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RE: Why do I need a DC to DC charger?

I'm surprised this wasn't mentioned already... A DC to DC charger on a camper that has solar is an excellent backup if the sun isn't shining. Think cloud / smoke coverage or camping in thick tree coverage. Your alternator is concerned about charging your starting battery. Hooking your camper battery straight to it leads to two different loads and the camper battery at best is maintained but charging properly can be difficult. AGM and lead acid batteries on a DC to DC charger probably isn't as necessary but for LiFePo4 it is. They charge at a higher voltage than the standard alternators are going to provide. They are also expensive so a charger that is dedicated and has the proper charging profiles is a worthwhile insurance plan. What the unit does is it regulates the voltage to the camper battery to be consistent with the charging profile appropriate for your battery type. It does that regardless of what the alternator is doing. By the way, the alternator voltage at least in my 99 7.3 Super Duty is anything but constant. It is constantly fluctuating and changing every few seconds. Not a great way to charge a battery. The way these things regulate the voltage to be constant is they pull more current when necessary and through fancy electronic engineering that others could explain better raise keep the voltage constant on the output side. V=IR is the equation you are hunting for. If the voltage is dropping because of a load, you increase the current pull to maintain that voltage. In short, you may not NEED one unless your use or battery type make it necessary.
adamis 09/19/20 08:06am Truck Campers
RE: 2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Electrical Upgrade/Solar Advice

In regards to powering your AC off the solar / batteries, it is possible, indeed, you are most of the way there. I have not done it personally but others on here have. With you having 2 100ah Battle Born batteries you are most of the way there. The bigfoot will easily take 400w of solar on the roof, possibly a little more if you got fancy. You need an efficient AC and a soft start capacitor and it can be done. This isn't something super high on my prority list but if I was to be full time, I could seriously see going that route. I've had more than a few times of stopping for lunch and it is so dang hot in the camper. The generator sucks gas and poops out when it gets too hot as well. Being able to run the AC on battery for 30 minutes to 60 minutes on battery is perfect for a quick lunch stop. In regards to the thick cables in the truck, you can do it but I'm not sure it is really worth it. My DC to DC charger is only 20 amps but that is 10 amps more than my 200w of solar. I would have to measure the thickness of the cable but I know it isn't as heavy as welding cables. Higher amperage DC to DC converters are available but remember that you would have to you make yourself a custom 7 pin connector to the camper and rewire the connector in the camper to benefit from all of that. I don't know how much that is worth the effor though. With my 20 amp DC to DC charger, I am using the current cables without issue. In theory it would take about ~5 to 6 hours of driving to charge the battery up from complete dead on the rare occaision that happened. Most of the time after a day of use I'm more like at 60% so a good 3 hours of driving would top that off well enough. That is assuming solar wasn't even available. The rot situation raised my eyebrows but I think it's very minimal from what I can tell. One thing you should do though is replace all of the exterior screws with stainless steel. Bigfoot used regular screws up until ~2001. My camper was purchased from someone who lived on the coast and he stored it outside. Unfortently, that meant a lot of cold condensation on those screws which meant that over time, the rusted completely out. The majority of screws I pulled from the various cargo hatch frames had no threads on them. Also note that these screws are threaded into pretty much just the fiberglass and possibly some foam insulation. You can't tighten them down tight without stripping the fiberglass. I'm looking at adding a then strip of aluminum or wood as a backing to get more bite when I redo the hatches. Last thing... Did you have the insulation sucking to the center of your sliding windows? Apparently it was an issue on these campers. I have it really bad and need to get them repaired. Just haven't had the time or money to get to it. Posting image link is here: http://photoposting.is-great.net/?i=1
adamis 09/18/20 05:46pm Truck Campers
RE: 2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Electrical Upgrade/Solar Advice

