Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-19-2017, 02:53 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2013 25' International
Boise , Idaho
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 60
Can I make it down there??

Before I actually owned an airstream, I'd look at potential boondocking sites and think, "That'd be perfect for the stream! So easy to reach!" But now that I own one, maintain one, and pay for it - I look at those same spots and think, "I dunno, that's kinda steep and pretty rutted, looks concerning!"

I know in the end that there is no substitute for time and experience and I will learn both good and bad lessons trying to get to good spots. But I could use your advice, too...

What is your criteria for discerning whether a spot is doable? What lessons have you learned?

I'm especially interested in hearing from those of you who, like me, plan on boondocking at least 70% of the time.

Thanks!
Adam
__________________

__________________
afk314 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 03:06 PM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,952
Hi

For whatever reason, most of the "neat sites" seem to be as you describe, down there by the stream. Getting down there when it hasn't rained in a week ... no problem. How about getting back up out of there after a rain storm? Worse still, ice or snow. Can you wait it out until things melt / dry out.

When there is any doubt at all, get out and walk the whole route. If there's two of you, both get out and walk the route. Look at it going up and going down. Look at slope left to right as well as forward and back. Can you turn around at the end or do you back out? Lots of things to consider. After that, if there is still significant concern, move on.

(you gotta love "database error" and double posts ....)

Bob
__________________

__________________
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 03:10 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
McDave's Avatar
 
2014 23' Flying Cloud
Fair Oaks , California
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 571
Can I make it down there??

Kind of reminds me of when I was getting into motorcycle touring. My question was, "Isn't there some rule of thumb for how far you can lean a bike in a curve before it falls over?" The answer, of course, is "it depends," on your equipment and skill.

Unfortunately, as much as I like to boondock, the advice seems to be the same. There are a look of cool hints I've picked up from posts like Ray Eklund's, that have enabled me to go further than I could have on my own. Search on his name when you have some time to spare, or just page back through the old posts in the boondocking section.
__________________
McDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 07:05 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
Lakes Region , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 420
Second that, read Ray's posts and if he ever does another, make sure to go on a caravan with him
__________________
RandyNH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2017, 07:38 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: 2,363
Thank you for some positive comments about some of my Boondocking Threads. It is appreciated.

Boondocking Off the Grid is also our passion when traveling with our Airstream. Many think of Boondocking as easy access, great views and all weather travel. Well... think again.

Wyoming 2016 has the most information available on the subject. Weather was a large factor to many members on this, true... Adventure. But, this is not for everyone. I discovered that rather early in the Adventure.

Although road conditions are important... the bush 'whackers' and tree branches should be given more concern. Even the outside branch edges with leaves dragging past your aluminum have hard wood hidden to leave permanent scratches. ALWAYS have pruning sheers with the long handles for getting the 1 inch diameter plus overhanging limbs.

A short hand bow saw can be a life saver when it comes to either removing a low hanging branch, or backing up 1/2 mile! Been there... learned my lesson very well in Nevada.

A road you walk will look better before you begin to pull the trailer onto it! You will get better at judging unimproved roads with time. It is a 'skill set' that you will be able to teach others, but 'on site'.

As to future Boondocking Adventures... this is left to those who are more capable of socializing. Being a 'matter of fact personality' and being direct is not a good combination for many unfamiliar with Western Ranch Attitude and down to Earth 'what are you doing?' verbalizing. It is a personality defect that I cannot retrain nor have the aptitude to try. It works for me... but not for others.

Read the Dexter Lift Kits by Troutboy. Protect your plumbing... FIRST. Then your rear Bumper. Your vulnerable aluminum siding from brush scratches along the two rut road or low hanging branches. Your AC being torn off the top...is a good thing to be aware.

Boondockers who actually get away from the crowded 'parking lot campsites' are a small number of Airstream owners. But even with the 6 inch, +/- clearances... it is easy and having a second pair of dependable eyes makes the impossible... easy.

Good luck and again, thank you for bringing me up in a positive manner. Sometimes you have to please yourself... rather than selling out your soul for the small number of chronic complainers...
__________________
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2017, 11:12 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Thank you for some positive comments about some of my Boondocking Threads. It is appreciated.

Boondocking Off the Grid is also our passion when traveling with our Airstream. Many think of Boondocking as easy access, great views and all weather travel. Well... think again.

