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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Carhauler to RV

Actually, not all was sound... Guys that have not built one don't really know any more than you do, probably less. I would buy a used, useless camper that has working appliances, and gut it. You will save a lot of money getting the RV stuff out of a used camper than buying new. You can easily spend $10k buying individual parts otherwise. Less than $2k for a used trailer that has water damage, but perfect parts. Dont bother letting the cargo trailer builder insulate it. Don't even have them put in plywood walls, they will only make a mess of it, better to do that yourself and do it right. In the ceiling you want at least 2 inches if not 3 of insulation, the cargo co will put in 1. You want to isolate the steel frame so it does not conduct heat across the wall into the interior. Put in at least 2 inches of insulation in the walls, not 1 as the cargo co will do - now you see why pointless to have them put in walls. Everything as light as possible. the ceiling would look great using tongue n groove flooring as many van builds do but will add a LOT of weight, just use 1/8 paneling and paint it. Lightweight is good. Unless you plan to also use it as a cargo trailer, then reconsider doing a big rear ramp door. It seems like a good idea to open it and have a big opening to look out, but if it is warm enough to do that then it is warm enough to go outside and have unlimited views. You lose a lot of storage space when u put in big doors. The size is up to you. Consider how small you can go if that matters at all. can you sleep sideways (wall to wall) in a 6 footer? a 6.5 footer? The more narrow will be better for towing and aerodynamics and using mirrors. I would go a few feet longer and a foot more narrow if that were the options. 8 foot is also really high and you get into clearance issues under branches and whatever. Do you really need an extra 2 feet above your head in a little trailer? Consider just 6.5 ft height. SInce u are building it you can customize it. Look at installing an air cond window unit, so you do not have the loud, inefficient RV air/con on the roof, out in the wind. You can get a 5200BTU window unit for about $99 that will cool down a cargo trailer in minutes and will run on a tiny generator too. Or spring for a mini-split that is very efficient. You can build the window unit into the interior of camper since you are starting scratch. Water tanks, go big if you plan to boondock. Gray/black tanks? Depends. Boondocking you can dump gray on dirt, and there are other options for the toilet than a black tank. The propane water heater will be hard to get away from. Other items might make sense to re-think. A traditional water pump, or one at the sink that is a fauct/pump? Do you want to build a shower and take up all that space or make a temporary shower that you deploy inside or outside and use the sink faucet... That is space you will not use 23:45 of the day. For space heater look at the diesel heaters, they will not need a lot of battery like a propane furnace. Solar? Yes. Battery, maybe a li-ion makes sense, maybe just a couple of golf cart batteries, lots of discussion on this... WIndows? small or big? big eats up storage space and loses heat faster than an insulated wall. Be sure to plan your electrical so you run all the wiring, and run enough wiring for future needs. Cooktop? Maybe use just a portable camping stove instead of a built-in. Maybe a built-in makes sense for you. The portable ones do not simmer well at all though. Fridge? I would go DC chest fridge for sure. Dont waste time with propane fridge. On that, if you go alternative on everything then you will not be using as much out of that used camper, but all the hardware and pieces might still make it worth it, just have to do the math.
ajriding 01/22/22 02:51pm Travel Trailers
RE: Dexter Axle Replacement

This is not rocket science. Anyone with a wrench and a basic knowledge of nuts and bolts and a car jack should be able to handle it. Call some repair shops.
ajriding 01/20/22 04:48pm Travel Trailers
RE: Carhauler to RV

their campgrounds or there campgrounds? I don't know where there is... Is a carhauler special? You are talking about just a big cargo trailer I assume? Because the carhauler that the big semis tow with two levels and ramps and are open would not be something you would want to use as a base for an RV build. Cargo campers, on the other hand, are quite common. very common. You would do better to try a non-google search and just type in "cargo camper" and you will find thousands of pictures or articles or whatever fancies there your desire for more info. Self-built RVs are common, much more durable and give the owner just what he wants, here or there, but I do not know about the connection to any campgrounds.
ajriding 01/20/22 04:45pm Travel Trailers
RE: Calculated MPG

If you have to ask Im not gonna tell ya
ajriding 01/16/22 10:02am General RVing Issues
RE: Let's talk air bags...

