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long term options
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markamcclure

Since 20 May 2011
116 Posts
Portland, OR
Stoked



PostFri Feb 05, 21 8:35 am    long term options Reply with quote

I know it is too soon, but...

I am looking at retirement options for trips, vehicles,etc...

I was going to plan on doing annual drives to LaVentana/LB in November but Waze says 40+ hours of driving. Does this sound right? Maybe its better to just fly each year?

My rig is a 2019 Honda Pilot and it works great for day trips for kiting, skiing, mountain biking, etc. For retirement (more trips poss. including longer ones to Baja, Alaska, Utah/CO) I am trying to figure out options:
1. rooftop tent (Nest Sparrow?) w/ possible modification for gear storage in vehicle
2. teardrop trailer
3. sell Pilot, buy Sprinter Van (or similar). May be too much $.
4. buy RV (storage is an issue, may only be good for Baja, $)

Anyone have a great setup (not a Sprinter) for kiting/mtbiking and/or skiing (AWD)? Thoughts/pics? I have looked around on-linefor Baja info and SUV camper conversions, but I want to know what the kite community thinks.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1873 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostFri Feb 05, 21 8:53 am    Get a Unimog Reply with quote

Unimog 6 x 6. Go BIG for Baja and Alaska! Shocked Laughing Wink

Not needed so much for CO and UT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk9hc2YC454


   MD52h-UnimogU40006x6.a02-560.jpg 

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Arb2me

Since 14 May 2019
11 Posts

 



PostFri Feb 05, 21 9:20 am     Reply with quote

Shit. This is a rabbit hole.
You gotta ask yourself:
Am I going to live out of it full time/extended periods or is it just for short trips when I don’t want to pay for hotel/Airbnb? If you are full timing or spending long periods you are probably going to want an RV, trailer, or van. But that shit can get expensive.

How far off the pavement are you going to get? If you stay on the pavement/campgrounds basic RVs and trailers are fine. Otherwise, you are going to want an earthroamer/high clearance van/SUV with rooftop tent. The last thing you want is to end up on a forest service road with a trailer and not be able to find a turnaround.

How much gear do you have? Just a mountain bike a couple of kites and a twin tip,
You are probably don’t need to make any special considerations. If you TT, surf, foil, have a full quiver of kites, a SUP, surfboard, skis, a couple of bikes, and aspirations to wing foil, then storage becomes the primary factor in your choice.

My best advice is to just go on outdoorsy.com (Airbnb for RVs, trailers, and vans) and rent a couple different setups before you decide on anything.
I’ve been spending 50% of my time in my truck camper for three years and now I know exactly the kind of setup that I want

Oh ya, it’s 40hrs to LV. Not so bad if you stay for two or more months. Tongs of places to stop and explore on the way down. Otherwise just fly.

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markamcclure

Since 20 May 2011
116 Posts
Portland, OR
Stoked



PostFri Feb 05, 21 9:46 am     Reply with quote

Good solid advice and things to consider. I am definitely in the rabbit hole. My gear will either be kite/mtb (spring-fall) or ski/snowboard (winter-spring). I will rarely take more than 3 surfboards for kiting, 2 is more likely. My twin tip sits in the garage.

I don't really see 2 months in Baja, so maybe its better to fly most of the time.

Except for Alaska, CO/Utah trips are shorter. I don't want to stay at RV campgrounds, but tent campgrounds or forest service/BLM are more likely.

Yes, my wife and I are going to try renting a teardrop from outdoorsy in March.

Anybody have a cool kite storage system in a SUV that they built? I just throw everything in the back for day trips.

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Singlemalt

Since 21 Jun 2015
332 Posts
White Salmon
Obsessed



PostFri Feb 05, 21 9:55 am     Reply with quote

I’d ask my wife. That’ll cut down on the fantasy and focus on the reality. “What kind of van down by the river do you want to live in, my dearest?” “Ha ha ha!”

You should probably ask your wife. Mine will just laugh.

