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 > Your search for posts made by 'Black'95' found 52 matches.

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RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

This week we visited another state campground that we have never been to yet, Hartford Beach State Park. This park is as far east as you can get in South Dakota. The other side of the lake is Minnesota. https://i.imgur.com/26nt0IVl.jpg Again my wife chose a great campsite that had a lot of shade. https://i.imgur.com/ozH5Lv8l.jpg I had a great time around the lake taking pictures. Even got to use my walking stick as a monopod. https://i.imgur.com/448vVX8l.jpg My wife enjoyed the shore and hiking on the trails that were wide enough to walk two abreast. https://i.imgur.com/c8QAv5Al.jpg The whole area where we camped reminded us a lot of Sica Hollow State Park in South Dakota with its abundance of greenery and springs coming out of the ground. https://i.imgur.com/ljNkiEUl.jpg This is Equisetum, also known as “scouring rush” or “horsetail.” It grows wherever there is a lot of water. https://i.imgur.com/ehKxq03l.jpg You can’t start the morning without a good cup of “campground” coffee. I boil the water over the campfire and pour it through an old fashioned drip-o-lator that I got at the nearly new store. https://i.imgur.com/mMZ0USpl.jpg One of the pools along the hiking trail had “water strider” bugs in it. The actual bug is to the left of the oval shadows. The shadows are made by the dipping down of the water’s surface tension. The little white spots are where his legs are actually pressing into the water. https://i.imgur.com/EqpuHnyl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/41r1wkul.jpg Blue damsel flies and dragon flies were abundant. While we were watching a beautiful dragon fly on the grass of the shore, a leopard frog leaped at him. Not sure how the dragon fly got away, but he was almost frog dinner. Neither Nancy or I had ever seen something like that before. I would have loved to have gotten that shot with my camera. https://i.imgur.com/9eN9MXYl.jpg When we walked close to shore, the ground literally moved with frogs jumping all over the place. It almost made you dizzy. https://i.imgur.com/qmKBN1Ll.jpg We spotted many caterpillars all along the trail. https://i.imgur.com/YCKQSdOl.jpg This Monarch butterfly posed for me while I shot him from many different angles. https://i.imgur.com/PEKqX3ul.jpg On the trails we saw a lot of dead trees with all kinds of woodpecker holes. https://i.imgur.com/UAZLwz5l.jpg After talking to some of the park staff we learned that there were pileated woodpeckers in the area. This is about the farthest west they are found in our state. Not having ever seen one before, we started looking for them. https://i.imgur.com/KmomvZCl.jpg The pileated woodpeckers were quite elusive, but I did manage to get a rather fuzzy shot of one off at a great distance. I think I was lucky even getting this good of a shot. https://i.imgur.com/B2rf3lpl.jpg This is what they look like with a clear picture. https://i.imgur.com/P8eST7wl.jpg On the way home the dead tree two miles east of Roscoe was loaded with cormorants. https://i.imgur.com/zdKeG6Ll.jpg
Black'95 08/03/20 08:14pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Last Wednesday it was time for us to go on another of our new-to-us campground trips within our state of SD. This week we chose West Bend Recreation Area west of Stephan, SD on the Missouri River. https://i.imgur.com/9tbN8Xml.jpg Our campsite #4 was very shady all day so even though the temps got into the high 80's we stayed comfortable. It cooled down enough in the evening that all we needed were our window screens. We did not have to get out the AC unit for the van. https://i.imgur.com/OV4THBQl.jpg Many of the campsites were right on the shore, but they felt the effects of the wind, whereas our campsite was very well protected. I am sure the boat owners liked these sites. This is Lake Sharpe which is one of the four reservoirs created by dams on the Missouri River in SD. https://i.imgur.com/4sdQCGjl.jpg We walked along the trails that meandered along the shoreline and through the campground. https://i.imgur.com/PFkdMdql.jpg I did not shoot a lot of birds with my camera on this trip, but we did run across this yellow swallowtail getting a drink in the wet sand. https://i.imgur.com/1qZipz4l.jpg This trip took us to the south central part of South Dakota. I think our next trip will be to the north eastern part. Stay tuned!
Black'95 07/27/20 11:05am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

