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RE: Camper looks like its not level

I have a Ram so perhaps my experience does not help. I use the wheel well areas for storage which are easily accessed by doors in my Northstar. No dirt or water enters but I have had insects and birds fly into those areas. I put insulation between the bottom of the camper and the truck bed "rails". The insulation needs to be about 3/4" thicker in the front than in the rear. This is for my 2018 Ram 3500 and was also true when I owned a 2010 Ram 2500. This has nothing to do with the level of the camper or the truck. The camper floor does not slope. The "rails" are higher in the front than in the rear of the truck!
JimK-NY 05/03/22 01:25pm Truck Campers
RE: Camper looks like its not level

I got weighed going through Fayetteville NC. I was over by about 1000 pounds. Payed the ticket on the spot. The DOT officer said go back to NY and have them up the registration 10000 to 15000 pounds, Problem solved. He weighed each wheel with a drive on scale. Of course this was many years ago. Just posting some info nothing more. I have traveled in all but a couple of the 48 States and have never had an issue. Why/how did you get pulled over for a weighing?
JimK-NY 05/02/22 07:46am Truck Campers
RE: Camper looks like its not level

I bought a 2022 Ram longbed diesel dually in January. When I load up my Northstar 12STC (4800# ready to camp), it looks like its leaning back as well. I was thinking about installing airbags, but the top and bottom overloads are just engaged as it is now. The airbags would lift it off the overloads if I try to make it look level. Don't want that. Instead, I reregistered my truck at 13,900# so it's legal. When the dealer registered it in January, they registered it for 9200#, which is 300# more than the truck weighs empty. I was going to leave the registration at 9200# and keep my fingers crossed I wouldn't get weighed, but the way it leans back makes me feel more likely to get weighed. Not a big deal, the difference between 9200# and 13,900# is only $35 / year. The worst part was waiting in line at the DMV - 3 windows open, 21 people in line. I am totally confused. First I live in NY, have owned TCs for many years, and have never heard of any official weighing a truck camper or any RV. My trucks have always been initially registered by the dealers at the weight rating from the manufacturer. No one has ever questioned the weight I actually carry. Nor can I imagine how that would happen. There are no scales near where I live and I certainly do not stop at the commercial truck weighing stations on the highway. Next I am puzzled about the weights. The Northstar weight of 4800# seems about right. But the base weight of the truck at 9200 minus 300 is 8900#. I would not be surprised if your rig is actually over 13900. In any case the 4800# and about 3500# for the truck, sit on the rear axle. That is over 8000# on the rear axle or over 4000# on each tire. Are your wheels and tires rated for that load? I recommend you load up the rig and check the weight on each axle. In fact you should check the weight on each tire. My Northstar had lots more weight on the rear right than the rear left tire. The water tank was offset a bit towards the right, and the refrigerator, propane tanks and generator and overhead storage were all on the right side. Perhaps Northstar has done a better job on your rig but it is also easy to load one side way more than the other.
JimK-NY 05/02/22 06:21am Truck Campers
RE: Camper looks like its not level

I have already upgraded my 2016 F250 with super prings and I have air bags installed and I added a swaybar to the rear since Ford no longer installs swaybars on their trucks. I'm running size 18 on my truck but was recommended to go the next level running 19 inch rims and 19 inch tires but ford says my 18 inch rims and tires are within the weight load for the truck and camper and it would be an over kill if I added 19 inch tires and rims. My super Springs weight max is 3,100 to help out with the load in the truck bed and my air bag are at 80 pounds each both the front and rear tire wells are level from the top to the street level so my truck is level and not rear end heavy or as most would say your ass is dragging. Ford measured my truck bed and it is level does not tapper to the tail gate and I don't have a bend in the truck bed floor all I have in the back is the stall pad for the camper to rest on. I hate beating a dead horse on this issue but it's just not sitting right and I know its going to bug me what I see other camper like mine on the same trucks that don't have this issue. It sounds like you have the best in upgrades and your truck should handle the weight really well. Both Supersprings and airbags are adjustable. You should have no issue achieving level. I would get the truck on level ground...use a carpenters level. Then adjust Supersprings and/or airbags to level the camper. Then attach some stickon level gauges to your camper so that you can use blocks under the tires when on uneven ground. Personally I would not even worry in the slightest about being 1/2" low in the back. In fact I would prefer that to being dead level. Being slightly out of level will not at all affect your refrigerator. My bed is North-South and I also prefer the North end level or even better slightly high. Leveling when camping is almost always necessary. It is rare to have a dead level campground site.
JimK-NY 05/01/22 10:23am Truck Campers
RE: Camper looks like its not level

