Wave as you go by. Cabeza de Vaca is up on 8 jax in its shed as of today. (boo-hoo)
It is supposed to get down in the teens here and a foot of snow predicted for
Friday. It was 21F this AM. It's already down to 25 right now.
There are too many to list. We've been to hundreds of them. The thing to note is the variability of wonderful spots to camp. Of course I like the east side, Sierra Nevada as well as any, but we've had so many times where we pulled off down a jeep trail and found a quiet, pristine patch of ground to borrow for the night with a terrific view and natural surroundings.
View from our makeshift camp across from the the Grand Tetons:
A secluded spot off the Pinion Mt. jeep trail in the Anza Borrego:
If you want to stealth camp the odds are stacked against you with a popup. If the top is up everyone knows there is someone in there. Still, the real bonafide expert is Sleepy, but he will divulge no info on how he stealth camped for 1200+ nights all over the country. My advice is to camp in-plain-sight like under a streetlight on the street or in a well lit parking lot. And not way back in a dim corner,...right up front like you own the place. I have done a lot of jeeping around Phoenix and find a plethora of just-out-of-town places to camp with a quick return to city center ( if the traffic will allow). We spent a week east of Phx. at Florence Jct. and watched the sun set for the last time in the 20th century with the lights of Phx. just to the west.
It depends on how long between trips the TC is in limbo. If it's more than a couple weeks, I drain the water, blackwater, greywater, right away: purge and blow out the water system leaving the knife valves and big black cap open. Especially in warmer weather I have an issue with leaving any fresh water in the tank in storage. Once a year we purge and use bleach in the lines to clarify things. The TC has some detectors that use power whether you are there or not. I have flattened a couple camper batteries in the last 12 years and now disconnect the camper battery cables completely and use a float charger on it. One time i thought I would use the camper and did not over a four month period with everything power connected. My truck starting batts are all connected to the TC batt. with a #6 cable. They are all the same A.H. battery. All three batteries went down for the count and could not be resuscitated.
I don't think they make batteries like they used to, for whatever reason. I have a lot of trouble with batteries on all my machines: cars, trucks, jeeps, tractors. The man behind the counter at our local auto parts place said most are now outsourced to Mexico and don't do well in long term storage. Of course, he was trying to sell me float chargers and i went for it.
I've never left the TC connected to shore power except during the two days cool down of the fridge before liftoff and on the road in a full-hookups campground.
For me, not much. I now have a drill driver that has enough power to use the drill adapter for raising and lowering, very carefully. Remember for me I only lift it about 4 inches and then lower it 4 inches. The time consuming part is slowly backing into the very narrow shed (more like a sausage casing or, if you will a prophylactic) with the help of my Queen who is a great spotter. We have our signals down now. She points in the direction i must move since I have the mirrors folded in.
Have terrific luck on your quest!
I am happy you found a good solution, and so close to home.
How much does your camper weigh? I remember seeing it at Yosemite a few yrs. ago, but can't remember the details.
I have had similar good luck by just adding one more set of upper overloads (secondaries), Stable Loads, and the sway is very little; with or without the anti-sway bar attached. The anti-sway bar is a rear axle travel limiter with lots of recoil. You take the good with the bad.
Here's the way I see it: if you tighten up the rear axle springing and diminish the travel of said springs you will get less sway. The tradeoff is it limits the actual travel of the rear springs for going over undulating ground and getting your axles all twisted up. It puts more pressure on your front springs to do more travel. So, what to do? If there is a way to make the front springs more pliable (lower spring rate or graduated spring rate, or taller coils, in my case) and have a longer travel on the front to offset the rear axle, we might have something. This would allow for less frame twisting, which is, over time, the killer of tightly held TC' frames on standard pickup truck beds. Then, pulling on that string, you might have to have double shocks or remote reservoir shocks on the front to take up the slack, so to speak. I went all through this with my rock crawlers over a few decades of leaf springs trying to find the Valhalla of spring rates. I did find a greatly flexible set of front springs, but alas the tradeoff was a short lifespan. they will flex mightily, but are ephemeral.
"jefe and jamminalong,
So you never remove the camper from your truck or store it during off-season?
jefe: i estimate the box stays on about 8 months a year. The only time it really comes off is in mid- Winter and during the summer; times we don't TC, and if i'm needing the truck itself for wood gathering etc.. It's on right now ready to do two more trips before the snow gets too deep.
Putney: Or if you do, how long does it take to re-install the jacks on the camper?
jefe: about 30 minutes if you have all your hardware, 8x8 blocks, and tools ready to go. If i were not used to doing it, it would take a lot longer. I now take it off in a shed that is only 10 feet wide, so it's a bit more like crawling around the monkey bars than it used to be. It takes longer to re-install the camper than it does to take it off. The good news about the shed is that I do not lower the camper down once it's off the truck. It can't fall over. There is no snow load on it, no wind, and I can park my tractor bucket under the thing. I do use four drywall jax to stablize the thing once it's off, but to re-TC the truck i just remove the drywall jax and back under.
Putney: And I assume that the jacks are manual, not electric powered?
jefe: yes, manual jax. They weigh about 35 pounds each with no motor at all. With electric jax you would have to cut and splice in some high-bucks connectors/plugs.
I'm not sure now who needs camper guide info, so here's the info:
Do a search on this very site and find a plethora of homemade or shop made camper guides.
I think almost everyone of them is a better bet than the Lance camper guides. If you ever are going to get in an undulating, steep up or steep downhill, sidehill or axle crossing, frame twisting position, I would definitively opt for some kind of camper guides. They have saved my bacon over and over again.
Yes, the jax stay home. After the first time out with them on and whacking one of them on a passing rock, I faded back and punted. The jax never get off the property. The old-timers on here know me as the, "king-of-the-jax-off". Luckily, i only pulled one of the angle iron brackets askew, which I fixed with toothpix and filler, not bending the jack itself. I was, of course a rear jack, the one that has the most exposure when in rocky territory.
regards, as always, jefe
In thinking over the step problem, what about an aluminum ladder (like 1/2 of a step ladder) that hooks onto the threshold and stores on hooks on the ladder to the roof? If you have a to-roof ladder. It would be like an aluminum version of a ladder to the upper bunk on bunk beds, maybe with a small railing to hold on to on the opposite side of the door latch.
When i ripped my Glow steps off on a recent trip I had to stop at big box and buy a 4 rung step ladder to get me home. It was not very satisfactory with the big hoop on top. When I got home, i used a very lightweight aluminum step ladder I had at home to use until the repairs were done. It worked a lot better. But it was made in 1955, back when Tort was not in the language. I know it's a rr entry, but the height would be similar. Here is the old and the new;I just held onto the roof ladder when ascending;
Congrats on picking a 'form-follows-function' camper. Sounds like you did your homework and 'worried through' the process to get it right the first time out. A small hard side is hard to beat for serious, long term TC-ing. There are legions of soft-siders that will dispute that, but, opinions are like........every one has one.
Be sure to get the cold weather insulation package. I watched the vid and did not see any extra insulation when they opened the cabinet doors. In watching the vid, i got the impression that the narrator/camera operator was not very familiar with marketing.
The other thing, while you still have time, is to consider a three point flat bed. I'm SURE you can have something fabbed up for less than $12K with lots of storage boxes along the sides. If...you are not planning any off-road driving, a three-point has a lot less appeal. The common belief is that you cannot 3-point a standard pickup bed. You won't have to deal with that since you will have a flat bed. I have been thinking of a low profile, 3-point aluminum flat bed for my lowly Lance and build up some fold-up alum. sides for storage. It's been done before, but I want a lower profile on the bed to keep the weight as low as possible.
AFA the steps are concerned, my glowsteps are as good as it gets. Your wife will have trouble doing any TC-ing at all if she's worried about getting her hands soiled. Another thing is the adjustment of side steps for use at curbing. I'm sure you will worry-through all this. Do keep us posted on your progress. I like the way you think about procurement.
Again, congratulations on making a decision, one way or the other. Often, the worst decision is no decision.
regards, as always, jefe
Good job on the TC enclosure. You are lucky to have a lot of land on which to place said structure. Are you going with power? We're at 4000 feet east of Nevada City and had to plan in a 110 pound per square foot snow load for our TC shed. For a stick building that means preman trusses and diagonal bracing. Ours is a much smaller shed than your Cadillac.
We're going to camp Yosemite, Upper Pines on Dec. 6, 7, 8th. Any chance you would want to join us? It's surely a short jaunt from your place.
Anyone else out there want to go? There are no reservations after Dec. 3rd, so it's first come first served. It is pretty deserted that week (normally), no guarantee. I'm bringing my fire barrel and a lot of firewood for the occasion.
regards, as always, jefe
JM has some great observations about TC's.
After talking to 'Less stuff' Doug I believe he just hit the wall and was at the end of his course. There are reasons, like, spouse was not enamored of that lifestyle anymore; lot's of trouble with the early version of the Dmax; and just been-there-and-done-that too many times. I am not here to support my own opinion on the cost of doing TC business, but rather to say that life has its seasons; its ebb and flow; its time in the saddle; its following your star. The good news is he is still searching for a means of travel that will suit him and his time of life situation.
I can personally see the end of TC life for me and my queen: not imminent, but it is on the horizon. Once that is over, like Doug, it will be over. We now live in the place we used to vacation to and aspire to.
Since 1982 I have been building a world-class HOn3 narrow gage model railroad of the old school. I have spent 10,000 hours and a lot of money getting it up and learning much along the way. When I retired 6 years ago, I built a 1200 square foot dedicated building for it, hoping I could find local folks who could enjoy it with me. This has been elusive. I moved large sections of the old layout into the new building. Right now, I am at the point where the thrill is gone. It's too big an undertaking to do by myself and my focus has changed now that I don't need this as a hobby as an antidote to living in the big city. So, instead of just holding on to what I know in my heart is over, it will go away. Chalk it up to one of the 'seasons' of my life.
Doug, keep following your star.
regards, as always, jefe
I see less than one inch travel of my Lance struts, which are on a diagonal to the movement of the camper v. truck. I learned the hard way to disconnect them on bad roads. The short bed Dodge has little frame twist or deflection making the movement of the strut piston very small.