Camping season is upon us

IveofIone

WFF Supporter
Not much going on here today, it is snowing, raining, sleeting and hailing so being outdoors isn't an option. And in my shop the epoxy is drying on my pram update so I'll just kill time by rambling about camping.

I'm a good camper. I started sleeping outside in about 1946 when I was 8 years old. My first tent was an Army surplus mountaineering model that was reversible with olive drab or pure white. I can still remember the smell of that tent! Over the years I have done over 1,000 miles in the Sierra back country, often solo with either a bivvy bag or small tent. I have climbed on glaciers in Alaska and on the volcanoes in Mexico. Nothing heroic just fun stuff but I have done it in all seasons including winter ski mountaineering. By now I know how to dress to stay warm and how to prep for a week long trip so there are no surprises.

These days I have a luxury Lance travel trailer with all the amenities that I seldom use. My tool of choice is my Crusin' Casa, a Ram 1500 pickup with an 8' bed and a tall canopy. It has a 25'' x 75'' bed with storage underneath that quickly converts into a chaise lounge. It is made of spruce and lightweight Baltic birch plywood and weighs about 14#. Behind the bed at the rear of the truck is the kitchen unit that contains a butane stove, several canisters, clean and gray water containers, a small sink and faucet with an electric pump. It too is of lightweight construction and can be easily lifted with one hand. A fold up table on the kitchen unit provides counter space when cooking. This kitchen unit eliminates getting out of the rig after dark to brush teeth and spit in a firepit somewhere. Not something you want to do in rattlesnake country! It also allows me to start coffee while still in bed.

On the other side of the aisle is a corner wardrobe cupboard with a hinged door on top and a slideout drawer on the bottom. It holds a mountain of clothes, more than enough for a full week of camping. Next to that is a ceiling high utility/pantry cabinet with space at the bottom for my solar generator and a big drawer on ball bearing slides in the center. And like the wardrobe cabinet it has storage on top as well. My 35+ year old chuck box is next to the utility cabinet and received new paint and new brass hardware last year-it still looks new. I modified it with a new large slideout drawer on the bottom so I wouldn't have to get on my knees to reach things at the back.

At the very rear is my cooler. It is nothing fancy, just a Coleman Xtreme of about 70 quarts. I looked at all of the high end coolers from Yeti on down and concluded that in addition to being overpriced all were overweight, something I have to be aware of at my advanced age. A 25# cooler with 25# of food is a load for an old man to lift into an already too-tall pickup. Using Reflectix I wrapped the Coleman completely and made a nice insulated cover for the lid which I screwed in place. In the Casa it rides in it's own retaining cage on 1/2'' closed cell foam. I did away with liquid in the bottom by buying a sealable plastic container that I freeze full of water before each trip. Once the cooler is loaded I place a down pillow over the top of the food to take up space and retain the cold below. Last summer on a 7 day trip to Montana I still had a little ice when I got home. Compared to a Yeti for several hundred dollars, my <$60 cooler investment has been a winner.

Keeping cool is always an issue in summer but so far I haven't suffered at all. I have made Reflectix covers for all of the glass-there's a lot of it in a tall canopy!-and it keeps the inside from cooking like it did before. The white paint makes it 15-20 degrees cooler inside to begin with and the carpeted canopy adds a little insulation. I have 2 USB powered fans that run for about 8 hours on a single charge and are very quiet, with their swivel/gimbal bases they can direct air in any direction. I also carry a much larger O2 Cool fan that I modified to run on 12v current along with 110. The sliding front window of the canopy has an insect screen panel that allows me to open the front and sides on really hot nights with no insect problems.

Heat can be a problem in cold weather but camping but last week I spent some nights in the mid 20's and stayed comfortable inside. I use a large rectangular flannel lined bag for moderate weather and a full mummy down bag for the cold stuff. The flannel bag makes a nice soft pad for the bed when not being slept in. For actual heat I use a Buddy heater that I have turned into a forced air furnace. Sort of. I built a cage that fits into the rear of the heater that holds a 5AH SLA battery with a switch. A small silent computer fan attaches to the top of the battery with heavy duty Velcro and blows heat out rather than let it just rise to the ceiling. This works just great! I use this in conjunction with one of the USB fans to circulate heat throughout the canopy. Last week with <30degree temps outside I was getting dressed in a 77 degree environment! It works. The floor has been covered with thick rubber interlocking squares that make it quieter, warmer and a helluva lot easier on the knees.

