Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the tag “Travel Trailer”

A Miss and a Hit

You know, if I had a fishing license...

You know, if I had a Wyoming fishing license…

The trip to Green River, Wyoming was uneventful save for the beginning and the end of the 245-mile jaunt. The dirt trail going into Vedauwoo is bad washboard, as I’ve whined about before. My camping spot was just short of a couple of miles past the paved entrance. On the way in, I’d taken it at a crawl, the F-250s stiff springs making it jerk about, while the Defiant bounced up and down on the pronounced ridges with a sort of whaka-whaka rhythm. I noticed a hard-side truck camper idle in the following day, bouncing and rocking something fierce, too.

Since that time, the many passing vehicles appeared to be taking it at about 20-30 MPH, and although the ones with various kinds of trailers made a horrendous noise, that seemed to be the style of the locale. So, running solo later on a couple of errands to Laramie, I tried it. The trick was to get up to speed as quickly as possible in order to minimize the rather alarming judder. Not that bad! It was also not bad in that it chopped the trail time from a half-hour to a few minutes. All I had to do on hitting the pavement was to shove the GPS’ power plug back in. On the way back, slowing down to take the turn into my camp was unique, in that slowing on the washboard steered the back end right as the rear tires, inflated to their towing pressure of 75 PSI, made only occasional contact with the ridges. That aided my left turn, but the resulting door shake was disconcerting.

in the right type of RV, this place would be quite a treat.

in the right type of RV, this place would be quite a treat.

When departing for what promised to be a 5-hour drive – four hours to get to Green River, and maybe another hour to take Wyoming 530 and then nine miles of 012, marked as the “Lost Dog” Use Area – I decided to man-up and pull the Defiant over the washboard at speed. What the heck, why not try it? To crawl out again would just take too long, and the manly approach usually Read more…


Oops! Goofing with a jackstand on the soft ground of the forest allowed the trailer to twist off it, dropping the tongue to the ground.

Oops! Goofing with a jackstand on the soft ground of the forest allowed the trailer to twist off it, dropping the tongue to the ground.

Arriving at quaint Mormon Lake Village a couple of hours before sunset yielded NF-219, a track just south of town that quickly turned to ascend a low mountain. At the bottom though, it was muddy from recent rains, but the mud was not bad enough to be a show-stopper. I pulled into a treed area that seemed to allow a circle path through it, but then found that, unlike Darth Vader’s revelation, the circle was not complete. The rig wasn’t trapped, but the back-up would be an ugly affair, cranking the hitch at an angle it deeply resents.

Since the sloppy climb up the slope was hemmed in and rocky, I broke out the mighty Aurora e-bike from its carrier at the front of the equally-mighty Furd and made my way up to look for something usable. The sites I found were Read more…

Roll-Down Trailer Windows

The window. Fixed.

The window. Fixed.

Just before a major trip to town yesterday, I discovered that the window on the trailer door had somehow slipped down about an inch, opening an impromptu 1/4″x12″ fresh air slot at the top of the window. That explained the draft during the cold, high wind here the day before. Repairs would have to wait though, since a combination laundry and grocery run would prevent taking the time to disassemble the thing and figure out what would be needed to fix it.

So today, I removed the screws squeezing the inner and outer plastic window frames together. Ugh. Small pins molded into both frames that retain the edges of the glass had sheared off at the bottom, letting the glass slowly slide down from its own weight. I’m not sure why, though the door has had an unhappy existence in terms of sag, and takes some shoving now

Read more…

The Return of Spartan Luxury

At one time, The American Dream was being free to live in the way you wanted to, rather than being the opportunity to go from rags to riches.

At one time, The American Dream was being free to live in the way you wanted to, rather than having the opportunity to go from rags to riches.

