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View Full Version : Traveling on the cheap...where to just sleep.



David S.
01-19-2008, 22:38
I'm cheap. Often times when I am traveling cross country, I just want to get to my destination. The part I hate is when its time to go to bed but I just don't want to sleep in the car. I've often wondered say if I could just pull into a Lows parking lot and dive into one of those storage sheds for the night. I've never been brave enough though cause I doubt I would be able to sleep for fear of some over zealous police officer busting me. Another thought is why couldn't I just pull off the side of the interstate and just run into the woods with my tent and sleeping bag for the night and just leave early in the morning. My car would just look like a stranded car until I left the next day. I hate sleeping in my car and I hate paying a minimum of $35 for a cheap hotel.

I hope I am not the only one here that has pondered these ideas. Sooo...what sorts of cheap methods do you/have you used to get a good nights sleep while driving to a distant trail head or your just on the road for a long time.

Montego
01-19-2008, 23:14
On long cross country trips I just pull into interstate rest stops like the truckers do. They're usually safer IMO than just stopping on the roadway since most of the ones I've been at were lighted and had other people around (truckers, other travelers) plus the availability of (usually) restrooms, water, trash cans, and occasionally vending machines.

Another good place are truck stops. Most don't mind if you sleep for the night in your car, plus again, you have restrooms, water, trash cans, travel store, and it's fairly IMO safe.

In some wide open states like Wyoming, New Mexico, or Nevada, it's still possible to park on a side road and camp a bit away from your vehicle, but in this day and age even that can be somewhat iffy. The problems may not be so much with the LEO's as with the locals. Stay safe.

weary
01-20-2008, 00:14
My road tripping buddy and I once spent 6 weeks on the road camping and going to music festivals and concerts. We didnt have much cash, so we spent several nights a week sleeping in the back of the jeep cherokee (pretty cramped!)we were driving. We would stay in hotel parking lots where we decided cars were expected to be overnight and occasionally at churches where we could probably talk our way out of any trouble. At hotels we eventually got bold enough to wash up in their bathrooms, eat the complimentary breakfast, take coffee and fruit for the road, and fill up our cooler with ice. We got some funny looks at times, but no one ever said anything to us. 17 states, lots of good music, great and not so great camping, ramen and hotdogs every day and sometimes twice. It would've been more comfortable/honest with a bigger budget, but it was the best summer of my life.
It used to be easy. In the mid 1950s, I and a buddy drove from Maine to Seattle, Washington, to pick up a 1920s Mercedes Benz he had purchased before going to Korea.

We stopped every night, set up a tent in city parks or anyplace we could get off the road. No one objected. One morning in Seattle we were awoken by a cop walking across a downtown park where we were camping while the Benz was being repaired. We expected to be kicked off. Instead he only announced that we weren't allowed to park our car on the grass.

The plan had been to tow the Benz home with my $150 1940 Buick. But the Benz was too heavy, so we got the Mercedes going and towed my Buick home instead.

My wife and I did somewhat the same thing three years ago when we toured all the northern National Parks. For weeks we camped most nights in National and state parks and forests enroute to Olympic National Park, and drove home through Canada, also camping most nights in that country's parks and forests.

Weary

scavenger
01-20-2008, 00:30
Road tripping around western virginia, arizona, utah, nevada and parts of oregon ive not had problems finding a place to spend the night on the ground next to the car... doesn't work in more populated areas though.

JF2CBR
01-20-2008, 01:17
I sometimes look for a state park to camp in, they are usually only 10 dollars or so for a nights camping.

I've been known to bunk down in Walmart parking lots too, even had a few police officers stop because they were curious (only once in a walmart that wasn't open 24 hours), but no one ever asked me to leave.

Jim Adams
01-20-2008, 01:23
park in the rest area and camp in the woods behind it.

geek

Caveman of Ohio
01-20-2008, 01:28
http://www.couchsurfing.com/ This site my be helpful

take-a-knee
01-20-2008, 01:32
park in the rest area and camp in the woods behind it.

geek

That is a lot smarter than sleeping in your car in a lonely rest area. I'm sure Michael Jordan would agree with that, especially around father's day.

Bob S
01-20-2008, 01:45
park in the rest area and camp in the woods behind it.

geek



Iím fairly sure this is against the law, at least in Ohio.

Jim Adams
01-20-2008, 02:01
Iím fairly sure this is against the law, at least in Ohio.

probably is but if you park near the end of the lot away from all the foot traffic near the restrooms etc., most people don't even notice you going back there...I've done it all over Ohio...never had a problem.

geek

Nearly Normal
01-20-2008, 02:03
You see RVs in mallwart parking lots, usually at the further fringes.
Sometimes for several days.

I have a pickup with a camper shell and have slept in it at removed places but wouldn't have a problem with a big parking lot. Most are under camera security.
If your scared take your pistol with you. That's what its for.
You have the RIGHT to keep and bear arms in this country.

