camping....luxury or "roughing it"?

Discussion in 'Camp Wordforge' started by oldfella1962, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    okay for those of us who have ever camped - and if you had to choose one or the other general style - do you prefer campers/trailers with at least some level of "indoor" comfort or bare bones simplicity?

    I'm all about keeping it simple because I like to spend most of my camping time doing things be it hiking, hunting, fishing, etc. not setting up camp and cooking food and whatnot. I'd rather stay active until there's enough daylight to do a quick recon then slap up a tent and get some shut-eye. Depending on the weather I might not even set up a tent. I generally don't cook food either, again quite a time saver. I just take food (like an MRE or a civilian version of one) designed to be eaten "as is".

    IMHO if you have a TV and all the amenities of home, you might as well stay at home then! My wife has never enjoyed camping unless she could sleep in a camper. She hates the thought of bugs & critters attacking her.
    Of course I explained how if a bear really wants your food it's getting in one way or another, especially if it's a brown/grizzly bear. No skimpy ass camper is going to keep a brown bear out!

    That said one time in Alaska my buddy and I were slightly above the timber line (which is actually pretty low in that part of Alaska - maybe 2,000 feet or so) and it was windy as hell. So there were no trees to hang our food in
    and the nearly constant wind made it hard to hear and thus ensured that there was no way we would get any warning if a grizzly were probing around our campsite while we were sleeping. :flow: Factor in this was springtime so bears are extremely hungry & opportunistic that time of year. Yes we had adequate firearms but that does you no good when you are sound asleep!

    Luckily the only critters coming through our area were a small herd of caribou and a few moose once we got down to a lower elevation on our way back down the next morning.
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  2. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    In all honesty, I prefer tent camping even though I now own a big expensive and luxurious RV. I mean, is it "camping" when you're essentially staying in a mobile hotel room complete with hot running water and air conditioning? I have a nice tent with a camp cot and various other comforts, so it's not like I'm sleeping on the ground or in a hammock, but still . . . setting up a camp site should not mean plugging in to 50-amp service and connecting your water and sewer lines.
  3. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Primitive jeep camping. well ok not so primitive, but not on the map and not in a campground. yeeesh.

    Air-mattresses are a must (see sex thread). Along with enough water to warsh up before.

    Tell us more about big expensive and luxurious RVs, please. I promise not to mock you. I did go to the RV show at Galleria once and it didn't seem like my kinda crowd.
  4. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    We bought one second hand from the original owner, who had done a TON of customizations to it. Heated granite floor, water softener, left-side furnishings replaced with a miniature office set-up, custom cabinetry throughout, three slide-outs, foam-topped bed, washer/dryer, power awning . . . and forty feet long, so lots of room inside. Two televisions, DVD player, Sirius satellite radio, all kinds of cool shit. So far used only once, to get from Arizona to Virginia. Expensive to operate, sadly.
  5. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    I haven't done "real" camping (carry everything in you need on your back) since I was a teenager in the Scouts. I now do a bit of hybrid truck camping. I picked up one of these for the adults. I supplement with a dining fly and inexpensive pop-ups as needed for everyone else.

    That said, I'm going to sell my boat and get a trailer. I'm in the "doing my homework" phase of that. I want the smallest dual-axle, fiberglass model I can get. Many of my friends have trailers so I've been exposed to a lot of pros and cons. I want a dual-axle for potentially longer trips and I want fiberglass because, those I know, have unanimously said that aluminum campers are beer cans. Depending on climate, they get cold or hot really quickly and your HVAC never cuts off. However, the trade-off is that fiberglass is much heavier.
  6. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Shoulda stayed a while in AZ. Lots of places to take one out there.
  7. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    I was in AZ for three weeks, thank you. We were packing out my girlfriend's mother's house. The RV sat in her driveway the whole time, tho the last couple nights we were in it because the beds had been broken down and were on the truck. :D
  8. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    These caught my eye because I pass the showroom in Marietta every day. That and the smaller one looks like it could be towed behind a GTI.

    https://happiercamper.com/
  9. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    I love love love the look and layout of an Airstream trailer. But I'd never buy one for exactly the reason you cite. My personal preference would be a fifth-wheel trailer because of all the various types of RV, those seem to offer the most bang for the buck. The downside, of course, is you need a big-ass truck to haul it with and you can't ride in it while traveling. You're stuck in the truck. With a class A or C (motorhome) you can use the facilities while moving.
  10. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    I'm certainly intrigued, thanks for the tip. That said, I don't want dual axles for the weight bearing feature, though that's a plus. I'm more concerned about longer distances. If I have a blow-out or a bearing failure on a single-axle trailer, I now have a problem. If I have a blow-out on a dual-axle trailer in the middle of Death Valley in August, I'll be okay until I can get somewhere. My experience has been that most non-work-trailer manufacturers don't put the best quality into their axles and bearings. Buddy of mine bought a $40,000 fiberglass fishing boat. The trailer it came with is so rickety that I'd be scared to get it up to interstate speeds.

    I have a 24' pontoon boat. It has a dual axle trailer. It's fine for what it is, but I wouldn't want to take it terribly far (say eight hours or so) before opening up the hubs and checking everything.


    Airstream is a whole different ball-game though. There's a reason Airstream is, at least, double the prices of a similar trailer from other builders. It's interior quality. An Airstream is insulated almost as well as stick-built house. And it should be, for $80,000+.

    I certainly get the appeal of a motor home. Maybe, one day, when I finally retire. I have a Class A license, after all. But, I just can't justify that sort of expense and maintenance right now for something that would get used 3-4 times per year.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  11. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    I've done enough barebones camping to last me the rest of my life. I didn't even sleep in a tent or on the ground when I was in the Army. I either slept on top of the tank or inside it, either in the driver's compartment or on the turret floor.

