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BigRedDog

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Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« on: September 09, 2018, 11:47:54 AM »

I'm not a big fan of bugs of any kind anywhere and especially in an area where I'm living.  I realize they're all important in the big scheme of life but there's a lot of places they can live beyond where I'm living.

We bought our camper in Florida and apparently at least one palmetto bug hitched a ride home with us last spring.  We only saw it one time and that was at night but it was in our bedroom.  I'm guessing it 'froze' over the winter but we never have found it's remains! 

We've managed to keep ants and spiders out mostly just by keeping things clean.  While we were in Grayling I saw a huge spider web running from the rear corner of the camper down the the back of the bicycle rack and over to the handlebars on one of the bicycles.  I'd clear it all off and the next morning it would be back again.  One morning I caught the culprit sneaking out of the corner of the slideout seals.  There's just a tiny hole there but it doesn't take much of a hole for a spider to sneak through.  I gave him a dose of hot water and didn't see him the rest of the trip.  Anyway, got me to thinking on ways to actually repel bugs rather than just treat them when we find them.  Google is my friend and it found me a very thorough and well explained article from a place right here in Grand Rapids, MI.  If it works on west Michigan bugs it should work on them across the state.

https://terrytownrv.com/blog/how-to-keep-your-rv-spider-and-insect-free/

Actually all these tips should work all around the farmstead.  I have a cedar log with some branches left on it laying back in the back field.  I need to find some small mesh bags (any suggestions on where) and I'll 'chip' some of the cedar and try that.  Maybe it will even keep the mice out of my deer blind!!!

If anyone has any other suggestions please post them.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 11:59:55 AM »

I had posted this a couple of days ago in the Tesla thread but that's what got me to thinking about a camping discussion thread. 

I've always wondered why so many of the new camping products is developed in Europe as opposed to here in the US.

https://www.curbed.com/2018/8/29/17795996/camper-trailer-electric-dethleffs

These have the potential to become very popular as the slow progression to electric vehicles moves along. 

Maybe this is the answer to Tesla's trucks carrying heavy loads.  Put motors on the trailer axles and let the trailer help move the load when needed.

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BigRedDog

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 12:12:31 PM »

This new 'concept' is not from Europe but it's not from the US either... 

from New Zealand ('down under' in the ocean near Australia for the geographically challenged). 

https://www.curbed.com/2018/8/28/17790752/camper-for-sale-trailer-expandable-romotow

Interesting that they're using a carbon fiber chassis.  That's technology that was developed in Bay City, MI almost 50 years ago using some Dow Chemical resin products.  The Gougeon Brothers are the guys that decided to use carbon fibers with the resin and the concept has been expanding slowly since then.  if they can use it for a chassis then they're not using as much steel or aluminum.  Time will tell where it all goes.
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eriemermaid

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 04:50:39 PM »

BRD, I have Balsam Fir shavings in my motor home.  It smells nice and it seems to work!
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2018, 06:48:21 PM »

Good topic in as much as CL and I have had various RV's for years now.  We aren't conventional RV'ers like most with pull behind's and motor homes and 5ers, we have truck campers. 

Last one was a Lance and now we have a Palomino SS1500.  I prefer a TC because of the versatility.  We can 'set up shop' anywhere from a turnout on a secondary road to a campground (I avoid them like the plague because I don't want to be a sardine in with other sardines) to a Walmart parking lot, in a pinch plus with a TC, you can park on a regular street on a normal parking spot and go 'touring' and not need to get a taxi or pull a 'toad' behind for use as a car.

I carry mine in the back of my F350 Ford 4x4 so I can also camp off road in places only a 4 wheel drive can get to, like our property up north, only accessable via a seasonal road with a stream crossing.  We go there all the time. a mile off the pavement, in the woods, no people, just wild game, just like I like it.

Unlike a pull behind or a motor home, I get good fuel mileage too.  I can get close to 18mpg with the camper on, fully loaded with CL and the big black dog in the backseat.  Not real important today but an expense none the less.

