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 > Your search for posts made by 'adamis' found 40 matches.

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RE: Why shouldn't I go this route? (AC Roof Delete)

Well, came to a bit of a complication... In my research on both the Truma Air and the Pioneer under bench units, it turns out they are designed to be vented through the floor while the location I was looking at, it has to vent out the side. There technically is enough space I think to put together some sort of ductwork to achieve what is needed but that makes installation way more complicated than I am necessarily looking for. It isn't that I couldn't do it but I am not sure I want to modify the camper that much just for my kicks and giggles project. in light of this development, I have a few options... 1. Abandon the project entirely and stick with a new roof top AC unit (what is the fun and learning in that)?... 2. Keep searching for a unit that vents out the side like I need. 3. Modify my bench to allow for ducting to make the Truma Air or Pinoeer work as required. 4. Build my own AC unit for exactly what I want and then create a company and sell it to truck camper builders. I have the skills and resources to tackle step 4 but not necessarily the bandwidth (I already have a few businesses I'm running). Unless there is an option I have not found, I am surprised there isn't an AC/Heater heat pump designed specifically for the truck camper market. It is going to take some thinking on this to see where I want to go.
adamis 09/01/22 07:23am Truck Campers
RE: Why shouldn't I go this route? (AC Roof Delete)

The reality of this discussion is you're not going to get anything but armchair quarterbacking and naysaying, as nobody has experience with doing what you are trying to do. It's not like installing fender flares. The reason you aren't seeing a lot of people doing it is because it's impractical. When you do find the rare person claiming to have done it, they gloss over the severe limitations. Just because most of us have looked at the numbers and realized it's not practical doesn't mean we don't know what we are talking about. No naysaying, show us the numbers for a system that works. Either you can or you can't. What we have discovered in other discussions is that this will work in some parts of the country and might not in other parts. On the West Coast, even on hot days we typically need the AC to run maybe for lunch while on the road and for an hour or two in the evening to cool the camper down. Most of the places you want to camp are going to cool down in the evening so only 2 to 3 hours of AC run time are necessary to make a substantial impact on camping experience. Contrast that with folks in the South where it stays hot and humid throughout the day and evening and the AC needs to run 24/7 then solar and batteries won't cut it. However, there is still a lot of advantage in those locations to being able to run the AC on battery for two or three hours and I still think would be worthwhile for those inclined to do it. If you end up needing more, you are already lugging around a generator anyway or plugging into shore power so you aren't taking away your options, just adding to them.
adamis 08/31/22 11:11am Truck Campers
RE: Why shouldn't I go this route? (AC Roof Delete)

9k LG 17 SEER 9K MrCool 19SEER Compared to 8.5 will produce same BTU with half the power. 38 SEER for a few $$$ more For some reason the high SEER numbers are with 230v Those are all home based units. The idea is to replace two large bulky items with one singular smaller bulky item that does two things. I don't need to run it forever on battery power, just an hour of runtime would be enough to do what I need to do. Anything else I could plug into shorepower. While it would be great to have something super efficient, I'm trying to eliminate bulk, not add to it.
adamis 08/29/22 08:34pm Truck Campers
RE: Why shouldn't I go this route? (AC Roof Delete)

It is a AC / Heater unit designed to fit under a bed or in my case the dinette seating in place of the current furnace. Granted, this is for the European market so it is setup for 240v but that is fust a flip of a switch on an inverter so not a big deal in my opinion. I have never seen an inverter that can change from 120VAC/60Hz to 230VAC/50Hz with a flip of the switch. I am all for heat pumps, but I would go with a known "name brand" that you can get service for before going with this one. I'm currently looking at a different unit built for the US so power isn't an issue but to answer your question, I just need an inverter built for the European market and I don't think that would be too difficult to come by.
adamis 08/29/22 08:33pm Truck Campers
RE: Why shouldn't I go this route? (AC Roof Delete)

