Oh boy. -NOW a build thread

How's the weather up there? I know that Portland got slammmmmmed Monday and Tuesday.
It's been fairly calm down here on the coast. In fact a bit balmy.
Those Portland flat-landers think 1/2" is a blizzard! We're pretty icy over here, but no biggie. I really ought to get winter tires for my daily driver Corolla, but meh. I wish those storms that are slamming CA would move up here. I'd like to see a few more feet up at the Mountain.
This might help others (campers, trailers, RVs, whatever). Our camper has always had something of a black tank smell to it. Sometimes not really noticeable, sometimes overwhelming. I tried everything: New vent caps and resealing, checking the black tank for leaks, changing the cheapie cheater vents at the sinks with quality units (in case sewer gasses somehow got into the grey tank), etc. Finally discovered the problem. The black tank rinse uses a vacuum breaker as the backflow preventer. This is actually quite common (code requirements). The problems are two fold: First, they leak a little when the water is flowing. In my case, it could leak a lot and it wouldn't matter due to its location. The big problem, for me, is when the water is not flowing (system not under pressure), the line that feeds into the black tank is open to the atmosphere. Well, duh. No wonder our camper stinks in high wind. Here is the offending unit:

I've ordered an inline check valve that will take care of the issue. In the interim, I've removed the vacuum breaker and have plumbed the lines directly to each other (not using the black tank rinse, so no fear of contamination of the clean water source). Happy to report, the stink has finally gone. This is a common problem (not sure why I didn't discover it a year ago), but if you're suffering a similar fate, this is the likely solution. There are a couple different options for a check valve: One offered by Camco (Amazon for all of $4.42) and there's one from Valterra for $11+.

Camco version:

Valterra version:

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The 1/4" recycled rubber mat I was using in the bed really started failing this year. Decided to go back to using livestock mats like I had in my Silverado. Heavy as hell, but won't have the issues I was having with the thin mat. I went ahead and screwed the pieces in place as I really don't care to unload and load the biggest mat on a regular basis. Came out a-okay.
Going to use the left over livestock mat material to build some new jack pads (you should see the price they are selling these things for, which are, for all practical purposes, just cut up livestock mat material). I'll double up on them (mate them using stainless screws) and make four sets 2" thick. Should work better than the 2x6 boards I keep cracking. After that, the next thing is to pull out the welder and strengthen the dually brackets with some gussets.
Just finished reading your whole thread over the last couple of evenings and I can definitely say I really like the build and your fab skills. You really don't mess around. I can say this though, I worked the last 3 years as a service writer at a dodge dealership with a lot of diesel traffic. Get rid of that emission BS. Once you hit 60k miles, you need to clean out the whole egr system which is pretty expensive, but that's not the big issue. If anything goes wrong with that system, it can leave you stranded. One message I saw many times was- Truck will not restart in XXX miles, and it means it.

I know its sketchy modifying a vehicle under warranty, but the first time you drive it and feel the difference in power, throttle response and fuel economy, you will kick yourself for waiting as long as you did. I had a customer who had a small fleet of trucks. Once one of them got out of warranty, the deleted all the egr stuff and put a programmer on it. The next time he came in, he had done the whole fleet regardless of warranty coverage. Those trucks feel restricted for a reason, they are. 95% of the issues we saw with the new trucks was with the emissions systems (dpf, NOx sensors, scr cats, def systems (that filter is like $90 by itself!), egr valves ($700+), etc), and lack of maintenance. I saw one warranty engine job in 3 years with 3-4 diesel techs flagging 60+ hours a week with a 1 week minimum backlog. Those engines are stout, just not all the crap bolted to them.

Just my $.02- keep up the good work.
Thanks! I hear you about the emissions crap and detune. Just dropped $4200 on a Subie engine and another $1600 on custom a-arms for by buggy build (that were done like crap -complete rip off as I'm going to have to redo a lot of it). So, disposable $ is tight (all going into the buggy right now). Still, the Ram mods are definitely on the list. Thanks again.
Not to derail the thread, but Subaru and Buggy are 2 of my favorite words... don't suppose there is a build thread or more info somewhere I can drool on? Which motor did you go with? :jumping:
Not to derail the thread, but Subaru and Buggy are 2 of my favorite words... don't suppose there is a build thread or more info somewhere I can drool on? Which motor did you go with? :jumping:
A little derail is okay, plus, since you're in my hometown, why not.

