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  1. #101
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    Sweet rig Formica, I'm sure you'll get some good use out of it. Are the bikes going on top? Another option would be a front mount hitch. I did this for my truck so I could access the camper without the bikes in the way. When you aren't towing the raft you can use the hitch off the back.

  2. #102
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    Sweet rig, formica! I wish I had a camping outing planned in combo with the eclipse, but that isn't gonna work until I get a 2nd vehicle that can tow the camper. My wife will be working that day. I really would like a smaller pickup truck again. I miss my old Ford Ranger.

    Fortunately, our new home is maybe 20min from the path of totality, so either I will be happy with where we are and enjoy it here (I have my glasses and camera filter ready to go) or I will make a short drive to the totality. Haven't decided yet.

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  3. #103
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    - This rig is V6 gas, no diesel option
    - bike rack that came with it is on the door. You can open the back door with the bikes on it. This way we can tow our raft and have bikes on rack.RV thread-img_8548.jpg

    -nope, don't have to put them on the top.
    We are thinking about haveing a front mount fabricated for the spare. For all the $$ they only put a fix a flat kit in. "Call our roadside service!!!"
    WTF!We told the dealer a full size spare was a deal breaker so they put a real spare on a stinger mount in the package. We don't love that mount but it will work for now.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Good choice, the Promaster is the best base vehicle for an RV build.
    Ben,
    I'd like to be convinced of that. I've read that the transmission is just plain weird as are the ergonomics. And something in my head thinks towing with a front wheel drive is not as efficient as rear wheel drive, maybe that is just me.
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    Ben,
    I'd like to be convinced of that. I've read that the transmission is just plain weird as are the ergonomics. And something in my head thinks towing with a front wheel drive is not as efficient as rear wheel drive, maybe that is just me.
    The only thing I find "weird" about the transmission is the auto downshift going down hills. It's the first automatic I've owned, and I was surprised at how much I liked it. Ergonomics are fine for me, but I could see how you might not like the cab if you were tall. Tows fine, I've had a 3000# load on my flatbed, but I don't tow a lot.

    Two things sold me on the Promaster, FWD for winter driving and the price. No problems in 2.5 years and 30k miles. Love how it drives.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    Ben,
    I'd like to be convinced of that. I've read that the transmission is just plain weird as are the ergonomics. And something in my head thinks towing with a front wheel drive is not as efficient as rear wheel drive, maybe that is just me.
    Yup, all in your head, towing with a fwd works fine, it's an old wives tale likely dreamt up by the big three to reinforce the American truck culture.

    I had a rear wheel drive Sprinter, it was terrible in the snow, downright dangerous on ice, even chains weren't enough to give it traction.

    The Promaster with snow tires absolutely kills it, two winters in heavy snow, up and down the ski resort, driving in the Methow and up into BC, lots of backroad driving, never got stuck, never needed chains.

    Tows 5k, hauls 4k, gets up to 25mpg, runs like a top, turns tight as an old Jeep, and it's the least expensive large commercial van.

    I love my auto manual, I shift manually in town, use auto on the road, downshifts automatically as you slow down, very cool. I'd take a manual if it was offered, but this tranny is not bad.

    I actually go off road quite a bit, old Jeep roads and such, ground clearance is pretty good, got out to Gooseberry no problem.

    The only thing that would make it better would be AWD, but the cost would be higher and mpg lower. It's just about perfect as it is.

    You can keep your rear wheel drive van, I'll never go back!

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    - This rig is V6 gas, no diesel option
    - bike rack that came with it is on the door. You can open the back door with the bikes on it. This way we can tow our raft and have bikes on rack.Click image for larger version. 

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    -nope, don't have to put them on the top.
    We are thinking about haveing a front mount fabricated for the spare. For all the $$ they only put a fix a flat kit in. "Call our roadside service!!!"
    WTF!We told the dealer a full size spare was a deal breaker so they put a real spare on a stinger mount in the package. We don't love that mount but it will work for now.
    Does the Promaster run on rear duallies? If so maybe that is why no spare, you can always use one of the inner wheels. Beautiful rig, enjoy!


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  8. #108
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    I have a 25ft Thor Mercedes Sprinter motorhome. I have owned it 2 years and put 40k miles on. Totally love it. I'm getting 16-18mpg (diesel) depending on water tank load. It has a King size bed which is awesome, it sleeps 6 total.

    Not 50+ sorry for the thread bomb.
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Yup, all in your head, towing with a fwd works fine, it's an old wives tale likely dreamt up by the big three to reinforce the American truck culture.

    I had a rear wheel drive Sprinter, it was terrible in the snow, downright dangerous on ice, even chains weren't enough to give it traction.

    The Promaster with snow tires absolutely kills it, two winters in heavy snow, up and down the ski resort, driving in the Methow and up into BC, lots of backroad driving, never got stuck, never needed chains.

    Tows 5k, hauls 4k, gets up to 25mpg, runs like a top, turns tight as an old Jeep, and it's the least expensive large commercial van.

    I love my auto manual, I shift manually in town, use auto on the road, downshifts automatically as you slow down, very cool. I'd take a manual if it was offered, but this tranny is not bad.

    I actually go off road quite a bit, old Jeep roads and such, ground clearance is pretty good, got out to Gooseberry no problem.

    The only thing that would make it better would be AWD, but the cost would be higher and mpg lower. It's just about perfect as it is.

    You can keep your rear wheel drive van, I'll never go back!
    Did you put Sumo springs on it? The clearance on the Travato is pretty marginal but we did manage to make it up the designated for for our eclipse camp.

