HOWEVER, I would not consider leaving the top up if the camper was outside, even with a cover. Critters are more likely to chew through canvas than filon or aluminum.
....we have just about every vicious animal you can imagine in our big forest (square miles of it). That including fisher cats patrolling nightly (always after our neighbor's chickens!), bobcats, porcupines, red and gray squirrels, mice, plenty of raccoons (they can open our garage door (the small door with lever entry handle, not the 12 foot wide pull-up), and numerous other medium sized and large tooth carnivores (like plenty of black bears), and over 9 years of parking the camper rig in the forest with roof up for 6 months, not one has ever chewed through our Weblon soft wall (but your mileage may vary, depending where you live !).
On edit:....just thinking aloud, we had a mountain lion around here in 2010 that attacked a horse at a local ranch (while the ranch owner was fairly close by!)...ya, we do have mountain lion in the Northeast. They are VERY rare, however (probably escaped from illegal breeders facilities). It was never apprehended.
Technology could mean a lightweight honeycomb structure that is virtually rot-proof and knocks several hundred pounds off the weight of the camper. You gonna scream "NO! NO! NO!" to that?
....what about metal or FRP SIPs? With a skin of FRP or aluminum lock channel on both sides staggered to eliminate thermal bridging, forming an I-beam matrix (yes, apply FRP even on the inside, because the SIP can be say R16 = no interior condensation nor thermal bridging). With locking tongue-and-groove channellings (welded with epoxy), you essentially have a truck camper boat hull. Also, they would be Class I fire rated (polyurethane foam with fire retardant infused into the foam, render say, 750 degree F structural integrity).
A SIP manufacturer (or several around the country) could supply any individual or multiple truck camper (or, RV manufacturers) with all their pre-manufactured panels JIT, in custom sizes to assemble differing camper shell dimensions (assemble just like a Meccano set). The panels could even have built-in electrical cable channels.
These panels and panel makers already exist, and can easily supply the RV (or, truck camper) manufacturing market with panels with pre-cut window, roof and appliance ports.
Imagine having a truck camper with absolutely zero thermal bridging, and a micro air exchange heat recovery system running with 2 x computer fans (plans are available on-line) ?
I calculated to comfortably heat a truck camper 8 feet wide, by 16 feet long, by 6.4 feet high sitting in constant 25F outdoor temps and keeping the interior at 72F, with the above SIP construction and Low E windows x 3, you'd need appx 532 BTU/hour, that with exchanging the volume about once per hour with the exchanger..heating with something like a Truma Combi furnace/water heater system.....
....during summer, I park the truck camper (Outfitter Caribou 8) rig partially under a tree canopy (hardwood maple and white ash and beach, giving shade to the softwalls but for only ~2.5 hours a day; so, I have very little sun hitting the softwalls during summer at our camper parking area) with the roof up all the time (and if expecting rain, I lower it down). So, from end of April till about 2 days ago (it went into heated storage for winter), or nearly 6 months, the roof was in the up position (except when raining).
Over winter in the heated storage facility, I did, one year, store the camper with the roof up the entire 6 month-ish winter. I stopped storing over winter with roof up because cleaning the Weblon softwalls the following spring was getting very old-- and this was the one and only time (it was filthy!).
Some pop-up truck camper manufacturers suggest keeping the roof up when not in use for extended periods....this may be because the softwall pleats endure a lot of stress when folded (I know the pleats on our Weblon softwall appear to have more wear than the unpleated softwall, for sure). I have to add, that our Weblon softwall is very, very, VERY stiff, and does not move but for a fraction of an inch, even under gale-force winds.
What you do would be based on your camper manufacturer's recommendations, and the outdoor environmental conditions.
They match gas price to the state in the USA along the border making many people upset here only 60 miles away....
....this is de rigueur for any gasoline retailers operating near the border regions (for example, our border with the US; the US border with Mexico). The gas prices on "our side" in Canada within about a 15 minute drive of the US is about 10~13% less expensive (because of US gas retailer cheap competition 10 miles away). On the US side, the northern states close to the Canadian border price their gas higher than say, ~~40 or so miles further south (where would a far northern Vermonter, Mainer or New Yorker get cheaper gas? In Canada? LOL! flip side, the gas on the US side, even though more expensive than further south, is dirt cheap compared with Canadian stuff).
.....= $3.4544664US per gallon...
As a compare, 87 octane gas is in the $2.55 USD range just south of us in New York state...in Vermont, it is in the $2.30 to $2.40 USD range a US gallon. In the Wilmington, Delaware area on south to Florida, it is in the $2.03 to ~$2.19 USD range a gallon. The most expensive gas seems to be in the Washington DC area, at around $2.30 USD a gallon. Yuma AZ gas is in the $2.15 USD range. Phoenix region, gas can be found at $1.99 USD a gallon without too much looking, today.
