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RE: Anyone running the Baja Designs Amber S2 driving / combo ?

Got the squadrons because they fit where my stock fog lights are. And KD Fabworks makes a bracket for my truck that only accepts those or the Ridgid equivalent. Cheaper lights out there for sure, but the quality, weather sealing, and warranty is there.
Sliding-into-home 02/18/20 10:59am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone running the Baja Designs Amber S2 driving / combo ?

Squadron Sport SPOT + Squadron Sport WIDE DRIVING. I wanted individual control of each pattern, plus I think I may downgrade to the SAE WIDE lights so I don't have to turn them off for oncoming vehicles. Then I can just use the SPOTS for the super bad snow. The combo unit should work just fine, but it's not SAE (so you should treat it like you use your brights). https://www.bajadesigns.com/products/squadron-sport-pair-amber-led-driving-combo.asp
Sliding-into-home 02/18/20 10:47am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone running the Baja Designs Amber S2 driving / combo ?

I just installed these about a month ago. Definitely get the SAE version unless you want to treat them like brights and turn them off for oncoming traffic. The difference in brightness over any stock lights cannot be overstated. I got the squadron sports (not SAE) and treat them like brights. They are strictly emergency lights to be used when driving in the middle of the night through a storm of heavy, wet snow. With my fancy shmancy brand new Ford quad-beam LED package, I couldn't see in that stuff to save my life. The BD lights changed that. I'll try to dig up a few pics This is NOT the sort of snow storm I'm talking about, but just to give a rough idea... Stock lights: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/b-E6f78TBKQUaLZUKjvknHdnSqRfleU3XBMebnzEiTqUJksGvB2Quk0ZNxlUbwILW5XRtMGzsE8JklTBRCQabGA9W6bMVqOjoF8iRccWmo5A_3mftBqEcxqosTVVAxzhhnmr54sFQ61jEfRHakuSYYoi220u--_sFM1SiEN_x86uJwpDrHzh2SmAn8f98qUTWg4MGK2cEdZLd3OsMU4x4abKsm7n4uR6QrMwiBhRM8D1u-GfHl7QUAXyNVkkiPDq1G8hFw_1WNs3Gs5rQG4SOUbEFCbbTpXk2n9SfeZlov_YZCdISraHUu4ZtQ9GdwPp3nV9xTGOD18pSptNYYgfQqx_-SvMyonlPcQahqBjupj9uhP9iA8GUWuQLfkZKknTlcphMp-8JVgy2U1DD9oAQ9Eo4meJUQTrvqHBRVVto8BOQml-zRmtpF6f2nmjLOqtWVe36uSYLB1TGkYFfo0Pc6J6CiUcBxnDof9o65WmADfS8CSOpFd29fKHiRDB1sT5B_vwg_Sgu5T6qa1P9DK8MuqetTKaTrEsx8RnAGTK7RJr9XOzU_2YuEvspImvJuJETvMKp9WBLHjrJ6wtx0ITRXRp7Q36_uh-0Us4M2dpUOkztg7O0lm1it_BcN5tOx32nf_671O6PIzDn4zDyfVWoeVMGlsQs57eTp3RJPqVjgA6rXZTdR7zyfnpjn_N9663kSj--6okTRpOAKP4w7BucB5KU_rs0nvr80jjGI1Xp29-gC25=w596-h1059-no squadrons with stock lights turned