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Old 02-27-2021, 05:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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We hit Yellowstone about once a year although we missed last year. We haven't gone mid June, july, or August in about 7-8 years and never will again. Early October is probably my choice. I have stopped going to any of the main thermal features. We go bear watching mostly. One 4 day trip we saw 21 Grizzlies altogether but I'm sure a couple were repeats of previous days. I like to do short hikes too. Some day soon hopefully late summer after school starts, we will do the kayak camping in the sothern part where you have to drag it up the river like 1/2 mile and then get to a 2nd lake that is otherwise pretty remote. There are like 10 campspots scattered on the shore and you get a specific one reserved. It's a big lake so 10 small groups is nothing.

East of Yellowstone is a place called Bighorn Canyon. That seems to get skipped by everyone and it's really great. Badlands, deep, deep canyon, remote mountains surrounding, great indigenous people history and artifacts and my daughters favorite, the wild horse preserve. About 130 completely wild horses who summer on high wildflower filled meadows that run 30 degrees cooler than the badlands below. It's like a 15x15 mile area where you might only see one other car. Petroglyphs, ice caves, teepee rings, fighting wild stallions, and fields of green grass and wildflowers at like 8000 feet over an orange canyon badlands area.

The road up there is tough, that's one of the main reasons we bought this camper. A regular camper would never make it, and it's a long day to try and do all at once.

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Old 02-27-2021, 06:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So pulling a small trailer that has a couple propane burners, a toilet and lets you sleep off of the ground would have improved your trip?
That's why I like full-size vans, as they usually can fit most of the ammenities inside without the need for a trailer
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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East of Yellowstone is a place called Bighorn Canyon. That seems to get skipped by everyone and it's really great. Badlands, deep, deep canyon, remote mountains surrounding, great indigenous people history and artifacts and my daughters favorite, the wild horse preserve. About 130 completely wild horses who summer on high wildflower filled meadows that run 30 degrees cooler than the badlands below. It's like a 15x15 mile area where you might only see one other car. Petroglyphs, ice caves, teepee rings, fighting wild stallions, and fields of green grass and wildflowers at like 8000 feet over an orange canyon badlands area.

The road up there is tough, that's one of the main reasons we bought this camper. A regular camper would never make it, and it's a long day to try and do all at once.
Thanks for the tips. My wife did a brief visit to Yellowstone on a business trip but I haven't been. We plan to do a 10 day trip to that area in the next few years and we will have to check out Bighorn Canyon. Sounds like the extra clearance on our campervan will come in handy.

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That's why I like full-size vans, as they usually can fit most of the ammenities inside without the need for a trailer
To do it over again I would have gone with a full size van instead of our Astro van. The Astro van works for 2 people for a week or do but for our next fan I really want

1. Standing room
2. An inside kitchen (even if we don't cook inside all the time I want that option for rainy / windy days) The extra 32 inches of length of a Chevy Express would make an inside kitchen possible.

We headed out to Cottonwood Canyon State Park this last weekend. It dropped to 28 F outside while van got down to 40 F. Way better than sleeping in a tent. It was nice to see it in a different part of the year - we usually use it as a base to float fish the John Day River in May / June.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The road to Bighorn canyon is a nice paced highway, and a few of the horses will be down low off that highway. The main herd will be across the badlands and up the mountain like 15 miles of 2-5 mph rough road.

Stop in Lovell, Wy and there is a free museum there that can give you info on herd location and road conditions. Lovell also has a great free campground at the city park that even has hot showers.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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An inside kitchen (even if we don't cook inside all the time I want that option for rainy / windy days) The extra 32 inches of length of a Chevy Express would make an inside kitchen possible.
I still wouldn't disconsider a smaller van if I were able to make some slideout extentions, as long as it remained a lower compromise to off-road ability, but a full-size one is greater for privacy as it would presumably not caught unwanted attention if I were spending some time at a spot not exactly meant for camping.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I still wouldn't disconsider a smaller van if I were able to make some slideout extentions, as long as it remained a lower compromise to off-road ability, but a full-size one is greater for privacy as it would presumably not caught unwanted attention if I were spending some time at a spot not exactly meant for camping.
Stealth is nice. Our current van is a Chevy Astro passenger van converted to a campervan. It has all the windows and a ladder rack on top so it doesn't scream "VANLIFE" to everyone.

We have stayed at some trailheads were overnight camping isn't allowed and never got a second look from rangers cruising the parking lot.

I'm considering one of these for our next van (when we go mobile full-time). A box truck like that won't get a second look in the city although it would stick out in rural areas.



Either that or a Ford Transit. (Midroof, extended wheelbase, regular length)

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Old 03-04-2021, 12:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Urban vs rural camouflage.

Commercial signage vs fern oversprays.

There must be a middle ground. Magnetic stick-on signs?

duckduckgo.com/?q=fern+camoflage+paint&iax=images&ia=images
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:15 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I still wouldn't disconsider a smaller van if I were able to make some slideout extentions, as long as it remained a lower compromise to off-road ability...
Slideouts aren't good for weight or structural integrity. Off-roading wants less weight and more structural integrity.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Slideouts aren't good for weight or structural integrity. Off-roading wants less weight and more structural integrity.
Sure there are some compromises, but I am still not unfavorable to slideouts when done properly. For both a clean appearance when retracted and structural rigidity, if I were going to fit slideouts to a van I would consider to place them at the stock location of the cargo doors.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Urban vs rural camouflage.

Commercial signage vs fern oversprays.

There must be a middle ground. Magnetic stick-on signs?
I'm not trying to hide the van in the woods. Just looking to make a parked vehicle look less noticeable.

A box truck with a plumbing sign on it won't get a second look in a city. An RV or obvious campervan will get a middle of the night wake up call from the cops.

Flip that and a campervan blends in at a trailhead. A plumber's box truck might get some odd looks and draw attention.

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