Thanks to RoyB for inspiring me to start a thread so I will share a little about last weekend's camping.
Issues prevented us from pulling out to go camping Friday evening, so up and at it Saturday morning.
With less time to do the usual "camping things" I pulled out all of the stops on making set up time go as quickly as possible. We backed in the long highwall without getting out. We hopped out of the TV, deployed the kids on their tasks, used the drill for the tongue jack, the BAL leveler, the roof and the stabilizers. I pulled the blue tote out from the carrier I built under the rear bumper and hooked it up to the gray water discharge. DW hooks up the electrical. I tossed the isle junk out the door and the DW, DS and DD squared it away outside. We were like busy little ants situating everything around the camp site. We were done, including setting up the inside, in under 30 minutes.
The whole time this is going on, I notice that our neighbor (PUP owner) and his three grown sons were watching, sometimes out of the corner of their eyes, sometimes full-on. They were enjoying a nice, leisurely pace to their weekend so we had to look like a circus. Their camp site was set up with a nice but smaller and simpler PUP, tripod over the fire, percolator on it making coffee. It felt nice and relaxed. I was a bit wistful.
Anyway, we struck up a conversation that evening when the father asked me to take their picture. The boys were wearing swords and everyone was dressed up in some period costume. Turns out the youngest had recently turned 18 and they were performing a coming of age ritual as found in the book "Raising A Modern Day Night". The boys were all very respectful, ranging in age 22 to 18. It was very encouraging to see a father spending his life to instruct his sons in how to become men with honor and integrity and for it to be evident in their lives.
Ok, that was quite a bit of rambling but you just never know who you're going to run into while camping.
What stories do you have of being out camping?
While forum participation is seasonal even for me, the Folding Trailers section has seen an overall drop in usage in the last year or two. We used to spill over into the second page of threads with new posts within a day. It was a little hard to keep up when I first joined years ago. Now, we get maybe 5 to 10 threads updated in a day during the summer height.
Not that I don't have questions but I more often take to fixing something and trying it out than so much research. I guess increased confidence can be a dangerous thing.
I've also taken to posting less about things I don't know directly or have read about sufficiently. So I guess my overall postings have dropped dramatically.
It would be most helpful if you could at least provide the year, make and model of the PUP. There are so many possibilities that it's like walking into an auto parts store and asking for "the rubber piece for the old car sitting out on my back 40 acres."
Taking a quick look at 2014 actual specifications reveals the following manufacturer-supplied information using the two largest producing manufacturers:
Rockwood highwall series: 2,806-3,738 pounds dry; 3,741-6,055 pounds GVWR
4 models: all are above 3,500 GVWR
Rockwood hard side series: 1,893-2186 pounds dry; 2,898-3,816 pounds GVWR
9 models: 7 of which have GVWR of 3,200 or less
Rockwood Premier series: 2,445-2,555 pounds dry; 3,339-3,351 pounds GVWR
4 models: all are less than 3,400 GVWR
Rockwood Freedom series: 1,344-2,975 pounds dry; 2,027-5,292 pounds GVWR
13 models: 9 of which have GVWR of around 3,000 or less
Jayco Jay Series: 1,800-2,415 pounds dry; 2,550-4,550 pounds GVWR
4 models: 2 less than 3,000 GVWR and another at 3,450 GVWR
Jayco Jay Series Sport: 1,200-2,385 pounds dry; 1,995-4,150 pounds GVWR
7 models: 6 less than 3,300 GVWR
Of the models above, 22 were 2,050 pounds or less dry. More than half of the new PUP models are around or below 2,000.
I use my Craftsman 19.2V cordless drill (465 in. pounds of torque), a deep socket from my local hardware store with notches cut in it to match the end of the manual hand crank, a 6" socket extension and this $3 set of socket adapters for a drill from Harbor Freight. I don't have to have the secondary handle on the drill to use it but it is helpful and since I already have it, I use it.
It is used to crank the tongue jack for hitching, crank the roof up and down, run the stabilizers and the biggest workout: the BAL light trailer leveler. The leveler requires the most torque by far, even with a 14' roof with air conditioner on it. Lithium batteries are best. And the BAL does require a switch in socket size but I have a deep socket unmodified just for it that rides in the utility storage compartment. I should take a picture sometime...
I've always captured my water but I don't see a technical problem using the cap with a garden hose. I've thought about a much smaller version of a gray water tote (like a 6 gal Aquatainer) and the garden hose adapter.
I only got those caps because that's all that was available at the time.
Look up under before spending much time researching holding tanks to add on. There's cables, floor braces, fresh water tank and the roof lift mechanism that are all blocking areas that you could install a gray holding tank. The hinges of that carrier I show above is actually anchored to the cover of the whiffletree box. That's all that was available.
I have a 2006 Fleetwood Highlander Sequoya so let me speak from experience.
Yes, there is a 6 gallon black holding tank. A real one with real 4" bayonet fitted drain outlet.
You are correct in that the gray water line also terminates at this same outlet and there is no gray water holding tank. Your blue tote IS the gray water holding tank.
