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Old 02-01-2012, 03:17 PM   #15
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Thanks for the good ideas ... wish that AS made a 20-21 with dual axles as we didn't want to go to 23 for just two people and a small dog. Around here 'docking our FC20 at elevations has maxed out my capabilites for off road driving / negotiating / turning / backing on dirt roads ... trying to keep it scratch free.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:03 PM   #16
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Great thread OP! Just needs pics of your rig as hitched, some dimensions of same (total length and the distance from the hitch ball in both directions) so we can all make some comparisons. A shorter "tractor" might make it possible to yank a 25' around . . . or, what am I missing? (I think your advice prudent as to length, but I can't be the only one thinking this thought).
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:23 PM   #17
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Have you looked at the Alaskan campers?

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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Everyone has their system but I'm hoping to get an Avion C-11 for any serious offroading.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #19
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Hmmmm ... serious offroading for us around here is a short wheelbase 4wd ... Jeep Wrangler ...
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:16 PM   #20
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FS maps show jeep trails (often marked 4WD) and FS roads. Either may have numbers, but once you are out there, a lot of signs have been vandalized or stolen. FS maps are also incomplete and you may see more roads than the map shows. It is easy to take the wrong one. Numbers on thr maps may be different than those on the ground; the FS changes road numbers on a whim it appears. USGS topos have more detail, but can be decades old. They may have been updated badly.

It takes some experience with these maps to understand them.

Jeep trails can be full of very deep ruts (more than 1 foot), big rocks, and other obstructions. They are often too narrow for a full size pickup because someone will eventually be coming the other way. Plenty of places can require backing up when you meet someone—on shelf roads that can be a long distance. A shelf road is on one the side of a mountain and they can go on for miles. At Colorado altitudes that may mean no trees to hold you when you slide off the side before you drop about 500 or 1,000'. These roads are often off camber and late spring and early summer may mean a snow blockage and slippery surface or a wash out. Some high altitude rods never open after a winter with heavier snowfall. Some of these roads are scary. In the forest, mud may be a problem. The one or two thousand feet below tree line is often quite wet, muddy, steep, full of stream crossings and holes. Switchbacks may be too tight for a full sized vehicle. It is not fun to have to back up on a steep switchback on loose soil and have your tires slip. Doing it with a trailer would be lunacy. If you watched the dangerous roads version of Ice Road Truckers, those roads are better than many Rocky Mtn. 4WD drive roads.

These are not places for full size pickups or SUV's, much less trailers. A road marked jeep trail may be ok for a mile or so and not look so bad, but check it out beforehand. If you are not experienced on these old mining and forest 4WD roads, get some experience first.

Rockdocking is a term that has showed up lately and seems to mean extreme boondocking. A small trailer with a small truck seems to be the first requirement. Then, lots of tools, air compressor, tire repair kit and extra water and gas (4WD travel sucks a lot of fuel). Note that travel in the back country can take hours and hours to go very few miles.

I'm all for adventure. We have explored many a 4WD road and have scared ourselves. We haven't done that for many years and the amount of traffic in the back country has increased tremendously. Camping somewhere where you hear trucks groaning in low 4WD up steep grades is not enjoyable. Sounds travels far. It isn't so quiet out there anymore. Camping above tree line means cold temps in summer, and can mean lightning, wind and even snow. Views are incredible, but it is better to visit in the morning by foot or truck (before thunderstorms; you actually can feel the electricity in the boulders as the storm approaches), and camp lower. Valleys or canyons are also very cold in the morning, but that's where the camping sites are. Watch out for flood plains too.

I guess I sound like an old maid, but being aware of what is ahead of you is a good idea.

Gene
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
FS maps show jeep trails (often marked 4WD) and FS roads. Either may have numbers, but once you are out there, a lot of signs have been vandalized or stolen. FS maps are also incomplete and you may see more roads than the map shows. It is easy to take the wrong one. Numbers on thr maps may be different than those on the ground; the FS changes road numbers on a whim it appears. USGS topos have more detail, but can be decades old. They may have been updated badly.

It takes some experience with these maps to understand them.