Not knowing what it's power draw is, can't comment on that. But cost, apparent lack of local service/support (mostly a european item, correct?) and does it have enough cooling power (for lack of a better word) since it only cools at most about 20deg F. But I understand these considerable "upgrades" to your camper and truck are more of a hobby and not necessarily based on ROI, so go for it! Interested to hear how well it works. Edited my first post as I managed to find this unit for the US. It looks to be pretty close to the same thing but for the US and has the following specs: - Cooling capacity: 9,000 BTU/H with 8.5 EER efficiency - Heating capacity: 9,000 BTU/H with 2.6 C.O.P. - Voltage: 110~120V, 60Hz, 1Ph - Operational Temperature Range: 19 - 104°F - Pre-charged with R410a refrigerant and ready to install One downfall I see is the heater is not propane powered so it may not be very practical for extended heating if pulling off batteries. We usually turn the furnace off at night anyway and might just change to a diesel heater or a Mr. Buddy heater type setup to mitigate that. Yes, the upgrades are a bit of a hobby and to try something different. It also has utilitarian use as I will be using the camper a lot for cross country trips.
adamis 08/29/22 09:52am Truck Campers
Why shouldn't I go this route? (AC Roof Delete)

In my previous post I discussed a basic plan of upgrades I have been contemplating for my camper. One of those included removing the roof top AC unit altogether and going with a Truma Air Combo Heater / AC unit like this. Edit: Just found this as the Truma Air is only for European markets. This looks to be for US markets. It is a AC / Heater unit designed to fit under a bed or in my case the dinette seating in place of the current furnace. Granted, this is for the European market so it is setup for 240v but that is fust a flip of a switch on an inverter so not a big deal in my opinion. I recently connected with a boat repair shop and we discussed some future projects on the exterior of the camper to include removing the rear awning (never used and weathered anyway). Removing an older rigid solar panel on the roof held on by screws and sealing screw holes. Removing radio antenna from roof. Removing AC unit from roof and deleting opening entirely and finally, possibly removing the railing on the rear of the roof camper and sealing all of those holes. All of this is in preparation of resealing the entire roof and then laying down as much solar as we can. 400w should be easy but 600w or more are probably also doable using custom solar panels (flexible time held down with eternabond tape). The goal in this is to eliminate as many screw holes and openings on the roof and open up as much space as possible for solar. Getting back to the AC unit. I've been contemplating going with this Truma Air Saphire unit that can be installed under the dinette where the current furnace is. I can reuse all of the ducting as well making installation a breeze. These are all pretty big upgrades but the end goal is to have a sealed roof with as little penetrations as necessary and a new AC unit that can be run off of the solar and batteries. Does anyone have any experience with something similar? Or, does anyone know of something similar to the Truma Air that is an alternative?
adamis 08/29/22 08:52am Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot dirty water streaks down sides from roof, solutions? I’ve been contemplating installing rain gutters for awhile. Finally put Trim Loc over all the windows. The weather has been hot enough lately to soften the material to make it easier to work with and allow a good bond for the 3-m tape Do you have a part number for what you used? I'd like to do the same.
adamis 08/27/22 06:19pm Truck Campers
RE: Shocks... KYB Monomax versus Rancho 9000, equivalent?

I save money where I can because I have to. If life events didn't happen, maybe I could be like you. Glad you can throw around a grand and not bat an eye, especially in this economy. And it's not like the OP is driving around a $70k truck and $50k camper, or anywhere near that. To each their own. I spend money on things that others woudl consider wasteful as well. My comment is or was a direct result of yet another fine example of Les Schwabs being a TOTAL ripoff now. Last brake job I needed on a company truck, called Schwabs, it was convenient. Over $1400 for a 4 year old truck with like 70k miles that just needed new pads slapped on. But their "policy" is every vehicle that needs brakes gets pads, new rotors AND new calipers whether it's needed or not. Non negotiable... And who can forget that now since Schwab dropped Toyos or vice versa, they charge more for their house brand no name tire than they do for Toyos! I am wondering if by chance is this policy maybe just a greedy manager at this one store? I don't have any experience but it would be shocking to me if this was actually a corporate policy for all of their locations. They would never sell brake pads again. I don't doubt what you are saying is your experience, I am just wondering if this is a bad apple in the bunch at this location or indeed a corporate policy. Did you try any other locations?
adamis 08/19/22 11:08am Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot Camper - Major Modifications I'm Considering...

