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RE: Overland Build Idea

I think the 300K overland vehicles have shorter living quarters. They also seem to keep the living quarters level with special suspensions. Finally, there are no 17K trailers that would match the durability of those vehicles. So, I wouldn’t call you crazy, but you aren’t going to have an equivalent vehicle when you are done. Oh, and I left off the auto airing tires suspension, jacks for tires, etc. That's a big part of the issue...incredibly expensive while having tiny living space. Even your average 15-17ft travel trailer is more spacious. Yes, the "special suspension" is a 3 point sub frame. As I said, there are some extras but in many ways they are easier to install as you have easy access to the frame if you want to mount an air system or boxes or other items important to you.
valhalla360 09/22/20 06:59am Truck Campers
RE: Overland Build Idea

It is an interesting idea and perhaps there is a market for such a beast but I think the largest struggle you are going to have is keeping the trailer from twisting itself to pieces. Generally speaking RVs are poorly constructed unless purpose built for an application. If all you wanted was just the look of an overland vehicle that could handle some occaisional logging roads it would probably suffice but overlanding is really about going where there are no roads. That's what the 3 point support is about. Overlanders basically have a subframe for the box where the 2 rear corners are attached directly to the truck frame and the front of the box is attached to the truck frame by a large hinge. So if the truck frame twists, the entire box rotates together rather than twists. Without this, doesn't matter how tough the box is, a twisting frame will tear it apart. That's a nice theory, overlanding is about going where there are no roads... but in practice, following several, most go by roads and then find a campsite typically within a few miles of a road. They are often rough roads but roads none the less.
valhalla360 09/22/20 06:56am Truck Campers
Overland Build Idea

Crazy thought...(not really clear where this should fit in in terms of forum). If you look at the custom overland rigs, usually built on something like an issuzu cab over truck...they start in the $250k range and easily move up into the $500k or higher range. What if you picked up a basic truck with no box or flatbed. Then picked up something like a 17ft travel trailer. Yank the axles off the trailer and mount it on the truck frame. Maybe install a 3 point support for the trailer to minimize twisting of the house box on rough roads. There would be some work involved but I wouldn't think it would be too extreme. Say $50k for the truck. $15k for the source trailer. $5k to weld up a 3 point support and another $5 for misc work to do the mounting (maybe fabricate a set of steps, integrate running lights, charging the house batteries, etc...). Now you would have a brand new overland rig for $75k. If you bought used, you could probably cut that in half. Comparing the livability of your average overland truck to a 17ft travel trailer, the travel trailer looks a lot more comfortable to live in. You could look for a 4x4 cab over truck but really most of the advantages lie in the high ground clearance. It's a pretty standard truck so no issues getting work done on it. Crazy or doable?
valhalla360 09/21/20 06:46am Truck Campers
RE: To Upgrade TV or Not

1/2 ton pickups come in a huge variety of flavors. The bottom of the line will likely not be much better. The top of the line (towing capability) will be a lot better. As someone else mentioned, it sounds like he is overloaded. Take it to a CAT scale and find out what the real numbers are.
valhalla360 09/21/20 05:23am Towing
RE: Rivian 1/2 ton high temp, grade test. Good read/video

Also not a engineer. How would regeneration fit into this. A model 3 see’s regen rates north of 70 KW and that’s a two motor system. I can see regen rates north of 200 KW for 4 motor trucks. I have read some speculative numbers on the Tesla semi of 800 KW regen rates. This would also play into brake life. One pedal driving is an interesting experience. I go days at a time without ever touching the brake pedal. I can see this being the same in bigger applications. Cheers. While there are limits with the motors & charging systems, regenerative braking is not limited so much by motor size but how hard you want to brake and the weight of the car. Mod 3's have way more than 70kw of electric motor but they likely cap it at 70kw as the maximum reasonable amount of deceleration and most of the time, it doesn't draw anything close to that. If you applied 200kw in reverse at 60mph, anything lose in the car would go flying due to the extreme deceleration...or more likely the wheels would start spinning in reverse and the vehicle would lose control. An 80,000lb semi needs far more power to slow down as it's around 25 times the weight of a passenger car, so they can extract greater power thru the regenerative braking without causing other issues.
valhalla360 09/21/20 05:19am Tow Vehicles
RE: Rivian 1/2 ton high temp, grade test. Good read/video

