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Old 10-10-2011, 06:21 PM   #1
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Question Wildcat Dry Camping Package

If you could design your own Wildcat outfitted for dry camping, what top 5 things would you build in?
Examples might be larger water and/or waste tanks, LED lighting, larger LP capacity, solar power(!), on-board generator, etc.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:44 PM   #2
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Right off the top of my head, my top 5 would be:
  1. Larger FW tank followed in size by GW than BW.
  2. A catalytic heater or two for warmth without the drain of the blower.
  3. A good battery monitoring system like Trimetric.
  4. Option for either a good-sized solar power set-up or a "really quiet" generator.
  5. LED lights.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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i would ditto TriGuy's list.
we've been looking at the Wildcat 28RKS Travel Trailer, which the DW absolutely loves.
we currently would have to upgrade our TV to pull it and we are planning to start seriously upgrading in a year or two.
we were looking at the 5th wheel version, because of the bed slide, but it doesn't have the night stands that the TT version of it has.

we primarily dry camp now, since Calif. state parks' campsites are nearly all non-hookups.

any idea if there'll be a brochure on it or it being listed on FR's website in the future?
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:07 AM   #4
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Dual or quad 6 volt trojan batteries
Generator
Larger fresh water
Larger grey water
LED lights throughout - standard
16 or 17" D rated tires
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:35 PM   #5
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any idea if there'll be a brochure on it or it being listed on FR's website in the future?
That's a west coast only floor plan, so I'll have to send your info request to them directly. Please private message me your contact info and I'll get someone to contact you with more details!
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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I am amazed no one mentioned the crappy tank indicators used by the industry. While I have no financial interest in Horst probes; they work for me. ANY system that works would be better than what we have.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:14 AM   #7
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Great Information

Chris,
I also will be very interested in the information you gather here.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:51 AM   #8
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I agree with Herk that tank indicators would also be nice (but I was limited to 5 items ).

I place the battery monitor system up there in importance as I find myself constantly checking/worrying about my capacities after a few days.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:52 AM   #9
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Chris,
I also will be very interested in the information you gather here.
I'll be sure to share this with you in person, Sam!
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:54 AM   #10
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I agree with Herk that tank indicators would also be nice (but I was limited to 5 items ).

I place the battery monitor system up there in importance as I find myself constantly checking/worrying about my capacities after a few days.
These are great suggestions -- I'll be sharing these with R&D, sales, and engineering this week. I know not everyone dry camps, but many of the suggestions would be helpful to camping in general...
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:05 PM   #11
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I’m surprised no one has mentioned a 6 gallon water heater for the dry camping package. A lot of water is wasted trying to get the water temperature right with the new tankless water heater on the Wildcats. I would also include a water filter system for the dry camping package.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:17 PM   #12
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Iím surprised no one has mentioned a 6 gallon water heater for the dry camping package. A lot of water is wasted trying to get the water temperature right with the new tankless water heater on the Wildcats. I would also include a water filter system for the dry camping package.
Oakman, what's been your personal experience with our tankless water heater while dry camping?
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:04 AM   #13
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Oakman, what's been your personal experience with our tankless water heater while dry camping?
Chris, what's been your personal experience with dry camping?

My nephew owns a Wildcat Sterling and does mostly dry camping. We camped together just this past weekend and he demonstrated the system to me. He and his wife absolutely hate the tankless water heater. He wants to remove the tankless system and install a six gallon water heater in his Sterling.

Personally, I was more impressed with the six point leveling system on his Sterling and told him so. His response was that it was nice...when it worked properly. He's had the Sterling back to the dealer twice for the leveling system.
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:00 PM   #14
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Oakman, the majority of my camping experience has been dry camping. From my first solo RV trips when I worked at Jayco in R&D during college to now, I'd say it's been 80% primitive set ups and camp sites.

That being said, I'm a fan of the tankless water heater for dry camping, although I know there's been a valid discussion about water use. Your, or rather, your nephew's usage and results may vary, but we've had good response to the system since going standard with it a year ago. There are literally thousands of Wildcat owners using it (and other brands picking it up now as well).

