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 > Your search for posts made by 'HMS Beagle' found 64 matches.

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RE: Any Ideas to RepaIr Loose Ceiling on NLcamper?

what is bead board? It is foam board or rigid foam insulation made of small round balls or beads of various sizes, usually around 1/8 inch in size that are formed together into sheets of various thicknesses of rigid foam board. Northern lite uses this for insulation because it is less rigid and will glue and flex onto compounded curves and shapes to insulate and strengthen the fiberglass shell. Keeping it lightweight. I am a little more cynical - they use it because it is cheaper than something better. There are plenty of choices in structural foam that are much better than bead board for this application. They cost more. XPS costs only a little more, a PVC or SAN core (which is what would be used in a boat) costs quite a bit more. If I was pulling down the ceiling for a repair, I'd put back XPS rather than EPS.
HMS Beagle 12/05/22 07:13pm Truck Campers
RE: Any Ideas to RepaIr Loose Ceiling on NLcamper?

The bead board is a structural element, especially in the roof of a NL or Bigfoot. The structure is made up of the outside fiberglass skin, the core of bead board, and the inner paneling, forming a composite sandwich panel. When one of them or the glue bond fails, the individual pieces are quite flexible. It might be possible to inject an adhesive through the fabric and panelling, but since both sides are covered in the contact cement they use, the new adhesive may not adhere very well to either side, sticking only to the failing contact cement. You likely have nothing to lose by trying it. The alternative is to pull the interior paneling down, clean up the surfaces, and re-glue. It is a shame that BF and NL do not use a proper structural foam rather than bead board. We always hear about how these are"built like a cored boat" but in fact no cored boat would use bead board as a structural material. My first Bigfoot had extruded polystyrene core, much more suitable than bead board (expanded polystyrene) but still well short of a boat structural core which is typically PVC or SAN material and much stronger both in shear and bond strength. Bead board you can easily crumble in your hand. The issue for them is too much cost I guess.
HMS Beagle 12/04/22 09:47am Truck Campers
RE: DC to DC charger

The lead acid were replaced with telcom jars, and whoops there was no charging from the alternator to the house unless I was running the microwave or other heavy draw. In fact it regularly sent power to the alternator. I replaced the starter battery with an AGM. No improvement. No idea what you mean by "telcom jar batteries", perhaps they have particularly high voltage. Anyone interested in house battery charging from the alternator, or mixing battery types, needs to do some basic measurements: voltage and current with batteries fully charged and engine running well above idle, and voltage and current with house batteries discharged at least 50%. Measurements done at truck engine compartment (say at the start battery) and at the house battery. This is important in some cases to insure there is actually a charge, and in some cases to prevent a fire from overcharging. From those two measurements you can determine if the wiring is adequate, if you are getting sufficient charge, and if you are overcharging. There is a range of trucks here spanning 30+ years, charging strategies and regulation have changed in those 30 years and between brands. A DC-DC boost-buck charger can cover a lot of sins in a charging system, but may not be necessary, or may not be the only thing necessary, or may actually be detrimental. You need measurements to know.
HMS Beagle 11/29/22 09:41am Truck Campers
RE: DC to DC charger

With a modern vehicle the charge voltage will be at least 13.5 volts, probably more. That will charge the house batteries 100%, though it may take a long time, and only if the charge wire to the camper is large enough to service the house loads. If you have your refer on DC for example, it is drawing around 30 amps. The #10 typical of a 7 pin harness will be dropping about 1.8V in the 60' round trip on the wire. Now your 13.5V is only 11.7 and, yeah, no charge, in fact it will drain the house. May burn up the 7 pin too. Change that wire out to #6 with a proper connector, and even at the same length and amperage, you will have a 0.7V drop, your 13.5 volts is now 12.8, almost no charge but at least not draining the house battery A DC to DC charger placed near the alternator, without remote sense, does not solve this wiring problem, voltage will still be low. Placed near the load, or with remote sense near the load, it band-aids the problem: It will boost the voltage back to where is it supposed to be, at the cost of drawing even more current through the inadequate wires. You need to address the wiring problem first, then consider a DC to DC charger. Or don't run large house loads (like the refer) on DC.
HMS Beagle 11/26/22 07:09pm Truck Campers
RE: Guide for Narrowing Bigfoot Cabovers?

