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  1. #3201
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Golden
    Posts
    1,651
    A few years ago we bought a 10 year old $10K F-250, new KO2s all around, put our beater $2K truck camper on it, new battery from Walmart in the camper and are warm and good to go pretty much anywhere for pretty cheap. The single house battery keeps the furnace going for 3-5 days depending on how much time is spent in the camper. Thermostat is turned as low as it goes 50, and runs occasionally at night. Headlamps and LED bulbs helps the batt last longer. We've stayed warm on -10 F nights when it's blowing outside.

    Even with the small 5.4 L engine I can do 60 mph up Georgetown hill when the dumbasses aren't sight seeing in the left lane.

    With all the hiking, Jeeping, etc we've done, I've never seen an Earthroamer or their cousins ever off a paved surface.

  2. #3202
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    11,192
    Quote Originally Posted by goldengatestinx View Post
    The single house battery keeps the furnace going for 3-5 days depending on how much time is spent in the camper. Thermostat [@50F]
    Wow, that's quite remarkable for mid-winter use in ski country. I've never experienced nor heard of anything approaching that. Our two cabin batteries (12V parallel) w/high efficiency furnace in small cabin (FWC Hawk) and thermal pack liner insulation is good for max 3-4 days mid-winter @ avg. 15F-20F, not running furnace at night, est. 6 hours/day of furnace use. I avoid letting the battery charge get down below 2 (of 4) bars to extend battery life, and so I usually charge with a Honda eu1000i generator 1-2 hours each day to top off to 4 bars. (Smart charger prevents overcharging). We have LED lights and no other loading except low draw USB ports to charge phones and bluetooth speakers and occasional use of Fantastic Fan to address condensation issues. If we're changing spots, 90 minutes of driving at highway speed usually tops off charge to 4 bars.

    Compare my first FWC Hawk with old tech furnace and single cabin battery and fluorescent lights required daily charge with similar mid-winter conditions.

  3. #3203
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Golden
    Posts
    1,651
    It keeps surprising me also. I top off the water a couple times a year, plug it in before heading out on a trip and it's only used for the furnace fan or a few min when a headlamp isn't at hand.

    We'll see how it goes this season. Didn't use the camper near enough this summer and fall.

  4. #3204
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Summit North
    Posts
    4,548
    Quote Originally Posted by goldengatestinx View Post
    It keeps surprising me also. I top off the water a couple times a year, plug it in before heading out on a trip and it's only used for the furnace fan or a few min when a headlamp isn't at hand.

    We'll see how it goes this season. Didn't use the camper near enough this summer and fall.
    I wish the battery compartment on the Tiger was easier to access.
    Topping off water means an awkward process of unhooking and pulling them out completely
    Ended up replacing both my Trojan cart wet batteries with a pair of AGM's...
    Alpental Indigenous

  5. #3205
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    2,723
    Which ones did you buy?

  6. #3206
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    512

    Ski RV's, who's sleeping in parking lots?

    Quote Originally Posted by shredgnar View Post
    Why does everyone thing they need 4wd for these vans and campers? Seems like a good set of snowtires would get you anywhere those things are capable of going. Not like you are weeling into the backcountry, you are moslty on paved roads and maybe some smooth dirt roads.
    Wrong...



    Already been on plenty of roads that 2wd would not have sufficed. Lots of people may never see more than a smooth dirt road but 4x4 is necessary to get many places. Like American Basin.

    I already have limited experience to know this will become even more true with typical Winter and Spring road conditions.

  7. #3207
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    the junkshow
    Posts
    5,706
    Quote Originally Posted by CelebratedSkier View Post
    Wrong...



    Already been on plenty of roads that 2wd would not have sufficed. Lots of people may never see more than a smooth dirt road but 4x4 is necessary to get many places. Like American Basin.

    I already have limited experience to know this will become even more true with typical Winter and Spring road conditions.
    Need? I could drive that road in my old Nissan Sentra which had about the same clearance as your van. Like I've been saying, a van with snow tires will go wherever you need it to. Will you have to think about it a little more? Sure.

    4wd is helpful no doubt, but it really isn't that necessary, especially with the right tires.

