Off grid camping Big Shell/PINS (Padre Island National Seashore) in Aliner

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by Goodgollyjosh, May 16, 2018.

  1. Goodgollyjosh

    Goodgollyjosh Member

    21
    27
    Jul 5, 2017
    San Antonio
    Just got back from a trip off-grid with my son to PINS. We spent the weekend out there and it was well worth the $10 entry fee. Total trip with fuel and groceries about $200. I'm a budget minded papa so these types of excursions are always preferable. I checked the tide charts and weather before going and it only showed a 1.5ft. sea level change from high tide to low tide and clear skies with nice warm weather. We brought lots of tools and equipment to help us get unstuck in the event we had issues but things went well.

    I aired down the tires to 15 psi including the trailer tires and this made a huge difference in traction on the truck and over all comfort as well as keeping the camper from bouncing around too much. We drove 20 miles down the beach (first 20 miles is Little Shell) and parked about half a mile further just so I could say that I made it to Big Shell. The beach is 60 miles in total length but even with 4x4 it was just getting too scary to keep going. I have read of other members of the PUP forum getting stuck out here so I wanted to error on the side of caution especially since we were alone.

    I recently installed 27x8.50 Khumo M/T tires on the camper to match my 33x12.50 Khumos that I have on the truck. Since there are people on this forum that like to remind me that trailer tires do not drive the vehicle and that trailer tires need not have aggressive tread let me state that I did this for aesthetics and to increase my height of the camper slightly and widened my foot print slightly as well. This helped when going through some of the rougher areas on the beach due to increased ground clearance and wider foot print. They are also more puncture resistant for when I am in Big Bend and other areas with rocks/thorns. Even with 500 pounds of gear, food, and water in the camper I never scraped the fenders with the larger tires even after going over some big bumps.

    We did all the usual beach activities: play in the water, fish, camp fires with smores, etc. I have my generator in a quiet box and it worked great. I ran the AC all night and we watched a movie and had popcorn. We cooked lots of good grub too! The water out there is super clean and pretty since it is so far from any cities/pollution. We only saw the occasional person pass by as well as the park rangers. Everyone was super friendly and waved as they passed. I'd highly recommend this place to anyone looking to get away from the masses. 4x4 recommended. (Not to be confused with South Padre Island)

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  2. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

    1,096
    270
    Sep 9, 2013
    Kansas City
    Excellent! You are making memories that will last both of you a lifetime. [:)C]
     
    Goodgollyjosh likes this.
  3. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

    439
    70
    Nov 25, 2015
    Very cool! Great on beach camping! Bet your son had a ball!
     
    Goodgollyjosh likes this.
  4. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

    Love the pics. Glad you had a wonderful trip to the beach.

    Keep making memories.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
    Goodgollyjosh likes this.
  5. Ruby Jean

    Ruby Jean Member

    32
    21
    May 30, 2017
    Bellingham, WA
    Wow, that place looks like a little piece of heaven. No worries about "sneaker waves" there? I like the overhead storage you created inside your trailer.
     
    Goodgollyjosh likes this.
  6. Goodgollyjosh

    Goodgollyjosh Member

    21
    27
    Jul 5, 2017
    San Antonio
    We didn't have any issues with rogue waves. That is not to say that it isn't possible. Thank you for the comments on the storage, it has helped out a lot in keeping the limited counter space open for other things.
     
  7. Texas Tara

    Texas Tara New Member

    13
    1
    Apr 3, 2018
    Man! I'm so jealous. The kids are begging us to do this. PINS is on our list as a priority, but I have to buy another truck first as I don't trust my wife's Ody to make it down there. lol
     
    Goodgollyjosh likes this.

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