Conservation

Truck camping often involves conservation of space, water and waste.

I conserve water.

No cooler, which conserves space and the effort to get ice and money for ice.

No paper towels, paper plates or napkins. This conserves waste and money.

I buy shop towels. I buy them at an auto parts store or Walmart or sometimes Dollar General. At first, when they are still white, they get used in cooking or as a wash cloth. When they get stained they go into the laundry bag. If they are still respectable they go back to the cooking area. Once past help at the laundromat they go to the front doors of the truck. Here they do the dirty work (headlight wiping, rear view mirror wiping, dashboard wiping) and they become very ratty. They eventually become unusable and go into the waste bag, which eventually goes to a local landfill.

It takes me at least a year to get through 25 of the handy shop towels.

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Surprised on the Road, Story 2

Here is another story while we wait for Lilith to get fixed up.

I surprised myself and fell in love. Head over heels. Totally smitten by cacti. In the Pancho Villa New Mexico State Park there were all kinds of cacti. They were in bloom. I had never thought much about cactus, growing up in the marshes and swamps of the low country of South Carolina.

Pancho Villa Cactus
Pancho Villa Cactus
Pancho Villa Cactus

Outrageous colors. Mind boggling bodies and thorns. Even the patterns on the dead cactus bodies were fascinating.

Pancho Villa Cactus Skeleton

The truck, Lilith, is parked at 2:30 o’clock in the picture below. You can just make out her black shape. The foreground is part of a botanical walk among cacti and succulents. A few miles of trails.

NM State Park Pancho Villa

This park (Pancho Villa New Mexico State ) is dedicated to the repulsion of  Pancho Villa’s “raid”, “invasion” into New Mexico 1916. Pershing was sent to capture him, and failed. Who’s land was it?  Native Americans? The Mexicans? The Spanish? The United States? Who can own land?

Aside from hot showers, the park had a huge, free library. I spent hours alphabetizing. And putting books into sections. Booksellers never retire, really.

This was a thought provoking time with exciting visuals.

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Minimalist Truck Camping Toilet

I had a minimalist friend call the other day, asking about toilets. I told her how I did it.

The jar with the green top is for pee. Its a regular Mason jar. I tried to buy a regular lid, but during covid this green thing was all Walmart had. Unfortunately for me it is a fermentation jar, so it has the ability to leak. So thats why it has its own white bucket. I will replace the top. I like the glass jar ‘cuz it is easy to clean.

The big white bucket is for poo only. In the bottom of the big white bucket are several large scoops of extra pine shavings and extra plastic bags.

Next I put a sturdy black bag in the bucket. (that is for insurance) Then a compostable green bag. Then a pile of pine shavings. After the poo is deposited I just wiggle the green bag around. The shavings cover the poo. If it is odoriferous I close the green bag, get another green bag put some shavings in and put it in the bucket, on top of the old, filled bag. I can usually put three or four deposits before I have to take the black bag out and deposit it at the landfill, or wherever.

Yes I have a toilet seat. I wanted to have a pool noodle, but it wouldn’t fit under the shelf where I wanted it, and the lid is good. No smells. I travel with it looking like the above picture. Too many times I needed the facilities quickly and hunting for the bags and shavings was not my idea of fun. It is now ready at a moments notice.

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Reflections on Truck Camping

Starting out

I started in Utah and was so surprised at how frightened I was.

  1. Frightened of the weather,
  2. of strange men,
  3. of breakdowns,
  4. of injury,
  5. running out of money.
  6. Almost everything.

The fears lasted two weeks or so. Then they faded.

  1. The weather was challenging at times.
  2. The strange men shared coffee and stories.
  3. Lilith was healthy and willing every day.
  4. “Bites that itched” has been the worst injury.
  5. Nowhere to spend money.
  6. Running out of coffee.

This spot was terrific. I felt the ones who had lived there. A turkey showed up and kept me “entertained” for days. That damn turkey would hop up on the table while I was having coffee. And try to get some. One day the clouds started building and I became hyper alert. The sand was deep and I was parked just off of an obvious wash. A canyon flash flood would be no joke. Lilith has 4wd, but it was deep. Dropping down, into the canyon, had my heart thumping. Getting out might be dicey in the best of weather. I left quickly. Useful fear.

So I moved to another Utah spot to look for meteorites. What joy.

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Redoing the Truck Camper

I don’t have the tools (expertise or patience) to redo the interior of the truck. I began looking around for help and https://www.aspencustomvans.com/ was recommended. Wow. They look way out of my price range. I don’t need fancy, just functional. But on the off chance they were looking for something fun to do, I sent them this letter.

Dear folks, I have been living in a 2006 Toyota Taco for the last 5 years. I am now back in Woody Creek for a year or two and am hoping to get help fixing up the interior. All of the plywood needs replacing and painted. I built this in a March snow storm in a hurry. There is now mold happening. I don’t need much, just help with some basics. And maybe some upgrades like drawers. Or any suggestions that you may have.
 I do realize that this is not your normal kind of work. If you cannot do this I would appreciate any recommendations.

I heard from them and they will be willing to take a look at the truck when they return from vacation. I sent them this picture, after I emptied out EVERYTHING.

Then I started planning. What fun. I made a list of things that had to get done and a list of extras if the budget allowed.

MUST HAVE:
1. All existing plywood replaced. Coated with something that prohibits moisture. Making sure that the tie down bolts for the topper are accessible.
2. Fire extinguisher placed.
3. Back light correctly installed.
4. Window opening reversed.
5. Kangaroo-rat-proof drawer installed under bed.
6. Middle section liftable, to access back sides.
7. Grommets on outside to attach tarp. (I used 4 different glues and none worked.)

EXTRAS:
I gave up on this list, not knowing if I can even afford the basics. I will wait on the big dreams after I get the estimate for the basics. Do you have any wild ideas?

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