November Stove-Ember! More Winter Camping in an A-Frame

November Stove-Ember! More Winter Camping in an A-Frame


what’s a little bit windy a little bit
cold but guess what it’s winter well anybody with a fear of bears
probably wouldn’t be happy to see that because even though it’s wintertime or
it’s at least late fall bears aren’t always hibernating this is a big one and
a hungry one so I still carry the bear spray see how big he is that’s a big
bear well it’s actually a reasonably sunny day but I’m in the trees so I’m not actually gonna see direct sunlight on these solar panels until later on in
the afternoon so in reality I’m only probably gonna get maybe two or three
hours of direct sunlight so I’ve got to make it I’ve got to take advantage of
whatever I can get now I typically have these two solar
panels mounted on the trailer and I have my auxiliary panel which I just put on
whenever I need it it just goes in place with Velcro let me just connect these up oh and I also wanted to show you the other vent
now. that is my new stove vent and you can see I’ve got the flap down the
heat resistant material the flaps down so I can just put the stovepipe right up
there and I did a test on the road uhm it’s secured on there properly had
no issues with it falling off or rattling or anything like that so it
seems like it’s gonna work well well it’s getting dark and it’s getting
colder so it’s time I set up the wood stove now ever really done a lot of
improvements since the last time I’ve used it just two or three but I’ll point
them out anyway and one is this cookie sheet or whatever
you want baking sheet I guess what I usually do is I take the existing stove
in my trailer and I just put this cookie sheet on top and then put the wood stove
on top of that and some people noted and rightly so well that’s not really safe
because it slides around so what I did is I put two slots in the cookie sheet and I’ve got vinyl Clips so what I did vinyl cable clips usually used for wiring and what I do is I just put one in and then push the second part in like
that and then the same with this one like that and now it’s not going to move
around so now I can put the woodstove on there and it’s not going to slide off
the counter now there’s other changes that I’ve made
and the next one is the vent so what I did is I took the plastic vent lid and replaced it with a metal one I bought the metal lid online and then modified it here’s a little on how it was done to convert it I removed the dome bar with a
dremel as it would interfere with the stove pipe then I installed new attachment brackets to match what I had previously designed for my other vents I next used tin snips to cut an oval hole the size of the stovepipe on the other side I attached my tent jack this is a special heat-resistant material and
weather barrier I purchased from Seek Outside in Colorado to insert the pipe I unlocked the velcro straps fold down the flap and secure it to the velcro below there is a cutout to insert the pipe though when not in use the flap goes
back to keep the water out the tent jack is secured in place with aluminum foil tape the flap opens from the top so rain doesn’t get in while I’m traveling I also made it with the slim potatohead special vent mount so that I can unlock
it and use that as a normal vent but when I’m
using it for the stove it just comes down like that and locks in place there’s one other thing I want to try before I completely set up the stove now the last time I used it which was in South Dakota it was very similar it was not super cold like right now I’m just above freezing and I
know once the Sun Goes Down it’ll get a little below freezing but it’s not super
cold like some of the times I tried it before and when I used it at around
freezing before the stove got way too hot and so I was just wasting energy
there’s no point what I want to try this time is I’ve got a little river stone and
I’m just going to put that in the cage to take up a little bit of space now the
theory is because there’ll be fewer pellets in that area igniting it’s not
going to be as hot and hopefully when I put the hopper on it’s not gonna I’m not
gonna have to fill it as often that’s the theory let’s see how it works in
practice getting the spark arrestor on the
stovepipe is kind of like a game of ring toss it takes a little practice but
eventually I get it on well we’re almost ready to start a fire but not quite