I had a mid nineties 9.5, it weighed 2800 lbs on real scales though the door decal said 2100. It also depends on whether a 2500 or 1500 series model. You can't just "peel back the skins" on a molded fiberglass camper. You have to sawsall a significant piece of the underside off, then relaminate it and repair whatever damage you've done to the furniture. The wide part goes all the way up to the wheel wells and has stuff in it, that's why the make it wide. I bought a Dodge in 94 that had a bit narrower tailgate than the Ford or Chevy at the time, and a Bigfoot wouldn't fit. The solution proposed was to widen the tailgate, basically by reducing the width of the reinforcing at the end of the box. Apparently it was a thing with early Dodges, I contacted a couple of body shops that said they had done it.
HMS Beagle 11/13/22 02:41pm Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

Another update on mine. Stiffening the lip eliminated the folding back. For the last trip (only 350 miles but in bug country) I cleaned the camper bulkhead and overhang. No bugs on the bulkhead except right outboard. No bugs on the overhang except in a pattern near the edges of the valence. Still haven't noticed a marked difference in mileage, headwind/tailwind makes far more difference than anything. I think the noise reduction is real.
HMS Beagle 06/26/22 03:19pm Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

Update: I added a stiffener to the lip of the valence, 1/4 x 3/4 aluminum fit behind the molded lip nicely, just bent it to shape screwed through to some tapped holes. Second 900 mile trip from home to Anacortes, WA, about 900 miles, this time with the wife. She immediately noticed the reduction in wind noise. The valence held its shape. From the rain pattern, it seems to be different when it stays in shape. The camper bulkhead is dry, even in fairly heavy rain. There is an arc of wet about 12 - 18" behind the valence on the overhang, this seems to be where the jet of air squeezes between the windshield and the valence. The V of water from there back where the valence folded is gone. I should have cleaned the bugs from the bulkhead before I started this trip, can't tell if that is different because the old bugs are still there. Fuel mileage last trip was reported as 12.0 mpg last time, 13.8 mpg this time, but I think most or all of that can be accounted for by better weather conditions. Last time persistent headwinds, sometimes quite strong, this time more even handed and not all that strong. I don't think mileage has been affected significantly either way.
HMS Beagle 05/08/22 09:28pm Truck Campers
RE: Heki 2 Skylight Inner Frame Failure

It is a ridiculously expensive part. Unless you buy one from Europe, then it is fairly reasonable. It is, however, not a durable part.
HMS Beagle 05/02/22 10:02am Truck Campers
RE: Heki 2 Skylight

Hey glad it worked out. I just wish Heki made a more durable product. The concept is great, the execution - not so much.
HMS Beagle 04/27/22 11:26pm Truck Campers
RE: Heki 2 Skylight

If is quite easy to use a freight forwarding service to have the product shipped to a local address (in the UK) who will then forward on to you. For example I have used Forward2Me.com to buy lots of stuff in the UK from suppliers who will not ship to the US. The price is reasonable and there isn't any ongoing membership charge. They will even act as your buyer if the vendor will not accept a US credit card. They have shipping addresses in Germany and throughout Europe as well. If you don't like them they have many competitors. When my Heki dome cracked, a new one from Dometic cost almost twice what I was able to buy the whole unit for from the UK.
HMS Beagle 04/27/22 10:32am Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

Wtih anything between overhang and cab, you must be very careful. The cab roof isn't very strong and even soft foam at a couple of PSI might well cave it in (2 PSI on a cab roof 4'x6' is about 3 1/2 tons).
HMS Beagle 04/15/22 08:38pm Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel Mounts

Just VHB tape, on a solid roof, will be stronger than a few #8 screws. VHB tape attached to rubber roof membrane, with the rubber roof membrane being glued to the underlayment of the roof is a horrible idea. On any rubber roof RV, the panels need screwed down to the wood under the rubber roof. I'd agree that on a rubber membrane roof VHB tape is a bad idea. In fact a rubber roof is a bad idea, but that's another subject. That's why I said "on a solid roof".
HMS Beagle 04/12/22 08:48am Truck Campers
RE: Solar Panel Mounts

Just VHB tape, on a solid roof, will be stronger than a few #8 screws. I don't know what the roof of the Artic Fox is made from, but I'm always loath to drill holes in any roof. Solar panels generally last a long time and do not fail often but it does happen. There is no standard size and the product offerings churn, so mounting them in a way that allows some flexibility in the shape if you have to replace them (without having to plug the holes previously drilled) is an advantage. I glued the panel mounts on my Bigfoot roof with 5200 about 8 years ago and they are still there. I just stuck a 420W panel on the upper deck of my boat with VHB, I don't think it's going anywhere either.
HMS Beagle 04/10/22 07:54pm Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

Well I think the first fix will be to stiffen it to prevent the distortion. It is quite stiff out towards the ends, but pretty floppy in the middle. Hard to know what holes will do, where to put them, how big, how many. I note that some previous efforts feature holes. But I don't know of any comparisons with and without.
HMS Beagle 04/09/22 07:41pm Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

I almost never drive with the side window open. I used to have a boot for the cat crawl through, and left the rear window open, either way it made no difference on the bug pattern.
HMS Beagle 04/09/22 08:25am Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

