Build: Ram 3500 and Aluminum/Composite Expedition Camper

In Episode 7 you ask for tips on emptying a toilet cassette.
Thank you very much for the response, and for following along on YouTube! I'm sure all this toilet talk is getting old but I think we're going to really like being free from RV dump stations. I hadn't considered vault toilets but that has been the overwhelming recommendation. I was imagining carrying the thing into McDonalds.
 
I have a tough time ever "finishing" a project, something about that last 10% taking 90% of the time! But, we have been diligent about making sure we finish a portion of the build before moving on. We finished up the underbody boxes with a coat of Raptor Liner. This was our first experience with the stuff and I am impressed. Easy to spray and it seems to be curing well.



A "gutter" was added to the door opening to push against a bulb seal. Should make these boxes watertight and dust proof.



The keyed cam latch is keyed to match the truck.

The box under the fuel filler was going to end up pretty small due to the fuel and DEF hoses. The plan is to install some mechanical stuff there instead, like an air compressor, the diesel heater air intake, and shore power plug.

The drawer slides on the stairs were upgraded to 500# units from Accuride (9308e) and that made all the difference. The slide out porch is now easy to use and feels SOLID. Jumping up and down causes the truck suspension to move with no noticeable deflection of the porch.

We also got the windows installed in the bed area. Some natural light in the camper made a big difference in the interior feel. The built in shade and screen is a really nice feature.







Finally, our most recent video is up. Thanks for watching everyone!
 

mog

Kodiak Wrangler
I want to compliment you on your outstanding build. Great design and the workmanship is the zenith of quality for not only 'homebuilt' but even for a professional shop. Although I don't know if you get to keep your homebuilt moniker with a CNC cutter in your garage ;) Outstanding work! Your videos are GREAT! Very informative and interesting to watch.
AWESOME ++
 

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I want to compliment you on your outstanding build. Great design and the workmanship is the zenith of quality for not only 'homebuilt' but even for a professional shop. Although I don't know if you get to keep your homebuilt moniker with a CNC cutter in your garage ;) Outstanding work! Your videos are GREAT! Very informative and interesting to watch.
AWESOME ++
Thank you very much! This build is a dream come true for me and I have as much fun building as I do adventuring. We are working hard to keep up on the quality even with the adventure on the horizon. I'll be sure to let Courtney know that you enjoy her videos. We sure are having fun creating them and I'm started to get the hang of remembering to grab the camera. Ha! The compliments are appreciated!

I am cheating a little bit, we owned an offroad shop for a few years after college and life slowly evolved us away from it. When we moved out of the shop we kept all the good tools! Ha!
 

gdaut

Active member
One more thing on emptying toilet cassettes. I keep a box of disposable gloves (like nurses use) in the camper. These are handy for toilet emptying as well as other impromptu truck maintenance and repair. Emptying the toilet s not really a dirty job and if I ddi not have gloves I wold not hesitate to do it, but the gloves make it a bit nicer.
 
We've been working on getting all the mechanical systems installed, plumbed and wired. This has also included building a few of the cabinet boxes for the interior.

Here you can see the kitchen (bike box) and dinette taking shape. We're using Alder plywood for the interior cabinetry.



The forward bench worked out well. The 42 gal water tank sits under the 3000w inverter charger and 300ah LiFeP04 battery bank. 500# of stuff in 5sqft, forward, low, and centered.



Here you can see the water tank filler, the water pump, accumulator tank, and diesel heater. Still left to add to this area is the AC breaker panel and whatever WiFi/ cell booster equipment we decide on.



This bulkhead for the diesel heater sealed up the last hole in the camper!


The fridge is on a slide out to keep it out of the way but easy to access. It was the perfect thing for consuming that dinette bench space.





The water heater is a Whale 6 gal unit with a hydronic heat exchanger and a 1500w electric heating element. It was originally intended to go under the dinette bench but it worked out much better to put the inverter and batteries there instead. This placement worked out well. It will end up inside our rear closet and the proximity to the shower means we will waste very little water waiting for it to get hot.





Plumbing ended up a little complicated. The silver thing with the red button is a thermostatic mixing valve to account for the possible wild temperature fluctuations from the hydronic heat.

Do you have recommendations on a WiFi modem that accepts a SIM card? How about a reasonably priced unlimited carrier so the truck can have dedicated WiFi? Currently exploring Visible Wireless and a MoFi router.
 

mog

Kodiak Wrangler
How about a reasonably priced unlimited carrier so the truck can have dedicated WiFi?
Google Fi offers data-only SIM cards. No monthly fee (although you must have an existing Google Fi account), you just pay $10 per GB of data (so 2.45 GB would be $24.50) up to 6 GB. There are no additional charges after 6 GB, but they start throttling at 15 GB?.
 

da/dt

Member
It's a Plasma table. ArcLight Dynamics 4x8 with a Hypertherm 65. Its a work horse and makes quickly fabricating quality stuff possible (and very fun!). It takes up significant real estate in the 2 car garage that we work out of, but totally worth it. Organization is the key!
Really cool tools, but am I right there’s probably about $20k of fabrication tools there and yet you don’t fabricate professionally?
 
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Thank you very much to all of you for supporting our build and watching our videos. We are blown away by the momentum on YouTube and continue to have a ton of fun with this project.

Episode 9 is up where we tackle the installation of the slide out fridge!

 

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Google Fi offers data-only SIM cards. No monthly fee (although you must have an existing Google Fi account), you just pay $10 per GB of data (so 2.45 GB would be $24.50) up to 6 GB. There are no additional charges after 6 GB, but they start throttling at 15 GB?.
Awesome recommendation, I hadn't seen that option before.

Do you personally use Google Fi? Do you find the service to be great? I have considering switching to Fi a few times but I currently have Verizon locked into a GREAT rate (by Verizon standards) and I'm a little uneasy about losing that should the service on another carrier suffer.
 

mog

Kodiak Wrangler
Awesome recommendation, I hadn't seen that option before.

Do you personally use Google Fi? Do you find the service to be great? I have considering switching to Fi a few times but I currently have Verizon locked into a GREAT rate (by Verizon standards) and I'm a little uneasy about losing that should the service on another carrier suffer.
For me, Google Fi's coverage/system works OK in the US and AWESOME in Europe. But I would say, based on my experience with both carriers, that it is nowhere near as reliable as Version. . I am certain others have a different experience. I switched because I use my phone a lot overseas and Google Fi's plan is awesome for that, while Version's is $$$$ (unless that has changed)
 
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