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n0arp

FT

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Posted: 09/26/21 05:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mrgrim007 wrote:

n0arp wrote:


Plus, we full-time and perform our own maintenance/repairs so the tools are kind of a necessity.


Where do you work on your truck/camper?


Depends on what it is, but usually I'll set up shop wherever I'm at.

I've occasionally used Home Depot/ Autozone/ etc parking lots. I did a lot of the cutting/grinding/welding/flatbed mods in a Home Depot parking lot because I could go in and get additional cutting wheels, flap discs, and other consumables as/ if needed. I parked at the end, out of the way, and nobody bothered me except to ask questions about the rig.

I recently changed all the fluids on my old truck (30K major maintenance - oil, fuel filters, trans, tcase, and diff fluids) in a friend's driveway while moochdocking.

I've driven onto large tarps on USFS/BLM land to do major maintenance sensitive to dust and/or subject to spills. Done lots of suspension work/upgrades and most recently a pinion seal on the Jeep that way. If there is a potential for a major spill I go to a parking lot, as mentioned above, because I don't want to risk contaminating anything.

Sometimes I do use a shop - for instance, I didn't want to regear the Jeep outside in a dirty environment, so I paid for a shop to do it. Plus it's one of those things where it's nice to have someone who does them all day, every day, set it up rather than doing it myself, when I've only done them a couple of times.

I've also worked on things at RV parks before, but try to restrict that to things that aren't going to be noisy.

* This post was edited 09/26/21 06:03pm by n0arp *


2021 Ram 5500 Limited 84CA Cummins 4x4 w/ flatbed
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 2.0T (follow or TC toad)
2015 Keystone Alpine 3730FB 2925W/22.8kWh, 30K multi-split
2016 Arctic Fox 1140 WB 1800W/11.4kWh

n0arp

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Posted: 09/27/21 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I didn't notice any rubbing, but when checking everything over this week, I found that we made contact with the flatbed crossmembers coming up here:

[image]

I was initially going to put a 2" spacer above the bump stop to limit uptravel (circled in red, ignore the missing bolt -- I removed it prior to taking the photo to check size (M10)):

[image]

... but decided to look at other options instead. I had planned a full Kelderman air ride but there are a lot of things I'd rather spend $10K on right now. So I decided to stick with the factory suspension a while and look at helper options. I ruled out Air Lift, Pacbrake, and Hellwig bags because they're all inboard of the frame, and ruled out Timbrens and SumoSprings for the same reason and that the camper is perfectly level on level ground, as they would change that. I ruled out SuperSprings because the current springs are sufficient and they'd increase ride height all of the time. That leaves only Firestone bags, which are outboard of the frame, above the leaf packs.

I called up Firestone to get actual measurements of the brackets and everything will clear the flatbed mounts without modification, as well as give me 1" of clearance to the tire when fully deflated. That should let me safely run tire chains if I have sufficient air in the bags as they're narrower when inflated.

I ordered the Firestone 2404 kit with Pacbrake HP10327 compressor/ wireless control kit.

This set me back around $1K instead of $10K and will give me 3-4" additional clearance when needed above the tires/ under the boxes as well as let me level the rear of the rig from side to side and back to front when at unlevel sites. Unfortunately I'll still have to use front blocks in some situations, but the ride of the truck isn't bothering me enough yet to spend the additional $9K.

I've used helper bags on several trucks and despite what most people claim, I've found they reduce stability. I believe that's most likely due to moving your load support inward as almost all of the readily available kits are inboard of the frame, sitting on top of the axle with the upper bracket in place of the bump stop. This kit shouldn't have that issue, so I'm excited to see how it compares.

Reality Check

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Posted: 09/27/21 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

n0arp wrote:

.....I had planned a full Kelderman air ride but there are a lot of things I'd rather spend $10K on right now.....


Where are you finding that the suspension is 10k? We're riding Link's system, which have been fantastic.. but Kelderman makes a great unit. Basic should be about 5-7k. Just curious...because there is no comparison in ride.


'16 F550 CC, 4x4 with Link Ultraride air suspension, '18 AF 1150. Just so we can play with our snowmobiles, dirt bikes and fishing boat. And new 20' tag along...kayaks, bikes, mc's and extra water and food!!


n0arp

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Posted: 09/27/21 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reality Check wrote:

n0arp wrote:

.....I had planned a full Kelderman air ride but there are a lot of things I'd rather spend $10K on right now.....