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    I actually dropped the back end by removing the secondary leaf springs and adding HD rubber bumpers to maintain load rating.

    My rear deck height unloaded is ~1-2" higher than the front. Factory new the rear deck is at least six inches higher than the front. You can see my review on the Promaster forum.

    I suspect you are running smaller tires, probably have some added equipment under the floorboards, also riding low due to weight.

    I'm looking at getting my rear wheel tubs modified so I can run larger tires.


    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    Did you put Sumo springs on it? The clearance on the Travato is pretty marginal but we did manage to make it up the designated for for our eclipse camp.

  11. #111
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    yah, with the Travato everything is underneath.

  12. #112
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    Wife and I have been enjoying a small pop up camper I picked up last spring. Great little camper. I pull it with my Nissan Frontier and have no problems at all. Comfortable, warm and big enough to stand in or sit at a table if its raining. Bikes in the truck with a tail gate pad and kayaks on top of the camper. Works great for 2-3-4 day trips. Paid $3K for it, worth every penny.
    I wanna ride!

  13. #113
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    Anyone have a Trailmanor? There's one for sale locally and it's an intriguing option, sort of a hard-side pop-up/collapsible traveltrailer...

  14. #114
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    This thread is a prime example of RV/camping culture. You have every possible variation represented from Tent to popup, to Van to Sprinter, Class C, Camper, 5er, and ClassA. I love the diversity of this culture.

    I have just bought a lightly used '01 45' coach in tiptop shape and have a '09 Outback 2.5t mt toad. Selling house now and hitting the road. Not 50 yet, but closing in at a rapid pace... I will mainly stay in parks, but have all the ability in the world with the Outback to strike out. Will spend most of my time from Arizona to Canada on both sides of the rockies. See you guys out there!

  15. #115
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    Started out with a 1978 Ford Van back in the 80's. Over the years we have owned a couple of smaller class C's and when we retired we moved up to this Super C. Travel for up to 2 months at a time so now its nice to have a larger rig (Happy wife, Happy life!). Been to all the western states, spend most of our time in Colorado and Utah when not at home in SoCal.

    RV thread-bhg0hbwfzsykermfgc3dtru1z93-mlzmavoe7hek4ycpx92ib.jpeg

    RV thread-5-yoak_djpvlxkll-yhvnoqyqezwgwb9ugpovxocywqpx92ib.jpeg
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  16. #116
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    We like the trailer approach, though our Sprinter has a 3-panel platform bed that adds flexibility.

    Currently without RV, but started with a Chalet (similar to A-Liner), then went to a bigger model. Of course, once you get where you're going, bigger is better, but we'll be back to another Chalet as the best compromise for us.

    Built well, decent privacy, up and down faster and smoother than you can believe unless you've done it yourself, and such easy towing.

    Our 07 Sprinter seems like a lifetime vehicle, but there is a new one coming, which should be engineered for 4WD right from the get-go, so that might be intriguing. The current 4wd version was kind of reverse engineered by MB, and requires lifting the van quite a bit to attain a reasonable angle on the front driveshaft.

    I'm tall, and sat in a Promaster, and that was the end of that test drive (plus it isn't well suited to towing my wife's small horse trailer).
    Whining is not a strategy.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Our 07 Sprinter seems like a lifetime vehicle, but there is a new one coming, which should be engineered for 4WD right from the get-go, so that might be intriguing. The current 4wd version was kind of reverse engineered by MB, and requires lifting the van quite a bit to attain a reasonable angle on the front driveshaft.
    Are you saying the next 4WD Sprinter will sit lower and thus be worse offroad?

    Other than the cost, the current 4x4 Sprinter would work great for the same things for which I use my F150. I was extremely jealous a few weeks ago as I tied some lumber into the bed of my truck with the tailgate down, while the guy next to me stacked 10' 2x6s into his Sprinter. I just wish you could get a 144" WB High Roof crew 4x4 Sprinter for around what I paid for my F150 4x4. $35K for an F150 4x4 that can tow 10,000 pounds in relative luxury vs. $52K for a stripped Sprinter 4x4 is just too much of a difference to swallow. I decided towing a travel trailer wasn't so bad.

  18. #118
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    You want an F350 4 x 4 van conversion or similar, that's the only way you'll get 10k towing from a van. Personally, towing 10k is a dually job, but it's your life. I've seen bad things happen when a small vehicle is towing a big load.

    I use my Promaster for traveling, camping, and construction. Fold up dinette gives me the space to haul two tons of material that is safe and protected from the weather. There is nothing better than loading sheetrock into your van laying flat and not having to worry about breaking sheets in the back of a truck.

    I'm sure the Sprinter 4 x 4 is great, BUT they are expensive, suck fuel like crazy, and they really aren't made for rugged off road use. The only reason a Sprinter needs to be 4 x 4 is because rear wheel drive sucks in ice/snow and off road; kinda like a truck.

    I keep telling folks that they need to get over their preconceived notions about front wheel drive vans. The Promaster tows great, it gets great traction, and it's very efficient. I go offroad all the time, going places I could never go with a rear wheel drive Sprinter... and I average 22-24mpg depending on the season. High of 26.5mpg

    The least expensive option is towing a trailer. We did that for years, it works fine, but I prefer to have a daily driver that meets all my needs in one package. I h

    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Other than the cost, the current 4x4 Sprinter would work great for the same things for which I use my F150. I was extremely jealous a few weeks ago as I tied some lumber into the bed of my truck with the tailgate down, while the guy next to me stacked 10' 2x6s into his Sprinter. I just wish you could get a 144" WB High Roof crew 4x4 Sprinter for around what I paid for my F150 4x4. $35K for an F150 4x4 that can tow 10,000 pounds in relative luxury vs. $52K for a stripped Sprinter 4x4 is just too much of a difference to swallow. I decided towing a travel trailer wasn't so bad.

