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Dunefest 2022 (Winchestor Bay, OR), Anyone Going?

I am looking at going to the Dunefest ATV / UTV rally held in Winchester Bay, OR this year from Aug 2nd to the 7th. This would be my first to this event and was wondering if anyone else has gone or is going that could leave some pointers / tips for truck campers. From the looks of things, it is a very crowded event with a lot of activities going on. With so many people, it isn't all about riding out on the Dunes due to the congestion so we may end up going to another Dune area for a day or two of riding where there are less people. So if you have gone or are thinking of going let me know!
adamis 02/13/22 08:26am Truck Campers
RE: Let's talk air bags...

One thing I have taken for granted is having on onboard air system so I can change the air pressure of the bags from inside the cab with the flip of a switch. I think it is a must for any airbag installation to be practical. Being able to change on the fly due to changing road conditions is what makes airbags useful. Perhaps the different experiences with airbags is due to why they were installed in the first place. Some here might be in the camp that they have way more camper then their truck can comfortably handle and require the airbags to "level" out the truck and assist the suspension. Others (and I think I am in this boat) have just enough or more then enough truck for the camper and don't require the airbags to level the ride height (I have fairly minimal sag with camper) and just use the airbags to improve the ride in varying conditions (higher pressures for winding roads, lower pressures for bumpy roads). Perhaps that is why there have been such different experiences?
adamis 01/24/22 08:47am Truck Campers
RE: Let's talk air bags...

I have to agree with Grit Dog, never experienced that effect, in fact, quite the opposite. If I am on a twisty mountain road I will inflate the airbags higher then usual to help eliminate body roll in the curves. Does wonders in that situation. I am wondering if you just over inflated the air bags such that they unload the rear leaf springs entirely. That would have the effect you are describing I think. Airbags are designed to assist the suspension, not replace it.
adamis 01/23/22 10:18am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Sorry for the late response as my wife and I have been out camping. We are still very interested in joining everyone in the Redding area in April! No worries and looking forward to seeing you!
adamis 01/19/22 10:11am Truck Campers
Let's talk air bags...

My 1999 7.3 dually has airbags installed by the previous owner. I've generally not bothered to inflate them unless towing a trailer with my Bigfoot camper (4000lbs loaded). Today while driving on California's 101 near San Jose I was bouncing along from our overtaxed and under fixed roads. While bouncing up and down I had an epiphany that perhaps a little bit of air might help the situation. Typically I've run between 30 to 60 psi in the bags if I'm towing a trailer with the camper. If I have just the camper I have usually left them empty or at 30psi unless I'm on twisty roads where I might bump it up to 90psi. That being said, it seems app subjective to me. Hard to tell if adding air I'm helped at all or if it was just the roar improving in the section I was then on. So those of you that also have airbags, what type of truck and camper weight do you have and what PSI in the bags do you run? What is your measurement of ride improvement other then subjective "feels better"?
adamis 01/15/22 10:01am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

I think there are a few going from this group. Sadly our plans have changed. My sister had offered to watch our twin girls but I would have to drive to Redding from Gilroy, drop them off, return to Gilroy, then head to Arizona and then repeat all the driving back to Redding to get the girls when we returned. As much fun as it would have been to go to the camper rally, just could not handle that much driving in just a few days. We are of course looking forward to seeing you all in Redding in April though. Likely just me this time as the wife and twins will likely visit with her family this go around.
adamis 01/13/22 01:12am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Glad to hear everyone looks to still be on board. I will keep you posted on additional details when we get closer. As I mentioned, I'm going to be bring my vintage ATV to do some trail riding Sunday afternoon at the Chappie OHV park near Shasta lake. 52,000 acres and 200 miles of trails and roads. Everyone attending the camper rally is welcome to join us and feel free to stay at my property Sunday evening as well if it is convenient for you.
adamis 01/11/22 09:38am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Great! Any of you interested in bringing the SxS or the Suzuki to go do some trail driving on Sunday? Thinking for anyone that ends up wanting to go play in the hills but doesn't want to drive home that night you could stay Sunday night at the property as well.
adamis 01/09/22 02:07pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Okay, another update... So the good news is, the property looks to have survived well enough. Still not certain what trees will come back but right now with all the rain it looks beautiful. So... What I need to know is at this point, how many people are still a solid committed to go? If you are still in for sure, please post and let me know. As a reminder, this is a casual 3 day, 2 night meetup. We might on Friday whenever you show up, hangout Saturday and leave on Sunday. One thing I am considering doing is going to the Chappie - Shasta OHV area about 10 miles from Redding on Sunday after things wrap up. I am involved in a vintage ATV group and looking at trying to meet others for a ride. It might just be me with my 36 year Honda Odyssey FL350 or a handful of others. Anyone attending the Jamboree would be more then welcome to bring their toys and join us (vintage ATV not required). If you are interested in participating in this part on Sunday, please let me know.
adamis 01/09/22 10:43am Truck Campers
RE: Mr Buddy Heater Permanent Install?

