Joe's EggCamper Journal - Page 11 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2017, 03:34 PM   #141
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Well after a 6 month wait - I finally got the egg into the weld shop. It wasn't cheap but I added onto the initial task and think they did a great job. I guess its worth it if we keep this thing till retirement!

Anyway I asked them to weld a frame on the tongue where I could sit the dual 6v battery box. This keeps it snug in all directions. Then I also asked them to weld a rack for the propane bottles.

I do CAD work, so I was able to give them a 3D drawing with dimensions. They hit it spot on! Also the L channel in the center of the battery box was the original one from the egg and it supports right down the center of the box so that worked out well and we left it on.

I have to order a propane hold down bracket and a dual tank cover. Between that cover and the egg body is enough room to mount a 4" PVC tube for the sewer hose so that will be done soon.
Nice! I guess the bolt-on bike rack will be headed for Craigslist now. This is really so much better all around.

By the way, I went with 11-lb propane cylinders on the Casita as they reduce the tongue weight and mainly because it's difficult to conceive of our ever using more than a few pounds or not having an opportunity to refill.

They are the same diameter as the 20-lb cylinders, so they basically can use the same bracket. However, I had to re-drill the piece of light angle iron across the A-frame where the all-thread passes through it in order to eliminate some minor interference with the regulator.

However, I must allow that the 11-lb cylinders are crazy expensive.

After messing about with various plans to extend the coupler on the Casita, and/or move the spare tire under, and/or add storage on the back, I finally yielded to good sense and we placed an order for a 21' Escape.

My calculations ended up telling me that the weight of the material I would need to extend the coupler would basically eliminate the projected reduction in tongue-weight resulting from the longer length. The spreadsheet exercise also taught me a lot about the effects of loading and I yielded to getting a Sherline scale. I have watch the loading carefully to keep the tongue weight under 400 lbs.

So, we made a trip to Chilliwack on the 4th of July and are now working on a build list for a 21. The irony of all this is that I expect the 21 will require a more robust tow vehicle, so this will now be our second "get a trailer and oh-by-the-way, let's just go ahead and get another tow vehicle too" upgrade.

I think that you've got the right idea just starting out on the robust side there Joe. You can't go wrong having a little contingency in reserve.
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:11 PM   #142
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Must say you guys are amazing.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:36 PM   #143
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Must say you guys are amazing.
That would be Joe. I mostly just talk. And talk. And talk.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:33 AM   #144
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Thanks guys! I have to give credit to the welders and Escape lol. I did design the spare tire holder tho.....lol.

Mike, Wow! Congratulations!!! You will love that 21 Escape. Our friends who we camp alot with have one and they love it too. Its a really nice trailer and sooo much room for storage, etc. They enjoy theirs. We would own an Escape if they were a tad taller lol. We "almost" bought a 5.0TA but then we decided to wait till retirement before we upsize. Our friends joke we will have just as much money in our EggCamper as he does his Escape by the time Im done with it. I know you mentioned a while back you are "close" to retirement, so that Escape 21 will be a nice retirement gift for yourself!!! Congrats!!

Yes, the old receiver is on Cincinnati Craigslist. If anybody wants it Im asking $100. I paid about $225 if I can remember just 6 months ago. Google "Draw Tite 82201" and you will see them. They are $270 on Amazon now. Its fully adjustable for different frame widths and weighs in at 55 lbs uuuggggg. It is a good alternative to an expensive weld job. I just couldnt get over the bolt on clap trap look......lol.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:49 PM   #145
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EggCamper Bed, Mods & Trip

"Sounds like you've done some nice touches! I'd love to know more about the queen size bed mod, and the propane. How is the bed setup? What do you have running off propane? Also, what is the red netting on your egg front tongue/battery box?"
---------------------------------------------
Hi Joe and All,
Really, one of our top requirements when we were shopping for a Fiberglass trailer was a comfortable bed. I guess we might have been OK with a 54" wide bed, but Scamp and Casita have few choices and most are narrower. We knew that a Queen (60"wide) or nearly a Queen size bed would make our RV'ing so much more comfortable!

