KUIU
Campers/Camper Vans
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Mike Castillo 29-Jul-19
midwest 29-Jul-19
billygoat 29-Jul-19
BOHUNTER09 29-Jul-19
Bake 29-Jul-19
Lost Arra 29-Jul-19
cnelk 29-Jul-19
cnelk 29-Jul-19
PO Cedar 29-Jul-19
PO Cedar 29-Jul-19
137buck 29-Jul-19
137buck 29-Jul-19
blue spot 29-Jul-19
jstephens61 29-Jul-19
eddie c 29-Jul-19
BULELK1 30-Jul-19
Mike Castillo 30-Jul-19
BTM 30-Jul-19
Graveyard 30-Jul-19
Graveyard 30-Jul-19
Mike Castillo 30-Jul-19
Scrappy 30-Jul-19
WapitiBob 30-Jul-19
cnelk 30-Jul-19
Graveyard 30-Jul-19
jordanathome 30-Jul-19
Shawn 30-Jul-19
Z Barebow 30-Jul-19
ND String Puller 31-Jul-19
BULELK1 31-Jul-19
Lost Arra 31-Jul-19
South Farm 31-Jul-19
Mike Castillo 31-Jul-19
midwest 31-Jul-19
Grey Ghost 31-Jul-19
BULELK1 01-Aug-19
midwest 01-Aug-19
Grey Ghost 01-Aug-19
Vonfoust 01-Aug-19
WapitiBob 01-Aug-19
midwest 01-Aug-19
Mike Castillo 02-Aug-19
WapitiBob 02-Aug-19
wild1 02-Aug-19
Lost Arra 02-Aug-19
Mike Castillo 02-Aug-19
WapitiBob 02-Aug-19
Lost Arra 02-Aug-19
altitude sick 03-Aug-19
ND String Puller 05-Aug-19
ND String Puller 05-Aug-19
Surfbow 05-Aug-19
Lost Arra 05-Aug-19
WapitiBob 05-Aug-19
WapitiBob 05-Aug-19
DEMO-Bowhunter 05-Aug-19
midwest 05-Aug-19
WapitiBob 05-Aug-19
midwest 05-Aug-19
ryanrc 05-Aug-19
BULELK1 06-Aug-19
elkstabber 06-Aug-19
Mike Castillo 07-Aug-19
Irishman 07-Aug-19
29-Jul-19
Been thinking about picking up a small camper or camper van for my annual forays out west for elk. In the past, I have mostly hunted with outfitters, as my time has been limited, but I am planning on taking most of the month of September off next year, and hopefully thereafter. This has got me thinking about getting a small camper, or perhaps camper van (class B motorhome) to use as a basecamp. I can see using it as a home base, and staying in it when necessary, but also backpacking out for several days when needed. My question...do any of you use a camper or camper van like I am describing? What are your likes/dislikes? Thanks, Mike

From: midwest
29-Jul-19
I'll eventually be going to a camper of some sort for hunting out west. Whatever I get will be something I pull behind my truck along with my wheeler. I want to be able to take the truck to other areas or be able to go into town for fuel, etc.

From: billygoat
29-Jul-19
I like my Lance truck camper. You still have your truck to go a anywhere after dropping the camper and still can tow wheelers, horses, boat...

From: BOHUNTER09
29-Jul-19

BOHUNTER09's embedded Photo
BOHUNTER09's embedded Photo
I have taken an 8 ft jayco pop up to Colorado for 30 years. For 2-3 guys, it works great especially if you get a wet spell

From: Bake
29-Jul-19
I wish I could help. Like Midwest, a camper is in my future. I want a 16 or 18 foot bumperpull toy hauler. Something to haul my ranger. Decent, but small bed. Don't need much for cooking, really more concerned with a shower and toilet. I never have found anything I really like. Either have to special order, or have an enclosed trailer built. I've seen some guys that make enclosed trailers, but again, it's a custom job, and the one's I've seen were as expensive as a toy hauler.

I like the idea of those pop up campers with a bed for hauling a Ranger. But I'm not so concerned with cooking/living space. . . . What I REALLY want is a private comfortable toilet and a nice shower.

From: Lost Arra
29-Jul-19
I'm looking for a hard side popup similar to the one bigdan recently purchased. Aliner style.

