Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: pop-ups and bears

Posted By: nancyroa on 07/11/11 06:11pm

Our truck: 2005 GMC 3/4 ton sierra, short bed.

We are looking at hardshell sliders like the eagle cap 850, or a popup like the hallmark everest or ute. The hardshell options are right at our weight limit. The popups give us more 'give' to carry extra stuff or add options. I've been leaning towards a popup because I always have extra stuff to bring :-) My husband likes the hardshell because he likes a solid wall between him and critters.

Our old 'camper' was a pop-top eurovan ... we cooked outside and since it didn't go off-road, we kept food in the bear cabinets if needed. I've read reports of trips in bear country in pop-ups, so I know it works ... but how? My experience with bears is "if we want in, we come in".

We're getting a TC because:
* hoisting up to the bed in a eurovan gets old when you wake up 6-7 times/night
* we want to go 4wd places, and a eurovan just doesn't do that, much to my disgust.


Posted By: SkipJ on 07/11/11 06:26pm

Just a comment, at Yellowstone NP you can only camp in the full hookup campground in solid side campers. I don't know if this is common in NP's. We are planning on going to Glacier NP in a few weeks and we will find out if we can camp anywhere with our Outfitter soft side TC.
SkipJ


1992 Airstream B-190 van
1989 Airstream 25' Excella Trailer
Outfitter Apex 9.5 Truck Camper Ford F-350 Diesel 4x4



Posted By: skipnchar on 07/11/11 07:22pm

Critters don't want in your trailer. Keep a clean camp and follow locally posted rules for NOT attracting "critters" and you'll be just fine. Remember, your camping neighbor may well be in a tent. Neither a pop up, hard sided trailer or tent will prevent a critter from entering if they WANT to but believe me, they don't. Just remember, ONE bear attach in Yellowstone in the last 25 years gives you pretty darned good odds. MUCH better odds than your making it to the campground without being in a traffic accident. How many of THOSE do you think may have happened in that same 25 year period?

AS for not being able to camp in Yellowstone with a pop up, that's nonsense as there is only one campground that regularly limits pop ups.


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population



Posted By: s1214 on 07/11/11 06:43pm

Try this thread for a some info before it wandered off topic a bit: thread


Posted By: Photomike on 07/11/11 07:34pm

I have camped in bear country for years, most of it in a tent, it has never been a problem.. My Dad has camped in a VW van (with the pop up top) in Waterton, Glacier and Yellowstone for the last 28 years and he always had food in the VW no problems. He also would leave the van for weeks at a time parked around the parks (with the roof down of course) while he hiked and never had an issue.

That being said you will hear all the horror stories, many from people that seldom, if ever, camp in bear country, and many that are not based on fact.

Keep the camper clean, put fragrant food away in airtight containers, be cautious when eating (don't spill bacon grease on the floor) and you will be fine. The thing that I like for a pop up in bear country is that the fabric is a long way up and would be hard for a bear to reach and keep their balance, unlike a tent that is at feeding height


2002 GMC 2500HD 4x4 4 Door
1992 Northern Lite 9'- 6" Camper with cargo trailer for hauling supplies
Advanced Elements Kayaks
Border Collie Guard Dog

Paterson Photography Web Site



Posted By: coolmom42 on 07/11/11 07:33pm

If you camp in a tent or pop-up or soft-side camper in Yellowstone, Glacier, or any other areas with bear populations (including black bear areas in the Eastern US), you MUST repeat MUST store your food, cosmetics, toiletries, coolers, etc in a hard-side vehicle, or in the provided bear boxes.

If I'm going to go through all that hassle with the bear box, I would just as soon stick with a tent. That is one of the main reasons we didn't get a popup.


2006 Toyota Sienna
Single empty-nester in Middle TN


Posted By: mowermech on 07/11/11 08:19pm

Again, it is quite simple:
1. The parks have rules.
2. Obey the rules.
No problem.


CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad 1: '06 PT Cruiser, Kar Kaddy dolly
Toy (and Toad 2): 2001 Dodge QC SWB, 360 Magnum, Auto, 4X4
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"


Posted By: Terryallan on 07/11/11 08:51pm

Actually, the last fatal bear attack was July 7 2011, at 6:12 AM. That was in Yellowstone. According to the news story. There were 3 others in the area around Yellowstone in the last year. Just not inside the park.

