Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the category “Camper Nirvana”

Le Koroc Houseboat

I came across the above platform and wanted to document it before the temporary churn of travel chaos makes me unable to locate it again. I had once looked into building a pontoon-based houseboat as an alternative to a travel trailer, which tends to result in a very nice hovel on water, and a fairly impractical one on land. My own stumbling blocks with the concept itself (besides being unaffordable and unworkable for construction time) were how to easily add a third pontoon to help with the prodigious weight that must be dealt with, how to minimize overall weight on top of the platform, and how to obtain said pontoons compartmentalized for safety. Aluminum pontoons can and do fail, albeit rarely, immediately capsizing and inverting the craft in the water. This can trap the occupant(s) underwater. Almost-firsthand knowledge. I had to abandon this alternative quickly, but I do like the idea.

So here’s one Frenchy-speak Quebec guy who builds complete rigs (for uber-dinero, no doubt) that should get you dreaming. He does so though his company, Diagno. Apparently, cedar is the wood to go with due to its comparatively light weight. This particular sample has a 26′ length, 13′ of which is cabin, and it’s meant for fishing, not living in. At 5,600 pounds, it’s workable for transport. Add more cabin, and the weight goes up. Check out the 6-1/2 minute video below!

2018 Overland Expo, Day 2

Multiple rows like this can make for muchly exercise!

Here’s Day 2, and the last of the Expo’s 3 days that I’m covering.

This cute little trailer is perhaps intended for motorcycles. Made by Glass Action Fiberglass Specialists in Prescott AZ, it’s available in kit form or ready to go.

Another variation on the theme. With a 1,090-lb cargo limit, a cooler, chairs and a canopy are a cinch.

Muy macho. This old Jeep Gladiator shared the Wagoneer’s frame, but they are also now an attention-getter because they were comparatively rare. Like VW Beetles, most have long since been used up and crushed. I once rode in a 3/4-ton version as a passenger, and across an open field, the springs were stiff enough to rearrange one’s internals. A no-nonsense workhorse.

Read more…

2018 Overland Expo, Day 1

This little guy was toddling around holding a pine cone in the Four Wheel display area, and was just so cute that I couldn’t help but take a picture (with parental approval). He looked to have just started walking a week or so ago, and had that hesitant high-step that makes you smile.

Friday was the start of this event, and this post is only a “photo essay” of that one day. Day 2 will follow, but that’s how it usually is, with Day 2 following Day 1. Some smart alack may argue using quantum physics or some such gibberish, but that’s how it is in my book.

The aisles were long, and the vendors plentiful.

The B.F. Goodrich test track was there to convince people that their KO2 all-terrain and new KM3 mud tire were capable performers. This is an interactive display: you sign up, and they let you get behind the wheel!

I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to do this. The guide has them stop right here, and then ease up and over. On one of three vehicles, the front tires were slipping a bit on the hard-pack dirt, letting the front end shift very slightly sideways under power. Anyhow, I don’t like to go over what I can’t see, despite the poles and flags. Too big a dose of adventure, I guess, and no roll cage. Are you up for it?

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An Unusual Weekend

Parked at the Cinder Hill OHV Area, at last. Whew!

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

This year’s Overland Expo West was the largest ever, (130,000 attendees total, I was told) with enough acreage of gewgaws to exhaust anyone but a marathon runner. Honestly, just about every permutation of any concept or product was there in enough profusion to eventually numb the mind. Each of the many aisle lengths appeared to be a quarter-mile long.

The traffic stack-up to get in a day early (on Thursday) was over 45 minutes, since I arrived just when the gates opened at 1 PM. The check-in procedure itself was painless, since there was no need to even get out of the vehicle. Then it was on to the Read more…

Overland Expo West Tickets

Roughing it has its appeal, but a hot shower has more.

Well, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that, as of yesterday, tickets are now on sale for this year’s Expo, if you’re planning on going. The bad news is cost. Apparently, the expenses incurred by moving this event to Fort Tuthill County Park near Flagstaff were higher than expected last year. That’s just a guess on my part. Whatever the reason, the result is that day passes are now $25 instead of $15, and 3-day weekend camping passes have jumped from $95 to $155 in one year. I do not know what the gate cost of day passes will be, but I do know there will be no such thing for the camping passes, since those will be sold out before long. I have mine now, but I can tell you that this will likely be my last Expo attend for awhile. I will make it a point to enjoy it!



