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Tony and Michelle’s campers

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Here’s our first camper, as it was when we bought it. It’s being carried by our F350 that’s been in the family since it was new. Both are in the process of undergoing restoration.
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Not the most flattering pictures, but I had an opportunity to capture all 3 of our campers together. I’m a little sad to say that camper #1 is fast becoming a donor for #2. It had a lot of really great components, but the body had been badly damaged by someone who hacked out a lot of the structure in order to fit it on a utility bed. I’m afraid that before it’s all over with, there will be 1 less AR camper. But what an awesome donor.
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Camper on the truck is #2. #1 is on the right and #3 is in the middle. We hope to restore #3, but #1 is probably not going to be used for much more than a parts donor.
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Truck and camper at the El Malpais National Monument in NM.

 

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I’ve been chipping away at little details. It takes a long time to accomplish little. One of these days… What do they say about Rome?
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The water heater access panel. It had been slathered with thick blue and then silver paint. I think I spent a day and a half on just this one tiny part. Cutting out all of the tiny hexagonal holes was a true pleasure. But! No regrets with the outcome.
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My hand-crafted sticker. Until I find someone to print one for us, this will have to do. This one was done with an X-acto knife.
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I’ve started resurrecting the original gelcoat. Note the gloss on the panel to the right of the door. Over the years, someone went crazy with a can of white aerosol paint and “touched up” wherever they saw fit. A little elbow grease and 1000 grit paper, followed by some compound and it looks pretty good. The downside is the fact that there is a LOT of surface area. ¬†One day at a time.

 

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The rear bumper had a tough-as-nails coating on it that looked sad. It took the better part of a day to strip and buff. Originally, it had a matte silver finish. I prefer the polished look to go with the tons of chrome on the old Ford.
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Still a lot of polishing to do, but we no longer feel like hillbillies when we drive down the highway.

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It’s a little hard to believe, but we just found camper number 3! This one is in California. Headed that way soon to pick it up. We seriously need to rent some storage space for a couple of these.
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TWO of these things in our driveway! The neighbors must think we’re nuts!
Replaced the clearance lights with the LED version
Replaced the clearance lights with the LED version
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The cleanup on the blue truck and camper has begun. Plans are to move the camper over to the red truck as soon as its makeover is complete. Then the blue F350 “goes under the knife” and will be completely disassembled. It will receive a complete “nut and bolt” restoration.
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This camper needs a LOT. Still happy we have it.

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15 thoughts on “Tony and Michelle’s campers”

  1. Hi, Ken!

    Thank you for writing! We’re on board for picking this camper up. Michelle and I are picking it up soon and will be adding it to our collection.

    I really appreciate you and others like yourself who have taken the time to write and let us know about these orphaned campers. These tips led us to 2 of our 3 campers. Thank you!

    Tony

    1. Hi Jimmy,
      Do you know what make and model your refrigerator is? Please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for checking us out!
      Tony

  2. I dont keep the camper real close to where I live its about 25 miles from here in a nice safe storage center,. It is the exact one that they give you all the directions how to use in the manual I down loaded from your site. I will look through the manual again to see if I can see a make on it. The manual alsomshows the part I need on one of the pages. If you were even able to get a picture and size the holes for me I can fabricate the part. You can see it from the outside door.
    Thanks
    Jimmy

    1. Hi Jimmy,
      One of our campers has this refrigerator. I will see what I can do to give you some good photos and dimensions. I’m pretty sure you will need to fabricate these, or maybe get lucky and find used. It’s doubtful that any of either part is going to be found, new.
      I’ll be in touch.
      Tony

  3. Toni,

    Sorry my bad I did not know there were 2 refrigerators in the manual. Mine is the Frigiking.Astral, manual page 2-14

    And the part I am missing is the mixture tube and Flame Blow out guard from page 3-1.1

    Thanks
    Jimmy

    Next on my list to buy is a new low profile a/c unit with heat strip.
    I tested my wires up there and they are 12 volt so I will need to do some fishing or remove inner head liner so I can run it to the fuse box. They must of had the exhust fan option in the roof hatch.
    Not going to be up to par if I take another fishing trip and the wife is with me.

    I was planning to install a 9500 btu a/c unit, any thoughts on that one. ( the bigger the louder) but I dont want to cut myself short !

    1. Hi Jimmy,
      One of our campers has this refrigerator. I will see what I can do to give you some good photos and dimensions. I’m pretty sure you will need to fabricate these, or maybe get lucky and find used. It’s doubtful that any of either part is going to be found, new.
      I’ll be in touch.
      Tony

      Oh, and regarding the A/C unit, as long as your wiring and power source is adequate, I don’t see a problem with a large unit. Supposedly, all of the campers were wired for an air conditioner, but I can’t confirm this.
      If you run wiring, I’d run a large gauge that can handle plenty of amperage. I tend to overkill on stuff like this. I believe the fussiest part of these units is on startup. They have a large current draw on startup and if the capacity isn’t there, they will hum and not start, or will trip the breaker. Which surely can’t be good for the unit, either.
      And yes, if they didn’t have an A/C unit, they had a 12V powered roof vent in that space.
      Tony

    1. This is great, Ken! Good info.
      If you’d like to send pics and a description of your parts, plus what you’re asking, I’ll post them in the classifieds section.
      Thanks!
      Tony

  4. Toni,
    Is a 9500 a big enough a/c unit the right size ? I would think it would be and it alot quieter than the larger ones, any experience in the heat with the a/c running ?

    1. Hi Jimmy, I’m no expert on this, but from the comments I’ve read from other people with campers our size, a 9500btu unit should work well. Advantages they claim are lower power requirements (current draw on startup) and a larger unit will tend to cycle more frequently which may shorten compressor life. As I said, I’m pretty ignorant on the topic, but would probably go with the 9500 btu as opposed to a larger and heavier 13,500 btu unit.
      Tony

  5. Hi Tony,
    Getting ready to put the Di-Noc on my AR camper and find that I am missing 4-5 of the clips that hold the metal trim in place. Do you know where they can be obtained or do you have any for sale?
    Thanks!
    Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      I do not have any extra clips. If you have an auto body supply store or auto paint store in the area, take a sample clip and they should be able to provide something that will work.
      Be sure to seal the holes where the clips snap in. The clip holes down both sides is a major potential water leak. After your trim is back in place, it’s a good idea to cap seal all along the moldings with something like pro flex. It’s rather difficult to work with, but will ensure you won’t have leaks. I can tell you exactly how to apply this, if you need any assistance.
      Please send pictures!

      Best regards,
      Tony

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