Saturday, June 18, 2016

May Trip P2 - Overland Expo

Next we drove to Mormon Lake near Flagstaff for the Overland Expo. The Overland Expo is a show for adventure 4x4 vehicles and adventure motorcycles and equipment. It's a well attended show for the adventure RV,  cycle and 4x4 enthusiasts. Think of kids being turned loose for the day in a massive toy store. It was awesome!

Our goal was to explore the popup truck campers and see if we really could full-time in one.

We ended up feeling that they are too small to be comfortable for us. We are now exploring smaller travel trailers combined with a good 4x4 truck. We will put a flip or pop-up up Baroud type rooftop tent on the truck for getting away to hard to reach 4x4 places.

A tricked out Grandby by Four Wheel Pop-Up Campers.

A jacked up 4x4 truck with larger gas tank. You could mount a flatbed on this.

A Grandby by Four Wheel Pop-up Campers.

Later we discovered this custom Phoenix Camper.
Very cool and way less expensive than an Earth Roamer.

Inside the customer Phoenix Pop-Up Camper.

The dining area couch in the Phoenix Pop-Up Camper.

The shower/toilet in the Phoenix Pop-Up Camper.


Touring a Pop-Up.

Big Wheel on the jacked up Dodge Ram 4x4.

Inside the Grandby Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper.

Outside the Hawk Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper.

Inside a Hallmark Pop-Up Camper

We liked these storage boxes on the Hallmark Pop-Up Camper.

A Hallmark Pop-up Camper.

Karen and Monkey in the Hallmark.

At the Overland Expo.

We like this swinging storage boxes for a pop-up truck camper.

A training class at Overland Expo. We weren't sure exactly
what they were training to do, but it looked crazy!

After our day at the Expo we found a quiet forest road for a night of boondocking.
After touring a bunch of Pop-Up Truck Campers, we were very impressed with the Hallmark Pop-Up Campers. We kinda felt the Four Wheel Campers were too spartan for us.

We even met old man Hallmark, the founder of the company. What a nice guy. He showed us lots of stuff about his family's camper products.

Greg was really excited about the Phoenix custom Pop-up, but Karen had questions. Greg loves stuff that is just too expensive. The fact that it was all custom, gave us pause. Was there stability in the company? It sure was a slick camper with a lot of beautiful designer touches.

After a couple of days of thinking about it, discussing the pros and cons and a little bit of arguing after the Expo, we both decided that maybe a pop-up truck camper was just not going to work for us. We needed something with more room and a little more comfort.

We are now turning our focus to Travel Trailer with a 4x4 short bed truck. We currently are looking at the Lance 1985. It's a shorter Travel Trailer that can fit in most National Park campgrounds. Combing that with a very capable off-road 4x4 short bed double cab truck. We would add a rooftop collapsible tent for short getaways to remote, hard to access locations where we can't take a travel trailer. We think it's the best of both worlds.

After the day at the expo we found a really nice forest road and drove up till we found a flat level spot for a night boondock.

Our approximate location was [ 34.940989, -111.518173 ]. There were a lot of spots here and further west. A few other campers where in the area.

You can see more detail on the Phoenix Custom Pop-Up camper here:
http://www.truckcampermagazine.com/news/phoenix-builds-statement-camper/

We saw and toured the trailer of our current dreams when walking around Bandelier near our home. The full-timers who own this beauty, graciously spent almost an hour giving us a tour and chatting about full-timing. 

Stock photo from Lance of the 1985 travel trailer looking from the bed

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