We have used the stone and it works well. However, we started using an airbake cookie sheet and it works just as well, saves the weight and has alternative uses. The airbake pretty much fills up the bottom of the oven, maybe 1 inch around the edge, but it works.
Thanks again for the info, its been very helpful.
Last night my wife and I went over the material and have decided to start out the east coast portion of the trip at First Landing State Park and work our way south staying a few days here and there, working our way to Cape Lookout.
First some background. We had a GMC LB7 for about 150K miles. It was a great truck BUT for the diesel issues. I never had to change injectors, but it was coming, the emission tests clearly showed where things were going. Finally we had trouble on a trip and the news was not good. The repair quotes were from $11.5K to $15K. That is the value of the truck
Since I have a similar LB7 , could I ask what kind of repair you needed for 11.5k to 15k ?
A new engine. The dealer was $11.5k and an "expert" $15k.
First some background. We had a GMC LB7 for about 150K miles. It was a great truck BUT for the diesel issues. I never had to change injectors, but it was coming, the emission tests clearly showed where things were going. Finally we had trouble on a trip and the news was not good. The repair quotes were from $11.5K to $15K. That is the value of the truck.
On every trip, we started wonder if the injectors would go....? Sometimes we were on the east coast, sometimes on the west coast, I was sick and tired of diesels.
We bought a low mileage GMC 2500, 8.1 gas, extended cab, short bed, 4x4 with Allison. It was a 1000 miles from home, flew commercial to get it and had a good trip on the west coast before heading home to the Denver area. We owned a Suburban with an 8.1 so we had a good idea of the performance we could expect with the 8.1. Our GM big blocks have been extremely reliable.
For the most part its my daily driver, not carrying a load. When the GMC carries a camper, fully loaded per scale the weight is 3300#. That is frankly insignificant. In addition it sometimes, not very often pulls a carhauler, that weighs about 7,000# loaded. The carhauler has a gross of #10,000, I doubt if we will ever have it near the gross.
Going west out of Denver, with the camper we cruise at 60-65 mph. With the carhauler we are in the right lane, where I would be with the diesel, passing the slowest of semis but not in a hurry, because it really means nothing in terms of the time to get some where. We have no significant extra power. That turbo really makes a difference. My airplane was tubocharged and that made a difference heading west as well, I really didn't fly the mountains so much as flew over them.
I miss the diesel, but the 8.1 is a great truck, my wife likes the gas truck, its quiet and very smooth. She says if I want to go and get a diesel its okay with her, but overall the 8.1 is winning the day.
The big difference for us is the range, so with the addition of a 45 gallon Transfer Flow Tank (no longer made) to the 8.1 GMC we have the range to get out of Denver.
When it comes time, a good 5- 6 years away, to purchase the next truck who knows. Today it would probably be diesel because there are no more low mileage 8.1's around. If we didn't tow the carhauler west, then it would not matter and I would go with a small block gas.
Hope this helps.
Recently we had a problem and it turned out to be the circuit board. In pulling on the telephone cable I had torn the connector out of the board and it was done, I could not get it to work, there seemed to be another connector on the other side of the board, that did not work either. The cost for a repair/replacement was $60 from Happijac. Since we had added an electric roof lift last year and since the wireless remote would also run the roof motor we bought the wireless unit upgrade. No more connector issues. Happijac was good to work with and since we were on a trip they got things moving very fast to meet our schedule. I really like the wireless unit, its great.
Our camper came with a crank for the Happijacs. Otherwise hit Harbor Freight and get one of their allen socket sets and a 1/2 adapter for your portable drill. On our trip I used the hand crank since I did not have my drill along.
We have used a 3M US-B1 filter for about 5 years now with great results. Its got good specs and we drink the water from the tank.
That said, we take water from public systems and clean/sanitize our water system once a year.
Public water systems must meet EPA standards and those standards are sufficient for us. The filter mostly cleans up taste but has the ability to do a good job on the bad stuff as well. Of course there is always the unknow, but that is the case with any system.
We are planning a trip to the east coast from May 15 to about June 5.
We will be arrive at the coast in Delaware and work our way south to Ocracoak. We have been along the NC OBX to Ocracoak and south to Charlston before but north of this area is new.
My wife is into lighthouses and I would like to do some surf fishing. We would like to stay close to the ocean.
We are self sufficient, we don't need power, water and need a sewer dump every 6+ days.
