Wood Mountain Stampede

Wood Mountain Stampede held at the Wood Mountain Regional Park "the gate keepers".
Wood Mountain Stampede held at the Wood Mountain Regional Park “the gate keepers”.
Cowboys and cowgirls from all over travelled miles to compete in the 137 rodeo event here at Wood Mountain.
Cowboys and cowgirls from all over travelled miles to compete in the 134th rodeo event here at Wood Mountain.
Set in the beautiful hills of Wood Mountain, a lot of history here.
Set in the beautiful hills of Wood Mountain, a lot of history here.

July 7th saw us at Wood Mountain Stampede, this was definitely not on our original travel plans. Delayed for a medical procedure in Saskatoon, we had spent the month of June in Prince Albert National Park. We then travelled north to La Ronge for a short trip and to pick up the best wild rice grown anywhere. So far our trip has taken us from La Ronge to Prince Albert, Smeaton, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Wood Mountain Regional Park. It was here at Wood Mountain the longest running continuous rodeo in Canada was held, it’s been 134 years of traditional rodeo.

The covering of the grandstand with branches is a tradition that goes back a long way.
The covering of the grandstand with branches is a tradition that goes back a long way.
The branches allow the air to flow through while providing shade for the spectators.
The branches allow the air to flow through while providing shade for the spectators.

One of the best rodeos anywhere and we have been to a few, in our earlier years we followed the CCA rodeo circuit as rodeo photographers and were at one every weekend across the province of Saskatchewan. This is the account as recorded in my daily journal:
Friday July7th
Stayed over in Moose Jaw last night had rear tire balanced one more time with no change in the shaking at 100 kms. Thinking it must be the tires. Drove to Wood Mountain Rodeo $70 for two nights on the rodeo grounds and $15 each for rodeo passes. Visited Wood Mountain Post established by the NWMP in 1874. The post established just north of the newly established international border with the US made it a strategic point in stopping illegal trade including whiskey traders, horse thieves and cattle rustlers. When Fort Walsh was built the post was closed.
In 1887 when Sitting Bull and thousands of Sioux fled the USA the post was re-opened to monitor their activity. The Sioux lived comfortably in the area until food supplies ran short and returned to the USA. The Wood Mountain Post was once again closed in 1883.
The North West conflict prompted the NWMP to re-open the post in 1886 to do border patrols and stop supplies coming from the US. Following the conflict the post was used as a police station until the Provincial Police Force was established in 1918 and the Post was closed for the last time. Today it still stands partly reconstructed a reminder of by gone years in our history.

Part of the fort preserved as a reminder of our history.
Part of the fort preserved as a reminder of our history.
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Another day in Wood Mountain Regional Park. Today we took in a team roping competition in the rodeo arena, a Ranch Rodeo and the Canadian Cowboys rodeo. We talked to and met some very interesting people that love the western lifestyle. Also a different breed of RVers who travel all summer long going from rodeo to rodeo pulling their horse trailer which also includes RV living quarters. Some of these units would be right up there with the top RVs on the market today and are dual purpose. It has been 26 years since we were at this rodeo and enjoy the laid back, very traditional western feel to the event. This includes placing willow and poplar branches over the grand stands and bucking chutes. This practice dates back to the beginning of the rodeos here. The popular rodeo draws a large number of contestants, featuring the beer gardens and cabaret dance on the Friday and Saturday evenings after the performances. The CCA Rodeo is Saturday and Sunday.

Bareback bronc riding just one of the events.
Bareback bronc riding just one of the events.
Opps the saddle is way ahead of this rider as he goes out the back door in the saddle bronc event.
Oops the saddle is way ahead of this rider as he goes out the back door in the saddle bronc event.
Ladies barrel racing one of the faster rodeo events.
Ladies barrel racing one of the faster rodeo events.
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Steer wrestling and team ropeing are two other popular events.
Steer wrestling and team roping are two other popular events.
Getting ready for the bull riding.
Getting ready for the bull riding.
Always a popular event the bull riding and that 8 second ride.
Always a popular event the bull riding and that 8 second ride.
A bull riders best friend the bull fighters who get between the bull and the downed cowboy.
A bull riders best friend, the bull fighters who get between the bull and the downed cowboy.
The pick up men also aid the cowboys getting off the bucking broncs saftely.
The pick up men also aid the cowboys getting off the bucking broncs safely.
Intermission saw the crowd entertained by these young ladies and their horsmanship skills.
Intermission saw the crowd entertained by these young ladies and their horsemanship skills.
Not for beginners do not try this at home!
Not for beginners do not try this at home!


Saturday night was one of the noisest nights we have had so far, When there is a rodeo dance on you can expect the music to play into the early morning and it did. That was expected, what was not expected was a generator parked right out front ran all night long, and not a quiet generator. Sleep was very sporatic to say the least, we hope it was for a sleep apnea machine or something.

Wood Mountain Regional Park also features a swimming pool, and one of the best rodeo museums in the country.
Wood Mountain Regional Park also features a swimming pool, and one of the best rodeo museums in the country.

A view of our past is featured in several resored homesteads at the park.
A view of our past is featured in several restored homesteads at the park.
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That’s about it for this blog, so much one just has to experience it for themselves and take the time to explore the rich history of the area. We’re off to Grasslands National Park next blog and would like to take you along for the trip. We were impressed by this park if you want to subscribe leave your email address and you will be notified by email when I actually get a post up or get cell service. We are working our way north now that we have travelled from the north of the province to the far south.

The best part of this travel is meeting some very interesting people who we will also share with you.

Safe travels and make every day the best day of your life…..Cheers

Gerry (RVcowboy)

Charlotte (Editor in chief)

Quick Set-up camp table

Small outside cooking table, stores away easy and quick set up.
Small outside cooking table, stores away easy and quick set up.

You asked for it more on the quick set-up camp table. We do as much boondocking as we can so in many places there are no picnic tables to cook on. There are days we do not want to add any heat inside the camper cooking so we cook outside and not always able to have a fire to cook over. We needed a quick simple table to do this. I started with a laminated pine shelving from Home Depot and being a photographer looked at my mono pod and tripod for support. I accomplished this with screwing two quick release camera mounts to the underside of the shelf.

Quick release camera mount.
Quick release camera mount.
Quick release on the mono pod, the same is on my tripod.
Quick release on the mono pod, the same is on my tripod.
My mono pod with the quick release head.
My mono pod with the quick release head.

This way I could use both the tripod and mono pod to create a table or just the mono pod when connected to the camper. I found two brackets in the gate hardware section to fasten to the camper, two plain L shaped corner brackets to the bottom of the shelf and I had a quick connect to the camper.