When setting up at camp, pull your blue tote around and connect it via typical sewer hose to the outlet and open the blade valve for the smaller gray line that feeds into the outlet. That gray line is supplied by the kitchen sink and the shower drain. Just leave the blade valve open all of the time until it comes time to dump your blue tote. Close the valve and take the tote somewhere appropriate for dumping. While that is gone, the sink can be used for a minimal amount but not recommended. The plumbing holds about half a gallon before it will start to come up through the floor drain of the shower. Yes, I've seen it happen.
When you're ready to dump the black tank, you have two options. 1) unhook and take down the PUP and tow it to the dump station and dump like a regular TT does or 2) use the blue tote or other container to drain the black holding tank and take that to the dump station.
I just dump on the day we're leaving just like everyone else with a TT. My process is much faster than most others because I don't have a large black tank and I don't have a gray water tank to dump. Cleaning out the black holding tank is challenging and different because you cannot access it when dumping as the roof is down and the folding bathroom walls block access to it anyway. I just use the water hose and spray up in there gently and catch all of the run off with the sewer hose held under the outlet.
Now the rub for me that really motivated me to make a change up was that I do not want my blue tote being filled with black water. It's a whole different ballgame on how I might handle something that contains gray water (sink water 99%, shower 1% of the time) versus black water. A very small amount of black water would dribble out of the holding tank during camping and get into the blue tote. No thanks. Even if it was sealed up tightly, there would be residual gunk on the outlet from previous black tank dumpings that I didn't want to connect the blue tote back up to.
I cut the gray water line off of the black water outlet, capped it off with a rubber cap and hose clamp. I then installed a second 4" bayonet outlet right next to the black water outlet and ran the gray water lines to it. I carry two sewer hoses now: one standard 20' length for dumping the black water at the dump station and one 10" length for connecting the gray outlet to the blue tote that sits directly under it.
It works like a champ and eliminates cross contamination. I will include a picture. The outlet on the right is the new one I added. I had to get a few fittings from Lowes to make the transitions from 2.5" dia gray to the 4" outlet but it was straightforward.
In between the outlets, you can barely see the silver hose clamp holding the rubber cap on where the gray line originally joined into the 4" outlet.
Here's another view so you can see what is going on with the plumbing.
Original sizes can be viewed here.
This works but it's not as good as it should have been from Fleetwood. My opinion is that they should have gone with two holding tanks like typical TTs have or they should have gone with a cassette potty and no holding tank like typical PUPs. This half of one, half of the other business is quite bothersome. Fleetwood got the picture as I don't think they did it this way in the follow model years. It is my understanding for what I've read of other Highlander owners that they have gray holding tanks. Adding one is on my way-down-the-road list of things to do but I doubt it will ever happen. There's just not enough clear area under the subflooring for a tank of any sort.
Also, because the outlet is so low to the ground, I decided to get the Barker 15 gallon Tote-Along made for folding trailers. It is low profile and does the trick. Since then, I've done an axle over/under conversion and have an additional 6" of clearance (I HIGHLY recommend doing this for Highlander PUPs) and could use any tote I wanted. Below is a picture of the carrier I built to store the tote under the rear bumper of the PUP.
And on "flipping" the axle, which is a misnomer, I have some before and after pictures to share.
I am one for security wherever you can make it happen. What do you currently have for a lock and/or door latch. A picture would be most helpful since there are a number of variations.
With that said, I do lean towards the idea of not drawing attention by placing a heavy lock on it unless it really looks fairly benign. I would put the valuables in a container in the PUP but bring the container with you if you're leaving it unattended overnight at a hotel or something. A PUP is not a traveling vault.
People have installed permanently attached strong boxes inside their units and that works if the valuables are small. But if you're talking things like a generator then you'll have to look at a security cable anchored inside the PUP.
Throw up a picture so we can see what the door has and offers for reinforcement. You can always just add a locking hasp installed with with rivets then use your own padlock.
While I agree and it makes sense to do it that way, Jayco had placed the vent hole and therefore the AC on the curb side of my first PUP's roof. I will say that it was nice to be able to see directly behind me in traffic for moving through different lanes, etc.
Bubbles can indicate water intrusion but not always. Have you inspected for any other signs of water and/or rot? I would be all over that roof inside and out just to be sure.
Otherwise, how large are the bubbles? I've been able to poke small holes or cut short slits and insert glue behind similar issues.
What you're likely to find is a thin plywood like Luan behind the vinyl covering. You can try peeling it all off of the plywood or replace the plywood. Just realize that there is likely styrofoam insulation glued to the backside of that plywood. It's not the easiest thing to deal with.
Be sure to eliminate any possible water issue before fixing the roof. Otherwise you will have a repeat performance.
SirLancelot, that's a bit of a moot point at this stage.
You can sell it as is with full description of the issues in the listing. There are enough nut cases out there like myself that would probably take a chance on it for $500.
Is the mildew on any of the vinyl tenting material or is it just within the roof? If it is only the roof, that helps for reselling it. If it's all over, then I would part it out and use it as a utility trailer or take it to a salvage yard.