Wyoming 2016 has the most information available on the subject. Weather was a large factor to many members on this, true... Adventure. But, this is not for everyone. I discovered that rather early in the Adventure.

Although road conditions are important... the bush 'whackers' and tree branches should be given more concern. Even the outside branch edges with leaves dragging past your aluminum have hard wood hidden to leave permanent scratches. ALWAYS have pruning sheers with the long handles for getting the 1 inch diameter plus overhanging limbs.

A short hand bow saw can be a life saver when it comes to either removing a low hanging branch, or backing up 1/2 mile! Been there... learned my lesson very well in Nevada.

A road you walk will look better before you begin to pull the trailer onto it! You will get better at judging unimproved roads with time. It is a 'skill set' that you will be able to teach others, but 'on site'.

As to future Boondocking Adventures... this is left to those who are more capable of socializing. Being a 'matter of fact personality' and being direct is not a good combination for many unfamiliar with Western Ranch Attitude and down to Earth 'what are you doing?' verbalizing. It is a personality defect that I cannot retrain nor have the aptitude to try. It works for me... but not for others.

Read the Dexter Lift Kits by Troutboy. Protect your plumbing... FIRST. Then your rear Bumper. Your vulnerable aluminum siding from brush scratches along the two rut road or low hanging branches. Your AC being torn off the top...is a good thing to be aware.

Boondockers who actually get away from the crowded 'parking lot campsites' are a small number of Airstream owners. But even with the 6 inch, +/- clearances... it is easy and having a second pair of dependable eyes makes the impossible... easy.

Good luck and again, thank you for bringing me up in a positive manner. Sometimes you have to please yourself... rather than selling out your soul for the small number of chronic complainers...
After reading this thread getting a Casita dedicated to boondocking in the bush sounds better and better :-).
__________________
franklyfrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2017, 01:06 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member

 
2008 27' Classic FB
Ontario , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 29
Can I make it down there?

Best advice I can give...pay attention to geometry. My first foray into a beautiful sight found the need to cross a swale. It was an easy approach down and a sharper angle back up. Tore the bumper off the back of my 25' Safari. Lesson learned.
__________________
Shiloh4570 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2017, 01:10 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
2013 25' International
Boise , Idaho
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 60
Good stuff so far!

Thanks, everyone.

For going up/down short inclines on the gravel is there some rule of thumb that I might utilize to judge access? I'd rather not learn by tearing my own bumper off if possible!

-a
__________________
afk314 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2017, 01:12 PM   #9
Rivets?
 
nvestysly's Avatar

 
1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,498
afk314,

I don't meet your criteria of boondocking 70% of the time but I have some thoughts that have worked for us. Others have mentioned similar thoughts but I'll put them into different words and make a suggestion or two for training/preparing.

When you tow your trailer pay particular attention to how the trailer follows your vehicle. For instance, when you make a turn (right or left) take time to really understand which path your vehicle takes and where the tires of your Airstream follow. It's not uncommon that the trailer is on a path 1 - 2 feet smaller/tighter than the tow vehicle.

When you drive in and out of fuel stations and other parking lots take time to understand how your tow vehicle and trailer react to going over bumps and curbs. If your tow vehicle has quite a bit of overhang (the distance from the rear tires to the point of the hitch ball) your trailer will go up and down much more than a tow vehicle that has a shorter overhang. Similarly, a long trailer will go up and down from front to back much more than a shorter trailer.

Before going off the beaten path drive around in urban and suburban areas and get a feel for what kind of obstacles cause problems for you. There are plenty of man-made scenarios that are very similar to things you'll encounter when boondocking. Find some big speed bump and proceed slowly over them. Approach them straight on and approach them at angles. Go to an empty parking lot and get a feel for how your trailer navigates around a light pole (in boondocking you'll be going around trees). Take time to find out how much length/distance is required to back your trailer into the corner of a parking lot without going off the pavement and into the grass - this is similar to backing your trailer into that perfect spot near the creek but you don't want to drive into the creek.

Find some steep paved hills to go up and down. There are probably some streets like that somewhere in your area. Stop half way up the street and back down or vice-versa.

Look for some parking lots or residential areas near you that have low hanging trees. Drive under them and look at the distance from the ground to the limbs. You need to calibrate your eye to judge the distance required to clear the top of your Airstream.

