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RE: Front mounted Tool Box, issues, Concerns? Is it safe?

Wow, so much good information, and you really went all out! What are you using for the base, did you fab your own or did you buy one and just put the box on top of it? You literally have thought of everything! Thanks, it was a years-long project. Six to eight years at least. Use it, see a need, change it, use it, see a problem, change it........etc. The base that’s holding the box to the truck is all custom made from angle-iron mostly. Some 2” square tube, and some flat plate where needed. The pintle hitch mount came from etrailer if I remember right. Speaking of which, that’s how I’d handle your front bumper hitch. There are pintle hitch mounts that can provide 12”-18” of drop. I’d buy one and build off of that rather than make any changes to your bumper. That thing is a beast! If I ever need more approach angle clearance, I can raise the box up 6” by bolting it up higher on the pintle mount. :):) Now I'm thinking I may be forced to put my motorcycle in front and box in rear. The box will probably hold up better in the rear to any swinging action since I'll need an extension. The box will probably have 200lbs inside while the bike is 260lbs and has a higher center of gravity. I know people will just say get a trailer, but I want to keep the footprint as nimble as possible.
presh223 10/14/18 02:56pm General RVing Issues
RE: Front mounted Tool Box, issues, Concerns? Is it safe?

I have a shallow truck-bed tool box that was given to me several years ago. I turned it into a front-hitch storage box that I’ve used to haul gear that I don’t want inside the truck or camper on three trucks now. It’s been through several revisions and upgrades, and I think I’m on revision seven or eight now. I’ve used it on three trucks, and it hasn’t caused any problems at all. https://i.imgur.com/KN2S0Hwl.jpg I discovered very quickly I needed some reminders that it was out there because I can’t see any of it from the drivers seat. I put some fiberglass reflector rods on it first (above), then later bought some Bores brand bumper guides like the big trucks have (below). Coincidentally, the ones Bores make for the Ford F450’s were the straightest ones they had, and were exactly what I needed. The bumper guides have little lights on top that I’ve connected to the running lights. https://i.imgur.com/njgzP2gl.jpg Next, I needed some ditch lights on the front of the box to help out when I’m trying to find a turn I need to take at night.........driving down an unlit road...........with no moon.....(really, really dark!). I bought some Hella driving lights, which were great until one of them took a rock and I found out that a replacement lens was going to cost nearly as much as the pair cost originally. https://i.imgur.com/6HDJaoil.jpg So, I bought some LED lights that cost less than the replacement lens was going to cost. https://i.imgur.com/R422hafl.jpg There were a few other little tweeks and adjustments along the way that required some cutting and welding. The first version was a fixed height, but I worried that it might cause a clearance problem for me someday, so I bought a pintle hitch mount for a 2” receiver with a lot of up-down adjustability and had a matching plate welded on the rack that carries the tool box. Now I can move it up about 8” if needed. It doesn’t seem to affect the engine or transmission cooling at all. https://i.imgur.com/Ds3oekPl.jpg Two turnbuckles keep the box rock steady. https://i.imgur.com/MnCF0fLl.jpg I use the box to carry a Webber grill, a Yamaha 1000 generator, a roll-up table, and a few other little things. The only problem has been that it’s a few inches too short for the generator, so I have to lean it over at an angle for the lid to shut. I have to make sure that the gas cap is on tight, the vent closed, the fuel shut off, and the carburetor side is facing up. I decided it’s time to fix that issue, so I started looking for some way to put a “bump” on the top so the Yamaha can sit up straight. Plan B is to drop a section of the bottom, but I’d have to place it to the left or right of center since the hitch tube is right in the middle. I haven’t decided which way to go yet. I started looking for some type of aluminum pan, tray or box that I could use. I eventually discovered that some commercial cake pans are made exactly like I wanted, and would be cheaper than having something custom made. I found a pan that’s 12”x18”x3” with 90 degree sides, square welded corner seams, a flat lip around the top edge rather than rolled, and made of heavy aluminum. So now I just need to cut a hole in the box and rivet it in place, then my generator will be able to stand up straight in the box. https://i.imgur.com/xG1TdLLl.jpg :):) Wow, so much good information, and you really went all out! What are you using for the base, did you fab your own or did you buy one and just put the box on top of it? You literally have thought of everything!
presh223 10/14/18 01:21pm General RVing Issues
RE: Front mounted Tool Box, issues, Concerns? Is it safe?