If they are Firestone then do not run below 5psi ever. When the truck suspension tops out it will pull a vacuum on the bags and could damage them or rip them. You need enough air in them to prevent this vacuum. It will be the same with any brand. Guys that say bag can only stiffen the ride are dead wrong. There is much more to suspension dynamics than just a knee-jerk reaction can offer. Your truck springs will have a neutral point, the point which the springs are neither supporting weight nor pulling in the opposite direction. This would be where the leaf springs are curved to the same shape as if they were off the truck and sitting on the ground. I do not include coil springs here as they are not necessarily attached such that they can pull. I only have data for two-wheeled vehicles from here, but on those you can soften the suspension with a strong spring that has an opposing spring pulling/pushing the opposite direction. This set-up tends to overcome the friction in the suspension linkage that would otherwise cause you to lose some of the small bump compliance. ON a truck there is probably a small window where you can lift the truck just past the neutral spring height where the air bag is lifting the truck and the leaf spring is trying to pull the truck back down. Opposing spring forces. Go too far and you will just get a harsher ride. Both trucks I put bags on would ride much smoother with some air in the bags. 10-15psi on mine. On your 1999 you will for sure have spring sag from age, so using the bag to correct the sag will both improve your ride height and maybe even handling when unloaded. I do not make any scientific claims on truck suspension but am only comparing two-wheeled set-ups to the truck and also my personal experience that supports the fact that my trucks were smoother with air in the bags.
ajriding 01/16/22 09:52am Truck Campers
RE: Why consider 12v fridge for boondocking?

Sounds like OP has too much info to be asking opinions... My biggest gripe with propane fridge is keeping it level. Not an issue when I am officially parked at my camp spot, but when traveling and parking for a little bit to go see stuff, go shopping or anything that requires parking the fridge was just too big a part of life and far too needy. Keep it level or ruin it or turn it off before parking out of level. I think if you park un-level then turn it off there is those minutes where the burner is hot, still cooking and small amounts of damage could occur. I do not know for sure when the damage begins after parking off-level though. With a compressor DC fridge you can park up to 30% off level and the fridge still is fine. That is big for me. As far as powering a fridge, yes propane can run a fridge a month, that was not a big issue, although use other things and propane goes faster. For me the solar is enough to keep up, which means I never worry about powering the fridge, there is just always enough power to run it, even parked in the shade. Not a few days, not a week, but indefinitely. Results may vary for users. Also, finding power for the fridge is 100% in my power. I do not depend on oil being processed to make propane. I can just go find free and available sun. Outside of an EMP, nothing will really stop that as darkness or heavy clouds are not forever.
ajriding 01/16/22 09:38am Travel Trailers
RE: Curt BetterWeigh?

This type of technology was used 15 years ago in sports. Amazing amount of data can be reversed into real numbers. 5% accuracy seems right inline with the tech. With similar tech it is possible even to generate an aerodynamic resistance curve at any given speed, so you can figure out which speed yields highest mpg's. You can change your aero wing and see which location is best. You can see how much Hp is needed to start and stop. You can collect the data for every data point, graph it, and analyze it after a drive. You can compare winds and crosswinds. I dont think this particular unit does all of this, but I have played with the technology years ago with success. The way I calibrated it years ago was to accelerate up to 25 mpg then coast down. I guess using neutral would be needed, not just coasting in D. The device figures out aerodynamic coefficient, ground/tire friction and other numbers from this. You then could, theoretically, do a coast-down again with the trailer and compare. You will need to use the settings for trailer when trailering, and settings for no trailer when you dont have the trailer... Based on aerodynamic coefficient and slope of the hill you are on (device knows the angle) it can generate how much power you must be putting out to go any given speed. Knowing the weight is new to me. I always had to put in the exact weight for the device to work, but I think this vehicle device is going off of the factory given weights, which will always be wrong due to cargo in the vehicle, weight of the person, amount of fuel in the tank etc... Looking forward to hear feedback from those that actually use it rather than opinions of those who have not..
ajriding 01/09/22 11:27am Tow Vehicles
RE: Where did the Non weekend RVers go?

