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Old 12-17-2014, 09:56 PM   #15
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"Airstreams and roughing it", sounds to me like "Diamonds and playing in the mud". It does not compute.

Ken
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:49 PM   #16
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Ray.. I grew up sleeping in my flat bottom wooden boat.. watching for Cotton Mouth's who wanted to share my body heat, even on summer nights. I could SURVIVE. I can still do it.. and live off the land if I need to. My wife, tho very poor, had no AC in her home and finally got 'window units' just before graduating High School. AC may not be necessary, but, good tight screens minimize blood loss....from mosquitos and other predators. We taught our sons the same and they enjoy the outdoors so much they also became US Marines!

Life marches forward...

My wife now has serious back issues and has difficulty riding great distances in our TV. She also has some lung issues (perhaps from breathing the chemicals used in modern farming and secondhand smoke). "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."...

The 34' wide body she is quite 'at home' in. We HOPE to be able to do some traveling if she is able and things come together... we MUST as soon as we can.... for reasons any rational person can understand..

Going 'boondock' mode... well, if we can get enough altitude and breeze to keep her comfortable and not cause an asthmatic attack, SIGN US UP!

I hope folks would not perceive us as 'invaders' ... in the wilderness. We believe in leaving a place 'better than you found it' where possible. We believe in being 'good neighbors' from music to campfires to open windows.

What would be KEWL, would be if folks who 'boondock' successfully could instruct those who would like to learn... yes, this would mean taking a newbie under your wing for a trip.. but, if we are unwilling to share useful knowledge, we are doing no one a favor.. How many of us could 'repair' things without 'replacing'??? or patch for a temporary fix? How many could find our 'place in the wilderness'.. to hunt and gather... I don't know... maybe a few handfuls..

There is a great chasm of emptiness in the heart of man... there is only one thing that can 'fit' and 'fill' that emptiness... There is a great missing knowledge chunk... perhaps because 'sausage making is ugly business', but I love me some good Texas slow-smoked beef jalepeno sausage... to MAKE it, tho.. is ugly business.

We see on the board many times where folks are introduced to things like Voltmeters, tire gauges, hydraulic jacks, Maxim skylights, 'The Great Flush', etc... things some see as easy as breathing are unobtanium skills for others. I remember watching the News on a B&W set...in October of 1962.. I played on the floor, watching the 'grownups' nearly blow us all to Kingdom come...with the 'Cuban Missile Crisis'.... It was there I learned things like 'surviving a nuke'... that the cockroaches would survive... but that there are no good recipes for them... That I would need to know how to 'survive' as there was no one around me capable of giving me the confidence to 'not worry'... instead they looked at me while holding empty pots near me to size up their capacity. I felt like Bugs Bunny in the cannibal's supper pot... It was a feeling I would never tolerate again.

This is one reason for the AS. It can take a beating and be able to provide basic necessities... but not as comfortable as 'slide out' models. It is large enough we could support some of our family.. such as Grandkritters... their keepers could staying nearby tents.. and defend the perimeter wire.

So, the key was to be as self sufficient to repair things I can't keep running and replace or retrofit if necessary. I am there thanks to encouragement and tips and advice and a fair dose of humiliation from LIFE and FRIENDS.. even some of you here on this forum have given me some well earned 'life' lessons... just by listening to you.. THANKS for that!

Now, back to the idea of training Newbies... What about it? Maybe a 'team' could put together some real life training..? First.. how do you find a 'spot' you can reach without ruining your AS?
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:37 PM   #17
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Ray
I'm glad you got a chance to vent....cigarette? But I agree with most of your points or positions. Retired after 42 years this year, and STILL pull over into roadside parks and sleep in the back of my TV at 67 on winter trips across the country. In the mornings write a short message in the ice on the inside of my windows, and mail them home. And most of our camping in our 20ft FC is done on BLM or Forest Service lands out west here. But you gotta admit...its nice to have a few of the luxuries at this stage of life (heat, coffee maker, solid roof in rainstorms). What bothers me more is how jaded many people have become...its a great country out there...its beautiful! I wish they would be more grateful and appreciative how fortunate we are, especially when we have a chance to travel and get out. Have a good Christmas and a good 2015. jon
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #18
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Channing, keep the spirit!

Silver and Gold has a majority position as to camping outside of a power box and always available and interesting company. We do our fair share when other options are not better. That is why I post on the Boondocking Forum and not the Mobile Home for the Retired and No Ambition Forum. Some great gold panning on Douglas Creek, Albany County, Wyoming... by the way.

If you have seen the Airstream photo on the Forum with the list of African and European countries listed on the front skin... THIS is why some of us Airstream! Just because the roads are paved from the Coast to Coast in the USA, it does not mean you are not enjoying the travel. Sometimes you can exit Highway 80 in Wyoming or Utah for several miles of old asphalt county roads to discover what you cannot see from the Interstate System! An example: Everyone thinks Kansas is FLAT, especially western Kansas. Wrong. The Interstate was built on the easiest grade to put a highway. Go north or south... you catch the breaks and hilly to the north and steep ravines to the south. The river valley of the Smokey Hill River is a mile or more wide, yet the current river if we even call it a river, more a stream, is a 100 or less feet wide today. Why? You find out... it is very interesting... why.