there’s one other thing I want to try and that’s this: Firestart it’s by
Duraflame and it’s supposed to help it start a fire duh
usually what I do is I just put the pellets in the hopper and use a
blowtorch to to actually get the fire started because the pellets don’t really
start easily and in the past to just get the blowtorch give it a few minutes from
the blowtorch and it would finally ignite it this time I want to start off
with these fire starts now I actually don’t know anything about this I haven’t
even opened it up to see what it is okay so I guess looks like a big chunk oh you
know what but okay I can break it up so what I’ll do is I’ll chop it up into
little bits put it in the hopper first and then I’ll put the pellets in if it
doesn’t work I’ll go back with the torch so I put a little bit of that firestart in there about that much worth I just chopped it up and put it down the
hopper a little bit of paper underneath (gun shots) whoa there’s a hunter out there
somewhere anyway as I was (gun shots) my god he’s close I hope he’s not
shooting at me okay let’s try that again
so I’ve loaded the fire starter and little pieces I just used about that
much into the cage now I can start with the pellets now before I was just
grabbing the bag and using a scoop to scoop them but I’ve got a little smarter
since then I had these uh these water spring water containers I don’t know
what it’s for I guess a gallon or something and I found out they hold six
pounds worth of pellets so rather than scoop I just open it up and pour hopefully I don’t have to fill it up
completely just enough to get started put that on and I will try this way
first see if it ignites if it does bonus if not I’ll go back to the torch let’s
give it a go so what I don’t want to do is fill the
trailer up with smoke if it takes too much time to blow up the stovepipe it
might start coming back and I don’t want it to do that yeah it’s not igniting
anything I’m gonna get the torch okay so the fire did get started but the
problem is because I used that fire starter it’s making tons of soot and
that’s exactly what I did not want yes it’s still going out the chimney but
it’s gonna it’s gonna fog up the mica and all that all that soot so yeah
fire starter I’d rather stay with what I know the torch and just the pellets then
put all that smoke out that’s not what I want so the fire starter was a bust but
when I did get it up to temp I got hungry it was fried noodles night nothing fancy just some zucchini
mushrooms veggie sausage green onions and of course udon noodles I’m the man of few spices and I don’t typically add things until I taste
them first kind of bland but nobody tunes in to my videos frame for my
extraordinary cooking at least I hope they don’t soy sauce lemon juice little ground
pepper with lemon see if that improves it. works for me well as expected it got real hot in here it was over 20 Celsius 72 degrees Fahrenheit and so I’ve opened
the door a little I’ve turned the damper down and I’ve lowered the intake now you
can’t even hear it it’s there’s a little bit of a flame going but just enough to
to give a little bit of warmth so hopefully well at least it cooked a meal
and it definitely the trailers warm plus all the insulation I’ve added so not
much chance of freezing tonight well I got a nice warm fire I had a great meal
I got a nice comfortable place to sleep and I’m in the wilderness what more
could you ask for well there is one thing I was curious about as you know
how some people say that food tastes better in the wilderness well there’s
one thing did want to find out I’m just reaching for my cooler here because I
wanted to know if beer tastes better in the wilderness now pretty well most of
the time I have a beer you know it always tastes good but this time I
bought some really awful beer I tried it in the city and it’s just terrible
it kind of tastes like I’m not going to show the brand I’m gonna hide it but it
tastes like fermented rope and I don’t mean like rope in your garage it kind of
tastes like the Rope that’s hanging off a barge you know that’s been at sea and
it’s got barnacles and bird droppings all over it well if you chop that up and
added yeast this is what you’d get it’s just terrible but I wanted to find out
if it tasted better in the wilderness so let’s find out taste test well it’s a little better I don’t taste
the bird droppings anyway yeah I’ll drink it for reference the stone in the
