That is one nice RV-port. I too live in Pierce County. My home and big garage were permitted and built to code, and I remember those 3x3 footings under my slab. I too built walls after initial construction as a big carport. I even poured 6" footing walls on top of the slab in between the poles so the bottom of the wall wouldn't be exposed to moisture.
I built two equipment sheds at the back of my farm and got popped on both those for no permits. Both were designed, engineered and built by me, but neither look near as stout as your building. I did file for amnesty, and that was a painless way to go. The oldest of the sheds was grandfathered in and the newer one was permitted and approved as built, so at this point all my outbuildings are in compliance.
What a wonderful truck and camper you have. I just hauled my Vacationeer to the dump today, but my next inexpensive truck camper came home Wednesday from Wenatchee. It's in the big garage until it's sealed up and ready for winter camping. I found a clean 11' Western Wilderness Alpine model. All the best, Hans.
Rebuild of Rockrash's Vacationeer.
Wow, I'm impressed with what you have done so far. Mine is on the way to the dump and I'm looking for a another camper in the couple thousand dollar range. Be sure and come back and post a finished picture. All the best, Hans
I have just taken my time and made it better than new.
Too late for mine now, but did yours have rot down into the walls as well as the entire roof? Was yours a wood framed camper or a vacuum bonded aluminum framed wall like mine? I'm curious how you managed to separate the layers on the exterior walls. I hope yours wasn't as bad as mine. Any pictures of your rebuild? I just don't have hundreds of hours, I'd rather be camping, plus I do have a very nice trailer as well, so I'm still getting out there. Hans
I've been around RV's all my 52 years of life, and over the years many RV's have passed through my hands. All that I have sold were always in better shape than when I purchased used, having only once bought a new trailer. This unit was my fourth used camper, and I had hoped it would serve me for some years to come. But sadly it was too far gone when I got it, and just recently I scrapped it.
I used the camper for a couple years, but when the ceiling began falling in (really) and the bed was hanging down in the middle I thought I would rebuild it like I've done with two previous campers. Well, vacuum bonded construction is really good, super strong, and light weight until it begins leaking. The entire curbside of the camper was d-laminating, and the stink was pretty bad. But once I opened this camper up, there was no end to the rot. yes the aluminum walls are strong, but the minimal amount of wood in the walls was all mush. I realized soon that it was beyond repair, better to just scrap it.
So sadly the last few days I have been taking everything salvageable out of it and will soon take it for one last ride on my utility trailer to the land fill. Breaks my heart, I enjoyed it very much for such a short time.
I've found when the camper was brand new the dealer installed an awning and never used putty under the awning channel, just ran the screws into the side wall, and two big bolts through the wall with fender washers on the inside. The wall has water intrusion since it was new. Sad
After tearing the whole cab over off I chased the rot in the roof back to past the air conditioner. It actually goes further back along the very edge where walls meet the roof.
All the wood and Styrofoam was soaked with water.
Not even a miracle could save it now.
The average mechanic cannot repair these types of RV's. You just can't replace sections like you can on stick and tin RV's.
What a mess. I had planned to rebuild the cab-over section using some high tech composite material I have on hand. But I realized even if I rebuilt the cab-over portion there was still so much more wrong with the sidewalls coming apart and the entire roof having to be rebuilt.
And here I go again, starting over with another "older" camper and even a newer truck. I gave my 96 Silverado to my son and put my Suburban in the barn with all my collector vehicles. My new truck is a 2003 2500HD Duramax/Allison with only 57,000 miles, one owner and all service records included.
It was a 350 mile trip over two passes with lots of snow an ice to get this camper out of the desert and back home.
I bought this old 1987 Western Wilderness Alpine 11 foot camper for $1200, and had no way to check if anything worked until I got home. Everything works! 3 way fridge, furnace, hot water tank, pump, stove and oven. Not one light bulb was even burned out.
Big north south bed.
There is even room for my new dog (7 year old Corgi from the rescue) to sleep next to the bed.
Spacious kitchen area.
Curbside fridge (110V/12V/Propane) counter top and a wet bath in the back. The bathroom has a furnace duct into it so it gets nice and toasty when it's on (my old one didn't - Brrrr!)
Dinette with drop down bunk.
