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RE: Battery (really solar panel) Disconnect Question

You will likely ruin the charge controller. I have not seen a controller that does not warm to not have a battery hooked up before connecting the solar panel. That said, I have accidentally hooked up the panel with no battery with no damage to the controller. I do not know what the issue is or what can go wrong, but imagine without a battery there that the voltage levels can spike too high. The battery is able to absorb any stray voltages or odd voltages into its storage capacity rather than all that spike go into the electronics. You will have to either put the switch between the panel and the controller, or not put any switches in. Another option is to put cardboard or plywood over the panel (give it a few mins to depower) and then it should be safe to disconnect, or do this at night when there is no sun to power the panel. Don't let the cover blow off though. I have a truck camper with the batteries on the truck, not the camper. When I would remove the camper then there were no batteries, so I put in a small exit sign battery that I could switch over to that the panel had a battery still connected, this was a post-controller switch. Since then I have replaced the little battery with a regular marine battery, but still use the switch for the panel that is not usually connected to that camper battery.
ajriding 10/16/19 09:00am Tech Issues
RE: Deceptive traffic citations

My understanding that the speed limit sign is supposed to be posted 200 feet before the actual speed limit zone changes (an imaginary line in a real spot), thus giving time for vehicles to slow down and account for people who maybe cannot see the sign from 200 feet away. This could be different in each municipality. Speed trap for sure. Small towns love to ticket out of towners. I got hasseled by a patrol three states away for nothing more than having an our of state tag, which he knew I would ot appear in court. Sometimes their goal is to agitate you enough such that they are able to arrest you for getting "lippy", or search your car, possibly plant evidence, and look for things they ca arrest you for. Never show a cop that you have any amount of cash, this, in their minds, means you are a criminal about to commit crimes using cash. Asset Forfeiture is one of the biggest evils perpetrated by our "protectors" This practice must be outlawed!!!! Never do anything in traffic that you can be pulled over and this will help keep you safe from the evils some courts and towns practice.
ajriding 10/12/19 09:09am General RVing Issues
RE: Trailer Brake issues.....

Agree with just running completely new wire. 12g or 14g should be fine, but do use bigger wire than the factory did, it might matter, it might not, but wont hurt. I used speaker wire from HD. When I redid my last trailer I also made all the wire connections inside a storage box and not outside under the trailer, this keeps the wires and open ends dry and safe. The magnets do go bad sometimes, and will eventually fail after many years. For just a one year old trailer maybe not start there, but old trailers it is just easier to replace all the magnets while you are messing with it all. They will fail. etrailer.com has all your solutions, and you can email them for pro answers too, there is a "chat" box on their site.
ajriding 10/12/19 08:54am Tech Issues
RE: Do Flea Collars Really Repel Pests?

Glue traps work great for small criters. Beware. Flee collars are a product that the evil chineez copy, fake and resell to unsuspecting Americans. They do not work. These flea collars look very identical and the packaging is very identical to the real ones. Beware of ebay or amazon deals as these are usually the fakes. If you can message the seller you can usually detect if they are real Americans or write in the sloppy poor grammar as you would expect from that part of the world. Run away. The Bayer collar is effective with fleas, but the cats seem to stick around still, so not sure other animals would be driven away, just fleas.
ajriding 10/11/19 09:49am General RVing Issues
RE: Eternabond vs Dicor

Eternabond for the remaining 25 feet With a pebbled roof I would test and retest to make sure the tape will fill the pebbles. I suspect there will be little gaps due to that textured surface, and water will be able to slowly seep in. Just one drop of water once per day is enough to cause the trailer roof or wall to rot. In this case I would use the Lap sealant only. When you do need to remove it and reLap it you can just leave whatever residue is sitting in the low places of the pebble surface and Lap right over it. You will not be able to use a scraper to remove either the Lap sealant or the tape without leaving behind residue in the crevices.
ajriding 10/09/19 05:34pm General RVing Issues
RE: Complete newbie needs help

