Well I'll jump in on this topic. ;-)
I have been busy this week in Anchorage picking up an old F700 box truck, and filling it with mine and others stuffy to haul back to Kodiak. We just got on the ferry in Whittier, and are preparing for a 22 hour boat ride to Kodiak.
Depending on your budget and your intended use as well as your budget, will determine where this adventure will lead you. First a few questions you can ask yourself to help guide you in a direction for your TC.
How will this be used? Dry camping in the wilds of Wyoming? Or stopping at a campground every night? Exploring close to home or long distance travels?
Will it be used during winter months or summer only?
These are the questions I asked myself, and helped steer me to what I have now. If the previous owner replaced the "entire" floor, then your bathroom will look very similar to the early pictures of my bathroom. Flat floor of plywood. This can be a very good thing!
The cassette is a good option if you don't mind using some of your potable water to flush. If you have or get a porta-potti, just use that till you determine your needs. Since we travel with a family of 6, I needed a toilet that didn't use a lot of our drinking water for flushing. We also use it for camping in the winter, and didn't want the toilet to freeze, but still be able to flush. And finally we didn't want to fill up a black water tank with a bunch of flushing water. The recirculating toilet requires an initial 3 gallon "charge" of water that is provided to flush the toilet with a recirculating pump. This is why you add the chemicals to keep the odors away. One note, the recirculating toilets a re not vented, so you must use the formaldehyde based chemicals, or your nose will pay.....
The max capacity is 7 gallons, but with our family of 6, we can go over a week before needing to dump! The toilet requires a standard plastic toilet flange to be mounted through the plywood floor, then an elbow and dump valve can be added. I have also modified a 5 gallon bucket that we can dump the contents into, for remote dumps, or out house dumps. In the winter I fill the "charge" with windshield washer fluid, so it never freezes, and still flushes!
If your rear overhang is free all the way across, you can get some rectangular 4" deep tanks that will mount up underneath for grey water. My previous owner redid the floor with 2x4 framing, so I had my son weld up an aluminum grey water tank. It has worked well, but I think we will add a second. Our water tank is a 40 gallon which gives us quite a range since we don't worry about flushing water. We hope to add some manner of hot water heater, but I think we will use one of the tenters, shower-tent, and run a shower hose from the camper with some manner of extension. Again, this is for boondock camping. If we are in a campground, we have to keep the grey water in the tank, and we just use the showers provided.
You can keep the bathroom sink and plumb it into your new grey water tank, or you can delete the bathroom sink, and just have the kitchen sink. Less to clean, less plumbing etc. if you are coming from the realm if tent camping than you are very aware of all these things. I have owned many RVs through the years, so I knew the direction I wanted to go, and then just slowly worked that way. I would recommend that for you. You can get a cheap porta-potti, and then get out camping. You can even run a hose from the sink to a 5 gallon jug to catch your grey water, till you decide what to do. My recommendation, before you change a bunch, is get out and start using it like a hard sided tent, and figure out what works for you, and what doesn't, then start saving for the pieces that you want to change. We spent two seasons using an ice chest for camping till we saved up for the Engel Fridge. Key is don't get discouraged. Use it as is, and find what works and what doesn't. Then prioritize the plan to change things, and only change one thing at a time, if you can to keep the camper useable.
Good Luck, and welcome to the official, unofficial, Avion Truck Camper Club!
Garry in Alaska
You know I enjoy surfing the web lookin
for camper ideas and I must say I just wish I
had a dime for everytime I come across a reference
to this thread. Good lord, Gary should run
for political office on this basis alone!
You're not talking about me are you?:R
IIRC we camped near Bremerton, drove to one of the many open parking lots and took the ferry into Seattle. Mind you this was MANY years ago and things may have changed now.
When we left Washington 7 years ago, we lived in Manchester, Wa. They have agreat quiet state park. There used to be a foot ferry you could catch in Port orchard that would take you across the sound to Bremerton, then we would catch the ferry into downtown Seattle. From there you have access to almost all the downtownSeattle sites. You can walk to the Pikes place market! pier 41 market, the Space Needle, the science center, the aquarium, Ivars Fish and chips, etc, etc. living in Machester, we didn't want to fight the traffic either, and we could plan the day around the ferry schedules, and still have a great day!
Garry in Kodiak, AK
Looks like I will be getting the first run of 2015 wolf creek 850's and pretty pumped on picking it up in early may. I am getting it fully loaded. I am told the pricing is going up for all 2015 models and all slots for the run in may are already sold out! The Wolf creek line and arctic fox line are doing quite well. I will be driving from san diego to apache camping center in Portland to pick it up. We plan on camping and hanging out in the area for awhile and am curious if anyone has any recommendations for remote camping spots. We are wanting to explore the coast and forests and we have never been to Oregon and Washington. We are planning on approx 2 weeks. Thanks for any suggestions :)
When we lived in WA, we used to love going to Tillamook and visiting the chees factory and getting samples. There is a huge state campground near there that is fun! Also just neither if there is a little town of Canon beach that has a beautiful beach and some real nice private camp grounds, and just north if there is a great day trip visit to Seaside.
Further south, are the Oregon dunes.
