Thanks my friend! Trip Reports was quite a run; I'm happy to have passed the baton on to someone as capable as Steve, who transformed it into a more navigable animal!
Cheers! I hope you use this resource often!
...our camper (varies from ~1140 LBS to 1390 LBS depending on what is stored in it) has been on our truck (2500HD Silverado gasser ext.cab, 2004.5) since May of 2005; that's 8 years this past May (minus a 4 month storage stint over this entire time) !
I measured the distance from top of axle to bottom of bed on both sides when the truck was new, before loading camper (for various reasons), and after deciding to remove the camper at home, foregoing paid storage for the 1st time this October, the axle-to-bed distance is virtually the same on the unloaded Chevy (only varies by about 1/8th of an inch left to right).
The rear springs are as rock-solid unloaded today as they were when the truck came out of the showroom in 2004.
I suppose if your camper were perhaps 2000~4000 LBS sitting on your truck for 8 years, there could(?) be a noticeable change in your rear suspension...
*we have no suspension aids on the truck whatsoever since new; we don't and haven't run the jacks down to relieve weight over the past 8 years (with the exception of the 4 month stint as noted above). Your mileage may vary
Time will tell how long the exterior will last on a Livin Lite. I doubt that it will last as long as an Avion, but the lower interior portion may last longer.
I'm not sure if a leak in a livin-lite would even matter? There is nothing to deteriorate, peel or rot in the camper (the rug can be unclipped, and hosed off outside). The mattress would be easy to shuttle outside to dry.
Most of the Livn-lite campers sold at our local dealer are used for deer and moose hunting; the animals are stored in the camper for transport home (the clip-on rug is left out when hunting), and the owners power-wash the interior of these campers with hot soapy water to get the blood and guts out.
Put a fiberglass boat in the ocean, it will not leak other than the hole in the top.
....the last 26 yachts we looked at (29 to 34 footers, in the high 5 figures and low 6 $figure range, some fairly new) leaked like sieves or had mysterious quantities of water "below" (after careful inspection by me, not a boat surveyor)! In fact, if your bilge pump systems ever were to fail on a yacht, you'd be in very big trouble in a fairly short time-frame.
...it took us about 2 years:
-6 months debating and detailing our needs;
*buying new truck (another intense investigation!)
-18 months translating the above into a truck camper genre (pop-up), and investigating each and every pop-up manufacturer's various offerings, quality and finally, narrowing down 2 brands/models (at this point, delivery and our schedule is priority in decision).
It is EASY to go to a truck camper manufacturer, and negotiate the precise build/options/custom add-ons brand new. It is serendipity to find all the above in a used truck camper, at the right quality level! Used is ALWAYS a compromise (work will always need to be done, like re-building, reinforcing, repairing and adding the options you had to make the compromise on).
Keep in mind, you are uphill. Not much creativity required after a few beers. It could be easier to write your name in the snow.
....Wayne: in that case, I'll need to buy roof-top tent option 7c:
-lateral plank (ie. walking the plank) attachment $359
....still: what worries me is wind; wind could be a PIA in many ways...:B
We still own 5 tents: a 3 man expe tent; 2 x 2 man ultra-light backpacking tents; and 2 x 5 man support tents (and 2 Kelty backpacks: 1 custom made for me). I would prefer to sleep in a tent on the ground over sleeping up on the roof....with the appropriate insulated mattress and in-tent porta-potty. If the weather gets bad, forward-fold the rear seats in the SUV and sleep relatively comfortably in the back (this was possible in our 4-door Tracker; however, not an option in the 2-door Suzy).
truck campers rule!That is the last set up I would own if I were an "old truck camper".
...hah hah hah. LOL. After 1 or 2 evening beers, then 2 before bed teas, I'd have to go for a whiz at 23:00; 00:00; 02:30; and finally 05:00. IF I survive the technical climbing needed to get from roof-top to ground and back...in pitch black: snowstorm/torrential rains; gale-force winds; or plain old frost...without breaking my neck...nope. Roof-top tent wouldn't work...not for "an old truck camper" like me :B
I had NEVER planned to drive in winter (winter-like conditions) with our TC ever....however, we had no choice in 2007:
-luckily, we had winter rated tires on (BFG TA Ko) the rig;
-we entered a brutal snow hurricane crossing Wyoming;
-driving in 2x4 on the Interstate kicked in my Quebec winter driving radar;
-there was NO sand, rock or salt used the entire 266 miles of the snow hurricane;
-I slowed it down to 48 MPH, but was just slightly faster than most, but the passing lane was almost totally open;
-wind hitting us broadside (roughly 40 MPH wind) didn't affect our traction with TC aboard;
-I always leave enough space that I never have to use the brakes (I glide to slow down, and have enough space to do it);
-as the snow let up (near the Utah border with Wyoming) large sheets of ice/slush lifted off our roof 10 to 14 feet long, and hit the Interstate behind us (it would have wiped out smaller cars IF they would have been following closely). I then pulled off the Interstate to inspect for more glaciers up top, but it had all disappeared.