off. https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/RtbKYbpgmX5nVEjivDl9g2aXFp83o02UgkpwZmsnDCkLK7bjbayKAqIDN4m37ZoOdeoSUKRXuCqA8r2vlI_4d4DCaMaf47S0kbkuuUgAqBeOz1FQ4kw2-yG7tMFYt--vbZATgGnYIFA1XrTKgc4w2TKmWBhuS5TN1YOEKEI8Tx1IGnmL8aGT21r69BpM71xdEyJvoFd3EYi4SHjlT0QGKs3Mkfl7JOjKb3vK8K1y8GSEyG0Q2c8RabSuZEUbI0i3yUe9lMxCBgJ-DtZFMktndLlWKyogVZiXJvs4ZYOlwE3efxsfzU9CgMJVc6WSYouneUJfM_eRZEi-ad930VpqcU1yZXa_wzc0GHonFAlEMziaq1UPTYWR1ttnupfntVYEkLptdJMhiS2uHIYVt77ZegPtseGhDM-eHCirPPzyYvVWRcVavzdhKySJrvurK-JDgFcoxf5INIp1J4EnbjE3xkWCOOLvOIfYohksCvLj2_BG19t-ynVKDAco-dyItDcHSYwJLRkGx57Ie3HQjuxj_n_ZPPnVzDBh-JDsj-8fOgDT-BOjuMduD2rU1cBqLJabxY6wDTqKO7TK0czyLlZTV3cr4CsMD-5yZVXh0v3q9LTbITX7MC_8We_Ucnv7i2ewwa0tE-c4YRUO2oWuDy7OVWz-PaAHPZvzjH25fBvexmOlwtN-2MloX1DgjfD1yDap3SJduNpjmO8S32zp2NVRxyb9FYr2_daSxV0A53EiG7ZFiuQw=w596-h1059-no https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pzdeo7OZPufzwfcZQw05CP9iNN0k61aNvDXV1VI_r1ywSsV_1cYO9RGYWgpOQtoPzd5ua-swoUpNcGqXPRgFcXMxIpjYlepgBXp7Y5P3M_-LwCiRatjnbHP0tXPXYsh1pAh3IU4NoQxTfrkr3w3xE5l07kBocWUsnHfLyNqq6WCmijVK5IWtxeKgpT12eu4X0GmQUXllLomwKTKgPm2D4FH8Jg73dXUIQSHXjqCdTn_Iu12qoyvtxeJ6e1rIA_BhnQWEmnfQrm8yXzgeYb6ZokSfmHmHV5saef9fT3YDMZUP2hsCd-BbgMgHq9NYi-Yb1PF1Iyg4hIDffxRJ0ItNQX4gDvvubUxTiGkp3F0UIgCsxmfGRu5WLfY7Wb7izejqsTwwwfbnta45ELjz3-6L_VXR8WxoDCC9XH1tbIcRTjnBU5Spt_o3fxrtC2PRg8ytra5z8tKNyjy--Mgo0E_prjZJDDk63XKHqnVH8aIVwdpxnYtP2dlBjHa-YPqYjQbVYKPLVHH6_Hmk72kKYfaFgZmZSFAUgpFDzWYDLojJsQRaRZtc0vZBXwjvsiI_u4zScFPY9OliQSAf01_mj2ceMmmk_nWqrP95RUYjXZtVg-h2IZXG2-HJbfPVT4RpvQ7y8aTGmVnAdS8iADG0EON_ukEQUb9hGC2cgqurY1uY60mJ1mfcPMj7ck0wYs0ZlB35PXfOyxiLSam3sO6C6YFp3TqWb1dj0mJSFDL8HIpHmEDTihIt=w1187-h668-no width=800 https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/tzl0wPWUrlx4pyko15ISu91AIfXpZYM9b2i89s8V35n3ad9YFYHymd1jz1ACbD1gsb4Lhe1dP0ZJupIXOmXxX6ngz65cpLkuFdS_cc88S90ovHUsqG9YGceLZ_rcLWTvkz3AGTS7dQibxRuCMlPUl2hhZMBLCSLTKCPruUb4UnCajaMAO5JD8rr7bKiVc_VbS81zJPKjvuM6q6uefkmKgtUu4C-cmPqAJqtFFO6O8x2HrBfVi0COjyWgmJuET8c1J1zv-VCVJRig0jYGDwvHXsUwN2OWtGCHefJDpkJjH1lGSlwBeYR-TM_QIUKc9rnV6ykYVjNXkU7Qs0jJrPRCLUZ8cNcZ0HR9DPLfkn40oiWtQ7yM2x-0Od7TVhvx5PpI0Brgxt8Q9klTMhfJ-PbbEq9AbGCrhHzYs2M2pRGbPYXmi__8eaFkn7B70pR5J4H2QgJwAs7I9mDCWmsW-DcHz_zQpz2CCp-nJXFjXNMhZlZZUDopYJa0yQDq8v1ry-7anoE6GIbm02vTtwDvjWKxiZ4NEe9J4vhutYKP1HSvJ-mZ3phktro0ZuaRQVPEng3SvxsLXAPZtpPH1_JLglpejKWnWQQMzkiYPpe_acW2C-Q2Cubs6YHttCzv_v6LTEKPNT1lMCmlppvMSl_JzrfqwCHAXnoscngP8UhjOp2Euzs3YynpHUTcORCz2DfhPU08ZZ3jrqKqjlHVuDk-fZLIOpZZgz2Vgx39o3rcilo89R6m75Gs=w1139-h748-no width=800
Sliding-into-home 02/18/20 10:30am Truck Campers
RE: Front Hitch receiver F-250

Add some stabilizing turnbuckles from the tow loops to the outside corners of the front rack like this. It will be rock solid then. https://i.imgur.com/WkIoJ6wl.jpg :):) This is exactly what I did with a little front-mount generator box I made. It can still shift a bit, but I only notice it when I'm actively twisting it in the driveway--never on the road.
Sliding-into-home 02/18/20 10:26am Truck Campers
RE: 2WD or 4X4 for a truck camper