Garry in Kodiak, AK
How does one figure out the correct setup? Regular Super hitch or Magnum? 48" or 60" supertruss? I have a Lance 1172...what is the ideal length the hitch should be at so not to cause problem with rear of camper?
The ball should be at least at the back edge of the camper. This will keep the pivot point at a place where you can turn and go through dips without camper contacting the trailer. My ball sits just behind my camper.
I used the Tygon nylabraid tubing with brass barb fittings and stainless hose clamps. Then used a home version sink faucet from a lav that fit the stock sink perfectly. Currently only cold water single line to the sink, but looking at options for a detachable external on demand hot water heater....
You know what I admire most about the
Avion TCers, and Gary said it before, we all
resurrect these marvelous campers in such a
variety of ways not beholden to the demigod of
OEM. I like to think of us as the hot rodders of
aluminum campers. As rare as Avions are, there
is no fear of modifying them into one of a kind
I tend to agree. The reason we all "customize" them, is because we all use them in very different ways, with differing sizes of families. Additionally we acquire them in differing conditions, requiring various changes based on condition... So while many Airstream folks go for all stock original, I think the Avion Camper crowd desires dependable functionality!
Garry Kodiak, AK.
I took these thinking of your thread, but didn't find it... Took these a week and a half ago.
On one side the salmon stream....
The other side the Ocean!!!
And in the middle... Me and the 4 kids in the old camper!!!
Garry in Kodiak, AK
Well fellow campers, I have used my Wave 3 quite a bit, but a the lower temps it just doesn't have the BTU's to keep the TC warm, and since we live in Alaska, the lower temps I am referring to are freezing and below.
So I just got a great deal on a brand new Atwood Everest 12,000 BTU heater that I will be installing in my 1966 Avion C-10. It is pretty compact, and yet does well on the BTU's. My question is for those who have used, maintained or installed these little gems, do you have any advice?
But this time of year, if I were headed back to the Coast from Tigard, I'd overnight at the Baldock rest area at I-5 sb exit 281. It may look out of the way by a bit, but there's an easy route through Wilsonville back to 99 and thence to the Coast. As you can see from the aerial photo at this link, there's a big area at the back where RV's can park right next to a wooded picnic ground. I've spent many a night there.
The rest stop itself has a unique history- it's one of the biggest in Oregon and is the location of an effort in the sixties to plant a tree from each of the fifty States. I forget how many trees have survived, but I understand there are efforts underway to restore the grove to the full fifty.The Grove of The States
I have used that same rest area since approximately 1976.... When camping with my family while traveling from the Puget Sound area to Northern California, that was always a favorite place to stop and camp for the night. Frequently, we would stop in relatively early, have dinner in the RV, then hang out with the folding chairs and card table and enjoy cribbage! That is where I learned to play at the age of 10... Haven't been there in a few years since moving to Alaska, plan to visit when we travel back!
Garry in Kodiak, AK
Went camping this weekend in the on Puget Sound. As usual a bit gray an overcast but we had fun.
By chance is this Fort Flaggler? It looks a lot like Flaggler. We used to spend many days and nights there as a kid, and later with our kids!
Garry in Kodiak.
Well the snow came back with a vengeance this morning!
Garry.... Busy plowing with the camper on... Carefully... Need to look into a back up camera and monitor...
When is it necessary to get a speedo correction for larger tires? I went from a 265/75 to a 285/75 both 16 inch. Would the height even change?
On your year truck, you will most likely find that with the 285's your speedo will read accurately, since most Ford superduty's actually read fast with 265's... That is what I have found with two 2000 Excursions, a 2001 F350 dually, a 2002 F350 SRW, and a 2005 Excursion.
Hope this helps!
On edit, the odometer and trip, both were affected, and require that I add 5% to the miles to adjust for the changes to the odometer when hand calculating mileage.
I bought this truck brand new. It didn't offer the "camper package" but a "towing package". It is the same thing, right? Didn't have a sway bar also...
How costly it is to install overload springs?
I'm driving it right now with my camper as is (no overload springs), but with airbags. Should I install overload springs ASAP?
2001 F350 DRW PSD 4x4
2013 Arctic Fox 811
I have a 2002 F350 SRW. It came from the factory with overloads, but without swaybar.
I added a Helwig swaybar and the stable loads, and the truck and camper are GREAT! And since you already have the dually, just go to a bone yard, get the overloads and frame pads, then bolt them up on your dually, and the go for the Helwig Big-wig swaybar. You will not be sorry. Let us know if you have any more questions!
Garry in Kodiak, AK
Took the kids to the mountains to go sledding. Was a GREAT day!
The kids were glad for the camper. One of my sons friends sleded into a frozen creek, and broke thru and got soaked, you can see the steam come off him as he stands in front of the heater.
Garry in Kodiak
Spent yesterday putting the plow back on the truck, and plowing a little bit of snow.
Garry in Kodiak
@Mike.. You will be our explorer! I look forward to hearing how this sets up and if it does indeed charger your batteries. Glad we started this tread to see what was out there. I am excited to hear about your results.
That is the one i read about. I'm sure that Mike will put it through its paces and provide a good deal of feed back as he usually does.
Garry in Kodiak, where we had a blizzard last night...