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RE: Advice on truck and camper purchase

I would disagree on the dually for off-roading. Besides the extra rear tire there is little difference in 2500 and 3500s, it is really just the extra leaf in the rear, AND yes, the leafs are superior to coils for TCs. Duallys are not considered the best option for off-roading by off-roaders, but that all depends on what you plan to do. You could get a dually and modify it to be a 4 wheel truck and have the best of both worlds, many off-roaders do this (basically a wide stance SRW setup). One tons come in SRW configurations too. Duallys will sway less than a SRW, but that does not disqualify a SRW for still being easy to drive. Consider a two-piece fiberglass TC, there are 3 brands that I know of. Two are obtainable, and the third which I have, hard to find. Fiberglass construction will shake, rattle and roll less, so less likely to tear apart. The weakness will always be the tie-down system (on both camper and truck end). A big hit can bend your truck frame or tear the mounts out of the camper. I would look seriously into an Alaskan camper. You do not have an indoor shower unless you are able to modify the bathroom - take out cass toilet and mod up a shower pan, BUT it does fold down which is good for off-roading. Less height, less sway, and will fit under tree branches and rock over-hangs. There are used ones out there for around $8k. If there were ones for sale at the time i might have gone this route. Looks like you have money to spend, so probably can afford the gas expense difference in folding vs full height camper mpg. Biggies for off-road are the full size has a high center of gravity, and full size are typically heavier (800 lbs at least), and of corse height clearance. I agree on the regular cab, keeping wheel base short will help for ground clearance, but TCs are not known for storage space, and I make great use of the extra space my extra cab offers. I would personally not want a regular cab. I know if you wanted to do serious off-roading you'd be in a Jeep or FJ Cruiser with a tent top (dumb) or off-road trailer, so I assume you mean to do off-road light. Getting down un-maintained dirt roads is just slow going with a big TC on back compared to unloaded. You will need to air down tires, so will need a way to air back up yourself. For full size TC there is no perfect set-up for off road. Lastly, my best advice is to get a flatbed 2500 truck and get a flatbed TC on it. These are so much more robust and off-road worthy, and you do not lose the space of the bed rails. I have never seen a used flatbed TC for sale, so you might have to go new (sounds like your plan)
ajriding 09/06/19 09:22am Truck Campers
RE: Annual maintenances: wise, necessary, waste of money?

Wash and wax with a UV roof protectant. ~$220 Campingworld 45 point inspection ~$300 Maintenance on the water heater. ~$85 Maintenance on the AC. ~$100 Maintenance on the furnace. ~$149 Maintenance on the breaks and bearings. ~$300 Someone wants you to stimulate the economy… *Wash, that seems a fair fee. People go 30 years and dont wax, but wax will keep it looking good. *45 pt inspection, skip this. for sure, skip this. *water heater. Drain out the water, flush, refill. Inspect the anode bar, or just replace it for a few bucks. *AC, clean filters inside. On a house the condensor coils need to be sprayed out with a garden hose to get teh dust and cobwebs off. Maybe not such an issue on top of your roof, and I have never heard anyone on RV.net talk about this, but most do not live full time (use AC all season). *Furnace, skip this. As long as there are no wasp nesting or birds nesting in your exhaust or other places it is fine. *brakes, yes, but get an ordinary garage to do this. Cheaper and better mechanics likely. Mechanics that work on vehicles mechanical parts all day long, not on RV furnaces and table supports all day long. Wheel bearings need to be checked pretty often, maybe every 7,000-15,000 miles of travel. They wear a little and need to be tightened. Im not sure why car bearings can be driven 300000 miles with no issues, but a trailer cant go 5000 without needing attention… The brakes are a little bit more talkative, they will let you know. If you have one axle then you will know when they get weak and need to be tightened. 2 axles and you will not know until the majority of them fade. Typical brakes are not self-adjusting, so as the pad wears they need to be tightened again. If you notice one tire skidding, then possibly that is the only one that has not worn out. Or if you notice skid marks (flat spots) on one or two tires, then there is an imbalance in the brake adjustment. You have a 20 foot trailer, so probably two axles and a decent weight, esp full-timing with all your stuff loaded in, but the smaller the trailer (and bigger the truck) the less the brakes matter. My cargo trailer came with no brakes… Brakes are dependent on how much they get used and how high you set the power level. I tend to set them high on the interstate, lower around town at slow speeds where the truck can stop everything fast and safe, and off when moving around the campground, backing up, or any maneuver where they are a hinderance.
ajriding 09/05/19 03:34pm General RVing Issues
RE: Vent seal

