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  • Eastern Sierras

    We are going to leave on our first real trip with the new trailer in a week or so. We will be visiting family in southern CA and then wandering the eastern Sierras. Notionally, we'd like to go to Alabama Hills, up to Berlin Ichthyosaur, and then Mono Lake area (Bodie!). We have a reservation on Sept 23 to pick up a travel pass through Yosemite, but haven't been able to reserve any camping in the park. We would like to boondock in the Lee Vining area for much of the end of the trip: any suggestions on good areas and entry roads with enough clearance for a 27-5L? What resources do you use to plan boondocking like this?

    Thank you!

    Karen

    Burlet Clan: Karen & Marcel
    Jacob: Lab/Akita, Lola: Boxer/Pit
    "White Zin": Chevy Silverado 2500HD High Country
    "Dalai Lama - One With Everything": Arctic Fox 27-5L

  • #2
    You are going into Nevada for Berlin Ichthyosaur and then back to CA for Mono? Seems backwards but I'm not all that familiar with the road net there.

    There is boondocking in the National Forest on the road to Tioga Pass, we have not camped there. As for boondocking supplies, it depends on how long you plan to boondock. A day or maybe two, then you do not need much. Then main limit in that case is battery capacity. If you are careful and turn off electrical equipment as soon as you are done using it you can probably get two days. Do not take long showers. It probably will get very cool up there at night so be sure your propane tanks are full, the furnace also uses a lot of electrical power so it will deplete your batteries. Extra blankets is a cheaper solution tho.

    Beyond that the equipment starts adding up, bigger battery bank. 2 six volt golf cart batteries to start. Some way to charge them, generator or solar. Be very careful of water use. That becomes your new limiting factor, take "Navy" showers. Get wet, shut the shower water off, soap up, rinse off. We can easily last four days, but I have a generator and 4 golf cart batteries. I think we might stretch the water out to five or maybe even six days. I have 24 gallons of collapsable six gallon water carboys that we could use to add water to our tank.

    We have all sorts of other stuff, none is essential that I can think of off hand. We boondocked maybe 20 days this summer and want to stretch that out to longer periods. Oh yeah make sure all your lights are LED, most of our 25Y was but the reading lights. The light over the stove isn't I'll have to see if I can find a replacement for that.
    James and Cindy Kramer
    Arctic Fox 25Y 2016-2012 Ford F350 4WD
    Fulltime starting summer 2020

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Agesilaus View Post
      The light over the stove isn't I'll have to see if I can find a replacement for that.
      I replaced mine with an LED like this: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sylvania-...Twin/732909083

      It was just a unplug old, plug in new change. Been a couple of years and still good. Often when boondocking, this one bulb is enough by itself to see to get around the TT.

      Here is a photo of my actual bulb but I I do think it is the one in the above link.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20200831_145155.jpg Views:	0 Size:	63.1 KB ID:	303638
      2001 F-350 V-10 4X4 CC 80,000 miles. Larger Transmission Cooler, Rear View Camera on 26N, ScanGauge.
      2018 Nash 26N. 900W Solar, 2nd Bathroom Medicine Cabinet, Progressive Industries EMS, Two Recliners and Kitchen Counter Wall,
      2015 Nash 17K Previous

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      • #4
        Our AF was fully LED, except for the microwave lights. The microwave took screw-base E-17 LED's. Makes a big difference during cooking on the stove top.

        Click image for larger version

Name:	Microwave E-17 Bulbs.jpg
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ID:	303640
        Travel Blog: www.rocklinroamers.wordpress.com

        2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD:SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

        2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T:Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Slide-Toppers, Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys I need to pull ours out and see what the base looks like.
          James and Cindy Kramer
          Arctic Fox 25Y 2016-2012 Ford F350 4WD
          Fulltime starting summer 2020

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by marcel View Post
            We are going to leave on our first real trip with the new trailer in a week or so. We will be visiting family in southern CA and then wandering the eastern Sierras. Notionally, we'd like to go to Alabama Hills, up to Berlin Ichthyosaur, and then Mono Lake area (Bodie!). We have a reservation on Sept 23 to pick up a travel pass through Yosemite, but haven't been able to reserve any camping in the park. We would like to boondock in the Lee Vining area for much of the end of the trip: any suggestions on good areas and entry roads with enough clearance for a 27-5L....
            Hi Karen, I just read something about boondocking near Mono Lake and I managed to find the article. I don't know if this will help as the authors visited in a class B, and our 27-5Ls are much heavier. I lived in nearby Mammoth Lakes in the 1980s and I went birding at Mono Lake regularly. I remember soft sand being an issue. The Lee Vining ranger station should have a dispersed camping map and the rangers may know if only lighter vehicles boondock there.

            I would be concerned about taking my 27-5L over Tioga Pass to Yosemite if that is your plan. I spent a lot of time traveling between Mammoth and Yosemite during the 15 years I lived there. I remember the section from Lee Vining into the mountains as pretty scary in an automobile. The steep road has some sharp turns and the exposure is huge. A white knuckler. The experience so seared my memory I wouldn't tow my Arctic Fox over Tioga Pass. Maybe that's because I drove that road a lot in the spring when there was plenty of runoff on the road and the occasional patch of black ice in the shade.

            If you manage to get a campsite in the valley and approach Yosemite from the west gate, the narrow winding road to the valley floor has an old tunnel. Would a fifth wheel the size of a 27-5L fit through that tunnel? If you find out, please let me know!
            Diana & Michael
            Hawaii Island and Alaska
            2017 Ram Laramie 3500 4x4 Cummins 6.7 diesel
            2018 Arctic Fox 27-5L

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            • #7
              We pulled our old pre-AF Titanium 35 ft fifth wheel over Tioga pass both ways. There is no physical reason you can't do it. The barrier is psychological. I'm more or less immune to scary roads, I just regard them as unusually scenic. So that's something everyone has to decide for themselves.

