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Project: SideCamper
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CCjon
Posted 7/15/2017 11:35 AM (#94145)
Subject: Project: SideCamper



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Location: NWHouston

We are Rally bound. Look out Corning, here comes Da'mit the SideCamper...    Rolling with the BIG RIGS. 

 





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VLAD
Posted 7/15/2017 7:00 PM (#94148 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: RE: Project: SideCamper



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Location: DENVER, COLORADO
More info and pictures will help.
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CCjon
Posted 7/17/2017 8:32 AM (#94167 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper



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Location: NWHouston
After seeing a photo several years back of a side camper, a perfect rig for exploring Canada and Alaska for a couple of months, decided to build one.

This was the inspiration...




(Jan16 Campout.jpg)



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CCjon
Posted 7/17/2017 8:40 AM (#94168 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper



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Location: NWHouston
But what tug to move this spacious tub down the road?????? Has to be reliable, easy to gear down, parts availability, easy to repair and modify.....

After looking at numerous rigs and bikes, acquired Slacker's Vstrom he used to explore Mexico. If he could haul two people and a refrigerator around Mexico on that rig (which he did), surely it can push a camper rig across Canada and up the Haul Road.





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CCjon
Posted 7/17/2017 7:09 PM (#94178 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper



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Location: NWHouston
After searching the internet for hours and hours, looking at all the various pull behind motorcycle and small car campers, the only possible candidate for a sidecar tub is the Mini-Mate made by KompactKamp trailers in Pennsylvania. http://www.kompactkamptrailers.com/minimatecamper

Many if not most of the pull behind campers open out in both directions or are big and bulky. The Mini-Mate only opens to the right, out over the sidecar wheel. Perfect! Being a fiberglass tub, it is compact, lightweight and weather-tight when closed. It is also secure as you cannot open the trailer door when the top is closed. All of your belonging inside are dry and secure.

It comes on an axle, wheels and tongue, which I'll keep for later. When the time comes, If I can't sell the rig as is, the Mini-Mate can be removed and sold as a pull behind again.





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CCjon
Posted 7/17/2017 7:24 PM (#94179 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper



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Location: NWHouston

With the tug and the camper in hand, now who do I get to put the two together?

Claude Stanley stated that his crew built Slacker's rig. He said he would treat anybody who buys it as if they bought it directly from him. Knowing of Claude's reputation but never having dealt with him before, numerous phone calls were in order. Feeling good about having Claude do the work, the rig and the camper were trailered to Freedom Sidecars in Middleburg PA. That's right, it was shipped to me in Texas from PA and I hauled by back up to PA.  The Mini-Mate factory is only a hundred or so miles from Claude's place.

I knew I had made the right decision to have Claude do the work when he took the time to spent hours and hours with me discussing the build design. Kicking around ideas, sketching possibilities on paper and talking while Claude puffed on his pipe, we stayed in his shop late into the night. We finally agreed upon the design parameters about one in the morning.

I knew there would be long stretches with no fuel or service in some of the more remote roads in Alaska and Canada. I asked Claude to incorporate a fifteen gallon Northern Tool auxiliary fuel cell into the design. He said.... maybe...

Claude and David even agreed to store my 16'  trailer in PA over the winter so I would not have to drag it empty back to Texas.

Now wait for Spring and the call...





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CCjon
Posted 7/18/2017 11:59 PM (#94198 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper



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Location: NWHouston
The sidecar tub and chassis was removed from Slacker's rig, then sold to help pay for the new build.

Over the winter several ideas on design and changes were kicked back and forth.

The guiding principle was, keep it simple and make it sturdy. For example, instead of a fuel pump to transfer gas from the aux tank to the main tank, a gravity feed was designed. Though fuel injected, there is no return line to tap into. So the fuel pump plate was drilled and a hose fitting installed. The aux fuel table swings out of the way when camping. Both it and the aux tank are removable for local city riding. Of course, this is not a rig to ride to the local grocery store for a gallon of milk. It's a three wheel adventure RV for exploring remote less populated areas.

A large deep cycle Odyssey auto battery is a must to power the winch, recharge camera and laptop battles inside the camper at night, have enough extra to heat water for the morning coffee and still have enough juice to start on a cold morning. That was added.

Instead of a hydraulic camber control for leveling, an anti-sway bar was installed to level the rig and keep it planted on curves.

Much thought was given on how to make the front of the camper a little more aerodynamic. Seeing a trailer tongue aluminum tool box at Tractor Supply, gave me the idea to trim it into a wedge shape and mount it up front. It offers additional storage capacity for light stuff, a place for driving lights, protects the fiberglass camper from rocks and stone plus it diverts some wind down and around the camper.

Slacker had already geared down the bike and switched to a heavier 530 drive chain. Stroker wheels are mounted front and rear with 15" auto tires that can purchased at any WalMart.



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CCjon
Posted 7/19/2017 11:02 PM (#94222 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper



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Posts: 344
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Location: NWHouston
Come Spring, the call I had waiting for all winter made the iPhone vibrate. "Your rig is ready, come and get it"

Hot Danm, let's go!

Claude and his crew of Bob, John, Ron and Angie had worked their magic on the SideCamper. It was a first for them, so it took time to work out the details. Calculate twice, cut once, fit and toss...   try again type building. But they didn't give up.

The rig was ready to go back to Texas for final modifications, farkles and service before any planned trip. The Freedom Sidecar crew did not touch the bike itself, only build the sidecar chassis and mount the camper, add the aux fuel cell and air dam box. The bike service, inspections, mods and details were my responsibility. Here is what they built, set up outside the shop in Middleburg, PA.





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CCjon
Posted 7/19/2017 11:21 PM (#94223 - in reply to #94145)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper



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Posts: 344
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Location: NWHouston
Claude's crew thought the 15 gallon aux tank was overkill, had too much air drag, so an eight gallon cell was mounted instead. Less weight, more aerodynamic, less stress of the swing put table. Great thinking but not what I thought I needed.

I want a 350-400 mile range with this rig. I don't know what the MPG will be fully loaded but I do know from experience that in remote sections of Canada and Alaska, just because the map says there is fuel available ahead, doesn't make it so. With a 20.8 gallon capacity, I should have no problems getting to the next gas station. Still don't know what my mpg is. Will find out on the ride up to Corning.

The list of things needing to be to rig once it was back in Texas is long and boring. Suffice it to say, the bike was going thru from stem to stern over the next three months, serviced, parts replaced, mods made and improvements added.

Christened "Damit III" the rig is now ready for a long journey. First to Corning for the USCA Rally, then on to explore eastern Canada for a month. Am sure there will be more changes made during the trip and on its return. It's a work in progress.

If you are interested in following my blog during the trip, got to www.ccjon.blogspot.com

Your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome.

CCjon 





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Al Olme
Posted 7/20/2017 1:18 PM (#94229 - in reply to #94223)
Subject: Re: Project: SideCamper


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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jan,

The gas in that 15 gallon tank weighs 90 lbs when full, plus the weight of the tank. It's really high and I'd guess that almost all the weight is on the rear wheel. We'll see in Corning. I for one would rather see you carry two jerry cans fastened o the outside of the sidecar [not that i think for even a minute that you'll need more weight]. Have safe journey.
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