Camping...just beyond the campground, and how to navigate washboard roads comfortably in the B

Great places to stay, bad places to stay, offering courtesy parking? Let us know
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silvertrooper
Weekend Camper
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:44 pm
B190 Year: 1996
Location: Seattle, WA

Camping...just beyond the campground, and how to navigate washboard roads comfortably in the B

Post by silvertrooper »

Here's a perhaps obvious tip but it took me a while to figure it out. I like to find Forest Service or similar federal campgrounds, then drive the FS road just past them to camp. Usually, within a mile, there are lots of campsites off the road. Many of them are just spectacular with access to the attraction for which the campground was located--riverside sites, great views, etc. Few people go to these spots because there are no services, but with the B190 what do we care?

I will say that I've never found driving on unpaved roads with the B very fun--I don't know what the heck those folks who install 4WD do (though that would make me more comfortable in the snow). I'm not that concerned with the vehicle, but rather all the stuff in the house part--everything bangs around and squeaks, it is kind of crazy-making. And to get to these magical campsites some amount of rough road driving is necessary. I did learn from a guy that letting 5-10 lbs of air out of your tires makes a washboard road passable. Those roads have always felt like they would rattle not only my teeth out, but every mechanical fastener in the rig. Down pressuring takes care of most of that, but you have to remember to fill 'em back up when you find pavement again.
Rugster
Weekend Camper
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:57 pm

Re: Camping...just beyond the campground, and how to navigate washboard roads comfortably in the B

Post by Rugster »

The big problem I have with driving off-road in the B190 is the low clearance, due to the propane tank and bash guard hanging underneath the van. It can be done on dirt tracks that are not too rough, but you still have to drive carefully and creatively in order to avoid that familiar metallic scraping sound, of the bash guard making contact with the ground! I am planning on having a 4 - 6" lift installed, to help alleviate this issue.

As for the washboard roads, of course, clearance isn't usually the issue. As you say, it's all the bone-rattling! My solution so far has been to drive very slowly, but if you have a few miles to go, it can make for tedious driving. Letting 5 - 10lbs out of the tires is a good, though time-consuming, idea. That would be my main problem with doing this - all the extra time involved. I sure wish there was a button on the dashboard we could push, that would automatically down-pressure the tires, then another one to re-inflate them afterwards!
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