Cave Springs? Not ringing a bell and I thought I’d been everywhere. But 89A north is doable though I wouldn’t suggest taking it from Sedona to Flagstaff with a big rig. That was one of my favorite roads when I rode motorcycles because of the grades and tight curves. Some people claim to do it but I can’t believe they manage to stay in their own lane and they likely acquire a trail of hostile solo drivers, especially going uphill.Your phone should work OK, again the only questionable area might be the Sedona-Flagstaff stretch which is somewhat less than 30 miles.
After posting I realized that route takes you over Mingus Mountain and through Jerome, an emphatic no for a big rig.Sorry for the sloppiness.
I don’t do interstates much but when I do I run about 60mph or slightly higher. With grades and such I average 52 to 58mph. Overall, counting stops I average about 10mph slower unless the granddaughters are with me, then its 15mph.
Off interstates it can vary all over the place. A good, flat and straight highway will be very similar to the interstate speeds except my overall is a little slower because there’s more to see. A common trip on the more mountainous roads I’d typically average 40mph driving and 35 overall though I've seen as low as the low 20's.
I think most people who boondock have a love for the outdoors and prefer camping in unspoiled country where there’s little human activity. There are other advantages, too, the freedom to stop anywhere any time without your day being dictated by reservations, not caring whether a campground may be full, and so on.
Tonyandkaren make a good point about the distinction between dry camping and boondocking. Almost all of my camping is dry camping in the western national forests, whether it is in a campground or just a spot I pick in the boonies. But I prefer boondocking and the rougher, wilder and more remote the country the more attractive it is. Subject of course to getting my little TT back in without shaking it to pieces on rough roads.
Small units, good ground clearance, big tanks, etc. are all advantages in boondocking. But they’re not necessary as long as one uses good judgment where they go and don’t overextend themselves. And you don’t have to go into remote areas to boondock, there are many opportunities much closer to the pavement. The biggest change will be you won’t have hookups and you’ll have to adjust to not having all the comforts and amenities of home. You’ll have to be more frugal with all your resources, somewhat similar to if you were tent camping. But if you try it you’ll find a whole new world out there and it can be addictive.
On a TT that old book values aren’t very useful, condition is paramount. It wouldn’t be unusual at all for a nice one to sell for well above book. I usually try to find similar units for sale to get some sort of benchmark. Or see what other units that amount of money would buy me. I agree with downtheroad’s approach, he knows a buyer will probably want to negotiate and he’s likely to settle for less.
If it’s within the specs of your TV you could pull it. Personally, it’s far heavier than I’d WANT to pull. But I spend a lot of time in mountains and have a low tolerance for slow, high rpm climbs up grades. Someone who travels the flatlands or is more tolerant of that may feel differently.
I’m an old paper map guy, too, and a gps is recent technology. Relatively speaking. I have both a hand held one for hiking and one I use in my vehicle. But when hiking, the map and compass is my serious locator and the gps is a toy I enjoy using but wouldn’t put my faith in.
It’s somewhat the same for on the road. I like the feature that tells me very accurately what time I’ll reach my destination. And it usually works well finding addresses in unfamiliar areas. On the other hand it constantly tries to route me on a freeway which as a rule I try to avoid. So it is constantly “recalculating”. Then, too, I may see an interesting road, usually secondary or less and take off down it. And again we go through the relentless “recalculating” until the DW has enough and says shut that d___ thing off. My own experience has been that they work well on highways but as soon as you get off on lesser roads lord knows where you’ll wind up. I’ve wound up in cul-de-sacs and dead ends just following the gps to see where it wants to take me. Doesn’t take a lot to entertain me.:)
I’ve used maps most of my life and do just fine with them, if gps disappeared it would have negligible impact on me. Other than the attributes I mentioned above. I have a small rig, too, so low clearance roads aren’t an issue to me as they may be with a big RV.
So my bottom line attitude is that the hand held is useful if I want to pin down a particular latitude and longitude in the boonies. But maybe even dangerous if it fails there and one has no other skills of finding their location. On the road it works good on the common developed areas but is near useless when you get out of that arena.
I pull a 3000# loaded TT with an F150 5.4 4x4 with a 3:55 rear axle and 17" tires. I spend a lot of time in the mountains and rarely ever see the rpm you mention. It gets in the 3’s on good long grades but 4000 would be pretty rare. And I’d remember it if it happened because I really dislike climbing grades with my rpm wrapped up.
I agree with other posters, if you have ST tires they’re only rated for 65 mph and you need to slow down. Likewise, don’t tow in od, I can get away with it on really flat ground otherwise it starts hunting and that’s hard on the transmission. I don’t use cruise either, towing. I find it more efficient to gain excess speed as I approach a hill, then give it some more gas as I start up, then hold it. Often I top out at a reasonable speed without downshifting at all.
