My XP V1 Shakedown Thread

NothingClever

Explorer
Arizona seems like a pretty cool state but nothing beats going home wherever that might be for folks. For us, it's Colorado. Well, kinda. I've only lived there 12 months out of the past 20 years and my wife squeaked in 24 months. Really, for me, home is wherever my wife is. Right now, until we get to Florida and secure a house, home is the XP.



Househunting complete in Durango, we headed to the backside of Durango Mountain Resort to get some dirt under our feet and head over a low pass I'd never heard of and thought might be open. May is still really early in Colorado for passes to be open. The idea was to go over Bolam Pass and then make our way north and come back over Ophir Pass to 550 and head north.











As nuclear power took off in America, Colorado's aging mine industry had a bit of revival in southern Colorado for "yellow cake".



Nice views from the miner's cabin.



 
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NothingClever

Explorer
Got to this small lake and thought it would be perfect. However, there were three guys in lawn chairs at the lake's edge with a big bottle of whiskey. I didn't think much of that but when one got up, he was carrying hardware. Crap...I was outgunned and these guys were drinking. It didn't feel like a good spot so we decided to keep climbing towards Bolam Pass.

image.jpg
 
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NothingClever

Explorer
A word of warning regarding F350 brakes: the front rotors are quite susceptible to warping.
Well, that's unfortunate. I've been enjoying the great braking performance of a full-size truck. Any insight on some high-quality aftermarket rotors with the same dimensions as the OE disks? Hopefully I can R&R the rotors only without getting on a slippery slope of binders and then SS braided lines and then....
 

OutbacKamper

Supporting Sponsor
Well, that's unfortunate. I've been enjoying the great braking performance of a full-size truck. Any insight on some high-quality aftermarket rotors with the same dimensions as the OE disks? Hopefully I can R&R the rotors only without getting on a slippery slope of binders and then SS braided lines and then....
It has been a while since I did any research on F350 brakes. I may have been incorrect about "warping". Here is an article from The Diesel Stop that suggests that uneven rotor hardness and not warping may be the cause of the issue that I described as warping (see post #9):

http://www.thedieselstop.com/forums/f27/2003-f350-steering-wheel-shake-while-braking-184040/

A lot of people seem to think that the OE brake components are best. I see Powerslot rotors and Hawk pads mentioned the most as aftermarket replacements. I have stayed with OE myself.
 

NothingClever

Explorer
Thanks for all the positive comments, answers and recommendations so far.

I've sent an e-mail to the site administrator to try to figure out why my picture uploads were sporadically working and now not working at all. I still have some nice photos and insight I'd like to share.
 

Scottrope

New member
Hey NothingClever, congratulations on the XPCamper! It looks like an incredible unit and I expect you and the family will have some fantastic memories. The trip thru South America sounds fantastic!

I've been following the XP Enthusiast forum for a few months, especially the bits about wheels, tires, etc. Noticed you bought the American Racing wheels, do they have the load bearing capacity you needed? Were they better in any regards than the ******** Cepek or Mickey Thompson wheels? I'm assuming jctex or Marc never got Rickson to make wheels for the Toyos you settled on?

Enjoy your adventures!
 

MacHof

New member
The truck will fit no problem with some container (clown) wheels. I intend to find some or have some made once I get down to Florida. I'm also interested in RO/RO options but won't compromise the security of a container for the ease of a RO/RO. A leg from Jacksonville or Miami to Argentina is a little longer than, say, a ride-along RO/RO from Seattle to Alaska.
.
We spent 12 months in S America in a truck camper - you will love it! We shipped Ro/Ro from Galveston to Buenos aires, and subsequently back from Buenos Aires to Jacksonville; given a few precautions, we had no issues. Feel free to message me with any questions. More info on our trip can be found here.

Cheers,

Henrik
 

NothingClever

Explorer
Noticed you bought the American Racing wheels, do they have the load bearing capacity you needed?
I can't find the research specs I dug up but the wheels are specifically for the SuperDuty.