Jim Adams
01-20-2008, 02:05
Just thought that I'd add this: you don't set up your tent!!!!!!
sleep in your bag on a mat or in a bivy. If it is raining I just tolerate sleeping in the car just to keep my gear dry.

geek

Jim Adams
01-20-2008, 02:07
You see RVs in mallwart parking lots, usually at the further fringes.
Sometimes for several days.

I have a pickup with a camper shell and have slept in it at removed places but wouldn't have a problem with a big parking lot. Most are under camera security.
If your scared take your pistol with you. That's what its for.
You have the RIGHT to keep and bear arms in this country.


Wal-mart actually encourages motorhomes to stay in their lots.


geek

Bob S
01-20-2008, 02:25
My brother is getting ready to retire and loves to travel & camp. He bought one of these teardrop campers. It’s light (like 600 pounds) and easy to pull with almost any car. He does what he calls Boon-docking with it. Basically this is what people do when they stay at Wal-Mart, K-mart or flying J truck stops. It’s a small camper that on the inside has a mattress that unfolds to cover the whole floor. It has a powered roof vent, lights, DVD player. And a few other things we put into it to make it nice to sleep & travel in. It allows him to travel very inexpensively.


Here is the link to it; he has the one on the right with the NASCAR package. It’s on the left side of the web page, in fact the picture is his exact trailer as he bought the demo/ show model they used for shows & the web site pictures. People really look at you when driving down the road with this behind you.
http://www.golittleguy.com/cms/ (http://www.golittleguy.com/cms/)


PS while Wal-Mart allows campers to park in their lots overnight. Some cities don’t. Here in the Toledo area there is a Wal-Mart in the suburb of Oregon and the wonderful Oregon city government will not allow any overnight parking in any store lots. So if you are boondocking, make sure it’s allowed before you just pull up and camp.

The nice thing about my brothers Little Guy trailer is it looks like a utility trailer and not a camper, so he can stealth-camp with it in a parking lot easier then a bigger travel trailer.

Frosty
01-20-2008, 03:01
I tend to grab a few winks in my car.I think rest areas are dangerous. I pull into the parking lot a motel and sleep there. Never been ousted yet.

I set a timer for 20 minutes. If I nap longer than that, I wake up logy. Sometimes I stop for 20 minutes every hour after midnight. When the sun comes up, I'm fine.

Pokey2006
01-20-2008, 04:18
Not all Wal-Marts allow camping in their lots! The Wal-Mart I frequent in NH has signs everywhere saying no camping/overnight parking. So check first.

River Runner
01-20-2008, 04:35
Most rest areas I've seen prohibit overnight (all night) parking. If you can find National Forests, camping is usually cheap or free. State parks are usually pretty cheap.

shelterbuilder
01-20-2008, 09:39
One of my friends (older, now deceased) had an older full-sized truck with a top over the bed. He laid carpet in the bed and built in some shelves, bought a battery pack to power small lights, and used that as his "camper". I used to drive a mini-van; I took out the rear bench and built in a pong padded bunk with dog crates underneath for my team. With the windows "blacked out" with those reflective silver windshield curtains (cut to size for the smaller windows), I'd be nice and dry and secure, and no one would know that I was in there. I could pull over anywhere and sleep for hours. I even used DC-powered fans and a battery pack and cracked the windows a bit to keep the windows from fogging up!

JAK
01-20-2008, 09:45
When I buy a car I make sure it is comfortable to sleep in. Most aren't.
Do they design them that way or what?

Grinder
01-20-2008, 09:59
I have a Geo Metro that I use for long solo trips. I remove the passenger seat, stow my baggage there, with a four foot long piece of plywood on top.I call it "the world's smallest RV".

I drive until 10PM and pull into a rest area. I sleep my normal hours (10:30 to 5:30) wake up, use the facilities, and continue the march.

All the interstate areas these days seemed to be signed "NO OVERNIGHT STAYS PERMITTED" , but I've never been challenged by "the man".

Miles of Smiles

Tom

Jim Adams
01-20-2008, 10:09
If your Wal-mart parking lot has signs stating no overnight parking then it is a local ordinance. Wal-mart does encourage it.

Rest areas are simply that. Although they may say no overnight parking it really means no camping. The state will not make you move on if you are too tired to drive...because it is a limited access highway and you can't simply get off of it where you are, it makes them liable for the concequences if they force you to move when you are too tired to drive.

geek

berninbush
01-20-2008, 10:11
When I was in college, my family had a small travel trailer. We spent lots of nights in truck stop parking lots. It can be a bit too noisy and bright, but ok for a night's sleep. Most of them are not a place to set up a tent though (in response to the original question).

We took a two-week trip to Wyoming with that camper one summer. We were driving a full-size van, and I came up with the idea of building a bed in the back so an off-duty driver could get some sleep. I bought six of those large stackable plastic drawers from Walmart and put them in the back of the van (in two rows of three). This gave each of us one drawer to store stuff we wanted to be able to access. Over the top row of drawers, I put a layer of sofa cushions and blankets. It made a very comfortable bed... in fact I ended up sleeping there at night, since our camper was a bit overcrowded!

