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 > "Tent" camping for extended periods

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norfla71

Middleburg

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Posted: 11/18/13 05:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking into the future here. When my wife and I retire and hit the road we are looking for cheaper options than pulling our monster TH brick. I have an 08 Ram 3500, 8' bed.

I put the tent in quotes becuase I'm not really considering sleeping in a tent, but a bed matress with a full size cap would work. We're also thinking about pulling a small utility trailer with us, converted with wardrobe space and storage for our grille and kitchen. Would also have an engine driven generator installed (similar to a welding set-up); with a 95 gallon in-bed tank, fuel won't be an issue. Solar is also on the table.

We won't be full-timing year round, only for a couple of months in the spring/summer.

Anyone else done this? With availability of matresses that fit inside the bed, and all the other products made for portability, this seems like a good fit. Bonus, a small (aerodynamic) trailer won't hit us too hard for fuel.


2008 Ram 3500 SRW
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YC 1

Yuba City Calif./ Auburndale Florida

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Posted: 11/18/13 05:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like you need a little pop up trailer.


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dahkota

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Posted: 11/18/13 05:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of people do similar. Here are some ideas: Overland Equipment


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gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 11/18/13 06:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Teardrop Camper?

RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 11/18/13 06:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My off-road POPUP camper goes anywhere my 4WD truck will go - has all the modern appliances and comforts of home - gets 18-22MPG being pulled behind my truck - setup is very easy - easy to tow... Can still do the drive thru at McDonalds and order a big mac hehe...

When setup we use the outdoors for eating and sitting around the camp fires -

My trailer is setup for extended camping off the battery banks and we can run all the 120VAC and direct connected 12VDc items we run at regular camp sites with the exception of the roof mounted air conditioner and high powered microwave unit.

Our camping concept is to do all these things in a one day/night camping run off the batteries and only use the 2KW Honda generator that is setting secured in the bed of the covered and locked truck bed just to re-charge my batteries each day starting at 8Am in the morning. I only need to run the generator for three hours to get my batteries back up to their 90% charge state so we can do all of this all over again.

Here on the East side of the US this style of camping fits in great with all of the generator run time rules most camp grounds and Natl Forest areas close by have now.

We can do this style for a good 12-14 days of recharging for three hours each day but eventually need to run a 100% charge state cycle which requires around 12 hours of generator run time otherwise we will start doing damage to our battery bank. This is usually when we head for the house as most camp grounds or Natl Forest areas around here does not allow us to run our generator continuous for that long of time.

Have been doing this style of camping for over five years now using our off-road POPUP camper.



Roy Ken


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SteveAE

Bend, Oregon

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Posted: 11/18/13 06:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check out what many hunters use. Wall tent, wood stove, cots, large dining table, etc. More room than any RV and warm....as long as there is firewood. And it all packs into a small utility trailer.

Steve

RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 11/18/13 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Back in my Jeep Days in the high country of AZ this was the way to go...


These opened up into a full size TENT on top of the trailer.


I think the company that sells these now is LifeTime

Australia has full line of off-road tent trailers to give an idea of what you might want to be looking for.

I love this concept in this photo.


The back part of this trailer opens up into a nice full size tent setting on the steel floor...


This is neat link
JEEPS AND TENTS

I may start working on this Australia concept to upgrade my 12-foot box OFF-ROAD POPUP camper. My ultimate WAR WAGON haha... Adding these mods to my current POPUP trailer front deck would not be that hard to do...


The small foot print camping for us is much more enjoyable then dragging along a 38-40 foot house behind us...

Roy ken

Extenter

Cambridge Ont

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Posted: 11/18/13 08:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

norfla71 wrote:

I'm looking into the future here. When my wife and I retire and hit the road we are looking for cheaper options than pulling our monster TH brick. I have an 08 Ram 3500, 8' bed.

I put the tent in quotes becuase I'm not really considering sleeping in a tent, but a bed matress with a full size cap would work. We're also thinking about pulling a small utility trailer with us, converted with wardrobe space and storage for our grille and kitchen. Would also have an engine driven generator installed (similar to a welding set-up); with a 95 gallon in-bed tank, fuel won't be an issue. Solar is also on the table.

We won't be full-timing year round, only for a couple of months in the spring/summer.

Anyone else done this? With availability of matresses that fit inside the bed, and all the other products made for portability, this seems like a good fit. Bonus, a small (aerodynamic) trailer won't hit us too hard for fuel.


Yes we have.Our first winter of retirement we spent over 2 months camping in tents.One small ridge tent for sleeping and a bigger dome tent for sitting and eating.The vehicle was a Mazda protoge.This was in Florida and across to Texas Dec - Mar.
The next year we had a full sized GMC Savana van with a mattress in the back and a table and all the camping gear.We never put the tents up again as the van was a good option.We spent a couple of months in Texas in pretty cold weather but with a heater and sites with power coped very well.The biggest problem is cooking outside in wet weather,sites with a covered picnic table were a bonus.
We later got a small travel trailer and now a pop up but the van and mattress was a very good option.A utility trailer to carry all the extras (like loungers ) will be a bonus.

2oldman

Quincy WA

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Posted: 11/18/13 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

norfla71 wrote:

also have an engine driven generator installed (similar to a welding set-up);
That'll sure keep the neighbors away.

sky_free

Fremont, CA

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Posted: 11/18/13 08:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

norfla71 wrote:

Would also have an engine driven generator installed (similar to a welding set-up); with a 95 gallon in-bed tank, fuel won't be an issue. Solar is also on the table.

Just curious, but won't a fuel tank back there make the enclosed space smell like fuel? Are they vented outside the cap somehow? Will it still leave 6 1/2' for the bed?

Sleeping in the back of truck cap, I don't know what you would need a generator for. We used to do this and I think you're better off with a small solar setup and an extra battery if you don't intend to move for a while, but realistically that mobile setup is not meant for sitting in one spot for very long.

Most of the people that do this do it for the offroad capability. Our friends pull an offroad Chaser trailer and keep everything in that so they can sleep in the back of their land cruiser. Whenever they camp with us they spend a lot of time with us in the TT cooking, watching TV, and playing cards - especially when the weather is bad.


2012 F350 DRW CC LB 6.2 Gas, 3.73, Torklift, Stableloads, Fastguns, Rancho 9000's, 13300 GVWR
2013 Arctic Fox 990


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