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RE: RecPro RV A/C

Following this with interest. The AC on my Bigfoot is something like 14" or 17" tall (can't quite remember). It is to the point of being ridiculous and from a pure aesthetics standpoint is ugly as sin. I have been keeping an eye out for a replacement that was low profile and this looks like it fits the bill. Please keep us updated on your results with the unit over time.
adamis 06/17/21 10:17am Truck Campers
Armchair Quarterbacks Unite! Stupid Stuff We've all Done...

Saw this video on YouTube of a 5th wheel wreck. Thankfully everyone was okay though at the end as a warning their is a child panicking. There is a follow up video where the guy talks about what lead up to this moment. I haven't seen the whole follow up video but he mainly talks about how quickly the weather came in and such. From what I saw, I would say speed is what led to the disaster. He said he was driving about 30mph just before but looking at the video I think it's a bit faster then that. As soon as there was snow and ice, he should have pulled off but then on a mountain pass, that isn't always possible. At a minimum slow to a crawl. As much as I would like to say I would never put myself in this situation, if you are on the road long enough, it's only a matter of time before you encounter a situation where seemingly small decisions end up in near disaster. When you look in hindsight, you will then see how those small choices ended up being poor choices. For myself, probably the worst I've done (though not necessarily life threatening like this) was to trust Google Maps routing way too much. Unbeknownst to us we had been routed off of I5 near Garberville, CA because of a rock slide. It lead us from pavement to a nice dirt road that progressively got worse as the miles went by. Eventually we were in the bottom of a ravine where it became really muddy and couldn't climb up the other side. The road was super narrow and had about an 18" drop off on either side for water to run off. Ended up having to backup nearly a 1000ft before we could find a place to turn around. If you haven't been to the Garberville area, just know it's a place that out in the sticks, people don't want strangers driving around on their dirt roads. We managed to turn around and on the way out, managed to intercept several other people who were following their GPS to the same path as us. Even if we had made it up the muddy road, our victory would have been short lived as there was a gate across it not more than a hundred meters up the other side. Apparently Google Maps had routed us into private roads. In the end we were safe but a little more skeptical of Google Maps. When the pavement ends unexpectedly, it is time to pull over and take a second look. So, what was your near miss from disaster and what lesson did you learn?
adamis 06/13/21 09:46am Truck Campers
RE: Need to Haul Cargo with a Truck registered as an RV (CA)

Plans changed due to family not being available to help watch the twins while I'm out having fun. You haven't seen a tired mommy till you come home to one who has been watching needy twins all day (can't even imagine triplets or more). To respond to Kaytag and California bashing, this state isn't what it used to be and hasn't for nearly two decades under one party rule. The geography and weather are the same of course and that is the significant pull for many people. But now we must contend with policies that are soft on crime, highest taxes in the country with no end in sight of even more taxes, rampant homelessness, rampant drug abuse and prevalence (last time the wife and I went to the theater in SF, we literally walked by about 30 derelicts on the city government steps shooting up hard drugs in the open). There is garbage everywhere in the streets and streams where homeless encampments now sprawl. If you look at a political map of California the Central, Eastern and Northern parts are mostly conservative but it is dominated by the Bay Area, Sacramento and LA. All places with dysfunctional policies that cause more problems but also where politicians are no longer accountable to the people and haven't been for years. The only thing that keeps this state together is water and that is through the continued screwing of the Northern regions as the Central and Southern regions take it. Sure, Central and Southern California paid for the water infrastructure decades ago but those bonds have long been paid off. How much is that water worth today compared to what Northern California actually gets in return for it? Hard to have an LA economy without water yet it comes cheap and mostly plentiful at the expense of Northern California communities. In an era of "billions" of budget surpluses, how much of it do you think will go to making Central and Southern California self sufficient in water without the continued taking advantage of the communities where rain actually does fall in meaningful amounts? I'm guessing about zero. Only San Diego with their desalination plant looks to have taken a step in the right direction. Of course, since California is eliminating all of its nuclear power plants, desalination just isn't practical to the extent needed. LA sits next to an ocean and yet they pull water from a giant straw 600 miles long? Yup, California is great for the weather and geography but beyond that, it is a dystopian nightmare of one party politics and taking advantage of conservative rural communities.
adamis 06/05/21 01:01pm Truck Campers
RE: Need to Haul Cargo with a Truck registered as an RV (CA)