You asked for it, and here it is: the sequel to Spartan Luxury and Update to Spartan Luxury, with additional detail provided from interviewing Charles, the owner of this surprising little rig that’s built to boondock in more remote areas. I have to admit, I figured that this quirky little trailer, being not much over six feet square, would be akin to a broom closet inside, as far as living space goes. I figured that a converted cargo van would be a mansion in comparison.

I initially thought it must be too small to do any more than weekend in.

I initially thought it must be too small to do any more than weekend in.

Wrong again. It’s quite the other way around. Yep, the exterior has a kind of ramshackle practicality that doesn’t build much expectation for the interior. Yet once the door to the inside is opened, the aura of Read more…

Adventures in RVing!

The mighty Defiant in Marengo, Illinois last summer.

The mighty Defiant in Marengo, Illinois last summer.

This isn’t about my adventure. It’s about Dave’s Adventure. See, Dave is this guy in a mid-sized older motorhome, a real nice guy just out to see what RVing is all about, same as me. He was parked directly in back of my TT, and the photo above doesn’t show that because it was taken just before he arrived. Otherwise, it’d be in the photo because it was no more than ten feet away. There were a few trees and a powerline close by, too. I left Sept 3rd to head for the Bonneville Salt Flats, and he stayed behind for awhile.

Before you ask “so what”, I’ll tell you. Sometimes, what doesn’t happen to you is as important as what does happen. I got the “doesn’t”, he got the “does”. I’ll let Dave tell you:

“…Looks like you have had your trials and tribulations but have succeeded in your quest so far.  As for me, since you left I have had my own trials and tribulations.
First off, shortly after you left I took a direct lightning strike Read more…

Update to “Spartan Luxury”


Remember this little gem? I talked to the owner!

Remember the recent post Spartan Luxury? I was biking some trash to the LTVA’s dumpsters today and found the above rig parked near the dump station, waiting for another in order to begin a trip. The owner was sitting in the Jeep and was happy to answer questions for as long as his friend was holding up the show.

A former Seabee and electrical engineer, it turns out he was disabled and in a wheelchair for 22-1/2 years. He is now ambulatory but says there’s “still more for them to do” and he occasionally uses either the wheelchair or two forearm crutches to get around.

As for the trailer, it boasts bed, A/C, catalytic propane heater, TV, satellite dish, microwave, and toaster oven. The gasoline generator can run for 13 hours on a single fill. A sink is being installed, as well as an exterior shower head that will pull and pump water from a stream or other source. His RVing friends, a couple, have eight children and he claims they were all packed into the tiny trailer yesterday to watch the TV! He said it was quite a sight. I believe him, and it must have been quite a sanity break for the parents!

The roof rack seen in the photos are now gone. Why? He’s a bit of a sun worshipper and the rack and spare wheels and tires it held were too much like a roof for him, blocking the open air and sunlight. Gone. He doesn’t even own a roof tarp any more, and drives wet or dry. He’s been to 46 of the 50 states so far with this rig, pretty much as you see it. Rain? Jeep dash switches have long since gone normal and aren’t waterproof, but he just lets things misbehave and dry out for awhile, then keeps going. (By the way, he says the best and fastest way to get an immersed cellphone dried and operational is to immediately remove the battery, then throw it all on some uncooked rice for an hour or more.) The oddest part of this story is that the rack was extremely sturdy and cost him about $300 to build. He sold the build plans to J.C.Whitney, and claims that they now offer a greatly whimpified version of it for around $900 or so.

When I pointed out the off-road orientation of his rig, he admitted that camping at the LTVA is not his usual style, but he’s waiting for some special-order tires to come in before he heads into the hills. He mentioned the black rocks that can be seen scattered all over this area, and pointed out that they are volcanic. “They will cut into a tire easier than you can believe it,” he said, “they’ll just strip the rubber right off, and these I got now are worn too thin. When I get the new ones I’ll be camping up in the hills.” It also turns out that the massive front bumper with winch is actually a lockable toolbox, too. Clever, this hardy soul. He says he’ll be back in a few days, so I’ll see if I can spot him again then. Got any questions for him?

