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Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


Trailers! Motorhomes! Caravans! Fifth Wheels! Toy Haulers! A-Frames! Class A's, B's, B Plusses, and C's! Busses! Schoolies! Stealth Campers! Tiny Homes! Pop Ups! Vans! Truck Toppers! Whatever! RECREATIONAL VEHICLES! If it's got wheels, you sleep in/on it, and you can move it to new and exciting places, it's in!



What is a RV, you might ask? Those 65 foot bus monsters that get 2mpg and live only at tailgate parties? That claptrap box truck thing Uncle Terry's been living in since the divorce? Both! And any RVer will say, both are cool in their own way. Let's get educated!

TRAVEL TRAILERS
It's on wheels and you tow it! Unfortunately, hard to take a nap in while it's going down the road. There's a massive variety of travel trailers available. The standard trailer has AT LEAST a kitchen area, and a dinette or couch that converts into a bed. Bathrooms, Beds, Couches, arm chairs, office spaces, bunk beds, and beyond are available with cash and weight.

YOU CAN NOT RIDE IN A TRAILER ON THE ROAD IN MOST STATES.

TEARDROP/SMALL TRAILER
A teeny weenie adorable widdle guy awww. Single axle trailers, generally consisting of an enclosed sleeping space the size of a queen mattress, and a large hatch in the back with a kitchen area and outdoor living. Popular as an off-road solution, they can be fitted with big nobby tires and given high clearance. Quite small and easily towed.

FIBERGLASS TRAILER
Do you want to survive a bomb strike? Do you want to travel back in time to the 70s? Do you secretly want a boat? These fiberglass bubbles of joy are durable, light, and absolutely adorable. Relatively unchanged over the past 40 years, fiberglass trailers are experiencing a revival as of late. Generally small and easily towed, but they are getting bigger.

POP UP CAMPER (Includes A-Frames and Tent Trailers)
Ah, the mighty pop-up. Affordable, towable by just about anything with an engine, the starting point for many a frustrated tent camper. "I want to sleep, stand up, cook, have heat and air con, AND PEE INSIDE!" they cry after their last miserable night as a ground dweller. Popular with families that have kids, as all popups have at least two beds. A used Pop Up in water tight, road worthy condition can be had for as little as a grand in the US. New ones start at 9k. A-Frames are popups with solid walls, and when in place, looks like an A Frame house. They are more expensive, and smaller. Tent Trailer Campers are fancy off-road solutions with big knobby tires, ground clearance, extremely light weight, and high price.

AIRSTREAM ALUMINUM TRAILER
IT'S SO SHINY AND CLASSY AND THEY HAVE THEIR OWN CLUBS AAAAAA
Vintage Airstream owners are just a better class of people, folks.

FIFTH WHEEL
These bad boys are based on a gooseneck trailer layout, where the hitch point is up over the middle of the vehicle (generally a large truck), rather then towed from the back hitch. This gives you much more room in a smaller footprint then a traditional bumper-pull trailer. Generally, the bedroom will be over the top of the hitch point, with the kitchen, seating area, and other sleeping acomidations further back. Or you could tow it with a semi truck like a badass. Or, a VW BUG! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqr2ioQTV5s


TOY HAULER
For the family that wants to sleep in the garage, along with it's entire contents! Very popular for transporting ATV's, Motorcycles, Golf Carts, and other fun stuff. A cross between a traditional bumper pull, and a cargo trailer.

TINY HOME
Heeeey, there's the kid! The latest thing in "I don't live in a trailer", and "Legally, according to zoning laws, it is a trailer and I can not live in it", it's a tiny home! Cute as a button, areodynamic as a brick, heavy as hell. If you don't want to move it very often, a tiny home might be the thing for you! God, they are cute though.

MOTORHOMES
These are the guys with engines and the driver up front. Have you ever made a sandwich going 70 down the highway? It's amazing.

CLASS C
WHO WANTS THE TOP BUNK?! MEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee. These are essentially very large van noses under a bed, with a giant box full of apartment on the back. You can get these as big and fancy as a Class A, but it's rare.

CLASS B (AKA Travel Van)
DigiNomadGokuSSJLiveLaughLove LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE did not come up with the van life idea in a vacuum. For about as long as there have been vans, some coach builder has had the bright idea to get a naked chassis, and build living quarters on them. Seriously, those were the first motorhomes. These are built from the angle iron up to be lived in. They lack customization options, but they are the bleeding edge of small mobile living.

B PLUS
You got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got Van in my Class C! It's either a Class C being small and fancy, or a faaaaattt B. No one knoooowwwsss

CLASS A
Yes, I would love to drive a very large window into a headwind. These things can be palatial in size and amenities. They have the areodynamic qualities of a slightly rounded brick. But if you want luxury, this is where you look. Or you can get an old one and start a meth lab in it. Chase your dreams, folks.

BUS CONVERSION
If you pay someone else to drive, this is what you own. Unless you're beautiful forums user cursedshitbox, in which you build it yourself like some kind of maniac and drive it like a boss.