On a recent road trip to California, a friend and I put a big cushion in the back seat of her regular-size car to make it more comfortable for sleeping while we took turns driving. It wasn't great, but it was better than just sleeping on the seat.

If you're looking for places to tent on a road trip, though, I think your best bet is campgrounds. Even private campgrounds like KOA's usually only charge $10 or $12 for a night (and you have a bathroom to use in the morning). Otherwise, you can stealth-camp on private property, but you have to be prepared for the possibilities of being arrested or waking up to find someone standing over you with a shotgun.

Freeleo
01-20-2008, 10:34
Most rest areas I've seen prohibit overnight (all night) parking. If you can find National Forests, camping is usually cheap or free. State parks are usually pretty cheap.

i have done this many many times in both a semi and a car...they definately will never run you off in a big rig bc it is legal unless you are illegally parked

you have more a chance or being harrassed in parks and forests IMO if sleeping in your car at night...that is then only place i have been woken up at night while sleeping.....so glad it was a cop and not some creepy eveil doer

truckstops are car friendly as far as my experinece goes......i have never been asked to leave while sleeping in the car and have never seen anyone harassed while i was out driving a truck........ and if on the road for days you can get a shower for 8 or less dollars

SlowLightTrek
01-20-2008, 11:03
I had a '79 toyota hatchback that worked well for traveling. Had a foam mattress in the back and shelving and one of those roof storage things. I used it for an RV and traveled all over with it. I only had a couple of problems with illegal parking but both times I was told to just move on.

DuctTape
01-20-2008, 11:13
When I travelled with my bicycle I often slept out under the pavilions in town parks. I've often found that if you're in rural America and check in with the local cops that they can be surprisingly accomodating - maybe this attitude changes if you're travelling with a car, though.

Jim Adams
01-20-2008, 11:32
When I travelled with my bicycle I often slept out under the pavilions in town parks. I've often found that if you're in rural America and check in with the local cops that they can be surprisingly accomodating - maybe this attitude changes if you're travelling with a car, though.

noticed the same thing when traveling by canoe.
the police actually gave us a ride to the police station to let us shower there then rode us to the supermarket and then back to the river. this happened in several small rural towns along the way
usually i've found that in-town...being friendly gets friendly treatment.:cool:

geek

mudhead
01-20-2008, 11:33
Key is rural America.

Some small town city parks in the West allow tent/RV camping.

Long ago boat launches in Maine worked well. Not today.

JAK
01-20-2008, 13:01
I have a Geo Metro that I use for long solo trips. I remove the passenger seat, stow my baggage there, with a four foot long piece of plywood on top.I call it "the world's smallest RV".

I drive until 10PM and pull into a rest area. I sleep my normal hours (10:30 to 5:30) wake up, use the facilities, and continue the march.

All the interstate areas these days seemed to be signed "NO OVERNIGHT STAYS PERMITTED" , but I've never been challenged by "the man".

Miles of Smiles

TomI had a suzuki forsa, then an early model swift, and found them very comfortable to sleep in because the drivers seat went back pretty far. I'm 6'0". Great cars. Suzuki has since gone the wrong way, like everyone else.

dessertrat
01-20-2008, 13:10
park in the rest area and camp in the woods behind it.

geek

That can be extremely dangerous in certain areas, or at least extremely seedy. Some "rest areas" are frequented by folks with the same tastes and interests as a certain Senator who got caught in an airport bathroom.

A truck stop is the best bet, where there are other people around. Sleep in the car.

Grinder
01-20-2008, 14:52
If you're looking for places to tent on a road trip, though, I think your best bet is campgrounds. Even private campgrounds like KOA's usually only charge $10 or $12 for a night (and you have a bathroom to use in the morning). Otherwise, you can stealth-camp on private property, but you have to be prepared for the possibilities of being arrested or waking up to find someone standing over you with a shotgun.[/quote]
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I don't know when you last "KOA'd" is but that figure is closer to $20 the places I've stopped at,

Tom

warren doyle
01-20-2008, 15:08
We have the Honda Hilton and the Ford Escort service.
Motel chain parking lots are the best. We do not use the bathrooms, complimentary breakfasts nor avail ourselves of the free newspapers.
I would never stay in an interstate rest area for safety reasons.

Bob S
01-20-2008, 15:15
If you're looking for places to tent on a road trip, though, I think your best bet is campgrounds. Even private campgrounds like KOA's usually only charge $10 or $12 for a night (and you have a bathroom to use in the morning). Otherwise, you can stealth-camp on private property, but you have to be prepared for the possibilities of being arrested or waking up to find someone standing over you with a shotgun.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know when you last "KOA'd" is but that figure is closer to $20 the places I've stopped at,

Tom[/quote]


All the KOAís Iíve been at are $30.00 a night for tent camping and even more if you have a big motor home, not $12.00 I donít even look to them any more because of their high price. :(

You sometimes can find a small Mom & Pop motel for $45.00 a night, for the $15.00 difference itís just as easy to have cable, private shower & air condition as it is to spend 30.00 a night to only camp a few hours.

