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Old 01-17-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
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Ladera Ranch , California
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Question Basecamp Basics

So I spent nearly the entire half day just sitting in the Basecamp and running different fake operations in it to see how it'd be "in the wild." I'm glad I did because I realized there are some pretty basic things I have no idea how to accomplish in this trailer yet. Appreciate the tips/instructions (and occasional boot in the rear for being an idiot).

Trailer is currently at the storage yard and has no shore power hooked to it right now.

The questions:

-I tried running a charger for my phone in the 110v outlet. Nothing. Am I rightly assuming those outlets won't work unless you're hooked to shore power or to a generator?

-If so, this raises another potential issue with heat. I bought this heater for the trailer thinking I could run it over night. But if my assumption above is correct, that's not possible without running shore power or a generator, correct? Then what?

-The water tanks were winterized so I ran the water out of the faucet to get the tank near dry. This of course backed the sink up because the drain plug wasn't open outside. So I opened it. And the mess went on the ground (of course). So I grabbed the second tank from under the sink thinking there's be a hose to hook to the drain outside--but there isn't. What's the proper process for this waste water issue?

-Similarly, I don't think I recall ever seeing a standard garden hose-sized waste water outlet on any other trailer I've used. So when I do come to a camp that has full facilities, how will I hook into the sewage?

-I tried to start the burner on the stove and didn't hear a clicking from the sparking mechanism to light the gas. I also didn't hear gas flowing (though the tank showed the gas being opened. Is this run from some power source other than the house battery?

-Finally, the water tank under the sink is dirty. No big deal. I can clean it. But the hose on the pump motor has this brown dingy wax-like substance all over it. I rubbed it off the hose, but am I to assume the water in the tank really shouldn't be thought of as drinking or cooking water?

Appreciate the hand up. I know some of this is pretty "101" type stuff, but I'm barely hitting my pre-reqs and I'm taking the trailer this weekend for its first run over a weekend. I'd rather not find out the hard way.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:22 PM   #2
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You can charge your phone 12 volt with cigarette type plug which operates off the battery. Is there a battery?

Electric heater needs electric or generator. Get a catalytic Mr Buddy heater and leave the windows open.

Water should go into a recepticle called blue boy or bucket. http://blog.rvpartsdealer.com/wordpress/?tag=blue-boy
Sounds like the base camp operates like a pop-up camper and no holding tanks like larger, heavier trailers have.

You can get adapter that are 3-4" round with a plug for a garden hose. You need to sanitize your water lines with diluted bleach.

I think your sales person will/should give you an orientation and walk-through of operations.

Can't imagine why the burner won't light if you have the knob turned to light and are holding a match or lighter to it, unless the tank is empty. It does not require any power for the gas to travel through the lines but it requires propane in the cylinder besides being open.

Do a search. Perhaps Airstream site has the manual online for owners.

Congratulations. I am sure many others will have great advice for you and there are other base camp owners here. You can also search for base camp and find the owners here and private message them.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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Heater

I bought an ORIGO portable boat heater from West Marine. It runs on denatured alcohol so it is less of a carbon monoxide risk (so I am told). It doubles as a cooking stove and kicks out 5000 btu of heat. It seems like a good heater for our Basecamp.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:04 PM   #4
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Coleman make a nice propane heater for use indoors. Just follow the directions to be safe. I have one I use when not trailering and use it in the back of a pick up truck camper top. This Coleman unit uses propane and D cell batteries. Works great!
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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as far as the burner not lighting, be sure the battery switch is turned on (it's near the rear of the trailer on the roadside). If the lights work, the switch is in the right position. If the burner still doesn't work, check under the countertop where the burner sits. there is a 12v power cord that must be plugged into an outlet for the burner to "click" and light. I had the same problem before. sometimes when traveling, motion jiggles the plug loose. hope this helps.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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Appreciate all the comments. I'm using the trailer again this weekend and this time at a campground. Question about electrical hookups. I see the box on the driver side to plug shore power. Do I actually need a cord to do this, or are most hookups at campgrounds already wired to be plugged into the trailer? In other words, do I need to bring along some sort of cord that's not in the trailer already?
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdegroodt View Post
Appreciate all the comments. I'm using the trailer again this weekend and this time at a campground. Question about electrical hookups. I see the box on the driver side to plug shore power. Do I actually need a cord to do this, or are most hookups at campgrounds already wired to be plugged into the trailer? In other words, do I need to bring along some sort of cord that's not in the trailer already?
If your Basecamp has a 30amp 3-pronged male plug then you don't need anything else.

Mike
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:11 AM   #8
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-I tried running a charger for my phone in the 110v outlet. Nothing. Am I rightly assuming those outlets won't work unless you're hooked to shore power or to a generator?

