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Reducing weight

Granby jeep boondocking expedition adventure

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#11 Boonie

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 05:22 AM

CWD,

My GVWR is 4300 lbs. so my wet (camper) weight can only be 775 lbs. thus the idea behind the thread is to get ideas as in your case; what would you eliminate to reduce your weight by 225 lbs? Amen to the light, comfortable, nimble rig.

Phil

I probably will carry a hi-lift jack because I can use it to change a tire, lift the vehicle for extraction, and even as a substitute winch (which I will not be equipped with). I am sure there is a thread for 101 uses of a hi-lift jack. (splitting firewood, beating on Big foot)

Stormtrooper

I gave up IPA's, but it still didn't help "reduce weight"! My reconfigured Granby will not have the side sofa, so the back rest and the side window are already gone. I think the refrigerator and a closet/drawers will be on that side.

 

To all I did not mention that the unit will need to accommodate two, but only two.


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#12 Ace!

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 04:00 PM

I used to be more concerned with weight savings than I am now, mostly because I realize the vehicle doesn't care if there is another few hundred pounds if properly placed, and in some cases it is an advantage (traction).  If you're in Colorado you're going to have different needs at different times of the year.  Another consideration is what you'll have to carry either way.

 

You state you may not move for seven days.  Seven days of water for two people is roughly 10 - 15 gallons.  If you're not moving for seven days, that's a half dozen 2.5 gallon containers.  Makes much more sense to have a water tank onboard in that case.  If you're concerned about water you can only fill it with 10 gallons and bring a collapsible container stowed away that you can (maybe) fill at the location.  The weight of water is the same whether you carry 10 gallons in 2.5 gallon containers or in a built in tank.

 

I've found carrying individual propane to be much more inconvenient than having a propane furnace and stove built in.  Stowing the individual canisters along with the portable heater and stove is harder (takes more room) than having a built in.  The weight is negligible between a built in stove and furnace than with portables, and the convenience is much greater with the built in.

 

A refrigerator is safer and much more convenient than dealing with the weight and size of a proper ice box/chest, and you don't have to deal with the melted ice/water or having to move it when it gets in the way.  For a seven day camp, you'll have to buy one of the best made ice chests out there, pack it in the most efficient manner.  Much easier to use a properly sized and efficiently built refrigerator.

 

You can also bring a portable fan instead of a Fantastic Fan built into the roof.  You can bring a couple D-cell flashlights that weigh more than the LED lights in the ceiling.  You can go on and on with cutting options only to bring the same thing as a "portable."

 

Bottom line, you can get the camper to weigh less, but you'll pack it with more "portable" stuff.  So, it ends up, much more than some people understand, not a matter weight savings.  I would consider what you think is essential, not in a camper, but for a camping experience.  Then purchase the options that you would bring with you anyway.

 

One of the main reasons, other than convenience is that the campers are designed very well.  They'll have the water tank, propane tanks, the furnace, stove, refrigerator, lights, etc., etc., located in places that just plain work, easy to access without having to pull other things out of the same bin or cabinet.  They'll be in areas you'll probably wish you could put your portables.  They'll be relatively low center of gravity too, and won't weigh significantly more than what you're going to be bringing along.

 

Now to address your question about essentials.  Furnace, stove, refrigerator, water tank.  I also carry, depending on the time of year, several fishing rods, two sets of tire chains, a chainsaw, an air compressor, tire repair kit, first aid kit and not much else.  Because I have the optional equipment instead of a shell, I can top off my water tank as necessary and hit the road.  I don't have to prepare a bunch of bins with gear and be afraid I'm missing something.  My bed is made and ready to sleep in, my furnace and stove are ready to light and all I have to do is find the place on the map I want to go and pull out of the driveway.  Does my loaded truck weigh more than someone with a shell?  Yes, sometimes.  Probably not much more though when we're both ready to hit the road.


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#13 Ace!

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 04:06 PM

Oh, I would ditch the Hi-Lift.  There are better alternatives that weigh less and do a better job.  It is a compromise tool that doesn't work great for anything.


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#14 Stalking Light

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 04:13 PM

I carry a Hi-Lift but I wouldn't change a tire with it. If you intend to use it for recovery get a lift mate and an offroad base for it too. I know, those aren't suggestions for reducing weight.  ;)


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#15 Wallowa

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 05:01 PM

Great discussion based on other's experiences...best way to learn.

 

Hi-lift jack, depending on whether or not you have a suitable lifting point [really none on our Tundra other than possibly front and rear receivers], can be used for changing/repairing a flat but not easily...the nifty Lift-mate works well at getting a wheel up, but then for a flat you need to find something for under the frame to hold it up....

 

I do not have a winch so the Hi-Lift is better than a Come-Along if I need to pull our rig out of a "situation"..still sketchy since a good anchor and rigging are required.

 

ACE hits all the marks with his comments...I agree with him that cobing together the gear rather than trusting that FWC after 3 decades of experience has worked out the CG/placement/components just doesn't seem the way to go...old adage can be modified to fit the circumstances  but "Penny wise and pound foolish" makes sense.  It is tough for me not bring along the kitchen sink...just added the Viair 450P compressor...but somethings will get left at home...time will tell.

