For the door, I tried several styles from the hardware stores. The hollow rubber style seemed to work better than the sponge style. For the fridge vent, mine was getting blown under the lid due to driving rains while driving on the freeway, or driving rains with winds over 40 mph. Since I don't need the vent, I filled it with foam and sealed the top with aluminum tape. That will suffice till I can find the correct aluminum and rivets to take it off and seal it off permanently.
Hope this helps!
I had the TC on the truck most of the winter, and used it a few times. But took it off a month ago, as I needed the truck to do truck type hauling.
I was supposed to be taking the TC on a road trip for work to Anchorage next week, but my sons Marine Corps Boot Camp graduation got moved two weeks to land on the work trip, and then the Alaska Ferry system cancelled the ferry run that I needed to go anyway, so now I know God is in control. Top that off that I received a job promotion that has required a lot of extra attention last week and this week, and I can see why I wasn't supposed to be in San Diego this last weekend, and not gone too long with both planned trips. With now just the one trip flying to San Diego, Work should be ok for the time I'll be gone....
Hopefully we can get out and do some spring camping, as we are just getting a bit of spring weather in Kodiak...
Keep the thread going, as it keeps me wanting to get out, and get off my keister and do something!
Garry, I am surprised you found rebuilding a camper to be inexpensive!
Maybe if there was a lot there to work with...
Not cheap, but a lot less than new. To get the Avion, and then get it to a point of use, we had about $3500 into it. We now have maybe $5000 in it. It's not done, but it is very functional and useable. I am also a scrounger, so I try to find stuff to recycle. Like the counters and back splash are leftover pieces from an old cannery and the first stove was a $2 garage sale find. Even the current stove was a take out off EBay. It has character just like me ;-)
Not being familiar with your sunlite, does it have a Hot water heater? If you are not too afraid of freezing issues, install an external shower, and spend $60-100 for a shower tent that is free standing, use a wooden shower floor. If you do not have a hot water heater, the portable external hot water heaters could be plumbed in for use outside from your TCs water supply. This may not work if there are rules about not allowing water on the ground... I have a similar predicament, as my wife would appreciate the ability to shower in our TC. I hope to weld up a shower pan in aluminum plate. And add a Hotwater heater. But I need to weld up a second 14 gallon gray water tank first...
Too many projects, so we continue to either find facilities, or bird bath it between shower facilities..
That's probably the MSRP. So when the savvy buyer negotiates down the generally accepted 35% to $31,490.55, they THINK they got a good deal. But then you ask, $31.5K? Is that a good deal?
I think that's actually kind of a "low price" if you want quality of build and materials (sarcasm BTW). Anybody will tell you - you get what you pay for. Trim that falls off, stereos that fail, vinyl flooring that scuffs from the slide pads, high r-value insulation that was "stuffed" instead of "placed", cheap carpet pad and carpet that must be replaced too soon (see latest Trailer Life article on RV renovations), cold air drafts in the bedroom at the headboard - these are just some of the things such a "cheap" price will net you. (Nothing against Lance here, it's the industry).
But then I might be considered a Negative Nellie.
I have a few of the same sentiments, in that while I have purchased 2 new vehicles since I began driving in 1982, I have never paid sticker price. In 1994 it was 8% under sticker, which was 1% over deal invoice. In 2005 it was 25% under sticker which was .5% over invoice. That all to say I tend to be more fugal and cheap than some. I have bought over 30 different vehicles in that time period. 5 RVs. After first moving to Alaska, we realized we wanted to continue camping, but that we would have to reasses how. Trailers are challenge for clearance, maneuverability, and cost on the Alaska Ferry System. Motor homes are another drive train to maintain, and if not driven often, and the damp wet environment of Kodiak, combined with the afore mentioned concerns about clearance and ferry costs steered us to the TC world. I already had a used, low mile F350 CCSB 4x4 that was my daily driver, and all around work truck, the big challenge was finding a TC that would handle my family of 6, handle the rough terrain of Alaska roads, fit in a short bed truck, deal well with a damp wet climate and still fit in a budget... Buying a well built 1960s TC and rebuilding it to suit our needs has been the solution. I know that this is not for everyone, but my family, while now down by one as he is in Marine Corps Boot Camp right now, by building a rather inexpensive TC from our 1966 shell, allowed us no loans, no payments, and a functional TC and money still allowing us to take the kids camping all around Alaska while they are still home, making memories. I see our younger generation not as wiling to tackle projects themselves, and save considerable cash, while learning things, doing the work with the kids teaching them, than being able to get out camping on a budget and still live the dream of living in Alaska to boot!
Sorry for the long post, just the drabbleings of a gray haired ole dad who enjoys tinkerin' and not spendin' tons of cash...
I've lived here 60 years now. There are four campground facilities in the Napa Valley. Skyline park and Calistoga fairgrounds have been mentioned. There is also an RV campground at the Napa Town and County Fairgrounds in downtown Napa and Boothe State park just north of St. Helena on highway 29. The fairgrounds has been redone and is a nice facility with hookups though you will not consider the view particularly inviting. Boothe is nice but generally booked in advance and has traffic noise from the highway, but a nice surrounding area.