First off, lets start with the Alpha/Numeric stuff. I have a DP plate, totally differ than the Alpha/Numeric quote, so that is out second, All vehicles classified as a pickup are licensed as a commercial vehicles except for ones with permanently mounted Campers. You cannot register a vehicle designated as a pickup any other way. There are no Temporary Permits to remove the Camper and haul anything. Permanent means just that. If you remove the camper, the truck becomes a vehicle that in CA requires a commercial registration and commercial plate. If you find DMV to difficult to work with, go to a CHP Office and ask a Patrolman(not trooper). I think this sums it up pretty good. It is clear that there is no temporary permit and I'm taking a risk should I elect to just do it anyway. My plans have actually changed anyway so it isn't an issue now. One interesting note... The "commercial vehicle" classification is another way the state and local governments screw you. I experienced this first hand when I parked the truck in front of my wife's parents house in Daley City (just South of San Francisco). I was in front of my wife's parents house but the neighbor complained to the city whom promptly came out and issued me a $350 parking ticket for parking a commercial vehicle on a residential street. By the city's logic, you aren't allowed to own and park a truck in front of your house. I went and argued with the Police Sargent that my truck was not a commercial vehicle. Little did I realize that all trucks in CA where classified this way so I persisted. At this time the truck was still titled in Nevada so it wasn't a registration issue at all, just that the city considered my truck with a camper a commercial vehicle. After several minutes of heated back and forth, the Sargent finally gave in and took care of the ticket. Since that day, I avoid going to the city as much as possible.
adamis 06/04/21 12:04pm Truck Campers
RE: Need to Haul Cargo with a Truck registered as an RV (CA)

IF you decided to register your truck in California as having a permanent mounted camper, you must declare the camper's value in calculating the DMV fees. Something tells me that a $20,000 camper on a $30,000 'passenger vehicle' is going to come close to costing the same as a $30,000 truck in fees. Not when your truck and camper are 22 years old they aren't worth that. The cost to register my 20 year old truck was close to $350 which was ridiculous for a truck as old as it was. Nevada it was around $150, maybe even less as I recall. Since the camper never comes off the truck anyway, I elected to have it registered as an RV and the cost was $147. That is a substantial savings and worth doing over the years. For this particular trip, we had thought it might be easier to go without the camper so we could haul the ATV and hence my post to see if there might be a temporary permit I could get to keep me covered. Most likely I would be fine just doing it but with the knowledge that I am taking a risk that could be expensive. I just wanted to know if someone else had been in this position and knew of a temporary permit that I had missed.
adamis 06/02/21 12:12pm Truck Campers
RE: Need to Haul Cargo with a Truck registered as an RV (CA)

Often see camper shells selling for near nothing. If you did not need to have exact fit/paint match, just mount it for the trip. Cargo in camper ever inspected? I like the out of the box thinking but RVs in this case are defined as having a bathroom and kitchen so that doesn't quite work.
adamis 06/01/21 02:27pm Truck Campers
RE: Need to Haul Cargo with a Truck registered as an RV (CA)

The license plate looks identical to any other plate so far as I can tell. As far as the next owner, what makes you think there will ever be a next owner of my 7.3? They will have to pry it from my cold dead fingers! All joking aside, it is just how the next owner decides to register it based on their use. It saves about $200 on the registration fees so I'm sure CA will be happy to accept more money should the use need to be changed back to a truck. I agree that CHP has other things to worry about over a truck registered as an RV hauling cargo. I'm sure it would be an issue if I did get pulled over of course but I'm not planning on that happening. I'm not asking if I couldn't just take the risk but just to see if maybe someone else had experience with this and was familiar with a temporary permit that I wasn't aware of.
adamis 06/01/21 02:05pm Truck Campers
Need to Haul Cargo with a Truck registered as an RV (CA)

My camper spends 99.99% of the time on my truck so to save on registration fees, I had the truck registered as an RV. However I have an upcoming trip that I need to use the bed of the truck to haul an ATV and luggage for. Since the truck is registered as an RV, I believe the rules are you can't haul anything in the bed. I know I could just take the risk of a ticket and haul it anyway. I am not an aggressive driver and I doubt I would be of much interest to any state troopers. That being said, I was wondering if there is a temporary permit that I could get to avoid the worry all together. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? I would try calling the CA DMV but who are we kidding, it is the CA DMV, the epidemy of Govt bureaucracy and navigating that phone tree and hold times I think I would rather just take the risk of a ticket. Thoughts...
adamis 06/01/21 11:54am Truck Campers
Trying to Remember Vintage Camper Brand