  19. #119
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    I've got a big 32' class C motorhome. About a year ago we bought a 24' class C, which honestly was big enough for our family of 3. I liked the driveability of the smaller size. I could do U-turns on most city streets, and could usually find a place to park by taking up a couple of parking spots at the end of a parking lot. But my wife wanted more living space. The bed in the back corner was a pain to make and tough to get in and out of. There was no place where we could all comfortably sit and watch a movie, and when we brought our 2 big dogs along it got pretty crowded.

    The new RV has a walk-around bed with doors that close it off. It has bunks, which gives our son his own private space and allows us to bring grandparents and/or cousins along. There is a sofa where we can all sit comfortably. A full wall slideout gives lots of room inside. It is less maneuverable around town, and the turning radius is huge, but it hasn't been a big problem.

    For just me or just me and my wife I'd prefer a class B, but for our family at this point in our life the big class C is nice.
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  20. #120
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    My van would fit in your bedroom

    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    I've got a big 32' class C motorhome. About a year ago we bought a 24' class C, which honestly was big enough for our family of 3. I liked the driveability of the smaller size. I could do U-turns on most city streets, and could usually find a place to park by taking up a couple of parking spots at the end of a parking lot. But my wife wanted more living space. The bed in the back corner was a pain to make and tough to get in and out of. There was no place where we could all comfortably sit and watch a movie, and when we brought our 2 big dogs along it got pretty crowded.

    The new RV has a walk-around bed with doors that close it off. It has bunks, which gives our son his own private space and allows us to bring grandparents and/or cousins along. There is a sofa where we can all sit comfortably. A full wall slideout gives lots of room inside. It is less maneuverable around town, and the turning radius is huge, but it hasn't been a big problem.

    For just me or just me and my wife I'd prefer a class B, but for our family at this point in our life the big class C is nice.

  21. #121
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    Replaced this; (For sale)

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    With this today;

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    2015 Giant Stance 2 - 1 X 10 11/42 30T
    2016 Diamondback Insight 2

  22. #122
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    ^^^ Schweet!
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  23. #123
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    You went with the slightly bigger than the travoto one I see.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    You went with the slightly bigger than the travoto one I see.
    I wanted a giant sports car. No negative reviews I've seen. I'm a Ford guy by heart. My Sprinter van was a great preamble though.
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    First Post! My wife and I are practising for retirement. We are currently living in out 41 5er with the plan on taking next year off to travel and hit all the great MTB spots along the way! ( june 2018 to Sept 2019 ) We have a unique floor plan with the ability to hide our 4 bikes under our living room. We are set to be off the grid with 12 solar panels ( 1960 watts ) and 800 amps of Lithium. We are planning on going to Moab this March. We will have friends with us so we will be at an RV park Any good suggestions? I know about the great BLM spots there but I find its easier for all to be in a RV park? Looking forward to all the great riding and to hopefully meet some of you along the way! Denis and Val

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by denyski View Post
    First Post! My wife and I are practising for retirement. We are currently living in out 41 5er with the plan on taking next year off to travel and hit all the great MTB spots along the way! ( june 2018 to Sept 2019 ) We have a unique floor plan with the ability to hide our 4 bikes under our living room. We are set to be off the grid with 12 solar panels ( 1960 watts ) and 800 amps of Lithium. We are planning on going to Moab this March. We will have friends with us so we will be at an RV park Any good suggestions? I know about the great BLM spots there but I find its easier for all to be in a RV park? Looking forward to all the great riding and to hopefully meet some of you along the way! Denis and Val
    Pics!!!
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  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Pics!!!
    Here are a couple of Pics. Rooftop pictures coming soon (-:
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  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by denyski View Post
    We will have friends with us so we will be at an RV park Any good suggestions? I know about the great BLM spots there but I find its easier for all to be in a RV park? Looking forward to all the great riding and to hopefully meet some of you along the way! Denis and Val
    I like your garage setup. Be careful with private RV parks. I found them very hit-or-miss on my trip to AZ last spring (from Indiana). I have a teardrop, so my setup is very different, but you've gotta be careful about the rules at some of the private RV parks. A lot of them are EXTREMELY restrictive. They cater to retirees who live out of their RV's, and who don't do anything else. Common (and ridiculous) rules I encountered included no sitting outside by the fire (no fires at all - not even a propane firepit). No outdoor cooking, period. STRICT hours (which are problematic for starting early rides, or riding late). Basically, you're allowed to sit outside during daylight hours only, more or less completely silent.

    IME, if you MUST have facilities, state park campgrounds are better. For stops on the road, I usually use a combination of truck stops (if I'm okay with not showering at sketchy truck stop showers) and KOA campgrounds (especially if I want a shower).

  29. #129
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    We have stayed at a variety of campgrounds from primitive camps to luxury RV resorts. I have never encountered rules against campfires except at Disney's Fort Wilderness, which only allows specific covered fire pits. One other place had some burning restrictions because it was in a drought and there was a high fire danger. I have never heard of no outdoor cooking. This is just my experience.

