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Old 06-07-2018, 11:12 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Leilanisteve View Post
We will be traveling with a friend to west shore Flathead Lake SP later this summer. Will leave the Airstream and Casita at the SP and venture up to Glacier for two days. First time in that area and can’t wait. Hope I can figure out a way to haul the kayak and mountain bike by then.
******

Big Arm Unit Campground, Flathead State Park... is one of several outstanding places to set up your trailer on the west side of Flathead Lake. Often you can set up your trailer alongside the beach. A very well run operation.

Another State Park on the East side of Flathead... avoid it, unless you really want to go there. Narrow roads and squeezed into a small space for everyone wanting to fit. Your 19 foot should do fine, but some come with very large RV's... and makes moving around... to get out... very interesting to be a spectator.

To the North before getting to Somers, there is a parking lot with boat access and swimming, where you can unload your kayak and paddle for... months.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:28 AM   #22
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Pcskier in post #7 mentioned this sliver of National Forest Service access for a view of the Grand Teton.

As I said...you will earn your spot up there. Some pull outs are among trees, although the horse traffic and trailers can be heavy. I include four photographs from our experience.

- Road up and down. One lane. If you meet someone going the opposite direction, recall where there was room for one to make space. Otherwise you may have to fight it out. Small tour buses also use this and exit to the north. We came up on this south route and back down the south route. Anything over 23 feet... you had better be an outstanding
OTG Boondocker in tight situations!

- Largest campsite with no trees. The south end has a large fire pit for the local youth to raise Hell and build a large inferno.

- Is it worth the pull up? It was to us, but maybe take a 4x4 tow vehicle up and absorb the view. It is wonderful on a clear day. If it is raining... you will have the place all to yourself and expect to spend a few days waiting for this road to... harden up.

- The view...
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:04 PM   #23
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Fishlake National Forest... UTAH 2018

The percentage of members of the Airforums can be determined quickly.

Would YOU enjoy campsites such as these? Between Green River, Utah and Salina, Utah from east to west... and then north and south chasing roads in the Fishlake Mountains. Warm days and cool evenings. Elevations over 6,000 feet.

I offer some photographs of our late May 2018 photos. These are a small sample of what you can find... on your own.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:06 PM   #24
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Many thanks Ray! I’m looking at the map now
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:07 PM   #25
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Fishlake National Forest, Utah

Now... would YOU enjoy getting there?

Yes. That is snow blocking the Forest Service Road.
No. There are no signs when you turn off the black top State Highway that mentions the road conditions.
No. There were no Forest Service vehicles seen while we were there.
Yes. We would go again. If you think photo three is beautiful... you cannot imagine the rest of our trip.

There are hundreds of square miles of wilderness among these roads. The campsites are NOT on the map, unless the Forest Service map is current and includes 'hunter's camps'.

Utah has many Mesas. Idaho has many Mountain Passes. Totally different kinds of OTG Boondocking and access. When someone says that there will be hundreds of trailers in this area after seeing the first photos... there will be one or two that will try it after seeing how you get there!
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:26 PM   #26
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Northwest Colorado

All you need is... confidence, understand how to back up in a tight spot and how a second person can signal when you are straddling the part of the road YOU want to travel.

This is one of several sites in Northwest Colorado. It is just as good in Southwest Wyoming... The majority of Airstream owners will consider you... well not part of the Welcome Wagon with flags, hookups and carpets under the awnings... as you are abusing your Airstream. After the first year of converting hinges, hardware, adding nut/bolt, better screws... your Airstream will be able to take on any road.

Here is a Summer 2017 campsite for you to imagine that you are there in 2018.

First photo... find a 25 foot Airstream and Ford F350. No we were no flying over the campsite. We climbed up looking for agates and meteorites. Found neither... but, who cares.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:35 PM   #27
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Wyoming 2016 Adventure

Camping in Wyoming is like camping in northern Canada... but having roads to get there and not need an Airplane.

Lilly&Me (Maggie) Interstate did just fine. This is Northwest Wyoming. You only need a road map to get in... as you will know that getting out is an entirely different experience.

Fishing poles and sturdy walking sticks are optional equipment in your Wyoming Airstream Adventures!

August... bring shorts, tee shirt, long pants, long sleeve shirt, jackets, hats, gloves and a... smile.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:51 PM   #28
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Nevada- May 2006

Nevada is tough for Boondocking. You will cover a lot of asphalt before a turn out. Even the turn outs become impassible in a mile or five miles... We have had to back out, cut sage brush and figure out how to turn around at a washed out road. There can be no pullouts to set the Airstream... anywhere.