If the bed support remains in place, the "Queen Bed" is a relatively easy mod. To be perfectly honest, after the mod is done, what you have is a bed that is almost queen size where it counts, except for where your feet are, and you lose a little bit of space where the mattress abuts the rounded corners of the camper. To do a similar mod in your Egg, first reverse sleeping orientation.

The Bed extension adds 6" using plywood and a wooden closet rod dowel cut down into 3 supports. Put a piece of Velcro on the bottom of each of the 3 legs and they stick real well to a carpeted floor without using the other Velcro side. In fact, they stuck so good, that I had to put 1 screw in each bottom of each leg or the glue would not hold the Velcro to the bottom of the dowel.

The Queen memory foam mattress is cut down slightly. These memory foam mattresses really vary a lot in true dimensions. Many are a lot smaller than the standard sizes. I had to read the fine print before ordering. This one was close to start with: 79x59.5" vs. a (true) 80x60" Queen size. The old "Full" size memory foam that came with the camper was only 74x52" instead of the true 75x54". And, select a thickness that you like, ours is 5 or 6" but it probably could be either thicker or thinner.

The inside width of the EggCamper measures about 87" in the bed area. Because I am 70" (5'10") and the wife is shorter, The 79" mattress length was more than I needed, so I cut of 3" in order to have (3"+87"-79"=11") storage for clothes at the bottom of the bed. Final Mattress Dimensions are 76" x 59.5" for most of the length except where it cuts down on the kitchen side to 53" wide. We sleep with feet toward the (narrower) kitchen side, and we do not notice the size difference from the Queen bed we have at home. The extra 5-6" definitely makes a difference. Add 10-11" wide totes for the clothes storage. We found some that fit well at WalMart.

With the wider bed, there is a small amount of loss of space at the dinette, but we have found the fit to be just right. And when we are at the dinette, we are mostly watching a bit of the 24" TV that we have mounted over the sink, so we are mostly sitting with our backs on the sidewall of the Egg and less often sitting facing each other. I've thought of building or buying a seatback for the rear dinette seat. You may still have enough room to keep the rear dinette seat you have.

We keep the spare tire way back underneath the bed, then totes for other items that can easily be drawn out from underneath the bed. The bed can be disassembled, but our is pretty much set up permanently.

The TV Mounting was a challenge. As there was no way to fasten a nut+bolt combo into the interior fiberglass side, I really didn't totally trust using a screwed in mount in the fiberglass, but I bolted a couple of eyebolts above the TV into the cabinet area and use 2 bungee cords to take the major portion of the weight off the TV mounts so that mount wouldn't wear out the screws that go into the fiberglass side. That worked really well and the TV mount had no discernible loosening during our 13,444 mile trip this past winter. Just gotta remember to use the bungees around the TV before heading out. (The pic was taken before the mod.)

The "red netting" on the front is actually a modified metal cage type retail store sales bin painted red. It came from our former Hardware Store. It is fairly heavy duty, so it enables various items to be carried on the front of the Egg.

Right now, we do not have the propane in use. But I have it plumbed to add a countertop stove and heater. When we bought the EggCamper, like many folks, I thought that we would end up "needing" propane, but, in our case, that proved not to be true. The first time we took an extended trip in 2015, we brought the stove and heater and never used either. I even left the full 20# tank with my daughter in Florida on our way back. Still, If needed, I could have heat and a cookstove hooked up fairly quick.

Keeping food in the 12 volt refrigerator and just using the microwave made the big difference in not needing propane. We kept the fridge going when driving, or plugged in. If we were at a non-elec. site, we often shut off the fridge when we went to bed and turned it back on when we got up and everything stayed cold.

One thing I haven't done that I want to is install a solar panel or 2 on the roof of the Egg. If the sun is out, solar could help in the boondocking department, and would probably run the fridge and keep the battery charged.

This past winter we mostly camped in campgrounds that either had site hookups, showers or both. Most often we did not need heat. We stayed at a few BLM campgrounds that had almost no amenities, but usually only for 1 or 2 nights at a time. With the National Parks and Federal Lands Senior Pass (still available to those over 62 yrs. of age for $10), we rarely paid more than $20 a night for a site with electricity and sometimes as little as $5 or $10. The state campgrounds are on the higher price side, but even some of them have a senior discount.