First off, its winter, after the winterizing posts end, they won't get started again until spring with a bunch of battery posts. I posted here all the time for many years, almost 6000 posts, starting back in 2005, until it was overrun with jerks. One even posted in this thread. I moved over to IRV2 and only visit here about once every two months for a few minutes. Just nothing going on here. As an example, I do a lot of mods, share them with others and take phone calls from all over the country, helping people fix things and even make custom parts for them for free. I feel if I can help someone save money, I've done a good thing and it makes me feel good. When I bought my new 2014 Dutch Star on a Freightliner chassis, (side radiator) it would make a heck of a dust storm on dirt roads because of the way the radiator fan was situated. I created a shield to redirect air under the coach and shared it with others on here and IRV2. A few months later, on IRV2, another poster had his son making them in a fab shop and selling them. A year later, Freightliner adopted the idea and began selling the same shield for $800.00, plus install. When I purchased my 2019 Dutch Star on a Freightliner chassis, it was the first year that the shield was now standard equipment. Sooooo.....when I originally posted the solution and plans to make the shield on here, the same jerk who posted in this thread, tried to tell me that my coach was not operating properly. That was it, I no longer posted mods on here. I see now he has been booted off another forum for being a jerk! It's too bad, it only takes a few to ruin it for others. One good thing has come from this forum, Wolfe10 is now posting on IRV2 and his knowledge is very welcomed. IRV2 can be very strict, but sometimes that it takes to keep the jerks from ruining a site. I think this forum could recover, but it would take some people willing to come back and share their knowledge and ideas, without knuckleheads making comments. Out of maybe 15 post in a thread there will always be one dumb, or irritating, argumentative, or know-it-all, or someone with just no social graces posting. Ignoring is the only way. If you ask how to make cookies you will get a reply to "use an oven" and that forum user will be pleased that he was able to help you bake, literally. Other will give you knowledge of how to actually do it from start to finish. That's just the forum.
ajriding 01/09/22 11:10am General RVing Issues
RE: Is support needed when storing for an extended time?

Mine sat on concrete blocks under the floor. Jacks were down to help keep the TC from a blow over from high winds. I left my first (1972 9' 6") TC lowered just enough we could step up into it and left the TC on the 4 corner jacks from OCT to warm up time in April. The next summer the jacks were so loose and shaky I had to up size all the jacks mounting bolts so they would tighten. I didn't leave the next two TC we owned on their jacks. Living in constant high wind parts of the country where all the trees along the road lean in one direction (to the north) we have to be vigilant on sheds....mobilehomes...tall sided rvs having a blow over if exposed to those high winds. Pretty big leap to make a connection with a camper that was built the year I was born and a new Cirrus….you crack me up. A lot more TC on the road back then. Just about every one with a pickup had a TC and usually pulled a boat or horse trailer. Now days its rare to find a TC in a campground..around here anywayz. Oh yeah...that 1972 truck camper was blow away in the Dec 5, 1975 tornado that hit east Tulsa, OK. We never replaced it but went to a small 24' 5th wheel trailer for more room. Sure miss a TC tho. He will make a lot of bone-head comments just for no reason. Yes, a new camper will not show signs of age nor have time to suffer stresses over time. DO dumb things to it and a week later it might still seems just fine, continue a few years and come back to us with how things are going. I mean.... why comment these silly post? TCs are meant to sit on something. Roll the dice on how well you think yours might be made to be suspended all the time. Some are, some are not. Just the fact that all the weight is suspended by 4 legs at 4 spots is cause to take caution. Not all campers are built super strong at these contact points. I have seen plenty of cracked camper corners that the leg mounts are responsible for. Of course there are just as many with no issues. Good luck.
ajriding 01/09/22 11:04am Truck Campers
RE: Replace Jack-Knife Sofa