Camper attached table.
Camper attached table.
Free standing table with adjustable height and leveling.
Free standing table with adjustable height and leveling.
Small harware brackets found at the hardware store.
Small hardware brackets found at the hardware store.
Two brackets to the rear step provides secure mount with little movement.
Two brackets to the rear step provides secure mount with little movement.

We always needed a coffee table so a piece of square shelving and a wood burnt checkerboard/chessboard with another quick release and my tripod accomplished this. No matter what terrain we are on I can always level.

Tripod to small square plywood top.
Tripod to small square plywood top.
Makes a great coffee table or games table with adjustable height and leveling.
Makes a great coffee table or games table with adjustable height and leveling.

The table top, tripod and mono pod store in the basement of our Northern light. I’m sure non photographers can come up with a suitable alternative to my equipment. Just wanted something quick, simple and in a truck camper easy to store. I hope the photos tell a better story.

L shaped brackets requied I notch the slide in tray to fit flush.
L shaped brackets required I notch the slide in tray to fit flush.
Slides easily and quickly out of the way with room underneath for storage.
Slides easily and quickly out of the way with room underneath for storage.

When travelling and living in a truck camper or small RV everything you pack must have a use and even better many uses. If we encounter a grungy picnic table or none at all this quick set up works great for us, it would only be better if it could be located under the rear awning. Anyway I had many questions about the set up so I hope this answered a few and is just as clear now as mud.

Next Post Wood Mountain Stampede, Canada’s longest running continuous rodeo celebrating 134 years this year. Images and details in the next post, subscribers will be notified by email when they are up…

Thanks to the new subscribers you keep me going. Hope to meet you down the road….
Gerry (RVcowboy)
Charlotte (Editor in Chief)

Posting notifications on (Facebook)-Gerry Popplewell-(Instagram) – gerrypopplewell

Full time travelers along the road.

Well 47 days into our full time travels and my tire problems have not yet been solved, this will make for an interesting read if there is a conclusion to the story. That for another post as for now we have spent more time trying to resolve the issue then really travelling, just part of life on the road. It would really be nice if nothing ever needed replacing or repaired once we purchased it. Around our cabin there was always something that needed attention and no different on the road, except we get to shop in many different communities. It is also a proven fact even new will not guarantee a product that works these days as it appears many in the quality control dept. were laid off.

Waiting for tire service over two days in Medicine Hat Alberta Canadian Tire. Thanks to Walmart we did not add extra expense to the stay over.
Waiting for tire service over two days in Medicine Hat, Alberta Canadian Tire. Thanks to Walmart we did not add extra expense to the stay over.
A beautiful sunset from the Walmart resort in Medicine Hat Alberta.
A beautiful sunset from the Walmart resort in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
A beautiful campsite at Brooks Alberta in the Tillebrook Provincial campground. We stayed over for another tire balance and oil change. If in the area we highly recomend Brooks Lube & Alignment for great service.
A beautiful campsite at Brooks, Alberta in the Tillebrook Provincial campground. We stayed over for another tire balance and oil change along with a new rim from the Brooks Ford dealer. If in the area we highly recomend Brooks Lube & Alignment for great service.
Getting at the spare with the truck camper on is not easy.
Getting at the spare with the truck camper on is not easy.
Only in Alberta and perhaps Texas will you find Texas gates on a highway.
Only in Alberta and perhaps Texas will you find Texas gates on a highway.


Enough of a rant and on to some positive, we met many great people so far in this year’s travel several have allowed me to share their story with you. Lynne and Owen from Connecticut USA who are living and travelling full time in their converted van. A van that was partly converted very simply already as a camper van which Owen found once they had decided to sell their house and everything and see the country in the van. It appeared this was possibly Owen’s dream of travel and living in a van, but when asked Lynne admitted she loved the simple lifestyle and we could see she was also 100% committed.

Meet Owen and Lynne from Connecticut USA.
Meet Owen and Lynne from Connecticut, USA. Two van life’rs enjoying the freedom of travel, a simple way of life and all that nature has to offer.


Owen, not a small man, admitted for some time he watched van life living on YouTube and read books on the lifestyle. He said “my health was suffering, I was putting on weight just sitting reading and watching others, I said to Lynne let’s just do it”. He found the van, put their house up for sale, got rid of a lot of stuff and their house sold quicker then expected, but they made it work and moved into the van. After two years in the van they have travelled the US and now were checking out Canada. Ron said he has never felt better and his health is improving now that he has got off the chesterfield and done it. Neither have any regrets on their decision.
Lynne was a stay at home mother who was very involved as a video artist working with a public Access network dealing with a lot of local issues in their community. She also did a lot of volunteer work. They raised three children and did a lot of camping and Lynne managed to find time to pursue her artwork. Lynne just recently lost both her parents, who they had spent some time looking after during their health battles.

Both are musicians and enjoy the great outdoors and a simple lifestyle.
Both are musicians and enjoy the great outdoors and a simple lifestyle while living in their van.


Owen was a registered nurse by trade and a research medical professional. He spent many years working for a big pharmaceutical company, a very draining job he admitted. He loved the outdoors and camping so travel was in his blood. He saved and when he was laid off due to covid that’s what made the decision to travel easier, he now does some contract work while on the road when he has to he said. He now has turned his attention to collecting herbs and wild plants along the way that have medicinal properties and doing some research into there uses, way over my head.

Ron is studying the medicinal properties of wild plants in nature as they travel.
Owen is studying the medicinal properties of wild plants in nature as they travel.


Lynne and Owen have been to the big RV show in Quartzite, Arizona in January every year and the RTR hosted by the well known Bob Wells of Cheap RV living. Both these events are on our bucket list and meeting the grand daddy of RV living would be great. Hopefully as one never knows but the truck camper rally in Quartzite in February is a possibility for us…again see how that goes. Are they planning on owning another home, not really they say. Owen a dual citizen of the US and Canada say perhaps they would purchase a little piece of land in both countrys to park on in between travels. The world is a big place to explore and time is limited.
We met Lynne and Owen in northern Saskatchewan and they were impressed with the kindness and friendly people they found along the way, they extended their stop over in the province. See people do notice when you take the time to say hi with a smile, they just pass it on. Safe travels Owen and Lynne and thanks for sharing with us.
These along with Ron and Anne from my last post and others we have met share the same feeling of freedom as we do as we travel. None of us make reservations and try to avoid places that require them. Any time we need help someone is there, no problem, and full timers understand this the best. It has been said by many the freedom they feel from “stuff” holding them down and are finding out how little “stuff” one really needs to be truly happy and comfortable. One becomes more aware of our water waste, our power usage and the amount of garbage we produce, all that has been reduced in our tiny homes on wheels. If the general population was aware of the waste perhaps our planet would not be where it is today.
Despite some issues we are enjoying all the places we have lived at and will share them as I catch up, sometimes one just has to enjoy the moment. There is never any shortage of experiences or people to write about…just time to get it done. Retirement I found out is not a holiday it’s hard work….stay healthy and safe travels and wherever your are enjoy every sunrise and sunset.
Hope to see ya all down the road thanks to the 22,000 people who have checked out the site I am going to try and keep it up, I’m really surprised that many are interested but thank you. I am not monitized and have no intention of earning income off this site, so it’s free to subscribe you will not be contacted with some ad, it just makes it easier to get notified by email.
Gerry (RVcowboy)
Charlotte (Editor in Chief)

RV living the downside

Truck Camper life and road repairs part of RV living.