I hate driving, and forty hours each way isn’t my idea of fun.
I’d fly in and fly out, rent a place to stay. At least the first trip, and see how we like it.
I estimated driving my E250 van from HR to LV, round trip would cost $800 in gas alone. Long days in the van plus hotels or camp spots plus food. Eight days of misery.

I see most boats and rv’s sitting in storage that costs money everyday. Can you keep this thing in your yard? They really like shelter from sun, wind and rain. Got a huge garage with jumbo doors?

I’ve been doing the same thing, contemplating retirement. I’d love to get out of the gorge in the winter at least for a few months. The rest of the year, I’m already where I want to be.

I did the south Florida to HR drive three times. First time was kinda cool. Second was a grind, third time: “never again!”

Good luck with the quest, I love hearing how people have solved this puzzle.

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1329 Posts
Hood River
XTreme Poster



PostFri Feb 05, 21 11:09 am     Reply with quote

Singlemalt wrote:

I hate driving, and forty hours each way isn’t my idea of fun.
I’d fly in and fly out, rent a place to stay. At least the first trip, and see how we like it.
I estimated driving my E250 van from HR to LV, round trip would cost $800 in gas alone. Long days in the van plus hotels or camp spots plus food. Eight days of misery.



One man's garbage is another man's treasure..... I love the drive to Baja...... it's a beautiful and relaxing drive. Good book to listen to, podcasts, amazing scenery, no traffic. Sleep in my rig and feast on gourmet sandwiches and snacks I prepare ahead of time.
I spend 2 months in Baja and the gas/driving expenses are offset by having a place to stay and I can take ALL my kite, foil, wing, bike gear, personal gear.

I guess Attitude is Everything.

Last edited by ldhr on Fri Feb 05, 21 11:27 am; edited 2 times in total

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1329 Posts
Hood River
XTreme Poster



PostFri Feb 05, 21 11:19 am    Re: long term options Reply with quote

markamcclure wrote:
I know it is too soon, but...

I am looking at retirement options for trips, vehicles,etc...

I was going to plan on doing annual drives to LaVentana/LB in November but Waze says 40+ hours of driving. Does this sound right? Maybe its better to just fly each year?

My rig is a 2019 Honda Pilot and it works great for day trips for kiting, skiing, mountain biking, etc. For retirement (more trips poss. including longer ones to Baja, Alaska, Utah/CO) I am trying to figure out options:
1. rooftop tent (Nest Sparrow?) w/ possible modification for gear storage in vehicle
2. teardrop trailer
3. sell Pilot, buy Sprinter Van (or similar). May be too much $.
4. buy RV (storage is an issue, may only be good for Baja, $)

Anyone have a great setup (not a Sprinter) for kiting/mtbiking and/or skiing (AWD)? Thoughts/pics? I have looked around on-line for Baja info and SUV camper conversions, but I want to know what the kite community thinks.


Having a setup for summer and winter ski trips is 2 very different things.
For winter ski trips you need heat and that opens a big can of expense.
I have a Chevy Express AWD van that I converted. It's been great and it works well for kite, bike, camp, trips to Baja.
It's great for ski trips - we sleep in it coming and going.... but once we get to our destination we get a room to stay. There's no way to dry out our gear and the only heat is from the engine running.

Drive to Baja - worth it if you stay for at least a month.

If you're insisting on AWD/4x4 van - it gets expensive.

If you stick with a Ram Promaster, Transit, or regular Sprinter - it's cheaper.... assuming you have electrical/mechanical/woodworking expertise to do your own conversion.

I do van conversions and the minimum is $10k.... more typical is $30k or more.... on top of the purchase price of a van.

yes - you could buy a cheap van for $10k and do your own conversion for $2k.... but plan on $30k total for a nicer setup if you need help with the conversion.

Have you considered replacing your Pilot with a pickup and getting a camper?
It checks most of your boxes but storage could be an issue.