This is one of the reasons, We do not cook inside the TT. And when in bear country. We keep no toothpaste inside either. We've never been attacked. But we don't act as bait either.


Terry & Shay
Coachman Apex 288BH.
04 F150, 5.4, Lariat SuperCab
Lazy Campers



Posted By: billtex on 07/11/11 07:36pm

Welcome!
Not sure what you looked at for pop-ups...but don't be fooled into thinking they are much lighter.
A well equipped pop-up will weigh every bit as much as a non-slide hard side.
You could get a stripped down, light pop-up...but your comparison was to the EC hard side so I suspect this is not what you have in mind.
Post some more details and we can offer some more specific advice.
Your truck will handle the right hard side just fine...

Besides...we all know bears love pop-up flavor

Visit TC University for some good readin'

Bill


2006 Chevy D/A CC
Eagle Cap 850
25'Airstream Excella
"Good People Drink Good Beer"-Hunter S Thompson


Posted By: Geewizard on 07/11/11 07:41pm

..

* This post was edited 07/11/11 08:26pm by Geewizard *


Outfitter Apex 8
Toyota Tundra Double Cab

Mt Robson, Canada 2004


Posted By: seldomseensmith on 07/11/11 07:54pm

coolmom42 wrote:

If you camp in a tent or pop-up or soft-side camper in Yellowstone, Glacier, or any other areas with bear populations (including black bear areas in the Eastern US), you MUST repeat MUST store your food, cosmetics, toiletries, coolers, etc in a hard-side vehicle, or in the provided bear boxes.

If I'm going to go through all that hassle with the bear box, I would just as soon stick with a tent. That is one of the main reasons we didn't get a popup.


This topic comes up several times a year, and every time someone insists that using a pop-up TC in bear country is akin to hanging a pork chop around your neck while poking a bear with a stick.... it's utter nonsense.

Please show me factual information regarding bear attacks on any pop-up TCs. I'm not saying bears are not attracted to people in campgrounds, because they are. Bears have learned to associate humans with food in places where people are careless, and when a bear becomes a nuisance it is either relocated or more frequently euthanized.

The regulations in Yellowstone were developed YEARS ago in response to tent trailers, which were seen as vulnerable to penetration by aggressive bears. Like a tent they have soft walls that can be easily reached by an average sized bear, so it makes sense to minimize the risk of having someone injured or killed by the very rare bear encounter.

Pop-up TCs have walls that are much higher - on my truck I can't reach the upper section where the hard wall ends and the fabric begins with my outstretched arm, and I'm no midget. A bear would have to be freakishly large to be able to enter my camper in any way except through the door, which is a distinct possibility with ANY TC.

Perpetuating the falsehood that pop-up TCs are somehow less safe in bear country does a disservice to those for whom a pop-up is a viable option. There is no RV that is safe from a very determined bear, period. And let's face it - how many actual bear intrusions into TCs have you read about recently? Anyone?


The Road Goes Ever On



2008 F250 SD 4x4 Supercab, Detroit TrueTrac, Hellwig LP 35, 2006 Outfitter Caribou 6.5



Posted By: trails2004 on 07/11/11 08:39pm

pop ups and bears -OH MY

In all reality if a bear wants in-- he is gonna get in- stick built- canvas built-aluminum built or cinder block- give the bear a reason-- THEY WILL GET IN


Posted By: bka0721 on 07/11/11 08:25pm

seldomseensmith X2

I have backpacked in grizzly bear country since 1969 and raised my kids, backpacking all their lives in grizzly bear country. We survived as we knew how to behave in their world. Follow good common sense and the information given you, in the area you are traveling through and you will be fine too. If you are too concerned, adjust where you go camping in your Truck Camper and avoid the bear country.

