Thom & Cari's Adventure Blog - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
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Exclamation Thom & Cari's Adventure Blog

My plan is to use this thread to lay down more of a permanent online record (as permanent as pixels and zero's & one's can be anyway) of Cari's and my travels. Just as a way of introduction i thought i'd post a few pix of how our rig has progressed since the nest became empty in ~2007 and that is basically when the adventure began anew. Sure we had great times while the kids were growing up, but most did not involve camping for various reasons (read we really hated taking down camp all soggy and muddy!).

Here is a quick look at how our adventure rig evolved. Feel free to ask any questions about any setup.

So here we go...circa 2007 we buy a 2007 Toyota TRD 4x4 with all the trimmings (_link_ to build thread) and set it up with a queen bed platform under the shell and a Truck Tent behind for changing and relaxation:



And here is the camp setup with two room Truck Tent out the canopy sleeping area:



One of the most memorable moments in this setup was when Cari noticed some movement one evening while we were playing cards in the main tent room...it turned out to be a field mouse. Ah the serendipitous moments...that little mouse prompted us to go out and get the next morph of the adventure rig...

Our 17 foot A-Liner:
wait for it...this is looking out the cab up the trail while pulling the A-Liner to a secluded camp...yes we did take it off road!



And here is a shot of the two together set up at camp:



And another on the road and parked. Together we called it our TACOliner:



So the next morph came because of two reasons:
1) The high winds on the coast and many places we camped made A-Liner set up a bit hazardous. &
2) Cari & I had been drooling over Sportsmobile style van conversions.
Soooooo...........
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:20 PM   #2
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Continued....

In fall of 2010 we sold everything and started from scratch with a 2010 Chevy AWD Cargo Van:



Let me say this about that...We really had no idea how much work it would be for the two of us to take it from what you see above, shot the first day we brought it home... To full van conversion!

Playing in the dunes...yes the AWD comes in handy even off pavement




a shot inside...



...which brings us to Spring of 2013... (yup...THREE YEARS of TLC (or TCL ThomCariLester) we poured into making the van what it is today. Our mobile Bed & Bath. (more info on this project is in the build thread _link_)

Our Van Conversion and our 2013 Parkliner 15 foot travel trailer...
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:21 PM   #3
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The AWD Van is the tow vehicle for our 2013 Parkliner (_link_ to build thread) that we use primarily for relaxation and dinning. Plus showers while in camp.

looking aft...



Looking foward...



...all so Cari & I can enjoy vistas like this:


and travel down roads lined with these....


and find a secluded campsite next to one of these...


...We are planning a trip so Sunset Falls camp Memorial Day week and will post a trip report after arriving home.

Happy travels, and maybe we will meet on the trails!
Thom (& Cari)
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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Hey, Thom!

Is that Mt. St. Helen's in the "vista" pic?

Francesca
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:09 PM   #5
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Yuppers. It is looking south from Indian Cave near Randall Wa
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:17 PM   #6
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I thought so.

Spent a lot of time up there as a kid...of course, the mountain was a little taller back then. But I'd still know it anywhere!

Francesca
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
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I was living in Reno Nevada when it blew... And still had ash on the auto!
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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I was living in Port Townsend, Washington (almost two hundred miles to the north) when it blew- and I heard it go!

It was a festival weekend and the Navy was in town...I was out in the yard with a friend and when we heard the "boom" we thought it was one of the ships firing a salute. It was only when I went to work a few hours later that I got the news.

My own personal experience of the truly stupendous power of nature!

Francesca
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:21 PM   #9
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Nice job with the new thread Thom. Keep building the life that you seek. It looks like you are well on your way.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:54 PM   #10
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We made it to Paradise Point State Park just north of Battle Ground Washington... We made reservations here for a couple nights because our next stop on the adventure is a first come first served forestry camp and didn't want to chance having no place to stay with the holiday weekend.

Both parks are without services which suits our style.

On a technical note that I will repeat at my Parkliner build thread... The LT 185R14 8 ply tires are amazing! What a positive move on Chandler's part.

I'll post some in camp pix tomorrow.

Enjoy the holiday!
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:06 PM   #11
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Rain finally let up for a quick photo... It is 1300 memorial day & the park has few remaining campers left... & none within sight of our spot. Happy Hermit Campers... Just my soul mate & i.

