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Thread: What did you do to your hard-sided truck camper recently?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    North Spokane, WA
    Posts
    605

    Default What did you do to your hard-sided truck camper recently?

    I am in the process of shopping for new batteries.

    The wet cell batteries in my Arctic Fox 811 are toast. They could have lasted longer. They've lost water and had exposed plates several time, and have died prematurely. (er, I should say they were killed by lack of maintenance).

    Checking water in them requires totally disconnecting them and pulling them off the slide out tray. This project is very difficult when the camper is on the truck because the battery box is at eye level, and carrying a battery down a ladder is a recipe for disaster, so I don't do it. The camper spends all summer on the truck, sometimes longer than the summer, so they don't get maintenance as often as they should since it's nearly impossible to do when the camper is on the truck.

    My plan is to go with a pair of AGM batteries. I am DONE with wet cell batteries. I went through two sets of golf cart batteries (wet cell) in my previous RV, a Desert Fox Toy hauler, during the 7 seasons I used it. I'm, finished with using wet cell batteries in deep cycle applications.
    Doug
    2009 Silverado 3500HD DRW D/A, 2010 Arctic Fox 811 truck camper, '02 DR-Z400, '07 KLR650, and a land yacht enclosed trailer (20')

    www.overland-gear.com | www.ledtrailerlights.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Spokane, WA
    Posts
    605
    I installed the AGM batteries - I got two group 29 Deka AGM batteries.
    Doug
    2009 Silverado 3500HD DRW D/A, 2010 Arctic Fox 811 truck camper, '02 DR-Z400, '07 KLR650, and a land yacht enclosed trailer (20')

    www.overland-gear.com | www.ledtrailerlights.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Backpacking 'tween Airbnb's
    Posts
    457
    Do you have a simple single stage converter in your Arctic Fox? They can cook batteries pretty quickly if you generally leave it plugged into shore power since they don't idle down into a gentle maintenance or float charge.

    I'm thinking about different options for sprucing up the faded white gelcoat and tattered decals on my 2005 Bigfoot - Has anyone tried plasti-dip on top of gel coat? Considering that or vinyl wrap material to maybe make something better matching the truck and more custom looking, without a lot of tedious paint or gelcoat work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    On the road to Nowhere
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    2,380
    Quote Originally Posted by workerdrone View Post
    Do you have a simple single stage converter in your Arctic Fox? They can cook batteries pretty quickly if you generally leave it plugged into shore power since they don't idle down into a gentle maintenance or float charge.

    I'm thinking about different options for sprucing up the faded white gelcoat and tattered decals on my 2005 Bigfoot - Has anyone tried plasti-dip on top of gel coat? Considering that or vinyl wrap material to maybe make something better matching the truck and more custom looking, without a lot of tedious paint or gelcoat work
    The military vehicle crowd is using house paint. You can go with a flat or satin finish and touch-ups are easy.

    1992 FORD F-350 Crew 4X4. 460 gas, Manual 5-speed. Sky's Offroad Design shackle reversal, Atlas Spring spring packs, Falken 37x12.5-17 Wildpeaks Trailready 17x8.5 beadlocks, Warn Winches front&rear, Odyssey AGM Batteries, Power Master. Centramatic Dynamic Wheel Balancers. Pressure Pro TPMS. Maxima Racing Fluids, Vision-X, JE Reel, Crap Ind.
    Build thread

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Backpacking 'tween Airbnb's
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    Haha that's interesting but I'd need to spray for sure to keep it looking presentable enough for the missus. And if we hate the result or get tired of it, no simple peel away like plasti dip or vinyl wrap. Although my airless sprayer will do a gallon in 3 minutes so theoretically I could paint the sucker in a few minutes

    White camper on black truck, been thinking ever since I got it that it would be pretty nice to color match them - our poor people's version of an Earthroamer - F550 4wd with a truck camper.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Backpacking 'tween Airbnb's
    Posts
    457
    Well, yesterday and today got 300w of solar mounted and wired down through the refrigerator vent, which I had to remove, clean, and recaulk....nice and clean, now just have to decide what controller and inverter are going in and whether to ditch the old factory converter entirely or not.

    And disassembled the step that leads up to the bed, since it was a little wiggley and that's where all the wiring access is - wood frame was held together with cheesy staples several of which had failed, hence the wiggle.

    Will reassemble and brace further tomorrow

    Last week two GC-2 6v golf cart batteries replaced the stock shot group 27 "deep cycles", had to remove the battery tray to fit them but I left an incandescent light on all night by accident last night and this AM they were still very strong.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Spokane, WA
    Posts
    605
    Quote Originally Posted by workerdrone View Post
    Do you have a simple single stage converter in your Arctic Fox?

    I do, but I disabled it years ago. I installed a Xantrex Prosine 2.0 inverter/3 stage charger and use that for charging duties.
    Doug
    2009 Silverado 3500HD DRW D/A, 2010 Arctic Fox 811 truck camper, '02 DR-Z400, '07 KLR650, and a land yacht enclosed trailer (20')

    www.overland-gear.com | www.ledtrailerlights.com

  8. #8
    I'm in the midst of cleaning up my 88 Lance LC980 for it's inaugural camping trip in August. Spent today cleaning up more stuff, and trying to track down a water leak. Found the water leak, and got it nice and clean on the inside. Now to clean up the outside.
    2004.5 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins, Long Bed, 4x4, NV5600
    1988 Lance LC980 - A work in progress - Dubbed "Problem Child"

  9. #9
    Albeit far more expensive, has anyone thought about adding a Tesla Powerwall to their TC?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jensen View Post
    Albeit far more expensive, has anyone thought about adding a Tesla Powerwall to their TC?
    The powerwall looks awesome, but msrp is way out of reach for my camper, since I got it for free, I can't see sinking thousands into it by purchasing a powerwall... it might work for some though.
    2004.5 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins, Long Bed, 4x4, NV5600
    1988 Lance LC980 - A work in progress - Dubbed "Problem Child"

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