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Old 10-24-2021, 11:23 AM   #1
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Tent Camping 101 TO Airstream Complaining?

I bought the Airstream... FOR the Refer. Any size!!!! Yaaaa Hoooo

Tent camped with Wife, one to two Blue Heelers in 2019.

Tent camped when Single.

Tent camped until 2006 and purchased a new 2006 23 foot Airstream Safari.

Goodbye to Tent Camping.

Then discovered the Airforums... I read about those complaining that the Trailer Contents do not meet the standards of their... living at Home. Never big enough.

A 16 foot Bambi is wonderful. Rain, Snow, Sleet, Wind.. Cold, maybe not when it is Hot... but sure beats Tent Camping.

I found all of our Airstreams were gifts from Camping Heaven. Sure beats tent camping or a tarp to shed water, on the side of a Colorado Mountain at 10,000 feet with drizzle.

If you have NO Tent Camping experience, maybe you need to. The Refer is too small? Compared to WHAT? My packing into the back country? Living off the tail gate of my pickup truck with ONLY one ice chest?

The jump from Tent Camping to a Trailer... any trailer has all of the comforts needed. Yet... the Refer freezer is too small? The Shower is too... tight? The toilet is uncomfortable?

Sure... I am a Neanderthal and lived in a Cave and then a Tent and then... A magnificent Home on Wheels... an Airstream. I do not complain, much.

I have come to understand tightening screws and bolts in our trailer. But... when we moved the Tent... hauled everything out, rolled up sleeping bags, totally disassembled the Tent, rolled it up with fly cover....

Whiners? Come camp with us. Your Tent or Your Tailer. You will complain that there is nothing to do in the middle of the Fish Lake Mountains of Utah. Or in the Badlands of Nebraska. Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming are too cold at night.

Buy an Airstream and stay at a RV Park, flushing toilets, showers, restaurant with cocktails... Yep. Just like home, but in an Airstream.

We want to get away from Civilization and just sit back... and aaaaaah.

Call me a Neanderthal. That is a compliment. Take Tent Camping 101 some day. Then you will appreciate what you have. Tent camping in 2018... ended as fast as it began! Yikes. Reality can be a shock... what was I thinking? Or was I thinking?

We missed tent camping... just for one Summer. That Fall... bought the 27 foot 2019 International in 2020, new on the Airstream lot.

Our Airstream is the Best TENT money can buy.

So if you are a whiner... do not park next to us. Our trailer is perfect. Field Mice prefer Tent Camping to a Trailer, which is harder to get up the steps. Our Blue Heelers will eat them... if they can catch them. Head first... yep.

Seen one go done the hatch and nothing comes out the other end. Like magic, I say. No need for traps for us.

Snakes like a warm tent, under or into. Make sure you Zip the Front Entry. Otherwise pull out the sleeping bags and shake. Shake well.
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Old 10-24-2021, 12:00 PM   #2
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Moderator may want to move this Thread to an appropriate classification. I started out with the complaints of freezer space too small... and of course... Detoured to the Muddy Road Ahead.

When you are uncertain where to go... Pick ONE. Only one.
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Old 10-24-2021, 12:20 PM   #3
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I think folks that started out tent camping do better with RVs than folks that just go out and buy an RV and have never camped before. With tent camping you get used to inconveniences and dirty conditions, like bad weather, digging cat holes and pooping in the woods, cooking over a single burner stove, going days without a proper bath, etc. My wife and I did tons of tent camping starting before we got married, and for the first decade of our marriage. Then with small kids we got a pop up trailer and thought what luxury! Now with an Airstream we are quite spoiled.

But, the freezer is too small... Hah!

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Old 10-24-2021, 12:23 PM   #4
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Hi

The *one* giant thing that the tent gives you:

You *can* fit in that space at the National Park ( US or Canada ). You may have to park the car someplace and walk back to the space, but you "RV" will fit.... sorta .... maybe ... probably ... it depends Even with a tent, there is such a thing as "to big to fit in the space provided". A 6' x 6' tent *may* be too big. You might want to look for something smaller.

If you need to carry the tent to the site, smaller is also better. If the site is a mile or five from the nearest parking, smaller is LOTS better. A mile uphill over the rocks ... hmmm ... tell me about how crazy backing in to that campsite was for you ... I'm listening

Multiple tents are pretty easy to do with one vehicle. Multiple trailers on one TV ... not so much. Having several lets you spread the group (even a small group ) out a bit. It also gives you someplace to dump wet / muddy / torn / damaged gear for a while. There are advantages.

Trouble with the TV / Inverter / A/C / WiFi router / hot water heater / microwave / recliners? Nope, you will *not* have to deal with any of that. Bringing along a chair to sit in is optional on that pleasant mile stroll into the campsite.

