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 > Your search for posts made by 'Ranger Tim' found 17 matches.

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RE: 3M 5200 Marine Sealant et al

Part of the reason for the post was the disconnect between the boating community and the RV side of things. I'm after people's perspectives and have appreciated the responses so far. Much obliged!
Ranger Tim 07/09/20 12:25am Truck Campers
RE: Insurance Coverage facts wanted:

I work for one of these organizations. I have never heard of POE or police weighing private vehicles involved in traffic accidents. This does not mean it won't happen though. If you are driving a commercial vehicle then you will be held to a higher standard and can expect to be heavily scrutinized, at least in Idaho.
Ranger Tim 07/07/20 12:19am Truck Campers
RE: What do you keep in your camper.

Stuff keeps migrating in but I keep throwing it out. Where does it come from?
Ranger Tim 07/06/20 11:38pm Truck Campers
RE: Super Basic Solar Upgrade

This does give me a few new ideas on mounting them to the roof rails...
Ranger Tim 07/06/20 11:31pm Truck Campers
RE: Propane Generator to Gas.

Just when I was thinking of converting my Honda to run on Propane!
Ranger Tim 07/06/20 11:25pm Truck Campers
RE: 3M 5200 Marine Sealant et al

Thanks for all the input. I understand the feedback on silicone. I also watch the butyl caulk squeeze out occurring on the camper seams and worry about how much is left. I don't mind using the Dicor but it seems to only last a year or so before beginning to show signs of sun damage/cracking. I will be switching to Sikaflex in the short term, but was looking for input on longer term solutions. I figured there had to be others that are as fed up with continual maintenance as me - and I don't even have any real problems... yet.
Ranger Tim 07/06/20 11:22pm Truck Campers
3M 5200 Marine Sealant et al

I currently go over my camper religiously looking for chances of leakage at least every six months. Seams on the roof, windows, etc. are checked for any signs of cracked sealant or separation. I treat them with Dicor in the two varieties, self leveling and goopy. This past trip it rained for three solid days and I was trapped inside a lot of the time. I began to ruminate over how well protected the unit was. When I was on the east coast I grew up using the 3M sealants for marine industry, notably 5200 and 4200 caulks that came in squeeze tubes and cartridges. These lasted for many years in salt water. They would also go through season after season of abuse from freezing and vibration. I can't believe there is anything that vibrates and moves more than a boat pounding the waves. Those sealants are tough, last for a long time and don't let go. I even used them to mount lighter weight things to fiberglass hulls with no screws with success. Why doesn't the RV industry use these? Is the Dicor superior because of flexibility? Lots of folks tell me to switch to Sikaflex products. I know people scream not to use silicone but I never hear why. Where is the holy grail of information on all things RV caulking?
Ranger Tim 07/06/20 11:25am Truck Campers
Super Basic Solar Upgrade

All I want is to install two solar panels with a charge controller to provide charging capability to my existing flooded lead acid batteries. I intend to use these Centennial group 27's until they are done (probably another year or so). I will upgrade then. I want to use the factory wiring that exists in the camper. The controller location is prewired with access behind a cabinet panel. I know the wiring is going to be minimal and won't carry the current efficiently. The plug on the roof is like the type you see on battery chargers. One step at a time. The current power management device charges, converts and protects the circuitry in the camper. I do not intend to replace it until I have to. Here are my questions: Can I add a solar controller and panels that will charge my batts without worrying about any ill effects to the converter being affected? Does the solar back-feeding the converter cause problems? What type of panels are the best to get for a camper roof? What do people use to install them through the membrane and prevent leaks? Any particular concerns about drilling through the membrane? Where is the best site to learn more without getting into a full-blown solar zealot approach to state of the art solar power generation involving thousands of dollars? I start talking about this and my wife's eyes begin to glaze over almost immediately. All she imagines is a mountain of cash going out the door. Maybe I should just slog it out with the Honda 2200 until I win the lottery? I just envy those that can charge all day. It would totally top us off. We don't use much power at all. Bought the genny to run the A/C once in a blue moon. Haven't done it once yet.
Ranger Tim 07/06/20 11:04am Truck Campers
New Shock Time

I know nothing about shock absorbers, other than how they work. I can install them or have a shop do it, depends on how busy I am. The existing shocks are Ranchos but they are so rusted I cannot read anything on them - obviously original equipment. They are not tune-able. What should I be looking for and are there better options available for the same price level? See my signature for my rig. There has not been a noticeable problem with ride, only the age of the shocks and their appearance gives me the idea they should be replaced. Am I right? Perhaps I have not noticed any degradation to the ride quality over time. I want to replace the rear factory sway bar with a Big Wig but feel like the shocks are a better first move.
Ranger Tim 05/21/20 03:35pm Truck Campers
RE: Best Truck Camper AGM battery?