Where are you finding that the suspension is 10k? We're riding Link's system, which have been fantastic.. but Kelderman makes a great unit. Basic should be about 5-7k. Just curious...because there is no comparison in ride.


I've had Kelderman on a previous truck w/ their mechanical auto leveling which ran $6-7K and am familiar with it. That worked well for my purposes then, but not for what I'm wanting now.

The ride of the current truck doesn't really bother me - I'm interested in the ability to level the truck on unlevel ground to have a level camper, and gaining a couple inches of extra clearance in the rear. A few thousand pounds of flatbed and tools smoothes things greatly.

I may eventually get the Kelderman setup, but that'll be down the road because right now I'd rather spend the money earmarked for it on a couple new bikes and some upgrades to our fifth wheel. We'll see how this does first.

$10K is for the kit I'd go with, which is front ($1495), rear ($4550), and 3H control system w/ console mount ($4200), plus shipping ($400), for a total of $10645 with a 10-12 week lead time (talked to them last week). I'm aware it could be done cheaper, but I wouldn't be happy with the cheaper options and I'm not really wanting to wait, as I could use the additional clearance now.

Reality Check

North Bend

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Posted: 09/27/21 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

n0arp wrote:

Reality Check wrote:

n0arp wrote:

.....I had planned a full Kelderman air ride but there are a lot of things I'd rather spend $10K on right now.....


Where are you finding that the suspension is 10k? We're riding Link's system, which have been fantastic.. but Kelderman makes a great unit. Basic should be about 5-7k. Just curious...because there is no comparison in ride.


I've had Kelderman on a previous truck w/ their mechanical auto leveling which ran $6-7K and am familiar with it. That worked well for my purposes then, but not for what I'm wanting now.

The ride of the current truck doesn't really bother me - I'm interested in the ability to level the truck on unlevel ground to have a level camper, and gaining a couple inches of extra clearance in the rear. A few thousand pounds of flatbed and tools smoothes things greatly.

I may eventually get the Kelderman setup, but that'll be down the road because right now I'd rather spend the money earmarked for it on a couple new bikes and some upgrades to our fifth wheel. We'll see how this does first.

$10K is for the kit I'd go with, which is front ($1495), rear ($4550), and 3H control system w/ console mount ($4200), plus shipping ($400), for a total of $10645 with a 10-12 week lead time (talked to them last week). I'm aware it could be done cheaper, but I wouldn't be happy with the cheaper options and I'm not really wanting to wait, as I could use the additional clearance now.


Missed the 'adding front' and full tilt interior console. Got it. Agree, that loaded, the trucks are fine. We're running right at 18k solo. But take the camper off, and it would still be a rough ride without the air, which we often do.

Cheers... fun thread to follow.

n0arp

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Posted: 09/27/21 03:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reality Check wrote:

Missed the 'adding front' and full tilt interior console. Got it. Agree, that loaded, the trucks are fine. We're running right at 18k solo. But take the camper off, and it would still be a rough ride without the air, which we often do.

Cheers... fun thread to follow.


Loaded with camper, we are over the 19.5K gross on the truck but it handles fine and the overloading is minimal compared to how heavy we were on the 3500. Unloaded, we still have enough weight that it’s far better than the day we got it.

n0arp

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Posted: 09/29/21 03:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tossed this Kenwood TM-D710G in box, in a catchall toolbox, a few years ago and over time the cardboard box broke down and the radio came loose. It’s spent the last year or longer being crushed, scratched, spilled on, etc, but cleaned up pretty nicely (with disassembly/reassembly) and passes a bench test. I’ll be mounting it in the cab of the Ram for VHF/UHF and APRS soon. These ruggedized Kenwood radios are great. I never mounted any ham gear in my Ram 3500, but had this as well as several other radios in my Chevy 2500. I'll probably just stick to this and the Midland MXT275 I already have in the 5500.

[image]

Unfortunately the antenna and mount I'm going to use aren't available shipped to a Prime locker, and I'm not going to spend $10/pkg at the local The UPS Store to receive packages, so this install will have to wait a while until I can figure out how to get the parts.

Note: n0arp is my callsign

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