You can find these in Alaska, too. The vehicle is basically a group of tiny sleeping berths. Pretty much a bed in a cubby with some cabinets. Up front are typical bus seats. No bathrooms or cooking facilities. They set up huge awnings and cook/eat/gather under them. Bathrooms are provided at whatever campground they are at. Where we have seen them in AK, they are in non-hookup spots in commercial campgrounds. Pretty much parked in the largest grassiest area they can find....
We've also seen those all-terrain type RV's in Alaska. Most carrying tags from foreign countries. They also either do not have holding tanks for grey and black water, or they purposely leave them open. We were camped next to one in Tok, and EVERYTHING just came out the bottom onto the ground below the RV. And I mean everything.
For those of you wanting to improve the performance of your CB, there are shops around that can "tune" it for you, and get you set up with the right antennas to improve reception. Get on 19 and ask a trucker. Sometimes truckstops will have a small shop near them, or on the property. DH gets all our CB's "fixed" that way. We have one in every vehicle, and they are STILL more usefull than cell phones for certain things.
CB's have literally saved our lives before when we were involved in a road rage incident for ~40 miles. Two guys high on drugs were trying to car-jack us on I-40. Because we had a CB, we were able to communicate with nearby truckers, who literally saved us by blocking the road rage guys. The truckers even pinned the carjackers onto a concrete bridge so the HP could drag them out of the car and arrest them. Try doing that with your Smartphone. And yes, I was on my cell phone with 911 the whole time. 911 kept telling me to pull over and talk to the guys. Ha!
We will ALWAYS have CB's.
We are residents of Alaska. We've lived in the lower 48 for the last few years, and have bought several vehicles and a toyhauler here. We pay zero sales tax at the time of purchase. When we register the vehicles in Alaska, we pay no sales tax, either. For example - we just bought a 2011 Kia Sorento here in MD. The only document was a sales sheet (paid cash), and there was no sales tax anywhere on it. Cost for a 2-year registration (vanity plates) in Alaska? $135
One thing you CAN get at Fred Meyer's (at least in Eagle River/Anchorage) is local produce from the Mat-Su Valley. They sell carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and I *think* the cauliflower and broccoli are local, too. This is all IN SEASON - not necessarily year-round. IIRC, they did a pretty good job of labeling them locally grown. The difference in taste is unreal - the carrots especially. They are like sugar candy, and never, ever have that nasty woody center. And they are humongous, too.
Take a look at Consumer Reports ratings before you go "smart". Just sayin'!
We meet other Smart owners all the time. Everywhere we go, other owners stop us and chat. And we stop other owners, too. We still haven't met an unsatisfied owner. The only criticism we've ever heard is from NON-owners.
We bought ours new in Oct 2011 and have zero complaints about it. It is DH's daily driver, and he never gets below 42mpg in it. Usually it gets closer to 47 mpg - and that is hand calculating every tank. I think it has 23K miles on it now???
He's driven it in every condition imaginable, on good roads and bad, and he still loves it. He commutes to Washington DC, and feels completely safe doing so.
We had one installed at our home here in MD last September. We made the purchase contract thru a local Ace Hardware, and the carport was installed by a company out of NC called Newmart Builders. It wasn't the best experience...
The Ace Hardware employees (even the manager) have NO CLUE what they are doing on the order form if you want a "custom" unit vs. the standard cookie-cutter $795 unit. They totally screwed up our order. Told us we didn't need things, charged us for stuff we didn't get...
The installation crew was prompt and professional, but... They completely dropped the ball because they KNEW what we ordered wasn't correct, yet they installed it anyway. They *should* have spoken up and installed it correctly, including the "included in price" bracing that wasn't correctly marked on the order sheet.
The crew failed AGAIN, when they came back out 3 weeks later to install some parts we had paid for but hadn't received in the first shipment. Again, they didn't correct the original structural issues with the carport.
So, along comes a windy wet snowstorm on March 6th, 2013. The carport starts tipping over/leaning to the west - we have to move the trucks out and brace it as best we can with heavy ratchet straps and T-posts. We called the company, and they were actually VERY apologetic that not once, but THREE times our carport was overlooked and not installed right. They sent out a crew ASAP (which ended up being 10 days or so later) and fixed the carport for a minimum charge ($75). But even then, *I* had to tell the crew to install more parts, they were going to leave after only doing half the work.