The Gold Mining towns often have a Casino with parking for overnight trailer camping. We are testing our patience with Nevada this year. It has not been easy. Millions of acres of BLM land... and few roads for access.

Why? Hunter camps are the most common source of camping in the Rockies. Logging camps are up there, as well. Montana comes to mind. But Nevada... the Boom and Bust of mining since 1910 have left little to explore for access.

Some photos of May 2007 with our 23 foot Safari. BEST width and size Airstream for OTG Boondocking and just getting around anywhere.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:04 PM   #29
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New Mexico... OTG Boondocking

New Mexico offers cool evenings and warm days at higher elevations. During the Monsoon Season... plenty of precipitation in a short period of time. Do some research and some years not a drop or precipitation, and other years, muddy roads but dry camp sites.

These are typical Hunter Camps in the Forests of New Mexico. If there is hunting in the area for Elk, Deer or Bear... there will be plenty of 'Off Season Hunting' camps to choose from.

These are west central New Mexico photographs in this group. Look for elevations above 6,000 feet. Towns are in the valleys along water. Any areas with running water are Private Property and a small Ranch. Close to asphalt highways... Private Property in most cases. Eventually you will understand how to determine Private Property... when there are structures built this is a good clue. Live stock usually is taken into the Forests to graze during the Summers.

When you like an area, set camp and then take a tour of the area. There are always better sites and places you can enjoy whatever you like to do.
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Old 06-08-2018, 02:05 PM   #30
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Wow! What a great thread! Really enjoyed going through all the information and the pics. This is exactly where and how we like to camp. Almost 100% of the NFS campsites we’ve boondocked in are elk hunters camps. We’ve not spent any nights in New Mexico or AZ, but several nights in WY. Good sites like these are in the Big Horn mtns. I’m copying and keeping many notes from this thread. Thanks so much for sharing.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:34 PM   #31
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Boondocking May 1st snow storm near Grand Canyon NP
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:17 AM   #32
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Boondocking May 1st snow storm near Grand Canyon NP
******
So much for Global Warming at your campsite.

When at elevation in the Rockies... especially Wyoming and Colorado... Snow is an all Season Climate.

We had six inches of snow in July on top of Pikes Peak, to the west of Colorado Springs. They closed the road, plowed it. Even on a clear day, bring a jacket as it will be cool/cold and the wind will take 'your breath away'.

I left the snow on the truck to show it off when we arrived at the highway to Manitou Springs. Well... it all melted before getting to the bottom and no one would have believed us anyways.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:43 PM   #33
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Stop Signs are the OTG Welcome Sign to Explore

There is no better feeling of satisfaction of owning an Airstream and taking it where you use to tent camp. Our first two years was constant exploring. The enthusiasm of setting camp and having ice cubes to fresh water coming out of a faucet is pure... magic.

Now, I cannot say that either of our Airstreams were... road worthy, as the advertising and photos of an Airstream set and watching the sun set... meant it could get there and I could do the same. Other than a variety of screws, bolts and nuts... our Airstreams became 'Off the Grid' road worthy, if Airstreams were more RV campers needing hookups and street lights at night.

YOUR first attempt is opening the door to an experience you will never forget. We recall all of our campsites, most by photographs... just discussing what and where next.

We may debate tires, models of Airstream and even if an Airstream has the stamina to leave a smooth asphalt highway to purchase fuel in a small town with gravel streets. I believe they still do... although the Safari and Flying Cloud would have been a better choice than our International with fake leather interior. (Which we had covers made to protect the IVORY WHITE material from dogs, dust, dirty sweat and just wear and tear. But... when you at the RV Lot... you find what works best, modify what is needed and tow off into the horizon.

I include some random photographs of other campsites we... fell into. None are planned. If you like National Parks... we like to camp... between National Parks... on BLM or NFS land.

You will not fall off the ends of the Earth OTG Boondocking. It may seem a bit unnerving at first. Just go in a little, find that first camp, set camp, detach and the explore further up the road. After a season... you can glance at an area from the road, the passenger has the Atlas indicating the road goes there at milepost 152... and TURN. If it has a Stop Sign... that is your welcome to a New Experience... sign. You are not the first to travel that gravel road, nor the last. See you some day and we are always glad to share a campsite.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:51 PM   #34
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A couple more off the road camp sites and into the Rocky Mountains.