 

Overloaded vehicle?  In our case, rear air bags & anti-sway bar...stouter tires...and then slowing down especially when off road..hey, it is all about perception, like ACE sez our Tundra will not know that we are above GVW if I pay attention to how I drive it..

 

Out October trip to Escalante/GSC area will put the Tundra/Hawk to the test for certain..especially now that they have just had three different weather warnings...low land flooding, canyon flash floods and road washouts...yeeeha. 

 

Phil


Edited by Wallowa, 23 September 2016 - 05:03 PM.

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#16 cwdtmmrs

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 05:04 PM

Boonie, You cannot get to your GVWR of 4300 pounds and have enough stuff. I bet your Grandby weighs 775 pounds alone as a shell. My camper actually weighed 980 pounds as described earlier on a truck scale. I have never stayed in a campground and am only in the camper after dark when I am done hunting/fishing. The only gear I could remove is the Honda 350 generator (20lbs w/fuel) and maybe the 12v air compressor (8lbs) and the Wave heater (12lbs). The leveling blocks are around 8lbs or so, but a lot handier than rocks and sticks. My on demand water heater/shower systems weighs less than 20 lbs and my BBQ weighs less than 10 lbs. My cooking gear is lightweight aluminum or titanium. I carry some extra parts for the truck as well as the FSM. I do not carry chairs or have an awning since it is usually not easy to find a campsite flat enough to make use of those. I do not have a screen door or a fantastic fan. Never needed them and you lose 1" inside with he screen door. No porta potti. I carry a down sleeping bag and jacket. I have the old style couch which is lightweight and gives you 7" more aisle space. I could remove the cab over pads (maybe 15 lbs?) since I am usually by myself and sleep on the couch. The older campers are shorter in height and save some weight there. My hunting/fishing gear is what it is but usually less than 50lbs unless I am going big game hunting out of state. In that case I have to take my custom cargo carrier with a Yeti cooler and 2 5 gal gas cans. That adds 100+lbs and full of meat I am at or over my 1300lb payload. About the only areas I see for weight savings is to drop from a 20lb to a 10lb propane tank and the camper steps. I agree about ditching the Hi Lift. I have carried one on my Jeep for years, but only used it once. I also agree that built in appliances are lighter and handier than portable units. 

 

cwd


Edited by cwdtmmrs, 23 September 2016 - 05:15 PM.

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#17 idahoron

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 09:18 PM

I carry the Hi-Lift. I also have the lift mate and the base. I can lift the wheel and put on tire chains without moving the truck. That came in handy one night I was parked above the snake river in a flash flood. I was parked on clay and it was slippery as snot. 


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#18 rando

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:09 PM

One thing to keep in mind when considering weight and available payload is to remember that if you are over your max payload, the fraction you are over is a fraction of your GVWR not your payload capacity.    For example on my Tacoma my available payload is 1200 lbs.  With my FWC, people, gear and water we will probably be close to 1700lb of payload.   This is nearly 50% over the payload which sounds bad, but it is less than 10% over the GVWR (5600).  Would it be better to be lighter and under the GVWR?  Of course!   But it is not like the engineering tolerances on the vehicle are so tight that 10% below the GVWR everything is fine and 10% over the GVWR everything goes to pot.   Any time you are close to the GVWR you need to drive with greater caution and you may want to pay more attention to wear and maintenance.   That said, going to 50% OVER your GVWR would probably cause issues.   We are definitely considering weight in our build out, but not obsessing over it as we know we will be heavy what ever we do. 


Edited by rando, 23 September 2016 - 10:22 PM.

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#19 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:17 PM

One thing to keep in mind when considering weight and available payload is to remember that if you are over your max payload, the fraction you are over is a fraction of your GVWR not your payload capacity.    For example on my Tacoma my available payload is 1200 lbs.  With my FWC, people, gear and water we will probably be close to 1700lb of payload.   This is nearly 50% over the payload which sounds bad, but it is less than 10% over the GVWR (5600).  Would it be better to be lighter and under the GVWR?  Off course.   But it is not like the engineering tolerances on the vehicle are so tight that 10% below the GVWR everything is fine and 10% over the GVWR everything goes to pot.   Any time you are close to the GVWR you need to drive with greater caution and you may want to pay more attention to wear and maintenance.   That said, going to 50% OVER your GVWR would probably cause issues.   We are definitely considering weight in our build out, but not obsessing over it as we know we will be heavy what ever we do. 

Rando,thank you for the thought about GVRW,my thoughts all along.

And yes we should be cautious about driving our rigs even if they aren't over the payload.

Frank


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#20 Boonie

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 11:51 PM

Because I found the weight distribution of my Grandby to be totally unacceptable. Propane tank, water tank, furnace, sink, stove, and refrigerator all on the left side and except for the refrigerator all behind the back axle!  I will be reconfiguring it with the weight on top of and forward of the rear axle. In so doing I have the ability to take a serious look at what is built-in or what is portable, what is included and what is left out, what I need and what I don't need. As Phil said " this is a great discussion"


 

CDW, a sneak peak of the camper build. It is permanently mounted on the stretched Jeep so there is no wooden floor pack, thus the reduced weight, but that will be another thread. I intend to carry a porta potti, (my wife hasn't master the pee-on-the-tree technique yet). I will not carry  2 1/2 gal. of fresh water in it however, I will be recycling gray water for flushing.


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