It looks good. I can see why you would want it behind the marker lights but the gap you need to account for movement of the camper may end up in the same amount of flow as you are having right now between the valence and windshield. Have you considered combining your new valence with some foam between the camper and rear cab to disturb the flow of air? From rain and bug patterns there seems to be a flow bubble at the clearance lights and just behind. I think the windshield deflects flow up, then it bounces off the overhang. So a shorter dam back a bit further might do some good, even though clearance would have to be maintained. I liked the position I have as it allows it to overlap the cab vertically, without hitting - but it leaves a gap. I didn't think that gap would be a problem judging from the stagnation of rain droplets towards the top of the windshield, but clearly there is lots of pressure there, enough to distort the valence. Another thought is to add a rubber chin on the valence that actually contacts the windshield, closing the gap. It would rub, but that might be OK. I might try that at least as an experiment.
HMS Beagle 04/08/22 07:58am Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

The air trapped between the camper and roof of the truck forms a dead zone that effectively blocks the flow of air. This is easy to see. Drive through a rainstorm. The nose of the camper and the overhang area will be wet. A few inches behind the roof of the truck to the bed area will be dry. The same can be seen driving through an insect hatch. There will be no bugs in that area. Maybe on your camper, but provably not true on mine. Bottom of the overhang will be wet and is spattered with bugs. There is a line of bugs on the camper bulkhead and it will be wet in the rain. Opening the rear window resulted in a large wind through the cab. Air flow in the area is much different after installing the dam. Any universal statements like that have to be treated with skepticism. Campers and trucks come in a wide variety, the spacing between the cab and overhang will differ, the overhang may end in front or behind the windshield depending on crew cab vs short cab, EW vs. NS bed, etc. Not quite an infinite variety but approaching that. Which also makes the design and installation of one problematic, others experience's may not be duplicable on your rig. I'm not suggesting what I did would work for others, but I am contributing to the knowledge pool.
HMS Beagle 04/08/22 07:53am Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

Driving around locally here the valence is slowly returning to its former shape. I think my next step will be to stiffen the lower edge with something, strip of aluminum or perhaps laid up carbon fiber. I liked the idea of it being plastic to be resiliant from damage and also no damage the truck in a failure, but it clearly is not up to the task as is. Perhaps a Ford branded one would be better. I'll be doing this trip again in early May and will see if the stiffened edge makes any difference. I think if doing it again (and I may) I'd try moving it back just behind the cab clearance lights, using the 2WD version. Based on where the bugs hit the overhang this might catch most of the wind which is driving up from the windshield.
HMS Beagle 04/07/22 09:59pm Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

It looks pretty good, I do have to raise the camper another couple of inches higher to put it on or the valence will scrape the roof. Now does it work? I just drove 900 miles from Napa to Anacortes, Wa. All the way up the Sacramento Valley on I5, about 25 knots of north (head) wind. Calmer weather in Oregon and Washington. The wind noise seems to be reduced, in that I can hear the tire noise and engine noise more distinctly. It isn't silent still, but improved. I've made this same trip several times recently, and the fuel mileage was about the same, at least within the range of variation. I've gotten as much as 14.5 for this round trip and as little as 12, this time one way 12.6 which combined with the headwind for the first 200 miles probably about the same. The aerodynamics are certainly different, opening the window produces a slight breeze from the rear, opening the back window produces almost no wind, just lets in more road noise. If I stick my hand out there is accelerated air coming around the edge of the dam, and very little wind on top of the cab. It produces a faint wind whistle between about 35 and 45 mph, but goes away above that speed. Now the problems. When I stopped for fuel in Oregon (it isn't any cheaper in Oregon right now than California - what's up with that!!??), I noticed that the slight distortion had become a large cave in. It hadn't hit anything but air and the occasional bug. With the middle caved in, there was a bug spatter pattern emanating in a V from there across the cab roof going aft. I still have a bug pattern underneath the overhang about matching the one I'd marked out prior to the dam, though fewer of them I think. I also had bugs across the camper bulkhead near the top, again like before the dam but not as many. How much of that is due to the failure of the valence to hold it's shape is a good question. https://i.imgur.com/wVChubM.jpg width=640 * Adjusted image size using width=640
HMS Beagle 04/07/22 09:55pm Truck Campers
RE: Yet another Air Dam/Spoiler/Airfoil thingy

It was meant to be close to the cab and that's how it came out. When you have something that close you really appreciate how much the camper moves around relative the the cab. But it does not hit. The position was a guess, based on bug patterns, rain streams on the windshield, gut feelings: https://i.imgur.com/9ahxLw9.jpg width=640 https://i.imgur.com/YZydQ3j.jpg width=640 https://i.imgur.com/wAM8AjP.jpg width=640 * Adjusted image size using width=640
HMS Beagle 04/07/22 09:44pm Truck Campers
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