Oh, yeah. The comment about bear attacks being 25 years ago, not true. The last FATAL bear attack was 25 years ago.

bryan


Posted By: westernrvparkowner on 07/11/11 08:31pm

bka0721 wrote:

seldomseensmith X2

I have backpacked in grizzly bear country since 1969 and raised my kids, backpacking all their lives in grizzly bear country. We survived as we knew how to behave in their world. Follow good common sense and the information given you, in the area you are traveling through and you will be fine too. If you are too concerned, adjust where you go camping in your Truck Camper and avoid the bear country.

Oh, yeah. The comment about bear attacks being 25 years ago, not true. The last FATAL bear attack was 25 years ago.

bryan
And they are being a bit coy about "fatal" attacks. Jim Cole, a noted Author, photographer and self annoitted "bear expert" was attacked in 2007 in Yellowstone, near trout creek in the Hayden Valley and never actually recovered. He lost an eye, much of his face and jaw and never fully regained his health. When he passed away in 2009 it was partially attributed to his injuries and infections he could never shake. He was a really nice guy, but his overconfidence in his ability to judge bear behavior is part of what led to his untimely death. He was charged several times with violating Yellowstone and Glacier Park's rules about stay 100 yards away from bears. As a note, he was also attacked in the early 90s in Glacier Park. Not too many people can claim they have been whupped up on by a bear twice.


Posted By: silversand on 07/12/11 05:34am

Quote:

The last FATAL bear attack was 25 years ago.


Are you referring to "fatal" with respect to a very restricted spatial/geographic range?

Fatal bear encounters in North America (Ursus arctos, and Ursus americanus):

There have been 49 human fatalities due to bear attack in North America since 1992 (and I would extrapolate 10% addition to the numbers from fatal/disappearances probable due to bear). That's within the last 19 years alone. And, countless fatalities before that date ('80s, '70s, '60s and before).

Several of these fatal attacks were bear handling professionals. The above does not include polar bear-caused human fatalities.

No one, and I mean no one can claim to understand bear behavior. Not university researcher, zoo keeper, nor self-designated Grizzly Adams types. The only way to minimize your risk is total avoidance (extremely difficult in bear country).

Very, very few wild animals can ever be domesticated (including wolves, foxes, wild cat, bear or lion: tempered for human contact. If I recall domestication attempts on wolves, it is roughly ~~ 1 in 60 or fewer).

Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou


Posted By: cewillis on 07/12/11 07:55am

DWeikert wrote:


In a recent article Tent camping banned at 3 sites near Yellowstone they state "Truck-box campers that have a 4-foot high hard side, in addition to a raised upper section, are permissible." When the rest of the world says 'pop-up camper' they generally refer to the trailer where a soft side tent pops up. You should be okay in your Outfitter.

Exactly what I found at Teklanika in Denali. Pop up trailers not allowed. Popup truck campers fine. Reason for concern: wolves, not bears. Bears go any where they want to go - don't give them a reason.


Cal



Posted By: btggraphix on 07/15/11 01:17pm

Note in the sign/note in my picture, there is no distinction between a pop-up trailer and a pop-up camper. It refers to "hard-sided sites".


Posted By: btggraphix on 07/14/11 07:50pm

SkipJ, you should call or look on the website for Glacier to check. I'll repost one I made....awhile back and that thread actually came up again recently. I'll just repost it here.

btggraphix wrote:

I thought I understood from several previous threads, that the NPS does not have authority to make a single campground a PERMANANT hard-side only campground for some reason or another (some legislative reason) but that they DO have the authority to at any time, restrict a campground for whatever reason they have. And since there is no time limit to the "temporary restriction", in effect, they can prevent soft-sided campers for as long as they want. It may be semantics, but Testudo may be right on the technicality. However, it was my belief that there are a few campgrounds where these "temporary" long-term restrictions have been in places for decades. The example of that I have always used is Many Glacier campground in Glacier N.P. As a kid, we could never camp there because we had a pop-up trailer....finally in 2004 my wife and I camped there and my parents joined us for a night away from their condo in Whitefish and she was so happy to finally stay there. We went the next year, and same thing, no soft-sided RV's allowed.

