I cant speak to factory, as mine was already modified when i brought it home. The previous owner replaced the three jacks with four new Reico-titan 2000lb jacks. Even when lowered to the lowest point on the jacks, my camper is rather wobly, and I do not go in there unlees I have to... That is why I have 4 vintage aluminum RV trailer type jack stands, that I made a 4x6 cross support that all fits in the fender wells of the bed while the TC is loaded, but if I remove it on the road, they are there to set the TC down, and stabilize everything. We have actually stayed at various places this way to site-see and use the truck, while not lugging the TC around. Another caviot that I need to add, is that my floor was redone with 2x4;s on edge, then a piece of 3/4 plywood for the floor. This has allowed my to place an aluminum 14 gallon grey water tank in the void under the water tank on the drivers side, and room for a second one on the passengers side. I hope to add blue-board insulation in the cavitiys of the floor once all the plumbing is compete...
Hope that this all helps!
Garry in Kodiak
Weight and cube are not of considerable concern to motor coach owners. However, Liberty Coaches ($1.8 M and up) have gone completely to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) with a claimed weight savings of about 1100#
A 180 amp-hour (2.4 kW-hr) 12 V nominal battery (4 LFP cells) weighs about 60 to 80 pounds and provides 80% DOD for several thousand cycles. This would provide the equivalent of more than 150# of lead acid. The price of LFP is going down drastically just as the price of solar panels has gone by a tremendous amount in the last several years. Balqon sells one of these for about $2.5 K. This is scarcely a game changing cost for most people.
We full-time (and almost entirely dispersed camp/bush camp) and have 9.6 kW-hrs of LFP and 1.4 kW of solar on our 5th wheel. Our battery bank consists of four Manzanita Micro 180 amp-hr 12 V batteries (each is four 180 amp-hr CALB cells). These four batteries are in series to provide a battery bank at 48 V nominal. Each 12 V nominal battery weighs 64# and is 12" x 13" x 8" (29 kilos and 30.5 x 33 x 20 cm).
We have only tied into line power for 3 days in the last 18 months and have not used generator except to trial. A friend of ours has (will have shortly) 1.2 kW of solar on his truck camper/motorcycle hauler trailer combination.
We have a friend who will shortly have 1200 W of panels on his truck camper/ motorcycle trailer combo. He is looking into LFP
Reed and Elaine
Thanks for that input. Very interesting. One question about your setup, do you use your solar to run an electric heating system or the A/C since your sig shows NM? Or does it just power the propane fired heating system?
One issue for me is roof real estate and coach room for batteries.... But I am very interested in more info!
Home built wood stove for boat or camper...
Here is one persons try at a tiny wood/solid fuel heater for a bota or RV.
I am thinking of trying to build the same for my Avion, and giving it a try!
Gotta wonder though how much something like this would cost installed. Would it exceed the cost of installing a robust solar system and using the existing propane furnace...eg around 800-900 bucks. Just curious, never had any experience with these kind of stoves.
One of the issues that plague Truck Camper owners that motor home and trailer guys don't hardly think twice about, is the weight of a "robust" solar set-up, as well as the limited real estate on the roof of a TC. A robust system includes a large surface area of panels, AND a sizable storage capacity. The sizable storage capacity equals weight, and space, both of which are a problem for most TC Owners... Some who have trailers, solve this problem by setting up the extra solar and storage in the trailer. If the fire issue is ever solved on the Lithium batteries, I could see that as a real plus for TC owners.
Personally, I am researching welding and manufacturing for my own TC a small solid fuel stove. I have teh Cozy Cabin in my boat, and for what it is, it does it's job, but I prefer the Wave in the TC, due to size and less moisture. But there is still moisture. In Alaska, there is always wood available, and for the size I am looking at the fuel could be stored in sandwich baggies... Either Wood, charcoal briquettes, or even lump coal are some things I am exploring. I found a few interesting Home Built miniature wood/solid fuel stoves around the internet, and I think there is a real possibility. I have even hit my son up who is a very good welder for ideas...
Is anyone using a rear block lift kit on a ford f350 dually?
I have upper and lower stable loads and still have a little sag. I was thinking I could put a block lift kit on the rear axel and get the ride height back to level. I realize when unloaded it won't be level again, but it is worth it when loaded.
First, since you have a F350 Dually, are we to assume, based on your signature that you have a 97 model with the diesel? This makes a difference. I am only familiar with the Superduty (99-2010) models.
The Superduty incorporates a factory 3 5/8" block in the later models, and a 1 7/8" block in the 99 model and F250's and Excursions. Does your F-350 have any block now?
On my 2002 F350, I have the upper Stable Loads which was fine until I added a superhitch, and decided to tow a small ATV trailer. Due to the leverage, and tongue weight, I then added Air Bags. I only add enough air to level the truck, and make sure I do not dis-engage the bump stops of the Stable Loads. If you have the upper overloads, I have known a few guys that have doubled up the upper overloads to help level and not go to airbags. That is an option without going to blocks.
