Tom and Kris Camping Podcast, RVing and Tent Camping http://www.tomandkriscamping.com Helping You Keep Camping and RVing Affordable, Simple And Fun Sun, 25 Jun 2017 16:38:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 The ultimate camping and RVing podcast. Focusing on the affordable and the future, we bring you the latest in camping for families and people with busy lives. We think camping and RVing should be fun and easy. Energy costs and environmental concerns will surely change the way we camp and the equipment we use. Discover the future of camping and RVing as we discuss camping equipment, affordable RV options, camping gear, camping hacks and other tips and tricks. <br /> Tents, pickup campers, travel trailers and motor homes, all are fair game for discussion on Tom and Kris Camping. Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers jesusfreaktrucker@gmail.com jesusfreaktrucker@gmail.com (Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers) Copywrite Tom Ballard Camping and RVing at it's best. Camping tips, tricks and hacks, affordable RVing. Tom and Kris Camping Podcast, RVing and Tent Camping http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/TKC.14x14-911.jpg http://www.tomandkriscamping.com TV-G Rice Lake, WI Bi-weekly 37. Camping Through Chaos http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/37-camping-chaos/ Sun, 25 Jun 2017 16:38:56 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=585 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/37-camping-chaos/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/37-camping-chaos/feed/ 0 <p>What happens when life gets too hectic to camp? That’s what the camping through chaos episode is about. Don was 4 1/2 when our twin daughters were born. Our small popup would easily sleep all of us, but life was hectic. We both worked full time. We also had a brand new house that needed […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/37-camping-chaos/">37. Camping Through Chaos</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> What happens when life gets too hectic to camp? That’s what the camping through chaos episode is about.

Don was 4 1/2 when our twin daughters were born. Our small popup would easily sleep all of us, but life was hectic. We both worked full time. We also had a brand new house that needed a yard. There were walls to paint and other new house projects that came along.

We camped and traveled over the next few years, but we had about a 4 year stretch with no RV. During that time we used cabins, motels and one motor home rental. About 5 years and two houses later, we bought another popup.

Chaos Is Back, In A Good Way

We bought a pickup and slide-in camper a couple of years ago. The plan was to re-enter the wonderful world of camping and RVing, but as empty nesters. We also wanted to introduce the great American pastime to our grandchildren.

Oh, the curve balls life has dealt us over the last year or so. The chaos is back, but it’s all good. Things will be calmer by fall, but it sure puts a damper on the camping schedule. In the long run, it’s all for the better.

Other Show Topics

  • Feedback
  • Facebook tip
  • Really bad ads

As we explain in the episode, show notes will be short for the next three or four shows. Kris and I will get settled in and get back to enjoying God’s beautiful creation.

Tom Ballard

Share This:
Facebook

The post 37. Camping Through Chaos appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
What happens when life gets too hectic to camp? That’s what the camping through chaos episode is about. Don was 4 1/2 when our twin daughters were born. Our small popup would easily sleep all of us, but life was hectic. We both worked full time. What happens when life gets too hectic to camp? That’s what the camping through chaos episode is about. Don was 4 1/2 when our twin daughters were born. Our small popup would easily sleep all of us, but life was hectic. We both worked full time. We also had a brand new house that needed […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 31:25
36. The One Legged Camper, and The Jelly Bean Camper http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/36-one-legged-camper-jelly-bean-camper/ Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:34:30 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=576 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/36-one-legged-camper-jelly-bean-camper/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/36-one-legged-camper-jelly-bean-camper/feed/ 0 <p>What’s a one legged camper? It’s a descriptive term I’ve coined for the camper whose spouse is not a camping fan. I spent most of the 90s working as a car salesman. A husband or wife shopping alone was commonly called a one-legged shopper. They rarely could make a decision without their spouse. A married […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/36-one-legged-camper-jelly-bean-camper/">36. The One Legged Camper, and The Jelly Bean Camper</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> What’s a one legged camper?
One legged campers

Ryan’s home built overland camper and rooftop tent. The tent is soon to be remounted on the roof of the trailer.

It’s a descriptive term I’ve coined for the camper whose spouse is not a camping fan. I spent most of the 90s working as a car salesman. A husband or wife shopping alone was commonly called a one-legged shopper. They rarely could make a decision without their spouse. A married person camping alone must be a one-legged camper. It totally makes sense, right? This brings a few twists to the activity.

  • Who do you camp with?
  • How often do you go?
  • How much is your camping budget?
  • Is there a happy medium that would get both of you out there?
  • Do you really have to do everything together?

What’s a jelly bean camper?

You may own one of these. Kris and I are sure fans. Trailers like the R-Pod or Jayco’s Humming Bird trailers are great examples. They’re bigger than a tear drop trailer, but shaped more like a jelly bean. Unlike the smaller teardrop campers, these trailers generally provide a fully self contained option. They’re also quite reasonably priced. They’re also easier to tow.

Speaking of Jayco’s Hummingbird

overland camper

Ryan built a comfortable interior.

I saw one of these on the road this week. In fact, I’ve seen a few of them. In doing a little searching on line I found a great blog post titled 27 Truths About Your First RV. We all thought this article brought up some great points to ponder. We’ll toss them around and have some fun with them.

Your Feedback

We’ve been behind in the feedback department. We really love hearing from you so I am making a few changes in how things get handled.

Speaking of feedback, a big THANK YOU goes out to Ryan for sending us pictures of his rooftop tent and home-built overland trailer. Ryan did the build himself and you can tell they’re having fun with it.

Bullhead Fishing

I found a fun blog titled Bullheadfishing.com. I’ve always considered them a garbage fish, but I’m learning that’s not the case. Give it a read if you’re ready to take a new look at bullhead fishing.

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 36. The One Legged Camper, and The Jelly Bean Camper appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
What’s a one legged camper? It’s a descriptive term I’ve coined for the camper whose spouse is not a camping fan. I spent most of the 90s working as a car salesman. A husband or wife shopping alone was commonly called a one-legged shopper. What’s a one legged camper? It’s a descriptive term I’ve coined for the camper whose spouse is not a camping fan. I spent most of the 90s working as a car salesman. A husband or wife shopping alone was commonly called a one-legged shopper. They rarely could make a decision without their spouse. A married […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 42:10
35. Overland Trailers and RVs http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/35-overland-trailers-rvs/ Mon, 29 May 2017 18:19:39 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=569 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/35-overland-trailers-rvs/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/35-overland-trailers-rvs/feed/ 0 <p>Overland trailers aren’t made for RV parks. They’re made for overlanding, traveling where there’s little or no road. You could be forging a river or two, and climbing steep mountain trails. The point is to travel over unpaved, unimproved roads. I want to give a big SHOUT OUT to Dan and the guys at The […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/35-overland-trailers-rvs/">35. Overland Trailers and RVs</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Overland trailers aren’t made for RV parks. They’re made for overlanding, traveling where there’s little or no road. You could be forging a river or two, and climbing steep mountain trails. The point is to travel over unpaved, unimproved roads.

overland trailersI want to give a big SHOUT OUT to Dan and the guys at The 4×4 Podcast. Dan is serving in the armed forces. In episode 103, Dan talks about his overland journey from Kansas to Alaska. The overland trailer Dan and his family used is home built. Dan bought the trailer frame, updated the suspension for his off-road needs, then built the box. He topped it off with an overland tent.

Overland Trailers And Vehicles

One of the great things about camping is there’s something for every budget. Like us, Dan’s Jeep is also a daily driver. Just do a simple search for expedition vehicles and you’ll find a huge budget spread. Everything from a low cost rooftop tent to a multi-million dollar safari vehicle will surely show up in the results.

Pay As You Go

Doing this type of camping also allows you to start with the basics, then add equipment and upgrades as time and money allow. You could start with the tent on your vehicle. Then you can add the trailer and equipment as funds become available. Just start with a master plan so you have a finished goal in mind.

The Future Of Camping and RVing

We recorded a whole episode on this a few weeks ago, and I deleted it. As the population grows, and the environmental restrictions redefine our vehicles, the wonderful world of camping will have to evolve. What will this look like? How will your children and grandchildren experience the great outdoors if they don’t even own a car or truck?

Camping With Pets

Just a reminder of your responsibilities as a pet owner. You love your dog, and he may be friendly. That doesn’t mean you just let him loose to roam the campgrounds. In fact, that’s a great way to lose your dog.

We will finish the show off with a few bad RV ads.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 35. Overland Trailers and RVs appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Overland trailers aren’t made for RV parks. They’re made for overlanding, traveling where there’s little or no road. You could be forging a river or two, and climbing steep mountain trails. The point is to travel over unpaved, unimproved roads. Overland trailers aren’t made for RV parks. They’re made for overlanding, traveling where there’s little or no road. You could be forging a river or two, and climbing steep mountain trails. The point is to travel over unpaved, unimproved roads. I want to give a big SHOUT OUT to Dan and the guys at The […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 39:49
34. Cold Nights, Toys For Kids, Coolers http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/34-cold-nights-toys-kids-coolers/ Mon, 15 May 2017 21:25:18 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=563 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/34-cold-nights-toys-kids-coolers/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/34-cold-nights-toys-kids-coolers/feed/ 0 <p>Cold Spring Nights Camping season is off and running, but the nights can still be chilly. Higher altitudes and northern parts of the country can easily see nighttime temperatures below freezing well into the summer months. Be sure to bring along extra blankets, sleeping bags and clothing to keep everyone toasty through the night Camping […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/34-cold-nights-toys-kids-coolers/">34. Cold Nights, Toys For Kids, Coolers</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Cold Spring Nights
Camping toys for kids

Family memories that last a lifetime start around the campfire.

Camping season is off and running, but the nights can still be chilly. Higher altitudes and northern parts of the country can easily see nighttime temperatures below freezing well into the summer months. Be sure to bring along extra blankets, sleeping bags and clothing to keep everyone toasty through the night

Camping Toys For Kids

We did this when our kids were small. Don’s family does the same today. Have a separate set of toys for camping. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on this one, but have things they don’t get to play with at home. This list will give you a few ideas.

  • Squirt Guns
  • Nerf toys
  • Velcro ball and catch pads
  • Sand buckets and shovels
  • Swim noodles Kid’s binoculars
  • Flash lights
  • Sticker books
  • Coloring books, crayons, markers
  • Dedicated toy storage area or container

If you have a few favorites, we’d love to hear about them. Please leave a comment and tell us your kids’ favorites.

Cooler Showdown

Field and Stream did a great cooler showdown. This 48 hour test of the top 12 coolers in the high end marked included tossing them out of a pickup bed at 45 mph. We’ll tell you who won. You can read about it and watch the video at Field & Stream Ice Chest Throwdown.

Camping and Buying a Home

As we’ve mentioned on the podcast, Kris and I are in the process of finding and buying a home. The reality is that home shopping has really cut into our camping and podcasting time. The great news is that we’ve finally found a great place. Many of you have been here before. You know what our next couple of months will be like.

The home isn’t new, and it will need work before we move in. The short of it is that our camping schedule will be limited over the summer. The good part is that it will free up our weekends once we’re in and settled.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 34. Cold Nights, Toys For Kids, Coolers appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Cold Spring Nights Camping season is off and running, but the nights can still be chilly. Higher altitudes and northern parts of the country can easily see nighttime temperatures below freezing well into the summer months. Cold Spring Nights Camping season is off and running, but the nights can still be chilly. Higher altitudes and northern parts of the country can easily see nighttime temperatures below freezing well into the summer months. Be sure to bring along extra blankets, sleeping bags and clothing to keep everyone toasty through the night Camping […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 35:50
33. National Parks, An RV That Pays For Itself http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/33-national-parks-rv-pays/ Mon, 01 May 2017 16:53:45 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=553 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/33-national-parks-rv-pays/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/33-national-parks-rv-pays/feed/ 0 <p>National Park Pass Programs nps.gov/planyourvisit is full of information about free and discount National Park passes. Unfortunately the website was down for maintenance when we were actually recording the podcast. National Parks and Historical Narratives If you’re taking your kids along so they can learn a history lesson, make sure you’ve talked about it before […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/33-national-parks-rv-pays/">33. National Parks, An RV That Pays For Itself</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> National ParksNational Park Pass Programs

nps.gov/planyourvisit is full of information about free and discount National Park passes. Unfortunately the website was down for maintenance when we were actually recording the podcast.

National Parks and Historical Narratives

If you’re taking your kids along so they can learn a history lesson, make sure you’ve talked about it before you arrive at national historical sites. The lessons taught within the written history boards you follow along the way may or may not give the points you would like to make.

We’ve all chose to remain silent about the correct or incorrect lessons taught, but most historical markers give a different view on American history than they did 20 years ago. It’s not a matter of one is right and the other wrong. It’s more like both narratives are somewhat one-sided.

The 10 Deadliest National Parks

Countryliving.com brings us the 10 deadliest national parks. The top causes of death are drowning and falling from high places. We have a hunch that selfies could have something to do with that second one.

The light at the end of the tunnel here is that nearly all of these were preventable. Responsible drinking, common sense, and safety equipment for the activity you’re involved in would prevent nearly all of these.

Make Your RV Pay For Itself. Rent It Out

Everyone’s knee jerk reaction on this one is “great idea, but I’m not renting out my RV.” But think about it. What if you can get 340 bucks a weekend for your $17,000 travel trailer? That should cover your payment, insurance and then some. And you still have 3 weekends to use it yourself.

Here’s a story to help you get your head around this concept. In fact, these folks went out and bought 2 more travel trailers to rent out. Tennessean.com has the details.

No show is complete without a few really bad ads, so we have a few of those too.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 33. National Parks, An RV That Pays For Itself appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
National Park Pass Programs nps.gov/planyourvisit is full of information about free and discount National Park passes. Unfortunately the website was down for maintenance when we were actually recording the podcast. National Park Pass Programs nps.gov/planyourvisit is full of information about free and discount National Park passes. Unfortunately the website was down for maintenance when we were actually recording the podcast. National Parks and Historical Narratives If you’re taking your kids along so they can learn a history lesson, make sure you’ve talked about it before […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 31:55
32. Make Your First Camping Trip Spectacular http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/32-make-your-first-camping-trip-spectacular/ Mon, 17 Apr 2017 23:31:14 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=541 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/32-make-your-first-camping-trip-spectacular/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/32-make-your-first-camping-trip-spectacular/feed/ 0 <p>It may be your first camping trip of the year. It could be your first trip in your new RV. Maybe it’s your first camping trip ever. Let’s make it spectacular. This episode is inspired by you.  We’ll give you our thoughts and ideas to start right. You can count on a few things on […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/32-make-your-first-camping-trip-spectacular/">32. Make Your First Camping Trip Spectacular</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Your first camping trip

It may be your first camping trip of the year. It could be your first trip in your new RV. Maybe it’s your first camping trip ever. Let’s make it spectacular. This episode is inspired by you.  We’ll give you our thoughts and ideas to start right.

