Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-14-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,367
Base Camping: Smart Airstream Boondocking

Base Camping. Noun: A main encampment providing supplies, shelter and communications for persons engaged in wide ranging activities, as exploring, reconnaissance, hunting or mountain climbing. (Dictionary.com)
*****

Why do you want to Base Camp?

The answer... is Why are you NOT Base Camping with a trailer designed to just barely clear obstacles on pavement?

Your present home. You are Base Camping. It is fixed onto the Earth, without wheels, but you can go to Costco to forage for food and supplies. Lowe's is another source of supplies.

Think of your Airstream as your "Home on Wheels". Find a comfortable place to detach your trailer and you have made "Base Camp". If you do not find the spot to your liking, you drive around, find a better spot bringing your trailer to a new home next. This is the "Smart" in the title of this Thread.

Newbie's think of their Airstream as an ATV with a bed. Not so. You high center an ATV, two people can move it. High center your Airstream... well, lets not think of that. Yet.

Smart "Off the Grid Boondocking" takes some experience. You have several vulnerable parts exposed to poor judgement.
- Grey and Black Water appendages
- Rear bumper is the least appreciated weak point in "undulating" road travel

The experience involves good judgment. Some people, have no judgment of space nor good sense when it comes to "asking" someone else to walk along side your trailer in tow for anything that might suggest... dragging, losing parts of your plumbing or maybe just rolling a boulder under the aluminum skin beneath your trailer's floor. You have leveling blocks, a shovel and flat rocks to help elevate your exposed parts in situations as these.

We will be Base Camping in the 2016 Wyoming Adventure. Some camp sites will be ones that a second person will have to walk alongside for anything that might cause a "brush whack", upper tree branch whack, plumbing drag, bumper drag and maybe an angular rock sticking out from the soil to avoid. Seems like a lot of things to do... but experience makes it all routine. Like driving in Rush Hour Traffic. If you can pull your trailer in rush hour city traffic, you already know how to see trouble coming on or IN the road.

Each part of the USA has expected obstacles. Brush growing alongside a narrow road keeps you watching the right side of your trailer very closely. Northwest Montana comes to mind. Brush scuffs are not a problem, but a hard wood sharp edge of a pine tree at six feet... can leave a crease. On an empty Off the Grid road... drive down the center, until oncoming traffic "dust" is seen by yourself or passenger. Look ahead for a pull out, just in case. Sometimes on a narrow one and a half wide lane, find a pullout and wait for the oncoming vehicle or vehicles to pass. See... smart.

Base Camps are those you get a GPS location and mark it onto your reliable map. The Airstream is not intended to be pulled into places that are risky. Like across a one foot deep stream that was not checked and is actually three feet deep and mud bottom. Smart...

Some Base Camps are a bit on the edge of easy, but camped for a couple days on along a steep ridge with a view of 75 miles... it is worth every minute extra it took to dodge a few gopher holes and sagebrush branches.

Some hunter camps ALL seem to be excellent Base Camps. A well traveled two rut to an area where low hanging branches were already used for firewood.

Many, if not MOST Airstream owners are uncomfortable taking their "baby" off the paved road. That is fine for those who Base Camp Off the Grid. A campground is safe. A RV Park is much safer. Nothing wrong with Safe and Smart.

I, myself, did not buy a trailer to play it Safe. Although the Airstream and its low clearance is a big disadvantage, there are few places that another brand of trailer can go, not accessible to our Airstream. So what if our Base Camp is a quarter of a mile closer to the nearest well maintained gravel forest service road. Smart.

Let the SOB knock the low branches off overhanging trees and clean up the road for you next year. Also Smart.

One of the biggest obstacles for an Airstream on pavement are... Road Gators. Truck tires that have come apart and can severely damage a low clearance trailer. Base Campers are traveling 5mph to 35mph and already are watching the road, closely. You will be able to spot angular rocks to keep your tires away from and a rotten branch dropped across the road, that needs to be pulled off the road and tossed.

IF you suddenly appear on the 2016 Wyoming Adventure, you will leave as an accomplished Base Camper. Or at least, think so. From the 2015 New Mexico Adventure at Quemado, NM some of us found the access to several sites with our vehicles all of the excitement one could ask. Dirt and mud is like getting a good tan while on the beaches in the Caribbean. If dust, dirt, insect swarms, smell of trout being gutted, mud, puddles, rutted two tacks, wild animals looking for food sources, campfire smoke, occasional dog bark, coyotes howling at night, etc. bother you. Maybe you are better off staying somewhere it is safe and well lit. Some Airstream owners believe one is "abusing their baby" if it is taken into the wild blue yonder.