Unles you're removing the radiator or grille, that bumper Looks like a blessing for getting into the engine bay. Built in steps. Watch your head sliding out from under with a creeper though! Nice looking rig though! Thank you. I did some work on it and literally had to kneel on the radiator the whole time. The bumper is good for one thing and one thing only. I like the way it looks, but it really is an impediment.
presh223 10/14/18 01:16pm General RVing Issues
RE: Front mounted Tool Box, issues, Concerns? Is it safe?

Isn't going to hurt a thing. Just looks goofy. Can buy a hitch rack for $75 about anywhere. Easy button to try it out. What kind of "camper". You can put the same hitch rack on an extension behind a TC or most TT/5vers have or can easily accept a light weight hitch rack for the rear bumper. Keeps the Pinocchio effect to a minimum. Its an Arctic Fox 990, I was planning on putting a motorcycle back there, but now that you mention that pinocchio effect perhaps I should put the bike in front and the box in the rear.
presh223 10/14/18 01:14pm General RVing Issues
RE: Photo Thread - Post a Photo of Your Truck Camper Here

https://i.imgur.com/pWVula6l.jpg
presh223 10/12/18 06:49pm Truck Campers
RE: Front mounted Tool Box, issues, Concerns? Is it safe?

I'm liking the general consensus. This bumper is kind of a curse. I think the tube is a little bit higher than I need it and will definitely block. If I have to install a Curt/Reese receiver for the front, I'm sure the bumper will interfere with that as well and I don't want to cut into the bumper to allow for a lower hitch receiver option. May have to sell that thing soon. It makes working on the truck a royal pain too. Anyway. I plan to carry thing's like Honda 2200 watt generator, gear, etc. Shouldn't weigh more than 300 lbs max and I think the front Axle will accommodate it. https://i.imgur.com/ScG5ACTl.jpg
presh223 10/12/18 03:59pm General RVing Issues
Front mounted Tool Box, issues, Concerns? Is it safe?

Hi All, I plan to embark on full-time camper living for the next measurable duration and would like opinions on front mounted tool boxes for storage. I have an American Built Cattle pusher style bumper which has the receiver tube fabricated in. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this, but it always seems to originate out of heavy-duty use or extreme environments, which makes sense. So if you've had issues with your snow plow, or in death valley lets just focus on regular temps. Will it block cooling performance? How much? Negligible or significant? I know over time it can be problematic, but I am just trying to outfit every square inch of usability on my truck. Since it will be home. I was following a youtube channel where a chap had his box front mounted because he had a regular cab, and he insisted he conducted a lot of research and it wouldn't hinder his truck. The truck is a 2013 Ford F350 6.7 Diesel So what does everyone think, yay or nay?
presh223 10/11/18 12:51pm General RVing Issues
RE: How do I repair delamination filon? Arctic Fox 990

I see you are thinking about using a piece of diamond plate or something like that to cover the "ugly area" IF you go that route, consider just removing that front window and covering over that area . Of all the campers we looked at, when we were hunting for ours that window was the first place I looked for problems. It seems that a huge percentage of campers have problems with that front area not being sealed. Our first Lance did not come with a window in the front and we did NOT miss having a window in that place one bit. Just an idea and may even help in your decision when and how to cover that area with diamond plate or what ever you choose. I know what you mean about that delimitation being ugly I dont think i could live with it like it is, but then i tend to be somewhat picky Yes, that's precisely what I was thinking. To eliminate the window and just put a rectangular sheet of thin aluminum on it. I hate to drill into the camper, but I guess if you use the right hardware and dip them in a sealant first it should be okay. The only advantage I see from the window is that because it will be my home for a duration I like the idea of it being a surveillance point to make sure no one is up near the truck at Walmart parking lots, etc. My truck interior will be a primary storage compartment, but I guess I can look into cameras or something as well.
presh223 10/09/18 12:07pm Truck Campers
RE: Truck camper Clear Coat, can this be restored?