I hope that this helps,
Garry in Kodiak, AK
Garryk6...are you on AAB with your alloy boat? Capt PJ
Here's my heater install on th boat. The boat is only 23 ft Alaskan made river boat converted to multi-purpose for here on Kodiak island. What's AAB?
I have a force10 Cozy Cabin Heater
Installed in my aluminum boat. My boat is smaller than my camper, but is totally in-insulated, and even in the low 30's it will warm the cabin up to warm enough that I have to take my jacket off. Even with the stack, the propane version emits a fair amount of moisture, so if I were to consider a heater made for a boat to use in a camper, I would consider either the diesel, or better yet the solid fuel, as it is better for use boondocking to save propane for the stove.
Garry in AK
My Avion is over 45 years old and has been outside it's entire life. I have rebuilt the interior 2-1/2 years ago, and I think the exterior has another 50+ years left in it.
My Avion is a 1966, so is nearly 50 years old! While I have made some repairs, and rebuilds, it has been outside it's entire life. This does not mean it is maintenance free, But, if you keep it maintained, it will last well even if kept outside.
Checked the fit of my new tire chains on the truck. Better to figure everything out where its warm and dry than try it the first time in the snow. Amazing how much easier it is to get them on with a small wood block under the tire and to have cam style chains
just have to carry zip ties to secure the xtra two links of chain on the front and backside of the tire
Looks good buzz!
Are you running 225 or 245 70 19.5? I currently have 265 70 19.5 and have not yet got chains for them. But I have the same type of chains you show here for my winter studded 235-85-16's. Because I don't go far in the winter with the TC, and it is off more than on, the 16's are fine, but whenever we leave Kodiak, Alaska, I will probably leave the 19.5's on year round. So I am curious about chain to body clearance. The 265/19.5's are 34" tall, so the F350 is close fit. Thanks, and again, look in' good!
Ticki, or others...
How thick is our walls? The reason I ask, is that my front window still leaks and leaks in Alaska stink.... I am researching options to replace with a newer style that won't leak in Alaska winds and rain. So I have aC10, but I believe that the C11 should be e same.
Don't mean to blow my own horn.....but we made the TCM calendar for the year. Probably the first Avion C-10 on a calendar in many a moon!
Congratulations!!! Now we all have to work that much harder for next year! It sure is nice seeing a C-10 in the mix with all those new-fangled TC's ;-)
Here's the third and final piece of the puzzle.
Its the heat exchanger for the truck engine.
There are plenty of ways to pumb this whole
setup. Even though most of the sailors seem
to run engine coolent straight through the hot
water heater, and the heaters heat exchanger
is double jacketed for safety; I would rather play
it safe for the truck engine and use a nontoxic
coolent for the now separated heater loop.
Again there is an expected temperature drop
with this second heat exchanger but with truck
engine temperature at 213, it needs to drop
to a reasonable 140.
The plumbing still stumps me as to valves
needed and even finding the coolent connectors
to the trucks heater core.
Ideas on plumbing this all is
Garry the radiator heater is an aquahot 200 rsted at 6000 btu.
They have lots of different sizes, the compact size of this one
seems a good fit. They also make diesel water boilers for a similar
design. Too much and too pricey though.
I would recommend that since you are going with a separated loop, that you use a circulating pump, and expansion tank, some way to charge additional water/antifreeze into this heating loop, and a couple valves with quick-disconnects for when the TC is off the truck. Additionally do you intend on having this hot water all the time circulating to the TC? If not, then a thermostatically controlled circ pump might be the right call to provide the heat to the TC only when you want it.
Good Luck, and keep the info rolling!
Heres the next installment. The little
radiator heater came in. It will be attached
to the heat exchanger on the water heater.
I am using premium silcone heater hose since
it will give off minimal heat, that will become
more important when the eventual run is
made to the truck engine. It is good as well
inside the camper so as not to burn fingers
when moving the heater around. I am hoping
I can get by with a thermosiphon alone, but
a march pump maybe in order. Thoughts?
Who is the maker of the heater, and what is the BTU rating? This is getting interesting! I wish I would have had something like this in the Winter of 2011 to keep the TC warmer while driving around Anchorage area in sub-zero temps...
Winter Camping in Alaska
Please read our trip report. It shows everything we did to use our 1966 Avion in sub-zero weather for a family of 6 for a Thanksgiving trip, and maiden voyage for the rebuilt Avion.
Get out and do it!! It's great!!
Garry, Kodiak, Alaska
I use one of these, it's also a good way to test the smoke alarm. ;)
Not only do we use this in our camper, but we use it at my dads remote Alaskan cabin, and our good friends even use it in their home in Anchorage AK, since they have a small kitchen, and it folds flat. They store it with the cookbooks.
These work really well!
Thanks Dave; thats what its all about!
Avion campers are one of a kind. I am
installing a marine electric hot water heater with heat exchanger.
That way I can run off truck engine heat when rolling and I am installing a hydronic
heater to also run off the water heater. I have
a wave 3 but I am just too paranoid about gas fumes
to use it in a confined space. If anyone is interested,
I certainly can pass my experiences along. It certainly
isn't stock, but is neato!
Please take pics, and do a write up! I am very interested! BTW how big is this marine HWH?