pellet cage did seem to work. instead of one pound of pellets an hour I only use
3/4 of a pound an hour 1 gallon jug of pellets burned for eight hours but I
can’t forget my disclaimer well although it seems warm and cozy let’s face it putting a wood stove in a trailer is a risk there’s always going to be that
chance because you’re literally playing with fire that something could go wrong
so I’m not recommending it think of this video merely as entertainment and ideas
I do use a carbon monoxide detector and at night I have a intake hose so the air
is coming from the outside but it does not mean that something cannot go wrong
as a matter of fact there’s a good chance that something at some point
might go wrong one little note as I take down the stove because last night I had something that was a little unusual it was the first time it ever happened after
I’d cooked and the flame was good on the stove everything was working fine and
then all of a sudden I heard a wind and the flame went out and the entire
trailer filled with smoke and that has never happened like what on earth is going on I didn’t have time to film it obviously because I was in panic mode now under normal conditions my stove is a closed system to prevent smoke but
unfortunately I did not attach the inlet hose so after I got it all sorted out it
happened a second time 20 minutes later and it was the same warning a bit of a
wind came up but gust of wind and all of a sudden the
flame went out and everything seemed to be going in the opposite direction
here’s what happened the wind was coming from the West and it went towards the
front of my trailer and it went up because the side of the trailer is
angled when it got to the spark arrestor it went inside this cone and it deflected right into the flue right into the stovepipe easy solution and I found
it several times after that it worked don’t use the spark arrestor there are times when you need a spark arrestor but not in snow and the roof of my trailer is aluminum one another note I kind of wanted to tell my viewers that I’ve been doing a little soul-searching lately like I’m happy with what I’m doing I
love traveling I love meeting people I’d love to get out in nature and all that
but I don’t want to stagnate I always want to come up with new ideas and stuff
like that and part of the fun of being slim potatohead is that I’ve never
really defined myself like I haven’t defined myself like if I was I don’t
know RV Bobby or Van Van Halen or whatever where you’ve defined yourself
by the mode of of what you travel in or what you live in being slim potatohead
the sky’s the limit I can do whatever I want
and I do want to keep traveling and I do keep wanting to do you know repair
videos ideas experiments do-it-yourself and certainly nature but here’s the
issue look at that trailer I have used that trailer in the last four years more
than most people do in several lifetimes and I’ve beat the living crap out of it
it’s an old trailer it’s 16 years now and it’s falling apart it’s old and at
some point and I think I’m at that point right now I’ve got to say is it time for a new trailer? because I fixed it up so many times I’ve made improvements I’ve made experiments repairs but at some point I
got to say well you know that’s enough move on and I’m thinking of doing that
getting a new trailer and I haven’t decided what I want yet. I’ve been
looking out there I’ve got a few ideas um I don’t want more you know I don’t
want bigger I don’t want more stuff you know to me less is more I want less but
there’s there’s not a lot of choice for people like me and that’s the problem so
what do I do in the meantime well I guess I’m gonna go back to what I know
and I know nature I love the wildlife I like being out in the woods like
this but maybe I should do a few videos of me just simply getting on a backpack
and hiking um I’ve done it for decades winter spring summer fall doesn’t matter
and so I hope I hope you’re okay with me just me and a backpack getting up into
the mountains or whatever I might even get on a plane who knows I love
traveling I like nature I like meeting people so who knows where it’s gonna
take me but always looking for feedback so if you have any ideas let me know well I hope you enjoyed this video and you’ll check out my other ones as well if curious I listed my other stove
videos in the description and I’ll leave you with my version of
the holiday fireplace relax grab your hot chocolate and enjoy