"Wall hugging"? Do you mean one that, when leaned back, does not go back? They make recliners that only move forward so you can be against the wall when upright. I was at first thinking for you to just take the sofa to an automotive, or to regular, upholstery shop. Have new foam put in, new fabric, make it comfortable... A recliner is better for one person seating - more comfortable for sure. A platform is no problem. Not sure what you mean with the rollers.... You want to move the recliner forward on rollers to be able to recline? Maybe drawer slides instead of rollers if this is the case. You can get slides to hold any amount of weight.
ajriding 01/07/22 02:51pm Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)
RE: Is support needed when storing for an extended time?

No, but highly recommended. Until a big wind or other force pushes on the TC you will be fine. I made mine with one sheet of treated plywood. I made the X. Cut in half short-ways, so two 4 foot squares. Cut slits of the same width as the board is thick (so 3/4 inch wide slits for a 3/4 inch thick plywood). Cut the slits only half way. The slits are from the center of one edge to the middle. Put the two slighted boards together to make an X, or T (+). Make another one of these. Put under TC. You can add boards across the top if you like the camper to sit on more than just two X's. I put the X's on bricks to keep it off the wet concrete. This takes weight off TC, but you can still have the legs holding up some weight to give TC a wider footprint. Others have used a couple of saw horses. Yet others have used stacks of shipping pallets. Bricks. Anything works that you can render....
ajriding 01/07/22 02:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Fuel consumption too high?

An 8,000lb 3500 SRW truck towing 16,000 lbs is safer than a 4,000lb truck towing 6400 lbs?What makes you think so? That statement has no basis in fact. In one scenario you have a trailer weighing 60% more than the truck pushing around the truck; In the other scenario you have a trailer that weighs 100% more than the truck pushing around the truck. I'm highly skeptical your claim, and how would you measure "safer" to begin with. Its a pure nonsense statement. I think he might be right... Having driven a 7,000lb truck and towing heavy and also driven a small truck and towed light, i still think the big truck is more stable and handles better and controls the weight better than the little one that is not really made for anything except a few tools and 2x4s. Little trucks are cars with truck beds. 3/4 and 1-ton trucks are built for work.
ajriding 01/07/22 02:38pm Travel Trailers
RE: strong winds- tornados

The chains thing? No idea what that means, or if you are sober. The post is about a parked rig. The typical trailer tongue hitch only articulates a certain amount. After that the edges hit the receiver hitch and begin to push. Many many videos and photos of rigs flipping in wind or in fish-tail situations where the trailer flips the truck. It is the regular trailer tongue that gets to its limits and cannot twist anymore. Seems the truck gets flipped before the hitch or tongue breaks or bends. This is in part due to the wind already blowing hard to try to flip the rig anyway. The truck will not flip in that wind, but give it a little extra push and it will. The trailer, which flips easy, is that extra push. By the time the tongue bottoms out on the receiver the trailer is already past its tipping point and is going over. The truck will either stop the trailer from flipping, or hold steady enough that the hitch bends or breaks, or it will go over with the trailer. IF you detach the trailer then the trailer cannot do this. You can leave the safety chains attached as the chains will not have any twisting force on the truck or the trailer. Leaving the chains attached is optional, but in a wind situation will keep the flipped trailer from blowing across the parking lot. Remember we are talking about hurricane or tornado force winds, way beyond normal or safe, and about what the best option is to leave a rig/ abandon a rig in this situation is. You can try to point the rig into the wind, but you will need to know the direction first, and a tornado might alter its direction during the event, and a hurricane will alter its direction as the eyewall passes by. Im not sure how any of this is confusing for you, but maybe there are others as drunk, so hope this clears up what "chains" are on a trailer.
ajriding 01/06/22 11:21am Travel Trailers
RE: Good battery for Boondocking Palomino Puma 19RL

