Camping with a T

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Mark Osterman
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Camping with a T

Post by Mark Osterman » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:38 am

In the past year I’ve been collecting vintage information about camping trips with a model T. Sometime this summer I want to go out for a few days in my runabout and get away from it all. I bought an original pickup box for my car to allow me to carry what I need when I venture out with my wife, which would naturally require more than if I ventured out alone. I found a nice vintage canopy tent and a couple of army cots, a period gas stove and other pieces to make it fun.

A lot of reference comes from pictures being offered on ebay. Friends have also sent me various things to view including a loan of a great book Motor Camping published in 1923-27. Yesterday I noticed these great photographs of what appear to be a father and son on a road trip. The best one is the selfie of the two with a cluttered campsite. The camera case can be seen on the running board with the creel.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Dallas Landers » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:48 am

There is a section in my 12th edition Dykes encyclopedia that lists what to take on a road trip. If you take everything on the list, you need 3 T's.
Your trip sounds like some real fun.

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:51 am

IMG_4095 copy.JPG
I've been taking a web chair that rides on top of the trunk. Anytime I wanted to take anything out or put anything in I had to hook or unhook half a dozen bungees. That got pretty old.

IMG_4127 copy.JPG
So after last fall's trip I bought a backpacking chair for $21.98 at the local Walmart.

IMG_4128 copy.JPG
It folds up small. This lacks the charm of a T era chair, but is much more convenient. I hope it's sturdy enough to last in use.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Dennis Prince » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:22 am

I do quite a bit of camping with a T and as long as there are no low bridges you can stack it to the rafters with stuff, of course the more you carry the more it slows you down. The more you go camping the more you realize that you don't really need a whole lot of stuff also you come to realize that there is is a reason that camping gear has been improved over the years. A heavy canvas tent takes up a lot of space and weighs a bunch, I like to sleep under the stars so most of the time I don't even set up a tent ( I do take one just in case) and while cast iron is a joy to cook with it gets real heavy in a hurry. While I really enjoy using vintage gear when it works well, I don't go camping to suffer so I use more modern gear when it makes sense, remember that back in the day they would have used it if they had it. The pictures are from a week long trip to a hot springs in Death Valley National Park.
DSCN1229 (2).JPG
DSCN1229 (2).JPG (46.22 KiB) Viewed 4129 times
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DSCN1230 (2).JPG (57.06 KiB) Viewed 4129 times

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:14 am

Like Dennis, I sleep out but carry a tent. So far the only time I've used it was when I stayed in the same camp spot more than one day. For sleeping when it rains I put a large tarp over the car and sleep inside. I eat food that doesn't require cooking.

IMG_3511 copy.JPG
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Mark Osterman » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:44 am

Yeah ... depending on the time of year (temperature and rain) I could go with very little and be in my happy place. The idea is to enjoy a short trip and then relax at the destination for a few days. The tent is heavier than what I want or need.


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by TeveS-Nor Cal » Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:14 pm

Hi Dennis- spoke with you at great lengths at Bonneville a couple of years ago

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Mark Nunn » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:40 pm

I've posted this photo in Bryce Canyon before. I found several high-quality images like this in University of Utah's Digital Library. They have a great search feature. Being a man-in-the-know, I'm sure you are aware of their photo archive. Others may not know about this. I spent many hours looking at Model T-era photos there.

https://collections.lib.utah.edu/search/advanced

Model T_Bryce_Canyon_NP.jpg


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by John kuehn » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:06 pm

Just curious Steve but did you take along cans of pork and beans and vienna sausage? That’s what I would eat for my main course anyway!

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by DLodge » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:06 pm

While it wasn't period correct, Anja and I decided to drive up to Oceana County Michigan in 2006. Our son was finishing up the summer as a staff member at Camp Miniwanca (which my dad attended in the 1920s and early 1930s, my sister and I attended in the 1950s, and all of my kids and her kids attended in the 1990s). By then, we had trailered the T to tours all around the country and decided to do the same thing in Michigan. After we reached the campground where we customarily stayed when picking up kids from camp and set up the tent, we parked the tow vehicle and trailer in a nearby field and the T became our transportation for the time we were there.

