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    • #70786
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Well, just a brief thumbnail sketch, camper empty is 1,200#, truck payload is 1718#,
      So that’s about 518# remaining cargo capacity…Now for ‘real world’ weights (ugg!!) deduct from that:

      Vehicle passenger weight
      Fuel weight
      Any camper ‘options’ such as jacks, air conditioner, portable refer, solar, etc.
      Battery weight
      Water weight
      LPG weight
      Groceries
      Clothing
      Any Carry along supplies
      Pets?

      So with only about 1600# available cargo weight… If it were me I’d be concerned about very little if any reserve (especially if towing or bikes – NOT!!), and of course braking ability…Just saying 🙂

      Two campers and a 2500, two 3500’s DRW, and a 5500 flatbed later…JMHO

    • #70484
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      I’m running a longer 40” extension (2.5”) with a 14’ V-nose (for a Polaris 1000 RZR) and 550# tongue weight, this with three 7gal water jugs plus a 10gal gas tank in the rear of the trailer, mostly as ballast to help with CG…Tows very well…

      I looked into a WD type hitch but found that they are designed to level out the rear sag rather than to increase tongue weight…

    • #68837
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Lots of conflicting opining about Truck Campers in California… In California as in many other States (also, can vary by insurer), truck campers are considered in-bed ‘cargo’ rather than a RV, and IMO this issue should have never been brought to the attention of your friendly DMV folks – One might recall the age old adage “Be careful what you ask for because you might just get it” – lol

    • #68393
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      (Note, Having to break post up)

      Determining accurate SOC with a LFP can be somewhat problematic (unlike conventional batteries) due to it’s relatively flat voltage plateau, and my experience with the typical mfg’s built-in Blue-Tooth feature (some offer) has not been all that accurate…

    • #68392
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Also,

      For long-term storage, it’s best to isolate battery (I use a dedicated disconnect switch) and reduce the SOC (state of charge) to about 50-55% or so…Parasitic drain for LFP’s is uber low – It’s been reported that Shelf-life SOC often remains within an acceptable level for up to 6 mos or even more…

      (Continued)

    • #68391
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Much of this depends of what you mean by sub freezing temps…Why??

      Typically, even a non-heated lithium battery can be safely discharged as low a -4 dF, so the main constraint has to do more with ‘charging’ which should occur at 32df and above…

      I have three 200a/hr LFP’s (in parallel, with two paralleled solar systems), but able to mount all three beneath the dinette…So I don’t really have any experience with internally heating LFP’s – I’d be curious to know if the heater only comes on when charging, or say, whenever the batt drops to below 32 degrees (the latter seems somewhat impractical to me)…Another alternative might be to use an externally heated battery warmer blanket (Amazon) which enables you to control it’s operation…Some LFP’s have a provision that prevents charging at less than 32df…

      As far as charging goes, a conventional charger will usually do the trick so long as the voltage doesn’t exceed 14.6v (14.0-14.4v will do just fine, but at a slightly reduced rate), and constant voltage-constant current (CV/CC) is best, with no equalization cycle, and there’s no necessity to float – but if you must float, 13.5v or less (as measured at the battery) is advisable (for longevity)…

      For long-term storage, it’s best to isolate battery (I use a dedicated disconnect switch) and reduce the SOC (state of charge) to about 50-55% or so…Parasitic drain for LFP’s is uber low – It’s been reported that Shelf-life SOC often remains within an acceptable level for up to 6 mos or even more…

      (Continued)

    • #68213
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      As for the camper’s electrical system, over a time it has evolved to this:

      600a/h LiFePo4 batteries…
      660w rooftop solar (2 separate systems and controllers)…
      450w optional ground deployable panels (separate controller)…
      2000w (4500w surge for 5 sec) Pure sine pass-thru inverter/charger with sub-panel, hard-wired into camper electrical system…
      Wilson 5G cell booster…
      Added soft-start to 11k btu Coleman air conditioner…
      See-Level digital tank monitoring system – very accurate, non-fouling…

