I want to elaborate on the technical aspects of our “spaceship”(Campah). (If this bores you, the next blog will be coming out tomorrow – Never a shortage of stuff to write about here in Yellowstone!). Our F150 is close to max capacity with bikes, 2 passengers, genny, extra propane, 3 gal of water, and 4 fold up chairs. Our trailer is at about 7000 lbs loaded (abt. 900 lbs on hitch). All of this has a negative effect on handling and pulling. I have offset this with helper springs in the rear of the truck, LT 10 ply tires on the truck (75 lbs of air in both rear tires) and good radial tires on trailer to stiffen the handling. All of this helps tremendously in the control …especially when the wind blows. And the downhill side of the Big Horn Mountains proved that Ford has put together a very viable half ton pickup with great stopping power too. * Editors note: People often wonder if they have enough power to pull a heavy load …almost always, it’s not the pulling power that you should question. It’s the stopping power.
Campers, like any man-made object, needs continued upkeep. Even new ones! Seams are notorious for deteriorating. We’ve had a reoccurring issue with the front seam on our roof. A heavy thunderstorm in South Dakota exposed the problem. In Gardiner, I was able to find a place that sold lap sealant (a special sealant that is required of camper’s rubber roofing.). I think I finally solved the problem… but I won’t know for sure until the next heavy rainfall. In a previous blog, I mentioned a paint issue on the nose of the camper. Instead of repainting (very expensive especially on aluminum), we did a “car wrap”…at half the cost (and personalized it). It is vinyl and so far is holding up very nicely. I have had a lot of comments on it. Tires are another issue. The “China Bombs” that came with it were of the lowest quality. With less than 3000 miles on them, they wore unevenly. I replaced them last year and now have over 5000 miles on the new ones with great success.
Solar – free energy …or not. I hemmed and hawed on this decision but when Harbor Freight put out a pretty good introductory 100watt system fairly cheap (under $150), I said, “Let’s give it a whirl!” I wrote about it in this blog (Solar Power). In that same blog, I also talk about using an inverter generator. If you plan on using a generator, research this. In my “research” I also found out why you shouldn’t put heavy things in your tub while traveling. This blog (Repairs, Upgrades, & other mods) will also explain how to replace a tub… And then there was the bedroom window. If you leave it unlatched, it WILL fly open driving at 60. Shop around, there are some glass companies that can replace this with Lexan (abt. $50) or try to sell you a whole window unit (abt $700+ installed).
Yes, at Campah University, there is a whole world waiting to be learned! Happy Camping!
…Now, back to YELLOWSTONE !
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”!
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Coming Soon!!! YouTube channel with movies of the adventures!