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Old 08-20-2007, 11:43 AM   #1
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Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Delaware, Ohio
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Hello,

I have a friend who bought a very old, but serviceable slide in camper. Having owned a couple TT and a motor home, I have lots of parts laying around and have offered to help get the slide in good working order using mostly parts I have left over from various RV upgrades I have done on my own units.

Here are my plans, any helpful suggestions, and answers to my questions, would be greatly appreciated. To give you some idea of my skill level, or lack there of, my background is a BS degree in Electronics (EET), 6 years as an auto mechanic, 4 years as a general contractor doing remodeling and repairs in peoples home, a couple years repairing appliances, etc.

My first tasks were to get the Fridge and Furnace up and running. Fridge seems fine. Cleaned out some wasp nests and replaced the thermocouple on the furnace. I checked for propane leaks with a detector. I am planning on installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. All seems well so far.

My next challenge is that the camper will be used for weekends with no hookups, and there is not a battery. My plan is to install a deep cycle battery under the hood (Dodge 3/4 gas pickup, so there is room for a second tray) and a battery isolator (bought a 120 Amp version, have 4 gauge wire and terminals to hook up battery). I was planning to run a 12 gauge extension cord tied to the frame with 20 amp twist lock connector at the camper end, and a short cord with connectors mate in the side of the slide in, 30 amp breaker under the trucks hood. For power when connected to 120V, I was going to replace the little converter currently installed with a 60 amp converter (14.3V). Does the wiring from under the hood to the trailer seem adequate? Should I go with 10 Gauge and 30 amp connectors/breaker (I could get currents of 30-40 amps for a short time if the deep cycle was drained and the camper gets plugged in)? I'm not allowed to put holes in the bed, where should I run the wire for connection to the camper. There is almost an inch gap between the bed and cab, would it be safe to run the wire in that gap and attach it to the bed liner? Other ideas, suggestions?

Another project is the water system. It has a 20 gallon tank, and a sink with a hand pump/faucet, and a grey water hose that runs out to a capped drain on the outside. I would like to add a water pump and regular faucet, and a 5-10 gallon grey water tank under the sink. I have good pump in my junk collection, but have no idea of what to use for a grey water tank. Any ideas what I could use for a tank?

Are their problems that are inherent to older slide-ins that I should look for?

Thank you for any advice you may have,
Mark
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:43 AM   #2
Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Delaware, Ohio
Posts: 48
Hello,

I have a friend who bought a very old, but serviceable slide in camper. Having owned a couple TT and a motor home, I have lots of parts laying around and have offered to help get the slide in good working order using mostly parts I have left over from various RV upgrades I have done on my own units.

Here are my plans, any helpful suggestions, and answers to my questions, would be greatly appreciated. To give you some idea of my skill level, or lack there of, my background is a BS degree in Electronics (EET), 6 years as an auto mechanic, 4 years as a general contractor doing remodeling and repairs in peoples home, a couple years repairing appliances, etc.

My first tasks were to get the Fridge and Furnace up and running. Fridge seems fine. Cleaned out some wasp nests and replaced the thermocouple on the furnace. I checked for propane leaks with a detector. I am planning on installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. All seems well so far.

My next challenge is that the camper will be used for weekends with no hookups, and there is not a battery. My plan is to install a deep cycle battery under the hood (Dodge 3/4 gas pickup, so there is room for a second tray) and a battery isolator (bought a 120 Amp version, have 4 gauge wire and terminals to hook up battery). I was planning to run a 12 gauge extension cord tied to the frame with 20 amp twist lock connector at the camper end, and a short cord with connectors mate in the side of the slide in, 30 amp breaker under the trucks hood. For power when connected to 120V, I was going to replace the little converter currently installed with a 60 amp converter (14.3V). Does the wiring from under the hood to the trailer seem adequate? Should I go with 10 Gauge and 30 amp connectors/breaker (I could get currents of 30-40 amps for a short time if the deep cycle was drained and the camper gets plugged in)? I'm not allowed to put holes in the bed, where should I run the wire for connection to the camper. There is almost an inch gap between the bed and cab, would it be safe to run the wire in that gap and attach it to the bed liner? Other ideas, suggestions?

Another project is the water system. It has a 20 gallon tank, and a sink with a hand pump/faucet, and a grey water hose that runs out to a capped drain on the outside. I would like to add a water pump and regular faucet, and a 5-10 gallon grey water tank under the sink. I have good pump in my junk collection, but have no idea of what to use for a grey water tank. Any ideas what I could use for a tank?

Are their problems that are inherent to older slide-ins that I should look for?

Thank you for any advice you may have,
Mark
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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Mark the Vintage forum RVers may have some quicker answers for you I will link your post to the forum. There is also some links to parts dealers to help restore slide-in with some of original parts.
You do not have to do anything your post will appear both places.
Maybe some slide-in RVers will join in also.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:04 PM   #4
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Greetings, welcome to the Vintage Camper Club!
Do you have any pictures of your rig? From the sounds of her, she's not a self-contained joby, but that's alright!

First off, go here:
KIT Camper Project Page

That's my project list I've done with my 1974 KIT 11' Slide-in. It includes adding house batteries and various other projects, good reading and useful stuff for folks working on older campers.

As to a grey tank, hit Craigslist up. I found a guy that had salvaged his old pickup camper (Rotted to death) and had various tanks, pumps, doors, parts, etc... I picked up a 30 Gallon Fresh tank that I converted into a spare gray tank on my small cargo trailer, but it didn't cost much, $15.

Its a shame you can't cut into the truck bed, you could add a nice 7 blade plug into the truck bed to use for the camper hook up, and if ya ever decided to get a fifth wheel, you'd already be wired.

You can run the wire up between the cab and the truck bed, just put the male end of the plug on the truck side and the female end in the camper. You'll probably need to use a 5 pin plug as they'll be narrow enough to fit between the truck bed and cab when not in use.

I used 8 gauge running all the way from the main connection point in the camper to the battery under the hood. I also had to upgrade my alternator as the extra deep cycles were putting too much strain on the original 90amp (It couldn't keep up with the demand and the starter battery was slowly getting drawn down.) I upgraded to a Autolite/Nippondenso 120amp alternator, and haven't had any power problems since.

My advice for wiring. This is likely not entirely feasible for your setup, since you can't cut into the truck bed. Run 8 gauge from the primary battery under the hood (The deep cycle) to the plug installed in the truck bed side (7 blade). Use 12 gauge for your running light wires and turn signals. Make about a 4' cord of the same wire that goes up inside hte camper and ties into its wiring for the running lights/turn signals/reverse light, and master negative return and charge wire (That's the hot wire from the deep cycle).

You'll have less connectors to futz with this way, and its a clean install, the plug in the truck bed is out of the way and nearly flush with the sidewall of the truck bed.
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