My TOYHAULER build...

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by PA Slammer, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    Well... It's been almost a year of looking for the perfect toyhauler / camper. I think I finally found the one I want. I compromised between a trailer with everything and a trailer with nothing. I ended up with a solid foundation for my build.

    It's a VRV with insulated walls and ceiling, 110 and 12 volt, a couple of overhead vents, a sink with hand pump that drains directly to the ground, a no bath bathroom, a fold out bunk, and not much else.

    What do I want to add? What would you want to add?

    I think the highest on my list is a solar set-up.

    Next is a fridge / freezer.

    Heat?

    Fresh water tanks?

    Screens?

    So many decisions. WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO IT? :ear

    Here are a couple pics to start... These are from the dealer's webpage. I'll be sure to take my own soon...

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    #1
  2. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Been here awhile

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    awsome

    i wonder if its possable to just buy the fold out bunk componets, lots of possabilities for small light stuff.
    #2
  3. Trail Ryder

    Trail Ryder Your Hero

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    How much ($$$) is it? How much does it weigh?
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  4. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    My guess it would take quite a bit of internal framing cutting out such a big area. I had thought of this as well, but... I decided it would be entirely too much for me.
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  5. pvangel

    pvangel Team AARP

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    Nice trailer! good luck with the build!
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  6. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    WOW, right for the jugular, huh?

    OK, gotta get this over with... MSRP was $15, 778. I know freakin' crazy! This one was a 2011 the dealer could not get rid of due to the fact it was stripped down without all the amenities. The ones with everything included go for $22,000 to $23,000. Unbelievable!

    I ended up paying $12,000 out the door. Still very high! It is an all aluminum trailer (frame included) with absolutely no wood. Hose down the interior kind of mindset.

    I probably could have got a similar v-nose for $7,000 to $8,000. So I paid $4,000 to $5,000 for the insulation, 110 and 12 volt, inverter, cabinetry, bathroom area, pop out bed, vents, tie down tracks, flooring, shelving, window, and I think that's it...

    Was it worth it? Fu*%, I don't know. In my opinion, that is a LOT of WORK! I'm sure it would have cost less than half that to do it myself, but I didn't want to deal with it. In fact, I don't want to deal with the rest of the build, but I can't find something I want. I want a solar powered machine! Off the grid, boondocking master. Soon enough...

    As for the weight, it was advertised at 1750 lbs. I think that referred to the trailer without everything added. I got it weighed today and it was 2260 lbs, with a mr buddy heater, battery, area carpet, porta-potti and a few small things. Still pretty light in my opinion.

    I'll be pulling it with a Roadtrek RS Adventurous on a sprinter 3500 chassis. The RV weighed in at 8520 lbs (dry) and the GCWR is 15250 lbs.
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  7. pvangel

    pvangel Team AARP

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    PA, Those are very well built trailers and will last for ever, That was at the top of my list (I think I even looked at that one) when shopping for one. I think you did great!
    #7
  8. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    Thanks, I appreciate the moral support.

    BTW, I've been watching your build. It's what has given me the motivation to do this build! You've done an outstanding job!

    PA Slammer
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  9. Easterner

    Easterner Just Landed

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    Congrats! I'll be watching great start.
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  10. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    It's simple. I like simple. :freaky
    How did you come to the conclusion that solar is your best option?



    That is a good question. I would be interested in doing that with the side of the Transmogrifier. (I named my box on wheels. :D)
    #10
  11. dhally

    dhally Hammerhead

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    Nice trailer! We have a van and would like to get an enclosed trailer some day too.

    I don't think solar really pays back compared with other options, for instance a small generator. Or just hook it up to the tow vehicle for charging and put more batteries on board..
    #11
  12. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    Solar may not be as efficient, but it's less hassle and way more quite.

    PA Slammer
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  13. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    Been thinking about the peel and stick, but it's roughly 50% as efficient and solar is already at a disadvantage.

    LEDs are high up on the list as lights are a high usage item.

    PA Slammer
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  14. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    As for hooking it up to the tow vehicle for charging... will it charge through the 7 pin wiring harness when both vehicles are parked? Does the tow vehicle have to be running? Will it take it's charge from the van's battery or the RV's battery bank? If I run the RV's generator while parked, will it charge the trailer also?

    PA Slammer
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  15. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    It could get charged through the 7 pin, but I would not hook it up like that. If you hooked it up to the van to charge, you'd best use a battery isolator. This allows the van to charge the other batteries but power used in your trailer won't drain your van battery. If you're using your trailer a lot, you're vehicles charging system might also need an upgrade. I'm not familiar with what is in your van but I'm sure there is an alternator made for the ambulance version that will make a lot of power.

    Using a generator means you can have lots of power, when ever you want. They can charge back up batteries as well - just use a normal battery charger.
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  16. papaduc

    papaduc Been here awhile

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    If your running the gen on the RV (tow vehicle?) you could use any battery charger to keep the trailer batteries up to snuff.
    Being in the middle of building an Japanese bastard love child between a Sprinter and a Titan...solar only makes sense if you like to park in the direct sunlight. If you already have a generator solar doesn't make sense from a $ standpoint.
    That is a very nice looking trailer to start with and I'm looking forward to seeing the improvements.
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  17. djb_rh

    djb_rh Been here awhile

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    Err, on the 7 pin RV plug, there is a generic hot wire in the spec, but be warned, SOME factory setups don't connect this on your vehicle to anything. Check it to be sure. But on all the ones that DO have this wired, OF THE ONES I'VE SEEN, they were all SWITCHED power. So you could hook up something to charge off this in your trailer and not have any worries of it draining your vehicle's battery. But again, check this. It's very easy to do with a voltmeter.

    On trailers with a battery to power the break-away electric brakes, this pin *is* how you keep that battery charged, I do believe. So that's pretty much what it's there for.


    --Donnie
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  18. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    That's exactly the level of detail I was thinking of. Maintaining a little break away Battery is different than charging a couple massive deep cycle batteries from 0 charge. I'd be wiring it through an isolator and use more than the factory 18g little wire. Not to mention, most passenger vehicle alternators aren't meant for that load on a continuous basis. Typically youd have to run ahighway RPMs to charge at a decent rate. It would be a reliable back up. I'd put it in a switch, like you mentioned.
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  19. djb_rh

    djb_rh Been here awhile

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    That factory hot wire on the 7 pin SHOULD be something bigger than 18g, but I get your point, it's still not going to be awesome for a large battery, no.

    If I were to want something bigger, there are two routes I'd consider. One is an off-the-shelf winch wiring kit for non-permanently mounted winches (which are usually on 2" receiver hitch mounts). Those are jumper-cable sized with huge plugs. The obvious benefit here is if you ever need to get yourself a hitch mounted winch.... ;)

    The other option is to figure out exactly what you need and want and buy component parts. In this case, I'd use whatever gauge welding cable you feel is appropriate. It's very soft and flexible and has sheathing that's very high quality for harsh environments. Then for plugs I'd use appropriately sized Anderson Power Poles.

    And to isolate it as a switched circuit, whatever size big fat solenoid you need (I hate that the automotive industry calls them solenoids when it's really a relay, but solenoid is what the auto parts store people will know). You'll have to do this part yourself whether you use the winch kit or your own wiring, though, as the winch basically uses a big solenoid to run it, so it's integrated. You can put the solenoid near the battery under the hood, which is where you'll attach either of these solutions anyway.


    --Donnie
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  20. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

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    :hmmmmm

    Well, as usual, already confused. I need an electrical engineer friend.

    Anyway, here is a pic of the RV and Toyhauer...

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    #20