    One of the guys I normally go camping/hunting with these days brings a camper and the rest of the group all sleep in it, but I sleep in the back seat of my pickup so I don't have to hear all those guys snore. No need to set up a tent or cot and, if it gets too hot, I can turn on the air conditioner.

    I have toyed with the idea of getting a teardrop camper or one of the really small Airstreams, but I don't really want to pay for something I'd only use a couple of times a year and I don't really have a place to conveniently store it.
  12. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    Honestly, that's why I do things the way I do them now. We go camping 3-4 times per year and never for longer than 2-3 days at a time. If I was taking the great American road trip? Sure, get a motorhome. But, what I have now suits my needs. Really, the only reason I want a camper is to keep everything self-contained. Put everything in the camper I need and aside from cleaning, restocking, and maintenance as needed, it's done.

    Honestly, I'd probably come out better getting something like this and modifying it to suit my needs.
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  13. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    I keep all my stuff on shelves in the garage. When I gear up for a trip, I back my truck in and load it up.

    I could keep some of the stuff in a camper, but it would have to live in the garage (meaning my truck or my wife's Mustang would have to stay outside, which isn't desirable for a place that gets hailstorms) or in the driveway, which would block half the garage from being used.

    There's a self-storage place not too far from my house, but then you've got to pay a monthly fee to them. Just not worth it.
  14. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    Go back and see my edit.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a garage. I live in a 100 year old house. It has a "carport" that I use as a patio/outdoor kitchen/entertaining area because it's designed for a Model A Ford. I use a two-car version of one of these on a pad the previous owners conveniently poured. I also have a 12' x 30' one in the "back 40" for my boat. I'd park whatever trailer I get under that.
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  15. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    The only camper/mobile home I'd seriously consider buying would be a Unimog, M109A2 (truck), or M1079 that someone has converted into a camper. There are some nice ones out there, but I've yet to find one at a price I'm willing to pay.
  16. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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  17. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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  18. Uncle Albert

    Uncle Albert Metal health

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    I say drag whatever you can competently operate and maneuver out there. But I also say any use of the term "glamping" means you get stabbed through the eye with a weenie roasting stick and left for the bears to eat.

    :ua:
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  19. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    Like I said, we bought ours second hand from the original owner. You don't buy a new class A motorhome unless you regularly light cigars off of $100 bills. They're just too damn expensive. We capped our search at $85000 and our rig was significantly under that. You just have to haunt the listings waiting for a deal and hope no-one snipes you. Just like buying a house.

    That said, going to an RV show and looking at what two or three mil will get you brand new is entertaining.

    Had it not been for Holly and her preferences, if I'd ever actually bought an RV it would probably have been some dinky little thing I could tow behind the Mighty Jeep. Not a pop-up, cuz those suck, but something small.
  20. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    In the 80s my dad had an Apache pop-up camper that was pretty nice. It had hard sides, though, that folded and locked into place. Not one of those tent-like trailers with screens and crap.

    He used to take it when he'd go hunting in Colorado during the winter and we'd camp in it here in the summer.
  21. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    Like I said elsewhere, I've been working the races at Talladega for two decades. I've seen everything from Korean War era GI surplus pup tents to the mobile mansions the driver's and owner's use and everything in between. A few years ago I even saw a casket that was pulled behind a motorcycle, with matching paint of course, that had been converted into a pop-up tent trailer. RV campers are a unique bunch.

    Those are nice, and it's what I wanted when I had my Jeep. But, now that I'm back in a 1/2-ton 4x4, I want a bathroom. :lol:
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  22. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    I lived in AZ for a few years and camped quite a bit. My in-laws had a small trailer and went out to the White Mountains (near the New Mexico border) a lot and other high elevation places every year for decades. I backpacked in the Mazatzal wilderness area a couple of times, and on the Mogollon rim too. AZ is chock full of great trails and camping spots.
    That said north Georgia is saturated with hiking & camping & trout fishing spots. My son hikes a lot there.
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  23. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    oh SNAP I remember when I was a kid we had a small pop-up camper for a while. I know we towed it with our station wagon so it wasn't too big if memory serves.
  24. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    They're lightweight and easy to tow compared to regular campers because of their low profile. My dad always used a 3/4-ton pickup to pull the camper we had, which was overkill but that's the smallest size truck he's ever bought (other than a couple of half-tons I remember from the 70s).
  25. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    Not to mention the south end of the Appalachian Trail . . .
  26. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 high speed, low drag

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    my son hiked part of the Appalachian Trail two years ago - it's a total circus with a lot of freaky people but most of them are pretty nice, but snobbish when they encounter less experienced hikers. But I guess you find that in any endeavor that attracts a wide variety of people.
  27. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    I stopped by the Happier Camper place. This is the one towable behind a Mini. Check out their site for the bigger one. It can be upgraded for off-road capabilities plus off-grid with solar and batteries.

    The A/C unit is kinda fugly, I might not go for that. Showed this to the wife (it's her GTI). I didn't get immediate approval.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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  28. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    You might know the folks I'm friends with. Their family owns the farm just west of Talladega and converted the fields to RV parking. 15 years ago we'd take our kids there and shoot rockets and ride ATVs. Not during races.
  29. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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  30. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    My retirement plan is to live in a custom-built skoolie or possibly a stepvan and camp throughout the southwest in winter, moving into the northern national forests during summer. I love camping, but no one ever wants to go camping with me. :-(