River Runner
01-20-2008, 16:16
iyou have more a chance or being harrassed in parks and forests IMO if sleeping in your car at night...that is then only place i have been woken up at night while sleeping.....so glad it was a cop and not some creepy eveil doer

I was talking about staying in National Forest areas where camping is allowed (or in designated campground areas), and in campgrounds in State Parks. Neither of which place a cop should be waking you up. Both of which are usually fairly inexpensive, with some National Forest areas being free.

Another thought might be to find a trailhead, and backpack up the trailhead to the first available camping site.

I agree about the KOA fees. My parents camped a lot and even a couple of years ago most were $20-$30 a night. In some locations even higher.

hopefulhiker
01-20-2008, 17:00
One thing that I did to be able to sleep in the back of a van was to pack stuff in bins.. When I parked in a rest area. I would strap the bins on top of the roof.. This made more room to sleep.

dblari
01-20-2008, 17:03
This web site has a list of Mom & Pop motels all over the country. www.motelguide.com

berninbush
01-20-2008, 17:08
I don't know when you last "KOA'd" is but that figure is closer to $20 the places I've stopped at,


All the KOAís Iíve been at are $30.00 a night for tent camping and even more if you have a big motor home, not $12.00 I donít even look to them any more because of their high price. :(

Hmm, sorry if I'm giving bad info here. I last stayed at a KOA in June 2006 in San Antonio, and I remembered the price being around $12 for a basic tent site. Maybe I'm off and it was $20. I just looked at their website and they're quoting $24; I'm positive it wasn't that much when I stayed there. I'm thinking I got a "primitive site" with no hookups... but that's not advertised as an option on the web page... oh well.

State parks tend to be cheaper and nicer, anyway.

JAK
01-20-2008, 17:09
All the better, but honesty is always refreshing, whether its about the distant ore more recent past.
It was an interesting post. I thought the storage sheds at Lowe's was very funny also.

I used to pull over and sleep all the time, but not where I might get hit by a truck. On interstates rest areas where truckers pull over to sleep are good options. I've never had a problem with police on or near highways. It's better than sleeping while driving. Inside a town is a little different. You have to be a little more stealthy and unobtrusive inside a town. Golden rule. Out of sight, out of mind.

JAK
01-20-2008, 17:14
My main reason for not staying in a cheap motel beside money was the inconvenience. Rest areas are more convenient when you just want to get somewhere in a hurry. It's different now, because my wife won't sleep in a car, so we pick up those flyers they have at the rest stops and find a place that way. If I was travelling alone I would stay at a motel, mostly for reasons of nostalgia.

JAK
01-20-2008, 17:15
I meant to say if I was travelling alone I would not stay at a motel, mostly for reasons of nostalgia.

modiyooch
01-20-2008, 17:24
I have a Honda Element and it's a tent on wheels. Great car for my lifestyle. More comfortable than the ground. The only hesitation I have about sleeping in my car is that I do NOT want to be approached while I am sleeping. I don't think that I could handle the adrenalin rush.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-20-2008, 18:22
Please do not post ideas that involve theft of services as encouraging illegal activities violates the site's TOS. Some post were removed for commenting on the illegal activities

Jack Tarlin
01-20-2008, 18:29
How on earth does a post condemning theft of services encourage tewft of services, FD?

By simply eliminating my post, it makes it look like I said something bad, or something contrary to website rules, which is most certainly NOT the case.

With all due respect, I think that some of the posts that were deleted were perfectly OK.

What on earth is wrong with anyone condemning illegal activities or activities that damage the hiking community?

Beacaue that's all I was doing.

mudhead
01-20-2008, 18:30
Hmm, sorry if I'm giving bad info here. I last stayed at a KOA in June 2006 in San Antonio, and I remembered the price being around $12 for a basic tent site. Maybe I'm off and it was $20. I just looked at their website and they're quoting $24; I'm positive it wasn't that much when I stayed there. I'm thinking I got a "primitive site" with no hookups... but that's not advertised as an option on the web page... oh well.

State parks tend to be cheaper and nicer, anyway.

I once stayed at a 12.95 motel in Ft. Stockton, TX. Clean, but old. I should have stayed across the street for 15.95.

Stuff once was considerably cheaper in the Southwest. Insane here for a KOA.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-20-2008, 18:37
Several of the post deleted were deleted because they mentioned the illegal act, quoted the original or would not make sense without the original post.... not everyone that was deleted was encouraging such acts - most were denouncing it - Jack included.

workboot
01-20-2008, 18:52
I was the original poster who called attention to and denounced the aformentioned "illegal acts" and while I dont agree with the reasoning behind the removal of my post and the others as well, I understand this aint my house and I dont make the rules here.Happy hiking all.

Bob S
01-20-2008, 18:55
Isn’t deleting them a way of sweeping the action under the rug and also the post condemning that action also doing that? If you don’t like it, having it in the open and then seeing all the post that condemn the action sends a better message.

Sometimes I think there is too much enthusiasm to delete post here.

