2020 Ram 5500 DIY Composite Panel Camper Build Thread

smurfsky101

Member
Question for ya - @RAM5500 CAMPERTHING - what kind of air lines / fittings do you like?

This is how i'm wiring up my air system (attached diagram). I'm using push to connect fittings (for now) - but would like to use whatever is most durable.

Truck is coming along together pretty well (PS I know it's the wrong kind of winch lead for the metal rope, am switching to synthetic ). Thanks for the inspiration for the build, you saved me a lot of time and headache on a few items
 

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RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Question for ya - @RAM5500 CAMPERTHING - what kind of air lines / fittings do you like?

This is how i'm wiring up my air system (attached diagram). I'm using push to connect fittings (for now) - but would like to use whatever is most durable.

Truck is coming along together pretty well (PS I know it's the wrong kind of winch lead for the metal rope, am switching to synthetic ). Thanks for the inspiration for the build, you saved me a lot of time and headache on a few items
Holy Hell you got a lot of stuff going on there.. Wowzers!

I use the Norgen 3/8 push connectors from Wits End and upgraded everything to the 3/8" hose from an industrial truck supply place. Its the exact same hose use on big rigs and school buses and such.

Joey that runs Wits Ends is a long time friend from the Land Cruiser community and a hell of a guy.

I've been using those fittings and his products close to 15 years with no issues or leaks.

Here is a link, go through his OBA section of his site and you'll find all the various fittings and stuff.

P.S. Nice looking truck sir!

 

smurfsky101

Member
Thanks for the tip! I'll get some of those, look good. I was thinking it might be worth switching to compression fittings, but will take your expertise on it - i'm new to air suspensions.

The diagram may look complicated, but it's really set up so that if the air solenoids for dump / fill stop working or leak for whatever reason, I just flick off each corner so it's in 'manual fill mode'.
I was looking at some of the pre-made wireless controllers and just didnt like the dinky internals, figured I could do better with some good solenoids, digital pressure gauges inside the manifold, blah blah.

Went a bit overboard on the solar (1.6 KW) - but it's nice to be able to power the AC directly from the charge controller.

Build is almost done, I'm hitting the road soon to live full time in the camper once I get the flatbed on. - I'll be out your way (you're in UT right?) in a few months, we should sync up and compare notes!
 

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RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Thanks for the tip! I'll get some of those, look good. I was thinking it might be worth switching to compression fittings, but will take your expertise on it - i'm new to air suspensions.

The diagram may look complicated, but it's really set up so that if the air solenoids for dump / fill stop working or leak for whatever reason, I just flick off each corner so it's in 'manual fill mode'.
I was looking at some of the pre-made wireless controllers and just didnt like the dinky internals, figured I could do better with some good solenoids, digital pressure gauges inside the manifold, blah blah.

Went a bit overboard on the solar (1.6 KW) - but it's nice to be able to power the AC directly from the charge controller.

Build is almost done, I'm hitting the road soon to live full time in the camper once I get the flatbed on. - I'll be out your way (you're in UT right?) in a few months, we should sync up and compare notes!
Im definitely not expert with this stuff, just learning as I go and using the best stuff possible. Compression fittings might be better, if they don’t have to move. I prefer everything has some sort of ability to flex and move around.

I use the “An ounce of prevention saves a point of headache” mantra for everything.

There’s no such thing as “overboard on solar” 😊

Funny, all the "that wont go where i can go" type folks told me i couldn't do an AC and/or water heater off of battery and solar. And yet, here i am doing it! :)

No, I’m in San Diego. @Brad_UT is who you’re thinking of.

All us 5500 guys look alike anyway. Hahaha
 
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Dust999

Observer
Hi, I see that you have a lifeblue battery and a sterling DC-DC charger. Trying to decide between battle born and lifeblue, with lifeblue telling me their batteries do not need a dc-dc charger...they can take charge from the alternator directly? Any particular reason you decided to use a dc-dc, or are they just Bs'ing me?
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Hi, I see that you have a lifeblue battery and a sterling DC-DC charger. Trying to decide between battle born and lifeblue, with lifeblue telling me their batteries do not need a dc-dc charger...they can take charge from the alternator directly? Any particular reason you decided to use a dc-dc, or are they just Bs'ing me?
Loaded Question...

