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  #31  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hideout View Post
why not just have a canopy?
I don't know, maybe you can explain? I'm not sure what is this canopy you mention. Anyway, I have the truck tent. What is wrong with it?

Thanks
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  #32  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:55 PM
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nothing wrong wth a tent on your truck,and a canopy is a alluminum or plastick shell,with windows that fits on your truck,they lock and will keep you dry when it rains,and you can pick one up fore around 350.00 to 400.00 dollars,and you can remove it when it is not needed on your truck,and it ia about the same preice as a good tent would cost these days.
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  #33  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hideout View Post
nothing wrong wth a tent on your truck,and a canopy is a alluminum or plastick shell,with windows that fits on your truck,they lock and will keep you dry when it rains,and you can pick one up fore around 350.00 to 400.00 dollars,and you can remove it when it is not needed on your truck,and it ia about the same preice as a good tent would cost these days.
Oh, I see. I thought about a camper cover like that. I had one in my old S10 truck, but I decided against it. They do work well to keep stuff dry and all, but they are difficult to take off and put back on when you need the truck bed unencumbered. Also, I don't have a place to keep one except in the back yard. I did that with my old S10 and the camper cover got really nasty with dirt, mildew and bugs...
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  #34  
Old 08-02-2011, 12:20 AM
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I agree with Silverz. I wanted versatility with the truck and a truck bed tent is only one option and a truck canopy is too big and hard to store to satisfy this option. The truck bed tent folds up and stows not taking up any more room than a camp tent. The platform I made takes up little room in a shed since is all stows flat against a wall.

The truck tent provides more head space so we can move around easily and we can almost stand up in parts of it. The best part of these is this is a very inexpensive setup. Not using it very often and taking up little room when it's stowed are big benefits for us.



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2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear
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  #35  
Old 08-05-2011, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artmart View Post
I agree with Silverz. I wanted versatility with the truck and a truck bed tent is only one option and a truck canopy is too big and hard to store to satisfy this option. The truck bed tent folds up and stows not taking up any more room than a camp tent. The platform I made takes up little room in a shed since is all stows flat against a wall.

The truck tent provides more head space so we can move around easily and we can almost stand up in parts of it. The best part of these is this is a very inexpensive setup. Not using it very often and taking up little room when it's stowed are big benefits for us.
You are so right on the subject of headroom. The camper shell I had in my S10 was terrible because it was so low.. I realize that with the F150 I could have a much taller shell, but still it would never be as roomy as the tent or as easy to remove when the truck is needed to haul stuff...
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  #36  
Old 08-06-2011, 12:18 AM
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i can agree with most of what you said artmart,but will your tent stand up to pouring rain and blowing winds?
and can you lock your tent up and keep out unwanted visitores of the 2 or 4 legged variety?
safety is a big issue with me,and staying dry is allso a big issue with my wife.
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  #37  
Old 08-06-2011, 12:27 AM
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yes on both weather conditions, this tent is supposed to protect well against the wind and rain. just like most tents I use I pick structurally sound ones. It is considered a three season tent which means it probably won't do well in heavy snow or very strong winds, but if it were that bad, I would be outta there anyway, since all my camping gear would be exposed to the elements and that's not the type of camping I like to do.

For creatures, since I take care of what they want better than most prevention keeps most of them out. And since we seem to camp with many who don't, we hear their stories of investation and our camping habits keep us from having our own stories.

I've never had a security issue and most security systems for canopies or RVs or similar won't stop a thief that really wants your stuff.

With my wife you can add, off the ground, very comfortable and very warm if it's cold. If I don't think she's gonna be happy then I better pack up and we're leaving. Since bad weather is so rare, this is a better option for us than being reminded of cramped and low quarters with a canopy while waiting for the real bad weather this would protect us from and it not showing up.

All options are suitable for anyone. You just gotta pick yours and hope the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. It's why I've picked our several options and stayed away from others. Use what works for you!



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2006 Ford F-250/350
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Last edited by artmart; 08-06-2011 at 12:32 AM..
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  #38  
Old 08-06-2011, 09:28 AM
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I think (hope) that my tent will stand up to rain or wind. The tent is actually anchored to the truck so it will probably hold up better than tent pegs. I also plan to take a couple of tarps that I can put over the truck and tent for shade and rain protection.

As for animal protection, I don't think a camper shell would offer any more protection from something like a determined bear than the locked doors of the car, In other words, zero protection. I hope to handle my food and other items that attract animals.

