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-   -   Southwest Afraid to Boondock! (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f382/afraid-to-boondock-40182.html)

rambn 03-05-2008 10:23 AM

Afraid to Boondock!
 
I live in the desert region of southern California. There are places in which I would like to boondock, some off them with access via washboarded roads. I've read on this board about stories of such vibrations actually knocking the cabinets loose.

I've had some trouble with 07 Bambi, so I'm a little gun-shy. Although I would really like to go camp where I can find solitude, I wonder if it's worth the risk. I could simply could camp at an actual campground, but that's not the same.

I realize that Airstreams are not off-road RVs, but I feel frustrated that maybe I need to treat the thing with kid gloves for fear that it will fall apart.

Thoughts?

Fyrzowt 03-05-2008 10:29 AM

Quote:

I realize that Airstreams are not off-road RVs, but I feel frustrated that maybe I need to treat the thing with kid gloves for fear that it will fall apart.
My first thought is that the A/S will fare no worse than an SOB would, maybe better. IMO, it's a matter of being careful, going slow on rough roads and using some (not so common) common sense.
You are right, they aren't off road vehicles.
There are many secluded spots that are actually on or near a paved road, depending on how secluded you want.
Dave

3streams 03-05-2008 10:47 AM

Take your time on the roads and those things will go anywhere- haven't you seen the pictures of Stella Byam crossing the river in Mexico? Slow and steady and everything should arrive okay. If not- you know what things to secure differently next time :D Its an '07 trailer so it should be under warranty if the wheel falls off or the cabinets come detached- but really that shouldn't happen. Have fun- See More, Do More, Live More!

Goin camping 03-05-2008 11:04 AM

Rambn,

I drag a 25 er all over dirt roads and no roads in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. These trailers are fantastic off road!

When you hit the washboards just s l o w d o w n. They are light enough so they don't sink in the sand and if your going slow they'll handle the rocks too.

I've done this with a 19 ftr and now with a 25 ftr. We have had caravans of Airstreams out in the desert without a breakdown or damage.

you bought an Airstream to go travel and adventure. Go do it! Don't let this unfounded worry stop you from enjoying the solitude, beauty and adventure of the wilderness. To limit yourself to a parking lot.. er.. campground is insane!

Please feel free to PM me with any questions, concerns or information you may want.

I'm telling you once you get out there you will find a whole new level of camping.

Can you tell I'm passionate about this?:lol:

We're out there all the time. Feel free to join us.

Milo

P.S. Don't forget that Wally led a caravan from Cape Town, So. Africa to Cairo Eygpt. The Mojave is a super highway compared to that.

rambn 03-05-2008 11:04 AM

Thanks for the prompt replies, I love that about this board!

One boondocking spot I'm considering is only about a half to three-quarter mile down the washboarded road, but it's pretty bad. I would have to go literally 5 MPH or so. It's a nice spot, but I a saw a couple of bees. (yikes)

I do really like the feel of boondocking, in a remote location though. I feel like it captures the spirit of the Airstream, eluded to in the previous response.

I'm not crazy wanting to boondock vs. go to a campground, am I?

I'll post a link for some pics, when I get my act together.

thanks again!

Goin camping 03-05-2008 11:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rambn
I'm not crazy wanting to boondock vs. go to a campground, am I.

Nope, It means your sane.

So you have to go 5 m.p.h. So what?

Bees are drawn to water. If you're not leaking or seeping they'll leave you alone. They are also drawn to bright clothes so if you see bees don't wear Hawiian shirts.

Fyrzowt 03-05-2008 11:23 AM

Quote:

Bees are drawn to water. If you're not leaking or seeping they'll leave you alone. They are also drawn to bright clothes so if you see bees don't wear Hawiian shirts.
And the yellow in firefighting clothing. :angry:

One big difference I notice between my Safari and my vintage GT is that the newer trailers have less ground clearance. You really need to be aware of where your waste plumbing/valve is in relation to the rock you are traversing.
As Milo (Goingcamping) says, get out there. Just be careful.
Dave

5cats 03-05-2008 12:12 PM

Tried Anza-Borrego?
 