Myself... it is best to have tried to Base Camp, once, than staying at a sterile RV Park, finding yourself too "fragile" to think it possible, when opportunity came a knocking when you were still healthy, full of attitude with just a bit of that I can do anything still locked into that skull of yours. Tent, trailer or canvas tied to a couple of trees... Base Camping is whispering... come, come now. Otherwise... maybe satellite television reception is good and your heart is content.
__________________

__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 02:07 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
 
westcoastas's Avatar
 
2005 28' Safari
formerly of Tustin, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, and Laguna Beach , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 278
Blog Entries: 1
Amen to all you write, Ray. Yours are good footsteps to follow with eyes wide open. The number one advice we've used is to park your Airstream in a campground, unhitch, and then go scout places either found on a map that shows BLM and National Forest boundaries or learned from a local. The locals can also tell you whether a certain BLM or forest road has a turnaround spot for your trailer. We also have a shovel. Nothing defines freedom better than stepping out of your trailer and seeing nothing but open space. Oh, and the second thing would be to be able to run one's generator until 1 AM in order to watch a DVD and not bother anyone in the process. Thanks Ray for spreading the good word.
__________________

__________________
westcoastas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 02:27 PM   #3
Full Time Adventurer
 
BoldAdventure's Avatar
 
2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,743
All I do.
__________________
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
OUR BLOG | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM
BoldAdventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 02:45 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,563
Nice, Ray.


Maggie
__________________
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2015, 02:54 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,367
Honda Generator- Off the Grid sharing with others?

Westcoastas.... gave me an idea: "Honda Generator while Off the Grid" sharing with company.

Other Base Campers... bring extension cords and use WC's Honda as Base Camp power to run the simple things. Not Air Conditioning, Hair Dryers in all trailers... but to recharge batteries, HDTV televisions, water pump for showers... maybe just to be... NICE.

When you are benefiting from electrical power from a purring Honda that is not yours... your hearing is muted. If you have a dog that will bark at a bear in the dark... and so does your dog... your hearing is muted. You get my drift?

Someone might be able to explain how many digital televisions and DVD's can run off of one Honda... please add some intelligent knowledge about watts and amps.

HONDA Sharing. The Off the Grid power company. Even chipping in some fuel or a buck or two would be well worth the convenience. For those of use who might be... Solar Deprived.

Maybe this year I will watch Little Big Man on our television while Off the Grid and see how it works out. Maybe go as far as recharge some other camper's batteries. Any comments?

Any comments? Never heard this being brought up before, but that is why Off the Grid campers are a bit smarter, good looking, have a sense of humor and can discuss about anything without becoming upset that the fishing stinks.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 11:41 AM   #6
59' Globester
 
twolanehwy's Avatar
 
1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
san francisco , California
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 222
ever since I installed a new Torflex axle I have an addition 4" of ground clearance.
I also took out Black tank and drain valves. I don't have to worry about those silly hookups. I just use buckets to catch grey water and water the trees.
Also have one of those 5 gallon toilet seats. Works fine for me...love the boondocking.
Also have the EU 2000 and EU 3000 for my electrical needs.
__________________
twolanehwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 12:53 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,367
Base Camping has its... situations

Twolanehwy... you were able to do what only a few can. Make an Airstream an effective Off the Grid trailer. Keep it up.

Black Water:

My wife after hip surgery could not use our usual the Off the Grid toilet pit, commonly used by Hunter's Camps in the Rockies. You dig a pit, use it as a toilet and bury it when you leave. We always place a large, or a group of larger stones to keep animals from digging into our latrine. This is usually 100 feet or so away from a boondock site, or even further if is is more established, but still Off the Grid.

With hip surgery, my wife Nancy still wanted to Boondock while recovering from surgery. I bought a toilet seat and lid at Walmart, attached brackets onto it. I took a five gallon plastic bucket, cut out the bottom, some are sturdier than others- so find the sturdiest you can- and attached the toilet seat to it with bolts. I placed the bucket over the pit and secured it by digging a larger circumference upper area to "fit the bucket and toilet seat securely". We will burn the toilet paper in a fire pit, or haul out as trash. The toilet pit will become soil in no time. Toilet paper, except maybe septic tank dissolvable paper, can last for years in a dry climate.

For most... this is not on their list of options. That is OK. This is a portable out house in the wilderness. This takes care of our Black Water. We do not dump Black Water... ever. Many truck stops now have free dump sites, so there is no excuse to dump as you leave a campsite. You do that with one of our "adventures", it will be your last one with us. Or you better have a shovel and bucket to dig it up and pack it out, or bury it deep this time.