"Subaru" is my least favorite word.

Buggy is a Desert Dynamics and I've been stalled out all Summer waiting on new custom arms (which I got totally ripped off on, POS builder). Should have done them myself. My tig skills are still in their infancy, but at least I would have used the correct components and sized them correctly. Going to take some time to order the correct components and redo them correctly. Keeping it simple/reliable with a Honda 3.5 V-6.

Here it is with the factory arms. This setup was designed for the dunes, so the front spread is approx 10" wider than the rear (to allow for big paddles in back). O/S tire to tire front track would have come in at around 100" That won't work for a desert car, so I needed narrower front arms. Plan was to shave 7" off the front. Going to be closer to 6". I'll make up the remaining difference with front/rear wheel track with tire selection. Factory front:

Rear roller with 10.5" tires. I'll end up with 12.5" tires (need to order as they are now in stock).

Goal was to be up and running by Spring Break '17. Arms and Subaru engine suck ($ and loss of time) have made it so that I'm unlikely to meet that goal now. Transaxle is going to run around $10-12k. I needed to finish my convertible Bug resto (I just have to reassemble it and buy some minor knick knacks) and sell that to fund the transaxle and remaining buggy costs. Buggy is taking up my working shop space, so can't pull my Bug into working side of the shop until the buggy is a full roller (and we can push the buggy over to the storage (non-insulated and gravel floor) side of the shop and pull the Bug in so I can finish it (I figure <80hrs to complete)). I also have half the house to finish painting and dig a foundation by hand for the enclosed rear porch on the house (100 year old house). Never enough hours in the day.
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Thanks for entertaining the request. I agree that getting good, reliable power out of a Subaru can be expensive, but the 220k miles on my old WRX were sure fun. I am actually originally from Bellingham, so I guess we traded climates at some point in time. That buggy looks like it is going to be a lot of fun when it's finished. I forgot to mention that 'long-travel' is also one of my favorite words. Hope to catch up with you somewhere on an adventure someday and grab a cold one. :friday:
A couple weeks back, I was checking out a guy's full-time BF camper (kiteboarder). He has a triple receiver hitch (I've seen those before as I suspect many of you have as well) and he used the outer receivers to mount/support, a full-width under box at the rear of his camper. Great design (custom box with a step). It did get me thinking again about an accessible spare tire mount. I have a SuperHitch magnum (30K) hitch. The cross tube is 4x4 (same o/s dimension as many RV bumpers). Curt makes a bolt-on RV bumper hitch (you've likely seen them) for 4x4 bumpers. The light flickered and me thinks I'll grab two of those RV bumper hitches and bolt them to my SuperHitch. That way I could make a simple spare tire mount for the rear of the rig (couldn't buy the usual hitch mounted spare rack as I have too much overhang). I could, in fact, do a pair of them and bridge them with expanded metal stair tread for the nice step/landing. Even if I didn't add spares to the rear (I have two extra spares, one Alcoa front and one inner/outer steely, so seems I should), the The RV hitch mounts would allow me to build the deck/landing/step regardless. I think the smart play would be to make the deck supports (which would be 2x2) with receiver ends so I can choose to use spare mounts, or one mount or remove them when not needed. I may have to beef up the RV hitch mounts as they are only rated for 3500/350 (if I recall). The deck extension, although shared, would definitely lower the rating. Expanded stair tread would actually go below the current hitch extensions.

I have two different hitch extensions (this is the shorter one (cut down and reconfigured in order to increase capacity)). So long as I keep the tread under the extension, I could run either without an issue.

The Bolt -on Curt RV hitch:

The Galv stair tread I have (more or less).

Anyway, I think I have a plan.