OTHER COOL STUFF

TRUCK CAMPERS
Do you have a big heavy truck, but have some aversion to hauling around a big heavy trailer? A slide-in truck camper is for you! They come in many sizes, from as simple as a bed and storage under a truck topper, to full triple slide kitchen island and fireplaces having behemoths.Truck campers can have much more flexibility as far as camping goes, having a much smaller footprint and much more mobility then a truck towing a trailer might. Or, you can have a truck camper, and tow a trailer, such as a cargo hauler or horse trailer.


VAN CONVERSION
Any van not originally intended for living in, being lived in. These are popular as DIY jobs, but a bunch of custom outfitters are springing up to fill demand. Vans are hip as hell right now, but have always been a popular choice for small footprint camping and living. Living in a van down by the river has never been a more attractive option in this late stage capitalist hellscape. Van life can be anything from an air mattress and a cooler in the back of a cargo van, to a completely kitted out custom build in the back of a cargo van.


SCHOOL BUS CONVERSION
It's a much larger and more irritating van conversation that reminds you of middle school. Super cool, though, man, everyone loves a schoolie.

OVERLANDERS
A truck or van camper on steroids. Made for 4x4 and non-road applications. These range from jeeps with rooftop tents, 4x4 vans with high clerance, to giant offroad military vehicles with a dang 4 star hotel room in the back. Prices range wildly depending on utility and comfort.



YOUTUBE
CHANNELS


When you just cant get out there, but gotta get that RV fix.

We're The Russos: Full Time RV'ers. Currently in the market for a new van, and getting to play with lots of new toys. https://www.youtube.com/user/weretherussos
Slim Potatohead: Part time RV'er, Full Time Canadian. Drives a Jeep Liberty, sleeps an A-Frame. Fantastic videographer and story teller, one of the best. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5...9wZEnFsXA3TOx-g
Cheap RV Living: Full Time RV'er, full time grandma's friend since she lost the house. Aw, it's ok honey, I'm doing fine, I have a bunch of new friends in the desert, they're showing me how to survive. I gotta go, the beet harvest is hiring. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA...DbkIR54hAn6Zz7A
Aging Wheels: Full time Youtuber. Built his own truck camper, now working on a schoolie! Also owner of several of the worst vehicles on the planet. Low key hilarious, took a Trabant to a drag strip. https://www.youtube.com/user/agingwheels
Vandemonium: Full time Narrow.... Boater? It's an RV that goes on water, on highways made of... water. He built a nice van though. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC...Qf1GfzhMDQB4o2w
Bound For Nowhere: Full Time Overlanders. Couple of cool kids and their cat full timing it on the road. Restored a Toyota Sunraider that tragically poo poo it's self to death, then they lived in a truck topper for awhile. What champs. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw...fg9bkiG3md4L09Q
Travelling K: New Zealand Full Time RVer, gorgeous videos. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg...xuqwO-gU5N1j85Q
Kombi Life: Two Part Timers currently transitioning to Full Time van life! Lots of back content, big adventures, bit o drama. All that and a cute dog too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=user?kombilife

VIDEOS

Everyone look at Suspect's cool truck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmVR6Ta74aE

TOPICS TO COME:
Driving and Towing tips and tricks
How to dump!
Keeping Warm/Cool/Safe
Boondocking Reccomendations
Campground Bucket Lists
And more!


I grew up RVing. My amazing mom and dad would load me and my sister and various pets in a series of nicer motorhomes as time went on, and would take us on vacation. Dad would pull us out of school early. We had places to be, things to see! I had a lot of issues in my childhood, stemming mostly from mental illness, bullying, and problems at school. Nearly every happy memory I have from growing up is from RVing. I also got to work at a campground for a few years, which ruled. I love RVs and camping, and I am a turbo RV nerd. Join me in geeking out over cool RV stuff.

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 22:17 on Sep 25, 2019

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Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


This post saved for showing off pictures of poster's rigs.

Suspect Bucket's "Lenny", a 2009 Ford Ranger Sport, with low profile truck topper bed in the back.


Suspect's Mom and Dad's 2017 Thor Chateau Class B used to fill the void in their hearts after all the kids left home.


everdave's 1991 Toyota Hi Ace 2.4 Diesel Camper


Somewhat Heroic's Lexus LX 470 with ARB roof top tent

Build Thread!: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3893547

JacquelineDempsey's 1977 Dodge Sportsman with the AMF Skamper trim (Coming Soon!)

cursedshitbox's legacy of DIY bus conversions, including the mighty 1969 Gillig DT16. NH262 flat 6 cummins, 15 speed non synchro, tandem drive, formerly used to haul camera equipment (RIP in piss)


rdb's 2015 32í Jayco bumper pull

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 01:06 on Aug 14, 2019

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Greetings!

I have been importing vehicles from Japan for the past 18 months or so, but I have been looking for a camper to keep. I kept getting outbid or they were going for more than I wanted to spend, or I'd get one inspected and it was a mess, or it didn't have what I was looking for.

Hoping to use this for weekend trips with my 2 young kids (5 and 10 almost) and the occasional week long trip every couple of months.