So.... Do your homework. Order from someone who KNOWS what they are doing. Familiarize yourself with all the terminology and parts, and don't believe it when the salesperson/installer says "nah, you don't need that".
Cost wise, our carport was $2600. It is 24Dx26Wx10H. Being that size requires additional bracing, which is what was missing during install.
For the tarps... there used to be a guy on OKC Craigslist that was selling used billboard signs (basically massive tarps measuring about 12'x40') for $30 or so. He posted pretty continuously - must have had a constant supply of them. I moved from Moore to DC in May 2012, so I haven't been checking OKC Craigslist lately.
Our Crossroads fiver had a hide-a-bed "couch" that was really more like an oversized loveseat. It, too, was sinking and would swallow you up. We took it out and replaced it with a wall-away style reclining loveseat. Clearance purchase at furniture store - I think it was $500 or so. Weighed less than the couch that came with the fiver, and was easier to get in the door because the back came off.
When we sold the fiver, we pulled the reclining loveseat out and kept it, because it was so comfortable. Replaced it with another purchase from the clearance section of a furniture store - spent $125 on a middle section (no ends) of an extremely expensive sectional couch. It had been damaged during delivery - a small hole was torn in the fabric in the back. Couldn't tell when it was installed. It filled the space perfectly, with about 1/4" clearance on each end - put some pillows at the ends for armrests and it was good to go. It was SOOOO comfortable - even moreso than the reclining loveseat we took out.
Shop around. Take measurements of the space you need to fill, and the doors you need to get thru. You can often find better quality, more comfortable furniture for not much money!
You also have to consider the strength of the storm you are sheltering from. In most cases, you CAN ride out a tornado that is EF2 or below in a GOOD cinder/concrete block constructed building, or even a small interior room of a stick-built house. It is when the big ones hit that you need more substantial shelter, and being underground is safest. In the past, statistics show those tornadoes occur LESS THAN 1% OF THE TIME. But, as the weather has shown in the last few weeks, things seem to be changing. Your best bet is to listen to the LOCAL weather people, NOT a NOAA radio when the storm gets close. NOAA radios only repeat what is fed into them, whereas a local TV station is going to give you up to the second details of the storm. If you are lucky, the weathermen will be the caliber of those that broadcast in OKC, and have the same diagnostic equipment. (I know they DON'T have a clue OR the equipment here in DC - we are all just sitting ducks.)
As for above ground shelters.... I honestly would rather crawl into a culvert with the snakes before I hid from an F4 or 5 in an above ground shelter. There is no lab that can simulate a semi, or crude oil storage tank, being slammed into an above ground structure at +200mph. I don't give a rats butt that it can withstand a 2x4 at 300mph in a lab - there are LOTS bigger "missiles" in the real thing.
I was in Moore during the May 3rd 1999 tornado, and I have never stopped learning and educating myself about tornados since. The tornado spared our house with minor damage, but completely wiped our horse boarding facility at Tinker AFB off the map.
We also carry a Smart car in our Voltage. Fits just fine, with room to get in/out of the vehicle in the garage. Not too bad to strap down. Has enough clearance on the ramp going in and out, and is within weight ratings. I'll see if I can dig up a picture.
Our handrail can be disengaged from inside the TT. Access from slide window on screen door. Lift up and flip around, very simple
That won't work if the main door is shut... There is no way to reach thru the main outside door to reach the handle.
There is a really nice state park (Smallwood State Park) about 15 miles west of LaPlata, MD (which is about 12 miles north of the Harry Nice Bridge). You would take Hwy 225 (Hawthorne Rd) and then Hwy 224 (Chicamuxen Rd) to get to the state park, so it is all easy driving on super wide 2-lane roads.
We live about 7 miles from Smallwood State Park, so we stay often. Huge sites, water + 30amp, dump site on your way out. VERY quiet. We have a 43' long fifth wheel that is 13'6" tall and we can fit on a bunch of the sites, even though they say max length 30'. The sites have enough room for the camper, tow vehicle AND an extra vehicle.
Oh, and the previous poster, that suggested a toddler falling out the front door would not do much injury/damage - WRONG. Some camping friends of ours had that happen a few years ago to their child, and a trip to the emergency room of the hospital was the result. You do NOT want them pushing that door open and falling out unintentionally.
Those folding steps have WAY to many narrow metal edges that are perfect for splitting lips and heads open as the kid tumbles down.