Attachment 59675

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Old 05-30-2013, 09:26 PM   #12
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OK, we made it back home to the Oregon Coast. Overall the VanConversion + Parkliner was everything we'd hoped/planed it would be. A comfortable two room home-on-wheels!

Other than the three days we spent with the FGRV forum group in Salem a few weeks ago at the spring gathering this week's trip was our first official camp-out totally off grid for 5 days.

I don't have details on battery consumption as i ran out of time to install the Xantrex LinkLite before the trip. We ran the MaxxFan maybe a total of 30 minutes tops for the trip. LED lights were on for maybe 3 fixtures x 6 hours x 5 days, ran the sump pump for maybe a minute for our two showers, and then ran the water pump ~ 5 minutes (?) total. Battery voltage before leaving for home was at 12.8 volts on the meter & 13.2 in our driveway at home after the three hour drive back to the coast.

Our next trip is in three weeks and we will be out again for 5 days. This time the meter will be in to monitor use and i'll report.

We used almost 1 butane canister for boiling ~ 8 cups per day of tea/coffee water + brunch & linner meals and two pots of water for the showers. And _almost_ one butane canister for room-heating running ~1/2 hour each morning to take the chill out of the air set on low with heater placed inside front shower/bath area with bath window cracked and heater pointed into living space with galley window cracked and MaxxFan cracked with Carbon Dioxide & Carbon Monoxide detectors located in living area. The only techno-funny event of the trip was when a kettle of water boiled and the steam set off the smoke detector : )

I measured the grey tank liquid when emptying, it was a measured 3 gallons of water out of the tank. That was the water from simple kitchen sink use (washing of utensils/cups), and two showers. Yea, i know, crazy right? But we have learned how to really conserve over the years. And the two showers we had were luxuriously long.

Next adventure i will have some updates and more particulars on power consumption.

--------the first two nights, as mentioned in a prior post, were at Paradise Point State Park near Woodland Washington off i5. A nice wooded setting with simple toilet/shower facilities. We arrived around dinner time Sunday night on Memorial Day weekend and it was fairly full campground but some very soggy camps! The rain was pretty much non-stop. We knew that going into the adventure, and it did not bother us in the least. We enjoyed the sound of rain on the roof and change of scenery out the RV window (our typical view is the golf course green out the windows of our Mobile Suite on the coast).

By Monday dinner we were the only ones in our loop and we counted ~5 camps occupied when we headed out Tuesday noon. : ) Perfect for us Happy Hermits!!



Here is a shot taken during a short recess from the rainfall:



-------Nights three and four were at one of our favorite campgrounds; Sunset Falls Campground near Battle Ground Washington (~1 hr from Paradise Point). Again...lots of rain. Was only able to take a couple short walks to the river and falls, but an enjoyable stay and beautiful views out the windows of the Parkliner. And spending the late evenings snuggled in the Froli inside the Van for movie nite and popcorn : )

Here are some views at SSFCG:



Our patio...for about 45 minutes until the rain started up again!

If you are in the market for wonderfully comfortable camp chairs we recommend Strongback camp chairs! We have two of the smaller "Zen" models as they were what our height/chart recommended. Great chairs!

and looking up from the river to camp:


Here are two shots with the views out the rear three windows...open during the rain!




The river was ROARING!!


It was fun observing the flow and high water marks as we will be back in a couple months to go gold prospecting (Cari's hobby) and i'll have some fun new rock courses to run my RC Rock Crawlers on.

On the way home we saw a Casita pulled by a burgundy color light truck...they followed hwy 30 all the way into Warrenton and turned toward Fort Stevens Campground as we continued south to our place a couple miles away. Looks like the sun is peeking through the clouds and they should have a nice weekend!



Happy Trails,
Thom
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:36 PM   #13
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Enjoyed reading about your latest adventures. Love the picture of your two chairs up over the river. I can almost hear the roaring of the water in my office!

The northeast seems like a great place to soak (sorry for the pun) in the outdoors. And glad that you and Cari, enjoyed your new tires and first off the grid camping trip.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accrete View Post
We used almost 1 butane canister for boiling ~ 8 cups per day of tea/coffee water + brunch & linner meals and two pots of water for the showers. And _almost_ one butane canister for room-heating running ~1/2 hour each morning


"Butane"???? And if so: why not propane?

Francesca
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