    We typically prefer state parks for camping. They are usually beautiful and quiet and offer nice woods and privacy, and they cost half of what a KOA does. But you usually don't get any wifi and cellular service is often bad too. Most of the KOAs are like parking lots with rows of RVs parked next to each other, and that doesn't appeal to us. They do offer more activities for families, though, if that's what you enjoy. There are a few that have some nice private wooded sites, though, and we do stay at KOAs on occasion.

    For the private campgrounds, it's very hit and miss. We have stayed at some really nice ones and some that were really weird.

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    We have stayed at a variety of campgrounds from primitive camps to luxury RV resorts. I have never encountered rules against campfires except at Disney's Fort Wilderness, which only allows specific covered fire pits. One other place had some burning restrictions because it was in a drought and there was a high fire danger. I have never heard of no outdoor cooking. This is just my experience.
    One place I looked at required you to be inside your rig from 10pm to 7am. This one didn't prohibit fires outright, but that single rule makes it really hard to just sit quietly by the fire when it's dark. With a teardrop camper, it also severely restricts meal prep times. It's one of those rules you might barely even notice if you've got a big self-contained camper, but that's not what I have, so rules like that stick out to me.

    The no fire thing seemed to be a one-off. The place did not provide fire pits. It was in an area that frequently experienced high fire danger, and that's probably why. But they didn't even allow you to use your own propane firepit.

    One private place I investigated staying at (but wound up avoiding) looked like it might be a nice place, but the online reviews for the place were a big red flag. The owners were apparently nutso, and would threaten guests. Sometimes with death threats. Just because the guests would tell the attendant that the TP was empty in the bathroom or something innocuous like that.

    A KOA type place is certainly not my idea of a great vacation, but they're commonly placed along major travel routes and the facilities are a step up from a truck stop.

    State park amenities vary quite a bit. I've been to state parks that had pretty good wifi, actually.

    The best place I've stayed so far is Mulberry Gap, though. Private, for sure, but those folks know hospitality well. They don't have room for big RV's, but for a little camper like mine, it's perfect. Apparently the Bike Farm in Pisgah is cool with little campers like mine, too, but the place seems to me like it'd be tough to get situated with any sort of trailer there.

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by denyski View Post
    We are set to be off the grid with 12 solar panels ( 1960 watts ) and 800 amps of Lithium. We are planning on going to Moab this March. We will have friends with us so we will be at an RV park Any good suggestions? I know about the great BLM spots there but I find its easier for all to be in a RV park? Looking forward to all the great riding and to hopefully meet some of you along the way! Denis and Val
    Screw the RV park! With that much power why do you need to even think about being on the grid? I guess unless you want the comfort of being in town, which I could see some benefit if in a group with freinds.

    We're not even close to retirement or 50+ for that matter (42, or even should be in this forum) but we do have about 30+ weeks of Moab experience over the years if you add it all up. We've camped pretty much everywhere and in all the "in town" campsites - we have 2 kids 10 and 13 who do like the pool. So we typically go primitive 1/2 the week and 1/2 time in town at a RV resort campground.

    As a few noted, each campground has their own rules. Some have better showers, better hot tub(s), heated pool, charcoal grill, grassy spot or "premium site" for you dog to pee, etc. Best to make a list of your needs and write them down. We really like Moab Valley RV Resort because it is right by the river right after you cross the bridge and has the fastest getaway to MTB'ing up north where we mostly ride (wife and kids like Navajo, Horsethief, Deadhorse, Klonzo, Bar-M, etc) and they also have a super sweet pool and hot tub to chill out in after a long day riding and in the sun. Down side is its super close to the highway, so more road noise. Slickrock Campground has the most mature trees (shade) but seems to be more partying and late night riff-raff at night with the river/kayak crowd. Better campground for sure though for later in the season (late May/June) simply due to tree cover. Those big Cottonwoods are awesome and drown out the highway noise. But you have AC so really not an issue anywhere you go.

    Here is a courtesy bookmark for you that we've used and have in our Moab bookmark folder.. Moab Commercial Campgrounds

    We do like to "primitive RV camp" a lot in our 36' Outback 324CG to get away from the people and quite frankly, a fast growing Moab town. I dream of a setup like yours though! We just made the last payment on our toy hauler trailer and it feels really good. For camping/work stuff I've been able to pull 4g pretty much everywhere primitive camping in Moab, the last spot we were a few miles north of Horsethief campground and I had to take calls from the roof for that extra "bar" (see pic below) we like to play hard but self employed so have to make sure emails and phone calls get returned!

    Have fun in Moab, we will be there in March for a week too.

    Brett
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  32. #132
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    Anyone know the in's/out's of RV camping ( 32' ) around Pisgah? Bets places to try when everything is booked up ( first come first serve spots ) . Ive been to Lake Powhatan once , very nice, but is seems to get booked up fast !
    thnx

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    Quote Originally Posted by spleeft View Post
    Anyone know the in's/out's of RV camping ( 32' ) around Pisgah? Bets places to try when everything is booked up ( first come first serve spots ) . Ive been to Lake Powhatan once , very nice, but is seems to get booked up fast !
    thnx
    Davidson River might be worth a shot. It is just busy here so to fit a big rv somewhere, you have to plan well ahead. Especially during busy times. Another Pisgah USFS campground is in the N. Mills River area.

    Also Mt Pisgah on the Blue Ridge Parkway has a NPS campground if your rv will fit through the tunnels.

