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RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Hey everyone, just a quick update... I have not been able to get up to the property myself yet but my parents where able to go and take a look. They said all things considering, that it wasn't too bad. Most of the trees looks to have survived. What did burn was mostly already dead or under brush that needed to be eliminated anyway. With a bit of good rain, things should green up again quite nicely in time for our event. Probably won't know entirely how many of the trees will bounce back but I will stay optimistic and hope for the best. So, for now we will keep our fingers crossed and plan on our Jamboree being a go! I will continue to post updates should anything change in the future.
adamis 10/17/21 10:41am Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

I don't understand these arguments at all... If you have a LiFePo4 battery and camp in extreme cold weather, move the battery to inside the camper. Problem solved... Unless you are sleeping with a camper below -20 deg, the battery will be plenty warm for it's expected use. The rest of these arguments are just kind of pointless. Nobody is sleeping with a camper that cold so why are you expecting your battery to encounter that temp? Sure, maybe if you were loading your camper for first use and going out on a trip might the camper be that cold but be a little creative and figure out how to heat up the camper before you take off and to keep it warm as you travel. Both things that can be done without much effort. Problem solved....
adamis 09/30/21 08:55am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Well... A bit of a complication. The Fawn fire set by an arsonist near Redding burned right through my property today. This video here is of a tanker dropping retardant on the property to the south of mine. The flames you see would have been coming from my property. I spoke to a neighbor this evening, he said it burned pretty hot through the area. Thankfully, my property had been cleared of most of the low brush but there was a good amount of grass on it. He felt the Oak trees probably survived and I'm hoping some of the larger Pines did as well but no telling for now. He said he might try to go take a look tomorrow and give me a report on what he sees. I had no structures on the property so no loss that won't repair with time. I did have a renter on the property but he boogied out with his trailer before hand thankfully. He did have two cars and tools he left behind but neighbor said the fire department soaked the cars with water and thinks they made it through. As far as the rally is concerned... assuming the trees survived, I don't see this changing plans for the Jamboree. A little bit of rain and by Spring it hopefully will be nice and green again. If all of the trees got scorched, then I will have to think of a plan B perhaps.
adamis 09/23/21 10:41pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Just a quick update... We have seven campers plus my own that are in the definite or near definite camp of going. With just what we have now it will be a fun crowd but I suspect and hope we will pick some more in the months to come. Looking forward to seeing you all!
adamis 09/18/21 10:10pm Truck Campers
RE: Contracting out for re-caulking

As others said, this is a very labor intensive job just to remove the old stuff and is where you will spend the majority of your budget. Applying the new stuff once everything is prepped is much easier. A mobile tech is probably charging between $50 to $100+ an hour I would suspect. Before you call that guy, find someone and pay them $25 an hour to remove the old caulking. You only need the experienced guy for the re-application part. Finally, I highly recommend getting the carport regardless. The thing that does the damage is the sun and keeping the camper covered will extend the life of the new caulk for many more years.
adamis 09/18/21 10:05pm Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

adamis, Starting with the RV at -30 in storage, how do you plan on heating the batteries up? You can't draw much current from them, so you can't run the furnace. It is a fail. You could run a generator, but DAMHIK that may not work too well. Shore power would work running an electric heater. There is a good solution which doesn't involve Li, which is cheaper unless you wish to "roll your own" Li. I am curious, is this your personal situation or a realistic hypothetical based on where you live. Being from California, I'm a fair weather guy so your needs and view point are clearly going to be different. If the camper is in storage, is it stored in a location where you have no power at all? Our cold weather is probably laughable by your standards. The one time we did camp in some colder weather it was probably in the high 20s. Now ordinarily the wife and I would just put some extra blankets on the bed and turn off the heater for the night. However on this trip, we had our seven month old twin girls along so it was necessary to keep the camper warm for their sake because we couldn't put blankets on them. This was about the 4th night of camping for us where we were running the furnace to keep things warm for the girls. The previous three nights was lower altitude so we still had some juice in the battery as it didn't cycle as much. We were also running two bottle warmers that pull about 600w for ~5 minutes several times a day. If I had thought about it I would have run the generator for the bottle warmers so we didn't tax our battery so much. The 4th night was the coldest by far and the furnace ran off and on all night. Thankfully it made it to right about 6am in the morning before the battery died completely. At this point it was getting really cold in the camper, too cold for the girls. It being early I was hesitant to start the truck and disturb others. My truck does have a DC to DC charger to pull power from the truck when it is running but because it pulls directly from the battery via a larger cable (not the accessory line on the truck), I have a switch inside the camper that disables all of this unless I absolutely need it and know I will be running the truck. I was able to flip the switch and pull power from the truck batteries long enough to run the furnace for about 30 minutes to warm the camper back up. At this point I was worried the truck might not start but thankfully, she started right up. I then ran the truck a while so I could continue to run the furnace and keep the camper warm. So a couple things I learned from this. First, I didn't realize the battery wouldn't charge when cold (BMS) so even while running the truck, the DC to DC wasn't putting anything but a trickle into the battery. I realized this much later when it dawned on me the cold weather limits for charging. The second thing I learned is that if I did this type of camping more often, I would get at least one more 100AH battery along with another 200w of solar (for 400w total) to make sure those batteries stayed topped up. Finally, the fact that I had a LiFePo4 battery allowed me to run it down to zero without fear of damage to it. With AGMs, I could have also run them down to zero but there would have been lasting impacts.
adamis 09/18/21 09:52pm Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