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As with many homes, our homes on wheels sometimes need some attention.


I, like many others, have watched many YouTube and blog sites on full time RV living. Most sites are intriguing as they feature the most beautiful camp spots, great hikes with great views from the windows of their home. While this is true there is the not so glorified aspect to living on the road. Every home needs maintenance and same goes for our homes on wheels, just sometimes not in the most convenient places.

Ron Anne and Auzzie
Ron, Anne and Auzzie


To continue on with Ron and Anne in their Northern Lite who you met in my last post, they exemplify the resoucefulness one must have to survive on the road. Their truck air conditioning was not working so Ron left the Narrows to Prince Albert to get it looked after. While Ron was gone Anne discovered water in the basement of their NL 10.2. The leak was coming from the grey water tank where a fitting had cracked. The grey water tank was only accessible through the basement crawl space and very hard to get at. This is not the first time a crack has happened on this model as when Ron contacted NL they knew exactly how to repair it.

The test run yes Anne fits only her shoes show as the leak is deep inside the basement. Now you see why Ron and I would not fit.
The test run, yes Anne fits only her shoes show as the leak is deep inside the basement. Now you see why Ron and I would not fit.


They would have to cut the drain pipe in two places, screw out the fitting and replace it rejoining the drain pipe with a rubber hose and clamps. Now Ron is a pretty big fella and no way was he going to be able to crawl into that space, he sized me up instantly and I agreed to help with the fix. It’s a good thing all pieces needed for the plumbing fix are standard and parts were available after a drive to Prince albert.
When it came time to get the job done, I could not get past my mid-section and if I did we would not have had enough butter to get me out. Poor Anne, she was the only one left that could fit in that basement, but like a trooper she did what had to be done with guidance from Ron and encouragement from the cheering squad.

Not exactly the best working conditions and definately not for those who are claustrobic.
Not exactly the best working conditions and definitely not for those who are claustrophobic.

With headlamp on Ron explains the procedure to Anne to allow her to do the repair.
With headlamp on Ron explains the procedure to Anne to allow her to do the repair.
Armed with the proper tools
Armed with all the tools of the RV plumbing trade Anne is ready to go “underground”.
Ron was a help
Ron was a big help, with a little push and Anne was in.
Auzzie and Ron
Auzzie and Ron supervise the fix from “outside the box”.
Not an easy fix
This was not an easy task even for a service tech, but Anne pulled it off with a perfect fix in cramped quarters.

The fix was almost complete, Ron wanted to support the rubber connector with about a 3 inch foam and none was to be found. Charlotte suggested the canoe seat I had purchased on line and was made of rigid foam and being as it was not one of my better purchases may work. We tore apart that seat, sawed off what was needed and it worked great.

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To celebrate a fantastic barbeque dinner cooked by Ron and Anne, for the little we had done to help this was totally overpayment. But so appreciated the great company and food, we will cross paths again.

Last account well on their way to Labrador the fix was 100 percent.
Thanks Ron and Anne for letting me share your story it is so typical of the things that can go wrong on the road and the imagination required to fix them. This was not their first repair and one would hope but will probably not be the last either on their home on wheels. One must just think it through, if it’s broken it can be fixed.
After having spent a month at the Narrows Charlotte and I left to visit with friends on a farm at Smeaton for five wonderful days. My surgery appointment for June which we had waited in Saskatchewan for July 3rd did not happen due to a different procedure needed. It cannot be too serious as the soonest it can be done is if we drive to Humboldt is in October, if I wanted it done in Saskatoon probably 18 months to wait. So we are back on the road again and that story for another post, my next post I would like to introduce Owen and Lynn full time in their van for two years and visiting the Narrows from Conneticut, USA.

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Just had to share this image.


I had no idea just how flexible we would have to be when I posted that article, at the time of this writing we are at the Wood Mountain Rodeo down south near the Montana border. Did we plan this not a chance but here we are. More on that and the story of our on the road repairs and the rodeo in upcoming posts.
Until then stay safe, enjoy your summer and if travelling may the wind be at your back, we really hope to meet you down the road. Look for the studiowest.ca Northern Lite.
Gerry (RVcowboy)
Charlotte (Editor in Chief)

From the Narrows/Truck camper living

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Fires in the north country creating a smokey haze here at the Narrows.

Time at the Narrows was spent visiting with many travelers around the campfire.
Time at the Narrows was spent visiting with many travellers around the campfire.
This is our big screen TV, the whole outdoors.
This is our big screen TV, the whole outdoors.

Writing from the Narrows campground in Prince Albert National Park today this seems to be our go to place to start our travels. After a great visit with my cousin Brent and Wendy we started discovering all truck camper people are very similar in their thinking. Brent and I would consider putting a wood burning stove in the campers, Wendy and Charlotte not so much. I think they are concerned about the hole in the roof or something like that. They are now wandering following the good weather in BC and so far staying out of the snow (yes snow in Alberta and BC June 19th).

Just an image I liked on the "big screen".
Just an image I liked on the “big screen”.
Smoke produces a soft glow as the sun sets.
Smoke produces a soft glow as the sun sets.
Brent and Wendy at the Narrows.
Brent and Wendy at the Narrows.
Campfire Pizza
Campfire Pizza

Truck campers in Saskatchewan are not very common, a lot of people like their big fivers as they call them and tow behinds. So we were kinda impressed when as Brent and Wendy were leaving in pulls another truck camper and a Northern Lite no less.
Being true to my nature, they say it runs in the family, I just had to introduce myself and Charlotte to these newcomers to the campground. I had hoped I could get a little information on their travels for my blog, Ron indicated at the time it was just a quick stop on their journey. Little did we know at the time the little information I hoped to get would turn into a whole blog on its own. That quick stop for them basically an overnighter would turn into a week stay.

