Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Waiting in Prescott

Well, the cargo box is up higher, but is also back farther...

Well, the cargo box is up higher, but is also back farther…

While in Congress, Arizona, I installed a Curt hitch adapter, which has as many drawbacks for my use as benefits. The frame underneath the cargo box is now about 5″ higher off the ground, but is also placed some 8.5″ further rearward. Overall, I think it will help in the situations I expect to face, the prime drawback being that getting up into the camper is more complicated now. The frame was previously at the same height as the bumper’s step, making entry from the rear easy. It’s now useless as a step, and getting in requires a kind of side approach around the front of the frame in order to get at the bumper step. Entry and exit now requires more care in foot placement as well as using the entry handle for balance. I think the camper’s door now has the clearance to swing wide open, if it weren’t for the lawn chair and emergency shovel attached to the “back” of the box.

The Curt adapter itself can’t use StowAway’s hitch tightener – that now only fits the upper receiver that the box frame goes into. So, the box now won’t wobble in relation to the Curt adapter, but the adapter’s connection to the Ford’s hitch receiver can wobble, meaning that the clearances involved can and do allow the entire assembly to rock slightly to one side or the other while underway. I’m gonna have to locate a hitch tightener that will fit a 2.5″ hitch, if such exists. A 12″ box taillamp wiring extension cord was easy to find at Tractor Supply in Wickenburg.

When I pulled into Adventure Trailer today, which is supposed to be closed because it’s Sunday, one of the co-owners was demonstrating the prototype of a rooftop tent to a couple of guys from Expedition Overland. They were excited, as it represents a distinct improvement to what they’ve been using, and they are apparently going to put it to the test in their rather serious travels south of the border. I must say, I can’t find anything which AT makes is poser equipment, so when these pro-level touristas wring it out, AT will be most interested in their feedback.

Fitted onto a Toyota Tacoma, the truck bed shell opens...

Fitted onto a Toyota Tacoma, the truck bed shell opens…

And presto, you gots a sleeping loft and tent.

And presto, you gots a sleeping loft and tent.

See, the forward part has no floor. I would have thought a less generous opening would have given more platform, but then, I have no idea how these are used in practice.

See, the forward part has no floor. I would have thought a less generous opening would have given more platform, but then, I have no idea how these are used in practice.

Notice that the support struts go to the shell structure, not the ground, so there's no walking into struts or having the platform position change as the vehicle shifts in wind or someone gets in or out.

Notice that the support struts go to the shell structure, not the ground, so there’s no walking into struts or having the platform position change as the vehicle shifts in wind or someone gets in or out.

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7 thoughts on “Waiting in Prescott

  1. Well at least you had some entertainment while you’re waiting to get your Grandby shifted.: )

  2. Linda Sand on said:

    Not for me, thanks. I can just see me trying to get up into that thing! I’d probably wind up on uTube. 🙂

  3. wow, how not-stealth can you get? And I have been in windstorms that would make them have to fold that thing up for the duration.

    Could you weld/ bolt some sort of step onto your new hitch assembly? Don’t want to slip and break anything when it’s dark, wet, and you are tired or sick.

    • Well, when I look at a high-end rooftop tent, full-time urban stealth does not come to mind. Especially headed into the wind, I suspect it would handle 99 days out of 100, which is good enough for most duty. I expect there will be occasional days when I feel that the FWC would be better off with its top left down. That long roof span, weighted with solar panels, can be pulled down at center in strong side winds because of the billowing in of the canvas. At what point does flex turn into buckle?

      The adapter is too high for a step/platform at the top. Attaching an “L” to the side looks to me like a very minor payoff for the cost and effort. If I get used to using the divided bumper step from the passenger side only, that may do. I’ve already got traction tape on it. One handy thing is that the FWC has an exterior rear light within easy reach of the door, so there’s no stepping into a dark void.

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