Were they better in any regards than the ******** Cepek or Mickey Thompson wheels?
Mmm, probably not. I went with the ATX Mojaves simply because www.treaddepot.com gave me a great deal on them while ordering six wheels and six tires. I also remember (sometimes faulty) wanting to stay as narrow as possible and the other brands being a bit wider.

I'm assuming jctex or Marc never got Rickson to make wheels for the Toyos you settled on?
Didn't try and didn't want the Ricksons. I read awhile back that the Rickson wheels are great for the really heavy weight trucks. However, because they were originally intended for service vehicles which would be used in a more narrow application (where airing down wouldn't be a requirement), the off-the-shelf models weren't attractive and would limit me to a narrow range of tires with sidewalls like 2x4s. I just wanted to be able to air down to 40lbs and smooth out the washboards and some custom Rickson wheels seemed like overkill.
 

NothingClever

Explorer
We spent 12 months in S America in a truck camper - you will love it! We shipped Ro/Ro from Galveston to Buenos aires, and subsequently back from Buenos Aires to Jacksonville; given a few precautions, we had no issues. Feel free to message me with any questions. More info on our trip can be found here.

Cheers,

Henrik
Thanks, Henrik. Your website is VERY helpful and the format is easy to navigate.
 

NothingClever

Explorer
Sorry for the delay on the photos...we're between houses, my laptop burned up in a fire so I've just got my iPad for the timebeing and I still don't know what the problem is with the photos :coffee: .
 

NothingClever

Explorer
Due to technical problems posting photos, I've fast forwarded in time to near the end of our trip to offer some observations about the XP V1.

We've been on the road from California to Florida for 30+ days now and have been in Florida for a week. Our bodies took about 48 (intimidating) hours to adjust to the heat (90*) & humidity (50%) but we're living quite comfortably now right on a Gulf Coast beach.

For posterity, this is June.

While I was confident (but curious) the XP was going to be a sweet, little dirt yacht in drier, mountain climates (like Colorado) and confirmed this assumption when we camped out at 11,200ft ASL and stayed toasty warm and full with the Webasto appliances without denting our diesel supply.

However, while enjoying the XP in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri, I knew the test of America's southern heat and humidity was still in front of us. We were definitely interested in how our XP V1 would perform in Florida.

Bottom line, we're finding our V1 entirely liveable in hot, humid climates.

The XP's aerodynamic nose is great for Florida's showers. We open the front window all the way to maintain ventilation and don't have to worry about rain coming in. This is a really, really nice advantage. The Dometic windows are also very nice in this regard because of their indexed adjustability and the aluminized reflective shades. So, between the dual fans, the front "tent" windows, the Velcro panels, the Dometic windows and the side awning, they work really well in tandem for keeping the camper cool.

Mosquitos and no-seeums are not an issue in the XP. We're using an Off! Powerpad Lantern inside the XP to prevent having to spray on bug repellant while inside. This is a nice relief not having to spray on big repellant, especially after taking a shower (an XP feature we enjoy TREMENDOUSLY). The lantern uses a small tealight to warm a card (the "Powerpad") which fits in the top of the lantern to give off an odorless vapor that repels the mosquitos. The Dometic windows have really trick bug screens which work really well.

The Heki skylight is a treat. Wanna see the moon? Don't wanna see the moon? Wanna see a little bit of moonlight, feel a little bit of breeze and none of the mosquitos? The Heki is infinitely adjustable.

The solar system rocks. I don't know what else to say other than we can make ice in Florida without plugging in to shore power.

Speaking of cooling off, we love fizzy water. Our daughter is (fortunately) addicted to fizzy water and mango or apple juice and we are, too, so we go through a lot of it. The underdeck storage will hold a dozen bottles of fizzy water. The big ones. Not the little, girly, Perrier plastic bottles but the big, honkin' WOP water bottles like San Pellegrino. It also holds a bag of dog food, several rolls of paper towels, six rolls of toilet paper, a couple bottles of wine and a partridge in a.....OK, maybe not the pear tree but you get the picture.