This is my van in Baja. It's a used 2010 Chevy with AWD. Total cost including purchase, solar electric, water tank and sink/spray, fans, platform bed with rear seat, and high top was around $22k. Does not include a couple hundred hours of my labor.


   van camp.jpg 

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2417 Posts
The 503
METAL



PostFri Feb 05, 21 12:19 pm     Reply with quote

Love this topic and think about it a lot. Half the fun of camping for me is checking out other people's setups.

-I don't want my home to also be my only transportation. I don't want to have to "secure the cabin" even time I want to drive somewhere. So that means either pulling a car with an RV (2 engines more expense) or pulling a trailer. To date I have always been a trailer guy.

-I can carry 4 mountain bikes on the front hitch rack, a stack of SUPs and surfboards on the rack, and my 5 kite quiver + wings in the Yakima box.

-I want a good bed and not a loft type that I'd have to climb out of in the middle of the night.

-2 100W solar panels + great converter + great inverter + great battery + lots of propane = freedom

-If I was going to do a lot of snow camping I would consider an Artic Fox or similar. My current setup works but the condensation is tough and the exterior takes a beating.


   Gopr5365.jpg 

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markamcclure

Since 20 May 2011
116 Posts
Portland, OR
Stoked



PostFri Feb 05, 21 3:12 pm     Reply with quote

Thx all. Windslither, IDHR it looks like you have outstanding setups. I am jealous. Storing a trailer (bigger than a teardrop) isn't a good option for me. Doing a van conversion with my marginal building skills is a bit questionable. A truck w/ camper might do more than my Pilot, but I really like the Pilot.

Good point about 'ask your wife.' Mine is a bit tired of answering questions about rig/gear for the future. Probably I will fly to Baja (check out LB and Ventana), then decide later if driving down is the right call. My wife seems open to traveling with a teardrop, but not so psyched about tent camping, roof top tent, van camping, etc... We will check it out by renting a teardrop.

I will probably get a rooftop tent for short trips (for me) and just throw gear in the back. So many options...

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1540 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
XTreme Poster



PostFri Feb 05, 21 9:02 pm     Reply with quote

ldhr wrote:

One man's garbage is another man's treasure..... I love the drive to Baja...... it's a beautiful and relaxing drive. Good book to listen to, podcasts, amazing scenery, no traffic. Sleep in my rig and feast on gourmet sandwiches and snacks I prepare ahead of time.
I spend 2 months in Baja and the gas/driving expenses are offset by having a place to stay and I can take ALL my kite, foil, wing, bike gear, personal gear.

I guess Attitude is Everything.


I'm with you! Sure... the hours down 1-5 ain't fun, but once you see Hwy #5 south of Mexicali, then San Felipe, Puertocitos, Santa Rosalia, Bahia Concepcion, and on and on.... you will find a joy that is unsurpassed. One of the most memorable visions I've had since retiring was that time I was driving the long straight run across that Visciano Desert and I come over the rise for my first view of the Sea of Cortez.... and it's full of whitecaps. I rigged at the first turnout.
I've come to a place now after 11 years of Mexico travel that I cannot stand flying. Just when did people start traveling in sweats and a pair of flip-flops? Grrrrr

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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
182 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostSat Feb 06, 21 1:48 am    +1 for the RV Reply with quote

Something to think about...

Not that this will help get you out of the Rabbit Hole, but once you start mod'ing a van or buy a truck and camper (small inside) you can get pretty close in price to a modest RV.


Certainly depends on your use plan, but if you want to tool around the PNW there is something very civilized about having a shower, bathroom, fridge, dinette, oven, stove, sink, freezer, microwave - you get the idea...

Ours would NOT keep up with the impressive UNIMOG not even close, but it may get a bit further down the road with a spouse willing to join vs. true van life.

We have only had it for a year and only use it for trips (very part-time in RV parlance) but it's pretty sweet.

If you go this way steer toward the MBS Diesel for less crappy gas mileage >15mpg - ours is a Solera by Forest River 24R which is a cheap version of the Winnebago VIEW but it's roomy for it's size - aka you can drive it over the hood river bridge with only a minor butt pucker.

