Upgrades :)

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by CampingFam, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. CampingFam

    CampingFam Member

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    Hello fellow Campers,

    Well, I think I've reached that time of year again where I'm getting itchy to go camping! I'm looking to upgrade the Roo 233S based off of my experiences last year and I was hoping for some input.

    1) Generator - I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with a honda generator, but I was curious if there are any other recommendations. We have camped the last year about 50% on the grid and 50% off. On those cold nights the batteries really were struggling to keep the fan going fast enough for the sail switch to activate. I was thinking a generator would help charge the batteries and allow us other functionality, such as plugins for scooters.

    2) Solar Panels - I'm pretty sure the generator will take care of most of our power issues, but I was curious if there are solar panels that you guys recommend that are cheap, easy to install, and give a nice charge to limit the gen use?

    3) Slide out protector - I'm not sure if it's needed, but I had a lot of debris on the roof of the slide out this year. I really don't want to damage the weather seal around it, so I was thinking of getting a mini awning that they make to limit the debris on slide outs. Has anyone ever used these? Do they work? Any recommendations for a brand?

    4) Auto Leveling - Okay, the one thing I hate most, is an un-level trailer. Pulling up and down on the blocks gets really old. Especially when you are guessing how many blocks you need. I was curious if anyone has any experience with any of the auto leveling systems that are out there. I see camping world sells one: Ground control electric leveling system. I also see there are a few other manufacturers out there. I was curious if anyone has ever put a system like this on a travel trailer or hybrid. I've heard concerns of frame twist. I'm curious if there is a good solution for this. I would be willing the pay to the price to pull into a site and have the trailer level itself with minimal effort.

    Thanks guys and gals for the info and have a happy New Year!
     
  2. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    I just picked up our 2012 Keystone 235EXP a few weeks ago, but had a Carefree slide-topper added before I picked it up. I was originally concerned more with moisture and rain/snow coming in if there was no topper on there, then I learned that it is also for the debris, leaves, acorns, etc.. and to prevent them from damaging those seals. Personally, I wouldn't have a slide-out on a HTT without one, but that's me.
     
  3. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    1. we love our Honda 2000, but we rarely need a/c. a Yamaha or Champion inverter generator are well loved also.
    2. we camp in wooded campgrounds mostly, so solar isn't for us. plus our Honda lets us use the microwave and can run the a/c in a pinch. can't do that with solar unless you have 10 batteries.
    3. we made the mistake of not having a slide topper installed from the beginning. 2 years later, we paid twice as much to have one installed, due to sap and tree debris causing sticking slideout seals. never had any issues since it was installed. as KMH said, i wouldn't have a slideout without a slidetopper installed. two companies make them, Dometic and Carefree of Colorado
    4. not going to get any autolevelers installed on an ultralight frame, especially on a hybrid.
    usually, only motorhomes and standard-framed 5th wheels have autoleveling available.
    i don't think any dealer would risk putting such a system on an ultralight frame. definitely would void the frame warranty.
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    There is also Yamaha, Champion and Boliy generators to consider as well... I haven't used any of the brands I mentioned, I do know campers who have them ... From what I can tell, the Yamaha is close to the noise levels of the Honda, the Champion, while a bit louder is also 1/2 the price of the Honda's.. The Boliy is interesting... Most of the parts are Honda, and from what I have been told, it is as quiet as the Honda's ...

    http://store.boliygenerator.com/index.html

    Solar Panels and cheap don't go together ... To get decent panels that can charge a couple batteries, run a few appliances, you are looking for something better then "cheap" ...

    A definite must for any slide-out.. If you are creative and handy, you could come up with something or buy something off the shelf. I created a slide-out cover on our last trip in the fall, this year I will work on it some more.. Our slide-out just happens to be the queen bed, so it is not a standard slide out size..

    First I don't think you can add auto level to a trailer after it has been manufactured and even if you can, wouldn't be worth the aftermarket price to add it.. Every rig I have seen with auto level have had it right from the builder, and they have also been 5er's and MoHo's ..
     
  5. dickinjo

    dickinjo Member

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    As far as leveling goes some math and a digital level may help take the guess work out.

    For popups with a 72 in width every 1 deg = 1.25 in thick block. So if the digital level reads 2.4 deg then you'd need 2.4*1.25 = 3 in. block on low side.
    For larger trailers with 96 in width every 1 deg = 1.68 in thick block

    Hope this helps and its far less expensive.
     
  6. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe New Member

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    I thought that the slide topper was one of the options that I'd never pay for. It was on my hybrid when we got it and I'm very happy it was there. I've looked at all the junk that's fallen off of that topper when we retract the slide. All that would have either made its way into the camper or would have jammed into the seal.