On the battery temperature thing... It certainly is an issue but I think one thing about the industry is that most campers were/are designed for Lead Acid batteries that need to be able to breath and hence battery compartments are often placed outside of the camper. This means they will be more exposed to the cold elements than is optimal for Lithium batteries. Generally they still discharge until the 20s or lower (depends battery to battery), they just wont charge until they reach the high 30s. Additionally, that battery compartment if shaded will stay pretty cold for a while after sunrise and the battery thermal mass will stay cold for an hour or two after sunrise thus reducing the amount of early morning charge time you might get. Lithium batteries don't vent and so can be placed inside the camper. While many newer LiFePo4 batteries are coming with internal resistance heaters and insulation, it still takes power to run that heater. If you put the battery inside where it will stay warmer be default, you save that much power. Additionally, it will be able to be charged through solar, generator or the truck immediately regardless of outside temperature. So... long story short, if the battery compartment comes factory heated, great, you might be fine. If it isn't factory heated, consider moving the battery inside the camper somewhere if possible.
adamis 09/18/21 01:30pm Truck Campers
RE: Battery Question

Some people are full-timing in their campers, so they have different needs. Where I camp I need AC almost every night, so it is either generator, or shore power. Generator is close to 20 years old, so don't have to worry about its amortization, when I spend in the range of $25 per season for generator gasoline. My house batteries come from boat and sedan, so are free as well. Why would I spend over $10,000 on big solar and bank of lithium? If you are spending $10,000 you are doing it wrong. I would venture to guess that nobody in the Truck Camper forum has even spent $5000 on their battery / solar system. If there is one or two people that have, they are the exception and not the norm. A couple of years ago the LiFePo4 batteries where expensive. Battleborns are a favorite around here because they are made in the USA (with foreign cells I understand). Their 100AH battery I think goes for $850 last time I checked. There are also some cheaper (Sub $500) batteries on Amazon as well. You need to do your research though as not all of them are the same with some being very poor quality and some being very high quality. This is one example: For myself, I stick with Battleborn just because I am partial to American companies but I won't knock others when price is more critical. I only have a single 100AH Battleborn and it really is sufficient for most situations. I also have just 200w of solar plus a 20amp DC to DC charger so I can pull from solar or the truck if needed. That 100ah battery is nothing to sneeze at either. Here is a test where one powered an air conditioner for almost three hours. That is very impressive. Tack on 400w of solar and maybe another 200AH of battery and you could easily run your AC all day without a generator. In fact, with this setup, I would sell the generator, shave a few hundred pounds in the process and be able to run AC all day anywhere I want. All for well less than $10k...
adamis 09/18/21 12:17am Truck Campers
RE: Solar install question

Many people with more experience then myself for solar but I will throw in my two cents. Having a fiberglass camper, I was hesitant to add any more holes to the roof. I went with these thin film panels by Renogy on Amazon: I ended up getting some double sided eternabond tape along with the regular onesided eternbond tape and taping the panels to the roof with the double sided tape in the center of the panel (to prevent negative pressure from pulling it off the roof) with regular tape around the edges. About thee years later and thousands of miles and they haven't budged an inch. Some people on these forums might raise the issue of efficiency loss due to heat because of lack of air-flow and other reasons to go with the rigid and framed panels. While rigid panels generally are more efficient, drilling holes in your roof and adding a complicated mounting bracket system isn't my cup of tea. I will gladly accept losing a few watts to have a cleaner install. They also make these panels in 200W versions so if you have the space on the rough, you just tape the two down for 400w then run your wires. Nothing complicated and no holes to worry about.
adamis 09/18/21 12:00am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Filled out the form and Im in also. Beautiful area up there. Used to go to Mt. Shasta when I was a kid. Great to have you onboard!
adamis 09/17/21 12:29pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

We signed up! Whoohoo. Who needs GRID support eh? I see a few interesting trails nearby... Also for those who have not seen the Rainbow bridge in Reading it is quite unique. Jim Hi Jim, great to have you onboard! Will be great to see you guys once again. By bridge, I think you are referring to the Sun Dial Bridge perhaps?
adamis 09/16/21 10:13am Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Great to see everyone start signing up! I suspect this thread will get buried over time since we are so many months out but rest assured it is on the calendar and as we get closer I will be sure to resurrect it and start posting details. In the meantime, hoping we pick up some more folks!
adamis 09/15/21 06:05pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Hi everyone. For those that are seriously interested, here is a link to a signup form: Link to Google Docs Signup Form I have also added this link to my first post. Note that signing up on this form isn't a commitment to attend but should only be filled out if you are seriously considering going and will do your best to attend if it becomes a go.
adamis 09/14/21 03:01pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

Looks like there is quite a bit of interest! To answer the question of how many, I think we could probably accommodate up to about 20 truck campers without too much trouble. I will put up a form tomorrow to start gathering people's information. Anyone interested can put their info in the form and that will help me to keep track of who is interested in going.
adamis 09/13/21 11:08pm Truck Campers
RE: West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

We're up for it! The time spent up by Mendocino where we first met was fun- Great! Would be awesome to see you guys again!
adamis 09/13/21 02:38pm Truck Campers
West Coast Jamboree 2022, Who is Interested?