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Ron Anne and Auzzie at the Narrows

This worked out great as I would like to keep up my blog but our lives here were getting very repetitive as far as something to write about that would keep ya all spellbound and reading. Well it is almost scary to think how much these two were like Charlotte and myself. Let me introduce you to Ron and Anne Baker with their dog Auzzie from Powell River, BC, with their permission of course. PS:It took awhile to get their permission as Ron later said upon our first meeting, “this guy wearing a western hat, scarf and a front tactical bag that looks like he is packing walks up to me. I thought perhaps we ended up in the deep south of Texas or something”. I was of course packing but as he found out it was my camera, far more dangerous. Note Anne was hiding in the camper that first meeting, we eventually got to meet her as well.
My notes from June 6th/23
Today we met Anne and Ron Baker and their dog Auzzie from Powell River, BC and spent the entire afternoon comparing our Northern Lite campers and upgrades we have made to them. We found we have much in common as we all have that nomatic desire to travel experience and see new parts of this fantastic world we live in. Like us they have a stick and brick home just newly constructed and have rented it out for what they said would be for a year and a half and hit the road in their truck camper which is now home. They are heading across Canada to Newfoundland and Labrador spending time on the East Coast of Canada. When asked why Labrador Ron replied “because there is a road there, and we have not met anyone who has been to Labrador, so we are going”. They plan on wintering perhaps in rented accommodations somewhere on the east coast and will retun travelling a different route in the spring.
Anne and Ron are not new to camping and travelling.They have been to Mexico and have also spent time off dry land on the water in their 25 foot boat they lived on for periods of time. Not sure I will live long enough but that also was on my bucket list. This is their 2nd Northern Lite truck camper as they sold their first one to help finance building their new house, Ron said. Once the house was done they got the travel bug again and purchased their present 10.2 NL and loaded it on their Dodge 3500 Ram dually. Anne and Ron have done an amazing job with upgrades and changes to create a comfortable living and storage spaces to suit their lifestyle on the road. I am now inspired to look for more hidden spaces we can use. I really should have documented them, perhaps Ron will share them on line.
Before truck campers they tented and backpacked and even spent their honeymoon travelling in a rented van. Now retired and having sold their printing shop they owned for 20 years, they are looking forward to travelling while they can. Like us they have left their home, theirs overlooking the ocean, ours overlooking Pike lake to be enjoyed by someone else while they live in their home on wheels.
Another thing we have in common we do not like on line reservations and feel it is just a money grab and not at all convenient for travellers. They also avoid the popular Provincial campgrounds in favour of small center campgrounds, gravel pits and Rec sites along the road. I’m sure there is a large group of RV nomads that do not want to have to be anywhere at a set date, time or even month, that want to plan how long we stay or when we leave in advance. Anne and Ron enjoy the freedom to follow their hearts to move and stay at will with the flexibility to change plans. We have found in the past RV travellers and especially those full timers are willing to help each other along the way. This was the case here as we all know that own Northern Lite truck campers they have a problem with water getting into the generator compartments. Ron just finished applying a drip channel around his. This is something I have been wanting to do, Ron generously gave me enough of his left over channel to do around mine.

A drip mold added to around the Northern Lite generator copartment.
A drip mold added to around the Northern Lite generator compartment.


Now these were the intended notes to post with a few additions about Anne and Rons travels. Like youtubers and travel bloggers we want to try and make RV life just sound like we just discovered a fresh bowl of cherries. This is not always the case so you are just going to have to tune back into the “Rest of the Ron and Anne story” in my next blog, as usual I have gone on far too long.
Word Press will send you a notice if you subscribe by email when I put a new post up, this is convenient for me and is not a marketing gimmic. For my time I get the satisfaction someone may get a kick out of my ramblings and I can share my photos and that’s it.

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As always Charlotte and I hope to meet you all down the road.

Gerry (RVcowboy)
Charlotte (Editor in Chief)

Truck camper/RV living

We are now officially living in our 9.6 NL truck camper as we have rented our cabin on the lake to a fantastic couple to enjoy as we travel.
My last blog I stated with all the fires burning in Canada we would have to have flexible plans. Little did I realize even before we got started down the road we would be changing plans. I had a call from the surgeons in Saskatoon a minor surgery I have been waiting for was scheduled for July 3. We are now starting our trip to somewhere in Prince Albert National Park just 2.5 hours north of Saskatoon. This is not a hardship and sometimes a change works out for the better.

Sometimes its' not all sunshine.
Sometimes its’ not all sunshine.
Just about supper time at the condo.
Just about supper time at the condo.
Laundry day! This condo did not come with washer and dryer.
Laundry day! This condo did not come with washer and dryer.


Our first morning coffee and breakfast at Pike Lake Provincial Park.
Our first morning coffee and breakfast at Pike Lake Provincial Park.
Watching storm clouds our first night on a friends acreage.
Watching storm clouds our first night on a friends acreage.
On our way north to Prince Albert National Park. Lunch at Sandy lake.
On our way north to Prince Albert National Park. Lunch at Sandy lake.
Tucked back into one of our favorite sites at the Narrows. Being as we are here a month we brought the canoe and trailer. We will leave this at my cousin Junes when we leave on our travels.
Tucked back into one of our favorite sites at the Narrows. Being as we are here a month we brought the canoe and trailer. We will leave this at my cousin June’s when we leave on our travels.

We are not homeless, a lot of folks out there figure you need a home on a chunk of land, with a building, and these days it seems the bigger the better. I said most and that is just fine, there are some like ourselves where home is where we are whether it be an 800 sq. ft. cabin or our truck camper in the back of our F350. Our enjoyment is being in nature and seeing different places, customs and meeting new people while living modestly on the road. Those in the chattering class talk about climate change and our impact on the environment. Well those living in their RVs are very conscious of our environment. We do not waste water or power as most are on solar and battery, and we do not have a house and a garage full of stuff purchased to fill that space. We have little space and it’s amazing just how little we need to live a full and exciting life and we do without nothing. Yes we burn fuel but when you figure it all out less than the average sticks and bricks dweller. We support many local communities as we visit and drive through and leave a very small foot print.

Our new neighbours for the month.
Our new neighbours for the month.
Mortin the one eyed fox a regular here.
Mortin the one eyed fox a regular here.
Patric the pelican another regular.
Patric the pelican another regular.
Our own rose garden.
Our own rose garden.
Yes we are happy to be back doing what we do best.
Yes we are happy to be back doing what we do best.
sometimes a little storm amkes us more aprreciative of the sunny days.
Sometimes a little storm makes us more appreciative of the sunny days.

Our change in direction meant we were able to get together with my cousin Brent and his wife Wendy from Ontario. The last time we would have seen each other we would have been best guess Brent six and myself around 12. Brent and Wendy are travelling Western Canada in their truck camper and we were fortunate enough to spend three days with them camped at the Narrows. Brent is retired from his electrical contracting business and Wendy as a dental assistant and have their home north of Kitchner, Ontario. They also have a fifth wheel located at a lake north of them where they spend a lot of their summers. This year Brent got the travel bug to see all his cousins out west and dug his truck camper out of mothballs to make the trip, (the only way to travel according to me). It’s crazy how so much alike my cousin is in our thinking and taste in RV’s and our method of travelling. Most people need a destination, date and time and pre-booked campsites, not unlike ourselves they will be at home wherever they stop for the night in which ever direction it takes them with no time limit. Safe travels Brent and Wendy perhaps our roads will cross again soon and thanks for the visit.