I went to Harbor freight and got their cheap DA polisher, with foam pad, (they have about 3 or 4 grades of polishing pads) and I use M0416 from Meguiar's compound, I probably should be using their RV and Marines products, but had the MO 416 on hand. Both my TT and the Lance have the same fiberglass side walls and with some work they can look like new again. The Lance when I bought it was neglected and I am sure never had been polished/waxed, honestly I'm not sure it was ever washed. I have a Dewalt polisher, all levels of pads and 8 bottles of various compounds/waxes. I'm comfortable with doing it, just didn't know if the surface was appropriate for this type of re-finish. It will take a long time, but oh well.
presh223 10/09/18 12:03pm Truck Campers
RE: How primitive of terrain are you comfortable traversing?

Most things in the upper cabinets will be all over the floor unless you do some serious work to keep the doors shut and the loads inside the cabinets in non slip bins. The possibility of hooking a camper leg or getting towed with the load on is scary enough. I do not know whether you could be towed backwards with the camper on. I don't think you can get past the Suburu's anymore. My Snowbird was a slide 9'6 and I did not feel happy taking it off the beaten path very far at all. At a minimum I would put a wooden frame from camper sides and front to the sides and front of the box to hold it in place from slipping forward or sideways. Both front and back spring loaded tie downs should pull the unit forward, and the wooden frame in the front should hold the bottom of the camper away from the rim of the pickup box by a couple of inches. Not a bad idea about the wooden frame. I don't know how much wiggle room I have in there, what size wood stock would you use? I think the width doesn't leave any room in between the truck wheel wells, maybe an inch, but I could maybe used 4x4 wood blocks as intermediate bracing.
presh223 10/08/18 08:23pm Truck Campers
RE: How primitive of terrain are you comfortable traversing?

Most of the answer is how good the operator is at slowly adding fixes until you get to your own equilibrium. It's taken me a bout 10 years to get my ancient Lance Lite (wood frame; 1842 pounds, wet; 200w solar; PD4645; no air conditioning; no oven; no microwave; all heavy objects down low) to the place where I have confidence in its ability to get to the destination. There are so many factors that are in play with your build,most of them to the truck itself. So, the driver's experience is the determining factor on when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em on the trail. Here are a few vids of Anza taken 6 months ago: click on link to open my drop box. You may have to put these addys in your browser to open: https://www.dropbox.com/s/xg1lwe92448ry7z/Mogols%20at%20great%20sand%20hill%20Anza.m4v?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/f0j10uxr4sn8jrx/end%20Sandstone%20Cyn%20Anza.m4v?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/ns02z7g1q1jhu0r/up%20a%20rocky%20cyn%20Anza.m4v?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/y9nfstvqf6hk4ab/up%20Fish%20Cr.%20Anza.m4v?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfj5y93wsd7vfkw/jefe%20does%20sand%20hill%20at%20dry%20wash%20of%20the%20devil%20Anza.m4v?dl=0 http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z240/jefe4x4/DSC_0218_zpsnk2cdn5d.jpg http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z240/jefe4x4/DSC_0176_zps6sbmzqn0.jpg Take your pick: jump right in and find out where your own red line falls. Alright, on edit I think your camper is too heavy for hard core off-road use. Mine is right at 2700 pounds, loaded for bear. Why so light? Small tanks; the smallest; lightest; least tall; least wide Lance camper made 20 years ago. It is still sought after by folks who want the smallest footprint and still have a hard side with all the major amenities for traveling for 6 days, 6 months, or 6 years in every season, every weather, every road condition. I could not do this without a lot of trial and error at the beginning on what works off road and what doesn't. http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z240/jefe4x4/Anza%20TC%20March%202018%20with%20Jeff%20Jean%20John%20and%20Krys/DSCN1598.jpg jefe Just wow, seeing your first picture is quite impressive. That's the stuff I am referencing. I could it in my pop up, but I don't think I could do it in the current setup, or at least wouldn't or shouldn't. Ultimately, I am outfitting the bike into an "adventure style" with racks, so if my truck and camper can't make it, at least I will still be able to. Seeing your pics really impresses upon me how capable our stuff is. I still want to get a no-slide lighter lance someday, but I bought this truck specifically to handle this camper because the deal was too good to pass up. Off camber inclines and declines were my biggest concern, but with how much these things weigh, I don't see them shifting anywhere. By the time it shifts you're probably looking at catastrophic damage anyway, lol.
presh223 10/08/18 08:08pm Truck Campers
RE: How primitive of terrain are you comfortable traversing?