You have a camper with a weight of about 2500# with standard equipment. Adding personal items, any additional accessories, outdoor chairs, etc, can easily raise the weight to the range of 3500-4000#. With that weight I am surprised the springs have only dropped a half inch or so. It is best to have the camper sitting flat in the bed or the truck. That helps to minimize strain and any potential damage to the floor of the camper or bed of the truck. A board under the back of the camper would also leave the truck pointing somewhat upwards and the headlights would not be aligned and would likely blind oncoming traffic. There are a great many potential solutions, including Timbrens, Supersprings, and airbags. You should also weigh your rig to be sure it is within the load capacity of the truck and especially fails within the load capacity for the rear tires. Again, suspension mods mentioned can help but you may also need to upgrade your tires to higher load capacity.
JimK-NY 04/30/22 01:12pm Truck Campers
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

This is something I'm curious about also, as we plan to do more and more boondocking, and trying to get an idea of how long our frig (Whirlpool 120V residential model) can keep cool without hookups. Here are the specifics for ours: Frig says it uses 2.5 amps, full load RV has 6 GC2 (225 Amp/hour, 6 volt) coach batteries Xantrex 2000 watt inverter/converter powers the frig when not hooked up to electricity Based on this, my rough estimate is that we should be able to keep the frig cool for about two days without depleting the batteries too badly. Three at most, but of course it also depends on what other loads are put on the coach batteries. Does this sound accurate? Also thinking, if I was to run the generator for 2 or 3 hours each day as well, we should be able to last almost indefinite as far as frig is concerned. Thoughts? My thoughts and calculations show way less than 2 days. The 2.5 amps @ 120 is 25 amps @ 12 volts. You have 6 x 225 AH @ 6 volts which is 675 AH @ 12 volts. Draining battery bank to 50% gives you 338 AH @ 12 volts. 338/25 = 13.5 hours. Your inverter will cost you about 10% so somewhere around 12 hours. So you will need to fire up the generator about every 12 hours. You need to replenish 338 AH. If you have a good sized charger of about 50 amps that will take about 7 hours to reach a partial full charge. So 14 hours of generator time per day. Every few days you should consider running the generator full time for 24 hours to bring the batteries up to a full charge. Of course this is based on the compressor running full time. Run time is a big variable and could be much less if the ambient temps are cool, no warm items are added and you don't open the door frequently or for long periods. I would not count on dropping below about 60% compressor run time. That would cut your gen time by several hours a day but probably no less than about 10 hours.
JimK-NY 04/27/22 10:29am General RVing Issues
RE: should I be using a stand when not in use

I have never heard of a jack failing or any major issue.... Then you haven't read this thread. I read it. It is about a failure to properly rebuild an old camper.
JimK-NY 04/26/22 09:03pm Truck Campers
RE: should I be using a stand when not in use

I have never heard of a jack failing or any major issue, but I do support the camper with a small stack of pallets. I would want to avoid a lot of swaying due to heavy winds. I suppose being only a foot or so off the ground would stop that, even so.....
JimK-NY 04/26/22 04:08pm Truck Campers
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

