Winterizing your Capri Camper
If your camper has a water tank and/or hot water heater and you are preparing for freezing temperatures this winter, here are suggestions for winterizing your camper.
To Winterize Your Camper with RV Anti-freeze:
1) Drain the water out of your water tank by turning on your sink faucet and/or your shower. It’s OK if a trace of water remains.
2) Be sure to turn on your hot water heater and drain that too.
3) Add at least a gallon or more of RV anti-freeze by using a funnel and using the water tank fill on the side of the camper.
4) Turn on the water heater, give it a few seconds, then turn on the hot water faucet at both sink and shower until pink antifreeze flows through, then turn faucet off. Do the same with cold water.
5) Be sure all faucets are closed. Checks for any leaks in the system.
6) The goal is to have antifreeze flow through all of your water lines, your water heater, pump and your water tank to prevent the water from freezing anywhere in your system.
When we winterize campers for transport we prefer to blow out the water line to make sure there isn’t any water in the line to freeze.
To Winterize your camper by blowing out the water line:
1) You need an air compressor and an attachment called a “blow-out” plug (they are $4-5 at Home Depot).
2) First drain all of the water out of the water tank by turning on the sink and/or shower. Drain the hot water heater as well.
3) Leave all of the faucets in the “on” position and attach the blow-out plug to the city water fill on the outside of the camper (it attaches like a garden hose).
4) Turn on the air and let it blow out all remaining water from the lines. This should take about a minute and you will hear it when the lines are free from any remaining water.
For 2018, the fixed glass front window is now the standard window. We can almost guarantee that a slider window will let water into your camper during rain. But you’ve still got three choices on that front camper window. The slider window is popular but if you are driving into a heavy rain storm, the gutters where the glass slides, can fill with water faster than the weep holes can drain so when the gutters fill up, the forward motion of the truck pushes the water into the camper. We tell everyone to put towels down if they are driving in rain. The front window should not leak otherwise Your other option is a fixed glass window. Same size, but no chance for a drip or a leak. Third option is no glass at all.
30 gallon is standard in most of our campers if you have a shower but you have a choice. In a camper with sink only, 10 gallon tanks are adequate.
Electric jacks are $1,200 more expensive than manual jacks ($2,095 vs. $895) but they make taking the camper on and off so much easier. The remote control allows you to operate a single post or all four at the same time. Manual jacks come with a cordless drill adapter that allows you to pull the trigger on your drill and spin the jack posts down in only a few seconds. Raising the camper may require using the crank handles. It is not hard, but it can be tedious. We also offer dually extensions on these jacks ($295) for our customers with one ton dual wheel trucks.
This is a very popular option ($795). Traditionally, Capri campers have been hard-wired into your truck battery during installation, so your truck is powering the 12v power inside the camper. More and more folks are choosing to add a dedicated battery to their camper so all of the 12v power in the camper is coming from a battery inside the camper. That way, if you remove the camper from your truck, you will still have 12v power available inside the camper. The converter is charging your battery every time the camper gets plugged into shore power or a generator. We also plug your camper into your factory 7-pin plug so that your truck battery is charging the camper battery every time you turn your truck on.
This is our new favorite way to install your camper. Each of our campers will have four heavy duty hooks mounted under the wings of the camper (2 on each side) and there will be four access trap doors below each hook. After the camper is on your truck, you will be able to reach inside a trap door with a turnbuckle, hook above to the camper hook and then below directly to a hook mounted in your truck bed. Tighten the turnbuckles to secure your camper, loosen and unhook to remove the camper from your truck. We will install the four hooks in your truck bed using four small heavy duty eye bolts, plus washers and nut and a heavy duty steel plate that mounts under the truck bed out of sight. For those that rarely or never plan to take their camper off the truck, we can easily bolt the camper to your truck bed using four 6” long hex bolts that are easy to ratchet out of the floor.
The advantages/disadvantages to these choices are obvious, but for those with a short bed camper, if you can accept the outside shower it leaves you a much bigger camper floor plan, including a lower sleeper that would be approximately 78” X 40”. The inside shower is great in a long bed camper, but if you want the inside shower in a short bed, you must give up the lower sleeper to accommodate the shower stall, and your sitting area around the table shrinks from a “U” shape to an “L” shape, enough for two people.
