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RE: Levelling blocks for camper on driveway with 2 degree grade

Has anyone read the title of this thread in a while? Or do some of you just enjoy over complicating this? Absolutely. This whole thread is just absurd. There is something seriously wrong when it seems difficult to store a camper on a hard surface which is just slightly out of true level.
JimK-NY 12/30/22 06:58am Truck Campers
RE: Broken Frame on a RAM 3500

In spite of the owner's claims, it seems very likely that the truck was grossly overloaded. Most Ram 3500 diesel crew cab pickups are going to have a CCC roughly in the 4000# range. The camper itself has a dry weight of 4500#. Loaded and carrying a motorcycle it is likely to be well over 6000#. There is another warning here for all of us. The CCC is based on that weight in the bed of the truck. Hanging a lot of weight well behind the rear axle is beyond what the truck was designed for.
JimK-NY 12/30/22 06:49am Truck Campers
RE: Levelling blocks for camper on driveway with 2 degree grade

It's funny you all say that you n need to support the base with something under it when the 2010 Lance instruction manual specifically says not to do that? Read the manual again. It says not to use "tall" supports to store the camper in the "raised" position. The camper should be lowered close to the ground. In theory it is not necessary to use any supports since the jacks should carry the load. I still think it is a good idea to further support the camper. Then there is no issue if a jack fails or Spring rolls around and you find it necessary to replace or work on jack that is no longer working. Maybe I am just extra cautious because I have had jacks fail.
JimK-NY 12/24/22 11:22am Truck Campers
RE: 12 volt fridges and boondocking?

The temperature of the RV, and how often the fridge door is opened, will play a big part in how often the compressor runs. Looks like the 8 cu ft fridge draws ~5A/HR. Just a wild guess, a 50% duty cycle of 5A/HR, is 2.5A/HR x 24 hours = 60 Amps x 12V = 720 Watt Hours per day. 600W of solar, with a derating factor of 25% = 450W of actual production. During peak sunlight, you'll replenish all the energy used by your fridge in 1.6 hours. I have made a lot of measurements for my 12v Nova Kool compressor refrigerator. The run time is highly dependent on ambient temperature. In the 65-70 degree range, my unit runs roughly 1/4-1/3 of the time. I do a lot of summer camping and day temps are often well in the 80's. That 10-15 degrees has a huge impact. Run time increases to about 75% of the time. A few degrees more and the unit will run almost continuously and does not cycle again until temps drop in the evening. Those are measurements without using the refrigerator. When opening and closing the door numerous times a day or trying to cool down some water or other drinks, the unit can easily run continuously with temps barely above 80 degrees. A unit that pulls 5 amps is likely to use roughly 100 AH/day for moderately warm Summertime camping. I use the following calculator to estimate maximum solar output: http://www.where-rv-now.com/Notes/Solar/index.php#Calculator For my latitude at this time of year, 600 watts of solar is barely enough to output 100 AH/day with full open sun and no clouds. Mid Summer peak would be roughly 300 AH/day, enough to run the refrigerator for at least 3 days on warm days without any additional solar. Certainly the OP should be able to do well with this combination of use and solar.
JimK-NY 12/24/22 09:02am Tech Issues
RE: Levelling blocks for camper on driveway with 2 degree grade

Also mix a little fine sand into varnish or another finish so they do not slip when stacked.
JimK-NY 12/23/22 04:30pm Truck Campers
RE: 12 volt fridges and boondocking?

Doing an audit can be largely guesswork especially if you have not had any experience running that 12v compressor refrigerator. You can start by checking the specs for amperage. A small 4 cuft unit will pull about 3.5 amps. If you camp in cool weather and don't try to cool down room temperature items, you might get by with 30 AH/day. More typical use would be twice that especially when camping in warmer weather. A larger unit is likely to pull well over 100 AH/day. You also need to be realistic about how much energy you can expect from your solar unit. I am in NY, at this time of year if we ever have a clear day the maximum output for 600 watts of solar would be less than 100 AH. Lots of my camping in done in the woods with little or no solar even on a good day. You did not mention the size of the battery bank but certainly that needs to be sized appropriately also.
JimK-NY 12/23/22 12:10pm Tech Issues
RE: Levelling blocks for camper on driveway with 2 degree grade