You meant the roof vents that have the crank up lid, 14x14 inch opening? They usually , now days, dont use rubber to seal them. If it is rubber you want, then there is a window butyl tape that might work. Any RV place should have this. $10 or so for a 10-15 foot roll. Lap sealant is the most common, and easy to find at RV store, or in the SW probably at a hardware store even. clean the old stuff off, and put the Lap sealant down like caulk. The self-leveling will flow a little and level off and fill the crevices to some extent. Eternabond tape will also work. It is a very sticky, almost like Silly Putty, tape that will stick and stick. Is removable with a heat gun, or just by pulling, but it will stick as intended for years. Get the 3 inch wide for a roof vent. All the roof holes (vents, plumbing vents, antenna etc) will need to be looked at every 2-3 years. Maybe the current seal will last a long time, but typically after 2-3 years it starts to crack and let water leak in. The same goes for the outside corners around the camper and all the wall holes like water heater, doors etc.
ajriding 09/05/19 03:22pm General RVing Issues
RE: Andersen WD Hitch on 4' Supertruss - Part 2

How much articulation is possible between the TV and trailer? (how much of an angle up and down before the springs bottom out). Usually I have to take WD off for off-roads
ajriding 09/05/19 03:11pm Truck Campers
RE: Andersen WD Hitch on 4' Supertruss - Part 2

Nice set up. We had a topic somewhere about those coil-springs WD bars and it was pointed that it is crucial that chains will go in-line with the bar sleeves. your 1st picture shows them with visible angle. I also think your front is too light as my F350 has it at 4800lb, but if it steers OK, that's what you care about. Yes. Seems like there would be only a limited number of trailer frame heights (4,5 6 inch etc). but I would shim under the lower bolt that holds the hitch to the trailer frame, this would take out some of the leaning angle that is causing the springs to point up in difference to the chains that are going parallel to the ground. A flat metal bar. I just saw some at Homedepot, and you can get them in aluminum or steel. This should cause the metal bracket to be more align, so the chains exit smoothly from the square tube the spring is attached to. Nice rig.
ajriding 09/03/19 09:08pm Truck Campers
RE: House batteries (has 2) durning storage.

Solar , yes. 15 watts might be enough to just tend it. I'd go 50 since it is winter an overcast and low angle of the sun. Why not just spend a little more and have a full functioning solar system? 200 watts minimum, a good controller (MPPT or PWM) and 10-12 gauge wires. Even if I am in a campground I will not plug in unless I want to run the AC, this is because their electrical might be so dirty it could damage my camper… Solar gives you options
ajriding 09/02/19 12:43pm General RVing Issues
RE: Propane valve wont seal - unusual? How to fix?

10 mins sounds like a long time. Can you confirm that a functioning system will not run a stove for 10 minutes? 11-14WC is about 0.5psi in the line. It should run some with the tank off, but 10 mins sounds like more than enough time to drain out the lines. Also a variable is how many feet of propane plumbing there is to pull from. When you open the propane compartment it should smell if a leak is there. If on a trailer outside, then it will be hard to detect a smell if leaking. Without the stove test, I would consider a leak in the line somewhere also, the gen would have the same effect. Hopefully it is your tank or the hose/fitting that it connects to, or the regulator as these are easy to replace. **wont matter how close the appliance is to the tank, just how much plumbing there is in the system. If you have 100 feet of pipe past the stove, then there is 100 feet of propane that can feed the stove…
ajriding 09/01/19 01:24pm General RVing Issues
RE: Tie down points?

The jack stand mounts are reinforced so should be fine to tie to. Typically the floor of the wings (flat part that hangs over bed rails of truck) are where the chains hook to. Overkill depends on where you drive. If you go off road then frame mounts would be good, if just smooth paved roads then that pocket mount will be enough. Frame mounts will not ding, bend or damage your bed rails either. For that light of a TC maybe just get frame mounts up front, and then use bumper ties or the pocket ties in the back. There is no hard-fast rule
ajriding 08/30/19 08:23pm Truck Campers
RE: looking to get into the camper world