And last but not least the solar generator that I built to meet my modest electrical needs. Two years ago I didn't know an amp from a volt but studied YouTube videos enough to learn how to build a power supply. Now I can charge my phone, charge my USB fans, my big spotlight and run AC powered stuff with a pure sine wave inverter. It is all powered by a 100w solar panel that attaches to the side of my truck that weighs about 6# and is approx 24'' x 24'' by 1/2'' thick. This week I bought fittings to double the amount of battery power, the primary reason being to be able to charge my trolling motor battery if necessary. Nowadays you can buy any number of these units that are far more sophisticated than mine but generally cost a great deal more than the paltry $200 or so I have in mine.Plus I built it myself and am just amazed to see it work.

If I get a new van I will probably buy a much more powerful unit and put at least 300w of solar on the roof. That will easily power a Maxaire fan and the electric fridge I will replace the cooler with. Compared to a modern van conversion my unit is really crude but you won't see many truck canopies with a sink and running water, a chaise lounge and solar power. Building is half the fun of camping.
 

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
Not much going on here today, it is snowing, raining, sleeting and hailing so being outdoors isn't an option. And in my shop the epoxy is drying on my pram update so I'll just kill time by rambling about camping.

I'm a good camper. I started sleeping outside in about 1946 when I was 8 years old. My first tent was an Army surplus mountaineering model that was reversible with olive drab or pure white. I can still remember the smell of that tent! Over the years I have done over 1,000 miles in the Sierra back country, often solo with either a bivvy bag or small tent. I have climbed on glaciers in Alaska and on the volcanoes in Mexico. Nothing heroic just fun stuff but I have done it in all seasons including winter ski mountaineering. By now I know how to dress to stay warm and how to prep for a week long trip so there are no surprises.

These days I have a luxury Lance travel trailer with all the amenities that I seldom use. My tool of choice is my Crusin' Casa, a Ram 1500 pickup with an 8' bed and a tall canopy. It has a 25'' x 75'' bed with storage underneath that quickly converts into a chaise lounge. It is made of spruce and lightweight Baltic birch plywood and weighs about 14#. Behind the bed at the rear of the truck is the kitchen unit that contains a butane stove, several canisters, clean and gray water containers, a small sink and faucet with an electric pump. It too is of lightweight construction and can be easily lifted with one hand. A fold up table on the kitchen unit provides counter space when cooking. This kitchen unit eliminates getting out of the rig after dark to brush teeth and spit in a firepit somewhere. Not something you want to do in rattlesnake country! It also allows me to start coffee while still in bed.

On the other side of the aisle is a corner wardrobe cupboard with a hinged door on top and a slideout drawer on the bottom. It holds a mountain of clothes, more than enough for a full week of camping. Next to that is a ceiling high utility/pantry cabinet with space at the bottom for my solar generator and a big drawer on ball bearing slides in the center. And like the wardrobe cabinet it has storage on top as well. My 35+ year old chuck box is next to the utility cabinet and received new paint and new brass hardware last year-it still looks new. I modified it with a new large slideout drawer on the bottom so I wouldn't have to get on my knees to reach things at the back.

At the very rear is my cooler. It is nothing fancy, just a Coleman Xtreme of about 70 quarts. I looked at all of the high end coolers from Yeti on down and concluded that in addition to being overpriced all were overweight, something I have to be aware of at my advanced age. A 25# cooler with 25# of food is a load for an old man to lift into an already too-tall pickup. Using Reflectix I wrapped the Coleman completely and made a nice insulated cover for the lid which I screwed in place. In the Casa it rides in it's own retaining cage on 1/2'' closed cell foam. I did away with liquid in the bottom by buying a sealable plastic container that I freeze full of water before each trip. Once the cooler is loaded I place a down pillow over the top of the food to take up space and retain the cold below. Last summer on a 7 day trip to Montana I still had a little ice when I got home. Compared to a Yeti for several hundred dollars, my <$60 cooler investment has been a winner.

Keeping cool is always an issue in summer but so far I haven't suffered at all. I have made Reflectix covers for all of the glass-there's a lot of it in a tall canopy!-and it keeps the inside from cooking like it did before. The white paint makes it 15-20 degrees cooler inside to begin with and the carpeted canopy adds a little insulation. I have 2 USB powered fans that run for about 8 hours on a single charge and are very quiet, with their swivel/gimbal bases they can direct air in any direction. I also carry a much larger O2 Cool fan that I modified to run on 12v current along with 110. The sliding front window of the canopy has an insect screen panel that allows me to open the front and sides on really hot nights with no insect problems.