Not too far from El Centro, the vast Anza-Borrego Desert SP will provide you years-worth of easy-to-access, seriously secluded, boondocking bliss :)

Want more info? Google "anza borrego desert campground". Seriously.

Cheers,
-jd.

juel 03-05-2008 01:39 PM

I trust these are not "killer bees". You are lucky if you find bees. They are becoming very hard to find in the US and farmers are getting worried. Without bees to pollinate the crops, we will be in a lot of trouble. Enjoy your peace and quiet and don't hurt the bees. They are our friends.

InsideOut 03-05-2008 01:57 PM

Easy does it!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rambn
One boondocking spot I'm considering is only about a half to three-quarter mile down the washboarded road, but it's pretty bad. I would have to go literally 5 MPH or so.

So, at 5mph it'll only take you 6-9 minutes to get there! What's the problem?

Shari :flowers:

rambn 03-05-2008 02:20 PM

Yes, bees are sadly dissappearing and no one knows why. I would just hate to see my dog get stung. It happened once on his face, and was so sad. I always keep some allergy meds around for him.

The boondocking location that I'm looking at is in the Anza-Borrego SP. With all the desert around I can't really see the point in paying for a campground, although they do have one out on Highway S2 (near Hwy 78). The desert is wonderful and certainly does have ample room for seclusion while camping. However, many of the roads are of coure, soft sand and rocky. I do worry about the ground clearance of the pipes and stuff.

Having a 2WD TV (it's a 5.7L 07 Tundra) I'm not quite so confident. I usually like to do a little recon first, either in truck w/o trailer, or on foot or bike.

crazylev 03-05-2008 02:44 PM

Rambn,

We had a wigged out wash-board road experience last year with our 19'er.

A couple of more suggestions: As mentioned above, go real slow, also allows for more time to miss things in the road up ahead.

Carry a spare tire. If you have it, you won't need it.

Using duct tape, tape the fridge, all cabinet doors, anything that you think could open during the ride.

Speaking of the fridge, make sure that there is nothing REAL heavy in the door shelves. I had to replace one of those after the six pack of bottled beer and carton of milk broke the bracket on the shelf. No big deal, right? Wrong, the stupid shelf cost close to $40.00 from Dometic!!!

I went around with a few screw drivers and made sure every visible, and some not so visible screws was tightened. Go from front to back. This includes checking the screws that attach hinges to doors/cabinets.

On our trip, the converter thing worked itself loose and was almost completely out of it's mounting under the closet. Check the screws that hold that in place. They are really dinky and someday I am going to replace mine with a screw/nut combination. I'd also place a board, 2x4 that wedges between the converter front to the otherside of the AS, just to make sure it stays in one place.

Pad anything breakable in the overheads, or better yet, place them in bins on the floor.

Drive in a lower gear too. You should be fine.

Jonathan

NevadaGeo 03-05-2008 03:16 PM

Bees may be attracted to the odorant in propane, so if you get them around your propane tanks, check for leaks.

flitzwhopper 03-05-2008 03:33 PM

Still Crazy after all these years
 
I'll probably get hackecd up pretty hard on this one...

When we have a doubt as to how the twink will fare, we stop and I get in the twink while Donna does whatever we're concerned about. After riding in it on a relatively smooth surface for 10 minutes, comparing it to some rough road is pretty straight forward.

We've taken the twink on some pretty nasty forest roads without obvious ill effects.

I'm with Goin Camping... enjoy - that's what we have 'em for

rambn 03-05-2008 03:34 PM

You all have inspired me with your suggestions.

crazylev: what converter is that?

It has been so long since I've been out in the Bambi. It really makes me sad.

rambn 03-05-2008 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flitzwhopper
I'll probably get hackecd up pretty hard on this one...

When we have a doubt as to how the twink will fare, we stop and I get in the twink while Donna does whatever we're concerned about. After riding in it on a relatively smooth surface for 10 minutes, comparing it to some rough road is pretty straight forward.

We've taken the twink on some pretty nasty forest roads without obvious ill effects.