I have found it takes LONGER than 2-3 hours to cool down my compressor refrigerator. Sure, cooling starts immediately but it takes hours to cool down even an empty refrigerator. And that is for a small RV sized unit. Before a trip, I turn my refrigerator at least 12 hours before adding pre-chilled foods. That is in keeping with the consensus information I found with a Google search. Here is an example: https://publicananker.com/how-long-does-it-take-a-refrigerator-to-cool/ "Full-size refrigerators typically take 12 hours to cool down to 40degF, which is the FDA-recommended food-safe temperature. The cooling time can vary greatly depending on the refrigerator brand and type and can range from 2 to 24 hours. Mini fridges can be set up in less time, with an average cooling period of 4 hours."
JimK-NY 04/25/22 05:10am General RVing Issues
RE: 12 volt Refrigerator

For the 4.5cf model it draws up to 72 watts when the compressor runs,very manageable with enough solar... This unit draws 5-6amps when the compressor runs. A 100amp battery will run it, but the charge back from a 100w panel might not be sufficient to maintain the battery. It will depend on how often the compressor needs to run and how much charge back is achieved during the day. Thanks, Way Interglobal see less By Way Interglobal SELLER on February 18, 2022 It is pretty easy to calculate solar, generator and battery needs based on your information. The other missing data is run time which I find is highly dependent on ambient temps. I would plan for at least 80% in order to run the unit in low to moderate Summer temps. Anyway the 100AH battery is going to provide 50AH or a run time of less than 10 hours. I would want at least 4-6 batteries to avoid using the generator every few hours. Solar is a different issue. Right now where I live in NY a roof mounted, 100 watt solar panel is only going to provide about 40 AH/day of power. So under ideal conditions it would take at least 2 panels to break even. With about 50% cloud cover this time of year, that would mean 4 panels and more if you park in any shade or have an extended rainy period.
JimK-NY 04/23/22 11:49am Tech Issues
RE: 12 volt Refrigerator

I got a great deal on a used RV. Sadly there was an issue. It came with a 7 cuft compressor refrigerator that chewed way too much power to be useable. If you want to learn the details, here is an example of the issues: https://www.exploroz.com/members/145028.75/1/2009/queensland_adventures_winter_2008.aspx?p=%2fblogs%2fdefault.aspx I could not easily convert to propane because there was no back access and no roof vent. Instead I got a much smaller (4 cuft) Nova Kool compressor refrigerator. It pulls 2.3 amps. The duty cycle time is HIGHLY dependent on ambient temperatures. Around 60 degrees it runs maybe 1/4 of the time. By 70 degrees, the duty cycle increases to between 1/3 and 1/2. At 80 degrees it runs full time. Beyond that it struggles to maintain frozen food and a 40 degree refrigerator temp. I super insulated the compartment, increased the ventilation and even use a couple of computer fans on the coils in hot weather.
JimK-NY 04/23/22 05:58am Tech Issues
RE: Camping Courtesies

I have a couple more: leave the dog at home and don't play music outside of your RV.
JimK-NY 04/22/22 02:53pm RV Lifestyle
RE: Soft-sided, collapsable totes?

I use a different approach. Instead of folding clothing and putting in storage areas, I roll the items and use rubber bands to keep the clothing rolled. Rolling and using rubber bands really does not take much more time than just folding. The rolls are neat, easy to organize and keep the clothes more or less wrinkle free. You can buy huge bags of rubber bands for very little money at Staples or from Amazon.
JimK-NY 04/22/22 10:03am General RVing Issues
RE: ZEP Floor Wax Update

If you read the Zep/Red Max Pro Application Process, you might become discouraged at the amount of work needed. The post describes what is needed if you have an oxidized and dirty RV. You will need to scrub off that old, oxidized layer regardless of the final coat you chose so applying Zep is no more difficult than any other wax job. As described, there is one added step. You need to use TSP, dilute ammonia or some other wax stripper to remove any previous waxes. That additional step is pretty easy, just use a long-handled mop and go over the surface a couple of times. Doing a good initial job of surface prep will mean your Zep finish will last and save you many, many hours or days of work over the years. I did not try Zep on a new RV with a shiny gel coat. When I started mine was a few years with minimal chalky oxidation. I did have lots of black streaks below the gutter spouts, windows and wherever water flowed off the RV. Zep has all but stopped that streaking.
JimK-NY 04/22/22 08:35am General RVing Issues
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