Heat can be a problem in cold weather but camping but last week I spent some nights in the mid 20's and stayed comfortable inside. I use a large rectangular flannel lined bag for moderate weather and a full mummy down bag for the cold stuff. The flannel bag makes a nice soft pad for the bed when not being slept in. For actual heat I use a Buddy heater that I have turned into a forced air furnace. Sort of. I built a cage that fits into the rear of the heater that holds a 5AH SLA battery with a switch. A small silent computer fan attaches to the top of the battery with heavy duty Velcro and blows heat out rather than let it just rise to the ceiling. This works just great! I use this in conjunction with one of the USB fans to circulate heat throughout the canopy. Last week with <30degree temps outside I was getting dressed in a 77 degree environment! It works. The floor has been covered with thick rubber interlocking squares that make it quieter, warmer and a helluva lot easier on the knees.

And last but not least the solar generator that I built to meet my modest electrical needs. Two years ago I didn't know an amp from a volt but studied YouTube videos enough to learn how to build a power supply. Now I can charge my phone, charge my USB fans, my big spotlight and run AC powered stuff with a pure sine wave inverter. It is all powered by a 100w solar panel that attaches to the side of my truck that weighs about 6# and is approx 24'' x 24'' by 1/2'' thick. This week I bought fittings to double the amount of battery power, the primary reason being to be able to charge my trolling motor battery if necessary. Nowadays you can buy any number of these units that are far more sophisticated than mine but generally cost a great deal more than the paltry $200 or so I have in mine.Plus I built it myself and am just amazed to see it work.

If I get a new van I will probably buy a much more powerful unit and put at least 300w of solar on the roof. That will easily power a Maxaire fan and the electric fridge I will replace the cooler with. Compared to a modern van conversion my unit is really crude but you won't see many truck canopies with a sink and running water, a chaise lounge and solar power. Building is half the fun of camping.
Would love to see pics, especially
The floor layout and nifty heater.
 

Fast Action Freddie

Having a drink in The Buff
“I can still remember the smell of that tent!”

I might b many decades your junior, but the smell of my parents musty canvas tent is seared into my memory.. along w the other hand me down stinky tents used as a teen / young adult. The smell of “good times”.
 

Fast Action Freddie

Having a drink in The Buff
Not much going on here today, it is snowing, raining, sleeting and hailing so being outdoors isn't an option. And in my shop the epoxy is drying on my pram update so I'll just kill time by rambling about camping.

I'm a good camper. I started sleeping outside in about 1946 when I was 8 years old. My first tent was an Army surplus mountaineering model that was reversible with olive drab or pure white. I can still remember the smell of that tent! Over the years I have done over 1,000 miles in the Sierra back country, often solo with either a bivvy bag or small tent. I have climbed on glaciers in Alaska and on the volcanoes in Mexico. Nothing heroic just fun stuff but I have done it in all seasons including winter ski mountaineering. By now I know how to dress to stay warm and how to prep for a week long trip so there are no surprises.

These days I have a luxury Lance travel trailer with all the amenities that I seldom use. My tool of choice is my Crusin' Casa, a Ram 1500 pickup with an 8' bed and a tall canopy. It has a 25'' x 75'' bed with storage underneath that quickly converts into a chaise lounge. It is made of spruce and lightweight Baltic birch plywood and weighs about 14#. Behind the bed at the rear of the truck is the kitchen unit that contains a butane stove, several canisters, clean and gray water containers, a small sink and faucet with an electric pump. It too is of lightweight construction and can be easily lifted with one hand. A fold up table on the kitchen unit provides counter space when cooking. This kitchen unit eliminates getting out of the rig after dark to brush teeth and spit in a firepit somewhere. Not something you want to do in rattlesnake country! It also allows me to start coffee while still in bed.

On the other side of the aisle is a corner wardrobe cupboard with a hinged door on top and a slideout drawer on the bottom. It holds a mountain of clothes, more than enough for a full week of camping. Next to that is a ceiling high utility/pantry cabinet with space at the bottom for my solar generator and a big drawer on ball bearing slides in the center. And like the wardrobe cabinet it has storage on top as well. My 35+ year old chuck box is next to the utility cabinet and received new paint and new brass hardware last year-it still looks new. I modified it with a new large slideout drawer on the bottom so I wouldn't have to get on my knees to reach things at the back.

At the very rear is my cooler. It is nothing fancy, just a Coleman Xtreme of about 70 quarts. I looked at all of the high end coolers from Yeti on down and concluded that in addition to being overpriced all were overweight, something I have to be aware of at my advanced age. A 25# cooler with 25# of food is a load for an old man to lift into an already too-tall pickup. Using Reflectix I wrapped the Coleman completely and made a nice insulated cover for the lid which I screwed in place. In the Casa it rides in it's own retaining cage on 1/2'' closed cell foam. I did away with liquid in the bottom by buying a sealable plastic container that I freeze full of water before each trip. Once the cooler is loaded I place a down pillow over the top of the food to take up space and retain the cold below. Last summer on a 7 day trip to Montana I still had a little ice when I got home. Compared to a Yeti for several hundred dollars, my <$60 cooler investment has been a winner.