Your rear tie-down system is fine. Not as good as the frame mounted one, but it will suffice.… I might see about having a dealer install Happijak on the front and getting a receiver hitch installed for the back. Then I can use that bar the TC seller gave me. He also gave me turnbuckles, but they are not spring loaded. I guess they'd be fine for the rear, since that bar will have "give" (like you said). .… If your rear long-bar set-up is as flexy as I think it will be, then you probably do not need any sort of spring. The square tube will literally be the spring, and much more of a spring than any tie-down spring on the market. When I drove home my TC I rigged up a very similar bar, but it was Unistrut, which is 3-sided square tubing, not a full 4-sided tube like you have. The Unistrut is more flexy than what you have because of the missing side, but even knowing that it did flex quite a bit more than I wanted it to. Not knowing the specifics of the steel used I can't say what yours will do, but let us hope it can work as the spring. You should get the receiver hitch. Go ahead and get a Class 5 (class V) hitch, its only a few bucks more but will be the last one you ever need to buy. U-haul seems to be the best economy for having them installed, as they are willing to do work cheap knowing you are equipped to rent their trailers after.
ajriding 10/09/19 05:27pm Truck Campers
RE: Tow a car trailer with truck camper on

No idea why camper makers think a TC needs a 7-pin plug. I use a flat-5 for the TC (same as a 4 but it has reverse light wire). From etrailer.com I bought a truck-side plug that has both the 7-pin and the flat-5 plug (flat-4 available too). I rewired the TC to take the flat-5. The TC had a 6-pin round plug and to make it worse the plug came out of the camper all the way at the front of the camper. Somebody was drinking on the job when they engineered this. My TC wires now exit the TC at the back of the camper since the back of the camper is located at the back of the truck, and all the truck wires come out of the back of the truck. Old-timers would call this the business end. Furthermore the factory TC plug location at the front gets hidden as soon as the TC is lowered into the bed, putting it at the rear makes it always accessible. This would be a good time to fix the dumb things they did to you from the factory… bonus: while I was at it I also wired a 3-prong shoreline extension to exit the TC at the rear and under the floor (same as the running light wire). This way I can plug into to electricity without an electric cord having to come out of the side of the camper. This cord is just long enough to hang down to access. When it rains, this means there is no open hole on the side of the camper. Also, I can leave my camper plugged into the extension cord that runs to the front generator which is on a front receiver hitch, while driving down the road. I will add that this is just a short extension cord, I can plug/unplug it into the actual camper umbilical by opening the access door. So, this short cord will not be live necessarily if I power my breaker box with the inverter. I shortened the camper umbilical to about 4 inches, so I keep the cord separate. works for me. since I usually am boondocking.
ajriding 10/09/19 04:56pm Tech Issues
RE: Complete newbie needs help

Wet OSB will work for years, it will take a while for it to rot away. Leave that project for years from now. Your rear tie-down system is fine. Not as good as the frame mounted one, but it will suffice. Depending on the weight of the camper maybe you could get the super cheap tiedown mounts that slip into the rail holes on the truck bed rail. Few will recommend these, and it is the most likely to damage your truck bed, but is cheap at about $60 for some used ones or around hundred n change for new. Torklift mounts are very good, but will run you $300-400 bucks for just the front pair, and requires some tool ability to install depending on the particular truck in question. The tie down chains should be at an angle and oppose each other from front to rear such that one pulls the camper forward and the other pulls it backwards. This keeps it centered front/back . The tiedown chains just get tightened hand tight to where the chains are snug. Pluck them like a guitar string and they will make a "boing" sound just barely. Not tight, too tight and bumps on the road can damage the truck or camper. Don't tighten one side too tight then have no room to properly tighten the other side equally. *Though, the way your rear system is set up you may want to tighten it more as i suspect that the long square tube from the trailer hitch will have a lot of spring in it and be very bendy under load, so that bending will protect the camper tie-down mounting point, so possibly tighten the rear more than the front. Test it how much it will bend and use judgement. If that guy is going to help in person then you really do't need more attention here…
ajriding 10/08/19 05:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Eternabond vs Dicor