    • #68064
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Heres a ‘before’ pic:

      Attachments:
    • #68056
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      A few years ago my 3500 DRW was hit by a car dead center on the driver’s side rear dually…This not only bent the rear axle but caused the outside alloy rear wheel to look like a popcorn kernel…But upon a close examination of the wheel, there were sharp folds and bends, yet NO cracks!! …My suspicion is that a cracked wheel suggest a ‘cast product’ rather than a forged wheel, the same type used on Big Rigs – JMO

      Phil

      Attachments:
    • #68048
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Here’s more, including the rear platform being mocked

      Attachments:
    • #66927
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      As to the various makes I cant make an informed recommendation, but remember to subtract from the payload, fuel weight, passenger weight, bed mat and tie down weights, fresh water, LPG and camper battery weights, any camper options and any potential suspension enhancements like sway bar and such…

    • #66674
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      What you exhale is not CO (carbon monoxide) but rather CO2 (i.e. carbon dioxide) which in spite of ‘popular rumors’ to the contrary is a plant fertilizer…Your detector is not designed to detect CO2 else it would likely be going off all the time, and the fact that you’ve already swapped out your detector suggest that you have either a LPG or CO issue…The most likely sources would be from either the commissioning of your LPG system, stove top or exhaust gases from the furnace…

    • #64247
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      By happenstance I just ran across this for some general information:

      Also, know that advertised camper weights should always be viewed as suspect, as they usually don’t include things like options (including awnings), water, LPG and even batteries…

    • #64246
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      The best place to start is with your GVWR on the driver’s side door jam…Next, fill the truck with fuel and all the camping goodies you’d normally take in the back seat and weigh the truck on the scales…Then add about 150# or so per passenger…Subtract the loaded vehicle weight from the GVWR, and that’s what remains…Quite honestly a majority of folks are likely somewhat over GVWR, and most have made some sort of rear suspension mod to help enhance weight characteristics, though there’s nothing practical that you can do that’ll increase GVWR…Over a time, some of us have learned the hard way to pick out the camper before choosing the truck (…dummy me now moving up to a 5500 – lol)…

    • #64234
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Well, what I did was bought another bare OEM Camera and wiring harness, but honestly it was kinda pricy…Were I to do it over again I’d likely buy a digital rear view mirror overlay with a continuous feed rear view driving camera from Amazon…

    • #64175
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Update, after a post QZite Rally trip to the scales (14.5k fully loaded w/o passengers…), a kinda inflection point began to develop in our minds surrounding GVWR, future travel plans, ongoing depreciation vs rising truck cost (and in view of a dang inside rear dually blowout on Christmas Day – ugg!…). So after much to-and-fro consideration, we opted to order a 23 Ram 5500 CC, 60” (C2A), 6.7, 4×4, 4.44, 19.5k GVWR, along with a CM truckbed skirted 9’- 4” bed (model SKRD)…

      What helped push us over the finish line was that the 5500 is roughly about the same cost as a comparably equipped 3500 DRW (not counting the added CM flatbed)…So in the end, having a whole lot more storage and many more travel miles still ahead helped to seal the deal!

      Many Thanks to Jared at StableCamper for his sage expertise on bed and camper fitment!!

    • #63578
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Thanks Jeffe, for your sage advice, and sorry for my belated response. It was great seeing you guys again at QZ, and that’s truly a very sharp rig you’ve got as well!!