And so I start over with sealing and cleaning. It's not pristine, pictures make it look good. There are de-lam issues with the fiberglass siding, the fire escape over the bed leaks when it rains, but I hope to have this camper ready for use very soon. I'll post more pictures when I make my first trip out with it. Hans
Thanks for sharing that link, what a cozy truck camper. We need more diesel options for small pickups here in the states and small light weight camper will follow.
Sabconsulting, I was thinking of you recently, I finally had to tear the entire front of my camper off due to dry rot, and now I'm taking the roof off as well. Repairing RV's with vacuum bonded aluminum walls is not as easy as stick and tin construction, and I feel like I'm in over my head now, I should just walk away from it but I just can't let it go. I can't weld aluminum like you did, but I'll post a thread when it's done and show how I've brought my old camper back to life. All the best, Hans
Good thing I'm so busy doing a complete rebuild in my shop on our 91 Vacationeer camper (Dry Rot Road), this thread kind of ran it course it appears and I don't have a lot of time for the forum right now. It was so entertaining.
Regular unleaded today at Fred Meyer Grocery store before any shopper discounts, $2.99, and my wife had 60 cents off a gallon for rewards, she only paid $2.39. This is not going to be good for EV sales if prices continue down.
Happy to report we got a newer truck. Found a real nice 2003 GMC 2500HD Crew Cab Long Box Duramax/Allison, one owner, only 57,000 miles and in perfect condition. What a joy to own. Towing our 30', 5 ton trailer we got just over 11 mpg, around town its averaging 16 and running empty on the freeway it's showing better than 21mpg. We are happy. Hans
Well, I'm not a septic engineer, nor am I a plumber. But since 1989 I've been dumping holding tanks into our septic system, and all 3 of my dumps are about 80' from the tank and I'd be willing to bet the slope is less than an foot in that distance.
When I set them up I poured water in and verified it flowed to the tank, that was it. Sadly, both our septic tanks (two 1200 gallon concrete, one is just the pump tank)are only 6" below our lawn, wish they had been set a little deeper. Our drainfield is 3000' from the tanks, and that is why we have a 1200 gallon pump tank which pumps only effluent to our drain field. We do have our tanks pumped and cleaned every 5 or 6 years and aside from being cautioned about wet wipes getting in the septic system we've been told it always appears healthy. (We eat yogurt)
Our current trailer has 120 gallons holding capacity between two gray and one black tank, so it's rare that I ever dump when we are camping, and it seems I'm the first to always use the bathroom on the trip home so I find it easier to dump at home, where I can do a good job rinsing and cleaning. Weight in the trailer is never an issue since all my tanks are forward of the axles.
I used triple wall solid drain tile pipe for all my underground piping, and then transitioned to white PVC where it comes up to the surface. One of my dumps ended up being right inline with a concrete sidewalk I added years later, as seen in the picture below, and I made a nice dump station using a valve box and sloped the concrete on the inside so if there was any spillage it would just rinse down the pipe.
Below is a dump station in our lawn that is used when people come to camp on our farm. It's real smooth so we can just glide over it with our mowers, but it to slopes in and will accept any standard sewer hose coupling to make it air tight.
And the picture below are my two dump stations built in the carport where I keep our 30 travel trailer. I put two connection in here because I thought at one time I was going to have living quarters in the loft of my big garage, which I never did, so I only use the one stub.
Our home is small and it's always nice when we have company we can offer our trailer or truck camper as a guest house and have both hooked up to the utilities.
Well good luck finding your truck, one will come up on the used market that will fit your criteria and then all will be well.
We went from a truck camper to a 1/2 ton Suburban/27 foot travel trailer, then upgraded to a 3/4 Burb, and then upgraded to a 30' trailer with slide, and now our children are grown, but my mom (healthy at 79) misses camping with my dad (deceased) and happily enjoys the back bunkhouse of our trailer on short trips.
I just bought a one owner crew cab Duramax pickup used, and it's going to replace our Club Cab Diesel (gave it to son) and our pristine low mileage 3/4 ton Suburban (giving to my daughter in Fairbanks AK). I found our new truck on Craig's List, it is 10 years old, but only 57,000 miles, sort of what you are looking for. We also have a truck camper so we had to have a 8' bed, and it seems long beds are becoming harder to find these days.