Airstreams today are not poorly constructed. If they could travel over NO paved roads for thousands of miles over several years across Africa to Europe... today's suspension is better. It is the "clearance" of the AS that is lower than all the other brands of trailers. That is the only limiting factor for an Airstream... clearance and the plumbing for the grey/black water dump. If you cannot drive on asphalt without hitting pot holes and tire gators... stick to what you find comfortable, asphalt and concrete.

Off the mainstream roads are the State, County and "Farm/Ranch" roads that might be maintained by the State or County. They are posted. A pickup pulling a Airstream can go 20mph or 55mph on many of this well made gravel roads. Slower is better as the gravel can damage your "chrome guards" and toss some errant stone "up and over" the pickup towards the trailer. I understand that I would not want to drive a restored 1967 Corvette across a Nevada gravel road... Well, maybe it would have been best using this money for a Pickup truck.

Yes, there can be brush encroaching onto a less traveled road. Moose in Wyoming. Deer in Missouri. Armadillos... in southern Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. On I-25 on the Colorado Front Range are couches, ladders, spare tires, tool boxes and shipping pallets... So?

Take it easy on the quality of the road you find yourself. Dust? It vacuums out of the trailer and washes off the exterior. Wash Board roads... they are the biggest challenge... Chaco Canyon in Arizona is a great example but well worth the rattling of passengers and contents of the trailer! Keeps the whiny people away! We have been there three times, nobody died, the trailer showed no damage in the process.

I do not recommend any trailer over 25 feet to seriously Western Boondock. Only if you find a spot you need to back out of takes more skill than you want to learn on the job. A 25 foot and shorter Airstream... it is an easy transition from paved to gravel to two rut camping spot. To add... the campers in their $150,000 buses are glad to meet you in your $60,000 trailer. If they are not concerned about getting out and away, anyone with an Airstream is imagining that an Airstream is too delicate, too expensive and too... whatever else to actually go camping once where only the fewest of Airstreamers dare to travel... the Boondocks.

Boondocking has expanded to include resort parks, Casino RV Parks, parking lots and in your front yard. So for years I called it Rockdocking... to make a distinction. If you cannot step outside your trailer and urinate on a tree... it is Boondocking. OK? There I said it.

The majority of posts on a thread over two sentences is usually... mostly unread. I like that. I blah, blah, blah for the first one or two paragraphs and then can share what I enjoy the most... avoiding those who think that their Airstream is a poorly designed, constructed and so sensitive to dust and unlevel roads. Why even buy one? Those made of pressed cardboard walls make these trips further into the back country than I dare to go as they have the higher clearance. But, I can get to most places without one bit of injury to myself or trailer.

And yes... there should be a Thread for those on the "Rockdocking" each region offering to build confidence in Newbies that have the courage and stamina to make themselves uneasy off the road. My recommendation is the Wyoming Thread and DuBois, Wyoming. This Rockdocking adventure to Double Cabin is the absolute perfect place to begin for a Newbie AND better for an experienced back country camper. When you drive to DuBois from Riverton, Wyoming you would be expecting to find yourself in high plains desert country... but won't you be surprised at Double Cabin and almost unlimited National Forest open space for 50 foot Horse Trailers and a tiny 34 foot Airstream...

Do not pay attention to the naysayers. Real off the road camping is just a matter of shifting your "mental gears" into a higher mode of traveling and make the best of what you have paid dearly... your home on wheels.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:25 PM   #19
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Yep , the west is filled with wonderful campsites , back off the pavement , down some dirt , gravel road . And having a trailer of reasonable length , winch , come along , chains , straps , snatch blocks , and the know how to use them to unhook and get the trailer turned around within it's own footprint , if need be .

Finding a spot beside a mountain stream , and staying there for a week or two and never seeing anything other than the awesome landscape and creatures that the good lord above in his wisdom has put there .

Would so much rather be camped in a spot like this for only the cost of the effort it took to get there than lined up in some trailer park where the most important thing is how many stations there are on the cable TV .

When we lived up in Jackson County in your fair state , our work schedule would go to 4 10 hr days in the summer , and that sure made for some great adventures in the mountains for the cost of the gasoline to power my old 1964 F 100 4x4 " witch I still have and use " and a 1971 13 ft Cardinal TT with a gravity feed water facet , an " ice box " and a two burner stove . Would get off work on Thursday PM . hook up the trailer and GO . we would decide which way to go on a whim and have " excellent " adventures.

You are so very correct about folks nowadays being scared to explore , and not being able to make do and survive if handed something unexpected . It is sad .

By the way , Thanks for a great thread !
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #20
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Seriously great thread, from someone who lived outside in Yosemite for two winters, and then lived in my VW bus....

and now happily parked on a beach in Mexico....for the time being....
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:12 PM   #21
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Interesting thread and comments...