Both Ford and GM have been doing some development in the hybrid truck market although it’s not clear if they’ll actually enter into serious production. For cars, in developed countries it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go hybrid. Hybrids still have high maintenance and operating costs and none of the performance advantages. Hybrid cars tend to be doggy things in comparison to electrics. Hybrid sales have been falling for a few years although Toyota is still committed to making a comeback. The next few years will be telling. Old style hybrids don't make a lot of sense. Plug-In-Hybrids make a ton of sense. None of the range issues of pure EVs and for most buyers who do mostly commuting, you can get 80-99% of miles of electric. Honestly, it makes no sense why the EV proponents aren't pushing them hard as they answer 99% of the complaints for passenger car buyers. PS: The maintenance cost thing is way overstated. Modern ICE are incredibly reliable and typically require little more than an annual oil change for $25. Vast majority of repair costs are for things like tires, suspension, brakes...which are present in all cars. You might save a little on brakes but PIH often do regenerative braking and if you aren't abusive, it's not hard to get 30-50k miles out of a set of brakes, so that's not a big issue.
valhalla360 09/21/20 05:11am Tow Vehicles
RE: Rivian 1/2 ton high temp, grade test. Good read/video

Yah. Comparative testing would be nice. Side by side tables are easy to follow and make decisions accordingly. However I would think that towing range is not that big a deal for most F150 owners. Or at least around here. Most F150 owners here never tow anything, or if they do it is a 6000 pound travel trailer or 4000 boat they use on the weekend. Comparative testing will get more important when one of the manufactures gets interested in the 3/4 ton or 1 ton market someday. And when that happens I wouldn’t be surprised if ford is first to the plate. Yes, most 1/2 tons don't do a lot of towing but a significant percentage do some (I'm betting in raw numbers more 1/2 tons tow RVs than 3/4 and 1 ton combined)...and since 1/2 tons is where they are going electric first, it is absolutely a critical criteria to establish the capability. Even if it's a 3000lb trailer, it's wind resistance that really eats up range. I have a small enclosed utility trailer and even empty, there is a noticeable drop in MPG. A 6000lb trailer is right in the ideal range for a typical 1/2 ton truck. 10,000lb trailers, really most are moving up to 3/4 ton anyway. But a typical travel trailer in each of those weight ranges wouldn't be hard to run the test and would give a very good idea of the impacts of towing on range since that's what it's all about if they are talking battery powered tow vehicles.
valhalla360 09/19/20 10:09am Tow Vehicles
RE: Rivian 1/2 ton high temp, grade test. Good read/video

So 100 miles towing then. Got it. I didn't see them mention any numbers like that. Was that on the video or in the write-up. I didn't either...just the Davis Dam Route which is about 12 miles long. I didn't see where it indicated what percentage of range, that ate up. Of course, no one ever claimed electric cars couldn't put out big HP or torque...the entire issue is they can't do it for long enough to be viable. I have to agree with the other commenter that misleading tests only hurt the EV movement. If you want to impress people with towing capability, do a table of tests where you run a 10mile circular route with some moderate grades and use various size trailers...then post the table and details of how far it would go with each trailer size. That will give people a usable idea of what the truck can do.
valhalla360 09/19/20 07:12am Tow Vehicles
RE: Camping in cold temps, bad idea?

