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Harsh winter Grandby build


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#1 Opposite Overland

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 02:57 PM

Hello WTW folks, new here: first post sorry if it's a long read.

Popped onto the forum because it seemed like a great resource of info that will prove useful with my new to me 03 Grandby project.

This is my first actual camper, !'m upgrading from a contractor topper I previously used for a winter base of operations in the mountains.

I'm in New England and plan to use this camper year-round but my instinct tells me to build it for the worst of conditions l'Il see and it'll be fine for everything else. So this will technically be a harsh winter specific build because I spend a lot of time in the fridged northeast in the winter.

Looking for any pointers, tips, advice anyone may have in how to best winterize this thing.
My truck cap build was strictly a mcmastercarr and spare stuff I had around kind of build and didn't have any real cabinets or fixtures, so for this build I am going to be looking for all that stuff.

**What are some of the best resources I should know about going into this for buying parts like exterior hatch/locker doors, interior camper hardware (table brackets, seat hinges), lighting, electrical/charge/batt systems, or other trick items that are must haves?**

Items on my list as of now are:
1) locate and seal a leak near the fan above the bed, and the passenger aft side of the floor is damp after a rain so I have some intrusion there.
2) Heat, It came with a northstar sunlite 3000 but I cant get it to work. Contemplating putting the Dickinson in from my truck topper.
3) Temp flooring and/or rug to get me through the winter.
4) Need a mattress and seat cushions. Thinking of buying direct from fWÇ on those. Not sure if they do custom sizes
5) Build a rear receiver hitch step.
1'Il post some pictures but suspect the real build wont start till the spring once I sus out how it will handle what l plan to do with it.

-Tony
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#2 DanoT

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 03:34 PM

Get an arctic package for the fabric walls; add extra insulation for the hard walls if possible; don't run the water system in winter, instead use this for showers:

 

http://www.hotjugz.com/

 


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#3 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 03:35 PM

Hi Tony, welcome to Wander the West, and congratulations on your Grandby.  Tell us a little about your camper, is it a shell model, or are there existing cabinetries and fixtures? 
 

Our site search engine is pretty wimpy, so a lot of us use Google, with a search argument similar to the following “site: wanderthewest.com “camper topic””.  As you have already discovered, there is a great body of knowledge here, and folks are always willing to pitch in with advice and often in person.

 

We love to see pictures, so please document your build.  Loading and displaying photos is sometimes frustrating, but we have pinned threads on the topic in the Member Support forum that usually provide the answers.  If they don’t, feel free to reach out to me or other members of the Site Team to help.

 

It’s a cult here, but a benign and wonderful group of wanderers.  Welcome to the cult.


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#4 Opposite Overland

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 04:42 PM

I didnt see an option to upload pictures so i switched to desktop mode on my phone and found it. Appears i can only post 4 at a time.
I believe it is a shell model prev owner installed a 2 way fridge and a makeshift counter. Thats eventuallly coming out.

Floor is solid, roof needs some help has some patching, siding has random holes from mounting stuff. But otherwise fairly unmolested.soft sides seem in good overall shape, and it has velcro inside for the arctic kit but at$900 for the kit ill be making something on my own for that.
I had to downgrade the photos but will be posting full quality ones on instagram @opposite_overland feel free to check it out.

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Edited by Opposite Overland, 18 November 2022 - 04:47 PM.

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#5 Occidental

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 05:09 PM

Welcome, and I look forward to following along on suggestions from this thread as well. 

 

On the thought of ordering a mattress from 4WC - I have had two 4WC Eagles and the first thing we did is put the factory mattress in storage, we found it uncomfortable to the point of being debilitating to sleep on (if I'm being generously kind).  The solution we found that we have loved is using an inflatable Exped mattress.  It does take a few minutes of set up each evening, but it is at least as comfortable as our mattress at home.  My wife wants to go out camping just to sleep on the mattress and sleeping bag combo we have.  Others on here have found other solutions such as higher quality foam, Exped works for us.  


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#6 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 07:17 PM

Another vote for Exped.  I use mine for solo tent camping, but it’s the best mattress I’ve used in a camping environment.  It’s better than the great foam that came with my ATC Cougar.

 

For photos that are hosted at another site, or in your gallery here, copy the image address, and paste it into the picture icon dialog box.  You get a full size image as below.

 

med_gallery_4841_711_47197.jpg


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#7 smlobx

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 07:34 PM

As a former fellow New Englander Welcome!

From the pictures you posted it looks like you have some good bones for your build. Mattresses can be highly subjective but some people here have ordered the foam from a company who’s name escapes me and either used it as is or made a cover for them much cheaper than you can buy from FWC or anywhere else.

 

One thing you’ll find out as you go about your build is the need to manage humidity in your camper particularly at night. This can come from a variety of sources like you and your propane heater, if you use one. Many of us leave a window or other vent open to help alleviate this. Condensation, particularly along the soft walls and under the mattress is something to deal with.

 

There is a good member on this forum who lives in MA, Buckland. Hopefully he’ll be along soon.


Edited by smlobx, 18 November 2022 - 07:35 PM.

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#8 Opposite Overland

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Posted 18 November 2022 - 09:30 PM

Thank you. I know i have a bit to learn about this.i know another layer of fabric will help big time.
When i first used my topper for camping i had that same issue of condensation but since it's usually winter when we use it we always have heat on anyways so after i insulated and added real heat i never had issues again. And the Dickinson i can keep on all night without any worries. We stayed a few -15 degree nights in that topper with that thing on and it was surprisingly comfortable.
So definitely want to put that heater in this thing.

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#9 Opposite Overland

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 01:47 PM

Decided to take it down to just the walls for now. Removed the "cabinet" prev owner built, and removed the rug on the sides and man i cannot believe how many staples fwc puts in that 2x8' section of rug!

Question. Any thought on cutting holes for top access to turnbuckles and covering the current holes in? Are they that much easier to access? Or am i just making new holes for no reason?

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#10 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 03:37 PM

Regarding holes… I suspect it might weaken the top, and that is where the turnbuckle eyebolt is.  Several members have had the eyebolt tear through the wood when traveling in rough terrain.

 

Regarding staples, yup, don’t ask how I know… they must have a huge budget for staples.  If you replace the carpet, there are affordable 18 gauge wire pneumatic staplers on Amazon.


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