Follow by Email

Sunday, December 30, 2018

FWC Thermal PAC Update for 2019 Travels

Hi All,

This post is an update to this post from my last year’s travels.

On my build of a Thermal PAC for my FWC (Four Wheel Camper), I designed mine from what I saw from others who own FWC campers.

The problem with insulating for all us FWC owners are the ends (front and back), where the folding boards are that hold up the camper top and how to address insulating behind them.  

The key for my initial design, was using the high tech material InsulShine by Warm Company. I had pieces left over to use for this additional modification.

I also use the Nylon material, above.  I needed to go to Joann Fabrics to buy some more for this added modification.

Both materials are non wicking so if moisture collects, as it can, it drys fast, with no problems last year.

So my camper left and right sides were insulated last year with my Thermal PAC but the ends behind the folding plywood wasn’t, until this additional modification.

Rather than trying to add to the already 10 foot sides I designed insulating panels (30”x18”) made of the same material as the sides. Above is the template I made for the pieces to add.  Note that I did not try to have these panels extend fully behind the plywood panels.  This would require designing something to pull the panels across.  The affixed difficulty is that there are straps that hold the ends of the camper to the plywood, making slots behind the plywood splitingvthe space in half. Note that both the left and right sides are mirror images of each other.

The above picture shows the side to the outside with the Mylar reflective surface.  The inside to the camper is the nylon.

With this addition to my Thermal PAC I insulate a good portion behind the plywood and it also keeps the air from coming out from behind it.  I’ve read others who posted about having a string to pull Reflectix through each time they set up.  In my case I can leave mine in and closing top of the camper works fine.

I’m looking forward to having the additional insulation this year.  It works great for heating and keeping the heat out in the summer.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Planning My 2019 Travels Based on Weather

Those that have followed my previous years travels will know I follow the weather and plan my routes and locations to stay with weather in mind.

My go to weather for planning is (above) that gives me surface weather maps 48 hours out.  The problem is that I would like more forward looking weather.  I can get 10 day or more city data but I want a map as temperatures are nice to know but not compelling when driving.

My oldest son of the same name is a meteorologist and I took meteorology in college too.  I can look at a weather map and know about what the weather is like from the information.

I found and although it doesn’t have the common surface weather information as found in intellicast, it has the pressure gradients that I can interpret the same information.  They help with precipitation graphics overlaid. Above is current weather.

Above is the weather map for 1/2/19, the day I’m planning on leaving.  From this I can tell the storm and related precipitation will have moved off shore but I should expect overnight temps to be low enough to have some slippery roads as I drive away first thing in the am.

If you look west across the country you can see it’s clear of precipitation and this is what I’m interested in.

There is a high pressure in the center of the country so I can expect the center of the country to have cold temps deep into Texas.

Above on 1/3/19 the high pressure moves east and this means that temperatures in the middle of the country are moderating  

I’m not too worried about temperatures but as you can see it’s still a clear drive to Arizona.

Now I just need to hope that this forecast remains accurate for when I leave.  I couldn’t ask for a better forecast.


2019 Travels Days Away

More off roading during 2019 Travels requires the Tacoma and FWC Camper

I’ve been prepping for weeks, well a few months, and making a few changes that I’ll share in the road.

First step is to get the camper off the stand.

With the stand out of the way I back under the camper.  People ask if this is hard.

No it’s not hard.  I do it by myself. I open the truck’s rear window and back under it being careful not to rub it.  I stop soon as I’m under it and prep the cord that plugs into the trucks’s 12 volt system.  I back in more and make some alignment changes with the truck to better align with camper side to side.  Finally I take the small sink drain tube and stick it through the side box hole to drain on the ground when permissible.

With the camper aligned on truck’s bed, I lower it tweeting the alignment as it starts to rest on the truck.

I drive the camper out of the garage and climb inside and open the cubby holes inside and reach in and set the turnbuckles.  The forward ones first then the rear.

I made some changes to the turnbuckles this year so I’ll coverbthat in its own blog post.

Now it’s time to pack the camper and truck.  It’s less than a week before I leave to sun and warmth.