I am surprised there are so many skeptics when it comes to running AC off of solar. There are many people who already done this in some form already. I'm not at all skeptical that you can run the air/con off batteries. I'm skeptical you can use it in a practical manner that people are accustomed to. Note, the one poster on here bragging about getting 4hr of use. On a hot day, it's not unusual for the air/con to be running 20+ hours. So location is a huge factor here which might explain the skeptics. I live on the West Coast and most of the areas where we would travel or camp, on a hot day it MIGHT be 100 deg during the day sometimes but then would cool down at night into the 60s or 70s. There are times when it stays hot till late in the evening but that really depends on the location (Coastal / Mountain versus Inland Valley). Obviously other areas of the country stay hot even at night so yeah, it wouldn't be practical to do this on all parts of the country. However... even in those hotter climates, there are still times when being able to do it for a short amount of time is beneficial. Best example is while traveling between locations and stopping for lunch. Right now I have to run the propane generator to run the AC (which sounds like a blast furnace) to have lunch in the camper. Being able to kick on the AC in the camper from the truck (using a remote) and then having lunch in a cooled camper without the noise would be a huge win for me.
adamis 08/18/22 03:06pm Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot Camper - Major Modifications I'm Considering...

I am surprised there are so many skeptics when it comes to running AC off of solar. This is not a matter of opinion or wishful thinking just do the math. Pick an A/C unit you think will work. Look at the specs for the wattage. That will probably be in the 700 watt range. That will mean each 100 AH of battery will last you a bit less than 2 hours. You also need to look at the amount of power you can expect from how every many solar panels you think you can fit on your roof. I would recommend using this calculator: Remember that will be the absolute max you can obtain. I would not count on more than about half that output to compensate for other uses and for occasional clouds and shade. Do the calculations yourself to see if your plans make sense. Again this is not a matter of opinion. So I'm not sure what you are saying. As stated, people are already doing this. Now, I get that unless you have a very efficient AC or a lot of solar capacity, the battery will be tapped and at some point will run down to where it won't work. Depending on solar and battery capacity, this could happen in an hour or two, or day or two or week or two. But it isn't a simple matter of saying AC unit requires 700w of power so you need 700w+ of solar. First, AC only draws that much power when compressor is running. With a duty cycle of 30% to 50% that is a significant reduction in power actually being used. There are also two speed units that have an eco mode to pull less power. 700w is peak power running at full blast. Maybe in Las Vegas in July will you be doing that but most of where we camp it's more in the 100 deg range. 99% of my camping have been in the 100 deg or less range. The question isn't a matter of can it be done, that has been answered by many already doing it. The real question is, how long and what cost to make it effective for the vast majority of the individuals use scenarios. I feel confident that 600w of solar and 400AH of battery will work more than sufficiently for my needs.
adamis 08/18/22 01:22pm Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot Camper - Major Modifications I'm Considering...

What do you know, someone is already selling a combined AC / Furnace unit designed for basement installation. This unit is 25"x16"x12". That is well within the the space requirements to replace my current furnace. I am sure this thing isn't cheap but it is definitely going on my list to look into.
adamis 08/18/22 11:30am Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot Camper - Major Modifications I'm Considering...

I am surprised there are so many skeptics when it comes to running AC off of solar. There are many people who already done this in some form already. 3 tons I know specifically is doing it and his setup is very impressive. With the right setup, 400 to 600 watts of solar and 400AH of battery will get the job done. Now, you might run into issues if you are doing it over multiple days, the solar might struggle to keep up over time but that is when you can bring out the Honda generator and run it for a few hours to top the batteries back up. In regards to a window AC unit, I think they could be a great option if I was to go the route of trying to combine the furnace and AC into one "box" that goes in the current furnace location. I would probably look for a 7500BTU unit and this is definitely a skilled fabrication job but I'm not seeing any technical reasons it couldn't be done. Wouldn't a combined AC/Furnance that fits under one dinette seat and vents out the side by much more desirable than having a large bulky unit on the roof?
adamis 08/18/22 11:04am Truck Campers
Bigfoot Camper - Major Modifications I'm Considering...

