This week I experimented with applying my tarps to the awning that is part of my Sportz II truck tent. Since the tent is designed for a compact truck (a 97 Ford Ranger in this case,) it is small. The point at which the awning is attached to the tent is lower than the level of my head when I am standing. The awning actually slopes upward from the tent to the top of the poles even when they are not fully extended.
As a sun shade it is adequate, when my chair is placed under the awning. As a rain shield the awning leaves a bit to be desired. I think the awning on the full-sized truck models probably works a bit better, as it can be sloped properly away from the tent to shed rain and will still be height enough off of the ground to allow the tent dweller to stand under it.
Anyway, what I really wanted was an enclosed space that would be sufficiently private to allow me to use my Lugable Loo bucket toilet. Not that I am anxious to do so, but it is the sort of thing that needs to be Incorporated into the overall camping plan.
Using two smaller tarps I was able to hang them along the sides of the awning. I clamped the tarps to the awning near the points where the awning attaches to the tent. It worked well. That left the large opening at the end of the awning, farthest from the mouth of the tent.
Folding my rain tarp (which covers the whole tent, a bit of the awning, and most of the truck,) I attached it to the poles holding up the end of the awning. The poles have long pins on the end to go through grommets. Long enough to take the side tarp grommets and the grommets of this folded end tarp.
Using some bulldog clips I was able to enclose the area under the awning. The resulting space was large enough for some storage containers (mostly under the truck tailgate), my chair, a TV tray, and a few other items. I found the space reasonably comfortable to sit in after I was done sleeping.
Three small tarps will be sufficient to create this space whenever I want it. I think I will want to find stronger clips to hold it all together, since even a light wind pulled a couple of the bulldog clip joints apart.
So, I have been evolving my camping system. It is going well. I have learned that I am surprisingly comfortable in relatively primitive camping conditions. Of course, my primitive system is opulent relative to the resources some people live with all of the time. It is good enough for me.
As I contemplate this set up, I think that a small truck with a utility bed would be a great base vehicle. Above the utility box a folding tent system could be installed. Such a system would be tidy, easy to use, comfortable, and set up quickly. So, I am homing in on the ultimate minimalist RV for my personal style and taste.
This has been fun, and I have years to perfect the system.
5 hours ago