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    I think that everyone who’s fallen in love with skiing or snowboarding, has conjured up some creative and clever ways of being part of the mountains. A lot of times that means giving up modern conveniences to make it happen.

    I’ve gone from paying an annual membership fee at the Cascade Ski Club on Mt Hood, to a 16′ prowler camper trailer, then to a cabover camper, regressing to the folded down backseats of my Subaru Impreza, then to a raised bed platform in my truck, and finally to a teardrop trailer.

    That timeline makes it seem like I started at the top and fell to the bottom and then slightly stood up again, at least as far as accommodations, RV’s, Campers, and car camping are concerned. I’d disagree though, I’ve always wanted simplicity, comfort, and good gas mileage. I’ve also always been drawn to manageable spaces, I don’t want all the extra baggage, but I don’t want the claustrophobia either.

    waking up buried in snow is epic. Pushing open a door and shaving a layer off with it’s swing is a sign of a great day. I now do it from a teardrop camper trailer, and here’s a sloppy photo journal of the rigs along the way

    Truck tent was the beginning of my pow explore rigs. It was a really great in the spring/ late spring when temps warm up and the chance of severe weather subsides. It’s obviously a tent built for the a pick-up and no top tier tent makers produce one.

    cab over camper was purchased in 2009, I used it for a few trips, but the weight and fuel consumption called out for a quick sale. In my case I would have needed a bigger diesel truck and the wind drag is wildly excessive. They don’t store easily and the jacks tend to get damaged. Overall, this was my least favorite.

    I actually lived in this thing for one season at Mt Bachelor. I had the RV pass that allowed for 10 nights a month, the rest of the month I would stay 8 miles down the road at Edison Butte Snow Park. This trailer did me well, I actually cooked a pie in it thanksgiving night in the Bachelor parking lot. It had room for friends, standing room, and 3 beds for a total of 4 people. It was incredibly cold and I spent a lot of time in my bag until shred time. The following year when I moved back to Portland, I gutted and re-built the inside. This was when I found that what I had been living in for 7 months was basically a beer can, Yes, that seems obvious, but, there was little to no insulation in the walls, I could see light leaks, which meant water, which meant Ice. So after completing renovation on the trailer, it was now worthy of Winter camping. If you’re going to get a cab-over or an older 50’s- 90’s trailer make sure it’s well insulated, my guess is that it’s not.

    After the 10/11 season I sold that trailer, bought a topper for my truck and built a sleeping platform. I like the stealth mode of this type of set-up. you can pull in anywhere and just look like a truck parked. No Lot-Nazis bother with this kinda set-up. I think a topper improves gas mileage and the weight on the back is helpful in snow as well. I built my sleeping platform in two pieces so that one half could be removed easily, or both halves in a matter of minutes. A 2500 watt inverter was used in the back to power a small ceramic heater if necessary, computer or Choad Cheese Wax station.

    The original dirtbag set-up. fold down the seats, put in a sleeping pad and try to get some sleep. For what it is, this is a great option, when you’re 19-28 years old. I think most people have had this experience and not much needs to be said about it.

    The day I purchased the teardrop in Tacoma, Washington. It was plastered with old license plates and coca cola signs. immediate removal was called for.

    two weeks later I had removed all the crap screwed to it, patched and painted the exterior.

    The sleeping cab a few days after purchase, no work has been done yet.

    the first (sorta) remodel of the sleeping cab shelving/storage area

    Current teardrop, after a full rebuild.

    the demo.

    The rebuild.

    In the galley sits a a box with a deep cycle battery. This powers the dc electrical system and the inverter for ac voltage.

    The sleeping cab in my tear drop is 48″ tall x 48″ wide x 6′-5″ long. It makes for a pretty comfortable space. When my girlfriend and I use it together it’s definitely cozy, but it’s fine. I’ve insulated it very well, and have it heated by a small ceramic heater when necessary. The same 2500 watt inverter runs electrical accessories and is powered by a deep cycle that is kept in the galley and charged as the car travels or runs. I run all LED lights throughout the teardrop and have never had the battery run out of juice even when the car has not charged it 4-5 days.



    @gnarlycharlie Sweet write up man!

    We were looking at doing an article/thread on the various sweet parking lot campers that people have.

    I’d love to get something in the next year or two. My wife hates confined spaces so the teardrop would be out of the question. I would likely wake up to her strangling me..:)


    A small bed and some splits!

    What else do you need!

    Adam West


    See guys, the forum isn’t dead yet. Great thread. That trailer is sweet. So many good memories of sleeping in a moldy canopy, never bathing…..riding every day….


    Great thread! It really hits home, as I spend way too much time dreaming and tinkering with different setups.I’ve also been through several setups. From popup to slide in to trailer, now back to a tent. My short bed tundra just sucked for the slide in, and I really don’t like pulling a trailer if I can avoid it. Especially in winter. In summer the slide in kinda sucks because you have to take it everywhere, and it’s no bueno to try and wheel with a 1500 pound camper on the back of a 1/2 ton. I think an Earth roamer or a pimped out sprinter hauling some dirt bikes would be ideal. But those are way outta my league. So I’m currently looking at swapping the tundra for a Ram 2500 5.9 Cummins long bed and maybe eventually getting a Four Wheel 8′ slide in that would sit entirely in the bed. That or just a topper with extended headroom and 8′ bed with matress. This is the most versatile setup me thinks, and you don’t have to worry about all the PITA that comes with the slide in. If I don’t get the slide in, I’d probably stick with a gas engine.


    mike basich did his own pow chaser. check out the link. I’m sure you could build one of these



    A small bed and some splits!

    What else do you need!

    thats a pow explorer.



    Gcharlie, I already commented on your tgr thread….very cool write up. The pros/cons added in is :thumbsup:


    Sweet rig GC, enjoyed watching the camper evolution!

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