I have used the tape successfully too. Beware, that when overlapping the tape you should put a dab of Dicor on the overlap. I used the tape to hold down solar panels and where the tape met at a 90 deg angle a tiny bit of water was able to get under. It was where the tape had to transition from on top of the other layer of tape to the roof. It did not fill that angle gap. Just a drop of Dicor fixed this now known issue. I have used the tape on the roof vent. No issues. Yes, there is lumps, but as long as the edges of the tape can lay flat it can be as lumpy as it wants in the center of the tape. No need to use a roller to flatten the tape. I used the thumb loop of my scissors and just "rolled" it down with force. The reason to use Dicor instead of tape is that the tape residue is much harder to remove. Although the tape is easy to remove with a bit of heat, it still leaves behind residue. Even on a flat fiberglass surface with 1500 degrees of flameless heat it is difficult to scrape it all off. Dicor will scrape off fairly easy with just a scraper. (be sure to put the flat side of the scraper down, not the beveled edge). But, Dicor will not last as long as the tape. In a few years Dicor might start to crack. As others have said, the tape can last for years, one guy mentioned 10 years and I have mo problem with this claim.
ajriding 10/08/19 05:26pm General RVing Issues
RE: Ideal V8 rpms when towing?

Consider your transmission also. Is 6th gear an over-drive gear? If so, then it may be putting a lot of heat into the tranny with such a load, uphill in overdrive. I would never do this without a transmission temp sensor. Automatic will figure it out for itself, but a manual will not. Shift down on almost all hills.
ajriding 10/08/19 05:14pm Truck Campers
RE: Complete newbie needs help

Use the BBC code for posting the pic, not the URL link. There are no manuals typically for any camper. There almost never is a diagram except a drawing in a glossy pamphlet showing the layout. The only thing "truck camper" about your truck camper is that it does not have wheels, but gets chained down to the bed. Everything else is camper, so a better place to learn is in the general camper section. Sounds like maybe this is a pop-up??? If so, then there are thing to learn there, but surely your seller told you how it goes up and down. There should be basic instructions for that part of camper. But you said"hard side" so maybe not. All the appliances and windows and doors are camper parts, not unique to a truck camper. Just read about campers and you will learn. If you are asking to be told everything you need to know about owning a camper, then just delete this whole thread and refer to hundreds of other threads that will contain the answer since it will take hundreds of post to give you that answer. If you have specific questions about general camper things, then post in the general camper section and get a bigger group of people to discuss with. The unique thing about truck campers is they are chained down to the truck, otherwise it is just a camper, campers have many things in common with other camper, regardless of the brand or year made. a $2,000,000 motorhome might have the exact same water heater that your $800 TC has for example.
ajriding 10/07/19 09:28am Truck Campers
RE: I Think I'm Outta Here

Dont let the camper door hit your backside on the way out!
ajriding 10/06/19 08:00pm General RVing Issues
RE: Leveling Jack Pads

Dutchman, I think you mis-read the post. He said his things sunk in the wet muddy grass. Using 3 3/4 inch boards (4x4s) is not going to improve on the yellow things, the boards will sink even faster. I think any device you put down on concrete, as the pics shows, are going to be highly resistant to sinking into grass, dry or wet. OP, how are your 12 lb new bases better than some ply-wood?
ajriding 10/04/19 08:22am General RVing Issues
RE: Jacks question

I have Happijacks, so can't speak to the motors amp draw on yours, but "heavy wires" is confusing. Mine has 12 or 14 gauge wires going to each individual motor- one wire from the mother board to each motor. Most people wire them permanently and drill holes through the wall, run wire through, seal it and connect to motor. I decided to just hook up the wire when needed and then put wire back inside camper when not. On the 4 corners I have 4 doors or hatches where I can hide the wires easy. They each have two-pole connectors so is easy. Fridge door, propane door, water/power access door and the fourth wire has to come out of the inside closet and out the back door, but the wires all stay inside this way. It was just easier than drilling holes, which I hate, this way. It takes 2-3 mins to wire them up.
ajriding 10/04/19 08:12am Truck Campers
RE: Resizing your photos

No just enter a width and leave the height blank, it will keep the ratio correct. Unless your original is an especially huge file (which takes a long time to load and eats up RAM on people's PCs) don't go to the trouble of Paint or other programs, just change the width in the post as described. Simple
ajriding 10/02/19 06:09pm Forum Posting Help and Support
RE: How do you guys carry bicycles inside?