Here's the photo. I love the statement on the sign, not that is dangerous, or risky, or you MIGHT get hurt, but rather, "Bears HAVE KILLED and injured people in this campground." Note the restriction against soft-sided RV's is on a piece of paper....so it may not be permanant, but I'd love to know if anybody has been there when the restirction was not in effect (not that you ignored the signs, or didn't look for them, or weren't kicked out - as we saw a pop-top TC there in spite of the signs....)



Some portions of the campground were completely closed, even to foot traffic:



We were there again a few years later and it was the same story.

Here's a link - call and find out:
http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/camping.htm

From what I see on there - there is nothing listed for Many Glacier CG regarding closure to tents and tent campers. For all I know they might be OK right now. But in my trips there over the years (maybe 8+ visits over the last 45 years probably) it was always closed to soft sided campers. I'd love to know if anyone stayed there and knows for sure that it was OPEN to tent campers. Not just saw them there, or camped there, but knows it was officially OK at the time.

Temporary (to even long-term) closures to soft-sides, may be rare, but they are not a myth.


2006 LanceMax 1191 - loaded and well-used
2005 C4500/Kodiak 4x4, GVWR 17,500



Posted By: btggraphix on 07/15/11 08:52am

PS: I also did not mean to imply I think pop-ups (in any form, TC or trailer) are any less safe than hard-sided anything. Just that there are times (sometimes long-term) where they close campsites/campgrounds to anything but hard-sided rigs. I would say it seems pretty rare for most places and honestly, I doubt I would let it effect my choice for what kind of camper I was going to buy.


Posted By: acudr on 07/14/11 03:51pm

As previously mentioned. We could camp at the campground in Yosemite, but were required, because we had fabric, to use the bear box for smelly bear attracting items.

We were so happy to get a spot, we did not argue the case.


Bertram


Posted By: acudr on 07/11/11 11:28pm

We have a pop-up and have never been concerned. Not everyplace you go will have bears. Keep a clean site and you won't attract them. We just got back from Yosemite, and they require pop-ups / anything with soft sides, to use the bear box. We brought a cooler in case we needed to use the box. In campgrounds such as this (and there are not too many) we adjust and do what is needed. Bears are usually looking for easy pickings. The pictures we see when bears rip open cars (which they can do to campers too) are usually in parking lots, and no one is in the vehicle. Go with the camper that fits most your needs and don't worry about the bears.

PS>.... I have been nose-to-nose, literally, with a Black Bear while backpacking, and he/she basically ignored me. It was scary and weird at the same time. (no, i could not have gotten away. it happened too fast for us to move)


Posted By: Testudo on 07/14/11 03:11pm

SkipJ wrote:

Just a comment, at Yellowstone NP you can only camp in the full hookup campground in solid side campers. I don't know if this is common in NP's. We are planning on going to Glacier NP in a few weeks and we will find out if we can camp anywhere with our Outfitter soft side TC.
SkipJ


We have managed to blow through every _myth_ expressed on the RV.NET in regard to pop-up truck campers (including the two, above).

The prohibition against "pop-ups" in Yellowstone's Fishing Village is actually a reference to pop-up "trailers" and is all about providing an upscale experience for _big_ rigs. _All_ the campgrounds in Yellowstone have bears and all the rest have tents and pop-up tent trailers (...and the bears like pop-up truck campers just _fine_). I made a reservation at Fishing Village and I checked-in without having any problem. At times when big rigs are dying for a space, the concessioner might make an issue of a small truck camper (...but I've never seen any credible evidence that this has ever happened).

We haven't run into any prohibitions in Glacier despite strident insistence to the contrary. Mostly we were surrounded by tents in Glacier - - but I guess bears find it easier to eat people in pop-top truck campers ?!?!? I'm wondering if the OP of this "myth" encountered resistance at a commercial campground _near_ Glacier ???

Occasionally, you _will_ 'hear' of a Federal or State campground that has an incipient bear problem and where the campground has been _temporarily_ designated as "hard-sided" only. It is unlikely that anyone will question the suitability of your pop-up truck camper, but, why would _anyone_ want to stay in a campground that was having a serious animal problem ?!?!? Said animals can quite easily tear a new door in your "hard-sided" camper (...or kill you when you go outside). And, besides, what are you going to _do_ while you are staying at _that_ campground ??? Read books ??? It almost certainly isn't safe to let your family wander around outside ! In fact, in most Districts they have wisened up in recent years and they just shut down the campground altogether.

