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Old 09-11-2017, 11:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Reno, NV
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TR-9/8/17 A Quicky Up The East Side

Kind of hard to believe and maybe a bit embarrassing, but it has taken me a full year to get my build to the point where it was time to camp. The stars aligned finally and I packed up the twins and the dog and headed up to Mammoth. Camped at Shady Rest for the night after grabbing some firewood from my buddy. We kicked around Mammoth for the morning and then opted for Rock Creek. Found a nice campsite by the creek in Big Meadow and enjoyed a night in paradise.

This being the first camping trip, I wanted to see how things worked and add some things to my punch list. Also wanted to test out a few pieces of camping gear and see how they did.

I definitely need some leveling blocks

From my backpacking experiences, items that serve multiple purposes are excellent. Folding chairs also make good hats.

The Dual Zone Dometic is amazing. It sucks about 3 amps or so and is pretty darn quiet. Ice cream in the woods!!

This inexpensive GasOne butane stove also has a hose you can hook to 1lb propane. The butane was awesome and kicked a really hot flame and the stove had decent flame control. Keep the canisters in the van overnight on cold nights. If I need two burners, I would buy a second one of these, they boil water very fast.

This is our first time camping and the boys absolutely loved it. We hiked and they reeled in their first trout. Dad even got a few minutes to fly fish on the creek behind the campsite and scored a couple Browns. The boys love the pop top and like to hang out up there and play with legos and such. Me in the downstairs bed and the dog get's her bed on the floor. Amazing!! Nothing like a campfire

Big thanks to all of you who have helped me along the way. My van ran great and the electrical system performed perfectly. I will never be truly finished with this thing, but it will get better and better. The van was expensive, but you can't put a price on experiences with the kids.

Tim - 2013 EB V10 Agile 4x4 SMB PH Ginger Army All Terrain Mobile HQ
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:51 AM   #2
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Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,418
That's what it's all about. These vans are almost always a work-in-progress, so IMO using an incomplete van is more important than trying to finish the van.

The kids won't care and won't remember that some piece of trim wasn't installed, or that you only had one burner to make a grilled cheese sandwich.


SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:02 PM   #3
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I also now understand your 'Ginger Army' signature line.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:49 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Oregon
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Hey, Congratulations! Looks like a fun trip, great pics and a great van. How did you like your new poptop? Or is that for the kids? Edit: just reread your post, sounds like your boys get the fancy penthouse!

Yeah, that leveling issue can really get to you in the middle of the night. I use these from Anderson Hitch, on the van and on my trailer. Steady as a rock, they'll give you a really quick 4 inches. If you need more than that, you're gonna need some 2x's, which are a pain to carry.

"PhoTo" - 2014 Ford E350 5.4L RB - Agile 4x4 - CCV Poptop
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:48 PM   #5
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Good job dad! and kool kids,they will have a lot of great memories like I did in my dads old dodge camper,me and my sister used to fight over who would sit next to him on the engine cover while driving no one seem to worry about seat belts back in the day
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