Anyway, I'm going to find out how well all my plans will work when I head out next month. I'll post my experience
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  #39  
Old 08-31-2011, 08:53 PM
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OK, I took the truck & tent for a trial camping trip in NC this past weekend. Here is what I found out.
First of all, I did enjoy driving the truck ('94 F150) the 180+ miles to Hendersonville NC, although it probably beat me up a little bit. Mostly in the wallet as it gets 15 MPG... I got to my friends house Sat afternoon and managed to spend too much time shooting the breeze and shooting some of his firearms into a berm in the back of his 3+ acres. Finally I set up the truck in a semi-level spot in his property and began to set up the camp.
I totally underestimated the amount of work involved in getting all the stuff I put into the truck bed out of it. Then I had to remove the folding bed cover so I could get the tent in the bed.
The setup took me about 25 minutes with the help of my buddy. By this time the sun was setting and I was not successful in pitching tarp covers over the truck&tent as I had planned. It was not possible for even 3 of us to wrestle even the first tarp over the truck and tent and secure it plus erect the painters poles to support the high side above the tent. The wind was blowing briskly and we thought the tarps could easily end up in the next county if they got away from us. I did not choose the site cleverly enough and what trees were available were too far away to use.

The tent is a high quality item for sure and would work OK with a bit more planning (which I did not do). I set up my thick & comfortable self inflating mattress and after more talking and eating dinner with my friends I retired to the tent for the night. Although I forgot to close the valves in the mattress, I did find the bedding quite comfortable. Although it was warm at first (I had attached the rain fly in case of heavy dew), eventually I fell asleep and woke up about 6:30 am quite comfy wrapped up in the sleeping bag. The take down and reloading of the truck was also quite the chore. I don't think it would be worth doing it for less than a couple of nights of camping and forget the tarps unless there are plenty of useable trees around.

The wind blew during the night and from time to time, the corners of the tent in the bed would billow up and flop around making a bit of noise. I could have used some weights at the 4 corners to help with this issue. Also, if there was any rain without the tarps to protect the setup, I am sure that water would get into the truck bed and if the truck was not properly inclined, it would pool up in the bed and I am almost 100% sure that everything in the tent would get wet

I will take the truck and bed camping again and make provisions to deal with the issues I saw. In the plus side one can carry a lot of stuff in the truck and have quite the camp setup, but in the negative side, you gotta deal with the handling of all the stuff... Can't say its fun, although if one camped for more than a few days, it would be worth it for the comfort.





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  #40  
Old 08-31-2011, 11:49 PM
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I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. Mine is tricky to set up, too but I learned to create camp then play so I am at my freshest energy-wise. Lots of practice would help.

As for my vehicle, I have a big Ford F-series with a long bed so the tent is quite large and roomy. I have been practicing and when my tent is set up it is very taut. This creates the solidity I need in my tent.

There is no question when I camp I bring so much great equipment and it's so organized I will definitely use my big truck. It also gets 20-22 mpgs so the only problem is that diesel fuel is now more expensive than most. But if I have to buy fuel, I drink more water than sodas, eat more sandwiches than steaks and money saving ideas like that.

I guess my decades of camping and tents helps quite a bit. Camping with experience persons sure makes things a lot easier too and you were pretty much on your own.

I hope you find some way for it to work out for you!



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Tent & Backpack with all the gear

Last edited by artmart; 08-31-2011 at 11:51 PM..
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  #41  
Old 09-01-2011, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for the tips. The rain fly for this Half Dome tent looks a lot better than the other tents.


I went ahead today and purchased the footprint for it as well. I will take the tarp and lines to tie it, but now I'm not as optimistic of finding suitable attachment points....

I got pretty much everything inside the trunk of the Corvette. But my clothing and a few other things might have to go in the passenger side. Now I am wondering if I should forgo the cooler in the interest of saving space...



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  #42  
Old 09-01-2011, 01:13 PM
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I am wondering if in reality a cooler is essential. Seems like the longest I can reliably keep food cold is probably 3 days or so. Then I have the concern of what to do with the cooler in the campground.... Should I leave it in the trunk? I would be afraid a bear might tear up the car to get to the cooler if they can smell any food inside of it.

Also, I am having a difficult time trying to find single portion cans of stuff like beans or veggies. Seems like storing the leftover food could be a problem... I can probably take dried food like rice, oatmeal and stuff like that. I don't eat wheat, so all the noodle stuff is out. I suppose I could take dehydrated fruits pretty easily, maybe cook them with the oatmeal to re-hydrate them. Nuts a re easy, but you can make a diet out of nuts alone...I was not thrilled by the backpacking food I saw in the camping stores (REI, etc.). I am sort of in a quandary about food.. I imagine I'll only need much in the way of provisions while I'm camping at the GC itself. Along the way I'm sure I can find places to get good food, Whole Foods, Fresh Markets, and health food stores have excellent food to eat and could probably keep cold for a day or 2 (if I take the cooler)....
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  #43  
Old 09-01-2011, 04:52 PM
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About the cooler, I think you'll need it or you'll be "buying food" much more often. Water is not a problem at the campsite but it is cheaper to buy bulk and store everything in water proof containers (Freezer Ziplocks are GREAT for this!).