    I'm not a big fan of generators, but we go out of our way to camp in the shade. So that makes it tough. I have been looking at solar and will likely give it a shot. I figure I can get a decent set up for less than $300. If it doesn't work for me in the camper, I'll be able to find another use for a 120W solar panel and charge controller. Maybe in the shed.

    I think you are just asking for trouble if you get a self leveling system. I would bet it would bend your frame.
     
  7. Shado

    Shado New Member

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    We picked up our 233S this year and we met someone here in town that got some panels on sale and it cost them a bit to have them installed at the dealer. Don't forget they get mounted to your roof which means new holes and more areas for water penetration. Don't get me worng, they love it but they dry camp a lot. We have 2 young girls so mostly we camp where there are hook ups.

    The slide topper is a must. No worries about getting out a ladder to check the top to make sure it is clear before you put it away. I recommend using a couple pool noodles under the awning to make sure it doesn't pool in the middle.

    Auto leveling I had not idea was an option. As others have said it's a ultra light frame. We carry lego style blocks and with the power togue jack it's quick and easy.
     
  8. rccs

    rccs Member

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    CampingFam, check out the Anderson rv levelers. Just Google Anderson rv levelers and check out the Utube video about them. I bought these for our HTT
     
  9. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe New Member

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    They don't have to be mounted on the roof. If we decide to get panels, I'm going with the portable panel and running a cable. It's important to have a big enough cable so there's not a lot of voltage drop in the run.
     
  10. Loraura

    Loraura New Member

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    Have you gotten to use them much? What are your thoughts? In the video I see they are holding a level on the sidewall of the trailer.. I've never done it that way... does that really work? It seems like everyone would permanently mount a level there if that were a great way to determine when the trailer is level. I've always used a magnetic one on the tongue, then double check it with the one on top of the fridge.
     
  11. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe New Member

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    Just watched the video and it looks easy. I also looked on Amazon for this and it looks like they are sold individually? I may be looking at the wrong thing, but these are $50 each? Is it convenient enough to warrant $100 for a pair of them? Or is the image incorrect and they come in pairs?
     
  12. cma7777

    cma7777 Member

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    We have been looking at used hybrids for about a year now. At this point I am very frustrated! Every one that we've found has what I believe is major water damage. From the ones we have seen, it appears that people have learned that they have to do normal maintenance to keep the water out. They find out the hard way what they should have done. When it's to late to completely fix the damage they try to sell them or trade them in. It's hard to find decent used hydrid.
     
  13. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    Sorry for the luck you're having in finding a well-maintained, cared for unit. How old are the units you're looking at? Unfortunately, people don't realize that even a 1" section of seam with a split in the caulking could be catastrophic down the line. This is one reason why I always try and store our camper (PUP before, now HTT) in inside storage over the winter (snow) months. Being mindful and keeping a very close eye on the caulking will go a long way.

    Good Luck on your search!
     
  14. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    that's one of the big reasons we bought new. we found that owners valued their hybrid waaayyy too much and they didn't care for it very well.
    we bought our 24' new hybrid, for what a used 5-6 year-old 19' hybrid sold for in California.
     
  15. cma7777

    cma7777 Member

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    We hope to find the same as the new 2014 units come in and they sell their 2013 hybrids. It looks like a little caulking goes a long way in keeping them water free. We would like to find a 2006 or newer hybrid.
     
  16. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    we had to make a 4,000 mile round trip to Chicago and back, to get that price.
    but we still saved over $4,000, even after trip costs.
    prices in California are waayyy more than in the Midwest, often at MSRP prices.
    we were so frustrated with the inflated prices, we decided to go there rather than be gouged by West Coast dealers.
     
  17. rccs

    rccs Member

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    I just got the Anderson levelers about a month ago, have not actually used them yet but they look like they should be easy to use. Yes they are sold as one each, in other words you need to buy 2 for a double axle trailer. I got mine on Amazon and at the time they were on sale for something like $42.00 each with free shipping or about the same price I paid for the BAL leveler I used with our popup camper. They are quite heavy and look to be sturdy. Hope they work as easily as the video shows. I plan to use the level I have on the front of the camper [attached]to check when the camper is level with them.
     
  18. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Just watched the video for the Anderson Levelers ... wow ... talk about marketing hype ... sorry but 90% of it is just that.. I would like to see then used in person, because I would love to know what keeps the wheel from rolling right off ?? They even say, drive straight off them ... so what holds the wheel ..

    Also trying to figure out who the heck would need 3 tries to get level with lynx levelers ??

    When you go to use them, if possible please shoot a short video..
     
  19. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    If you had seen a few of the sites that we (glutton for punishment) reserve every year, you'd understand why I'm one of those guys...

    The view was worth it, though!
     
  20. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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