So I've had my Bigfoot for several years now and have been generally pretty happy. In recent communication with another member here, I've thought once again about some major changes I have toyed around in the past. I thought I would spell them out here and see what others think about the idea. 1. I want to change out my AC unit. The current one I have sits 17" high off the roof and stands out like a sore thumb. It's also very noisy. My first thought was to go to a 12v DC unit. More common in the trucker world but starting to be more available due to the Sprinter camper craze. Expensive yes but lower profile and allows for running off batteries. 2. Alternative to changing out rooftop AC unit is eliminating it all together by combining it with the furnace. I do not know if there are ready made solutions out there but I have considered doing my own fabrication project to combine these two units together. The clear benefit is not having a huge AC unit on my roof anymore for trees to snag and I can either add another fan / vent in the opening left behind or just glassing it closed. 3. I currently have 200w of solar and a single 100AH LiFePo4 battery. I can easily add another 200w of solar, maybe even close to 400w if I eliminate the AC on the roof for a totall of 400w to 600w of solar. I have plenty of space to add another 300AH of LiFePo4 batteries. Going this route would allow me to run my AC on batteries which really is the ultimate goal really. Nothing fancy or unusual here. 4. Eliminate the generator and possibly 1 of 2 20lb propane bottles. Right now the generator is almost never used. It is bulky, loud, and heavy. Yes, convenient once in a while but with a much larger battery and solar setup I can't see how it would every be used. If I eliminated the generator I would consider finding a fiberglass shop to close off the outside access panel completely. I could then repurpose that space for better under counter / sink storage with full width drawers or something. Eliminating one of two propane bottles just frees up additional space and more weight savings. A single 20lb bottle should last at least one if not two weeks for just fridge and stove duty. So those are the thoughts I am kicking around. Some of these paths are well traveled, others not so much. None of this is really necessary to improve our current camping lifestyle, much of it is for kicks and giggles. So with that, I'm putting it out to all you "seasoned" camper gurus for your own thoughts.
adamis 08/17/22 02:44pm Truck Campers
RE: Shocks... KYB Monomax versus Rancho 9000, equivalent?

I started with Rancho 9000's, they are garbage, the warranty is garbage and the company is not worth doing business with. Their warranty service stated they require the shocks be shipped back in the original cartons. Seriously? Ended up with Monomaxes because of the previously stated reasons, Les Schwab is all over the areas I like to roam and they are very decent at warranty work. I'm willing to tolerate a little overpriced work for good work and a great warranty. If you want garbage with no warranty,Rancho is the way to go. Thank for your insights. I've had fairly good luck with Les Schwab over the years. May not be the cheapest but their spread throughout the country I want to travel and their warranty make it a solid pick. I'm sure some have had bad experiences but generally, I have always been happy. As far as shocks, I haven't bought a lot of shocks in my lifetime but I think the total came to under $750. I'm honestly surprised people would complain much about that when we literally drive around in $70,000 trucks and $50,000+ campers. Yes, I recognize not all are in the high dollar boat (myself included) but we aren't talking about a several thousand dollar upgrade here. Pennies and dollars saved in this price range just isn't a large concern to me.
adamis 08/17/22 02:22pm Truck Campers
RE: Bigfoot dirty water streaks down sides from roof, solutions?

My current 32' 5er didn't come with a drip channel or awning rail. I ordered enough EZE RV Rain Gutter system for the roof edge and down the corners about a foot. Its a stick on type. That was in 2000 and its still stuck tight and drains the water to the end corners and down. No sidewall streaks. Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely be looking into this.
adamis 08/16/22 08:21am Truck Campers
RE: Shocks... KYB Monomax versus Rancho 9000, equivalent?