You can count on a few things on that first trip. You’ll probably pack way too much of everything. If you have small children, you’ll probably answer a thousand questions. Although you’ve over-packed, you will find things you won’t forget again.

You’re Looking For Your First Camping Trip Win

Getting home safe and with big smiles on everyone’s faces, that’s a win. A win means you get to camp more often. A win means the family will be asking when they can go again. A win may even mean you get to upgrade your gear.

20 Year Old Goes Camping – For 27 Years

Christopher Knight was 20 when he drove his car into a remote wooded area of Maine and walked away. He left everything behind except for a tent, a backpack and few provisions. He wasn’t a survivalist or a prepper. He just preferred to be a hermit.

He resurfaced after 27 years, but not by choice. It seems living off the land was a whole lot harder than living off what he could find in the secluded vacation cabins. It’s quite a story.

Read the whole story here at TheGuardian.com to catch the details. We will give you our spin on the story.

Possums and Ticks

  • One possum eats up to 5,000 ticks a year.
  • Doesn’t carry Lyme disease
  • Eats rodents and road kill
  • Immune to rabies

Why do we bring this up? It looks like 2017 will be a record year for ticks and Lyme disease. Full details in this article from AARP. It’s a must read if you live or camp in tick country.

Paper Bag Bacon And Eggs

This looks like fun. Kris and I will definitely be giving this one a try. Your family can cook their own eggs and bacon over the campfire, then eat it out of the bag. Be sure to have enough for one or two kids to start over should the bag start on fire. Place the bag on a plate for eating, not your lap. The bacon grease will leave a stain.

We also have a few choice picks for our Bad Ads segment. When you see one of these, please send it to us. We will do our best to use it on the show.

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 32. Make Your First Camping Trip Spectacular appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
It may be your first camping trip of the year. It could be your first trip in your new RV. Maybe it’s your first camping trip ever. Let’s make it spectacular. This episode is inspired by you.  We’ll give you our thoughts and ideas to start right. It may be your first camping trip of the year. It could be your first trip in your new RV. Maybe it’s your first camping trip ever. Let’s make it spectacular. This episode is inspired by you.  We’ll give you our thoughts and ideas to start right. You can count on a few things on […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 34:33
31. When Is It too Cold To Camp? Camping In Bear Country http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/31-cold-camp-camping-bear-country/ Mon, 03 Apr 2017 18:09:01 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=524 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/31-cold-camp-camping-bear-country/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/31-cold-camp-camping-bear-country/feed/ 0 <p>When Is It Too Cold To Camp? There are two answers for this one. First, when it’s no longer any fun. Second, when it becomes dangerous. WOW! That was quick. Now, let’s spend a little time on these. Whether you’re heading to the mountains or the beach, the cold, rain and snow can easily take […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/31-cold-camp-camping-bear-country/">31. When Is It too Cold To Camp? Camping In Bear Country</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> When Is It Too Cold To Camp?

too cold to campThere are two answers for this one. First, when it’s no longer any fun. Second, when it becomes dangerous. WOW! That was quick. Now, let’s spend a little time on these.

Whether you’re heading to the mountains or the beach, the cold, rain and snow can easily take some of the fun out of your trip. In fact, it could be the demise of a well planned weekend. There are things you can do to make sure the family has fun, even if the weather kills your outdoor plans. If your family is having fun together, it’s a win. Here are a few things that will help.

  • Have an indoor and outdoor heat source. A camp fire and an RV furnace give everyone options.
  • Pack rain pants and jackets. Jeans and T shirts are mostly made of cotton. Cotton soaks up water like a sponge, then it stops keeping you warm.
  • Bring along a game or two. Board games, cards or something you can all be involved in.
  • Break the day up. If it’s a continual dumper, explore the nearest town or tourist attraction. Find a creative place to have a picnic style meal.
  • Split up for a while. It’s okay if two of you don’t mind fishing in the rain while others are content to curl up and read for a few hours.

When Things Get Dangerous

Know when it’s time to dowse the fire and call the dog. If it starts dumping snow or the tornado warnings are going off, you need to make some quick decisions. We’ve encountered both. Between the Cascade mountains and the Midwest tornado season, we’ve dealt with both.

Just remember, if you have to pull the plug on the big family weekend, you may need to improvise with new plans. After all, you’re still all together and have no plans. This could turn out to be one of your greatest memories.

Camping In Bear Country

This article from TruckTrend.com is packed full of useful information about camping and hiking in known bear country. We highly recommend you read the article. The author isn’t just reading what he’s read, he’s been out there hiking and camping in bear country. Here are a few highlights.

  • A bear’s sense of smell is 7 times that of a bloodhound.
  • Bears are opportunists, and will eat just about everything.
  • Never leave your food in your tent or a soft-sided camper when you sleep. Even the clothes you wore while cooking meals should not be left inside.
  • The car may not be the safe place either.
  • Hike in groups – noisy groups.
  • Leave stuff like perfume, aftershave, anything with a sweet or flavored scent at home.
  • Keep bear deterrent handy and know how to use it.
  • ALWAYS look out the window and check before going outside.

A Few Bear Safety Products To Consider

Bear Deterrent can be an effective tool, but only if you have it handy, and you know how to use it. NOTE: Bear repellent is not the same as pepper spray for personal protection. It’s not meant for defense when you’re face to face with the bear. It’s meant to place a large cloud of deterrent between you and a bear before they get close.

Opsak Barrier Bags are said to be 100% odor proof, humidity proof, vapor proof and leak proof up to 200 feet under water. RVers and campers will probably get a longer life from these bags than backpackers. Read the reviews. These things do work.

 

 

The Ursack Major Bear Resistant Sack is meant to be hung from a tree branch, away from your camp. Made of “bullet proof” fabric, the bear could probably crumble your food, but not eat it. Even the rope is made of bear tough material.

 

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 31. When Is It too Cold To Camp? Camping In Bear Country appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
When Is It Too Cold To Camp? There are two answers for this one. First, when it’s no longer any fun. Second, when it becomes dangerous. WOW! That was quick. Now, let’s spend a little time on these. Whether you’re heading to the mountains or the beach, When Is It Too Cold To Camp? There are two answers for this one. First, when it’s no longer any fun. Second, when it becomes dangerous. WOW! That was quick. Now, let’s spend a little time on these. Whether you’re heading to the mountains or the beach, the cold, rain and snow can easily take […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 34:24
30. RV Bathrooms. How Much Do You Really Need? http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/30-rv-bathrooms-how-much-do-you-really-need/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:33:11 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=513 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/30-rv-bathrooms-how-much-do-you-really-need/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/30-rv-bathrooms-how-much-do-you-really-need/feed/ 0 <p>Let’s Face it, most RV bathrooms are pretty compact. Don jokingly mentioned in a previous show about sitting on the toilet and reaching the microwave. That’s just not as far fetched as it sounds. Kris, Don and I will each give you our thoughts on this one. RV Bathroom Features To Consider Does that tiny sink […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/30-rv-bathrooms-how-much-do-you-really-need/">30. RV Bathrooms. How Much Do You Really Need?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Is your RV ready for spring?

Let’s Face it, most RV bathrooms are pretty compact. Don jokingly mentioned in a previous show about sitting on the toilet and reaching the microwave. That’s just not as far fetched as it sounds. Kris, Don and I will each give you our thoughts on this one.

RV Bathroom Features To Consider

  • Does that tiny sink in the corner serve any real purpose? Could you even get your head over it to brush your teeth?
  • What will you use the shower for? Who actually fits in it anyway? Where is the water going when that curtain is closed?
  • Can you close the door to use the bathroom?
  • Is the vent or fan adequate?

Even if you’re into roughing it, your significant other may not be. You are probably better off to have an RV bathroom that meets their needs, even if you think it’s overkill. Otherwise, you may be camping alone.

 Getting Your RV Ready For That First Camping Trip

We will spare you the 2,000 word blow by blow description. There are really five areas you want to focus on. This is assuming you’ve put it away for the winter in proper working order, but winterized.

  1.  Inspect everything. Look it over like you’re considering buying it. Check for leaks and water damage. While you’re in all those nooks and crannies, check for mice, and their damage.
  2. Flush out the water system. I used 2 cups of bleach with 3 gallons of water, and ran it through everything. Let it sit overnight, then flush an fill several times. When you can no longer smell bleach, you’re ready to go.
  3. De-gas your RV. Get rid of any build up of dangerous fumes. We covered this in  Episode 12. Eliminating Dangerous Formaldehyde Fumes In Your RV. It’s worth revisiting.
  4. Check the towing apparatus, brakes, lights and tires to be sure it’s safe to tow.
  5. Check your stored items. From stored food to salt shakers, pots and pans,and that BBQ grill cleaning brush. We will give you good reason to toss that brush and start the season with a new one.

Other Topics

  • Gander Mountain files for bankruptcy
  • Really Bad Ads
  • Listener feedback on Facebook

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 30. RV Bathrooms. How Much Do You Really Need? appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Let’s Face it, most RV bathrooms are pretty compact. Don jokingly mentioned in a previous show about sitting on the toilet and reaching the microwave. That’s just not as far fetched as it sounds. Kris, Don and I will each give you our thoughts on this ... Let’s Face it, most RV bathrooms are pretty compact. Don jokingly mentioned in a previous show about sitting on the toilet and reaching the microwave. That’s just not as far fetched as it sounds. Kris, Don and I will each give you our thoughts on this one. RV Bathroom Features To Consider Does that tiny sink […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 37:32
29. Is Fiberglass RV Siding Better Than Aluminum? http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/29-is-fiberglass-rv-siding-better-than-aluminum/ Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:03:58 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=505 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/29-is-fiberglass-rv-siding-better-than-aluminum/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/29-is-fiberglass-rv-siding-better-than-aluminum/feed/ 0 <p>A trick question. Is fiberglass RV siding better than aluminum siding? It’s a trick question because the answer is a big IT DEPENDS. Laminated Fiberglass Sides Laminated fiberglass definitely has some advantages. It’s more aerodynamic, so your fuel economy will be better. It also helps create a lighter weight trailer. And let’s face it, it […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/29-is-fiberglass-rv-siding-better-than-aluminum/">29. Is Fiberglass RV Siding Better Than Aluminum?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> A trick question. Is fiberglass RV siding better than aluminum siding? It’s a trick question because the answer is a big IT DEPENDS.

Laminated Fiberglass Sides

Laminated fiberglass definitely has some advantages. It’s more aerodynamic, so your fuel economy will be better. It also helps create a lighter weight trailer. And let’s face it, it really looks sharp.

Aluminum Sided Stick Trailers

They’ve been building these for decades. They’re tough, less expensive and have been getting the job done for generations. Although not quite as light, they aren’t all tanks either.

Three Things To Consider

  1. Bang for the buck, and your budget.
  2. Are you willing to inspect it regularly, and maintain it?
  3. How much are you going to use it?

A big thank you to Dan, the service manager at Van Boxtel RV for taking the time to talk with me about warranties, servicing your RV and the importance of semiannual inspections.

Thunder Over Louisville

A listener mentioned getting reservations to camp at this year’s Thunder Over Louisville. That leads us to ask the obvious question, What is Thunder Over Louisville? In searching for answers we found several events starting with Thunder in, on and around. It all revolves around 2 weeks of festivities that lead up to the Kentucky Derby.

Other show notes

  • We revisited GoeatsMilkStuff.com so Kris could put in her two cents worth. Great stuff.
  • The many uses of bungee cords, most of them wrong.
  • Bad RV ads

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 29. Is Fiberglass RV Siding Better Than Aluminum? appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
A trick question. Is fiberglass RV siding better than aluminum siding? It’s a trick question because the answer is a big IT DEPENDS. Laminated Fiberglass Sides Laminated fiberglass definitely has some advantages. It’s more aerodynamic, A trick question. Is fiberglass RV siding better than aluminum siding? It’s a trick question because the answer is a big IT DEPENDS. Laminated Fiberglass Sides Laminated fiberglass definitely has some advantages. It’s more aerodynamic, so your fuel economy will be better. It also helps create a lighter weight trailer. And let’s face it, it […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 43:24
28. Taking Coffee To The Extreme. The Beverage episode http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/28-taking-coffee-extreme-beverage-episode/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 16:06:26 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=499 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/28-taking-coffee-extreme-beverage-episode/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/28-taking-coffee-extreme-beverage-episode/feed/ 0 <p>If you know us at all, you know we love coffee. Good coffee. We’ve even been called coffee snobs a time or two. We buy whole beans, grind them with a bur grinder and use a Bella drip maker for our daily use. We have a few other coffee systems in our kitchen that come […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/28-taking-coffee-extreme-beverage-episode/">28. Taking Coffee To The Extreme. The Beverage episode</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Coffee to the extreme

A few of our coffee brewing appliances

If you know us at all, you know we love coffee. Good coffee. We’ve even been called coffee snobs a time or two. We buy whole beans, grind them with a bur grinder and use a Bella drip maker for our daily use.

We have a few other coffee systems in our kitchen that come to mind.

  • 2 french presses
  • Espresso machine
  • Cold brew coffee maker
  • Pour-over coffee maker

But now there’s something new. The coffee pipe. I don’t see any of us firing up a brew any time soon, but what do you think? Check out the Bripe at their fund raising page. It looks like they’ve raised about 18 grand so far.

Beer Honors National Parks

Okay. Maybe they just want to sell more beer, but the cans are cool. Uinta Brewing brings us beer packaging that honors the country’s national parks. Check out the cool cans with national park themed labels. They’re getting a little backlash for not turning over some of the profits to the park services, but the cans are cool. I don’t even drink, but I’d love to have a set of these.

Do You Trust The Water You Drink While Traveling?

As a truck driver, I’ve hauled bottled water out of several bottling plants. I’ve also heard and read stories about municipalities with contaminated water. Kris and I have even had letters from our city water department, warning us about problems with the water. Usually, the problems were found months back, but they’re finally telling us about it.

UPDATE: We didn’t get to the bottled water conversation. We will save it for episode 29.

Pin Of The Week

Okay, so it isn’t a pin. This week we’re sharing a website we’ve ordered from, and love their stuff. Check out GoatsMilkStuff.com and give that soap a try. We love it. They also have a bunch of other cool products. Kris also loves their Facebook Live videos.