River Runner
01-20-2008, 19:39
Isnít deleting them a way of sweeping the action under the rug and also the post condemning that action also doing that? If you donít like it, having it in the open and then seeing all the post that condemn the action sends a better message.

Sometimes I think there is too much enthusiasm to delete post here.

No, it is removing a post that the poster should have had more sense than to post in the first place. The moderator's here do not want to encourage or condone illegal activities.

It is unfortunate that sometimes good and sensible posts do have to be deleted because they do not make sense when the post they refer to is gone. No need to take it personally, in my opinion. They are doing what they feel is best for the general hiking community.

There is really little censorship here. We all like to have a little fun, or argue our pet points, and many posts are allowed to remain that aren't strickly on topic or even hiking related. The moderators just happen to have certain standards they enforce more strictly. Those who want to continually complain might be happier elsewhere. No one makes people choose this forum, and there is really no point in arguing when the moderators choose to enforce their terms of service that each member agrees to when they join.

DBT fan
01-20-2008, 19:40
Interesting site for cutting the cost of travel.

http://www.cruisenews.net/van_camping/index.html

modiyooch
01-20-2008, 20:06
I didn't condone the act. I didn't reprimand the act. I didn't even mention the specific act, and yet my posts were deleted.

modiyooch
01-20-2008, 20:10
I guess that I understand, I just didn't get to read the jack's reply.

Darwin again
01-20-2008, 20:22
I didn't condone the act. I didn't reprimand the act. I didn't even mention the specific act, and yet my posts were deleted.

Here we go again...with the deleting.

shelterbuilder
01-20-2008, 20:27
It's done, folks - the horse is dead, let's NOT keep on whipping it!

modiyooch
01-20-2008, 20:29
Here we go again...with the deleting.hey, i couldn't edit my post and take it back.

Jack Tarlin
01-20-2008, 20:30
My reply.....and I can't for the life of me understand what was wrong with it, is that ripping off businesses is NOT something that occurs rarely, nor is it just a youthful prank, as some folks suggested.

This past year, on a very well-read Internet journal, a 2008 hiker bragged about how he and some other folks ripped off a New Hampshire Motel, and he seemed to think it was quite amusing.

And this was a middle aged hiker.

My point is that this is the sort of thing that makes business owners unfriendly towards the hiking community and is not something to be taken lightly, ever.

And F.D is quite right when she pointed out that publicizing, downplaying, or encouraging this sort of behavior is not something that is welcome at Whiteblaze.

What bothered me is that when other people made similar comments about how wrong these actions are.....they got their posts deleted for saying so.

What they did wrong in pointing this out still escapes me.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-20-2008, 20:33
http://ui31.gamespot.com/1214/deadhorsebeat_4.gif

Jack, I have two choices - leave the original and let y'all discuss how wrong it is or delete the original and all the replies to it that no longer refer to anything in the thread - so when a user looks at this thread six months from now he or she isn't going "Why in the name of blazes are these guys griping? I don't see anything illegal".

River Runner
01-20-2008, 20:35
Jack,

From what I recall about some of the deleted posts I read, I think it is more that it wouldn't have made sense once the original post was gone, not that they were wrong.

dixicritter
01-20-2008, 20:36
Y'all stop the arguing. You don't want us to edit your posts so the only other option is to delete them. That's why. Understand now?

dixicritter
01-20-2008, 20:38
http://ui31.gamespot.com/1214/deadhorsebeat_4.gif

Jack, I have two choices - leave the original and let y'all discuss how wrong it is or delete the original and all the replies to it that no longer refer to anything in the thread - so when a user looks at this thread six months from now he or she isn't going "Why in the name of blazes are these guys griping? I don't see anything illegal".

Let them look like fools then. If that will make them happy. :rolleyes:

shelterbuilder
01-20-2008, 20:38
http://ui31.gamespot.com/1214/deadhorsebeat_4.gif


LOVE IT!!!

berninbush
01-20-2008, 20:39
It's not that they did anything wrong, Jack. It's that when a new person comes along and reads this thread, not knowing about the post that was deleted, the following posts make no sense. The mods remove the whole conversation so that new readers don't get confused, and because once the original post is gone, the follow-up posts are no longer necessary. It's not a "punishment" of people who were upholding the TOS, it's just a courtesy to those who join the thread late.


Whiteblaze removes posts far less often than any other forum I've belonged to. If it were my place I'd be stricter. Just be glad I'm not a mod here! ;)


I once stayed at a 12.95 motel in Ft. Stockton, TX. Clean, but old. I should have stayed across the street for 15.95.

How long ago was that, mudhead? Ft. Stockton isn't exactly most people's dream vacation destination... but then again, if you're traveling in that part of the world there aren't a lot of other options of places to stop. :D I would think they could get away with charging more. Kind of like "last chance gas" before you cross the desert.

