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  1. #4176
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    232
    Quote Originally Posted by pyromaniacman129 View Post
    Been flipping through this a lot lately. Made me want to move to a truck + slide in but can't bring myself to even think about swapping out my land cruiser for one at this point. Probably will end up with a small trailer like a scamp at some point.

    found this on CL today though.

    https://eugene.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...738953403.html

    also this gem:
    https://bend.craigslist.org/rvs/d/al...764258972.html
    Is a hard sided pop up the best of both worlds?


    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums

  2. #4177
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NCW
    Posts
    1,835
    Quote Originally Posted by pyromaniacman129 View Post
    Been flipping through this a lot lately. Made me want to move to a truck + slide in but can't bring myself to even think about swapping out my land cruiser for one at this point. Probably will end up with a small trailer like a scamp at some point.

    found this on CL today though.

    https://eugene.craigslist.org/rvs/d/...738953403.html

    also this gem:
    https://bend.craigslist.org/rvs/d/al...764258972.html
    Those are both priced quite high IMO. At least the Bigfoot would be relatively lightweight and the Alaskan includes a trailer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeRidges View Post
    Is a hard sided pop up the best of both worlds?
    I genuinely enjoyed my Alaskan, but I would never go back to one from our current Bigfoot.

    Cons:
    They are heavy as shit (we dropped 1000 lbs with our new camper) old fashioned wood construction with high risk of dry rot because of all the water entry points. And the older ones (pre-90's) are even heavier.
    Late models in good condition are super expensive. ($15k+)
    They have a known issue with the steel window frames causing galvanic corrosion to the aluminum siding and they won't tell you that at the factory. That results in eventual water intrusion and costly repairs.
    The hydraulic rams that lift the ceiling need regular maintenance that's a PITA.
    Pirelli seals (rubber impregnated fabric of some kind) must be replaced every few years as well.
    Setting up and breaking camp is a timely process that gets old fast.

    Pros:
    Low clearance height and relatively low center of gravity. Lower wind resistance.
    Holds its value. ~$4k profit on ours by bringing it back to WA from WY.
    I like the split door and windows on the upper half compared to a fabric pop up.
    They're very secure when top is down.
    Looks cool.





    Attachment 229319
    Last edited by jackattack; 12-11-2018 at 08:33 PM. Reason: pics

  3. #4178
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    Any opinions re wet vs. AGM cabin batteries? One of my batteries has a bad cell, so it's time to replace them. Camper is equipped with smart charger that charges float, absorption or bulk per voltage. I'm inclined to try AGM this time.

    Also, I've been running two 12V batteries (one AGM, the other wet, both deep cycle of course) wired parallel, which has worked fine for 4-1/2 years with lots of winter use. (I'm pretty good about charging >50% discharge, but sometimes it's dipped below 50%). I noticed a more rapid voltage drop on our most recent trip, pulled out both batteries yesterday, individually charged each and discovered the bad cell. Oddly, the AGM battery is the one with the bad cell. I've read that, with parallel wiring, if one cell goes bad, it can result in parasitic discharge of cells in the other battery, thus risking an additional bad cell and a possible death spiral. Gotta say based on my experience I'm not keen on buying into that theory as a real world risk, and it hasn't happened yet -- the good battery (wet, all 6 cells good) charges to max voltage just fine. Of course, I have the option of wiring two 6V batteries in series, which is common for bigger RVs, although that introduces risk of some things not working if I drop one cell (a risk somewhat abated with 2 x 12V in parallel). Thoughts?

    ETA: 2 x 6V in series may not be practicable because Group 24 6V batteries are rare birds

  4. #4179
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
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    15,481
    The only AGM batteries I've used have been for starting batteries, and they seem to last a long time. I used them for Jeeps which saw a lot of jarring harsh off-road use, and winch usage. I don't think they're worth the expense for street vehicles.

