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Contributor II

98
Manitoba
First Name
Brad
Last Name
Laidlaw
Nice to see a board for this:

My situation: My wife has some mobility issues and a service dog, that is always with her. I have been debating build ideas for my truck that would work for both of them. I am down to basically 2 ideas, both owith their pros and cons.

1) As is our current setup, ground-tent camping.
PROS: Easy to get in and out of, More room for gear, Room for the dog, can leave camp set up if you want to go wheeling.
CONS: Requires much more setup time, Hard to just pull over for a nap, bed of the truck is constantly full of gear that needs to be packed and unpacked to set up camp, if it rains, it has to go away wet.

Second option I have been considering:
2) Small camper.
PROS: Minimal set-up time required, all gear can be kept stored in trailer, room for dog, easy to get into, can be left behind at camp if we want to go wheeling, could pull into a parking lot for a nap if needed without setup.
CONS: $$$$$, Upkeep and maintenance, heavier (more gas), limits areas you can get to.

Biggest CON for option 2 is the cost right now.

Wondering how everyone else manages their situations?

I have pretty much eliminated a RTT from the running for various reasons.
 

Billiebob

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I'd look at some kind of camper van.

I've had a few, they offer incredible convenience. Stand up, walk around, Sleep in while the driver gets moving. Keep driving while breakfast is made. ZERO setup, just park, have dinner, go to bed. Same waking up, roll out of bed, cook breakfast, drive on.... even if it is snowing.

No need to buy new, there are some great used buys out there, and some older low, low mileage options under $10K.

I'm 65 with a few mobility issues, I tow a SquareDrop with a Rubicon. I love that option since the Rubicon is my daily driver and the trailer is always ready to camp. I do like dropping the trailer in the back country and be able to go shopping without losing my campsite. And the trailer does let me stop and roll into bed without any setup and get rolling in the morning rain without getting wet. So yes, I understand and agree, a trailer is a fabulous option.

I know my next unit will be a self contained C Class, likely used and 40 years old.

You start saying "build ideas". If you are "building" a trailer can be incredibly cheap. Mine is a box in a manufactured trailer. The trailer cost $1100 brand new. The camper, box cost $800 to build in 4 weeks.

Build thread here..

 
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Billiebob

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Two come to mind, the VW Synchro has some kind of 4WD. Then there are the tiny RHD Japanese 4WD vans. Either ideal for 2 adults plus a dog.

Both of these are fully equipped 4WD camper vans. Both of them have huge cult like followings.

DSC_0094.jpeg

DSC_0036.jpeg
 
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Billiebob

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Really nothing wrong with a North American 2WD van if it has a posi or locker. 4WD with low range adds lots of capability but in some ways 4WD and 4LO only guarantee you will get better stuck.

The VW and Daihatsu vans are incredibly tiny but they do fit everything that the bigger Chev/Ford/Dodge fit. Service, reliabilty, is definitely better from the big 3 in North America.

Full size North American vans are all conversions. Not sure but Chev might offer an AWD full size van. Mostly well built and fairly pricey to buy into but when you sell you will find they hold value. Quigley is one of the big builders of Ford 4WD vans.
 
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Contributor II

98
Manitoba
First Name
Brad
Last Name
Laidlaw
Two come to mind, the VW Synchro has some kind of 4WD. Then there are the tiny Japanese 4WD vans. Either ideal for 2 adults plus a dog.

Both of these are fully equipped 4WD camper vans. Both of them have huge cult like followings.

View attachment 166706

View attachment 166707
VERY cool... though I am anticipating my chances of finding one of these is around -5000%. I will keep an eye out. I THINK that I have seen at least something similar to one of these around locally.
 

OtherOrb

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Off-Road Ranger I

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We're possibly moving into the mobility issues realm in the next few years, but we're not there yet. In anticipation, we've been looking at four options. Tent camping is pretty much out for various reasons except for very special trips. We run with a Tacoma and currently have a tent and a tent trailer. Here's an abbreviated table we've been using to consider our options. I don't know if this is at all helpful.


TypeProsCons
Tent trailerInexpensive, easy to tow, easy to store, easy to lift for more offroad adventures. Separate from tow vehicle, so can leave at camp while exploring.Setup/takedown about the same time as tent camping. Many don't have indoor toilets. Tent materials aren't the best ever. Can't be used while on the road. No real accessibility options other than very basics.
Travel TrailerMinimal setup. Separate from tow vehicle. Can stop for a nap/restroom break almost anywhere.Can't take as many places. Heavy. Lots of wind drag. Extra long (tow vehicle + trailer). Cost $$. Few accessibility options.
Class B/Camper van/ConversionMinimal setup. Passenger can use restroom/nap while driving. Smaller than a Class C. Some or many accessibility options depending on options. Can be found with 4x4.Insurance. Can't take as many places. Cannot leave at camp and explore unless towing another vehicle, which further limits where we could go. I can't stand up in it. Cost $$$
Class CNo setup. Has almost everything you would want. Can use restroom/nap while driving. Some accessibility options. I can stand up in it. One or two AWD models available. Insurance. Cost $$$. Can't take as many places. Cannot leave camp and explore without separate tow vehicle.
 

M Rose

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I have thought about those too...

Cost is still part of the issues, but I guess I can look for deals.

Any idea if there are many camper or cargo vans that come in 4x4?
Ford, Chevy and Dodge all have 4x4 conversation vans built by various conversion companies... you can find early 2000 models for around 8-10,000 USD. They are hard to find, but out there... @oneleglance had a van built for him last summer for SEMA... check out his build and shoot him a DM with some of your questions.