Two 6-volt golf cart batteries! Easiest and cheapest. You said no solar. That is the wrong answer. Reconsider. Unless you will drive from outlet to outlet and always be either plugged in or driving (alternator power) then solar will make life so much easier. Solar itself is really simple. The problem with Marine battery is that it is neither made for starting or for RVs. It is made for a boat. To start the boat motor, go somewhere, turn off motor, then use electric trolling motor for some fishing, then start the motor again and return home. It neither is a good starting battery or a good RV battery, but a compromise, and really only good for a boat. True deep cycle batts like a GC batt is much more robust and will last longer than a compromised starting/marine battery.
ajriding 01/06/22 11:05am Travel Trailers
RE: strong winds- tornados

Well, the trailer should flip before the truck flips. The trailer can then flip the truck or give it enough umph that the wind can now flip it. Being hooked to the truck will not do much to stop the trailer from flipping, but will do damage to the hitch or the truck. Unhook. Leave chains on. Never would have thought of that ridiculous response to, frankly, a ridiculous question. Thanks for the laugh buddy! haha, If I didnt know you I would swear you are a moron by your post. I think you are here just to make fun of RVers issues most of the time, so I usually just skip past your post unless I need a chuckle.
ajriding 01/03/22 01:42pm Travel Trailers
RE: Happijac new vs old?

number 1 first. it will be free except your time, and that is free also. They need re-lubing all the time, the grease instantly is pushed out of the gears when you use it. Flexible legs? Have they done the job so far? All the legs are doing is lifting from the truck and lowering down on to a support stand. are you storing it on the legs only? Keep the legs if that is the next cheapest thing.
ajriding 01/03/22 01:37pm Truck Campers
RE: Replacing Elec brakes

Those old 3 speed transmissions did not have locking torque converters either.
ajriding 01/03/22 01:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Sizing a battery bank. Ah VS wh?

Everything off an inverter screams newbie, knows nothing (no offense) and future regrets in short order... You haven't watched or read nearly enough it sounds like. I have said many times. if youre going to camp. learn to camp. there are a whole world of camper items, and kitchen camper items that are made to work when camping because 120 volt AC current is not always available and will come at a HUGE premium when you have to make it yourself. On batteries. 6 volt GC batts are talked about a lot bc they are true deep cycle batts. Marine batts are not true deep cycle. there are true deep cycle batteries other than what Autoparts store sells, but you pay more. General consensus is AGM is a terrible waste of money for an RV. Two 100 amp hour 6 volt batts run to make 12 volt will equal 100 amp hours. Two 12 volt 100a/h batts run together to make 12 will equal 200 a/h. The one watt for each amp hour on a battery sounds about right. You could go two even to be safe as solar panels really are going to to be the cheapest part in the long-term. Watt hours is a better way to think than amp hours, but amp hours terminology is hard to make go away, learn both. What are you running or plan to electrically? Yes, 24 volt can be an advantage under certain circumstances, but will make things more complicated. I have a compressor fridge that runs off either 12 or 24 volts. It is the main electrical draw. I would go 24 volts if I were to do it over again just for the fridge and then make 12 volts for the other RV items off of whatever converter is needed. Unless you have a specific 24 or 48 volt need then stay 12.
ajriding 01/01/22 06:51pm Tech Issues
RE: this is why

8 pages of replies... I gotta get in on this party. wahooo. Here is my opinion....
ajriding 01/01/22 06:43pm Tech Issues
RE: Charge controllers

I agree. It makes no sense to me to have two divided like this. Running a residential fridge off an inverter off one battery? Yikes! For that reason alone I would connect the two batteries. They do not have to be exactly side by side to connect them, but use a very heavy gauge wire to connect them. Many trucks will have their two batteries on either side of the engine bay. How are the batteries connected? Is there a solenoid that connects both to each other when plugged in and disconnects them when not? Or the charger has two outputs? Or a large diode?
ajriding 01/01/22 06:39pm Tech Issues
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