New guy from Midwest

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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby Tigris99 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:14 pm

Ya I have patience issues, especially when I get tired getting wet in bad storms. A solid tent that has enough room is EXPENSIVE and no protection from hail or falling limbs (reason I want a camper). Mother nature has been such a bi-polar biatch the last couple years it's hard to be prepared.

And as you said, minimal set up time is a major plus. Setting up tents (2 for us), the canopy and everything inside them starts to suck. Even more so when it's time to pack up and get everything stuffs back where it goes....

I'm not after fancy at least. But the more you post, the more I'm like "ffs I need to have money randomly hit my door, just buy one of those!" Lol. Having just bought the Cannondale BOTE and paying for everything for Ragbrai has kind of drained me though.

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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby mtbikernate » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:36 pm

Tigris99 wrote:Mother nature has been such a bi-polar biatch the last couple years it's hard to be prepared.


You live close enough to me that I understand exactly what you're going through. It was over 70F a couple weeks ago before my trip to Sedona. It's been snowing (flurries) all day, and there's a dusting of white crap on the ground right now. Which is significantly more white crap than fell here for the entire month of February. So bizarre. It's been unusually dry here this year so far in general, so even when it's been above freezing, the trails haven't been the usual muddy slop...They've been dusty at their worst.

Which makes me concerned for the upcoming season. I was seeing active mosquitoes in January, and I'm hearing about active ticks in the area already. The bug season is going to be BAD, and the local land management agencies have already been getting fires started by lightning from time to time. Fires normally aren't much of a concern here at all (can't recall the last time I've seen more than "moderate" fire danger on the park notice boards), and I have a sinking suspicion that this year is going to have some damaging fires.

On our drive home from AZ, we had to deal with smoke from some pretty major grass fires between Amarillo and Oklahoma.

Anyway, I'm thrilled with the camper.

If I was you, I'd really start diving into materials costs before you commit one way or another. My camper wound up being right around $10,000 with all the options right out of the gate. If I wanted to do it a little differently, I could have bought a much simpler camper from the same company and then DIY modded it for less than half that initial expense, spreading out the cost of the mods over a longer period of time. Would have been an interesting way of doing things if I was so inclined.

When I was pricing things out for myself when considering DIY, I was looking at probably $3k bare minimum for a super basic trailer and cabin, and who knows what once various options got added to the mix (considering the likelihood for cost overruns in the DIY process, doubling the budget wouldn't have been a bad idea). I probably would have wound up spending within a couple thousand in the end on DIY as what I ended up spending on this pro built trailer. And I feel like the finishing touches turned out better this way.
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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby Tigris99 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:41 pm

Appreciate that, will definately look at it more in-depth. Things like all the diamond plate would be things I'm not too worried about but your completely right. Maybe DIY without being totally cheap may not be the cost savings I'd expect.

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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby mtbikernate » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:10 pm

Tigris99 wrote:Appreciate that, will definately look at it more in-depth. Things like all the diamond plate would be things I'm not too worried about but your completely right. Maybe DIY without being totally cheap may not be the cost savings I'd expect.

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In the grand scheme of things, the diamond plate was a fairly inexpensive add-on for a few hundred bucks. And it has actual functional purpose of protecting the trailer from rock chips. Taking it down gravel roads is definitely in the cards for me, though I won't technically be offroading it.
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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby Tigris99 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:04 pm

I figured that was the point, protection. More gravel than pavement in our part of the country

So since I had to head to home Depot anyway, decided to get some numbers just to get an idea.

$400-600 trailer
$500 total in lumber/fasteners max, probably about $400 if not less as I have connection to contractor account.

Windows actually aren't bad on ebay, surplus stuff. I like the look of frameless better anyway. 200-300 there depending on which route I take.

So around $1200-1300 range. Figure $1500 after hinges and such unless I go gull wing instead of normal door.

Said and done except accessories (solar panel, battery and such) I'll have under $2k in the build. Won't be as sweet looking as yours but even saving 3-4k to me is worth it. I may get some plate if I can find it cheaper than $40 for 2x2 piece.

External covering I'm undecided.

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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby mtbikernate » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:23 am

Yeah, when I started doing my own research, I ended up deciding I wanted a better trailer than that, and that I'd wind up spending about $2k on it, I think.

The lumber wasn't the major supply cost at all.

It was all the little fixtures and hardware. The 12v system was nonnegotiable for me (the fact that a solar panel was included in the package is a bonus). The trailer I have now has a super simple shore power system, too, which so far works well and kept costs down compared to something more complex. I am looking at adding capability to charge my trailer battery from the tow vehicle and setting up a one-way system so it also doesn't drain the car battery if I'm parked. It shouldn't take a ton of components to pull that off since I've got all the basics in place already.