Rufous Sided Towhee
01-20-2008, 22:09
What the hell is going on here? My post got deleted because I said a truthful thing?? :confused:

This isn't the whiteblaze I used to know. Do we have new overlords or something? :confused:

hopefulhiker
01-20-2008, 22:12
Is sleeping in your car at rest stops illegal? It is a little creepy. But I have done it before.. I heard Michael Jordan's father was killled while sleeping on the roadside. They robbed him of a gold necklace he was wearing.

Rufous Sided Towhee
01-21-2008, 00:06
Here we go again...with the deleting.
Has this site been bought out by some third party or something? I haven't logged in for a few months and suddenly its like a different place. There was never all this heavy-handed post-deleting crap going on, especially for totally asinine reasons like the current mods are claiming.

Where is Sgt. Rock and does he approve of this? If he does, I am out of here, and will never recommend WB to anyone ever again.

berninbush
01-21-2008, 00:44
One of the mods you are referencing is Sgt. Rock's wife. I know he doesn't appreciate rude comments about her and her decisions.

The mods were doing a favor by keeping you from looking like an idiot. Not that there was anything wrong with your original post in context, but out of context (as it will be to anyone reading this thread later on) it makes you look stupid and keeps the whole stupid discussion hijacking the thread. If you can't appreciate that....

Never mind. Why do I get the feeling I'm talking to a brick wall.

ANYWAY... I once slept in my tent at one of the little pull-outs on the Natchez Trace in Mississippi. It was quiet and probably only a few cars drove by all night, but I admit I felt pretty insecure. Not sure I'd do that again.

Nightwalker
01-21-2008, 01:22
Not all Wal-Marts allow camping in their lots! The Wal-Mart I frequent in NH has signs everywhere saying no camping/overnight parking. So check first.

It's not the Wal-Mart. It's the locale. :)

mudhead
01-21-2008, 10:02
How long ago was that, mudhead? Ft. Stockton isn't exactly most people's dream vacation destination... but then again, if you're traveling in that part of the world there aren't a lot of other options of places to stop. :D I would think they could get away with charging more. Kind of like "last chance gas" before you cross the desert.

'88+-. Twernt the nice part. Guy knocked on the door and asked if I needed x,y, or z. I popped the coil wire! The next time I was there I stayed way west I think. Another time I came thru there and bought stuff at the grocery. Tried to cluster things on the belt for bagging. Tried to explain to the clerk, she just said "cooler bagging," to the bagger. He got my ice and beat me to the car. Nice people that are used to being the jump off point.

How many times have you seen "last chance gas" signs actually be the last?

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-21-2008, 10:08
Has anyone modified a minivan to use for sleeping? I've considered doing that for the Dino to use while section hiking.

Jim Adams
01-21-2008, 10:54
Has anyone modified a minivan to use for sleeping? I've considered doing that for the Dino to use while section hiking.

I remove my rear compartment seats and use a queen size inflatable coleman matress in the back. Got it at Wal-mart. It deflates quickly, folds small enough and I can put other hikers and / or their equipment back there during the day. The inflator is battery powered and rechargeable...ten fillings per charge. Get the big inflator...works far better than the small one...also can use it as a bellows for your campfire when car camping (just in case you need to melt steel).:D


Used it on a 7 day canoe trip in Canada once...nice to sleep under a 12' x 12' tarp, a foot above the ground but too heavy and bulky for backpacking.;)

geek

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-21-2008, 11:02
Wow, a queen mattress will fit in the back of a minivan? I was afraid the van wouldn't be long enough for sleeping. We have several twin, double and queen air mattresses (many, many kids, grandkids and great-grandkids visit the Dinos....) and both a 12-volt and 110 high-volume inflaters.

May I ask what you do with your gear while you are sleeping in the cargo space?

Jim Adams
01-21-2008, 11:32
FD,
I usually put all that I can back into my pack so that it is more managable and then put my pack on the front seats.

My van is a little narrow between the rear wheelwells for the queen size so I have found that if I pay attention to those areas as I inflate it, it will still fit. Maybe try 2 twins?

I am only 5'6" and have no problems with length...don't know how tall you are though.

A little tip: I know from your posts that you have difficulty with movement at times due to past injuries...fill the mattresses with air as full as you can. I am a little old fat man and it is a total bitch moving around in there on a soft mattress.LOL

geek

Pony
01-21-2008, 12:22
Has anyone modified a minivan to use for sleeping?

I have an Aunt and Uncle that bought a stripped down Ford Econoline van and customized it. They lifted it and put four wheel drive on it, raised the roof about three feet and put a matress up top. Underneath they have a couch, stove, sink and minifridge. It is basically an offroad mini RV. They've logged more than 80,000 miles between Mexico and Alaska.

dessertrat
01-21-2008, 15:08
http://ui31.gamespot.com/1214/deadhorsebeat_4.gif



This is what we called invoking the "hippothanatological principal" in my Ancient Greek class..

Lone Wolf
01-21-2008, 15:13
Has this site been bought out by some third party or something? I haven't logged in for a few months and suddenly its like a different place. There was never all this heavy-handed post-deleting crap going on, especially for totally asinine reasons like the current mods are claiming.