I have a $12,000 plus other bikes that are about half that value. Is why I have RV too. With toy hauler I assume you have that garage area to utilize. If you can mount them to the wall using fork mounts this is the best way, it keeps them off the floor, freeing up that space too. There are special mounting boards made for this, or you can use a 3/4 inch board along the wall and use that as the base for the fork mounts. I have used Unistrut on the wall in my trailer. Unistrut is great, it makes the fork mounts adjustable, and you can mount a lot of things into Unistrut. Unistrut is common across the nation and world. You can get an aluminum version also. You mount the fork mount at an angle so the flat handlebars will be staggered and not touch. Road bars complicate things. In a camper once, I just bolted the fork mount directly to the floor. Use a strap or velcro strap to tie the front wheel to the bike. Some of the demo bike trucks or trailers will just use moving blankets and stack the bikes leaning on each other. This is safe and much quicker than removing wheels and mounting forks. The best method is the fork mount though.
ajriding 10/02/19 02:35pm Toy Haulers
RE: 2006 Diesel Exhaust Brake

What did you do? I paid about $1k or less for my brand new one, could have been $850. Installed myself with little issues, the hardest part was fishing the wire through the firewall.. I have used it a lot with no issues.
ajriding 10/02/19 02:13pm Tow Vehicles
Resizing your photos

After you put a photo in your post using BBC code or similar you can use a simple command to set the size of the photo so it is not annoyingly so huge. 500-700 width is about a good size. Click upper right of you post on "edit Post". On that page you will see some gibberish using brackets and words like, img and some web site looking words and end with img and brackets. I can not use brackets on a post as regular text as that is special character used for commands. At the end of the gibberish all you have to do is add (space) "width=600". The space being literally one press of the keyboard's space bar. So, this (img)https://photouploads.com/images/EzCT.jpg(/img) gets changed to this (img)https://photouploads.com/images/EzCT.jpg width=600(/img) I used ( ) instead of the more square-loocking brackets because I cannot use brackets or other html code symbols without the system getting mad at me, so I used ( ) instead. close enough I hope to illustrate. I used the number 600, but 500 or 700 may work. The issue is when you post a pic that naturally has a width of 1400 or more, more or less, and it causes the page to double in width, and this is just annoying. You can also post small pics by using smaller numbers to set the width. Remember you need the space before the word "width" but the rest of the typing has no spaces. Enjoy.
ajriding 10/02/19 02:02pm Forum Posting Help and Support
RE: Talk me out of my new project.

80,000-20,000=60,000. $60,000 buys a lot of fuel. You said you are "too old", so you may never exhaust this savings amount before you die. May you live a long life though. The sprinter is stealthy and will fit in any high-dollar neighborhood without complaints, unlike that box van or a camper. For $20,000 you can do a lot of cosmetic fixes on the outside of your old camper also, really less than $5k. New aluminum corrugated siding is not that expensive, even if a dealer replaces it. If all you are worried about is fuel cost then you will never beat keeping old unit. Consider insurance cost on a newer vehicle also.
ajriding 10/02/19 01:01pm Truck Campers
RE: Torklift fronts and Happijac rear?

Th… it might hit my fender on 1 side and exhaust on the other. The torklift bracket sits forward just enough to clear. I'm leaning to front and back torklift because I am nervous about the rear bumper. …on. For the rear, if you are mounting the Torklift to a receiver hitch, you can rotate the Torklift mount forward or back to get it angled exactly how you need it to sit. I did this on my Ram to keep it as close to the body without hitting, high enough to be mostly above the exhaust and still at a good angle to hold the camper properly. https://photouploads.com/images/EzCp.jpg width=700 I rotated it just 8-10 degrees back, clockwise. Don't think it has to be bolted in exactly square to everything, it does not. https://photouploads.com/images/EzCo.jpg width=700 This makes it sit closer to the body than if I had mounted it square and level. Closer means higher and more out of the way for any off-roading encounters with rocks, and also less visible hanging out under the truck… cleaner lines. Mounting it square-up would have put the bracket exactly in the exhaust stream, much lower. Is hard to see, but the bracket is just barely missing the body, I gave just enough room for it to flex up and not touch. https://photouploads.com/images/EzCT.jpg width=655 This is with the bracket clamped on in a mock trial all squared up as most will mount it, directly in the exhaust and several inches lower.
ajriding 10/02/19 09:35am Truck Campers
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