True Story. This was around 1971 give or take a year.> Temps in Lower Lower MI hit -40 and then some (past -40 in the negative direction) Propane would not vaporize. Fuel oil gelled.. Many people .. Er.. Froze their... you know what. One gentleman in I think Wisconsin had made a bet.. He claimed (in advance) that on what by coincidence turned out to be the coldest night in a long time He'd be comfortable in a sleeping bag in a pup tent on the xx Green at the local golf course.. And he had the most comfortable night's sleep of anyone in that town... (He had the proper bag you see.. artic grade). As for me.. Well we had heat (natural gas) where I was so it was not too bad but then I went to Church, where the sign said "For your health and comfort the FUEL fund deserves your generous support" It was Fr's annual State of the Parish financial sermon... He explained how the parish had had to invest in a physical (heat) plant due to the closure of the commercial steam plant that used to serve Downtown Battle Creek (MI) and how for the first time in the Parish history they had to borrow money to do it.. But Greyhound had decided some land the parish owned that was not good for much other than wearing out lawn mowers (Land there is terraced and the parish owned land on 2 levels. this was the lower level and a fairly narrow strip) was the perfect palce for a new Bus Station. So the boilers are paid for They don't work... but they are paid for. MAN was it cold in church.Hmmmm. I grew up in MI (closer to Bay City, a ways north of Battle Creek) and I don’t recall any -40F or anything close to that, in any winter. As an 8th grader on a farm, I had to get up well before dawn to feed the cattle in ‘71; I think I would have noticed temps that low. Are you sure this isn’t one of those fish stories, like where the fish gets bigger over time? ;) Had to look it up...All time record low for November is -23F...for the entire state. In November it's -12F. Yes, you can get freezing weather in the fall but if you watch the weather reports, you are unlikely to get caught in anything like this. To the original quesiton: Assuming the low is in the upper 20F's, not a big concern while camping. The residual heat from the living space will keep things from freezing up. The bigger issue is while in storage before the trip. With the furnace off, there is no residual heat, keeping the water system from freezing up.
valhalla360 09/19/20 06:42am Beginning RVing
RE: Full Time For Six Months

If it makes you happy and you can afford it, great choice. But why would you need a 35ft travel trailer but only a 30ft motorhome? When you take into consideration the loss from the cockpit, you have a living area of maybe 23-25ft. Also, how do you figure it's "easier"?
valhalla360 09/19/20 06:29am Full-time RVing
RE: FORD F-150 AXLE RATIO CHOICE

Everybody is talking about no difference at highway speeds. But the high speed gears will put more strain everything when starting the load. Assuming you don't exceed the ratings...it will only put more strain on the drive shaft and rear transaxle gears but they are rated for that extra load. Everything else will see identical strain levels. - The axles past the pumpkin have no clue what is providing the torque. - The transmission will simply select a different gear to keep the strain the same and the engine won't know the difference as the overall gear ratio will be pretty much the same. It's only if you exceed the max rating for the rear end that it becomes an issue. With a lower gear (numerically higher) each gets in the transmission will then become that much more efficient. So if you were running in 5th or 6th with 3.30 gears you could run in 6th or 7th (all dependent on transmission gearing) with 3.55’s. Also with the lower gears the truck will accelerate easier and maintain speed easier due to the increased efficiency. The only place you “might” see a loss in mileage is unloaded highway. And that number may only be .2 at most! Sure, the transmission being up a gear is more efficient...thru the transmission. But that's largely canceled out by the rear diff being less efficient. Net effect is the rear diff doesn't make much of a difference with the new transmissions unless you exceed the max rating of the low (numerical) rear end.
valhalla360 09/19/20 06:21am Travel Trailers
RE: Advice to omit the auto change LP valve

I like cruise control. Some just refuse to give in to automation. Cruise control is great...until you ram into a stopped car in a construction zone. Unless it has some audible indication or a flashing light by the door, if you camp in cold weather, you are going to find yourself without heat sooner or later unless you are obsessive about checking the tanks.
valhalla360 09/18/20 09:46am Tech Issues
RE: FORD F-150 AXLE RATIO CHOICE

Everybody is talking about no difference at highway speeds. But the high speed gears will put more strain everything when starting the load. Assuming you don't exceed the ratings...it will only put more strain on the drive shaft and rear transaxle gears but they are rated for that extra load. Everything else will see identical strain levels. - The axles past the pumpkin have no clue what is providing the torque. - The transmission will simply select a different gear to keep the strain the same and the engine won't know the difference as the overall gear ratio will be pretty much the same. It's only if you exceed the max rating for the rear end that it becomes an issue.
valhalla360 09/18/20 09:43am Travel Trailers
RE: How much do you really need?