Where is Sgt. Rock and does he approve of this? If he does, I am out of here, and will never recommend WB to anyone ever again.

later dude

dixicritter
01-21-2008, 15:17
I know real funny since ole Rufous just joined 12-28-2006 and we've all been here the whole time doing things the exact same way. Besides... I smell a troll anyway.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-21-2008, 15:20
This is what we called invoking the "hippothanatological principal" in my Ancient Greek class..http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/Smileys/smiliely-bellylaugh.gif

berninbush
01-21-2008, 20:46
FD,
My van is a little narrow between the rear wheelwells for the queen size so I have found that if I pay attention to those areas as I inflate it, it will still fit. Maybe try 2 twins?



Alternatively, if you remove the back seats, you can put all your stuff in a layer on the floor and fix it so that the top is fairly level. Maybe even lay a piece of plywood over it. Then put the air mattress on top of that-- it should be sitting up above the wheel wells at that point so they won't be in your way.

shelterbuilder
01-21-2008, 22:16
Has anyone modified a minivan to use for sleeping? I've considered doing that for the Dino to use while section hiking.


FD, for almost 20 years, I drove Ford Aerostars that were self-modified. My wife has trouble with leg cramps at night and has to be able to swing her legs DOWN and work out the cramps, or she will wake up the entire campground screaming (and guess who gets the odd "wife-beater" looks the next day???).

So, I took a partial sheet of 1/2 inch plywood, built a support frame with fold-up 2x4 legs, and covered it with a double layer of closed-cell foam and vinyl. I removed the center bench and put the bed between the front seats and the rear bench, and against the solid side of the van. (I folded the legs up, and slid the bed though the rear hatch and over the rear bench to get it in and out. "Pins" made from nails were pushed into over-sized holes in the legs and frame to lock the legs into the upright position.) Since this was a "twin-sized" bed, there was enough room on the door-side of the van for her to swing her legs down, and there was enough room on the rear bench for one person to sit. There was also storage space under the bed for all kinds of gear. We "blacked out" the windows with "Reflectix" (the insulating Mylar-covered bubble-stuff for windshields) so that if the police ever stopped us, they couldn't say that we had tinted the windows illegally (ie - too dark). A removable windshield cover in front and back gave her complete privacy. In summer, I rigged up a couple of 12-volt DC fans to run from a portable battery pack that could be recharged from the cigarette lighter during our daytime travels. Thermoelectric coolers are NOT able to run from battery packs - they draw too much power - so we always used ice chests.

In later years, we traded up to an extended Aerostar (the longer version), and I removed the rear bench, lengthened the bed, and turned the under-bed storage area into dog boxes for our "furry children" to be able to safely ride under the bed. We lost a little head room to the dog boxes, but the bed was still functional.

So, yes, a mini-van can be turned into a camper of sorts - it just takes a little thought.

Bulldawg
01-21-2008, 22:25
When I was a kid I can remember my dad had a 1971 Chevrolet pickup truck. He would put a camper shell on it. Then up near the cab he would fit a piece of plywood over the bottom railings, creating a second level. My brother and I would sleep up there since we were short. My mom and dad would sleep down in the bed. Pretty neat camping since I remember it much more vividly than tent camping or RV camping we did later in our childhood.

weary
01-22-2008, 00:36
Isnít deleting them a way of sweeping the action under the rug and also the post condemning that action also doing that? If you donít like it, having it in the open and then seeing all the post that condemn the action sends a better message.

Sometimes I think there is too much enthusiasm to delete post here.
Let that be a lesson, AT Troll. Just say no to old people when searching for moderators. Didn't you ever learn to "never trust anyone over the age of 30."

Nearly Normal
01-23-2008, 09:37
Has anyone modified a minivan to use for sleeping? I've considered doing that for the Dino to use while section hiking.

Check out this book.

Blue Highways: A Journey into America
By William Least Heat-Moon

Interesting read on traveling cheap in a converted van.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-23-2008, 09:40
Let that be a lesson, AT Troll. Just say no to old people when searching for moderators. Didn't you ever learn to "never trust anyone over the age of 30."Weary, I'm a great-grandmother....

David S.
01-23-2008, 12:28
With regard to vans/minivans and using them to sleep in. My only concern is gas milage. I am not familier with what kind of gas milage a mini van might get but if the milage was to poor, could that offset the savings. In other words, in the end, would it be cheaper just to get a cheap hotel. Of course, regardless of cost, the flexibility of being able to just sleep about anywhere certainly has some monetary value.

warren doyle
01-23-2008, 13:21
Our '1991 Ford Escort Service' cost $300 at an auto auction and gets about 32 mpg and our '1988 Honda Hilton' was purchased for $350 (from a Sunni Muslim) and gets about 35 mpg.

We probably have slept in them at least 50 nights each.

Motel cost for 50 nights (2 people) - at least $2,000

Our cost - $650 (with two mechanically sound cars included).

A $1,350 savings means at about two less weeks of working and two more weeks of walking.

It is all about choices and your comfort level.