    I've been satisfied with the 6V golf cart batteries in series for our camper. I've had the same set for 6.5 years now - they're getting weaker, so may be replacing them next spring before the camping season starts for us. I don't have solar or a generator, but did wire in the camper batteries to the truck engine via a solenoid, so they'll charge while driving.

    If I had solar, I'd probably go with a smaller, lighter single 12V battery, and might go AGM for that purpose. For now, for our use of the camper, the golf cart batteries are an inexpensive way to go.
    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.

  5. #4180
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    Looks like 2 x 6V in series is not practicable because my camper's battery compartment is for Group 24 batteries, and 6V deep cycle Group 24 batteries are rare birds. I did an ETA re that.

    My camper is wired for solar, although we haven't gotten a panel. We do have a small generator, a Honda EU1000i, which has been a very reliable workhorse. But I'm not inclined to go back to a single battery. It's nice to have double the time between charges on winter trips and non-winter trips when we're parked for a few days.

    Yeah, I'm interested in going 2 x AGM 12V in parallel, but wet Interstate deep cell batteries from Costco are half the price of AGM and have worked fine in the past.

  6. #4181
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
    Posts
    15,481
    My camper came with a single battery box for a group 24 or 27 (can't remember), with a flex hose vent for the box. The cabinet where it was located was oversized and intended to also hold a porta potty. I found a knockoff action packer plastic bin that just perfectly fit two golf cart batteries: cut a notch to run wiring into it, and reused the stock camper flex vent hose (cut a hole in the lid of the action packer). The box, with batteries, still fits in that cabinet - took a lot of space and weighs a lot, but it works.
    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.

  7. #4182
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
    Posts
    2,164
    I replaced the interstate wet 12V just over a year ago in the trailer with 12V AGM. Also group 24 sizing, or I would have more seriously considered going with a couple of 6V. Entering into their 2 winter and no hiccups so far. Dedicated 80W solar panel on the roof keeps them nicely tricklecharged. Also have a couple of honda gennies to give us AC, and to top off the batteries during poor solar days.
    Not sure if the AGM gave us that much of an advantage, but it is nice to not have to check the fluids like the wet cells.

  8. #4183
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    Thanks for the input.

    El Chup, sounds like a good 2 x 6V setup. Golf cart battery sizes are different. GC2 is a bit shorter, a bit wider and a bit taller than Group 24, but it might fit. I'll measure to see if that's an option.

    BCMH, part if my routine is to check electrolyte level in wet batteries from time to time, although I've never needed to add. In theory, AGM should operate better in cold weather.

    I'll measure to see if 2 x 6V GC2 is an option.
    Last edited by GeezerSteve; 12-12-2018 at 10:22 AM.

  9. #4184
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,690
    I went through this same issue just before winter. I ended up getting two new AGM group 27 batteries from Sam's Club. Just a tick over $300.

    My issue was that one battery has to live inside the coach and I didn't want to set up a vent system for a wet battery.
    Last edited by simple; 12-12-2018 at 11:40 AM.

  10. #4185
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sierras
    Posts
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    El Chup, sounds like a good 2 x 6V setup. Golf cart battery sizes are different. GC2 is a bit shorter, a bit wider and a bit taller than Group 24, but it might fit. I'll measure to see if that's an option.
    It's by far the cheapest way to get the most AH if you have the space / weight allowance. Costco 210AH 6v was ~$80 each vs. at least a grand or two for a lithium setup of the same AH.

  11. #4186
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    4,757
    I've been pricing out solar systems and lithium seems like the new big push, but I really don't see the benefit of that application given the absurd cost. This is for a bit larger setup than a camper though.
    Live Free or Die

  12. #4187
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    I have zero interest in Li. My choice is wet vs. AGM.

    GC2 will not fit without alteration. (FWC tray is nice snug fit for 2 x Group 24). So, looks like I'll go with 2 x 12V, likely AGM.