Remember, the only RV related bear death on record is when a bear tore the door off of a hard sided trailer and ate a (previously) healthy young man in his twenties. You are more likely to be turned away from a campground simply because you have a truck camper - - regardless of whether it is hard-sided or pop-top.

Pick out a camper that suits _your_ needs. Don't worry about 'tall-tails' and myths. Picking out an RV is hard enough without all that bunk.


Testudo & Princesse Caribou
2012 FORD F-250 6.2L 4x4 EC SB SRW
2006 FORD F-250 5.4L manual trans (Sniff! Gone but not forgotten!)
2006 OUTFITTER SUPER-Caribou 6.5


Posted By: DWeikert on 07/12/11 05:59am

SkipJ wrote:

Just a comment, at Yellowstone NP you can only camp in the full hookup campground in solid side campers. I don't know if this is common in NP's. We are planning on going to Glacier NP in a few weeks and we will find out if we can camp anywhere with our Outfitter soft side TC.
SkipJ

In a recent article Tent camping banned at 3 sites near Yellowstone they state "Truck-box campers that have a 4-foot high hard side, in addition to a raised upper section, are permissible." When the rest of the world says 'pop-up camper' they generally refer to the trailer where a soft side tent pops up. You should be okay in your Outfitter.


Dan
2008 Chevy D/A 2500HD ECSB
2010 Northstar 8.5 Adventurer



Posted By: seldomseensmith on 07/15/11 11:24am

coolmom42 wrote:

...No one was talking about a pop-up truck camper. The discussion was about a "regular" pop-up....


We WERE talking about a pop-up TC. In fact the OP's question was about pop-up TCs and bears. What were you talking about?


Posted By: trails2004 on 07/15/11 08:56am

coolmom42 wrote:

...No one was talking about a pop-up truck camper. The discussion was about a "regular" pop-up....


Ok- then why is this posted in "truck camper" forum


Posted By: bobndot on 07/11/11 09:54pm

Develop good clean campsite manners and animals will not bother you. Cooking is best done outdoors .


Posted By: bka0721 on 07/11/11 09:10pm

Terryallen wrote:

Actually, the last fatal bear attack was July 7 2011, at 6:12 AM. That was in Yellowstone. According to the news story.
Very true, and we have been talking about the recent http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/25208471.cfm earlier. As I have in my http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseac........d/tid/24569838/srt/pa/pging/1/page/1.cfm, last year. But it had nothing to do with Pop Up Campers, but it did share my Grizzly Bear encounters, in Yellowstone.

As for Jim Cole, he often lectured about his injuries were caused by his own mistakes, not the bear's fault.

But the OP is addressing concerns about a pop up camper and not hiking. The largest portion of visitors to Yellowstone only see 2% of the park, the improved areas and not venture into the backcountry, or trails.

It is always good to be cautious, be informed, but not paralyzed with fear.

bryan


Posted By: coolmom42 on 07/14/11 08:20pm

seldomseensmith wrote:

coolmom42 wrote:

If you camp in a tent or pop-up or soft-side camper in Yellowstone, Glacier, or any other areas with bear populations (including black bear areas in the Eastern US), you MUST repeat MUST store your food, cosmetics, toiletries, coolers, etc in a hard-side vehicle, or in the provided bear boxes.

If I'm going to go through all that hassle with the bear box, I would just as soon stick with a tent. That is one of the main reasons we didn't get a popup.


This topic comes up several times a year, and every time someone insists that using a pop-up TC in bear country is akin to hanging a pork chop around your neck while poking a bear with a stick.... it's utter nonsense.

Please show me factual information regarding bear attacks on any pop-up TCs. I'm not saying bears are not attracted to people in campgrounds, because they are. Bears have learned to associate humans with food in places where people are careless, and when a bear becomes a nuisance it is either relocated or more frequently euthanized.

The regulations in Yellowstone were developed YEARS ago in response to tent trailers, which were seen as vulnerable to penetration by aggressive bears. Like a tent they have soft walls that can be easily reached by an average sized bear, so it makes sense to minimize the risk of having someone injured or killed by the very rare bear encounter.