  8. #3208
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Fraggle Rock, CO
    Posts
    4,999
    Doncha just love the American basin? There's no better spot when the wildflower season is in full swing.
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  9. #3209
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
    Posts
    5,361
    Been driving a 2wd vw van for a long time. we hemmed and hawed over whether to go with the 4wd for our new van but we realized we've been doing whatever we want with the 2wd'ers for so long that it actually didn't seem like a big sacrifice
    would I prefer the 4wd? sure. would I also prefer to insert some dirty mad lib, sure
    but at the end of the day if it's not in your budget to get the 4wd (basically doubles the price of the 2wd) the 2wd will do
    We do a lot with it- not crazy jeep shiz like in moab but definitely our fair share of off roading
    The new van came with some all seasons so that will be the next thing we do though
    skid luxury

  10. #3210
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    the junkshow
    Posts
    5,706
    Quote Originally Posted by b-bear View Post
    Been driving a 2wd vw van for a long time. we hemmed and hawed over whether to go with the 4wd for our new van but we realized we've been doing whatever we want with the 2wd'ers for so long that it actually didn't seem like a big sacrifice
    would I prefer the 4wd? sure. would I also prefer to insert some dirty mad lib, sure
    but at the end of the day if it's not in your budget to get the 4wd (basically doubles the price of the 2wd) the 2wd will do
    We do a lot with it- not crazy jeep shiz like in moab but definitely our fair share of off roading
    The new van came with some all seasons so that will be the next thing we do though
    And you got a Promaster right? Pretty cool that those are Front Wheel Drive. How is that in the snow so far?

  11. #3211
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Marquette MI
    Posts
    2,001
    Never posted a recap of my season last year, had a lot of fun traipsing about the west in my camper. Spent about 5 months living out of the camper, skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, etc. If anyone has any questions on how to completely over load a Truck, I'm your guy.

    Truck camper was a great way to get into the #vanlife without all the commitment of actually buying a van. Plus, its way cheaper, better layed out than a van, and no matter where you go you still have a truck, just in case. Did I mention the 4x4 model is sub 60k?

    Downfall, and a fairly major one, is you'll be super hyped if you get above 12MPG, 9.5 is pretty normal, but it doesn't go too far below 9, so at least there's that..

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    The whole human race is de evolving; it is due to birth control, smart people use birth control, and stupid people keep pooping out more stupid babies.

  12. #3212
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    11,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukonrider View Post
    Spent about 5 months living out of the camper, skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, etc.
    Cool. Way to hit the reset button

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukonrider View Post
    If anyone has any questions on how to completely over load a Truck, I'm your guy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Yukonrider View Post
    Downfall, and a fairly major one, is you'll be super hyped if you get above 12MPG, 9.5 is pretty normal, but it doesn't go too far below 9, so at least there's that.
    We're getting avg. 14.5MPG w/FWC Hawk on 2017 Tundra 4x4 5.7L and my DIY wind fairing. (Pics in this thread a few months ago.) I can get 15MPG+ with a light foot and max 65MPH on highways. Numbers have improved a bit as we break in the engine, so maybe it'll get a bit better. MPG numbers so far are similar to same camper on our old 1998 4x4 F-150/4.6L. Tundra drives/handles much better and has way more power, and there's peace of mind having a new Toyota, so we're good with it.

  13. #3213
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    302
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukonrider View Post
    Never posted a recap of my season last year, had a lot of fun traipsing about the west in my camper. Spent about 5 months living out of the camper, skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, etc. If anyone has any questions on how to completely over load a Truck, I'm your guy.

    Truck camper was a great way to get into the #vanlife without all the commitment of actually buying a van. Plus, its way cheaper, better layed out than a van, and no matter where you go you still have a truck, just in case. Did I mention the 4x4 model is sub 60k?
    Downfall, and a fairly major one, is you'll be super hyped if you get above 12MPG, 9.5 is pretty normal, but it doesn't go too far below 9, so at least there's that..
    Do I have a question for you. How did the 5.7 fare with the hardside plus pulling a trailer with sleds? In the next two years, I am looking at the same setup as you. I have it narrowed down right now to newer Ford 6.2, GMC 6.0, or Tundra 5.7 on the gas side. Tell me about the Tundra/half-ton story of having it completely loaded. The MPG's are all the same once you start putting campers/pulling trailers. I'm 25% in on the Tundra and 75% in right now on a 3/4 or 1 ton domestic.
    Last edited by Tryingtostaywarm; 12-09-2017 at 08:56 PM.