I'm sorry to hear of your nephew's troubles with the Level Up auto leveling system. This upgrade has been a huge benefit to our customers and has a very successful track record with us in terms of service. Since it was originally built for much larger and heavier RVs, the hydraulic system is quite powerful and well built. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to assist him!
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:06 PM   #15
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Getting back to the original topic, I'm wondering if there's any single item you'd consider VITAL or ESSENTIAL for dry camping. My thoughts immediately go to power (battery, generator, etc.) even though I'm really thinking this is somewhat opposite of the goal. Are bigger tank sizes really the #1 priority? I'm very interested in your thoughts...

p.s. Wildcat's exterior lighting kit is now LED, including the dual-mode docking lights...
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:40 AM   #16
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Coming from a pop-up TC to hopefully a new Wildcat I have some suggestions as my TC was used mostly off the grid.

When it comes down to it, isn't it really all about power and water ? Anything you can do lessen power usage such as LED's would be a great start-- be sure to use the correct color of LED's some are very harsh on the eyes.

Considering using 6 volt batteries in a series to increase amp hours. Install solar panels to recharge the batteries and finally- increase the size or the fresh water tank-
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #17
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Just out of curiosity.

Do fifth wheel trailers, in general, or Wildcat specifically provide batteries with new campers?

I have seen this talked about in this thread and I am a little confused because none of the campers I have had came with batteries from the factory; including my current Flagstaff.

Either the dealer popped in a cheap group 24 or I installed the batteries that I wanted - like the two T-145's I have now.

Is this a 5W thing?
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:23 AM   #18
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It really is, as bhill states, all about power and water. While solar power is a great idea, it won’t work in all instances. When I dry camp, I’m always under a number of trees and solar doesn’t work well in the shade. It also doesn’t work well when you have a week of cloudy and/or rainy weather. Even George (Tioga and George Blog) carries a small Honda generator to recharge his batteries when the solar panels on the roof of his Class C can’t keep up.

My suggestion for dry camping would be a slide out tray or rack on the back of the trailer that would be sturdy enough to carry a generator, a gas can or two, and perhaps a Blue Tote. Sabre has a fold up bike rack option and Cougar has a slide out bike rack option on their fifth wheels that might work for that purpose. Something along those lines for a Wildcat would be great for a dry camping option.

Water is the other issue. A 60 gallon fresh water tank would be great. But the water tank should be designed with a slope to one side and a small pocket to the low side where the pickup tube would be. That way all of the fresh water in the tank could be used. In my Wildcat, when the water pump will no longer pick up water from the tank, there is still about three gallons of water left in it.

Triguy, yes fifth wheels do come with a battery installed, usually a cheap group 24 battery though. The breakaway cable on a fifth wheel requires a 12 volt battery in order to function. The breakaway cable activates the trailer brakes in case the trailer should disengage from the tow vehicle.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #19
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generally, the batteries on trailers are a dealer-installed item, not a factory item.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:08 PM   #20
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Arrow 2" receiver hitch is standard

Quote:
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My suggestion for dry camping would be a slide out tray or rack on the back of the trailer that would be sturdy enough to carry a generator, a gas can or two, and perhaps a Blue Tote. Sabre has a fold up bike rack option and Cougar has a slide out bike rack option on their fifth wheels that might work for that purpose. Something along those lines for a Wildcat would be great for a dry camping option.
What about the 2" receiver hitch that's standard on the Wildcat? We thought rather than forcing a folding bike rack or slide out rack, we'd give consumers the option of any accessory that fits the receiver (bike racks, storage pods, generator mount, towing ball, etc.). The receiver is engineered and built into the frame with a tongue capacity of 300lbs. and a towing capacity of 3000lbs.

Here's some examples:
receiver bike rack - Google Search
receiver hitch cargo carrier - Google Search
receiver hitch generator carrier - Google Search
The Hitch Corner sells bike racks for trailer hitches
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