Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

RV/Trailer Astronomy Fact and Fiction

  • Please log in to reply
249 replies to this topic

#151 iam1ru12

iam1ru12

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 598
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC

Posted 21 October 2018 - 02:26 AM

I'll jump into the discussion here as well.  I am a non-retired person (about 10 years away from being eligible with my current employer) but I've been camping with my wife and kids in camper since 2008.  There are some great class As, Cs, Bs and B+s out there, even slide in truck campers.  However, I've not been drawn to these options for camping for the following reasons.  Unless you tow along a toad (a second vehicle) you need to break camp every time you want to drive somewhere.  Additionally there's the issue of having another engine and drive train to maintain.  Lastly, these motorhomes are much more expensive than just your standard trailer.

 

From 2008 to 2015, we had a tradition pop up camper; beds slid out of the ends and lots of canvas.  However by 2016, the only time the camper was being used was by me for star parties as my 2 oldest were now teenagers. 

P1020068

 

I had seen some tear drop campers and loved the idea of one for star parties especially since I prefer to cook outside while camping.  I came across a custom build one and then proceeded to design my own.  I posted a video of fly-thru of the design on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pFtwqeSK3HQ.  However, after realizing it would take me some 300 to 400 hours to build it, given my skill level, tools (or lack thereof) and space (or lack thereof), if I decided to build it, it would be the project that never got done.

 

We then looked a commercially build tear drop and I really liked the T@B (just like LarryMc noted above).  Unfortunately, one of my requirements was that the camper/trailer needed to fit in my standard size garage; at 7' 5". the T@B was 6" too tall to fit thru my garage door.  I can't park a camper outside due to HOA rules and modifying the rough opening to accommodate a the T@B was more than I wanted to spend.  Also, I did not want to spend money to store a camper.

 

The same RV dealer that had the T@Bs also had Aliners, a line of "A" frame folding campers.  After looking that these, I was sold.  We purchased out A Liner LXE in April of 2016.  It's a great camper for 2 people but it's not big.  If you're the type of person that wants "live in the camper," this is not the one for you.  However, if you're the type of person that wants to "live out of the camper" then a A Liner is an option to look at, just like the Casitas and T@Bs.

 

On the plus side for A-Liners, they are light weight (dry weight under 1,900 pounds), fit in standard garages, roof and walls are set up in less the 60 seconds, all fresh water tanks and lines as well as the toilet and black tank (cassette) are inside the camper and thus will not freeze, when equipped withe the off-road package it has a higher ground clearance (I think min clearance is 11") than my SUV and the curtains/shades do a great job blacking out interior at night at star parties.  On the down side, there is no gray water tank, you have to bring along your own portable container and because it's a folding camper there are gaps in the body where air can seep in (most folks use some form or foam pipe/cut pool noodles to fill the gaps when set up.

 

I can boondock (camp without connections) for 3 to 4 nights without needing to charge my batters (camper and astronomy).  However after that I need some way to recharge them (solar or generator).  My black tank will hold 6 days for 1 person or 3 days for 2 people.  However, it just slides right out and I can dump it into any pit toilet, port-a-potty, regular toilet or pump station.  If I conserve fresh water (16 gallons) I can last a whole week with 1 person or half a week with 2.  I have a portable 22 gallon tank for grey water and a 7 gallon fresh water container to refill my water as needed.

 

Here's my A-Liner in action at star parties:

outside2 Med
 
outside1 Med
 
My setup1 Med
 
 
Here's the inside:
Inside5 Med
 
Inside1 Med
 
The couch/bed in day mode
Inside2 couch Med
 
in night mode
Inside2 Bed Med

 

 

I've been using a 10'x10' pop up canopy to set up my outdoor kitchen as well as Video Astronomy (EAA) viewing area...

IMG 3715
 
IMG 3716
 
However, I think I'm going to move to a hunting blind, like one of observing buddies has but a slightly larger one with a 70" center height.  I can just leave the outdoor kitchen right outside my camper.
IMG 3780

 

To answer the question raised by others in this tread, I can pack my Honda Pilot with my CPC 1100, AR102, Solar scope with tripod, Binos and tripod and all my other astro gear in the rear (with the 3rd row seats folded down).  The only items that do not fit are the CPC tripod, tripod for CG5 and the Twilight I tripod.  They have the go in the second row seats along with my computer bag and computer monitor.  The leaves me with room for 2 other passengers.