The above data from Gas Buddy app
The peso is in the same boat as the Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar is now .77 to the U.S. dollar.
....its about 0.737 to the US dollar now (at the bank, retail) LOL :E
It is not likely to change much over the next 12 months.
1 liter of gas (87 octane) here in southern Quebec is in the $1.24 (Montreal area) to $1.10 (hinterlands) a liter today, and rising.
Really, no one is present to see "the real good stuff", because all the barrier islands (and bridges to said) are closed to non emergency personnel (some brave souls are out there, but there is no electricity and/or Internet and/or cell service intermittent/slowed to send videos to Youtube as yet). Only voice reports and the odd storm chaser are getting text to the outside world while this thing is happening.
These are the winds currently (1:30 PM eastern) over Vilano beach, and straight up to 10hPa altitude (30.02° N, 81.32° W):
The winds just offshore of the center of the eye, at the NNW quadrant of the wind field are:
The HTSGW just off St Augustine, is currently 5.67 to 6.93 meters, or up to 22 feet 7 inches high rushing inland from the breached barrier dunes (wind-generated swell)...for those needing a compare: over 2 stories high.
*the above is a snapshot in time; these numbers change every minute/hour, as the wind field slides over the sample point
The water level over San Marcos Ave, near San Marcos fort is over 30 inches deep and rising. Numerous barrier sand dunes are breached or flattened from Ormond Beach....all the way up to Atlantic Beach (Jacksonville), and the ocean is flooding inland across the barrier island flats (where the most expensive real estate is located) into the intra-coastal, and into St John's River...the damage in terms of cost, will be in the tens of billions$, and perhaps more...standing by for more, as Matthew spins on for hours more, before it exits Florida waters for Georgia.
It may be at least 48 hours before people will be able to return to Anastasia Island, and other barrier islands to take stock of their losses. Helicopters will fly over the barrier islands to make video and still shots when possible. New LiDAR elevations models will be flown, to re-map the permanently changed coast (to severely update FEMA flood maps databases)...probably within 4 or 5 days.
The real destroyer that Matthew is delivering, is long/persistent rains (50mm to 65mm / 3hr rates), and the incredible storm surge, not seen on this coast for many decades. The winds are quite hellacious, too, however only along the hurricane's eastern half of the bagel (waaaay out to sea).
Dave you made my day!! There are no words to describe this adventure, the scenery and the family enjoying every minute of that paradise!
Among the MANY superb photos, these were some of my favorites: 0077_zps0qakvxya.jpg, 0138_zpsxd6ddyqu.jpg, and 0130_zpsfoghtnvo.jpg
You've got quite a few that could be submitted to truck camper calendar contests !!
Sand & Dunes
....here it is folks, at 7:30 AM this morning: sunrise over Matthew.
After you evacuate if you are in the State evacuation zones (hopefully, yesterday):
If anyone has any property (including RVs) anywhere in the east half of Florida from Miami to Jacksonville, you better make sure your insurance is bullet-proof.
Apparently, Air B&B is offering free accommodation outside the evac zones to anyone in the Florida evac zones ...
About 17~~ hours to go before Matthew nails the 1st coastal areas along eastern Florida, in the black of night. Not very long from now.
....we pretty well shelved our camper flat screen TV; WAY, WAY too bulky in a truck camper. Its been collecting dust in the closet for years now.
We use exclusively tablet devices (or, laptop). Those are thrown into a small back-pack and can accompany us anywhere (even hiking). Also, all our mobile devices (we have 4 smart phones collected over the years), even the light-weight laptop are set up for GPS navigation WITHOUT the need for a data connection or plan...
Its possible to get free-to-air TV broadcasts into your tablet (iPad) or laptop from devices like W i TV, TabletTV, or buy a TVstick, or some other satellite TV tuner for Android/tablet (if you want to bring sat. TV into your mobile device). We don't do satellite TV on the road...but we can receive free-to-air (FTA) TV on virtually any mobile device, within the FTA broadcast range.
I've been keeping my rig in an rv storage garage, and am tired of the high rent.
...I'm curious: by "high rent", how much are you paying? We're paying $840 + tax for 8 months on indoor heated storage with unlimited electric, for 22-foot long space. That's just over $100 a month. many years ago in the same facility, our rent was at the $699 for 8 months + tax. But over almost 11 years storage, it climbed precipitously up to a staggering $840, for 8 months of indoor climate controlled.
We are looking for quality "covered" storage in the Orlando area for winters (not necessarily climate controlled in-door storage, like we have now up here in the north), where we'd drive the rig down, use for 3 weeks, and store. And fly home. Repeat, but fly down several times over winter. Then, our last use in Florida, we'd drive the rig back home for the summer months...repeat. Kind of "fly and store". Airport pick-up/drop-off from storage facility included...