Thanks all. Didn't even realize there was a Wave 3 on the market. I will take a look and head that direction!
adamis 01/02/22 02:54pm Truck Campers
Mr Buddy Heater Permanent Install?

Recently was headed out for another trip to Pismo Beach to play with the toys in the Dunes. Sadly the 99 7.3L Super Duty elected to choke on the lift pump from junk in the fuel tank so we only made it to Paso Robles (limped along the highway at 10mph for 20 miles to get to a shop). At any rate, shop couldn't help us and we stayed the night in their lot. It being cold during our trip, I had decided to bring a Mr. Buddy Heater because the furnace in the camper sucks juice from the battery on cold nights. I setup the heater on the stove top with a propane bottle, cracked a window and a roof vent. Amazing how well it worked! Temps dropped into the 30s overnight and camper stayed in the 70s the whole time with no juice from the battery and hardly any propane used. Clearly this is the most efficient way to stay warm in off-grid situations. It worked so well I am considering doing a permanent install by taking the heater apart and making my own mounting bracket and heat shield that is a lot narrower and mounting on the backsplash of the stove. I would route a gas line up from the stove to complete the setup. I know there are a couple of others that use the Buddy Heater. Has any of you taken it apart and done a more permanent install? Please share pics if you did! As far as the Pismo Trip and the 7.3L... sadly we had to cancel our trip and scramble to get toys and trailer back home. Truck and camper will be towed up on Monday and dropped off at mechanic whom will eliminate screens in the tank and put a new fuel pump work inline fuel filter in place.
adamis 01/01/22 05:27pm Truck Campers
RE: Camper Battery doesnt charge while going down the road

Others with more knowledge will likely chime in but here is my two cents... The wire gauge is critical but isn't as critical as some make it out to be. You can pull 30 amps of current from a 22 gauge wire, the question is how long that wire will last before it melts. Also, the voltage is also critical but is not going to define how well your camper charges off the alternator. It is the combination of these two elements that is critical. Here's the thing, current flows where there is a difference in voltage. Your truck alternator might keep the truck at around 13.3 volts. If your camper battery is at say 12.6 volts you only have .7 volts of potential difference. That's just not going to flow a lot of power from one battery to the other. This as others have said is where DC to DC chargers earn their keep. There is plenty of amperage that can be pulled from the truck but you need a special circuit that will pull this at a higher current and then use that current to create a higher voltage to the camper battery and thus force more current into it. There is nothing wrong with upgrading the wiring from the truck, it is the first good step to take. But don't make the mistake and think that upgrading the wire is going to solve your charging woes. You need to invest in a DC to DC charger if you want to be able to get good results charging the camper battery from the truck. And, before the naysayers say "I have never needed a DC to DC charger, my camper charges just fine"... Yes, it will work and for some can work fine in many situations, but it won't be the most effective for situations where you need a lot of power for your camper.
adamis 12/07/21 06:56pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Hey everyone, just a quick update... I have not been able to get up to the property myself yet but my parents where able to go and take a look. They said all things considering, that it wasn't too bad. Most of the trees looks to have survived. What did burn was mostly already dead or under brush that needed to be eliminated anyway. With a bit of good rain, things should green up again quite nicely in time for our event. Probably won't know entirely how many of the trees will bounce back but I will stay optimistic and hope for the best. So, for now we will keep our fingers crossed and plan on our Jamboree being a go! I will continue to post updates should anything change in the future.
adamis 10/17/21 10:41am Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

