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Old 08-18-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

I've heard one of the major drawbacks of a Class B is that you have to kind of "break camp" every time you want to drive.

Do you find that to be a major drawback? About how long does it typically take you? Any tips on improving the process?

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Old 08-18-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

This was one of my main considerations when I opted to outfit a small trailer rather than go with a full SMB van. Now, we tow and go.

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Old 08-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

I find that I "break camp" every time, including topdown stealth... there's always a lot of things to be done. Same when I tent camped. Same with big pushers, best I can tell.

Unfortunately, I haven't found the pathway to roll-out-of-bed-drive-away nirvana, but others may be closer to it than me.

What say you daveb? (he's pretty close to r-o-o-b-d-a nirvana)

psssst... just so y'all know, I gotta trademark and patent on "roobda" and "roobda nirvana" so stay back
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

Originally Posted by yogiyoda
Any tips on improving the process?
We are nomadic campers, rarely spending more than one night in a single location. When we had the SMB, its was less than a 30 minute process to pack away and hit the road. Pretty much the same in EV-2 (but we are still getting to know one another).

Having an assigned place where everything goes time after time is a big help. Though after about four nights the plan usually goes to hell and its the chaos method.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

It takes me about 20 minutes to break camp - put away everything, lower the top and driveaway. When my wife is along to help it takes twice as long. When we are going to stay put for several days we usually bring the bicycles to go 5-10 miles round trip, shorter trips we walk.

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

After I posted about this in another thread I actually timed it after being (lazily) camped for three days in one spot.

To preface it, I don't have inboard propane, so sometimes cook outdoors. And I was carrying chairs, ground cloth and water I left outside. And of course every day something else comes out of a drawer and gets used. No free-standing shelter this time, though.

In any case, it took a leisurely 20 minutes to get under way. I've done it in less than 5 when I had to, but that meant not stowing some stuff for rough travel. If I was more organized it might be that fast each time, i.e. if I put everything away immediately after using it. 'course if I don't raise the top, as in sleeping stealth mode, it takes about two minutes. Just get the sleeping bag stuffed and I'm gone.

Frankly, I don't see how you could be gone much faster. I've stayed in Class A's and they need to stow even more stuff since they carry more. And then there's bigger awnings, slide-outs, the levelers, etc. All stuff I don't have in the van. It's actually as fast than the back of my pickup since stuff stows more easily and I don't have to move storage out of the way to sleep.
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:37 PM   #7
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

When I am camping alone it takes me about 60 seconds to break camp. Everything I need is in the SMB. I don't spread out much.

When my wife and I camp at the beach in California for a week each year it is somewhat of a hassle to break camp to go somewhere. We had a tent trailer and it was easier to just drive away and leave the camp fully up. So it is a pain to have to reposition the SMB when we return. But nothing beats a SMB for short trips or for boondocking when there is nowhere to go anyway. The best camping is when I set up, put the chair out, and don't do anywhere for several days.
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

To me, it's whether you adapt your style of camping to your gear, or adapt your gear to your style of camping. What works for you may not work for someone else, and what works for you at a given point in your life, won't necessarily work for you at a different point in your life.

For me, I like to be able to leave my camp set up and take day trips. That's what works best me me and my family. Without a kid, I would probably have a different philosophy.

The most important thing is to get out there. Everything else is manageable.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:01 PM   #9
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

We used to camp out of the bed of our pickup with camper shell.

We got the SMB both for more room and really because we got tired of having to dump everything out on the ground to make a bed, leaving it out for thieves and rain. Makes stealth camping very hard too.

Like the others, we take about 20-30 min to leisurely break camp but we can do it in 5 at gun point. ( Well, actually the gun stayed in the sheriffs holster, but his hand was resting on it for the whole conversation.)

When we're on long trips we usually stop at a motel every 7- 10 days for laundry, showers, general cleanup. We re-order the van by pulling stuff out in the parking lot and repacking.

A check list helps us set a routine and avoid driving off with the back gates or top unlatched, propane on, etc.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:57 PM   #10
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Re: Annoying to "break camp" every time you want to drive?

We carry an ultralight two person tent and store everything in it if we're camping for multiple days. We can run day trips with a relatively empty interior after we move valuables into the SMB and zip the tent up. No greater risk than tent camping and everyone--dogs and people--love seeing it go up.



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