Pro-Rig V2.0 - Home Built Compact Composite Pop-up

Well, it finally snowed in the Sierras so it was time to dust off the skis and introduce Pro-Rig to snow and some true cold weather. Sheri had to work so I went solo.

As it turned out, I wound up "camping" in the driveway of friends in Sunny Slopes for four nights.



I slept with the the pop-top down the whole time. Not much head room in the bunk this way but it was enough to sit up a bit and read or put my knees up. Might be a little more complicated with two people in the bunk and the pop-top down though.

Got about eight inches of snow one night on the flat roof. I was expecting snow so I brought some improvised braces to support the expected extra weight on the slide-up. Good thing I did. Snow is heavy! The weight totally overwhelmed the scissor lifters. Needless to say, I was up early that morning on the ladder brushing snow off the roof and already thinking of a more robust back-up support method for snow camping.

This was also a good test for the Propex heater. It got down to about 9*F on the coldest night. I had the heater on the lowest setting and slept very comfortably under a regular down comforter and sheet in my long johns and beanie. I was too hot at the second lowest setting. It cycled on and off all night - maybe 15 min off, then a 10 min cycle of warm up, heat and cool down. It drew about 20 amps total on the coldest night (9pm to 6am). It's amazing how little propane this thing uses as well. Still giving the Propex an enthusiastic 5 stars.

When we redo the canvas part, I'm thinking now of waterproof fabric with lots of ventilation/windows and maybe an add-as-needed insulated layer. Sleeping with the pop-top down is fine, but living in there that way is rough on the back.

I had been worried about condensation at night with the pop-top down. There was a little bit around my head in the mornings. Not enough to cause drips, just moist walls and ceiling. Not bad for a small space sealed up pretty tight. I'm starting research how to do a small DIY heat exchanger to bring in fresh but not frigid air.

The best news though, is that 8 inches of snow down in the valley where I stayed translated in to about 8 feet up in the high country. Four days of skiing nothing but powder with good friends, priceless!

matt
 
You could add wood supports near each end of the lifter during the winter months. This will take stress off your supports.
Kevin
Yeah, I think it is a simple fix like that. I have some aluminum tubing that might work. Cut to length and jam 'em in there when needed.

any idea of the all up weight?
Haven't been to the scales yet, but I want to. I calculated that it would be about 800 lbs when in design phase. I'm sure it came out higher. I hope below 1,000 lbs with everything but water and people on board.

Does anyone know the best way to weigh a rig? Can you just drive in to a truck scale place?
 

java

Expedition Leader
Yeah, I think it is a simple fix like that. I have some aluminum tubing that might work. Cut to length and jam 'em in there when needed.



Haven't been to the scales yet, but I want to. I calculated that it would be about 800 lbs when in design phase. I'm sure it came out higher. I hope below 1,000 lbs with everything but water and people on board.

Does anyone know the best way to weigh a rig? Can you just drive in to a truck scale place?
Yep truck scales will give you a certified axle weight slip. They just want their $$ and will laugh at you for not being a commercial truck....
 
Thanks for all the suggestions on scales. Got it weighed today for free at the local recycling center/garbage dump. Total weight without me in it was 5,760 lbs. The GVWR of the truck is just over 5,800 lbs so not terrible.

Curb weight of the truck is supposed to be about 4,700 lbs with my factory options. I have at least another 150 lbs in add-ons like skid plates, heavier tires, stereo stuff, and random junk I carry in the cab like a hitch, minimal recovery gear, etc. Tailgate is removed (minus 50 lbs?). 3/4 tank of gas.

That puts the camper around 950 lbs with ~10 gallons of water, both propane tanks (one full one half-plus full), all the kitchen stuff and minimal other random gear on board plus six pints of beer in the fridge (must be prepared! :sombrero:).

So maybe around 850 lbs as a dry/empty weight? Super stoked with that!
 
Winterization progress made today. To keep the slide-up from coming down under snow loading, I kept it super simple. Cut four lengths of 5/8" aluminum tubing and added some rubber end cap things. One in each corner like so:



While I was at the metal shop I also got some aluminum rectangular bar to replace the slide-up side of each of the plastic sliders (visible in pic above) to convert those to metal-plastic instead of plastic-plastic. That's on the to do list next I think.
 
Top