Pop-up TCs have walls that are much higher - on my truck I can't reach the upper section where the hard wall ends and the fabric begins with my outstretched arm, and I'm no midget. A bear would have to be freakishly large to be able to enter my camper in any way except through the door, which is a distinct possibility with ANY TC.

Perpetuating the falsehood that pop-up TCs are somehow less safe in bear country does a disservice to those for whom a pop-up is a viable option. There is no RV that is safe from a very determined bear, period. And let's face it - how many actual bear intrusions into TCs have you read about recently? Anyone?


No one was talking about a pop-up truck camper. The discussion was about a "regular" pop-up.

I based my statement on what 3 different National Park & Forest Service rangers told me. We were checking out camper options last summer while in Glacier NP & Shoshone NF. I made a point of talking to the rangers about it. They were very clear.


Posted By: coolmom42 on 07/14/11 08:28pm

The rangers that I talked with said they sometimes restrict areas to hard-sided campers only due to bear activity. This bear activity varies from week to week and even day to day, mostly depending on what food source is abundant for the bears. This is applies to Glacier & the surrounding national forest areas.


Posted By: Eyegor on 07/12/11 08:21am

As others have said, I've spent 40 years living, working, and recreating in black bear country. Sightings, (not encounters) are as common as seeing raccoons. In all that time, I have experienced, witnessed, or was able to verify TWO instances where critters entered the tent or vehicle. the first time was a skunk who came to visit the neighbors who were camping in a floorless tent.

And the second, an apparently lovesick bull moose lifted (but did not tip over) our PUP at o-dark-hundred. Of course, we had spent 15-20 minutes sitting on the steps practicing our moose calls about an hour earlier. Coincidence? Probably not.

Learn to follow simple rules of camping and live along side the critters. They were here first. And they taste good, too.


87 Mallard Sprinter 24' Class C Ford E350 w/460 gas "The Runny Duck"
Shiny side up, Rubber side down.



Posted By: sleepy on 07/16/11 08:53pm

Is a house harder for a bear to get into... or canvas or a hardside... or does it make any difference?

ABC News


2003 Lance 1161,/slideout/AGM batteries/255W Solar/propane generator/Sat dish/2 Fantastic Fans/AC/winter pkg
AirFoil, Trimetric, LED lights, Platcat vent heat

2003GMC K3500 LT/Crewcab/duramax diesel/allison/dually/4x4/OnStar/front reciever mounted spare


Posted By: Oldtymeflyr on 07/15/11 04:39pm

I find these popup TC's are more dangerous in bear country than hard sided campers amusing.

First stand back and take a look at it. The hard side ends at about 7 feet. A fat bear has to climb that high to get into a 2 foot space where the canvas is located, give me a break. If that happens good, drop about 200 to 300 lbs of roof on his haunches, hit the cab running, and off the the races we go dragging bear and all down the road to the ranger station to sort things out. Wouldn't that be a mess. (this is my preferred way of entry for bears by the way.)

Why in the world would a bear go through the canvas, when the smell most likely is coming through the open door or a window. That's where he is going to go and, guess what, its most likely in the hard sided portion of the PUTC. Aren't we all in about the same boat?

We have had black bears with 15 feet of our former TT, working over an old dumpster. I was pretty impressed the way he handled that bread box. No problems on our end though. Our biggest concern was keeping the pup quiet.


Good Luck!


Posted By: silversand on 07/16/11 12:47pm

Quote:

Choose the camper that best fits your needs and then rest assured that the people in the tents nearby are going to serve as "bait".


That's my all-time favorite so far in this discussion

S-


Posted By: bighatnohorse on 07/15/11 02:22pm

A bear can go through canvas or nylon like it was cheesecloth.
Even a hard sided camper would afford only a delay if a bear was determined to get inside.
You take your chances when in bear territory.