 

-Mike

 


  • ArizonaScott, Vesper818, Garry and 1 other like this

#152 iam1ru12

iam1ru12

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 598
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC

Posted 21 October 2018 - 02:26 AM

I'll jump into the discussion here as well.  I am a non-retired person (about 10 years away from being eligible with my current employer) but I've been camping with my wife and kids in camper since 2008.  There are some great class As, Cs, Bs and B+s out there, even slide in truck campers.  However, I've not been drawn to these options for camping for the following reasons.  Unless you tow along a toad (a second vehicle) you need to break camp every time you want to drive somewhere.  Additionally there's the issue of having another engine and drive train to maintain.  Lastly, these motorhomes are much more expensive than just your standard trailer.

 

From 2008 to 2015, we had a tradition pop up camper; beds slid out of the ends and lots of canvas.  However by 2016, the only time the camper was being used was by me for star parties as my 2 oldest were now teenagers. 

P1020068

 

I had seen some tear drop campers and loved the idea of one for star parties especially since I prefer to cook outside while camping.  I came across a custom build one and then proceeded to design my own.  I posted a video of fly-thru of the design on YouTube: https://youtu.be/pFtwqeSK3HQ.  However, after realizing it would take me some 300 to 400 hours to build it, given my skill level, tools (or lack thereof) and space (or lack thereof), if I decided to build it, it would be the project that never got done.

 

We then looked a commercially build tear drop and I really liked the T@B (just like LarryMc noted above).  Unfortunately, one of my requirements was that the camper/trailer needed to fit in my standard size garage; at 7' 5". the T@B was 6" too tall to fit thru my garage door.  I can't park a camper outside due to HOA rules and modifying the rough opening to accommodate a the T@B was more than I wanted to spend.  Also, I did not want to spend money to store a camper.

 

The same RV dealer that had the T@Bs also had Aliners, a line of "A" frame folding campers.  After looking that these, I was sold.  We purchased out A Liner LXE in April of 2016.  It's a great camper for 2 people but it's not big.  If you're the type of person that wants "live in the camper," this is not the one for you.  However, if you're the type of person that wants to "live out of the camper" then a A Liner is an option to look at, just like the Casitas and T@Bs.

 

On the plus side for A-Liners, they are light weight (dry weight under 1,900 pounds), fit in standard garages, roof and walls are set up in less the 60 seconds, all fresh water tanks and lines as well as the toilet and black tank (cassette) are inside the camper and thus will not freeze, when equipped withe the off-road package it has a higher ground clearance (I think min clearance is 11") than my SUV and the curtains/shades do a great job blacking out interior at night at star parties.  On the down side, there is no gray water tank, you have to bring along your own portable container and because it's a folding camper there are gaps in the body where air can seep in (most folks use some form or foam pipe/cut pool noodles to fill the gaps when set up.

 

I can boondock (camp without connections) for 3 to 4 nights without needing to charge my batters (camper and astronomy).  However after that I need some way to recharge them (solar or generator).  My black tank will hold 6 days for 1 person or 3 days for 2 people.  However, it just slides right out and I can dump it into any pit toilet, port-a-potty, regular toilet or pump station.  If I conserve fresh water (16 gallons) I can last a whole week with 1 person or half a week with 2.  I have a portable 22 gallon tank for grey water and a 7 gallon fresh water container to refill my water as needed.

 

Here's my A-Liner in action at star parties:

outside2 Med
 
outside1 Med
 
My setup1 Med
 
 
Here's the inside:
Inside5 Med
 
Inside1 Med
 
The couch/bed in day mode
Inside2 couch Med
 
in night mode
Inside2 Bed Med

 

 

I've been using a 10'x10' pop up canopy to set up my outdoor kitchen as well as Video Astronomy (EAA) viewing area...

IMG 3715
 
IMG 3716
 
However, I think I'm going to move to a hunting blind, like one of observing buddies has but a slightly larger one with a 70" center height.  I can just leave the outdoor kitchen right outside my camper.
IMG 3780

 

To answer the question raised by others in this tread, I can pack my Honda Pilot with my CPC 1100, AR102, Solar scope with tripod, Binos and tripod and all my other astro gear in the rear (with the 3rd row seats folded down).  The only items that do not fit are the CPC tripod, tripod for CG5 and the Twilight I tripod.  They have the go in the second row seats along with my computer bag and computer monitor.  The leaves me with room for 2 other passengers.