1991 Toyota Hi Ace Camper. 2.4 Diesel engine, 5 speed trans, 30k actual miles. These pics are all I have or know about it at the moment. Will be in my driveway in 2-3 months. I can only find info on one other like this but it should have a small bathroom, a fridge and a stove. Very very interested in learning about upgrading and electronics and maintaining a RV.





Somewhat Heroic
Oct 11, 2007

(Insert Mad Max related text)

Hi RV thread. I am just starting my venture into car based camping and exploring around Utah. I am using a Lexus LX 470 that I picked up a few months ago (a Toyota UJZ100 series chassis) and I am systematically performing maintenance and upgrading/outfitting for my needs and wants. I have been chronicling this in my thread you can read in AI by clicking here with lots of photos and even more words.

Without wanting to blow up my thread posts I will share a couple of photos:

At time of purchase


Bigger tires to compensate


Roof rack and ARB roof top tent

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Love your 470 SH, and Suspect: my old college buddy just got a Thor 31' RV this year and has been taking it to 30A in Florida (one of our favorite places). I know nothing about them but he has been RAVING about the THOR.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Hey thread! My husband, two cats, and I have been living in a 1977 Dodge Sportsman with the AMF Skamper trim since July 1st (this would be a class c). I've itching to get back on SA, but it turns out the only cell service that works in rural Craig County, VA is US Cellular, and they will cap the gently caress out of your data speed after, like, a week. I've been having flashbacks to 14.4 days on AOL.

Currently in town at a laundromat with what feels like blazing wifi. All my bookmarks have thousands of unread posts, but Suspect was nice enough to send me a PM, so this is my first stop on SA in over a month.

I'll get some pics of the Skamper, as well as our Space Van, a 1990 Chevy cargo van we're slowly converting. Because naturally you can't have a sweet van without custom painting, we're covering it in planets and nebulae and other things that will probably get us pulled over for weed (people routinely just ask us if we know where to get some when we're stopped at a light).

The land we're staying on is a friend's hobby farm, so I help out with the garden and the chickens and watching the dogs when they go into town. Their property backs up to Jefferson Natural forest, in the Blue Ridge mtns along the AT. Needless to say, the views are gorgeous and the stars at night are breathtaking. We're right next to Craig Creek, which has such crystal clear water I just take my Dr Bronners down there to bathe.

Looking for any and all advice about maximizing storage space, and how the hell youre supposed to get in and out of that drat top bunk. I have a bladder the size of a walnut and struggle with getting in and out when I inevitably have to pee in the middle of the night. Oh, and speaking of bathroom stuff --- how do y'all deal with your poopatorium?

Sorry for the novel length post, but it's been sooooo long since I've even had this option unless I drive 30 minutes. Pics next time I get to some wifi that doesn't remind me of taking 2 hours to load up a 2 minute video in 1995, I promise!

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


everdave posted:

Love your 470 SH, and Suspect: my old college buddy just got a Thor 31' RV this year and has been taking it to 30A in Florida (one of our favorite places). I know nothing about them but he has been RAVING about the THOR.

Did they go to the Florida Thor Rally a few months ago? My parents went, they had a blast.

Also, Ho Lee poo poo That Fuckin Hi Ace SLAPS. I started this thread to nerd out about motorhomes, and the knowledge that I now know someone with a tiny Japanese motorhome has made my WEEK. I can not WAIT to see you go through this thing in person. It's so cute. I love weird Japanese imports. I want a kei truck so bad.

More on that in a sec because JAY DEEEEE

JacquelineDempsey posted:


I'll get some pics of the Skamper, as well as our Space Van, a 1990 Chevy cargo van we're slowly converting. Because naturally you can't have a sweet van without custom painting, we're covering it in planets and nebulae and other things that will probably get us pulled over for weed (people routinely just ask us if we know where to get some when we're stopped at a light).


I'll be driving through there on my way to Charlotte in September! If the planets align, maybe we can meet up for lunch? Glad to have you, hope you're enjoying the farm life. I will get back to you on poop in a second. Basically, a big bucket with some Pelletized Horse Bedding, dump it into a hole every day a bury it. Basically a big human litterbox. Or, if you have an actual bathroom, just keep the vent open always, and hang a DampRid. Helps with the smell.

Somewhat Heroic posted:

Hi RV thread. I am just starting my venture into car based camping and exploring around Utah. I am using a Lexus LX 470 that I picked up a few months ago (a Toyota UJZ100 series chassis) and I am systematically performing maintenance and upgrading/outfitting for my needs and wants. I have been chronicling this in my thread you can read in AI by clicking here with lots of photos and even more words.

Glad to have you! I was looking into rooftop tents.

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 20:02 on Aug 13, 2019

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.



Fun Shoe

Hi thread.

I've done the conversion bus thing a few times now:

1954 PD4104. 671 supercharged two stroke detroit, 4 speed non synchro manual. 35' long.



1969 Gillig DT16. NH262 flat 6 cummins, 15 speed non synchro, tandem drive. 40' long.

https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3753465
scratch building a bus is loving hard when everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.

Have full-timed it in bumper pulls as a kid and pickup slide ins before..