From: cnelk
29-Jul-19
I bought this unit last fall. Forest River WolfPup 17’

I really like it. Still have my wall tents tho. :)

From: cnelk
29-Jul-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo

From: PO Cedar
29-Jul-19

PO Cedar's embedded Photo
PO Cedar's embedded Photo
They made one with a toyhauler platform...off road model gives you a lil more ground clearance...

From: PO Cedar
29-Jul-19

PO Cedar's embedded Photo
PO Cedar's embedded Photo
They made one with a toyhauler platform...off road model gives you a lil more ground clearance...

From: 137buck
29-Jul-19

137buck's embedded Photo
137buck's embedded Photo
137buck's embedded Photo
137buck's embedded Photo
I made my own camper out of a enclosed trailer, have 12 volt and 120 volt, installed a window, insulated the walls and ceiling, can sleep 5 if i need to. Heat it with either electric heat and generator or a propane heater, which I leave the window cracked for fresh air.

From: 137buck
29-Jul-19

137buck's embedded Photo
137buck's embedded Photo
The beds are mounted to the wall with E-tracks, so I can move them up or down. The bottom bed is as low as I can go because I keep the generator under there.

From: blue spot
29-Jul-19
I might recommend a Volkswagen camper. A fullish size bed in the back, a fullish size bed when you pop the top. And likely a gas stove and possibly a small fridge for a 6 pack or quart of milk.

Back in the early 90's I worked a summer out in Montana and Idaho doing timber stand exams. It was driving my dads synchro with on demand all wheel drive. Was pretty plush for everything except the morning constitutional. I don't know how our crew survived the last couple weeks camped on the east side of lake Pendorlee in Idaho. Camp was on the top of the mountain. The little resturaunt was a mile as the crow flies on the waters edge. 10 miles by logging road. A couple nights a week we each bought a round or two of margaritas by the pitcher for dinner ! I think they served food.

The little marshmallow tires would make you laugh but it had great traction and even pulled my F-150 out once or twice when I was still living at home. I and my mom and dad camped across newfoundland and Labrador in 1976 in an earlier model. That was a national geographic type trip I was not old enough to appreciate at the time.

I bet you could customize almost any van with a bed. Maybe a cook stove. Little tight for a portable shitter so you know you wont have Bake tagging along. Lots of mini vans with all wheel drive. For short $$ you wouldn't be tenting in the rain. Something cheap and not specialized you could flip pretty quick if you didn't like it. Plus you could be in stealth mode under cover as a hippie..... until you have an elk rack tied to the roof! I have lots of good memories of camping in those VW busses.

Erik

From: jstephens61
29-Jul-19
We went a little bigger. Bought a 42’ 5th wheel toy hauler. 3 queen beds plus a bunk, 2 refrigerators, bath and a half, 4 seat recliner. Back holds 2 quads, washer/dryer, small freezer and smoker grill. Home away from home. Wife says she’ll be happy staying in it for 2 months while I elk hunt this fall. We’ll see.

From: eddie c
29-Jul-19
I'm still new to camping, 6-7 years now. But when someone asks me what to look for I tell them: first sit down in it and imagine being stuck in it for 2-3 days due to bad weather and will you be comfortable those days. Second, make sure the toilet fits. I forgot to do the second one on my current camper.

From: BULELK1
30-Jul-19
I just sold my toyhauler last week.

I am down sizing my hunt camps and rigs.

Comfort is very important for sure.

Good luck, Robb

30-Jul-19
Robb, what are you going to use in lieu of your toy hauler? I am looking for something small and compact.

From: BTM
30-Jul-19

BTM's embedded Photo
BTM's embedded Photo
Check this one out!

From: Graveyard
30-Jul-19
We use a slide in truck camper. It can be easily removed from the truck when you arrive at the trail head so you can drive the truck around or to town to take meat to the freezer. You can pull a trailer if needed. These truck campers are fully contained with hot water, toilet, shower, lots of storage and ours has a built in generator. It sleeps 3 comfortably and could handle a fourth person if needed.