You can tweak your already capable-sounding setup by lowering the weight. Put stuff inside on the floor instead of in upper cabinets. Don't laugh. I've done it and it does help somewhat. Go slowly. Don't go into anything you if cannot back out of it or see a turnaround area ahead of you. Walk ahead and scout it. Maybe leave the bike off on the bad parts and hike back to get it? Do you have a co-pilot/spotter? Very helpful in the sticky spots. Your truck's high clearance may enable you to leave those pesky Subarus behind. without much effort. Stay safe! Everything in my older camper usually ended up on the floor after the vibration of these roads lol. Good idea about the bike. The main concern is just grade of incline and decline. Most other stuff like the big holes are annoying, but you just have to go really slow with them and pick your lines.
presh223 10/08/18 07:58pm Truck Campers
RE: Truck camper Clear Coat, can this be restored?

Again Im pretty sure it is a texturized plastic material not fiberglas. I know for a fact my 2002 AF TT was on a wood frame. You can test it. Simply thumping it with your finger should tell you. As a final answer call Northwood with the units serial number and ask them. Can you elaborate on the finger test, how does that tell me anything If I don't inherently know the characteristics of the materials and how they should respond? Like your TT, it is a wood frame. If it is indeed textured plastic are you stating it would be a fruitless venture to mechanically polish, and just stick with a wash? Thanks in advance.
presh223 10/08/18 07:55pm Truck Campers
RE: Truck camper Clear Coat, can this be restored?

I am doing the same thing with my new to me 2002 Lance 1130, Its pretty dull and faded. I got one side just about done, but its really something I do not like doing any more. When I was younger I could hang on to a polisher for a lot longer time than I can these days. It is coming along slow but sure, eventually I will get the whole thing polished up. Which compound/pad setup worked best for your lance?
presh223 10/08/18 05:29pm Truck Campers
RE: Truck camper Clear Coat, can this be restored?

Does Northwood use fiberglas or the textured plastic? I thought it was thr plastic stuff. If so you will nwver get a high shine. I've read on an earlier post fiberglass, but I don't know. Someone will chime in hopefully.
presh223 10/08/18 05:28pm Truck Campers
RE: Truck camper Clear Coat, can this be restored?

I am doing the same thing with my new to me 2002 Lance 1130, Its pretty dull and faded. I got one side just about done, but its really something I do not like doing any more. When I was younger I could hang on to a polisher for a lot longer time than I can these days. It is coming along slow but sure, eventually I will get the whole thing polished up. I know what you mean, once I performed a 4-stage cut and buff on my girlfriends car for her birthday, and it took 12 hours. Loved every bit of it, lol. I come from combat sports, so my shoulders and back definitely feel it the next day. It's funny how that polisher only weighs 5-7lbs, but man that's a lot of surface area to cover.
presh223 10/08/18 05:27pm Truck Campers
Truck camper Clear Coat, can this be restored?

Hi All, As I prepare to start using my new to me camper I'm curious about the exterior clear coat? It's a 2002 Arctic Fox 990. It looks like it has dulled in areas and is really dirty. I've buffed cars before with various abrasive compounds to effectively restore luster. Is this possible for the camper? I would probably just start with a foam pad and some mechanical wax, and then maybe cut deeper with a fine-grit compound if that didn't work. Can't see myself getting into the wool pad, seems like they maybe coated these thin, not like vehicles which seem to be more forgiving. The decals on this are all faded and withered as well so I'll remove those and try and create a level of uniformity with its finish. Insight is appreciated.
presh223 10/08/18 05:00pm Truck Campers
RE: How primitive of terrain are you comfortable traversing?

