RETHINKING CAMPING AFTER 80 YRS OLD...

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by roybraddy, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    My OFF-ROAD POPUP has water damage on the corner of the rear end that I haven't started repairs yet... This happened from sitting at the edge of my driveway for a few years with no tarp over it...

    Seems like getting older here age wise is slowing down my camping trips... Was most of the time solo camping trips to the high country here in Virginia and along the VA/WVA wooded high country. The last couple of trips out this way is starting to run into a lot of people walking the trails... One couple actually approached me one time asking for food I might have to share... Making me think I might be in harms way being solo on these kinds of trips???...

    I recently made big changes to a newer battery bank with two groups of 6VDC batteries in series in a new to me TORKLIFT Battery Bank box with slide off lid. This unit has a small trickle charge 10WATT solar panel for each group mounted on the slide off lid. Working great setup near my home Ssouth wall next to my driveway. This is currently running a couple of 12V Power Inverter providing 120VAC into the house... All working just fine.

    I am thinking now I probably should install this setup in the front of my truck bed where I have a folding hard panel that could easily be folded open to allow the sun to hit the two small trickle charge solar panels and just use this setup for emergency power from the back of my truck.

    This could provide 12VDC to my off-road POPUP trailer as well as possible Tent camping as well as being available for the House needs during power outages...

    The original plan was to mount the Battery bank on the tongue of my POPUP trailer...

    Since my camping trips are become less and less this may be a over-all better idea as I can back in the truck almost anywhere where backup power might be needed...

    For year now I have always had my 2KW Honda Generator sitting in the tail gate corner of my covered and lockable bed cover. Have used the Honda Generator on numerous occasions when needed to jump start someone in a parking lot etc...

    The only down side to having my very heavy battery bank in the front of the truck bed is this will not be easily removed and will reduce my wood gathering capability for our fire place wood haha... I do have a utility trailer I used to use alot for tent camping trips so there always a way to do what you need to do I reckon...

    Just thinking out loud here haha...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Reassessing from time to time not a bad thing. That was one of the reasons we moved from the popup to the small TT. We've never been boon-dockers, for a number of reasons, but some of the campgrounds we use are pretty remote - one of our favorites is 45 minutes or so from the nearest town. North Rim of Grand Canyon is actually farther from an actual town, but there are a couple of places with services closer so it doesn't seem as remote. I haven't been approached for food or money in the places we camp, though it's a regular thing in town at home (Albuquerque). We're in the SW, so there are people and drug smugglers, which is one of the many reasons I'm just as happy to stick to organized campgrounds.
     
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  3. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I have this one spot near a place called FLAGEPOLE RIDGE in the George Washington Forest where I can setup and using camo barriers hanging around the camp site hides me pretty good... But the squeaks and squawks from my Ham radio gives me away haha... I had two forest rangers walk in on me wanting to know what I was up to haha... So much for that idea...

    My other love is tent camping near a stream and waking up in the morning drinking my good of fresh ground and brewed bean coffee watchin the fish jump haha... I can find several public camp grounds around here to do that I reckon... VA has many really nice camp grounds around the numerous lakes here... Sherando Lake near I64 Afton is one of those excellent Tent Camping areas...

    [​IMG]
    Google image

    Hard not to like these rocked in tent camping areas at Sherando Lake...
    One of my son-in-laws is building a camp house on the back of his property here in VA next to a stream... Already got plans for that haha...

    Roy Ken
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  4. tzmartin

    tzmartin Well-Known Member

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    Wow, those camo tarps really do hide you well! Can't even find you in the picture...
     
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  5. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I'm missing some of my early photos sorry bout that … will do some digging here...

    These were camo netting attached to rope between trees... Great for camp site shade... Purchased from AMAZON as I recall...

    ADDED NOTE: Came up short on finding any photos... You van look on AMAZON for CAMO NETTING and get an idea what I was doing...

    Roy Ken
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  6. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Reassessing your own needs is something highly individual. I am a good ways away from 80, but closer to that number than to say 10... I guess it depends on how you define middle aged, but I am past that I am pretty sure...

    Since you are retired, I personally would want to go travel as much as physically possible, to see new and beautiful things. But your life situation may not allow that, or even be something you want....

    For me, if I were able to afford to go solar, since I am not using it to power the truck per se, I would keep it on the camper. And of course keep the camper close by to the house if you need to run something off of it in a power outage. FWIW, it sounded like, and I may be wrong, but you have 2 10 watt solar panels? 20 watts isn't enough for what I would need. Honestly 200 is pretty much the absolute minimum for me, but as you know, more is better in the energy department.

    Some things to consider.

    #1. Do youneed power for medical stuff? CPAP, Oxygen Generators etc...
    #2. Is your fridge electric, or will you run it off of propane?
    #3. Will you try using a giant power drain like AC or the built in furnace / blower off grid?

    Due to CPAP, and some spinal issues, backpacking is way out of my ability any more, which is honestly a REALLY depressing concept for me, but I have to live with it... I still tent camp as often as possible, and have to drag power with me, park campgrounds with power are hard to come by...
     
