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RE: GM/Chevy 2020 fitment odyssey

Years ago full sized pickup trucks had wider openings at the tailgate. My Northstar Igloo has a bumpout for the shower. With a Ram or a Ford pickup, I have 1/4" clearance with the camper centered on the bed of the truck. The Chevy opening is narrower by a quarter inch or more and my camper would not fit.
JimK-NY 03/28/20 09:46am Truck Campers
RE: Well, They gone and done it

You must have hair that grows like wolfman. It has only been less than 2 weeks since barber shops closed. Hair typically grows about a half inch a month. I typically go a couple of months between haircuts and even then the main issue is just a furry neck. I am glad your hair is your only complaint. Those of us in the NYC area have additional concerns. Store shelves are empty, hospitals and morgues are filling up and the number of dead is expected to top 10,000 within about 3 weeks.
JimK-NY 03/26/20 06:03am General RVing Issues
RE: Cleaning NL (fiberglass) shell

Some of the kitchen scouring pads are quite abrasive. I used pads that were plastic and sold as non scratch, soft scrub. Bar Keepers Friend and Bon Ami are very mild abrasive cleaners. They can also be used. Never use Comet or any of the coarse abrasive cleaners or any of the aggressive cleaning pads. You may not need to use any of these products and if necessary a gentle scrubbing should be sufficient. I used a soft plastic kitchen sponge and BKF because I had some oxidation on a 10 year old camper. The light scrubbing also helped to remove layers of wax. Before deciding to use ZEP I had spent a full day waxing with Mequire's Marine Wax. I had rubbed on 2 coats and the finish still looked nasty, mottled and uneven. I have been told and believe that in order to achieve a long lasting ZEP finish it is necessary to remove oxidation, dirt and old wax. Anyway with thorough surface prep, my ZEP finish has lasted without any cracking or peeling and no yellowing that I can detect. Using a scouring pad and BKF sounds like a lot of work. It was actually quick and easy and way less work than wiping the haze with a typical carnuba wax application. The little work needed is all in the prep. Wiping on the ZEP finish could not be easier. You just want to use a small rag dampened in ZEP and wipe on several thin coats. Just be sure to avoid any runs and dripping.
JimK-NY 03/26/20 05:50am Truck Campers
RE: Cleaning NL (fiberglass) shell

I have not had any need to repair roof caulking for several years. Since I have an aluminum roof, I have not used ZEP on the roof. If you have caulk covered with a ZEP finish, I would use a little ammonia or wax stripper, then clean with mineral spirits.
JimK-NY 03/25/20 08:50pm Truck Campers
RE: Cleaning NL (fiberglass) shell

This is the Process For Applying Zep. Looking at some boat forums, it looks like Zep is highly regarded (!), but some users are saying at best it lasts 1-2 years more than wax, and then you're in for a bigger job to strip the old and apply the new. Frosting and peeling were two issues raised. Still, I'm curious what others have experienced on campers. Re-waxing the sides is easy enough, but I'd love a longer lived roof coating. --SiletzSpey I am on my 5th year with ZEP. No peeling, no yellowing, no signs of any deterioration. If I had to start over, I would strip the old finish with a couple washes with dilute ammonia. I would probably use a kitchen scrub pad to make sure all the old finish was removed. Then I would just reapply by wiping on coats with a rag dampened with ZEP. I expect to have to do that one of these days...maybe a few more years from now. ZEP should work just fine for a fiberglass roof. It will even stick on top of caulk after the caulk has thoroughly dried.
JimK-NY 03/25/20 06:48pm Truck Campers
RE: Can You Pass Through States with Stay at Home Orders?

Sorry to those who can't take some humor. This virus has scared far too many people (snowflakes?). Were you all this scared in 2009 when the H1N1 killed 12,468 people in the US and there were 60 million reported cases? As I recall nothing much happened during that pandemic, no panic, no empty store shelves, no stay at home orders, no closed businesses, no nothing. Yet this new virus comes along, which isn't a fraction as deadly as the H1N1 and everyone is losing their minds. Maybe we've gotten too soft. I live near NYC. There are currently about 15000 known cases and 150 deaths. Those numbers are expected to double every 3 days and in fact it appears that the rate is increasing. Experts are predicting a quarter million cases in NYC within 2 weeks with 2500 deaths and 25,000 requiring hospitalization. Three days after that the number of cases will again double and those requiring hospitalization will exceed the total number of hospital beds in NY State.
JimK-NY 03/24/20 10:17pm General RVing Issues
RE: Cleaning NL (fiberglass) shell

I have checked zep's web site but dont see one that appears to match what you've described. Could you post a product link or number to get an idea of what you're recommending? This is the product I used: https://www.zep.com/product/zepcommercial/high-traffic-floor-finish It is available at Lowe's. A gallon goes a long, long way and costs under $20.
JimK-NY 03/24/20 09:56pm Truck Campers
RE: Cleaning NL (fiberglass) shell

I have posted my results and recommendations several times recently but the response seems minimal. I will try once more. I put ZEP acrylic finish on my 2005 camper about 5 years ago. The results are still amazing. My camper had sat over a year under trees. The roof was covered with muck and green scum in addition to twigs and leaves. I cleared the roof then I rinsed off the camper. I did not even need to wash it. There were no streaks, no dirt or stains. The finish still looked great and water still beads on the surface.
JimK-NY 03/24/20 05:39pm Truck Campers
RE: Driving With a Pop Up vs Hardside??

