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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Building Your Own Custom Made Camper


A home on wheels.

We all like a nice clean bathroom. 

My friend has had campers off and on over the years. She enjoys going to campgrounds and state parks - fishing and enjoying nature. She never "boondocks" at Walmart's or camps where she has no utilities. She loves seeing new places end enjoying her space. 

If you have ever owned a camper - you dreamed of designing a camper just the way you liked it. 

Yesterday we picked up her new camper at Custom Coach Creations in Deland Florida. We went along to drive her car back home. 

The camper is a simply elegant work of art. It is small on the outside - only 17.5 feet long - 6.5 feet wide - and 9.5 feet high. It is easily parking at a parking meter or any tight spot. 

First - she bought a Dodge ProMaster 1500 chassis for about $40k brand new. It has front wheel drive and about 280 horsepower. It has a 9 speed automatic transmission. It has the standard controls of a van - air conditioner - power windows - power locks - power mirrors - rear view camera and screen. It has two reclining bucket seats. That all came with the chassis from Dodge. 

Here is a list of some of the features that she chose to put in the camper - 

1. A large permanent bed with storage underneath. 

2. A special toilet with sealed system.

3. Overhead air conditioner.

4. Electric refrigerator

5. Microwave - convection - air fryer oven.

6. Stainless Sink with hose type faucet.

7. Electric powered awning with LED lights. 

8. A giant 450 Amp Hour Lithium battery to power all appliance.

9. Overhead heat

10. Screen windows.

11. Overhead vent fan. 

12. A 3000 watt inverter power system to power appliances.

13  Lots of cabinets.

14. Rear storage for folding bikes. 

15. Shore water and electric plugs. 

16. 7500 pound towing hitch. 

17. LED overhead lights all over the place. 

18. Privacy curtains. 

19. A 450 amp hour lithium battery. 

20. Running board steps

I love the color scheme - garnet red - black seats - gray interior. 

The Promaster truck cost $40k. The conversion inside cost almost another $40k. In today's Class B camper world - one can easily pay $100k to $200k for a Roadtrek or one of the other popular brands. 

The electrical system is a work of art onto itself. The giant lithium battery and inverter provides lots of power to run the refrigerator full-time - and the electronic oven. No worries about computers or cell phones every running out of charge. It has two separate systems for the engine and the camper coach. You can never run your engine battery down. 

I cannot imagine all the goodies she will store in those cabinets. With the bicycle garage in the back - you keep your favorite ride out of sight and out of the weather. 

Last week I did a story about an electric Ford pickup that cost $81k - so this price seems like a bargain. 

One time - I saw a guy living in a shack with a $100k Mercedes sitting out front - I asked him why he spent so much for one and not the other. He said - "You can sleep in your car - but you can't drive your house!" This camper certainly goes along with that idea. 

All the luck in the world to my friend with the new camper. 

The bed goes across the back - always made.

The controls for lights - awning - etc. 

Electric oven - refrigerator/ freezer.

Even a kitchen sink.

Garage for bike or wheel chair.

Rears doors with windows - screens.
The Gian battery lives on the left. 

Parked in driveway - next to our car. 

Overhead exhaust fan. 

It was made here. 

Electric and water hookups.

Roof air conditioner and heat

Black reclining seats. 

Dodge Ram 1500 ProMaster

Heavy duty trailer hitch.

Roller drawers. 


American made here. 

Power awning with lights. 

Working on other campers. 

Ambulance medical mover.

Wiring and insulation. 

It was ready to go home. 

She waited 8 months. The lineup.

Monday, July 18, 2022

2022 Ford F-150 Electric Truck

It is a nice looking truck.

Cute little American Electric logo.

Today I visited my local Ford dealer - about 2 miles away. They didn't let me take it for a ride - they would not even entertain a sale. But they did let me sit inside. So there I sat - inside a Ford Lightning.

It is a very nice big truck. I am guessing it is 20 feet long and it seemed nearly as high. Come to think of it - I didn't even check under the hood. But what interests me most is the chassis. Ford has created a great platform. A layer of batteries pretty well covers the whole chassis. It has 4 wheel drive and 2 motors. 

The base price is $67000 - and after the options it came to $81000. It has a giant cab that seats 5 comfortably. 


580 horsepower - 775 foot pounds torque - 320 mile range. 

One nice feature is a place to plug your home in! Yes - during a power failure - this truck battery can power your home. Maybe not the heat - AC - dryer - and range - but everything else. During a hurricane power failure - you can keep the lights - TV - fans - and refrigerator going for about a week. That feature would be good for power tools too. 

By the governments rating it get 70 MPGe - that means comparing the price of electricity to gasoline - how much it will cost you to power it. That is at today's electric rate of about 12 cents per KWH. 

You can see my red Tesla in the pictures. It is downright tiny compared to this truck. But if I had a choice when I bought my electric car - I would preferred to buy my car from a traditional car company with a service garage about 2 miles from my home. I have driven my Tesla 10 months now - and have yet to need service at a garage. I did my first service today - I put air in the tires. A light on the dashboard said my left rear tire was a little low. 