I don't understand these arguments at all... If you have a LiFePo4 battery and camp in extreme cold weather, move the battery to inside the camper. Problem solved... Unless you are sleeping with a camper below -20 deg, the battery will be plenty warm for it's expected use. The rest of these arguments are just kind of pointless. Nobody is sleeping with a camper that cold so why are you expecting your battery to encounter that temp? Sure, maybe if you were loading your camper for first use and going out on a trip might the camper be that cold but be a little creative and figure out how to heat up the camper before you take off and to keep it warm as you travel. Both things that can be done without much effort. Problem solved....
adamis 09/30/21 08:55am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Well... A bit of a complication. The Fawn fire set by an arsonist near Redding burned right through my property today. This video here is of a tanker dropping retardant on the property to the south of mine. The flames you see would have been coming from my property. I spoke to a neighbor this evening, he said it burned pretty hot through the area. Thankfully, my property had been cleared of most of the low brush but there was a good amount of grass on it. He felt the Oak trees probably survived and I'm hoping some of the larger Pines did as well but no telling for now. He said he might try to go take a look tomorrow and give me a report on what he sees. I had no structures on the property so no loss that won't repair with time. I did have a renter on the property but he boogied out with his trailer before hand thankfully. He did have two cars and tools he left behind but neighbor said the fire department soaked the cars with water and thinks they made it through. As far as the rally is concerned... assuming the trees survived, I don't see this changing plans for the Jamboree. A little bit of rain and by Spring it hopefully will be nice and green again. If all of the trees got scorched, then I will have to think of a plan B perhaps.
adamis 09/23/21 10:41pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Just a quick update... We have seven campers plus my own that are in the definite or near definite camp of going. With just what we have now it will be a fun crowd but I suspect and hope we will pick some more in the months to come. Looking forward to seeing you all!
adamis 09/18/21 10:10pm Truck Campers
RE: Contracting out for re-caulking

As others said, this is a very labor intensive job just to remove the old stuff and is where you will spend the majority of your budget. Applying the new stuff once everything is prepped is much easier. A mobile tech is probably charging between $50 to $100+ an hour I would suspect. Before you call that guy, find someone and pay them $25 an hour to remove the old caulking. You only need the experienced guy for the re-application part. Finally, I highly recommend getting the carport regardless. The thing that does the damage is the sun and keeping the camper covered will extend the life of the new caulk for many more years.
adamis 09/18/21 10:05pm Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

