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 > Your search for posts made by 'Siletzspey' found 25 matches.

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RE: The shorter the center of gravity, the better right?

When towing boats and trailers, the general rule is 10% of the weight onto the hitch for stability and other reasons. Is there a similar rule-of-thumb for truck campers in a truck bed? My 9'6" NL in a long bed F350 SRW puts about 10% on the front axle, and 90% on the rear axle. I'm at 88% capacity of front axle rating, and 95% rear axle rating. --tg
Siletzspey 04/30/20 06:29pm Truck Campers
RE: Fantastic fan with no thermostat?

What model of Fantastic Fan (FF) do you have? On my FF, the remote control lets me set a speed (13 possible speeds) or a temperature, and it automatically opens/closes the lid and has a rain sensor. Without the remote, the fan unit has a manual open/close knob but no other controls, and manually opening the lid will turn the fan full on. I'm sure the rain sensor would close the lid upon rain. I have no idea if the last temperature set BY THE REMOTE would still be utilized when manually opening the lid. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 04/20/20 11:31am Truck Campers
RE: this 20 ton bottle jack? this air compressor?

I would avoid the $30 Chinese bottle-jacks, as reports of failures are semi-common. As it turns out, older Ford Superduty and current Ford Sprinter Vans come with either a Ford OEM YELLOW 4-Ton or RED 6-Ton bottle-jack, 2-stage. I went to my local Ford dealership and confirmed you can buy them new from Ford for about $200, and confirmed they were in the new Sprinter Vans on the lot. Many of these jacks end up in junk yards and on eBay for ~$50. I bought the RED 6-Ton, and the two stage action goes from a squat 8" to tall 18-1/2". Home Depot and others sell a BLUE "Ford" 6-Ton bottle-jack for ~$25, but I'm cynical it's actually a Ford OEM jack, and am certain it's quality is far less than the YELLOW and RED jacks. Search on eBay, and you'll see the YELLOW and RED jacks. I'm also keeping the simple screw jack in my F350. The screw jack might be able to support the weight of truck+camper on one wheel, but the issue is how physically demanding it will be to turn the crank when so much weight is present. For a given weight, the higher duty jack will be easier to crank/lever. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 04/05/20 12:03pm 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
Siletzspey 03/25/20 05:48pm Truck Campers
RE: you like Torklift StableLoads? / Upper, lower or BOTH?

With a 2015 Ford F350 SRW and NorthernLite 9.6, my rated payload was 3,885, and fully loaded camper, truck and people/pets was 4,000 total. Adding 2 of the 3 lower StableLoad bars/wedges was all I needed, and the factory over-leaf bumper just touched. I did just 2 wedges, since that's all that would fit naturally in the spring gaps when the truck was unloaded. Other than the over-leaf bumpers making knocking sounds when on bumpy roads, the support and leveling is excellent. I later added a RoadMaster sway bar, which profoundly reduced sway to near zero! I purposely avoided air-bags, since they have been known to increase porpoising and sway.
Siletzspey 02/14/20 11:35am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone have a wiring diagram for a Northern Lite camper?

Wow, nice work Thomas. Will you leave the 1-Wire sensors in or were they for characterization? Bob Thanks! I plan to leave the temperature sensor grid in so I can get more furnace duty-cycle figures for the NL community. Others are tinkering with basement fans to move hot air around during extreme cold, so I plan to follow suit with two 0.075A PC fans. I also brought some humidity and volatile gas sensors online, but have yet to play experiments with stove-time v vent-fan time. It's fun. --tg
Siletzspey 12/23/19 06:02pm Truck Campers
RE: Anyone have a wiring diagram for a Northern Lite camper?

While working on a NL 9'6" QSE lithium upgrade design, and with input from others, I put together a power calculator that happens to show what is on each DC fuse, and separately a rough wiring diagram of the NL in its OEM state (see p.4). Please yell if you see a mistake, or can help clarify the red items. --tg
Siletzspey 12/17/19 08:50pm Truck Campers
RE: 2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Electrical Upgrade/Solar Advice

Hi VT94. We seem to be pondering similar things, modulo I'm in a Northern Lite (a fiberglass cousin to your Big Foot), and have decided to jump to Lithium. I posted my MS-Excel power calculator and tentative upgrade plans in this thread. --tg
Siletzspey 12/06/19 03:23pm Truck Campers
RE: Northern Lite Camper Power Use Calculator

... the system will keep cycling automatic breaker. Hi Kayteg. Do you have just the 7-pin outlet, or did you add a separate high-current line (2/0ga)? Is the breaker you speak of associated with the 7-pin line, or high-current line, or the converter? If your jacks are tied directly to the batteries, I would expect the batteries would take most of the load, and you shouldn't be blowing any charging fuses. Where I'm still under-informed is how motors and inverters can demand a current spike when first turned on, and I believe motors can generate a spike when turned off. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 12/06/19 03:06pm Truck Campers
RE: Northern Lite Camper Power Use Calculator

Curious whether you've had a chance to check your maximum charge current (and voltage) from your converter ... you may find the results somewhat disappointing. Indeed. See p.2 of my LFP upgrade plan, where I included shore and alternator estimates reported by other NL owners. Indeed, very disappointing! Where safe and possible, my LFP plan is for 4ga and shorter wiring distances. BTW, the 4 Happijacs (with the new direct drive motors) draw approx. 25a when lifting our 8-11... Thanks for the feedback. I'll roll that into the next spreadsheet rev. The "factory interview" numbers seemed to be for twice the weight of our NLs, so a drop from 40A to 25A seems reasonable. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 12/06/19 02:58pm Truck Campers
RE: 2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Electrical Upgrade/Solar Advice