Way back when we had a trailer but it was to limited to access the places I want to camp at.  Been a truck camper ever since and the nice thing about the TC is off season storage.  It goes in my garage in the winter.  The worst thing for any RV is sitting outside in the weather all the time.  Mine is in the garage unless I plan on using it.  They will last a very long time that way and they aren't cheap to begin with.

I've learned over the years, what kills any RV is lack of seal maintenance and never use RTV silicone as a sealer either,  RV's take special sealants in various places like the roof and external ports in the Filon skin.  Modern RV's are mostly skinned with vacuum bonded Filon which is a special fiberglass and it's vacuum bonded with glue to a luan substrate.  If any moisture gets under the outside skin, it causes the glue to let go and 'delamination' of the Filon happens along with entrapped moisture rotting the RV frame.

Why I'd never buy a used RV.  Most RV owners never maintain the seals so an older unit will be in some stage of rot or delam as the industry calls it.  Finally, the mold that is growing behind the wallboard that you cannot see is a hazardous substance to breathe.

I see units sitting out in the weather all the time and I think to myself, they are rotting away.  Too bad really.

I inspect my seals at least twice tearly and touch up any suspected areas with either Eternabond or Sikaflex sealant.  If I had a TT or motor home, I'd do a blower door test on it at least yearly and see where it was leaking and address it.  In my case, my roof and external seals are minimal do a visual is all I need, another reason I have a TC, maintenance is easier.  No tires to worry about, no brakes to worry about and no additional license plate plus they are really cheap (even in Michigan) to insure.  My TC is considered cargo on the truck so the truck plate is all I need and the truck carries the camper so the truck running gear is all that needs maintenance.

I do pull my quads behind the TC when we go up north.  Have a nice rear observation camera (wireless) on the back to monitor the trailer and traffic back there too.

Not for everyone but for us, a TC works just fine.

Kind of like being a turtle and taking your house with you wherever you go.
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2018, 07:05:09 PM »

I've never has a bug issue either inside.  In fact, my TC is a 2015 and still smells new inside.  Easy to keep clean and light and airy inside (plenty of windows).  I think CL and I get our best night sleep out in the woods in it.  Nice and peaceful except for the big black dog snoring on the floor.... ;D

Setting up is easy too.  I pick my spot, release the tie downs (they are quick release cam locks), drop the jack legs and level the camper, get the genny out (I carry a Champion 2000 watt Inverter generator) plug it into the shore power cord and we are all set.  I run 2 group 24 deep cycle batteries in the battery bay along with an Aims Power 1500 watt PSW inverter for my CPAP machine.  I run the genny about 2 hours every evening to top off the batteries.  Other than that, no need for 120 volt power.  All my lights (inside and outside the camper and on the truck are LED's so very little current draw and the fridge takes minimal power as well.

I think this winter I'm going to remove the ammonia fridge and replace it with a Dometic Danfoss/Secop compressor fridge.  Much easier to deal with, cooling is way more efficient and no waiting 12 hours for the ammonia fridge to cool down.  I may also install a couple 100 watt solar panels on the roof.  That should eliminate me taking the genny along.  A pair of 100 watt panels and a PWM controller would do me nicely.  We have no roof air, don't want an ac unit anyway.  Ac requires serious power and when we use the camper, about the only time we are inside is to sleep anyway and at night it's usually cool enough.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2018, 06:50:07 AM »

Good topic in as much as CL and I have had various RV's for years now.  We aren't conventional RV'ers like most with pull behind's and motor homes and 5ers, we have truck campers. 

Last one was a Lance and now we have a Palomino SS1500.  I prefer a TC because of the versatility.  We can 'set up shop' anywhere from a turnout on a secondary road to a campground (I avoid them like the plague because I don't want to be a sardine in with other sardines) to a Walmart parking lot, in a pinch plus with a TC, you can park on a regular street on a normal parking spot and go 'touring' and not need to get a taxi or pull a 'toad' behind for use as a car.

I carry mine in the back of my F350 Ford 4x4 so I can also camp off road in places only a 4 wheel drive can get to, like our property up north, only accessable via a seasonal road with a stream crossing.  We go there all the time. a mile off the pavement, in the woods, no people, just wild game, just like I like it.