From: Graveyard
30-Jul-19
Forgot to add these also have refrigs, small freezer space, propane tanks, furnace. You can also get some with slide outs to add room. Very comfortable, warm and dry when needed

30-Jul-19
I like the idea of a slide in camper, but that would mean I have to buy a new truck which I am not to keen on at this time! I have always wanted a camper van, something like a Roadtrek...Usually built on a 3/4 or 1 ton chassis, and has all the amenities of home, albeit on the very small side. I would do this in a heartbeat except for two potential issues. 1) Driving this vehicle on potentially difficult roads. Most of the ones I have found are NOT four wheel drive. They can have decent ground clearance, but generally no 4wd. 2) Storage. Because the entire van is made up of the motor home...there isn't much storage. I am not worried about gear, as most of my stuff fits in a 7200 backpack, but more concerned with meat and antlers. I could pull a small trailer though, but that defeats the purpose of having one vehicle for everything.

The other option for me is a smallish 16-18 foot camper...Leave in a campground or just at the trailhead, and use my truck separately.

I appreciate everyone's opinion as mine is based on theory and yours on experience...

From: Scrappy
30-Jul-19
I guess I'm just to cheap or poor. I couldn't imagine wasting all that money on fuel to haul a camper or drive a small motorhome all the way out west. I just have a small tent I will set up in a national forest or BLM land off the interstate somewhere while traveling. If I need to dry out gear or just want to kick back for a night I'll get a motel room for a night. I can stay in a motel room a ton of nights and still come out way ahead without all the fuss of a camper.

Just something to think about when weighing the pros and cons of a camper.

From: WapitiBob
30-Jul-19
I paid $2000 for my 11.5' Lance over 10 years ago. Put another 2500 into solar and replacing the appliances. Other than the pain in the ass raising/lowering jacks it's pretty hard to beat.

From: cnelk
30-Jul-19
^^^ But I use my camp gear not just for hunting

From: Graveyard
30-Jul-19
Yeh not just for hunting for sure. I use my truck and camper to go camping with the family, travel through the National Parks, to go fishing on big lakes, pull my boat over to Lake Michigan or up to Superior, grab a campsite by the marina and fish for the weekend. Take it down to Key West for spring break, grab a campsite by the marina along the ocean - oh man is that fun. To go down to my friends farm in Southern Wisconsin to hunt whitetails and can pull a trailer with the ATV. The opportunities are all year round.

From: jordanathome
30-Jul-19
I wonder if one would fit on my wrangler with the top off........??????

From: Shawn
30-Jul-19
Mike head south to places like Myrtle Beach and you can buy a real nice 16-20ft pull behind that weighs under 6000 lbs for 4 or 5 grand. There are tons of deals down there to be had. Some 10-15 years old that are like new. You can actually buy new leftover stock for 10 grand or so. Nice cause you get a bathroom and shower and the ability to carry your own water in holding tanks and run them on a small generator if going where you have no utilities. I am gonna retire in the next year or so but I am going with a 40ft 5th wheel as I already bought the truck(Ram 2500 Diesel) Hopefully hunt the midwest from Sept to early December for the next 20 years! Shawn

From: Z Barebow
30-Jul-19
I am in the market for a Scamp. Preferably 13' w/bathroom. They have heat and well built. Can be pulled w/SUV if needed.

31-Jul-19
The wife and I have been using a slide in pop-up pickup camper for 13 years. We started with a wall tent, but relocating camp was kind of a pain. We now have been pulling a enclosed trailer to haul the quad, coolers etc. It’s nice to keep all that stuff clean a dry. We mainly drive the quad on the Forrest service roads to get to our spots and leave the pickup parked. If we went the mini motor home route we’d still have to pull a trailer and that would limit the spots we could get to. I really like CNELK’s toy hauler setup. There are also small ice house toy haulers to serve double duty ! Z-barebow’s Scamp idea is good too they have a cult following and maintain their value really well. A comfortable but mobile base camp makes the hunt more enjoyable.

From: BULELK1
31-Jul-19

BULELK1's Link
Mike--------->

I am using this set-up most of the time now for scouting trips and for September bow hunts, then I'm a Cabin Guy for the rest of the fall.....

Good luck, Robb

From: Lost Arra
31-Jul-19
Has anyone compared a Scamp and a Casita? Casita appears to be the Texas version of a Scamp.