We left Mass. on Jan 23 and drove to the NC Outer Banks area, then to Florida for a couple weeks, then out to the San Antonio, Texas area, to Big Bend NP, to Tuscon, AZ, San Diego, CA, Los Angeles National Forest, Joshua Tree NP, Hoover Dam, Bryce Canyon NP, Capitol Reef NP, Canyonlands & Arches NP in Utah, Mesa Verde and Great Sand Dunes NP's in CO, then down thru NM, Santa Fe & Roswell, Central Texas, Hot Springs NP, AR, Memphis, Nashville, Gatlinburg areas in TN and back home for April 8. We also stayed in many state parks. If you are going to stay in Texas for more than a week, for $70, the Texas State Park card is worth it. Texas state parks were nice everywhere we stayed.

And, I've got to say we found the "Barbeque" equally good in Lockhart and Stephenville, Texas and Memphis, TN. Mexican was very good in Tucson, AZ. Fish is best in Cedar Island, NC. Fried Chicken best in Sea Level, NC. Steak was best at Riscky's Steakhouse at the Ft. Worth, TX stockyards.

Nearly every time we camped for more than 1 night we disconnected the trailer and drove the pickup through the National Parks and/or other area attractions. So easy to un-hook and hook up, and with these FG campers you can get into some really beautiful places many of the large RV's are unable to. Many of these parks are large and you can easily put on over 50 miles within a park. 13,444 miles, trailer probably about 10-11,000 miles, 10.5 weeks.
Attached Thumbnails
Eggcamper Bed Extension 1-15.jpg   Eggcamper Bed etc 1-14.jpg  

Eggcamper Bed Design and Storage at end of bed, New Bar Faucet, Primus Propane camp Stove.jpg  
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:48 PM   #146
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Hey Mark,

Thanks for the write up! I really like the bed mod and the pics added to the journal are great! I may have to do this mod!! Also, the other info in you write up is great!

I agree it is easier to not have propane than one thinks. I will add a genny that runs off propane but that will be it. I still have not tackled the TV issue - some day. Cherie and I are not huge TV watchers so we may be ok for now.

I like the "fridge off while sleeping" idea. That sounds like an experiment to me - I'll have to put the remote thermostat sensor in the fridge and see how warm it get overnight - will be great data!

Thanks very much for the wonderful post! We are anxiously awaiting the day we can do road trips as long as you have!
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:59 AM   #147
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Trimetric TM-2030-RV

Finally got around to the Trimetric TM-2030-RV install. The reason I picked this unit is the great reviews and proven track record of it. I liked it not only shows battery voltage, but also shows amp usage real time, and shows battery % us use. It also adds back in any charge, if its charged for a bit. So for example it will go from 100% to 50% with use, then plug in or run a genny for a little bit and it will show 75% or so. So it does the real time usage and resupply of capacity.

Also, this unit pares up with a SC-2030 Charge controller - so if one ever decided to add solar in the future, they will go well together because they are pre-wired for it.

Decided to use the 100A shunt instead of the 500A. If your draw or charge is less that 70A, the 100A shunt will be fine. It allows a decimal point further in the amperage reading, I can tell if the fridge is using 5.34A instead of 5.3 LOL. That last hundredth of an amp draw is really important you know.....kidding!

Ok, so the shunt mounted in the RV would have been my preference, but you need to wire it to the negative before ANY other wires go anywhere. The EggCamper is grounded on the tongue between the battery and body, and also has wires to the brake away switch. So it was necessary to have the shunt forward of all this, so its first in line from the battery negative post. So I just added it to the battery box. I found a very stiff piece of heater hose, and wedged it between the batteries, then zip tied the shunt to that. Its seems secure enough. Since I can service the battery without removal, not too worried about the extra wires in the box.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:17 AM   #148
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Storage Tubes for Awning, poles, and sewer hose

With the new bumper I needed to find a home for the sewer hose. So I added a 4" ABS pipe just aft of the tires. This was a time consuming task just because of the drilling, making brackets, painting the parts etc. But it went ok. I made "L" brackets to bolt to the frame, and used U bolts to hold the tube to the L brackets. This is the same way EggCamper did their sewer lines.

