FWC build

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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:51 pm

Since I last posted we took our beach trip and I haven't been online much since. I have more stuff on backlog to write up. But at this point I'll just say the new truck carried the camper fine for almost 1,000 miles. I never touched a turnbuckle other than checking them.

We love the solar and the fridge. So nice to keep a lot of meat and such in the fridge and not have to fish anything out of water a week later. Mama Squatch is sold. Enough said?

Until a few days ago the fridge has been in the camper and running with food or drinks in it. I took it out to clean it a couple of days ago. Over almost a month we had maybe 3 days that were rainy and cloudy enough that we didn't get a full charge during the day. But we never got low enough on the battery to cause any issues. Never below 83% charge. Most days the battery is fully charged by mid day. I think we have the system sized well for our needs. I always have the option of adding on portable panels just by plugging into the camper. I have the panels but haven't built them into a portable unit yet. Haven't needed them so far.

At this point the Camper is self contained and runs on solar only. I haven't hooked up the truck wiring yet.

The bed cushion have to be addressed. These have to be replaced soon. Way too hard!

I'll post up some more pics and some mods as soon as I get a chance to deal with the pics.
These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:23 am

The last night we were at the beach there was a good storm. When it was over around dawn the wind stopped. When the wind stops on the Outer Banks the No-See-Em's come out in droves. Screens don't even slow them down.
They collect around lights. Nasty little biting buggers! :(
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A picture of the camper on the truck.
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The '05-'06 double cab Tundra has a 20" deep bed instead of the 17" that was on earlier models. So I had to build a riser platform to raise the camper. I made a quick one out of 2x4's and 3/8" plywood.
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It works well. But I will probably remake it out of 2x3 and lower the camper an Inch. This board is a true 1". It fits fine all the way around when I checked for clearance.
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I'll also trim the rubber bumpers on the front of the camper to snug it forward an inch or so.
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These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:35 am

Our 2012 Eagle came with the single eyebolt with a small aluminum backing plate. Because of the large wheel wells in Black Beans I needed to move the front mounts forward a couple of inches. I purchased the newer style 3 bolt mounts from FWC. They have a larger backing plate. I centered them on the old hole and drilled a new hole fore and aft of that one. I then used the old eye bolt for the front most bolt. This gives me 2 eyelets to fasten to.

Old style.
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New style.
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This allows me to hook up the turnbuckles to the new bracket. And also to run a safety chain from the trucks factory tie downs to the old eyelet on the bracket. Might be nice to have if I ever break a turnbuckle. I intend to eventually do the rear mounts this way as well.
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I also got my Bike rack sorted. Because of the overhang of the camper I had to use a 9" extension on the hitch.
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These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:54 am

The next thing to be dealt with is the uncomfortable bed cushions. They were removed and stored in the basement. I was going to get new foam cut but decided to try something else 1st. I had a couple of 3.5" self inflating sleeping pads I regularly sleep on top of a cot with. They are very comfortable. So I thought I'd try a test.

The 1st item to be covered is the step in the bed caused by the slide out.
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So I picked up some 1/2" ESP foam and cut a piece to fill the space in front of the slide out. It lifts up and rests on top of the slide out when closed. It should add a little insulation on cold nights as well.
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Add 2 extra large 30"x77"x3.5" REI self inflating mattresses. Old and a new one.
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Sleeping bag on top. It's pretty comfortable and I'll try it camping soon. If we need more cush we can move up to the Exped Mega Mats. These inflatables should allow us to keep the bedding on the bed when traveling and be much more comfortable to sleep on.
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As you can see in the above pics we have the internal 60# gas struts in our camper. After adding the solar panel I'll be upgrading soon to external struts both front and rear to help with the roof lifting chores.
These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:00 am

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These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:38 pm

We had a broken roof vent cover on one of our fantastic vents. I ordered a replacement. I didn't realize until it came in that it had a domed top and not flat like the normal ones for these vents. Not an issue for us. And now it is clear again. I fogged the plastic on the old one with DEET.

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The new one has an upgraded mount for the lifting arm.

Installed.
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I also ordered a rear hitch mounted step and a device for holding it steady in the hitch. Both work very well. The step has a bit of a slick finish. I intend to coat it with some bedliner for traction. I'll also add a little reflective tape.
https://www.amazon.com/CR-Brophy-Machin ... hitch+step

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Our camper has the internal gas spring to assist lifting the top. They are a bit challenged since I added the solar on the roof. I'm still doing my homework on moving to 4 outside lift struts. In the meantime I have ordered 2 80lb struts to replace the existing 60 lb ones on the inside. They should be here any day.

We've had the camper almost 2 years now. it has taken several week long trips. But I'm just now getting around to using the stove and furnace. Both work well.
1st pot of coffee on the stove.
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Pic from latest trip.
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These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
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Re: FWC build

Postby wmorrisiii » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:03 pm

That is a beautiful well thought out set up. Incredibly high standard of work. I also liked it when it was sitting on the trailer. A camper with its own deck was pretty appealing...
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:18 am

Just built my new solar suitcase charger.