Happy to meet up with my nomad cousin Brent and his wife Wendy at the Narrows.
Happy to meet up with my nomad cousin Brent and his wife Wendy at the Narrows.
Many menories were shared and made come to life with a fantastic history book. Thanks so much to my cousin Linda for her hard work compiling images and information, much appreciated.
Many memories were shared and made come to life with a fantastic history book. Thanks so much to my cousin Linda for her hard work compiling images and information, much appreciated.
Hey there is a little western blood running in the family even those who reside in the east.
Hey there is a little western blood running in the family even those who reside in the east.
A long time since pour last photograph was taken. Thanks again Linda.
A long time since our last photograph was taken. Thanks again Linda.
Brent and Charlotte swimming with the pelicans.
Brent and Charlotte swimming with the pelicans.
Good times and great memories, Brent may have insired us to travel east next season...or maybe this summer, who knows.
Good times and great memories, Brent may have inspired us to travel east next season…or maybe this summer, who knows.

A nomad lifestyle is absolutely not for everyone, we have breakdowns and maintenance to do on our mobile homes. There are many other challenges along the way as we follow the weather and safe locations to stay. Some spend all summers in their RVs, some a year and some many years but the people we meet living in their RVs have no regrets and are enjoying life to the fullest. We’re not homeless, our condo just has wheels as do many others who in the following blogs we will introduce you to. Great people who have choosen a life on the road, Charlotte and I are just getting a taste of it slowly over the years and can think of no better way to spend retirement.

Next Blog I will introduce you to Ron and Anne Baker living in their Northern Lite 10.2.
Until then safe travels, subscribe for posting notices if so inclined and we hope to meet you down the road.
Gerry (RVcowboy)
Charlotte (Editor in Chief)

Living in our truck camper, a summer of flexibility

Serviced, loaded and ready for wherever the road takes us.
Serviced, loaded and ready for wherever the road takes us.


As we prepare to move into our truck camper, we realize this is the season we must be flexible in our plans. As forest fires rage through much of northern Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC and Northwest Territories our plans for travel may be changing. As of May 31st we will be living in our truck camper as we have rented out our cabin at the lake. For a minium of four months we are looking forward to experiencing new roads and areas of our beautiful north. That may be spending time in northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, BC, Yukon or NWT this year, that depends on the fires burning across much of our north.


There are many areas we would like to spend more time in but already it appears unless we get a week of rain we cannot make definite plans. Who knows this may be the year we make it to the Arctic Ocean or travel east. It’s really good we don’t get hung up on having to have set plans, wherever we park it we are home and can and will enjoy wherever that happens to be. This is why we never plan our life a year or six months in advance by booking sites on line. Life is constanlty changing and we must change with it, yes we have plans…subject to change. Wherever we end up travelling to we will not be disappointed as we know it will be a summer of flexibility.

From the cabin to 100 sq feet, the Northern Lite has all the comforts of home and a promise of many new backyards along the road.
From the cabin to 100 sq feet, the Northern Lite has all the comforts of home and a promise of many new backyards along the road.


As we clean out our cabin of personal (stuff) and prepare to move from 800 sq. ft into approximately 120 sq. feet we realize just how little we really need. The Northern Lite camper the 9.6 model is totally self contained and has every comfort our cabin has in just a little less space to mess up and load up with stuff that never gets used. We live a life in our cabin that requires us to be aware of our water usage, sewer pump outs, electrical and heating. We have natural gas but prefer wood heat and I hate sending Sask Power more money then I have to. Really we are only two people how much do we need. RV living has shown us we can be completely comfortable and spend more time enjoying and experiencing life rather than being a slave to our stuff or the utility companies.
The bigger the fire the more you have to work hauling wood to keep it going, and end up moving further away from it to be comfortable. So what I’m driving at is those who think we are going to be doing without, yes we will and will enjoy the simplicity and comfort of our truck camper. The beauty of our truck camper is we can park wherever the truck fits, we set up in minutes and can break camp and be on the road just as fast, no muss no fuss. We use to haul a truck load of extra camping gear, toys, screen tents, kitchen sink and more. One day we were watching a couple down the road from us, they pulled into their campsite in their truck camper, brought out two folding chairs and were enjoying their fire in under five minutes. At the end of the weekend they were able to enjoy their surroundings right up until the moment they left, packed and gone in less than five minutes. We had spent most our weekend setting up camp and taking it down…Char and I looked at each other and agreed the next garage sale had a lot of camping stuff.

Smoke from the northern fires made for some spectacular sunsets.
Smoke from the northern fires made for some spectacular sunsets.
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I could ramble on but the reality of it is we are looking forward to the freedom and simplicity of life we find in nature in the far north…wherever that may be during this summer of flexibility. We will be heading into northern Saskatchewan for the month of June from there who knows. We are also happy we have a great couple who will enjoy our little cabin at the lake while we are gone.

a few little friends stopped by to say goodbye we will miss them.
A few little friends stopped by to say goodbye we will miss them.
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You’re all welcome to follow along as I would like to share my photographs and our experiences along the road. Will try and keep it posted on a more consistent basis this year when we have internet, so if your inclined subscribe to get a notice by email when I do post and I sure like to hear your questions and comments. It makes it a lot more fun when over 21,000 folks have checked out our site.

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Enjoy your summer and if we meet down the road stop by and say hi. studiowest.ca


Safe travels, take your time, stay flexible and enjoy your travels. Hope to meet you down the road.
Gerry and Charlotte

Three Months, 10,000 kms to the Yukon and Northwest Territories

Travel Costs and lessons learned:

The road leads to the north and a rich history of its people.
The road leads to the north and a rich history of its people.

Hitting the road for three months in 2022 with soaring fuel prices will come as no surprise as to what our highest cost was for our 10,000 kms (6214 miles) journey. Starting from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to northern B.C. on to Dawson City in the Yukon back down and across to the end of the road north of Whitehorse, Northwest Territories and home.

Dredge #4 outside of Dawson City,Yukon. Plan to see this wonder, we could have spent more time around Dawson City now we may have to retun.
Dredge #4 outside of Dawson City,Yukon. Plan to see this wonder, we could have spent more time around Dawson City now we may have to return.
The very interesting community of Yellowkinfe, definately did not spend enough time here.
The very interesting community of Yellowknife a transportation hub of the north, definitely did not spend enough time here.


