Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

The Nautical Intrepid

A fishing rod tube, thanks to the FWC Grandby's jack mounts.

A fishing rod tube, thanks to the FWC Grandby’s jack mounts.

Although I’m currently struggling with bedding options and epic storage issues, I thought it’s about time to document a few of the Interpid’s other mods-in-progress. I don’t plan to fish much mainly due to the cost of out-of-state fishing licenses out this way, but I do want the option to take advantage of the occasional fishing opportunities that present themselves out here. I’ve driven right past various fishing holes along the way and wished I could pull in for a couple of days to try my hand in futility, but the challenges presented by the 26′ Defiant travel trailer always worked against that. The compact Grandby now opens up that option.

Mind you, I’m far from a fish killer. There’s a difference between going fishing and catching fish. In my case, it’s a big difference. But I enjoy the hardware and the contemplative aspect of that endeavor. It’s not the same when you fish with a real fisherman, since the expectation to actually catch something ramps up, while the contemplative aspect fades. Often but not always, a kind of impatient searching takes the place of just enjoying the time and place, while only occasionally wondering why there’s not even a nibble for hours. That can be something else to contemplate, but the answer is always comfortingly present: I don’t know what I’m doing.

My rods, with one exception, are all decades-old garage sale items. The one decent rod is just that – decent, obtained at a bait shop in Wisconsin, I think. The reels are mostly of the spincast type, those awkward contraptions that have the reel set sideways, with everything jutting out exposed. My sole spincast reel, the simple enclosed type used by kids everywhere, was a gracious gift donated by my ex, herself an accomplished fisherwoman with much patience. I suspect it was a mix of pity and the tiresome exposure to my casts often followed by “dang!” when my lure dropped into the water beside the boat, or when the line formed a confused bird’s nest within the reel. It’s a beauty, and works flawlessly.

At any rate, the Grandby’s interior is no place to hold fishing rods, a few of which are one-piece affairs that approach eight feet in length. A solution was needed, and once again the Grandby’s jack mounts begged to be put into service. A trip to Home Depot netted ten feet of something labeled tri-layer coex pipe, a pipe which is much lighter and cheaper than rigid schedule 40 tubes. It’s more flexible as well, but seemed stiff enough to do the job when cut to an eight-foot length. I scrounged up a couple of end adapters and screw-in covers that fit, along with a pair of L-brackets, and I was in business.

The end cap assembly. A small screw added to the bottom requires a wrench before the cap can be unscrewed. The goal is to prevent vibration loss of the cap, and slow down the casual theft opportunity somewhat.

The end cap assembly. A small screw added to the bottom requires a wrench before the cap can be unscrewed. The goal is to prevent vibration loss of the cap, and slow down the casual theft opportunity somewhat.

In practice, I found that this material expands more than the aluminum camper once it heats up, and wants to lengthen in the hot Arizona sun. Since it can’t expand because of the solid way that I mounted the ends, it appears to droop at center. In a 50-degree sunrise, it’s straight as an arrow. By noon, it’s sagging. A battery hold-down bracket screwed into the camper’s under-surface provided a way to loop a Velcro strap near the mid-point, and voila, it’s straight all the time now. I had originally planned on using cable ties, which last about a year in full exposure, but I already had an 18″ length of Velcro strap, which in my experience can survive up to three years in the same conditions.

Some leftover open cell foam serves to discourage rod tip damage during travel. That way, if I lose the truck in a head-on crash, my garage sale rods will survive intact.

Some leftover open cell foam serves to discourage rod tip damage during travel. That way, if I lose the truck in a head-on crash, my garage sale rods will survive intact. It’s a pyrrhic victory, perhaps, but still a technical win as far as the rods are concerned.

I did allow myself one extravagance after that success. Once on site, I’m too lazy to remove the lure/hook and stuff the rod(s) back into the tube at end of day. No point in laying them on the ground and stepping on them, either. For that reason, I decided to add to the StowAway cargo box’s duty as shovel holder and mounted a fishing rod holder to one side. That’s simply what amounts to an aluminum towel rod with three upright tubes welded to it. Insert the fishing rod handle, and you’re done. Cheapie plastic versions abound, but these presented mounting issues, so I antied up for a marine grade affair that will last forever. I’m ready.

This rod holder rack is overkill, but fits like a glove and will not fall off after sun exposure. If you come up with some secondary function they could perform, let me know!

