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  1. #3826
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    374
    Quote Originally Posted by Albeer View Post
    Ski bag on wheel well
    So, after review today. I have two 78'' x 20'' x 10'' areas between where my camper box actually sits in the bed to the side of the bed. With that, I am looking to either do 1 or 2 options.
    1. Build/find an idea to box off the areas at the rear/next to the camper, and put a locking door on both of the areas. I can put stuff inside, lock it, and
    2. Find 12'' or larger scrap PVC pipe which runs the length of the bed on both sides. Fasten said pipe to the sides of the bed, with the openings to the rear, resting on the wheel wells, and build doors for the pipe with a locking mechanism.

    I know I am not the only non-flat bed guy here that has seen this space, which is considerable, and built something to conform to it. I have been searching high and low but no pics on the interwebz yet. I may have to get a friend who has more imagination than me to give me some build ideas.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Tryingtostaywarm; 09-04-2018 at 05:55 PM.

  2. #3827
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    859
    I had a similar space between the bed and my fwc, so i made doors out of a diamond plate trailer fender i picked off the median of I90. There’s one on both sides, so room for six pairs or so. I can get better pics if you care...Click image for larger version. 

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    Gravity always wins...

  3. #3828
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    324
    I remember long time ago they used to make ski racks that would go on car window...


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  4. #3829
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    374
    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
    I had a similar space between the bed and my fwc, so i made doors out of a diamond plate trailer fender i picked off the median of I90. There’s one on both sides, so room for six pairs or so. I can get better pics if you care...Click image for larger version. 

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    Riff, this is exactly what I am looking for. If you post some better pics, that would seriously appreciated. Thanks! Your setup looks damn nice.

  5. #3830
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    The Deepest Valley
    Posts
    172
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #3831
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    601
    #vanlife


    Quote Originally Posted by -Devin- View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #3832
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
    Posts
    6,552
    Quote Originally Posted by byates1 View Post
    keep it for convenience, tell your bum ass pro skier husband to go get a job
    the convenience of a van can not be overstated.
    I completely agree- but we got a new van!

    here's the latest pic of the interior project
    we have a bed platform and mattress for the back but it's out right now as we add the ceiling and lighting
    Click image for larger version. 

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    skid luxury

  8. #3833
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    859
    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    Riff, this is exactly what I am looking for. If you post some better pics, that would seriously appreciated. Thanks! Your setup looks damn nice.
    Here’s a couple; its not so shiny after a couple winters, but still working fine!
    I framed the opening in 2x4’s, then wrapped it all in diamond plate and made doors. The hinges were exterior grade but rusted right immediately anyway. Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #3834
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    125
    I like this, ALOT!

    This is exactly the solution to my ski carry issue on my old fleet. Questions for you:

    How do the turnbuckles and wheel wells interfere with the skis in there? Isn't the slot space where those items are? Do you have to fiddle with the skis a lot or does it just work.

    Do you do anything to seal the side camper and truck bed. Behind that door it is just open to the truck bed correct? On my tacaoma and fleet I have a small gap between the 'wings' of the camper and the bed. Granted I don't normall see much dirt in there, just curoud if you seal it off any more or just let it live.

    What camper is that anyways? Mine is and older FWC fleet and it seems to be a bit narrorer in the area you made your hatches.

    Still I am very very excited to look into this more. If successful, FWC should consider this as an option. I have talked to so many ownder about a ski carry solution and this is the best I have seen yet.

    Thanks for the photos - Tim

  10. #3835
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
    Posts
    15,481
    Do you pad the skis with anything while stored between the truck bed and camper?

    I think I can do this with my camper setup too. My camper has little doors between the end of the camper and the edge of the truck (at the taillights), and I use that for storing folding chairs, table jack, etc, for summer use. I haven't tried fitting skis in there but I think it would work.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  11. #3836
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    859
    Turnbuckles and wheelwells are not really a problem; I’ve been pretty pleased with just setting them all in there. Of course, they are sort of stackied vertically so a little fiddling is required for the pair on the bottom.
    The camper is an 84 Fleet also. It was about right for a tacoma or other midsize, so i rebuilt everything from the “wings” down, adding 4 inches of height in the sidewalls and made the outside edge of the camper exactly meet the edge of the taillights of my tundra. It’s quite a bit wider than original. This gave me the ability to custom fit the height of the sidewalls to the height of the bed too, so there’s very little gap and I did nothing to seal it. I probably should try anyway, maybe this winter.