Hooking up the trailer in the rain bothering you? Let's try taking down the tents in the freezing rain ahead of that one mile stroll back to parking. Still want to talk about how much trouble hooking up is? When we get home, I'll listen while you hang up the tents to dry ....

We could go on and chat about those bears over there strolling past the tents ....

.... and yes, I have first hand data on all of this. Way to much first hand data

Bob
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Old 10-24-2021, 01:00 PM   #5
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We gave up sleeping on the ground a LONG time ago, and “moved up” to series of VW busses. Now our 16’ Bambi feels like the height of luxury and is always referred to as the aluminum tent.

To illustrate that others may have a bit of Neanderthal in them, we are abandoning the water system except for the sink drain and waste tank. No fresh water tank, no water pump, no sink faucet, no shower and no water heater. Not worth the trouble when the “lug-a-jug” system works so well, easily and reliably. We use so little electricity (about 7Ah per day — because we are not burdened with the electric-only fridge improvement) that we can camp unplugged for two weeks on a single lithium battery.

Simplify, simplify.
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Old 10-24-2021, 01:53 PM   #6
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Well, I'm 61 and travel in my AS. BUT, I still wilderness canoe, portage and sleep on the ground several weeks a year. That's camping. AS is NOT camping...period. it's a coach, land yacht, etc.
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:03 PM   #7
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Yep.... I walked to School in snow storms, sunny weather and rain. The odd thing...is I DID. I cannot recall School Buses in 1956, Somers, Montana. Maybe missed the bus. School was not too far away. There was a gravel beach in those days and I liked skipping flat ones. They built a dam to the south and the gravel beaches are now under water.

My first teacher was Ms. Vintage. Her first year teaching First Grade residence was a small Trailer parked near us on the dirt road to the City Dump. She just pulled over and parked. No body complaining, either. Got good tutoring after school. I needed it.

Those who, like field & stream, steve jones, dznfOg and Uncle Bob... found the transition to an Airstream... was like my family moving from a Montana Cabin/Shed into a home with light switches and a wood burning stove for cooking, heating water to bathe and cooking. It is dramatic. Ice House near Flathead Lake was the Refer Block Ice supply.

Kalispell, Montana home... had flushing toilets and a tub. Beverly Hillbillies in California should have had it so good.

Old people have these stories. Many 'old people' on the Forum are in their mid 30's to 50's. Roughing it at the RV Park. Needing help with the icky black water flush... and washout. The RV Park toilets and showers are unsanitary... Neanderthals use them.

Same with Tent Camping 101 to a Pop Up or a VW Camper (my wife's FIRST Vehicle). She was a tent camper in New York and the family had a Mallard trailer and a Nomad. Five in the family. One was 12 foot, the other 17 foot. Station wagon with an aluminum boat on top. Hammocks in the 12 foot for the younger 'kin folk'.

Nobody gave it a second thought in NW Montana. I thought everyone in the Forest lived like us. Then Grandma's had a wood burning stove and electricity in Somers. I was not old enough to understand this was the way it was.

My mom baked a Flathead Cherry Pie and had a board that slid out of the kitchen window so it would cool. No space in the kitchen. We bathed in the big galvanized tub in the kitchen. The youngest sister was last. My brother and I got first 'dips'. The River was an option, but Seasonal at best.

Enjoy your comments. Others do as well, but too bashful to speak up. If this post disappears... so will I. Even a Neanderthal understands when the sign says 'Out of Business.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:51 AM   #8
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Hi

A *lot* of places used to only run school busses for the "far away" kids. If you lived within a "reasonable distance" of school, you got to walk or ride a bike. That was true out in the sticks and in some very urban areas. The practice has faded away over the years. Seems that kids on bikes and cars going down the road occasionally would meet head on. I have empirical data on the result .... ( and evidence that you heal up pretty well when you are young ....)

Lots of things have changed over the years. In some cases I'd say for the better.

Bob
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:01 AM   #9
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Grade school = 6 blocks - not eligible for a bus
Junior high = 4 blocks - not eligible for bus
High school = 1.5 miles - not eligible for bus

All this in a town of 95,000 population.

Today, literally everyone rides, unless no feeder street crossing necessary.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:17 AM   #10
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The last we camped in a tent, it rained for 6 of the 5 days we were camping. Got an Airstream and never looked back.

To get to my high school I had to take 3 city buses.

We have it too good now...
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:19 AM   #11
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... Ray you make me laugh....

We started our journey in a tent when we were in our 50's - went from a ground crawler to a stand to put our pants on to a 16' T@B (which we loved) to now in our 70'ds our much love 2004 International 25 CCD - the only complaint is it's bigger than our livingroom
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Yep.... I walked to School in snow storms, sunny weather and rain. The odd thing...is I DID. I cannot recall School Buses in 1956, Somers, Montana. Maybe missed the bus. School was not too far away. There was a gravel beach in those days and I liked skipping flat ones. They built a dam to the south and the gravel beaches are now under water.