 

-Mike

 


  • Rollo likes this

#153 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 96,136
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 21 October 2018 - 04:41 AM

I'll jump into the discussion here as well.  I am a non-retired person (about 10 years away from being eligible with my current employer) but I've been camping with my wife and kids in camper since 2008.  There are some great class As, Cs, Bs and B+s out there, even slide in truck campers.  However, I've not been drawn to these options for camping for the following reasons.  Unless you tow along a toad (a second vehicle) you need to break camp every time you want to drive somewhere.  Additionally there's the issue of having another engine and drive train to maintain.  Lastly, these motorhomes are much more expensive than just your standard trailer.

 

From 2008 to 2015, we had a tradition pop up camper; beds slid out of the ends and lots of canvas.  However by 2016, the only time the camper was being used was by me for star parties as my 2 oldest were now teenagers.

 

I had seen some tear drop campers and loved the idea of one for star parties especially since I prefer to cook outside while camping.

 

 

Mike:

 

It looks like your new rig is a good fit for you and your family.   I'm a life long camper, my first camping trip was at age 3, the first 50 years was entirely sleeping on the ground or in a tent , the last 17 have been in a motor home.  The one lesson I've learned is there is no perfect solution..  They're all compromises. 

 

We camp year around and sometimes it's cold , we've camped when it's 6 °F. We camped when it was 115°. We sometimes camp when it's raining , even snowing.  And in the desert,  wind is a frequent issue,  30-40 mph for few days is common.  Cooking outside is just not always possible .

 

What do you do when you just have to hole up inside and wait it out ? What's the plan B for cooking? 

 

Jon


  • iam1ru12 likes this

#154 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,977
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 21 October 2018 - 05:27 AM

Just to point out (again) that getting an RV is a major lifestyle choice

 

-One can go cheap with travel trailer (especially if you already have a tow) or very expensive 

-This takes the place of that cabin in the mountains, condo on the beach, extensive motel trips

-great with kids, pets,  and/or get away with partner

-closer to nature

-upkept can be a real pain

 

Look closely at cost, storage, maintenance before you commit 

One needs to use a lot to be cost effective

but looking back over 35+ years of RVs with family, am I glad I had them

 

waytogo.gif YES  waytogo.gif

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 21 October 2018 - 05:30 AM.

  • iam1ru12 likes this

#155 RaulTheRat

RaulTheRat

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 688
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2018

Posted 21 October 2018 - 06:34 AM

Got our first RV on order, partly as a dark sky site vehicle, should be pretty sweet. Planning to get probably an 18" ultra compact truss dob which should fit nicely in the rear storage area.

#156 iam1ru12

iam1ru12

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 598
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC

Posted 21 October 2018 - 08:30 AM

Mike:

 

It looks like your new rig is a good fit for you and your family.   I'm a life long camper, my first camping trip was at age 3, the first 50 years was entirely sleeping on the ground or in a tent , the last 17 have been in a motor home.  The one lesson I've learned is there is no perfect solution..  They're all compromises. 

 

We camp year around and sometimes it's cold , we've camped when it's 6 °F. We camped when it was 115°. We sometimes camp when it's raining , even snowing.  And in the desert,  wind is a frequent issue,  30-40 mph for few days is common.  Cooking outside is just not always possible .

 

What do you do when you just have to hole up inside and wait it out ? What's the plan B for cooking? 

 

Jon

 

Jon,

You are 100% correct about there being no perfect solution; everyone camps a different way.  I’m shocked when I read on camping/RV forums about single minded folks can be with respect to how people camp.  Embrace our differences!

 

I was out this past new moon week to enjoy ECVAR (East Coast Video Astronomy Rendezvous) and then SRSP (Staunton River Star Party).  Unfortunately we got caught between a low pressure front and Hurricane Michael.  It rained from Monday night to Friday.  We stayed at the site for ECVAR as SRSP was eventually canceled due to damage and power loss from Michael.  As for when it rains, it good to have friends or family with you as well as either good internet or a good library of media.  Oddly enough, we spent a good chunk of time bashing the flat earth movement.

 

Regarding cooking, plan B is the inside kitchen for my Aliner.  I have a microwave and 2 burner stove top as well as a 4 cubic foot 3-way fridge.

