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  1. #1
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Hammocking and Fifth Wheels (or other RVs)

    So...in the quest to get more time away with the family, we're looking at fifth wheels. Have to get a comfortable one...and the more comfort we get, the less off-road capability we get. Probably looking at groomed dirt roads as the roughest.

    Making it so much easier to get time away with the family will be great, but I want to make sure I can still get some hammock time in! So...does anyone here have experience combining hammocking with RVing?

    Here are some thoughts of how to combine the two...

    - RV in and use it as a base camp for a series of overnight backpacking trips. This would probably get the wife much more active in the kind of backpacking I want to do. Go out and rough it a little (for me), and then go back and take a shower (for her), repeat as necessary. Since we own the fifth wheel, the barriers (planning, mainly) for leaving on a trip will be much lower.

    - Hang a hammock in the fifth wheel. Like I said, getting a decently comfortable RV is a requirement, which means expense is a consideration, and I'm not likely to rig up much of an indoor hanging solution. Possibly, but more possible that I'd just have a hammock stand to hang outside. (I'm sure I will also do that no matter what.) But...sleeping outside the RV kinda defeats the purpose of getting a nice fifth wheel in the first place. And the wife isn't as likely to enjoy time away together if I'm out in the hammock and she's alone in the bed.

    So...anyone else with experience in this? Or links to other sites where folks discuss it?

    I guess this is a good problem to have...I just don't want to give up hammock time just b/c we have a new toy!
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  2. #2
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    Jeff, we purchased a Toy Hauler 5th wheel last summer. It has all the same limitations in access, that you mentioned. My intentions are to use it as a base camp and do day trips and some overnight trips from it. It has a 12' garage where we haul a Kawasaki Mule and a full size Weber gas grill. It is conceivable that a hammock could be hung in the garage.

    So far we have only had it at a couple of boat races (Wheatland, MO and Phoenix, AZ), but have big plans for 2013, including a two week trip to Irvine, CA for a boat race. On the return trip, we intend to make a swing through Utah and hit several National Parks and Monuments. Two weeks later we will end up in Phoenix for another boat race, before heading back to Texas.

    I am trying to find the perfect base camp in UT, that is centrally located amongst these parks, and not so much of an RV park feel. RV parks are OK for overnight stopovers while enroute, but I prefer boondocking in a NF when I get there, where there are trails, fishing, and hiking from the camp site.
    We are now ready to start our way down the Great Unknown.We are three quarters of a mile in the depth of the earth.We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknow river yet to explore.What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls rise over the river, we know not. Ah, well! We may conjecture many things. The men talk as cheerfully as ever; jests are bandied about freely this morning; but to me the cheer is somber and the jests are ghastly. Powell 1869

  3. #3
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Yeah - I'm getting this to support my hammock habit so boondocking will be a key skill to master. Basecamping will probably be the easiest and most logical place to start.

    The tinkerer in me says there's more out there, though!
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  4. #4
    olddog's Avatar
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    After retiring in '05 my wife and I sold our home and moved fulltime into a 32' fifth wheel which for us is about the perfect and minimum size for 2 people. With friends who have property in Maine we would spend the summers there and then back to Florida for the winter. During the first 5 years I was still a bed sleeper and hadn't considered how to hang a hammock inside. Two years ago we lost our son and had to park the RV for a time during which I found the Hammock Forum. Since then I have been contemplating methods to hang inside for our return to Maine next summer.
    My first consideration was to thru bolt with backer plates outside thru the 2"x wood header that most RV's have at the upper walls. That was before finding out just how much force we exert with our hammocks. Would hate to start buckling ceiling trusses and pulling walls inboard! The Turtlelady/Turtledog stands would be too long for most spaces in the RV but the toprail might be used. Recently samsara made a suggestion in answer to a question about hanging inside a bedroom which may be a solution. He suggested vertical 4"x4"'s in opposite corners of the space with a fence rail toprail supported in notches at the top of the 4x4's.The compressive forces would be on the toprail and the vertical forces would be down thru the the 4x4's. Now just need a means to attach the 4x4's without sacrificing the structural integrity of the RV. I have drilled a hole thru the sidewall of our RV and it can be scary not knowing what may be back there. When not in use the toprail and hammock could be stored out of the way. My intention upon arriving in Maine is to just set the Turtledog up in our screened awning and sleep out every night. Now if you were going with a toyhauler you could possibly hang numerous hammocks in the rear compartment.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  5. #5
    SnrMoment's Avatar
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    I doubt seriously that any RV internal framework would allow you to hang a hammock safely. I've owned a top of the line Class C for several years, and the framing is aluminum stud type with foam core walls.
    You could make an an internal hanging system similar to a doorway header by running 2x4's with a 1/2" spacer between them lengthwise across the top of the vertical studs as in header type construction. Another set of 2x4" attached vertically under the header for support would give you the shear strength required to hold you up. A flat 2x4 foot plate between the verticals would keep them from kicking inwards. Lateral support is the issue - as in how do I keep this from tipping over sideways? Some form of support feet would work, but at the expense of wall access for doors, cabinets, etc.
    I've opted for hanging outside, especially since Mrs. Moment's version of camping is inside the rig.
    Love is blind. Marriage is an eye opener.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the ideas. Just brainstorming quickly, the fencepost idea seems the most feasible from an engineering standpoint...the largest forces would be removed from the RV and transferred to compressing the fencepost. But from a wife standpoint, hanging a fencepost horizontally across the new home isn't quite as feasible. Maybe if I decorate it...

    If I could find a way to put in permanent headers and make them multi-use (and attractive) then I'd be on to something. That sounds like a tall order, though...

    Toy hauler idea sounds ok to me, but she wants something nicer inside if we're gonna be spending a lot of time in it.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  7. #7
    Senior Member Triggerhpy's Avatar
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    Look at getting a toy hauler. A little more versatile for loading and unloading gear. Then you can add E-tracks for tie downs. http://www.easternmarine.com/em_stor...-Straps-Parts/
    Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course.
    Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 18). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

  8. #8
    olddog's Avatar
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    The 4x4's could be something turned and finished, think porch columns and in Oak would match most RV interiors. The toprail would be removed except when in use and could be draped with some nice lacework. My thoughts on our unit is to place one vertical post at the rear wall and the other up by the entertainment area. This will give me something in the 12' range for the toprail positioned in the walkway between the dining/sofa on the street side and the kitchen on the curb side. With hpyfngy's eyebolt attachments on the toprail, set up/takedown could be done in minutes. Slip the 2 toprail pieces togeather, position in the notches on the post and clip on the hammock to the eyebolt.

    Thanks for making me think about this somemore. I only have a few months.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  9. #9
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    Toy hauler idea sounds ok to me, but she wants something nicer inside if we're gonna be spending a lot of time in it.
    Jeff, I thought the same because I had 1st looked at them 10-12 years ago. They were pretty bare bones and shared a lot of living space as the garage. They have come a long ways and many full-timers are using them now. Mine is basically a 31' 5th wheel with a 12' garage attached.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    We are now ready to start our way down the Great Unknown.We are three quarters of a mile in the depth of the earth.We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknow river yet to explore.What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls rise over the river, we know not. Ah, well! We may conjecture many things. The men talk as cheerfully as ever; jests are bandied about freely this morning; but to me the cheer is somber and the jests are ghastly. Powell 1869

  10. #10
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Are those pics of yours? That's an awesome setup! Could definitely see rigging up a hammock setup in the garage area.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

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