72 IH + ‘85 Alaskan = Questionable Judgment...


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I have 2 more of the horizontal propane tanks like yours. You can have them if you ever get up to Casper.
Thank you!

Can they still be refilled, what with the POL valve instead of the OPD?

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That was a lot of interior pirelli seal replacement!

Haha seriously though, great work!
Tapatalk sent error messages three times when I tried to post that, and apparently posted it anyway.

Thank you for the compliment!

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Thank you!

Can they still be refilled, what with the POL valve instead of the OPD?

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Supposedly they can because they are ASME bottles. But some of the people refilling them may not recognize that. I got them with my first Alaskan. 2 Alaskans later, I still haven't used them. They were originally to be mounted on the inside wall of the bed on each side of the wheel well.


Expedition Leader
I have that style of tank in my Northstar. They can be refilled but some bulk fillers are unaware of that and might refuse you. New Horizontal tanks with the updated threads cost about $115 last I checked.


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Next task was vent replacement. The old ones were broken in various annoying ways, so they had to go.

I got my staging set up, and found that my extension plank wouldn’t fit on the top of the ladders because of the hinge rivets, and the next rung down was too low.

I tried airing the tires down, but I found one valve stem too close to the rim to accommodate my air chuck, so I gave that plan up.

This isn’t sketchy-

Time to proceed.

Got the vents & butyl strip:

The first vent was pretty easy, just undo the screws, carefully pry it off, and clean the sealing surface:

Next, I stuck the butyl tape to the vent flange, and set the vent:

Then I ran the screws in & finished it with a bead of rubber sealant. I would have liked to use stainless screws, but they’re a relentless PITA in a magnetic bit.

Move to the front, repeat...


Not really-

I was greeted with this mess when I pulled this, an apparent replacement vent. At least I had somewhere to rest my feet so I could actually sit while I scraped that silicone off-

My knees were really beginning to hurt from kneeling on that plank.

Got it after while:


Finish it with the “garnish”:


And another item checked off the list.

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Then I took time out to reacquaint with the motivation behind all this work:

I’m sick of towing and sleeping in that cargo trailer.

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A few weeks later, I borrowed my buddy’s 6” gutter trailer, and bought the IH hood back to paint it:

After a wash, I undercoated the inside:

And unearthed a relic of its past while sanding:

I googled that, and found it’s in Centerville, AR. I also found they’d misspelled “Galla”. Oops.


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On to addressing what I considered the biggest problem this camper had: cabover deflection. Previously, when I would climb into it to raise & latch the cabover panels, my weight would deflect it downward to the point I couldn’t lock the panels open if I kneeled more than one foot from the inside edge. Not acceptable, and a little scary, if I’m honest.

I talked to Brian Wheat at Alaskan, and he mentioned this was pretty much the first design change his dad implemented after removing purchasing the company in the ‘80’s. His suggested installing 4x4 steel angle channel at the front corners of the lower section, so I bought these:

4x6. I like overbuilding certain things.

Here’s where they’ll go:

I had to cut them to fit that luxurious plastic trim:

And then the mounting holes had to be drilled:

And those were just the pilot holes. I went through two 5/16 bits to get them to their final size.

At this point, work on these came to a two-week pause because I needed to weld on extension tabs to accommodate a mounting hole for the carriage bolt seen in the second pic from the top.

FF, and time to mount these to the camper.

Drilling the holes in the sidewall seemed like the best place to start so I could the hole in the extension tab located correctly:

I marked that with the drill:

After repeating this process on the driver-side, I made them look decent:

A bunch of carriage bolts, a couple grade-8 hex bolts, and some good luck later:

And cabover defection is largely eliminated. The difference is amazing, and well worth the time & money ($60+-) expended.

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It’s October ‘20 at this point, and I decided I’d test the gas plumbing I’d relocated because the day was chilly, and I wanted bask in the heat of that furnace:

After 15 or so minutes:

Works for me, no more freezing my ass off.

Stove worked nicely, too:

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The next project was getting that camper from here to Wheatland where the IH was.

First order of business had to do with this ratty little piece of steel:

This is supposed to limit the downward travel of the upper camper section when it’s attached where it’s supposed to be on the back corner angles:

Bryan Wheat at Alaskan told me these are essential, and not to roll without them to avoid damaging the lift rams. Since the weather window for a trip north was closing (snow expected late the next weekend, and once the roads get salted, the M715 is done for the season), improvisation was in order:

Worked great, time to go.

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After five hours at 45 mph MAX, I made it to Wheatland:

I thought this looked cool:

An hour later, the blizzard started, and we hit the road south. Hard.

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