I'm with Goin Camping... enjoy - that's what we have 'em for

If I can talk wifey into that, I think that would be a good idea. She actually rode in the back one time at a campground. Said she couldn't believe the amount of vibration and movement back there.

crazylev 03-05-2008 04:58 PM

Rambn,

It is the unit that is just under the tall closet. It has the circuit breakers and fuses in it. Between vanity and oven.

J

ArtStream 03-05-2008 05:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Welcom rambn!
You've gottin some sage advise from experienced streamers.

I too drag around my 28 footer into the back woods.
Yes it get scratched. Yes it can be upsetting, but only momentarely :o

Just take it nice and easy, and enjoy!

Michael

Goin camping 03-05-2008 06:08 PM

Hey Rambn,

A group of us from CA. & AZ. are going boondocking at Quartzsite March 14,15,16. Let me know if you want to join in. It'll only be a couple of miles of maintained dirt road.

If when you enter your 19 ft There is a big wood door that opens to your pantry on your immediate left. Check those screws! Airstream uses the dinkiest screws for that rather heavy door. You don't want to know how I learned this.

juel 03-05-2008 07:16 PM

Had the same problem with my 76 Sovereign doors going down the hall. They used the little pivot hinges and we have replaced them twice. These doors are too heavy for me to move alone, so I know what I'm talking about. We just gave up on the tiny pivot hinges and went with 4 cabinet hinges to keep the doors hanging where they belong. I'll tell you how we learned this. Bob ran over a curb towing this 31ft trailer home from Michigan. He was use to the 24ft and misjudged the turn.

jamesardis 03-05-2008 07:55 PM

Can you say "Rockdockin"?--its the best!

rambn 03-05-2008 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goin camping
Hey Rambn,

A group of us from CA. & AZ. are going boondocking at Quartzsite March 14,15,16. Let me know if you want to join in. It'll only be a couple of miles of maintained dirt road.

If when you enter your 19 ft There is a big wood door that opens to your pantry on your immediate left. Check those screws! Airstream uses the dinkiest screws for that rather heavy door. You don't want to know how I learned this.

this time is a solo trip (well, the dog is coming with). Maybe in the summer? Taking our 5-6 weeks to airstream then. during july-august.

thanks for the invite!

rambn 03-18-2008 01:51 PM

Update!
 
Well, I found a nice spot in the Anza-Borrego SP to boondock. It was about a mile south of Hwy S2, down a washboard road. As soon as I pulled into my spot, I hurried back to the Airstream, opened the door and to my surprise nothing had fallen apart or broken. Cool.

I stayed for 5 days and didn't even fill tanks to capacity or use all my freshwater, but I was alone, so that helped on that front.

There were spectacular panoramic views and long barefoot walks in the cool morning sand, admist a desert floor in full bloom.

Already planning my next boondocking adventure, which will be in the mountains towards San Diego.

The satisfaction of camping for free is something you can't buy.

thanks again for all the feedback.

Ray Eklund 05-07-2008 12:31 PM

Build up the Confidence by Rockdocking
 
Hi Rambn: I am usually browsing the Western Boondocking and you will find some references to Rockdocking. There are some excellent posts with advice from toilet paper unrolling to using rope to tie cabinet handles shut on rough roads.

Bees are the least of your worries. Your pups will learn not to snap at the bees after being stung once. We have two Blue Heelers and that is how they learned. They also have a natural fear of snakes that are aggressive... like rattlers that coil up and look agitated!

I sense you are a woman traveling (the two dogs are the big clue), but if you can hook up a trailer the rest is just experience. It is not fear, it is inexperience and caution you are feeling. After breaking in some improved gravel to improved dirt you will be able to handle two ruts on a western grassland. If you back over shopping carts at the grocery, drive over curbs without a trailer in tow, you will need to practice where your wheels are tracking. This prevents losing the plumbing, as was mentioned earlier. Watching for brush and branches dragging along the Airstream is a must, and carrying a sharp bow saw is a must off the asphalt.