You say you’re told the TT weighs about 2800# so I assume you haven’t weighed it. That’s something I’d do so you know what you’re really working with. Load it up with all the weight you’d take on a trip and weigh it with the TT attached and then the TV alone. You can do that at a truck stop for about $8.00. I’m sure you’ll be heavier than me but not so much you should struggle compared to mine. 4000 rpm should not hurt your truck; the engines are capable of running high rpm so in that sense you probably are being too cautious. But I don’t like listening to it either.
With a TC especially I’d want one. I don’t imagine you plan on staying in parks with FHU routinely where a MW might substitute. We’d be lost without ours since we dry camp a lot and I wouldn’t operate a generator to run a MW. Even at home I use the oven over the MW if I have the option. We cook meals, make pizzas, and have made birthday cakes in it on occasion, some things a MW just doesn’t do well.
In January I think you’ll be looking at the low elevation desert lakes in the Phoenix region. The lakes further north are nice and there are a lot of national forest campgrounds there. But there will be a lot of snow and it will be colder than a well diggers’ behind. Bartlett Lake in just NO Phoenix on national forest land and has an area you can camp in. I think most of those lakes rent boats but that would warrant follow up, it’s not something I’ve paid much attention to.
There’s also a string of lakes of increasing elevation EO Phoenix that ends at Roosevelt Lake. But they’re along the Apache Trail and I wouldn’t recommend taking any MH or any other large vehicles on that road. But you could get to the southernmost one, Canyon Lake. And there is a state park not far from the lake, the Lost Dutchman.
I can’t say I’ve noticed any inflatable’s on the lakes, but again, not something I’ve paid attention to. I know of no reason someone couldn’t use one. Another area you could check out once you narrow down where you’re going. There are some restrictions on motors, but I believe those only apply to the more pristine lakes up north.
I just use scrap ¾” plywood cut to a size somewhat bigger than my tires and I carry enough for about 5” of lift. Only because I camp on rougher ground than you find in a typical campground. I’ve since used the plastic levelers, too, but I found they tend to break on rough ground. So I still use a piece of wood on the bottom to take the stresses. Oh, and I waterproof the wood so it lasts quite a while. I even use wood or the levelers on the tongue jack but I’m thinking of getting one similar to the one mentioned by downtheroad.
I saw my first tornado when I was 18 and in the service in KY. It woke me up in the middle of the night because the roof bowed up and separated from the side and rain came in on my face. Then a freight train came through the barracks.:D There was so much lightening it was light outside with flashes of dark and I could see garbage cans, shingles and other junk going horizontally past my second story window.
We just sat it out because there was no place to go, but it made a real impression on me. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near an RV or vehicle if one came through. In the boonies I’d probably head for the nearest roughest ravine, otherwise I’d head for a shelter. But actually, where I typically camp isn’t tornado country although I’ve been through some pretty ferocious storms in the mountains.
They have a pretty effective tracking mechanism in tornado country and a lot of experience dealing with them. You can merely ask what the procedure is and where to go if one comes through and you should get good information. My experience is limited. One of my son’s family lives in Edmond, OK and we visit every year. Invariably at some point we’re watching the tv tracking tornadoes in the area and preparing to head for a shelter. So far so good though we’ve had some get uncomfortably close.
That would get me a full week if I was really frugal. The battery is my limiting factor. I don’t recall ever filling my tanks in that time and the water would be adequate. Typically, though, I usually run a day or so short of that. If the granddaughters are with me it’s another story, it seems like I’m constantly refilling water. But I’ve taken up having them refill 5 gallon water containers and carrying them to the TT so that tempers it somewhat. Of course that only works if I’m near a water source.
I don’t carry a generator so I don’t have ac or a furnace. But I camp high enough ac isn’t needed and I’ve done so many winter hunting trips the cold doesn’t bother me. By the time the DW gets up I have the little 16’ TT warm just making coffee.
I’ve had years when I was camping two to three weekends a month. And I’ve had years where I never got out at all. But I held on to the camper because I considered those bad times an aberration. And they were.
And Eycom makes a good point. If camping with the boy is important you need to do it now, in a few years he’ll be obsessed with girls and his peers and won’t want to go. Of course you can do like me, wait long enough and the grandkids come along and you can start over again. But I suspect if you take a hard look at your schedule you’ll find some things that in the final analysis aren’t all that important and you’ll be able to get out more.
I think I was lucky; I got almost a perfect fit the first time. Although a small Nash would be a temptation. But the only things I would do different today would be four season, dual deep cycle batteries and LED lights. And those weren’t available in 1989.
It’s very evident by now that people eat while camping very similar to the way they eat at home except maybe a little simpler. I don’t care for “prepared” foods so we only carry enough of that for emergency rations. The DW makes some meals and freezes them, enough for a few days, and that and meats are put in the freezer. The more perishable foods are eaten first and we restock as we travel. And of course, we barbeque foods like hamburgers and steaks.
We have a small TT with little in the way of household appliances – no tv, microwave, toaster, coffee pot, etc. But we don’t miss them, a tv and microwave would be useless weight and my tent camping toaster and coffee perk do a good job. But our oven gets a workout, everything from meals to birthday cakes.
