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RE: TR: Utah, parks, friends and a few weeks with my wife

Thanks for the comments folks. It was a really great time with the wife. Great report, I was wondering from a novice point of view as to what kind of animals do you run into during the day and night out there in the middle of nowhere? I'm from the North east and live in central Florida now. Very different type of wild animals in both places. Just curious, Thanks ^^^^ lol, funniest thing for sure was an early morning hike in Zion..coming down the hill and meeting the crowds coming up. Came around a bend to see a whole pile of people stopped and taking pictures. Had to actually 'excuse' are selves as we wandered past. Wasn't until I saw what they were looking at till I burst out laughing. Lady looked at me quizzically and I replied "they're like rodents in my back yard". It was a deer.. Reference your question, we don't run into much that is concerning. Different parts of the states, snakes, different bugs, etc. I personally think you have more weird and scary stuff in the south, than we do. Bears, felines, canines, etc, are more scared of us than we are of them for the most part. Wolves are probably my biggest hesitation (most thought of) but then, don't think about them much either. I suppose the cows are the biggest thing; lots of free range our here. We can be 15 miles off the hwy and a group of cows will come wandering by. On another serious note, I wouldn't travel without being armed. It's not for the four legged creatures...but in the end, like on hikes, it does serve as a slight equalizer if the wrong situation with an animal came up. We live in a great to see it stay that way. I'd hate to be limited to what I could comfortably see because of a lack of confidence in defending my wife or I based on some office jockey deciding to remove a Right. Something for all to consider.. Cheers
Reality Check 01/18/21 09:10pm Truck Campers
RE: TR: Utah, parks, friends and a few weeks with my wife

Two nights at an equestrian campground, where family and the neighbors joined us for some great evenings at the campfire. We didn’t have horses, but the neighbors were accepting anyhow…lol. Exchanged numbers. Second group of the trip that we’ll make efforts to keep in touch with. Moved on towards Escalante and Boulder. Turn right and went looking for a camp spot. Found it! What a fantastic evening and morning. Views, quiet and good company. Headed east, enjoying a fairly quiet road. It’s paved mostly, until you hit the park, then it turns to gravel. Into Capitol Reef we went; Everything was fun and games until we started heading north through the park. I’ve been on wash board at least a couple of times in my life. Some really bad. Nothing like this.. It was 20 plus miles of seriously slow (idle speed much of the time). The trailer would start to bounce from the oscillation…to the point that it was brutal. Just had to go slow. Usually don’t mind slowing down, but it was over 4 hours on the worse part. 6 hours from the bottom to the exit at the north. Met a Ranger on the road..she was politely trying to tell me that many drivers were idiots and that the drainage cuts were at times difficult or impassable. I thanked her, stated we understood and asked it the ones ahead were worse than the two behind me. They weren’t. Point is though, someone with a long trailer, MH, etc, and who didn’t understand the basics…would easily wedge in the ‘V’. I think the best part of the whole little journey was when we were at the wye at the bottom of the switch backs and met up with a couple heading up with a little truck and pop up camp trailer. Her eyes were about 6” in diameter after noting that we’d come down the hill. She looked at her husband and said “Ok, I think we can do this”. Side note, I’m not sure I would choose to go up the switch backs with heavy trailer combo’s. Completely doable, but the uphill sharp turns are pretty bumped out from people spinning. We’re a lot heavier than average, but the lighter trucks, etc, have rutted it out severely making one seriously bumpy ride going up. One of those situations where a light truck dragging an anchor would have to keep some speed to make it around the corner, but in doing so, compounds the problem. Food for thought for those that tow. Ended up near Hanksville for a quiet night. Really, really quiet. Our freezers were full of Ling Cod, steaks, hamburger, Sea Bass and along with some kielbasa, really good hot dogs, etc. Some nights, I just wasn’t sure what to make; here was an odd surprise; apples, sauerkraut, kiebasa, potato’s and seasoning. Call it a wild hair at times, but fun and this was pretty simple and good. Then back south along 95 towards Blanding. Hands down, one of the top areas we need to go back to and park and explore. Stunningly beautiful canyon areas. We weren’t in a hurry, but we did have a deadline now to be back home which led us to not explore the way we wanted. Blanding and then North to Moab. Ugh. Hit Moab and realized I’m getting older. It’s different; too metro, too invaded, too much like other areas that become ‘popular’. Uptight and no fun anymore. I know, it’s just one opinion, but I don’t dwell on it, just move on to the next. We drove out of town east for 30 miles to get off BLM land (the area near Arches/Moab has restrictions on camping, as in designated areas only). Passed the last campground, cross the bridge, turned left and parked by ourselves. Mucho better. In the morning we hit Arches. Unloaded the bike and viewed and hiked. Wonderful hikes. And again, a win for the parking. Place was crowded, cars looping around and around looking for a spot. It’s a shame, and I’m also not one to want to jump to limiting. Not sure if there is an answer other than one has to plan better, as I want people to enjoy and see the wonders. But the crowds at the popular spots can be brutal. From Arches, we drove north up 191, making time, and went through Flaming Gorge Rec area and then into Wyoming. Found a nice little camp site in the middle of a little field. It wasn’t bum-f-egypt, but you could see it from there.. Through Rock Springs and into Jackson Hole. Another town that has lost most of it’s charm. Pandemic and packed with tourists doesn’t help. Beautiful area for sure. Fun fact: almost the entire town closes up and vacations after Thanksgiving. Get there the first week or so of December, and the town is open, but deserted. An absolute treat. Didn’t get that this time unfortunately. Wife shopped a bit and we took off. Outside of town and east, off park land, found another great camp spot. We were eating dinner when a local herd of beef wandered by the camper…we were all quite content at staring at each other. They ate grass, we ate their cousin.. Through the Grand Teton park and into Yellowstone. Snow on the ground, we enjoyed the drive and pulled into the lodge at Old Faithful. Good day for a hike…we skipped hanging out for Faithful..honestly, it’s not that exciting. But the hike out through the boardwalks is wonderful. Here’s the stuff that just cracks me up and should frustrate you all. Typical at the parks, they close the lodges and bathrooms. For safety of course. Then they install these; Yea, that makes sense. No doubt it’s so much safer to clean. Never mind they’re bunching all the people together in one line and toilet facility. Don’t read me wrong, I don’t have a problem with the bathroom, just the logic and extra money they spend in the farce of doing the right thing. And the dumbest part? Can’t have the visitor centers open, but we sure can open the shops.. don’t get me going on how stupid we’ve allowed everything to get. To West Yellowstone, some shopping and out of town to the west. Took 287 and passed a lake that just didn’t make sense to me. Was commenting to the wife that it didn’t make a lick of sense to build a dam and not cut all the trees first. Why would they do that….? Lol, around the bend, a sign, I pulled over, and got another history lesson. A natural tragedy in the 50’s, Earthquake Lake. That explained why the trees were still sticking up in the middle of the lake. To Ennis, then a bit more backroad to Virginia City, zigged down to Dillon, then shot up to 90 and worked our way home. Stopped and had dinner with friends in Coeur d’Alene, checked out some property north of Spokane. One of the last quiet camp spots was about 6 miles up a valley road in Montana off 41 (I think we were near Silver Star). Had a ranch hand pass by earlier…told him we were looking for the bar. I didn’t think it was that funny, but he sure did. I can only imagine his though process, from lost city folk idiots in way over their heads to, sweet, having fun, looks like a good time.. About 9pm, we hear a truck coming down the road..three honks, a big wave and off he went. Nothing more than letting us know he was passing through. We don’t go four wheeling, looking to get lost, stuck, or otherwise screwed up and in trouble; never been up anything I couldn’t back out of. But we get off the beaten track for sure. It’s really not hard to determine if a road is used enough that it heads somewhere, and I’m always looking to see if I can determine if it’s graded or not. A grader takes a decent amount of space to turn around. If he can, I can. The new apps (Maprika, others similar) are fantastic for showing roads, trails, BLM, National Forest land, etc. Makes it really easy to keep pushing. Neat thing about them, they work even without signal. I’ll download a section of the map prior to being in an area (a big chunk of the state or states) and the GPS location works regardless of signal. So, the map works. We took a trip to the Red Woods and what not earlier this summer. I’m going to try and put something together for that too. Lot’s of good sights for sure. Cheers….
Reality Check 01/18/21 07:34am Truck Campers
TR: Utah, parks, friends and a few weeks with my wife

Wife and I had a decent year despite the stupid stuff going on. Had several trips, this one this past fall. I had an undetermined amount of time available in front of us, waiting on a commitment from a city utility for a job we were on. At the time, we couldn’t get a start time for their portion of the next stage of work… Anyhow, we knew we had 2, 3, maybe even 5 or 6 weeks available. So we left. Headed to an open State. We have traveled enough this year to know that hanging around a bunch of people who’s version of reality was different than ours, was not fun. So, no big cities, and limited time in National Parks (tend to draw city folks who’ve been locked up for far too long). Loaded up the camper and trailer. Stuffed with fish, steaks, produce and water. Took only one motorcycle..her’s had just hit the shop. Headed south via Ontario, eastern Oregon and to the Salt flats. Camping was on the side of the road..or wherever. Hit an ‘open’ museum in Winnemucca. It was nice to find something not shut down just because. I have a dozen stories about how stupid some of this is, the complete lack of common sense at parks, museums, points of interest. LOL, last summer we were camping outside of Crater Lake in a Sno Park; the bathrooms were shut due to Covid and safety because of cleaning. And then they had sani cans delivered instead. Oh yea, that makes sense… West of Elko..nice camp spot. How we so often do, take a less traveled road and find something acceptable and park. After darkness fell, we had exactly two vehicles pass by the rest of the night. And the price was right; Quick drive to the flats. Arrived to find that speed week, the “World Finals” was in progress. We of course bought our ticket and drove out. Who would have thought it was so blindlingly bright? Lol, sunglasses and sun screen under your chin. Watched a couple of 300mph passes while we were there. Spent several hours walking around, getting the wife wedged into a motorcycle rocket…she wasn’t to keen on the seat and confined quarters. Oh well, so much for her speed career. A relaxed day we had for sure, and then we headed up the hill from the flats and found a gravel pit to park in for the night. Just beautiful, warm, and quiet. I had noticed that the engine temperature was fluctuating more than normal, so we made the call to head towards a dealer and get the truck looked at. I just couldn’t figure out what was going on. We really weren’t that heavy (26k total) and the outside temps were not high..just didn’t make sense to me. I found a small county campground outside of Grantsville (west of Salt Lake area). We dropped the camper and took the truck in the next day. Left it and toured on the bike. Saw a museum on the way in and swung back to look. Hours of operation: Friday and Saturday, 11-4, or something similar. Doors were locked. Hmmmm, I thought as I checked my watch, knowing it was Friday. A phone call was made. LOL, guy answers, says “yep, it’s open, I’m just not there. Go to ‘this door’ over there and go on in”. Love this part of our country. Spent a few hours looking around, reading, the entire place to ourselves, and eventually meeting the man in charge and talking. Great place. Turns out the coolant cap was not holding pressure. Needs to hold 22psi I believe, and ours was down at 12-14. Picked up the truck, paid my $80 bill and headed to the camp site. Which by the way, has quiet hours from 10pm -6am, no genny’s. But, when in Rome.. much to our amusement, the campground filled up completely with locals, every spot filled. This was not a spread out campground, this was 4 circles and parking pads around each one, probably 32 + spots in a 2 acre spot. I’m pretty sure we’re the only ones that didn’t run our genny all night. It was clearly an acceptable practice. Kinda like sleeping at an interstate rest spot..only louder. Headed south, ended up staying with some new friends in Goshen..that’s a story by itself for sure! Open bar in that neighborhood garage for sure… Rode the bike into Nebo Canyon. Wow, absolutely beautiful. There is dry camping all over the route. Goes up to about 9000 ft, lots of horse areas, hiking trails and awesome views and colors (fall…great time to travel). We returned the next day and went on a couple of hikes. File the area under a place to return to for further exploration and time to sit. Headed south towards Zion, as the wife had never been there. A few good camp spots along the way and outside of the park.. And of course, Zion. Beautiful as always and crowded. A couple of hikes on regular trails, and then a “had enough of the crowds, let’s do the ‘3 miles, turn left’ plan”. Works everytime: We don’t fit through the tunnel, about 2 feet to long or something. So we pulled in each day to the main parking, unloaded the bike and went about out business. It’s a better plan for sure, as parking is never an issue with the bike. The only part that was not bad or good, when it was time to head out, we had to drop south to go around the park (into AZ, then back north). If you were short on time, it would matter. After coming up through Kanab, we found a great spot right off the hwy at the junction to the east entrance of Zion. Something about it made it really fun. The group next to us perhaps, the view and proximity to the junction and facilities (had a dump there at the gas station too), and the price. BLM and us get along great. We meandered up to Bryce, where we met up with my BIL and his wife who were coming back from eastern Wyoming. Red Canyon deserved more time. The colors were so vibrant, similar to the drastic effects at Zion. We would have parked and stayed, but had agreed to meet.
Reality Check 01/18/21 07:34am Truck Campers
RE: TCs and Covid Vaccinations

.... - no one will ever force you to get vaccinated. I would not bank on that statement. We are in a brave new world of constraints on freedom. Wanna travel? Show us proof of vaccination. Wanna go to school? Show us proof of vaccination. Wanna shop in our store? Show us proof of vaccination. Wanna be a part of society? Show us your papers. Exactly. Forced vaccinations? LOL, can you say black market? It'll explode with fake vaccination cards. Someone brought up getting tested to whether one has already had Covid or not (reference health care workers and others believing they are immune}. Doesn't work; they figured out quite awhile ago that the antibodies wane over time. Article from TRC reference antibody testing One of our regular commentator's wrote about people who make choices other than what he thought was right as being ignorant about "other's wellbeing". And there you go; one's ideas and thoughts trump another persons rights and ideas. Can't do that in a free society; bad road to go down. I have two folks I work and play with, both severely compromised. One, 60's, greatly overweight, bad heart, the other, 60's and severe diabetes. Both carry the attitude that it is their responsibility to protect themselves, not everyone else's. Neither sees any point to the rest of the world wearing a mask, shutting down their businesses, yanking the kids out of school and creating an entire generation of socially deleted, grownup basket cases. They protect themselves.
Reality Check 01/16/21 08:26am Truck Campers
RE: TCs and Covid Vaccinations

In the healthcare community they are of a mindset where somewhere between 30% to 40% of healthcare workers are refusing to take the vaccine, now what? Refusing, WHY? Did they already have the disease, and are giving their dose to someone else for whom the need is more urgent? Do they have underlying health conditions that precludes them from getting the shot? Good thing that herd immunity is achieved through BOTH vaccination and getting the disease. What is your source for this information? It's been all over the news... which is surprising considering how panic driven the news tends to be. Showing two sides to something doesn't seem to be a norm lately. First hit on a search.. numbers as high as 60% 'no' in some of the polls. NY Post article Everyone's opinion of this 'pandemic' is different. Personally, it sounded pretty bad when it first hit. Numbers don't show that and the fact that we didn't and don't seem to adjust and, seem to get dumber over time in responses (shut down...again and again when it's clear that doesn't work???) is fore front in my thoughts.. Some of the thinking behind those that won't take the vaccine is in dealing with known numbers vs. unknown, but assumed outcomes. 99.8% survival rate (or whatever number you want to use) vs. a vaccine without a proven track record, with a varying (60-95%) chance of working against the bug, with completely unknown long term side effects. It's a personal choice, and there is no right or wrong. I have a couple of friends who are severely compromised and older; totally get while they would take it. And I have LEO, health care workers and folks that work in safety programs for a living, friends, who totally don't buy the risk/reward for getting the vaccine. As others have pointed out, this thing did turn political. When government forces rules and behavior as opposed to offering guidance and letting people make informed decisions and act accordingly, it's going to turn political. Not saying that's bad or not, but it's a reality of the situation we're in. Personally, I think this 'save a life at any cost' is nuts. If that's what we're doing, we should stop selling Doritos to fat people. After all, we lose 350k+ a year to obesity...
Reality Check 01/15/21 11:50am Truck Campers
RE: F-150 +Lance 650 Cruise America Purchase

Interesting, the KBB for the F150 with standard equipment in very good condition is barely over 10K at the top range. That sounds a bit closer to reality.. I'm guessing that the truck is plain jane. And it's been loaded it's entire life (a grocery getter that had to work). It just didn't sound right. I picked up a '17 F250 loaded XLT 4x, straight and clean, for 22k last month. Had to look a bit, but I can't see an F150 being comparable.
Reality Check 01/11/21 04:21pm Truck Campers
RE: F-150 +Lance 650 Cruise America Purchase

It's convenient, which probably makes it attractive, but not a good deal. Blue Book the truck only..that'll be an eye opener I suspect.
Reality Check 01/11/21 08:28am Truck Campers
RE: Which 19.5" tire to choose

You can get studdable 19.5s and have them siped. They would make good snow/ice tires then, although not as good as the Hakkas as they’ll be nowhere as soft. Old saying cheap fast or good, pick 2 applies here. Except it’s traction, load rating or ride, pick 2. 2 out of 3 is the best anyone can ever do. And with 19.5's, ride differences are negligible, and traction in snow and mud, compared to standard LT tires is a diminished quality right out of the box. I was trying to get close... Liking these things so far. And to answer one of the questions, snow is the reason we bought these. In the mountains 2, 3 times a week all winter.
Reality Check 12/18/20 09:32am Truck Campers
RE: Which 19.5" tire to choose

Good morning Reality Check, Did you ever get the M655s installed? How are they handeling? Thanks, Charlie They are on. Had to drive it a bit before making a comment. I'm actually more pleased than I had hoped. The tracking is good with no wandering. I'll grab a couple of pic's; they're good looking tires.
Reality Check 12/17/20 07:50am Truck Campers
RE: Which 19.5" tire to choose

Reality Check, can’t wait to hear what you think about the M655s. Are they going on the front as well? Are you putting 225s on? I know 225s are recommended for stock rims, but I keep reading that some put on 245s with no issues. No idea if they carry any weight on the F450s that run 245s.. I am going to run them on all corners. I have another 550 that runs A/T's on all 4 corners, and it's okay driving, but significantly lighter on the rear end (boom truck). Others, I run steers on the front. And yes on 225's, simply because we throw iron on the tires often during the year..and if I make the gap any tighter, it becomes miserable linking them up.
Reality Check 12/01/20 05:08pm Truck Campers
RE: Which 19.5" tire to choose

Has anyone tried the new Toyo M655? Looks promissing. Got a set going on this week. Local shop had to order them up from CA. I'm willing to take a chance; the 655's have a larger block than the 608's, which squirm a bit too much when loaded (like...really horrible). Wait and see..
Reality Check 12/01/20 07:56am Truck Campers
RE: What did you do to your Camper Today?

Loading up for 5days during thanksgiving. 5 sites with 16 people. I hope Gavin Newsom doesn't Find us! LMAO.. Gaven's to busy defending his own behavior. Have fun, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Reality Check 11/23/20 09:49pm Truck Campers
RE: Are there any threads here that........

LMAO, it's one of those little secret jokes.. the elephant in the room with odd comprehension skills. Naw, never thought about it.
Reality Check 11/20/20 07:55am Truck Campers
RE: Nothern Lite on a flatbed?

I have just recently purchased a 2011 Northern Lite 10'2 special edition and am now shopping for the truck to put it on. I believe we have found it but I was thinking about putting it on a flat bed and then adding boxes under the flat bed and also in the dead space of the flat bed and camper on the top side. Anyone ever done this before? Am I not trying to spend $30,000 on a sherptec flat bed. I was wondering if anyone had on on a standard CM or other commercially flat bed and what their experiences may have been. Do you need to get special or custom jack extensions, did you? Thanks in advance for your time. It's been done a few times... sheepishly said. It's pretty common actually. Self promotion here, link to our last build: Click to open thread with Flatbed Build We just got back from 3 weeks on the road... which makes about 6 weeks out so far since this one was finished this spring. And someone wrote that they're "ugly"...I find it humorous, as it's in the eye of the beholder. Personally, a big box apartment stuck on a std truck just looks weird to me. Add in the practical side of flat vs std p/u, and it's a no brainer. To answer your question, pretty much any flatbed sitting on a truck will work. Add boxes and drive. Hell, the boxes (good boxes....fine print there) probably cost more than an off the shelf bed.
Reality Check 10/23/20 02:47pm Truck Campers
RE: What are the top 5 advantages of a TC?

Top 5: hmmmm.. 1: can tow the boat 2: can tow the snowmobile trailer 3: can tow the support trailer 4: can do all this and go where the MH's and 5ths pretty much can't 5: can do all that and still be sexy
Reality Check 10/21/20 07:59pm Truck Campers
RE: storage door lock

I carry extra's.. when they **** our, just change them. FWIW, of the hundreds of locks/cabinet locks, etc, that we have, we use graphite to keep them operating. Wet spray works fine (we've used the dry... but it costs more, is way more of a mess, and doesn't seem to give any better ROI). Nothing fancy.. we've been buying NAPA's version for years. 6 cans to a case...
Reality Check 10/08/20 06:35pm Truck Campers
RE: Fine Tuning the load

We load and unload so often, I worked on coming up with something reliable and easy several years ago. These pictures are on the old flatbed, but the new one is exactly the same. Because we do this so often, I installed angle iron on three sides of the camper as rub rails. We have angle screwed to the flatbed. The original design, because the angle couldn't be permanent due to other uses, just had two drop pins in it. Either way, these are the guides on the flatbed. Loading is a breeze; no shifting. Same spot every time.
Reality Check 09/26/20 06:14pm Truck Campers
RE: Black tank welding?

It's actually quite easy. Just get the correct 'filler' rod. Even available on Amazon.
Reality Check 09/17/20 05:56am Truck Campers
RE: Campsite Squatters

This article is pretty comprehensive on why not to dump grey water including where it is specifically illegal including Montana. That has to be one of the most painful and badly written 'article's' I've read. They could have shaved it to 100 words and come up with the same 'possibly a chance that it could have an effect'.
Reality Check 08/31/20 10:52am Truck Campers
RE: Who is a Full Timer with a Camper?

.... I don't get what the big deal is. All I wanted to know was if people full timed in a camper and for them to share those experiences. Why does it matter what I take with me? As far as getting my setup into a camp spot? Yes I have been to places where a larger motorhome/5th Wheel/trailer wouldn't fit. So you move on and find some place where you can fit. Thanks again for the replies and I'll move on now. Glad you are moving on. Here is the "big deal". You asked for input from those of us who had full time experience but you have no interest in learning from those experiences. You have already made up you mind on every issue. It is not really a big deal but I feel like I wasted my time responding to your thread. I was thinking about this last night; the op sounded frustrated with the various responses. Here's the kicker: when one posts something on a public forum, it's fair game. One cannot 'direct' the conversation. Wildman, you received quite a few responses, and I'm guessing you could have gotten alot more, but folks can read between the lines, as I did. I also thought after reading several of your posts that your mind was set and you were looking more for confirmation than anything else. Have at it...but there is a wealth of knowledge, some is pretty good stuff, a lot learned by the school of hard knocks, all worth at least listening to. Even our resident PITA know it all offers some really sound advice at times.
Reality Check 08/20/20 09:01am Truck Campers
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