The Les Shwab/Home Depot parking lot on Soscol is used by some but technically illegal. Walmart in Napa will not let you stay - parking lot is too small.
If you are nice people and don't like anywhere else give me a PM, I might let you park on my farm, 12 acres just outside of the City of Napa (about a mile from Skyline Park).
It has been over 20 years since I was in the Napa area, but when stationed in Vallejo in the late 80's, i used to spend time at the court house researching family lines that took me out of Napa to Pope Valley. It was a really neat valley, lost in time back then. Is it still as quiet and quaint as it was then? I would only recommend it to the TC crowd, as the road I to the valley is as twisty and wind-ee as they come with countless switchbacks. But the vineyards there were beautiful! If we ever make it back down to that country we hope to visit there again!
I have a 2011 f350 srw crew 4x4 6.2 gas,and I average 16mpg with camper on,and 18 to 21 unloaded.everything is stock.till warr is up cant do any mods.when it is want to do air box,over drive frm camping world,and a pro charger on engine,belt driven external unit not a screw blower .has any 1 heard of these? they will really wake up your gas engines.
I would do exhaust headers and exhaust before doing the pro charger. I have talked to a few guys on the FTE Ford forum that have had them, and they do add some power, but require a but more fussing than most wanted.
The other option is to talk to Mike at 5-star tuning. He custom tunes for what you have and want to do. The 5.4 and 6.8 guys love his tunes. Also many of the 5.0 coyote guys have great luck with Mike.
I personally have a 6.8 V10 with a Whipple screw-type supercharger. It is not inter cooled. It also has the Banks headers, monster exhaust, banks air intake with K&N filter. On the highway I have been able to pull 14-15 with 4.30 gears and stock tires. I live on an island now, so no freeway driving. All country lane 34-45 mph and town streets. My fuel milage is 7-10... But I also have a problem with the right foot being to heavy.... With all the low gears and performance goodies...it's just too fun!
Had to work part day today, but for to use the camper as part of the job. We had to go inventory a warehouse that is unheated, and the temps have been in the teens to twentys.... So I brought the truck and camper and fired off the wave 3 and the stove top, and got out the coffee pot, and made coffee so we had a place to go warm our hands and bodies. Worked well to keep the coffee flowing, the counting going, and the job done by 1:30.
But came home and put the plow on the truck since now they are calling for 4-8 inches tonight, then tomorrow going to rain, so it will be an icy mess....
Gotta love "spring time" in Alaska!
All our use of our TC is between april and October, so we are spending almost all out time out of the camper. Also, the non-slide is much lighter. 300 lb's is a lot of extra weight. I've yet to be in a campground for more than a few days when I haven't seen someone with jacks and tools trying to get their slide in or out. We spend much of our time on the road and doing quick overnights. So we access our camper every couple hours for peeing or lunch while on the road. Having no slide in the way is really nice. And there are only two of us most of the time. If friends and kids come along, we tell them to bring their tents and sleeping bags. Simplicity, cost, light weight, and quick and easy access while on the road to the amenities in the TC drove us to leave mechanicals like slides for those who use their RV's for indoor entertainment. Now, if I was using my TC in all weather a lot, then the indoor space becomes more of an issue.
While I agree with most said here, I would offer the following observations:
1) Where you live (Dry country or wet country) and when you camp (summer/winter) will directly affect your choice.
2) How you camp will also greatly affect your decision. Do you spend most of the time outside? Or inside?
3) Do you move often? Do you camp often?
4) How many of you are in the camping party?
My wife and I own a 30ft TT with a 14ft slide, but it is down in WA state on my dads farm, while we live in Kodiak, Alaska. We have 4 kids, one of which just joined the Marine Corps. We have made our 10 ft non slide 1966 camper work for our family outings here in Kodiak, and all around Alaska since buying the TC in 2011. It is all about your state of mind. If you want to make something work, you will make it work. If you get it in your head that it won't work, based on others notions, etc, you will not be happy. I too have seen people have problems with slides, and have had a few issues with my own slide. The room is nice, but even with our non-slide TC, it rains so hard in Alaska, that we have fought water infiltration...
If we lived back in San Diego, where my wife comes from, slide outs and leaks would not even be a thought in my mind. but after living in Western Washington, and Kodiak, Alaska, I take leaks seriously, and any way of minimizing the possibility of a leak is high on my priority level.
Just my 2 cents...
I carry my 10 ft Avion on my 6.75 ft bed F350. I remodeled to move heavier items forward. With yours being only 8-9ft, on a 6 ft bed, the difference is as if you added the tongue weight of a trailer or less. If the overall weight, and axle weights are good, just pay attention to how you load, and enjoy!
Garry in Kodiak, AK
My first thought was to move this thread to the Technology Corner Forum. However, the initial post was directed toward TC's, and responses have been from other RV types, I will leave the Thread here for now. I may need to change it later.