Even if it there were not needed for the driveway, you will need them for campgrounds where the camp area is not perfectly level and flat. You can buy a box of RV leveling blocks but they will be plastic and can easily break. I was able to find some scrap 2x8 boards and made my own. I cut them about 1' long, beveled one side and reinforced the wood with threaded rods across the grain. They have held up for many hundreds of uses. I frequently need to stack them 2 or sometimes 3 layers high so I carry 6 blocks. On occasion I have used them all but never needed more.
JimK-NY 12/23/22 11:42am Truck Campers
RE: Best used truck campers for ~4400lbs payload SRW 1T 8' F-350

Are there more limitations when you go to 17" and up? Excluding 19.5". I could not find any sufficient load rated tire for my 2010 2500 Ram with OEM 265/70r17 tires. They were rated at 3200#. The truck itself had put roughly 3500# on the rear axle leaving me short in carrying a loaded 4000# camper. Eventually I became worried enough about running significantly overloaded that I bought Rickson 19.5 rims and Firestone tires, rated at roughly 4000#.
JimK-NY 12/21/22 08:01pm Truck Campers
RE: Slide when mounted to truck

This whole thread seems strange. The OP has asked for information on using the camper while on the truck. It is designed for that. The bigger issue is using the camper while off the truck and supported by the jacks. First to do this, you really need to have the camper on a paved or other very firm, flat surface. Even then you should use blocks under the jacks to distribute the weight. Next I would check with the manufacturer to be sure the camper is designed for use while on the jacks. Is the floor built for people walking around without any support underneath? At a minimum, you need to lower the camper as much as possible. Often that will still be several feet high with a lot of sway and strain on the jacks. You might want to consider carrying a stack of pallets or other support for the floor. When checking with the manufacturer you should also ask about use of the slide. That will further strain the jacks on that side of the camper. In theory my camper is designed for use while on the jacks. Even so I make sure the tanks are empty and avoid getting into the camper until I have it further supported with pallet racks under the floor. I keep about half the weight on the stack of pallets and about half on the jacks. If a jack fails the pallets will take up the weight and the camper will not tilt. A few years ago, I had a jack bind up and fail. I was easily able to transfer the weight to the pallet and other jacks and to then replace the failed jack. Good luck continuing to use the camper without support of the truck bed. If you don't want to carry a stack of pallets across country at least try to find them or something else suitable at your destination.
JimK-NY 12/20/22 08:50am Truck Campers
RE: Slide when mounted to truck

On the other hand, if you are just going a few miles to coffee or a trail head, why bother to take it off? When you get back from your trail activities your camper is at hand. You can use the rest room, kitchen, etc. If you forgot to bring something, no problem, it's in the camper. Of course, my interests are different. I travel to visit National Parks and other scenic areas. When I stop for the evening, I may take down folding chairs and a table, but I put them back on the ladder carrier rack and in the morning, I can leave by just getting in the truck and driving. I have no setup or take down except making sure the windows are closed and there is nothing left on the kitchen countertop.
JimK-NY 12/20/22 07:55am Truck Campers
RE: Extend-a-Stay clogging tanks?

It sounds like you are opening the tank valve too quickly. That can result in no flow if the emergency shutdown is activated by a high initial flow.
JimK-NY 12/19/22 11:53am General RVing Issues
RE: Slide when mounted to truck

I never, ever take the camper off during a camping trip. First the fit is really tight, barely 1/4" clearance in the tailgate opening. Next I use the wheel well space. It is packed with paper goods, tools, extra boots, dirty clothes, etc. Finally and most importantly, I really like having the camper with me at all times. I like having my own kitchen for hot meals, like using my own rest room facilities, and I have even been known to take a midday nap. In years and many hundreds of nights of camping, I only put down the corner jacks once. That was during a hurricane with 50-60 mph winds. Think twice if you do put down the jacks. As a precaution, you might want to undo the tiedowns just in the rare case that you develop a flat tire.
JimK-NY 12/19/22 11:49am Truck Campers
RE: Best used truck campers for ~4400lbs payload SRW 1T 8' F-350

OEM for my 2018 3500 Ram is 285/60r20. Not sure if 295/65r20 would fit but they would throw off speedometer and shifting by 5%.
JimK-NY 12/18/22 04:11pm Truck Campers
RE: Best used truck campers for ~4400lbs payload SRW 1T 8' F-350

Tires are 3rd as it’s easy to get 4000lb rated LT tires. That has not been my experience. My first truck was a 2500 2010 Ram. It came with 17" rims. I could not find any tires with a rating over 3400# so I upgraded to 19.5 rims and tires at a cost of close to $3k. My current truck is a 2018 3500 Ram with 20" rims. Max tire load capacity I could find was 3640#.
JimK-NY 12/18/22 01:23pm Truck Campers
RE: Best used truck campers for ~4400lbs payload SRW 1T 8' F-350

Good luck. In my area, there have never been many used truck campers for sale. Now is worse than ever and also very poor for new campers with minimal inventories and long delays for custom orders.
JimK-NY 12/16/22 12:27pm Truck Campers
RE: Ordering F-350 7.3 CCLB SRW - how big of camper can I get?