Another thing about using the cooler. Buy all the contents you need for several days, then buy one (or two blocks of ice) and put these at the bottom. Then pack all the contents in the cooler then fill any gaps with the smaller cubed ice. I have had great success that the items will stay cold for way more than 3 days. As the smaller ice melts, this water will be cold enough to store everything so don't drain any unless the contents are so small your hands are freezing trying to find everything. If the blocks are still in there, there is enough cold to keep things cold.

Don't forget the blanket to cover it from the wildlife. Or a tarp would work which it smaller and lighter.

If you need help with menu items for your dinners, I can provide some ideas - I ONLY use dehydrated food when absolutely necessary. I also don't have leftovers, but there is much preparation in doing this! I have a reputation for providing great meals for our camping groups. I provide all the gear and food and everyone contributes to the cost. This works out great and OH, we do eat GOOD!

I do think you need to add a small cutting board and knife.

You are giving me the urge to get out there! I love this stuff. The wife has been getting the itch to get out there too!



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2006 Ford F-250/350
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Tent & Backpack with all the gear

Last edited by artmart; 09-01-2011 at 04:58 PM..
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  #44  
Old 09-02-2011, 09:20 AM
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Thanks for the ideas. I was thinking along the same lines myself (Ice blocks, zip bags, etc.). However, I'm not sure about how to plan this food thing. Maybe you can offer some suggestions. Since I am driving there and back, first, I have to consider the provisions for the trip(s) and then the provisions for the stay around the GC.

I have the 36 quart, 5 day cooler so my effective volume of food is not too large. However, since it's only me, it might be just fine. Now, I imagine I will take about 3~4 days to get there so I'll either camp or hit a motel on 3 nights each way. I guess all my ice will be pretty much melted and my food wont stay cold for more than 4 days.

By then I should be in Falstaff and I presume I can re-provision for the stay at the GC NP. The problem I see is that I wont have facilities to prep food, etc. Like I have at home... What to do to prepare for the actual camping time?

Lastly, I will need to prepare for the return trip. This might be easier since I can probably eat in restaurants along the way and will only need snacks or simple foods to eat at campsites while spending the night.

What are your thoughts about prepping provisions from Falstaff without a home base?

Thanks
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  #45  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:15 AM
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I think you mean Flagstaff, AZ. Keep your food packed in the cooler and you'll need some kind of storage for your dry goods too. You'll also need some basic cooking tools (spoon, spatula, tongs, mixing bowl, cutting board, Aluminum foil).

When in camp, plan meals that are one skillet or one pan. I see you have a cookset. Use the largest for boiling water (for hot drinks and cleanup) and the smaller one for cooking the meal.

Some meal ideas that you can cycle:

Breakfast:

1. Hot cereal (oats, cream of wheat, plenty of others), then add dried fruit and spices (sugar, cinnamon, vanilla) - coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, or milk and/or OJ.
2. Omelettes - Eggs (store in ziplock, or use Eggbeater cartons), cut up veges (bell peppers/onions/carrots/zucchini, you don't need much) - same drinks. You can also add a cut up pieces of a favorite meat.
3. Hotcakes - 1 c of mix with 3/4c of water should do it, syrup, butter/margarine, etc.

Avoid these because they take up too much room! : cold cereal (unless it's a Muesli type), bread (use english muffins, tortillas, crackers, even bagels store better). To save room you might even try dry drink mixes if you can tolerate them.

Lunches (don't forget to buy condiments or better yet on your way West pick them up at gas stops that also sell food and "steal" the packaged items. Set aside a ziplock so you can store these. AM/PMs and 7/11 or any other "stop and rob" convenience store typically provides these. Otherwise allow room in the cooler for the smallest size jars you can find).

1. Tuna sandwiches or tuna and crackers.
2. prepared lunches - these run the gamut, snack bars, trail mixes, canned goods
3. Ready to eat Hiking type meals since you'll probably be out and about.

Dinners:
1. Chile or Stews - vegetables and meats and spices. Make it thick.
2. Soups and bread (bagel, muffin, etc.). The bread provides the bulk.
3. Beans and wieners.
4. If a fire is allowed, wrap veges (celery, potato, carrots) and meat in foil and put right into the coils - use tongs to fetch it. You can make "Hobo Dinners" with whatever you like.

I didn't cover desserts since there are so many prepared sweet tooth items you can use and I'm also not aware of your dietary restrictions.

Anyway, there's some ideas and plan carefully so you don't forget anything. Measure the quantities and purchase what you need. Most of this should fit your gear and getting small sizes of everything doesn't take up much room. You may have to allow for a day to resupply. You won't need to drive all the way back to Flagstaff. There will be other stores available probably outside the Park to do this.

You have more room than you think. The pillow (seriously, don't forget that) compresses so don't worry about how much room it takes. It will reinflate nicely after you set up camp. It does look like you should be able to fit other foodstuffs in there along with the extra kitchen items.

Good luck!



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Art
Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear

Last edited by artmart; 09-02-2011 at 11:20 AM..
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