This rod holder rack is overkill, but fits like a glove and will not fall off after sun exposure. If you come up with some secondary function they could perform, let me know! P.S.: They’re too small to be toothbrush holders…

The rear end is identical. I like the white tube color, since it not only lowers heat exposure, but makes a color-coordinated fashion statement with the camper itself.

The rear end of the tube is identical. I like the white tube color, since it not only lowers heat exposure for a tube with no air circulation, but makes a color-coordinated fashion statement with the camper itself.

The Velcro strap does a fine job of keeping the tube straight.

The Velcro strap does a fine job of keeping the tube straight.

The original task of the open cell foam is to discourage insect entry into the two oversized vent louvers of the refrigerator. I've found that I don't like wasps building nests in my RVs. In the Defiant, I added prefab screens on the exterior. I thought I'd try foam on the Intrepid.

The original task of the open cell foam is to discourage insect entry into the two over-sized vent louvers of the refrigerator. I’ve found that I don’t like wasps building nests in/on my RVs. In the Defiant, I added prefab screens on the exterior. I thought I’d try foam inside the Intrepid.

And who can deny the appeal of a 5-gallon Tote-Along greywater holding tank, using some kind of washing machine hookup hose? A quick disconnect and valve at the bottom allow for a minimum-hassle servicing when needed. The drawback is that these prefab hoses are small diameter, but "that's what these tests are for!"

And who can deny the appeal of a 5-gallon Tote-Along greywater holding tank, using some kind of washing machine hookup hose? A quick disconnect and valve at the bottom allow for minimum-hassle servicing when needed. The drawback is that these prefab hoses are small diameter, but “that’s what these tests are for!”

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11 thoughts on “The Nautical Intrepid

  1. Now that is my idea of going fishing! ๐Ÿ™‚ I like just throwing the lure out there, and reeling it back in, and throwing the lure out and realing it back in. Good stuff! The only problem I have, is I can’t go fishing alone. If I do, accidentally, catch something, I have to have somebody else take the poor fish off the hook! I don’t mind baiting my own hook, I just can’t handle taking the poor little fish off.

    I don’t do much fishing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Bob G. on said:

    Maybe one of those rod holders could be adapted to hold upright an extendable paint pole with a directional cell antenna on the end. It could collapse and slide horizontally into another tube on the other side of the truck while traveling. Like this one:

  3. Linda Sand on said:

    I have several friends who differentiate between fishing and catching. Fishing seems to be preferred. Catch & release is common when they do catch.

  4. Linda Sand on said:

    I think your rods will be safe in there since I first thought it was a container for a dump hose.

  5. it’s funny, I feel differently about fishing – I fish to eat, so I must kill the fish. I do give thanks that it gave up its life for me to have it for dinner. Fishing for fun seems cruel to me because it really stresses out the fish and injures it. Many who are released end up dying, according to some studies that I’ve seen referenced. Maybe people have heard differently? There was one recent trip where I kept catching and releasing small 4 inch trout, and wondered after if I should have kept them for dinner. I hope they lived after I let them go.

    As long as you are discharging your grey water outside, why not set up an evaporating pond so that you don’t have so much to lug out when you decamp? I’ve heard of some people doing that in the desert. I wonder how useful that would be with the length of time that you plan to camp at each spot, but maybe coyotes would come along at night and have a drink, help with lightening the load even more. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am waiting anxiously for the mysterious bed problem/ solution blog post.

    • Interesting viewpoint on the whole thing, Ming. Given my level of skill in the craft, my location on shore, the general lack of underwater cover for fish to hide and the water sources likely already over-fished, I’d say that any moral decisions I make ahead of time about cruelty versus cruelty plus death will prove moot, not affecting the actual end result either way.

      An evaporation pond sounds to me like something that would be one more PITA to deal with in setting up and breaking a short-term camp in remote areas, but that’s an individual call. The tarp doesn’t just clean itself when time comes to pack it away inside the vehicle, and so far, I haven’t come across soil which had no absorption ability. I’ll let you explore that one!

      I wouldn’t wait for the bedding post too anxiously, not unless you need a soft, saggy mattress to prevent snowballing pain and lockup. Many folks do just fine with FWC’s factory setup, or maybe add a thin topper above it. My “solution” will not apply to many, since the problem won’t, either. But I will write about it, since the pop-up nature of the FWC imposes its own requirements into the mix.

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