Some of this sounds crazy I know. My point is you can learn quite a bit about how you, your tow vehicle and trailer respond in a variety of situations without ever getting stuck in the mud.

When it's time to go off the beaten path you'll be much better equipped to make a decision about "Can I make it down there?" if you've done some homework/preparation on dry paved surfaces.

When we go to primitive forest service campsites, free boondocking sites, etc. it's not uncommon to get out and walk the area. Others said this too and it's invaluable. The practice you'll have done on pavement will prove very helpful as you're walking the trail - looking at overhanging branches, identifying locations of rocks and ruts.

Best Wishes.
__________________
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
nvestysly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2017, 01:29 PM   #10
BAB
Rivet Master
 
BAB's Avatar

 
2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,573
I agree that you really have to think through what you want to go and be able to clearly visualize how you can get your trailer safely in and out of "less improved" or "unimproved" sites. If you take time to plan the entry and exit before you commit yourself to a single lane unimproved path, it will pay enormous dividends. Even then, "stuff happens".... I ended up having to back out about 3/4 mile through trees, underbrush, S curves, you name it -- from a gorgeous Vermont campsite. I did it unscathed with a couple of good ground guides, an available chainsaw (which wasn't needed), and plenty of time. We chalked this up to a significant "Airstream Adventure" -- our internal nomenclature for the "whew! I can't believe we did that." Oh, and about 4WD. When you don't need it you don't need it but when you DO need it, trust me, you will be VERY grateful you have it. Finally, there is something about being on your own campsite with no one else around and just looking at all that beautiful aluminum surrounded by nature.
__________________
_________________
"SilverLeaf II" 2015 30' Classic
2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 CC w/6.7L Cummins
ProPride 3P
AIR# 58452
WBCCI # 3430-Unit 21
BAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2017, 01:36 PM   #11
retired USA/USAF

 
2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,141
Carry Xtra wood blocks for leveling. You'll likely need them sometime. And they will help a lot if you ever need to change a tire. I use 2x8's cut to 2' and 18". They have served me well. I also carry a bottle jack and have used that a few times also. Cheap insurance. I don't boondock in any real extreme places but you never know. My Airstream is just about 10.5' high. Keep that in mind also. Look up as well as down.
__________________
Roger in NJ

" Democracy is the worst form of government. Except for all the rest"
Winston Churchill 1948

TAC - NJ 18

polarlyse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2017, 02:38 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
2000 30' Excella
2014 30' Classic
Princeton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 301
We like Boondocking

I have no special skills, but we have had nothing but great results when we boondock. We are careful in the spots we use, fare away from things. We even use our generator. We have never had a complaint. When we are in a hurry it is so nice to just pull over and go to sleep when you are tired.
__________________
larryglarson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2017, 09:12 AM   #13
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2,952
Hi

Your local Lowes or Home Depot will sell you a light weight extendable fiberglass "painters pole". If you have one that will extend to 12', you can calibrate it to the height of your trailer. That gives you a really good idea of "can I get under this". They also are handy for poking at this and that to see how solid it is. A similar alternative is a pruning pole. They generally come with a handy saw on the end for removing an offending branch here and there.

Is it something you *need*? That depends on how confident you are at judging heights. Some people can look at a branch and tell you it's 10'3" up (and be right ... yikes!! ). Others don't have than knack. Yes, the same thing applies to width

Bob
__________________
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2017, 09:30 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,862
A "simple" solution.....
Not cheap
Not easy
But simple.


Get a small fiberglass egg trailer woth a lift kit axle (Casita, etc.) And a flat bed truck with a rollback or ramps. Carry the Casita on the bed while towing the Airstream. Leave the Airatream at your basecamp... the then towfiberglass trailer to thw back end of beyond. Fiberglass is easier to repair.

Paula
__________________

__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again 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
Goin' down, down, down... Aironius Axles 12 08-23-2014 08:09 AM
Awnings: are they really up/down/up/down ... Belbein On The Road... 6 06-08-2014 01:55 PM
Are there any other 1982 Limiteds out there? GStephens 1982-1983 Limited 11 04-23-2009 08:13 AM
Is there a list of owners and there airstreams? skatevw Our Community 5 01-06-2006 09:50 PM
"Let there be LIGHT...and there was no light !!!! Randy Wilson Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 11 11-08-2005 01:00 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:15 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.