Car camping in the warmer months is a simple, pack up and go adventure. Having lived in a truck in the woods for the entire summer, here’s some must-haves to ensure it’s a breeze.
I have a truck topper (some people call it a camper). It has sliding windows on both sides with screens already built in. It’s nice, but for the real airflow, it’s required to open up the back of the vehicle (think truck, hatchback, van, etc.)
With this lovely global warming thing, bugs have been intense, so adding a screen on the back door area adds a lot of bug-free ventilation.
It’s easy, and it’s cheap, so why not? Interested in the how-to? It’s pretty straightforward, but I’ll try to outline my process.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Super glue / fabric glue
Screen door replacement material is easy to find in any hardware store. I found it at Lowe’s and grabbed the widest one they had. Use a durable adhesive backed Velcro and outline the edge of the back opening on all three sides. Trace the Velcro (both pieces stuck together) around the edges, stick it on, but leave the tape on the other side that will hold to the screen. The screen is a tough thing to get to stick to anything (since it’s full of holes) the adhesive on the Velcro will grab it, but it is the super glue that holds it. I added a strip of fabric on top of the super glue. I bet more kinds of glue would work, just not sure which ones? I know Gorilla glue did NOT.
I did not Velcro the bottom, leaving it extra long so the screen material folded against the floor, that worked well enough! Sharp scissors make it easier to trim screen as you go. I overlapped the two pieces in the middle. That means an easy entry for me, zero entry for bugs. Also, when not in use (i.e. traveling), I could roll each piece to the side, tying them back (think tie back curtains).
For extra piece of mind, spray permethrin to help deter mosquitos and ticks (my two least favorites) — Pat yourself on the back for completing the easiest thing that will aid in your epic summer.
Sometimes there is just no breeze to be had. Don’t let mother nature decide your night sweating fate.
What you’ll need:
As I’ve said before, this fan is incredibly useful. Rechargeable, multiple speeds, clips on to wherever. Great for Indy in the backseat, sleeping in the truck bed, de-steaming windshields, you name it.
Mold and Mildew-proof everything
Anywhere on the East Coast, I have found this to be true. Humidity discovers its way into any fabric, rough surface, and consumables.
Tupperware bins don’t completely seal out moisture, but if you keep on top of checking them, you’ll be fine. For clothing, I used travel storage bags like these.
Coat any wood (like if you built a bed or shelf) with outdoor paint. Be aware of any natural fiber items you have that might grow mildew. Once it’s grown on your stuff, the smell is hard to get out. Fair warning!
While that sexy 12V fridge might be calling your name and invoking visions of cold beer on the road, it will set you back over $700. Enter in Orca cooler (or Yeti, pick your poison).
They work the same; the key to both is to keep refilling it with ice and cold items.
Now you can load up at that Cheese Castle in Wisconsin. #noregerets
Keep it simple, light, and carefree. And remember that you can always find stuff you need down the road. Start with less, add as you need to, and enjoy the adventure! See you out there!
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