the other thought was a used bigfoot or northern light but I am now sure how hard that would be to work on. Steve If you have the money for those then yes. Either is nice. They look the same to me. I have a fiberglass TC as well. How hard to work on? Not any harder. You will not be accessing the walls from the outside ever, unless you want to do fiberglass repair and can match a gel coat. Unless you crash it the roof and walls should be trouble free for the life of it. Fiberglass campers do tend to get sagging roofs. Keep them waxed. If you are looking to fit in tight spaces (I thought you meant narrow dirt roads covered with low trees), then a TC is not much smaller than any class C. If you want a full size TC, then the two you mentioned would be what I would look for, consider nothing else…
ajriding 08/30/19 08:16pm Truck Campers
RE: Kiplinger: 13 Reasons You'll Regret An RV In Retirement

techwrite, appreciate your comments,your points are right on for some individuals who are full timers, but I still disagree since the article is not correct for all, or even most full timers. Me. Truckcamper, yes. Class C, yes Travel trailer, yes. All of the above, yes. I have had them all, I am not a full timer, but am close. I'm not sure the article was specifically only talking about a brand new large class A morothome. Many full timers are in smaller rigs, vans, truck campers, small trailers, cargo trailers. They do what works for them. There are things to consider and cost to consider, but the writer of the article left a lot to be desired. I hope you were not the author. To say that all full timers fall under the outline of the article was disproven by what I wrote. It is only necessary that some fulltimers are like what I wrote, not all. If some full timers can get 24 mpg in their sprinter van, then they get pretty good gas mileage for any vehicle on the road. If some don't have health insurance then this is not even an issue for them. If some tow a 5th wheeler then they have an easy to drive rig (I have gooseneck which is even easier), Rvs can be cheap or expensive, it depends on how much you spend and how much that money spent means to you. A different issue is upkeep on an RV, but again, this is rig dependent - a trailer may need little to no upkeep. A new truck may never need repairs, but an old anything might break down all the time. Putting some stuff in storage my drain your wallet $25 per month, but that mortgage could be $2,500 per month. So, it really is all about individuals. Calling fulltiming expensive then going home and paying someone $45 to cut the grass every week… My point is the article is wrong, poorly conceived and just not accurate for all full timers. For you it may be spot on. Boy, you must have a lot of time on your hands to research my post to make your point, lol. sorry this was important to you, I thought the article was a joke
ajriding 08/30/19 08:08pm General RVing Issues
RE: Tilting Solar Panel

It would be interesting to see the amps change as the panel is tilted
ajriding 08/30/19 05:08pm Tech Issues
RE: looking to get into the camper world

When we rent a houseboat on Dale Hollow lake in Tennessee it's gray water goes directly into the lake! I would love to go swimming in that lake near your waste. I'm sure this is not legal in TN.
ajriding 08/30/19 02:31pm Truck Campers
RE: Kiplinger: 13 Reasons You'll Regret An RV In Retirement

Gibberish 3 Your RV Will Depreciate in Value maybe, maybe not, maybe you did not spend enough to matter. maybe you break even, maybe the depreciation is such a small amount after so many years that it is trivial, maybe you make money when you sell like I always do. You make some valid points, but I don't believe your take on number 3: "maybe you make money when you sell like I always do." Maybe you do, but I am very skeptical. I just don't believe that's a realistic plan. At least not for mere mortals like most of us. By the way, I always get the most beautiful woman and I never have to spend a dime on them. ;) It's always a maybe. For you, maybe you don't. For me, maybe I do, I always have. Buy low, sell high. It just depends on how much you spend up front versus how much it will be worth on the back end. If you buy new, then you will lose money driving it off the lot for sure. Many people buy used, so the value has already been lost. Some people buy used Airstreams and their value does not diminish so much. It's just a maybe on #3.
ajriding 08/30/19 02:29pm General RVing Issues
Tilting Solar Panel

This topic has been moved to another forum. You can read it here: 29958926
ajriding 08/30/19 02:23pm Technology Corner
Tilting Solar Panel

I did a little experiment. I have a new poly 100 watt panel. Before installing I tilted the panel to face directly into the sun. 19.6 volts. I tilted it the same angle, but away from the sun, so at a very bad angle to still have sun hit it. 18.4 volts, was not that less of a tilt to be 19.6 (1 volt less). I tilted it to be in the shade, only ambient light. 17.x volts. I don't feel so bad that the panels lay flat on the roof. The bad angle was about 5% less volts. Shade was 6.x% less volts. The controller will drop the voltage down to 14 or so, but amps will still be lower, probably 5% too. 5-6% is not bad for being able to just lay the panels flat. I see RVers with rigs where they can angle the panels perfectly and get that 5%, maybe they need it. Am I missing something?
ajriding 08/30/19 02:23pm Tech Issues
RE: Kiplinger: 13 Reasons You'll Regret An RV In Retirement