First Tip: Keep a daily journal, those of you who have been following our trip know I would have been lost if I had not recorded our travels, places visited, campsites, mileage and costs. I spent the summer enjoying our truck camping travels and as you know all winter getting it posted to my blog. So, without those daily journals I would have forgotten lots as there was just too much to take in during a short three-month trip.

The remote north cell coverage is non existant. Cash may be needed for fuel and campsites.
The remote north cell coverage is non existent cash may be needed for fuel and campsites.


Second Tip: Before I forget…TAKE CASH as we get more dependent on that device we seem to have grafted onto our hand and the tap for paying via card, know this: not every place has internet service therefore CASH is once again KING. As a matter of fact, get used to living without that device as unless you’re in a major community it’s useless…you do get used to that and it feels good to disconnect. Instead of checking the cell constantly one has time to look around and enjoy the beauty found everywhere, so learn to live without it.
Without those daily notes of our travels and costs I would really have no idea how much we spent as we paid cash for fuel and campgrounds in many places so no record on the old credit card. That said, here is what we spent on fuel for our Ford F350, 6.2 gasser with our 9.6 Northern Lite Truck camper.

Fuel: $3,898.81 the least expensive was Cold Lake, Alberta at $130.9/litre. The Alberta Government had removed their sales tax on fuel. The most expensive was Muncho Lake, B.C. mile 462 on the Alaskan Highway at $2.50/litre. ($9.46/ US gallon). Prices ranged everywhere in between.

We found gravel pits not used as an excellent place to overnigh or simply take a break from driving.
We found gravel pits not used as an excellent place to over night or simply take a break from driving.


Campgrounds: $741.00 Canadian. We boondocked when possible, from gravel pits, Walmarts, and Travel Centers. Also, we prepaid our Yukon Territorial Campground fees by purchasing a number of camp site passes at local businesses $18 Can. per night, a savings there and very convenient as they can be used at any fantastic UNRESERVED campgrounds over our travels. Yes, no online booking we could stay even over the weekend.
Third Tip: Slow down and enjoy. As much as we enjoyed our travels we crammed too much into only three months. We felt the need to move on so we did not spend as much time exploring an area as we could have, some beautiful lakes, rivers and communities with a lot of rich history in its people and their lifestyles in the north. No regrets at all, one just has to realize Dawson City was just not going to dissapear and Yellowknife NWT would still be there whenever we arrived.
Fourth Tip: Pack less, save weight and fuel. As always we packed more clothes than we needed to be gone a year or more. It’s surprising how little you need, no one will notice you wore the same clothes yesterday. Food, we again packed enough for a year, we hear and read horror stories about the price of food in the north so we packed up before leaving. The Co-op store in Yellowknife had similar prices to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Some things like paper goods a little more expensive, meat and vegetables very comparable. Dawson City was a little higher priced but the General Store there has a fantastic selection of anything you would want, even product you would find at Costco. So shop local and save fuel hauling you local store with you.

The General store in Dawson City well stocked with all you need and more.
The General store in Dawson City well stocked with all you need and more.


Fifth Tip: Avoid campgrounds with online reservations whenever possible unless you like living by the clock and calendar. We do not! Most time when we find an area, especially in popular areas, that we may want to extend our stay, we get booted out on the weekend for the two day weekenders and sometimes have no place to go. Thank you Walmarts. While travelling many small communities have beautiful small campsites. Our travels are not about the destinations as much as the enjoyment of getting there and we do not need the stress of having to be somewhere at a particular date and check in time. Enjoy, throw away the calendar and the watch and let experiencing where ever you are take over.

First come campgrounds so refreshing, simple cash or prepaid Park passes.
First come campgrounds so refreshing, simple cash or prepaid Park passes.
They told us there was gold here.
They told us there was gold here.


Sixth Tip: Go for it! Fuel costs will always be high, it will rain, there are some bugs, forest fires will occur and bumpy roads and highway construction guaranteed. Our days here are not guaranteed so if it feels like the right time…just go for it!
I could go on forever, even after doing my research watching other blogs I still had to do it my way, rush, over pack etc. Make it your own experience…Enjoy.

Update:
It’s just not fair it’s April 19th and I write this sitting in our cabin wood fire going and a real blizzard happening outside…it should be spring. New shocks on the trusty Ford, a wax job on the Norhern Lite and we are just about ready for the next adventure. We are preparing our cabin for our cabin sitters who will enjoy our little cabin and lake for 4 months while we are gone. We are going to take up residence in our truck camper and live the next four months wherever we park it. If all works and it’s meant to be we may be extending our travels and spending winter south of the border with a truck camper meet up in February and others living the RV lifestyle enjoying their homes on wheels. By the time you reach my age (73) one realizes plans are only ideas and changes in life happen, if your not flexible then you are going to break, sometimes the detour turns out to be the road you are meant to travel.

Hope to meet you down the road.
Hope to meet you down the road.


You can check our past blogs if travelling the Alaska Highway, Yukon Klondike Highway or to Yellowknife NWT for more details of sights, road conditions etc. And feel free to check back on our next travels still in the planning stages, having said that it will end up just being a general direction. See if I follow my own tips this time.
Safe travels and we hope to see you down the road watch for the studiowest.ca Northern Lite, may the wind always be in your back.
Gerry & Charlotte…

Cold Lake, Big River & The Narrows

Cold Lake, Big River and the Narrows across northern Alberta and Saskachewan on the way home to Pike Lake.

As I write this from our winter home, our cozy small cabin situated on a lake in central Saskatchewan, it’s only minus 31 Celsius outside but our wood stove with its warmth and a fresh white layer of snow outside it takes away from the cold and makes our winter stay enjoyable.

Our trip home as mentioned was quicker than planned as we thought we would spend more time crossing Northern Alberta. We saw lots of beautiful country and a steady stream of logging trucks most everywhere. Alberta has some fantastic campgrounds in the southern part of the province and the popular northern destinations but feel the northern ones are quite neglected and not well maintained. When travelling in the future we will be looking for those little campgrounds in some of the local communities usually run by a service club. Such is the case when we visited the community of Big River in Saskatchewan.

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Spending winter at our cabin at the lake, our winter home planning next summer’s travels.
Nothing like the warmth of a wood stove.
Nothing like the warmth of a wood stove.

Day 45 Mileage 9,352 kms.We travelled 418 kms today from Slave Lake to Cold Lake, Alberta along Highway 2. We checked out a few communities on the way thinking we would stop when we found a suitable campground, the Alberta Provincial Recreation sites in our estimation were poorly maintained and offered nothing except $28 per night camping fee and, with the exception of a few, looked like they were not even used. We have been spoiled by BC, Yukon and the NWT campgrounds and prices. We stopped in Lac la Biche, Alberta where we toured their very well done museum, it was still fairly early so we continued on stopping in Athabasca. Located on the Athabasca River the community has to be the flower capital of Alberta. We arrived during their annual farmers market and street sale and were amazed at the beautiful pots and flower beds everywhere downtown.

