Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Our new battery system

I started on our new battery system today, first I removed the net between the pass thru and the battery compartment and unhooked the circuit breakers installed by the factory.


Next I added a plywood back coated with high temp paint ( all of our components either have plastic bases or stand up off the board so I am not worried about heat starting a fire) I added a cut off switch first on the positive side so I can cut all power from the batteries followed by a 250 amp T fuse and a positive distribution block. On the negative side I added a negative distribution block and a old 1000 watt inverter that I had. I added another cut off switch between the inverter and a 80 amp breaker for it also. I added 2 6 volt double battery boxes and 4 US Battery 2200  232 ah batteries wired in series/parallel giving us 12 volts and 464 ah of power.



I have to pickup some 1/0 AWG positive cable to hook up the positive sides of the batteries to the cut off switches, T fuse and the inverter all other wiring needing cable will be in #2 and #4 cable. I will add more as I and more parts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New tires were installed today

Today I had some new Carlisle Radial Trail HD tires installed 5 of them with new metal valve stems to handle the 80 psi pressure.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Replaced the leaf springs both sides are done.

Here is a before and after pictures of the door side you can see that we gained height from the new springs which we needed anyway.


 I would say we gained about 1 1/2" in height with the new springs and tomorrow it will get new tires installed in the morning and I will start my new battery install after that.

Leaf spring replacement 1 side is done

 I had to repaint my new springs first since they were rusty - thanks fedex


We tried to get our trailer up on to blocks on the front axle to lift the rear one up off the ground but the ground was to soft and the blocks kept tilting inward so I had to use our 20 ton jack on the frame and I raised it enough to put log rounds and blocks under it with the one good axle off the ground and I put a floor jack under the bad one.


The broken rear leaf spring was first and was removed easily.


The front spring was harder to remove the U-bolts didn't want to come off using the floor jack really helped to realign the springs , here is a hint don't tighten down the U-bolts after installing the new spring until you get all of the bolts back in mounting the springs, then tighten them down.


Use the floor jack to lower or raise the axle to help with the tension on the bolts, I removed the shackles first then the hanger bolt and lowered the axle to make removing the spring easier. After reinstalling the new spring I raised the axle reinstalled the shackle and then raised the axle the rest of the way to reinstall the hanger bolt some prying here was necessary to realign it. Make sure you replace all of the bolts and nuts and now is the time to replace the nylon bushings if you need to. Some people will put in a wet bolt kit when doing this, it is just brass bushings and a greasable bolts in place of the standard ones. Torque the spring U-bolts down and the rest just get tightened up until the splined end of the bolts get pulled into the hangers and shackles, the shackles have to be able to move so they cannot be to tight.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trailer springs are here

Well are trailer springs are here, actually they have been here for 6 days Fedex Ground was nice enough to deliver them to the wrong house and they have been sitting outside in the rain since then, luckily I own that place to and they were not stolen so I will start to clean them up and I will pick up some spray paint for them tomorrow.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

New posts coming up in the near future

The weather is keeping me from getting my next posts out. I will be posting soon about new trailer tires and what to look for when buying them, replacing trailer leaf springs, under the trailer storage for outdoor rugs, back up lights for the rear of the trailer and upgrading the 12v battery system. I will be getting to these after the rainy weather leaves us for a while until then I will be adding more to my campground information in the Bighorn National Forest and I will be adding a page for the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming also.

More supplies for the camper

When we bought our fifth wheel I told the wife we won't want to know how much it cost to buy all of the things to put into it and we did start buying things for it before we got the trailer so we were already ahead. Yesterday we spent another $12 for small items at the local dollar store we picked up clothes hangers, shoe horn, trays for the refrigerator, timer, shelf liner, and 6 more items. This is a great way to cut down on the cost of outfitting your camper with little things that don't have to be higher quality.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Follow up on memory foam mattress topper

When we installed anti fatigue mats under the bed mattress to help with it being so hard we also installed a 2" memory foam topper made by Dreamfoam Bedding, we got it on Amazon for $85.10 with free shipping and it was worth it we slept much better and felt better when we got up.