    I made a last minute trip with my teardrop last spring, before I moved here. There were some big events in Asheville and the only place I could find was a KOA. I was not willing to gamble on finding a pulloff site in Pisgah. Some will fit my camper but many will not. You will be even more limited on those sites.

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  34. #134
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    Here's our new (last year or so) rig. Not over the top, everything we need for boondocking or glamping. Boondocking is preferable, and we hit the desert with a 35 gallon drum of water in the back of the truck to extend our "dry" time. The topper is the rolling kennel for the herd of dogs. Note the bike rack on the side of the topper, there's one on the other side as well, and one on top of the topper - all of them can take standard mtbs or our fatbikes too. I don't like having the bikes on the trailer, because we often use camp as basecamp and drive to various trailheads, and we'd need another bike rack for this.
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    For those of you who carry bikes outside of the camper, how do you protect them from theft? I have a truck camper and rack, but I'd be bummed if one of the bikes disappeared. I know not many people in an rv park would be interested in a bicycle, but I'd prefer to remove all temptation.

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    For those of you who carry bikes outside of the camper, how do you protect them from theft? I have a truck camper and rack, but I'd be bummed if one of the bikes disappeared. I know not many people in an rv park would be interested in a bicycle, but I'd prefer to remove all temptation.
    Many locks. I keep a few around.

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  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    For those of you who carry bikes outside of the camper, how do you protect them from theft? I have a truck camper and rack, but I'd be bummed if one of the bikes disappeared. I know not many people in an rv park would be interested in a bicycle, but I'd prefer to remove all temptation.
    The bike racks have built in locks, but I'd never leave them overnight in, say, a hotel parking lot. When we're camping, in camp the bikes get locked with a long cable, or are back on the truck racks. If anyone were to get close to the truck, they'd be greeted by three large dogs raising holy hell. If we leave camp for an extended period of time, but aren't riding, then they go inside the camper. Sad to say, I heard of more than one occasion where bikes have been stolen from a campsite.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    The bike racks have built in locks, but I'd never leave them overnight in, say, a hotel parking lot. When we're camping, in camp the bikes get locked with a long cable, or are back on the truck racks. If anyone were to get close to the truck, they'd be greeted by three large dogs raising holy hell. If we leave camp for an extended period of time, but aren't riding, then they go inside the camper. Sad to say, I heard of more than one occasion where bikes have been stolen from a campsite.
    It'd definitely be a tight fit inside my camper for two bikes, but I may test this idea this weekend and see if I can even get two bikes inside. The cable locks on the bike racks (and, in fact, cable locks of any kind) are so easy to cut that they really won't buy you much time, but they're better than nothing I guess.

    I do have transport chain and a heavy duty lock. I couldn't leave that on the bikes when driving, but I could install it when parked if I wanted to leave them on the rack while I was sleeping inside.

    I guess the next camper I buy should have a garage in back, even if it's not a huge 5er.

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    It'd definitely be a tight fit inside my camper for two bikes, but I may test this idea this weekend and see if I can even get two bikes inside. The cable locks on the bike racks (and, in fact, cable locks of any kind) are so easy to cut that they really won't buy you much time, but they're better than nothing I guess.

    I do have transport chain and a heavy duty lock. I couldn't leave that on the bikes when driving, but I could install it when parked if I wanted to leave them on the rack while I was sleeping inside.

    I guess the next camper I buy should have a garage in back, even if it's not a huge 5er.
    If I have to leave the bikes, I rely on multiple locks of multiple different types. Storage/weight isn't such a concern, so I double down...or more. I should probably add a chain to the mix, but yeah. u-locks, multiple cables, etc.

  40. #140
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    Hard to see, but I have a 1/2" cable wrapped around and thru bike and carrier locked to trailer hitch. There's enough cable to route thru the wheels if need be.

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  41. #141
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    I am new to the forum and I can't believe there is an over 50 section let alone an RV section! Here is a couple of pictures of our home base for weekend riding trips I bought this unit used 2 years ago. My wife and I wanted to get into RVing but, we weren't sure how much we would use a full size RV. we looked at class C's and travel trailers before we settled on this 2000 Damon Challenger. when we bought it it only had 14,000 miles on it, the first owner used it only for tailgating football games and the second owner never camped in it the 2 years he owned it. The maiden voyage for this RV was quite an adventure. I drove it solo to the 2016 Brown County Epic in Nashville Indiana. I had no experience driving anything this big so I thought I would make the 150 mile trip taking 2 lane highways instead of fighting truck traffic on the interstate. Wrong! once these dudes are rolling,don't stop! About 3-4 miles from Nashville I overheated the brakes on the hills of Brown County.At one point I had no brakes and I was looking for a ditch to crash into when I remembered the emergency brake, which luckily is hydraulic and stops the driveshaft. By the time I found a place to pull over the caliper had caught fire! Got that put out and managed to limp it into a repair shop where my son and I camped for the weekend. Since then I have learned to stay on the interstate as much as possible and never pull into someplace that you don't want to back out of.RV thread-file5.jpeg
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    Should be riding right now!

  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by byost34 View Post
    Since then I have learned to stay on the interstate as much as possible and never pull into someplace that you don't want to back out of.Click image for larger version. 

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    I hope you also learned how to downshift your transmission and let engine braking hold your speed on a long downgrade. If you didn't, then please avoid I-70 in Colorado.

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I hope you also learned how to downshift your transmission and let engine braking hold your speed on a long downgrade. If you didn't, then please avoid I-70 in Colorado.
    Yeah, probably not. Those hills are pretty much nothing compared to I70 in CO. Steep and twisty, sure...but not all that long. Yeah, if you are cooking your brakes in Indiana, you're doing it wrong.