100 Comments

  1. Note from Slim Potatohead: Love your suggestions on new trailers, but please… NO LINKS!!! They get stuck in a filter and I have no time to check if they are legit. Please just include the name and brand, I will Google it. Thanks! SP

  2. I enjoyed your crab apple wine making video. I imagine Slim Potato head is just as fun to watch in his natural habitat as in the wild.

  3. Love your videos, always great content. Anything nature/camping and travel is fantastic! Obviously another Aliner has to be top of the list, there is always a tent trailer and have you seen the rockwood geo pro? Please keep us updated on your trailer search!

  4. Whatever you do just stay on the road it's what it's all about exploring and seeing this great country, don't go jumping into any planes, it just wouldn't be as interesting.

  5. Love your channel, always interesting and educational. Darn, I laughed at the beer taste test. A new trailer: I’m excited for whatever new choice you make. I would hope you eventually find a replacement trailer, though, to supplement hiking. I am thinking many of us live vicariously through you and it seems more doable if you (we) have a camper. 👍👍

  6. I would watch videos of you hiking in nature. I like the idea of changing up the format. Travel, nature, camping that is the reason I watch your videos. You do a great job at shooting, explaining history and showing the beauty of nature…..

  7. While I find your videos overall, very well done, and while I am impressed with your creativity and execution of the wood stove, that thing still scares me. Especially the thin metal legs on a metal tray. Would you consider putting some heavy sandbags on the legs at least? Even better perhaps, some brackets so that the legs attach to the tray.

  8. Beer definitely tastes better in the woods. The Mrs. and I will drink the same beer camping as at home, and its always better camping.

  9. Hello , hola , veo sus vídeos porque creo que pasar un buen rato de tiempo sin gestos malos es algo que hoy en día es un artículo de lujo .
    Saludos y Thanks

  10. My trailer is only 45 years old, and I keep thinking about getting a new one, then the RV repair shop tells me its still in decent shape. Apache hard side trailers are hard to kill.

  11. Slim, I started watching your videos based on the do it yourself craftiness you display that so closely matches my way of thinking. Over time my reason for viewing has changed. You are a storyteller, with the ability to paint visions with thoughtful and picturesque speech. I share your videos with my wife and daughter as they too enjoy listening to you. Coupled with outstanding videography and just the right background music, your uploads are fantastic. So go ahead and do something different. What you share with us is nothing short of a real treat! Looking forward to whatever comes next… Cheers!

  12. The journeys are fun to watch, but the destinations are where you really shine. Your content wouldn't change that much so no worries I think. Backpacking would be an interesting change. Check out Trailmanor Trailers. They are folding hard-side trailers. They are available used, but they can be few and far between. Their TrailMini is the smallest then they go up in size from there. We have a 2720 (20 closed, 27 open). We have a walkthrough of ours if you're curious. We're excited to see where you go from here. Safe travels.

  13. Will be interesting to see what you do next. Those bear tracks blew my mind! We love our truck camper. Have you considered One? 🇨🇦

  14. I started watching your videos because of your A liner trailer! But there are 100's of campers of all kinds to watch but most are not interesting. You are good at what you do AND the way you camp is more like camping used to be, in the wilderness and by yourself. Modern day RV'ers are a dime a dozen. I think you should just upgrade to a little newer trailer with a little more comfort , then it will take you another 10 – 15 years ! Your small rig that turns into a safe little cabin is what allows you to go where you go. That and your all wheel drive dependable vehicle. Between the USA and Canada you can wander for a few more years ! Cold weather camping also keeps the crowds away. I do enjoy your videos very much…….

  15. Starting around 1999 I owned two Chalet a-frames for a total of about 10 years. First was a 2 bed Arrowhead and then a smaller LTW that I custom ordered. The first one developed some floor rot around one corner so I sold it and disclosed that the floor had some rot going on. The  LTW Chalet had switched to a floor similar to the wall/roof panels and no rot. I had a lot of fun in those campers but would not go back to an A-frame. I bought a small travel trailer single axle as I wanted to have a shower and toilet. That was a solid camper made by a small Amish family business but they seemed to have closed up shop when the economy tanked. I sold it because the holding tanks were just too small. My thing with the really small campers is you might as well just get a tent. My current camper is 25' long and I need to go back in the other direction. I still enjoy the fact I can take a shower every night and if the need arises I'm not restricted to finding some filthy convenience store restroom when yesterdays burrito comes a callin.'

  16. Can't wait to see what you do with backpacking! Thanks for all the videos — I REALLY enjoy watching and experiencing nature thru you when I cannot be out there myself. (I go out often, but sometimes there just isn't time…)

  17. Slim,

    The A-Frame suits you to a tee..why not another Aliner!? You could still do mod’s!

    I bought my used Aliner because of your videos…perfect!

    I would highly welcome more detail on your Boondocking locations in Western US. And anything that would encourage newbies like me to go forth!

    I have highly benefited from your brilliance!