Jayco, I use a Motobat AGM in my ATV and it has been a top notch battery. There is a Battery Specialties store across the street from the Interstate Batt store on Chinden in Garden City, ID. They carry lots of true deep cycle brands including Motobat, Trojan, Centennial, etc. They also carry a line of Lithium batts. I get very good prices from them if I spend some time wheedling them over it. I use two group 27 Centennials (lead acid-sealed) in my camper and they are in great shape so far at 4 yrs old. Time will tell. My employer switched from NAPA to Batt Spec and are saving a lot, plus the product is way superior. We use solar cells and battery banks on portable message boards and were always replacing the NAPA stuff. BS has good customer support. My Centennials seem to hold up well but I want to replace with AGM when they die.
Ranger Tim 05/08/20 08:31am Truck Campers
RE: How inconvenient is a cargo trailer?

If you want to off road leave the trailer at home. If you are on an extended journey leave it at a self storage with good security. Some parks have areas for trailer storage. Hitch lock is a no brainer. I carry telescopes/atv/generator/ prospecting gear, etc. It caters to our whims. I am currently moving up from a 5X8 to a 6X12 and want all aluminum with torsion suspension. The truck handles the trailer/camper combo well, it even drives with a bit more stability with it. We have a Fox Landing and use an 18 inch extension. Still under my GCVW!
Ranger Tim 05/05/20 09:58pm Truck Campers
RE: you like Torklift StableLoads? / Upper, lower or BOTH?

I have both upper and lower Stableloads. The truck has the camper package which means a factory stabilizer bar. I have very little concern with weight as the truck only drops an inch or so when loading the camper and it handles nicely. There is a small amount of sway and I intend to eventually fit a Big Wig bar to replace the factory one. I need new shocks so they will be first. After shock replacement I may not want anything else. The truck/camper combo weighs 11,300 lbs. fully loaded per Cat scales, truck is right at 8000 lbs. empty with a full tank. I often tow a 1500 lb. utility trailer but it usually improves the ride. Driving habits and emergency stopping ability are the most important concerns for me, and I have confidence in my rig to handle most situations (I avoid high speeds of 65+). Only you can make those kind of determinations -- it is all about your comfort level. Asking the forum for opinions will yield a range of solutions and recommendations. Some may make sense for you and others may not. Some folks don't understand why everyone doesn't do everything their way and this philosophy probably pervades their persona. Whatever... Take a long hard look at your situation and gather intel. You may not need to do anything yet. I needed a solution before I bought and happened to guess correctly. The Stableloads were perfect and the uppers were a five minute install. The lowers were a two hour ordeal of drilling springs. I rented the drill press device from TorkLift and it was essential. I now have two of the wedges engaged when the camper is on the truck. The uppers are fully engaged with the helper springs when loaded. When empty and the lowers are pivoted out of the way the truck rides harder than normal because the uppers are just touching. This leads to some squeeking and bumps can be uncomfortable. This is a truck after all. The uppers could be removed for any extended trips without the camper, but I have never needed to do that. The Stableloads are excellent for hauling heavy loads like firewood too. I have been happy with the purchase. Wish I had them in stainless. Good luck with figuring out your needs. I think waiting for the camper to be loaded may be the best decision. The uppers might be nice to have on hand as they can be fitted in minutes. You may not need anything though. It all depends on the weights involved. Return them if they are not needed and only be out of the shipping cost.
Ranger Tim 04/20/20 08:57am Truck Campers
RE: Tie downs

For a one trip-get it home affair I think you could use straps and a bed mat for this light of a camper. The difficulty is getting the straps in place once the TC is loaded. Agree that the plastic liner is bogus. Most truck beds get scratched and damaged on the floor, not the sides. A bed mat from someplace like tractor supply will do the trick, less than a hundred bucks and you will keep it in the bed most of the time. Get a set of four ratchet straps from HF or HD and figure it out when you arrive. Find out what size the tie down opening is before you get there - the hooks in the straps need to fit or you will need to adapt with some kind of quick link. And get straps that are rated for decent weight, not for holding down a push mower. Pull the front straps opposite the rear and it won't shift much. Drive conservatively and like you are a truck driver with a heavy load and you will be okay. Drive like a crazed person and all bets are off. BTW, that applies to any TC situation. Make sure your tires are inflated to handle the weight.
Ranger Tim 03/07/20 09:14am Truck Campers
RE: New Ford 7.3 Gas