      Kevin, after doing a bunch of deep contemplation, and after talking with a few fellow late model Cummings folks at the QZ rally, I’m now planning on sticking with diesel…

      My previous 07.5 first gen 6.7 was uber solid, except for the Dodge spec’d emissions
      add-ons, so lots of issues (most under warranty) – however, in spite of these several first year 6.7 beta maladies (turbo’s, DPF, CEL’s), the truck was truly amazing…So in 16 I traded in for another 6.7 3500 DRW,CC, 4×4, however, this time (somewhat reluctantly) with DEF…

      Now at 7yrs and 84k miles, I’ve yet to have even a single CEL or shop issue as it appears that the bulk of the NOx emissions is now done chemically in the exhaust track – this post-beta update has proved a far better strategy and so far a VERY reliable truck 🙂 !!… I haul a 2009 single-slide Eagle Cap 995 (60g water, two 30# LPG, heavily optioned), can exceed 5k lbs… The truck hauls it effortlessly, hills, towing or not (occasionally towing a 4,500 UTV trailer) – Even when FULLY loaded for bear (ugg!) I’m a bit over the 14k GVWR (although honestly, due to the DRW this has never once been even slightly perceptible!)…

      Still, a Great truck with no complaints, but after seeing a whole bunch of interesting rigs at QZ, I’m now considering for my last and ‘final truck’ a new chassis cab 5500 6.7, with a flatbed and storage side boxes – My hope, and longevity willing is that this would be the rig to see me through to the last of my camping days – lol!

      Hope this helps,

      Phil

    • #63460
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Previous owner James Epp retired and turned ops over to his Son. Apparently Adventurer has instead opted to introduce their new minimalist Scout line of campers…EC Production halted indefinitely…

      Phil

    • #63311
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Well, what I’d do (and DID!) on my former 2500 LB Ram was to install Tembrens…

      Timbrens are essentially cylindrical hollow rubber blocks and are very easy to install atop the axle…Note however that a ‘proper install’ requires about 3/4” of space (when unloaded) between the top of the Timbren and the truck frame rail…

      You won’t even notice them when unloaded, but I would avoid their HD model because it’s meant mostly for the most severe loading…

      They are available from etrailer and guaranteed for life…

      Phil

    • #56800
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      I’m late to the party and not familiar with your camper cog or weight, but assuming that you can stay within your GVWR when adding a tank (possibly a custom built tank?), you might first try (assuming ready access to a scale) moving the camper back a bit then re-checking the axle weights…

      Phil

    • #55727
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      I know this is a different question, but just curious how the new 7.3 gasser would carry a 5k pound camper??

      Thanks,
      Phil

    • #54918
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Being a diesel guy at present, it may not be my place to offer any solid advice, however in consideration of the relatively uber light (2000# +) camper and in the interest of better MPG I’d be tempted to lean towards the 3:73…I say this mainly because of the 10 speed tranny (in which you could manage a downshift where needed), and because of the higher torque of the new 7.3.

      Phil

    • #53201
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Agreed on the shunt based battery monitor, and since you’re considering going lithium make sure the monitor is also lithium compatible such as Victron’s BMV 12 or their Smart Shunt 500amp (either displays status from smartphone). This shunt (measuring sensor) installs into the neg battery cable…

      Now might be a good time to ask the factory what make and model of onboard converter-charger, and solar controller, and if possible upgrade the solar controller to a higher amp capacity to allow for more head-room, this for the addition of more panels, and if possible, request a MPPT type controller instead of the standard PWM type…

      More info would be helpful, but know that Lithium batteries will charge fine so long as the controller outputs somewhere between say 14.0 and 14.6 volts.

      Maybe they’ll ship the camper without a battery so that you can provide your own?

      https://www.victronenergy.com/battery-monitors

      Phil

    • #53200
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      On-board generators are not nearly as efficient, quiet or vibration free as say a Honda 2200i…I would definitely ditch the costly on-board generator and redirect the capital towards better options such as:

      Repurpose the generator box for Lithium batteries (4), use the existing OEM battery box for a decent inverter such as Victron’s MultiPlus 3000 inverter-charger, and add at least another 200w of Solar…Concurrent with solar, this should get you at least 4-5hrs run time on your air conditioner without a generator…You could also add a soft-start (in lieu of start cap) for your air conditioner, but since there’s very little dreaded voltage sag with lithium (similar to grid power) not as critical as with a lead acid batteries..

