, non-sine wave inverter. A large, sine wave inverter wastes a lot of power. The final step is to size the solar charging system. The size often depends on money and available space. Regardless of the size, a generator is still going to be needed for cloudy days, for camping in the shade, or when the requirements are just too large. A big solar system will minimize but not avoid all generator use.
JimK-NY 01/01/22 06:43am Tech Issues
RE: Aftermarket heated steering wheel?

It seems nothing is right for some people. What is it you want? You cannot have a steering wheel with built in heat unless you buy a new vehicle or spend a fortune having someone make modifications and install a jerry rigged heated wheel. The add on options are not going to be satisfying since they are going to add bulk and include a wire that should not be used when driving. You don't want gloves even heated or light weight gloves. I guess you are just going to have to continue with cold hands and a cold steering wheel.
JimK-NY 01/01/22 06:19am Tech Issues
RE: Aftermarket heated steering wheel?

How about battery-powered gloves? They heat up quickly and can be used when not driving. Or maybe just driving gloves that are already warm?
JimK-NY 12/31/21 10:46am Tech Issues
RE: S&S 8.5 Camper on Ram 2500: Measured weights; advice.

I would suggest doing a bit more research. I suspect the GVWR of 10000# is more related to registration costs than to the actual load rating. States charge registration fees based on the GVWR and over 10000# can increase the charges. Tires and wheels are typically what limits the safe load capacity and it seems there is no problem with them. The other issue is the rear coil springs. I would have avoided that and bought a truck with a standard spring pack that could be easily upgraded by a spring shop or with something like Timbrens.
JimK-NY 12/20/21 07:17am Truck Campers
RE: S&S 8.5 Camper on Ram 2500: Measured weights; advice.

You are happy with your rig and have used it several times. What concerns do you have? What advice are you asking for? It seems that weight is the issue. If so, I can add that my TC is supposed to be 2300 lbs empty and setup for travel it weighs in well over 4000 lbs. I take extended trips and carry backup foods, a generator, 2 solar panels, 2 heavy AGM batteries and 3 seasons of clothing. Your use seems very different and you are likely not too much over the specs for your truck. I would check on ratings for your tires. Those are probably limiting you to roughly 3000 lbs per tire. You might be able to upgrade to improve the safety margin.
JimK-NY 12/19/21 12:36pm Truck Campers
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