If you already have a camper take it to a CAT scale and see what it weighs compared to the empty weight...that will give you your current cargo weight. UVW of the new trailer + current cargo weight should be a decent estimate for the new rig. I would probably bump that up a bit (maybe 500lb) as nature abhors a vacuum and big rigs with lots of storage (ie: vacuum) tend to get filled. If this comes in below the GVWR, you have a reasonable basis for using your calculation over GVWR. Keep in mind 3000lb CCC is more than most RVs have, particularly smaller non-toy haulers. 1000-2000 CCC is more common and it's very easy to max that out, so lacking better information, is where the recommendation to use GVWR comes from as most people have no clue what their actual cargo weight is.
valhalla360 09/18/20 09:34am Tow Vehicles
RE: Towing camper with van. What rating hitch should I purchase?

valhalla360... I'm trying hard to get someone to tell me everything will work out great and my setup is fine :) At this very moment, a truck is unobtainable. But after going through my math numerous times and getting great feedback on this forum, I'm quickly realizing a used truck will likely be in my driveway by next year. You can get a reliable 4 door pickup that will easily handle that trailer pretty cheap. Our current 2008 F250 4 door was only $10k and we've had it for 2yrs with nothing but standard maintenance (not that you need a 3/4 ton). Our previous 3/4 ton was only $6k. Reliability has never been an issue buying at around 10yrs old (current truck is really clean but body rust can be an appearance issue)
valhalla360 09/18/20 06:40am Towing
RE: Portable Wind Turbine as a power supplement?

Wind generators are slowly dying off on boats because they are noisy and break down. The one on our boat broke and we never bothered repairing it for the 10yrs we were cruising. A generator is not necessary...unless you expect to run long term heavy loads (most typically air/con). If you are driving, your alternator will be charging the battery bank. If the standard isn't enough, you can upgrade to a high output alternator. Running a wind generator while going down the freeway has a couple issues: - If the top of your truck is 11ft tall and you put a 3ft diameter unit mounted 1ft above the roof...that's 15ft height. Maximum vehicle height is 13.5ft without getting oversize permits and there are plenty of bridges lower than 15ft. - Bigger issue: You will burn more fuel to drag a windmill along at 60mph. Unless you figure out perpetual motion, you will burn far more fuel than you generate electricity. Solar/Wind are for when you are stationary. If you are running the engine, the alternator makes far more sense.
valhalla360 09/18/20 06:29am Tech Issues
RE: water pump

I've seen them in all kinds of places. Have someone turn it on and follow the sound. That should put you within a couple feet of the location...then just look around and follow the hoses.
valhalla360 09/18/20 06:22am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Are truck/trailer rims a weak link?

The rating is based on dynamic loading...so they already have you hitting normal bumps. Now if you hit a curb or rock...or you have a blow out and the rim hits the pavement hard all bets are off but a higher rated rim is unlikely to help. Just running down the road nothing unusual, I've never heard of a rim failing (not that you should overload them).
valhalla360 09/17/20 02:51pm Towing
RE: Bed rail clearance

While I'd prefer a little more, it's probably an issue of more hassle than it's worth to fix it if you haven't been having problems.
valhalla360 09/17/20 02:29pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: FORD F-150 AXLE RATIO CHOICE

Only 6600 pounds dry will be 7200-8000 pounds loaded. Combine that with pulling two sheets of plywood through the air at 65-70mph. That is a 7% difference in gearing. You'll never notice a measurable difference in fuel consumption. You will feel a 7% difference in wheel torque. I recommend 3.55 (or whatever the highest numerical axle availible). In the old days of 3 speed transmissions that made a lot of sense because if you dropped down a gear, it felt like you were red-lining the engine to make 55mph. With lots of gears to choose from, very little impact from the rear axle ratio unless you are pushing beyond what the lower (numerical) ratio is rated for. The engine doesn't know how it got to the overall gear ratio (transmission plus axle ratio)...it just knows the final gear ratio, so the engine will run at roughly the same RPM & torque for a given speed even if it picks a different transmission gear to do so. I would select for the highest payload possible.
valhalla360 09/17/20 02:27pm Travel Trailers
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