It’s GVW not GVWR. Back to my point of needing a truck without truck camper, law or not, almost all trucks are under 10K GVW unless you are hauling a significant load. Sorry, but that is not correct.... GVW =Gross Vehicle Weight. This is what my vehicle weighs at any given time according to how it is loaded. This is not known by anyone without driving over a scale. GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is what is on the manufacturer door post sticker weight rating for my vehicle. This is the rating posted on the road signs. This would be the only reference figures a LEO could use. They have no way of knowing my GVW unless they had a portable road scale. GVW is actually what the letter of the law says in Oregon. https://oregon.public.law/rules/oar_734-017-0015 (edit: I think they're still maybe referring to GVWR with the phrase "rated gross vehicle weight."
Sliding-into-home 10/25/19 12:16pm Truck Campers
RE: 2WD or 4X4 for a truck camper

4wd doesn't remove the chain requirement in OR (and WA too I think) if you're over 10k GVWR. That said, I haven't seen anyone pulled over or ticketed for driving a camper in a chains required zone with 4wd and traction tires. It’s GVW not GVWR. Back to my point of needing a truck without truck camper, law or not, almost all trucks are under 10K GVW unless you are hauling a significant load. I don’t know about you, but I’d just wait until it is better weather since I can’t think of any reason why I need to go through a pass when a signifiant storm is occuring with truck camper or other heavy load. Yes, GVW. My mistake. And yes, wait if you can. I use my TC almost exclusively for skiing, so being forced to drive mountain passes during significant snow storms is what I hope for. My kid does ski team too, so I have to go no matter the weather.
Sliding-into-home 10/25/19 11:59am Truck Campers
RE: 2WD or 4X4 for a truck camper

4wd doesn't remove the chain requirement in OR (and WA too I think) if you're over 10k GVWR. That said, I haven't seen anyone pulled over or ticketed for driving a camper in a chains required zone with 4wd and traction tires.
Sliding-into-home 10/25/19 11:35am Truck Campers
RE: Not sure upper stableloads are right for me (UPDATED)

Well, I put 9000xl's on the front axle yesterday, dialed em up to 9 (based on hand testing compared to the stock shocks) and the dang thing drives like a car now. This was exactly the suspension upgrade I was looking for to fix the porpoising and straight-line bounciness (hat tip to jimh425). The lower stableloads are doing their job--perhaps a little too well. With only 1 plate in the back and 2 plates up front (on the rear overload spring, that is), the rear fender is about 1.5 inches higher than the front. That said, there are several hundred pounds of gear and water that aren't currently loaded. If it's still half an inch high after that, I'll pop off one of the front stableload plates and it should be dialed. So to recap, the suspension mods to date: - replaced front shocks with rancho 9000xl, at max setting - upper stableloads - lower stableloads with 2 plates up front and 1 plate in back - rear tires at 80psi, front at 70 I could be perfectly happy with this set-up indefinitely, but am planning to see how much better things could be with the following changes: - Hellwig Big Wig rear sway bar - Rancho 9000XL's on the rear axle - Relocating generator from up high and behind the rear axle to down low and in front of front axle (not doing this for suspension reasons, but so I have an enclosed, locked space to run the thing)
Sliding-into-home 10/23/19 10:19am Truck Campers
RE: Not sure upper stableloads are right for me (UPDATED)

I agree the stock suspension has its limits and I'm probably right at the edge (based on how I want the truck to ride/drive, anyway). With the benefit of more research and reflection, I'm hopeful that Rancho 9000 XLs are going to clean up the last little bit of my issues. If you're considering dumping the whole thing for a bigger truck and camper anyways, I wouldn't spend another $ on it. You'll already eat a bunch of depreciation as it is and trust me, a set of red and white shocks are not going to make that much difference. But a really stout set of Deaver springs will. I agree. I heavily considered a custom built spring back from a local shop that apparently can be quite affordable, but I'm trying to avoid mods that can't be quickly returned to stock characteristics for a few reasons. Also, I'm not so much looking for perfection as I'm looking to get sway under control when taking an off-camber corner on the mountain in the wind, and to get the front to back porpoising under control which just borders on silly on some roads. Lastly, there's a lot of good info here and elsewhere on the internet, but ultimately, hands-on trial and error is sometimes the only thing that will scratch a mental itch. Building knowledge and experience, etc., with the internet as a source of assistance as opposed to a replacement for that experience.
Sliding-into-home 10/21/19 05:45pm Truck Campers
RE: Not sure upper stableloads are right for me (UPDATED)

I don't have airbags. With respect to shear forces, if you've ever heard of someone snapping a leaf spring by using a stableload, please let me know, and please send pics. It's really hard to imagine that happening after getting intimately familiar with the leaf springs. I agree the stock suspension has its limits and I'm probably right at the edge (based on how I want the truck to ride/drive, anyway). With the benefit of more research and reflection, I'm hopeful that Rancho 9000 XLs are going to clean up the last little bit of my issues.
Sliding-into-home 10/21/19 02:51pm Truck Campers
RE: Not sure upper stableloads are right for me (UPDATED)

Front GAWR: 5600 Rear GAWR : 7230 It was no accident that the rear axle ended up at 7200 with my typical load.
Sliding-into-home 10/21/19 01:04pm Truck Campers
RE: Not sure upper stableloads are right for me (UPDATED)

Did not read via all 7 pages, but I understand OP carries light camper on 2017 F350. His is SRW, mine in dually, but I scaled my loaded camper at 6500lb and truck handles perfect with no modifications. Would be interesting to know axle weights? Depending on load, 5k up front and 7000-7200 out back. I'm guessing the heaviest I've ever traveled is 5200/7400
Sliding-into-home 10/21/19 11:37am Truck Campers
RE: Not sure upper stableloads are right for me (UPDATED)

More likely shocks if your porpoising. I’d also try tire pressure change on the front and ensure they put the pressure back to what you think it is after the tire change. I wish I'd paid more attention to this when you first said it (I think). Either way, I'll find out soon!
Sliding-into-home 10/21/19 11:15am Truck Campers
RE: Not sure upper stableloads are right for me (UPDATED)

Sorry it took so long to get an update on this. After reading this post, Torklift reached out to me and helped me get set up with some lower stableloads. I drilled half of one of the holes and then shelved the project for last year's ski season. With this year's ski season rapidly approaching and every little trip in the truck reminding me how much the suspension sucks, I figure I better get on this. I've read lots of opinions on drilling the new 2017+ leaf springs (not sure if they're any different than previous generations), but none of them have really laid it out as plainly as I'm about to: 1. No lubrication or cutting fluid is needed. 2. Slow speed + high pressure (thinking I was about 300-500RPMs with the 7/16th bit) 3. I didn't rent torklift's tool, but probably should have. Instead, I used a DeWalt trigger clamp, which worked surprisingly well once I stopped trying to pause every 5-10 seconds and relubricate as the instructions suggested. 4. Having a bench grinder on hand was very useful for re-profiling and resharpening the drill bits. My last spring only took me 15 minutes and I used the same bit for the last 3 springs. As for the ride? It's better, for sure, but not what I would consider "night and day." I want to be VERY clear about something though... I took some time to do a side by side comparison between the stock suspension and only the UPPER stableloads, and to my surprise, the upper stableloads were a big improvement. All of the bounciness I was complaining about was a factor of the crappy stock suspension which is 110% absolutely not up to the job of hauling around a 3500lb camper (fully loaded, 2630lb dry weight). The counterpoint there is that I drove up and down the mountain all winter with just the upper stableloads and never felt unsafe or out of control. It just didn't feel right. It felt even less right when I took the stableloads off. It feels another degree better with the lower stableloads. Sway is noticeably reduced in the corners and my fully loaded ride height is now perfectly level whereas I was maybe 0.5" low in the back with upper stableloads only and maybe 1.25" with the stock suspension. The ride is a bit firmer, as would be expected, but not in a bad way. The persistent problem is the porpoising, bounciness, etc. while traveling in a straight line over uneven surfaces. RV.net and other resources have me convinced this is a factor of the stock F-350 shocks. This is logical considering it wouldn't make sense for F-350s to be mass produced with shocks designed for the specific benefit of truck campers. While the sway control is nice, I feel that it could be even better (Caveat: I haven't tried to adjust the number of plates in the stableload yet. Tweaking those may offer some additional benefit. I also haven't removed the upper stableloads yet, and might try that as well.) I plan to augment this with the Big Wig sway bar that's been sitting in my garage for however long it's been (I really wanted to just do one thing at a time). Since the sway bar will obviously not have any bearing on the bouncy bouncy issues, I also plan on upgrading at least to rancho 9000xl adjustables, but might get a little crazy and spring for the Fox adjustables. Then again, I might also sell the Northern Lite/SRW F-350 combo and go DRW + Host. Don't get me wrong, the NL/SRW has been amazing, and even my wife doesn't mind the space with all 3 of us camped out on the mountain, but I personally wouldn't mind spreading out a bit more with a Mammoth or Cascade. It's all about the recliner!
Sliding-into-home 10/21/19 11:13am Truck Campers
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