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 28. Taking Coffee To The Extreme. The Beverage episode appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
If you know us at all, you know we love coffee. Good coffee. We’ve even been called coffee snobs a time or two. We buy whole beans, grind them with a bur grinder and use a Bella drip maker for our daily use. If you know us at all, you know we love coffee. Good coffee. We’ve even been called coffee snobs a time or two. We buy whole beans, grind them with a bur grinder and use a Bella drip maker for our daily use. We have a few other coffee systems in our kitchen that come […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 36:53
27. What Would You Upgrade? http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/27-what-would-you-upgrade/ Mon, 06 Mar 2017 23:34:52 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=488 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/27-what-would-you-upgrade/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/27-what-would-you-upgrade/feed/ 2 <p>Kris and I were browsing through the camping gear at a local Fleet and Farm store last week. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did find a $300 Yeti cooler on sale for $249. We didn’t buy it, but we sure looked it over. It’s tough and well insulated. We both […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/27-what-would-you-upgrade/">27. What Would You Upgrade?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Kris and I were browsing through the camping gear at a local Fleet and Farm store last week. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did find a $300 Yeti cooler on sale for $249. We didn’t buy it, but we sure looked it over. It’s tough and well insulated. We both knew this was the holy grail of ice chests. We could also understand why an avid outdoors man would make the natural progression from the typical Coleman or Igloo to the Yeti. It would be a natural upgrade.

The $500 Upgrade Challenge. What Would You Upgrade?

This started the first topic of this episode. We’ll each talk about what we’d upgrade or add to our camping and RVing setup?

Burning Man

I was actually cruising Craigslist for bad RV adds when I came across a camper advertised as “perfect camper for Burning Man.” So, What’s Burning Man? Here are a couple of links to see for yourself. Burningman.org is the official website. You can also find an interesting description at Wikipedia.org/BurningMan.

Getting The Most Out Of That Gift Certificate

We put together a few ideas on a separate post titled 5 Easy Steps To Get The Most Out Of That Gift Card. Check it out for full details, and the link to one of Kris’ favorite discount coupon sites.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 27. What Would You Upgrade? appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Kris and I were browsing through the camping gear at a local Fleet and Farm store last week. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did find a $300 Yeti cooler on sale for $249. We didn’t buy it, but we sure looked it over. Kris and I were browsing through the camping gear at a local Fleet and Farm store last week. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did find a $300 Yeti cooler on sale for $249. We didn’t buy it, but we sure looked it over. It’s tough and well insulated. We both […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 38:33
26. Nine Things Worth Spending More Money On http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/26-nine-things-worth-spending-money/ Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:34:54 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=464 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/26-nine-things-worth-spending-money/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/26-nine-things-worth-spending-money/feed/ 2 <p>I’m sure this list could go on and on, but these are our top nine things worth spending more money on. Depending on how you camp, not all will apply to you, but you’ll get the concept. We made one of these mistakes years ago, when we traded up to our first hard-walled trailer. I […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/26-nine-things-worth-spending-money/">26. Nine Things Worth Spending More Money On</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Nine things worth spending more money onI’m sure this list could go on and on, but these are our top nine things worth spending more money on. Depending on how you camp, not all will apply to you, but you’ll get the concept.

We made one of these mistakes years ago, when we traded up to our first hard-walled trailer. I found a deal on a used load leveling trailer hitch. It turned out to be a 10,000 pound rated hitch and we had a 3500 pound trailer.

Not only did it ride and perform poorly, we were lucky we didn’t damage the trailer frame. Lesson learned.

Nine Things Worth Spending More Money On

  1. Bike Rack
  2. Kayak or Boat Rack
  3. Mirrors
  4. RV Cover
  5. Jack and Spare Tire
  6. Trailer Hitch
  7. Water Pressure Regulator
  8. Surge Suppressor
  9. Fire Extinguisher and Triangles

VW with gear rackYou don’t need the top-end version of all these. The big box store version may do the trick, but make sure you’ve got the bases covered and the product you buy will hold up

Other Show Topics

How about a nice bicycle? We mean REALLY NICE. $35,000 nice. You can get this Wheelman bike in chrome or copper. Luxuries include a python skin seat and cross bar/down bar wrap.Order today. Supplies are limited.

The Best RV Size For Full Timers. This is one of the more common questions in many RV forums, but there’s no right answer. It’s truly a lifestyle choice.

Pin Of The Week

Learning the hard way about surge suppressors. This one came from Everything RVing’s website.

We finish off the show with RV FSBO.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 26. Nine Things Worth Spending More Money On appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
I’m sure this list could go on and on, but these are our top nine things worth spending more money on. Depending on how you camp, not all will apply to you, but you’ll get the concept. We made one of these mistakes years ago, I’m sure this list could go on and on, but these are our top nine things worth spending more money on. Depending on how you camp, not all will apply to you, but you’ll get the concept. We made one of these mistakes years ago, when we traded up to our first hard-walled trailer. I […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 40:09
25. Five Easy Steps To Get The Most From Your Sleeping Bag http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/25-five-easy-steps-get-sleeping-bag/ Mon, 13 Feb 2017 21:30:32 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=452 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/25-five-easy-steps-get-sleeping-bag/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/25-five-easy-steps-get-sleeping-bag/feed/ 2 <p>In this episode we’ll share 5 easy steps to get the most out of your sleeping bag. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with the shivers when the sleeping bag stops keeping you warm. Get The Most From Your Sleeping Bag Understand sleeping bag temperature ratings. Keep something between […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/25-five-easy-steps-get-sleeping-bag/">25. Five Easy Steps To Get The Most From Your Sleeping Bag</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> In this episode we’ll share 5 easy steps to get the most out of your sleeping bag. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with the shivers when the sleeping bag stops keeping you warm.

Get the most from your sleeping bagGet The Most From Your Sleeping Bag

  • Understand sleeping bag temperature ratings.
  • Keep something between you and the ground.
  • Use throw blankets, jackets or whatever you have to beef up the insulation.
  • Hot Hands hand and body warmers are cheap and safe. Think twice about a gas heater in a tent.
  • Air mattresses can freeze you out.

REI has a couple of great articles for choosing the right sleeping bag. This article is for camping, but it contains a link to backpacking bags. Check out Sleeping Bags for Camping: How To Chose for more.

Two RVs Are Better Than One

Wayne and Catherine live in Ontario, Ca. They love camping with family and exploring areas close to home and across the continent. We had a chance to meet when they came through Rice Lake, Wisconsin about 3 years ago on a long road trip.

Two RVs are better than oneThey had a unique setup. Their Mitsubishi van is 4WD, complete with low range. To make it more unique it’s diesel powered and right hand drive. Being creative people, they built their own teardrop inspired camp trailer. Needless to say, I loved what I saw.

Being friends on Facebook, I couldn’t help but notice they were traveling in a Winnebago class A motor home. A couple of emails later I knew the full story.

  1. The big class A is great for traveling close to home, but that 454 loves fuel.
  2. The van/teardrop combo gets high teens in the fuel economy department making it perfect for longer road trips.
  3. Using both at the same time allows them to camp with kids and grand kids.

If you have the place to park them, what a great alternative! Another thing Wayne added is the possibility of traveling with friends on longer trips and splitting the fuel costs with the motor home.

More Show Notes

Pin Of The Week

From LocalAdventurer.com

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 25. Five Easy Steps To Get The Most From Your Sleeping Bag appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
In this episode we’ll share 5 easy steps to get the most out of your sleeping bag. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with the shivers when the sleeping bag stops keeping you warm. In this episode we’ll share 5 easy steps to get the most out of your sleeping bag. There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with the shivers when the sleeping bag stops keeping you warm. Get The Most From Your Sleeping Bag Understand sleeping bag temperature ratings. Keep something between […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 33:18
24. Pancake Whiz and Moose Licking http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/24-pancake-whiz-moose-licking/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 11:00:23 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=444 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/24-pancake-whiz-moose-licking/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/24-pancake-whiz-moose-licking/feed/ 0 <p>Pancake Whiz Pancake whiz. Okay, that wasn’t the real name. It was called Batter Blaster, but it was the same concept. Much like a can of whipped cream, you would hold the can upside down and spray the batter right onto the griddle. I actually used a couple of cans of this stuff several years […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/24-pancake-whiz-moose-licking/">24. Pancake Whiz and Moose Licking</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Pancake Whiz

Pancake wiz and moose lickingPancake whiz. Okay, that wasn’t the real name. It was called Batter Blaster, but it was the same concept. Much like a can of whipped cream, you would hold the can upside down and spray the batter right onto the griddle.

I actually used a couple of cans of this stuff several years ago. Could this be the answer to simple camping pancakes? Probably not since they no longer produce the product, but we do have a few suggestions.

  • Dry mix in a jar
  • Batter in a squeeze bottle
  • Microwave pancakes
  • Make extra pancakes at home and freeze
  • Cook them while you’re camping

Moose Licking. It’s Not What You Think

According to BBC.com, this is a real problem in western Canada. You head to your car, only to find a moose licking the salty winter road grime off the car’s body.

Moose On The Loose

An Idaho homeowner also found a moose in the basement of their home. It seems the animal found entry through an unlatched window. The poor creature was sedated and safely removed to the wild.

Buying an Older RV

In the last two episodes we talked about buying a new RV, or something close to new. We will be finishing up this series by talking about buying an older RV. Your budget could be as low as $1,000, but there’s something for everyone.

A Few Shopping Tips

  • Look at the bad ones so you know how to find a good one.
  • If they said “it worked last time we used it,” it probably doesn’t work now.
  • Look inside the cabinets for water damage. Be suspicious of fresh paint.
  • Check the age and condition of the tires.
  • Leave room in your budget for repairs.
  • Know what needs a title and license plates. These laws aren’t consistent from state to state.
  • Use your nose.
  • Try everything. Fold down the dinette, sofa or anything else that makes into a bed. You never know what’s been repaired or replaced.

The New (to us) Ballard Van

The short version, we decided on a used conversion van. We found a 98 Ford with 94,000 miles. The van had two owners, the second having it for 10 years. The van’s complete with all the comforts of 1998.

As usual, we will finish this week’s show with RV FSBO, our favorite RV ads.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 24. Pancake Whiz and Moose Licking appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Pancake Whiz Pancake whiz. Okay, that wasn’t the real name. It was called Batter Blaster, but it was the same concept. Much like a can of whipped cream, you would hold the can upside down and spray the batter right onto the griddle. Pancake Whiz Pancake whiz. Okay, that wasn’t the real name. It was called Batter Blaster, but it was the same concept. Much like a can of whipped cream, you would hold the can upside down and spray the batter right onto the griddle. I actually used a couple of cans of this stuff several years […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 42:51
23. Finally! A Good Camping and RV Expo http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/23-camping-rv-expo/ Mon, 30 Jan 2017 18:15:51 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=437 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/23-camping-rv-expo/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/23-camping-rv-expo/feed/ 0 <p>The RV and Camping Expo The Green Bay RV and Camping Expo was alive and well for 4 days. Kris and I were able to spend several hours visiting the show. The emphasis was definitely on the RV side of things. With only one popup trailer, one A-frame, no teardrops, egg trailers or truck campers, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/23-camping-rv-expo/">23. Finally! A Good Camping and RV Expo</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> The RV and Camping Expo
Camping and RV Expo

We spotted this label on the side of our favorite camper of the show.

The Green Bay RV and Camping Expo was alive and well for 4 days. Kris and I were able to spend several hours visiting the show. The emphasis was definitely on the RV side of things. With only one popup trailer, one A-frame, no teardrops, egg trailers or truck campers, the show highlighted the traditional RV industry products.

It was also lacking in tent camping gear. Other than Cabela’s display with a single tent, it was slim pickings for the more primitive camper. In their defense, Cabela’s did have a pretty good display for taking up such a small space.

Kris and I did find a few favorites among the group. The R-Pod series and the Vintage Cruiser trailers were among our favorites.

Buying A Late Model Used RV

Getting an idea of the price of a new RV will give you some perspective on how much less you should pay for that used one. The RV shows are a great place to do that. You may decide to give up a little in size and features in order to start out with something new, but if something a couple of years old is what your looking for, we do have a few tips for you.

Get It Inspected

An old car salesman once told me “miles on a car are like oats. There’s oats that have been through the horse and oats that haven’t.” RVs of any kind are no different. A simple Google search for RV inspections should yield a few resources for qualified inspectors in your area. We certainly recommend an inspection if you’re spending several thousand dollars for an RV.

We finish off the show with a couple of great ads in our RV FSBO section.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 23. Finally! A Good Camping and RV Expo appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
The RV and Camping Expo The Green Bay RV and Camping Expo was alive and well for 4 days. Kris and I were able to spend several hours visiting the show. The emphasis was definitely on the RV side of things. With only one popup trailer, one A-frame, The RV and Camping Expo The Green Bay RV and Camping Expo was alive and well for 4 days. Kris and I were able to spend several hours visiting the show. The emphasis was definitely on the RV side of things. With only one popup trailer, one A-frame, no teardrops, egg trailers or truck campers, […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 41:16
22. How To Get The Best Deal On Your Next RV, and Why You Need One http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/22-how-to-get-the-best-deal-on-your-next-rv/ Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:38:44 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=414 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/22-how-to-get-the-best-deal-on-your-next-rv/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/22-how-to-get-the-best-deal-on-your-next-rv/feed/ 0 <p>This is the first in a three part series on how to get the best deal on an RV. This week we’ll focus on buying a brand new unit. In the next 2 episodes we will cover buying a newer used RV, than an older unit on a tighter budget. There really is something out […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/22-how-to-get-the-best-deal-on-your-next-rv/">22. How To Get The Best Deal On Your Next RV, and Why You Need One</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> How to get a great deal on your next rvThis is the first in a three part series on how to get the best deal on an RV. This week we’ll focus on buying a brand new unit.

In the next 2 episodes we will cover buying a newer used RV, than an older unit on a tighter budget. There really is something out there for every budget.

How To Get The Best Deal On Your Next RV

Full details are in the podcast, but here are the bullet points. We’re approaching RV show season so it’s a great time to get the RV you want at the price you want.

  • The importance of a reputable dealer
  • Window stickers – not like new cars
  • Organize your notes and brochures
  • Define your budget and terms
  • Leave room in the budget for the accessories you may need
  • Pay attention to list price, show price and the list price on the dealer’s lot
  • Make your list of features and options
  • NEVER deviate from your list without walking away and talking about it
  • Choose a skeptic

 

The Dirty Truth About Hotel Rooms

Kris will be giving you plenty of good reasons to stay in an RV rather than a hotel room. You’ll be surprised what she’s found. At the very least, you’ll be bringing a can of disinfectant along on your next business trip.

Tents – You Get What You Pay For

2 season, 3 season, 4 and even 5 season tents. What’s the difference? Don will be bringing us up to date on the types of tents available for every type of weather.

Pin Of The Week

This is a new segment to throw a little love back to some of the websites we enjoy. BellyFull.net has a great article on spaghetti and hotdogs, with a twist. We didn’t all see eye to eye on this one, but I’m definitely going to try it with the grand kids soon.