I mainly went with LifeBlue for their dimensions, the fact they made 1 large 300ah battery, instead of needing 3 separate ones, and the fact they make the cold weather one with that can safely charge below freezing, as of last year, Battle Born didnt offer one that charged safely below freezing.

Battleborn now has much bigger batteries available.

I went with the DCDC for a variety of reasons. I have dual alternators and at max, they are 440amps. Will i ever see them pushing 440? Probably not..

Unless they updated them, the BattleBorns can take up to 100amps of charge, and the Lifeblues can take 150amps of charge. Both way under what my alternators could put out. Possibly damaging either battery. Or not.. I dont know.

I'm not a battery engineer, and alot of this stuff seems like voodoo magic just trusting a companies speces on paper.

I went with the Sterling because of the totally customizable charging profiles that can be dialed in to charge exactly how any battery requires.

That, and at 60amps, its providing plenty of charge, even at idle.
 
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hellojava

New member
The internal resistance of a lithium battery is very close to 0. Current will move uncontrolled into your lithium battery without some sort of limiter. The DCDC charger acts like a traffic controller between your camper battery and your truck battery. Without it, you can potentially drain your truck battery, or, if you have really big alternators, you could induce an over current into your camper battery system.

The controller will only turn on when the engine is running, or when there is enough current coming from the engine alternators. Also, some of the dcdc chargers have transformers that will step up your voltage to one more appropriate for your batteries (ex 12.7 vs 14.2).
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
The internal resistance of a lithium battery is very close to 0. Current will move uncontrolled into your lithium battery without some sort of limiter. The DCDC charger acts like a traffic controller between your camper battery and your truck battery. Without it, you can potentially drain your truck battery, or, if you have really big alternators, you could induce an over current into your camper battery system.

The controller will only turn on when the engine is running, or when there is enough current coming from the engine alternators. Also, some of the dcdc chargers have transformers that will step up your voltage to one more appropriate for your batteries (ex 12.7 vs 14.2).
Well stated, and excellent explanation
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Unless the drop-in's internal protective / conversion gizmos includes robust **current limiting** circuitry (not just over current protection)

then allowing the LFP cells to just pull all the current they "want"

will damage both the alternator's and the battery's electronics.

With normal bare cells + BMS you get to decide just how fast you want to charge (high current) but above 0.4C is going to reduce lifespan (depends on temperature)

The usual place for limiting current is between the alternator and battery, in the form of an expensive regulator mod (e.g. MC-614)

or a DCDC.

The former allows for higher rates when desired, and much more adjustment flexibility, again temperature being the critical variable.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Cabinets are coming along and mostly done (pics later once i clean things up a bit).

QUESTION FOR ALL AND OPINIONS WANTED.....

Punching the hole for the drains on the floor????

I've been putting this off, as its been low priority, but its come time to address it.

I am going to need 2 holes in my floor, one for the sink, and one for the shower.

I have them basically side by side on purpose, so they will both exit the camper and tee into a single drain before hitting the gray tank. Thats the easy part...

The part i am struggling with is what to use and how to do the holes cleanly and sealed and looking for ideas

Floors are 3.25" thick (or so) and in a perfect world, id like a fitting where drain enters the floor and a fitting down below where it exits underneath, with a ball valve of some sort under the vehicle

I am finding close to nothing on my research about the topic and what methods are used.

Anyone care to add their .02?

Thanks
 
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java

Expedition Leader
What diameter are the drains? You should be able to find a stainless bulkhead fitting.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
What diameter are the drains? You should be able to find a stainless bulkhead fitting.
I dont have any drains yet, thats the whole point of this post silly!

I am not finding anything longer than 2.5" inch or so and floor is 3.25"

[KISSYFACEEMOJI]
 
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