Thinking of taking the above eff tree fiddy now that it's nice and going full time again with a 35-40' toyhauler.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


cursedshitbox posted:

Hi thread.

I've done the conversion bus thing a few times now:
Have full-timed it in bumper pulls as a kid and pickup slide ins before..

Thinking of taking the above eff tree fiddy now that it's nice and going full time again with a 35-40' toyhauler.

Oh hell yes. I've seen your stuff in the past, I was hoping you'd show up. We need a real expert in here, because we will all have dumb questions. Do you still have the Brokebackbangbus V2?

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 23:41 on Aug 13, 2019

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

I have a 2015 32í Jayco bumper pull and a 2018 Ram 3500 to pull it.



Its got a one piece brown front cap thats faded to gray UNDER the gelcoat so it all has to be sanded off, and its got a minor soft spot on the ceiling of the big slide near a skylight. The warranty covered nothing.

If I had any advice on RV ownership I would say be ready to work on it and be hyper vigilant about the tires. And avoid camping world.

I think its getting traded in at some point for a 5th wheel.

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

JacquelineDempsey posted:

Looking for any and all advice about maximizing storage space, and how the hell youre supposed to get in and out of that drat top bunk. I have a bladder the size of a walnut and struggle with getting in and out when I inevitably have to pee in the middle of the night. Oh, and speaking of bathroom stuff --- how do y'all deal with your poopatorium?

I assume the table drops down into a bed. Maybe sleep there instead of up top.

As far as the tanks go, use chemicals (they look like blue tide pods, walmart has them), only dump the black tank when its full, use toilet paper that dissolves, and use a flushing wand until the water runs clear. Its not that bad.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Speaking of WiFi and cellular stuff...I just signed up for an extra phone plan called Visible through verizon. It has unlimited data for $40/month. Im going to be experimenting with replacing home internet with it and some other things, but Iíll probably keep it regardless for RVíing. You should try it out for $19 you can get a phone and # and with a referral code you can get first month $20. Something to look into

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


rdb posted:

I have a 2015 32í Jayco bumper pull and a 2018 Ram 3500 to pull it.



Its got a one piece brown front cap thats faded to gray UNDER the gelcoat so it all has to be sanded off, and its got a minor soft spot on the ceiling of the big slide near a skylight. The warranty covered nothing.

If I had any advice on RV ownership I would say be ready to work on it and be hyper vigilant about the tires. And avoid camping world.

I think its getting traded in at some point for a 5th wheel.

Ooh, nice. Any interior pics? Is that a single slide, or are there others on the other side?

God, remember when slide-outs were the newest hottest thing? I was like, 12, and all of a sudden you see these new coaches with extra rooms sprouting out of them woaaaahhhhh fancy. Did any one else's family go on evening walks around the campground to walk the dog / look in the windows of giant class A's ?

And giant native american themed airbrush art?

everdave posted:

Speaking of WiFi and cellular stuff...I just signed up for an extra phone plan called Visible through verizon. It has unlimited data for $40/month. Im going to be experimenting with replacing home internet with it and some other things, but Iíll probably keep it regardless for RVíing. You should try it out for $19 you can get a phone and # and with a referral code you can get first month $20. Something to look into

My dad uses the Verizon JetPack for traveling, he's quite happy with it.

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 01:06 on Aug 14, 2019

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

Suspect Bucket posted:

Ooh, nice. Any interior pics? Is that a single slide, or are there others on the other side?

God, remember when slide-outs were the newest hottest thing? I was like, 12, and all of a sudden you see these new coaches with extra rooms sprouting out of them woaaaahhhhh fancy. Did any one else's family go on evening walks around the campground to walk the dog / look in the windows of giant class A's ?

And giant native american themed airbrush art?


My dad uses the Verizon JetPack for traveling, he's quite happy with it.

Its got one on either side. The big slide has the kitchen table and couch on it, the small slide has the fireplace and outdoor kitchen. I looked for inside pictures but they all have my 1 yo kid or wife in them. My kid absolutely loves it. He gets to bring all his toys, meets lots of cool doggies and other kids in the RV park and theres plenty of cupboards and pots for him to open and smash on. Plus it holds all my booze and keeps it cold while rolling down the road.

I apologize if I came off as a little down on it. It can get a little expensive. If I have time or someone wants the information I can get technical about tow ratings, types of hitches, what to look for on the tires, the boring stuff.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


rdb posted:

Its got one on either side. The big slide has the kitchen table and couch on it, the small slide has the fireplace and outdoor kitchen. I looked for inside pictures but they all have my 1 yo kid or wife in them. My kid absolutely loves it. He gets to bring all his toys, meets lots of cool doggies and other kids in the RV park and theres plenty of cupboards and pots for him to open and smash on. Plus it holds all my booze and keeps it cold while rolling down the road.

I apologize if I came off as a little down on it. It can get a little expensive. If I have time or someone wants the information I can get technical about tow ratings, types of hitches, what to look for on the tires, the boring stuff.