Grey Water:

We have a wash basin in our sink. Wash dishes, hands... I find a "favorite bush" and water it. Showers. I will take a five gallon bucket and open the grey tank. Two showers is about five gallons for us, two buckets to disperse, and I find other "favorite bushes" to water. When we are back into an area the following year or two... the bush is healthier for it. We come into the campsite clean and shower when we leave. Water is much more important to drink, washing hands and face, than to SHOWER when off the grid. Your "scent" attracts wild men and women into the area... just made that up.

Since "some" seasonal hunters seem to not care, they leave cans and trash at their camp. Organized hunts with a guide are very particular, but you get a group of guys drinking and shooting firearms around the campfire... they do not care. Signs are shot at. Not ALL are incapable of cleaning up their camp, but you will find some that make everyone look bad. Kills are carried into camp and after skinning and butchering... it litters the camp. Usually the local carnivores... bear, coyote, fox, skunk, badger, javelina (a peccary), etc. do a very decent job of cleaning the site up. It would be nice if the butchering would be done further away from the "established campsite". But... you fight only those battles that can be won. At times these same carnivores come back as a routine. So be aware of hunter's camps.

Individuals who do not camp Off the Grid, at times do not understand. Watch "Building Alaska" or one of these current programs how you have few choices that someone in downtown Los Angeles finds as standard custom. Common Sense does not always accompany intelligence.

Our "Base Camps" are preferred away from established Hunter's Camps. Just more private. Occasionally you will have a party coming for the weekend and find you camped... at "their campsite". It puts you and them into a tough situation. It happened at our Magdalena, NM trip this year. Four families could not find a campsite to keep the adults and children together while tent camping. We rented the entire site and had the excess space, but the Camp Host said they had to... leave. I stepped forward and said they could share an area with we Airstreamers, as it would be our last evening at the multiple campsite. But... if they could keep themselves and the nine children from getting into too much commotion.

They were the most disciplined kids, adults, pets and tent campers one could ever have camped next to you. We could not make them pick up their equipment and leave the site. We Airstreamer's are just too welcoming. It was a "Custer Decision" on our part. It was a tough decision at first, but one that those of us on this New Mexico adventure will not forget. Sometimes a good deed makes everyone feel... good.

Added: The Families that joined our New Mexico adventure. Our agreement was that each family would pay $10. I thought three families, but the "person in charge" handed over forty dollars in cash once they scattered into the junipers. They were very happy about it. We sat at he picnic table trying to figure out what to do with the forty dollars, which was our cost for the multiple site per night. Decision... the forty dollars was placed under the windshield wiper of the family member in charge. They were sleeping in late and most of us were gone before they were awake and realized that they had shared their campsite with some very decent people. We were what I would expect any Airstream group would do... consider themselves in the same situation and did what was right. The End.
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 02:26 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 35
Images: 2
forest service campground guidelines

So here's another way to sort out if a forest service campground has a turnaround. My husband gets very very nervous heading down a gravel or dirt road to a forest service campground if we don't know if he can get out - understandable.
Here's one thing that we found works. If you can get internet service, many times you can pull up a map of the campsite on it's website and you can clearly see if there is a turnaround area. It works really well.

Terri
__________________
twestover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 04:07 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
BigButtUgly's Avatar
 
1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 166
My 22' 1958 Caravanner I gutted. From the 4400# Dexter I used only the spindle ends and thus I have independent air ride suspension using 2 each 2200# airbags. My rig can kneel to the ground or have 11" of freeboard underbelly clearance i.e. no full width axle. Front electric jack retracts to nothing below the "A" frame. Viair 12v 100% duty compressor w/ aluminum tank. Heat with wood stove or kerosene military tent heater. I no longer have any tanks. I employ 1 gallon milk jugs, boil water in turkey fryer with air over water foot pump for shower, 18 each 1# point source propane bottles ( refillable), DIY ice chest, also 3.1 cu ft 2 door frig -rarely used, cook w/ propane or kerosene ( both Colemans ), unique toilet and separate urinal, lighting is via candle, lantern ( kerosene or propane or 4 "D" cell LEDs ), house rollout 8,000 Btu A/C, 3500 watt dual fuel electric start generator is removable from the front "A" frame. 2 each T-105 Trojans w/ 2200 watt pure sine wave inverter. TV, a Cadillac Escalade EXT, is carrier and resupply source so keeps the Caravanner @ 2,180# for over the road. Absolutely no weather limits and nothing to "winterize" So I can go anywhere, at any temperature, as long as the 40 gallons water, gas, wood and kerosene last. or take the EXT out for weekly resupply. $11K invested. Many high dollar Airstreams are severely limited and way too complex. Thus I gloat.
__________________
BigButtUgly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 04:15 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Hittenstiehl's Avatar