Since Americans buy as many pickups as cars - and the number 1 one selling vehicle in American for like 30 years is the Ford F-150 - this is a good vehicle to watch. I was really surprised when America said "okay" when Ford switched over to aluminum bodies. According to advanced orders - Americans are willing to buy pick-ups without exhaust pipes. 

I love the truck. But my love interest is for another reason. 

The Ford F-150 chassis will make an excellent motor home. I am sure in 3 years - tons of campers will be sitting on this chassis - with that big old battery being able to power the air conditioner  - to keep Florida campers comfy cool in the summer nights. 

Another great thing about electric vehicles - if you own a dog - you can leave the AC on to keep your puppy cool when you go shopping and traveling. It's a whole new world!

In 1977 - Lulu and I pulled a trailer across the USA and back with a little Chevy Chevette. It would be nice in 2027 - to make that trip - this time in an all-electric motorhome on a Ford F-150 Lightning chassis. 

I give it 2 thumbs up. 

2022 Ford F-150 Electric Lightning

I am not used to such a tall vehicle.

This is where you can plug your tools and your home. 

Under this flap is the charge plug. 

Enlarge this to see details. 

They say you can save $1750 a year on gasoline.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Welsh Folk Museum - St Fagans National Museum of History

This is a library the coal companies provided for the community. 
It is in the Oakdale Workmen's Institute.

This is a map of the free Welsh Folk Museum.
Our Uber car dropped us off at red spot 1. 

Last month - we stayed a week in the country of Wales. Lulu was doing research about libraries sponsored by the coal companies for the mining communities. We spent most of the time in 3 communities - Cardiff - Swansea - and Aberfan. 

This story will concentrate on our day in the Welsh Folk Museum. It is a country setting just west of the capital city of Cardiff. It reminds me of the Henry Ford Museum near Detroit. They have moved historic buildings onto the grounds of the Saint Fagan Castle. It is a free museum that we had virtually to ourselves on this beautiful day. 

We were primarily interested in the Oakdale Workmen's Institute. It is a community center that was moved there as an example of a facility provided by the company for the miners' families. In it was the library. It reminded me of the old library that was in the red brick Tamaqua Junior High School on Board Street. Furnishings appear to be from about 1900 - industrial quality. 

Included on the property was a large modern museum for indoor displays. It also had community rooms and classrooms. 

The rest of the Saint Fagan Castle and supporting grounds are well maintained. Several country lanes were sights of a variety of historic buildings - brought from all over Wales. 

Wales is a country of about 2.3 million people. It is due west of London on the west coast of Great Britain before you have to jump the Irish Sea to get to Ireland. Its capital Cardiff was the main shipping port of both Anthracite and bituminous coal to the rest of the world during the Industrial Revolution. Prince of Wales Charles is next in line to be King of England. He really has little to do with Wales but has the title provided at birth. 

My ancestry is ¾ German and ¼ Welsh. Little did I know that when we were in the town of Aberfan - we were about 4 miles from where one of my ancestors lived - the Haler family name. My Welsh grandfather was named William Quick. He died in 1945 before I was born. He was a timekeeper in the Vulcan PA mine. He was a first generation American. 

At the museum I particularly liked the row of patch coal company homes. Although the homes were connected - each one was decorated inside and outside with features from different time periods. It particularly reminded me of the era when my mother grew up in a company home in Vulcan PA. They had outhouses - chicken coups - and truck patch gardens. 

Saint Fagan could be considered a living village.

Saint Fagan is just west of downtown Cardiff.

Saint Fagan Castle

They had a sky adventure in the trees.

Note the sway back sagging roof,

Animal pens

After World War II - housing was in demand.
This was an example of a factory home. 

These row homes were decorated
for different time periods. 

The pink one was the most modern.

Note the heavy slate roofs. 

We used to call these truck patch gardens.

Pigeon sheds.

The brick outhouse and Saturday night bath tub.

Another outhouse

Coal fireplace

Note the smoke stains.

The Company Store.

Lulu never met a store she did not like. 

Coaltown Coffee.

This was a kiln for making lime.

This was a Tannery.

This was the Oakdale Workmen's Institute.
It had meeting rooms - library - gym.

World War I memorial

Hand painted religious art. 

This church was built in the 1200's - before the Church of England

Community room at the Oakdale Institute.

You could have your wedding here. 

The Newspaper Reading Room.

The Game Room

Each building had a guard. 

At the Library.

The Office  with safe and heater.

Meeting Room.

The Foyer to the Hall upstairs.

The Vulcan Pub under renovation.

General Store.

This was a stadium for Cock fights. 

Small shops. 

The Bakery.

Road were toll roads and this is the Toll Booth. 

A Slate Fence.

A Pig Sty.

Note the thatched roofs. 

Post and Beam Construction.

A Post Road Marker. 

Aberfan is a small town 20 miles north of Cardiff. 

During a heavy week of rain in 1966 - 
this culm bank came sliding down into town. 
It crashed into a school killing
144 kids and teachers. 

Townspeople dug through the refuse 
trying to rescue the kids. 

People waited hoping for miracles.

This clock was buried - stopped at 9:13 AM. 
That is when the landslide hit. 

Today - the mines are closed.
There is a memorial park at the school site.
The kids are buried about ¼ mile 
away from the disaster site.