Back when I bought the big 160 watt panel for the roof of my camper I also bought 2 smaller 60 watt panels. Couldn't beat the price.
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I placed the panels side by side on a table and connected them with 3 small hinges I had.
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Pop riveted on.
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I added some web strap handle to carry the suitcase.
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I used 10 gauge automotive primary wire to connect the 2 panels in parallel. There wasn't room in the connection box for 8 gauge connectors. The other end of the short cables go to a color coded (orange) Anderson powerpole connector.
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The Anderson connector plugs into an extension cable I made out of 8 gauge duplex marine cable. with Anderson connectors on each end. Other than the few inches of 10 gauge at the panels the entire wire run is 8 gauge.
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This extension plugs into a connector at the back of the camper. Inside the wire goes through a fuse to the charge controller. It's wired parallel to the main panel on the roof.
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I still haven't decided on how I'm going to do the legs just yet. I'm thinking some aluminum angle that folds out from each end on the sides. But till I've used it a few times and figured out the angles I need I'll just prop it up on whatever is handy.
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Together these panels make 120 watts. added to the 160 on the roof that 280 watts of solar power. Nice to have the extra in the winter or at times when it's cloudy or otherwise have a short time to charge the battery.
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Yesterday when I tried it out it was very cloudy. And the camper battery was at 100%. The fridge has been turned off since mid December. So I turned it on max and turned the temp down to 0* to draw the battery down for a few minutes. Per my Trimetric monitor as soon as I plugged the panels in the amperage being charged doubled and the voltage went up a couple of 10ths. I consider this a success. even with very little sun the battery was topped off in a few minutes.

I intend to pick up a small self contained charge controller to add to this. I'll use the same 8 gauge cable and an Anderson connector to be able to connect the charge controller to the extension cable. I'll do the same on the output side so I can switch battery connection by just plugging them in. This way I can use this setup as a stand alone battery charger. My trolling motor batteries in the boat need charging after every trip. I can use this to do that at home or even on the river.
These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
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Re: FWC build

Postby Hack » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:17 am

Wow, nice job. You are set.
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Daily Driver: 1995 Trooper Limited, Auto, 3.2L DOHC, Rear LSD, HD Torsion Bars, Moog Cc812s, Cooper Discoverer A/T3 245/70-16
Trail Truck: 2001 Amigo, Auto, 3.2L, Rear LSD, Front Aussie Locker, HD Torsion Bars, OME 912s, BFG M/T KA2 33x10.5R15
RIP: 1988 Troop 2.6L 5spd. Burnt valve(s). Damaged frame. Parted out. Sent to crusher.
RIP: 1998 4WD Rodeo, Auto, 3.2L -- Ruined by Daughter #1 with Russian assistance. Parted out. Sent to crusher.
RIP: 1989 Troop 2.6L 5spd --- Stripped of all good parts. Body and rotted frame sent to the crusher.
RIP: 1999 2WD Amigo, Auto, 3.2L -- Engine blown and body damaged by Daughter #2. Parted out. Sent to crusher.
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:00 pm

Now I won't need to move the truck at FT Frederick! :lol:

Once I get the spare charge controller it'll work on the Coleman too!
These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
User avatar
squatch
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:14 pm

I spent some money today in the name of a good nights sleep.

The camper came with pads to cover the bed made out of concrete foam. That didn't work so well. We then went to what is posted above. A rigid foam filler to make up the gap caused by the pullout.

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Topped with 2 REI 3.5" self inflating pads. This surrounded by an edge filler of 4" memory foam scrap I had. This keeps the mattresses together in the middle. Bottom line this has worked well and is very warm in cold weather. Very comfy. Not as bulky as the factory cushions when stowed. But requires me to set up the full queen bed. And one of my self inflaters is leaking at a seam now.

So today I went to the "House of foam". I took all the cushions from the camper. They let me try several pieces laid on the floor. We found one that felt good. Still 4" like the factory foam. But a heavier density and not as firm or rigid. I sink into these cushions. But cannot drive my hip into the floor. Should be real nice. They wrapped the cut foam in some kind of slick wispy material and lightly spray glued the edges. This stuff made the cushions slide right into the upholstery slick as a whistle. So now we have new softer cushions in the factory covers.

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With a double sleeping bag on top. I laid up there for a while. It felt good. It was also easy to crawl around. Before with the self inflaters or with a topper on the factory cushions. It was cumbersome to crawl about.
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New foam on top vs Old foam on bottom. These feel completely different when you squeeze them. The new stuff is a little more springy feeling. and compresses better.
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So at the moment I'm thinking this is the best route to go. But it's not cheap. The advantages are I can set the bed up in 3 different lengths with the factory cushions. And set up is simple. The cushions just have to be stored when traveling.

The old large mattress was like trying to get plywood in and out of the door. The new one was a piece of cake as it would bend easily.
Last edited by squatch on Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
User avatar
squatch
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Re: FWC build

Postby squatch » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:28 pm

The couch cushions are the same stuff as the old bed cushions. Firm is not as bad on the couch. Your weight is not nearly as spread out when sitting. But the old foam on the couch was a little squashed "Squatched" from being sat on :shock:. So to save some money I had them cut 2 replacement cushions out of the lightly used old large bed cushion. Worked fine for the moment. I can always drop by and have softer cushions cut for the couch as well. Especially now that I know the backrest also has a zipper on the cushion.

Speaking of the zippers. The man at the foam shop commented on the good quality zippers FWC used and the wrap around which made it easy to swap the foam.
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For now these will be fine. I'm really the only person that sits here much anyway.
These links have write-ups and pics of most anything you ever will do on a 2.6 Isuzu. Engine, brakes, suspension, interior, you name it! Enjoy!
Original '88 Trooper frame off build.
viewtopic.php?t=12172
The continuing Trooper project.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43909
My '88 Spacecab build. In progress.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=56442
User avatar
squatch
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