In our short time I've come to realize there is often a fine line between Van Life Insta Chic' and raw homelessness when rolling in a camper - that said, it's another good option if you have periodic trips and you could always tow a pearl white Porsche Boxster S if you need something to go get a 6-pack of beer from the camp site.

Mc




Sleeps 2 very comfortably - 4 OK but getting crowded - 5 only if it's family for one night...


   2021-02-06_01-20-00.png 

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markamcclure

Since 20 May 2011
116 Posts
Portland, OR
Stoked



PostSat Feb 06, 21 4:25 am     Reply with quote

McLovin, living large! I hope I don’t see you coming in the opposite direction on HR bridge or BotGods. This looks like a great option for family and friends who invite me to join them. Very Happy

Storage, cost and parking are my only concerns with an RV. I stayed w/ my brother at Sherman Island in a borrowed RV for three days once. Good times, easy living.

Hmmmm... back to the rabbit hole.

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Saildoogie

Since 16 Oct 2013
74 Posts
White Salmon, WA
 



PostSat Feb 06, 21 3:59 pm     Reply with quote

We use a trailer set up towed by our truck. I can load 4 bikes (2 on the front and 2 on the back of the camper.) I can also put a bike rack on the front of the truck and carry them there. We have used this setup for kite and bike trips. The shower and toilet is nice to have. The trailers are built very cheaply but are easy to work on. I have added solar and lithium battery. There are 4 of us, so we end up hauling plenty of gear, especially on bike trips. We like to be able to leave the camper somewhere and haul the bikes to another trail head without having to pack everything away. On road trips, it is easy to pull over somewhere and within 10-15 minutes, be in bed after a long day’s drive.

   IMG_9779.jpg 

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Hein

Since 08 Mar 2005
1266 Posts

Possessed



PostWed Feb 10, 21 6:59 pm     Reply with quote

Congratulations with your retirement.
We would be honored to help if you
decide to explore the the benefits of
upfitting a van for your intended use.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
976 Posts

Opinionated



PostFri Feb 12, 21 12:06 pm     Reply with quote

I swapped my E250 for a deal on a ProMaster 159 which has worked out well (with Hein's help), but I've seen plenty of Pilots used for camping; couples or solo. My neighbor has been camping in his Cherokee with a rooftop tent (in fact they're a bit of a chubby couple, so actually broke their first setup ;). He is now towing a utility trailer he outfitted with battery and solar (they don't have bikes or other gear). Instead of a teardrop for sleeping, it sounds like you could consider a custom utility trailer setup, especially for gear storage, gas, power, fridge, etc. Storage would be easier and you'd have less to 'secure' to use the Pilot to get around, and tow capacity should be OK.

Time versus money, that's always the tradeoff. Skills can be developed... today I'm finishing my fourth iteration of my house electrical system, with tremendous assistance from promasterforum - there are a ton of forums online these days as camping and travel and retirement and #vanlife, etc. is exploding.

Keep us posted on your choices!

P.S. I parked next to a UniMog more than once in the ES last summer... maybe ODOT needs to fix those potholes in I-84.


   Poor Man's Sprinter.jpg 

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russiandangle

Since 28 Jun 2019
20 Posts
Park City, Ut
 



PostSat Feb 13, 21 8:10 am     Reply with quote

silly question for the experienced: what are the cons of getting a truck with a slide in camper with a utility storage box on top or a locker on the outside back of the rig?

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2417 Posts
The 503
METAL



PostSat Feb 13, 21 3:36 pm     Reply with quote

russiandangle wrote:
silly question for the experienced: what are the cons of getting a truck with a slide in camper with a utility storage box on top or a locker on the outside back of the rig?


Seems to be the standard for snow camping. Probably one of the best options for traction and clearance.

Only con I see is the "home is my transportation" hassle. I don't know if people un-dock them for longer stays?

This is kind of interesting. A trailer with electric powered axles reducing the needs of your tow vehicle.

https://newatlas.com/dethleffs-electric-coco-caravan/56056/?itm_source=newatlas&itm_medium=article-body

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