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  12. #3837
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    859
    El Chup,
    I haven’t been padding them, just putting heavy resort pairs on bottom and touring pairs on the top. Usually just four pairs. They stay remarkably clean under there.


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  13. #3838
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    859
    I’m pretty stoked with how it worked out, and of course spent nearly an entire summer tearing it down and fixing everything. Up close its not super clean work, but stout and so far reliable. The kitchen turned out nice too.
    If I can clarify anything better for y’all, let me know!
    Sealing the gap and paddling between skis both sound like good ideas.


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  14. #3839
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    125
    Absolutely rad. Mine is an 84 fleet as well. After all the work I did I wish I had redone the base to custom fit my Tacoma as well but I kind of slide into a full rebuild so didn't redo the floorpack. Ill let you know if I have any questoins. I think even with my narrorer body this will work for at least a pair or two of skis. Thanks for the info.

  15. #3840
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
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    15,481
    Quote Originally Posted by riff View Post
    El Chup,
    I haven’t been padding them, just putting heavy resort pairs on bottom and touring pairs on the top. Usually just four pairs. They stay remarkably clean under there.


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    Thanks. On my truck/camper, there's no space between the camper and the wheel well bump - so skis would have to sit on top of the wheel well bump. I have to think they'd be rocking back and forth some, with the bindings sitting on the wheel well.

    I'm going to have to test fit some skis and see what happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  16. #3841
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    No longer somewhere in Idaho
    Posts
    859
    Yeah, I’ve got four or five inches between fender and camper, just about right.


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  17. #3842
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    374
    I will be building my between camper + wheel well project soon and will post pics up in the next month or two.
    With that,

    Pop-up camper electrical/solar guru's see here.
    My 95' Skamper did not come with a deep cycle battery setup, it only came with shore power to AC. What are realistic options for me to get what I want. See below.
    I want to be able to charge phones, run a Dometic/nice DC fridge, and run a fantastic fan equivalent at night. That is it, nothing else will be consuming electric for me.
    What are my options here realistically? Do I rewire my camper + 1 or 2 nice deep cycle batteries that get charged off my truck's alternator when idling/running, do I do a solar kit which gets backed by my truck's alternator when running. Or, can I somehow charge my batteries off shore power, have my truck charge them while running, then when the truck is sitting for 1-3 days, it can be recharged via solar, or can I run all of the above just off a decent solar kit? Whatcha people think? Truck is a 2002 Dodge 2500 24v which I will post pics up at some point of this project.

  18. #3843
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,166
    Quote Originally Posted by b-bear View Post
    I completely agree- but we got a new van!

    here's the latest pic of the interior project
    we have a bed platform and mattress for the back but it's out right now as we add the ceiling and lighting
    Click image for larger version. 

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    so he found a job! great news!

  19. #3844
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sun Peaks Resort
    Posts
    413
    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    I will be building my between camper + wheel well project soon and will post pics up in the next month or two.
    With that,

    Pop-up camper electrical/solar guru's see here.
    My 95' Skamper did not come with a deep cycle battery setup, it only came with shore power to AC. What are realistic options for me to get what I want. See below.
    I want to be able to charge phones, run a Dometic/nice DC fridge, and run a fantastic fan equivalent at night. That is it, nothing else will be consuming electric for me.
    What are my options here realistically? Do I rewire my camper + 1 or 2 nice deep cycle batteries that get charged off my truck's alternator when idling/running, do I do a solar kit which gets backed by my truck's alternator when running. Or, can I somehow charge my batteries off shore power, have my truck charge them while running, then when the truck is sitting for 1-3 days, it can be recharged via solar, or can I run all of the above just off a decent solar kit? Whatcha people think? Truck is a 2002 Dodge 2500 24v which I will post pics up at some point of this project.
    Engine idling will not do much to charge house batteries and even driving, it takes a long time. This is often due, at least in part because factory wiring is usually not heavy gauge enough and line loss results.