I found an official weather station near Abisko (42 kms distant). Since the past 13 months, the coldest it has gotten over winter was -26.3C (Jan 20th). It was actually above 0C for the first ~week of January during the day-time. It also went above 0C one day (early February), and again for appx 3 days the 3rd week of February. There were 3 distinct cold waves during january of this year lasting ~10 days, then ~4 days; then 6 days (a cold snap for me is when temps dip below -16C). In February, there were a few sharply cold days (4 of them) that went down to -16C to -22C, but only for ~1 day each. In March, there one last "gasp" of winter at the beginning of the 3rd week, where temps dipped to -18C to -23C for ~4 days. The really cold months in this region is from beginning of December to end of April. So, 5 months of quite cold weather.
The winds are in the 4.9 to 6.0 meters/second range average over 5 cold months; with possible gusts to 19.5 meters/second (9 ish MPH on average, up to 43 miles per hour-ish gusts)
Now just don't try and do this in Winterpeg which is not that far from the US border.
...hah hah LOL :B True!
....the further one is from the oceans and giant ocean circulation belt arriving from southern latitudes, flowing in the direction of the north ocean regions (Europe or North America), the colder the winters will be. This is why Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota and parts of Ontario and Quebec are so brutally cold in winter. Look at the latitude of BC (coastal) and Nova Scotia, and compare that to the latitude of Winnipeg. Now check those places for average temperature over winter...southern BC is about 360 kilometers north of Montreal, but Montreal has winter temperatures comparing with southern Siberia, and southern BC coastal (even inland as far a Osoyoos) located much further north of Montreal has January/February winter temperatures comparable to Montreal in early May. This is also why England isn't a frozen wasteland over winter: the tropical ocean currents envelope England during winter even though the latitude of say London is about the same as the frozen barren James Bay, Quebec region, where temperatures are in the -50 to (sometimes but rarely -65C) range for a chunk of the winter.
If the tropical oceanic Atlantic belt ever deviated, the British Isles would probably have to be abandoned during winter; it would be virtually unlivable there.
Wow. That is a pretty impressive camper, and quite well built to use in extreme cold conditions. This reminds me of the old Bigfoot campers, built for use in the Canadian north.
As suggested earlier, propping up the "tub" for winter would be good.
The only thing I would add to my earlier post, is the following:
-since camper will be used/stored off truck, pre cut 2 inch thick pieces of XPS polystyrene closed-cell foam insulation to encapsulate the camper's tub and under-wing areas. Store the pre-cut foam in the camper and assemble it at site, using 2-inch wide house envelope tape (I used this stuff when I stored our camper outside over winter for the 1st and only time; the tape held up under persistent -36C and 90 KPH winds), XPS friendly adhesive, and a belt (a ratchet tie-down around perimeter of insulation-clad tub, for safety). This would add a fantastic barrier against ground radiated cold, and frost advection (the coldest air is closest to the ground, so the camper tub, being off truck, should have extreme insulation there). In spring, just remove and store foam for future use. Measuring and cutting the XPS should take only an hour or so; assembly should be really fast, too, with 2 people working at it.
As Joerg mentions, keeping the propane from freezing will be the biggest hurdle. The large propane cylinders would need their own insulated containment.
...ya. The Swedish Climate Center (SMHI) is showing dramatically warmer winter temperatures in Sweden's far north since at least 1998. Its remarkable just how warm northern Sweden is becoming (relatively speaking) over winter season!
The SMHI here-->
....however(!!!), there are anomalous BRUTAL cold years from time to time interlaced with warmer winters. One thing that can't be predicted is: ...is the year one plans to work in the Swedish north going to be a brutally cold one? Or, a warmer one? Hah hah!
Wow all the posts so far are good, been to them....
Valley of The Gods? Dark Canyon wilderness? Hovenweep National Monument?
9 Mile Canyon?
Chaco Culture National Historical Park? Jemez Pueblo? Jemez Springs? Valles Caldera National Preserve? Bandelier National Monument? Aztec Ruins National Monument? The NRAO VLA (massive radio astronomy installation; free open house in October) ?
Sweden is almost completely surrounded by salt water. The Norwegian Sea and North Sea to the west and southwest, and the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia to the east. No matter where you are in Sweden, you are no more than 169 miles from ocean or sea. Checking back, it appears the the Gulf of Bothnea only freezes over from Umia on north. Where exactly will they be living? My guess would be near the Lulea town area. The average low for December, January, February is a balmy +10F (this is like spring in Quebec); the average high is in the +24F range (considerably warmer than southern Quebec over winter). Occasionally, the temperatures can (for a few days or weeks) drop down to the -35F range, and this is the range where livability in even a moderately insulated (say, 3 inches of XPS foam completely encapsulating the truck camper) truck camper could become very uncomfortable. So, under the normal winter temperatures in the Lulea area, a Swedish-made truck camper designed to operate down to around +5F would be quite doable for the extended term, if its insulated to around ~ R12 (floor, walls, ceiling).