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by StanHowe » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:30 pm

He's not on the forum often, but you should check out Robb Wolff in Calgary. He built a camper for his 27 that was about as cool as they get. He used to camp a lot. Maybe still does, haven't talked to him for awhile.

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Kaiser » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:54 pm

Nothing quite equals the sheer joy of waking up in a damp tent, putting on your damp clothes and go out in the rain to have a morning pee Dick :lol:
When in trouble, do not fear, blame the second engineer ! 8-)
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Rich Eagle » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:46 pm

We used to do a little camping in the Model T. Sorry we didn't have a better camera back then.
Rich
Camping.jpg
When did I do that?

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by D.Yoder » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:34 pm

CEE4F991-0211-4DFA-B3CE-520CA064C6B7.jpeg
I haven’t been out since last fall.
My Chickasha trip got canceled .
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by DLodge » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:35 pm

Kaiser wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:54 pm
Nothing quite equals the sheer joy of waking up in a damp tent, putting on your damp clothes and go out in the rain to have a morning pee Dick :lol:
Quite true, Leo, but it doesn't rain as much in Michigan as it does in NL (gelukkig!) :D


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Mark Osterman » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:01 pm

This was me back around 1980. I was traveling around to festivals performing medicine shows off the back of my 1919 model T. I had built a folding stage that extended out the back. At the end of the day I would remove two of the poles on the stage that held the painted back drop and use that with another tarp to make a tent. I cooked with a little gas stove, seen in this picture.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:48 pm

...did you take along cans of pork and beans and Vienna sausage?

On my last trip I dined mostly on cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeño cheese, dry roasted peanuts, bananas, and a few fig bars for dessert. Breakfast was wheat thins and a banana. By cutting out restaurant meals I cut my food bill to less than half of what it had been on previous trips. The nice surprise was that when I got home I weighed a couple of pounds less than when I left. That was definitely a change for the better.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Robert Kiefaber » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:37 am

Mark, what style of music do you play on your mandolin?


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Original Smith » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:47 am

You bought an original pickup box. Ford, or non Ford? The Ford boxes require drilling two holes on the sides of the sills, and if your paint is real nice the sill covers are likely to get scratched up. It sounds easy, but it isn't. I had four guys help me install mine.


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Sarikatime » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:53 pm

On a picture that Mark posted several posting back from here, there is a man squatting and making something like a tower of dough, I wonder if they realized there was a bear some thirty feet behind his left shoulder peeking through the brush. I guess what they were cooking smelled good and he wanted some. I did a lot of Rural camping in the sixties and seventies but never in a model T. Should try it before I get too old. Frank

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by dlmyers » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:42 pm

Frank, I think the man is breading fish fillets and it sure does look like a bear in the brush behind him.
The old forums are a gold mine of information.


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Aussie16 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:17 am

Camping out after a days touring with friends in a Model T is one of my favorite past times. Wifey is not keen on it so my son usually comes with me. Here is a link to a couple of videos he has made of 2 of our best camping trips.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdfWaW_cDes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUD1MrExJoc
My current project is building a 1916 pickup which will have a fold out camper tent on the back , which will be much more suitable than the touring.
I look forward to posting more pictures and videos after the project is completed.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Mikerobison » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:30 pm

If you are a Facebook user you might find this private group of interest. Antique Auto Camping Collective 1910-1930 https://www.facebook.com/groups/146715562326836/

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by fbergski » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:11 pm

Dennis Prince wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:22 am
I do quite a bit of camping with a T and as long as there are no low bridges you can stack it to the rafters with stuff, of course the more you carry the more it slows you down. The more you go camping the more you realize that you don't really need a whole lot of stuff also you come to realize that there is is a reason that camping gear has been improved over the years. A heavy canvas tent takes up a lot of space and weighs a bunch, I like to sleep under the stars so most of the time I don't even set up a tent ( I do take one just in case) and while cast iron is a joy to cook with it gets real heavy in a hurry. While I really enjoy using vintage gear when it works well, I don't go camping to suffer so I use more modern gear when it makes sense, remember that back in the day they would have used it if they had it. The pictures are from a week long trip to a hot springs in Death Valley National Park.DSCN1229 (2).JPGDSCN1230 (2).JPG
Saline Valley Hot Springs I take it? You're pretty brave driving out there in a t, It's a long walk out if you break down. Last year I drove my 11 touring from Panamint Springs to Ballarat by myself. Heading to Panamint Springs resort next week for camping and exploring, not taking my t though.