Unlike a pull behind or a motor home, I get good fuel mileage too.  I can get close to 18mpg with the camper on, fully loaded with CL and the big black dog in the backseat.  Not real important today but an expense none the less.

Way back when we had a trailer but it was to limited to access the places I want to camp at.  Been a truck camper ever since and the nice thing about the TC is off season storage.  It goes in my garage in the winter.  The worst thing for any RV is sitting outside in the weather all the time.  Mine is in the garage unless I plan on using it.  They will last a very long time that way and they aren't cheap to begin with.

I've learned over the years, what kills any RV is lack of seal maintenance and never use RTV silicone as a sealer either,  RV's take special sealants in various places like the roof and external ports in the Filon skin.  Modern RV's are mostly skinned with vacuum bonded Filon which is a special fiberglass and it's vacuum bonded with glue to a luan substrate.  If any moisture gets under the outside skin, it causes the glue to let go and 'delamination' of the Filon happens along with entrapped moisture rotting the RV frame.

Why I'd never buy a used RV.  Most RV owners never maintain the seals so an older unit will be in some stage of rot or delam as the industry calls it.  Finally, the mold that is growing behind the wallboard that you cannot see is a hazardous substance to breathe.

I see units sitting out in the weather all the time and I think to myself, they are rotting away.  Too bad really.

I inspect my seals at least twice tearly and touch up any suspected areas with either Eternabond or Sikaflex sealant.  If I had a TT or motor home, I'd do a blower door test on it at least yearly and see where it was leaking and address it.  In my case, my roof and external seals are minimal do a visual is all I need, another reason I have a TC, maintenance is easier.  No tires to worry about, no brakes to worry about and no additional license plate plus they are really cheap (even in Michigan) to insure.  My TC is considered cargo on the truck so the truck plate is all I need and the truck carries the camper so the truck running gear is all that needs maintenance.

I do pull my quads behind the TC when we go up north.  Have a nice rear observation camera (wireless) on the back to monitor the trailer and traffic back there too.

Not for everyone but for us, a TC works just fine.

Kind of like being a turtle and taking your house with you wherever you go.


How do you put 8 people in a slide in truck camper?  You'd have them packed in like sardines.  Smells like claustrophobia to me!

Where do you come up with some of your info you pass along as 'fact'?

While roof leaks can happen on any vehicle including autos and pickup trucks you make it sound like ever camper of every desing (escept slide in pickup campers that is) has a bad roof and will leak 3 days out of the factory. 

All the 'decent' campers for the last several years have used a rubber membrane roof of one type or another.  Lifespan of those is 25-30 years according to:

http://www.primetimerv.com/download/ComponentManuals/RubberRoof-Brite-PlybyDicor-FAQs.pdf

We spent a lot of time looking at various trailer campers in Florida a year ago when we bought ours.  It's like buying anything else that's mechanical...

you have to inspect it closely and have a basic idea of what you're looking at.  My background in boats probably gave me a slight advantage as a boat has many similarities to an RV plus it has to float!!!

We did find roofs that had been damaged and patched however if patched properly the patch should outlast the product it's covering.  Like everything else, there are great levels of craftsmanship and there are not so great levels.  With a keen eye and a little knowledge it's easy enough to tell the difference. 

The big thing in RVing right now are the retro trailer camper trailers.  According to you there shouldn't be any of these left because they all rotted away 40 years ago.  We got into one caravan of them heading up 75 north of Bay City that was probably 30-40 units long.  Where did these all come from if they all rotted away?  These are not reproductions but are real vintage vehicles that have survived the elements for decades.

As far as keeping a camper inside yes it probably keeps it cleaner but then there are a lot of people out there in the RV world that are living in their vehicles 365 days at a time and I don't see their vehicles falling apart alongside the roads when we're traveling. 

We were still camping in our unit into December last year and would have been on the way to Florida in January had it not been for an issue with my wife's ankle. 