Hey man, no worries. It can be a very expensive hobby. And exhausting to do all that driving, clean up, care, dump stations, ect. Almost as bad as a boat! But like Dad Bucket always says, it beats eating at restaurants and paying for a hotel. And whatever you feel like the OP needs, write it up!

I'm quickly realizing I am have the least RV of all the RV'ers here. My little stealth camper is also my Daily Driver. But my plan for next year is to get a pop-up. It's torture to look at Craigslist listings, because we're not quite ready to get one yet (no place to store it, questions on our location in the next 12 months), but I keep seeing all these beauties for 2 and 3 grand. Man, I love popups. I love camping. Cant wait to go again.

edit: Speaking of ol Mom And Dad Bucket, they recently picked up a mint 2001 Jeep TJ to pal around with on their adventures. Thanks to a fortunate spelling error, it's now and forever known as The Toad Vehicle. Oh yeah, and thats an E-Bike on the back of the Toad. Is it just me, or do+es anyone else think mom and dad have more nice things since us kids moved out?

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 01:57 on Aug 14, 2019

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Iíd be interested RDB in all you can tell us about those big pull behinds. I see very late model ones selling for 15-20k and it seems too good to be true. Iím not a big truck pulling a big trailer type of guy but Iím fascinated by them.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


everdave posted:

I’d be interested RDB in all you can tell us about those big pull behinds. I see very late model ones selling for 15-20k and it seems too good to be true. I’m not a big truck pulling a big trailer type of guy but I’m fascinated by them.

Big trailers depreciate at about the speed of light. Because people buy them new, use them once or twice in two years, decide they don't like camping, and try to sell it for whatever the loan left on it is. Used is where it's at. More then that, USED IN FLORIDA AND CALIFORNIA. It pays to look nationwide when you're looking at a used RV. Might as well make it a road trip!

Unless you have extremely specific needs, I think it's nearly always better to buy used and put in what you want.

\/\/ Get a mohom, stay under 40ft, remain the enemy car \/\/\/

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 01:05 on Aug 15, 2019

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

everdave posted:

Iíd be interested RDB in all you can tell us about those big pull behinds. I see very late model ones selling for 15-20k and it seems too good to be true. Iím not a big truck pulling a big trailer type of guy but Iím fascinated by them.

Well, its kinda complicated. They offer a lot of space, some are trimmed out quite nice mine included. The price is really cheap for what you get.

But pulling them can be difficult. There are reasons you see them in the right lane crawling along at 62, or more likely parked at a seasonal site. The OP touches on the different types of tow behinds, mine being a bumper pull. This shifts all the weight of the trailer behind the rear axle. Even with the biggest truck I could get short of a dually it still squats about 3Ē. Most people, myself included, use a weight distribution hitch to counter this.

I think the first question people ask when they are looking at one of these is ďcan I tow itĒ and the answer is yes. My 37hp tractor can move it around. The problems are safety, legality and longevity. Your vehicle probably has some bullshit tow rating that tells a half truth about its capabilities. Mine (2018 Ram 3500 single rear wheel crew cab 4x4 cummins diesel aisin trans), for example, has a 16,910lb tow capacity and a 3780lb payload. Ample for a 10,500lb gvw trailer.

Looking at that same truck, however, in a 2500 3/4 ton configuration and we start to run into problems. A Ram 2500 crew cab short box 4x4 cummins diesel 68RFE trans is actually rated to tow more at 17,160lbs. But the truth is its limited long before that because the payload rating is only 2380 lbs. Your tounge weight (or pin weight in the case of a 5th wheel) gets subtracted from your payload. A bumper pull like mine probably has an 1,000-1,100lb tounge weight (ideally 10%), which would leave you with ~1200lbs remaining for fuel, passengers and gear. Its workable. But what if we went out and bought that 17,000lb 43í triple axle toy hauler? Well, its pin weight is about 20-25% of its total weight, so 3500lbs. Your over the payload capacity of the truck by more than 1,000lbs and you havenít even sat in it or filled up the tanks. You wonít get caught most likely, but its unsafe and an attorneys dream if you injure someone.

So its important to know your tounge/pin weight and payload. But what else? Tires. How much air is in them? How old are they? What kind of condition are they in? Whats the load rating? Whats the speed rating? Not just the ones on your trailer but the truck too. I will try to make this short, but you really need to pay attention to them. RV manufacturers use the cheapest tires they can find. Almost always Chinese in origin and questionable quality with the bare minimum ratings needed. And no one who buys a trailer looks at them until its too late, myself included.

So inflate them to the max PSI (probably 65psi or higher) to get the maximum load rating. Make sure the load rating of all the tires is sufficient for the weight that they will carry, especially the tires on the rear axle of the vehicle. Try not to run tires older than 5 years. Donít run tires with bulges, out of round spots, plugs, chunks missing, cords showing or any visible damage. Look at the speed rating, its probably ďLĒ (75mph) or lower. Donít exceed that, donít even run close to it on a hot day. And check them every time you stop. Its also critically important to inspect and repack wheel bearings periodically and make sure your brakes work.

