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Extreme Rigs

Off the Grid Systems and Components

Carl Isner tells us about his off the grid systems and components in his Alaskan truck camper.

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Carl’s flat-bed 9.5 Alaskan Camper

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Carl’s system monitors

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Marine grade electrical shut-offs

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A solar vent in action

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ABI Marine LED exterior lighting – great for the barbecue

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ABI Marine LED lights are also used for the interior

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Danfoss compressor fridge made by Nova Kool

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Furnace and catalytic Wave 2 heater

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PetCool air conditioner installed under the settee

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The AGM (absorbent gas mat) Energy 1 battery bank

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Carl’s grey water tank with quick release

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The Thetford Cassette toilet system

 

Carl Isner: Off the Grid Systems and Components

Four years ago, I was sitting in my first real truck camper thinking of what my ideal camper would be.  I had a many scattered ideas.  I knew it would be a hard-sided pop-up with solar power and more storage.  It was going to be exactly the way I wanted it and not a cookie cutter camper.  Life is too short and work is too long to be using a camper that was a compromise.

We currently had a soft-side pop-up sitting on a 2004 Ford F350 diesel. The truck had been slowly upgraded over the four years we had it.  We upgraded to Bilstein 7100 shocks and ProComp springs in the front and added Firestone airbags in the rear.  We also installed an array of seven Autometer gauges for monitoring the vehicle’s performance.  After hitting a deer at highway speed we upgraded our bumper to a Buckstop and put in a Warn 16.5ti winch. Recently we added 19.5 inch wheels with commercial Goodyear G-124 tires and that made a significant difference in both ride and handling.

 

Choosing An Off the Grid Camper

There are very few choices when it comes to a hard-side pop-up camper. We wanted a hard-side for the insulation and reduction of noise compared to the soft-sided pop-up we were using. When we would pull into a noisy campground with our soft-sided pop-up, we would hear all of the traffic and neighbors.  At twenty below or one hundred degrees above, the soft-sides just don’t insulate that well.  My wife and I can attest to this as we have experienced both extremes.

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