    So many midwesterners have no idea when it comes to mountain driving. I once drove to the top of Mauna Kea to the telescopes. It is a very long climb, mostly gravel. The rental car companies DO NOT want you going there. I rented a 4wd jeep for that and a few other prohibited places. It is the sort of slope where you put the jeep into 4 lo and coast. They have had so many problems with people cooking their brakes and driving off the mountainside because so many visitors are clueless because they have never been exposed to it before.

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    RV thread-2b421607-fa99-4e0c-9ec0-022e6fbd27a3.jpg

    Heres my setup, older 01 Bus/Coach build. In process of going full time and selling house.

  45. #145
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    I can cut that 1/2 cable in ten seconds.

    Never leave your bikes locked on the rack, even while having dinner, its way to enticing for bike thieves.

    Quote Originally Posted by BADDANDY View Post
    Hard to see, but I have a 1/2" cable wrapped around and thru bike and carrier locked to trailer hitch. There's enough cable to route thru the wheels if need be.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I do have transport chain and a heavy duty lock. I couldn't leave that on the bikes when driving, but I could install it when parked if I wanted to leave them on the rack while I was sleeping inside.
    Thats what I do... its still only a deterrent, but much better than a cable.

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  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Never leave your bikes locked on the rack, even while having dinner, its way to enticing for bike thieves.
    I apparently don't live where you guys do because that cable has secured my bikes on racks and trailers for over 10 years. Saying that, I'll be making a bike stand INSIDE the van as I did in the Sprinter. Outa sight, outa mind!
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  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I once drove to the top of Mauna Kea to the telescopes. It is a very long climb, mostly gravel. The rental car companies DO NOT want you going there. I rented a 4wd jeep for that and a few other prohibited places. It is the sort of slope where you put the jeep into 4 lo and coast. They have had so many problems with people cooking their brakes and driving off the mountainside because so many visitors are clueless because they have never been exposed to it before.
    I, too, rented a 4wd with low range to drive to the top of Mauna Kea.

    I found the drive to be far less scary than they made it sound and would gladly do it again in a front wheel drive car.

    That said, taking care of one's brakes is not a bad idea for mountain driving.

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I, too, rented a 4wd with low range to drive to the top of Mauna Kea.

    I found the drive to be far less scary than they made it sound and would gladly do it again in a front wheel drive car.

    That said, taking care of one's brakes is not a bad idea for mountain driving.
    The Mauna Kea drive, sure, I'd do in a FWD car. I have done gnarlier drives in cars in the past. A legit 4 low to just roll down the mountain sure made for an easy, low stress return trip, however (especially as I watched people ahead of me riding their brakes the whole way).

    But I also drove down into Waipio Valley and forded the river to get to the beach. There was a guard present at the top to turn back folks lacking 4wd. And I planned on going out to the green sand beach but could not fit that into my trip in the end.

    Ppl in the midwest aren't even taught to downshift in their auto transmission cars to save the brakes on downhills. I grew up there. I did not learn mountain driving (especially with 4wd) until I worked for the USFS in Utah after college.

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  50. #150
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    Every RV/camper is a basketful of compromises. These are the ones we selected:

    https://mikesee.exposure.co/clifford
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    Family of 5 setup

    Heres our trailer at Sedona last week. RV thread-6b55c4ce-9e1b-469d-8641-bbe9b0aeb1c8.jpgRV thread-3186e613-0850-464a-b94b-43662bac9d88.jpgRV thread-96abdc75-c2af-4aef-8d06-55c2c6e81bca.jpg

  52. #152
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    Much nicer than our Jeep and Popup. Refrigerator, hot showers, comfy bed and flush toilet (wife's happy)
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  53. #153
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    Weve camped in a pop up for 8 years. Its great in good weather, not as nice in heat or extended rain. all campers are compromises.

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  54. #154
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    I've always enjoyed this thread, but it has gone a little quite...maybe time to generate some more interest.
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  55. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I've always enjoyed this thread, but it has gone a little quite...maybe time to generate some more interest.
    Agreed!

    We're still "on the hunt". RV shows, wandering around lots, etc.. No hurry. Current cool things on the list for consideration:

    1. A Liners. Had an A-frame before. Loved towing it, but we may have aged out of that level of basic approach.

    2. Hymer GT Touring. Kinda new to the states. Have not seen one in the flesh, yet. Should be in Oregon in December.

    3. Safari Condo. Made in Quebec. If I didn't have to drive across North America to get one, I think I'd own their new-ish, 21 footer.

    4. Knauss Deseo. A really cool, lightweight, high-end toy hauler. Not available on this side of the Atlantic.

    Things we thought we'd love, until we actually saw them:

    1. All the fiberglass trailers. Obviously built to last forever, but they just seem like caves inside. Escape seems like it might be the best one of these going. Have to drive to BC for delivery, which would be fine by us, coming from OR.

    What we'd buy if we had to pick one tomorrow: Lance 1475. Pretty traditional but high quality, and my wife's current favorite (a bit larger in height and width than I would ideally prefer to tow, but happy wife, happy life and all that).
    Whining is not a strategy.

  56. #156
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    After owning our little Jayco for a few years, I'll say this:

    1) Know how you are going to camp. A trailer that is great for commercial campgrounds with shore power and water/sewer hookups may not be as great for boondocking. Pay attention to the size of the water and gray/black tanks for example. The bigger the better if you are away from a dump station or hookup. How big are the battery or batteries, and the gas tank(s)?

