....for what it's worth: we've been offered up to $15.5k for our 2005.5 Caribou 8 (no furnace, no air conditioner, no bathroom) cash here in the "Far East"; just a split-hair less than we paid for it (8 years ago!). But we are NOT planning on selling it (as I sit here in the torrential/pouring rain in the Caribou 8 (soon to turn to snow!) as dry as a scorpion in the Atacama desert, planning a trail construction crew Op. on a rain-drenched mountain-side).
I would hazard a guess at about $17k, perhaps $16k at the lower end.
If the right party sees it (in the East for example), they will pay a premium just because they won't need to spend many $ thousands going out West to cut a factory deal, then to pick it up at delivery (2 trips) !
$120,000 down here in Florida will get you a newer REAL BLOCK, 2,000 sq ft home and more often than not with an inground gunite pool!! And that is for a house that 'was' worth $400,000 and should return close to a figure of $250.000 in a year or two.
...our research has shown that buying a moderate place in a "very nice and safe" neighborhood in a nice part of Florida (with ocean view: a must) to be in the $399k to $500k range during bad times, with ownership costs and HOA in the MINIMUM $11,500++ per annum range (2010 up to yesterday, since then, we have been on the ground looking!). The houses in the most desirable neighborhoods really never crashed in price very far, and square-foot to square-foot compares with homes way in the interior of Florida (way inland we call: 3+ miles inland from the Coast) are vast price differentials.
My decades of travel have shown me that whether you are buying a house in a 3rd World country (even one at war) or the USA/Canada, the best 'hoods with best views (ie. ocean) are all the same price: executive mid to high 6+ figures. You go away from a decent 'hood (anywhere in the World), the prices crash by comparison further down than the Marianas Trench. A great 'hood is a great 'hood, and the prices are exorbitant for said, whether you are shopping in Lebanon, India, Honduras, Ethiopia, Mexico, Indonesia, USA or Canada.
I'll bet that if you ask 100 healthy retiring couples where they would want to park their butt in retirement, ~70 would say: in a place with an ocean view; ~26 would say: in a place with vast views from a mountain slope; and ~4 would say: on flat ground looking at trees/fields with a neighbor potentially partially blocking the view of a string of cell towers. Poster Almot is correct.
If you bought a place for $25k cash in Florida, it's only worth $25k (talking "future value" is meaningless). Real estate prices are extremely regional (ie. a limited geographical scale); are very dependent on the 'hood surrounding you AND neighbors living there-around (your great 'hood can go terribly bad VERY quickly: i.e. you better pay very close weekly attention to your regional crime stats/maps!); will never go very quickly up (especially in this here zero credit market!); and most importantly, if you are in an "home owners" association 'hood, as you mention: you say in a high end 'hood, then you'll be paying HOA (and other costs) to the tune of $8000 to $12,000+ a year for a stand-alone house (far in excess of the comparable cost of RVing anywhere in Florida, but for at the best RV resorts) ! If you are not in an HOA, then thank your lucky stars (or not?). Buying a house in this market (especially in Florida) for later "flipping" is a massive risk; however, if you are buying to retire at that price and really don't plan to sell any time soon in this market, the 'hood stays crime-stable, and you REALLY like the surrounding aesthetics, then OK. Why not?
This event looked to be a smashing success! Great organizational work Steve & BKA !
A huge group assembled, and a successful and fun time it appears.
I've added this Report to the very top of Trip Reports, here-->.
As I transition out of Trip Reports (because of time constraints from other projects), a new and invigorated Trip Reports initiative will be carried on by one of our Global truck camper expeditioners: Sabconsulting.
Please join me in welcoming Sabconsulting (Steve) to this Post sometime in the near future!
Hanwha Azdel Inc. composites has a Lynchburg plant (Forest, Virginia, USA), and Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, and Ontario (Canada). This is where the US consumed Azdel product comes from. The plant(s) is quite massive, with a train yard, outdoor composites hoppers for train loading, the works. Hanwha Azdel Inc. is OWNED by the Korean corporation: Hanwha Corporation (or, the Hanwha Group).
Azdel is used in MANY small quantity applications, and shipping a few containers at a time from Korea to the USA would be hellaciously costly (both time-wise and the cost of shipping itself) to their US/Canadian customers (could you imagine !?).
Azdel (from the public patent office) makes light-weight reinforced thermoplastics (LRTs and LWRTs) and low density glass mat thermoplastic composite (GMTs), and hybrid thermoplastic composites (HTPCs).
More great info as read with coffee in hand!
I recall your extremely robust long-term trial running strictly solar to run your Tundra/Apex in searing 29 Palms. I think the Danfoss compressors are pretty well the norm across most (all ?) of the built-in compressor fridges in North America, today.
You mention the ARB portable...this reminds me of the extensive expedition fridge review in my Overland Journal (2 years ago, think?). This may also be the best option (no ripping out absorption, all the mess of installing new compressor). Just buy an ARB, back seat it, plug into 12V, done// Hmmmm?
True. I recall Woodhog's wrting about his "system"...thanks!