I will not upgrade my diesel to another one when the time comes if there continue to be offerings like the 7.3 gasser available. We have many newer diesel trucks in our fleet at work and the DPF and DEF systems continue to be a headache along with fuel pumps blowing up. Waiting for other trucks to regen is a pain. Diesel has become a much more difficult choice because of all the emissions stuff. A simpler and less maintenance intensive engine would be optimal for me since I will be retired soon. It may be a long while before my 6.0 dies, especially after all the work I have put into it, but I see the body of my 2006/200K F350 slowly deteriorating and know there are fewer miles left each year. I love my truck and I used to think a rebuild would be okay but the body may leave me no choice. Purchasing a new truck would allow me to move to a dually and larger camper at about the same time I retire. This would suit my anticipated camping schedule. Watch me get whacked by a meteorite on my last day of work : )
Ranger Tim 01/24/20 12:59pm Truck Campers
RE: Desert Southwest suggestions

Be sure to factor in altitude when choosing locations. When coming from back east some folks are not conscious of the effects on temperatures altitude plays, not to mention the effects on some folks bodies. There are places like Bryce (8000 ft.) that are high up and can be very cold in April. I have a real problem with altitude and need to acclimatize over a few nights or I suffer bad headaches. Your body may be fine with it. Just be sure to drink copious amounts of water when in the west. I would not consider visiting canyon country complete without seeing Canyonlands Nat'l Park near Moab. Visit the "Island in the Sky" section, which is accessed off the same road to Moab as Arches. There are many locations that would provide stunning vistas for nightscapes. Mesa Arch is one that should not be missed. A five minute hike from the parking lot. It would provide a sensational shot looking east. There is rarely anyone camping that time of year (no water) and only 12 sites at Canyonlands, but the views easily equal Grand Canyon. Only a two minute walk from the campground to the Green River Overlook. Great place for night landscapes (Bortle 2/1). There is Dead Horse State Park there with the famous "Horseshoe Bend" but not sure when they open. Before you reach the N.P there are opportunities for boondocking and there is also a BLM campground called Horsethief that is usually deserted - it would be a great spot to shoot from next to the camper.. For a Bortle 1 location stay at Goblin Valley State Park, Utah. It is nearby and on the way from Bryce to Moab. Of course Arches N.P. is local to that same area as Canyonlands, so stay there for some incredible nightscape opportunities. It's a shame that Moab is only a few miles away from Arches, there is some light dome to factor in. At Arches my favorites are "Double Arch" and "Delicate Arch." If you want to shoot snowy mountains at night the La Sal's are nearby and spectacular. So are the Henry's. These stay snow capped all year. Remember my comment about temperatures. Speaking of the Grand Canyon, I would suggest the North Rim. Check for weather conditions and snow. There is a wonderful observation point at the rim where Angel's Window is located that would yield countless spots for shooting nightscapes. Many opportunities to shoot without any people in the way. Be sure to watch where you step! The best part is that you will be shooting towards the south in most of them, catching the milky way prominently. Too bad Sagittarius will not be up! I like camping at the Forest Service campground near the North Entrance, good water and usually quiet. Boondocking in the area can be found easily. If you ever decide to come farther north be sure to contact me for more astro friendly sites that are truly dark. The intersection of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada continues to be one of the darkest spots in the lower 48. The marriage of astronomy and the truck camper is a match made in heaven! I often have a few scopes in the back seat and more in my utility trailer when I set out for the last of the dark places. Good luck with your journey!
Ranger Tim 01/24/20 12:33pm Truck Campers
RE: Too big for a T/C ?

I am 6'5" and 250 lbs. The truck camper works for me fine. I would hit my head on the A/C unit if I stood full height under it but it doesn't bother me. Some campers didn't have the interior height so I avoided them. The U-shaped dinette works fine in my model because it has enough room at each end for me to sit. It is better when the table is absent. I would like to replace it with one of those adjustable tables. All truck campers that I can afford or have the ability to carry are tight on space. I buy it to sleep and cook in, not "hang out." I prefer to sit outside if at all possible, so interior room is not that important to me. If I had bought it to live in I would buy another type of motorhome. Having the ability to park nearly everywhere, tow something and to fit in nearly any campsite are worth putting up with a small interior. Good luck with your mission.
Ranger Tim 01/14/20 01:52pm Truck Campers
RE: Oil changes en-route with camper on truck?

Easy-peasy. All you need is a pan and a wrench...
Ranger Tim 10/17/19 10:00pm Truck Campers
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