              I did discover a terrifying road tho in Capitol Reef, there is one backcountry road where I ignored the jeep only warning and took our full sized F350 down. We ended up on a ridge where you could open the front door on either side and look down, straight down several hundred feet. The ridge was mud too, no nice solid rock. There was a foot of clearance at most on each side. Backing up would have been suicidal. We made it across eventually at about 1 mph. And I will no longer ignore jeep only trail signs.
              James and Cindy Kramer
              Arctic Fox 25Y 2016-2012 Ford F350 4WD
              Fulltime starting summer 2020

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Diana808 View Post

                Hi Karen, I just read something about boondocking near Mono Lake and I managed to find the article. I don't know if this will help as the authors visited in a class B, and our 27-5Ls are much heavier. I lived in nearby Mammoth Lakes in the 1980s and I went birding at Mono Lake regularly. I remember soft sand being an issue. The Lee Vining ranger station should have a dispersed camping map and the rangers may know if only lighter vehicles boondock there.

                I would be concerned about taking my 27-5L over Tioga Pass to Yosemite if that is your plan. I spent a lot of time traveling between Mammoth and Yosemite during the 15 years I lived there. I remember the section from Lee Vining into the mountains as pretty scary in an automobile. The steep road has some sharp turns and the exposure is huge. A white knuckler. The experience so seared my memory I wouldn't tow my Arctic Fox over Tioga Pass. Maybe that's because I drove that road a lot in the spring when there was plenty of runoff on the road and the occasional patch of black ice in the shade.

                If you manage to get a campsite in the valley and approach Yosemite from the west gate, the narrow winding road to the valley floor has an old tunnel. Would a fifth wheel the size of a 27-5L fit through that tunnel? If you find out, please let me know!
                We have 4-wheeled carefully around Mono Lake, and the sands are indeed quite soft. I was more worried about the overheads in the forest, but the sand is truly a consideration near the lake. Thank you for the boondocking link!

                We towed our 2003 Nash 28-5D over Tioga several times. The new trailer is taller, but equivalent in length and weight, and we have a more capable truck now. I'm not worried about that part at least! We are used to local narrow windy roads, so Tioga seems quite luxurious to us even if it is high and steep.

                I've been searching old articles on the tunnels in the valley. There was a quote that all of the tunnels in Yosemite conformed to the state standard (14' tall), but be careful to stay in the center lane through the tunnels.

                Thanks to Dave and the Kramers for the LED light advice! We've been busy modding the trailer with all of the other excellent advice as well! We do have 215W of solar on the roof and the 5.5 Onan in the trailer. In our old rig with much smaller tanks and no solar, we could camp for 4 days with the family before we maxed anything out. I suspect that the two of us should easily be able to go a week with the new setup.

                Thank you all!

                Karen
                Burlet Clan: Karen & Marcel
                Jacob: Lab/Akita, Lola: Boxer/Pit
                "White Zin": Chevy Silverado 2500HD High Country
                "Dalai Lama - One With Everything": Arctic Fox 27-5L

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                • #9
                  We are towards the end our our 2.5 week trip and are at the point where we are looking forward to home and the critturs but still savoring our last few days. The new 27-5L has been a champ with staying on family driveways, on- and off-road, and dry-camping and improved parks. We were able to dry camp the first half of the trip (Lone Pine Tuttle Creek, Berlin-Icthyosaur), but then the CA smoke encouraged us to park where we could plug in and run the HEPA filter to be able to breathe (Austin NV and then Reno). We did not do the trip we planned, but it has been a lot of fun being free to follow the clearish air! We have managed to run every system on the trailer and it has all worked flawlessly, except the Norcold Fridge door, during traveling. The door was set too low so the latch doesn't engage... a known problem with this fridge. I "engineered" it with a sufficient quantity of blue tape to stay closed during travel. We will fix it properly when we get home.

                  It looks the two of us could dry-camp for 2 weeks without hitting limits on any of the systems. The fridge easily holds 4 weeks of food for us! Glad we ordered it with the large genny and solar system, because that made all the difference for dry-camping endurance. I love the new flush-mount windows: plenty of airflow since they open all the way to the top and the dark color keeps the interior cool. The new Chevy 2500HD pulls it like a dream up and down the steepest passes. We keep getting compliments on the Fox where-ever we go!

                  Very happy repeat Northwoods owners!

                  Karen


                  Burlet Clan: Karen & Marcel
                  Jacob: Lab/Akita, Lola: Boxer/Pit
                  "White Zin": Chevy Silverado 2500HD High Country
                  "Dalai Lama - One With Everything": Arctic Fox 27-5L

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by marcel View Post
                    ... The door was set too low so the latch doesn't engage... a known problem with this fridge. I "engineered" it with a sufficient quantity of blue tape to stay closed during travel. We will fix it properly when we get home ...
                    Try adding a few small washers to the bottom hinge post, then reinstalling the door.

                    The washers add just a little height to the door, to fully engage the latch securely.
                    Travel Blog: www.rocklinroamers.wordpress.com

                    2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD:SRW, Duramax / Allison 6.6L Turbo-Diesel, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4x4, Reese 16K Hitch, 50gal In-Bed Fuel Tank (85 gals total)

                    2016 Arctic Fox 29-5T:Six-Point Leveling System, Fireplace, Two A/C's, Two Honda EU2000i Generators, TST "507" Tire Monitoring System, King-Size Bed, Progressive 'Hard-Wired' 50amp Surge Protector, 16gal Water Heater, Slide-Toppers, Power-Reel, 'G Rated' Sailun Tires.

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