Somehow these sorts of discussions seem to relate to differences of opinion. I see it more as a matter of math. If you start with a 3000# camper, addons can take the camper to over 4000#. For most SRW that will push the ccc and can overload the rear tires. I guess that can be a matter of opinion. Some people may not have an issue exceeding tire capacity by 10 or 20%. That roughly 1000# a dealer would call "personal" items can vary a lot depending on how the camper is used. It can also vary based on the specs from the manufacturer. The base specs from my vendor did not include solar, several hundred pounds for an "extended" cab, and it also left off the weight of accessories such as the microwave and awnings. When sizing the truck it is important to determine the loaded, wet weight for camping. If the use is traveling 20 miles to a lake for the weekend needs will be different than traveling longer distances for extended periods. Either way it is easy to grossly underestimate weights. Food is heavy so are lawn chairs, tables, BBQ grill, generator, tools, a tire inflator, Torqlift brackets and tiedowns. Even an upgraded foam mattress can add 100#. I am also amazed that many RVers somehow forget to add a few hundred more pounds for the weight of the driver and passengers.
JimK-NY 12/10/22 10:32am Truck Campers
RE: Electric jacks manual crank

I am surprised they lasted that long. Most of the older Atwood electric jacks were prone to water intrusion, killing the jack motors. If the jacks themselves are good, you should be able to get replacement motor units. The old jacks are no longer made but there are replacements. I had good luck with Tweety's getting information on the correct, upgraded part numbers.
JimK-NY 12/09/22 12:54pm Truck Campers
RE: Ordering F-350 7.3 CCLB SRW - how big of camper can I get?

Glad I didnt check on this site before I bought my camper, I would of had to updrade to a DRW to haul my 1725lb dry camper on my ram 2500 lol I guess this is supposed to be funny? Otherwise that weight of camper fully loaded should be well within cargo capacity for almost any 2500.
JimK-NY 12/09/22 12:49pm Truck Campers
RE: re-caulking roof

If the caulk is old and "cracking" it would be best to remove the old caulk and entirely reapply. That is a big job and that $660 cost is very reasonable. If you do the job yourself, you will need to do lots of scraping with a plastic scraper. I also recommend mineral spirits to help remove the old caulk. It is tough to predict how much caulk will be needed. I believe about one tube for every 15-20 linear feet.
JimK-NY 12/08/22 07:06am Tech Issues
RE: Ordering F-350 7.3 CCLB SRW - how big of camper can I get?

I have no interest in exceeding the sticker payload (I'm a lawyer lol) but I don't feel that we will travel with 1000lbs of gear? It doesn't make sense in my head... Does it not make sense or you just don't want to believe it? Surely there is a major difference between the way different people use their TCs. In my case, a second solar panel, a second battery, and a generator with fuel adds several hundred pounds. Others may not need any of this. I travel with a couple of light weight aluminum chairs and a grate for outdoor cooking. Others might carry a picnic table and heavy, zero gravity chairs and a BBQ grill and stand. I stock my camper with some basic staple food, spices, etc. Others might skip all of this. Even so a few days of food can get quite heavy. Most of us are going to also want cooking/eating gear, towels, bedding, extra clothing. I am amazed at the tools some people carry. I just have a few small bags of tools, hardware, repair items, and a tire compressor. Chances are you will need leveling blocks. You might also want to consider a bottle jack since the OEM jack is unlikely to work for a loaded camper. If you have not done so, I strongly recommend weighing your rig after it is loaded for use. Be sure to check the rear axle weight and compare that with the tire load rating. This is not a matter of wishful thinking, or calling wolf. A 3000# dry weight camper is very likely to exceed what a 350 should carry. Upgrades to the suspension can be costly. 19.5 rims and wheels can be over $3000. None of those upgrades will do anything to increase braking capacity. Have you looked at Torqlift brackets and tiedowns? Those for my Ram are huge, very thick steel and way heavier than what I gained by removing the tailgate.
JimK-NY 12/05/22 12:04pm Truck Campers
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