The biggest issue would be storing several hundreds pounds of propane (for a 1 or 2 week heating period) in a shelter that is insulated against potential extended -20 to -35C periods. Electric heating may be problematic, unless they have sufficient amperage to run all the appliances (however, Europe is 220V, so this is good).
I imagine that the Swedish camper has thermo-pane windows?
The other issue is storing water inside the camper (say, 50 gallons consumption a week, being conservative). The other, is storing gray water and black water inside the camper. If they have a cassette toilet, perfect. A small in-the-cupboard gray water tank could be jerry-rigged to the kitchen sink, but would need to be dumped outdoors several times a day. The other thing is washing. There would be no easy way to operate the shower, so sponge baths would be the routine (under these conditions, one would be in extreme survival mode every day of the month, making simple chores more complicated).
Since they have electric hookup, they would need to bring a portable dehumidifier sized for say a 7 x 15 foot room volume, to be run in the interior 24/7 month after month after month. The water extracted by the dehumidifier catchment could be dumped into the sink to wash dishes. The dehumidifier would be absolutely critical piece of equipment (paired with good camper insulation), since it would both remove humidity from the extremely small camper space, and supply some x heat to inside the camper.
Now, the other part of the rig that needs to be protected and maintained is the truck. Diesel sold up in the arctic would be quite well formulated for -40C or worse, so no problem there. Other fluids in the truck would have to be checked for their operating range (power steering fluid, axle oils, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc), and the appropriate fluids need to be replaced with an Arctic temperatures formulation. I would carry lots of lock de-icer, and some dozen cans of mechanical lubricant. Also, be aware that the air in the truck tires (and spare tire!) would drop precipitously if it was filled at say 20C, then subjected to -20 or -35C. So, a serious capacity portable 12V or AC tire inflation compressor (expedition-grade and portable) would need to be brought, and stored in the heated camper. In Quebec, where the temps over winter drop to -30 to -36C, I have our winter tires inflated in anticipation of the massive fluctuation in air temps (or, deflated), once or twice a week often LOL!! In our winters, we can have 2 days of +20F, then immediately, -27C to -34C for 4 days, then back up to +28F for a week....repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. You don't want to be driving around on half flat tires when the temps drop 40 or 60 degrees in literally a few hours.
Truck battery: I would replace the standard schlock flooded acid truck battery, with the best AGM battery available, and upon the start of winter, remove the truck battery and store it inside the heated camper on a battery minder (!). So, in effect, you are removing the battery from truck every time you use it (also, if one has to "go to work" in the Arctic, remove the truck battery and bring it into the office with you). Remember: your truck may be your life-line to get back to civilization in an emergency; the battery is the absolute weakest link in a vehicle in the Arctic environment; you can run on flat tires in the Arctic, but you can't run on a flat battery.
Frozen food (say for 2 weeks at a time) could be stored outside in a big 20 gallon+ sized steel cooler with lock. Also, check the camper fridge's ability to operate in extreme cold conditions using propane or AC.
Camper battery: get AGM chemistry, and make sure it is store/hooked up inside the heated part of camper at all times.
*now the big one: they need to have a "Plan B" shelter fairly close by, if all h**l breaks out, and a long -30C to -50C rolls in; this would be life-threatening, so they would have to work into their daily regime a serious meteorological analysis twice a day. Remember RVnetters, this isn't ski camping for a week or 10 days(!), this is extreme isolation north of the Arctic Circle for months and months, with no break.
In closing, Steve, can you ask them to document this in video and stills? This would make for an exceptional Blog !!
silversand, We will be traveling in our Class C towing our car, so no helicopter for us! We will be watching the weather for a good opening. Will not be leaving Ohio until at least Dec. 27th and we are still looking at routes to try this year.
Here is the link to every traffic cam on major routes for Florida. Just put a check-mark in "Cameras" box, and pan the map down to the Keys. There are appx 34 cameras along the 1...
Florida traffic cams-->
....We will be trying a different route this year as it was a nightmare with traffic last year.
You couldn't mean an alternative to the 1 ? Or, will you try the 905A to 905 (to 1) ?
If you are really fed up with traffic, and its causing health issues, rent a helicopter (if your camper is stored in Long Key) and fly there from say Homestead (about ~20 minute flight). It may be worth the $1000 / $1500 for you and a passenger and your gear.
Once you're at Long Key, just rent a sub-compact car as you need it (for a day once in a while).