  14. #3214
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    303
    I have owned a 1991 Dodge 4x4 Cummins diesel since new. It is 12 valve direct injection and rated at 160hp and 400ft-lbs torque. The newer diesels have a lot more power and burn more fuel.
    My truck and camper weigh 8800lbs and I get an estimated 15 or 16 mpg.

  15. #3215
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Truckee, Ca
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukonrider View Post
    Never posted a recap of my season last year, had a lot of fun traipsing about the west in my camper. Spent about 5 months living out of the camper, skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, etc. If anyone has any questions on how to completely over load a Truck, I'm your guy.

    Truck camper was a great way to get into the #vanlife without all the commitment of actually buying a van. Plus, its way cheaper, better layed out than a van, and no matter where you go you still have a truck, just in case. Did I mention the 4x4 model is sub 60k?

    Downfall, and a fairly major one, is you'll be super hyped if you get above 12MPG, 9.5 is pretty normal, but it doesn't go too far below 9, so at least there's that..

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    This. I owned a 4x4 sportsmobile and it was sick for going off road, but with a family now the truck camper route just makes more sense. You get an rv or when you need it, and a truck as a daily the rest of the time. As stated, the layout and fridge, stove, sleeping set up, storage, etc are super expensive to replicate in a van. For ski travel it’s a no brainer imo.

  16. #3216
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Moose, Iowa
    Posts
    4,996
    Anybody have any sleeping foam recommendations for the back of a car/truck/suv?

    I'm tired of using ill fitting camping pads usually stacked.

    I was looking at this.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=A35NCMPGL9UC2

  17. #3217
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by uglymoney View Post
    Anybody have any sleeping foam recommendations for the back of a car/truck/suv?

    I'm tired of using ill fitting camping pads usually stacked.

    I was looking at this.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=A35NCMPGL9UC2
    Stay away from memory foam as it freezes solid as a brick in below freezing temps.

  18. #3218
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Marquette MI
    Posts
    2,001
    In short, the Tundra did absolutely amazing, exceeding even my wildest expectations.

    In long: I had to do quite a bit to get the Tundra to the point that I felt comfortable putting these loads on it. First, I installed Firestone Ride-Rite airbags, then I put on a set of snowflake rated E range tires, finally I installed a TRD rear sway bar. $600 for the Ride-Rites and sway bar, $600 for the tires I believe. I also put new full synthetic lube in the diffs and T-case. My truck already had tow mirrors, and the factory tow package with 4.30 gearing, and the 5.7. But these are all reversible mods, and the truck still rides like a half ton with the bags aired down, if you care about ride quality.

    Now is the point where I say that I have limited experience doing heavy HAULING in 3/4 or 1 ton trucks. I do have a lot of experience towing with them however, so keep that in mind, and I do heavy towing with my 1/2 ton Tundra all time. I also am a smooth driver and don't have a lead foot.

    The 5.7 ignoring fuel economy is the best truck engine I have used. I like to tell people that while towing it will go as fast as your wallet can fill it back up. I much prefer the 5.7 to the 3/4 ton gas Silverado, it gets to speed faster, and it doesn't rev to the moon with the cruise on. It has low end power when you need it, but can still pass people going up hill, something the Silverado I use just doesn't do.

    With the hardside camper, it was a little tippy. But I don't think a different truck would change that, it seems more a function of the higher center of gravity of a hardside camper.

    The truck itself I FEEL (opinion) has better fit and finish than any of the domestic trucks I've been in (OPINION). The turning radius blows the Silverado out of the water, the steering is tighter, and feels sportier, this helps inspire confidence when towing heavy. The sound system is high quality out of the box, and the truck overall has a totally different feel than any domestic truck I've been in. Its hard to explain until you've spent a lot of time in both, but the Toyota just feels tighter.

    Now for downfalls. The weight of the camper takes a lot of weight off the front wheels and you can feel it sometimes in stopping situations. My stopping distance actually went up with the trailer (and its 4 braking wheels) attached. A big diesel under the hood could have helped balance this out.
    You will see 4k RPM in the mountains, it's just the way it is
    Its tippy. Don't swerve, seriously. But you get used to it and wont mind after a bit.
    The frame does flex, you can feel it, but it's a half ton after all.
    If anyone has reason to start asking the right questions, you are grossly overloaded and in the right set of circumstances that fact could make life pretty shitty. I always kept my air bags aired up so the load stayed level, and made sure my setup didn't conjure any images of the Beverly Hillbillys and had zero problems.