      Depending on your skill level (optional), you could also add a sub-panel and relocate the air conditioner, microwave and house receptacles to the sub…When on inverter power this would automatically disable say the OEM converter-charger, and (if applicable…) refer heat-strip (still located at the main panel) from the inverter output, which helps conserve batteries by preventing inadvertent battery discharge…

      Phil

    • #53177
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Here’s a previous discussion that you may find helpful:

      Turning truck into 3000 watt generator

      Phil

    • #53176
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      If you’re new camper has a conventional Progressive Dynamics 3 stage charger (for lead acid batts), it’ll work well with Lithium simply by adding their Charge Wizard dongle which will let you kick it into the 14.4v Boost mode – this is a better option than their dedicated lithium charger because it stays at 14.4v indefinitely, even after the battery is fully charged (not good for lithium)…FWIW, due to the high charge receptivity of lithium, I charge strictly from solar harvest alone and not from the truck, and all you’ll need from your solar controller is 14.x volts (not to exceed the BMS cut-off of 14.6v).

      Also, for more battery space you may be able to mount the batteries elsewhere (preferably in the interior) and just re-purpose your battery box for other storage.

      Phil

    • #52372
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      So I have 2 100ah 12v AGM battery’s and a battery monitor with a shunt. Not a Victron but I think it works OK. I think I will try going charger only if I have the room.

      Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it when I can talk to somebody knowledgable about these things.

      Ha, Your plan sounds like a solid one to me, and glad you already have a SOC meter but trust that I’m still a work in progress having earned a ‘Master’s Degree in mistakes’ (Ugg – the best teacher EVER!!)…

      Phil

    • #52366
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      There’s a few variables worth considering such as, total battery capacity, charge wire size (and length if excessive), battery type and total available charging amps from all sources…

      For example, often a lithium battery (LiFePo4) is capable of a maximum charge rate as high as it’s amp/hr capacity (say, 100amp/hr capacity receiving 100amps current – though this uber high rate somewhat at the hidden cost of longevity), which makes Lithium the King of the Hill for rapid charge acceptance, an especially important attribute when considering solar harvesting (e.g. exploiting the ‘peak harvesting hours’ window)…

      Though lithium may or may not be in your future (??), either way the best place to start would be to understand what ‘the system’ is really doing and go forward from there – JMHO… So my first step would be to install a good shunt based SOC meter (assuming you don’t already have one?) so that you can ‘actually see’ the activity traveling in and out of your battery, and know the battery’s current SOC (state of charge), etc. This will better help you arrive at a more proper diagnosis, and in the long run serve you well indeed in seasons to come…My personal favorite’s are Victron’s BMV 712, or their ‘Smart shunt’ both of which are smart phone capable and lithium compatible, the latter (as lithium prices continue to drop) in the event you later decide to change battery types…

      A good SOC meter (Li compatible, such as Victron) will use both a coulomb counter and an embedded ‘look-up’ table to help arrive at an accurate SOC…

      Phil

    • #52340
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Hi Larry, for clarity maybe consider the possibility of keeping the present WFCO power center intact as is, but if you have sufficient room (say, beneath a cabinet) adding a PD charger (charger only – not an entire PD power center) to supplement the WFCO. Also, to ensure that the wire size coming from the charger to the battery is not undersized. Sorry for the confusion. As far as the charging rate goes for conventional lead acid, a charging rate of about 20% or so of overall battery capacity is what’s normally recommended…

      Phil

    • #52336
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Weights often do not include things like batteries, water, lpg, and ANY optional equipment including jacks, this is because lighter advertised weights sells campers.