Actually pulling the trailer? Well, more technicality. Your state may require you to get a different license. Its varies, but its important to remember the rules of your home state apply wherever you tow in the US. That 43í toy hauler would require a new yorker to have an upgraded license. Indiana would not. An indiana resident traveling in NY would not. A NYer traveling in Indiana would. Your wheelbase is also really long, so turn obnoxiously wide and leave room while changing lanes. Your stoping distance is also huge. Basic stuff.

Plan on using a truck stop for fuel. You pull in the truck entrance and up to a pump. Most of the time you will have to go in first and prepay so make note of the pump number. The fuel nozzles are sized for semis so it comes out really fast and wonít always fit a truck. When your done, pull up to the line in front of the pumps so the truck behind you can fuel up. Truckers get pissed if you donít. You will have to go back in for your receipt.

As far as expense goes, I can tell you my basics. The truck stickered at $58k. The trailer stickered at $35k. Actual price paid was $49k and $28k. I probably have another $2k in the hitch, hookups, bedding, pots/pans etc. It gets about 11-12mpg towing at a reasonable speed. Maintenance costs on a diesel pickup suck. A DIY oil/fuel filter change is about $150. Tires are over $250 each for decent ones and they last about 30k miles. Trailer tires are cheaper and last 5 years. They rarely wear out unless they are lovely bias ply. Insurance is cheap, about $150 a year on the trailer and $700 on the truck. Registration fees in indiana suck, $300 a year for the trailer and $450 for the truck. It seems like a lot but keep in mind a 40í class A can cost millions, with a lower end one at about $200k.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Michelin should have targeted getting those tweel airless tyres out for trailers before they focused on cars, I'm always amazing how many trailers and caravans I see on the side of the motorway with busted tyres every summer.

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.



Fun Shoe

More on licensing. Out west if your travel trailer/5th wheel is over 10,000lb gvr you'll need an endorsement. In California if you breach 15,000 gvr on the trailer you'll need a non-commercial class-A. NV has a "J" endorsement for RVs that let you tow up to the class C limit of 26,000 combined. Over that it's non commercial-A.



Towing. oh for the love of god keep your electric trailer brakes in top shape. Keep them adjusted, check them often. Harnesses are known to fray and you'll lose the brakes which is fun. Definitely agree with tires, Don't buy lovely rubber. The couple hundred saved is long forgotten when the may-pop does. In the absolute best case you're sitting on the side of the road dealing with the aftermath. Don't yardsale your rig over some cheap tires.


Pickup GAWRs (gross axle weight rating) are rated by the weakest link, be it tire load, axle load, spring load. 3/4-1 ton pickup frames are typically similar, i'm not gonna get into this area. You can have a tires rated for 6000lb, on an axle rated for 8000lb, but if your springs are limited to 5,000lb, that's what you can carry. This is what typically your highway patrolman will check. The door placard for the GAWR and tire loads.
There's a huge aftermarket for bolt in air-springs or helper leafs to up the weight capacity of the vehicle. You must keep in mind both the axle and tire's limits. SRW (single rear wheel) Isn't likely going to have the tire capacity to go with an additional few thousand pounds of hitch/bumper load.

Actually holding the load and moving the load are two different things. DRW (Dual Rear wheel) Is inherently more stable than the single counterparts. This is evident cornering downhill, crosswinds, and highway maneuvering.
Accelerating the load factors on your vehicle's engine power and how it delivers the power (transmission and final gearing). You can have a gutless wonder and a pile of gears to turn it into something workable however you'll need to be patient. Nice thing modern trucks, there's no shortage of power. Buses all fall into the gutless wonder category.

Stopping the load typically relies on the trailer's brakes to stop the load of the trailer. A good brake controller is a must to go heavy. Modern trucks have them integrated. Drum brakes fade, and fast. keep that in mind. Campers now are switching to electric discs. Diesels get the option of an exhaust brake that works as additional braking capability for your tow vehicle. The idea there is to reduce the load on the service brakes. Old trucker's rule is the gear you climbed it, is the gear you descend it, for a newer truck, go 1 gear down for descents. As for the braking system used on the truck, nearly everything built in the last 20-30 years in the 3/4-1 ton range will have 4 wheel discs. Most every diesel will have something called hydroboost instead of a vacuum booster. They essentially double the line pressure over vacuum boosted brakes.

Air brakes are found on class 7-8 trucks/buses. Discs are becoming commonplace here too. I can go into more detail about these work if requested.

Costs?
haha. $Texas$.

Bus conversions have all the costs of an R/V coupled with the costs of a class 7-8 truck. Insurance is cheap due to R/V classification. Tires new can be a few hundred per. They'll almost certainly age out. with six to ten tires..yeah. Some engines hold 5 or so gallons of oil and double that in coolant. Common buses will use class 8 truck brake parts and hardware. Some tag axle buses will have suspension parts specific to that manufacturer, like MCI. Eagle's torsilastic uses no air spring but a torsion bar instead. They *do* wear out like everything else. Fuel economy for these vehicles are all over the map. If you set out expecting 5mpg you'll not be disappointed. Typically they hold over 100 gallons of diesel too.
You *can* do a bus on the cheap if you're good with a wrench and handy with resources. schoolies are the base for entry into cheap bussin'. Most have "juice brakes" and are built on class 4-7 chassis' with medium duty diesels pushing em along. I have seen some awesome toyhaulers built from a schoolie like this one:


As for tow rigs? I pour way too much money in my 30 year old 1 ton with a 7.3. Prior to that was a F250 with a 6.0 Powerstroke. We all know what those like to do. Because of that, I got it for drat near free. I traded it for the first bus, the PD4104.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Very good info, I seriously doubt I will ever be dipping into a big pull behind.