It has been a couple of years since the last Truck Camper Rally that we did and time we do another. We made some really great friendships last time around and would like to do it again. This thread is to see whom might be interested in attending if I was to put it together. Right now I am tentatively thinking the weekend of April 22nd to the 24th, 2022. For locations, I do have property in Redding, CA that can easily accommodate us all (see pictures) but if there are suggestions for something else I am open to it. If this tickles your fancy and you are serious about making the effort to attend, please post below. Link to Google Docs Signup Form
adamis 09/13/21 09:52am Truck Campers
RE: 2003 Bigfoot 10.5E Project

I read a recent article about the Bigfoot company by Truck Camper Magazine from about a year ago. Grant the current lead guy detailed all of the changes they had made to their build processes post being resurrected from bankruptcy. It really seemed like they put a lot of thought into some of these things that was lacking before. Kind of made me jealous as they described all of the changes they have made for the better. It is hard to justify selling what I have to "upgrade" for something basically the same but better but if money wasn't a problem I probably would consider it. One thing that stuck out to me if I recall correctly was the use of CNC cutting for their wood. The precision they have in their construction is making everything "fit" as it should and saving them a lot of time and money. In many ways, I am super happy to have a Bigfoot camper but the "water tight" nature of the fiberglass is only as good as it was built, how it was maintained and most important of all, if it was stored inside. In many ways, I think the collective knowledge of everyone on this board with our experiences could design and build a superior camper to any currently existing brand. Might spend decades arguing over the details of course and nobody could afford it either after we billed for our time arguing but hey, that sounds just about normal for a government operation anyway... In short.... Great work resurrecting a Bigfoot!
adamis 09/12/21 04:50pm Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

Not sure I'd build a camper with a 24V system. On the boat there are many high current devices (AC, watermaker, 3 winches, windlass, inverter) so a lot of big cable. With 24V you get half the current and can withstand twice the voltage drop, so the difference in cable size is quite large. I'm curious HMS Beagle where you keep your boat up in the North Bay? My folks have a 47' Gulfstar Sail Master in Sausilito that they stay on 50% of the time. When I was in college at San Jose State I used to drive up there on a regular basis to visit. I'm now in Gilroy so I can't get up there that often but still try to visit on occasion. My dad is an active sailor (was a Merchant Marine for 30 years before retiring and buying the sailboat) and loves taking his boat out. He's also been sailing in the Master Mariners Regatta. Guessing you might be involved in some of the same circle of people as my Dad.
adamis 08/31/21 09:46am Truck Campers
RE: Anyone with 12v Air Conditioning Experience?

Here is an interesting test. Granted, it was done in ideal conditions but still quite impressive. The 100ah Victron LiFePo4 battery lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes. They are supposedly going to do an outdoor test tomorrow. Interesting test, even if they presenter is completely clueless on just about every aspect of it. Since it was in a closed room with the thermostat set below ambient, it would have run the whole time without cycling (and would be heating the room a bit). I doubt it would use much more outside in hot temps, the high side pressure will increase just a bit. If you added 400 watts of solar you could keep it going pretty much as long as the sun shines. Yeah, I think for 95% of cases, this scenario works pretty well. Initially I was thinking I would need 400AH of batteries but in reality, I may just need 400w+ of solar (already have 200w) and I should be okay for most of what I would need. I am interested to see the outside test results.
adamis 08/28/21 12:06pm Truck Campers
RE: Onboard Air Systems (Updated w/ Pics)

With a 4 gallon air tank, running air impact tools would be no problem. Probably would want to change out to 3/8" airline maybe instead of the 1/4" I have. Still, I think you would easily be able to run an impact wrench or griner as much as needed with this setup. As far as inflating tires, while there is probably room for larger tanks under the truck, I don't think it would be of much use, you aren't going to get a large enough tank under the truck to handle all six tires. At some point you just have to let the compressor run and fill. One thing I did setup was a Y splitter that I can plug to my connections on the truck. I then have two hoses and can fill two tires at a time. I also have the connectors that stay connected once on and a pressure regulator. The beauty of this is that the tires will be exactly the same pressure. I can employ this on the dually's as well. The idea being that I can just connect the tires and walk away for a while. The pain in airing tires isn't so much the time it takes but holding rather holding the connector on the valve stem.
adamis 08/27/21 04:22pm Truck Campers
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