    Solar is great for charging batteries in summer, but in winter, snow on panels, cloudy days or weeks, low sun angle and short days means a generator is more reliable. Furnace 12v fan draws down batteries very quickly.

  20. #3845
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    925
    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtostaywarm View Post
    Whatcha people think?
    2 ways to figure this out:

    1) Math. Add up all of your amperage draws (lights, fridge, fan), and estimate your usage (amp-hrs) per day. Then determine how much input you can get out of solar and/or alternator per day. Use these and give yourself some padding on your estimates:

    https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tool...alculator.html
    http://www.solardirect.com/pv/system...sun-hours.html

    2) Anecdotal advice. This will only get you so far, as everybody's setups/climates/sun hours are a bit different, and many don't understand their systems fully. In my case:

    Draws: I have a very small battery bank (66Ah) running lights, propane heater fan, and charge ports in the winter. Subtract heater and add roof fan and fridge in the summer.

    Inputs: 100W solar (winter record is ~6Ah for a bit), and alternator charging (consistently 10Ah+ when driving)

    I can go indefinitely in the summer with this setup. In the winter, I've been out 6+ days w/o issue. That said, I drive around a fair bit each day, or every couple of days, and my vehicle is well-insulated (van). Also, I'm running my system hard, not really adhering to the 50% charge rule of thumb.

  21. #3846
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Der Town
    Posts
    6,252
    Tryingtostaywarm...

    Some random early morning thoughts for winter camping.

    1.) DC fridge operation takes a lot of battery. Compared with running your fridge on propane it's not very efficient. So I'd aim to get a 3way fridge over a DC fridge. The efficiency of your batteries will be severely compromised by the cold weather and the fridge is probably your #1 battery sucker.

    2.) To me, the 3 most important functions of the DC system when winter camping are running the lights (long nights), running the furnace blower (stay warm) and running the vent fans (manage moisture). I don't care about much else. We charge cell phones off the 12v outlet in the truck.

    From my experience if I fully charged the battery before leaving I can get 3 days of normal light and fan use in cold weather before the battery starts to seem a little tired. That would be a single agm deep cycle battery. If I'm really careful I can get 4-5 nights. LED lights and high efficiency furnace/fans really help.

    I also have a 2000 watt Honda inverter generator that I bring on longer trips. Then I don't have worry about the possibility of losing power. My 3-way fridge switches to a/c automatically and when we're running the generator we charge cell phones etc. It also charges the battery obviously.

    Generator gets 14-18 hours of run time on a gallon of fuel. We'll run it for 4 or so hours in the evening to top up the batteries. That way we can sleep all night with no generator running.

    No personal experience with solar in the winter but I've heard it doesn't work great.

    During the day when we go skiing we'll make sure to turn off all the lights and lower the furnace temp so it doesn't cycle as often.

    Therefore I'm of the mind that yes, you should be at least a single deep cycle battery but rather than mess with solar, just get a small Honda/Yamaha or other highly efficient inverter generator

  22. #3847
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
    Posts
    15,481
    X2 on Leavenworth's comments about not running a 3-way fridge on 12V power - it just doesn't work very well and uses a lot of battery.

    If you are talking about a compressor fridge that is designed to run on 12V (IOW the preferred power source, not an absorption fridge designed to run on propane), however, I have heard that those work very well and are efficient. I have never had one myself.

    There are also cheap-to-run heaters like Mr Buddy, that won't drain the camper battery. If you look into those, be careful about CO danger and be aware of additional moisture issues.

    I wired in a golf cart relay and a dedicated charge line to recharge the house batteries on my truck camper while driving. It does a pretty good job of charging while on the road. I wanted to use a shorter length of wire (vs the factory wiring to the trailer pins) and thicker wire too. If you're interested, I'll dig up the wiring diagram I followed and repost it.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  23. #3848
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sölden
    Posts
    374
    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    Tryingtostaywarm...

