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Old 03-31-2014, 03:46 PM   #11
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I typed up a long reply this morning, but I guess I didn't actually hit submit. It's not here anyway!

I'll be picking it up on Monday, so I'll get some pictures then.

It should just barely fit in my garage, but I'll be storing it somewhere else so I can get the cars in the garage instead. I like to store my campers inside if I can!

I'm a little worried about the tongue weight on this one. My Murano is rated for 3500 lbs / 350 lbs tongue weight. The camper weight will be well under 3500, but the dry tongue weight is 268 lbs, so it will be close. My dealer told me the 268 includes the two empty tanks, but with propane and a battery it will add up.

I don't think I'll be able to use the deck for storage until I get a bigger tow vehicle (probably the new Pathfinder), and I'm going to only have them fill one tank for now. I mostly camp on the grid, so we'll see if one tank will do it.

My old popup was 1200 lbs dry, and loaded up I think the hitch weight was around 200 lbs. It pulled like it wasn't even there, so this one might take some getting used to.

I do boondock twice a year, so I'm planning to add a solar charge controller and install some 12V and USB outlets. I'll have to do some tests and see how long the fridge and grill will run off propane when boondocking. I won't need the furnace or hot water heater.

I don't have any other mods planned, though I want to look for a small awning that mainly covers the door, for when I don't want to setup the big awning.

We'll see how it works!
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:52 PM   #12
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I forgot, one other thing I want to do is swap out the interior and exterior lights (but not the trailer lights) with LED bulbs. Is there a reference somewhere that will tell me what types to order?

Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:07 PM   #13
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well .. welcome to the site ..
in my semi-early days of camping .. 2005 to 2010, we carried along an extra battery and used jumper cables between the two. this could help solve your battery power/tongue weight problems if you decide to boondock and help power your 12volt.
your fridge uses very little propane .. probably about a full bottle every 30 days .. so thats a non issue ...
as for a 12 volt outlets, i pushed mine in right below the stereo, which i power my "create a breeze" by fantasic fan during those very hot and muggy nights. Combined with an open window, and the fantastic fan, this provides excellent cooling for the bed when you have no 120.
we power ours with two group 27 deep cycles (we scaled back from 2 group 31 hybrid batts) and a 80 watt panel. We have lots of reserve and enough to keep everything going over a long haul.

d-mo
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:53 PM   #14
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The tongue weight can also be dealt with by buying small propane tanks. A battery could be carried in the rear cargo compartment with proper stabilization. Unfortunately there is virtually no room behind the axle for coolers, but things can be packed on top of the bed.

I installed a 12V outlet where the cable outlet is under the microwave. To install it, I got an over-sized blank switch plate cover from home depot and drilled a whole in it. There is probably room for two outlets on one plate. I picked up 12V from the fridge line because it is already protected by a converter fuse and will otherwise never be used while occupying the trailer. The wire runs entirely through the cabinetry to the outlet.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:22 PM   #15
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The fridge will run almost forever in propane.

This may sound impossible, but we have two 20lb tanks on our 2011 A122 and in 3 seasons of camping we've yet to have the auto switchover switch to the 2nd tank.

We use the fridge exclusively on propane, we use the outside grill daily on every trip, we use the HW heater only about 20% of the trips and we've used the propane furnace perhaps 15 nights over the past 3 years. (We have an electric radiant heater to use if we have shore power)

I keep waiting for the tank to switch over ( and I think it's real close now) but if you are boondocking for less than a week, I am confident one tank would be sufficient for HW, fridge, grill and reasonable heat without issue. A 10lb tank would likely be sufficient unless you were really cranking in the propane furnace all night long.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:01 PM   #16
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Thanks! I'm more confident that one tank will work for us then. I did think about using smaller tanks, but I thought if I did run out and was in the middle of nowhere, it's easier to find 20lb tanks to swap.

If the fridge can run that long on one tank, I won't worry about it. My grilling really doesn't use too much either, as I'm still on the tank that came with my camper, and that's been more than 2 years!

Does the water heater fill a tank and then cycle on and off to keep it warm, or is it more of an instant hot water heater? I wonder how often and long it needs to run if it uses a tank, mostly in the summer.

I was planning to put light items, like clothes or plastic dishes, in the front compartment, then try and put heavier items like tools in the compartments under the bed. I believe the water tank is behind the axle, so I could probably add some water to help as well.

I know I want more weight up front to make the camper more stable while towing, so I'll probably have to find a good balance. This camper is 7ft longer than my old one, so I worry about sway on the road. I'll see what my hitch guy thinks tomorrow too.

I've browsed various Murano forums too, and there are plenty of people pulling huge boats without issue. They're aerodynamic, but this camper isn't very tall.

When pulling my old popup I actually got better mileage because I drove slower!
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:28 PM   #17
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The water heater is a six gallon tank type heater. I find when I use it I can run it for a while in the morning, then shut off the switch (which is inside the camper) and the water will stay hot for a while, and still be warm enough for hand washing late in the day. We don't run a lot of water, though, so your mileage may vary. Anyway, since turning the WH on and off is so easy to do, you don't need to think in terms of leaving it on all the time.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:34 PM   #18
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Thanks! I'm also a ham in central Iowa, my call is KC0ZMX.

The other thing I need to do is get a mobile station setup for the camper!
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bensinc View Post
I believe the water tank is behind the axle, so I could probably add some water to help as well.
Unfortunately, the tank is under the front left dinette seat, so water equals tongue weight. You may have to play around a bit to find the balance that is safe for your TV.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:15 AM   #20
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New A122BH Owner!

Ben: You're in Waukee! Why that's barely more than a trot from Urbandale. (QRZ.com says 7.4 miles). Great to have another ham A-Frame owner close by. Let me offer to be of help with any setup concerns you find. Then let me invite you to join us and the Smiths--another A frame couple nearby--for a camping expedition to Jester Park. I don't know when that'll be yet, depends on a lot of weather things straightening themselves out.
I have a 20M PSK rig that I've used in my camper, but I admit that once I'm out in the piney woods I don't feel much like sitting inside at the table pounding out QSOs. But I like to talk about that sort of stuff. Lately I've gotten into SDR--Software Defined Radio--and my son (KB0EZN) has just put together an APRS I-Gate based on a Raspberry Pi computer the size of a credit card. So even after more than 50 years as a ham I'm finding some new stuff to spend the kids' inheritance on!
On the rare occasion that I have my own I-Gate up and running, look for WU0V-5 on http://aprs.fi/#!addr=50322.
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