Athabaska could be the flower capital of Alberta.
Athabasca could be the flower capital of Alberta.
Downtown Athabaska was beautifully decorated by flower pots everywhere.
Downtown Athabasca was beautifully decorated by flower pots everywhere.
A beautifully kept park downtown the site of a farmers market ans street sale the day we arrived.
A beautifully kept park downtown, the site of a farmers market ans street sale the day we arrived.
We cannot say enough about the work put in to make their community a place of beauty.
We cannot say enough about the work put in to make their community a place of beauty.

We decided we would stay the night at the Lions Campground there. Driving to the campground across a somewhat shaky bridge we found the gate closed and a sign said reservations only. As usual there was no human to be found and a phone call rewarded us with a leave a message, please. Ok let’s get on the road and find somewhere we can stay it was early yet so perhaps Cold Lake. Athabasca’s recent population of around 3,000 was originally named Athabasca Landing and is located north of Edmonton, Alberta at the juntion of Highway 2 and 55 on the banks of the Athabasca River. Now the community is primarily an agricultural service center and also home to Athabasca University, Canada’s on line university. This high quality University provides education on line to approximately 40,000 students offering 850 courses with 55 undergraduate and graduate programs. Logging trucks are also common as it is home to the world’s largest and most technologically most sophisicated bleached Kraft pulp mill. So for you travellers into pulp mills this may be a must stop for you.

The Athabaska River bridge crossing in Athabaska was very unsettling as a lot of the wood bridge was loose and some places broken.
The sketchy Athabasca River bridge crossing in Athabasca was very unsettling as a lot of the wood bridge was loose and some places broken.

We passed a number of Alberta Provincial recreation sites they ranged from 15 to 35 kms off the road. Having visited 3 sites before and disappointed in all for the price we did not bother to drive the extra distance to check them out. We arrived in Cold Lake around 5:30 and upon checking found all campsites booked for the weekend online reservations only with no same day bookings. It’s August and nice weather so popular spots are fully booked. Touring one we did find sites empty but they were booked and paid for… so Walmart it is. So far we have found nothing in northern Alberta to write home about, a nice drive through but that’s it. We toured the marina packed with people and the beach area was lined up so we kept moving as it was even hard to find a place to park. Not sure what tomorrow brings except we will be in Saskatchewan.

Cold Lake alberta the home to "the boater" as water craft of all sizes and shapes filled the Marina.
Cold Lake, Alberta the home to “the boater” as water craft of all sizes and shapes filled the marina.
Cold Lake is large and ideal for boating, many large sailboats call the marina home as well as cabin cruisers.
Cold Lake is large and ideal for boating, many large sailboats call the marina home as well as cabin cruisers.

The city of Cold Lake, Alberta is also home to the Cold Lake Airforce base situated on the outskirts of the city. Construction of the base began in 1952 and together with the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range to the north, earned the community the reputation of “Fighter Town Canada”. The base is home to two fighter squadrons, as well as training squadrons where future Canadian fighter pilots hone their skills. The sound of fighter jets is common to hear in the community of Cold Lake.

Day 46 Mileage 9,639.5 kms travelled from Cold Lake, Alberta to Big River, Saskatchewan. We had picked the right area in the Cold Lake Walmart along with several others, it was very quiet, quieter than some campgrounds. It was raining when we got up and we decided to hit the road. We had a hard time finding potable water for the camper so ended up purchasing some from Walmart. The drive from Cold Lake to Big River is very scenic with rolling hills and valleys.

Some beautiful country in northern Alberta, on our way back home.
Some beautiful country in northern Alberta, on our way back home.
We found most Alberta highways in very goos shape and easy traveling in a RV.
We found most Alberta highways in very good shape and easy travelling in a RV.

We stopped at Green Lake and were very impressed with the development there a number of smaller new cabins on Green Lake. We were told the lake is 13 miles long and up to 90 feet deep in places so excellent fishing. The Village of Green Lake is the third oldest settlement in the province of Saskatchewan with a poplulation of around 500 residents. It is a villiage steeped in the rich history of the Metis and First Nations people and the fur-trade that founded our nation. We added Green Lake campground to our close to home check it out someday list.

The campground at Green Lake a quiet spot out of the way
The campground at Green Lake a quiet spot out of the way near the community of Green Lake, Saskatchewan.

At Big River we settled in at the community campground in the town for $22 fire pit and table, no power, this was our choice as most are power sites. A very quiet well-kept campground with the best showers of the whole trip. $2 for four a minute shower of nice hot water and large clean showers to boot. Spent the evening around a campfire and found it very relaxing after Cold Lake.

Our nice quiet Regional Park Campground on Cownan Lake, Big River Saskatchewan.
Our nice quiet Regional Park Campground on Cowan Lake, Big River, Saskatchewan.

Big River is home to two Regional Park campgrounds, one located overlooking Cowan Lake with camping spots on the lake and the other located in the community center not far from the lake. This is our first time in the town center campground, previously we camped at the shoreline campground featured in a previous post. Both these campgrounds are neat, quiet and very well kept with the community center campground featuring laundry as well as very clean hot showers. After 9,800 kms this quiet campground was just what the doctor ordered and the day was perfect. Starting as a mill town Big River was originally owned by a lumber company and the campround is built on the site of the old mill yard. A group of individuals leased the land from the town and rural municipality and opened the park in 1978. It has now been turned into a very respectable campground to say the least, being as it was a pile of wood chips to start with. Big River and area is one of our favourites and close to where we call home when not on the road.

Day 47 Mileage 9,802.8 kms we travelled 163 kms today from Big River across country to the Narrows in Prince Albert National Park. Very few people here but met a few of the regular Narrows campers for a visit and caught up on the local news. We found one of our favorite camp spots open and booked a week stay here. We are back in Saskatchewan early and not ready to head home just yet. One of our favourite campsites will allow us to come down slowly from many miles of driving.

The Narrows on the way home time to stop and reflect before re opening our cabin for the winter.
The Narrows on the way home time to stop and reflect before re opening our cabin for the winter.
One of my favorite areas to hang out with my camera.
One of my favourite areas to hang out with my camera.
Time for some relaxation and a quiet paddle in an area we have paddled many times before but is never the same. Thank you Parks Canada for keeping it natual.
Time for some relaxation and a quiet paddle in an area we have paddled many times before but is never the same. Thank you Parks Canada for keeping it natural.
The ever changing shoreline as viewed and enjoyed from our Sea Eagle.
The ever changing shoreline as viewed and enjoyed from our Sea Eagle.
What I see on hikes and around the campgrounds.
What I see on hikes and around the campgrounds.
Wild and beautiful.
Wild and beautiful.