My first teacher was Ms. Vintage. Her first year teaching First Grade residence was a small Trailer parked near us on the dirt road to the City Dump. She just pulled over and parked. No body complaining, either. Got good tutoring after school. I needed it.

Those who, like field & stream, steve jones, dznfOg and Uncle Bob... found the transition to an Airstream... was like my family moving from a Montana Cabin/Shed into a home with light switches and a wood burning stove for cooking, heating water to bathe and cooking. It is dramatic. Ice House near Flathead Lake was the Refer Block Ice supply.

Kalispell, Montana home... had flushing toilets and a tub. Beverly Hillbillies in California should have had it so good.

Old people have these stories. Many 'old people' on the Forum are in their mid 30's to 50's. Roughing it at the RV Park. Needing help with the icky black water flush... and washout. The RV Park toilets and showers are unsanitary... Neanderthals use them.

Same with Tent Camping 101 to a Pop Up or a VW Camper (my wife's FIRST Vehicle). She was a tent camper in New York and the family had a Mallard trailer and a Nomad. Five in the family. One was 12 foot, the other 17 foot. Station wagon with an aluminum boat on top. Hammocks in the 12 foot for the younger 'kin folk'.

Nobody gave it a second thought in NW Montana. I thought everyone in the Forest lived like us. Then Grandma's had a wood burning stove and electricity in Somers. I was not old enough to understand this was the way it was.

My mom baked a Flathead Cherry Pie and had a board that slid out of the kitchen window so it would cool. No space in the kitchen. We bathed in the big galvanized tub in the kitchen. The youngest sister was last. My brother and I got first 'dips'. The River was an option, but Seasonal at best.

Enjoy your comments. Others do as well, but too bashful to speak up. If this post disappears... so will I. Even a Neanderthal understands when the sign says 'Out of Business.
I don't know about Summers, MT; but in Great Falls in 1956, we walked to school (St. Josephs on the West side) backwards in the snow storms from time to time! We loved (still do) Flat Head Cherry's, but the Huckleberries' were/are still the grand prize for MT, IMHO...huckleberry pie, huckleberry bread, huckleberry coffee cake, huckleberry syrup, huckleberry pancakes, huckleberry wine...you get the picture....them folks who pick now, (some from Asia or Viet Nam I hear) are very "territorial" in some areas of NW MT...so like the Moral mushroom's up there, you got to know where to pick...or it can get dangerous we are told...not like the old days. You can still run across a grizzly also, "picking" so good idea to take along a loud radio when/if you decide to go after the hucks. We still have 3-4 gallons in the freezer in Texas...now that I am in Wy in the summers, I found they also pick Hucks...maybe next year...you never have too many huckleberries...or Flat Head Cherry's either!
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:37 AM   #13
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nswhite... you also know that you should seal the stitching, as we discovered. Much like Airstream Rivets... if there is a place to leak onto your face... you will find it while it is raining.

We were camped at a Ranch collecting Fossil Mammals, Reptiles and Insectivores from the Badlands of Western Nebraska. It was October. The Sun took its time to rise that morning.

It was Dark. Unknown to us... it had snowed that evening while we were bedded down and the tent was covered with an inch or two, letting no sunlight into the Tent. The snow melted shortly after sunrise.

Also... newbies... when tent camping in the West. Stake your Tent. Those with the interior flexible rods... like half a sphere when assembled... will leave the campsite, with sleeping bags like a TWA Flight when least expected. There are no trees along the Badlands to stop the tent. You have to be quick. Bring... extra tent pegs. They can easily pull out and scattered across the prairie. Sorry... no video or photos.

Oh Airstreams.... Ahhhhh. Use two to four Chocks. Why? Well... you will understand why Water Runs Downhill. You should have taken Physics in school. Boondocking is Fun.

Watching is even more entertaining. In 2007 having warranty work done to our 23 footer, at Jackson Center, Ohio, we watched the new Airstream Owners coming into the campsite and backing up. Bring lots of Pop Corn and Drinks for all. Feed the squirrels coming out of the trees. Several of us took out the folding chairs and glad... nobody was watching us being part of the Show. Everyone takes their turn. We had ours... now it is your turn.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:40 AM   #14
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Winter was just GREAT

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
I don't know about Summers, MT; but in Great Falls in 1956, we walked to school (St. Josephs on the West side) backwards in the snow storms from time to time! We loved (still do) Flat Head Cherry's, but the Huckleberries' were/are still the grand prize for MT, IMHO...huckleberry pie, huckleberry bread, huckleberry coffee cake, huckleberry syrup, huckleberry pancakes, huckleberry wine...you get the picture....them folks who pick now, (some from Asia or Viet Nam I hear) are very "territorial" in some areas of NW MT...so like the Moral mushroom's up there, you got to know where to pick...or it can get dangerous we are told...not like the old days. You can still run across a grizzly also, "picking" so good idea to take along a loud radio when/if you decide to go after the hucks. We still have 3-4 gallons in the freezer in Texas...now that I am in Wy in the summers, I found they also pick Hucks...maybe next year...you never have too many huckleberries...or Flat Head Cherry's either!
******

Flathead Cherries. Eat all you want when picking, but pay for those you take home. West side of Flathead Lake. The homeowners have Cherry Trees and small stands selling cherries. Blemished cherries... free.