Dreamfoam Bedding DF20GT2050SH Gel Swirl Memory Foam Topper Dream Bedding 2" Made in the USA, Short Queen


Monday, June 11, 2018

Hanging organizer in our popup

My wife made two of these hanging organizers for over the bunk end hoops on our popup trailer and are a great place to put your wallet, glasses and keys since there is not much shelf or table spaces in these campers.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Shower caddy

My wife made this niffty shower caddy for our trailer for holding bar soap and shampoo and such and it worked out great on our last trip.


Friday, June 8, 2018

37 camping bastards today

Wow it is definitely camping season here in Montana I saw 37 fifth wheels , pull behinds , class A's & B's and even 3 super C's in just 40 miles on my way home today and here we sit with I broken leaf spring on our trailer and a issue with what size springs are on there, now is the time to live in a good size town not 35 miles away I'm afraid to try and pull it to town to get it fixed I could just see the other spring on that side letting go so we missed 1 trip already this month and I am pretty sure we will miss the next one too so I will have to extend our trips in July and August to make up for it. I wish everyone we saw today a good and safe trip and better luck then we ended are last one with.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Camp trailer water heater is dripping

My water heater was dripping at the drain plug when we bought the trailer, ours has a Dometic water heater so no anode rod. I pulled the plug and saw that the threads in the water heater tank were stripped out so I ordered a 1/2" 14  NPT tap and chased the threads in the tank twice.


And then put a new plastic plug and teflon tape in it and it still leaked. So I had already ordered a brass drain valve and I pulled the plastic plug and put a lot of thread sealant on the brass drain plug and installed it and let it set and no more leak. Now before you say the brass plug may cause corrosion in the tank remember it already has a brass pop off valve in there already.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Trailer tires

My trailer tires are out of date so I have been looking for new tires to replace them, my currant tires are Carlisle Radial Trail ST 225/75r15 load rating E so good for 80 psi at 2830 lbs. Unfortunately most trailer tires are no made in china and if you look enough on the web you see a lot about the chinese tires blowing out. Now my tires are from 2009 so they have lasted 9 years and are way past their replacement time. I checked on new Carlise tires and they all seem to be made in china now the only tires that I found not made there when it comes to ST tires are Maxxis they are made in Thailand or Twain and Goodyear Endurance tires that are made in the USA. Now a lot of people have good luck with the Carlise tires and some don't, mine obviously have lasted far longer then they were supposed to. I have seen a lot of posts about the Maxxis tires and only a few complaints, the Goodyear tires are the highest price and a lot of people don't seem to want to try them because Goodyear also has the Marathon tires and their quality dropped when they started making them in china and people started having issues with them, so now some people don't want to try the new American made tires. The tires I have seen that people seem to like overall are the Carlise's, Maxxis M8008, Goodyear Endurance, Freestar M-108, Sailun's S-637 and Goodyear G-614 tires

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Trailer rims and their ratings

There is a lot out there about 15" trailer rims and their psi ratings and weight ratings and tire psi ratings & weight ratings.
I started looking for new tires for my fifth wheel and was seeing a lot about checking your rims to see what psi rating they had on them, so I went to look at new rims and the only things listed for psi ratings was for what type of valve stem was installed, there are push in stems for 65 psi and 80 psi and metal valve stems for higher ratings. So just make sure if you use push in stems use them on 65 psi tries and for the 80 psi tires just get the metal stems since they are better anyway. Now there are weight ratings on rims and they are  important my trailer has a max weight of 10,000 lbs the axles are rated at 5080 lbs each so 10,160 max, the leaf springs are rated 2500 lbs ea so 10,000 max, so your rims need to be 2500 lbs and up and your tires need to be rated at a minimum of 2500 lbs at max inflation , mine are 2600 lb rims, so they are good for 10400 lbs max I would prefer they were 2800 lb rims. My tires are rated at 2830 lbs ea since they are E rated tires.

If you need to buy new rims or tires get them for a higher weight rating then you need to give your self some safety room.

Friday, June 1, 2018

A great little grocery stop in Lovell WY

While camping at the Cottonwood Creek Campground we went into town and stopped at the Red Apple Supermarket to pick up a few things and were surprised by great sale prices on BBQ Sauce, Baked Beans and lots of other items, they even had camping gear and freeze dried food there. This is a good place to stock up while driving through. And the biggest surprise was at the rear of the store they had a little liquor store and it had a drive thou window it was C&R Liquor, I have never seen a drive thru window at a liquor store before.