Dad and I are strolling down memory lane thinking about the camper he took us camping in as kids. Camper burned up in a fire years ago and we don't remember the brand or model. Hoping someone might be able to help. It was a short bed camper that as I recall, had an outline of a guy fly fishing and then the brand name. Not sure if it was something like Sportsman, Huntsman or something along those lines. My dad thinks it was built in the 1970s. Anyone recall that brand by chance?
adamis 05/30/21 09:03pm Truck Campers
RE: DC to DC converter for small electronics

I am on my phone so couldn't read through the entire thread and don't know if this has been mentioned but you are looking for something like this I think.
adamis 05/22/21 07:35am Truck Campers
RE: External Holding Tanks for Extended Boon Docking

That sound overly high for septic install. It was under $3k for design and permitting of mine. Then it depends on the type of accepted design for cost: Gravity $5-10k Two chamber pump $10-15k Sand trap or mound $20-25k Aerated or chemically dosed $20-30k It is a guestimate but my sister went through this in the same area and it was around that. Part of the high cost is we are looking at a 5 bedroom house and a 3 bedroom shop so 8 bedrooms total. It requires over an acre of leach line according to the county. I haven't gotten quotes yet but will probably start looking at it next week. If I have way overblown the guestimate then great, I'll just do the septic and be one with it.
adamis 05/17/21 02:07pm Truck Campers
RE: External Holding Tanks for Extended Boon Docking

Looking for a caretaker soon? We are getting ready to go cross country from Florida to your general area with our truck camper. We are considering buying land and doing the same as you are, but I’m unfamiliar with real estate used in this manner and would love to learn the ins and outs to see if we want to buy our own property to use the same way. We are already completely self sufficient, requiring a trip into town every 3 weeks for groceries and water. We can get 2 weeks out of our standard RV head, but prefer composting heads anyway, so we could go indefinitely without needing any investment in septic while watching the property for you. We’ve been off grid for decades using solar, propane and a generator if air conditioning is required. Quiet couple with a cat. No parties. Lots of reading, walks, cooking and working remotely while we travel. We come with our own truck camper. Please contact by private message of interested. Might just be... If you feel comfortable sharing a couple of references that can vouch for you let's talk. Tried sending a Private Message but for some reason the forum kept taking me to a login page instead of the PM page. Odd because I didn't have this problem before. Not sure if that is just a temporary glitch or not. In the meantime, if you want to get in touch with me, go to my business website www.vandalstop.com and call or text the phone number on that page and we can talk.
adamis 05/16/21 11:10pm Truck Campers
RE: External Holding Tanks for Extended Boon Docking

Just a bit of additional info... The estimated price of a septic system in this area can run between $30k and $50k when all is said and done. Part of the reason for the high cost is we are looking at building a large primary house and then a shop with a secondary living area so the septic will need to be sized quite large. That type of coin just isn't in the cards currently plus we couldn't even start until we have a full site plan figured out and that is going to take a couple of years. I'm thinking of something more like this. That would give me enough capacity for a week at a time and it could fit right under the trailer making it easy to use. I will just transfer the waste to this when the trailer tanks get full and then when this is full, have a pump out company come and service it. Grey water I will probably just let water some trees nearby an make sure we use appropriate biodegradable soaps and such. For fresh water we would get a similar tank approved for fresh water. There is possibly a spring on the property (have to confirm) so we might be able to refill from the spring. If that isn't possible, we will have to look at a water delivery service. I'm looking at spending maybe $1k to $3k to get going. This setup is intended to be temporary, 3 to 5 years tops with us using the trailer maybe for 1 to 2 weeks each of those years.
adamis 05/15/21 08:02am Truck Campers
External Holding Tanks for Extended Boon Docking

As mentioned in another post, we purchased some land that will be used for the next few years as a parking spot for an as yet to be purchased 5th wheel. There is power and water close by but not on the lot itself and money to bring them in won't be available for a while. There is no septic or sewer system at all. We may come and visit the property from time to time and use the trailer for about a week at a time before we develop the land. During this time, we are considering on finding a caretaker to keep an eye on things and do some maintenance for us. In exchange for the work, they would be allowed to park and live in their own trailer on the land. All that to say, I'm contemplating purchasing some large tanks to store both fresh water and black water and then contracting with a pump out service as needed. Thinking of maybe a 500gal or 1000gal tanks that could be placed under the trailer so they are out of the way and protected. Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup? Are there any suggested tanks that work better than others? Any issues with a pump-out service? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
adamis 05/14/21 03:20pm Truck Campers
RE: Very Expensive RV Parking Spot!