Interesting, Ryanincc. Still not a place I would likely WANT to visit in the first place.
The only thing that has me drawn to an RV park would be something in Orlando. And that would NOT be *my* choice of housing regardless of the RV park's amenities.
That is the brace for the air conditioner. I would proceed with installation. As RoyB pointed out, there are often two of these bars with one on each side of the existing vent or future hole in the roof.
I did some searching around and every stock 1996-2000 Starflyer that I found did not have the brace you picture next to the vent. Your PUP was prepped for having an air conditioner installed.
One good example is this 1996 Starflyer.
Sort of like Cars.com or Autotrader.com, you can check out http://www.rvtrader.com/ for possibilities. Also, you can use global Craigslist search engines such as http://www.onecraigs.com/ or just your regional Craigslist.
When we moved to the highwall, I was mildly interested in the freezer section of our larger refrigerator. I have used it a couple of times only to store Freezer Pops for kids. That's pretty much it. I'm not sure what is available as a larger refrigerator without a freezer section but if you can find one without, go for it.
I would rather have the interior space for refrigerables instead of freezer space. Still, the refrigerator section is larger than the standard PUP fridge so that was definitely noticed and appreciated.
Only three times have I stayed at a place that qualifies as an "RV park" and that was only due to necessity. My preference is the hard to get into places that have lots of scenery, visual breaks between campsites and a half-decent hike to the pit toilet. But that's just me.
And mine is an RV with vinyl slide outs. It has practically nothing in amenities that resembles a tent.
Too later. We're on the road even now. 162 miles from Limon. I have had the awning flip up numerous times and keep meaning to add the Velcro. I will get that on this trip. I will hit DIA on Sunday and Thurs of this.coming week. I'll wave as I go by your house. Dang thin air!
Hello and welcome aboard.
It all depends upon your time and abilities in addition to some funds. There are a couple of options that I see and probably many, many more.
One is to forego the internal modifications and get a stand alone shower tent. You can use solar showers or the portable water heaters like the Coleman Hot Water On Demand water heater. You'll need a method of collecting the water runoff. Some folks use a household water heater overflow pan for that. We had a shower tent and used it on one trip then put it on the shelf. Works well for some folks.
For the shower/toilet combination units, it is tough to figure out if uses just their standard cassette toilet plus a specific base, i.e. shower pan or if it is a specific model cassette toilet that is fitted for the shower pan. You might just need to find the base that matches your model of toilet, which is probably the C400 series. A complete setup, pulled from an old PUP, sold for $300 with local pickup on ebay recently.
It wouldn't be too hard to build a shower pan yourself. There are lots of images that Google provided for inspiration. I did a Google search and found this for starters.
And using a laundry sink tub basin is another popular DIY option as they can fit inside the base cabinets for seating and then you're attaching a curtain to the ceiling, adding a faucet with detachable shower wand.
Everyone's experience and wants are different. I really wanted a shower and toilet in the first PUP we purchased. For my wife, it wasn't high on her priority list. That was ultimately the reason I sold it and bought the current PUP. Being a lot bigger inside and tons of amenities sure didn't hurt either.
Well, since getting one with a hard wall spacious toilet and shower (almost double the area provided by standard PUP shower/toilet configurations), I'm the only one to have used it and that was once. The toilet is invaluable, the shower not so much. The hard walls of the bathroom are dang useful for the obvious purpose but came with a mirror on the outside, makes an awesome place to put towel hangers, organizers, etc.
I would make the following suggestion: either buy the unit that you want with everything in it, which is called "buy your second PUP first" instead of settling for a great deal, OR buy one and immediately buy the parts to make the necessary changes. If not, probably you'll limp along for a few years and finally give up and sell it or just not be satisfied if you don't happen to ever get around to the major modifications.
BTW, I love doing mods to my PUP. It's a hobby in itself. I have not done any structural reconfigurations yet but lots of creature comfort or usability upgrades. See here for some of what I've done. Others on here done quite a few.
Good luck with the window unit. I think it will be one of those "better than nothing" situations. There doesn't seem to be many window units that will get close to the 13,500 or 15,000 BTU RV air conditioners, and the 12,000 BTU window units weigh a modest 60+ pounds and $300+. A Coleman Mach 3 13.5K costs $450 plus shipping gets you to $574 delivered to your front door. Or a Duo Therm Brisk Air II 15k BTU is $545 delivered.
Regardless, still do the Reflectix and Gizmos and other heat avoidance strategies.
Where I camp in Arkansas and Texas, it is a necessity to have air conditioning during the summer because of the heat but more so the humidity. Last week the heat index was 114 degrees in my shop. At least with an AC in the PUP, I can sleep in comfort. The rest of the time, it's get out and go.
I do believe you are fighting a tough battle with any recent (last decade or two) models if you've kicked out the Sylvan Sport and Quicksilver lines. Find something even within your requirements minus the A/C and then add a portable or window unit.
Rooftop units weigh around 100 pounds. Portables are around 60 pounds and window units range from 40 to 60 pounds. Specific models will vary.