After having a winter at the cabin and finally getting our summer trip posted we have had time to reflect on our 10,000 km journey and lessons learned after living 3 plus months in a truck camper. My next post I am working on is a recap of travels, costs (the big one fuel in 2022) and what we feel we did wrong and what we did right. Hopefully a few suggestions will help you in travels as much as they will us in our new upcoming adventure. We have found just the right couple to house sit our wee cabin at the lake for at least 4 months….so stay tuned for the next adventure this summer and would love to share that experience with you as well.

Thanks for all those that check in as we are nearing 19,000 views and especially for those who subscribed to get notice when I finally get around to posting. My goal is to keep it more current as we go and try and notify those interested in following, which is easy as subscribers just automatically get a notice by email something I do not have to worry about. The blog originally planned to share with family has really expanded to our travel family and I really appreciate you feedback and comments.

Gerry and Charlotte…..hope to see you down the road in 23 and may the wind always be in your back.

DC to DC Charger Northern Light Instalation

We found gravel pits not used as an excellent place to overnigh or simply take a break from driving.
When in an area with no power the DC to Dc charger comes in very handy especially if you’re on the move or winter camping.

Due to menu problems on the site which we now hope are corrected and the number of people interested in my DC to DC charger installation I have re-posted the Insall. It’s been a great modification to our camper.

A DC to DC charger solved one of the big problems we found with our electrical supply and that was the lack of power camping during the winter months. When the temperatures are dropping to minus 15 Celsius and lower the furnace runs a lot. Our Northern Lite is what they call a true four-season camper but let’s face it no camper is insulated to our Northern Saskatchewan winters.

So you ask why bother in that weather. Well we cannot resist as the north is just too beautiful in winter and just needs to be photographed and shared with all those who will not put themselves through that. Snowshoeing and skiing also being another reason. During the summer my two 6 volt 100 amp/hr. flooded batteries with the 100 watt solar panel on the roof is more than adequate for our power needs. However we love those well treed private spots with lots of shade, throw in two or three days of little to no sunshine and we need the generator. I hate listening to generators and especially mine, we camp to get rid of the noise and listen to the wind and birds, not a generator grinding away.

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Winter in Saskatchewan is too long not to go camping

Having read posts on RV sites written by someone who knows more about the electrical side of RVing, I ran across this DC to DC charger system that many recommended. This is my solution! I got to get one of these, so I ran down to my local RV dealerships wanting to purchase one and get it installed. Well after three dealerships I was told they never heard of a DC to DC charger and I did not need one as my batteries charged from the truck while driving. Yes a slow charge and if I drove 10 hours a day that may work, not acceptable for me. After I spent $25 worth of gas and two days running around trying to purchase locally (support local) and getting nowhere, I turn to on line direct to Renogy.  Yes, four days later I have my 40 amp Renogy battery charger delivered and ready for install. If memory serves me right it was approximately $165.

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Renogy DC to DC 40 amp charger mounted to added plywood on the inside wall under the rear closet.

Next problem I had to solve was where to mount the charger as they recommended close to the camper batteries as possible. Finally I decided to mount it under the closet panel in the rear closet of our 2017 9.6 Northern Lite.  The big shock came when I discovered the cost of 4 gauge wire recommended to be run from my truck battery to a fuse then back to the charger, then from the charger to the batteries. My truck is a 2013 Ford F350 Super Duty with crew cab and eight foot box.  That’s 20 some feet to the back of the truck only and still had to get to my charger and batteries times two for positive and negative wires. After pricing the cable individually by the foot I was shocked, copper is expensive. I then discovered at my local Princess Auto store 4 gauge booster cables 20 feet long for less money. I now have several booster clamps in the shop less wire. These worked perfectly to run side by side from the battery down my truck frame just reaching the back, these were about $36 each pair. Locally I could not find the connectors to connect the camper to the truck (Orion Motor Tech wire connector, 2-4 gauge x 2) these worked well.  Also needed the Renogy, 60 amp fuse x 2  ($13 each) as well as two spare fuses which I found on Amazon. Also needed is a way to turn on the power to the charger from either the camper batteries or the truck battery, I chose to wire it to my existing truck switches and run it to the charger in the back. This required about 30 feet of 10 gauge wire and a wire connector from camper to the truck.

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Orion connectors from truck to camper along with 12v switch to charger
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4 gauge from positive to 60 amp fuse block then to charger. Also ran 4 gauge from negative to charger

This part is specific to our 9.6 NL camper. Next I did not want to drill holes in the camper so I ran the wiring up through the battery compartment using the bottom vent to enter the battery compartment, under the batteries as they sit on slats up through into the area under the closet to the charger. From the charger to a fuse then back to the battery compartment to the batteries. I connected the camper with the Orion wire connector attached to the camper under the battery compartment to the truck connector at the rear of the box along with the 12v wire to start the charger. This allows for a quick disconnect for unloading a truck camper and not necessary for other applications. The connectors would probably not be needed on a van, class A or C. I would only recommend this system for someone who moves their home with them when they drive from place to place, if you are disconnected from the source it will not benefit you unless you want to sit and run your vehicle.

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Without adding holes to the camper I ran the cables to the charger through the bottom battery compartment vent
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Wires coming into the battery compartment, slats keep the batteries off the cable
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Wires coming to the charger and leaving. Black case is the battery compartment
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60 amp fuse block leaving the positive side of the charger to battery’s

I am not going to try and get into the technical end of the system as I do not understand everything, so do your own research there is lot of help on line as well as Renogy  themselves. My truck alternator was large enough to handle the 40 amp charger but some applications may require a larger alternator.

So far we have only used the system in late fall while running the furnace, which we keep at 21 Celsius, our water pump and a few LED lights. Our days are shorter here and less sunlight at a very low angle for our rooftop solar panel. Now when we use our camper to get supplies or just to explore an area I am pumping full charge into my two 6 volt in the camper. In a 30 km drive I can bring my batteries from 12 to full charge. This would have never happened before. I never run my batteries below 11.5 so if I am close, even Idling for 15 to 20 minutes, has topped them back up to around 12.5 to 12.7. I like having the switch in the cab to turn the charger on if I need it and not have to have it on when not necessary. Being as the switches are tied to the ignition when the key is off I am not draining the truck battery to power the charger and house batteries, something to watch for.

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Utilized existing truck switch to run 12v power to the charger

There are sites out there that have the technical information, all I know is for the investment and trouble to install this charger we have a lot more options and it will also work on all kinds of batteries, so when I can afford to upgrade to lithium it’s going to work even better. So far 100% happy with Renogy and the system and would not hesitate to recommend it. Hope the photos explain it better.

Your comments and questions are more than welcome if the questions are not too tough or techy.

Next Post Saskatchewan’s “Crooked Bush”

Hope to see you down the road…Gerry