Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Works

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

Postby TinkerTailor » Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:16 pm

Took a while to get around to posting about the maiden voyage. It went well! Fun, short first family camping trip. We went to Anthony Chabot Campground which was really nice except for the abundant poison oak (cut back pretty well in the camping area and on trails, but pretty much covering the hillsides). Tough to keep two young boys from tearing through the woods, but we had a lot of fun riding bikes, making s'mores, doing a little fishing on the lake, etc.

One thing that I've ordered is a set of 4 bigger leveling bolt-on jacks because with the two smaller ones I took the camper definitely shook a bit when any of the 4 sleepers inside shifted in their bags.

Here it is hitched and ready to tow:

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Set up to camp with nice lighting:

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Another site shot:

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Tearing down camp:

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Storage/hauling of gear when folded up:

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A few quick questions:
Do you leave vents open or closed when storing your campers?
Do you take out the mattresses?
Any general storage tips?

I bought a fabric pop-up cover that I'm going to use because we tend to get a fair amount of rain, and I'm planning to stash a Damprid canister or two inside between trips. Thanks to everyone for your support and ideas throughout.

Still to do, but no rush:
1. Install a support beam across the roof (on the inside) to prevent roof-sagging. Cut an optional support post that can be wedged in between the beam and the floor if camping when heavy snowfall is expected.
2. Make a folding heat shield for the wood-burning stove and burn in the stove itself.
3. Install the diesel heater and battery in the tongue box.
4. Possibly cut 6 inches off the tongue to make it easier to park on the street.
5. Install the bolt-on jacks.
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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

Postby OP827 » Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:56 am

Congrats on your first trip!

I leave vents open since they have fly screens and located out of the rain and potential critters access. Also have a small PC fan for toilet and it runs constantly on low RPM to slowly pull the air to outside.
The mattress and cushions are out of camper and stored inside home when the air gets humid. We live by the lake and have dew every night during summer time which also may accumulate inside of uninhabited camper. It depends what climate you are storing it in. If it is raining all the time and humid, then I would remove mattresses and pillows to avoid mold issues. If it is dry and cold, then it might not be necessary.
So far the camper was stored in garage as there is some work to do, but eventually I may store it outside and then will have to think about how to protect it from heavy snow load and weather and may need some cover.

For stabilizers I made these ones below, similar to valterra stabilizers idea. There are lots of videos of "diy rv stabilizers" on the net. These ones seem to work good, almost no rocking now, just a bit more work to put them up comparing to commercial lead screw action bolt-on units.
I had to modify the design by adding a cross piece due to my frame configuration, which actually added stability as well.

Image

Happy camping!

Oleg
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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

Postby TinkerTailor » Sat Aug 14, 2021 5:10 pm

Thanks for your support, throughout, Oleg.

I appreciate the advice on storage. Your stabilizers look solid. Haven't had time to get mine on yet. I'll post when it gets some more use or I check some things off my to-do list, whichever comes first.
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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

Postby TinkerTailor » Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:46 am

Hello all -

Quick update: Not much has happened with the camper since the first trip other than installing leveling jacks. I'll post some picks at some point, but there's not too much to speak of - I just ordered some bolted them on, more or less.

In the last few days I've started the process of getting the heating systems up and running. I have put the all in one diesel heater together and did a test run (not installed in the camper yet, just to try it out). I'll hopefully be able to install it in the tongue box this weekend if all goes well.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RN ... UTF8&psc=1

I'm also going to try to burn in my gstove tomorrow, if possible.

https://www.gstove.com/

I'll be throwing together a folding heat shield with some corrugated metal roofing for when that is in use. Once that stuff is all in, I'll be ready to do an overnighter up in Tahoe.

The plan is to head up early with my older son, get to the mountain around opening, ride all day, then pop the camper up either in the parking lot or on a nearby mellow street, snooze, do a half day of skiing, break camp, and then head back home. :twisted:
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Re: Folding Foamie Camper a la Casita or Esterel in the Work

Postby TinkerTailor » Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:53 am

Burned in the gstove:

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Here are some pics of the work on the diesel heater install so far:

Biggish hole drilled in the plastic/wood tongue box bottom for the exhaust outlet which gets hot.

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Some adhesive, reflective heat shield laid down under the heater area.

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Aluminum plate with a smaller hole for the exhaust installed.

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The vent for the hot air to enter the camper and some plastic tubing to run wires for the heating controller and power cable installed.

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Testing the heater and syncing the remote control.

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