 

Other Show Notes

  • The Podcast Name
  • RV For Sale By Owner
Share This:
Facebook

The post 22. How To Get The Best Deal On Your Next RV, and Why You Need One appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
This is the first in a three part series on how to get the best deal on an RV. This week we’ll focus on buying a brand new unit. In the next 2 episodes we will cover buying a newer used RV, than an older unit on a tighter budget. This is the first in a three part series on how to get the best deal on an RV. This week we’ll focus on buying a brand new unit. In the next 2 episodes we will cover buying a newer used RV, than an older unit on a tighter budget. There really is something out […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 39:43
21. A New Year of Adventure And Podcasting http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/21-new-year-adventure-podcasting/ Mon, 02 Jan 2017 15:11:37 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=401 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/21-new-year-adventure-podcasting/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/21-new-year-adventure-podcasting/feed/ 0 <p>WE ARE BACK! We are back with new shows, a new co-host host, new segments and more entertainment. Where Did We Go? We’ll save the blow by blow of 2016 and give you a quick recap. A move across the state. A new job with more time away from home. Days off that don’t always […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/21-new-year-adventure-podcasting/">21. A New Year of Adventure And Podcasting</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> We're Back

WE ARE BACK! We are back with new shows, a new co-host host, new segments and more entertainment.

Where Did We Go?

We’ll save the blow by blow of 2016 and give you a quick recap.

  • A move across the state.
  • A new job with more time away from home.
  • Days off that don’t always go together.
  • The sale of our pickup and camper.

The list goes on. Let’s just say that 2016 has been crazy, but in a good way. Kris and I are truly blessed.

Another Co-Host

If we’re going to bring you new podcasts on a regular schedule, we need more time or more help. We went with the help. Don is our oldest child. He and his family also own a pop-up camp trailer. Don has agreed to help with the hosting duties. Which 2 of us you get each show is uncertain, but you will get at least 2 of us.

Don and I have been doing our own podcast for nearly 3 years over at truckingpodcast.com.

Renaming The Show

I talked with a few “experts” about bringing the show back vs starting with a new name and new website. Obviously we’ve decided to go with what we already have. But you may enjoy some of the names we’ve considered.

Where Our Camping Journey Began

Everyone has a story about early camping memories, and when they got the camping and RVing bug. We’ll each share ours, and we’d love to hear yours. You can use the LEAVE A MESSAGE tab on the right side of the page or email your story with the CONTACT page.

FSBO RVs

You’ve heard of FSBO. For Sale By Owner. Although this type of sale is commonly referring to a house, it could certainly cover RV sales. Some of these ads are more fun than watching Ed and Thelma back that 36 foot 5th wheel into a tent site.

Help us spread the word

If you enjoy the show, please pass it on. Let your friends know about it. If you have questions or comments, we would love to hear them.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 21. A New Year of Adventure And Podcasting appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
WE ARE BACK! We are back with new shows, a new co-host host, new segments and more entertainment. Where Did We Go? We’ll save the blow by blow of 2016 and give you a quick recap. A move across the state. A new job with more time away from home. WE ARE BACK! We are back with new shows, a new co-host host, new segments and more entertainment. Where Did We Go? We’ll save the blow by blow of 2016 and give you a quick recap. A move across the state. A new job with more time away from home. Days off that don’t always […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 27:15
20. Listener Feedback, A Few Thoughts On Our Next RV. http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/20-listener-feedback-thoughts-next-rv/ Mon, 05 Sep 2016 19:41:58 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=376 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/20-listener-feedback-thoughts-next-rv/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/20-listener-feedback-thoughts-next-rv/feed/ 0 <p>Here it is, September. We’re back, but still a little disorganized. If you’ve ever moved, you know what we’re going through. The recording studio is up and functioning, but I still haven’t located all of my gear. This presents a couple of issues in the sound quality. Fortunately, it’s a temporary issue. By episode 21, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/20-listener-feedback-thoughts-next-rv/">20. Listener Feedback, A Few Thoughts On Our Next RV.</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Here it is, September. We’re back, but still a little disorganized. If you’ve ever moved, you know what we’re going through.

The recording studio is up and functioning, but I still haven’t located all of my gear. This presents a couple of issues in the sound quality. Fortunately, it’s a temporary issue. By episode 21, everything should be back to normal.

Feedback

Kris and I truly want to thank you for your questions, comments and kind words as we move forward with the show. In this episode, we’ll answer a few of your questions. Here are a few of the subjects we talked about.

  • Popup tent trailers and air conditioning
  • Advice and ideas for new campers
  • How to win at getting your friends and family excited about going on a camping trip
  • Day camping

More About Our Next RV

We mentioned in the last episode that we were either going to buy an older B class motor home, or find a used full sized van to convert on our own. We haven’t totally made a decision on this one, but we are leaning in one direction. It could be the ultimate RV hack.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 20. Listener Feedback, A Few Thoughts On Our Next RV. appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Here it is, September. We’re back, but still a little disorganized. If you’ve ever moved, you know what we’re going through. The recording studio is up and functioning, but I still haven’t located all of my gear. Here it is, September. We’re back, but still a little disorganized. If you’ve ever moved, you know what we’re going through. The recording studio is up and functioning, but I still haven’t located all of my gear. This presents a couple of issues in the sound quality. Fortunately, it’s a temporary issue. By episode 21, […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 33:36
19. Buying or Building Our Next RV. Let The Battle Begin http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/19-buying-or-building-our-next-rv-let-the-battle-begin/ Sun, 14 Aug 2016 21:36:36 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=365 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/19-buying-or-building-our-next-rv-let-the-battle-begin/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/19-buying-or-building-our-next-rv-let-the-battle-begin/feed/ 2 <p>Before we talk about our next RV, let me bring you up to date on where we’ve been. Kris and I just returned from a two week road trip. Traveling from our home in northern Wisconsin, we headed towards southern Idaho for Kris’ class reunion. This trip was never planned as a camping or RV […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/19-buying-or-building-our-next-rv-let-the-battle-begin/">19. Buying or Building Our Next RV. Let The Battle Begin</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> our next RV

We saw this while walking the boardwalks around Old Faithful.

Before we talk about our next RV, let me bring you up to date on where we’ve been.

Kris and I just returned from a two week road trip. Traveling from our home in northern Wisconsin, we headed towards southern Idaho for Kris’ class reunion. This trip was never planned as a camping or RV trip. We’ve always planned on taking our car, a bright blue PT Cruiser GT convertible we call Bob.

There was so much to see on this trip. We tried our best to take in as much as we could. We saw Custer’s Battlefield, Yellowstone National Park, the Tetons, Cody, Wyoming and several more great sights. We even made it to Mount Rushmore during Sturgis, the big biking event. But that’s not what this post is about.

Our Next RV

As we mentioned in episode 18, we are currently without an RV of any kind. We sold the pickup and camper this spring. If and when it will be replaced has been a discussion we’ve been putting off. I have to confess, I haven’t been sure if Kris was as enthused to continue our camping adventures as I have been, but we had a few great conversations about it on our road trip.

What We Miss About RV Travel

After 5 nights in  hotels and 5 nights in a guest room, we’ve listed just a few the reasons we want another RV of some kind.

  • Our own bed, every night. We can pick the mattress, blankets and mattress cover in an RV.
  • Pillows. More pillows. We both sleep with two pillows. Of our 10 nights of lodging, only 2 nights were in rooms with 4 pillows.
  • Coffee. Not decaf or half decaf. Not crappy hotel coffee. We love good coffee.
  • Morning space. I don’t know how else to describe this, but even when staying with family, the RV in the driveway presents more freedom than a guest room. Whether it’s in-laws or grand kids, it’s nice to be up, dressed and into that second cup of coffee before you have to take on the rest of the world.
  • Economics. With rooms ranging from $100 to $150 a night, and driving a turbocharged car that requires 92 octane fuel, we’d still come out ahead with a small RV.

The RV Battle Begins

After serious discussions about choices, options, and budget, we came up with a plan. Okay, 2 plans. We’ve seen dozens, maybe hundreds of class B motor homes. Most are built on Mercedes Sprinter vans and cost around $150,000. NOT HAPPENING! We will keep it affordable, simple and fun. We’ve decided on a camper van, but with a seriously lower budget. We’ve laid out the criteria for this next RV.

  1. It will serve as a second vehicle, something I will drive to work and back.
  2. Being apartment dwellers, it has to look good in the driveway.
  3. We need a stove, running water, and a bathroom. Water heater and shower are still up for debate.
  4. Room to take along a couple of grandchildren is a must.

The Battle Begins

The battle is the execution of the above plan. Kris and I are approaching this from different angles.

The Kris Plan

Start watching Craigslist, dealership trades and private party advertisements. Take our time and cherry-pick that exact camper van to fit our needs.

I have to admit, it’s a good plan. If we take our time and stay focused, we’ll find that used RV of our dreams, and it won’t break the bank.

The Tom Plan

Buy a nice used van, a longer model. Something like a 15 passenger van. Chuck the back seats and build an RV. Not some cheap camper with a water bottle and plastic totes. I want to build something with a nice bed, a bathroom, a kitchen and eating area, and real cabinets. Something to be proud of.

You’ll have to catch the podcast to hear all of the discussion, and we really haven’t arrived at a decision. It will make for some fun episodes though.

We Want To Hear From You

Have you ever built or rebuilt your own RV? What are your thoughts on our plans? Let us know what you think.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 19. Buying or Building Our Next RV. Let The Battle Begin appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Before we talk about our next RV, let me bring you up to date on where we’ve been. Kris and I just returned from a two week road trip. Traveling from our home in northern Wisconsin, we headed towards southern Idaho for Kris’ class reunion. Before we talk about our next RV, let me bring you up to date on where we’ve been. Kris and I just returned from a two week road trip. Traveling from our home in northern Wisconsin, we headed towards southern Idaho for Kris’ class reunion. This trip was never planned as a camping or RV […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 35:46
18. A Summer Update http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/18-summer-update/ Mon, 18 Jul 2016 18:52:42 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=358 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/18-summer-update/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/18-summer-update/feed/ 2 <p>As the title says, this is more of a Kris and Tom update than anything. If you’ve followed the previous episodes, you know that camping was a big part of our lives when the kids were young. They’ve all grown and have families of their own, so we were looking forward to reintroducing ourselves to […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/18-summer-update/">18. A Summer Update</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Kris and Tom Camping Update

This episode’s Classic or Griswold vehicle. I love how the bug still has a steering wheel.

As the title says, this is more of a Kris and Tom update than anything. If you’ve followed the previous episodes, you know that camping was a big part of our lives when the kids were young. They’ve all grown and have families of their own, so we were looking forward to reintroducing ourselves to the wonderful world of  camping and RVing. A couple of empty nesters enjoying the outdoors while still saving for retirement.

The Monkey Wrench

As spring unfolded, it became clear that our lives were going to change over the summer. A new job, a move across the state and a 500 mile commute for me (Tom) until that move happens really cuts into the free time for writing and podcasting. And camping?

You’ll have to catch the show for full details, but a regular show is in the near future.

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 18. A Summer Update appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
As the title says, this is more of a Kris and Tom update than anything. If you’ve followed the previous episodes, you know that camping was a big part of our lives when the kids were young. They’ve all grown and have families of their own, As the title says, this is more of a Kris and Tom update than anything. If you’ve followed the previous episodes, you know that camping was a big part of our lives when the kids were young. They’ve all grown and have families of their own, so we were looking forward to reintroducing ourselves to […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 30:14
17. Seven Differences Between Full Time RVers and The Rest Of Us http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/17-seven-differences-full-time-rvers-rest-us/ Wed, 24 Feb 2016 22:13:35 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=345 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/17-seven-differences-full-time-rvers-rest-us/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/17-seven-differences-full-time-rvers-rest-us/feed/ 0 <p>Shopping With The Full Time RVers Full time RVers are definitely looking for different things. I remember that first RV show Kris and I attended. It was in Portland, OR in 1984. I don’t even remember the name of the facility, but it was huge. Thousands of people and hundreds of motor homes, campers and […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/17-seven-differences-full-time-rvers-rest-us/">17. Seven Differences Between Full Time RVers and The Rest Of Us</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Shopping With The Full Time RVers

Full Time RVerFull time RVers are definitely looking for different things. I remember that first RV show Kris and I attended. It was in Portland, OR in 1984. I don’t even remember the name of the facility, but it was huge. Thousands of people and hundreds of motor homes, campers and trailers on site.

We walked through dozens of big trailers, 5th wheels and motor homes, dreaming of that day when we could retire and see the country. And we came home with a small popup tent trailer. Small enough to pull behind a Toyota Corolla, or my little 1983 Ford Ranger.

Those big expensive RVs are definitely cool. Who wouldn’t want one? A gourmet kitchen, gas fireplace and a big turbo-diesel to power you down the highway to that next luxury RV park. It’s an RVer’s dream. Then there’s this thing called life.

7 Differences Between Full Time RVers and The Rest Of Us

Camping, whether in a tent, a popup camper or a 40 foot toy hauler is a lifestyle. But it’s generally a lifestyle that starts with a few free weekends and a little extra cash. We may work our way into spending more time at it in our later years, even full timing. But starting out, the differences are huge.

The Budget

Younger couples with kids at home have many other priorities on their hard earned dollar. Everything from braces to band camp seem to take priority over that RV you’ve been drooling over. As the kids get older it’s cars, college, weddings and other big ticket items that take priority.

As we get older it seems to be healthcare and retirement savings that take priority over that dream RV. Cancer isn’t cheap. I bring this up mainly to stress the importance of taking your kids camping while everyone is young and healthy. The budget might be tight, but the memories are priceless.

Housing

We all need a home base, but the exact needs and priorities change. The bigger house may be a requirement when the family is young. Now that it’s just the two of us, Kris and I are fine with a smaller home and lower housing expenses. Some full timers may go as far as renting out their homes, or selling it entirely. Less spent on housing frees up funds for recreation.

How Connected Are You?

If you’re closing up the house and heading south for the winter, staying connected is important. Keeping up with children and grandchildren, being available for friends and taking care of business is important. You may want a smartphone with a big data plan for your internet needs. Everything from email to NetFlix can be accessed via smartphone when WiFi isn’t available.

When we’re heading out for the weekend, we rather enjoy being disconnected. We’d rather trade Facebook for a real book, a card game, fishing or a good walk. We don’t even have a TV in our camper. It breaks our hearts to see a mom, dad and 2 or 3 kids sitting around a fire, looking down at their phones. Talk about a wasted opportunity.