If you ever get inland some and head towards Kamloops, stop at Skihist Provincial Park, my grandfather and my brother did all the stone and brick work in that park. My grandfather, a stone mason had a contract with the province to build many of the bathrooms in the parks for a few years. Link to Skihist
My wife is hoping we can take a few weeks to explore Vancouver Island. We have enjoyed most our summer vacations in the Columbia Valley, so much to see and not to far of a drive for working folks from the Seattle Area. All the best, Hans
Im assuming you are in some way involved with northwest motorsport.. OP is looking for 60, 000km or less... Also, IMHO there are much better 7.3 deals to be had if you are patient . It took me 10 months to find my truck in sig. I bought it june 2012 with 83k miles for $15k after negotiating.
No, I'm not, I was just looking at their web site and saw their inventory, and having two windows open on my computer made it real easy to show a couple examples (cutting and pasting). Truth is I hate buying vehicles, especially used, you never know if you are getting some one else problems or getting a good deal. But my point was the same as yours, there are good deals to be had if you are patient, and in their case they may find cross border shopping is a big savings over prices in B.C. Much of my family lives in B.C. and I see daily what they are paying for vehicles compared to us. I also made an assumption they might like Ford's since they owned and Expedition. I did miss the 60,000 mile criteria, but I personally would not be afraid to buy used with higher miles, most vehicles these days will easily run 200,000 to 300,000 reliably if well taken care of, and especially if they are diesels, excluding 6.0 PS's. But I do know that NW Motorsports offers bumper to bumper warranties on all their vehicles for 4 years so that does help some people make a decision when buying 2nd hand vehicles. And you got a real good buy on your Powerstroke Ford. And if you click the link in my "sig" that says Rig Pictures you'll see I'm no salesman, but I do make my living with Diesel. All the best, Hans
2000 Excursion Limited, 7.3 Powerstroke 4X4
I know you are looking for a truck, but why not consider a good used Excursion? We raised our family in a 3/4 ton Suburban and we still have it even though we have now have a newer crew cab pickup. Nothing like having all that room for everyone in the vehicle, and we always had room for kids friends too. I always wished I had a diesel Excursion though I was always extremely happy with my 454 Suburban.
Another 7.3 Excursion for sale.
2002 Ford Crew Cab Short bed 7.3 Powerstroke, $23,000
2005 GMC Crew Cab Short bed, Duramax 2500, $29,000
2003 GMC 2500HD Sierra SLE.
Duramax/Allison 3:73 Locking Dif.
I’m guessing every option but sunroof if they were offered.
One owner, only 57,000 miles.
Brand new Bridgestone Tires.
Canopy came with truck.
What I have on order already:
New hitch receiver rated at 2400/24,000 (Curt Class V)
Prodigy Brake Controller
New 7 pin and 4 pin trailer receptacle
Weathertec floor mats
Bug guard/wind deflector
Vent visors for side windows
New front hitch receiver
Boat racks for canopy
New head light lenses
This is a one owner truck from Daley California. I was given all the service records with the truck. It has absolutely no issues I can detect at this point. The owner was an elderly lady, who accidently included paperwork with the truck records that led us to believe her husband developed Alzheimer’s and could no longer drive after 2007. We feel so fortunate to have found this truck and can’t wait to get out on the road with it towing our rather heavy (10,300lb) 30’ Wildcat travel trailer, as well as haul our truck camper and pull the horse trailer. We drove it for the first time on the freeway yesterday, 150 miles and it was averaging around 20-22 mpg according to the instant economy reading. I would love to figure out how to reset the average fuel economy, but have yet to figure out the truck computer. I did figure out how to keep the doors from locking automatically. It’s so quiet compared to our older diesel and it’s real easy to spin the tires if you hit the throttle empty. What a fun truck for us. I’m giving my 2500 Silverado to my son, and my daughter will get our 2500 Suburban in Fairbanks next summer. Hans
How funny, I have been stressing about spending money on a newer truck too, looking at all three brands (Used) and the nice ones go so fast. I just found this one owner 2003 GMC 2500 Crew Cab Long Bed and it has every option offered in 03. Duramax/Allison, electric extending mirrors, 3:73 locking rear end. Drove it on the freeway last night for the first time, 150 miles and it was averaging 21mpg at 60mph (I don't really know if that instant figure is accurate). No issues at all, one sweet ride. Only 57,000 on the truck. I felt sorry for the previous owner, her husband has Alzheimer’s and their trailering days ended back in 2007, the truck had been sitting for years with only an occasional drive. I’m hoping it will do a little better MPG’s pulling our 30’ trailer than our previous rig, which only got just over 7mpg. Hans
For awhile it was getting pretty close to 20 bucks to fill the smart car with diesel but that's down a bit now too.