We would appreciate and local knowledge on lighthouses and how to fish. Good tackle shops and anything else we need to know.
I have looked into driving on the beach, our truck is beach capable but frankly I don't want to pay $$$ here and $$$, we will probably pay the $$$ at Ocracoak unless someone gives us some good advice.
Thanks in advance.
I have a 2007 Apex 8 with the electric roof option this lift allows the roof lift to have a greater capacity but does not affect the strength of the basic roof. We have an Outfitter installed roof rack and one Outfitter installed solar panel. This solar panel has been on the truck since 2007.
Our 2007 roof is plenty strong, I have walked on the roof, with it down and carried 200# on it with no problems.
On your question: I have reconfigured the solar panel that Outfitter installed and installed a second panel and will be installing a third panel when I get around to it and a new controller as well.
The second panel has been on the Outfitter for a little over a month and one trip of about 2000 miles at speeds up to 80 mph (this was to test the panel, I do not usually travel at this speed). The new panel has not moved.
I essentially used Outfitter's approach. Z clips from Windy Nation-ebay, they are commonly available. The Z clips are set in Dicor and I use a structural large round head screw about 1 1/2 inches long (These are not giant screws they have a 1/2 inch head and maybe a #10 shank but with slightly larger flight, I get them at Home Depot in a clear box of maybe 50 to 100 for $10, where they keep the various metal plates for structural lumber) going through the Z clip and Dicor, they do not penetrate to the inside of my roof. Top off with a generous amount of Dicor. Use wire cable clamps to hold down any wires more than say 18 inches long and maybe less, more Dicor.
The front edge of the solar panels is about an inch back from the face of the Outfitter. In this area the airflow is pretty disturbed and does not have the force necessary to rip off a solar panel.
Check the thickness of your roof to see what length screw you need.
Plan your system to include upgrades now so you know where you are going to put things and how much controller and battery you will need.
Lap 527, you know the secret.
First, I watch the distance between my left rear fender and the left front jack. I also have about one inch. Then its alignment, alignment alignment, keep going straight in until loaded. Our camper really fills the bed of the truck. There is not 2 inches total, that is about 1 inch per side, causing me to have to be very careful on alignment. Overall our Outfitter is on the narrower side, so we only have 2-3 inches total on the outside of the box.
I seldom look at the right mirror, because I just don't need too, if I am correct on the left side, the right side will be where it is supposed to be. I don't need any help to do the loading process, my wife is busy with other things.
Its really quite simple.
Total time to be ready to go maybe 20-30 minutes. I am generally in no rush. Its not a speed contest to me. Its a good time to do a pre-trip inspection, which also includes airing up the tires, airbags and generally making sure all is good to go.
Ours are eight years old. The mother board went a couple of weeks ago, due in part to it being a wired system and the electric connection gave out. $60 to repair or $300 for the wireless, I went wireless and really like it. The wireless controller also works the electric lift for the roof as well.
We load and unload maybe 50-60 times a year.
I have received good service from Happijac. Overall, I am very satisfied with the happijac system.
I was at the plant this past summer to have an electric lift installed and they had about 8-12 units in various stages of construction. My impression was that some were sold and some were not.
I really don't keep track of the Outfitter product line but they appeared to have a new unit with a smaller overhead bunk and fewer standard features, a much lower cost--a more basic TC that looked pretty good.
There are a number of good brands. You mentioned some and I am sure that others will mention more. We have had a Lance and that was a good unit, we now have an Outfitter that we both like, its different but it works best for us. Since you want to use the camper in the winter then look for a rig with a winter package. In some respects you can insulate a TC for winter use and remove the insulation for summer.
With a 3500 you have lots of options. One thing to think about is the height, if you go hard side low hanging branches will not be your friend.
A TC does have a lot of convenience and mobility. That is why we went back to a TC after bigger rigs. We also use a TC much more than the other types of rigs.
To buy a camper check craigslist for the area that you intend to shop. Also, try RV trader. I think the key in a purchase is to buy a very new clean rig or a rig that is down right dirt cheap but everything still works. Since your wife will be with you it must pass the sniff test. Make sure everything works and look for leaks. Test and retest. Make a deal that includes the setup, it can be expensive, it does not have to be as expensive as a recent post in this forum, that I would suggest you visit.
You should have an idea of what you are looking for.
You do not need a 3xxx or 4xxx series truck for a hard side TC. If you are looking for slides etc. then maybe a dually. Their are suspension aids for a reason.