Canadian Camper, Assault Camper, Truck Camper, & VW Bus – camping at it’s best!
Where do I begin?? On April 24, 2015, we hopped into our F150 and headed west! Yes west, through the treacherous White Mountains! Okay, those mountains aren’t really that bad. After all, the highest peak in all of New England barely reaches above 6000 feet. Even in Maine, the highest mountain isn’t even a mile high! Compared to out West where much of the travel is above 4000 feet and often you will be at 8,000 and not even know it! So yea, East coast-mountains are very doable. Or are they…
In the April of 2015, having just spent 6 days in the sun and fun (90’s and got sunburnt!), arriving back in Maine to snow flurries and temps at freezing we were not happy campers. So, with snow falling from up above and 4 wheel drive ready & raring, we headed out to purchase our new camper! By the time we got to Randolph, NH, they were plowing the roads! Are you cow-pooping me?! In the end of April you have to plow?! And the thought of having to bring a brand new 6000 lbs. trailer back over icy roads did not sit well in my jeans either. Nice thing about New England in middle spring, despite cold nights, day time highs will go to near 50 most days (or even higher). By the time I was coming back through at 4 pm, the roads were fine with only small snow banks letting on that there was snow here less than 12 hours earlier.
These pics were taken just several weeks ago! Bring on spring!
After 3 seasons, modifications, upgrades, and (heaven forbid) repairs have been performed. Modifications are fun, so let’s begin there. Because of experience, you learn things about camping that are essential. (As the saying goes, “If the mistake doesn’t kill you, you will be a lot smarter after”). Power consumption can turn a pleasure trip, south in a hurry… Especially if you are boondocking! Electricity runs EVERYTHING! (Ask me how I know). So, to solve that problem, I quickly exchanged the 18-watt light bulbs for 1 watt LED’s throughout the camper. Also, I increased the fuel tank, that being a second battery. I went with a 2nd deep cycle 12V battery (If you are doing this with your camper, read up on it. There are some cravats and things to consider.) I also added solar but I will get to that later. I added a topper to our slide out. Not sure how necessary but it does keep the leaves and rain off of it. A TPMS system for tire pressure is really an essential. Do it. There were other minor things inside and I am sure more to come.
Upgrades are interesting and this comes down to personal preference. Having said that, we upgraded our tires after 5000 miles. The cheap “China Bombs” were wearing unevenly. This was a good move. Bought some 5 gallon water cans which are quite handy when boondocking. Also, we like to carry a 3rd 20 lbs. propane cylinder with us. A milk crate works great for this and keeps it from rolling around in the back. We purchased a tonneau cover to hide the genny, extra propane, and other stuff. Bikes can be carried under the tonneau cover or in the camper, but we installed a front Reese Hitch for a bike rack. The jury is still out on that one. Will keep you posted.
Finally, REPAIRS. A camper 3 years old, this should be a short chapter… but it’s not. When it comes to schooling, I’ve been to the BEST! School of Hard Knocks! Let me just say this. Put something loose and heavy in a plastic bathtub …and you will learn how to repair and replace one in a camper. Campers are fairly long; ours is 30’. When you pull out of a gas station be aware of that. Those big steel post, which are there to protect the pumps…work. Fortunately for me, it was superficial carnage to the camper. A rivet came out of one of the steps. An appropriate bolt, nut, and washer and VOILA! All fixed and ready to go. And finally, our last repair was a big one …and not our fault. And I will slam Forest River on this one (view the pictures and you be the judge). Last spring we noticed some spots of paint flaking off the front of our camper. It got worse over the summer. After numerous emails, phone calls and complaints to both Forest River (maker of our RV) and Pete’s RV (Who we purchased from) they would do nothing because it was out of warrantee (which ran out April 24, 2016). To make matters worse, no one seemed to know why nor how to stop it! And after further inquirers, it was extremely expensive to get repainted and detailed (Over $1500!). We did find a solution…and better than paint (and a lot cheaper)!
Camper on left (new) Camper on right (this winter – peeling)
Solution to a major issue: WRAP! No, not a new song… not even a new sandwich from Subway. I went to the Sign Store & Flag Center in Auburn, Maine and described to Cory (lead worker) my issue. He had a perfect solution …better, more durable, your design (including logo!) … All for only $700! And they came to my place to do it! All I can say is – WOW!
Camper on left is stripped. The same one with the new wrap.
STAY TUNED! More “tales from the campah”! Coming soon.
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Coming Soon!!! YouTube channel with movies of the adventures!