........ do you have a lot of mosquitoes in South Dakota? here in Oregon we have billions up in the Cascades Mountains from June to Sept. so we don't go their until Sept.after a night or two of a freezing temps. I will be checking in to see what adventures you are up to next. It kind of depends on the location. I don't think they have a lot in the Black Hills region and where I live it depends on whether we have a wet year or a dry year. Most of the towns spray. When we have been out camping this year they have not been very bad. I have a net type screen door and window screens on my van so they are not a bother there. During the day around the campfire they do not bother us at all.
Black'95 07/17/20 10:03am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

This weekend we camped at another South Dakota campground that we had never camped at before. That was part four of our covid quest to camp at every one in SD. This time it was Lake Thompson Recreation Area close to the home of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie Pageant town of De Smet, SD. https://i.imgur.com/gCJwSgNl.jpg The campsite we chose was very shaded and protected from the wind. People we talked to from Indiana there on a week long fishing trip were camping in one of the cabins near the lake shore really felt the wind. https://i.imgur.com/zxFoWxZl.jpg The water in the lake was very high from all the spring rains they have been getting. Today the wind made the lake very choppy. https://i.imgur.com/zaGm3eAl.jpg On the drive in before we got to the gate of the recreation area we came across this big old chunk of deadwood. It was twice as tall as I was. https://i.imgur.com/I6tJ0F6l.jpg We saw numerous muskrat houses along the road to the park. https://i.imgur.com/N4rlMQ1l.jpg I am always on the lookout for birds to shoot. Got this fellow with my 300mm (zoom lens that is). It is a migrating cedar waxwing. Not a good picture but the best he would sit for. https://i.imgur.com/RSOab7Sl.jpg This young bird (I think it was a young cowbird) was running all over our campsite eating bugs. Like a young teenager, I didn't think he would ever get full as I watched him for over an hour as he devoured everything he could find. I also watched the Eastern Kingbirds catching bugs on the fly, but they were way to fast for me and my camera. https://i.imgur.com/O5sQT6Ul.jpg Time to take the rest of the day off in the shade. https://i.imgur.com/zD7BrwNl.jpg
Black'95 07/13/20 03:44pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

I did make a modification recently. It was not a modification to the van but to my camera tripod which is carried in the van all the time. I have two lenses for my camera, a regular lens and a zoom lens. I switch between the two depending on what I am trying to capture in the picture. I wanted both lenses to be handy so I modified a cup holder to fit on my tripod. https://i.imgur.com/JjEPhzKl.jpg I mounted two closet broom holder brackets to a folding cup holder and mounted it to my tripod center shaft. It could have been mounted to the tripod legs also. https://i.imgur.com/Qy3PS0bl.jpg Now I am always ready for whatever subject pops up including snakes climbing trees.
Black'95 07/09/20 09:49am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Last weekend we traveled to two more South Dakota campgrounds that we have never visited before. The first one was Snake Creek Recreation Area west of Platte, SD along the Missouri River. https://i.imgur.com/dAIcErnl.jpg We stayed there the first night then traveled on to Platte Creek Recreation Area about 20 miles south of there. Interestingly enough, we never saw any snakes at Snake Creek. https://i.imgur.com/36ZBu72l.jpg Our campsite at Platte Creek was very shady and private because during the week the occupancy is quite low. https://i.imgur.com/IbnjJ4ol.jpg We did have an exciting visitor about supper time. He/she was coming across the road heading right for one of the trees in our site. I was able to herd him into the grass beyond our site. But about 15 minutes later a second one came along with the birds harassing it. A western kingbird is pictured ascending in flight after ticking the snake on his head. https://i.imgur.com/lxLMQLFl.jpg The snake (a non-poisonous bullsnake)did manage to elude the birds and get to our campsite tree. They do like to climb and are good at it. https://i.imgur.com/Dr5yhoyl.jpg My wife and I spent the next several hours watching the snake and taking pictures of it as it searched throughout the tree for bird nests. In this picture the snake is about 30 feet above our heads https://i.imgur.com/8YxxiBxl.jpg I knew they were good climbers. I searched through my picture archives and found one that I got back about 1979 of a bullsnake climbing a brick wall to get at the swallow nests under the eaves of the building. https://i.imgur.com/Vmq3g3fl.jpg All in all, it was an interesting evening. We later went for a hike and forgot about the snake, so I don't know if he ever found any of the bird nests in the tree or got blown out by the rainstorm later in the night.
Black'95 07/08/20 04:27pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

