Almost Over the Hill Hikers
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  • Almost Over the Hill Hikers

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    #178666 - 07/26/13 01:24 PM A trailer or camper was starting to sound good
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    After my recent bp trip, some of four days off trail, I was thinking a little more of how nice a camp trailer or camper would be, even before I retire in another six years or so. Either a trip has too many short and easy days, or I bust my buns on a hot or hard trail. This last trip into Desolation Wilderness here in Kalifornia, I got to do quite a bit of thinking along that line for a couple days. At least this time off trail, I found more of the trail I lost maybe 12-15 years ago. Still parts of it I missed. Not sure now I want to go back and find those missing parts, north of Spider Lake, headed to Tells Peak. At least now I know what the peak does not look like after my second visit and dropping too soon into Highland Lake again.
    Duane

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    #178671 - 07/26/13 04:29 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: hikerduane]
    wandering_daisy Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/06
    Posts: 2751
    Loc: California
    When you retire, you will have more time, so no need to drive exhausted after work to the trailhead. You can go at your leisure, on weekdays. A camper-trailer would be great for all that trailhead camping. Nice to come back off the trial and take a shower and have a few luxuries, without the expense of a motel. When I climbed, a couple I knew had a VW Vannigan (Spelling??) that seemed perfect. They never had to crack into their backpack the night before a trip - just sleep and eat in the Vannigan. Only thing about a separate trailer, think about what kind of roads you could haul it up.

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    #178681 - 07/26/13 11:44 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: wandering_daisy]
    rockchucker22 Offline
    member

    Registered: 09/24/12
    Posts: 749
    Loc: Eastern Sierras
    I do a bunch of base camping before going on longer backpacking trips, I found my Kodiak canvas 10x10 tent plus cabelas cot to be a easy fast, super comfortable system. I've got it down so I can set up the tent in 5-10 min.
    _________________________
    The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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    #178682 - 07/27/13 12:25 AM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: wandering_daisy]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    Nancy, oh, you mean like two years ago when I worked half a day, drove straight thru to the Wind River Range in WY, crawled in my sleeping bag at midnight and in town for breakfast with the oil men the next AM and on trail by 8 or so?:)
    Most trips, I can drive there after work, sleep off the road somewhere, get a permit if needed and be on trail by 9 maybe the next AM or earlier if I have a permit already or don't require one. This trip into Desolation I got my walk-in permit about noon after working half a day and was hiking before 1PM. Made camp at Campers Flat around 4:30. I was thinking of you, I don't think I would want to do a xc bp trip with you, you are too tough. Of course on this trip, the xc was thru brush and around boulders, etc.

    I have contact with folks still who bp, so I can get some company when I do retire.
    Duane

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    #178683 - 07/27/13 12:49 AM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: rockchucker22]
    aimless Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 02/05/03
    Posts: 2859
    Loc: Portland, OR
    I have found that a four-person tent with a good fly and enough head room to stand up in makes a luxurious car-camping apartment. It sets up quickly and is about x100 cheaper than a travel trailer. Plus I can get away without having a big car for towing, saving $$ on gas that way.

    One key to this setup is getting a good comfortable camp bed. Mine is a 4" thick air mattress with a closed cell blue foam pad on top for insulation, and a down pillow for my head.

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    #178684 - 07/27/13 01:13 AM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: aimless]
    balzaccom Offline
    member

    Registered: 04/06/09
    Posts: 1730
    Loc: Napa, CA
    My folks had a small travel trailer they used for this, and they were very happy with it.

    One of the great things about retirement is that you get to do what you want, and you don't have to worry about what anyone else thinks.

    I can hardly wait.
    _________________________
    balzaccom

    check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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    #178685 - 07/27/13 07:15 AM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: balzaccom]
    PerryMK Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/18/02
    Posts: 1155
    Loc: Florida panhandle
    If all goes well I will retire in 7 years (exactly 7 years from today!). I go back and forth between the trailer idea and the van plan. I might just stick with my 40+ mpg hatchback with reclining seats and get a Hot Jugz .