Security is a concern for sure. Nice thing about this property though is it is at the end of a dead end road that has only two houses on it and the driveway is off of that. Unless you knew it was there, 99% of people wouldn't even think about it when driving by. I am also considering having a caretaker stay on the place to keep an eye on things and keep the brush down in exchange for a cheap or free place to live. Problem with that is needing them to be fully self contained since I don't have power, water or septic (power and water are at the corner of the lot however) so it would take the right person to want to "rough" it a little. Other option is getting some security cameras setup to record what is happening. Not as much of a deterrent as someone living there but better than nothing. Also better for peace of mind being able to take a look at the state of the 5th wheel at any time remotely should I have a concern. Logistical issues of course for Internet but maybe Elon will solve that for me...
adamis 05/13/21 11:03pm Truck Campers
RE: Very Expensive RV Parking Spot!

Thanks all for the positive thoughts! For those that wondered, yes, we looked into building permits and I've been on the phone and e-mail with the Shasta County building department for all the important questions before we put an offer. We are in escrow now and should be closing Monday. The creek is seasonal and thus dries up late Spring so there are less restrictions than a year round creek. Last I was told (property is 6 hours away from where I live so haven't gotten to go back yet since we looked at it) there was water coming out the bottom of the dam. I do believe there is a good chance there is a Spring that is behind the dam but has been mostly covered over by the layers of silt over the years. Thinking about sinking a perforated pipe down into the ground behind the dam to see if anything comes out. We have water and power at the lot though I may consider adding a well later for pasture irrigation. We won't be living in the 5th wheel or anything. It literally is just a parking space to keep it. I do have plans to build a metal RV shelter just to protect it from the elements. I will probably add solar on the roof of the shelter so we have power should we come and visit family in the area and want our own place to stay for a week or so at a time. For water (until pipes are run from the street) and sewer I am thinking about buying some large storage tanks that can sit under the trailer. Thinking a 500 gal or 1000 gal tanks should be plenty for a week at a time. I will pay a porta potty company to come pump out the black water tank as necessary. Fingers crossed, I will see about hosting a Truck Camper meetup there next Spring like we did a couple of years ago on the coast. Maybe a two night thing and people can use it as a launchpad for bigger trips up the coast or something. Would be great to see you all again!
adamis 05/09/21 01:10pm Truck Campers
Very Expensive RV Parking Spot!

Bit of a long story but felt like sharing our excitement... We live in the SF Bay Area where the price of land is insanely expensive. I like to keep my truck and camper parked indoors but living in the suburbs, that isn't an option at home. Instead we keep it at an indoor garage up in San Jose. Kind of interesting actually as the garage is used for exotics like Ferrari's, Lamborghinis and Fort GTs and then of course my big old F350 7.3 with a truck camper! Anyway... so we have been thinking about buying a fifth wheel for longer trips with our two teenagers and twin babies. The issue is that indoor storage for that in the bay area would be more than the monthly payment for the trailer itself. Not wanting to leave it outside in a lot subject to the elements, we started looking at options. I have family up in Redding and we believe that in 5 years, we will be headed their ourselves to raise our twin girls. We started looking for some land to purchase and found something worth buying! It is 9 acres that has a seasonal creek and get this... a rock dam built in the 1850s! Behind the dam has completely filled in with sediment so it doesn't hold water. Might look into pulling permits to clear some of it out but given the age of the Dam, guessing the Army Corps of Engineers is going to prefer the sediment. I don't know for certain but I do have reason to believe there is a spring behind the dam (hence why it was built long ago) as there appears to be water that flows out the bottom of the dam even when everything else has dried up.There is a mix of oak and pine on it and it is off the main road so no road noise! For the foreseeable future, it is just going to be a really expensive parking spot. The plan right now is to use it to park the sometime to be purchased 5th wheel (looking at Heritage Glenn 378FL). I will probably get some RV metal carport to keep it protected until we eventually build a barn / shop to hold the toys and a main house for living if current plans hold up. Below are some pics of the place taken during the early Spring. Obviously it will be a lot drier in the summer as Redding is but that is okay. Someday might even host a Truck Camper meetup event as a launching point for an Oregon coast tour or something. Would be fun to see some of you guys again in person! https://i.imgur.com/6i4gELzl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/2bDy3s9l.jpg https://i.imgur.com/UG3Yyogl.jpg
adamis 05/08/21 12:20pm Truck Campers
RE: Ugh wet wood in Bigfoot

