Truck Camper Bed Living and Rearranging

I am not traveling at the moment. I got a job with some friends and a beautiful place to stop for a while. The hiatus will give me time (and money) to do a few upgrades to Lilith and the living area.

beginning truck bed camping

Two years ago this took less than $100 and less than 3 hours to build. It turned into a terrific home. Comfy home in the bed of a truck

Of course the towels-as-curtains will get replaced. I am now toying with the idea of doing the whole thing over, with more attention to detail.  With better quality wood. With more sanding. With some kind of stain or paint on the floor. There are some areas (like around the wheel wells) that need more attention. As is they are wasted space. When the space is this tiny  every centimeter counts!

Some things to replace:

1. I hate the little round puck lights to read by. Not enough light. So I switched to head lamps. Not the best solution as they drive me crazy after an hour of reading (they are either to tight or too loose or not reading-light compatible).

2. I would like to put a screen material over the window by the cab. I usually have it open, but bugs see the reading person in the bed and get in.

3. I need a cool, dark place to keep fruits and veggies. I do not want to carry as much boxed/canned food.

4. I want a good coffee/travel mug. Too many times with cold coffee spilled while driving.

5. Good light weight, light colored materials for curtains.

Feel free to offer suggestions for the upgrade!

 

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Truck Camper Hints for Easy Living

A truck camper kitchen

 Fry pans and accessories:

kitchen pans in their bagKitchen bag openedA cast iron pan, a light weight fry pan (which doubles as a cover for the cast iron pan), a spatula, a flame spreader. After 1 year this is the fry pan section of the kitchen.

The pots and plates:

Bag of kitchen pots for truck camping

Open bag of kitchen pots for truck camping

The pot, a plastic plate, a steel plate (also doubles as a cover for the pot), a silver plate just ‘cuz, the innards of a percolator to steam veggies, three steel bowls.

Three knives (and sharpening implements), two forks, 3 steel drinking vessels, a plastic coffee cup, an Aero Press to make the coffee,  three spoons and I am good to go truck camping!

Latest camping spot in Colorado:

Truck camping in Colorado

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Cimarron Canyon

Leaving the Junebug campground  I turned east instead of west.  I had planned on going east. Ha. Ended up going down into Cimarron Canyon. I was astounded. I was not expecting this 2 lane road next to a river with such towering canyon walls.

cimarron canyon And there were several NM State Park Campgrounds in the canyon. Yummy!cimarron canyon campgroundThe campground was full of interesting neighbors (a bronco rider, a pre teen angler who hooked his thumb, a German bird watcher,  a Mexican surgeon who was not married to the woman he was with but she was the mother of his four children, and three intensely fun young men).
Cimarron Canyon campers The bathroom was ’50’s functional.
cimarroncanyon5 There was a mule deer across from me. Every afternoon she was wandering about, eating. Cimarron Canyon mule deerI was running out of food, so after two weeks it was time to move on. And surprises happened along the way. What joy! Stay tuned.

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New Mexico Truck Camping Hints

Every day I am learning more about this truck camping.
At times I have yearned for a cooler , but have found that an icy stream works pretty darn well. (When you have one!)
Camping CoolerThe bug screen that Susan helped me construct needed some reinforcements. Susanna, in Taos, did a magnificent job of sewing on reinforced webbing with Velcro. I can now rip it down quickly and am not worried about tearing the Velcro off.Bug Curtain for Truck
Susanna's WorkAbove is the strap from an old bag that Susanna sewed onto the curtain cloth. Below is one of the five Velcro patches.

Susanna's DetailIn the last blog post I mentioned that I was needing a shade that 1) I could put up and take down quickly 2) that protected me from sun. This is how it is starting out. I may switch to Velcro since I love the bug screen set up so much. I know the “Command” hook will not last with the extremes of temperature.
CurtainHook

The pvc in the picture below is holding the excess material down. Easy, quick and that is where I store the pvc anyway.

CurtainWhole

I liked the white cloths that were up there first. I will look for some material to do it up right in the future.

Useful Odds and Ends:
The picture below is my collection of straps. I use them often. I sometimes buy a crummy bag in a thrift store if it has a good strap. Many, many uses.

Straps

Then, of course, is the industrial strength Velcro. Works even in the extremes of temperature changes and being stuck to aluminum. That and duct tape hold everything together!

VelcroBox

Helpful Odds and Ends:
A collection of magnetized clips (I think for potato chip bags) are surprisingly useful. A fistful of medium size carabiners are extremely useful for hanging up keys, whisk broom, hats, anything!

Medicine:
I have used only 3 bandaids and a bit of Neosporin. I have a fist full of antibiotics, aspirin, Advil and never touched then in 2 years. I think living outdoors keeps one healthy.

Mice:
Mice in the engine compartment are evil. I have tried WD40, essential oil of peppermint, dryer sheets. Nothing works. The latest suggestion has been ammonia, sprayed all over the engine and the tops of the tires. That has worked so far, but I do hate to carry a single use item like ammonia.

Washing up:
I have found that I am totally allergic to washing dishes. I tried spraying dishes with vinegar and water. Did work, kinda. Have segued to hot water in a solar bag. When the sun is out it works. No sun, no dishes. Works for me!

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Truck Camping Budget July, 2016

July 1- July 31, 2016 Budget
Spent Budgeted
Food 80.08 120.00 39.92
Camping, Laundry 178.00 45.00 (133.00)
Entertainment 14.24 30.00 15.76
Gasoline 42.58 152.00 109.42
32.10

The entertainment was for a breakfast in the Sipapu Lodge and a breakfast in Taos. I didn’t count any of my non smoking celebration, it was from “gift” money. The camping expense was way higher than budgeted.  I spent a couple of weeks in National Forest Campgrounds. They were lovely and cost about $9.00/night with my Senior Access card. The joys of getting older!  I still managed to save $32.10 over the budget, even splurging on camping.

I don’t think I will stay in the National Forest campgrounds again. I found that within a few miles of any of these campgrounds I could find a free spot. Here is a spot that is about ten miles from the Junebug campground. Up about 3/4 mile on a single lane dirt road. Free and next to a beautiful stream and 1/4 mile to a great hiking trail. Next time!boondocking

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