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Rich Eagle » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:39 am

This was a journey with Rich Bingham in 1966. "Livin' the Dream"
Campn66.jpg
Those tires are on my Rusty Coupe to this day.
When did I do that?

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Rich Eagle » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:44 am

This would be the early '70s. We built the trailer to haul camping gear for the family with the Buick Sedan. Their 3 youngsters filled their car. We toured Montana for a week each year.
CampSpdstr.jpg
When did I do that?


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Dennis Prince » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:20 pm

Yes Phillip that was a trip to Saline Valley, there was 3 vehicles and it still bothers my brother that my T was the only rig to not have any problems , the others were modern rigs. I really enjoy getting into places like that, so I spend a lot of time making sure that my T is in the best mechanical shape it can be.
Steve, I remember visiting with you, I am still hoping to go to Bonneville again this year but will have to wait and see what happens.
When it comes to food when I am camping, I eat like a king, all diets or restrictions are gone until I get back, hot lunches come out of the manifold cooker, maybe that is why I love to go camping.
Lunch stop
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Adam » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:42 pm

When it’s a 3 hour drive to a Saturday show, the best thing to do is leave Friday after work and camp overnight...
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Robb » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:18 am

As Stan Howe said earlier in this thread, I am rarely on the forum but COVID cabin fever got the best of me and I left the Ruckstell rebuild I am working on to catch up on what others are doing.

There are some truly legendary T campers that frequent the forum and I enjoy reading of their exploits. Here are a few photos from my T camping adventures that I hope will contribute to this thread.

It is a grey day here with snow on the ground so I enjoy looking at my current screen saver and dreaming of getting back to the mountains.
camper rear window.jpg
About 15 years ago I added a camper conversion to our 26 T pickup. My wife Margie and I have enjoyed countless solo trips to the mountains near Banff and into British Columbia.
DSC_8615.jpg
DSC_4829.jpg
The mountain parks are overcrowded now but we have discovered quieter places to camp an hour or two by Model T from where we live.
lower lake.jpg
IMG_3305.jpg


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Robb » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:24 am

The camper conversion took us north to Cold Lake and south to the Cypress Hills, camping with friends, the Lillos, Andersons, Chris Bamford, and others.
RHW_3130.jpg
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The T camper took a long time to set up and once it was set up we couldn't drive anywhere. After seeing some of the original campers at the Centennial in 2008 I decided to build my own popup camping trailer, drawing on ideas I gleaned from a visit to the RV Museum in Elkhart Indiana.
IMG_0006.jpg
RHW_5278.jpg


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Robb » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:38 am

I have counselled others never to sell their driver T before they complete their upcoming project. I didn't take my own advise and we no longer have a T to pull our camper.
Camper door- lower lake.jpg
RHW_9066.jpg
RHW_4596.jpg
We would occasionally get caught in bad weather in our open T pickup. Margie often endured the ride completely covered by a blanket, so I decided to build a T we could both enjoy. Perhaps this next photo should be accompanied by the kind of warning they add to some TV shows. "This subject matter may be disturbing to some." My hope is to complete the project later this summer. I repeat the previous phrase to myself each year in the spring. Some day it may be true.
IMG_0360.jpg

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by TWrenn » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:57 am

Sarikatime wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:53 pm
On a picture that Mark posted several posting back from here, there is a man squatting and making something like a tower of dough, I wonder if they realized there was a bear some thirty feet behind his left shoulder peeking through the brush. I guess what they were cooking smelled good and he wanted some. I did a lot of Rural camping in the sixties and seventies but never in a model T. Should try it before I get too old. Frank
But did anybody notice what looks like a figure of a man way off in the distance in the left of the photo stalking them?? LOL


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Sarikatime » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:31 am

