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Old 03-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #1
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Afraid to Boondock!

I live in the desert region of southern California. There are places in which I would like to boondock, some off them with access via washboarded roads. I've read on this board about stories of such vibrations actually knocking the cabinets loose.

I've had some trouble with 07 Bambi, so I'm a little gun-shy. Although I would really like to go camp where I can find solitude, I wonder if it's worth the risk. I could simply could camp at an actual campground, but that's not the same.

I realize that Airstreams are not off-road RVs, but I feel frustrated that maybe I need to treat the thing with kid gloves for fear that it will fall apart.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
I realize that Airstreams are not off-road RVs, but I feel frustrated that maybe I need to treat the thing with kid gloves for fear that it will fall apart.
My first thought is that the A/S will fare no worse than an SOB would, maybe better. IMO, it's a matter of being careful, going slow on rough roads and using some (not so common) common sense.
You are right, they aren't off road vehicles.
There are many secluded spots that are actually on or near a paved road, depending on how secluded you want.
Dave
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:47 AM   #3
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Take your time on the roads and those things will go anywhere- haven't you seen the pictures of Stella Byam crossing the river in Mexico? Slow and steady and everything should arrive okay. If not- you know what things to secure differently next time Its an '07 trailer so it should be under warranty if the wheel falls off or the cabinets come detached- but really that shouldn't happen. Have fun- See More, Do More, Live More!
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:04 AM   #4
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Rambn,

I drag a 25 er all over dirt roads and no roads in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. These trailers are fantastic off road!

When you hit the washboards just s l o w d o w n. They are light enough so they don't sink in the sand and if your going slow they'll handle the rocks too.

I've done this with a 19 ftr and now with a 25 ftr. We have had caravans of Airstreams out in the desert without a breakdown or damage.

you bought an Airstream to go travel and adventure. Go do it! Don't let this unfounded worry stop you from enjoying the solitude, beauty and adventure of the wilderness. To limit yourself to a parking lot.. er.. campground is insane!

Please feel free to PM me with any questions, concerns or information you may want.

I'm telling you once you get out there you will find a whole new level of camping.

Can you tell I'm passionate about this?

We're out there all the time. Feel free to join us.

Milo

P.S. Don't forget that Wally led a caravan from Cape Town, So. Africa to Cairo Eygpt. The Mojave is a super highway compared to that.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the prompt replies, I love that about this board!

One boondocking spot I'm considering is only about a half to three-quarter mile down the washboarded road, but it's pretty bad. I would have to go literally 5 MPH or so. It's a nice spot, but I a saw a couple of bees. (yikes)

I do really like the feel of boondocking, in a remote location though. I feel like it captures the spirit of the Airstream, eluded to in the previous response.

I'm not crazy wanting to boondock vs. go to a campground, am I?

I'll post a link for some pics, when I get my act together.

thanks again!
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambn
I'm not crazy wanting to boondock vs. go to a campground, am I.
Nope, It means your sane.

So you have to go 5 m.p.h. So what?

Bees are drawn to water. If you're not leaking or seeping they'll leave you alone. They are also drawn to bright clothes so if you see bees don't wear Hawiian shirts.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:23 AM   #7
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Bees are drawn to water. If you're not leaking or seeping they'll leave you alone. They are also drawn to bright clothes so if you see bees don't wear Hawiian shirts.
And the yellow in firefighting clothing.

One big difference I notice between my Safari and my vintage GT is that the newer trailers have less ground clearance. You really need to be aware of where your waste plumbing/valve is in relation to the rock you are traversing.
As Milo (Goingcamping) says, get out there. Just be careful.
Dave
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
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Tried Anza-Borrego?

Not too far from El Centro, the vast Anza-Borrego Desert SP will provide you years-worth of easy-to-access, seriously secluded, boondocking bliss

Want more info? Google "anza borrego desert campground". Seriously.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:39 PM   #9
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I trust these are not "killer bees". You are lucky if you find bees. They are becoming very hard to find in the US and farmers are getting worried. Without bees to pollinate the crops, we will be in a lot of trouble. Enjoy your peace and quiet and don't hurt the bees. They are our friends.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:57 PM   #10
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Easy does it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambn
One boondocking spot I'm considering is only about a half to three-quarter mile down the washboarded road, but it's pretty bad. I would have to go literally 5 MPH or so.
So, at 5mph it'll only take you 6-9 minutes to get there! What's the problem?

Shari
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:20 PM   #11
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Yes, bees are sadly dissappearing and no one knows why. I would just hate to see my dog get stung. It happened once on his face, and was so sad. I always keep some allergy meds around for him.

The boondocking location that I'm looking at is in the Anza-Borrego SP. With all the desert around I can't really see the point in paying for a campground, although they do have one out on Highway S2 (near Hwy 78). The desert is wonderful and certainly does have ample room for seclusion while camping. However, many of the roads are of coure, soft sand and rocky. I do worry about the ground clearance of the pipes and stuff.

Having a 2WD TV (it's a 5.7L 07 Tundra) I'm not quite so confident. I usually like to do a little recon first, either in truck w/o trailer, or on foot or bike.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:44 PM   #12
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Rambn,

We had a wigged out wash-board road experience last year with our 19'er.

A couple of more suggestions: As mentioned above, go real slow, also allows for more time to miss things in the road up ahead.

Carry a spare tire. If you have it, you won't need it.

Using duct tape, tape the fridge, all cabinet doors, anything that you think could open during the ride.

Speaking of the fridge, make sure that there is nothing REAL heavy in the door shelves. I had to replace one of those after the six pack of bottled beer and carton of milk broke the bracket on the shelf. No big deal, right? Wrong, the stupid shelf cost close to $40.00 from Dometic!!!

I went around with a few screw drivers and made sure every visible, and some not so visible screws was tightened. Go from front to back. This includes checking the screws that attach hinges to doors/cabinets.

On our trip, the converter thing worked itself loose and was almost completely out of it's mounting under the closet. Check the screws that hold that in place. They are really dinky and someday I am going to replace mine with a screw/nut combination. I'd also place a board, 2x4 that wedges between the converter front to the otherside of the AS, just to make sure it stays in one place.

Pad anything breakable in the overheads, or better yet, place them in bins on the floor.

Drive in a lower gear too. You should be fine.

Jonathan
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:16 PM   #13
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Bees may be attracted to the odorant in propane, so if you get them around your propane tanks, check for leaks.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:33 PM   #14
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Still Crazy after all these years

I'll probably get hackecd up pretty hard on this one...

When we have a doubt as to how the twink will fare, we stop and I get in the twink while Donna does whatever we're concerned about. After riding in it on a relatively smooth surface for 10 minutes, comparing it to some rough road is pretty straight forward.

We've taken the twink on some pretty nasty forest roads without obvious ill effects.

I'm with Goin Camping... enjoy - that's what we have 'em for
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