Opinions on vehicle / sleeping arrangements for small family

LiamO86

New member
More possible ideas:
1. Get a cab for you new vehicle and set up a similar sleeping platform as before the little one. Your wife and daughter can bunk in there.
2. Buy a tent/cot for you and the dog to sleep in.
3. Buy a screenhouse (look at lots first) to use for a table/shade/light rain/bugs/keep stuff out of sight, etc. I ran a yellow bug light from the inside top when we had electricity around to read at night, board games, conversation.
4. I pulled a utility trailer for the items that wouldn't fit in the truck/car or didn't need to be in the vehicle: firewood, coolers, small lifetime table, grill/stove, etc.
5. Along with all of the other great suggestions as well especially renting equipment first.

TB

Thanks, TB. All good ideas. I've got some time this winter to think of some plans. Ideally, I'd like to find an older Skamper 072 (Pop up truck camper) for our weekend travels in the warmer months to start out with, and then have a utility shell to use for the off season and winters. Those are my thoughts this week anyways, seems to change from week to week.
 

LiamO86

New member
Quick update,

After a lot of back and forth on the truck camper / trailer aspirations, we have decided in starting out with the baby (who just turned 1) to keep it simple and start out with a Kodiak Flexbow 10x14 canvas tent this season with a few cots / air mattress and good sleeping bags. It also comes with a nice awning and porch vestibule which is nice. A drawback is the weight, at almost 90lbs! I'll get a small buddy heater just in case to warm things up before bed or on awakening if needed. This way, we can establish a base camp and not worry about packing things up in a truck camper or RTT for day trips from camp. The Kodiak tents also seem to hold their value pretty well and if needed and want to upgrade it shouldn't be a huge loss in selling. Now I just need to find a decent used topper / camper shell for my DC Tundra, which has proven harder than I thought it would be. I like the idea of the ARE DCU aluminum shells that offer lockable boxes on the sides, but coming across one seems slim.

I'll have to look into a pressurized water option as well as a privacy shelter for changing / bathroom if needed.

Truly appreciate all the input and looking forward to more info and getting out this spring!
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned using a van as a camper. Tons of room inside for a small family and no need to set up a tent that flaps in the wind all night. Much roomier than a camper shell on a truck or a Tahoe/Suburban. It's what I've been using since 1972. Some of the GM vans came with all wheel drive from the factory. I have no experience with the Sprinter vans (also available with 4x4) or the very popular Ford Transit series but they are available with high tops which make it even more convenient when camping.
When you're out there and the weather decides to turn nasty there's nothing like being inside a solid vehicle. Not to mention not having to pack up tents, gear, etc. when they are wet or covered with snow.
 

Pilotamis

Observer
We’ve got 6 and 7 y/o and are going with a F150 Screw Cab and a FWC Hawk shell. Hawk shell is $13kish installed and we’re going to build out a sleeping system for the kids. Dogs sleeps on her own platform in the truck where she can keep watch.
 

jk6661

Observer
[QUOTE="When you're out there and the weather decides to turn nasty there's nothing like being inside a solid vehicle.[/QUOTE]

Yes, but then are you still camping? Can of worms, opened. :D
 

LiamO86

New member
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned using a van as a camper. Tons of room inside for a small family and no need to set up a tent that flaps in the wind all night. Much roomier than a camper shell on a truck or a Tahoe/Suburban. It's what I've been using since 1972. Some of the GM vans came with all wheel drive from the factory. I have no experience with the Sprinter vans (also available with 4x4) or the very popular Ford Transit series but they are available with high tops which make it even more convenient when camping.
When you're out there and the weather decides to turn nasty there's nothing like being inside a solid vehicle. Not to mention not having to pack up tents, gear, etc. when they are wet or covered with snow.
Figured I would throw in another update as the Tundra has suited me well in lots of my offroad and solo trips the past year but I recently came across an '89 Airstream on a Ford E-350 Chassis and it was too good of a deal to pass up. Had never really seriously considered the #Vanlife as an alternative for us but we are taking her out on the maiden voyage this weekend with the wife and my 17 month old daughter and our dog, we're hoping this fits the bill!



 

rayra

Expedition Leader
same advice I give to everyone starting out with family camping, or where the family's affinity for camping is unknown. $100 tw-room / 8-person ground tent. It will hold everybody. gender-privacy or adults-kids privacy, there's ground room for inflatable mattresses and the whole thing takes no more room than a seabag or baseball bag bag.
Anyone who goes right for a RTT - or wants to climb a ladder in teh dark when they need to pee - is just plain silly IMAO.
The tent will last more than a season and be a good shelter or backyard fun and your 'base camp' can stand as is while the vehicle goes somewhere else. And again, there is room for everything.
 

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