 
1965 24' Tradewind
1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3,042
Images: 9
BBU how about some pictures of Stream, sounds nice.
__________________

Hittenstiehl
Hittenstiehl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 05:27 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
BigButtUgly's Avatar
 
1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 166
Hittensteihl: Took my 1968 31' International to Germany with me in 1975. 5 years in USAF at Bitburg. Sold it there and doubled my money. Later a Bambi and now a far more capable "Yurt With Tires"' Love the fried ice cream at Black Bart's in Flagstaff. 3 roof vents lift up and flip over to enable the output from wood and/or kerosene heaters. Also have 1 each "whirlygig " type wind powered 8" air vent on each hatch, thus the roof is "clean" going down the road. Also no A/C on roof. Spare tire is on a modified rear bumper made to resemble a continental kit a few of the 1950s cars had. No folding step - rather a wheeled slant ramp carried in the EXT ( an Avalanche on steroids). Generator and heaters have detachable wheels to roll inside. Foldable "little red wagon' move the water,etc. inside. Everything inside folds or is deflated to be used outside under the removable nylon awning. Have a 40' nylon parachute to make shade in low wind conditions. Will never polish the yert as old looking purports to beauty. Not smart enough to download my camera to computer and attach to Emails, etc. Maybe grandson will help. The 19' open concept interior feels bigger than my '68. I use 2 each Intec inflatable sofas which fold open to make queen beds.
__________________
BigButtUgly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 06:06 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,367
BBU... so, no excuse not seeing you in the Black Hills with Brent?
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2015, 08:31 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
2015 30' FB FC Bunk
Ayer , Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 886
One of my favorite memories of our cross country trip this year was pulling into a private campground - I backed in, got out, chocked the tires, dropped the rear stabs, and said "done!"

My neighbor with a 5 th wheel, who had all the fixings out, walked over and asked if we were atleast going to hookup. I said no, we don't need that junk.
__________________
Ted S. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2015, 05:08 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Ray Eklund's Avatar

 
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Boulder City , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,367
RC Park Base Camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
One of my favorite memories of our cross country trip this year was pulling into a private campground - I backed in, got out, chocked the tires, dropped the rear stabs, and said "done!"

My neighbor with a 5 th wheel, who had all the fixings out, walked over and asked if we were atleast going to hookup. I said no, we don't need that junk.
******

Do not expect a Birthday card from them next year.

We stayed at a RV Park while making sure the home we were building was going to look close or similar to what we had on the building plans and details... There were a good variety of people, RV's, Trailers and rental units of those flying into the area and touring in style (at hundreds a dollars a day) at this RV Park.

You had those for the evening and moving on.

You had those staying for a couple days to a week. Once you were staying seven days, the daily rate drops significantly. Sometimes you stay for five, pay for seven and... save money.

The Full Timers had areas designated for them. They also had more reliable WiFi, as our varied from minimal to no service at all. A tall RV pulled between ourselves and the tower on the shower/restrooms... no WiFi until they left, or barely enough and having to wait for a sentence to download, slowly.

The Full Timers had Boats.
The Full Timers had... sheds.
The Full Timers had time to set their area up for... Full Timing.
They also got a monthly rate, utilities and good view... sometimes.

One Airstream in several weeks. Casitas to giant Montana fifth wheels. Just one Airstream. Airstreamers ARE an endangered species (?).

While laying back on the couch watching what selection of cable stations were offered, I noticed several times Europeans taking pictures of our Airstream. They, the Europeans always were in those rental units with Utah geography on them.

So, when RV Park Base Camping... ask about the various rates per day. They vary a lot. If it were not so hot... I had the option of $5 a day without power.

I was not that crazy at the time. Maybe next time.
__________________

__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What Boomers Are Buying - Airstream Makes the "Smart Money" List Fly at Night Airstream "In the News" 0 07-12-2011 11:09 AM
Disney's "I ARE SMART" Airstream! fotochop On The Road... 8 01-06-2008 10:21 AM
I are smart Silvertwinkie On The Road... 8 05-06-2007 09:23 AM
A smart way to avoid flood damage HHP Off Topic Forum 16 07-24-2006 09:41 AM
Would it be smart to pour a pad? 26.982 amu Axles 17 07-19-2006 09:24 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.