My future plan was to add a 2nd LiFePo4 ... When adding a 2nd battery, and then naturally wanting to push twice the charging amps, what concerns are there that one battery's BMS might take that battery offline (e.g. it's own temp drops below 32), and the remaining current-greedy battery decides to absorb twice what it should? It does seem like the "recommended" LiFePo4 charging rate is 0.5C, and the max-max charging rate is 1.0C, so if the dual charge rate is 0.5C, then worst case when a battery temporarily drops out, the remaining battery will be hit with 1.0C, which while more than recommended, is still supposed to be non-fatal. --tg
Siletzspey 12/05/19 05:20pm Truck Campers
Northern Lite Camper Power Use Calculator

I worked up a power use calculator and wiring map for a Northern Lite camper (2018 9'6" QSE). For some devices it still contains guesses, and the solar recovery portion was just added. Gap fillers, comments and reviews welcome! --tg
Siletzspey 12/03/19 09:57am Truck Campers
RE: height? / good wide folding stool for pop up truck camper

We use the 9" Camco with our NL on F350 with 18" tires. The wide leg stance makes it very stable. We had the plastic Costco folding stool, and it was very tippy in comparison. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 11/21/19 06:13pm Truck Campers
RE: Best truck for Northern Lite 10-2

With a 2018 9'6" QSE NL, my 2015 F350 6.2 gasser is plenty good, but the SRW is running at 104% of GVWR and 96% rear tire/rim capacity when modestly loaded up with gear. With a 10.2, I'd go DRW. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 11/17/19 06:30pm Truck Campers
RE: Overloaded wheel Breakage

FYI/question - on a 1-ton, the tire, wheel, axle, spring and frame ratings tend to be max'ed out equally, so upgrading just one component doesn't necessarily buy you much. I read what seemed like a fairly competent posting elsewhere that the lug bolts (pattern, count, size) are another weight-rated link-in-the-chain to consider. While the tires always win the weakest-link award, I wonder where lug bolts fall in the line-up?
Siletzspey 11/01/19 10:29am Truck Campers
RE: Overloaded wheel Breakage

... OE wheels are designed with a SIGNIFICANT factor of safety ... Talking with my local truck and tire dealers, they said most of the rim failures they see are with after markets. They felt the OE rims at max were solid, where-as after-market rims at max could be iffy. Hovering around 3,500 load (per rear tire) on 3,590 rated OEM rims and 3,640 rated tires, they felt my tires were the only thing worth reconsidering. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 10/31/19 04:57pm Truck Campers
RE: Ideal V8 rpms when towing?

Thanks for the replies! I realized after asking that there is a miles-per-gallon optimization aspect, and a wear-and-tear optimization aspect, and I was thinking more of the latter. I guess I've gravitated towards the answers that suggest the transmission and computer will choose a reasonable gear for all concerns. I do use the UP and DOWN arrows to set what top gear is allowed when 5-6 jumping occurs, and when going downhill. Thanks, --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 10/09/19 10:27pm Truck Campers
Ideal V8 rpms when towing?

My F350 SRW 4x4 with 6.2L gas has a 3.73 axle and 18" tires. I carry a 9'6" NL truck camper which puts me at about 11,000lbs total. When cruising at 70mph, I turn 1,800rpms in 6th gear, and 2,300rpms in 5th gear. On a mild up slope the engine seems fine in 6th at 1,800rpms (e.g. I don't get any odd sound or sensation of lugging). Is there any thought on what a good rpm is for the engine and transmission when towing a load? With my prior 1997 Ford Expedition, the TOW button would disable the highest gear (OD). I also plan to upgrade to a slightly larger 18" tire so I can go from 3,640 to 4,080lbs per tire, and estimate 6th gear will drop to 1,700rpms, and 5th to 2,200rpms. I wonder if I will want to purposely avoid 6th? Thanks, --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 10/08/19 12:31pm Truck Campers
RE: Northern Lite

We have a 2019 NL 8-11. We were able to to fit four 10 ft. Revolution hoses (brown hose/yellow ends; sold at Walmart) inside the bumper on our 8-11. I was reluctant to shave further, thru the sidewall, but given how rarely I use the second 10' section, I might as well shave it to max skinny, even if it seems sketchy. If you have a moto tool, a $5 burr head takes the plastic down quick and easy. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 10/03/19 12:25am Truck Campers
RE: Northern Lite

The NL bumper tube can only accommodate a 2-prong Valterra-brand female end, as opposed to the more common 4-prong female ends. Each new NL should come with a Valterra female fitting, which you are expected to mount to a hose. Some of us have discovered that you can shave a standard 4-prong hose to fit. I posted my success story here: Whether a shaved 4-prong or as-is 2-prong, the female end will only fit near the opening of the bumper tube, so you can only mount one fully-fitted tube in the bumper. Just today, rumor broke that the 2020 NL will have a bigger bumper box to accommodate the 4-prong sewer hoses. --SiletzSpey
Siletzspey 10/01/19 10:57pm Truck Campers
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