99% of the time I have had no issues driving my 9.5' camper on my old 2500 or now on my 3500. The downsides have been driving in high winds. On rare occasions I have driven in 50 mph cross winds. No fun and anything worse would be unacceptable. I have also pulled into campsites with low tree branches. Of course that might also be an issue when trying to set up a popup camper. There are also rare occasions with low bridges or tree branches overhanging a dirt road.
JimK-NY 03/24/20 10:46am Truck Campers
RE: Can You Pass Through States with Stay at Home Orders?

They've taken hundreds to jail for violating the stay at home orders. If I were you I wouldn't chance it. Bypass Delaware and any other state that will confine you for being out and about. Better yet, stay in Florida. There is always one scumbag who wants to spread rumors and lies and upset others. I should probably use a more correct internet term: "troll". This is just disgusting when people are panicky, upset and trying to decide what they should or can do.
JimK-NY 03/24/20 08:33am General RVing Issues
RE: Time for maintenance/projects?

Two weeks ago, I was ready for an extended trip of 15000 miles and several months. There is not much left for me to do except to transfer the food, supplies and clothing back to the house. I do have a possible recommendation for anyone with time on their hands wanting to make an improvement. Someone mentioned applying a couple of coats of wax on their camper. Waxing is a lot of work and at best only makes a difference for a few weeks or months. I would recommend using some time to apply ZEP acrylic floor finish. I did so 5 years ago and the results are still impressive. A few weeks ago, the camper had been sitting under trees for over a year with piles of leaves and rotten muck on the roof. Normally that would have meant really dirty sides with black streaks. Instead I did not even need to wash the camper. I cleaned off the muck and merely rinsed the sides. No streaks, no dirt. The finish still looks good and beads water. For the 5 year period, my maintenance has been minimal. Every couple of years I have applied an additional ZEP coat. That just involves wiping down the camper with a rag dampened in ZEP. Most of the time and work is just spent going up and down and moving the ladder. If you do a ZEP finish, plan on taking a full day for prep and the initial coats. You will need to thoroughly clean and then scrub the camper with wax stripper and bar keepers friend to remove any carnuba wax or oxidation. Then you need to apply 4 light coats of ZEP.
JimK-NY 03/24/20 08:17am Truck Campers
RE: Driving With a Pop Up vs Hardside??

I would think the choice would be highly dependent on how you use your camper. If you are trying to skimp on the specs and cost for your truck, a popup would definitely help. If you want to do off road camping, a popup would certainly be an improvement and would allow you to travel where a larger and heavier truck camper should not venture. When I bought my truck camper, my wife and I were preparing for full time travel and did so for 2 years. A hard sided camper gave us more comfort and more storage. It was way more convenient for stopping at the side of the road for lunch or a quick nap or use of the toilet. We also did a lot of "stealth" camping. People who go camping at a local campground often have no idea or use for this technique. Our travel often consisted of driving long distances between major National Parks or other attractions. Once there we spent our days exploring and doing photography. All we needed at night was a place to park. We rarely stayed in RV parks and often did not stay in campgrounds. Stealth camping was often our choice for cost and convenience. A popup or a slide is not stealthy. Just to explain this further, stealth camping means keeping a low profile and does not equate with camping illegally. I can give endless examples but one should suffice. When we visited my wife's sister for several weeks in Mill Valley, CA, we stayed next to the golf course. We checked with the police department. We could park in the same location without moving for up to one month. Even so we went full stealth as a courtesy to the neighbors. We have done the same in many similar locations.
JimK-NY 03/24/20 07:58am Truck Campers
RE: Germs, viruses and fuel pump handles and doors

If you are worried about touching a fuel pump, I recommend using an eyeglass cleaning sprayer loaded with alcohol. Using gloves is not very practical. You would need to take them off and dispose of them properly for every use. Instead give the pump handle a quick misting and then afterwards spray your hands.
JimK-NY 03/17/20 09:18am General RVing Issues
RE: Best way to bring shine back to fiberglass body.