So excited to get my camper but it is a waiting game. As I don't know what it will have/need I have some general questions.

What's up with RV insurance? Can I insure my Japanese Hi Ace as a RV if I keep it for that purpose? Would that cover a total loss at an agreed value if something happened?

Also anyone want to weigh in on things like Generators, Solar and Backup/Rearview cameras?

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

everdave posted:

Very good info, I seriously doubt I will ever be dipping into a big pull behind.

So excited to get my camper but it is a waiting game. As I don't know what it will have/need I have some general questions.

What's up with RV insurance? Can I insure my Japanese Hi Ace as a RV if I keep it for that purpose? Would that cover a total loss at an agreed value if something happened?

Also anyone want to weigh in on things like Generators, Solar and Backup/Rearview cameras?

My RV insurance isnít agreed value per se they just asked what I paid for it. There are too many models and not enough sales data for accurate book values.

As far as RV power goes, mine is a 50 amp service which is really nice because I can run both ACís at the same time. 30 amp is the most common, but your going to be limited to about 3600 wats which isnít really enough for 2 AC units on a hot day. For generators, I would strongly recommend an inverter type, they are much quieter and more efficient. 3000 watts would be sufficient for most applications. You can get by with a 2000 watt generator if you put a soft start on the AC and are careful with power management. I donít really do solar because I like AC too much on a hot day.

Rear view cameras are nice but you really should have a spotter. TPMS is a really good thing to have on a trailer as well.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


Seconding a rear view camera, very handy to have, even on a small rig.

Generator/Solar depends on needs, space, and money. Needs are Do you have a lot of electrical appliances or utilities you want to use when you're not driving or hooked up? Do you expect you'll be dry camping (no hookups) a lot? Space is, do you have the physical space for carrying a generator in transit, or space for storage batteries? Money is, do you have the dosh? You can get a big loud clunker generator for a couple hundred bucks, but a nice quiet Honda will run you. So I guess the question is, what are your needs for power, and what is your budget wrt space and budget.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

I will almost always be camping where 30 is provided, but I need to keep kids cool they are spoiled

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.



Fun Shoe

Batteries/inverters: https://www.victronenergy.com/
more lithium/battery management: https://www.elitepowersolutions.com/
budget restricted: trojan 6v golf-cart batteries.

Solar is heavily dependent on the roof space you have available. If you have the real estate angling panels during the winter isn't as crucial. Portable panels are also a thing.
Generators? I can't really weigh much here other than big and quiet.
Over a kW of solar or so feeding Victron inverters with some LiFePO4 batteries will let you boondock with a single a/c unit. 350W panels can be had, so this is an attainable number with limited roof realestate

The first bus was 30A and kind of sucked. 50A service is luxury living. Aircon can still happen on 30A, but do be aware of what the coach is pulling at any given time.


Rear view cameras rock. I'd like to go wireless to a tablet and will share my findings when that happens.
Using this now which is a combo dual dashcam/rear view/backup camera/gps/clock/speedometer with lane assist:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

There is a knockoff if that rear view that has been marked down ton$45-55 on amazon but I canít get coupon to work, definitely eyeing one for Hi Ace. I just re-read your bus thread at work yesterday sad to see it parked away in storage forgot about that!

Iíve got to be careful buying stuff as I donít know what my camper already has or needs yet. For sure itís going to be wired for Japanese voltage and have Japanese outlets, gotta figure out what to do with that. Quite possibly already has an on board inverter and extra battery but again donít know u til I get it. Plenty of roof space but I definitely want a rack on top for storing chairs and such. I imagine Iíll mostly be at campgrounds with shore power so I need to take that into account, but if I take off solo on occasion would be nice to be able to stealth camp near beaches and solar would be good for that. So many questions canít wait to get it!

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


everdave posted:

I will almost always be camping where 30 is provided, but I need to keep kids cool they are spoiled

30 is enough for a single AC, and you have a tiny rig. I'm curious though, what is your AC situation? I don't see a roof unit in the photos you provided.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Suspect Bucket posted:

30 is enough for a single AC, and you have a tiny rig. I'm curious though, what is your AC situation? I don't see a roof unit in the photos you provided.

Another unknown. When we buy from Japan I know that Hi Ace has AC as far as up in the cab, all I know. I don't mind adding a roof unit or other if need be, but I have to wait and see. I might glean some more info in a few days when I get more pics from port in Japan.

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

Iím no worldwide voltage expert, but is Japan the same 120v 60hz we are? That would definitely require some work if not.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

rdb posted:

Iím no worldwide voltage expert, but is Japan the same 120v 60hz we are? That would definitely require some work if not.

