ATV Camping: Rejuvenating in Nature. I don’t know about you, but I notice that, when we look at the post-pandemic situation in society, we feel a latent charge in the air when we are immersed in the crowd. Intolerance of ideas that don’t conform to our own, impatience with people, exasperation with restrictive health regulations that we no longer believe in, in short, people are less affable than before.
Peace and quiet are within reach
ATV enthusiasts have the chance to escape from this doldrums and go out into nature to recharge their batteries. After the first few kilometers, your blood pressure drops and you find peace of mind. Suddenly, at the turn of a sharp curve, an oasis of freshness appears! The water of a lake shimmers gently in the sun and there is a carpet of grass under a canopy of tall cedars that lazily let down their branches. The call is irresistible and you stop your quad in this bucolic place. As soon as the engine is stopped and your helmet is removed, the sound of the lake waves and the wind breeze take over, a sweet smell of fresh humidity caresses your nostrils. After a few minutes, the fauna slowly resumes its activities. You become aware that you are in a perfect place to spend a beautiful moment to relax and let yourself be rocked by the slow breathing of nature.
Listening to the lapping of the waves, you think it would be nice to spend the night here in a small makeshift camp, taking the necessary camping equipment with you on your quad.
ATV Camping? Why not!
The range of possible ways to go on a quad expedition is very wide, depending on the minimum level of comfort you are willing to accept. When camping in the wilderness, one must plan for all the needs and contingencies that may arise: water, gasoline, food, shelter from the rain and tent, tools, stove and canteen, warm and waterproof clothing, everything must be planned. However, in spite of the long list of equipment, it is necessary to be discerning in order to pack what is essential and to avoid the superfluous which will only make you feel cluttered. If the adventure of primitive camping seems extreme, it might also be tempting to go to campgrounds with camping equipment while enjoying modern conveniences such as toilets and showers, washer and dryer, communal kitchen and sometimes even restaurant and convenience store.
ATV Camping All the gear on a quad?
The advent of the CCVs with their bulky dumpsters allows you to transport a lot of equipment, but if you ride a motorcycle, the problem of loading space will quickly arise. The solution of a trailer to transport camping equipment is very attractive. The trailer allows a flexibility of arrangements that will be limited only by your imagination and your budget. In fact, just look at the idea thumbnails on Pinterest for proof. Depending on your needs, it is possible to equip it with different spaces dedicated to carrying water cans, fuel, coolers, a portable kitchen, weatherproof and dustproof compartments and even a fold-out tent on top of the trailer.
Although many people opt for a ground tent, there are also specialized turnkey trailers for off-road camping. Many are American made, but the editorial team field tested the Quebec made Lugg&Roll Expedition trailer. This one had a very good quality of manufacture.
The importance of the net weight of the tow vehicle
Adding its 490 lb. net weight and 500 lb. payload, we could end up with a towable load of 1,000 lb. which is considerable in an off-road situation. This brings us to the size of the tow vehicle in relation to the towed weight. Let’s face it, an 88-horsepower Outlander can pull a 1,000-lb. trailer without any problem, even when climbing a hill thanks to its four-wheel drive. It’s when you stop that things get tricky, because the trailer will weigh as much as the towing vehicle in front. One can imagine the poor quad rider trying to slow down his quad on a steep hill as the wheels slip in the loose gravel.
Under section 243 of the CSR, trailers pulled by road vehicles must be equipped with brakes if the mass of the trailer exceeds half the mass of the towing vehicle (or if the trailer exceeds 1300 kg). By the same logic, and in order to ensure an acceptable level of operating safety, the towed trailer should not exceed half the mass of the towing vehicle.
Securement and protection of equipment
A very sensitive point that will make you love or hate your trailer is the type of suspension chosen. If you think it shakes in the trunk of an ATV, it’s nothing compared to the shaking your gear will be subjected to in a trailer. There is a debate about the use of tandems versus a single axle regarding the damping efficiency and stability obtained when pulling the trailer. Certainly a tandem provides a definite advantage in stability, but it will increase the weight which is the number one enemy to control. Whether you build your own trailer or buy a commercial one, keep in mind that it will need to be stable to protect your camping gear, light to respect the limits of your mount and sturdy to withstand the rigors of off-road trails.
In addition to choosing a trailer, you will need to develop skills in securing your gear to the racks that will withstand the constant shaking on the trail. The gear will also need to be placed properly in the compartments of the future trailer (or the bed of your new side-by-side) so that it won’t be damaged by friction. You’ll also need to find a way to keep dust out of everything.
ATV camping is a great way to get away from the stresses of modern life. However, good planning will allow you to enjoy it to the fullest and keep the stress to the mere worry of finding wood to light the evening campfire.