............Did you see my pictures that I posted at Looking for new boondocking / dispersed sites ? Yes, I did. I think the only dispersed sites we have are in the western part of our state in the Badlands BLM land and the Black Hills National Forest area. I will have to look into it some more.
Black'95 07/01/20 05:10pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Mike, ......It's been 4 years since we were in South Dakota and hope to go back in a year or two. It has been longer than 4 years since I have been to Oregon. I think the last time was a couple of years after the Mt. St. Helens park was set up as I remember driving through it and taking slides of it for use in my earth science class that I taught. Hopefully when this pandemic thing is over with or contained I will start taking trips west again. Utah is one of my favorites because of the numerous national and state parks. Kodachrome Basin in one of my favorites. One night it was getting late and we had not found a campground, so we drove into Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah because they had one or two sites not taken. My wife and I thought we are never going to get any sleep here because every site had dune buggies that they raced around the sand dunes with. But when 10 o'clock quiet hours went into effect you could have heard a pin drop because all the dune buggies were put to bed for the night. Very nice experience. This Sunday we go on the next step in our quest to visit all the state recreation areas in our home state of South Dakota and camp in every one. We crossed two in the north western part of the state off our list last weekend (as you can see in my previous post) and this weekend will get two more in the southern part of the state. We usually take in the Black Hills Corvette Classic rally in Spearfish, SD this time of the year but this year for the first time in 49 years it has been cancelled due to Covid-19, so I guess we will do more camping. Hopefully they will plan for a really big rally next year which will be the 50th.
Black'95 06/28/20 09:39am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Continuing with our goal of visiting all of the state campsites we have never camped in before in our home state of South Dakota, we visited the Llewellyn Johns Recreation Area and the Shadehill Recreation Area. This is also near the Hugh Glass Memorial. He was made famous in the movie, The Revanant. They took a lot of poetic license making that movie because it was almost nothing like the real events and locations. https://i.imgur.com/Rk5nClfl.jpg Our first stop was the gazebo type of monument to Llewellyn Johns. It is made of petrified wood that is found all over in this northwestern area of SD near the cowboy town of Lemmon. https://i.imgur.com/Fz3Ty54l.jpg You can see the lake in the background. https://i.imgur.com/58RJEP1l.jpg You have to be on the lookout for these when walking around this area, especially if you have cloth type shoes or tennis shoes. It is called brittle prickly pear cactus because it breaks off easily and sticks to your shoes or whatever part of you contacts it. https://i.imgur.com/bxReQQQl.jpg After spending one night at the Llewellyn Johns campground (a small one with 10 electrical sites and no showers, we moved on to the much larger (85 sites & about 7 cabins and several comfort stations with hot showers) Shadehill Recreaction Area. This campground in located on the shores of the Shadehill Reservoir which is quite large. https://i.imgur.com/TRlXc6Al.jpg We were pleasantly surprised at all the birds we could see from our campsite. The first is a western kingbird and the second is a brown-headed cowbird, both native to this area. https://i.imgur.com/g6RxZbal.jpg https://i.imgur.com/uK1xMByl.jpg Another bird we saw that is migratory and not native to the area is the cedar waxwing. https://i.imgur.com/E5Cq179l.jpg I found out you can always learn something new. We heard this booming, vibratory sound as we walked in the campground. I finally located the source. It was a nighthawk. It would fly up and then make a dive which produced the sound from it feathers. My wife looked it up on the internet and this is a mating activity and sound that I had never heard before. https://i.imgur.com/w4huCI2l.jpg On our drive out of the campground the next morning we came upon this group of buzzards. https://i.imgur.com/6ncl3qEl.jpg We like to cook over the campfire and I had another chance to prepare my diced potatoes for supper. https://i.imgur.com/KaZA76Il.jpg The next campgrounds we visit will be in the southern part of the state.
Black'95 06/26/20 10:43am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

..........We took the van out yesterday ( Thursday ) and went to check out some old campgrounds and some dispersed sites ( found some new dispersed sites )that will be great Spring and Fall places to camp at. What are dispersed sites?
Black'95 06/16/20 03:53pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