    Bottom line: I love my Tundra, and am going to use it to tow the same setup again this year. I feel when the camper is out, its a much more 'liveable' truck than the big domestics, and that alone makes it the right choice for me. I have had zero mechnanical failures on the truck either, i have 130k miles.

    Any more questions let me know, Silverado in question is a 2012 2500HD Work truck with what I think is a 6.0 and highway gears.
    The whole human race is de evolving; it is due to birth control, smart people use birth control, and stupid people keep pooping out more stupid babies.

  19. #3219
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    invermere
    Posts
    330
    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    Do I have a question for you. How did the 5.7 fare with the hardside plus pulling a trailer with sleds? In the next two years, I am looking at the same setup as you. I have it narrowed down right now to newer Ford 6.2, GMC 6.0, or Tundra 5.7 on the gas side. Tell me about the Tundra/half-ton story of having it completely loaded. The MPG's are all the same once you start putting campers/pulling trailers. I'm 25% in on the Tundra and 75% in right now on a 3/4 or 1 ton domestic.
    If you put the camper on 1 or 2 times a year a half ton will get it done but if you are hauling a camper and sleds every weekend go all in and get a 1ton dually. Nothing beats a dually for hauling a camper. No swaying back and forth, no worrying about weigh scales and insurance issues by being over loaded if in an accident.
    3/4 tons are just glorified 1/2tons and you will probably be over weight with a camper and sled trailer.



    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  20. #3220
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by pano-dude View Post
    If you put the camper on 1 or 2 times a year a half ton will get it done but if you are hauling a camper and sleds every weekend go all in and get a 1ton dually. Nothing beats a dually for hauling a camper. No swaying back and forth, no worrying about weigh scales and insurance issues by being over loaded if in an accident.
    3/4 tons are just glorified 1/2tons and you will probably be over weight with a camper and sled trailer.



    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk
    I agree with the one ton p/u, but a dually does not cut through snow like a single wheel axle.

  21. #3221
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sparwood BC
    Posts
    250
    Quote Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
    I agree with the one ton p/u, but a dually does not cut through snow like a single wheel axle.
    Hi Dano
    I agree at least in theory. Duallys wider dispersion of load means less penetration down to the road. Speaking to other winter RV
    drivers and my own experience doesn't really match the theory however. For example I had a trip driving west from Calgary in a full on blizzard with two tracks 8 inches deep. Semis off the road, SUVs and pickups in the ditch, some flipped over. You get the picture. When I got to the Lake Louise the highway was closed and I had to take the exit ramp (uphill BTW) threading between a jack knifed van and trailer on one side and a semi stuck on the other edge of the ramp. Up and over then down into the beautiful
    Parks Canada campsite which is open in winter. The RV weighs approx. 14,000 lbs and has posi but not four wheel drive.
    Maybe the weight on each tire equals a lighter vehicle without duallys or maybe duallys give twice the amount of tread on the road. I guess duallys aren't the end of the world in snow and you don't have a choice anyway if you want a larger camper or decent size RV. One place where duallys REALLY help a tall vehicle is in cross winds like the drive down to Castle.

  22. #3222
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    invermere
    Posts
    330
    Quote Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
    I agree with the one ton p/u, but a dually does not cut through snow like a single wheel axle.
    True but put 2000lbs in it and it will stick to the ground. I use a 3500 dually for a sand truck and with no weight it won't move without 4x4, put the sander and 2yds of sand and its a whole different machine.

    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  23. #3223
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    invermere
    Posts
    330
    Quote Originally Posted by uglymoney View Post
    Anybody have any sleeping foam recommendations for the back of a car/truck/suv?

    I'm tired of using ill fitting camping pads usually stacked.

    I was looking at this.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=A35NCMPGL9UC2
    Big Agnes dble sleeping pad.

    Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

  24. #3224
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    302
    https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/d/...395990536.html

    I would love to buy this for about $5k, put about $10k of upgrades including a cummins 6BT swap in it, and have one unique awesome 4x4 camper for $15kish. It'd be a cool ride to travel in.

  25. #3225
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    11,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/d/...395990536.html

    I would love to buy this for about $5k, put about $10k of upgrades including a cummins 6BT swap in it. . . .
    If the existing block and heads are in decent shape, keep the 400, a very tough reliable engine. $10K can buy alot of gasoline.

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