I think it's great that you're on here sharing 'your' experiences but to come on and say that 'your' way is the 'only' way gets pretty dry in a hurry. 

You had some good tips on some things to look for on roof damage but what we encountered three to four times as often was internal damage from a water pressure system leak of some sort.  Even the best built and most expensive RVs don't use exterior or marine plywood in their floors.  Get even decent plywood wet and let it set and you're going to have issues down the road. 

However, a close and detailed exploration will be able to detect such damage and everything can be repaired if you throw enough money at it. 

If mold is a concern then almost every big box store and most online stores sell mold test kits.  The issue with mold is it doesn't impact any two people the same.  Some can live surrounded by it and never have a problem and others will be coughing and sputtering at one spore.  Works the same in houses too.  Most homes that have been lived in for over a year have mold in them 'somewhere'.  It's a common problem.  A little cleaning goes a long way.

You must have some stock in one of the companies that manufacture slide in pickup campers the way you're trying to scare everyone into buying 'new' and a 'truck camper' just like yours'.  You seem to want to live in a cookie cutter world that you're right in the center of!?

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The Fuzz

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 10:19:09 AM »

LOL, "Shoot from Hip" Flip.
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2018, 09:58:07 PM »

How do you put 8 people in a slide in truck camper?  You'd have them packed in like sardines.  Smells like claustrophobia to me!

Where do you come up with some of your info you pass along as 'fact'?

While roof leaks can happen on any vehicle including autos and pickup trucks you make it sound like ever camper of every desing (escept slide in pickup campers that is) has a bad roof and will leak 3 days out of the factory. 

All the 'decent' campers for the last several years have used a rubber membrane roof of one type or another.  Lifespan of those is 25-30 years according to:

http://www.primetimerv.com/download/ComponentManuals/RubberRoof-Brite-PlybyDicor-FAQs.pdf

We spent a lot of time looking at various trailer campers in Florida a year ago when we bought ours.  It's like buying anything else that's mechanical...

you have to inspect it closely and have a basic idea of what you're looking at.  My background in boats probably gave me a slight advantage as a boat has many similarities to an RV plus it has to float!!!

We did find roofs that had been damaged and patched however if patched properly the patch should outlast the product it's covering.  Like everything else, there are great levels of craftsmanship and there are not so great levels.  With a keen eye and a little knowledge it's easy enough to tell the difference. 

The big thing in RVing right now are the retro trailer camper trailers.  According to you there shouldn't be any of these left because they all rotted away 40 years ago.  We got into one caravan of them heading up 75 north of Bay City that was probably 30-40 units long.  Where did these all come from if they all rotted away?  These are not reproductions but are real vintage vehicles that have survived the elements for decades.

As far as keeping a camper inside yes it probably keeps it cleaner but then there are a lot of people out there in the RV world that are living in their vehicles 365 days at a time and I don't see their vehicles falling apart alongside the roads when we're traveling. 

We were still camping in our unit into December last year and would have been on the way to Florida in January had it not been for an issue with my wife's ankle. 

I think it's great that you're on here sharing 'your' experiences but to come on and say that 'your' way is the 'only' way gets pretty dry in a hurry. 

You had some good tips on some things to look for on roof damage but what we encountered three to four times as often was internal damage from a water pressure system leak of some sort.  Even the best built and most expensive RVs don't use exterior or marine plywood in their floors.  Get even decent plywood wet and let it set and you're going to have issues down the road. 

However, a close and detailed exploration will be able to detect such damage and everything can be repaired if you throw enough money at it. 

If mold is a concern then almost every big box store and most online stores sell mold test kits.  The issue with mold is it doesn't impact any two people the same.  Some can live surrounded by it and never have a problem and others will be coughing and sputtering at one spore.  Works the same in houses too.  Most homes that have been lived in for over a year have mold in them 'somewhere'.  It's a common problem.  A little cleaning goes a long way.

You must have some stock in one of the companies that manufacture slide in pickup campers the way you're trying to scare everyone into buying 'new' and a 'truck camper' just like yours'.  You seem to want to live in a cookie cutter world that you're right in the center of!?