Unlike TT's and Motorhomes, TC's have to struggle with minimizing weight, maximizing efficiencies, while suffering from an overall lack of real-estate, weather it be the roof for solar, or the interior space for batteries.
While I have gleaned a lot about my future desires for solar from all sorts of RVers here at RV.net, us TC folks have unique challenges to work through, and it is nice to have a place to work through those concerns and problems.
Its just about time for us to start camping again for the year, now we have a 3 month old little camper with us. Just wondering if any of you have experience camping with babies in your TC and what kind of sleeping arrangements worked best for the little one? thanks
We started camping in a TT when our oldest was two weeks old. He is now in Marine Corps Boot Camp. Sometimes he would be with us, later with the other kids, we would place them on the dinette, and wedge them in with pillows or blankets. Whe I was a kid, my dad rebuilt an old 1960 TC and had it on an old 58 Apache PU. He built a little crib type bed at the foot of the E-W cabover for my little sister, since my little brother and I were sharing the dinette. It worked until my sister outgrew it, and my mom got pregnant with number 4. Then dad found a TT to give us more room.
Hope this helps!
I found used 19.5 visions and 265x70 tires that were about 85%. I only had to pay $1400 which was a steal here in Alaska. That was 4 years ago, and I am still running them. They help tremendously with sway, but if you drive empty... They are rough. I have studded 16's that I run in the winter. And I have another set of tires if I am not going to use the camper for awhile, but we tend to be spur of the moment campers. So I havnt used those much, and so I usually leave the 19.5 s on.
Good luck! I love knowing that I can travel all over Alaska, and not worry about having marginal tires. I have traveled hundreds of miles on Alaska gravel roads and no issues loaded at 10,600 to 11,000 lbs.
Garry in Kodiak, Ak
I would comment about your grey water drains. Grey water can be as stinky if not more that black water. You will want to fit in a trap somewhere. Maybe right where it enters into the tank, inside the camper. You also do not "need" a large vent. My grey water has a piece of 1/2" tygon tubing as a vent. It works well, and doesn't take up a lot of room, and is easy to route.
I hope that this helps!
I have a 2002 F350 CCSB with 5.4 gas V8 6-spd manual and 4x4. Truck came new with overloads, but no sway bar. Truck would lean terrible bad with no load... Installed Helwig sway bar, Rancho RS 9000's and stable loads before I even bought my TC. I weigh in at 10,960 on average. As low as 10,600, but a high of 11,600. I used it as it was with the stock 16's, till I ran across a used set of 19.5 visions with 265-70 load range G's. Later after adding a superhitch for towing with. A 32" extension I added air bags, but just to level a bit. Usually 10 psi or less, just enough to disengage the stable loads, then I let out enough to just engage the stable loads. Everything rides very nice! I have been all over Alaska with this rig, and the two best additions were the 19.5's and the Helwig swaybar. The sway bar and Ranchos do well at controlling sway, but the 19.5s really stiffen up the ride where it feels very solid and comfortable,
Since you have the 250, I would highly recommend finding the overloads and frame pads from a 350, and bolt them up and install stable loads. Then add the Helwig, and upgrade the shocks. Mount camper and weigh. Decide if 19.5's and or airbags are needed.
If you have the auto in your 99, you may want to make sure it has an extra cooler, as heat kills those transmissions. I have two 2000 Excursions, and when towing , keep a close eye on trans temps...
Garry in AK
Can someone remind me of the best sealant/caulking that is silver to use on the transition from the cabover to the front bulkhead and wrap around corners? I had some, that I had ordered, but when I used it last time, it was rather thick, and didn't flow well... And now it has fallen off in a few spots, and I don't want a leak...
I think my other tube had frozen, which caused it to not hold up after application...
Do not pay $100K+ on something that looks neat but does not do what you need to do. For half that you can find, with a lot of looking, something like this. The crew cab is very hard to find with 300+ HP and a auto tranny. If you do not need the crew cab, auto tranny, and 300+ then plenty of trucks out there for less than $25K and 100K miles.
Put the TC on the back of the flat bed with storage or ATV under the front overhang. Add 8' storage boxes to the sides to fill in that area of the TC.
Adding 17-20' behind the 12-13' cab so the TC would fit is what eliminated this option for me. Having the cab over section behind the cab added too much length to the vehicle to make it practical for parking in many areas. Right now, my overall truck length is just under 23' and under 25' with the TC loaded - Even with the currently largest TC produced, I will not be longer than 27' overall. If I stay with my 20' length trailer, I will be just under 50' long combined length. For us, length is not just an issue for parking but the ferry fees we pay in 10' increments when we travel.
Boy do we understand ferry fees in Alaska..... But having grown up in the PNW, ferries historically get you coming and going.....
I get charged by the foot to get on and off Kodiak island. The ferry ride is 9 to 13 hours depending on the ferry and weather. And just for my 25' truck and camper, it is $330 each way. So for the whole family to come and go I am usually around $1,000 just to get to Homer and back... Length is a big deal....
But I do like those trucks, especially when they are 4x4!