2005 F-450 4x4 Utility Body w/ Starcraft Pine Mountain Lonestar Pop-top Camper

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
Finished wiring the LED light bar back-up lights. Brighter than I expected. Very happy.


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Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
Life has been busy. Weather for installations has been challenging. Finally installed the PMF Dual Steering Stabilizer kit. Works excellent. Top shelf quailty. The OEM stabilzer was definitely doing nothing at all, any longer.
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
Rear Air Ride air bags installed. Smooth out the ride, to match the front. Had to cut and relocate the service body mounts above the axle. They were in the way of the air bag mount brackets.
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
I'm not one to polish rims and crap on a regular basis, or at all, but these rims have been severely neglected for many years; pitted and clouded. Figured uncared-for looking parts is a direct reflection on the owner's attention to maintenance. So, took advantage of 30 min of no PNW rain this afternoon. Used a polishing ball, Makita 12v drill and some semi truck aluminum polish. Hardly any physical effort needed at all. Good to go for another 10 years.
2 before pics
4 after pics
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
New cell signal booster installed. I had previously removed the rear false panel of the center console, to make room for the Goal Zero 1400 to sit in front of the rear seat. This made a perfect spot to mount the cell booster. I went with a Wide-Band Panel Antenna, to be able to boost signal into the camper and out to the campsite as well. Can easily swap to the regular in-cab antenna, if need be.

As soon as the booster was turned on, my signal jumped from 3 to 5 bars immediately, in a low signal area of our parking lot. This should work really well on the road and at camp.
 
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Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
Upgraded the antenna mount to a dual RAM suction cup mount. SOLID, and now very adjustable, to be able to turn upwards towards the camper or outwards towards the campsite. The antenna signal fires at 70 degrees from center.

Was using a cheap cell phone holder creation before. This is much better.
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
A little bit of wheel choice A.D.D. going on. Removed the bulky axle covers she came with. Sold for $100 . Thought about going coverless, but the lug nuts are discolored and the areas around them show wear from lack of upkeep. Found this more subtle set of covers; happy.
 
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Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
"Worked" from home today; mental break from work day. Finished some lighting updates.
• Anzo Projector Headlights W/Halo
• Finally wired the new KC pods
• Rewired upper/camper LEDs; had a bad relay.
 
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Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
Great day for 5 to 6 hours of townhouse parking lot vehicle improvements. Finished off a few long overdue projects, on a holiday road travel weekend that I chose not to participate in.
• Cleaner-waxed and waterless wash & waxed the full truck and camper. Hadn't been done in, I believe 10+ years. There is nothing like warm white paint glow. The three wax applicators used were dark, dirty gray when I finished.
• Stepped up my preparedness game with Tuff Gear. Incredibly well planned and kitted products. Thank you Tyler!!
• Some added battery booster assistance if need be.
• Swapped the original tan Grizzly 40qt for this beauty, compliments of Kelderman.

In the words of Ice Cube, "Today was a good day".
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
A little break from build progress, but took a nice 4 night camp trip up to Whistler BC; annual trip to hike the area and hang out in the Village some.

Basic, boring RV park pic, but proof the camper was on the hwy finally.
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
After much debate and stalling, I decided to take the permanent solar power plunge. I have been using a Renogy 100w Portable Suitcase solar kit while camping, and two 35w solar trickle chargers while stored between trips or weekly drives to work and back. The portable setups will be sold.

I am not a fan of generator usage; annoying to us and everyone around us, and defeats the purpose of getting away from cities and noise. I have only used the 2800w Cummins-Onan onboard generator for 1 hr in 3 years, running it monthly at home to keep it healthy of needed.

It is time for a stout, permanent setup. Brown delivered this today - Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Solar Premium Kit. After unboxing everything and checking condition, I put together the panel frames. I am using the existing roof crossbars as mounting points; no drilling into the roof. 2 panels on each side of the AC unit. 8' Aluminum Angle will span the crossbars and be u-bolted. All aluminum material and hardware will be used.

Tomorrow I will mount the frames and solar panels to the crossbars, followed by wiring everything up this coming weekend and week. Panels will be wired in Series to the dual Odyssey PC1700s house batteries and PC1700 starter battery. Wish me luck
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
Panels placed on crossbars today. Perfect fit, with room to spare for AC cover removal if need be. U-bolting frames to the crossbars next.

Today was a good day
 

Bubblegoose1

PNW Off-Road & Expedition
A little delay in progress, but U-bolts fit perfectly. Solid mount to crossbars, and super easy.

I built 4.5" capped PVC footings to support the center, where the 1/4" to 1/2" droop is occurring. Weather/heat permitting, these will go on tomorrow.
 
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