Camper is for the 2 of us and the dog.  If more people come along, like my cousin, he brings his TC.

I see your are being your cynical self again.

All I'm doing is passing on my 25 years of experience, nothing more, nothing less.  Take it for what it's worth, but please quit being an a'hole.  Quit your weed thread.  Could do the same here.  I don't really give 2 shilts one way or another.

Seal maintenance applies to all RV's, yours, mine, anyone's RV.  Don't take care of it, you'll find out the hard (and expensive) way.  Lots of moldy, rotting, delaminating RV's out there.  You may have one....

Your choice entirely.  Again, I don't really care.
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2018, 10:03:54 PM »

Mav has seen both my TC's the old Lance and the new Palomino, I think.

I do know one thing and that is, if dog s pulling a pull behind capable of sleeping 8 people with a 150 truck, he is way overloaded most likely underpowered and underbraked.  Like to know what his loaded to camp hitch weight is.
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 10:06:40 PM »

Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.

Your thread title, not mine.  I just related my experiences and likes and dislikes.  I guess if you don't want to hear them, don't read them, or lock the thread and start a milktoast thread that only addresses what you want to here.

Said before, at my age I don't have an attitude, I am an attitude.
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The Fuzz

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2018, 10:29:45 PM »

Quote
Your thread title, not mine.  I just related my experiences and likes and dislikes.  I guess if you don't want to hear them, don't read them, or lock the thread and start a milktoast thread that only addresses what you want to here.

Did you mean hear instead of here?

I plan on buying a RV when I retire.  I'm waiting for Dick's Sporting Goods to start selling them do i can buy from them.

Considering a country wide tour hitting the state capitals that have not passed recreational weed and organizing for the cause.

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BigRedDog

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 08:39:38 AM »

Did you mean hear instead of here?

I plan on buying a RV when I retire.  I'm waiting for Dick's Sporting Goods to start selling them do i can buy from them.

Considering a country wide tour hitting the state capitals that have not passed recreational weed and organizing for the cause.

No, I think he intentionally used here...

he's getting more and more and more 'self centered' lately and he doesn't seem to want to listen to any facts or logic so he obviously doesn't 'hear' either.

Too bad...

he used to be a pretty good poster.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2018, 09:09:47 AM »

Mav has seen both my TC's the old Lance and the new Palomino, I think.

I do know one thing and that is, if dog s pulling a pull behind capable of sleeping 8 people with a 150 truck, he is way overloaded most likely underpowered and underbraked.  Like to know what his loaded to camp hitch weight is.

I'm not sure what Mav having seen your campers has to do with anything.  I'm guessing Mav has seen hundreds of campers in his days.

Do you ever go look up any info before you post (in other words 'shoot from the hip')?  That's info that is available with just a couple of clicks on the Ford website.  "look before you leap" works in forums as well as jumping out of airplanes!

A 2018 F150 (properly equipped) has a max towing capacity approaching 14,000 pounds (that's 7 tons)!!!  I just saw a review on next year's trucks and that will jump to either 14,200 or 14,400 pounds. 

That is way, way, way beyond what our camper  and pickup weighs "loaded to camp". 

My real question here is why are you so worried about 'my' camper and pickup?  You seem to be developing a fixation for worrying about my finances and now my camping rig.  There is something wrong with you and you really need to see someone about this.  It is not 'normal' behavior to spend so much of your time focused on someone else!!!

Reminds me of how you used to follow FrenchFry around and hang on every word he posted.

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BigRedDog

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Re: Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2018, 09:12:13 AM »

Camping tips, questions, suggestions and general discussion.

Your thread title, not mine.  I just related my experiences and likes and dislikes.  I guess if you don't want to hear them, don't read them, or lock the thread and start a milktoast thread that only addresses what you want to here.

Said before, at my age I don't have an attitude, I am an attitude.

You related your experiences but you were also berating people because they weren't doing it 'like you do'...

this world is full of people that do things different than you do.  Get over it!  Actually, do you know how boring it would be if we were all the same?

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