The only difficulty I have is with one of my eccentricities. I grew up in a constant state of indigestion from eating warm, home baked bread and even today in my 70’s I can barely get down the bread from a grocery store. At home I get it almost daily from a mom and pop bakery, but that doesn’t work too well camping. So my bread consumption drops radically then, although we circumvent it by often making biscuits in the oven. The DW hasn’t tried making bread in the oven and I think that’s a good decision, there’s no telling where that might lead. :)
I’ve camped in national forest campgrounds just off the pavement with units as big as 30’+. And I’ve camped in other areas where you won’t find anything remotely approaching 25’. I pull a 16’ TT and I chose that size because I do a lot of boondocking in the mountains and I wanted a minimum of restrictions on where I could go. I think I could go to about 19’ without a big impact, after that the restrictions would be more than I’m willing to accept. My feeling is that if you want to frequent the national forests you need to stay below 25’ and given the narrow forest roads and heavy trees that could be a real handful to maneuver.
National parks typically have multiple campgrounds so you have much more latitude although the same rule holds true, the bigger you are the fewer places you can fit. State parks can vary all over the place, some can handle 35’ and others 20’ may be max. If I weren’t such an avid NF camper and wanted more space and amenities I’d probably set my maximum limit at 24’.
Ground clearance can be a problem if you take forest roads or unimproved ones to boondock. If you do that you don’t want small tires and low ground clearances. It also sounds like you want a four season TT, which narrows the field down a lot. I like Northwood because they’re built to go off pavement and I hear Lance mentioned a lot. And there are others out there I’m not familiar with. Good luck with your decision.
I don’t expect big rigs to climb long grades at 55 mph and if they have to crawl up a hill it doesn’t bother me. But I think I know where Desert Captain is coming from, we travel the same roads. And it’s not the speed the rig is going, it’s that they’re not conscious of what’s around them, or are too self centered to care, and they don’t take the opportunity to move over and try to let people who don’t have to crawl up the hill get around them. I’ve driven for miles with a long line of cars backed up behind a big, slow rig while he avoids getting on the shoulder and passes pull offs where he could let people go around him. That generates the get a bigger TV or get off the road attitude.
A pet peeve is the 18 wheeler who can only manage about 5 mph more than the one he’s passing and he blocks the fast lane for long distances. In that case I think jail time because it is dangerous; especially where the road is curvy or hilly and a car going much faster can be on top of him in a heartbeat. I drive a lot of mountain roads and I generally don’t drive them fast – towing. But if I gather a couple of vehicles behind me I’ll move on the shoulder or take a pull off to let them get by. Nothing to do with the law or fear of angering anyone, just a courtesy. I can drive however I please within reason, but they’re not obligated to be restricted by my driving. If I get po’d at someone it’s likely they have the attitude I am obligated to patiently plod along behind them until they get in the mood to move over. The only exception is single lane mountain roads, then my feeling is if you can’t maintain a reasonable speed, get off, period. JMO.
Geeze, I’ve made so many I’ve probably forgotten most of them.
Make sure you hook up your breakaway cable well or you’ll be replacing it in Salt Lake City.
Don’t try to center a crossing skunk in the road, you chains will hit him. Again in Utah.
Watch for big holes in dirt roads at night or your frig door hinges will break and scatter food around your TT. H-m-m, again in Utah.
When skunks play under your PU in Capital Reef NP in Utah don’t disturb them, let them play. No harm done but just a warning.
Don’t leave your camera sit on the PU roof and drive away. The kids scream and holler and it’s distracting. Probably the reason you left it there in the first place. Somewhere in the west.
Check and grease your PU wheel bearing before the trip. Or while your DW visits a chef friend at a resort in Grand Junction and samples pastries you’ll be in the parking lot replacing bearings.
Don’t step out of the truck camper at a stop to take pictures without telling your wife, who’s driving. Didn’t happen to me, I discovered it when I stopped in Yosemite and this fellow knew all the good spots to stand to get the best pictures. He’s been there for hours waiting for her to discover he was gone and figure out where he could have gotten out. To answer your first question, it predated cell phones.
Don’t drive too long and pull off the road to sleep in your PU. Local rif raf may activate your booby trap and scare the bejesus out of themselves and wake you up in a bad humor. Montana.
Don’t take a heavy, wooden PU without brakes over Teton Pass unless you really enjoy no TV brakes and the mother of all adrenalin rushes. Wyoming.
Make sure you have a solid sewer line hookup every time or very fast reflexes.
Make sure you have a solid jack support and the wheels chocked well or be young enough to pick up a 300+# hitch and hold it with one hand while you replace it. Worse, don’t do it twice in a row, it amuses the neighbor boy who is young enough to pick it up. Phoenix.
Don’t spend too much time in Utah or you may be writing one of these lists.:D
Towing with my 2001 F150 5.4 4x4, 21.4 from Winslow to Phoenix. That was the highly suspicious single tank mileage. But the norm is 14.2-14.4 including a lot of mountain towing and in town. Solo, 23 across northern LA, again the infamous single tank.