 

-Mike


  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#157 iam1ru12

iam1ru12

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 598
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC

Posted 21 October 2018 - 08:33 AM

Just to point out (again) that getting an RV is a major lifestyle choice

 

-One can go cheap with travel trailer (especially if you already have a tow) or very expensive 

-This takes the place of that cabin in the mountains, condo on the beach, extensive motel trips

-great with kids, pets,  and/or get away with partner

-closer to nature

-upkept can be a real pain

 

Look closely at cost, storage, maintenance before you commit 

One needs to use a lot to be cost effective

but looking back over 35+ years of RVs with family, am I glad I had them

 

waytogo.gif YES  waytogo.gif

 

edj

If you can, rent before you buy!

 

-Mike


  • edwincjones likes this

#158 iam1ru12

iam1ru12

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 598
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC

Posted 21 October 2018 - 08:35 AM

Got our first RV on order, partly as a dark sky site vehicle, should be pretty sweet. Planning to get probably an 18" ultra compact truss dob which should fit nicely in the rear storage area.

 

What type of RV did you decide on?

-Mike



#159 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,977
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 21 October 2018 - 12:41 PM

If you can, rent before you buy!

 

-Mike

 

You will see many used RVs, almost new,  for sale in yards, by side of road, campgrounds

and dealers-- these are by folks who did not try before buying, who liked the fantasy but not the reality .

(this happened to me with a sailboatbangbang.gif )

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 21 October 2018 - 12:44 PM.

  • GilATM likes this

#160 jcj380

jcj380

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,538
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Hellinois

Posted 21 October 2018 - 01:10 PM

I've been toying with the idea of tricking out a cargo van, inspired by van living, etc. posts on Pinterest.  I have no place to store a trailer, much less an RV.  A cargo van would have the additional advantage of being usable for daily driving.  And it could be stealthy, if ever necessary - there must be a million white vans on the road.

 

Of course they don't have the amenities of an RV, but some conversions that people have done look pretty nice.  I figure a warm non-tent shelter with a rack and a portapotty would be enough.


Edited by jcj380, 21 October 2018 - 01:11 PM.

  • edwincjones and starcanoe like this

#161 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,977
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 21 October 2018 - 04:14 PM

I've been toying with the idea of tricking out a cargo van........... I figure a warm non-tent shelter with a rack and a portapotty would be enough.

Sadly, all the options have downsides.  

 

If this is your main auto, then you have to deal with

small parking spacesfrown.gif 

and high gas millage    frown.gif

 

edj



#162 jcj380

jcj380

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,538
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Hellinois

Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:37 AM

Sadly, all the options have downsides.  

 

If this is your main auto, then you have to deal with

small parking spacesfrown.gif

and high gas millage    frown.gif

 

edj

It would be a secondary / play vehicle.  Since we moved to less than a mile from the train station, we don't need two daily drivers.



#163 Jim4321

Jim4321

    Skylab

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,364
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2014
  • Loc: Asheville

Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:36 AM

Another consideration in selecting an RV of any sort is cold-weather use, and readying it for winter use / storage.   I'll be winterizing the camper this week.  I drained the water tank yesterday.  I'll drain the water heater, inspect the anode rod, pump out the water lines, and put RV antifreeze in the drain traps under the shower and sinks today.

 

My usual fall routine is to dump part of  gallon of RV pink antifreeze into the black & gray water tanks, and continue using the toilet for a month or so after winterizing; I keep a gallon jug of AF in the bathroom for 'flushing water' .  Then I'll dump the waste tanks about the time the forecast is for low 20's at night.  I still use the toilet for #1 all winter, and keep a layer of AF atop the bottom valve to keep the seal from drying out.

 

For 1-2 night winter trips, I'll just carry water in jugs.  If I take a longer trip in winter, I'll de-winterize, keep the heat on when parked,and re-winterize when I get home. 

 

My '06 Tiger is easy to winterize compared to the Roadtrek class B's I've owned in the past.  But I apparently failed to get _all_ the water out of the lines one particularly cold winter, and ended up with a busted pipe.  That one was a real PITA to fix, since it ran inside the kitchen cabinets.  

 

Jim H.