Packing The RV

It’s a matter of how much vs how little on this one. When you’re off for the weekend, you can leave so much more at home. Less food, clothing, tools, even fishing gear. You just don’t need as much stuff in that camper. You know you’ll be home in two or three days, so why pack what you aren’t going to use? Keep it light and easy.

The full timer will most likely pack more of everything. Things like the waffle iron and the blender will probably find their way into the cupboards. I would  certainly be packing more tools for that longer trip.

The Menu

Heading off for the weekend usually involves simple meal plans, or even a restaurant or two. It’s a getaway. The kitchen chores are part of what you may be getting away from. You also might be less concerned about healthy eating when it’s back to the grind on Monday.

Full time RVers will be more apt to plan healthier menus, larger stock-up style shopping trips and eat in the RV more often. They will most likely be a little more budget conscious when it comes to dining out.

The RV

My parents started out with a slide-in pickup camper. After all of us kids were gone, they went to a 24 foot travel trailer and parked it in an RV park in an Oregon beach town. They wanted the fixed bedroom and the bigger kitchen.

When they finally retired, a 28 foot 5th wheel came into the picture. It made a few snowbird winters in Arizona, as well as a few cross-country trips. As my father put it, “we don’t go to Arizona for the weather. We go to play with children our own age.”

As a funny side note, they sold that pickup camper to my uncle. Both retired, my father and uncle George took a 2500 mile road trip in that camper and had a blast. My uncle was legally blind by that point, but they were able to see some great historical sights nonetheless. We lost dad back in 1996, but that trip was one of his greatest retirement memories.

Shopping

The shopping experience is different in every case. Not just the RV you chose, but shopping for your trip and while on the road. Quality may trump convenience and price for a full time RVer.

A full time RVer will usually find something like a Walmart store, and buy groceries for a week or two. They’re probably less likely to grab a few things at a campground convenience store.

Call to Action

A website’s call to action usually involves something on the site. Sign up for my mailing list. Or, buy my e-book. That’s not my point with this article. My point is this. CAMP! Load up the family, leave the laptop and smartphones and go camping. Do what you can afford, but do something. Camping is one of the greatest family activities you could choose. Get out there and enjoy it.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 17. Seven Differences Between Full Time RVers and The Rest Of Us appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Shopping With The Full Time RVers Full time RVers are definitely looking for different things. I remember that first RV show Kris and I attended. It was in Portland, OR in 1984. I don’t even remember the name of the facility, but it was huge. Shopping With The Full Time RVers Full time RVers are definitely looking for different things. I remember that first RV show Kris and I attended. It was in Portland, OR in 1984. I don’t even remember the name of the facility, but it was huge. Thousands of people and hundreds of motor homes, campers and […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 36:23
16. 3 Alternatives To The VW Camper Bus http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/16-3-alternatives-to-the-vw-camper-bus/ Wed, 03 Feb 2016 22:12:30 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=340 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/16-3-alternatives-to-the-vw-camper-bus/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/16-3-alternatives-to-the-vw-camper-bus/feed/ 0 <p>We talked about the VW camper bus in the last episode. You love the concept, but you want something newer, safer and more reliable. Today we’ll talk about some other choices. Author’s Note: I will be completing this post later in the week. Because of this week’s snow storm, I am way behind in getting […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/16-3-alternatives-to-the-vw-camper-bus/">16. 3 Alternatives To The VW Camper Bus</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> We talked about the VW camper bus in the last episode. You love the concept, but you want something newer, safer and more reliable. Today we’ll talk about some other choices.

Author’s Note: I will be completing this post later in the week. Because of this week’s snow storm, I am way behind in getting the show published. More detailed show notes will follow.

VW Camper Bus Alternatives

I have 3 criteria for these choices.

  1. Four wheels. No dually or trailer towing.
  2. It must sleep 2-4 people.
  3. Affordable. We’re talking 15 to 30 grand affordable.

Half Ton Pickup and Popup Camper

Build Your Own Camper In A Conversion Van or Cargo Van

Jeep Wrangler and Ursa Minor

Share This:
Facebook

The post 16. 3 Alternatives To The VW Camper Bus appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
We talked about the VW camper bus in the last episode. You love the concept, but you want something newer, safer and more reliable. Today we’ll talk about some other choices. Author’s Note: I will be completing this post later in the week. We talked about the VW camper bus in the last episode. You love the concept, but you want something newer, safer and more reliable. Today we’ll talk about some other choices. Author’s Note: I will be completing this post later in the week. Because of this week’s snow storm, I am way behind in getting […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 30:19
15. Why America Loved the VW Camper Bus http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/15-america-loved-vw-camper-bus/ Mon, 11 Jan 2016 20:23:08 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=333 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/15-america-loved-vw-camper-bus/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/15-america-loved-vw-camper-bus/feed/ 2 <p>VW camper bus. You’ve got to be hiding under a rock if you don’t have an instant mental image when you hear those words. Commonly referred to as the Volkswagen Type 2, those air cooled, rear engine novelties were everywhere. And my favorite, the Westfalia camper van was the top of the line. The VW […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/15-america-loved-vw-camper-bus/">15. Why America Loved the VW Camper Bus</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> VW camper busVW camper bus. You’ve got to be hiding under a rock if you don’t have an instant mental image when you hear those words. Commonly referred to as the Volkswagen Type 2, those air cooled, rear engine novelties were everywhere. And my favorite, the Westfalia camper van was the top of the line.

The VW van continued on with other names. The Vanagon and others continued, but that old bus of the 60s and 70s still captures the minds and hearts of campers everywhere. The van still has a cult-like following with clubs and on-line communities.

Our VW Camper Bus Experience

I’ve owned a total of 8 Volkswagen vehicles in my life. 6 were air cooled. 4 were busses. Of those busses, 2 were campers. Kris and I loved the both of them. Everywhere we went, people had stories about those busses. Childhood memories, family experiences, or that relative that owned one. I’m betting you’re thinking of  VW type 2 story right now. This leads us to the question, and the obvious answers.

Why Did America Love The VW Camper Bus?

  1. Low purchase price. These camper vans were affordable to the average new car buyer. Fuel economy was pretty good too.
  2. Great Daily Driver. The VW camper functioned well as a commuter car, grocery getter and family truxter. The VW camper bus set the standard for dual purpose class B vehicles.
  3. A blast to drive. Never has so little horsepower been so much fun.
  4. An abundance of interior room. The pan frame made for a lower floor. That air-cooled flat 4 cylinder engine and trans-axle was compact.
  5. A great camper floor plan. The Westfalia camper package was basic and brilliant. Sportsmobile says it’s still the most requested floor plan in their custom class B motor homes.
  6. Accessories abound. Everything from roof racks, optional heaters, swamp coolers and performance engine parts were and are still available for the VW bus.

I’ve always said, everything’s a compromise when you choose an RV. Never before has the compromise been so much fun.

Should You Buy a Diesel Powered Tow Vehicle

I’m in the studio without Kris today, so I thought I’d give you my thoughts on owning a diesel powered vehicle. Having owned several, I can give you the pros and cons of diesel ownership.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 15. Why America Loved the VW Camper Bus appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
VW camper bus. You’ve got to be hiding under a rock if you don’t have an instant mental image when you hear those words. Commonly referred to as the Volkswagen Type 2, those air cooled, rear engine novelties were everywhere. And my favorite, VW camper bus. You’ve got to be hiding under a rock if you don’t have an instant mental image when you hear those words. Commonly referred to as the Volkswagen Type 2, those air cooled, rear engine novelties were everywhere. And my favorite, the Westfalia camper van was the top of the line. The VW […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 48:45
14. The Future of Camping and RVing http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/14-the-future-of-camping-and-rving/ Mon, 28 Dec 2015 20:21:54 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=322 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/14-the-future-of-camping-and-rving/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/14-the-future-of-camping-and-rving/feed/ 0 <p>  Let’s face it. The world is changing. Regardless of your views on big issues like climate change, global warming, the next ice age or the zombie apocalypse, the green movement is here to stay. It will direct our future energy supply, the cars we drive and the homes we live in. It will certainly […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/14-the-future-of-camping-and-rving/">14. The Future of Camping and RVing</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> The Future of Camping and RVing

 

Let’s face it. The world is changing. Regardless of your views on big issues like climate change, global warming, the next ice age or the zombie apocalypse, the green movement is here to stay. It will direct our future energy supply, the cars we drive and the homes we live in. It will certainly have an impact on how we enjoy travel, recreation and the great outdoors.

So, What Is The Future of Camping and RVing?

Several things make us believe the future of camping and RVing will bring serious change. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • Future EPA fuel mileage requirements will force even more efficient cars, with lower tow ratings. Check out this article in Car and Driver to gain some perspective on the issue. At least one former EPA director has admitted the goal of making the internal combustion engine obsolete by 2050.
  • Gas is cheap. Cheaper than it’s been in years. But, if you think it’s going to stay this way, Kris and I have some magic beans we would like to sell you. That big dually pickup and honking huge 5th wheel is going to be even more expensive to buy and operate.
  • Population growth will cause more pressure to be placed on the recreation areas the government protects. The emphasis on leaving your campground in better shape than you found it will be emphasized even more. Also, reservations for “prime” destinations like Yellowstone will be required several years in advance. Many of the top picks are already booked a year in advance.
  • Diesel engines are facing extinction. The World Health Organization has declared war on the diesel engine. The new smog equipment alone costs more than a gasoline engine, and the requirements are getting tougher. We will be pushed towards other alternatives as these high mileage workhorses slowly go away. Here’s  great article at Carthrottle.com for a little insight.
  • Cowboy XL CamperSmaller, lighter and more aerodynamic RVs are entering the marketplace every day. The trend for things like the Cowboy Camper will increase. This style of no overhang campers is making a big comeback these days.
  • Not everyone is willing or able to spend $150,00 or more on a higher end motor home. There will have to be alternatives other than the big class C motor home, for less money. Something you can add options to as you can afford them.
  • The end of the traditional camp fire. Between the concern for clean air and the increased fire danger with more campers in the woods, alternatives to the traditional wood burning, sparks flying camp fire will become more popular, if not mandatory.

Camping and RVing is here to stay

Make no doubt about it, we all love travel, camping, RVing and exploring the great outdoors. Kris and I still prefer to do it with a solid walled RV, equipped with a full sized bed and bathroom. It’s up to the creativity of the RV industry to offer smaller, lighter RVs that will meet the future needs and desires of the future. Along with some non-traditional future offerings, Kris and I look forward to the improvement of offerings in a few other segments.

  • The next level of teardrop trailers will be an evolution in minimalist RVing with many more creature comforts.
  • The modular camper offering where you buy your RV, then add upgrades as you can afford them.
  • Better plans, parts and suppliers for the do-it-yourself RV builder.
  • A big market for older, smaller vintage campers in rebuildable condition.
  • A new round of great gear for car campers and tent campers.

Pickup VS Jeep

Kris and I talked about the possibility of replacing our current pickup and camper with a jeep and a small trailer. It’s just in the discussion phase now, but you never know where the future will bring. It does make for some interesting conversation though.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 14. The Future of Camping and RVing appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
  Let’s face it. The world is changing. Regardless of your views on big issues like climate change, global warming, the next ice age or the zombie apocalypse, the green movement is here to stay. It will direct our future energy supply,   Let’s face it. The world is changing. Regardless of your views on big issues like climate change, global warming, the next ice age or the zombie apocalypse, the green movement is here to stay. It will direct our future energy supply, the cars we drive and the homes we live in. It will certainly […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 37:26
13. Winter Activities, Solving Camping Problems http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/winter-activities-solving-camping-problems/ Sun, 13 Dec 2015 23:55:04 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=313 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/winter-activities-solving-camping-problems/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/winter-activities-solving-camping-problems/feed/ 0 <p>In this episode we talk about winter activities, and we talk about solving camping problems we seem to find common. From storing your RV or camping gear, to asking for winter show ideas. There’s a full range of topics in episode 13. Solving Camping Problems topics discussed Ideas for better and more comfortable sleep. It’s […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/winter-activities-solving-camping-problems/">13. Winter Activities, Solving Camping Problems</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Stanley French Press

Our new stainless steel Stanley french press.

In this episode we talk about winter activities, and we talk about solving camping problems we seem to find common. From storing your RV or camping gear, to asking for winter show ideas. There’s a full range of topics in episode 13.

Solving Camping Problems

topics discussed

Keeping The Smell Out Of Your Stored RV or Camping Gear

  1. Store everything CLEAN.
  2. Partially fill an old sock with kitty litter and tie it off at the top. You can add a couple of these to your storage totes, or place them in cupboards of your RV.
  3. Place a dish pan full of ordinary BBQ charcoal in the center of your stored RV. It absorbs odors and moisture. If you’re in a humid area, you may need to change it now and then.
  4. If you have a stinky kitchen drain, drop an Alka-Seltzer down the drain and follow it up with a cup of vinegar. Obviously, you’ll want to do this before you winterize the RV.

French Press Coffee

We bought a Stanley Vacuum Steel French Press this week. This thing is great. 2 cups of great coffee, plus it stays hot and isn’t going to break. A full product review is soon to come. For now, we’ve landed on the perfect camp coffee.

Winter Activities

We have a few ideas to help keep your family in the camping spirit this winter. Everything from Jiffy Pop popcorn to day trips are fair game for family fun. We hope you like a few of our ideas. We would live to hear yours.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 13. Winter Activities, Solving Camping Problems appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
In this episode we talk about winter activities, and we talk about solving camping problems we seem to find common. From storing your RV or camping gear, to asking for winter show ideas. There’s a full range of topics in episode 13. In this episode we talk about winter activities, and we talk about solving camping problems we seem to find common. From storing your RV or camping gear, to asking for winter show ideas. There’s a full range of topics in episode 13. Solving Camping Problems topics discussed Ideas for better and more comfortable sleep. It’s […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 43:56
12. Eliminating Dangerous Formaldehyde Fumes In Your RV http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/12-eliminating-dangerous-formaldehyde-fumes-in-your-rv/ Mon, 30 Nov 2015 20:41:25 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=300 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/12-eliminating-dangerous-formaldehyde-fumes-in-your-rv/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/12-eliminating-dangerous-formaldehyde-fumes-in-your-rv/feed/ 0 <p>Who doesn’t remember Shasta travel trailers? Those cute little trailers have a style of their own. And they had wings. Small but prominent silver wings at each rear corner. Originally building the trailers for military housing, Shasta has changed ownership several times over the years. Now owned by Forest River RV, Shasta makes a fairly […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/12-eliminating-dangerous-formaldehyde-fumes-in-your-rv/">12. Eliminating Dangerous Formaldehyde Fumes In Your RV</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Dangerous formaldehyde in your RVWho doesn’t remember Shasta travel trailers? Those cute little trailers have a style of their own. And they had wings. Small but prominent silver wings at each rear corner. Originally building the trailers for military housing, Shasta has changed ownership several times over the years.