    Kind Regards,
    Tom in Medicine Hat

  18. Slim,
    I'm here because I like your format, that being said, it's your channel, so create away! I'm always up for your take on life wherever it leads you.
    Bryan from Vancouver

  19. Some videos about the do's and don'ts away from the campsite would be informative as well as anedotes about the misadventures you have thru the years getting there. Your Aliner has been a good companion but it's what's outside its walls is why you have it and those might be the next series like how traveling has changed you thru the decades. Indeed going from the days of using a kerosene lap to a laptop might be another road to explore as many haven't know the world where finding a pay phone and remembering a number was the challenge instead of WiFi signal….

  20. Hello Mr. Potatoehead, If you sold your trailer and tow vehicle you could put the funds towards a used half or 3/4 ton 4X4 pickup and used light weight truck camper. That's the route my wife and I went. We camp all over Colorado with our pop-up truck camper, we navigate through mud, snow, roughf forest roads and basically anywhere we want to go. We also have a three way fridge with small freezer, built in gas stove, water tank and sink, andpropane furnace. My favorite thing about nthis camper is the openess provided by by the screens on all four sides, It's like camping outdoors when sleeping on the overhead bed. If it's cold you can zip up the vinyl windows. I also like to sleep in it during snow storms in my own yard!

  21. Maybe look at some of those (real) off road expedition campers? They're all pretty minimalistic, but they all have pretty clever design ideas. I'm guessing that they are pretty expensive though? I never priced them.

  22. Dennis Hopper! And I also was disappointed with firestarter on my last camping trip. Ended up just using native kindling at the site. Pine combs, pine needles, twigs and leaves worked way better.

  23. I can imagine Slim Potatoehead in an Airstream Basecamp trailer….the creative things he would come up with in that mini trailer!

  24. Personally I'm not here for the trailer, so hiking videos would be just fine and a good idea. More wilderness and more nice views. If you can do talking while walking and filming so we can also hear the steps, it will give the feeling like we are walking with you and having a conversation.

  25. On a plane?! Oh, the humanity! 😱
    Hey, whatever works! If you love what you're doing, it'll continue to show in your videos, and your subscribers will continue to watch. 👍

  26. If you decide to do a backpacking video look at Eric Normark video's he has the best videos on YouTube he's from Sweden and the scenery is amazing . Please don't do a desert video backpacking

  27. Have you thought of putting the spark arrestor through the tent jack from outside first. Then slide the chimney into it from inside and push it back out? Not sure if it would be easier though.

  28. Hi Slim, concur with the others about the cargo trailer conversion but I do have a forest river t12rb for sale if you're interested.

  29. Do what you feel is right my friend! Your videos are always interesting. For me it is you and not what you do that makes it interesting. You have the prowess to make what ever you do infectious!
    Society has a hold on us, like being chained to a ball. We all have that free spirit within us and you my friend give some of us that are chained to that ball, the chance to drift off into our inner free spirit when watching your videos. Like reading a good book!
    Sorry for the long winded message but wanted you to know the positive impact you do have on some people.
    Take care of yourself my friend!

  30. Allow me to echo some of the comments below…cargo trailer conversion would be most interesting, especially with your nack for improvements!

  31. Check out YouTube channel Rolling Vistas vlogs about the Badlands in New Mexico. Beautiful rock formations, night time skies, pristine nature. I can see you doing your take on it….. That indoor RV stove thing was getting very iffy. Glad you made it through the night. And don't denigrate your cooking. It's actually interesting to us RVers. Your noodle dish looked tasty👍🏼🙂 You made me laugh at your beer descriptions. I'll never be desperate enough to drink bad beer. Only good 5% Mexican or European beer here in this house

  32. You can go with a cargo trailer or look at armadillo trailers, Rpod , boler would be a good choice. I like the trailer videos and the tow vehicle. It’s adventure on a budget ! Which makes it realistic for anybody.

  33. Yes you can go “spartan” again but you are … ahem … getting older. I too am an RVer, full time. Also older than you. My recommendation is if you can swing it financially consider a new or newer A. The new ones are very nice. No matter how new you get you WILL make it better and that is part of our enjoyment.

  34. I've enjoyed every Vlog you have done on the A-frame, the ideas And improvements. But your very good with a camera or a video telling a story, I've enjoyed both. Either way I'll be here watching.