Gibberish 1 RVs are expensive. No, Expensive RVs are expensive. 2 You spend more updating the decor. Umm, you should have stopped reading at this one. This is an Unimaginably stupid thing to say. 3 Your RV Will Depreciate in Value maybe, maybe not, maybe you did not spend enough to matter. maybe you break even, maybe the depreciation is such a small amount after so many years that it is trivial, maybe you make money when you sell like I always do. 4 RVs Guzzle Gas some do, some do not do as bad as some SUVs towing nothing. If you drive constantly, or if you park mostly will affect the gas budget more than the mpg. I get 15-17mpg RVing 5 You'll Need Extra Insurance not really. I did not. 6 Health Care Can Be a Hassle Possibly true for some, possibly a valid point. 7 You'll Have to Deal With Your Own Waste if its brown, flush it down. Waste is a big part of RV life. There are ways to make it easier. 8 Quarters Are Close yes. cozy, close, and very mobile. The world is your backyard. 9 RVs Aren't Easy to Drive wrong, they are fun to drive, and easy. 10 Overnight Parking Can Be Problematic Sometimes, very dependent on what you do, where you go, how you like to live… 11 Repairs Can Be Costly Generally a 3/4 ton cost a little more in parts to fix than a half-ton. It is not more expensive otherwise. You drive miles, you will need to spend money no matter a Honda civic, or a class A RV. 12 You'll Need to Get Rid of a Lot of Your Stuff how is this an issue? 13 It Can Get Lonely on the Road or lonely in that big ole house They obviously are not RVers. They forgot you need to use water sparingly if not at a campground, and that propane has to be bought or refilled.
ajriding 08/30/19 11:26am General RVing Issues
RE: Can you run a 220v A/C unit off a 50 amp service?

You can if there is 2 phase electricity at the plug (A and B), BUT I think both phases must match, must have the same load on them and the same ability to supply. If it were just you powering off the breaker box then no problem, but who know how many campers are powering off only one phase of the box and not the other? You cannot control that. The first response is saying this, but without much of a warning flag waiving. Great likelihood of damage to your AC unit. Cheaper to get the 120 version.
ajriding 08/30/19 11:05am Tech Issues
RE: looking to get into the camper world

If you can find a used Alaskan camper then you are gold. I personally would run from the Heco lift system, which is a rack and pinion track that lifts the roof using long torsion bars that are at the ceiling. Find one with the roof that you just push up by hand. You will be in a tent as far as noise and insulation goes. The popup TCs are great for fuel economy, getting in tight areas and all … You will likely mostly see cassette toilets, and this is what you want. You will need to have Torklift mounts or some way to attach the TC to the truck. If you fine one with a North to South bed (the top bunk has you lay head towards front of truck, feet towards rear instead of sideways) you will have more room and comfort.
ajriding 08/30/19 11:01am Truck Campers
RE: New Coach Batteries

Depends on what your boondocking is like. Do you boondock for long? Just a weekend or for weeks on end? If just for the weekend maybe just stick with the cheap Marine battery. Fill with distilled water, never tap. Do you have any solar? For the campground phase of your camping experience then a small exit sign 12v battery would be enough to get you past the drive portion, you don't need hardly any battery, so then now you are just getting battery for that Fall when you boondock. Boondocking in the fall when it gets cold means running the furnace? The furnace fan is a power hog, so after one night you will need more power than the battery has left. You need a big battery bank (two batteries) or a way to top off the one battery. Solar works perfect, but some ppl use generators for a few hours to charge back.
ajriding 08/30/19 10:52am Tech Issues
RE: Refrogerator Problem

Your generator must have electrical issues. No flame from propane could be many things. could be blocked tubes between the tank and the flame. Could be wasp got in could be a bad regulator or a sensor went bad or the thermocouple is bad or bent lack of DC power to fridge blown fuse blown circuit board could be fridge is on the last leg - the AC power might make more heat than the gas flame (did you confirm you do not have a flame) and the flame is just not enough to do any good.
ajriding 08/30/19 10:45am Tech Issues
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