Mar 16, 2010 at 12:19 am #1256539
Just wondering how many of you have a caravan or RV that you use as a basecamp?
Hopefully this weekend at the caravan and camping show (Perth, Western Australia) my family I will be ordering our first caravan.
I can see some great advantages in this, firstly it will get the whole family out walking and secondly I think it will take me to places that were not within reach before due to travel time etc.
Pic below of the new Rig hopefully to order.Mar 16, 2010 at 5:34 am #1586995
We downsized from pickup and trailer. Now a VW Transporter/Vanagon does it for us. Queen size bed, table, plenty of light, and an electric bedwarmer round out some of the amenities in what I call my trailhead apartment. Been real nice losing dragging a trailer around. We had a teardrop trailer, and now the VW seems huge
Here is the teardrop setupMar 16, 2010 at 5:39 am #1586998
Very cool looking VW, pleanty of them still on the road over here too.
Thanks for sharingMar 16, 2010 at 6:07 am #1587005
@foundLocale: Sacramento, CA
This was my last car/house car. Sold it to be more free. Now I travel and hike more and work less. I've been spending a fair amount of time in my friend's RVs and vans though. They live full time in theirs and are happy to go hiking. In about a year I plan to buy a new housecar, but I'm pretty sure that I'm going with a 4×4 truck for better access to remote places.Mar 16, 2010 at 6:11 am #1587008
Kind of reminds me of the A-Team van :) very cool though.
Where was the picture taken, that scenery is beautiful.Mar 16, 2010 at 6:21 am #1587011
@foundLocale: Sacramento, CA
outside of Zion National Park.Mar 16, 2010 at 6:26 am #1587012
I've often thought of going the van route when my puppies are no longer with me. Get rid of everything that doesn't fit in the van and just travel and hike and bike. Doing what Jack did 40 years later!Mar 16, 2010 at 10:54 am #1587087
@chadlLocale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
Jack H, how did you outfit the interior of the van? I have been looking into living in a van and have been trying to create a schematic of the interior: permanent bed vs fold down seats, kitchen inside vs portable to bring outdoors on a table etc.
I've also been pondering how to get my skis, climbing gear and pulk inside of the thing :)
ChadMar 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm #1587127
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
We have never looked back after springing for a Toyota Hiace campervan. It makes it easy for us to get away at the drop of a hat as we leave it pretty much ready to go. We often drive to our destination on a Thursday or Friday after work and sleep in the van. Some trips we drive somewhere and just do day walks. If it's a long drive we even stop to take a nap occasionally. It has a double bed on the bottom, a single loft up top, fridge, sink, stove etc…our gear lives in the top loft, and the shelves are packed with spare food, water, towels etc…it even gets decent mileage (2.8 litre diesel), and come winter it becomes our snowboard mobile since it has optional four wheel drive and low range gearing.Mar 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm #1587148
@maynard76Locale: New England
Have you looked at the Cricket?
http://www.crickettrailer.com/Mar 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm #1587161
@socalpackerLocale: Southern California
This is a good idea. It's convenient and it gives more options and flexibility on your trips.Mar 16, 2010 at 10:49 pm #1587370
We have been doing it for years. We go almost every weekend. My wife is not going to sleep outside on the ground, so usually we do an all day hike on Saturdays, usually 10 – 18 miles. Then a half day hike on Sunday. Sometimes it is a base camp when I go on a multi-day trip, and she can enjoy some peace and quiet.
This is a 2006 Fleetwood Niagara. I have done extensive modification including:
– Larger axle and lifted the body for dirt road clearance and addtional cargo carrying capacity.
– Two 40 lb LPG tanks for extended camping.
– 235 watt solar system.
– Two large deep cycle golf cart batteries for extended camping.
We have put over 20,000 miles on it during the past 4.5 years. Only one trip out of California, when we did some hiking in Arizona around Sedona and the Grand Canyon. It works great for us.
I would be apprehensive to leave it near a trail head though. Too many people looking to break into vehicles parked near trail heads. We normally park a few miles away from trail heads and then hike to them.
Before you purchase a camper/caravan, best to do some serious research to make sure you get exactly what you need. One thing we really like about our is that it has a shower and toilet in it.
Here it is set up in a typical camping site. This happens to be a remote area of Thomas Mtn looking across Garner Valley to the San Jacintos, in the general vicinity of the Desert Divide section of the PCT.Mar 16, 2010 at 10:55 pm #1587374
Looks great, very similar to the Jayco model of pop-tops over here.
Your use seems to be the same as my intentions, base camp, wifes retreat etc.
We decided not to go for a van with a toilet and shower due to needing the extra space with the kids. There are pleanty of campsites around with both and the plan would be to leave the van at a caravan park and drive out to the trail head.