    2) Get a 3-way refrigerator so you can keep things cold on the road. Actually look at the refrigerator and verify that it is three way, instead of relying on the BS the dealer is feeding you (more below).

    3) Manufacturers generally put crap tires on their trailers. Pay attention, or suffer the flat after midnight on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Be sure your spare has air in it.

    4) Do you really need a huge A/C on a small trailer? A little window unit can run on a 2000 watt generator, that huge roof unit will come in handy once a year when you are camping in the desert, but will require a much bigger generator if you are not on shore power. A/C is hands down the biggest power user. Also, the roof units add another foot to the overall height of the trailer.

    4) Be sure you have an adequate tow vehicle. Add 30% to any manufacturer weight rating on their trailer to be closer to reality. Keep in mind that weight is *not* the major factor at 70-75 MPH, wind resistance is the major factor. Your little 6 cylinder SUV may tow fine at 55 MPH, but going 70-75 MPH is different ballgame for a trailer with a full sized frontal area.

    5) I have found RV dealers to be %&^$ing terrible, at least in Colorado. They are worse than any car dealer. They don't know their products, and they will lie to you about anything and everything to get a sale. After the sale, the service is ridiculously bad. I've heard story after story from other RV owners of all brands, even super high end ones. The industry is full of shysters. Buyer beware.

    6) Hopefully you won't be served with three different recalls like our Jayco has, and hopefully your dealer won't be so stupid as to require you to drive your trailer for an hour each way so they can "inspect" the unit before they actually order the parts, even though they have the VIN number and KNOW what parts they need, and KNOW they must be replaced. Then have fun trying to get an appointment scheduled after the parts arrive at the dealer, and sit for six weeks because they forgot to call you.

  57. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    After owning our little Jayco for a few years, I'll say this:

    1) Know how you are going to camp. A trailer that is great for commercial campgrounds with shore power and water/sewer hookups may not be as great for boondocking. Pay attention to the size of the water and gray/black tanks for example. The bigger the better if you are away from a dump station or hookup. How big are the battery or batteries, and the gas tank(s)?

    2) Get a 3-way refrigerator so you can keep things cold on the road. Actually look at the refrigerator and verify that it is three way, instead of relying on the BS the dealer is feeding you (more below).

    3) Manufacturers generally put crap tires on their trailers. Pay attention, or suffer the flat after midnight on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Be sure your spare has air in it.

    4) Do you really need a huge A/C on a small trailer? A little window unit can run on a 2000 watt generator, that huge roof unit will come in handy once a year when you are camping in the desert, but will require a much bigger generator if you are not on shore power. A/C is hands down the biggest power user. Also, the roof units add another foot to the overall height of the trailer.

    4) Be sure you have an adequate tow vehicle. Add 30% to any manufacturer weight rating on their trailer to be closer to reality. Keep in mind that weight is *not* the major factor at 70-75 MPH, wind resistance is the major factor. Your little 6 cylinder SUV may tow fine at 55 MPH, but going 70-75 MPH is different ballgame for a trailer with a full sized frontal area.

    5) I have found RV dealers to be %&^$ing terrible, at least in Colorado. They are worse than any car dealer. They don't know their products, and they will lie to you about anything and everything to get a sale. After the sale, the service is ridiculously bad. I've heard story after story from other RV owners of all brands, even super high end ones. The industry is full of shysters. Buyer beware.

    6) Hopefully you won't be served with three different recalls like our Jayco has, and hopefully your dealer won't be so stupid as to require you to drive your trailer for an hour each way so they can "inspect" the unit before they actually order the parts, even though they have the VIN number and KNOW what parts they need, and KNOW they must be replaced. Then have fun trying to get an appointment scheduled after the parts arrive at the dealer, and sit for six weeks because they forgot to call you.
    So glad I bought a small trailer directly from the guy who built it.

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  58. #158
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    I'll jump in.
    Ive been posting/learning in the Ford Truck and RV forums but I'm sure you'all have lots of RV knowledge here too.
    After months of research, Wife, dog and I are looking to purchase a toy hauler ( Cruiser Stryker 2613 ) and I have a special order F 350 6.2 due in any day. We've tent camped a ton over the years but are ready for a little convenience these days. After considering all the RV possibilities , truck camper / regular tow trailer camper / 5th wheel, weve decided on toy hauler simply to be able to store all toys worry free from the elements/ theft/ etc and we really like the open floor plans. Any of you taller people ever try sitting at a RV kitchen dinette???!!! They are built for 4' tall 10 year olds !!! The Strykers all have true King size beds too, a must have for us.
    Planning on boondocking through glamping / have the Onan gen as part of the Toy hauler purchase with planned upgrades to batteries/charger/bat monitor/ and eventually solar.
    We are total RV newbs so I plan on shorter / closer trips at first, while keeping close track of amps used so as to get a bead on upgrading battery bank / solar / etc .
    Only thing going in the "garage" will be three mountain bikes ( I just got into Mbiking about 4 years ago ) , and a bunch of surfboards/ Sups / kiteboarding gear / tools.
    Obviously looking to find rv camping at surf spots all over the East Coast at first, along with exploring places to mountain bike with big lakes near for Supping and possibly kiteboarding. We're also avid poker players so plan on using RV to boondock in the parking lots of Casinos everywhere, ( most allow and encourage it ).
    Ive never been out west in the summer so that will be a big part of the bucket list !!
    Do you'all have any suggestions as to camping possibilities? Will have 30' RV in tow and able to boondock.
    Ive been researching the State parks / RV camping places from Nova Scotia to Florida using google and "Hipcamp" but maybe someone has a gem they want to share?? Soem of these private RV parks are crazy with the costs and rules !!!
    Thanks for any help / suggestions !