From: South Farm
31-Jul-19
I have, and as much as it pains me to say being from Minnesota, Scamp doesn't have near the quality, standard inclusions, or layouts that Casita has. If I had to choose between the two I'd choose Casita. Having said that I personally prefer my 10x14 Kodiak Canvas tent...more room than both Scamp and Casita and no wheel bearings, tires, brakes, or axles to worry about!

31-Jul-19
Check these out... https://coloradoteardropcamper.com/

I really like that they are off road capable and minimalist...They sell one that sleeps up to 4 (would be tight I am sure), and you could add a rooftop tent to it. Might be a decent compromise...

From: midwest
31-Jul-19
Those things are intriguing but I just don't see the advantage. They are really just a bed and an outdoor kitchen. You can't stand up in it, you'll still need to set up some kind of tent for protection during inclement weather, and can't load a quad on it. Might as well just use a tent.

From: Grey Ghost
31-Jul-19

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Here's my hunting rigs.

From: BULELK1
01-Aug-19
That looks like a comfy set-up GG.

Good luck, Robb

From: midwest
01-Aug-19
Wow....a motorhome pulling a Jeep. Yuppie camping at its finest. ;-)

From: Grey Ghost
01-Aug-19
Yeah, I really rough it. ;-)

I've run the full gamut. Tents, popup trailers, and now the RV. I doubt I'll be going back to those more primitive methods anytime soon. I spent 26 days in the RV last elk season and loved every minute of it.

Matt

From: Vonfoust
01-Aug-19
Got a sous vide in there, GG?

From: WapitiBob
01-Aug-19
My wife wants a motorhome. Pulling a small hunting rig might make it work but dam, 7 mpg all the way to Wyoming isn't very appealing.

From: midwest
01-Aug-19
Vonfoust, I would think that's standard equipment for one of those fancy yuppie contraptions. Maybe he swapped it out for a flat rock!

02-Aug-19
How about this bad boy! This thing is pretty small...light, but would give you some amenities...With a rooftop tent you could sleep up to 4. The only thing I wish it had was a way to set up an outdoor shower, but I am guessing you could buy an on demand shower unit that runs off propane and set that up. What do you think? They aren't super cheap, but not too bad either...

https://www.forestriverinc.com/rvs/travel-trailers/no-boundaries

From: WapitiBob
02-Aug-19
You can buy a used dual axle, 17' nash, for about 7K.

From: wild1
02-Aug-19
^^^^^^ What WapitiBob said above.

From: Lost Arra
02-Aug-19
>>You can buy a used dual axle, 17' nash, for about 7K.<<

Come on Bob. Maybe there is a Nash graveyard in Oregon but the 17 footer can't be had under 12k unless it's damaged. I've rarely seen one listed under 15k. I did find a 1998 26 footer in Vancouver for 7k but never the smaller model.

02-Aug-19
Sorry, what is a "Nash"? I assume it is another type of camper. What makes it special?

From: WapitiBob
02-Aug-19

WapitiBob's embedded Photo
Bought about 2 months ago, pristine condition, two 7 gal propane, roof air, solar panel; $7000
WapitiBob's embedded Photo
Bought about 2 months ago, pristine condition, two 7 gal propane, roof air, solar panel; $7000
WapitiBob's embedded Photo
Not a Nash but pretty much the same thing.
WapitiBob's embedded Photo
Not a Nash but pretty much the same thing.

From: Lost Arra
02-Aug-19
Oh I'm sure there are deals to be found.....in Oregon. But still hens teeth.

03-Aug-19
I would stay away from anything sold from the Portland area. Anarchist poop has contagions in it. :^)

05-Aug-19

ND String Puller's embedded Photo
ND String Puller's embedded Photo
Heres another little camper I’ve seen around here. Our first camper was a 1975 Honey 13ft. It had the same fiberglass mold as the current scamp. Bought it for $350 repainted it white, used it a bunch and sold it for a $1000.

05-Aug-19

ND String Puller's embedded Photo
ND String Puller's embedded Photo
This thing looked cool till I googled the price! It’s called a “sportsmobile“.

From: Surfbow
05-Aug-19
^Those Sprinters are stupid expensive, especially the used ones...

From: Lost Arra
05-Aug-19
Spent (wasted) part of my weekend looking at used campers. I've never seen so much silicone caulking!

From: WapitiBob
05-Aug-19
Yesterday I passed on a 2005 Nash 17' for $8250, identical to the hunting partners and bought a 2016 nash 17k that was used twice; Waaay more than $8250. It'll be packin Wyoming Elk and Antelope in less than a month.

From: WapitiBob
05-Aug-19

WapitiBob's embedded Photo
WapitiBob's embedded Photo
The 2005 Nash 17'

05-Aug-19
I wouldn't want to pull a camper from the East coast out West for a hunting trip. gas, bearings, tires, etc

I went the wall tent route for my trips and wouldn't change a thing. Can load the ATV on top of my Diamondback truck cover, load everything inside the bed and have room in the cab for a buddy or two to tag along if the hunt fits.

With a stove and a couple cots, wall tents are comfortable and setup is really easy. Just something to think about.

From: midwest
05-Aug-19
Good to hear you finally got the Ford paid off so you could get a new camper, Bob. ;-)

You sell the slide-in?

From: WapitiBob
05-Aug-19
I could haul it up that rocky hill and leave it for you in Wyoming???

From: midwest
05-Aug-19
Perfect!

From: ryanrc
05-Aug-19

ryanrc's Link
If I had the money. These are as good as it gets.

From: BULELK1
06-Aug-19

BULELK1's Link
WoW

What a suspension!

Good luck, Robb

From: elkstabber
06-Aug-19
ryanrc, a buddy of mine has one. Actually, a different company but VERY similar. It's surprisingly comfortable, and predictably expensive to drive around. If money was no object this is the best solution.

Mike, as you know I've camped in most of the 50 states when I was fishing tournaments and my trip out West is just as long as yours. I'm still waffling on the best way to do it but a camper van is not a reasonable choice.

Your best options are either a trailer or a slide in camper top on the pickup that you already have. Either option allows you to set up a base camp, and then drive your truck around to different areas where you're hunting.

The slide in camper top will have less room and be less comfortable, but has two major advantages: you can take it anywhere and you can still tow with it if you want. You could drive some nasty ugly FS roads, but then find a level site and you'd be living large where nobody else can. In this respect the camper top would be like the most comfortable tent that you ever slept in.

The trailer will be significantly more comfortable but it won't go up those nasty ugly roads. You will be far more limited in where you can set it up. There are more moving parts and more to maintain on the trailer (tires, bearings, leaf springs, etc). There is no doubt in mind that it would only be a matter of time before you'd get it stuck somewhere. It could be somewhere really bad when you get stuck too.

I would lean toward the camper top. Plus, if you found someone who didn't mind you keeping it for you then maybe you wouldn't have to drive it across the country every year either.

07-Aug-19
Curt, I agree and have come to the same conclusions. I am looking for a very small, off road capable trailer that has a bed, shower, and some sort of kitchen. There are a few out there that are built for some off road use with a lot of ground clearance and big tires...the ones I am interested in are very small and light...not to say you could not get stuck, but it would be less likely than pulling some behemoth around. It would be nice to have it as a base camp and spike out from there. Thanks again for your thoughts...and everyone else's as well...

From: Irishman
07-Aug-19
I have used camper trailers/wall tents/tents. I currently use a Winnebago Micro Minnie, or use my wall tent. I really like the convenience of the Micro Minnie, I sleep better in it than I do at home. I'll take it 50 miles up bumpy gravel roads, but I do drive slow, and don't drive up really bad roads.

However, from a practical point of view I don't think it makes sense to own one and drive it from Vermont out west. You have to make the initial purchase, which depending on what you buy could work out at thousands per year of life. You will spend over $1,000 per year extra on gas to pull the trailer out west and back. Then you have to find a place to store it for the rest of the year, which may or may not be an issue. Seems like your best option would be to use a tent for several days at a time, then when you wanted a break from it spend a couple of nights at a hotel. One of the disadvantages of putting a camper in the bed of your pickup is that it takes away space that you might want to use for something else - like a bike, or a dead elk. Ha! Of course, having said that, we don't have to be practical. I'll haul my trailer 400 miles and spend only two nights, just because I like it better than a tent.

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