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Operation: Deer Camp

JermanatorJermanator Senior MemberPosts: 16,128 Senior Member
For the last 12 years, my brother, Mrs. Jerm, and Kevin Thomas (the later three at various times) have deer hunted during the rifle season at various public land places in Michigan. The first year was me and my brother in a pop-up trailer with rotten canvas. After that, I had a nice 5th wheel. The 5th wheel got burnt up in a house fire a few years back. I bought another. I hate it. I got it for really cheap but the catch is that the dude I bought it from caught the slide-out on a semi-truck. I sort of fixed it, but I freaking hate pulling it! Ever since one of the windows blew out on the freeway, it freaks me out pulling it. And besides, every new truck get needs to have a 5th wheel hitch installed. That, and the reality is that there are three beds in the entire 32' of trailer. November 15th in Michigan is way too late to use the water, shower, toilet and all the other crap.

What I really need is a bunkhouse. The plan is to turn something that I pretty much hate into something useful. I am going to tear this sucker down to the deck and rebuild it into a 24' trailer with 8-10 beds. We pee outside, we don't take showers, we cook outside-- all we need is a warm place to crash at night. That, and a bit of storage.

Anyway, this is my project between now and November 15th (opening day of firearm season).

:popcorn:

(photos tomorrow)
Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
-Thomas Paine
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Replies

  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Be sure to include plenty of forced air ventilation.........sleeping with a platoon of people can get pretty noxious! :tooth:
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    I can pull that off single-handedly. I plan on jerking the furnace and rehabilitating that, then selling off the gas/ac fridge, electric/propane water heater, pooper, fixtures, cabinets, slide-out stuff, tanks, and whatever else in the spring. There is a chance that I may break even on this endeavor.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Hmmmmm Michigan in winter.......might wanna keep an industrial strength pooper...........maybe a fold out deck with an awning for the kitchen duty......maybe a fold-up inside table inside that converts into a bed, and a microwave instead of a kitchen. Think Swiss Army Trailer.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,112 Senior Member
    If you pee outside................just put a piece of 2" pvc through the wall about groin height and angled down. Dig a hole where the pipe will discharge and it means you don't have to 'go' outside...............Put it at the end or side away from the cook area....

    For cooking just make a bench that folds up on one side and stick a pull out awning above it.............

    For washing up, just put a flat tank on the roof with a pipe down the side and a tap. Let gravity provide the water.........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Hmmmmm Michigan in winter.......might wanna keep an industrial strength pooper...........maybe a fold out deck with an awning for the kitchen duty......maybe a fold-up inside table inside that converts into a bed, and a microwave instead of a kitchen. Think Swiss Army Trailer.
    I am thinking about having a hella bank of batteries and a solar charger to get us through a week or so. It kind of sucks having a generator blairing while you are trying to relax from a day's hunt. Pooper? The thing that we normally do is find a local gas station and drive to that. I would like to do a latrine. You know those "Outhouse Blinds"? I want to use one for that. I already have one of these handy...
    http://www.amazon.com/StanSport-271-Stansport-Portable-Toilet/dp/B000K6HN22/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1379403737&sr=8-4&keywords=portable+camp+toilet
    We just need some privacy.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Alec, you n I think alike..........time to consult the book of armaments and seek the consult of true Jerry-rigging...........:tooth:
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    If you pee outside................just put a piece of 2" pvc through the wall about groin height and angled down. Dig a hole where the pipe will discharge and it means you don't have to 'go' outside...............Put it at the end or side away from the cook area.... Up to 4 women will be there. Good idea if it were just us blokes.

    For cooking just make a bench that folds up on one side and stick a pull out awning above it.............Yep. I will also have a propane output for those stoves that I brought to the SE Shoot.