Posted By: btggraphix on 07/18/11 09:43am

Testudo wrote:

Quote:

From what I see on there - there is nothing listed for Many Glacier CG regarding closure to tents and tent campers. For all I know they might be OK right now. But in my trips there over the years (maybe 8+ visits over the last 45 years probably) it was always closed to soft sided campers. I'd love to know if anyone stayed there and knows for sure that it was OPEN to tent campers. Not just saw them there, or camped there, but knows it was officially OK at the time.


Be advised that _most_ campgrounds in the main parts of Glacier are _inaccessible_ to hard sided campers. Our tiny truck and camper is _barely_ legal for the Going-to-the-Sun Road (which you need to traverse to access many of the campgrounds), so if tents were "illegal" there wouldn't be any need for campgrounds in Glacier NP.


There are no campgrounds on the Going-To-The-Sun Road between Avalanche Creek and Rising Sun. Those are the same two points that larger vehicles have to turn around.

A number of the campgrounds "not recommended" for RV's or trailers, such as Kintla, Logging Creek, Quartz Creek, (Sprague Creek says 10 sites are OK for RV's less than 25' so TC's are likely OK there as well.) Cut Bank is also not recommended for RV's and trailers though I suspect it is the same as those others based on the description. A slow winding dirt road that I wouldn't hesitate to try with a TC.

I have camped at Kintla Lake many times and the road is basically the same one that goes to Logging Creek and Quartz Creek so neither of them are inaccessible to TC's, even one of my size. I did scrape a number of branches though Of course, during the high-season it might be a pain to drive that road with a lot of traffic.

So, as far as I know from personal experience and from a little bit of looking on the web at the couple I haven't stayed at - there isn't a single official campground in Glacier National Park that you can't camp with a hard-sided TC (provided you are less than 26'.) If you are greater than 26' it eliminates Sprague Creek.

I agree that there is no real additional margin of safety of any appreciable amount between a hard-side and a soft-side with respect to bears......but you can camp at any of the campgrounds with a hard-sided TC in Glacier - but typically NOT at Many Glacier if you are in a soft-sided TC.

* This post was edited 07/18/11 10:00am by btggraphix *


Posted By: btggraphix on 07/18/11 09:44am

double post - sorry


Posted By: Testudo on 07/16/11 10:48am

acudr wrote:

As previously mentioned. We could camp at the campground in Yosemite, but were required, because we had fabric, to use the bear box for smelly bear attracting items.

We were so happy to get a spot, we did not argue the case.


We do not have loose food in _our_ camper. It is either in the refrigerator, in the freezer, or in cans.

We use those flimsy little grocery bags for trash (because you can stuff a hundred of them in them into a plastic coffee container) and we get rid of the trash _promptly_.

When it comes to 'trash' and leaving food out in the open, RVers are the most egregess 'campers'. Generally, tent campers are well schooled in keeping a 'clean' site. But when fishermen are leaving fish guts out in the open, adjacent to a campground, and RVers are being careless with food by leaving things with tempting odors lying around, that makes it bad for _everyone_.

With most pop-top truck campers, there is the possibility of lowering the roof and making up the main compartment bed to sleep on. We haven't had to do this, yet, but it would be no problem with our pop-top camper if some official found fault with our configuration and we had to "bargain" our way into the site.

The bottom line is, that this difference between 'hardside' and 'pop-top' campers has been deemed to be "significant", and, I've proven to my own satifaction that it is less than "in-significant". Choose the camper that best fits your needs and then rest assured that the people in the tents nearby are going to serve as "bait".

Using the bear boxes for anything that you think is an attractant is a good idea - - don't be a hero. Bears will literally tear vehicle upholstery to sheds looking for the source of the odor of human perspiration. They are 95% 'nose'.

In grizzly country, consider having your whole family schooled in the use of pepper spray - - and carry it where ever it is legal. The most likely place to encounter an angry grizz is away from any hard shelter. Pepper spray will give you an even chance.


Posted By: Testudo on 07/16/11 10:53am

Quote:

From what I see on there - there is nothing listed for Many Glacier CG regarding closure to tents and tent campers. For all I know they might be OK right now. But in my trips there over the years (maybe 8+ visits over the last 45 years probably) it was always closed to soft sided campers. I'd love to know if anyone stayed there and knows for sure that it was OPEN to tent campers. Not just saw them there, or camped there, but knows it was officially OK at the time.


