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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > First TC, 1st trip, 1st damage, and 1st RVnet post.

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Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 07/08/13 05:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You've certainly seen and encountered a little bit of just about everything on your first TC trip and have borne it all well. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.


2006 Tiger CX 4x4, 8.1 L gas V-8, Allison 6-speed


covered wagon

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Posted: 07/08/13 05:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBV, Thank you for the nice report.

I just want to say that I find my T.C. much more enjoyable when my number one goal in life is to avoid crowds or areas where there are lots of people.

It always seems that there is a better class of people in areas not anywhere near large cities and towns.

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 07/08/13 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great way for an introduction - a great trip report with at least a few pics. Sorry to hear about the heat, you have guts for even thinking about spending a few days in what I'm hearing about.

The repairs are the worse, but at least it's minor. I knocked off a corner jack when I jack-knifed a 5x8 utility trailer but was able to make a quick repair by simply by redrilling the bracket to move the bolts between the holes. With it being on the rear, not nearly the load as on the front so it worked. Then I had someone back into it at the storage yard and rip it off again so had to do a proper repair.

You could get by with a small cordless drill, hand saw, and puddy knife to do the entire job, but power tools would make it easier. To do it right, you will need to remove the two windows, the ladder, and possibly the door. The aluminum siding will allow a certain amount of bending before it kinds so you may not have to remove any more than the window on the side.

Just open it up far enough to cut out and replace the corner 1x2 at least 12" about the jack mount. There should be a metal corner cover in the area of the jack, make sure you replace this as it provides a little strength but more importantly water protection.

Instead of trying to reinstall the staples of the aluminum siding, I was able to remove them. But since I only had to remove them for about 18" up the side, no strength should have been loss.

On sealing the aluminum siding, I find it works best to lay down one continuous bead and the but small sections in the dips and just below the seams. Tends to squeeze out just fine. Work the screws little bit at a time with a few to ten minutes between giving the puddy a chance to ooze out. Repeat until you think you have a good seal and not much movement between rounds.

Good luck. Sounds like you have enough experience to figure it out as you go along. Look forward to the next stage of your trip.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 07/08/13 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

By the way, since I don't take the camper off on trips, I unbolt the rear jacks and move it up so the bottom jack bolt is in the top bracket bolt. At the bottom, I used a 1-1/2" pipe hanger around the jack to the bottom bracket hole to stabilize it.

This moves the jack up about 8" and helps keep it out of harms way.

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Posted: 07/08/13 07:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've repaired damage like that. Here's a tip I did;

I peeled the metal back from the corner and then removed the wood from the corner top to bottom. Then I took a 4x4 Heart Redwood beam. I cut a 2x2 section out of one corner, making an "L" shaped corner board. This is better than trying to use two separate 2x4's or other lumber as it's one piece. I used redwood because of it's rot resistance when moist. You can use Doug Fir, pine, heck even oak if you wish! I then installed T nut inserts that take bolts instead of wood thread screws.
[image]
I then reattached the siding and mounted the jacks using screws into the T nuts instead of the wood screws that had been holding the jack bracket.

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 07/08/13 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry to hear about the damage. Good luck with the repairs. I noticed in the picture it looks like you didn't have your rear jack fully retracted. I always take mine all the way up just for that reason, more clearance. It looks like you have manually cranked jacks which probably does make it a pain to retract them any further than necessary. Consider getting a good 18v cordless drill like a Milwaukee or Dewalt. You can make an adapter to use the drill to run your jacks up and down.

dadwolf2

Henderson,NV

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Posted: 07/08/13 08:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to the forum. Great report...as they say, you can't make this stuff up. Hope your repairs go well.


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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 07/08/13 09:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice first report in spite of everything you've endured so far. Instant idiots, just add beer, is a common theme for less than hoped for weekends. Things will get better from here on. Think Positive.
We do our summer camping in Forest Service sites, far from town to avoid crowds. We go to the more popular places during the off season else we make reservations long in advance.
Bummer about the right rear jack. It looks to be sort of a weak point on your camper. The jack only attaches at the top of the jack to the camper and unlike larger campers, there is no low secondary attachment to the camper at the bottom rear L and R corners.

Continue going forth, seeing the country, and camping.


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Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 07/08/13 11:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JBV wrote:

... Reddog1: I still have a Jeep, and I thought about bringing it, but the camper steals so much power from my already tired Chevy that I decided against it. I am not very comfortable towing, and the thought of backing up and turning around on new-to-me forest roads was less than appetizing. I realize now that I could have re-organized gear into the towed jeep for a lighter load in the truck and then used the YJ for exploration and trips to town for supplies (while keeping a good campsite). Live and learn! ...


I flat tow a Suzuki Samurai. You can forget turning around and backing up anywhere. However, easy to unhook and turn around. I have only had to do that two times in over ten years.

I flat tow my Samurai when I make the trips like yours. Flat tow puts no additional weight on my truck. I really appreciate the ability to camp in the TC, and the tour the Rubicon and San Francisco with the Samurai. It also serves as a trailer when needed. It does cost me about 1 MPG in fuel.

Wayne



2004.5 Ram SLT LB 3500 DRW Quad Cab 4x4
1988 Bigfoot (C11.5) TC (1900# w/standard equip. per decal), 130 watts solar, 100 AH AGM, Polar Cub A/C, EU2000i Honda

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JBV

Colorado

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Posted: 07/09/13 12:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the initial stage of my repair sitting in clamps and setting, fresh fish tacos in my belly, and Budders is asleep on the floor of a very well stocked workshop. Thanks to all your tips and ideas, after getting in there I have a pretty good plan of how I will proceed.

KD4UPL wrote:

I noticed in the picture it looks like you didn't have your rear jack fully retracted. I always take mine all the way up just for that reason, more clearance. It looks like you have manually cranked jacks which probably does make it a pain to retract them any further than necessary. Consider getting a good 18v cordless drill like a Milwaukee or Dewalt. You can make an adapter to use the drill to run your jacks up and down.


Your are correct, they are manual jacks. I have a jack-crank adapter for my Makita, and the jacks are retracted as far as they will go. I was concerned about how low they seemed, but all the campers I saw with corner mounted jacks looked to be at a similar height, and I assumed that it must work out ok if so many are made that way (I try to have faith in American engineering).

I took it real slow on forest service roads and watched how close the jack feet were getting to the road surface as I articulated over ruts and potholes, and I had a good idea of what I could safely get over and across. The ditch I went into was softer than the white Ford I was avoiding, but it was deeper than I would have put a tire into if I had encountered it on my terms. I guess I may just pull the rear jacks off and stow them in the cab for now. It required a pry bar to remove the first one from it's mounting plate after I pulled the two bolts off. Are there jacks that raise up higher, or that telescope in more sections? Or is this why some people might opt to carry the tripod style potrable jacks?

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