Is that a Webber Q I see under the annex? Just purchased one myself.
CheersMar 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm #1587380
Yes, very similar to Jayco, which is a popular brand in the U.S. too.
If you are interested, I have a ton of pictures posted of our old Starcraft (which we gutted and rebuilt) and our present model along with some other interests: http://www.community.webshots.com/user/ngatel
And yes it is a Q. Best darn BBQ for camping IMO :).
If you are really interested in caravans, etc. go to the forums at http://www.popupexplorer.com. There are links to the Hybrid forum, which is what your caravan really is, and a travel trailer forum too. Great forums with nice people. All the sites are run by the same person.Mar 16, 2010 at 11:22 pm #1587386
Great thanks again, webshots link doesnt appear to work.
I have only use the Q once, for a roast to try it out, very nice indeed.
CheersMar 17, 2010 at 1:26 am #1587398
John Frederick AndersonMember
I drive to the trailhead, and usually either crash in the back of my van on an aussie swag and hike out first thing the next day, or hike out for the last two or three hours of daylight beyond the dayhikers, and find somewhere spectacular to stay the first night.
We had an old VW camper for a few years, but felt it complicated our life more than anything else. I prefer the simplicity of the bare van- it makes me get out and hike more. Damn thing had a terrible habit of breaking down in the remotest places too.
fredMar 17, 2010 at 10:16 am #1587512
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
My wife and I own an Xterra. We took out the back seat and built a plywood bench. Sleeping space above, cargo space beneath. It was our mobile home from 10/05-6/06. Now it's the weekend warrior-mobile.Mar 17, 2010 at 10:53 am #1587524
Dodge Grand Caravan – 12"(?)longer than a 'standard' Caravan
One sheet of ½" plywood and 1 sheet of ½" particle board.
The plywood was cut high enough to clear our cooler, and then slotted so the 'longs' and 'shorts' fit together. The particle board was 'cut to fit', and is screwed down to strategically located 2×2 blocks on the support plywood.
The 'headboard' is ¼" masonite that lies flat under bedding when not in use. We tilt the seats back to provide support at the top.
I used 3/8" 'J-bolts" to anchor everything to the seat hardware. Loose stuff wouldn't be much fun it a roll-over accident.
Construction time was about 4 hours. Installation and de-installation time is about 20 minutes.Mar 17, 2010 at 11:43 am #1587539
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
… I'd get one of these, for base-camping:
It'll go anywhere- it's the only RV to complete the Rubicon Challenge. I love that it has solar power, and a stone slab to supercool when the engine is running to keep the fridge cold without power. Cassette toilet. Internal and external shower. And the pop-up tent is just cool…
Of course, the $100K pricetag really takes the joy out if it. And it's only good for two people.
They make larger ones based on Ford F150s, too, with a real bed and toilet stall. But personally I like the XV-JP's minimalism. It'd be nice if something somewhere in between could be done, to carry four people in a crew-cab F150 or something, but still be nice and small.
That's brilliant! I have an Odyssey… I'd want to modify it so my three year old could still come along, though. Hmm…Mar 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm #1587552
Chad, check out the link below for some ideas on how to organize the interior as well as tons of other great info.Mar 17, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1587734
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
This vintage trailer weighs less than 1000 lbs., and easy pull with our Subaru. It has stove, sink, fridge, and furnace. Really nice cozy nest for shoulder season trips.Mar 17, 2010 at 8:51 pm #1587736
Catalina State Park?
g.Mar 17, 2010 at 9:07 pm #1587740
Kimberly, it that a Casistas trailer?Mar 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm #1588146
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
Right! Catalina State Park (where we got to spend an EXTRA 2 days a couple of weeks ago when the road into the park was washed out and we couldn't leave!).
No, not a Casita. It's a Boler (Canadian made) which were around long before the Casitas– back to the late 60's. (But ours is only 34 years old).Mar 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm #1592057
"- Two 40 lb LPG tanks for extended camping."
Boy, with 80 pounds of propane I can't imagine ever running out…
We bought our Chalet folding trailer with a lot of ideas including as a base camp for backpacking. It hasn't worked out yet. The issue is where to leave it while you're hiking. Here in California the bears don't usually bother occupied RV's, but I wouldn't leave the trailer unoccupied at a trailhead. Most public campgrounds have rules requiring that campsites be occupied, plus obviously you have to pay the fee.
We MIGHT use the trailer before/after a family backpack trip this summer. I want to spend a couple of days acclimating to altitude before the trip and the trailer would allow extra luxury. It will only work if I can arrange logistics of parking during the trip.
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