    For washing up, just put a flat tank on the roof with a pipe down the side and a tap. Let gravity provide the water.........
    I can salvage the water tank and the pump from the 5th wheel. I usually just truck in a barrel of water. I will work out something useful.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Better yet..........sound-proof the outhouse blind to contain a generator...........doing numba 2 in the cold sucks as much as driving to a place to do it. Solar sucks as much as voting Democrat......you know better than that!
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Better yet..........sound-proof the outhouse blind to contain a generator. Generator drives me nuts! We always need one for work. It makes me feel like I am at work............doing numba 2 in the cold sucks as much as driving to a place to do it. In the last 12 years, it has been either a cold, nasty state park outhouse or a warm seat after a drive to civilization. The cold nasty outhouse is preferred. The outhouse blind is a huge improvement. Solar sucks as much as voting Democrat......you know better than that!Not with 250 amp hours in reserve. The solar is just icing on the cake.
    .
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Dude..........your'e a contractor........build the mobile love shack and pitch an army GP-medium tent for the ammeneties........dig a hole for the gen. or cover it with a tent...........short of parking a trailer/office on-site......it'll be second nature! :tooth:
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Anymore, the only time I want to hear ANY generator (which includes being muffled by a blind, trench, or tent) is when my whole house unit kicks on powering my central air, while my neighbors sit in the dark.

    Batteries and solar should run the 12v forced air furnace, charge my cell phone, run my wifi, LED lights, a water pump, and a microwave oven (seriously) without having to listen to the Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa of a generator for at least 5 days. I would much rather listen to coyotes yip over gut piles and hear my own farts.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Since you're taking it down to a flat deck anyway, what about just selling it an picking up a tandem axle trailer and using that for a base? It would be a heck of a lot stronger than the trailer frame. A guy I used to hunt with built a cabin on an 18' trailer and it even looked like a little cottage. You could probably sell the camper and have enough to build what you want.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I can salvage the water tank and the pump from the 5th wheel. I usually just truck in a barrel of water. I will work out something useful.

    I take it you want to remove the crapper and kitchen so you can optimize bed space. If you're going to build some kind of restroom anyway, find you a solid trailer about 8'x6' and build your crapper on it. You can save all the parts you strip off the fifth wheel and just put them on the trailer. Fabricate some walls and ceiling-roof with plenty of insulation, put a small propane heater inside and you're fixed. The only real challenge would be fabricating a door. You won't need or WANT windows. Just a semi comfortable place to do the nature call thingi when it's freezing cold and a place to wash the crud off when it gets unbearable.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    OOPS! Forgot one essential. You put a trailer hitch on the back of the RV and pull this trailer behind it. So you got a camping Caravan!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,162 Senior Member
    When I build one, it will be one of these:
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100350365#.UjhW9D8hmF8

    That I then build out into a cabin on the inside with solar and rainwater harvesting.

    I like the idea of using the 5th wheel, though. Especially when you already own it.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    If you want to make it semi permanent, use a 40 ft shipping container. They are relatively cheap, can be dropped off by a truck and picked up if needed. 8 ft wide and 8ft 6 in high by 40 ft long.

    Get out your sawzall and cut some windows and a roof vent and a door. Install 3 inches of some insulation, and you can rack two high bunks that are about 40 wide by 80 long in 30 ft along one side, and have a 10 ft x 8 ft area at the end to store stuff.

    If you want to really industrious tie two together for a doublewide. Bury them for an EOTWAWKI shelter. :tooth:

    IMHO!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,661 Senior Member
    Set it up so you can crank it down and ice fish also.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,973 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    If you want to make it semi permanent, use a 40 ft shipping container. They are relatively cheap, can be dropped off by a truck and picked up if needed. 8 ft wide and 8ft 6 in high by 40 ft long.

    Get out your sawzall and cut some windows and a roof vent and a door. Install 3 inches of some insulation, and you can rack two high bunks that are about 40 wide by 80 long in 30 ft along one side, and have a 10 ft x 8 ft area at the end to store stuff.

    If you want to really industrious tie two together for a doublewide. Bury them for an EOTWAWKI shelter. :tooth:

    IMHO!

    D

    and they are available in Detroit for $2600....

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/40-Cargo-Container-Shipping-Container-Storage-Container-in-Columbus-OH-/221281684071?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33856a8a67

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,167 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    When I build one, it will be one of these:
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100350365#.UjhW9D8hmF8

    That I then build out into a cabin on the inside with solar and rainwater harvesting.

    I like the idea of using the 5th wheel, though. Especially when you already own it.

    Look for trusses. I priced out a 8'x10' shed using trusses about 10 years ago, and it was under $500.....

    Shed.png

    GambrelMiniBarn.png

    If you aren't going to park anything heavy in it, you can get away with 24'' O.C. for the frame. Throw some insulation in there and put some cheap paneling (or OSB) on the interior walls.