Or, going back in time somewhat to speak of keeping warm, the underdeck heating for the water lines works well. Pick up the floor and feel the water lines when it's 24* degrees outside and you'll find the water lines are toasty. Open up the water and waste management bay door of the XP (right side) and you'll find the same...the water pumps, the water filter, the cassette and the gray water tank are all heated. You know you're glamping when your poop is maintained at a steady 65* without having to think about it.

Passenger side storage underneath the seat? My wife loves it. She uses it as the pantry and has bags and bags of dry goods like oatmeal, pasta, cereal, etc along with boxes and jars of other foodstuffs. This has been a huge relief for her as our previous camper forced us to "go to market" more frequently than we wanted because of limited storage. We like going to markets of our choice to stock up and then enjoy using the time dividend to see/do other things.

I already mentioned the wetbath but I'll mention it again. My wife is particularly happy with the ability to go from kitchen counter space to toilet-shower space and back again with only two effortless steps. With the XP, one simply lifts the countertop (step 1) then hooks the shower curtain rod to the ceiling hook (step 2) and that's it. With a four year old daughter, we switch back and forth all the time and the negligible effort required is a relief (unintended pun) in contrast to sliding out a porta-potty. The cassette is also a huge advantage. The formerly unpleasant task of taking apart a porta-potty (old camper) is much easier and less messy now with the convenience of opening a bay door and simply sliding out the XP's cassette.

In terms of the toilet and shower, this is a brilliant victory for Mom and daughter. If you're making time, you're going to end up camping at a rest area or (gasp) a Wal-Mart and it's nice to scrub off 48 hours of grime to "re-set" your outlook. We think the shower will prove to be a nice feature when we ship to South America. While we know we'll sprinkle hotel stays in our travels, we're looking forward to not having a deadline (such as the current one of finding a house and going back to work) so that we can stay in our XP in a pretty area for a week or two. To paint the picture, I can go for a 5 mile run in the Atacama in an effort to fry my brain and come back and take a shower.

The fresh and grey water tank capacities are ******! I can't overemphasize the value and advantage of having this much capacity on such a small footprint. While there is, IMO, a queer fascination on this Forum with buying a pop-up camper and then not popping it up in order to achieve so-called "stealth camping", I find the ability to pour farfalle water down the drain, do dishes and then take a shower all without having to fiddle with a little, undersized, external, grey water tank like in other pop-up campers to be my idea of stealth camping.

The storage bins fore of the shower/aft of the bed are great. We use some Sterilite containers found at any store like Wal-Mart to corral the clutter. The dimensions of the containers fit nicely into the big storage bins and the overhead cabinets.

"Pitching" and "striking" camp are a breeze. Pitching is as simple as opening the door, raising the camper, deploying the ladder step, twisting the lock-out valve and securing the Velcro flaps of the "tent". I posted somewhere else that we were eating freshly-prepared kabobs in 30 minutes fromt the time I stepped out of the truck. That includes my wife cutting the meat and vegetables and me firing up our little charcoal grill. I felt pretty proud of our XP while watching other guys in trailers (who arrived at the same time) diddling around with their campers as I flipped kabobs and sipped a cold beer out of the fridge.

My wife and I work well as a team striking camp. I handle outside pack-up (which is a breeze with the FANTASTIC storage boxes) while she goes through the inside checklist. Once she's done, I go back through for a double-check. With a hot breakfast and dishes, we're driving away in 20 minutes.

I'll think of some more highlights and post later. We're pretty fond of our new camper and feel confident it will meet all of our needs.
 
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Darwin

Explorer
Enjoying the write up. I saw you driving on I 70 just before Denver a few weeks back. That's the second XP I have seen on the road, hope to see more.
 

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