Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the category “Camper Nirvana”



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…

Operation Moto Dog

Image liberated from

Image liberated from

“I believe embracing our crazy keeps us sane,” is one mantra that Mallory Paige follows. A young woman in her early thirties, Mallory has done some world travel and some VW bus vandwelling. While riding in a motorcycle sidecar in Ecuador one day, she got the crazy idea that she could ride from Oregon to Alaska and back on a motorcycle, and with a sidecar attached, haul her labrador Baylor along for the ride. Then near trip’s end, she advanced her internal throttles into full-crazy and decided to tour every state in the country. She’s been doing that for awhile now, proving to herself and anyone who cares to read her writings that both courage and fear are an integral part of us and part of life, and that the decisions we make have a huge impact on our lives.

I don’t advocate her site in the belief that everyone should run around the country with a motorcycle+sidecar combo or anything else. She does not appear to believe that either. I do so because Read more…

Wandering the Overland Expo 2016

When the weather goes bad, equipment choice and deployment make the difference between dependability and dumpster fodder. Sometimes it's best to learn from others' experiences.

When the weather goes bad, equipment choice and deployment make the difference between dependability and dumpster fodder. Sometimes it’s best to learn from others’ experiences!

As you may have guessed, the above scene was taken in the area I was camped in. The wind advisory yesterday was for gusts up to 50 MPH, and the tall trees blocked some of it, but not all. The one camper I’d talked with in the Expo camping area on Thursday was not aware of what was forecast, and when I returned to see the show on Friday, even the canopy used at the day pass sign-in checkpoint had been blown away. I’d assumed that they had taken it down as a precaution, but the volunteer there told me, “Nope, it took off.” Fortunately, the tight pack-together and a line of tall pines at one edge of the display area broke enough of the 25 MPH average that the vendors seemed to be doing well – even the awning people.

Biking further down towards town showed this classic overlanding combo.

Biking further down towards town showed this classic overlanding combo. it looks appealing, but considering the nightly lows in the high-30s, it’s for hardier stock than I am.

What follows is not at all a comprehensive overview of this year’s Expo. It’s just the few things that drew my attention. Read more…

What Do You Dream?

The above video was made for the Overland Expo 2014, and nicely offers its alternate perception of what camping is to some people. Just for fun and because it’s well done, enjoy three minutes of sizzle.

Problems Solved!

Problem Solved

My good bud Matt sent me this photo as a tongue-in-cheek solution to the Defiant’s issues with getting into the rough stuff. After all, who needs a cramped truck camper when a truck and luxo-camper fix is so easily available? I’m Googling for tires, wheels and lift kits right now…

It Hurts So Good Dept.

Care for some unique, anyone?

Care for some unique, anyone?

Reader David R sent in a couple of photos of his latest conquest, a 1965 Avion C-10, a ten-foot truck camper that fits in an eight-foot bed. He claims it’s “in surprisingly good condition for the age”, which is now fifty years! Who says they didn’t build ’em to last back then?

David is one of those gluttons for punishment who enjoys taking basket cases and refurbishing them, and then on to the next. But it’s possible that this old 1,700-pound beer can might stick around for awhile, since Read more…

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