Jeep trails can be full of very deep ruts (more than 1 foot), big rocks, and other obstructions. They are often too narrow for a full size pickup because someone will eventually be coming the other way. Plenty of places can require backing up when you meet someone—on shelf roads that can be a long distance. A shelf road is on one the side of a mountain and they can go on for miles. At Colorado altitudes that may mean no trees to hold you when you slide off the side before you drop about 500 or 1,000'. These roads are often off camber and late spring and early summer may mean a snow blockage and slippery surface or a wash out. Some high altitude rods never open after a winter with heavier snowfall. Some of these roads are scary. In the forest, mud may be a problem. The one or two thousand feet below tree line is often quite wet, muddy, steep, full of stream crossings and holes. Switchbacks may be too tight for a full sized vehicle. It is not fun to have to back up on a steep switchback on loose soil and have your tires slip. Doing it with a trailer would be lunacy. If you watched the dangerous roads version of Ice Road Truckers, those roads are better than many Rocky Mtn. 4WD drive roads.

These are not places for full size pickups or SUV's, much less trailers. A road marked jeep trail may be ok for a mile or so and not look so bad, but check it out beforehand. If you are not experienced on these old mining and forest 4WD roads, get some experience first.

Rockdocking is a term that has showed up lately and seems to mean extreme boondocking. A small trailer with a small truck seems to be the first requirement. Then, lots of tools, air compressor, tire repair kit and extra water and gas (4WD travel sucks a lot of fuel). Note that travel in the back country can take hours and hours to go very few miles.

I'm all for adventure. We have explored many a 4WD road and have scared ourselves. We haven't done that for many years and the amount of traffic in the back country has increased tremendously. Camping somewhere where you hear trucks groaning in low 4WD up steep grades is not enjoyable. Sounds travels far. It isn't so quiet out there anymore. Camping above tree line means cold temps in summer, and can mean lightning, wind and even snow. Views are incredible, but it is better to visit in the morning by foot or truck (before thunderstorms; you actually can feel the electricity in the boulders as the storm approaches), and camp lower. Valleys or canyons are also very cold in the morning, but that's where the camping sites are. Watch out for flood plains too.

I guess I sound like an old maid, but being aware of what is ahead of you is a good idea.

Gene

Thank you all good points to consider.

Shane
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #22
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Our Basecamp was fantastic for tight roads and trailers... and unfortunately that was about all it was good for. I guess that is why it only ran for 2 years.

I can't really see taking anything other than a jacked-up 16' AS into crazy spots. The whole design is based on a low-clearance load-bearing shell, which makes for a bad scene if you start dragging it around on the frame...
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:32 PM   #23
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The San Juan National Forest in SW Colorado is just finishing a travel management plan that has been in the works for at least six years. Other NF's are also working on this and free paper maps are available showing the changes. Check with the NF offices before heading for the hills. A lot of motorized access roads/trails shown on NF maps may no longer be accesable and a recent Colorado law allows any sworn law enforcement to write tickets on federal land.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:09 PM   #24
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Our Basecamp was fantastic for tight roads and trailers... and unfortunately that was about all it was good for. I guess that is why it only ran for 2 years.
Friday, there was someone who lived in Telegraph Creek who bought a Basecamp several years ago. I haven't heard anything about him since not too long after he posted about buying it. Having driven to Telegraph Creek, I wouldn't want to take anything bigger than a 16' there either (very steep grades, tight road in town).

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Old 02-14-2012, 01:07 AM   #25
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Friday, there was someone who lived in Telegraph Creek who bought a Basecamp several years ago. I haven't heard anything about him since not too long after he posted about buying it. Having driven to Telegraph Creek, I wouldn't want to take anything bigger than a 16' there either (very steep grades, tight road in town).

Gene
That was me. We sold the Basecamp last spring and bought a 22 Intl later in the summer. Had a baby in Sept so we wanted something more plush. Plus, we aren't in quite as rough a place... I'd never tow an airstream on gravel again...
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #26
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We travel on gravel a lot with no problems. I prefer single axle and only wish I had a bit more clearance. Had a ruggedized off-road pop-up but wanted a bit more comfort. I can still get to isolated spots like this one.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:01 AM   #27
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Friday, I forgot the Forum name, but wondered if it was you. Quesnel is somewhat more connected to what we call "civilization", but Telegraph Creek sure had a nice setting along the Stikine River.

Gene
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:24 AM   #28
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Friday, I forgot the Forum name, but wondered if it was you. Quesnel is somewhat more connected to what we call "civilization", but Telegraph Creek sure had a nice setting along the Stikine River.

Gene
I'm actually in another little town down the road from Quesnel... in Wells. Telegraph Creek was the best place I've ever lived... amazing country.
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