Long bed Retreat campers have room for upper and lower bunk beds along the passenger wall. Short bed Retreats with no inside shower also allow room for bunk beds. We offer two bunk options…we can add hinges to the top bunk so that it can lift and lock up into the ceiling when not in use. This is handy, but it covers the passenger wall window when up in the locked position. Hinged bunks also eliminate upper cabinets on the passenger wall and eliminate the option of hanging a TV on the back of the shower wall (or back wall). The bunk plank option is a sturdy plank that rests in a 3-sided groove to support the upper bed. A lot of folks like this option because the plank is removable. If you are planning a trip and don’t need the extra bed, just remove the plank from the camper and there is no more interference. With this option the plank is either in or out, there are no hinges to lift and lock the upper bed. With an upper bed plank, there is room for upper cabinets on that passenger wall and a small TV can be mounted on the back wall above the upper bed. (either option = $695, includes mattress)
All of our wood grain panel choices are standard in our campers. You may select the wood grain that you like the best. The cedar option is an expensive upgrade, $1,695 for a Retreat and $1,295 for a Cowboy, but it is the favorite of many of our customers. We use real aromatic closet cedar in random plank, tongue and groove installation. It takes at least 3 extra days to build a camper with cedar but the result is beautiful and it smells wonderful for the life of your camper. Cedar adds about 230 lbs. on a Retreat and 150 lbs. on a Cowboy. Cedar is also a natural insect repellent, making your camping experience even better! If you’re not allergic to cedar, this is an exciting option to consider.
Our low profile, roof mount A/C unit with heat is a Coleman 9,200 BTU “Polar Cub”. We love it and so do our customers. It requires 110v power so you must have shore power or generator power to turn it on. Those in the northwest or in climates where A/C is not as important as heat, you might consider a motorized vent in the ceiling plus our catalytic propane heater. The motorized (12v) vent is called a Fantastic Fan and it forces air into the camper or out of the camper. With windows open it creates a lot of air flow inside the camper. The propane heater is a radiant heat unit that works really well in the small interior of the camper. The Fantastic Fan and propane heater can both work with battery power and your camper’s propane bottle. Any time the heater is on, please have a window cracked or your vent open to let fresh air into the camper. The heaters should never emit LP gas, but they do gradually deplete the oxygen supply if there is no fresh air.
We offer a 7’ long zippered awning on the passenger side of the camper. It has two pair of support poles, one pair come back to the camper passenger wall and the other pair go straight down to the ground to anchor the awning. It works really well on days with little to no wind. You must remember that the bag zipper is about 10 feet off the ground so you’ll need a way to get up to the bag to unzip the awning. The awning is a $395 upgrade. We also offer to mount 3 sturdy eye bolts along the top of the passenger wall. They allow you to hook on tarps or sheets to make your own shade solution. Installing the hooks is no charge.
We offer custom cushions (in most) and blackout shades (in all) of our custom campers. This is one of our special perks. We use a local seamstress to make our cushions and shades to order for each camper. Blackout shades are window covers that snap on and cover the window so that sun light does not get in. Rodeo cowboys love them because you can sleep during the day in a totally dark camper with the shades on. They also provide complete privacy at night. Customers may select from four vinyl textures and multiple colors to get the cushions and shades they want.
If your truck has a factory back-up camera, we should be able to purchase your exact factory camera and wiring harness and mount the camera in the back of the camper, enabling you to use your factory monitor on your dash. When we install your camper we remove your tailgate. If you have a back-up camera in the tailgate it has to be unplugged. By using your exact factory camera on our camper, you will have identical cameras in your tailgate and on your camper so no matter which one is in your truck your camera should work. If your truck has no back-up camera and you want one, we offer high quality digital wireless back-up cameras that we mount on the back of the camper and provide a 3 ½” monitor to plug in on your dash.
We offer very handy four-step accordion stairs ($395) that fit perfectly under the door of our campers making it easy to get up and down into and out of the camper. We also offer heavy duty custom generator racks ($395) that slip into your trailer hitch. The right side of the rack has a recessed basket built to handle a Honda 3000 generator or anything similar, while the left side of the rack is a reinforced step making it easy to get up into the camper. The camper door should open easily over the generator and the generator sits right below the camper’s power plug-in.
Capri Campers do not offer built-in toilets or cassette toilets. We do offer a self-contained portable toilet ($145) that has a 2-gallon fresh water flushing tank and 5-gallon holding tank. This toilet fits easily in the shower floor or can be moved virtually anywhere.
Capri Campers have no gray water or black water holding tanks. Our sinks and showers drain through drain hoses that are fed through your rear bumper and tied off underneath the truck. Easily accessible to feed into containers if necessary.
We can install parallel rails on top of the camper ($395) as wide as 36” apart and 6’ – 7’ long. Cross brackets or straps are the responsibility of the customer. Our roof supports 200-300 lbs, however we suggest you not carry more than 100 lbs on the roof.
The standing height in our Retreat is approximately 6’ 3”. The upper bed is 6’ 8” long by 53” wide. If you prefer a lower sleeper that is also 6’ 8” long by about 40” wide, we offer a new layout that makes it possible. Look for the layout in the Retreat “specs” page.
The cab-over nose is 55” deep (by 80” long), however the ceiling shrinks as the nose comes to a point. If only one person will sleep in the nose, you have the option to shrink the mattress to 40” wide and build cabinets in the nose ($145 option). This is a great way to add storage up where you sleep. The cabinets utilize the front 15” where the camper over-hang comes to a point.