Yes, twenty dollars! Thats cute, just like the car. What does a full fillup in the "2003 Revolution 40C Class A" run these days?
Our "saving" vehicle is a TDI Jetta that never gets less than 43mpg around town and close to 50mpg freeway. 97,000 miles and never been to the dealer for a single repair. Just fuel, synthetic oil, and on it's second set of tires.
Gasoline around Buckley WA $3.59 Regular and Diesel is still up there at just under four at $3.89. Hans
Actually HJGyswyt, most of the parks in this area do lock their gates at night. they have coded locks on entry gates, and auto-open exit gates. When you check in, you are give the entry code for the gate
True, but my point was I didn't want anyone to think they were held captive inside a campground. And I was thinking more about State, Corps of Engineer, County and City parks, not private gated RV resorts which we also enjoy from time to time, though we primarily frequent State Parks. Anyone can leave at any time, for what ever reason, and if you find you can't, that would not be a good thing. Hans
These facilities have a gate which is locked at night until early morning.
And just in case anyone new to camping reads this, you are not actually locked in at night, it is against the law to place a lock on a gate to Public/Private facility where you are on the inside. The gate may be shut, but it's not locked. Law Enforcement, Fire and Emergency must have access and in case of a personal reason you can leave at any time, just be nice and close the gate after you pass.
Only once in 50 years of camping have I had something stolen, and it was in a secure, private RV Resort in California just minutes from Disney Land with 24 hour on site security. I'm guessing the thieves saw us leave for the day. The front wheel was stolen off my bicycle, we had all four locked up on a bike rack through the frames, but not the wheels. What a bummer, the local bike shop nearby charged $60 to replace it.
In all our years of mostly State and Provincial Park camping we've never had an issue. We do put things away at night, and aside from bikes really have nothing valuable outside.
I do think that parks closer to cities might statistically be more prone to thefts just by the fact that access is easier for thieves on the prowl, though I know trail heads for hikers are easy targets in way out places as well. Hans
Oh I feel your pain, just recently crossed that stage in our married lives and it's not been easy for me. Our youngest just left home last week for college in Fairbanks AK and our kids were only weeks old each when they first went camping. RV'ing has been our passion for over 20 years with kids.
My dad never let any of us kids drive his vehicles, I've let my kids drive ours even though they do have their own daily drivers they bought with their own money. But when camping I did let them drive our Suburban to town if the campground wasn't way out, just so they could have fun. (Mostly they did like doing things with us)
The picture below is also the first time we let our oldest son drive with his sister just over 100 miles to the campground himself. My wife and I would often leave early ahead of the kids, enjoy a night or two alone, and then Friday afternoon the kids would come out right after school.
And as mentioned, we've always let our children bring friends. I've managed to get extra bicycles in our trailer and now that they are young adults we try to book sites with Yurts so all the young folks can crash there and stay up late, even though our bunkhouse like most can provide a lot of beds. If the weather is nice, tents are good, and we've had tents set up right under the awning when it wasn't so nice.
And we love to winter camp, and you do things different than summer. We go to movies in town, stop at outlet malls, go cart racing, hauling mountain bikes up a mountain and then racing down on the bikes and so forth.
We still have board games and cards, a TV and DVD player, but never a video game console of any kind. I miss my kids though I'm enjoying the freedom to travel with just my wife and the dog. Our kids hung in there to the end, and even now my boy likes to borrow our truck and slide in camper for his own outings.
All the best, Hans
I went with the 1200lb tongue weight vice 1000lb
I'm not sure what you meant by the above sentence.
There is probably some kind of formula but if I had 500lbs of tongue weight I would want 500lb rated weight distribution bars. 1000lbs of tongue weight I would want 1000lb rated weight bars.
My trailer advertised 800 some pounds of tongue weight, but when I unhooked on the truck scale to get my real tongue weight it was almost twice that, a whopping 1500lbs. So I upgraded my weight distribution bars to 1200lb models and am very happy with the ride and set up. (Bought my trailer used and it came with 550lb rated bars)
All the best Cale, enjoy the trailer and all the fun memories you will make with it. Hans