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Old 01-01-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Off the Grid: 25 foot and shorter?

Airstreams have an obvious disability... lower clearance of the axles and the grey & black water plumbing are vulnerable. After dragging my rear bumper on my new 25 footer this Summer... I called myself a Drag Queen. First time and the slope appeared to be identical when we crossed the opposite direction. Became a bit sloppy that day.

When in Doubt... send the wife out to determine if we need to get the blocks and shovel out.

Airstreams in the 16 to 25 foot lengths do well Off the Grid. The double axles on the 23 and 25 foot give you some flexibility. Going UP a rise turning off the main road is not an issue. Coming back and DOWN changes the logistics... and you had better take note.

I have 10 inches clearance for the bottom of the fresh water tank and 8 inches for the "dump plumbing". May seem like a lot, but when the front goes UP, the bumper goes DOWN. Time for stacking plastic interlocking blocks and a shovel.

This seems to be a website for big rigs that are 12 feet+ tall. Where are the Trailers on this site? We do not have room for a couch, swivel sofa, pop outs, two AC's on the roof, granite and fancy wood cabinets.

Several Airstream owners put together an adventure for trailer campers as a You are On Your Own but with a group convoy. The last was the 2015 Magdalena New Mexico Adventure... and 25' and shorter trailers. We all hate RV Parks... and if at all possible, avoid all the comforts of camped in our front yard and paying for it.

Am I just blowing hot air and only find 10 members that actually use a trailer for what it is great for... camping. Not as a room on wheels, but a home on wheels.

There is a 2016 Wyoming Adventure and a 2016 South Dakota - Western Nebraska Adventure where there is a limit of trailers and you show up and can come and go as you please. More of introducing trailer owners that real remote locations are everywhere in the Rocky Mountains. These trips are like learning to swim... You step to the edge of the pool and... and learn to swim.

Then 2017 Nevada, 2017 Utah if those taking on the planning the route... want to repeat these "Adventures". I see none on this site where other than parked, inhaling the smell of a diesel idling next to your window, swing out HDTV on the side and 500 watt sound system... as a neighbor.

We enjoy fresh air and a bear trying to climb into bed with you... Not a sight like the advertisement on top... camped by yourself if you like and have the Grand Teton of Wyoming to your WEST all by yourself! Or among invited trailer nomads that find showers needed only for going back into town... as a pure luxury our trailers can provide?

... am I just too optimistic? Is Boondocking and Off the Grid here for wild eyed crazy people, or is there still some life in some of you?

I know... "camped in the military and not doing that any more" attitude? Where is the spirit? Hearing my own echo tells me that the small bands of Nomadic campers are few and rare. Just hate to waste Forum space trying to avoid... "what kind of door bell should I put onto my RV?" type of Threads.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
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TCs are the real off roaders

Without mods to suspension/axle mounting trailers are few that can be used in off the beaten path camping

Had several small trailers/and one small 5vr that had enough clearance to drag down dirt paths to that ideal camping spot.

Current 5vr has the clearance but overall height creates issues when getting back in the woods (13' 4")

Next rig......most likely a small high clearance TT or a TC
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Old 01-01-2016, 04:35 PM   #3
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Old-Biscuit... I have seen 5vr before. Is that a 5th Wheel?

Our kind of camp sites limits us to a trailer with a low and narrow profile. With Airstreams it is the length over 25 feet to 34 that is the limitation. The longer trailer bumper or the tow vehicle hitch will end up high centered in a dip formed by a seasonal water runoff.

The larger trailers are the most popular. Everyone caters to you and sticks trailers in those corners or small areas at a commercial site. Especially if they are charging by lengths.

I have spent 8 years or more on the Airstream site promoting Boondocking, yet maybe 10% attempt it. Those who do it now and regularly, do not want others around, so I understand that, as well. I was that way until my odometer rolled over 65 and no longer stingy, with a new generation of nomadic campers, possibly comfortable in the wide open spaces of the West.

Thank you. What is a TC? You can tell... I dropped in from a tree.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:42 PM   #4
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Yes Ray.......
5vr is 5th wheel
TT is Travel Trailer
TC is Truck Camper

I have taken my tall 5vr into the woods BUT one must be constantly aware of what is going on above you. Them tree limbs and hanging Joshua trees can fight back
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
We enjoy fresh air and a bear trying to climb into bed with you... Not a sight like the advertisement on top... camped by yourself if you like and have the Grand Teton of Wyoming to your WEST all by yourself! Or among invited trailer nomads that find showers needed only for going back into town... as a pure luxury our trailers can provide?

... am I just too optimistic? Is Boondocking and Off the Grid here for wild eyed crazy people, or is there still some life in some of you?
Plenty of folks boondock as you describe it. We sometimes run into them in places as diverse as a California desert, an Upper Michigan National Forest, a Georgia swamp, or sitting on our own stretch of Texas National Seashore beach. We've parked next to fresh bear scat and ponds of alligators. On and on...