Tim, it is interesting as to what some of the minute details we notice on pictures posted, not just here but on other posts as well. This should not be a deterrent to post pictures in the future but a reminder to the rest of us that shows we are paying attention and would like to see more. Speaking for myself. Keep those wonderful pictures of all topics coming. Frank


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Harry Lillo » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:27 pm

Robb is a true craftsman, both his woodworking and his Model T restoration skills are there with the best.
You can see the level of detail in one image with the wood and handmade metal hardware.
Those of you who attended the 2015 Jubilee Tour here in the Calgary area may have seen his camper.
We have had a lot of fun and laughs with our Alberta camping tours.
Our Cold Lake trip was a progressive six day camping tour to Northern Alberta with over 350 miles.
We had six T's on that tour.
We hit all types of weather and a hungry mosquito population at a couple of stops.
Harry Lillo


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by StanHowe » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:03 pm

Somehow Craftsman doesn't quite cover Robb's abilities.
Artist, woodworker, ironmonger, etc.
That is the nicest camp trailer ever.


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Robb » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:51 pm

Thank you Stan. I wanted it to look as nice as a Stan Howe restored Stromberg OF carburetor.

Stan here is a photo of someone you know. After a long day of touring she set up her NOS running board camping bed accessory and settled in for a nap. I believe this unit was manufactured by F. Schilling Company.
RHW_3506.jpg


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Mark Osterman » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:13 pm

Robb, I’m so impressed with your camper. Wonderful.

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Re: Camping with a T

Post by John E. Guitar » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:55 pm

image001.jpg


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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Luxford » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:15 pm

Have to agree with Rob, a trailer is the best option as you can set up camp and then drive off to explore especially as most would have a car to start with. The Kamper was better for myself as it had to be shipped overseas so was just a vehicle not both car and trailer.

The Lamsteed Kamper only takes about one minute to set up into sleep mode which is really handy, but on a tour each day required the sides to be rolled up and folded back before you could set off for a run. Traveling across country it just meant each morning we folded camp and left, On the Centennial in 2008 we had to do that each day but as we only had the bedding out for the nights it just meant putting the pillows and blankets under the seats, fold up the sides and take off.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:37 pm

I like many of the set-ups shown so far, but I like Dean's the best. I can imagine a trailer, even a small one, being an encumbrance in some circumstances. The light camper provides a place to lie down and sleep but doesn't add much weight for the car to deal with.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Dennis Prince » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:49 pm

Since the trailer topic came up I thought I would share what I have. The trailer for the T I haven't had a chance to use it yet but it has a vintage kitchen on the front, the tongue is extendable so it can be slid in under the kitchen when it is open and be out of the way, there are drop down legs on the corners for stability, it is really light and tows well although I am sure that I could make it heavy. The other trailer is what I pull behind my Model A and is really fun to use with just one person (not really enough room for two) and it is too heavy to pull and stop with the T.
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Dennis Prince » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:03 pm

Since trailers have come up I am assuming that hitches are next so I thought I would show how I have done them. The first one is on my 26 roadster, I have used it but with everything else that I carry the whole setup gets heavy.
26 Roadster
26 Roadster
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The second one is on my 26 touring and I ran a piece of receiver tubing inside the spare tire mount, it has a rack that I can put in it or the receiver and they are out of the way when I don't need it. (this is the car I plan to pull the trailer with).
IMG_1024.JPG
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The last one is the Model A
IMG_1029.JPG
IMG_1029.JPG (51.07 KiB) Viewed 2538 times
all of these hitches are run to the rear spring mounts and are very solid.

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Rich Eagle
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Re: Camping with a T

Post by Rich Eagle » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:54 pm

It is nice to see those Dennis. This is what I had on my yellow Speedster back in the 70s.
Hitchh1.jpg
Hitchh2.jpg
As you can see the ball mounting bracket bolts to the spring hanger U-bolts. The spring loaded coupler was gifted to me by a mechanic. He had acquired a Model T trailer that broke down in West Yellowstone. Disc wheels had been adapted to Model T hubs. The wood had splintered loose. It looks to be 20s or 30s to me. The ball is 1 1/2".
When did I do that?

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