    Some random early morning thoughts for winter camping.

    1.) DC fridge operation takes a lot of battery. Compared with running your fridge on propane it's not very efficient. So I'd aim to get a 3way fridge over a DC fridge. The efficiency of your batteries will be severely compromised by the cold weather and the fridge is probably your #1 battery sucker.

    2.) To me, the 3 most important functions of the DC system when winter camping are running the lights (long nights), running the furnace blower (stay warm) and running the vent fans (manage moisture). I don't care about much else. We charge cell phones off the 12v outlet in the truck.

    From my experience if I fully charged the battery before leaving I can get 3 days of normal light and fan use in cold weather before the battery starts to seem a little tired. That would be a single agm deep cycle battery. If I'm really careful I can get 4-5 nights. LED lights and high efficiency furnace/fans really help.

    I also have a 2000 watt Honda inverter generator that I bring on longer trips. Then I don't have worry about the possibility of losing power. My 3-way fridge switches to a/c automatically and when we're running the generator we charge cell phones etc. It also charges the battery obviously.

    Generator gets 14-18 hours of run time on a gallon of fuel. We'll run it for 4 or so hours in the evening to top up the batteries. That way we can sleep all night with no generator running.

    No personal experience with solar in the winter but I've heard it doesn't work great.

    During the day when we go skiing we'll make sure to turn off all the lights and lower the furnace temp so it doesn't cycle as often.

    Therefore I'm of the mind that yes, you should be at least a single deep cycle battery but rather than mess with solar, just get a small Honda/Yamaha or other highly efficient inverter generator
    Thanks for the info. I have a stock 1995 Dometic 3way that is in the Camper right now, along with the stock forced air camper furnace. Further questions, I have heard of pretty big issues with the 3way on propane in regards to truck sitting level, taking forever to get cold etc. Along with the forced air furnace, my biggest concern of running the forced air vs say a Wave 3/6 on straight propane is that it will be too much draw electrically to NOT run a generator at night.I really do not want to do a generator at this point right now. That seems to leave me with charging batteries off shore power before we head out for 3-5 days, getting a solar which might not be best in the winter but will help, and charging electronics off the truck itself rather than through the camper. It does not seem too realistic to run my furnace every night, along with a fantastic fan, without a nice solar w/ nice AGM batterie(s) or a generator or both.
    On the other hand, if I decide to NOT use the forced air furnace, that leaves me with a Wave3/6 which is easier to handle because no electric BUT I definitely will have to vent/run a fan all night which is sucking electric.

  24. #3849
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
    Posts
    15,481
    How much battery AH do you have, and do you have space for more batteries?

    I've been satisfied with using two 6V golf cart batteries wired in series. Heavy and bulky, but I had space. They are true deep cycle batteries, so can handle deep discharge better than the ones labeled marine/starting. 220AH capacity, so at 50%-usage, that's 110AH of juice before you need to recharge somehow.

    Like North said above, you can do the math and estimate how much battery capacity you need before needing to recharge.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  25. #3850
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NCW
    Posts
    1,835
    Trying...

    Have you used your fridge? I wasn’t stoked initially on the 3 way in our first camper but once I got used to it I came to appreciate it. When running on propane they are incredibly efficient. In the winter, it’s so cold they hardly use anything. All I do is plug it in to shore power for a day before a trip to bring it down to temperature and pack it FULL of cold food and beer. In terms of keeping it level, I would say as long as it’s level enough to sleep comfortably and things aren’t rolling off the countertop you’re probably just fine. You do need to pay attention to this whenever you park for a long period, but it’s not too hard to find a reasonably flat spot.

    I also use 2 golf cart batteries in series. I recommend it if you have the space. Easily the cheapest way to get that amount of capacity but they do require additional maintenance compared to AGM.

    How many amps does your forced air furnace draw? It might be more efficient than you think. We set ours pretty low at night (50’s) and use a sleeping bag. I can usually get 2 nights out of the batteries before I fire up the generator.

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