Now owned by Forest River RV, Shasta makes a fairly wide product line, but the little 16 footer with that vintage look is still around. Old fashion styling, retro colors and those silver wings make these things stand out. Kris and I have to ask if these things might hold up a little better than most when it comes to resale.

Formaldehyde Fumes In Your RV

Kris and I followed the link between the Shasta trailers of the past being used for military housing and the FEMA trailers of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. That lead us to the issue of formaldehyde fumes in your RV. Used in plywood, particle board and adhesives throughout most RVs, we feel it is something you need to be aware of.

In this episode, we will give you two methods used to deal with the formaldehyde fumes in your RV. Both are quite simple.

  1. The first method is to cook it out. Close up your RV with the furnace on high. Let it sit this way for at least 12 hours. Then air it out completely.
  2. Use household cleaning ammonia to neutralize the formaldehyde fumes. Again, air it out completely.

Recvehicle.com has a great article on how to do either of these methods. Take a look. It’s an inexpensive and easy process. Be sure that you open every door, cupboard and inside compartment when you perform either process.

Steve McQueen’s $98,000 RV

I’ve always been fascinated with pickup campers. The no overhang versions seem to draw me in the most. Part of the draw is the reality of the aerodynamic drag that overhead bunk causes. Part of the draw is the simplicity of the unit, and the affordability. I’ve even toyed with building my own custom 10 footer. The floor plan is in my head.

As it turns out, Steve McQueen had the same opinion. His 52 Chevy truck and custom camper went on the auction block earlier in the year. Fetching a little over $98,000, someone picked up a great piece of Americana, Hollywood and Billy Graham history, all in one package. It’s an interesting story. You can read more at Foxnews.com. Check out the spartan interior of both the truck and camper.

Bad RV Kitchen Hacks

Kris and I had to laugh over a few of the RV kitchen “hacks” we’ve found on line. The photos weren’t taken in an RV. The advice was just plain bad. In one article they even suggested hanging your sharp carving knives from a magnet on your camper’s wall. Another suggests hanging pots and pans from pegboard hooks.

Kris and I will be bringing you more and better RV hacks in the future. An RV hack shouldn’t involve opening your camper door and finding sharp knives stick into the floor of the unit.

Glamping Destination of the Week

Kris brings us Singletree Gun and Plough in Danbury NC as this episode’s glamping destination. Adjacent to Hanging Rock State Park, Singletree offers activities from hunting, fly fishing, kayaking and ziplining. Follow the link for more details.

Some Great Vintage Pictures

Thanks to Flickr and dwstucke for the use of the vintage Shasta image. Take some time to look at his great collection of vintage images. The picture was used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 12. Eliminating Dangerous Formaldehyde Fumes In Your RV appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Who doesn’t remember Shasta travel trailers? Those cute little trailers have a style of their own. And they had wings. Small but prominent silver wings at each rear corner. Originally building the trailers for military housing, Who doesn’t remember Shasta travel trailers? Those cute little trailers have a style of their own. And they had wings. Small but prominent silver wings at each rear corner. Originally building the trailers for military housing, Shasta has changed ownership several times over the years. Now owned by Forest River RV, Shasta makes a fairly […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 38:54
11. Keeping Rodents Out Of Your RV http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/11-keeping-rodents-out-of-your-rv/ Mon, 23 Nov 2015 21:42:44 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=297 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/11-keeping-rodents-out-of-your-rv/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/11-keeping-rodents-out-of-your-rv/feed/ 0 <p>Short show today. I promise next week we will be back to normal. This week I wanted to tell you about something we found to ward off rodents in your RV. is all natural. No chemicals or poisons. No rotting rodent carcasses to discover and remove. These things are going into our camper this week. […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/11-keeping-rodents-out-of-your-rv/">11. Keeping Rodents Out Of Your RV</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Short show today. I promise next week we will be back to normal.

This week I wanted to tell you about something we found to ward off rodents in your RV.

Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent (4 Pouch Box) Net Wt. 10 Ounce is all natural. No chemicals or poisons. No rotting rodent carcasses to discover and remove. These things are going into our camper this week.

 

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 11. Keeping Rodents Out Of Your RV appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Short show today. I promise next week we will be back to normal. This week I wanted to tell you about something we found to ward off rodents in your RV. is all natural. No chemicals or poisons. No rotting rodent carcasses to discover and remove. Short show today. I promise next week we will be back to normal. This week I wanted to tell you about something we found to ward off rodents in your RV. is all natural. No chemicals or poisons. No rotting rodent carcasses to discover and remove. These things are going into our camper this week. […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 20:45
Evaluating A Used Pickup Camper http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/evaluating-a-used-pickup-camper/ Mon, 16 Nov 2015 15:09:29 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=271 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/evaluating-a-used-pickup-camper/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/evaluating-a-used-pickup-camper/feed/ 0 <p>This week’s episode is about evaluating the condition and needed repairs of an older RV. In this case, our used pickup camper. I wrote a related article about whether or not we should upgrade to a newer pickup over at truckngpodcast.com. You can follow the link to read the article. Let’s start with our camping […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/evaluating-a-used-pickup-camper/">Evaluating A Used Pickup Camper</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> This week’s episode is about evaluating the condition and needed repairs of an older RV. In this case, our used pickup camper. I wrote a related article about whether or not we should upgrade to a newer pickup over at truckngpodcast.com. You can follow the link to read the article.

Let’s start with our camping journey. Camping was a big part of our lives back in the 80’s and 90’s. In our years of raising our children we’ve owned tents, popup tent trailers, a 24 foot travel trailer and 2 VW Westfalia Vans. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we explored the beach, the mountains and many small towns. Then we relocated to northern Wisconsin.

Fast forward 17 years.Evaluating a used pickup camper

After 11 years of getting 3 kids through high school, college, weddings etc., and over 5 years of Kris fighting cancer, we decided it’s time to rediscover camping. We set the following criteria.

  1. A slide-in pickup camper. We already owned a 3/4 ton pickup, and I’ve always loved pickup campers.
  2. Hard sides. Although some of the soft sides are nice, we really like the security and warmth of the solid walls.
  3. A bathroom. Or, at minimum, a flushing toilet.
  4. We are still 7 to 10 years away from retirement, so breaking the bank on this wasn’t an option. We set a tight limit, and came in under.
  5. Kris was pretty firm about keeping away from anything with green shag, 70’s wood tones and two-tone brown siding.

What we ended up with is what you see in the picture, a 1993 Skamper 8 1/2 foot used pickup camper.

Evaluating A Used Pickup Camper – Ours

I’m glad we were budget conscious when we bought our camper. Although I checked it over well before we bought it, I missed a few things. Now that we’ve had it out on a few weekend trips, and an extended trip out west, it’s time to take a close look and decide whether we want to spend some money in repairs and upgrades. The other option is to sell the unit as-is, and start over. Hopefully this article will help some of you avoid a few of the problems we’ve encountered.

Jacks

Our Skamper has 4 hydraulic jacks, one at each corner. I’ve always heard that these Hydraulic jacks are the only way to go, but I’m not so sure. I’ve worked with gear driven crank jacks in the past, and I will admit it is more work. But they’re tough. They may even take a bit longer to raise and lower.

The bright side of the gear driven jacks is mostly the cost. Our camper came with the nicer hydraulic jacks, but with one little glitch. The front jack on the driver’s side leaks. The dilemma is whether to repair the single jack, or replace all 4 with more cosmetically appealing jacks, even if they’re a little more work. Of course, I could have the jack repaired, or order a kit to rebuild the leaky part. Repair would cost $100 or less.

Lights, Inside and Out

Starting with the inside, every light works. I would like to change all the bulbs to LED. They use about 17% of the electrical draw of the old ones, important when boondocking. We also need to replace some broken lenses and add a reading light or two to the bunk.

The exterior lights are another issue. I’ll address the tail lights a little later, but several of the clearance lights didn’t work. Replacing a bulb or two took care of the back and side markers. The orange markers up front are all dark, but I haven’t gotten up there to check on them. If they all have power, I would like to replace the fixtures.

The porch light is out, and that fixture is in need of an update. I’m estimating around $60 for the electrical repairs. Shop around for fixtures and LED bulbs. I can find the bulbs at our local farm supply store for about a third of the cost of the big camping stores.

Tail Lights

Skamper pickup camperThe tail lights worked when we purchased the Scamper, but I could tell they’ve been removed and replaced more than once. I went ahead and replaced them once more. Although I didn’t connect backup lights, I am a stickler for tail lights and brake lights.

Take a look at that lower wing. The tail light is mounted on the rear side of this decorative panel.These serve no purpose other than cosmetic, but they have a few drawbacks.

  1. They totally block the space between the camper wall and the inner wall of the truck bed. This could be utilized for storage space.
  2. They catch wind. I can’t say how much fuel mileage can be saved without them, but they are definitely wasting fuel.
  3. They block the truck’s tail lights. The camper only extends about 4 inches beyond the tail lights. If I remove these decorative wings altogether, I no longer need camper tail lights. I think I would add 3 DOT style marker lights below the door if I removed them just to be safe. This cost would be minimal, maybe $20 for the edge trim.

The other option is to install vented access doors in each panel. This would allow the desired access without taking away the finished look of the camper’s back side.

Above The Entry Door

As you can see, there are a couple of skin cracks above the door frame. After talking to a couple of RV techs, I attribute this to a previous owner over tightening the rear tie downs. with the camper extending a half foot beyond the bed floor, this could make sense. This is just a matter of patching in a cosmetically appealing way.

Another way to help, we will try a trip or two in the spring with the tailgate on. This would leave 11 or 12 inches as a landing, then our steps. It would help support the back of the camper, and ease entry and exit.  It would just make everything about 11 inches longer.

The Big Repair

Saving the best for last, I will have to remove front skin to replace some damaged wood. Pulling a few screws under the front corners of the overhang confirmed my  suspicion of a small leak, and some rotted wood. The repair sounds daunting, but it really isn’t difficult.  Pull the skin back, replace the damaged wood and insulation, put the skin back. It’s an isolated area, and I caught it early.

Tie-downs and Batteries

I’m happy with the Torque Lift tie-downs that came with the camper, but it adds another step to the loading and unloading process. I am considering shortening them enough that I wouldn’t have to remove the outer bar when I have the camper off. Right now, they stick out too far to clear the front jacks. They also create a bit of a hazard by just sticking out too far when the camper’s off. Two inches off of each side would solve the problem.

Batteries are another issue. I’ve added a deep cycle RV battery and an isolator. The isolator allows the RV battery to charge when the truck is running. When the ignition is off, the camper only has access to the RVs batteries. For now, the battery sits in the front corner of the truck box beside the camper. There’s room for another on the other side.

I would like to bring this battery inside the camper. With the battery inside, the camper is functional without being on the back of the truck. A solar trickle charger would keep the battery up to snuff when the camper is stored.

Here’s the solar charger I am going to use for the battery. It’s important to have a smart charger, not just a trickle charger. This will keep your batteries fully charged without overcharging.

One More Thing,  A Shower

One thing we don’t have is a shower. We have a lighted bathroom with a vent and a marine toilet. In deciding the fate of our little Skamper, we are asking ourselves whether or not we need a shower. A camper with a shower would also bring a water heater and a grey water tank into the equation. Being mostly weekend campers, it may not be a big deal.

If we decide on the shower, I’ll shave some of the upgrades and we will sell the camper. Otherwise, you’ve just seen my fall and spring repair list. It really isn’t a big expense. Just a weekend project or two.

What’s On Your Winter List?

What are your RV projects? Do you have a few upgrades or repairs you need to get to while you’re waiting for winter to pass? Are you thinking of an upgrade? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post Evaluating A Used Pickup Camper appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
This week’s episode is about evaluating the condition and needed repairs of an older RV. In this case, our used pickup camper. I wrote a related article about whether or not we should upgrade to a newer pickup over at truckngpodcast.com. This week’s episode is about evaluating the condition and needed repairs of an older RV. In this case, our used pickup camper. I wrote a related article about whether or not we should upgrade to a newer pickup over at truckngpodcast.com. You can follow the link to read the article. Let’s start with our camping […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 41:40
9. Buying a Used RV – Follow Your Nose and feet http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/9-buying-a-used-rv-follow-your-nose-and-feet/ Mon, 02 Nov 2015 20:44:43 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=265 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/9-buying-a-used-rv-follow-your-nose-and-feet/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/9-buying-a-used-rv-follow-your-nose-and-feet/feed/ 0 <p>Shopping for anything used is always a buyer-beware adventure. Buying a used travel trailer or camper is no different. Today Kris and I will spend some time on buying used. Your Nose and Feet Can Tell You Plenty When Buying a Used RV New and used, Kris and I have bought a few RVs over […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/9-buying-a-used-rv-follow-your-nose-and-feet/">9. Buying a Used RV – Follow Your Nose and feet</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Shopping for anything used is always a buyer-beware adventure. Buying a used travel trailer or camper is no different. Today Kris and I will spend some time on buying used.

Your Nose and Feet Can Tell You Plenty When Buying a Used RV

Buying a Used RV

There’s a fine line between Camping and Griswold when it comes to home RV conversions.

New and used, Kris and I have bought a few RVs over the years. Only 2 of them were new. I’ve also looked over my share of used campers and trailers in the process. There’s quite a lot to consider, but let’s look at the things that would take a unit off our list of possibilities the quickest.

Leaks can be an RV killer. The mold they can cause can also be a health issue. If a unit’s been leaking, it’s probably easier to just move on to the next RV on your list. Here are two of the quickest ways to spot a leak that may not be obvious.

  1. Follow your nose. Did the unit smell funky when you first opened the door? Open the cupboards and closets. Give them a good sniff. If you smell something that doesn’t belong, you know you need to dig deeper.
  2. How solid does that floor feel under your feet? Soft floors are a sign of wet or rotting wood under the flooring. That’s probably more work than you bargained for.

Remember, you have several different systems that should all be checked. Even if the previous owner says they work. You may have to bring your own battery and extension cords to test them.

  • 110 volt
  • 12 volt
  • propane stove, furnace and water heater
  • water system
  • hitch and trailer plug
  • axles and bearings

When I bought our camper, the previous owner said everything worked when he parked it. It probably did, but 3 or 4 years of sitting allowed a lot of seals to dry up. I’ve replaced seals and gaskets everywhere water goes in or out.

Glamping

Today Kris takes us to Arizona, and Arizona Luxury Expeditions, LLC. Be sure to check out the photo gallery on their website.

