camping/daily driver?

Jhdavis444

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
15
I’ve had a Chevy 2500 with a topper for several years now. When it was my wife and I we did fine in the back. Even in the winter it was easily heated. Now we have a daughter and the pickup just doesn’t cut it. We got a two room tent this summer and plan to get a small travel trailer soon. All that is to say the truck/suv/van setups are awesome until your solo or couples adventures need to be more family friendly. Just my $.02
 

Squamch

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
429
Location
Republic of Vancouver Island
I’ve had a Chevy 2500 with a topper for several years now. When it was my wife and I we did fine in the back. Even in the winter it was easily heated. Now we have a daughter and the pickup just doesn’t cut it. We got a two room tent this summer and plan to get a small travel trailer soon. All that is to say the truck/suv/van setups are awesome until your solo or couples adventures need to be more family friendly. Just my $.02

Bingo. I slept in the back of the 4runner or toyota pickup with a canopy for a long time, then in the back of the f350 with a canopy with my wife. With a 3 year old though...we got a trailer. Not a slide in camper but a tow behind 19' trailer. I chose a trailer so I can still unhook and go get firewood, road hunt, etc. Dropping a camper sucks. Loading a camper sucks if you're not on flat pavement. Turning around with a camper is nice but trailers aren't that hard to back up either.
 

Boarmaster

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
339
Location
Fort Myers , FL
So heres my take on the whole thing.

Trailers, in general, are expensive. They need maintenance, storage, cost more in fuel to get to/from where you're going, and not only that - they can be hard to get into and out of some areas. If you sit down and plot out how much its going to cost you monthly for that trailer and everything it entails, I find for a lot of people they're paying more over just getting a room... you've really gotta be using that trailer a LOT to make it break even... like we're talking more use than the average guy has PTO for.

I ended up settling(and I use that word lightly) for a wall tent. Heatable for the colder months, enough room to really stretch out in and honestly really really nice accommodations in the woods. It stuffs into a giant rubbermaid container so as long as my vehicle can get back there I can put it up and use it. No storage fees or maintenance crap - when not in use after drying it out it can sit in a very small area in my garage until its needed again. Not to mention the tent and stove cost significantly less than a trailer. I went with a 12x14 which, with the way I hunt(I typically leave camp in the morning, depending on the hunt I might return at lunch, but usually am out all day until dark) is perfect for me and two or even three other guys as I don't cook inside. Plenty of room for me, my wife and kid. If room is a concern, go ahead and order the 14x16 or a 16x20 or larger - you'll still be money ahead over a trailer.... even accounting for a cot and luxurious camp mattress(I run the therm-a-rest mondo kings).

edit - you can buy showers for a small fee at campgrounds or truck stops. If you must have access to one, buy a shower tent and one of those portable water heater setups. Still gonna be money ahead over a trailer.
Great advise here.
 

boom

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
3,185
I’ve slept in the back of my Toyota Tacoma plenty. I used a super thick blow up mattress from thernarest. It was called the Dreamtime. I just had to park level and the sleep was awesome.

since I started kayaking, my wife thinks I should get a van. But DDing a van does not sound fun n
 

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
3,707
Location
Sodak
KIMG3254~2.JPG

We have a bunch of options, but this is the lightest and simplest. I prefer it. Wife likes a bit more.
 

3forks

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
453
We recently bought a Mercedes Sprinter crew 4x4 van (high roof / 144” wheel base).

We got the van with the intention of converting it to a camper; but I would be happy with just throwing a mattress in the back and putting a awning on the roof rack to give you a place to cook outside in inclement weather.

The van drives great, and gets in the high teens for mileage on the highway even with the bigger and more aggressive BFG tires we put on it.

The room inside that van is awesome, and at 6’2” I can stand up inside without hitting my head on the ceiling.

I have a Ram 2500 4x4 for my daily driver, but I could say that after having this Sprinter, that a van could be a viable option for someone like the OP.
 

JR Greenhorn

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
48
I’ve been contemplating one of those jumping jack trailers for the same reasons
Just do it, I promise you'll be glad you did. I've had mine for over a decade now.

I was thinking the same things as the OP here when I got it. I towed it for years with a big old RWD car, getting 16+ mpg (back when trucks/SUVs didn't get that empty). The whole setup cost me less than $8k initially, although I did switch to a full-size 4WD SUV eventually.

The Jumping Jack is only 12' long overall, and less than 1500lbs empty. I've pulled it through all kinds of convoluted fast food drive-throughs (yes, I'm that guy), as well as rough State and NF roads, behind both capable and inappropriate vehicles, with everything from dirt bikes, ATVs, bicycles, canoes, or just grills and coolers on top. If you get into a tight spot, you can unhook and spin it around by hand faster than it would take to do a 300-point turn.

This year on a family trip, we left the trailer home and used a Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow tent (same design as the Jumping Jack, incidentally). We won't do that again; the Jumping Jack is faster to set up, less hassle packing and unpacking, and more comfortable.

Here are some pictures from a riding trip 9 years ago. Looking back, I don't have many pictures of the Jumping Jack; instead, they're all of the kids, friends, places we've been, etc. Seems like a sign of getting priorities right.
 

Attachments

  • 337893_249340691778962_829567849_o.jpg
    337893_249340691778962_829567849_o.jpg
    297.9 KB · Views: 44
  • 338974_249341995112165_1895885714_o.jpg
    338974_249341995112165_1895885714_o.jpg
    175.5 KB · Views: 44
  • 339576_249326408447057_459375050_o.jpg
    339576_249326408447057_459375050_o.jpg
    441.8 KB · Views: 42

Gearqueer

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
228
Following. Please keep up the answers and opinions.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
B

bdg848

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
209
So I think I've decided on an SUV+ canvas wall/bell tent. SUV to comfortably carry my buddies and keep the tent in the back. I will also set up the SUV to sleep in if its just the wife and I on a short trip. Can you recommend a good used SUV for about $10k? It will be a daily driver 95% of the time and wont be doing any exceptionally difficult trails but I don't want to be left high and dry on a camping/hunting trip either. I'm looking at 4runner, Xterra, maybe a Sequoia or grand cherokee? All mid 2000's. How about a bigger SUV like a Suburban? I assume it'd be fine and extra space would be nice too but I don't know if there would be any maneuverability concerns on tighter roads and it's probably a bit more than needed for regular use. Any suggestions? You all have been a ton of help so far, I appreciate it.
 
Top