I have heard the siren song of Class Bs ready to boondock complete with storage tanks, flush toilets, showers, built in generators. But I come from a long line of ancestors came west in covered wagons, not to mention I feel guilty having upgraded from a tent my parents used every summer. But I see this shiny Class Bs so I go inside and I immediately feel claustrophobic. There is too much "stuff" inside I dont want or need. I dont actually boondock. Everything inside my RVan is modular and can be easily pulled out so the RVan is back to being a van to move materials and furniture. Every year I have had it I have changed and rearranged, added and removed the modules to better suit my needs. It can legally be parked on city streets. So I resist the call and plan my next van to RVan conversion. Sounds great and I like what I hear. I think you should start a Forum topic on your van and post some pictures! I know a lot of people would not do what I did with my van, but it is what I like and I enjoy modifying it and camping this way. This summer I sold our 23 foot trailer camper and now do all our camping in the DIY van. This summer due to Covid-19 we set a new goal to camp in all the South Dakota Game,Fish & Parks campgrounds that we have not camped in before. I just finished camping at Lake Poinsett Recreation Area. https://i.imgur.com/VVc2mYDl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/Qm1JF2vl.jpg They have many campsites for the water lovers! https://i.imgur.com/Zeomcuyl.jpg They have an interesting planter by the comfort station in Campground 2. https://i.imgur.com/ewmQbNWl.jpg I still take the time to make some morning campground coffee. I boil water in the black pot and pour it into my old fashioned "drip-o-lator." I can remember my aunt Rhea making coffee this way whenever we visited them, but she boiled the water on her stove. My parents made coffee by boiling water and coffee grounds on the stove in a pan. when it was done we poured off the coffee because the coffee grounds had settled to the bottom, but it seems there was always a "floater or two."
Black'95 06/12/20 08:50am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Very cool! But I think it’s time to update) how about grand rv? I read on grand design rv reviews that a very good manufacturer with an interesting variety of rv What is the fun of buying something already made up? If I can't hack it or DIY it, I am not a happy man! That is why I call my DIY camper conversion van by the name of Gizmo!
Black'95 06/11/20 08:51pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Time for another modification to my water storage tube. During our Memorial Day trip to visit our grand daughter and grave visitations, we got to use our water storage tube for the first time. It was a little tricky filling coffee pots, etc. from the dangling tube. I have a magnetic tool tray that I use on the side of the van and have a magnetic LED light attached to it also. I made a little DIY bracket to attach the tube with water valve to it. I mounted the wood block to the magnetic tray with a stud and a wingnut so it is easy to attach and detach. Now I find it easier to fill my coffee pot without requiring three hands. https://i.imgur.com/upxdCcOl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/GLDPUV8l.jpg
Black'95 05/29/20 04:18pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My camper van

I have added a Renogy 5W 12V Portable Solar Panel Battery Maintainer Trickle Charger with Lighter Plug, Alligator Clips, and Battery Cables that came with it...... I like your thinking. It sounds like something I would come up with for my van!
Black'95 05/09/20 08:32pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

As I mentioned in my previous thread about window screens that slip over the top of the door like a sock to keep the bugs out and still allow you to roll down the windows. The first ones I ordered did not fit so I returned them. I did some more searching on the internet and found another brand called Qualizzi Mottors that came in XXXL size. I am happy with them because they fit over the back doors of my Express van and they fit over the driver & passenger doors too. They even fit over the outside mirrors and were still tight enough to keep the bugs out. See the following pictures. They even came in their own zippered storage pouch. https://i.imgur.com/bHqM3BIl.jpg Back door fit with the window open. https://i.imgur.com/rwsSENYl.jpg Inside view of driver's side door. https://i.imgur.com/CRGSl2Vl.jpg Outside view of driver's side door with screen covering the mirror. https://i.imgur.com/M92bz35l.jpg To make it a better seal against any wind, I added a few strong magnets along the bottom edge. https://i.imgur.com/qdOOnlMl.jpg
Black'95 05/02/20 03:59pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Nice van and great thread! I can't attach a pic, not sure why/can't figure it out here. Here is a link to how to post photos. http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/15669738/gotomsg/30055523.cfm#30055523 BarneyS a moderator tells you how to do it.
Black'95 04/25/20 03:34pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Would you want to use the water in your roof storage pipe for making coffee? Is that plastic pipe approved for that type of use? karl Yes, the PVC pipe is water approved. It was originally white PVC and not the black pipe that is used for sewer systems and drains. I painted the white pipe with flat black paint to act as a solar heat collector to warm the water.
Black'95 04/23/20 05:23pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

do you have a link for those "socks"?? sounds like an excellent idea Here is the link to the ones I ordered, but if you do a search on Amazon or eBay you will find all kinds of them. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PMGZC6V/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I got mine today and will be returning them because they are not big enough for the back door windows nor the front door windows. I will continue to look for some oversized ones that may work.
Black'95 04/12/20 02:20pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