RV U.S.S. Enterprise to be Rechristened

The Enterprise being fitted with new, shorter 4'-8' telescopic poles prior to the ceremony.

The Enterprise being fitted with new, shorter 4′-8′ telescopic poles prior to the ceremony.

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 – The RV U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701, also commonly referred to as the U.S.S. Enterprise, is today having its official name retired. The ship will be rechristened the RV U.S.S. Defiant NX-74205, to be commonly called the RV U.S.S. Defiant. No ceremony is planned other than an evening rechristening which is to include a crew’s supper of “sea varmints” accompanied by red wine, and the traditional custom of breaking a wine bottle on the ship’s hull. Due to Section 3 of the Prime Directive regarding alcoholic beverages, that bottle will be Read more…

Starting Out With a Whimper

My nondescript but level campsite at Hi Jolly in Quartzsite, AZ.

My nondescript but level campsite at Hi Jolly in Quartzsite, AZ.

Before posting about the trip down here (which was notable), I’ll bring you up to speed on current info, which I’m sure you will find riveting. Sure. After running by the Lifestyle RV dealership in Quartzsite and making an appointment for the next day, I rolled into a nearby 14-day site for the overnight. BLM sites within Quartzsite are unusual in that they require sign-ins with volunteer camp hosts. That’s because they want to keep tabs on the crush of visitors that come in for the Winter gatherings. With the government out of action, the camp host was present but not authorized to do anything, so one can wander in and out as one pleases – for now.

The next day, Tuesday, I hauled the Enterprise in for repairs to the refrigerator. The fridge thought it was fine, but actually refused to cool, and left propane flowing even though the electronic pilot ignitor never sparked to fire things up. Fortunately for me, the issues turned out to be Read more…

Van or RV?

When this represents "very cloudy", you know you’re going to like it here. What will you reside in while you’re here?

When this represents “very cloudy”, you know you’re going to like it here. What will you reside in while you’re here?

When a few hardy souls, by circumstance or free choice, decide that a mobile lifestyle is the way to go for them, the choice of what type of contraption they will live in can seem like a difficult puzzle to put together. That’s only because it is. The options are wide, and small differences can make or break a choice.

What to choose, oh what to choose?

What to choose, oh what to choose?

I’ll claim right here that I’m not going to deliberately try to steer you toward the one solution that I prefer myself, though my feature preferences will leak into this post, of course. It helps that I’m not living in the type of rig I actually prefer, but what I do have does work quite well for me. I think you’ll know when to filter out what doesn’t apply to you, and so know whenever a particular type of rig may not be such great shakes for you, because you’re not me. Thank your lucky stars for that! Personally, I consider a converted van to be just another form of RV, but for the sake of this article, I’m pretending it’s not.

The major caveat is that I’m going to babble on here about full-timing only, and having no other housing available in the foreseeable future. Anyone can make do in anything when you have friends or relatives to stay at now and then, or some other form of Read more…

Surveying the Wreckage

Originally posted 9/9/2012

The Gulf Stream Innsbruck in more carefree days.

The Gulf Stream Innsbruck in more carefree days.

As I mentioned before, living in an RV full-time is much different than weekending and vacation touring. And, dry camping is a different animal than standard RV camping where electrical power, water and sewer are readily available. As far as hardware goes, what makes sense to one full-time RVer doesn’t work for another. A few live out of a pickup truck shell, some live out of a converted van, and some live in a bus-sized luxo-home. The great majority opt for something in between. In keeping with the That’s Obsolete blog theme, I’ve opted for a vintage 1994 Gulf Stream 24’ Innsbruck travel trailer. Surprisingly, nearly everything in it still works.

This trailer has suffered the bain of all campers, water leaks. Despite an impressive one-piece aluminum roof, a leak occurred at a rear roof vent in storage, ruining quite a bit of plywood flooring Read more…

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