  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by spleeft View Post
    Some of these private RV parks are crazy with the costs and rules !!!
    Thanks for any help / suggestions !
    You're not kidding about this. It's true pretty much anywhere, though.

    I think true boondocking (at least in the woods, not casino parking lots) is going to be tough for such a big camper in the east. Hell, mine is TINY and there aren't many boondock sites I can use in the southern Appalachians. I live here and ride past many roadside boondock sites - many of them can fit a camper van at most and only a couple have enough space for a smaller trailer like mine or a popup.

    It seems like many of the sites USED to be able to handle bigger campers on the roadside sites, but the land managers have placed big boulders to prevent that. I think at least some of that has happened within the past 15yrs. I think it has at least something to do with itinerant populations who push the limits of the usfs free roadside camping limits (2 weeks). Like the Rainbow Gathering types. I have definitely noticed since moving here that there's a population of people who use these free roadside sites and really take up RESIDENCE while they're using them.

    There's a fee-based primitive USFS campground nearby that can fit small trailers like mine, so at least I have those kinds of options. For you, though, I think even places like that might not work, because they don't have room for bigger campers.

    It seems to me like out west, you'll have better choices. IME with roadside sites in UT and AZ, that many of them fit bigger vehicles, and since public lands are more expansive, you get access to more/larger flatter sites. The terrrain works against you in the eastern national forests, I've seen. More tighter/twistier roads through more incised terrain leave the roadside sites perched a bit more precariously on hillsides or between the road and a cut wall.

  60. #160
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    I love my Promaster 118 van, it's my every day driver, hauls gear, construction materials, and takes care of us on trips. I can average 25mpg if I keep my foot out of the floor.

    I have a minumum build out, folding dinette, ventilation, and a fridge (pending). I still need to build the fridge cabinet and do some bulkhead storage, also thinking about a vertical bike mount with the front wheel off.

    Only thing I'd do on version two is go with a 136 high roof and have the bed ona platform that stows into the ceiling with a variable height so I can stow gear or bikes underneath when the bed is in use.

    The Promaster is a great all terrain vehicle for those who find the cost and mpg of the 4x4 Sprinter to be excessive.
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  61. #161
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    Alex's Van

    Geezzz....I can only add one YouTube at a time.

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  62. #162
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    Part 2

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  63. #163
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    Mike tells the truth, theres no such thing as perfect.

    After pop ups, tow behinds, tenting, we found that an efficient euro van to use as a daily driver and for for the occasional camping was a nice way to have our cake and eat it too.

    What we hated most about campers: they sit unused most of the time.

    What we love about a minimalist van conversion: it gets used everyday.

    Last weekend I was camping in Moab, now Im back at work, my bike and gear are safely stored in the van, so then after work I went riding and comfortably changed clothes at the trail head parking lot.

    This weekend Ill be hauling construction materials in the van, the following weekend were drving to SLC to see the kids.

    One van for all your lifestyles

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Every RV/camper is a basketful of compromises ...
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  64. #164
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    Great vids. thanks for sharing C2L.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  65. #165
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    I really like the offering afforded by having an RV, but most of my travels are remote backcountry FS roads with a significant healthy mix of 4x4 roads.

    Remote accessibility has its advantages. And, I have an upper deck to sleep on.

    RV thread-img_7103-i-resized.jpg RV thread-img_7108-i-resized.jpg
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  66. #166
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    C2l, put a pop up camper on that truck you have. They offer nice amenities in a pretty compact package that still allows you to get back into most dirt roads.

  67. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I really like the offering afforded by having an RV, but most of my travels are remote backcountry FS roads with a significant healthy mix of 4x4 roads.

    Remote accessibility has its advantages.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I put an insulated camper shell on my F150. I got the tallest one I could find that was not a flat out utility tool carrier type, a Century T-Class. It slopes up from front to back, and by the back window, I only have to crouch a little bit while standing. I have the 6.5 foot bed so sleeping inside works great.

    I use the F150 to tow my little camping trailer. We can park the trailer in a campground for a few days, and take 4x4 overnight trips, sleeping in the back of the truck.

    I need to get one of those little catalytic heaters for the back of the truck. Currently, if it is really cold, we take out generator and use it to run an electric heater, but that is a pain and overkill for what we need. We have a little 12V OTooCool fan to move air in summer, but sometimes we just sleep outside under the stars because it is too warm to sleep in back. We sleep on cots in the bed of the truck or outside, but I have thought about trying to rig a hammock back there. Hard to do, since you really don't want that kind of load on the walls of your shell.

    My next project for the truck is to build a platform that rests on the wheelwells so we can sleep on the platform and store stuff underneath.

  68. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I use the F150 to tow my little camping trailer. We can park the trailer in a campground for a few days, and take 4x4 overnight trips, sleeping in the back of the truck.

    I love this idea!!!! thanks

  69. #169
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    I forgot to share my first major addition to my camper. A propane tank and holder. 11gal, which should last awhile. For now, it's just for cooking. But I'm eventually going to install a propex heater for cold weather boondocking. Maybe an on-demand water heater, as well. But the propex will come first.


    0727181346 by Nate, on Flickr

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