If you find yourself frustrated and not finding a camp site right away... there is always a parking lot to spend the evening... and get back out there.

Most Atlas maps have a scale where one side road is shown along a State Highway, but you may pass a dozen that are just as good before you come to the road shown on the map.

Even Forest Service and BLM maps indicate campgrounds, but more may be in the same area. It is not an exact science. The last update on the map being sold to you might have been 1978, and since then, everything can be changed. Usually the roads are improved to be... found... to be put onto a map taken from aerial photographs.

Thalweg could find campsites just by satellite and scrolling around roads, locating good possibilities. Technology is great... but the campsite could not be very level, bushed over or occupied by a Band of Gypsy Guitar players.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:52 PM   #35
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Enjoying this thread. I'm in the process of "boondock-proofing" my new to me FC2014 23d, including a large pocketful of screws and brass ball-catch latches to replace the plastic junk.


But anyway--I'm curious Ray, did you lift your trailers? I just upgraded to 15 inch wheels and tires from the stock 14s, and the tires are actually 2.1 inches larger in diameter, giving me (or more specifically, those dump valves) an extra inch of clearance. The 2 7/8 inches from the lift kit would help further. I haven't had any issues yet...but there have been places that I though "Hmmmm....better not" that I would have been more confident about with a lift kit.


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Old 06-11-2018, 06:05 PM   #36
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Enjoying this thread. I'm in the process of "boondock-proofing" my new to me FC2014 23d, including a large pocketful of screws and brass ball-catch latches to replace the plastic junk.


But anyway--I'm curious Ray, did you lift your trailers? I just upgraded to 15 inch wheels and tires from the stock 14s, and the tires are actually 2.1 inches larger in diameter, giving me (or more specifically, those dump valves) an extra inch of clearance. The 2 7/8 inches from the lift kit would help further. I haven't had any issues yet...but there have been places that I though "Hmmmm....better not" that I would have been more confident about with a lift kit.

PK
*******
I could not resist responding as I was going to get back to something more productive... sorting out my geology references for the next trip.

The 23 foot Safari or Flying Cloud are the best off road Airstream. Length and the double axle.

Switz can toss out anything you would want to know about tire diameters. But you seem to have already found that and did the right move.

The 23 foot has had the 14" Marathon trash tires as standard. Tow Max and Greenball 14" were my option. Your going to 15" D Rated tires... are more important than a Lift Kit. Your axles still are at the same height, but the extra clearance of the plumbing is more for Sage Brush, than dragging it exiting a service station in Drag Town Flagstaff, Arizona. There you could lose your bumper and plumbing. Hit the Truck Stop to the West of Flagstaff.

...OK, where was I? You are more likely to drag your rear bumper than anything else. I did a 'spoof' when I dragged our bumper and called it "How I became a Drag Queen". It was removed from the Forum, but my wife thought it hilarious.

Off the Grid travel is made easier with some lumber, 2" thick, shovel, leveling plastic and a second person with good judgment. After a few times, the driver will have a good feel about when to be careful and have someone walk alongside the back of the tailer.

I will Drag Queen some photographs of Nancy keeping me out of trouble later.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:25 PM   #37
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Digging and Stacking Rocks for Fun

From viewing these photos, you would be led to believe that... she does all of the work. If something goes wrong... she will get the credit, as well.

True enough. But... it is a two person juggling act. At times I actually have to get out and try to figure out how to get across, what appears to be a minor problem. I actually can work up a sweat... after putting the transmission into... Drive forward.

Having some 2" x 12" lumber is easier to handle than stacking flat stones to raise the trailer to clear the bumper. The plumbing is usually a 'sage brush' activity and I am an expert long handled trim handler. So far, so good.

Shovel, 2x12s, stacking flat rocks and always watching the rear bumper and plumbing. If it passes... everything else moves along very well. Occasionally... I have to back up to find a turn around. Eventually you get very good at backing up. It is easier to walk up ahead and avoid trouble. Letting the Blue Heelers run wild and do their thing, while we discuss what is the current plan of... attack.

I will not get into how you 'plan' for traffic coming the other direction on a narrow road. If you are on the 'outside' side of the road and there is a several hundred foot drop off... you have to be on TOP of things... as one would say in this situation.

But, that is another story. View the photographs. The 'actress' is posing and not paid.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:35 PM   #38
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Missouri River headwaters... Montana

These locations still exist in Montana, Utah and Nevada.