Classic or Griswold

You found an old U-Haul truck, and you convert it to a motor home. Camping or Griswold? It’s all in the execution.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 9. Buying a Used RV – Follow Your Nose and feet appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Shopping for anything used is always a buyer-beware adventure. Buying a used travel trailer or camper is no different. Today Kris and I will spend some time on buying used. Your Nose and Feet Can Tell You Plenty When Buying a Used RV New and used, Shopping for anything used is always a buyer-beware adventure. Buying a used travel trailer or camper is no different. Today Kris and I will spend some time on buying used. Your Nose and Feet Can Tell You Plenty When Buying a Used RV New and used, Kris and I have bought a few RVs over […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 45:22
8. Our Biggest RV Mistakes http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/8-our-biggest-rv-mistakes/ Mon, 19 Oct 2015 19:16:00 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=231 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/8-our-biggest-rv-mistakes/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/8-our-biggest-rv-mistakes/feed/ 0 <p>Kris and I talked in episode 6 about the first of our RV mistakes, buying the wrong travel trailer. We had our choice narrowed down to 2 units. The first, a 21 foot single axle unit with an open floor plan. We both fell in love with it. Although it didn’t have the tandem axles […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/8-our-biggest-rv-mistakes/">8. Our Biggest RV Mistakes</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> our biggest rv mistakesKris and I talked in episode 6 about the first of our RV mistakes, buying the wrong travel trailer. We had our choice narrowed down to 2 units.

The first, a 21 foot single axle unit with an open floor plan. We both fell in love with it. Although it didn’t have the tandem axles I was hoping for, it was a great layout for a young couple with 3 little kids. And it fit in the budget.

The second was a 24 foot model. Although I didn’t really like the floor plan, Kris really seemed to like it. And it had the tandem axles I was hoping for. We ended up buying this one.

As we found out several months later, Kris went along with this trailer because she thought I really wanted the tandem axles. I went along with it because I thought she really liked the floor plan. As it turned out, the only thing it had on our list was tandem axles, and we really didn’t need them.

The Snowball Of Our Biggest RV Mistakes.

Starting with that first mistake, the cause and effect of more mistakes down the line ended up costing us thousands. Here is the chain of RV mistakes, in order.

Not Finding Out What Our Vehicle Could Tow

We owned an Oldsmobile Cutlass wagon when we bought this trailer. With a V8 and rear wheel drive, this thing should pull anything. Right?

Wrong. The rear end wasn’t geared for towing. On our first trip to the beach, about a 100 mile journey, it rarely made it out of second gear. Had I done my homework, I would have known ahead of time and either made the appropriate upgrades on the wagon or we would have picked a trailer that was about 1,000 pounds lighter.

As it turned out, that little 21 footer we both were really happy with would have been fine.

Buying The Wrong Hitch

As a money-saving step, I found a used hitch. It was a weight distributing hitch, rated up to 15,000 pounds. Knowing the trailer was less than a third of that weight, and was a great price, I jumped on it.

Along with being the slowest RV on the road, cruising along in 2nd gear, the ride was hideous. It wasn’t bouncy. It was Violently bumpy. If you know anything about weight distributing hitches, you know that those load leveling bars flex. Not!! a 3,600 pound trailer doesn’t flex the bars on a 15,000 pound hitch system.  It just shakes your teeth out.

Had I done my homework, I would have known to look for a hitch that maxed out at 5,000 pounds. It’s also important to point out how lucky I was that nothing was damaged. I could have easily bent the frame on the trailer.

Adding a Few Needed Accessories

We call this putting makeup on a pig. In an effort to make the trailer a better camping experience all around, we refinanced the RV at a better interest rate. We also added a new weight distributing hitch with the proper rating, an air conditioning unit and an awning with a screen room and add-a-room feature.

Buying A New Vehicle

Being a muscle car enthusiast, I wish I had that Cutlass now. It would be a real eye catcher. But we decided to trade it in and buy something that fit our family and would tow the trailer. The replacement was a conversion van. Now we had a trailer that we thought would work, and a really cool van to tow with.  We also had bigger payments on both.

I’m not sure how we might have seen this one coming, but that van had one serious flaw. If you are prone to motion sickness, a short ride in the back of one of these vans will have you tossing cookies in no time. That was the case with one of our daughters. We couldn’t get out of the neighborhood without the poor kid getting sick.

Assessing The Situation

Remember, we started this out with a cute little tent trailer. The payments were low. You could pull it behind a 4 cylinder car and it was a blast. It just wasn’t going to work until our twin girls were a year or two old.

Now we found ourselves with a trailer we were never happy with, a tow vehicle we couldn’t use, and a couple of big payments.

Needless to say, we ended up trading it all in on a practical family car. Camping would have to wait a year or two and we would regroup, starting with a tent.

Glamping In A Treehouse

Kris found a great glamping destination for this week. In fact, we may give this one a try. The Mohicans Tree Houses, Cabins and Event Center in Glenmont, Ohio is this week’s pick. Follow the link to Themohicans.net for details.

All this, a Classic or Griswold, and a phone call about camping coffee in this episode of Tom and Kris Camping.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 8. Our Biggest RV Mistakes appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Kris and I talked in episode 6 about the first of our RV mistakes, buying the wrong travel trailer. We had our choice narrowed down to 2 units. The first, a 21 foot single axle unit with an open floor plan. We both fell in love with it. Kris and I talked in episode 6 about the first of our RV mistakes, buying the wrong travel trailer. We had our choice narrowed down to 2 units. The first, a 21 foot single axle unit with an open floor plan. We both fell in love with it. Although it didn’t have the tandem axles […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 44:17
7. Affordable Custom Campers By Capri – Interview http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/affordable-custom-camper-capri-campers/ Mon, 12 Oct 2015 00:12:34 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=218 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/affordable-custom-camper-capri-campers/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/affordable-custom-camper-capri-campers/feed/ 0 <p>There’s an old saying in the business world. It’s what many businesses consider a key to success. That saying is “a foot wide, and a mile deep.” The point is to do only a few things, and do them well. Such is the case with Capri Campers. A Conversation With Pete D’Acosta of Capri Campers […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/affordable-custom-camper-capri-campers/">7. Affordable Custom Campers By Capri – Interview</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> There’s an old saying in the business world. It’s what many businesses consider a key to success. That saying is “a foot wide, and a mile deep.” The point is to do only a few things, and do them well. Such is the case with Capri Campers.

Capri Retreat CamperA Conversation With Pete D’Acosta of Capri Campers

Three things really intrigued me when Kris and I covered the Capri Cowboy camper in a previous episode.

  1. Capri Campers only builds 3 models of slide-in pickup campers. That’s it, 3.
  2. You can order only what you desire and can afford. Cut back or add on features as your needs and budget allow.
  3. Capri Campers, located about 90 miles southwest of Dallas TX, built it’s name by serving the rodeo cowboy market. Although they fill many other niches, the heart of Capri is still following the rodeo cowboy and building the camper they need.

I reached out to Capri and was able to catch up with Pete D’Acosta for a conversation about his company. Pete is excited about the future of Capri Campers, and plans on staying a foot wide and a mile deep with what the company builds, pickup campers.

You will notice a quite a few unique things about their campers.

  • Their gear driven camper jacks work great with a cordless power drill, saving you money.
  • Hearing about the tie-down system is a slap-your-forehead moment. Why didn’t anyone else think of that? Again, it saves money.
  • They have a wide price range, but all are quite affordable. They start out around the $4,000 range and top out at around $16,000.
  • They’re on the lighter side of the weight scale. Depending on what you’re towing behind the pickup, a half ton truck may be all you need.
  • You have the ability to leave room for more storage. Want a place to store that saddle? No problem.
  • Following the link to the Capri Community, rodeo fans will recognize quite a few names of contenders and champions using the campers.

Cowboy

Capri Cowboy CamperThis was the first Capri that caught my eye. Minimalist by design, it provides basic needs. Love the compact size, but want some options? No problem. Loosing the overhang saves weight, improves aerodynamics and fuel economy and it keeps the price down.

Maverick

capri mavrickThe maverick is the mid-range. A 45″ cab-over bunk and 6′ of standing height make the Maverick a little more comfortable. Again, a full list of options and upgrades are available. It can sleep up to 4, depending on how you have it built.

Retreat

The Retreat (pictured top) is the largest model. It feaures a 55″ cab-over bunk and a 6’4″ stand-up height.  This one has the longest list of features and upgrades.

All 3 of these campers give you a large variety of color options and interior choices. Kris enjoyed all of the different wood choices for the interior. I love the fact that you only pay for what you need.

Contact Capri Campers

View their website at CapriCamper.com

Email Capri Campers at info@capricamper.com

Give them a call at 254-728-3226

My Thoughts On A Future Model

Now this is just Tom, thinking out loud. I think there’s another niche that hasn’t been filled. What about a slide-in pickup camper with full features, but no overhang? Something like the Capri Cowboy, but with 6′ of standing height and a shower. Light weight and aerodynamic and affordable. I even have floor plans, floating around in my head.

A big thanks to Pete for taking the time to talk with us. I have no doubt Capri Campers has a bright future ahead of them.

 

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 7. Affordable Custom Campers By Capri – Interview appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
There’s an old saying in the business world. It’s what many businesses consider a key to success. That saying is “a foot wide, and a mile deep.” The point is to do only a few things, and do them well. Such is the case with Capri Campers. There’s an old saying in the business world. It’s what many businesses consider a key to success. That saying is “a foot wide, and a mile deep.” The point is to do only a few things, and do them well. Such is the case with Capri Campers. A Conversation With Pete D’Acosta of Capri Campers […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 47:17
6. The Wrong Way To Buy Your Dream RV http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/6-the-wrong-way-to-buy-your-dream-rv/ Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:41:44 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=207 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/6-the-wrong-way-to-buy-your-dream-rv/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/6-the-wrong-way-to-buy-your-dream-rv/feed/ 0 <p>When Your Dream RV Becomes a Nightmare Today’s feature story helps us define one of our goals here at Tom and Kris Camping. We don’t want to see you stuck with an RV you may  no longer be able to use. We found this story at trivalleycentral.com and it’s worth your time if you are […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/6-the-wrong-way-to-buy-your-dream-rv/">6. The Wrong Way To Buy Your Dream RV</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> When Your Dream RV Becomes a Nightmare

Dream RVToday’s feature story helps us define one of our goals here at Tom and Kris Camping. We don’t want to see you stuck with an RV you may  no longer be able to use. We found this story at trivalleycentral.com and it’s worth your time if you are thinking about a major RV purchase.

The story features a couple who purchased their dream RV  ten years ago. They bought the 31′ motor home for $105,000. With no money down, they financed the entire balance for 20 years. That was in 2004.

Now the husband is 75 years old and in poor health. The motor home is on consignment at a local RV dealership. The owners still owe $56,000 and the rig is worth a little less than $40,000. If and when it sells, they will have to make up the shortage. They will also have to pay the dealer a commission on the unit.

This wasn’t a smart buying decision. It’s a big part of why we focus on the more affordable units like truck campers. It’s also why we love tent trailers for younger families just getting into the RV lifestyle.

The Failed Coffee Concentrate Experiment

You can listen to the show for details, but our attempt at cold pressed coffee concentrate for camping sounded so good. Just add one part coffee concentrate to two parts boiling water, and enjoy. FAIL!! It was a total pain in the behind to make, and tasted average at best. Definitely overpriced, inconvenient, and nowhere near the final product of our expectations.

Glamping Airstream Style

Kris chose an Airstream experience in Florida for the glamping segment. You chose where. They bring the Airstream, set it up and show you how everything works. You can even have it set up in Disney’s campground. Follow the link to glampinghub.com for details.

Lees-ure Lite Update

We talked about Lees-ure Lite trailers in episode five. These trailers are compact and easy to tow. We were rather concerned about storage space. Dawn from Lees-ure Lite let us know that the entire bed area is storage space when you fold up the trailer. There’s room for the A/C unit, a porta-potty and all of your gear. We appreciate their response to our show.

Ecocapsule

The Ecocapsule is a concept at this point, but they claim a trailer frame is in the plans. This compact tiny home has a wind mill, a solar paneled roof and aerodynamic design. Let’s wait and see if it ever comes to be.

Classic or Griswold

Dream RVThis week’s Classic or Griswold segment centers an an early 70s Travco motorhome. These were built on a Dodge frame. What would you think if someone parked this in your yard for a month?

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 6. The Wrong Way To Buy Your Dream RV appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
When Your Dream RV Becomes a Nightmare Today’s feature story helps us define one of our goals here at Tom and Kris Camping. We don’t want to see you stuck with an RV you may  no longer be able to use. We found this story at trivalleycentral. When Your Dream RV Becomes a Nightmare Today’s feature story helps us define one of our goals here at Tom and Kris Camping. We don’t want to see you stuck with an RV you may  no longer be able to use. We found this story at trivalleycentral.com and it’s worth your time if you are […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 51:09
5. Ultra Lite Pop-up Trailers, Toterhome Campers http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/5-ultra-lite-pop-up-trailers-toterhome-campers/ Mon, 21 Sep 2015 00:32:59 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=167 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/5-ultra-lite-pop-up-trailers-toterhome-campers/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/5-ultra-lite-pop-up-trailers-toterhome-campers/feed/ 1 <p>Pop-up camp trailers come  in many sizes, but in this episode we’ll talk about an ultra-lite model. Lees-ure Lite is located in B.C. Canada and manufactures a line of light weight camp trailers. We’re talking under 300 pounds light weight. Built on a 600lb axle, that leaves you 0ver 300 pounds for your food and […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/5-ultra-lite-pop-up-trailers-toterhome-campers/">5. Ultra Lite Pop-up Trailers, Toterhome Campers</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> ultra lite trailer

Stay warm, dry and off the ground.

Pop-up camp trailers come  in many sizes, but in this episode we’ll talk about an ultra-lite model. Lees-ure Lite is located in B.C. Canada and manufactures a line of light weight camp trailers. We’re talking under 300 pounds light weight. Built on a 600lb axle, that leaves you 0ver 300 pounds for your food and gear. That also ensures you can tow it with practically anything, including many motorcycles.

closed ultra lite

Closed and ready for travel.

This trailer fills a niche, and fills it well. Scott, a listener to the podcast uses one of these camp trailers with his wife and two kids. The kids use sleeping bags and sleep on the floor.

Unlike a tent, the floor portion is hard, flat and off the ground. The clam shell design is easy to set up and take down. Rather than plastic or vinyl, the tent sides are fabric. Looking at the website, you can see a fair list of options.  We weren’t too sure about that air conditioner bracket, but everything else looked like there’s something for everyone.

This is a bare essentials trailer. No kitchen or bath accommodations here. Just a warm, dry place to sleep and a compact package. It could be a blast with the right camping gear. It also lets you get into camping without having to upgrade your tow vehicle.