  35. Lifted cargo trailer conversion. I did a 6 x 10 v-nose where I installed a 32” shower bed cook area. It looked like captains quarters inside with many different woods. It was cozy and many of my friends first impression was “what more does a man need?”. Precisely my goal. It was fun building it to my needs. I used it for my business trips up and down the east coast and saved 50 k in the process not giving my money to Paris Hilton. Lost weight too because I cooked more. Parked many times in nature, beach etc. all in I think I may have had $7000 in it. My two cents….

  36. Maybe the hunter shot the bear…..lol….how was the beeer still like wet rope
    since you don't live in your traier full time you could build one that would suit your needs, ps I will watch your videos if your in that trailer or not

  37. Another fun moment in the woods. I’ll watch you explore the world! Your voice is soothing and your cheeky humor is wonderful. Take us with you in your pocket! Peace

  38. I was a backpacker myself until my knees gave out. Explore away! I do more off- roading type adventures in my 2 door Jeep Wrangler and camp in a Gazelle T-3 tent. If I went with a camper, it would be a Runaway Camper, Adventurist. It's their off-road version. I don't know if that would suit your style though. The R-pod or S-Camp might be your flavor, though. Small, light, affordable and you don't have to set them up.

  39. P.S. Try Yuengling Laager the next time you're in the Eastern, U.S. you can't beat it. It's the longest continuously running brewery in the U.S.

  40. I've been watching your videos because of the advice you give. I'll stay a subscriber if you change trailers or even go to backpacking. There is always something I can learn from you. Thanks for taking us along!

  41. Backpacking !!!!!!!!!
    When you get back to the trailer it'll seem bigger, luxurious even !!!! And just maybe worth keeping longer 🤗🤗🤗

  42. I cook just like you. Very simple and one pan. I keep thinking I should try a little harder but I’m the only one who is eating it so I’m find with it.

  43. For starting wood pellets, I've heard good things about using cotton balls and petroleum jelly, also 90%+ rubbing alcohol. Also Linseed oil tack cloth. The latter tip is from Silverfire. Cheers.

  44. Here in Australia we have the equivalent to your trailer called an AVan , I’ve recently upgraded mine to a what we call in Australia a “ pop top” a 3/4 height van where the final 1/4 of the roof pops up . Whilst I’m very happy with my upgrade the biggest thing I miss is that the AVan (Aliner) is Narrower it may be by only 500mm but that narrower width makes it more comfortable when towing compared to a full width van . Keep trailer width in mind when you are searching Slim,
    That said Jeep, trailer, foot or bicycle, will always enjoy your travel vlogs 👍

  45. I use the larger FireStarter to start my homw woodburning stove. Was surprised to see tiny one! Usually I lite the Firestarter in the wraper.
    Beer tasting you are gross lol
    I'm actually out camping in Oregon..1st time in November.
    Safe travels

  46. Yes! please experiment. I am living vicariously through you. By the way I hope you don’t think this is being too nosy but I must ask are you a vegan?

  47. Hey Slim, I would try and get a fire brick for your stove. Please be careful with river rock because they can shatter. Happy you're still living your Dream! God Bless in your travels. Love and God Bless America! Uncle Jeff!

  48. You have entered that sweet spot on viewership, where you can do other things and most will follow. I have been trying to build my channel for several years now and although I enjoy doing hiking videos my viewership is mostly in the A frame mods. So enjoy the fruits of your labor and do new things, I hope to also do new things on my channel once I get more viewers.

  49. Not related to trailers, but a book you should maybe read: The stranger in the woods; The extraordinary story of the last true hermit by Michael Finkel 2017

  50. Yes there are so many great small I mean small trailers that go just about anywhere. I can see you in that. But here’s the deal. One part of what you do well is invent love you ideas. Hopefully with a new rig you will still have room to invent! From Backpacking to boon docking you videos are inspirational and your writing ingenious! Thanks for taking us along.

  51. maybe give those white tablets made by zip a try (found at can tire, no frills, food basics, loblaws etc). I use them as fire starter and they are amazing. The only concern is that it might create soot which you dont want. Still… worth a shot.

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