Be advised that _most_ campgrounds in the main parts of Glacier are _inaccessible_ to hard sided campers. Our tiny truck and camper is _barely_ legal for the Going-to-the-Sun Road (which you need to traverse to access many of the campgrounds), so if tents were "illegal" there wouldn't be any need for campgrounds in Glacier NP.

* This post was edited 07/16/11 11:51am by Testudo *


Posted By: Testudo on 07/16/11 11:31am

RichieC wrote:

A bear can go through canvas or nylon like it was cheesecloth.
Even a hard sided camper would afford only a delay if a bear was determined to get inside.
You take your chances when in bear territory.


Quite true. And don't forget about all the other animals: I think the number one animal inflicted cause of death in Yellowstone NP is bee stings. ...Okay, maybe it is bison gorings - - but it certainly isn't from bears. (Note that a man in a tent outside but near the northeast entrance of Yellowstone was eaten last year.)

One needs to be aware for venomous snakes. Mountain lions. Bison. Bacteria. - - Not to mention lightning, flash floods, and the number one killer of people - - the automobile.

I've yet to hear of a case where a pop-top truck camper has led to anyone's death (...although "El Jefe", of this website has claimed that the retractible steps on one _almost_ killed his brother.)


Posted By: Testudo on 07/16/11 11:48am

Quote:

I find these popup TC's are more dangerous in bear country than hard sided campers amusing.

First stand back and take a look at it. The hard side ends at about 7 feet. A fat bear has to climb that high to get into a 2 foot space where the canvas is located, give me a break. If that happens good, drop about 200 to 300 lbs of roof on his haunches, hit the cab running...


A grizz would have _no_ trouble in getting on the roof of most RVs. Once they are up there, every camper has 24" roof vent openings. For a bear, it would be like pulling a beer tab (...or 'bear' tab - - ha! ha!) ...and drinking heartily.

When an experienced bear looks at the hood and roof of most tow or haul vehicles, he says to himself, "Why {gasp!} they've installed a set of stairs for me !!!"

When a bear learns a new trick, they are not likely to forget it. They just move from example to like example - - doing the same thing that worked before. That is how "problem" bears are created.

Bears interact with humans because humans seek to interact with them. They are just trying to consume calories. If they are hungry enough, they will call you "lunch" and not let anything stop them to get at you. Mother nature will 'fool' bears in some years and withdraw natural foods that the bears depend on. When you get a clue that it has been a bad Sping and Summer for natural foods -- watch out!

Some of the most dangerous myths are the ones that read like "Never get between a sow and her cubs". This implies that you can just stand to one side and escape harm. In fact, a bear with cubs is _more_ likely to be a starving bear and is more likely to attack humans than not. The guy killed last year in his tent was killed by a sow with cubs. He apparently never knew what hit him.


Posted By: Testudo on 07/16/11 11:51am

Quote:

My experience is that Bears like hardside campers too and they look for coolers with very poor latches.


Bear-proof cooler is an oxymoron. Leaving out said containers is a fineable offense.


Posted By: bka0721 on 07/15/11 09:06pm

I was in Yellowstone back in the 80s and watched a Black Bear sow, with two cubs, walk through a campground, stop near a class C camper with a group of tourists watching. The Black Bear picked up a cooler that had been set next to the Class C hardside camper and sat back on her haunches, still holding the cooler and then throw it against the Hardside of the Class C. The cubs scrambled forward to all of the contents spilling out of the PiƱata, I'm sorry, I meant to type; Cooler.

My experience is that Bears like hardside campers too and they look for coolers with very poor latches.

b


Posted By: rockplucker on 07/19/11 08:12am

We camped in Yellowstone at several different campsites in our pop-up Palomino camper. Every night we loaded all our food, toiletries, etc into a plastic tote (bring an empty one for this purpose) and put it inside the cab of the truck. Then in the morning we brought it out again. It worked fine. And yes, people camped beside us in tents. Just follow the rules that are posted on every picnic table. The rangers usually close any loops where bears are actually travelling thru. We have read to have hornet spray ready just in case of bears getting too close, and that seems like a good idea.


Print  |  Close