#164 JHGIII

JHGIII

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 273
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Barker's Bluff Observatory, 34' -87'

Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:45 AM

We went with a toy hauler. The garage has plenty of room for astro gear plus a dog kennnel for my wife’s hobbies of herding and scent detection competition. The loading ramp makes it easy to pack up in a hurry if weather turns since I can assemble and disassemble the scope inside then roll it in or out. The ramp then converts to a patio for relaxing until the sun sets.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 49330905-26A8-4FC7-82D9-997BB47C53ED.jpeg
  • 6C1E2087-F4CA-489F-A096-D0C71CB044C8.jpeg
  • 0BC0C440-CDBF-4992-A574-32F7F7038DEF.jpeg
  • D01B8C1E-597F-43AB-AFDD-53135DFB9AD2.jpeg
  • 4F4E889E-BC34-481A-B5EE-C7AD66F84FF4.png

  • iam1ru12, stevenwav, NYJohn S and 1 other like this

#165 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,977
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 23 October 2018 - 11:25 AM

I left my RV at the local mechanic to sell and had an interesting discussion with him on RV prices.

(I am getting old, unit is getting old, and I am not so mechanically inclined to keep it going for trips;

so back to cars and motels.)

 

He stated RV dealers are learning from auto dealers and pushing big discounts on new sales to push volume;

which then decreases sale price on used units.  So for those of you considering getting an RV,

this may be a good time for a good (or at least better) deal  laugh.gif ,

but maybe not so good for selling a used unit frown.gif .

 

I have enjoyed RV camping and  do not regret the experiences with wife, kids, grandkids and dogs waytogo.gif .

 

edj 


Edited by edwincjones, 23 October 2018 - 11:30 AM.

  • havasman likes this

#166 DeltaTango55

DeltaTango55

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Olmsted Township, Ohio

Posted 28 June 2020 - 09:50 AM

BCA0274F 9B9F 4500 8FF5 929F8033F9C1

 

Just found this thread and noticed no new postings.  We are about a year from retiring and want to take our scopes on the road pulling a travel trailer.  Was considering a cap for our short bed F-150 to secure our equipment and noticed that Leer makes some commercial caps with extra storage on the sides which would be very handy.  Was wondering if anyone went this route and was it worth the added cost?


  • CCD-Freak, areyoukiddingme and BinoGuy like this

#167 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,977
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 28 June 2020 - 10:29 AM

waytogo.gif convenience

thumbsdown3.gif security

those little locks are almost worthless 

 

I liked the lids better than the shells

as cannot see what is being carried,

but less space to haul

 

thank you for bringing the thread back,

many good memories here

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 28 June 2020 - 10:31 AM.


#168 Chucke

Chucke

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 874
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2010
  • Loc: AZ

Posted 28 June 2020 - 04:50 PM

I've had two different Leer shells on two different trucks.  They both leaked - badly.   In fact my current shell leaked so badly that less water got into the bed by leaving the windows open when it rained.  Closing them just funneled the water inside.  I won't buy any more Leer shells unless maybe one that is solid with no windows.  Even then I would probably go with a Snug Top.  Friends who had them didn't have leak problems.



#169 gwlee

gwlee

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,155
  • Joined: 06 Sep 2015
  • Loc: 38N 120W

Posted 28 June 2020 - 09:43 PM

RVing isn’t for everyone, but the only way to know is to try it. My wife and I once spent 6 months living and touring New Zealand in a small rental motor home. We had a great time, but agreed that next time we would rent a small car, bring a tent, and spend every 3rd night in a motel. 

 

I have lived in Australia for a while as well as traveled there for Astronomy, and think Australia would be a great place to try combining RVing with Astronomy as would the Western US where I live. During Summer, I try to do one short astronomy/camping trip each month and four-wheel into some nearby, remote, and very dark observing sites where I seldom see another person. These trips are dedicated to astronomy though, so my expensive astro gear is never left unattended. If I want to combine hiking, or other interests, with astronomy in the same outing, I take a handheld binocular instead of a telescope, and the binocular goes everywhere I go. 


  • 3 i Guy and NYJohn S like this

#170 Bill Weir

Bill Weir

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Joined: 01 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada

Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:11 AM

I went small with my Astro trailer and bought a nice motorcycle one. It has two 7’ X 11’ zip on tents one being a screen and the other a more full wall type. They can go on either side so if both are attached it  Has a surprising sq footage of totally usable floor space. When it’s opened the top of the trailer box turns into a 6’ X 4’ off the ground space to stand when getting dressed. The sleeping bed is a 7’ double. When the trailer is all folded up a surprising amount of equipment can stuff inside the shell. Plus I have the old roof top carrier that I put all of the chair, table etc stuff in. For going to star parties the 20” fits easily in the back of the Forester. My wife and I dragged it from Vancouver Island to eastern Wyoming for the Eclipse and it traveled like a dream. I’ve also hauled it to the top of a remove mountain top of 20 km of total washboard to the star party in the image. If all I want to use is the pop up portion it takes less than 15 seconds to do. There is actually a add on kickstand so it can be stood on its end inside a garage. I don’t have that.