Re-charging the battery bank would take a great many hours of generator run time. A large residential refrigerator is not practical unless you plan on hook ups at all times. Unless you add sufficient solar--in which case the costs for generator can be ignored. That would not work well either. I see you live in Regina at about 50 degrees north latitude. At this time of year a roof mounted 100 watt solar panel would put out a maximum of about 40 AH/day. For Ron's example of a 160 AH refrigerator, it would take 4 panels to break even assuming absolutely no clouds, no shade. It would probably take closer to 8 panels just to keep that refrigerator going in normal use.
JimK-NY 04/21/22 03:15pm General RVing Issues
RE: ZEP Floor Wax Update

Years ago I used a different floor product but essentially the same and also had good luck. To me, the floor product makes a good “base” and done properly provides a good shine. I would suggest to add an additional step and apply a product that provides UV protection. Several years ago I researched this because ZEP was really designed for interior floors and has no added UV protectants. First I learned that regular car waxes often claim to have UV protectant additives but testing has shown the amounts and durability to be little more than advertising claims. I had considered spraying with 303 and then coating with ZEP. I was afraid the 303 would cause issues and the ZEP would not adhere. I thought about spraying 303 after coating with ZEP. I realized that would be virtually worthless. 303 is only effective for about 3 months. Anyway after years of ZEP only there is no sign of UV damage or oxidation. Acrylic by itself protects against UV and probably provides better UV protection than most UV treatments.
JimK-NY 04/21/22 03:00pm General RVing Issues
RE: ZEP Floor Wax Update

Good feedback. Thank you. What about decals, is it ok on the decals, no yellowing? We just paid $7k last year to redo all the decals on our FW with high quality, guaranteed to not fade decals. I guess I should be asking the manufacturer too. Thanks. My RV was built in 2004. I don't have any problems with them. They are still stuck on and I don't believe there has been any fading. ZEP should provide a protective layer.
JimK-NY 04/21/22 02:37pm General RVing Issues
RE: ZEP Floor Wax Update

Is Filon and fiberglass considered the same thing? Can it be used on Filon? Filon is a trademark for a fiberglass product.
JimK-NY 04/21/22 02:35pm General RVing Issues
RE: Residential Fridge battery run time

Ron did a great job of explaining the issues, except I would disagree on the boondocking recommendation. In Ron's example even 6 batteries would only keep the refrigerator running for a maximum of a day or so depending on other electrical use. Re-charging the battery bank would take a great many hours of generator run time. A large residential refrigerator is not practical unless you plan on hook ups at all times.
JimK-NY 04/21/22 07:04am General RVing Issues
ZEP Floor Wax Update

At this time of year many of us are de-winterizing and getting our RVs ready for another season. If you are about to wash and wax your RV, perhaps my comments on Zep floor wax will be of interest. I forgot the exact year but about 6 years ago in the Spring, I washed my RV and applied a coat of paste wax, Meguiars Flagship Premium Marine. The results were not good with lots of swirls and blotchy areas. I applied a second coat and the results were no better. I decided it was time to try ZEP. I stripped off the Meguiars, scrubbed with Bar Keepers Friend and applied several thin coats of ZEP. Over the past 6 years I have added a couple more coats of ZEP with no additional surface prep except for washing. With one exception, the results have been outstanding. The shine still looks like new. I barely need to wash the RV. Just spraying with a hose removes dirt. There have been no black streaks, no yellowing, no peeling, no sign of deterioration or oxidation. There has been on exception--the nose of the RV. Baked on bug splatters and road grime have taken a toll. I had to use ZEP stripper to remove the old wax coats and I am about ready to reapply a few coats of ZEP, probably 4 or 5 thin coats. I will be happy to answer any questions on using ZEP. I will say that good surface prep is essential before applying. Old wax and oxidation needs to be stripped off. Doing the prep is a one time thing as opposed to the work of using traditional waxes at least once or twice a year.
JimK-NY 04/21/22 06:52am General RVing Issues
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