Mike, looking good on the shower and nice quick connections setup, but if you keeping adding things you will need to add extra springs LOL :) Just driving the van around to keeping the battery charged up while I'm giving the SUV a good cleaning with a wax job. I'm still waiting for my seat swivel and they said it would be April 8th so I'm going to call them to check on it's status. I ordered a 5 watt solar panel to put into the window to keep the battery charged up when the van is setting and not going anywhere soon. As soon as this virus things is over and they open up things I'm going camping. I probably would have needed to add extra springs on my old 2001 1500 Express van, but since I upgraded to the 2018 Express that only comes in a 2500 or 3500, I think I can add a lot of stuff without getting into any trouble. I know the feeling of waiting for things. I ordered some new window screens that will slip over the doors like a sock to keep the bugs out. They allow you to raise and lower the windows while they are on. I had to order the large size for my van and I am still waiting for them to ship sometime in the middle of April. I am not worried because I will not be doing much camping but look forward to using them in the summer. We can still camp here in our South Dakota state parks and campgrounds but they do not have the showers and comfort stations open due to the shutdown. But by the same token they have waived the daily use pass because the offices are not open to collect the money for them. I rigged up a small solar charging unit for my van too. The controller I got for it also has USB plugs so I can use it to charge phones and other devices. My needs are rather simple so I don't need a big roof mounted megawatt solar charger. I put the van on a trickle charger in the garage when I don't drive is often. Keep working on your van, post pictures, and happy camping!
Black'95 04/12/20 09:29am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

I decided to add a little extra water storage for showers and general use. I got the idea from another van camper site. I used PVC pipe with a couple of end caps and a T with a screw on cap for filling it with water. I used the outline of the pipe to make three wood holders for the pipe. The rear most wood holder is the highest with the middle one lower and the front one the lowest to better drain out the pipe during use. Then I strapped them each down with heavy duty zip-ties. https://i.imgur.com/R4XZI7nl.jpg I added a tire valve cap to the T so I could pressurize the system with my air compressor mounted under the van. (see previous postings) The valve cap is the type with threads and a nut on the inside instead of the type that is just pressure pulled through the hole. https://i.imgur.com/a9AfqSal.jpg On the front (low) end of the pipe, I drilled a hole, cut some threads, and mounted a quick-disconnect from an air compressor system so that I could connect a hose to it. I used the air quick-disconnect instead of a water hose quick disconnect because the air type acts like a shut off valve when the hose is disconnected, whereas the water type does not. I would have had to add a shut-off valve with the water garden hose type of disconnect. I did add a quick disconnect with a capped off end to keep the bugs out of the open hole. https://i.imgur.com/jFeCOepl.jpg Lastly, I put a quick connect on one end of some clear tubing with a shower head with a shut off valve mounted in it for use when showering. With the pipe painted black I am hoping it will warm up enough while driving that we can take warm showers with in the evening. I have an infrared digital laser thermometer that I can use to check the temperature of the water in the pipe or the clear hose. I made a second piece of tubing with a quick connect and a valve to get water for my coffee pot in the morning. I will let you know in a later post how it worked after I get the wife-approval rating! https://i.imgur.com/OGc1u9cl.jpg Wife approved! Additional modification: https://i.imgur.com/xP2w4pQl.jpg I had this old air valve connector from my 1965 VW bug laying around. It was not needed after I converted my '65 into a dune buggy. This valve connected the spare tire to the windshield washer fluid tank on the VW. It allowed the spare tire air to provide pressure to the tank with the valve to not allow the pressure of the spare tire to drop below 35 psi. I will see if it works on my water tank. Future camping expeditions will tell.
Black'95 04/10/20 06:30pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
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