That said, I think we all have to remember that the term "roughing it" is relative and directly related to our background and life story...

So for Ray to feel that an Airstream is nothing but luxury. That might very well be true compared to his life history and story. If you come from a tent there is no question that anything that gets you off the ground and into a little heat would be a big step up....

Another person who was camping at Yellowstone in the 60's and 70's might very well feel they were roughing it. Again that prospective comes from their life story and background. If they come from a city, I'm sure Yellowstone in the early 60's might very well have been roughing it. Again it (all) prospective!

None of these prospectives are wrong, they are just different based on your story. In my case, I might think Ray's story of camping in the early day was luxury.... Because I come from living my life on the land above the Arctic Circle. So in my case, "camping" was not something you did on weekends or for recreation. It was how you lived - so again it all just becomes prospective!



Cheers
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:21 PM   #22
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I spent 5 years living in a '69 Chevy van that I tricked out myself. Fridge stove, bed, closet, a sink and running water. 5 gallons only but more could be had as required. I drove her across Canada and only paid for camping once at a hot spring. I wanted the hot soak enough to pay for a camp site. Only complaint about the A/S is that I have to choose between it and the boat. Can't haul both at once. Maybe a Zodiac is in my future.
Big canyon / little river? One has to remember that when the ice, a mile thick, started to melt, the river was not little.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:28 PM   #23
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My mother in law thought that "roughing it" was a Holiday Inn without room service. I have to feel sorry for those types. Provincial Parks here in Ontario are way expensive for what little service they provide. Boondocking is much more practical and fun too.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:41 PM   #24
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Gearheart.... it took only one with experience to figure out why the Smokey Hill River has a valley the width of the Mississippi River and a seasonal river that fits into a narrow bank! When the Rocky Mountain glaciers were melting the "real rivers" flowed west to east through Kansas to the Missouri River.

The Gold from west of Denver was carried not to Nebraska, as the rivers flow today, but south towards New Mexico. ... and people talk about Climate Change as if it is something NEW. The Missouri River is the furthest southern advance of the Pleistocene glaciers in Missouri... Iowa had one small area that was NOT UNDER Pleistocene ICE.

In the winter, Iowa still maybe mostly under... snow and ice.

IF anyone really wants to Boondock... buy a used $1 text book of US Geology or Canadian Geology... and you can spend years exploring. Although... most people would rather not for convenience and stop at the turn outs along a highway, stop, look and keep moving along.

My wife had a VW bus with the pop up top in the early 1970's. Her first vehicle. When she graduated college she had to sell it. Why? It would not clear the company multi level parking garage. Every time we see one on the road, which is rarer than seeing an Airstream... we have to look. Orange and white, too.

We have neighbors who say camping is a "Howard Johnson" hotel. They also have their finger nails done in a parlor. I carry the Revlon clipper that now sells for about $1.00 in my pocket since I was 15 years old. I wear them out and get one with a new cutting edge. They cut finger nails well. Toe nails with difficulty. And, cut electrical wire insulation when doing off the grid repairs.

So ArcticFox is right. It is all perspective. The only time I am impressed with a driver towing a trailer is when I felt it was best I find a spot, set up camp and be satisfied where I ended up. It is when I see the plume of dust coming on the horizon, passes me and sees that it is already "too crowded" and keeps going up the well traveled wood harvesting truck road further up the mountain.

I can handle the heat... but cold..., real cold I leave to those with more dogs than we own and piled higher sleeping bags as covers to those who like it.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
SNIP;
I can handle the heat... but cold..., real cold I leave to those with more dogs than we own and piled higher sleeping bags as covers to those who like it.
We used to know it was cold when you could move your hand in front of your face and see the air move. It never stopped us from our daily activities, but it certainly slowed you down....lol

Here is a couple images from hunting on the ice above the mainland of North America.... I guess this is sort of what you call boondocking....lol
Again its all prospective!





Cold can be sort of REALLY COLD.....




Have a great day folks. I'm off to pack for the tropics.....

Cheers
Doug
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:35 PM   #26
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FC.. not 'Flying Cloud'.. Freakin' Cold!
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:02 PM   #27
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Roughing it?? ...... "We camped in a cardboard box in the middle of the road - but you tell young'uns today and they don't believe you!"

(Modified excerpt from an early Monty Python skit)


Jus' kiddin' ........... Brian.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:06 PM   #28
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ArcticFox... after looking over your two photographs, I noticed you were not wearing the "free" Airstream jacket that use to come with a trailer purchase. My Airstream jacket, you could see the light between the threads. Which dealer did your Airstream jacket come from? Mine has no Arctic Fox collar... only Blue Heeler shed hair. Or did you give up the Airstream Floor Mat to get the upgrade?

Good Luck. I like the alternative meaning for Flying Cloud from cwf.

When a fresh refrigerator carton was sitting, uncollapsed near the trash... it became the Fort that needed to be over run by those kids that had only chain saws and bear traps to play with... (not really).
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