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  View original topic: Camping question for you southern Colorado guys.
FNGRUVN Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:15 pm

I'm putting together the itinerary for our upcoming trip to Utah and was wondering if there's any free places to camp right off 160 between Alamosa and Pagosa Springs. It doesn't even have to be scenic just a place to bed down for the night. Does Wolf Creek allow overnight parking in their parking lot this time of year?

jimbelmont Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:38 pm

Walmart allows RVs to park overnight for free. There's one in Alamosa according to Google Maps.

TopBud Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:05 pm

a few god forest service roads off of 160. watch the weather for closures. Wolf Creek does allow "overnight Parking"

Rhinoculips Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:41 pm

When are you going? By the sounds of it, you are planning a trip during winter months. Burrrrr......

There are some nice forest service roads on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass, but unfortunately not good during winter months. If I were you, I would camp out at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Rhinoculips Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:44 pm

jimbelmont wrote: Walmart allows RVs to park overnight for free. There's one in Alamosa according to Google Maps.

Not all Wal-Marts will let you "camp" in there parking lot. Due to some towns regulations, it is illegal to do so.

FNGRUVN Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:54 pm

We will be going around the middle of next month, but I just got the Propex in and it works great so the cold shouldn't be a problem. I'm glad to hear that about Wolf Creek. It was my first choice. I'm sure I'll be tired of driving by the time we get there, driving from Fort Collins in a van with a mere 67 hp. Thanks for the info.

fairweather Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:57 am

Witches and Penitente Canyon (San Luis Valley) would be a cool place to camp along the way. That time of year you will have it all to yourself. If you go over Poncha Pass hang a right (285) and go through Saguache/La Garita/Del Norte/Pagosa instead of straight south to Alamosa. After you pass La Garita the road going to Del Norte (left fork) will turn to dirt, make a right hand turn after about 300 yds (follow signs to Penitente) and drive up about a mile, there will be multiple campsites with fire rings and the toilets might still be open too.

Lots of parking lots around the Pagosa Hot Springs, it would be kinda nice to get out of the van in the morning and step into a hot tub. :D

You can usually park in the ski area lot but if it snows you will get harassed because of plowing operations.

tschroeder0 Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:19 pm

fungfrvn

By next month you're not going to find many (if any) forest service roads open, wolf creek may let you but my experience there has been that they clear it out or ask you to go back down to South Park/Pagosa, if the snow already is any indication that can be a sketchy area to hang out in.

If you go a little further to Bayfield, you're welcome to set up next to my house there, I'm not living there right now but I rent it and it would be no problem. Todd.

Jon_slider Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:00 am

> I just got the Propex in and it works great so the cold shouldn't be a problem.

fwiw, I spent the night at Taos last year. It was 6F outside. With my top down, the windows insulated and propex 2000 running constantly, it got to 50F inside. I turned off the heater as a test to see how long the heat would stay in the van, after 2 hours it was down to 30F.. meaning van loses 10F per hour, until its the same as outside.

Besides window insulation, best suggestion I can make to stay warm in a van, thanks to Karl Mullendore, hang a blanket behind the passenger seats, so you dont have to heat the driver/passenger cab area.

Also move the bottom climate slider to far right, so it does not allow cold air to flow to the vents above the slider door. And move the second climate control slider from the bottom, also to far right, to close footwell vent.

fwiw, getting into bed with your clothes on is actually warmer than naked, contrary to popular opinion.

Let us know how your experience goes with snow camping and a propex..

also note the Fanchers insulating wrap for the pop top, if you think you want to put the top up in freezing weather:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=290213

FNGRUVN Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:40 pm

I'm going to install snaps in some blanket material and snap it in place to cover the pop top area and leave it long enough to hang down behind the front seats. The pop top will probably stay down while we're sleeping.

I tried the heater out the other night in the driveway. It got down in the low teens and with the propex set at its lowest setting, it still kept the van at 54 degrees. That's perfect sleeping temp under a thick blanket.

I've heard two different stories about how loud these heaters are. I found it to be pretty darn quiet and didn't have to run that often to keep the van at 54 degrees. Money well spent.

Jon_slider Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:58 pm

> I found it to be pretty darn quiet and didn't have to run that often to keep the van at 54 degrees.

Congratulations!

Do you have the Propex model 2000?

FNGRUVN Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:45 pm

Yeah, a 2000. I insulated the van really well when I had the interior out so I'm sure that helps.

The heater sounds like a didgeridoo. :lol:



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