Your Outfitter roof "testing" sure does answers so many questions! Sorry it happened but somebody had to do it! Now I don't have to experiment. Didn't want to do it anyway as I'd rather leave it up to a professional. haha
...trust us to scrape branches, run into hail, and drop steel cutting heads on the camper!
From your links, it looks like you've got the NovaKool DC/AC fridge ?
Checking the supplier data, the fridge-only NovaKool draws 2.2 amps (with non modified factory-set compressor speed resistance); the fridge/freezer model draws about 4.5 amps.
Have you run your fridge on battery-only in 85F+ temps? Have you run your fridge on truck-to-camper plug-in charge mode for very long periods (ie. driving 8+ hours) ?
The leading edge of our roof has a radius/wrap down, where our TPO is fully exposed (at least 2 inches of it x 7 feet wide) to rock hits. I can see along the aluminum banding holding down the TPO many good-sized divots where rocks have literally gouged the aluminum (like a bullet hitting metal at an angle, but on a lower velocity scale). I'm certain that many a rock has hit that leading edge TPO radius, with absolutely no visible damage. Readers must also know that under our TPO (between the TPO and aluminum roof framing) is a full webbing sheet of industrial felt about 3/16ths inch thick, that forms an critical impact suppressor (this is an installation requirement written by the TPO manufacturer engineering applications people) against large hail and other high-velocity impacting.
On another parallel note of interest:
Some years ago (about 5 years ago) I was using a professional tree pruning stick (24 feet long), with a ~20 LB hardened steel razor-sharp pruning head attached, and was raising it up to about ~21 feet when the pruning head came off the fiberglass extender as was deploying the cutting lever. The head somehow bounced off a branch a few inches below the ~21 feet extension, and dead-fell right on top of the rear part of our camper roof, bounced a few feet up, and landed on the ground. I climbed up onto the roof of the Outfitter to inspect damage: one depression looked like it MAY have penetrated the TPO (I really couldn't tell if there was a breach) about 1/8th of an inch long; another imprint about 8 inches from the 1st, but the 2nd impression I was sure hadn't penetrated. Anyhow, I patched both depressions immediately (with my TPO repair kit). The IZOD impact strength numbers of TPO are extremely impressive (tested at -40C).
TPO is incredible strong, I'll tell you. It reminds me of the stuff called "Spectra" polyolifin I used on a Central American sea kayaking expedition I had done in the late '90s. The sails I had used (supplied by the Folbot Company (in the Canadian Maritimes) folding sea kayak owner, at the time) was made up entirely of Spectra, very similar in strength to TPO. Spectra is of course ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which is at least 15+ times more abrasion-resistant than carbon steel (the Spectra material is only about 8~10 mills thick!). DSM, a European chemical company, supplies Spectra to ballistics protection and armoring manufacturers.
By this juncture with compressor fridges being used for years in adverse conditions by off-roading pop-up truck camper maniacs, what brand(s) have stood the test of time (and efficiency) ?
We are looking to replace our Norcold 3.2 absorption unit with a 3.x or 4.x compressor, in the Outfitter Caribou 8.
As a side note: a few organizations in the US were/are developing turn-key lithium systems for the RV industry (not the up-scale luxury yachting buyer, where costs can be ~$5000 for appx 300ah !). AM Solar was one lithium RV developer; the other is SmartBattery Lithium company.
SmartBattery lithium has a "drop-in" LiFePo4 Group 31 footprint replacement for our current AGMs (in our 100ah range) for $1300 each (comparing the price with our existing AGM batteries at $170 each + tax). The weight compare is: our current AGM weight = ~70LBS each : the LiFePo4 100ah weight per battery = (an incredible) 28LBS each. Charging is at 14.6V; charge time is an amazing 2 hours at 50 amps (investigate the mode of charging carefully). The expected lifetime for an RV user is in the 10x an AGM lifespan (that would be roughly 60 to 80 years of lifespan). Operating temperatures for this battery is: 4 below zero F to about 160F (this blows any ancient lead-acid or AGM environmental operating temperature out of the Universe).
Anyhow, as I said, we will probably go this route in 3 years (with this battery, with its built-in smart battery full automated protection: undervoltage preempt; overvoltage preempt; short circuit preempt; Reerse; ICB; and CB).
My disclaimer: do your due diligence; this is what we are contemplating, and don't endorse this route for anyone. Your mileage may/WILL vary.
....I've been watching the lithium battery (all genres) development for some time now; however, due to price and issues with the odd fire, will wait the development out for another 2 or 3 years.
As a note: the current LiFePo4 appear to be a good alternative with a proven non incendiary history (but I understand that smoking one is not impossible or out of the question: careless maintenance; no charging BMS in circuit; etc).
....sounds like you want to navigate both urban and tight little-maintained "service roads".
We have been doing this since we picked up our pop-up truck camper (Outfitter Caribou) in 2005. Parking and navigating all manner of urban areas across North America: no problem, with our 2500HD long bed, and 8-foot pop-up. Just check underground parking for height if you go this route.