Keeping cool is always an issue in summer but so far I haven't suffered at all. I have made Reflectix covers for all of the glass-there's a lot of it in a tall canopy!-and it keeps the inside from cooking like it did before. The white paint makes it 15-20 degrees cooler inside to begin with and the carpeted canopy adds a little insulation. I have 2 USB powered fans that run for about 8 hours on a single charge and are very quiet, with their swivel/gimbal bases they can direct air in any direction. I also carry a much larger O2 Cool fan that I modified to run on 12v current along with 110. The sliding front window of the canopy has an insect screen panel that allows me to open the front and sides on really hot nights with no insect problems.

Heat can be a problem in cold weather but camping but last week I spent some nights in the mid 20's and stayed comfortable inside. I use a large rectangular flannel lined bag for moderate weather and a full mummy down bag for the cold stuff. The flannel bag makes a nice soft pad for the bed when not being slept in. For actual heat I use a Buddy heater that I have turned into a forced air furnace. Sort of. I built a cage that fits into the rear of the heater that holds a 5AH SLA battery with a switch. A small silent computer fan attaches to the top of the battery with heavy duty Velcro and blows heat out rather than let it just rise to the ceiling. This works just great! I use this in conjunction with one of the USB fans to circulate heat throughout the canopy. Last week with <30degree temps outside I was getting dressed in a 77 degree environment! It works. The floor has been covered with thick rubber interlocking squares that make it quieter, warmer and a helluva lot easier on the knees.

And last but not least the solar generator that I built to meet my modest electrical needs. Two years ago I didn't know an amp from a volt but studied YouTube videos enough to learn how to build a power supply. Now I can charge my phone, charge my USB fans, my big spotlight and run AC powered stuff with a pure sine wave inverter. It is all powered by a 100w solar panel that attaches to the side of my truck that weighs about 6# and is approx 24'' x 24'' by 1/2'' thick. This week I bought fittings to double the amount of battery power, the primary reason being to be able to charge my trolling motor battery if necessary. Nowadays you can buy any number of these units that are far more sophisticated than mine but generally cost a great deal more than the paltry $200 or so I have in mine.Plus I built it myself and am just amazed to see it work.

If I get a new van I will probably buy a much more powerful unit and put at least 300w of solar on the roof. That will easily power a Maxaire fan and the electric fridge I will replace the cooler with. Compared to a modern van conversion my unit is really crude but you won't see many truck canopies with a sink and running water, a chaise lounge and solar power. Building is half the fun of camping.
“I can still remember the smell of that tent!”

I might b many decades your junior, but the smell of my parents musty canvas tent is seared into my memory.. along w the other hand me down stinky tents used as a teen / young adult. The smell of “good times”.
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
I have a friend building out a Ford Transit van into an amazing RV! He's currently working on the cabinets, and using Baltic birch I believe! He has 300 watts of solar and a whole battery management system that charges the batteries independent of the one for the van to start and run! It' has an awesome heater in it, shower, with a toilet and a fridge! I can't recall the brand name of the fridge, but it opens at the top and can be used as a freezer as well. He's using it now as a freezer to keep extra food at home, the kitchen freezer is stuffed and he has family staying with him and his wife, so needed more room.

I can't post pictures, he's pretty private, and I promised not to post any of the ones I've taken! It is awesome though and I would love one, but even as a DIY project, it's well out of my price range currently! It's on the list and I could even buy my friends older RV very reasonably and live in it for a while if I want too! Just not ready to go that way yet!
 

John Dude

Learned skills from George Dickel
My first tent was an Army surplus mountaineering model that was reversible with olive drab or pure white. I can still remember the smell of that tent!
My father had that same tent. Same smell. Last used it in 1989 at the Wash State Centennial Games. By then it developed a big hole in the side that wasn't repairable
 

(BigDave)

Active Member
My father had that same tent. Same smell. Last used it in 1989 at the Wash State Centennial Games. By then it developed a big hole in the side that wasn't repairable
Ah, The Centennial Games, It seems as if they where in a different lifetime. I competed in Orienteering... And My brother was in the 10k Road race.
 

John Dude

Learned skills from George Dickel
Ah, The Centennial Games, It seems as if they where in a different lifetime. I competed in Orienteering... And My brother was in the 10k Road race.
I was there in orienteering too. There was a guy in my club named Dave L, who had a brother running in the 10K. One of the famous 3 Killer Daves
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info
Top