Kids do tend to "bounce" pretty well, but I would NEVER consider letting them fall out the door of a fiver to be an acceptable method of training or punishment. My fiver door (every one in every camper) has/had a lock on it to prevent my kids from falling out.
I carry a Good Sam Roadside Assistance card. I've had to use it twice and the service was prompt. And its a lot lighter than carrying a 5 ton bottle jack around. :)
The only problem is that the OP is in Alaska. I'm not sure where in Alaska, but if it is an "inherited" fiver, it may well be off the beaten path, parked for a long time. Would roadside assistance even apply to that scenario?
And even if it is directly on the road system of Alaska, roadside assistance could well be several HUNDRED miles away. You are better off being prepared in Alaska...
My two oldest are 29 yrs (Arab gelding) and 37 yrs (MorganxQH gelding). The Arab has Cushings, also. He has been on Pergolide and now Prascend for years. Costs a bunch, but I've owned him since he and I were "little kids" so he deserves it.
I have researched and experimented with feeds a lot over the last 5 years or so. Purina and Nutrena have a large advertising budget, but it doesn't mean they are making the best product. Yes, Equine Sr. DOES work for a lot of old horses, but it is not necessarily the best out there. Nor is the Kent company line (Blue Seal).
I've found the smaller "specialty" companies do a better job at quality control, and provide a more nutritious product. Buckeye, Progressive, Triple Crown, etc.
Currently, I am feeding Triple Crown Timothy Balancer Cubes (which are made by Ontario Denghe - they might be the company Rockhillmanor was using) and Triple Crown Senior. The balancer cubes are smaller and softer than traditional cubes, and have an added vitamin/mineral profile designed by the Cushing's expert Dr. Eleanor Kellon.
I feed 50-75% LESS of the Triple Crown Sr. than I did of other products, because it is so nutrient dense. It is also extremely palatable - I was having trouble getting my guys to "clean their plates" with the other feeds, but with Triple Crown, they devour every spec. I have also not had a single episode of diarrhea since starting the Triple Crown feeds, when it was a daily occurrence previously.
My old guys literally have no molars left, so everything has to be soaked to be consumed. They do have 24/7 hay (in winter) and pasture in summer. They don't digest much of either, though - most of it just gets quidded and spit out. They also get a joint supplement, probiotics and Omega 3 supplement.
They are both still ridden lightly, they are in that good of shape!
I'm no help. Our 120# Anatolian LGD could never be a camping dog. She HATES riding in vehicles.... In fact, her annual vet apt is tomorrow, and I am seriously considering putting her in the 36' gooseneck horsetrailer and transporting her that way vs. wrestling her into a crate in the bed of the truck....
There are smaller bells available, too. They are used on bird hunting dogs - they have a loop to slip on the collar, or a snap. Even though they are small, they are loud.
But, I know I would not have the courage to take my dogs into a wilderness area unleashed. It is for their safety and yours, like others said. There are all kinds of leashes and harnesses available that are designed to be "hands-free" for people who run with their dogs. They are worth looking in to.
One thing you will find in Oklahoma and Kansas, is that when the weather gets rough, the local TV stations interrupt regular broadcasting, and just do weather until the threat passes. Even if that means all night. No commercials, JUST weather - alternating between broadcasts from the studio and airborne/ground spotters. It is amazing. They will zoom in on the storms, right down to the street intersections, and show you exactly which direction it is going. As long as you know where you are in reference to their map, you should be able to evaluate how much danger you are in.
NOAA weather radios are good, but they just repeat info plugged into them. It is VERY hard to discern where the storms are just by using a weather radio if you are unfamiliar with the area/counties. Also, unless you have your weather radio set for the alerts in the counties surrounding you, it will be going off for every warning within it's signal range, even if that warning is 100+ miles away. I would suggest you rely more on the local TV channels.
The technology is present now to allow forecasters to "know" when the storms will be bad. The forecasters then share this info, and make sure the public knows the area is at an increased risk for dangerous tornados. If you here them discussing how tomorrow evening might be bad, take note, they aren't kidding....
Hopefully, your campground owner will be a local native, and he/she will know what you need to do. Ask when you check in - sometimes there are local public shelters, though often you cannot take pets. The campground *may* have a tornado shelter on the property, but don't bank on it. The construction requirements and associated insurance costs make shelters pretty impossible for the private owner. At least that was our experience up until our family sold our campground in 2007.