So, this was the one and only time we (I) drove in winter (like conditions), however, I had nearly a years worth of "winter driving" distance using the TC at the absolute extreme scale during this one instance. I was surprised how stable the rig was given no abrasive or salt on the roads. I was very surprised that Wyoming DOT hadn't closed the Interstate (!) I was woken up to the fact that huge quantities of ice/slush can accumulate on the roof of our truck camper, and could potentially fly off and kill someone driving too closely behind. I was pleased at the traction in 2x4 with our winter rated tires with gale-force cross-winds at speeds just under 50 MPH, so no 4x4 needed. I was glad I did not have to brake for accidents and could use gliding to check speeds going down long hills.
Would I knowingly do this again ? Never. Would I drive our truck camper in winter? Maybe, if it meant getting to the Florida Keys from the North during a climatological hole in the weather.
On edit: I just read the above Post, and have additional: yes, TIRES make a huge difference, I agree, IF you are a trained winter driver of heavy trucks. We are not winter driver trained on trucks that weigh in excess of 9000 LBS, I should mention. I would have only considered the Nokian Hakkapeliitta snow tire on our rig IF we ever decide to winter drive said (and, IF they have the size for our rim dimension).
I'm having a hard time visualizing how a camper with spread out weight distribution would cause such a crack without seeing something else bent or broken
Visualize the truck bed flexing (the bed is no longer flat, but twisted) and the truck camper tub not flexing in tandem with very soft bed connected to very stout (but torquable) truck frame (now, you have essentially the camper tub rocking on 2 small truck bed areas at X points).
Truck campers are actually extremely rigid, especially at the tub (the tub is the strongest part of the truck camper: it is the foundation upon which the entire camper depends). And even more: most truck camper tubs are shaped like a T at the rear. If the truck camper tub (and thus the entire truck camper shell) flexed as much as your bed, your truck camper shell would be destroyed over some x time (remember: the truck is far in excess the weight of your camper, and the truck's torquing action can't be stopped by simply bolting the camper tub down, nor just by the camper simply sitting on the bed surface).
I suspect that the shorter the truck bed (ie. a short bed vs. long bed), the less the chance of the bed flexing as severely as a long-bed.
To test the above: find a flat cardboard (cut out a piece of cardboard box) the same proportion as your truck's bed but at a smaller scale (maybe 12 x 6 inches), and then find a rigid rectangle about the same proportion as your truck camper's tub. Place the rigid rectangle on the flat cardboard, then torque the cardboard about 10%, and note where the simulated camper tub poses on opposite corners...
While your truck BED may not flex to any visible extent, it may flex just enough to put extreme load MOSTLY on 2 points of real estate on your bed...this is why we have a thick rubber bed mat under our camper and refresh it every 5 years or so (to mitigate any undue flex point load). Some on this Forum use 1-inch closed-cell XPS foam 4 x 8 sheets to do this (and, to lift their camper a bit to clear truck cab).
I hope this helps?
....the wire n the PO's pic appears to be the control cable for the electric jacks ? And not a ground ?
....anyhow: galvanic action needs moisture to happen (you may have a severe leak around those jack mounts) ? Is the control cable for your electric jacks "rubber grommeted" at all at its entry to your camper wall ???
Additionally, is that piece of work (the horrid caulking and edge molding/trim fitment) on a NEW camper? If it is, this looks horrid.
The general rule for gasoline out of the pump is 90 days. Some gasolines may be stable for up to 5 or 6 months, however, this is totally dependent on the blender's chemicals, when the gasoline is "manufactured". So, the question now is: do you want to take a chance?
The issues with gasoline stored past 3 months without added stabilizer (just the out of pump gas) are:
-oxidation (can corrode a steel gas tank and/or steel gasoline lines)
-weathering (changes evaporation: loss of volatile components; ie. storing in cold/cool climate is better)
-moisture (well, virtually all gasolines today have ethanol, so moisture in the gas tank is a non issue)
My personal rule of thumb is: if the truck is going to sit more than 100 days, will add fuel stabilizer, THEN fill the tank, and then drive for at least 15 minutes to make sure the stabilizer circulates through the entire fuel system. Your mileage may vary....
It could only be either a reticulated python or anaconda (if its real!); this thing in the image appears to be at least 25 feet long (based on its proportional relationship to the background fence sections).
However, I doubt it is either; both of these species are caught in Florida from time-to-time, in the wild (discarded by distraught pet owners): I vote for Photoshopped fake.
....if you go just a bit north (on your way to Boston), there is a very large truck camper dealer with huge quantities of stock, near Concord New Hampshire: Truck Camper Warehouse their website--> In Hartford, CT, take the 91 north (not a big detour).
BTW: looking forward to your Fall Leaf trip report!
....in support of BrianSue:
Dateline Oct 2011: Associated Press
1st Mexican Trucks to Enter US Interior Within Days:
"Washington on Friday approved the first Mexican trucking company, Transportes Olympic, nearly two decades after the hotly contested provision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement set off lawsuits and a costly trade dispute between the neighboring countries."
Read all about it, here-->
The safety checks and secondary checks are brutal; no problem with Mexican drivers or trucks approved.
If it can't come off, it isn't a camper
....pure speculation on my part: I'll bet that the "living unit" unfastens via in-cab switch, and the/a hydraulic tilt-lift allows the box to be unloaded ?
Dak makes a good point: the right tool for the job. I foresee this unit being at home in the wide-open plateaus of South America, and the wide open deserts of North Africa and, further south in Namibia (there-around), where the 3000 kilometer fuel tank and on-board self-containment would thrive....