Decided while I am at it, we always have the canopy and poles to contend with inside the Egg - frustrating and not easy to store. So I added 3 storage tubes total. One 4" for the sewer hose, then one 3" for the canopy side poles, then added a 3" tube that is 9 feet long to store the canopy and long pole. The canopy now does not need to be folded, something I didn't like doing because of kinking the big bead that slides into the rail. Now you just leave the 9' square tube in the awning and stand there with one person and start rolling it up. Once its rolled up, you slide the whole thing it the storage pipe and put the cap on. Since this pipe is 9' long, it needed mounted at an angle under the egg.

I did check both clearance checks. First, the storage tubes are higher then the axle. Second, they do not stick below the drag triangle (string between bottom of tire to the very front or rear of frame). If both those checks are ok, there should be no issues - I hope......lol.
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IMG_0851.jpg   IMG_0849.jpg  

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Old 07-31-2017, 08:43 AM   #149
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Thumbs up

Nice work there Joe....
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:41 AM   #150
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Thanks Jim! That was a long weekend...lol. Hey I was inside the Egg and sitting with my back on the storage door behind the toilet. I noticed the latch was higher! I'm wondering if they moved them up in the last years. Saved me a job....ha!

I think I'm down to only three more projects on the list - than I'm done! I have to finish the propane install with a QD fitting below the changeover regulator - this is only to run a Honda gen. I still want to add an additional fresh water tank on the curb side. And I also want to swap out the A/C for an 8000btu.

Besides that I think I'm finished (unless solar works its way into our future)!! But I'm very much leaning against solar because even with solar we still wont have A/C, hot water, or heat. The gen can recharge the battery on short run time each day when boondocking just for fridge, lights and fan. It can also provide hot water, AC, and heat if needed. If this camper had propane fridge, hot water heater, and heater - solar would be valuable (to eliminate the gen).
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:11 AM   #151
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:24 PM   #152
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ABS Pipe Storage

Well we got to use the Egg this past weekend so I figured as long as I'm digging into the pipes for the canopy that I'd snap a few pics of the pipe storage, just in case any other canopy owners are interested.

The supports for the canopy are in a 3" pipe - just barely fit diameter wise. Yes, EggCamper uses a shower curtail rod to support the middle....LOL. Second is the awning and long support in the other 3" pipe.

Trip went well, but I noticed the battery is not charging from the truck while on the road. I need to figure out whats going on there....? Made a 6-7 hour trip (with stops) each way. Started out at 100% full. When got to destination battery was at 93% full. Only thing running was the 12v compressor fridge. I think it uses roughly 1% per hour. I would think the truck should charge it and it should stay at 100% while towing. Ill post up as I find out whats going on.....

Not sure why 2 pics are sideways - never happened before.
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IMG_0901.jpg   IMG_0902.jpg  

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Old 08-07-2017, 06:47 PM   #153
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You need to install solar as your tow can not keep up with the refer draw. I put mine on top of my tongue box. Had no issues after that.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:14 PM   #154
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You need to install solar as your tow can not keep up with the refer draw. I put mine on top of my tongue box. Had no issues after that.
Hi Jim. I believe that is definitely a good thing to do. But I also found another problem. I just went outside with a tester and the pin on the 7 way plug at the truck is dead. I started googling, and wouldn't you know it, Chevrolet does not hook up the wire from the factory. So dumb!! So its tied up under the master cylinder going nowhere. I installed it on the empty lug on the fuse box, then stole a fuse from another port as a test and now I have 12.4v at the pin on the connector.

Apparently they come from the factory this way - unhooked. Go figure! So I just need to buy another 40a fuse then I should have power back there. If that doesn't keep up with the refer - I'll add the small solar panel for sure!

Thanks for the tip - I do like the idea about the small panel on the battery box lid!
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