Gray Blazer
01-23-2008, 14:10
This wouldn't be considered cross-country, but AT trailheads can be good places to park and sleepover for free. When I drive all-night from G'ville , Fl to the AT in GA/NC/TN some of my favorite free camping spots are (1) Rock Gap Shelter, GA, a coupla 100 yds right off the road, (2) Roan Mountain Shelter about a mile uphill from Carver's Gap (3) Albert Mountain right off the FS road in Standing Indian (4) Snowbird/Wildcat Top (this can be a fun drive in a 2 wheel drive vehicle). My favorite is Beauty Spot about 100 yds uphill from the parking overlook. There are many more.

shelterbuilder
01-23-2008, 21:43
This wouldn't be considered cross-country, but AT trailheads can be good places to park and sleepover for free. When I drive all-night from G'ville , Fl to the AT in GA/NC/TN some of my favorite free camping spots are (1) Rock Gap Shelter, GA, a coupla 100 yds right off the road, (2) Roan Mountain Shelter about a mile uphill from Carver's Gap (3) Albert Mountain right off the FS road in Standing Indian (4) Snowbird/Wildcat Top (this can be a fun drive in a 2 wheel drive vehicle). My favorite is Beauty Spot about 100 yds uphill from the parking overlook. There are many more.

SHHH! You'll let the cat out of the bag!:eek:

hambone
01-25-2008, 13:01
In 1990 I drove from NY to CA and back via AZ in a 1984 Chevy Caprice Classic station wagon. The old V8 full sized kind. I did a lot of backpacking along the way, and in four months only stayed in a motel once (girlfriend visited). I had a couple of old poly sleeping bags and blankets and would set up in the back if I had to sleep in the vehicle. I developed the technique of simply pulling camping gear over me as camoflage if I was concerned about being disturbed. I did not sleep anywhere illegal, and found a few situations where I got permission from the landowner to park and sleep on the ground next to the car (farmers). I generally looked for small private campgrounds if public land was not available. I found that I could usually negotiate a low fee ($10 or less) if I explained that I was using a very small tent, made no fire, used no electricity, and would help split wood or do other chores. I found quite a few "mom and pop" operations where they essentially had people camping behind their house. Swinging a maul saved me a lot of money.

The best bet, as Grey Blazer indicated, was to find a trailhead for a state or national forest and hike in a bit and find a good spot to sleep out. I had a very small tent (TNF Mayfly) which is a glorifyed bivvy sack which can be set up and broken down in seconds. National Forests are very permissive in camping. National Parks are more restrictive, crowded and expensive. I generally avoided "car camping" in any National Parks because of the noise of generators and drunks. You should learn the regulations in force at each type of area, and it is always good to ask the locals for advice.

I never had a problem. I had a few instances when police or rangers checked on the vehicle with me in it. If I was awake enough to talk to them they just wanted to know what I was doing in the area. Hiking and birding was all they needed to hear. A field guide to the birds is very handy when contacted by ranger-types.

I traveled from July through October and the whole trip cost me about $2000 including some equipment, food and gas (in 1990). I did not modify the wagon, except to remove the back seat cushions to make more room for gear under the deck when the seats were folded down. The deck was perfectly flat when the seats were folded down. I rigged clotheslines inside the back, and anytime I was driving between destinations I had clothes drying in the back. The biggest problem that I had sleeping in the vehicle was getting fresh air without letting mosquitoes in. I tried to rig netting over the windows using velcro, but never had much success.

Good Luck!

Gray Blazer
01-25-2008, 15:03
Another way to car camp is to get the AAA camping books for the different states and circle all the free campsites in the book and put an asterisk at the top of the page.
On one of my western car camping trips, I had circled all the free campsites that were at 8000' or more. Found some really remote beautiful spots for free.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
01-25-2008, 15:05
Another way to car camp is to get the AAA camping books for the different states and circle all the free campsites in the book and put an asterisk at the top of the page.
On one of my western car camping trips, I had circled all the free campsites that were at 8000' or more. Found some really remote beautiful spots for free.::: Dino kisses Gray Blazer on the toes for this suggestion - shouldn't tickle - I was just waxed :D :::

Gray Blazer
01-25-2008, 15:06
::: Dino kisses Gray Blazer on the toes for this suggestion - shouldn't tickle - I was just waxed :D :::

Ooh La La!! :D

The Solemates
01-25-2008, 15:14
We travel a lot. We've slept in the back of our Pontiac Vibe (the seats lay completely flat) or in the bed of my truck on many occasions. We have slept in parking lots, usually of hotels or of rest stops along the interstate. We have also slept many a night in our tent on National Forest land. My understanding is you can set up anywhere on National Forest land. We have also set up our tent in parks or campgrounds. They usually charge a small fee, but we typically arrive late and leave early, so no one is ever there to collect the fee. We've found that many forest service campgrounds do not have after hours collection boxes, so we have no way of paying unless we wait around. If there is a collection box, we pay our share and register. We've also slept just off the sides of roads, but never on private residential property, and always far out from any resemblance of civilization.