Carry some tools to tighten fixtures and hinges. They always... always will need attention off the asphalt. Keep some spare wood screws to replace those that have fallen out and cannot be found. They will reappear at the next stop! Go to Western Boondocking to get the feel of off the beaten path travel. The pups will love the open country and bees or not, nothing will happen.

pauly g 02-17-2009 12:15 AM

My wife and I were talking today about the damage that washboard roads might cause an AS. We are concerned about rocks flying up from the TV tires and denting the trailer. We towed on some washboard roads this weekend, and just took it slow so that the gravel would not fly. As we use the AS more and more, we are attempting rougher roads in order to enjoy the better camping that is available. I am wondering about putting air shocks on the AS in order to raise it just long enough to clear some rough areas, and then let the air out when back on pavement.

Goin camping 02-17-2009 12:34 AM

Paulyg,

Your trailer is higher and shorter than ours.

We've gone over some darn rocky rutted roads without damage.

I once asked Rod at C&G about raising the suspension for off roading. He told me to do what Wally did to cross Africa.

"What's that." I asked.

His answer was. "He slowed down."

Yhottys 02-17-2009 02:15 AM

No Worries!
 
Rambn,

We've attached a video that Gypsygirl1 posted earlier on the forums.

It contains vintage promotional footage from Airstream of a driver taking what looks like a 60's trailer through its paces. We love the driving!

YouTube - KETC | Living St. Louis | Airstream Trailers

We're sure you'll be fine.

Happy and safe journeys,

imeynstein 02-17-2009 03:15 AM

Broken gas knob on dometic fridge...Still works on the electric setting. How do I replace old knob or should I.....

Journalist 02-17-2009 05:36 AM

I've actually aired down the trailer tires a couple of times on severely washboarded roads to allow the tires to flex and roll over the surface rather than beat the trailer to death. After I got to smoother road, I just stopped and aired them back up to the correct pressure. I always carry an air compressor with me when I travel since almost all public sources of air are next to impossible to get 50+ feet of truck and trailer up to, or they aren't working when you really need them.

ROBERT CROSS 02-17-2009 06:58 AM

1 Attachment(s)
:wally:
This has been a big help on the back roads of the Adirondack St. Park.

5mph justabout right, if you can hear the stones in the wheelwells, 'yer go'n too fast.

AIR-Quarius 02-17-2009 07:30 AM

I watch this little show with my morning coffee!

Ahab 02-17-2009 09:30 AM

1 Attachment(s)
This was at the end of 21 miles of dirt washboard. No problems.:D

thecatsandi 02-17-2009 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rambn (Post 529252)
I live in the desert region of southern California. There are places in which I would like to boondock, some off them with access via washboarded roads. I've read on this board about stories of such vibrations actually knocking the cabinets loose.

I've had some trouble with 07 Bambi, so I'm a little gun-shy. Although I would really like to go camp where I can find solitude, I wonder if it's worth the risk. I could simply could camp at an actual campground, but that's not the same.

I realize that Airstreams are not off-road RVs, but I feel frustrated that maybe I need to treat the thing with kid gloves for fear that it will fall apart.

Thoughts?

Go slow on the washboard roads. The vibration will not be as bad. and also "make sure your running gear is balanced";)

Silvertwinkie 02-17-2009 11:02 AM

One place I've gone to about 3 times has 15 miles of washboard roads. I don't go any faster than 8-11 miles a hour and though it does take some time to get there that last leg of the trip, I have not had ANY issues as a result.

I would in the strongest possible terms suggest that you consider mudflap or an enkay type hitch mud flap (or both) to reduce the projectiles that can fly off the rear wheels of the tow vehicle into the trailer.

jimmini 03-01-2009 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goin camping (Post 667861)
Paulyg,

Your trailer is higher and shorter than ours.

We've gone over some darn rocky rutted roads without damage.

I once asked Rod at C&G about raising the suspension for off roading. He told me to do what Wally did to cross Africa.

"What's that." I asked.

His answer was. "He slowed down."


:lol: WARNING: DO NOT follow Goin camping down a dead end road with no turn around.It was hard on his trailer trailers.:flowers:


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