  13. #4188
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    10,610
    I've had a single group 34 AGM (Optima D34M) for the last 8 years with no problems.

    I also run a dual battery setup under the hood. I would never link 2 different brand/size of batteries in any configuration unless for temporary operation.

  14. #4189
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
    Posts
    13,320
    mebbe a re pete


  15. #4190
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    1,044
    Why zero interest in Lithium? Because the proponents vastly oversimplify the complexity of installing a functional LiFePo4 system? Or the initial expense?

    I still may look into it. If I had the choice when I got my camper, I would have gone with AGM.

  16. #4191
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    8,043
    Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post

    My issue was that one battery has to live inside the coach and I didn't want to set up a vent system for a wet battery.
    I'm in the same boat. Have an AGM I got off of Amazon, wired parallel with second battery in the exterior battery compartment.

    So far, no complaints, but I've only had that setup for a year or so.

  17. #4192
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,166
    Quote Originally Posted by Rideski View Post
    Well that was my point. According to some of the mechanics in the comment section, the engineering wasnít all that great. The lack of a driveshaft is nice of course, but Iím not sure Iím sold on the notion of a front wheel drive RV. Does that get up steep icy hills well? Some of the mechanics were saying the hubs were blowing out etc. the vid OP had nothing negative to say that I recall. But Iím not in the market for an urban assault vehicle so I really havenít studied them much.
    i just thought it was cool. agreed on the winter thing though, but that is true of any rv really. i can't imagine the horror of a travel trailer in gnarly winter mountain driving

  18. #4193
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    Quote Originally Posted by mattig View Post
    Why zero interest in Lithium? * * * Or the initial expense?
    Bingo! We'll likely get a different camping rig when Honey retires in 5-6 years. And I'm 62 y.o., likely won't be doing the RV dirtbag thing for more than another 20 years if I'm lucky and still alive. Simple arithmetic.

  19. #4194
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    492
    probably needs a lot of love, but hell for $400 someone might dig it.

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/r...771404870.html

  20. #4195
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    45
    I'm about to be living out of a camper van this winter and it's my first time doing so.

    Do you guys have any tips/essential gear that you didn't originally think of that I should look into to make the best of my experience?

    Van has a parking heater, A/C inverter, dual battery setup for using the inverter, and more. You can check the setup here: http://smilecamper.com/tw/car/301/

  21. #4196
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,690
    Boot dryer, lots of small plastic bags for garbage, squeegee for windows, scented candles or spray

  22. #4197
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    Quote Originally Posted by pyromaniacman129 View Post
    probably needs a lot of love, but hell for $400 someone might dig it.

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/r...771404870.html
    Check carefully for dry rot, soft spots, mold, rodent shit, etc.

  23. #4198
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    611
    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    Check carefully for dry rot, soft spots, mold, rodent shit, etc.
    At that price almost guaranteed to have all of the above.
    Common sense. So rare today in America it's almost like having a superpower.

  24. #4199
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    20 steps from the hot tub
    Posts
    3,658
    I have 2 12-volt AGMs in my camper van out of necessity because they are located in the living quarters.

    AGMs cost twice as much but can last twice as many cycles.

    Also, discharging an AGM below 50 per cent has way less effect on total cycle lifespan so I'm comfortable going down to 25 per cent any time I want. So effectively I have more amp hours available, which makes up some of that 2 times cost of an AGM.

    The AGMs were in the van when I bought it in 2006 and are probably in need of replacement due to lessened capacity. I upgraded my solar to 150 watts this past spring but then swapped out my 12-volt only fridge for a propane one so ended up having amp hours galore even with the old AGMs.

    I lived in the van full time this past April to Sep but havenít used it for winter camping for several years since I now live slopeside during the ski season. For sure I would need new AGMs asap to do any cold weather camping.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  25. #4200
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    13,381
    I plopped down the big bucks for 2 Lifeline AGM 12V batteries

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