Ended up going with the Monomaxes as it was convenient for my schedule and trip. I had Bilsteins on there from the previous owner but they were pretty old. When Les Schwab tech replaced them he noted they were soft and one was leaking. The ride improvement was definitely noticeable, most of my porpoising was going and a lot less roll. Changing the shocks out wasn't really on my radar until it dawned on me that the porpoising I was experiencing was caused by worn out shocks. The cost isn't bad at all considering just how much of a positive impact it made. Plus, with Les Schwab it is Lifetime Warranty on parts and labor. Considering I will be buried in this truck, I think Les Schwab is going to lose money on me over the years...
adamis 08/05/22 10:23am Truck Campers
Shocks... KYB Monomax versus Rancho 9000, equivalent?

Headed out on a long trip and I think it's time to get my shocks replaced. I called my local Les Schwab Dealer (West Coast Service Center) expecting they would have the Rancho 9000 shocks. Turns out they only have these KYB Monomax shocks. Lifetime Warranty for parts and labor so I can't go wrong there. After reading other people's comments I had intended to go with the Rancho 9000 shocks. Seeing as how they are not available through my service center, I was wondering if others had experience with the KYBs? Should I hold out and find a place that will do the Ranchos or will the KYBs get the job done?
adamis 07/27/22 05:09pm Truck Campers
Bigfoot Dinette Window Enlarging - Anyone Done it?

One of the many future projects on the Bigfoot is to redo the windows. I have the older window style where the double pane window seal is pulled towards the center of the window. They are also looking quite aged and time for a refresh. One of the things I have contemplated doing was to make the dinette window larger by maybe 2 or 3" in height. It seems like this window could have been larger to begin with and in my opinion should have. Has anyone else contemplated such an upgrade?
adamis 05/16/22 09:42am Truck Campers
Bigfoot dirty water streaks down sides from roof, solutions?

As much as I enjoy my Bigfoot, I am befuddled by dirty water streaks coming off the roof, running down the sides and over the windows. On the walls it is just aesthetics but they also flow over the windows leaving a less than appealing dirty window to enjoy the views from. This doesn't just happen in rainy weather either. Often just the morning condensation is enough to cause this water to start dripping down the sides. My thought has been to purchase some foam tape on a roll and run on the top of the roof just before it arcs toward the side in the hope of directing the water to roll into the corners of the roof and minimize the streaks. The issue with this idea is I doubt there is any foam tape that will have enough stickiness to stay on after any meaningful time. Eternabond tape could be a solution but not sure I want to have something that sticky either. Guess I'm goldilocks... Has anyone else encountered this issue and come up with a decent solution that doesn't involve washing windows every morning?
adamis 05/15/22 08:46am Truck Campers
RE: Gas fridge on the move?

On my Bigfoot I keep the fridge on Propane all the time including driving. Most of our driving is in hot weather and for several hours a day. There is no way the fridge will keep up under those conditions so keeping it on is a must. It rarely if ever blows out while traveling. I did one trip to Las Vegas for a convention in July. I added some fans in the vent chase on the back of the fridge hoping to help the airflow in the extreme heat. Ironically, these fans even when not running changed the airflow dynamics of the that vent chase. The fridge would no longer stay running while driving down the freeway. It took a few trips with barely cold food before I admitted defeat on my "upgrade" and removed the fans. Since then, fridge has been rock solid. Lesson learned, the airflow dynamics can be something very difficult to account for but is a huge factor in wether the fridge will run while driving. I know the newer compressor fridges are all the rage. Maybe someday when I have one I will think the same. In my opinion though, these propane fridges are really very solid. You just have to understand their limits and work within them. Turn them on a day before your trip, minimize opening the door (chase the kids out!), Keep a large block of ice in the freezer to help provide thermal mass and regulate temps. Expect that on a grocery run food is going to warm up the fridge for a few hours as the system works to cool it all back down. The tradeoffs to these limits is a very efficient method to keep food cold that is simple and generally just works when it's used properly.
adamis 05/14/22 09:32am Truck Campers
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