Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

State of the Intrepid – Floor Plan

Could'a used a wider lens on this - which I don''t have. Anyway, the Grandby front dinette model.

Could’a used a wider lens on this – which I don”t have. Anyway, the Grandby front dinette model.

[This post is a look at the Four Wheel Grandby’s basic features which inherently come along with the front dinette floor plan. Several more posts about other of the Grandby’s aspects will follow. Caution: neat/clean freaks may experience some degree of trauma due to the graphic nature of the photographs used throughout this series, which were taken after some 5 months on the road. The camper is in active camping condition, not display condition. You have been warned.]

In general, the Grandby itself has worked out very well, without regrets. The front dinette model can sleep four adults, the second pair sleeping on a platform created by stowing the dinette table between the two side benches. Of necessity, the seat foam is markedly stiffer, and coin-tossing for sleeping location may be advised. Obviously, I didn’t select my floor plan for that capability, and I wouldn’t expect the head count after a long 4-person weekend camp out to be the same returning as it was departing. Whoever sleeps on this lower platform is likely to be stepped on when Read more…

A Secret Blog Post!

More Constitution

This is just for those of you who don’t subscribe to this blog and instead just come by now and then to see what’s new. The latest post is actually here, but you don’t see it on the top of the home page because this blog software posts in order of entry start date, not published date. Begin an entry a year ago, and that’s where it is in the final stack. I forgot that, so click on the link above if you want to check out the latest.

State of the Intrepid – The Mighty Furd

O Mighty Furd, may I never have to push thee!

O Mighty Furd, may I never have to push thee!

The Intrepid is my “rig”, consisting of a pickup truck with a low-profile camper in the bed. The base vehicle – the foundation – has a large influence on how happy or unhappy the owner is with the entirety, since a mismatch can quickly veer things toward the unhappy side. Road handling can get scary, parts and systems can wear quickly and/or fail, or the camper in the bed can start to come apart from stress. Since this is a review of the Intrepid instead of just the Grandby camper alone, I think it pays to include Read more…

Change of Pace

A walking path.

A walking path.

I’m temporarily in Columbus, Ohio as a diversion while I wait for the wheels of medical assessment to turn, but here are a few shots of a walking path very close to where I’ve been staying in Indianapolis. As with every other place in the country, the weather has been markedly warmer than usual. In practical terms, you’re out of the hot sun while you’re along this path, but on a hot and humid day, the air is so still and humid that the heat you produce by walking will make you grateful for the invention of air conditioning by the time you get home. In cooler mornings, the path is a rewarding retreat.

A little farther along.

A little farther along.

This path goes along the shoreline of a small lake, so now and then the Read more…

1935 A-Class Motorhome

I was researching something when I stumbled over the video below, which runs for 6:32 minutes. It’s a fairly decent follow-up to my last post, since it gets across the concept of how exaggerating one capability in a product is generally made at the sacrifice of others. It was sponsored by Chevrolet in 1935, so of course the final conclusion of the lesson is that you can have the maximum of safety, power, etc. in perfect balance in a new Chevrolet sedan. Surprise! There are tons of these promotional ancestors of the infomercial around, and I assume that the sponsors paid theaters money for playing them in the lengthy mix of film shorts prior to the main feature. All you get in theaters today is a reminder to turn your cellphone off or shut your yapper, a few previews, and the movie. Then the lights come up as a discreet reminder to get the hell out.

I think this short is worth a gander because it shows little slices of this and that in 1935, but mainly because in the middle somewhere are some impressive seconds of what appears to be a bus converted into a motorhome. Unlike today’s over-upholstered faux Ritz, this interior seems to be Read more…

State of the Intrepid – Introduction

Once you start hanging extras onto your rig, it can get sizable indeed! Note that the e-bike just clears the path for mail delivery, and the rear cargo box can't be swung out without opening the garage door.

Once you start hanging extras onto your rig, it can get sizable indeed! Note that the e-bike just clears the path for mail delivery, and the rear cargo box can’t be swung out without opening the garage door.

I thought that it might be high time to say what it’s really like to live inside my FWC Grandby, with as little cognitive bias (the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has already selected) or buyer’s remorse (no definition needed) as I can muster. After all, such sources as The Sales Blog notes, “Buyers don’t make logical, rational buying decisions. They make emotional decisions and then justify those decisions by rationalizing them after the fact. This is true even if they use a spreadsheet to evaluate suppliers and solutions.” Sadly, I’ve found this to be true. Much like scientists, we vote with our hearts or when hemmed in by circumstance, and then rationalize like crazy to convince ourselves that our decision was sound.