It is 100 volt lol, I have no idea electricity is a mystery to me, like magnets

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

Its the hz part thats going to be critical. You might be able to get away with the 100v vs 120v but if its 50hz bad things can happen.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


everdave posted:

It is 100 volt lol, I have no idea electricity is a mystery to me, like magnets

Prepare to learn quite a bit! This will be quite the adventure in electrical magicry, methinks.

Besides being cool as hell, what led you to get a Hi-Ace as opposed to a domestic van?

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

rdb posted:

Its the hz part thats going to be critical. You might be able to get away with the 100v vs 120v but if its 50hz bad things can happen.

Some parts of japan are 50 some 60. This is from a part called Yamanashi I donít know what HZ they are.

As far as why a Japanese camper, I certainly could buy 90s flat front big ole campers around here for $6-8k (about what I have in hi Ace) but they look like a hobo has been living in them. And Iíve been importing cars for almost 2 years now, if this van turns out solid itís just another level having a diesel manual camper with 30k miles. My hopes is it gets here and is amazing and stays in the family a long time, but if not I have zero doubt I could sell for $10k+ almost anytime.

I had been eyeing Toyota coasters and Nissan civilians big bus like campers but Iíd have been on the 12-15k range for a lower level quality. I am just stoked to see this one when it gets here and canít wait to see what happens!

luminalflux
May 27, 2005



rdb posted:

Iím no worldwide voltage expert, but is Japan the same 120v 60hz we are? That would definitely require some work if not.

Eastern japan is 50 Hz and western is 60 Hz since back in the 1890's Tokyo bought generators from germany and Osaka bought generators from the US.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


So do any of you have any reccomendations for the YouTube section? I love a good RV video

thatguy
Feb 5, 2003


You have any recommendations for a pull behind that has to sleep 2 independently? We do trail construction and maintenance but until now we've had western states in the summer where I used my wall tent and stove rather than an RV. I'd likely put in a mini split so I could reasonably run AC over 15A/1000W. I don't know poo poo about any of these brands, but we'd be living out of it longterm and itd need a shitter and shower. I drive a 5.9 and 6.7 cummins and already tow a 14k trailer with an excavator or trail dozer so weight isnt an issue. Size will be in some cases though, we drive on a lot of dirt roads.

rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

thatguy posted:

You have any recommendations for a pull behind that has to sleep 2 independently? We do trail construction and maintenance but until now we've had western states in the summer where I used my wall tent and stove rather than an RV. I'd likely put in a mini split so I could reasonably run AC over 15A/1000W. I don't know poo poo about any of these brands, but we'd be living out of it longterm and itd need a shitter and shower. I drive a 5.9 and 6.7 cummins and already tow a 14k trailer with an excavator or trail dozer so weight isnt an issue. Size will be in some cases though, we drive on a lot of dirt roads.

Budget and location? Actually, it doesnít really matter. Unless its ultra high end (Airstream, Luxe, etc) they are are constructed about the same. Anything with a ďbunkhouseĒ floorplan will have at least 3 separate beds.

I donít know about the feasibility of cooling one with under 1000w. Its the startup surge/total btu thats the problem. I have read good things about the micro air easy start.

thatguy
Feb 5, 2003


I'm just aiming at the 1100W 15A honda to try to run the AC unit and then at some point at least look at the feasibility of solar or hybrid. Our work running that will be predominately east coast. A lot of areas we'd just run the fan but I've started to have trouble sleeping when it's still 80F and 100% humidity for our summer jobs.

You think something deluxe is worth the cost? I'm personally only interested in reliability and usability, not looks. Are the expansion tow behinds more prone to leaking if they're exposed for weeks or months at a time? It's going to almost always be just 2 of us.

My only experience with the mini splits is just a couple videos I saw in youtube. I did hvac for a few years but that was before the consumer facing stuff came out. From what I could tell they were running off a 15A breaker and extension with zero problems.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


Are you wanting to take it off road very far, or just park it off a dirt road? Most trailers won't go much further off road then you'd take a stock Honda Civic. I take it you want 2 separate beds. What kind of budget are you looking at? A pop-up with a full bath would do you just fine. As for wear and tear while sitting, it's no big deal, just cover it with a tarp if you're worried.

Would something like this MicroMinnie work for you? It's got bunks, it's 21 feet long, and it has a full bathroom. https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/20...00BH-5008835665

Suspect Bucket fucked around with this message at 23:21 on Aug 21, 2019

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rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

Something like an Rpod would be ok on an easy fire road. I take my 32í jayco down dirt roads and up my steep driveway all the time. It works.

As far as being out all the time goes, they are designed for that but will need periodic inspection and resealing of the roof. Any leaks need to be addressed immediately. In my experience the slides are pretty reliable, just donít walk on them when they are retracted, and make sure everything is clear while extending and retracting them.

Also the smallest honda generator that will run an RV ac is probably the EU2200is. You may still need the soft start kit.

rdb fucked around with this message at 23:36 on Aug 21, 2019

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