What's getting me right now, though, is that this 3300mi road trip I just finished has got me wanting the 2017 Chevy Colorado with the Duramax diesel engine. 7700lbs towing and 30mpg...for $40,000 to start. Haha. :o I've wanted a truck like that one for a lot of years before this one hit the market, honestly. Get a camper shell and the bikes can go inside it. With that kind of tow rating, the truck would barely notice a little teardrop trailer and would get pretty close to its full fuel economy on long road trips. And wouldn't want to race the engine on long uphill mountain grades the way the Subie did pulling the trailer.
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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby Tigris99 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:39 pm

A plus for me is that I can wire the shore power and 12v system all without a single issue and expensive kits.

I don't need anything fancy myself nor do we need it. When you search for stuff purpose built it gets expensive fast. I can spec the entire trailer (except the trailer running/brake lights) off 110v or use things that come normally with 110Vac-12VDC adapter. That route I only need a decent converter to run the trailer off shore power and charge batteries at the same time.

The one way circuit is a must if you want to tie the trailer battery into the cars power. Suck to wake up to a dead car battery in the ass end of nowhere.

I like your thinking on that truck, seems they are doing some interesting things to the truck That replaced the S10. I'm Leary of any new American branded cars myself. Being an automotive technician much of my life, I've watched the progression of quality (or lack there of currently). First was Chrysler to fall due to becoming half Mitsubishi. Ford to follow and now Chevy over the last several years is going down the crapper too. 07 was the last Chevy we bought bought it new. Cobalt. Great car! Then they went to the Cruze....

That said, if I needed a truck to tow with, not any truck out there I would buy for the job before I bought a Chevy. May not be what it once was but still trust a Chevy over anything else, foreign or otherwise.

Which is why my "keep it small and light" requirements. Honda Odyssey is rated for twice what I want the loaded max weight of my trailer to be. Then even my POS 99 caravan (just my work/trail tool hauler vehicle) can pull it locally, hopefully lol.

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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby mtbikernate » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:47 pm

I'm not terribly loyal one way or the other to any auto manufacturers. I drive a Honda Fit now that's 10yrs old this year, with about 70k on the odometer. It has no tow rating, but it could probably handle the Hiker for trips less than a couple hours at a time. I can get a hitch for it that's rated to handle the weight, so it's really just a matter of how the car drives with it. Braking would be the biggest issue, I think. The power/weight ratio is similar to our Subie. Again, short local stuff with no need for extended braking would probably be fine.

But what's the point in that? The Subie does better with all that stuff. And the Honda does a lot of things less well than I'd like. It's been a good car, but hauling bikes often is hard on the interior. My old dog with bowel problems is even harder on it. It's not a great camping/expedition vehicle, either. The Taco is a great truck for what I'm looking to do...but a well used one with 100k is still over $20k around here. And you'll still pay about $10k for one with 200k on the odometer. Insane. And the fuel economy kinda sucks. If I'm going to throw down on a truck that works ideally for what I do, I might as well buy a new or slightly used truck. And I want a small diesel in a bad way (have for a long, long time). Not enough manufacturers offer that in the US.
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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby Tigris99 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:41 am

Ya it's the way to go. I don't have a loyalty anywhere, I buy what I either know is cheap to fix (cheap to buy used) and doesn't have outrageous issues, or in the case of our Honda, needed a good minivan and got lucky on finding the deal. We couldn't afford a new one but when an elderly guy owned it, took really good care of it except dings in every body panel, the wife saw the inside and gave me the look.

Small diesels aren't really around cause of the "size matters" thing with us Americans lol. Not many think like guys like us do, practicality. Instead most go with image. A small diesel van I would love but their a pretty penny when you can find one, just like your seeing with the truck.

You have me checking out that truck now just out of curiosity. Chevy trucks from a mechanics stand point still come out well on top, never expected to see them do a Colorado with a diesel so has me intrigued.

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Re: New guy from Midwest

Postby mtbikernate » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:40 pm

I have a buddy with a diesel sprinter that he's built out inside for a small conversion camper adventure vehicle. That's a super nice rig, too. And when it comes down to it, since they've been on the market longer, there's definitely more on the used market. While a new one is every bit as expensive as the truck, the larger used market means they can be more affordable for sure.

But with pulling a teardrop, the van is sorta superfluous for two. Why bother with the teardrop at all if I could built out a cargo van to sleep in AND carry bikes inside? Maybe a "crew" type van with seating for at least 4 and a smaller cargo area with just enough space for bike and other outdoor gear? It's an intriguing concept. Probably tricky to find that exact van on the used market without obscene mileage on it already. I see that the new ones, at least, aren't available in 4x4 trim with the diesel. That's a shame.

The Colorado is still a bit big for what I would want ideally. That whole American status symbol stuff again. My last truck was a 98 Ford Ranger and the size of it was near perfect. But it's definitely a step in the right direction compared to other diesel pickup options.

The truck has the benefit of being able to fill the bed with dirt or mulch for house work type stuff, at least.
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