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    #178691 - 07/27/13 04:57 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: aimless]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    A big tent sounds cheap, nice and roomy. It would hold your camping spot if in a campground. I like the weatherproofness of a trailer or camper on the other hand. A young friend was saying a camper would be easier to drag around than a trailer. So they all have their benefits. I have a large nest egg going for a newer pickup at the moment, a 4X4 so I can get firewood and get around better in the winter, although I'm doing fine now without one. Just my goal. I sold off my toys over the winter and my old Chevy LUV 4X4 that was just sitting and going to pot. Down to a low mileage dual sport motorcycle and the economy car and truck.
    Duane

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    #178694 - 07/27/13 08:46 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: hikerduane]
    rockchucker22 Offline
    member

    Registered: 09/24/12
    Posts: 749
    Loc: Eastern Sierras
    How is the klr? I just did a 200 mile loop on my husky today. ( my but can vouch)
    _________________________
    The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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    #178699 - 07/27/13 11:30 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: rockchucker22]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    I have not been anywhere in 6 wks. Headed to Mammoth maybe on my vacation late Sept. Been too busy with firewood to go anywhere. I'll have time after Sunday when the last of wood cut this year is quartered and stacked for the future.
    Duane

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    #178782 - 07/31/13 10:54 AM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: hikerduane]
    snapper Offline
    member

    Registered: 03/07/13
    Posts: 37
    Loc: NY
    Not exactly a true camper and definitely not a trailer but another option is to create something out of a standard pickup truck. I have a Toyota "Tacoma" and when I used to guide I slept many a night in the bed under a fitted aluminum cap. This way I could meet my clients first thing in the morning at the trailhead or boat launch without having to get up super early. If you spend a few moments you can create a bed platform and have "drawers" below where you can store a stove, cook kit, etc. and have it all out of sight. Get a cap that has screen window options and you'll be able to have a nice cross breeze as well. While I do wish the mpg for small trucks was better than it is, getting 28 mpg is a lot better than I'd ever see hauling a trailer or driving a large camper.

    Just my thoughts. Take them for what their worth.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

    snapper

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    #178787 - 07/31/13 01:15 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: snapper]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    My last bp trip had a few tough days off trail, that was what was making me think a camper or trailer might have been the way to go.
    I have a high mileage Toy now, but am leaning towards a 4X4 Tacoma instead of another Ford which the last I had was a special order 1979 F100. I still see it around town. I feel a shell/cap is too little, if and when I retire, I want something a little more substantial to spend a week or month in. Also, I was reminding myself, that I want to go to Alaska again, but drive this time and spend the summer or at least part of a summer there. A camper would be nice, we'll see how the funds hold out. Some cheap and cool looking old camp trailers out there, but I'm not a handy carpenter.
    Duane

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    #178860 - 08/02/13 05:08 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: hikerduane]
    lostagain Offline
    member

    Registered: 04/09/12
    Posts: 48
    Loc: DFW, Texas
    Duane:

    Oddly, I feel exceptionally well qualified to weigh in here. I actually live in a travel trailer. It's a Dutchman and it's 34' long with two slideouts. Obviously you'll want something a tad smaller. smile

    However, what you get should depend on what you ultimately see yourself doing with it. If it's just to have something to trail-head camp with so you can take off on trail whenever you want, you should consider something like a teardrop trailer. They're usually small (~8 - 9' long) and you sleep inside. You're kitchen is in a hatchback at the back. It runs off of both propane and marine batteries. Or you could get a bigger trailer, say a 15 or 16' one with a shower/bath inside. With these the only real drawback is interior space from side to side. That and you'll have to make your bed from the kitchen table every night and day.

    The biggest decider really is how long do you intend to go for? That will determine how big a set of propane tanks to take. You'll also need to find out whether or not where you camp at has both water and sewer hook ups. The smaller the trailer, the smaller your fresh, gray and black water tanks will be. (For a comparison, my fresh water is 35 gallons and lasts about 3 days if I don't shower. The gray tank is 40 gallons an will need to be emptied every 4 days if you shower and wash dishes. The black water tank is 40 gallons and last about a week to 9 days before i have to dump it. I'm hooked up to city water and my gray tank is open all the time so I don't worry about that or the fresh water tank).

    An alternative is a bed tent. This is a large tent that sets up int he bed of your truck. It's lighter than a camper and easier to store. Not sure how well it'll hold up in severe storms, but even a trailer will rock and roll in 35 mph winds. (At least mine does gently).