I have read about peaple using floor polish, but also about it flaking off....... If the ZEP surface flakes, cracks or deteriorates, it is a sign of poor surface prep. Before using ZEP, I stripped previous coats of wax with a mop and an ammonia solution. I went over the RV twice. I also used a Scotch pad and some bar keepers friend to lightly scrub the entire surface. I might have been excessive but my original ZEP coating has lasted for years and still looks absolutely new.
JimK-NY 03/14/20 09:20am Tech Issues
RE: Best way to bring shine back to fiberglass body.

I recently posted my experience with using ZEP: https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30046242.cfm Just a quick summary: ZEP will provide a very durable acrylic wax coating that will repel dirt and black streaks, will maintain a shine, will protect the surface from oxidation and will last for a great many years with minimal maintenance. Surface prep is essential before applying ZEP the first time. You need to use a wax stripper and some light scrubbing to totally remove previous wax finishes and any oxidation. After the prep, applying ZEP could not be easier. Just wipe the surface with a rag dampened with ZEP, allow to dry and re-coat. After several years, I do not see any signs of oxidation, fading or yellowing. If you are concerned about UV protection, be advised that the typical waxes contain very little and do not provide any significant lasting protection. A ZEP or other wax surface seems to prevent oxidation. Aerospace 303 can be used to provide significant UV protection but it is expensive and would need to be reapplied every couple of months.
JimK-NY 03/14/20 09:14am Tech Issues
RE: New Mexico State Parks Suspend Overnight Camping

Well this is the sort of thing incompetent politicians do when they want to pretend they are doing something. They take some useless step that inconveniences the public as a show of activity. I am not a resident of NM and know nothing of the politics or even the political party in control, BUT it seems obvious there is an incompetent, two faced governor running the State. Before closing open areas and State Parks it would first make sense to close all areas where people actually congregate. That would mean all sporting events, all restaurants, bars, movie houses, malls, churches, places of business, courts, non-essential public offices, etc, etc.
JimK-NY 03/13/20 09:42am General RVing Issues
RE: New Mexico State Parks Suspend Overnight Camping

Idiot politicians.
JimK-NY 03/13/20 08:52am General RVing Issues
RE: self driving sooner than we think!

The absolute first step in developing a self driving car will be a navigation system that actually works 100% of the time. Mine doesn't. Instead it makes all sorts of stupid mistakes. It periodically totally loses the signal. It thinks I am on a nearby alternate street. I have a speeding warning set on mine. With annoying frequency it thinks I have left the Interstate and am driving on a ramp so it gives me a speeding warning. It makes all sorts of mistakes with routing especially when there is road construction or some other temporary issue. A nav system is just child's play when it comes to the needs of self driving cars. It is also simple to design a system to drive within well marked lanes. It is more complicated to avoid accidents due to road conditions. A simple piece of paper is enough to screw up the current systems. A blowing piece of paper or some leaves is enough to cause a self driving car to slam on the brakes. One of the first people killed by a self driving car was the woman in Phoenix who tried to cross the street. Because of the false alarms, avoidance response had been turned down. Science fiction and speculation about the future can be great fun, but for now we are a long, long, long way from what is needed for reliable self driving. I can also imagine the law suits for any mistake a self driving car makes. Certainly settlements will be well up into the tens and tens of millions of dollars.
JimK-NY 03/07/20 07:51am Tech Issues
RE: Your next outing??

Based on this thread it seems a few definitions are in order. First there is free camping which is exactly what it seems to mean - camping without any fees. Boondocking is used to refer to camping in remote areas. Sometimes it is free; other times there are charges or permits needed. Usually this means no facilities, but not necessarily. Next there is stealth camping. That means keeping a low profile so passers by do not know anyone is staying overnight in the RV. Some people seem to feel one or more of these is illegal and they might equate stealth camping with illegal activity. There are lots of reasons to stealth camp even when staying overnight is perfectly legal. Whenever I stay in a populated area, I try to employ some level of stealth camping as a courtesy to the neighbors. If I stay at Cabelas or Walmart or Cracker Barrel or the like I keep a low profile: no awnings, no lawn furniture, no generator. Then there was a landowner who was upset that someone would try to stay on their land. That is a situation which can be easily rectified with a $5 sign. In fact you better watch out if you have private roads that are unmarked. They can be deemed public if they are open and not posted.
JimK-NY 03/07/20 07:31am Truck Campers
RE: Thanks..and a Slide Question

My wife and I spent a couple of years as full timers in a truck camper. I am really happy we had: 1. a cassette toilet, 2., a wet bath, and especially 3., no slides. A slide gives you mainly just some useless empty floor space. You will gain a lot of weight, may not be able to stop quickly and use the camper. You will not be able to camp in some places that do not have the room for a slide or where you want to be stealthy.
JimK-NY 03/05/20 11:20am Truck Campers
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