The thing is finding these places is not easy. They are like treasured fishing holes to most people. Just start exploring - online and on land. I can't tell you how many dead ends we've run into - literally. And our faithful motorhome shows it.

Seek, and ye shall find. Boondocking tips are here, but not necessarily the GPS coordinates.
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Yes Ray.......
5vr is 5th wheel
TT is Travel Trailer
TC is Truck Camper
I thought TC was Tent Camper. Now those folks are the true boondockers!
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:33 PM   #7
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I thought TC was Tent Camper. Now those folks are the true boondockers!

Then how come when you go to a developed camping ground the good spots are 'tents' only
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:45 PM   #8
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I would agree that 4WD TCs are the best boondockers, and campers with large fresh water and holding tanks, AC, and generator make it even better. That's what we've had for the last 35 or so years, well AC and generator only about the last 23 years. They also make pretty good long distance rigs, especially with diesel power. Now we're getting ready to see how well our "new to us" 26' Flair does with boondocking, but we still have the TC just in case it doesn't work out. Eventually one of them will have to go.

Just my 2c.

Steve
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:14 AM   #9
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This thread echos my thoughts and preferences exactly ... except, we enjoy camping as Ray Eklund (the OP) says in a small 24 foot Ford E450 Itasca motorhome.

We are rockhounds and sometimes get way out there by ourselves if we have to - and we thoroughly enjoy it when we do. However, I'm frustrated in that so far we've not been able to find hardly any other like-minded small Class C owners. In fact we've found only one or two other Class C owners over the years who will take, or "dare" to take, their small motorhomes off-pavement. We know of no special interest motorhome clubs that concentrate even on drycamping, let alone do it out in the boondocks.

Our rig has about standard Ford truck-type ground clearance everywhere. It is only 2WD, but of course has tremendous weight on the rear mud & snow tires for great dry surface traction. All tanks, plumbing, built-in generator, and cab/coach entrances hang no lower than the main chassis frame ... they're all well up out of the way, which is a bit unusual in a Class C rig. It's V10 with a 4:56 rear differential will pull our small rig up any grade where we have the traction and will crawl all day long as slow as necessary on rutted or rock-strewn surfaces.

Our tanks are generous sizes (55 gal gas, 45 gal FW, 39 gal BW, 29 gal GW, 18 gal propane) for a small motorhome, we have 230 amp hours of coach battery capacity, and even carry a portable generator to backup our built-in generator.

Notwithstanding all of the above, we'd sure like to be "out there" with other like-minded RV owners for good sitting-around-the-fire company and security.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:33 AM   #10
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We love boondocking and getting away from the hookups. We have two RVs, a 30 foot Class A motorhome and a small 17 foot travel trailer. Both are equiped with solar panels. We have camped all over the US. Here in the east we have to be careful of the tree limbs but no tree limbs in the desert of Utah or AZ.

We actually live in the Pisgah National Forest and see a lot less people from the front deck than we see when we go camping or traveling. We have to drive 10 miles of dirt road each time we leave here to go somewhere. The great escape is when we just drive on up deeper into the forest here 6-7 miles and camp back in the woods. The US Forest Service open up some closed areas during the winter until spring with even more options. We can go up there in the winter and not see anyone for weeks! There are lots of places like this throughtout this forest within 5-10 miles from home. Sometimes if it is too cold during the winter to camp so we just take the truck and some firewood, some folding chairs, some food and our weapons and just spend the day. We can be back home in our king bed within 20 minutes.

As far as generators and airconditioners, a fellow once told me if I needed AC I stopped too soon. I do have generators when the sun don't shine. The MH has a 4000 watt on board and I carry a small 600 watt just to charge the batteries. I have a 1700 watt for my travel trailer.

It is nice to hear from other boondockers!
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:25 AM   #11
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Living in Utah, it seems like most of my friends with RVs (truck campers, trailers, 5th wheels, and class As) definitely prefer what the OP calls off the grid camping (around here it is called boondocking). Big tanks, solar or generator or both, and wide open spaces help make it popular. I don't know any Class C owners who do it, but that could just be my friends don't have Class Cs. Many have told me they stay in campgrounds only once or twice a year, and those campgrounds are generally without services (Forest Service or equivalent). A lot depends on where you go and who you know.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:16 AM   #12
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Ray Eklund
We had a 1979 Airstream Minuet 7.3 (24 foot) which we also pulled all over the US. I don’t know how long you have owned an Airstream but if you do some research you will find that the Airstreams were towed all over the US and the world way before we had good decent roads. You may already know all the history of the Airstreams. A good must own book (even if you don’t own an airstream) is “The history of the Land Yacht” by Bryan Burkhart & David Hunt. The book is filled with lots of early Airstream pictures and the old caravan travels with Wally Byam. If you love RV traveling, you will enjoy this book!
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:30 AM   #13
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I love taking my Fourwinds 28' class C off the beaten path.
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