      Phil

    • #52335
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Well, I’m not all too familiar with the WFCO unit, but assuming you can disable the charging function of the WFCO, A PD charger would do nicely, especially with the optional ‘Charge Wizard’ dongle which (via led and button) will allow you to monitor the charge cycle and even drive it into the higher 14.4v boost mode…

      The main reasons that lead acid type batteries have lower charging efficiencies (meaning longer charging times than say a Lithium aka, LiFePo4) is because of inherent chemical sluggishness, and because of the timely absorption charging phase in which voltage is then lowered to 13.6v to finalize the charging, and this wasted inefficiency manifest itself in the form of heat…

      BTW, when selecting a new PD charger, know that they seldom output their advertised rated amperage (usually only about half…) so in my view (assuming more than one battery) it may be for example best to upsize from say a 45a to a 60a unit.

      Other things worth considering would be sufficient size (AWG Gauge) of the charging wire, and to add solar to help reduce the depth of discharge (DOD).

      Phil

    • #52317
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      From reading the Kenai’s spec’s I’d say most any half ton might well carry it (??), but I’m with you on the 1 ton…Why??

      Because, after owning our very first camper (purchased new), we we’re shortly after able to verify that as an activity truck camping was definitely for US but after gaining a bit of hands-on experience, far better to determine the things that we felt were lacking and a few issues that were most important to us (understandable, different per individual). Within 4yrs this led us to our larger long-term camper, but one that would also require a more capable truck – Ugg! (from a 3/4ton SRW to a 1ton dually)…

      We’ve had this 2009 camper now for 12yrs (from new) with probably 175k mi on it, and prepping to head to the Smokey Mts…It’s been a fantastic camper!

      Over a time, water, generator storage and interior space had become much higher priorities…

      I must say however that the Kenai looks very impressive 🙂

      Phil

    • #52185
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      The best way to find out would be to simply disconnect the camper’s battery cable and see if power remains say with the lighting, but if so, know that the truck battery is a starting battery (not a deep cycle battery), so depending on your usage it could be inadvertently drawn down before you even realize it – IMO you’re far better off to supplement with solar.

      Phil

    • #51820
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      The diesel versus gas debate has been going on in every forum I have participated in as long as I can remember. Wouldn’t it be great if we had something similar to guide us when choosing a spouse or deciding on a job? The thing I like best about lists is they always bring me to the exact conclusion I was hoping to find! 🙂

      Why hasn’t someone come out with marriage insurance?? Lol 😂

    • #51735
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Sad… Modernity has prevented a culling of the herd…

    • #51566
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Sorry to hear of your difficulties…The cleanest approach would seem to be return it to the factory and have them do new sidewalls ($$), so it depends on how best to arrive at your level of satisfaction…Instead, I might be tempted to cut open the affected area with say an exacto-knife, make the corner repair and then recover again, trying to keep the seam gaps tight, then caulk…Either way you go the corner will need to be opened up…

      Phil

    • #51096
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Well, I had no idea that a F-450 would be wider than a F350, et al…I would assume (maybe wrongfully?) that the rear axle width is the same, so it’s not too clear to me where the extra width comes from??

      Phil

    • #50657
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      We boon-dock almost exclusively, so we use this… reads in 4% increments, accurate to within 1%…Sensors self stick to the outsides of tanks, so no more guessing or fouling… Had ours since 2009 without ever a problem…They make several different models with different options…

      https://www.garnetinstruments.com/product/709p3-seelevel-tank-monitor/

      Phil

    • #50653
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Recall fords V-10 gasser (with pistons the size of beer cans) that comes on many a class C motorhome, most likely has less power than their new 7.3…

      Phil

    • #50259
      Phil Patterson
      Participant

      Hello Phil, I posted a reply to Cooper about the Renogy 50DC combi controller. I personally been using this control for about a 1-1/2 year that keeps 3-100Ah Battle Born batteries charged as well as managing 480 watts of solar. This unit has a built in DC to DC controller as well that isolate the truck batteries when the engine isn’t running.

      Hey Alex, Nice, looks like you’ve got all bases covered!!

      Phil

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