Advice for setting up on wooded land

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by Toby Gardner, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Toby Gardner

    Toby Gardner New Member

    Oct 19, 2017
    I am new to the world of pop up camping and to this forum. I recently purchased a 1988 Jayco 806 (8 ft by 7 ft footprint) in good condition to put on vacant land I purchased in upstate New York. The land has a slight slope and is lightly wooded (see pic). The previous owner of the pop up said I should build a platform to keep the camper off the ground. This is on a dirt road that is not passable from Dec through March due to snow so it would be left in the open Just curious about suggestions for properly setting up a camper in the woods and also suggestions for protecting it during the winter months on the mountain. Thanks.

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  2. NMroamer

    NMroamer Active Member

    Apr 21, 2016
    Albuquerque NM
    I hope that you do not plan on leaving it open during storage.
    Pop ups are not made for extended periods being open.
  3. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

    Jul 18, 2013
    Thornville, OH
    my big concern would be the snow load on the roof
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  4. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Even closed up, a tree or branch will fall on it sooner or later. I suspect if the mice don't get it, the vandals will.

    With that said, there is no need to build a wooden platform. Just put some boards or pavers under the tires.
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    First I got to say what a beautiful piece of property. If the camper is to serve as a cabin in the woods I agree about putting something under the tires. My camper is stored in a grassy field and in the spring it sinks into the ground unless I spread the weight. My worry about wood blocks is it could disintegrate and get "buggy" over time. Campers can be stored out in the elements assuming the roof has been well maintained and its shut tight. What you haven't mentioned is how accessible this property is or how often you will visit. The biggest worry I see is if your area is prone for big heavy wet snows you may need to visit to brush the snow off. A pop up roof can only handle so much weight. Now trees may provide some protection from the snow, but could also pose a problem with broken tree limbs. Being in the woods you will need to make sure there is not a single gap for critters to crawl in. Perhaps put some other critter deterant. Make sure all stabilizers are up and stowed to prevent easy entrance for critters. Cover all vents,etc when your not visiting. It should be ok as long as you visit fairly frequently to ensure things are still solid. Being in the elements caulking can break down so you may need to do more maintenance to ensure a leak proof roof. My camper is stored in a field for storage, but fairly easy for me to visit it. the winter months I don't get out there as often, but do need to worry about snows. Good luck.
  6. Arruba

    Arruba Member

    Nov 28, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Pavers or concrete pads to park it on. If it staying in the same place then pavers or pads for the stabilizers/jack too.
    Snow shed to put it under when you are not using it
    Better yet, a full shed to put it in when you are not using it

    Truth is your idea is not totally out of the question. My Viking was purchased from a family who used it like a summer/weekend cottage. They kept it at a private lake development. Think trailer park in the woods. They had a 3 sided shed they kept it and their boat in. When they used it they just pulled it forward onto the pad and popped it up. Before me it was maybe used a 1000 times and only traveled maybe 30ft from storage.

    Best of luck with your endeavor
  7. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    I think I would most definitely put up one of the Carport metal structures...


    You might want to check-in with the local county folks on what is allowed for land like this. I know here in Virginia there are all kinds of rules/permits for doing somthing like this. Our county has laws against living in a Trailer House except at trailer parks etc... Then there is what to do about the sewer. Can't just dump that on the ground... One guy I know here wanted to install an Power Pole in the middle of his country land and had all kinds of problems getting a county permit to do that. He was eventually wanting to build a house on his land and wanted to have the power pole up with 120VAC available at the pole to use first. I don't know if he ever got the permit to do that or not...

    Just saying it might be a good idea to check-in about those things before getting a bunch things purchased and then find out the county won't issue a permit to use it...

    We used to do all kinds of thing back in the 50s and 60s along this line. Now they all want the almighty $$$ and issue use permits etc..

    You also can't put up a garage here by it's self in King George County with no house and live in it...

    Roy Ken
  8. Toby Gardner

    Toby Gardner New Member

    Oct 19, 2017
    Thank you so much for all these replies and advice, especially regarding snow load. The popup would be stored closed and would not be accessible for 4 or 5 months so perhaps I will store it somewhere closer and then build a shed, as several of you suggested. But I wanted to ask you guys: would a tarp kept above the trailer and angled not work? I would not wrap the camper in the tarp but would create a ridgeline to allow airflow and snow to fall off?

    Luckily this is in an area where campers are permitted to stay on land year-round. You just can't live in it full time. Yes, this is very much my "cabin in the woods" before I have had a chance to build an actual cabin!

    Thank you all again.
  9. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

    Jul 18, 2013
    Thornville, OH
    The tarp would be a good idea and if you could angle it. Popups for the most part are not built for a lot of load on the roof.
  10. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    I Hate to say it but you would be much better off selling the pop up camper and buying a hard sided camper. The advantage of popups is that they are easy to tow and store. For a stationary camper a regular camper would be much better.
  11. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    You could do everything, or you could do nothing. How long do you want the camper to last? Popping it up in the spring and folding it back down in the fall would provide the shortest lifespan. Leaving it folded when not in use would extend it's life. Putting it on a platform/slab would reduce the amount of rust that forms on the underside. Putting it under a roof when not in use would protect the roof and make it last longer. Doing all of the above will protect it from moisture, rain, snow, and falling branches, but there's still the prospect of critters getting into it. You could go as far as building a garage to store it in, but at that point, why not use the garage as a cabin.
    It all depends on the amount of work you want to do. If it were me, I'd put some pavers under the wheels, fold it up when not in use, and hope for the best.
  12. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    Make sure it is tilted front to back for water to run off ad make sure all holes for bug entrances are secured. The tarp idea might work if it is a heavy tarp, those cheap one would probably not hold up well. A shed like pictured by roybrady would probably be the best long term answer. Good luck and Happy Camping

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