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Old 02-19-2016, 07:48 PM   #1
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Boondocking SCHOOL for Greenhorns

ColoradoLady had a wonderful idea. I also agree... a Boondocking school for trailer owners wanting to learn how to travel and navigate Off the Grid.

This is not available to my knowledge.

This would be in a Boondocking environment and be camped Off the Grid and actually practicing how to become competent and confident as a trailer owner towing on County, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management improved roads and two ruts Hunter's Camps.

Is there an interest.

boondockingairstream@gmail.com

The experienced Base Camp and Off the Grid Airstream travelers are few and far between, but many in the Western USA.

Maybe there is enough interest... then again, they may not be.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:19 PM   #2
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We went to a Boulder City, NV auction and I had to cut the first post short. ...and no, we did not buy anything.

My thought is this. Since we spend plenty of time camped in Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado... it might be a perfect opportunity for those with a trailer, Up to 25 foot lengths, to learn how to Base Camp and get to a Base Camp. Longer trailers would be fine, as well, but have different kinds of limitations.

- Finding potential camp sites using an Atlas.

- How to use your leveling blocks to cross dips in a road and to access a turn on to and off different grades.

- Conserving fresh water carried in your trailer.

- Orientating your trailer for seasonal camping hot and cold weather.

- Changing a flat tire without a jack.

- Finding yourself on a large scale map (DeLorme or other Atlas)

- Reading maps contour lines for steep and flat graded roads and camping areas.

- Fuel tank half empty... begin looking to top off the tank

- Outfitting your trailer for ten day outings

This would be in areas we would be camping, but the focus is that everyone experience what techniques are best to avoid dragging your plumbing, rear bumper, low hanging tree branches, sage brush, rutted roads.

The BEST way to learn is by going on an Adventure under Boondocking. If something comes up in your area that is convenient... indicate you are new and want to learn. Everyone learns by watching. There are risks if you are not paying attention or following common sense driving habits on narrow Forest Service roads.

Unless you are in a hurry, you will learn. Not everyone is capable to do this. One way is to find out with actual experience. I am willing to take a couple at a time to experience Base Camping with your trailer.

This is on my free time. My intent is to develop more interest among drivers becoming competent off the asphalt drivers. I will be honest with you. If I think you need to work on your techniques, I will tell you. It helps if you know the basics... like backing up... but that will improve with experience as well.

Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada... millions of acres to practice. Only one opportunity to get a free ride and then someday you will teach someone else.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:25 PM   #3
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Im in. When will you be in Nevada area?
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:43 PM   #4
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Ray, I am interested. Evelyn.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:04 PM   #5
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I too am interested. -Caleb
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:26 PM   #6
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ColoradoLady will be my FIRST student off of this Thread, since I will be in Castle Rock, CO the first week of March. It was her idea, anyways.

Right now we are in Boulder City, NV but leaving to Colorado in a couple weeks.

My wife, Nancy, understands why I love camping in our Airstream. It is even more enjoyable teaching others about what we do as a routine and collecting rocks and shiny objects.

As this develops, I will have a better feel for how to make it work. First, I need to know WHERE you would like to practice. Time permitting... those with similar State interests will be grouped, find a common meeting place and take the group out for a couple days or more.

I want Greenhorns to practice... BACKING UP. Use the bottom of the steering wheel or the top technique... but only one. Driving forward is a start. Backing up is a necessity to get out of trouble. Practice. Even I have to get the hang of it after being parked for a month or more. Backing up is more important than driving 300 miles on the highway.

This year might be a bit tight for time as we might have a big move to Nevada this Summer. If not... there will be a lot of camping for us.

This is for Greenhorns. Newbies. New trailer owners. Not those I see following this thread as I am typing... they know already are experienced.

This will be fun for ME. Lots of work, strained neck muscles and headache for you, but you will figure it out. IF you already know it all, good. I will listen.

Also, what are your interests. What State(s)?
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:48 PM   #7
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Ray, I love this idea. Since I am a newbie who is planning on joining you on the Wyoming trip, what can I work on? I will practice backing up. I live in Maryland and the Wyoming trip is a life challenge for me. I won't have the ability to come West prior to that trip.
We do have some areas that I can probably get off road practice in. I will check into different challenges.
Any chance some things you cover can get recorded and posted for those of us that are unable to get out for the training?
Thank you so much for being willing to get the rest of us off the road and traveling,
Kathy.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:30 AM   #8
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Kathy... #1 Backing up your trailer. This has to be done before anything else. It is the most demanding and important part of Airstream trailer ownership.