The first is outside Helena, MT. The headwaters of the Missouri, begins near Three Forks, MT. They say at Three Forks you can actually jump across the Missouri River. These were people who could have used some physical exercise, as well... so it must be true.

If you stand along some of the high bluffs along the river, the fish are really... BIG. This is where you can pan for Blue Sapphires. We found 105F heat and put our chairs in a small tributary and let the dogs run back and forth in the water. Montana Sapphires will be there when the weather is cooler.

There are several kinds of 'improved County Roads'. Good and bad ones, for a start. Although when the road is blasted through hard rock... it is all season. The base is well packed and only the larger pot holes filled with water need to be examined, closer. If I get started at a tangent right away, any advantage to your seeing these photographs would be lost.

If, you are a City Slicker, it may take a bit longer to get adjusted. If you are a Farm Boy from Iowa... this is routine. If you lived in the back woods of western Montana, as I did... Woo Hoo... I am at home and out to stir up some trouble.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:06 AM   #39
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Every once in awhile, I may be sleeping and then begin to work out some idea. This happened with Post 35 when PCskier mentioned increasing the tire dimension, which I am familiar for two reasons on the 23 foot Airstream.

When C Rated 14" wheels and tires ARE replaced with D Rated 15" wheels and tires, you GAIN some additional height, but there are more tire options for 15 inch tires. The D Rated tires are a better tire overall.

The debate how the trailer with stiffer tires, such as E Rated 16" Tires and Wheels, may affect the integrity of the trailer's construction and components is one that will go on until thoroughly tried by Airstream owners. I had cabinets coming loose with C Rated tires on our 23 foot Safari. These door hinges I installed 'piano hinges', replacing the stock hinges Airstreams currently use. This is on another Thread on the Forum. But I needed to address this first.

Second was installing a 'Lift Kit'. I have not...but some have mentioned they were or were considering this lifting the frame up to 3 inches. PCskier is most likely correct at 2 7/8".

Yes... the extra height would help in a tight situation like Post #37 photo, where Nancy is telling me I have ONE INCH, maybe a bit more on this particular dip in the road. I would have had 3 7/8" or better clearance with the lift kit. That would be a big... plus.

I could have taken the time to use 2x12 boards or the plastic lift blocks that we use to level the trailer at a campsite. They do the same, for no cost to you as a lift kit. Pauper Solar Power... Pauper Lift Kits.

Returning and coming from the opposite direction, the grade going uphill is now going downhill. Same spot, different 'ANGLES'. There was no clearance issue coming from the... opposite direction. The longer the trailer, the tighter these situations can become. With TWO AXLES, one tire is helping the other. At times you can have one tire free spinning, while the other is carrying the weight of the trailer crossing a 'dip'. It is at this time a C Rated, D Rated or E Rated tire is important. It is easier seen, than described.

I just had to wake up and add this to the discussion. Using a lift kit could be very helpful, but the longer the trailer, I can visualize less and less of an advantage once your trailer is over 23 or 25 feet. Each length will have specific issues to learn...

You will find the screws/hardware used to hold the cabinets to the floor and walls will or can loosen during any travel and conditions. Pop rivets along the curved interior of our 25 foot have failed and I replace them with a Lath Screw. The fit of the interior skin can be flush with the frame, or has a space. Each trailer is hand made and different in fit.

Now that this has been cleared from my thinking it out in my sleep... it was important to me to consider the LIFT KIT ADVANTAGE(s). Clearing your... BUMPER... is a better reason, temporarily.

The Plumbing is still exposed to a 12 inch sage brush or a misplaced boulder in a grassy field from a campfire... but lets hear from someone who OTG Boondocks with a lift kit installed.

It cannot hurt, but I put my money on the 16" wheels and tires... first. If I attempt traveling where I need a 'lift kit' for clearance, I might be stepping a bit ahead of myself and find an easier route to get where I am going.

Thank you letting this discussion extend, although it can be said in several minutes of speaking, but this is worth discussing.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:35 AM   #40
2020 Globetrotter 25 FBT
 
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2020 25' Globetrotter
Wildwood , Missouri
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Retire in 14 months. We will be using the AS lots more than we do now. One of the first things I’m doing is getting the lift. I already went from 14” C rated tires to 15” Ds. I’m thinking every inch will help. I’ve tent camped off of a motorcycle for years. My dual sport bike can get to all the campsites pictured. All I need to find is a level enough spot for a small tent. I’ll be looking to get our 23FB into as many of these type sites as possible. Camping where I don’t hear or see anyone else is just so nice.
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