I am disabled with mobility issues... I have found the Gazelle Tents a life saver... We have the T4 Plus, and my wife can put it on top of her 4Runner and pull it down her self (she’s 5’ nothing btw). Then it’s just a matter of me balancing the tent as she unzipS the bag and Pulls the bag up over the tent. Let the tent hit the ground and it almost poops up on its own. Rest of camp is a breeze to set up...a fold up lifetime table to cook on, and two chairs... cooler stays in the back seat of the 4Runner and the fridge stays in the cargo area.
Our biggest downfall is no roof rack, just the factory bars that they call a cargo rack, so putting the gear on the roof takes longer than it should.
 
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Enthusiast III

1,212
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
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Steve
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We picked up a new sylvansport go tent trailer. It's got plenty of room, it's fairly quick to setup (around 7 min) and carrys everything we need in back and on top. Add in the "gozebo" and you have a very good living platform. It's easy to store and move around too. We love it and Highly recommend it.

www.sylvansport.com
 

Blackey

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Traveler I

597
Alamogordo NM
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Michael
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White
I went from ground tent to pickup shell to slide in camper to ttti 5er to Motorhome in my life the tents were from the 70s to the mid 90’s when I got a shell for my pickup at the time. Then after I got married we switched to a slide in since they were two of us then when my daughter was born we got a tt for more room. After a gap while married we fell out of camping after my divorce i started over again with my daughter I would take her to the lake every year for her bit over Memorial Day weekend. One year was a dome tent next I believe I borrowed a pop up and the next started renting tts from mer on base. After I retired my daughter got into young leadership program where she was in dc for a week first year I took her I had bought a little tt. That looked like an upside down boat. during that trip we headed to fl after the program and visiting relative and founf a brand new 23’ tt that we fell in love with and I bought it used it until 09 when the tires blew out and it started swerv so bad I lost control of it in Texas. I flew to my dads while insurance paid for the tt and repaired my truck. I flew back and picked up when it was ready Iand I found a used 5er toybox that I’m living out now it became a dayor more hassle to prep the 5er to take it anywhere.so I decided to look for a Motorhome to travel in get idea works great I just load up my clo, food anD gear the dog and we re off after hooking up the toad old one was a smartcar new is my Jeep.

so if you can get a Motorhome and toad for hard roads for off roading I’m thinking the way to go is either a pop up slide in or a off road trailer bothpros and cons. The pro for the trailer is no trailer to worry about and if you get one that hug the vehicles roof the don’t need to worry about clearance much. Cons are weight, top heavy fuel milage. The traillet, low to the ground on top most very rarely get over the height of them tow vehicle even the ones with roof top tenants on the trailer, more room is possible plus you can park it and store it for the next adventure. Cons you have to worry about towing it over the obstacles and backing up or turning around requires more effort. Cost some of them run 20k. You need to find a level spo or have a way to level it but it still requires a larger footprint that the tow vehicle alone.

if you can do a rooftop tent I’ve seen rigs that put them over the bed rails or close to it so it not so high and you still have most of your bed for storage. And if you get a hard side can use the top of the tent for storage also or if you build a rack system that either raises above the top of the tent when setup or moves to the side. But be a great place for bike, kayacs, small boats or if designed right a 4x4 .
 
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Lanlubber

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Ford, Chevy and Dodge all have 4x4 conversation vans built by various conversion companies... you can find early 2000 models for around 8-10,000 USD. They are hard to find, but out there... @oneleglance had a van built for him last summer for SEMA... check out his build and shoot him a DM with some of your questions.

I am disabled with mobility issues... I have found the Gazelle Tents a life saver... We have the T4 Plus, and my wife can put it on top of her 4Runner and pull it down her self (she’s 5’ nothing btw). Then it’s just a matter of me balancing the tent as she unzipS the bag and Pulls the bag up over the tent. Let the tent hit the ground and it almost poops up on its own. Rest of camp is a breeze to set up...a fold up lifetime table to cook on, and two chairs... cooler stays in the back seat of the 4Runner and the fridge stays in the cargo area.
Our biggest downfall is no roof rack, just the factory bars that they call a cargo rack, so putting the gear on the roof takes longer than it should.
My 13' scamp was a good choice for people with disabilities. Used ones are affordable. I gave mine to my daughter which may have been a mistake on my part, due to my disabilities. Between sleeping in my rig and using my T3 Gazelle with a folding cot, I think it is doable one way or the other.
 

Blackey

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597
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Can you flip the axel on the scamper to increase ground clearance of the body the axel will not benefit from the swap but you’ll be able to put on taller tires.
 
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M Rose

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Can you flip the axel on the scamper to increase ground clearance of the body the axel will not benefit from the swap but you’ll be able to put on taller tires.
Yes
 

Lanlubber

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Can you flip the axel on the scamper to increase ground clearance of the body the axel will not benefit from the swap but you’ll be able to put on taller tires.
They sell a spacer kit for the torsion bar axle. Easy to make them or have a welding shop make them. Early models had 4 bolt wheels and hubs. The hubs need to be changed out for later model 5 hole hubs so that you can also put on taller tires. The fiberglass wheel wells can be enlarged with a jig saw.
 

9Mike2

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We have used many different kinds of camping, One word of warning! DO NOT SET-UP a New Tent in the dark for the first time, it almost cost me a wife! Anyway you could see about renting a tear-drop trailer like they have at Rebel off-road. They can go almost anywhere I take my Jeep JKU. just my two cents!
 
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