Looks like you are making some good progress. I have also wondered about the circuit breaker under the sink but not enough for me to move it at this point. I did add a 2000w sinewave inverter under the sink right next to that circuit and ran the power straight to the battery just below it. For our last trip we used that inverter constantly for bottle warmers (twin newborn babies) and a small coffee maker for the wife (I don't drink coffee). It was extremely nice to be able to just juse the inverter for a quick thing versus firing up the generator, especially when in RV Parks with neighbors close by. For my Renogy panels, I just eternabonded them straight to the roof. I've not had an issue with cupping because the tape is secured all around the perimeter and some double sided tape in the center. . I've not worried about keeping the panels cool. Although I am sure it could be a factor in extreme conditions, I'm not planning on camping in the desert when it is 120+F anyway... It is nice to see you went with two Battle Born batteries. I am curious how you managed to get them both to fit in the compartment. Looking forward to some pictures. One thing of note... I just started resealing my outer compartments and when I removed the hatch on the battery compartment, I discovered some dry rot. It is ironic that a fiberglass camper is still susceptible to water damage because of the interior structural wood used. At this point I haven't dealt with it since the LiFePo4 battery is 1/3rd the weight of an AGM, I think there is enough stregnth in the wood to hold for now but it is another thing on the todo list... In my setup, I ran my solar charger and battery monitoring next to the stero (see pic below). It did require running longer wires from the battery compartment up to this area but I like the convienence of being able to observe everything while seated at the dinnette. One thing you might also consider is that your solar charger might be capable of charging both a house bank and starter battery. If that is the case, connect your charger up to the 12v line coming in from the umbilical so that it will keep the truck charged up as well. You will have to keep these two circuits isolated so you would need a DC to DC charger if you wanted to also charge the battery from the truck while driving but not draing the batteries when parked. I am still working on this part to get it right, I have a DC to DC charger (from Renogy) installed in the compartment where the furnance is but I don't currently have the D+ signal wire hooked up because I need to either have a voltage sensative relay added or a manual switch so the charger doesn't run constantly. I posted in another thread about this issue a few days ago if your interested to know more about it. At any rate, looking forward to the pics when you got them! https://i.imgur.com/tjb55zvl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/DkO17hYl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/lD4IRlIl.jpg
adamis 09/18/20 07:27am Truck Campers
RE: butyly tape for solar panel install question

I have two renogy 100w panels on my camper. They are the thin film / flexible type. Since these lay flat on the roof and don't have a frame, no screws where necessary. I used double sided eterna bond tape for the center of the panel and regular eterna bond tape for the perimeter. They have held on for thousands of miles and the panels provide plenty of power. Why people use more traditional framed / rigid panels I don't understand. I know there are reasons and everyone has to row their own boat and I respect that. But for me, any hole in the roof is a recipe for disaster no matter how much due diligence to seal it. Best not to start with a hole at all and the thin film panels allow exactly that.
adamis 09/17/20 11:01pm Truck Campers
Resealing Compartment hatches, what do I use?

I've started the process of resealing the compartment hatches all around the camper in preparation for winter weather. I did a couple of quick repairs while on the road using silicone sealant but now it's time to do it right. On the bigfoot campers, there is the fiberglass exterior and then a layer of foam for insulation. The frames of the doors are held in by screws that bite into the fiberglass shell. When I pull the frames out, I see there was a thin layer of foam tape around the border of the inside of the frame. A lap sealant of some type appears to be used to fill gaps between the fiberglass and frame when installed on the camper. Looking at products on amazon, I see there is foam tape and butyle tape options. It appears that butyle tape is more commonly used on windows. Looking at what was present on the frames I've removed, it appears that foam tape is more common on compartments. Why the differences I don't know... So anyone who has resealed their exterior compartments, what product(s) are you using and what suggestions / tips might you offer? Also, on the propane compartment, it appears that some sort of rubber compound was used to completely seal the gas from being able to leak into the camper. This was a bear to get the compartment frame out of and I've never seen anything like it. Wondering what I should use when I put it all back together to keep it air tight.
adamis 09/13/20 06:15pm Truck Campers
RE: How do you store bikes inside your Truck Camper?

I did a similar setup to Bert the Welder. The only major difference I think is that I used a removable board to hold the bike clamps and then used velcro attached on the board and the seats. That made it fairly easy to remove everything once we were in camp. https://i.imgur.com/To06VDQl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/bwB54vPl.jpg
adamis 09/13/20 09:01am Truck Campers
Solar + DC to DC Chargers

I have a quick question on what the best way to hook up both my solar charge controller and a DC to DC charge controller for the camper. A brief overview of what I have... 200w solar on the roof feeding a Go Power!GP-PWM-30 charge controller. My Truck is a 7.3 with dual Optima Red Top AGM batteries and the camper has a single 100ah Battle Born LiFePo4 battery. My DC to DC charger is a Renogy Board 20A DC to DC Battery Charger. A couple of notes... The Go Power solar charger has the ability to charge two battery banks so I have it wired up to charge the camper battery first and then it is supposed to switch over to the Truck Battery second. This currently works just fine. The DC to DC charger is setup between the Truck and the Camper. It has a D+ cable that is used to tell the charger when the truck is running (via seeing a voltage on the line). The umbilical to the truck is wired to the battery and not on relayed ignition power. This is actually how I want it because the solar charger needs to have that direct connection in order to charge the truck battery while the truck is off. The issue is that I don't have a logical place to connect the D+ signal wire since I don't have any power coming into the truck from the ignition relay. If I just hook this wire up to the truck battery and solar charger connection, then the DC to DC charger is always running leading to a dead truck battery. From what I can figure, I need something like a 14v relay to plug the D+ wire of the DC to DC charger into. That way it only turns on when the truck is running and the alternator is putting out ~14v. The Solar charger doesn't go up to 14v when charging the truck battery, it tends to go up to ~13.5v for the AGMs so I think this would not cause the 14v relay to trip. So, my question is, are there 14v relays that actually trip at 14v? A quick search on Amazon shows 14v relays exist but buried in the specifications I'm wondering if these are actually 12v relays. I've considered adding switches as a last resort but I would rather this work seamlessly and automatically without the need for switches. Anyone else have a similar setup that can offer advice?
adamis 09/12/20 10:40am Truck Campers
RE: NEED ADVICE !Brand New F-450 and Host Mammoth

In general, I am a BIG FAN of air springs. Air them down when driving unloaded. HOWEVER, onboard compressors, lines and automatic controls can give you NIGHTMARES a few years down the road. KISS ! Tun a separate fill line for each air spring to a convenient location. Fill the air spring BEFORE adding you load and then remove air to get to your desired ride height. I bought my truck used five years ago and the previous owner had installed an onboard air system for the air bags. It is very convenient to adjust the air from inside the cab while traveling if need be. So far mine has been maintenance free so perhaps the quality of the parts has improved since your experience. The only thing I am looking at changing out is going to a new ExtrmeAir compressor so I have enough oommph to inflate tired while coming off the sand dunes. I haven't entirely thought this through yet because I don't know if I will add it as a 3rd compressor (already have one for the exhaust brake and the other for the airbags) or if I will remove those two and just go with a single compressor for all of it. Back to my point though, if your going to add airbags, I highly recommend having an on board compressor as well. It makes it a non thought to make changes on the fly and I do that all the time.
adamis 09/06/20 08:30am Truck Campers
RE: Absorption refrigerator cool down time

I was at the point of replacing my fridge with a compressor unit because I thought it wasn't working correctly. Turns out, I just wasn't smart on how to use it properly. Fist, I've never really worried about leveling. If the camper is leveled enough to sleep, it has been good enough for the fridge. I have never noticed an issue in this regards to the point where I have to take extra care. That could just be my fridge isn't as picky as others so don't read into this one more than you have to. Second, like others have suggested, precooling is important but to a point. There has to be thermal mass inside the fridge in order for the process to really start working well. You aren't cooling the air inside, your are cooling the food inside. Taking temperature readings in an empty fridge I don't think gives an accurate reflection of what is going on. My fridge won't even get into the 30s until I stock it up with food and leave it for a day. Third point, my trick to quickly cool the fridge if necessary is to throw ice in the bottom bin and then place a small USB powered fan above the ice to blow on it. This helps to distribute the cold all around faster through convection. Only thing is to remove the ice before traveling or at least check to see if there is water that should be dumped. One could do the same with frozen containers but getting ice at a store is easier if your already on the road than frozen bottles of liquid. Fourth and I think one of the most important tips is to keep your door stocked with aluminum can beverages of your choice. Once cooled down, they operate in the same concept as the cooling fins in the back of the fridge by radiation. I find having the extra aluminum present can efficiently radiate the cold stored in the liquid. It helps to keep the fridge cold when the door is opened frequently during meal prep. Remember, you aren't cooling the air inside, you are cooling the food inside. It's why these fridges take so much more time to cool, it's by radiation, not convection. It is a slow process but also very efficient. Lastly, if you can spare it, throw a bag of ice in the freezer on the bottom. This helps to add more thermal mass that keeps the temperature consistent during frequent use.
adamis 09/05/20 08:41am Truck Campers
RE: Coffee maker off inverter and battery in a truck camper

In my case the 2000 watt inverter was installed for the blender, not the coffee pot. Hard to blend using propane at 10pm at night when quite hours are in effect. The wife put two and two together and decided an electric coffee pot was easier since the inverter was already present. It all came in handy with our road trip for the baby bottle warmers but rest assured, the blender remains the primary use.
adamis 09/04/20 04:52pm Truck Campers
RE: Coffee maker off inverter and battery in a truck camper

I like another poster don't drink coffee but my wife does. On our recent road trip she even bought the smallest coffee maker at Walmart because she doesn't like to use the French Press. We actually have a great real world example of the abilities of these batteries. To start with, we have 200w of solar on the roof coupled to a 100AH Battle Born LiFePo battery. I also have a 2000w inverter wired up with some very short and very thick cables. Our usage was determined by our twin girls who needed milk about every four hours. We had two bottle warmers (but for space reasons eventually just used a single warmer) that pulled about 350 watts each. Each bottle required about 4 minutes of heating. That is 8 minutes times 5 feeds per day. The wife also ran her coffee maker once per day and that was somewhere around 500w I think for maybe 7 minutes. That is 47 minutes a day of heavy draw on the battery and we did this for nearly three weeks straight. We only had one time where the camper battery got low on us and required use of the DC to DC charger from the truck (normally not connected for reasons behind this post). We did stay at sites with hookups when possible but it wasn't all th time. My take away is these heavy loads work just fine on a good battery. I think I will add another 200w of solar to help with charging as I think in cloudy or shady conditions, the panels would have a tough time keeping up. Note that because we had hookups from time to time, our experience isn't the same as someone boondocking for three weeks but then I don't think many other people are warming two bottles every four hours in addition to their coffee.
adamis 09/04/20 08:30am Truck Campers
RE: Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

But just becouse you can get older vehicles cheaper, doesn't mean it makes much sense. You don’t seem to be aware of what OPs vehicle is capable of with a tune and some other modifications. I didn’t buy a new vehicle because I couldn’t justify the 30-40K difference. I’m assuming the OP is the same except with a larger difference. Your truck is an old one now, so when are you trading again. :D I've not had the fortune to drive a brand new Super Duty so I have the benefit of not knowing what I'm missing. Ignorance is bliss as they say and every time I turn that 7.3 over and hear it roar to life it brings a smile to my face. I'm sure if I was given a brand new 2020 truck it would quickly become my daily driver but nobody seems to be offering them for free so I will just stick with what I have. After all of the modifications I have into my truck, it probably puts out about as much power as a modern truck with the added benefit that I don't have to deal with DEF or an emissions system that will need to be replaced at 150,000 miles for $10,0000. Sure, there are advancements in payload, pulling, braking, noise and electronic gizmos and those that can afford the new trucks good on you for it! Until I win the lottery, I'm sticking to what is paid for though.
adamis 09/03/20 08:46am Truck Campers
RE: Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

Not sure if I mentioned this in my previous messages but the Estimate Peter gave for HP figures was 450 at the crank. Obviously it is a guestimate but I trust his numbers as he used to race 7.3s at the track in his earlier days when he had a heavily modded 7.3 Excursion. Would be interesting to put it on a dyno someday but I'm in no hurry. What I will say from just the little bit of driving is that I've honestly not even floored it yet and it's been scary fast. Putting the pedal down just 2/3rds of the way pushes you back into the seat hard. Since it redlines at 3000 rpm and idles at 900 rpm, there is really just 2000rpm to work with between each gear shift. 1st gear is pretty much useless as it will just smoke rubber, 2nd gear goes by very quik and 3rd gear is where the most fun is as it starts pulling HARD. Passing won't be a problem any longer. I've not driven it with the camper on the truck yet. That will come this weekend once I pick it up from my friends place who let me store it there. Rest assured, there won't be any full throttle sends with the camper of course. I am looking forward to the next trip in the mountains to see how the EGTs hold up. That will be the ultimate test that matters for me. Before these mods I really wasn't lacking for power but the EGTs where always high so I could only go about half throttle on a steep grade when pulling the camper and trailer together.
adamis 09/01/20 10:50am Truck Campers
RE: Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

Well the truck is back from the shop. Hat off to Peter at Paul Faro Automotive in Salinas, CA. He did a fantastic job. The truck pulls hard and fast. It's like going from your family sedan to your midlife crises sports car. It's hard to describe how fast it is but even at just half throttle you are pushed back into the seat! I've honestly not even tried a full throttle acceleration, don't really have a good place for such tomfoolery... I now have two two specific tunes that I've not gotten to try yet but looking forward. One is a medium tow and the other is a heavy tow. Both are supposed to keep the EGTs in check. One thing I am pleasontely surprised about is how little black smock the truck makes under heavy load. Even under the race tune the smoke is very minimal and the other tunes it is almost none existant. Just amazing stuff for sure what the tunning community has done. The bill was not cheap of course but the truck should be good for years to come. Next project will be some sound dampening as that engine is not quite! I have to agree with the wife on that part and will do what I can. Someday I would like to purchase a new truck for all of the new advancements that have been made but I'm really hoping that in a generation or two Ford does a Diesel Electric Hybrid setup. That will be the truck that gets my interest for sure. For now, I'm quite happy with my 99 7.3 SuperDuty and can't wait for another trip to try her out proper!
adamis 08/29/20 02:21pm Truck Campers
RE: Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

If funds allow, this would a good time to refresh/reinforce the trans also, if you haven't already. Then you'll have a strong dependable truck just like a new one. Maybe add a new stereo with satellite and bluetooth for the new truck feel. I believe the previous owner did install a banks torque converter kit. Not sure if he did anything else but he probably did. If and when we get to a fifth wheel, I'm certain we will end up doing a few more upgrades on the truck. Just need to space them out over the next year or two. The newer trucks are nice, really nice and if oppurtunity presented itself, I probably would get a new truck if I was towing a 16k lb trailer. The biggest plus is how quite they are according to my wife. I have to agree that with a lot of miles, a quite interior helps to make it more enjoyable. To that end, I will be researching how to add additional sound dampening to my own truck to help where it can.
adamis 08/17/20 08:29am Truck Campers
RE: Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

I look at the 7.3 as similar to the muscle cars prior to smog requirements. I think long term it will be a truck people would collect for nostalgia. Granted, it won't be like collecting a mustang or Corvette but you always read of people that have fond memories of their 7.3 (as seen in this thread). So far I've had it smogged twice since I've owned it. The first guy was confused and kept looking at his book and looking underneath. He was looking for the catalytic converter thinking it should be there. He finally flipped around some pages in his book and found that some versions of the truck didn't come with a cat and called it good enough. The second shop didn't even ask the question. I actually took it back to them a year later even though it was a 45 mile drive only to find out I only needed it smogged every other year. Prior to that it was registered in Nevada which was yearly. The newer trucks are definitely amazing. Obviously more power and of course the creater comforts. Even now I'm researching how to make my truck quiter because that's what the Mrs doesn't like. Newer trucks don't have that problem. The thing about buying a new truck is that they are just so dang expensive these days. My goal was to retire by 40 and though I will miss that by a year or two, it won't be by much by current estimates. Part of that is living without all of the latest and greatest and the payments that go with it. Granted, the engine work will be the cost of a small car but then replacing the emissions on a newer diesel is even more expensive.
adamis 08/13/20 11:24pm Truck Campers
RE: Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

:) Hi, OK, we are going to chip it, add headers, six turbo chargers, Etc. Etc. Etc. It going to make a million horse power, and more torque that a freight train. But unless I missed it, it's still only going to be running on all seven cylinders. You indeed missed it... In my first post, "upgraded injectors" was the first item listed which will fix my 7 cylinder issue. In regards to smog, that is the great thing about the 7.3, although a smog test is required, it is mostly a visual inspection and none of what is being done will change the visual aspect of the truck unless you really know what you are looking at. The only real visual change will be the turbo but we are specifically going with one that looks very close to stock (isn't shiny) so you would have to know what it is to know what it is. Some 99 7.3s came with a catalytic converter, some didn't. It's a bit of a grey area on this truck and one of the reasons I opted for it over newer trucks.
adamis 08/13/20 07:56am Truck Campers
RE: Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

My first post was typed on my phone so now that I'm on a keyboard, I will add in some more details... Ranholago to answer your question... You want to talk to Peter, the owner of Paul Faro Automotive in Salinas CA. I got his contact through RiffRaff Diesel I think when I was buying some parts from them. As soon as Peter opened the hood on the truck, it was clear he knew what he was doing. In just 30 seconds, he could tell me all sorts of things about the truck that I hadn't figured out yet. He's super smart on Diesels and a heck of a nice guy plus runs a clean shop and doesn't delay on getting the work done. My truck I purchased used from a guy in the Bay Area who used it to haul a 32ft goose neck trailer with a drag race car inside. As I recall, he had a partnership with another guy and did the engine building for the team. He also liked to work on his truck as well. It started as a dealer show truck in Texas before he bought it. When I went to look at it, I asked him what he had done and he named off a dozen different things that I wish I had written down. So far this is what I figured out he did do: 1. Banks 3" exhaust (big stuff back then I guess). 2. I will neither confirm nor deny the presence of a catalytic converter 3. Banks Exhaust Brake 4. Banks Turbo Housing 5. Wicked Wheel 2 6. AMSOIL High By Pass Oil Filters for both Tranny and Engine 7. 6.0 Tranny Cooler 8. Gauges: EGT, Boost, Tranny Temp, Diff Temp 9. Early Chip Mod (Can't recall who made it, since replaced with 6 position Chip) 10. Upgraded Altenator 11. Goose Neck Hitch 12. Super Truss Hitch and Camper Tie Downs 13. Air Bags with onboard compressor 14. Banks Tranny Controller 15. Other stuff I'm still finding... The truck as is was already a lot of fun to drive and towed our Bigfoot Camper and Cargo Trailer with ease. I did have to keep an eye on the EGT gauge when pulling loads on steep inclines but lack of power was never an issue. With the work Peter will be doing now, a lot of it is future proofing for a larger trailer. With the twin girls and two teenagers, the camper although sufficient, was tight for us on our 3400 mile road trip. The wife insists something bigger is in the cards if I intend to do more such traveling so so we will be looking at a 5th wheel in year or two. I have my eye on a midbunk unit that is ~12k lbs but I also like the Upper Living Room Units that are ~16k+ lbs. I will still keep my Bigfoot for traveling to the Dunes and hauling the ATVs so I won't be leaving these forums any time soon.
adamis 08/12/20 08:38am Truck Campers
Engine repair / upgrade after road trip

Somewhere between the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, approximately 1000 miles into our 3400 mile road trip with the camper, the Ford 7.3 decided to run on 7 cylinders. I had gambled a bad fuel injector would hold for the trip and lost my bet. The rest of the trip including a run at the Homestake Pass on the Continental divide had me struggling with the roughly 16k lbs of truck, camper and trailer. My only usable rpm range was between 2k and 3k. Anything lower and it would shake too much. So on return home, I took my trusty 7.3 to a guy I call the "truck whisperer". He knows his way around 7.3s as he used to race one at the track. I told him I wanted something "special" and could tow our current camper and cargo trailer with ease as well as a possible 16k 5th wheel should we have the need in the future. I'm in it for upgraded injectors, new up pipes, new turbo, upgraded high pressure oil pump, new tunes and a host of other things I can't remember now. Yup, expensive but cheaper than buying a new truck, at least that was what I told the Mrs... Truck will be in the shop for at least a week. I asked what type of power I should expect. He estimated 400hp and 800lb of torque is a fair number (the truck has many other upgrades already installed). It's no modern 6.7 of course but that ain't to bad for an engine that started at 210hp and 425lb of torque (early 99). My goal wasn't for track times but rather just being able to pull heavy loads and keep the EGTs in check. I know the 7.3 isn't the first motor gear heads run to for crazy power but I'll be pretty happy having the power I think. My question to others is, just like we all like to tinker and upgrade our camper, how many of us are modding our trucks as well and to what extent?
adamis 08/11/20 11:50pm Truck Campers
RE: What's changed about camping?

If I'm being honest, the electronic devices our teenagers were on was a significant detractor from the overall experience of the trip in my opinion. I had multiple conversations with the wife about it (born in the city) where I was ready to throw the things away. I seemed to lose the arguments even though I pointed out that there was nothing but garbage on those screens compared to the beauty of God's creation. It isn't that I don't get the boredom of driving on a 23 day road trip and certainly there are areas (eastern Washington for example) where there just isn't much to see. Those times I'm okay with them having a device. The problem though is that when you do take the devices away, it's like taking crack from an addict. I do literally believe they are addicted to the things in the same brain chemical way as drugs. We end up with moody teenagers that just complain there is nothing to do and then sit inside the camper with us being surely. For our newborn twin daughters, I have put my foot down and said no electronic devices for them. Not going through this experience again. What could and shuold have been an epic bonding experience for our blended family on this road trip turned into everyone in their walled garden as they stared at their screens while I drove 3400 miles. Not doing it again!
adamis 08/04/20 08:44am RV Lifestyle
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