adamis, Starting with the RV at -30 in storage, how do you plan on heating the batteries up? You can't draw much current from them, so you can't run the furnace. It is a fail. You could run a generator, but DAMHIK that may not work too well. Shore power would work running an electric heater. There is a good solution which doesn't involve Li, which is cheaper unless you wish to "roll your own" Li. I am curious, is this your personal situation or a realistic hypothetical based on where you live. Being from California, I'm a fair weather guy so your needs and view point are clearly going to be different. If the camper is in storage, is it stored in a location where you have no power at all? Our cold weather is probably laughable by your standards. The one time we did camp in some colder weather it was probably in the high 20s. Now ordinarily the wife and I would just put some extra blankets on the bed and turn off the heater for the night. However on this trip, we had our seven month old twin girls along so it was necessary to keep the camper warm for their sake because we couldn't put blankets on them. This was about the 4th night of camping for us where we were running the furnace to keep things warm for the girls. The previous three nights was lower altitude so we still had some juice in the battery as it didn't cycle as much. We were also running two bottle warmers that pull about 600w for ~5 minutes several times a day. If I had thought about it I would have run the generator for the bottle warmers so we didn't tax our battery so much. The 4th night was the coldest by far and the furnace ran off and on all night. Thankfully it made it to right about 6am in the morning before the battery died completely. At this point it was getting really cold in the camper, too cold for the girls. It being early I was hesitant to start the truck and disturb others. My truck does have a DC to DC charger to pull power from the truck when it is running but because it pulls directly from the battery via a larger cable (not the accessory line on the truck), I have a switch inside the camper that disables all of this unless I absolutely need it and know I will be running the truck. I was able to flip the switch and pull power from the truck batteries long enough to run the furnace for about 30 minutes to warm the camper back up. At this point I was worried the truck might not start but thankfully, she started right up. I then ran the truck a while so I could continue to run the furnace and keep the camper warm. So a couple things I learned from this. First, I didn't realize the battery wouldn't charge when cold (BMS) so even while running the truck, the DC to DC wasn't putting anything but a trickle into the battery. I realized this much later when it dawned on me the cold weather limits for charging. The second thing I learned is that if I did this type of camping more often, I would get at least one more 100AH battery along with another 200w of solar (for 400w total) to make sure those batteries stayed topped up. Finally, the fact that I had a LiFePo4 battery allowed me to run it down to zero without fear of damage to it. With AGMs, I could have also run them down to zero but there would have been lasting impacts.
adamis 09/18/21 09:52pm Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

On the battery temperature thing... It certainly is an issue but I think one thing about the industry is that most campers were/are designed for Lead Acid batteries that need to be able to breath and hence battery compartments are often placed outside of the camper. This means they will be more exposed to the cold elements than is optimal for Lithium batteries. Generally they still discharge until the 20s or lower (depends battery to battery), they just wont charge until they reach the high 30s. Additionally, that battery compartment if shaded will stay pretty cold for a while after sunrise and the battery thermal mass will stay cold for an hour or two after sunrise thus reducing the amount of early morning charge time you might get. Lithium batteries don't vent and so can be placed inside the camper. While many newer LiFePo4 batteries are coming with internal resistance heaters and insulation, it still takes power to run that heater. If you put the battery inside where it will stay warmer be default, you save that much power. Additionally, it will be able to be charged through solar, generator or the truck immediately regardless of outside temperature. So... long story short, if the battery compartment comes factory heated, great, you might be fine. If it isn't factory heated, consider moving the battery inside the camper somewhere if possible.
adamis 09/18/21 01:30pm Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

Some people are full-timing in their campers, so they have different needs. Where I camp I need AC almost every night, so it is either generator, or shore power. Generator is close to 20 years old, so don't have to worry about its amortization, when I spend in the range of $25 per season for generator gasoline. My house batteries come from boat and sedan, so are free as well. Why would I spend over $10,000 on big solar and bank of lithium? If you are spending $10,000 you are doing it wrong. I would venture to guess that nobody in the Truck Camper forum has even spent $5000 on their battery / solar system. If there is one or two people that have, they are the exception and not the norm. A couple of years ago the LiFePo4 batteries where expensive. Battleborns are a favorite around here because they are made in the USA (with foreign cells I understand). Their 100AH battery I think goes for $850 last time I checked. There are also some cheaper (Sub $500) batteries on Amazon as well. You need to do your research though as not all of them are the same with some being very poor quality and some being very high quality. This is one example: For myself, I stick with Battleborn just because I am partial to American companies but I won't knock others when price is more critical. I only have a single 100AH Battleborn and it really is sufficient for most situations. I also have just 200w of solar plus a 20amp DC to DC charger so I can pull from solar or the truck if needed. That 100ah battery is nothing to sneeze at either. Here is a test where one powered an air conditioner for almost three hours. That is very impressive. Tack on 400w of solar and maybe another 200AH of battery and you could easily run your AC all day without a generator. In fact, with this setup, I would sell the generator, shave a few hundred pounds in the process and be able to run AC all day anywhere I want. All for well less than $10k...
adamis 09/18/21 12:17am Truck Campers
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