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  1. #1
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    Alaskan Camper Mags - Truck camper pointers

    Just picked up a 8' cabover Alaskan for my truck.
    It'll be my Summer project preparing for road trips next season.

    New to the whole truck camper experience so I'm curious how people are wiring them, securing them and in general setting them up for Winter use.

    Found this thread:
    [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108823"]Pop up camper shells - Teton Gravity Research Forums[/ame]

    However I'm looking for some more specifics from those of you who have been doing this for a while.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    These guys seem to know their shit. http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/

    Camper = my latest obsession. Post some pics when you get a chance.
    "Wherever beer is brewed, all is well. Whenever Beer is drunk, life is good" -- Czech proverb.

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure what you're asking. Wiring them? To connect to the truck most use an umbilical cord that's the same as a trailer connector. Since the camper has a lot of running lights a separate circuit (and relay and fuse) is a good idea. Some trucks are pre-wired for it.

    Secured? Camper tire downs that attach to the truck frame are the only solution. Some people bolt the camper to the truck bed through the floor but that's very structurally weak.

    Setting up for Winter camping is a challenge for rigs not built for Winter. You need some heat on the holding tanks (fresh and waste) and all the plumbing in between. If your camper has a forced air furnace then the ducts in the cupboards might be enough (but the battery will only last a few days). If it's a radiant heater then circulation fans (12V computer fans) might do the trick. An old school camper uses the battery for the pump and lights and will easily last a week. Newer campers will electronic controls on everything and a big fan for the furnace will only last a few days.

    My truck & camper:


    Good to -20C but I need a generator to recharge the battery every few days.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  4. #4
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    ditto the wanderthewest forum

    they have an Alaskan camper user group

  5. #5
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    Removed dead picture link

    Quote Originally Posted by LT View Post
    These guys seem to know their shit. http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/

    Camper = my latest obsession. Post some pics when you get a chance.
    Thanks, I'm not sure how I missed that in my searches.
    Now a registered member. I'll post some pictures as things progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking. Wiring them? To connect to the truck most use an umbilical cord that's the same as a trailer connector. Since the camper has a lot of running lights a separate circuit (and relay and fuse) is a good idea. Some trucks are pre-wired for it.
    I should have been more specific.
    The new camper I got came with an umbilical cord and what looks like a relay. There is a positive, a ground and then a third wire. Need to figure out how to wire this all in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
    Secured? Camper tire downs that attach to the truck frame are the only solution. Some people bolt the camper to the truck bed through the floor but that's very structurally weak.
    Exactly. The guy I purchased this from had it bolted into the bed of the truck.
    Removing it was a PITA. TorqueLifts seem to be the way to go, pricy but they look like they offer a good secure connection with out relying on sheet metal as a mounting point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
    Setting up for Winter camping is a challenge for rigs not built for Winter. You need some heat on the holding tanks (fresh and waste) and all the plumbing in between. If your camper has a forced air furnace then the ducts in the cupboards might be enough (but the battery will only last a few days). If it's a radiant heater then circulation fans (12V computer fans) might do the trick. An old school camper uses the battery for the pump and lights and will easily last a week. Newer campers will electronic controls on everything and a big fan for the furnace will only last a few days.

    My truck & camper:


    Good to -20C but I need a generator to recharge the battery every few days.
    Nice looking rig. Making mine Winter ready will be the big challenge because this is all pretty much new to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    ditto the wanderthewest forum

    they have an Alaskan camper user group
    Thanks again for the point out...
    Last edited by AlpenChronicHabitual; 06-18-2010 at 08:40 AM.

  6. #6
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    my old ride:

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...d.php?t=131680

    camper is going on a newer TRuD now


  7. #7
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    The third wire is for the marker lights on the camper and the relay is to isolate the 12 extra lamps that some trucks can't deal with (the fuse or switch blows). Your Dodge is already set up with extra relays (I'm assuming it's wired for a trailer) so tapping into the trailer connector wiring at the back will get you +12, ground & marker circuits. Or you can get a wiring harness adaptor that just plugs in and brings out the circiuts you need. If you ever plan on a bigger camper with brake and turn signal lights then you might want to do that now.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    my old ride:

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...d.php?t=131680

    camper is going on a newer TRuD now
    Pictures aren't showing up for me?
    Sounds like a cool rig though. Right hand drive would screw with me, big time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
    The third wire is for the marker lights on the camper and the relay is to isolate the 12 extra lamps that some trucks can't deal with (the fuse or switch blows). Your Dodge is already set up with extra relays (I'm assuming it's wired for a trailer) so tapping into the trailer connector wiring at the back will get you +12, ground & marker circuits. Or you can get a wiring harness adaptor that just plugs in and brings out the circiuts you need. If you ever plan on a bigger camper with brake and turn signal lights then you might want to do that now.
    Apparently, the truck is already wired for that, including the trailer brake set up (Previous owner had this done) . I'll need to look further into how I connect to two. The next dry day we get (it's been pissing non stop up here which is crimping my touring) I'll get under the truck to take a closet look at the wiring, and see if I can figure it out. Otherwise I think I'm looking at a trip to the local RV place.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlpenChronicHabitual View Post

    Nice looking rig. Making mine Winter ready will be the big challenge because this is all pretty much new to me.
    I'm a total camper jong so take anything I ask or say with a grain of salt, but I thought Alaskan Campers were already winter ready; really heavy, really bomber and warm as shit?
    "Wherever beer is brewed, all is well. Whenever Beer is drunk, life is good" -- Czech proverb.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LT View Post
    I'm a total camper jong so take anything I ask or say with a grain of salt, but I thought Alaskan Campers were already winter ready; really heavy, really bomber and warm as shit?
    That makes two of us.
    I may own one but I'm a total jong when it comes to this.
    One step at a time.

    I think they come more "Winter ready" then some.
    It's more an issue that it's 22 years old and has some draft issues from general wear and tear that need to be addressed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LT View Post
    Post some pics when you get a chance.
    Hey LT, here's a picture of the new (to me) rig...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlpenChronicHabitual View Post
    That's awesome, thanks. Keep us updated as you make changes and learn more about your new toy.

    Right now we're just rocking the sleeping platform with shell thing in the back of our truck and it obviously works as it's just my wife and myself but one of these days I definitely see us stepping up to a camper. Part of the problem is I have a Titan and just really don't trust the drive train to load it up with weight and put a lot of potentially hard miles on it. Sucks, like the overall truck just don't trust it. Should have bought something different

    You're stoked Alpen have fun with that thing and post TR's!
    "Wherever beer is brewed, all is well. Whenever Beer is drunk, life is good" -- Czech proverb.

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