I can't speak to the Arctic Fox but the F350, properly setup, is a very capable vehicle. Our 2013 F350 4wd has been in some pretty rough places with the Igloo on board. The Igloo is around 3,400 pounds wet and fully loaded with gear for travel. In Alaska we did some pretty rough off road stuff but no rock crawling or crazy off camber stuff. Your 990 will weigh more than my Northstar. Get some really good tires, add at least stableloads and either sumo springs or similar and then try it out to see how it performs. Your center of gravity is probably higher than mine too, so that may limit your off camber travels. But logging roads, fire roads and the like shouldn't be much of an issue. Thank you for your insight. I forgot to mention I bought ride rite 5000 lb suspension airbags which I'll be installing this week. I think the wet weight according to the tag is 3,600lbs on mine, but I'll have it loaded with the dirtbike and I'm sure I will be closer to 4,400. I guess common sense is key, but I was primarily concerned with some of the angles of the road, like I said 2 of them are precarious loaded with a camper, you wouldn't even think about it with just the truck, it would be fun and you could do it fast even, but I don't know. I guess I'll have to try and see. I just didn't want to severely limit my accessibility of terrain with this setup.
presh223 10/08/18 04:56pm Truck Campers
How primitive of terrain are you comfortable traversing?

Hi all, What level of terrain are you comfortable taking your full-size truck campers on? My previous camper setup was moderately aggressive-terrain friendly it was a 2002 Chevy Silverado 4x4 with a Northstar 650 pop up cabover truck camper. It weighed 1,250 approx. I recall traversing some narrow canyon roads in Eastern WA and when any tires would enter a huge dirt hole It would feel like the camper was shaking back and forth. A few times over a steep embankment, I would experience the biggest adrenaline rushes because I thought “it was it” like I was going to take the tumble. Camper was secure and didn’t seem to move in the bed, just the rocking was scary. It would take me approx 45 mins to reach where I made camp because I was driving 2-3 mph average. In a vacant truck, it would take 5 mins. New to me setup: 2013 Ford F350 Diesel 2002 Arctic Fox 990 So based on my previous setup and it’s low center of gravity due to it being a pop-up, I wonder if it is even a viable idea to reach this same place (or places similar). As many of you know, this camper is almost comically large when mounted on a truck, and weighs 3x’s my previous. So what am I actually asking? How primitive of roads have you guys taken your campers on? Things to look out for, warning signs, things you absolutely wouldn't do, Pitches, banks, etc. I almost didn’t buy this camper because I didn’t think it would be suitable for deep woods, but I will be using it as an off-grid home for at least one year, so the slide appeal and features really attracted me. In the canyon I like the most in Eastern WA, there are 2 “steeper” areas, and I don’t know how comfortable I would be with that camper. I like to reach desolate areas of Eastern WA where the Subarus can’t go. They all get stuck within .25 miles and like to go deep to set up camp and do minimalist survival stuff and use the camper as a “base”. Also, love to bring my dirtbike out there. It’s the epitome of a perfect weekend. Anyway, thanks for reading. https://i.imgur.com/97XmXt1l.jpg https://i.imgur.com/ISDhgnzl.jpg
presh223 10/08/18 04:25pm Truck Campers
RE: How do I repair delamination filon? Arctic Fox 990

It's just fiberglass and polyester resin with a thin gelcoat, you are dealing with. Once the air is allowed out, it should flex. Most of the time will be used in the mold/strongbacks making which once your two templates are made, they can be done in a basement. A couple of weeks of evening with your new spindle sander. Wear a dust mask. Ask System Three out of Portland which epoxies they recommend. An old eggbeater hand drill is the perfect tool for drilling the tiny holes for the injection. Big agricultural syringes might be harder to come by. The repair can easily be done on a weekend, and covered by, get this, a tarp, chuckle. My neighbor has done a couple of delams under windows on his '08 Fleetwood toy hauler. And has a couple more to do. We have ORV travel trailer which had 1/32" or less checkerplate on the nose, which I dented. I replaced it with 1/16", and framing behind it. 2 years in ! I had a hard time finding a shop to roll 1/8" so I swapped the 1/8" for 1/16" and got a free roll. My hunting camper is a stick and tin. Nash might still be using the mold , so you might ask them for parts. They are just south and east of you in Le Grande . That would do a much nicer job, but it would be more work. BAHAHAHA cover it with the initial offender. No covered workspace unless I build it myself. I may have to wait to do it when I get to san diego and just keep it watertight in the interim. Which really sucks because I presently have access to all of my tools. Definitely, something to think about.
presh223 10/08/18 04:10pm Truck Campers
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