 

Bill

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4E73DD59-0C19-4017-B8B8-B8928F74CE03.jpeg
  • 3E67305D-22E8-488C-9FB2-D9AA057BF188.jpeg
  • 73D49C1B-E31D-4200-A760-C993A7FC14AA.jpeg
  • F9536650-7ABD-47A4-8F75-0B10D7920804.jpeg

  • rockethead26, justfred, NYJohn S and 1 other like this

#171 NYJohn S

NYJohn S

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,851
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Northport, NY

Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:07 AM

Since this thread started I picked up a Winnebago Travato. We're not big campers but wanted to travel with our dogs. The small size has really been great for us. It has a full kitchen but more often than not we wind up pulling into a restaurant to eat or I use a small propane grill. It has a small generator and solar panels if we want to boondock. AC, shower and everything you need in a small package.

 

So far it's gotten me to some nice dark sites in the NE. We were supposed to head out West this spring but the pandemic kept us local for now. 

 

The small size gets me to places larger RV's are turned away, like this toll road in the photo of Whiteface Mountain (that's me parked with the 2 kayaks on the back). The darkest skies I've been to so far have been Maine and the Adirondacks.

 

Travato Maine 1
Travato Maine 2
Whiteface Mountian NY Toll Rd
Whiteface Mountian NY Toll Rd
Fish Creek Pond 6070

 


  • edwincjones, davidmcgo, 3 i Guy and 2 others like this

#172 iam1ru12

iam1ru12

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 598
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC

Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:51 AM

Some folks have referenced class C (more like B+) campers built on the Mercedes chasis.  In some cases, manufacturers have included vast amount of storage and amenities but when you look at the dry weight vs the GVWR, there’s very little room for gear, food and clothes once you add fuel, propane, batteries and water.  Keep these figures in mind.

 

Note, my comment above applies to camper shells (class C), attached to the Merc Sprinter chasis and not the Mercedes Vans.

 

-Mike



#173 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,977
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:24 AM

We had a class B before the C

I liked the B best because it was small on the outside,

she liked the C best because it was big on the inside.

 

edj



#174 The Planetman

The Planetman

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 924
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Western KY

Posted 29 June 2020 - 10:04 PM

Like a lot of people in astronomy, I've done my share of camping at star parties.  Tents, vans, bed of the truck, the back seat, sleeping on the ground on my Scopecoat under my 20" Starmaster.... 
We've owned pop-ups, small travel trailers.....even an old Hi-Lo.  Look it up if you are not familiar with them  Pretty neat, now defunct campers.
These days, with the kids now being older and less expensive, Cynthia and I have gone more modern and comfortable.  Every truck I have owned for personal use has had a camper shell for the sole purpose of hauling scopes and equipment. 
There are a lot of options out there today, and RV-ing is becoming even more popular with the current pandemic.  It's a lot of fun; especially when astronomy is involved.
We can go full hook up or boondockin' in this unit.  Plenty of room and a great place to hang out under the awning. 
We can easily justify the initial cost, the upkeep, and the fuel.  We enjoy the traveling, meeting new people, and when it was permissible, sharing the night sky with folks in the campground. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • trucktrailer.jpg

  • edwincjones, 3 i Guy, rockethead26 and 3 others like this

#175 DSOGabe

DSOGabe

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,309
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2019
  • Loc: El Paso, TX

Posted 01 July 2020 - 05:37 PM

Thing to keep in mind is how much use you'll get out of it. I had a Class C. In the end it sat in storage 46-48 weeks out of the year for the 6-7 years I had it. The cost of it, storage fees, maintenance, insurance started to overshadow the use I was giving it. When I got to a point where I didn't go anywhere in it for over a year I decided all those costs weren't worth it anymore, I sold it. All that money went into extra payments toward the house instead. Wouldn't be so much an issue if I was retired and had more time to travel. 




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics