Waiting for Camphosting

Drive to Burro Bridge Campground

This is the drive to Burro Bridge. The campground  will be opening on Friday. Thats when I officially start work. However I went up 6 days ago. What a thrill to be alone in such a beautiful place. I have seen many shadow bears (when the wind blows the firs and shadows look like bears), herds of elk, and a very friendly marmot.

The marmot was fat and fuzzy. She came running at me and disappeared into the bowls of the truck. 4 days of horrible squeaking, smelly pee and rustling noises. I couldn’t get her out. Then I thought … what if she is looking for a place to have babies? What if she is looking for a place to die? I decided that death was the answer, so I put the phone down on the floor above where she had hidden, and played hours of “soothing” music. The district manager for the campgrounds showed up and poked around for at least 1/2 hour before he poked her and she left.

The smelly pee was good. It keeps the mice away. Me too, down wind. Not smelly in the truck at night. Thank goodness.

Spent several days getting the firepits cleaned out, the toilets all clean, and the camp sites raked. Still no water, so it will be an interesting time explaining to campers. The water problem has to do with the well pump not working. We will see what happens.

Note that the campground is 32.6 miles away from cell reception, so I will be able to reply to comments once a week or so, when I come into town for laundry!

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Love While Truck Camping

I fall in love with almost every small town.

Some I have wanted to fall in love with …. Tucumcari, NM or St George, Utah. But the magic wasn’t there, no matter how hard I looked. No matter how hard I tried. But then there were the surprise loves like Grants, NM which had a library dedicated to a woman and was on the Rte 66 byway.

My main small town loves these days are Cortez, Mancos and Dolores, Colorado. Next to each other, filled with building murals , built near railroad sidings,  near water and hospitable libraries.

I love the tiny town restaurants with surprising food, with small libraries which support the towns and cater to the wi-fi hungry travelers. I love the tiny towns so much that I have applied for housing assistance in Cortez. Don’t know if I can give up traveling in the truck …I still haven’t seen Arizona, Alaska, or Washington.

While truck camping you are able to enjoy small towns without the added concerns of a trailer or a fancy van. We blend in with the construction crews.


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Comfort Truck Camping

A bathroom. Water. For me those two things qualify a camp spot as luxury. In the picture below I have everything I need. Trees to set up the hammock, a bathroom within walking distance, and water out of a tap. Luxury. Behind Lilith (the name of the valiant Toyota Tacoma) is a bench. Comfort Truck Camping

The comfort level that you need will be obvious to you during the first week. Then the level will change as you become more comfortable with fewer amenities. I can use the woods for a toilet, thanks to the book How to Shit in the Woods, 3rd Edition: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art. Really. You can, too. For long term boondocking it was no fun on my knees, so I got a seat. That works even better.

You will mess around, get lost, be uncomfortable, get lonely, and finally find your comfort level. It is worth long term happiness to splurge occasionally.  Put a splurge amount in your budget. Below is a splurge I loved.Beer for Truck Campers

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Reading about Truck Camping

Helpful Hints

Surprise …. theboatgalley

This site helped with food storage and solutions, with packing, and with safety concerns. And the equipment that the boaters use (coolers, stoves, storage containers, etc.) were intriguing and very different from what is offered in the camping stores. Lots of good ideas.

The grandfather of the boondocking world has one great tip after the other at cheap rv living

This site has links to all kinds of help and clues and suggestions for people who like to live/travel off the grid. Many years of experience with solar, with federal regulations, and the host of the RTR every year.

The good Luck Duck has a great page for boondocking hints. She rides a Prius.

I know we are truck campers, but this woman built a great home in a 2004 Chevy Express van that is so functional, so pretty, so  perfect that I borrowed several ideas.

The most used site has been “Free Campsites”

freecampsites gives you access to every state (with GPS coordinates) of wonderful camping areas off the grid., There are some surprises and oodles of helpful hints in finding the sites. Lots of feedback from users, describing the sites in detail , asking questions, making suggestions. The image below was a freecampsite location.

Dawn in the desert
Am taking this computer to a store to try to get it fixed.  Having upgrading problems. Hope to be back on line next week, just in time to be a campground host!

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Camp Host

Camp hosting in a truck is possible.

Most camp hosts are required to have hard sided living quarters. The people hiring are so desperate for hosts in remote areas (with no electricity or cell service) that a truck is considered ok. Fancy places like KOA don’t like pick ups.

  1. Money You may get some. The number of hours that I was allotted and paid for were less than was required to do a good job. For example, on the first job there were 3 bathrooms and 13 sites. I was allotted 11.5 hours/week to clean bathrooms, weed eat the campground, take and account for money,  clean fire pits, and answer many questions. I averaged 23 hours/week.  The second job was 22 bathrooms, 65 sites, 60 acres. I was allotted 37.5 hours/week. I averaged 72/week, rode a huge mower, long discussions about the dump fees and day fees. I was flat out exhausted most of the time at this campground. You can volunteer (no money) with NM state parks and you get electricity and  don’t have to clean bathrooms or collect fees.  BLM pays by the day, not hours. I got a scratchy vest, a cheap hat and a name tag that I had to give back.camp host uniform
  2. A Place to Live If you love a certain area of the country or a certain element of nature you can park in an ideal location. You will get to know the nearby towns intimately. You will be in the same spot for 4-5 months.
  3. People to Meet I checked in a friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years, I made friends with anglers, physiotherapists, Vietnam vets, artists, and children. I also had to deal with slobs, people who let their misbehaving dogs run loose, ATVs racing around the campground after 10 pm, and two car limits that morphed into 8 cars.
  4. Weather With a truck you need a tarp to keep out blazing sun and/or pouring rain. You are more exposed than any trailer or motor home. The tarp I have is perfect.camp2boggydraw.jpg
  5. Personal Time As a camp host you will have time to hike or fish. You do have days off. However, while at the campground you will be interrupted with an endless list of questions that you may not have the answer for. It is not a job for someone who wants to write the great American novel, or even read one. Living in a truck you will not have the luxury of shutting the door while cooking dinner.  Campers saw me cooking and thought the whole thing was “delightful”.

Its worth a season trial for anyone who is full time camping in their truck.


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