  7. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    dbhost… I am currently in great health for being 80.. No issues other than blood pressure and gout…

    My battery bank can give me plenty of 12VDC power to run power inverter especially from 4PM to 11PM. When my batteries run down to around 12.0VDC I am able to power my POPUP main inverter for three hours using my 2KW generator to get from the 50% charge state back up to 90% charge. I can do about ten of these day/night run before I have to do a full 100$ charge without doing any damage to my battery bank...

    My newest battery bank will give at least double this capacity... I would like to get a couple of solar panels going that would reduce my generator run time down to one hour verses the three hours I currently use it... Each of my batteries want to see around 20AMPS of current when first hit with 14.4DC Volts initial charge. Once I get paste this charging stage then using solar panels to give 5AMPS going into each battery to get to the 90% charge state while the sun is still up...

    Roy Ken
     
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  8. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    We like Sherando lake. We live about 500 miles from there but have camped there 3 times. If we are going to drive the blue ridge or skyline, or go to Jefferson's house.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  9. Backtonature

    Backtonature Active Member

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    There is no age limit on camping, however more on how you feel when you think you want to go camping. Life is Great! and a Blessing to be on this side of the dirt at any age:grin:
     
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  10. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    +2 no age limit.
     
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  11. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone is diffrent, i do know people that as they got older decided not to travel as much. They found a campground they liked, and that would alow them to set up year round. Now they just drive to there getaway, no set up needed. This may or may not be for you, but its an option.
     
  12. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    NEVER GIVE UP!

    There was a rural town about 15 miles from here thirty or forty years ago. A ninety year old lived in the country outside of town and there was a road that lead into town - Egg and Butter Road. Each morning she would ride into town and visit with the shop keepers and on Sunday she would go to Church. This consumed half her day. Then was the drive back to her house to cook, feed the chickens, etc.

    The Do Gooders couldn't stand this and started a campaign telling her bike riding on that "BUSY" road was dangerous and she was going to get killed. They finally talked her into giving up the bike. Six months later she was dead. For 6 months she sat in that house with minimal social contact. I think she died of boredom. The Do Gooders took away her reason to live. She could of continued to ride and been killed the next day. I like to think she would have lasted several years.

    A philosopher once said a grave is a rut caused by limitations.

    I am Social Security eligible and have 38 miles on a road bike this week between the rains. I am not as sharp as I used to be and may get killed tomorrow but will not allow that to take away doing what I enjoy.
     
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  13. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Do what makes you happy and you can physically do. Maybe this particular kind of camping isn’t working anymore and you just need to find what else works for you. My dad upgraded to a TT as he could no longer work a popup or sleep on the beds. Pretty soon he may have to give the camper up and resort to cabins to rent as the maintenance is getting too much for him now, but switching over to the TT bought him a good 7 more years he wouldn’t have got if he kept the popup. Everyone is different and may have different abilities only you can really make the ultimate decision, but look at other avenues first.
     
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  14. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Just had to share this story. My aunt was a writer. When I was a child she would write these very Long hand written letters all of her family. They were always so full of love and joy. She kept a journal and wrote short stories at every chance she got. When her hands developed arthritis she used a typewriter she was still very happy as she could still do what she loved to do. She eventually switched to a word processor as the typewriter was too much for her fingers. Sadly though she ended up going blind and it was like a light switch turned off. Her love and joy was replaced by sadness, her whole will to live left the moment she could no longer write. May she Rest In Peace, where she is finally able to write again surrounded by her loving animals that she adored.
     
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  15. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Roy, you will know when taking a camper out is not right for you. At your age, some people have no problem and other do. Just a questions of your gene makeup your health and how fit you keep yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  16. nineoaks2004

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

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    Roy as we get older, the hardest thing is learning to slow down and to "work smart for a change " :) It ain't easy either as I tend to over-do things, we can do the same things just slower. I do not think I would ever stop camping, I just go a little less and the backpacking and solo river trips I decided that the smart thing was to stick to dry land camping because with my age and medical problems it is not
    the smart thing to do as most of my trips medical help (or any other type of help) is non-existent. So I camp in state parks and travel closer to home but Pebbles and I still enjoy our trips and hopefully will for a long time.
     
  17. Backtonature

    Backtonature Active Member

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    What did the "Do Gooders" have to say about that young lady dying due to their actions? probably nothing..sad that some folks can influence a person or Persons to a point that they believe what folks are telling them.
     
  18. Backtonature

    Backtonature Active Member

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    at my age 56 and my wife's 60 (yes, she has a young man and I have a beautiful wife;)) we think this 05' Fleetwood Bayliner may be a bit too big for just us 2, however time will tell
     
  19. FARfetched

    FARfetched Active Member

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    :( I wonder if anyone suggested she use a tape recorder; it sounds like family members would have transcribed letters and stories for her. Or was it one transition too many? Nowadays, there's dictation software instead of tape recorders, but still.

    If she had been able to hang on long enough… and I expect the next few decades could bring a prevention or cure for the Alzheimer's that took my dad.
     

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