Waiting at a traffic light in Yuma AZ yesterday, I spotted the above pontoon boat converted into a small houseboat. I had seriously considered this approach instead of buying a used TT or converting a cargo trailer before I started out, and it’s extra-nice to see that someone persevered and got an especially nice one done. And the trailer has a nice, wide stance. Awesome! It probably sits a bit low in the water unless there’s a third pontoon at center, but feast your eyes on an RV that’s truly recreational!

Ming’s Tufport

The Tufport makes for a handy rig. Photo liberated from Ming's blog.

The Tufport makes for a handy rig. Photo liberated from Ming’s blog.

Reader Ming just got a Tufport truck camper shell, and I thought it’d be worthwhile to send you to her blog, which highlights her recent purchase as well as the pickup bed canopy she was using before. The usual thing to do here is to have a “Guest Post” with pictures, but her blog already has the whole shebang ready to go, and there’s no point in trying to duplicate it here in an attempt make Strolling Amok the end-all, be-all. If it piques your interest, return to it later to see her progress in building it out with the particular features she needs. Nothing like being under the gun with winter approaching in Canada, eh? Enjoy!

State of the Intrepid – Camper Bed Mounts

Camper mounts may be the least glamorous part of any truck camper, but are functionally the most important.

Camper mounts may be the least glamorous part of any truck camper, but are functionally the most important.

“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is a saying that also applies to truck camper mounts. The camper does not wedge tightly into the truck bed, but has plenty of clearance. It’s then effectively strapped down tight to the flat bed surface. In the case of Four Wheel campers, the goal is to keep it pulled fully forward so that slamming on the brakes affects nothing, and keep it centered and otherwise down tight so it can’t shift around. Fortunately for me, the Mighty Furd is wearing a Line-X urethane bed coating that has a rough surface which helps friction. The camper is pretty easy to slip-n-slide on painted metal, but mine took three guys and an incline to coax it to move when it had to be reset in the bed. I recommend any such urethane spray, or a much less expensive full-width rubber mat on the floor only. Plastic bed liners should not be used.

I had some early problems with the camper shifting in the bed, with damage to one Read more…

State of the Intrepid – Floor Plan

Could'a used a wider lens on this - which I don''t have. Anyway, the Grandby front dinette model.

Could’a used a wider lens on this – which I don”t have. Anyway, the Grandby front dinette model.

[This post is a look at the Four Wheel Grandby’s basic features which inherently come along with the front dinette floor plan. Several more posts about other of the Grandby’s aspects will follow. Caution: neat/clean freaks may experience some degree of trauma due to the graphic nature of the photographs used throughout this series, which were taken after some 5 months on the road. The camper is in active camping condition, not display condition. You have been warned.]

In general, the Grandby itself has worked out very well, without regrets. The front dinette model can sleep four adults, the second pair sleeping on a platform created by stowing the dinette table between the two side benches. Of necessity, the seat foam is markedly stiffer, and coin-tossing for sleeping location may be advised. Obviously, I didn’t select my floor plan for that capability, and I wouldn’t expect the head count after a long 4-person weekend camp out to be the same returning as it was departing. Whoever sleeps on this lower platform is likely to be stepped on when Read more…

1935 A-Class Motorhome

I was researching something when I stumbled over the video below, which runs for 6:32 minutes. It’s a fairly decent follow-up to my last post, since it gets across the concept of how exaggerating one capability in a product is generally made at the sacrifice of others. It was sponsored by Chevrolet in 1935, so of course the final conclusion of the lesson is that you can have the maximum of safety, power, etc. in perfect balance in a new Chevrolet sedan. Surprise! There are tons of these promotional ancestors of the infomercial around, and I assume that the sponsors paid theaters money for playing them in the lengthy mix of film shorts prior to the main feature. All you get in theaters today is a reminder to turn your cellphone off or shut your yapper, a few previews, and the movie. Then the lights come up as a discreet reminder to get the hell out.

I think this short is worth a gander because it shows little slices of this and that in 1935, but mainly because in the middle somewhere are some impressive seconds of what appears to be a bus converted into a motorhome. Unlike today’s over-upholstered faux Ritz, this interior seems to be Read more…

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