Note: We reached out to Lees-ure Lite after the show. They were kind enough to provide us with pictures, as well as clear up some questions about storage. The bed area provides enough storage space for the A/C unit we talked about, a porta-potty  and plenty of room left over for gear.  We will bring you an update on the next show.

Classic or Griswold

Toyota MotorhomeThis week’s Classic or Griswold is an early 90s Toyota motor home. You will have to listen to the show to understand why we deemed it Griswold. Kris has a low opinion of the little camper that could, but I’ve always had a soft spot for them.

Glamping

Kris chose the Sequoia High Sierra Camp for her glamping destination this week. Unfortunately, the camp is closed do to fires. Let’s hope it remains undamaged and is able to reopen next spring. Check them out at sequoiahighsierracamp.com and see if mountain hiking and horseback riding Sequoia style is for you.

We also discussed toterhomes, RVs made to tow things lake race cars, horse trailers and the like. Could a budget camper on a pickup make a nice substitute?

We passed a used pop-up camper that had a $1,200 price tag in large green numbers. Could this be a great first timer’s camper? Or, could it be one big can of worms? We’re thinking it’s a little bit of both.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 5. Ultra Lite Pop-up Trailers, Toterhome Campers appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Pop-up camp trailers come  in many sizes, but in this episode we’ll talk about an ultra-lite model. Lees-ure Lite is located in B.C. Canada and manufactures a line of light weight camp trailers. We’re talking under 300 pounds light weight. Pop-up camp trailers come  in many sizes, but in this episode we’ll talk about an ultra-lite model. Lees-ure Lite is located in B.C. Canada and manufactures a line of light weight camp trailers. We’re talking under 300 pounds light weight. Built on a 600lb axle, that leaves you 0ver 300 pounds for your food and […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 45:31
4. Two Budget Pickup Campers, New Show Segments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/4-two-budget-pickup-campers/ Mon, 07 Sep 2015 19:07:26 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=146 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/4-two-budget-pickup-campers/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/4-two-budget-pickup-campers/feed/ 0 <p>Let’s get down to truck camper basics here. You’re looking for a few simple things. A light camper that that doesn’t overload a half ton pickup. Basic amenities. A sink, stove and ice box. A dinette or sofa that folds into a bed. A few options like air conditioning, a corner kitchen and a 3 […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/4-two-budget-pickup-campers/">4. Two Budget Pickup Campers, New Show Segments</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Budget Truck Campers

The Cowboy, By Capri. They also build 2 larger models with the traditional bunk over the cab.

Let’s get down to truck camper basics here. You’re looking for a few simple things.

  • A light camper that that doesn’t overload a half ton pickup.
  • Basic amenities. A sink, stove and ice box. A dinette or sofa that folds into a bed.
  • A few options like air conditioning, a corner kitchen and a 3 way refrigerator.
  • A price that’s affordable.
  • Better fuel mileage than traditional truck campers.

Two New Budget Pickup Campers That Just May Work

Kris and I were visiting our almost local pickup camper dealer a few weeks ago. I say almost because it’s about 55 miles way, but he’s the closest new camper dealer to our small town. A big thank you to Jeff Rollins, owner of J and J RV in Eau Claire WI for spending some time talking about truck campers, and RVs in general. Our focus was budget pickup campers and popup camp trailers. Check out their website at jandjrv.com.

As you read this, keep in mind that we barely had a website up at this point. Not a single podcast episode was published yet, but when Jeff heard what Kris and I were working on he was glad to talk with us. He was also excited about a new pickup camper model, soon to be on his lot.

The camper Jeff was excited about was the new Travel Lite Rayzr. The Rayzr is a light weight camper with a twist. No overhang or cab-over bed. In fact, the front sweeps slightly back from the top of the pickup cab to the roof line. A true solid wall option for anyone looking for a camper that’s easy on the pocket book. This could be the ultimate budget pickup camper. Built in Indiana, we’re hoping one makes its way to J and J soon.

You can check out more details on their website, travellitecampers.com. Scroll to the bottom of the page for pictures.

The other option we found on line was from Capri Campers in Texas. I actually heard about Capri’s Cowboy camper from a bronco rider and part time trucker. Capri only builds three models. The Cowboy is about as basic as you can get, but you certainly can option it up. Check them out at Capricampers.com.

Another big advantage of these models is they both leave you with more capacity to tow a boat, horse trailer or whatever else you want to haul. Most half ton trucks could haul one of these campers and a decent trailer without overloading the truck. That’s important. That’s BIG.

Classic or Griswold?

Classic Camper, class BThis will be a new segment to the podcast. Every week we will offer a picture of an RV. It may be a pickup camper, travel trailer or motor home, but it’ll be a little out of the ordinary. You get to decide if it looks like a classic, or that RV parked in front of the Griswold house in the movie Christmas Vacation.

This week’s subject is this 90s looking class B motor home. Don’t get us wrong. It has some redeeming values, but is it classic?

Glamping Destination of the week

Another regular segment, this week’s glamping segment takes us to West Yellowstone, WY and Yellowstone Under Canvas. Kris will bring you full details on the luxury tents and guided activities this location has to offer.

Camping and Kids

We also talk about an article from the U.K. that discusses the positive affects of camping and “caravanning” on kids. You can read the entire article at  Campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk to get all the details.

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 4. Two Budget Pickup Campers, New Show Segments appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
Let’s get down to truck camper basics here. You’re looking for a few simple things. A light camper that that doesn’t overload a half ton pickup. Basic amenities. A sink, stove and ice box. A dinette or sofa that folds into a bed. Let’s get down to truck camper basics here. You’re looking for a few simple things. A light camper that that doesn’t overload a half ton pickup. Basic amenities. A sink, stove and ice box. A dinette or sofa that folds into a bed. A few options like air conditioning, a corner kitchen and a 3 […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 44:43
3. Glamping, The Shakedown Cruise, Old Airstreams http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/glamping-old-airstreams/ Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:47:58 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=129 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/glamping-old-airstreams/#comments http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/glamping-old-airstreams/feed/ 2 <p>This was an important weekend for us. It was the first real camping trip in our recently purchased camper.  In a campground close to home, we could see what our 22 year old slide-in camper was made of. We even had a serious thunderstorm Saturday,the second night. The camper held up well. High and dry, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/glamping-old-airstreams/">3. Glamping, The Shakedown Cruise, Old Airstreams</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> rustic pickup and camper

No, This isn’t our old Ford and camper.

This was an important weekend for us. It was the first real camping trip in our recently purchased camper.  In a campground close to home, we could see what our 22 year old slide-in camper was made of. We even had a serious thunderstorm Saturday,the second night. The camper held up well. High and dry, Kris and I listened to the lightning and thunder from the cab-over bed.

Goals of The Shakedown Cruise

  • Find any camper issues in need of repair.
  • Catch up on a little reading.
  • See what a few others were using for camping.
  • Plan a podcast episode or two.
  • Just have fun camping again.

Mission accomplished. We had a great time, the camper served us well and we saw some cool stuff.

Glamping

Otherwise known as glamour camping, glamping is catching on as a trend. According to Glamping.com, glamping pairs destinations with the intimacy of camping and the world of luxury travel.

Choices include tents with luxurious beds, Yurts with room service and 5 star hotel service in an Airstream. No cooking, cleaning or making the bed. Kris has more details on this new type of lodging.

The Tax Money

Even buying new, RVing doesn’t have to be expensive. Many of the new motor homes are approaching $150,000 or more. Most average around 8.5% sales tax and license fees. That’s $12,750. Do you know how many RV options exist for just the taxes due on one of these things?

Catered Camping

This article from OutsideOnLine.com describes how it works. You can even order your meals from a smartphone app. You place your order and your meals arrive at your home, boxed and ready for your camping or backpacking trip. Take some time and check out the prices and menu items available from FiresideProvisions.com.

I’m especially impressed with their backpacker’s provisions.  Lighter in weight and denser in calories, combined with great menu options.

Vintage Airstream

Kris spotted an older Airstream trailer in the campground. I had to go check out her find. It turned out to be 1962 Airstream International. In need of restoration, it was the maiden voyage for the old silver bullet. Even in it’s unrestored condition, it was a work of art.

Attribution Licence: Thank you James Brooks and Flickr for the use of the picture.

Share This:
Facebook

The post 3. Glamping, The Shakedown Cruise, Old Airstreams appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
This was an important weekend for us. It was the first real camping trip in our recently purchased camper.  In a campground close to home, we could see what our 22 year old slide-in camper was made of. We even had a serious thunderstorm Saturday, This was an important weekend for us. It was the first real camping trip in our recently purchased camper.  In a campground close to home, we could see what our 22 year old slide-in camper was made of. We even had a serious thunderstorm Saturday,the second night. The camper held up well. High and dry, […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean
2. Don’t Be A Touron http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/2-camco-tow-and-see-mirrors/ Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:58:50 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=117 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/2-camco-tow-and-see-mirrors/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/2-camco-tow-and-see-mirrors/feed/ 0 <p>What’s a Touron? A touron is  tourist doing something stupid. A moron tourist. Touron. They make bad choices that make life harder for everyone. Here are some common touron mistakes and how to avoid them. 1. No mirrors. At least none wide enough to see around the load you’re hauling. Most commonly hauling a boat, […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/2-camco-tow-and-see-mirrors/">2. Don’t Be A Touron</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> What’s a Touron?

A touron is  tourist doing something stupid. A moron tourist. Touron. They make bad choices that make life harder for everyone. Here are some common touron mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. No mirrors. At least none wide enough to see around the load you’re hauling. Most commonly hauling a boat, this touron gets into the left lane of the freeway, then stays there. He does this because he can’t see around the boat or RV he’s hauling. The solution? Towing mirrors. At the very least, a set of Camco Tow and See mirrors would do the trick. I want something better, but these things are the minimum standard.

2. Overloading the trailer. This common touron mistake can be seen regularly. Towing a boat or smaller RV, they packed too much gear into the unit and overloaded the trailer to the point of failure. If they’re lucky, the failure will occur at the tire, not the wheel bearing. Know the load rating of that trailer. Maintain the axles and don’t go nuts overloading the thing.

3. Re-purposing old trailers. There’s nothing wrong with buying an older trailer for the frame and axle, then building what you want. We love home built RVs. Just know what you’ve bought and don’t overbuild. If you build a 2 ton camper on an 800lb axle, you’re a touron. You will be sitting on the side of the road. It’s just a matter of when.

4. Overloading The Vehicle. Even if you’re not towing, be careful about just how much you add to that vehicle. Your car or truck was only designed to hold so much weight. Roof racks and trunk racks are nice, but watch just how heavy you go with this stuff. Just like the trailer, when you start overloading, stuff fails.

5. Tire Selection and Care. Tires have a load rating. They also have a range for the air pressure. You will find a maximum load capacity and the air pressure required for the load on the side of the tire. If you’re towing a travel trailer on passenger tires, it’s even more important to know this information. Read the sidewall of your tire so you know what you have.

Over the next several episodes, Kris and I will share a few of our mistakes. Yes, we’ve made more than our share.

Kris and I will be back in the studio next week.

 

 

Share This:
Facebook

The post 2. Don’t Be A Touron appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
What’s a Touron? A touron is  tourist doing something stupid. A moron tourist. Touron. They make bad choices that make life harder for everyone. Here are some common touron mistakes and how to avoid them. 1. No mirrors. What’s a Touron? A touron is  tourist doing something stupid. A moron tourist. Touron. They make bad choices that make life harder for everyone. Here are some common touron mistakes and how to avoid them. 1. No mirrors. At least none wide enough to see around the load you’re hauling. Most commonly hauling a boat, […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 20:30
Episode 1. Our First Pop Up Camper http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/first-pop-up-camper/ Mon, 03 Aug 2015 20:14:28 +0000 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/?p=105 http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/first-pop-up-camper/#respond http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/first-pop-up-camper/feed/ 0 <p>When you have a lot to say, it’s always tough to decide where to start. Podcasting is no different. We have so many ideas, topics and news articles we both want to share, but where do you jump in? We started the show with a little about us. Rather than retype it here, just visit […]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com/first-pop-up-camper/">Episode 1. Our First Pop Up Camper</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.tomandkriscamping.com">Tom and Kris Camping</a>.</p> Tom and Kris iTunes artWhen you have a lot to say, it’s always tough to decide where to start. Podcasting is no different. We have so many ideas, topics and news articles we both want to share, but where do you jump in?

We started the show with a little about us. Rather than retype it here, just visit our ABOUT page for a quick introduction.

Our First Popup Camper

We’re still digging through our photo box, but we will find a picture of that first tent trailer, or pop up camper as they are more commonly called. We had a blast with that little setup.

We’ve owned or rented several types of RVs through the years. We’ve even done our share of tent camping. We always seem to come back to the compact, easy to use side of RVing.

Helping You Make Camping Easy and Fun

We had a blast with that first pop up, and there was a bigger one in our future. Part of the reason we had so much fun was our ability to keep it simple. We plan on sharing a ton of camping hacks to help you do the same. Everything from the initial setup to taking down camp is fair game.

Mistakes We’ve Made

In our passion for camping and RVing as a family, we have made a few mistakes. As we publish new episodes we will share these mistakes. If some of our mistakes can help someone get it right the first time, it’s well worth our effort.

Our Pickup and Camper

When it came time to become RV owners again, we considered several options. As much as we loved our pop up trailers and some of the other RVs we’ve owned, we settled on a pickup and slide-in camper. Any RV choice is a compromise, and our camper is no different.

The funny part is how much in common this choice has with the pop up camper. Both are easily affordable, easy to use and fairly easy on the tow vehicle. Granted, the pickup camper does require you own a pickup.

Other Show Notes

  • Three tips from The First 40 Miles Podcast
    • You pay for cheap. You pay for good.
    • Shave the ounces and the pounds will take care of themselves.
    • You can learn a lot from Boy Scout merit badge pamphlets.
  • Keep the bears at bay by bringing the right beer and pie.

We extend a BIG thank you to Lubrication Specialties for sponsoring this podcast.

We hope you enjoy the first episode. We will be back in a week or two with a new show.

Also, be sure to check us out on Facebook, Facebook.com/tomandkrisgocamping.

Share This:
Facebook

The post Episode 1. Our First Pop Up Camper appeared first on Tom and Kris Camping.

]]>
When you have a lot to say, it’s always tough to decide where to start. Podcasting is no different. We have so many ideas, topics and news articles we both want to share, but where do you jump in? We started the show with a little about us. When you have a lot to say, it’s always tough to decide where to start. Podcasting is no different. We have so many ideas, topics and news articles we both want to share, but where do you jump in? We started the show with a little about us. Rather than retype it here, just visit […] Tom, Kris and Don Ballard, Campers and RVers clean 48:16