Also the Huckleberries in the Forest... Bear love them... as well.

Snow at school created the largest Snow Fort for recess. Snowball fights and running up the wall roughing each other.

Today... Snow Forts may be banned. Learned to pitch baseball tossing snow balls. School was an EVENT... and then some learning. Reading, writing, arithmetic and gym.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:51 AM   #15
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Yup, been there done that. Happy with the Airstream! But, Acclaim for the lowly, much misaligned “tent camping” I enjoyed my time tent camping… it allowed me (and others) the opportunity to get out there and truly commune with nature, without the obstruction of trailer cities, generators & noisy neighbours….
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:07 AM   #16
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Yup, been there done that. Happy with the Airstream! But, Acclaim for the lowly, much misaligned “tent camping” I enjoyed my time tent camping… it allowed me (and others) the opportunity to get out there and truly commune with nature, without the obstruction of trailer cities, generators & noisy neighbours….
Hi

How noisy the neighbors are is very much a "that depends" sort of thing. A tent gives you a wider range of places to camp. In some areas that may or may not be enough. It depends a *lot* on how the folks in charge have organized things.

One of the things we found was that early on, we went small and light for the tents. This was fine as long as it didn't pour down rain for a day or three. The whole getting dressed while lying on your back thing eventually got old. We moved to larger and larger tents as time went on.

The larger tents are heavier tents. They also take up more space on the site. Doing a walk in for "a ways" isn't as easy with a larger tent. Our range of locations decreased. At the same time the whole "dry it all out" process got more complex with more canvas involved.

One thing you do eventually discover: most tents are not designed to do well in 50 to 60 mph wind gusts .... I'd also say that a whole lot of trailers aren't chocked to handle them either.

Even with tents, there are a lot of variables.

Bob
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Old 10-25-2021, 12:01 PM   #17
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I still have my tent - and I keep it in the Airstream hallway locker! It's there, so that when I travel, the Airstream can be my basecamp, but if I want to disappear into wilderness for two or three nights, I have my pack, tent, sleeping quilts, all ready to go! It's a great place to return to after all that activity.
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Old 10-25-2021, 12:51 PM   #18
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Good Ole Ray

There are days I wish I could get what your smoking taking or drinking. Ray be proud of what you have done and just keep them thoughts in your head. Lectures to the masses is like not gonna work.

You should write a book with all your thoughts and energy not waste it here

Just saying
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:00 PM   #19
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nswhite... you also know that you should seal the stitching, as we discovered. Much like Airstream Rivets... if there is a place to leak onto your face... you will find it while it is raining.
Yep, seam sealed the whole tent. However, it was damp inside and nothing really dried out.

I often wondered why they sell a product that leaks. Then we bought our Airstream. Oh, wait...
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:41 PM   #20
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From Boy Scout camping to wilderness style with best friends for 35 years...

Like so many of you I grew up walking the mile or so to elementary school, and junior and senior high (though that was both closer and by then we were driving and that was the freedom way to travel, even though it was only 6 blocks as opposed to a mile). Even though this was in the suburbs of NYC, I was fortunate to be in the Scouts when tent camping was the major activity every summer. Loved it so much that I've been doing it pretty much every year, now into my 70's. Wilderness canoe camping with my best buds in the Northeast Kingdom in VT over the past 35 years (canoes allow us to carry both extra cushy air pads as well as lots of coolers, without breaking our backs).

My wife, how LOVES the outdoors, had never really tent camped, but both of us had always dreamed of camping out of an Airstream, so, another silver lining of the pandemic, we finally bit the bullet and got a 16' Bambi a year ago and already took a cross-country trip, VT to San Diego) and loved every minute of it (except I guess for those first few days of nail biting around which systems - tire pressure monitoring, solar charging, battery levels, etc).

As opposed to tent camping, which I still do love, boon docking in our AS is really just like all of the comforts of home but right out there in the middle of nature. For those of you that are into boondocking, the app Hipcamp is like AirBnB but for camping (RV or tents or both) and a great way to get away from the RV parks or even State parks and be out there on your own.

16' of heaven. Truly the best of both worlds!
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