    Put it on some 4x6's and use screws instead of nails and you could pull it around like a sled or pull it on and off a trailer.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,167 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    [Better yet..........sound-proof the outhouse blind to contain a generator. Generator drives me nuts! We always need one for work. It makes me feel like I am at work............doing numba 2 in the cold sucks as much as driving to a place to do it. In the last 12 years, it has been either a cold, nasty state park outhouse or a warm seat after a drive to civilization. The cold nasty outhouse is preferred. The outhouse blind is a huge improvement. Solar sucks as much as voting Democrat......you know better than that!Not with 250 amp hours in reserve. The solar is just icing on the cake.

    portable-toilets.jpgmh24t.jpg

    You're a contractor, you should have the rental place for these on speed dial by now..........
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    Since you're taking it down to a flat deck anyway, what about just selling it an picking up a tandem axle trailer and using that for a base? It would be a heck of a lot stronger than the trailer frame.
    This one is paid for and I will never get back what I got in it. It has 2 good 5000 pound axles and the frame is plenty strong to do what I need. I got a torch and a welder. I ain't skeered!
    Fisheadgib wrote:
    A guy I used to hunt with built a cabin on an 18' trailer and it even looked like a little cottage. You could probably sell the camper and have enough to build what you want.
    Yea, this will be like a little cabin, but will be a bunkhouse with 4 sets of bunk beds. I haven't had a personal building project since I finished my house this spring so I am starting to get the itch. I will build exactly what I want. If I sell the 5th wheel as is, I would be lucky to get $1000 for it. Scrapping it gives me the frame, 2 5000 pound axles, a 12 volt sealed combustion propane furnace, windows, the door, an inverter, tanks, whatever spare parts I can sell individually, and lots of scrap aluminum. Using that $1000 to buy another trailer will get me a used 18' flat bed trailer with 2 3500 pound axles if I am lucky.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    I've got a 26 foot camper trailer. It isn't a fifth wheel though, just a heavy trailer hitch set up. It sleeps 6 comfortably and has a nice bathroom. It's an ideal portable deer camp.

    I'm probably going to take it out to my lease so I can sleep the night before hunting. That way I get an extra hours sleep and a short drive to the blind. There's a barn with electricity and water about 1.5 miles from the gate where I hunt, but on the same ranch. I figure the folks there would take a couple hundred a season to park it there and hook up my utilities. Also, there's a single tree to hang animals to clean them at the barn. I mean the gate going in the place is right at 17 miles from my house, but for as little as it will cost me to set it up out there, I'd be crazy not to. Just makes the hunting experience a lot easier and convenient.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    A 20' would make someone a decent project. Just beware that they weigh 4200 pounds! I want to keep things well under 10,000. Ideally 7000 pounds or less. We shall see what this weighs when it is all said and done.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    You. Have. My. Attention.
    One thought, take a small section of it at the rear and leave it as a flat area for hauling deer, ATV's etc. if you Put a door at the rear, it will double as a back porch.
    Only problem with that is that I have to put bunks at the front and rear with 2 more running lengthways. If I put them all lengthways, there would only be 14" of aisle to walk through. Twin mattresses are 39" wide and 75" long. I got 92" to work with for the inside width and up to 24' for length. If I ran 3 bunks lengthwise and one across the front, I would only have 24" left to do a flat porch area type thing.

    That is ok though. By turning it into a trailer, I gain my whole truck bed back-- before, I had to cram stuff around the 5th wheel hitch and it was a pain in the butt.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,101 Senior Member
    Picture1-3_zps9bd41cb5.jpg
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    This is what I am starting with...
    IMG_3489_zps32e3167c.jpg
    IMG_3490_zps5b097b82.jpg
    IMG_3493_zps4d96a699.jpg
    IMG_3494_zps87388ac3.jpg
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    I made a small mistake on my post above and since my edit post button doesn't work all the time, I'm just posting this correction. My camper sleeps 4 comfortably, not 6. It will sleep 4 adults and two kids.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Or a Cub Scout Pack.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    My camper sleeps 4 comfortably, not 6. It will sleep 4 adults and two kids.
    They way mine is now is that there is a queen bed up top, a hide away couch, and the table folds into a bed. They say it sleeps 6, but the reality is that it sleeps 3 dudes comfortably (if you want to call the crappy mattresses comfortable). It is not all that useful in the current format.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • agewonagewon Senior Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    . They say it sleeps 6, but the reality is that it sleeps 3 dudes comfortably.

    Or 6 banjo duelers.
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