[Ansteorra] Semi-OT question... advice given on vehicles and a bit on tents, too

Haraldr Bassi (ansteorra lists) ansteorra at haraldr.drakkar.org
Tue Mar 13 18:24:25 PDT 2007

Susan McMahill wrote:
> I moved here from An Tir, where I needed 4WD often in the rural area where I
> lived, to the DFW area five years ago. I am still driving my 99 Ford Ranger
> with 4WD but have used the 4WD only once or twice at an event, and maybe half
> a dozen times total since I have lived here. Even those times it was used
> more as a precaution than a necessity. Front Wheel Drive is a good idea, but
> keeping good rubber on any vehicle is more important. Most of the events that
> I have been to are at sites with paved roads and solid surfaces. The one
> event where I did use my 4WD was at a primitive site that the road was badly
> rutted and eroded. It hasn't been used for events for a couple of years now
> since one event that had major flooding. Depending on how many people you
> have in your family and how much stuff you bring to an event, you  may want
> to consider something that has the capability to tow a small trailer. Once
> you start talking about large pavilions and the like, you start running into
> space issues in your vehicle. Thus far, my lord and I have managed with my
> Ranger with the extended cab and canopy, but we are about maxed out. We are
> considering a minivan with towing capability or a car...(not SUV because I
> don't think that we need 4WD) with the same capabilities.

It is exactly it's capability to tow a not insubstantial trailer that would lead 
me to a pickup truck to begin with. My current Toyota Matrix with roof rack is 
plenty of space for me and my wife, the canvas tent, the full size bed, the 4" 
thick futon mattress with down comforter, pillows, three boxes of tools, a box 
of tent setup, a box of every event stuff, a box of feast gear and a cooler. 
Yes, all that in a Toyota Matrix. They have a world of space inside the little 
suckers and it's all flat, hard plastic and has tie downs installed all throughout.

> Oh, and one of my first camping events was the most recent of the Steppes
> Warlord floods and I never needed 4WD or a boat. My nylon tent kept me snug
> and only leaked where there were seams that I had never sealed, being a
> novice tent owner...I didn't know you needed to seal them. It did not wick
> moisture where things touched it...lord knows there was a lot in it as
> everything just got thrown in before the storms. Properly sealed and
> rainfly'd and on occasion covered with a tarp if you're really concerned. I
> have never had a nylon tent leak on me. The new ones have so much mesh for
> ventilation that the ventilation issues with canvas really isn't an issue. If
> you don't know if you will stay with the SCA, I'd get a multi-purpose nylon
> tent that you can use in or out of the SCA. We have a Browning Palisade tent
> that is very roomy and well ventilated. I recommend it highly.

I do believe that I will stick around in the SCA, I've been in since 1981 and 
haven't found a reason to leave yet :) I've also been camping in canvas for a 
dozen or more years now. I won't ever go back to nylon. Not even if you paid me 
a million dollars. I might take your money, but I'd still sleep in canvas :)

The question is at some point I will want to tow a trailer to events as the 
Matrix just won't have enough space to drag the auxiliary things around. At that 
point it will want to be a trailer. Preferably one I can leave packed most of 
the time and just hook up and go. Hence the desire for a truck.


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