You only need to be competent. Experience improves over time and when you park the trailer for the season... you will have to brush up again. Backing up a trailer, especially the 16 to 20 foot, is more difficult than a longer trailer. If you have a riding lawnmower, hook up the small utility trailer and try to back up.

Now you understand. Small changes in your tow vehicle's front tires creates BIG changes in the direction of the trailer in tow. At times when you have a totally confused angle of trailer, tow vehicle and where you wanted to be... pull forward, straighten out and... repeat, learning from your mistakes.

- Changing a flat tire without a jack. This is for DOUBLE AXLE trailers. Single axles need a jack. Find your owner's manual where the X marks the spot for the jack. Fit a 2" thick x whatever fits below this X for the jack. This way the weight is distributed by the wood block. You do not put the jack under the axle. Read the manual. Find a scrap piece of wood that fits... keep the wood in the trailer.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:36 AM   #9
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I would be very interested but unfortunately live in Florida not west. ��
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:37 AM   #10
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Ray, I see you have me pegged for "1st Greenhorn"! Thank you? I told my daughter, Deb, who lives with me, and she laughed, and said, " you've stepped in it now!" (Deb is not a camper or traveler, she stays home and takes care of the roses in summer.)

Now, I don't know IF I can do this, but, I'm darn sure willing to give it a good "college try"! Of course, Colorado will be great for me, as well. Since we are already "mile high", maybe this elevation , or close to it, might be my best place to start. That is if you agree.

I am a little nervous, at the idea, Ray, but, I must say....I am getting SYKED, just thinking about it! I guess we will find out what I'm made of pretty darn quick. Evelyn.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:39 AM   #11
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ColoradoLady... you need to attach your trailer at the RV storage park and practice backing up straight and into your designated spot. This you have to learn yourself.

Deb will have to step up. She does not know what she is going to be missing this Summer!

I hold the steering wheel at the bottom, always. When backing up... when you turn the steering wheel to the left... what happens. To the right... what happens. Backing up and tweaking left and right to keep a fairly straight direction... what happens. Once you can back up and "fairly" confident... everything else will seem easy.

That is YOUR assignment. Have your daughter help you back up to align trailer and tow vehicle's hitch to attach. Practice hand signals. Practice having someone give you signals to back into a spot.

Your left side is easiest to watch. It is the rear of your trailer and the right side that will hit something if you are not paying attention.

Yes... it is, at first, difficult. That is why you have to master this simple important technique. It will get you out of trouble, safely. Jack knifing your trailer is not paying attention to where your trailer, while backing up... is going.
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:03 PM   #12
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I am tossing this out to see if there is enough interest.

A Colorado School for Greenhorns... the first. Utah School for Greenhorns.. would be in Utah.

Any Greenhorn School will be open to anyone from anywhere, but need to meet at a designated location and Caravan to the site.

I would be willing to take a five day Off the Grid site at a location I am comfortable with in Colorado for Greenhorns and those needing some Off the Grid camping experience this Summer. Since Nancy and I will be looking for camps for the 2017 Colorado High Country Adventure... we will be in the mountains anyways.

I will know in March 2016 IF we will have the time and then will post a date in June or July 2016.

The meeting place(s) will be near Castle Rock, CO and travel from there to Greenhorn School.

IF you are interested, let it be known.

Any questions... this Thread is open for any question.

My question: Anyone with a 16 to 18 foot trailer. What is your experience with backing up? I have had only double axles 23' and 25', which most likely are easier.
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:04 PM   #13
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What a crew now on line reading these posts!
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:15 PM   #14
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Ray,
We are signed up for Wyoming and follow your threads but are OTG newbs with a questionable trailer. I have been backing my 25 for two years without incident until the trip to trade it .

I hope we will gain enough confidence in the new rig between now and August to come try it, and I hope you will have enough patience to see us through it.

It's a great thing you are doing.

Al
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