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Adventure Stories

Two National Park Rangers Rock Retirement

Refrigerator Switch For Phantom Draw

Above: A switch was installed to isolate power using the climate control heat wire in the refrigerator

We have visited Bigfoot Industries three times over the past decade and can also vouch for their impressive facility and team.  Have you made any modifications to your Bigfoot?

Mark: Yes, we have several modifications.  First I wanted to maximize our electrical efficiency.  I took several steps to isolate power draws by installing switches.  That allows me to turn off phantom draws including the Sirius XM Satellite Radio docking station, and the climate control heat wire on the refrigerator.  I also installed a larger Group 27 battery.

I installed a relay switch on the power supply coming from our 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500. Unfortunately the design of GM products maintains a constant 12-volt feed from the trailer wire even when the key is off.  My concern was the drain from the camper would draw down our truck’s batteries.  The new relay only connects the power when the key is on.

Finding and isolating phantom power draws with switches and relays is an interesting idea.  Have you made any storage modifications?

Mark: I installed shelving in the wardrobe compartment of the camper since we rarely have the need to hang clothes.  I also installed a battery operated LED light to illuminate the inside of the cabinet.

Yakima Rocket Box On Bigfoot Camper

Above: The Yakima Rocket Box on the roof of their Bigfoot Camper

We needed more storage room, so I installed a Yakima Rocket Box on the roof.  To secure the Rocket Box, I employed unistrut steel channels to form a cross member between the existing tubular roof rails.  We store seldom used items in the box.

The cabover portion of the Bigfoot blocks the Sirius XM Satellite Radio antenna.  To solve this, I ran an antenna wire with a disconnect between the camper and the truck.  I mounted the satellite antennas on the roof rack for better reception.

We use a Sirius XM docking station which allows us to take the receiver from the truck to the camper.  This required a second antenna.  I installed a second docking station inside the camper and tied it into the existing radio.

The sewer hose storage compartment in the Bigfoot was woefully small.  To correct this I mounted a square vinyl fence post with end caps on the rear bumper of the truck.

Rock Boxes on Bigfoot bumper

The two boxes on our rear bumper were added for the rocks collected by Phyllis.

The last modification that I made was to install LED strobe lights that activate when I use the turn signals or apply the brakes.  We have received numerous compliments from folks following us regarding the increased visibility and safety.

Rocks In Containers

Those are some very large rock boxes.  Where did that interest come from?

Phyllis: I became interested in rocks as a kid.  My parents were from the mountains in North Carolina which are rich with gems and interesting rocks.

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my dad showed us kids how to find some great rocks in those mountains.  He scratched into the dirt and said, “Look at this”.  It was quartz crystal.  That started my interest in rocks.  I’m not one for souvenirs, but I have rocks in my yard from all over the United States.

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