The power panel in the Basecamp does not work as a converter when on battery power... meaning you will get regulated 12VDC from the cigarette lighter plugs, but no 110VAC from the plug ints. The AC is only live when plugged in...

-If so, this raises another potential issue with heat. I bought this heater for the trailer thinking I could run it over night. But if my assumption above is correct, that's not possible without running shore power or a generator, correct? Then what?

We use a small electric heater and must be plugged in. Even a wee 1000W heater would kill the single car-size battery in a Basecamp quite quickly. A generator is an option, but even the quietest little guys are not likely allowed to run during quiet hours. I demoed a Yamaha 1000W... very nice... expensive though.

-The water tanks were winterized so I ran the water out of the faucet to get the tank near dry. This of course backed the sink up because the drain plug wasn't open outside. So I opened it. And the mess went on the ground (of course). So I grabbed the second tank from under the sink thinking there's be a hose to hook to the drain outside--but there isn't. What's the proper process for this waste water issue?

We use a flat waste-oil collector and dump it in the sani-dump. A short garden hose could be run to in-ground septic if the site had it...

-Similarly, I don't think I recall ever seeing a standard garden hose-sized waste water outlet on any other trailer I've used. So when I do come to a camp that has full facilities, how will I hook into the sewage?

Just stick the hose in the hole, take a rag with you to stuff around the hose so the stick doesn't come out. I prefer non-serviced sites for this reason...

-I tried to start the burner on the stove and didn't hear a clicking from the sparking mechanism to light the gas. I also didn't hear gas flowing (though the tank showed the gas being opened. Is this run from some power source other than the house battery?

Make sure the valve in the tank compartment is open, then check under the trailer right side near the front... there will be 2 quick fittings, one is in use. It runs up to the burner. The other can be used for a BBQ allegedly. These fittings take a beating on gravel roads... As mentioned, the sparker runs off the 12V battery... so it must be alive (or you are plugged in and the converter is working). Check that it is plugged in and if I recall there might even be a switch?

-Finally, the water tank under the sink is dirty. No big deal. I can clean it. But the hose on the pump motor has this brown dingy wax-like substance all over it. I rubbed it off the hose, but am I to assume the water in the tank really shouldn't be thought of as drinking or cooking water?

It's easy to get lazy and leave water in the tanks... because they are clear and get exposed to light, they will get mould or algae pretty quick. We use a separate drinking water supply and don't use the sink much due to the small size and lack of hot water. Grab the Javex (bleach) and use a mild solution to disinfect the tanks and the pump. Once it is clean, as long as the water is relatively fresh it is safe. I find the water too warm to drink after a day or so...
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:13 AM   #9
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I forgot to add... I am spec'ing out a solar panel(s) just for a fun project... although we find the Basecamp runs the lights, the stereo, and laptop for days between charges...
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:15 AM   #10
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I use a Little Buddy with the one pound canisters. This is a ventless system so it should be good with the windows closed. Make sure you have good batteries in the carbon monoxide detector. Heating is very efficient with this setup.
It's also handy if you want some artificial campfire. Some of the campgrounds don't allow open fires, so I set up the LB and gather around. It's also good for marshmallows!

Use the brain, use Propane!

Cooking with Gas!
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:56 AM   #11
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I forgot to add... I am spec'ing out a solar panel(s) just for a fun project... although we find the Basecamp runs the lights, the stereo, and laptop for days between charges...
I've also been thinking of adding a solar system to my Base Camp. What have you come up with?
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:52 AM   #12
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Solar option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
I forgot to add... I am spec'ing out a solar panel(s) just for a fun project... although we find the Basecamp runs the lights, the stereo, and laptop for days between charges...
I'm waiting on the thin film solar material. This stuff is like heavy duty decal material. This can be affixed to virtually any surface and therefore is going to be perfect for full coverage on any surface. I'm hoping to get some in the next year....
The current solar panels are heavy, expensive, brittle and less efficient.
The thin-film is lightweight, less expensive, flexible, and 2-3 times more efficient.
I'm hoping through connections to get the roof of the BC skinned with it and off we go....I'll let you know!
You can make a three piece suit out of this stuff, is that cool or what?

The light is so bright, I have to wear sunglasses!
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #13
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Little /Big buddy heater best option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwahl24 View Post
I bought an ORIGO portable boat heater from West Marine. It runs on denatured alcohol so it is less of a carbon monoxide risk (so I am told). It doubles as a cooking stove and kicks out 5000 btu of heat. It seems like a good heater for our Basecamp.
These heaters are portable, read inside and outside use.
Cheap and vent free....
100% energy useable.
You can hook it up to your tank on the AS or use a hose and adapter for a 25lb tank...
Lotsa heat and cheaper than the 1lb bottles that they are designed for.

Burn baby, burn!
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