I can't answer your question but as a fellow Bigfoot owner, I would ask that you please document your repair process as much as possible! You appear to be headed were few have been before and so your experience (and pictures) will be an invaluable resource to the rest of us that may oneday walk the same path. Also, might be a great resource to send back to Grant at Bigfoot. Maybe they already know of this issue and have change procedures but having this type of feedback is always invaluable. Thanks in advance... Fellow Bigfoot Owner
adamis 05/05/21 10:49pm Truck Campers
RE: Ugh wet wood in Bigfoot

Battery compartment on mine has some dry rot as well. From what I can tell it was water coming in the compartment door. Probably is not the same issue from what you are describing but I think worth noting. The way they finished and sealed the compartments is one thing I am not super happy with, at least for how they did it twenty years ago at least. Check to see if your exterior screws are stainless steel. Mine is a 2001 and it had non stainless screws. Camper lived on the coast before I bought it so it went through many thermal cycles and nearly all of the screws had rusted out. Ended to replacing all but the jack screws which is a future project. Also check propane compartment as well. They cut the lip off the bottom of the hatch so leaking propane wont pool in the compartment. It also means that if it rains, water can run down the exterior of the wall, hit the bottom lip of the hatch and if there is enough tilt, run into the compartment. From that point it can move into the corners and travel done to the wood and metal for your turn buckles. I think the lesson learned on Bigfoot's is that for all the pluses of fiberglass, water can still be a major problem. Fix what you can and store it indoors if possible and enjoy it as much as possible. Don't spend forever trying to make it perfect again unless time and money is on your side. Fix what is necessary for safety then come up with a plan over time to tackle other projects when you feel like it.
adamis 05/02/21 09:18am Truck Campers
RE: Concerns About Going Full Time

Lots of creative suggestions and positive trouble shooting ideas. I think I only saw one person mention it just briefly so I thought I would bring it up again and emphasize it even though I don't have any personal experience with it... Ditch the propane heater and see if you can get a diesel based heating system like the Truman Combi D6 https://www.truma.com/int/en/products/truma-heater/combi-d6 If shore power is unavailable, heating with Diesel I think is the only practical way to make this work for a longer period of time. With the right install, you can be sipping diesel from your truck fuel tank and fill up is just a matter of filling up the truck. Lugging around propane cylinders will get old fast and for the amount of heat you need in the winter, you will be doing it often. Other two things, definitely go for more solar. I think you said you could get up to 370 watts but if you got creative, you could probably get more. Perhaps a custom fabrication that allows for wings to be folded out that extended past the sides of the camper when parked to provide more solar square footage. The other thing will be your batteries. They don't like the cold but I'm sure your camper has that taken into account already. If they are lead acid batteries, I would upgrade to LiFePo4. Double the capacity for the same amount of space. The other benefit is less worry about completely discharging the batteries and damaging them. Remember that heaters have electronics and fans that pull power when running. I have a very inefficient heater that pulls nearly 200 watts when running. We don't camp in the winter so it isn't used much but the few times it has been cold enough to need to run the furnace all night it runs down our single LiFePo4. Getting it charged back up in winter can be difficult hence why you will want as much solar as you can get. As far as the dating thing, maybe I'm old school but I think there is a difference between "dating" (finding a soul mate for life) and one night stands. If your dating in search of someone to spend your life with, you don't be taking them back to the camper right away as you try to get to know that person in neutral areas. By the time they may come to your camper, hopefully you would already would have discussed your living arrangement and given the positives about why you feel it's a good fit for your life goals at this stage. If they are a keeper, she will agree and support it. On the other hand, if your looking for just hookups and one night stands, get a hotel room. No way your going to be bringing a one night stand to a marina late at night without alarm bells going off in her head and slasher movies coming to mind as they very well should be.
adamis 04/04/21 08:47am Truck Campers
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