But I don’t think you want to simply hear how great or awful this Four Wheel product is, as in evangelizing for the brand. I can wax ecstatic and propagandize as well as the next guy, but I think you want to get an idea of what about it works well, what’s okay, what’s a nuisance, and what’s a flaw – at least in one person’s opinion. Perhaps of good value is to find out how the Read more…

Just Some Common Sense

While waiting impatiently for the medical bureaucracy to do its thing, I recently stumbled over a worthwhile video sponsored by Patagonia, an unusual clothing company. We spend many millions of dollars each year for products, mostly from China, which include hemp, a very useful fiber that needs nothing but decent soil and water to grow. Between its fiber and seed oil, it’s pretty useful. It enriches the soil with each crop too, so fertilizers and pesticides are unnecessary. It used to be a staple crop in the U.S. – the cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined – and production was ramped up further in WWII. Then, since the War on Drugs, the Feds made it illegal to grow or sell, since it could not acknowledge any development in the field and so won’t accept any difference between what is now called Industrial Hemp and Marijuana. Thing is, industrial hemp was specifically developed to make it useless for drug production. You can smoke industrial hemp until you get sick, but that’s all you’ll get out of it. It’s now a staple, profitable crop – elsewhere.

There’s a movement afoot now to change Federal law to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp, because it represents a stable and reliable cash crop that allows small-acreage farmers to raise a crop that is simple and inexpensive to grow. Some 29 states now allow it on an experimental “research” basis, but farmers have had to run through Read more…

Old Iron

Barn Find!

Barn Find!

Okay, so it’s not a barn find, it’s a garage find. And it’s not virtually undiscovered, it’s part of the large collection of some guy with Old Car Collector’s Syndrome. I’m currently in Indianapolis, and it looks like I’ll be here in limbo for quite some time, so while I have a pleasant if unnerving wait, you’re stuck with posts like this, using iPhone photos. Next week’s post may be on the price of rusty razor blades in Kazakhstan. Anyway, he’s owned this car for 10 years, and it’s been in storage for a total of 15 years. More accurately, it simply hasn’t been run for 10, which is nowhere near as good as having been prepped for long-term storage. Whoever tries to fire up this thing now is probably going to have a bit of work to do.

The twin exhaust pipes are held in approximate place by baling wire.

The twin exhaust pipes are held in approximate place by baling wire.

This car is a 1968 Jaguar E-Type coupe, also called the XKE, retrofitted with Jag’s tri-carb on its 4.2-liter straight-six for power. It was called a 2+2 for it’s expanded seating arrangement, which has a rear seat with way too little legroom. Thus, they did not call them 4-passenger cars, which would have dampened the Read more…

Operation Moto Dog

Image liberated from

Image liberated from

“I believe embracing our crazy keeps us sane,” is one mantra that Mallory Paige follows. A young woman in her early thirties, Mallory has done some world travel and some VW bus vandwelling. While riding in a motorcycle sidecar in Ecuador one day, she got the crazy idea that she could ride from Oregon to Alaska and back on a motorcycle, and with a sidecar attached, haul her labrador Baylor along for the ride. Then near trip’s end, she advanced her internal throttles into full-crazy and decided to tour every state in the country. She’s been doing that for awhile now, proving to herself and anyone who cares to read her writings that both courage and fear are an integral part of us and part of life, and that the decisions we make have a huge impact on our lives.

I don’t advocate her site in the belief that everyone should run around the country with a motorcycle+sidecar combo or anything else. She does not appear to believe that either. I do so because Read more…

The July 4th Crunch

Early Friday bliss.

Early Friday bliss.

Holiday weekends are a big time for locals, who pack up and then pack into any camping facility around. Rock Cut was no exception. Because of a fully booked park, I had to move a hundred yards into the site that I’d originally reserved for that weekend. It was far from level, but my weird Anderson levelers got the camper into the “acceptable” range when placed under the front tires – even though they sank well into the soft ground. I did have to cheat and run the Furd forward between a BBQ and a picnic table to find less sloped ground. My end of the camping loop was Read more…

Post Navigation


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 215 other followers