    Best advice is to look around at a nearby RV dealer and see what's available and what feels like it'll work for you.
    _________________________
    Awwww...go take a hike!

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    #178879 - 08/03/13 12:21 AM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: lostagain]
    llamero Offline
    member

    Registered: 10/29/12
    Posts: 43
    Loc: western Oregon
    I've been using a slide in pop-up camper for the last 5 years. It has served me well. Mine is made by Four Wheel Camper, near Sacramento, CA. Other companies (All terrain Campers for one) are making similar campers: welded aluminum frame, light weight, various sizes and various options. I can't praise this camper enough. I use it for trail head camping as well as multiweek excursions. It weighs about 775 lbs without water and propane. Many people put them on the smaller Toyota pickups. I have mine on a 3/4 ton pickup and I pull a trailer, either llamas or a boat. They aren't cheap, but you can find used ones.
    http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/

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    #178933 - 08/05/13 01:26 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: lostagain]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    I would only (at least for now), use a camper/trailer for snow birding, as I could stay home (paid for, no camp fees) the rest of the time or tent camp in the woods. I was joking when I said a trailer or camper was sounding good, as I was doing some tough xc bping part of a couple days on my recent vacation. The camper/trailer would be nice for hitting the coast when a storm hits to stay dry. I like hearing the wind and rain. My thoughts also were to visit some RV dealers to see what is available and weight/price. I'd like another Ford PU, but for mileage and price, will likely opt for another Toy. I belong to a few forums, so may meet more folks the next few years and could set up some short trips with them maybe to break up all of our lives.
    Duane

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    #178934 - 08/05/13 01:49 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: hikerduane]
    PerryMK Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/18/02
    Posts: 1155
    Loc: Florida panhandle
    Here's another option. Rent an RV. This avoids the big upfront cost and the maintenance. The downside is everyone seems to want them on the same weekend.

    I rented a pickup with a slidein camper for a week in Alaska many years ago. Awesome trip.

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    #178936 - 08/05/13 04:02 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: snapper]
    GrumpyGord Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/05/02
    Posts: 861
    Loc: Michigan
    I use my Ranger pickup with a topper to sleep in. Just put an air mattress down and a sleeping bag. I usually take an extra so that I do not have to unpack my pack. If I am moving around I usually just go to a restaurant or convenience store to eat. I can cook in the back if the weather is good. Ranger 4 cyl straight stick gets about 25 MPG if I keep the speed below 65. I have a state park permit so I just go into a state park (the trick is to just drive in like you belong there) to take a shower. I have actually paid the camping fee a few times, depending on the time I get back out to the trailhead.

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    #178937 - 08/05/13 07:11 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: PerryMK]
    hikerduane Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/23/03
    Posts: 2123
    Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
    That's one thing back on my bucket list, go to Alaska again. After at least one more visit there, I'd only be RVing in the winter a little to escape shoveling snow at my place for a few months if I can afford to get away. Seems renting is pretty pricey, I could get a nice camper at a nice price, a popup one sounds like the ticket as a shell would not allow me enough space to bring some of my stove collection along to play with. smile A newer truck will not be cheap, even for a used one as I want to get a 4X4 for getting firewood and to be able to get in and out of my place if I don't leave for warmer climes. I have a very nice down payment saved up, I just don't have a high paying job, but the retirement contribution hurts my pocket now, but will be nice later.

    I forgot all about being able to get a Seasoned Citizen Park Pass, that would sure save. I darted in and out of the Lava Beds NP in N CA a few years ago as I got there late, but still paid for my campsite, just did not pay to enter the Park as I got there before dark and left early.
    Duane

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    #178943 - 08/05/13 11:06 PM Re: A trailer or camper was starting to sound good [Re: GrumpyGord]
    billstephenson Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 02/07/07
    Posts: 3889
    Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
    Originally Posted By GrumpyGord
    I use my Ranger pickup with a topper to sleep in.


    I finally sold my Suzuki Samurai and bought an old Ford Ranger with the 3.0 V6. The Sami was a great camping vehicle, but the ride was getting a bit hard on me, and it had no A/C.

    I do like the little Ranger, rides and drives great, but it has no traction. I'm going to start looking for a topper first, and keep my eyes open for a 4x4 Ranger. I think that will make a pretty good camping vehicle for me too.
    _________________________
    --

    "You want to go where?"



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