Question Of The Week

Truck Campers Fire-Up Over Firewood

While we certainly enjoy sitting around a nice campfire with friends, Gordon and I are not campfire builders ourselves.  Unless we’re at a rally or campground where others have a campfire, we’re inside our camper at night.

Which is why we were unaware of the dangerous implications of transporting firewood.  From the voluminous reader responses, there’s a lot more to carrying firewood than just finding a suitable place to put it.

Wood carries insects, insect larvae, fungal spores, and diseases that are extremely harmful to trees.  Think of it like transporting mosquitoes from South America into your hometown.  You might just bring an insect, or you might bring the next deadly virus ready to spread throughout the general population.

The Emerald Ash Borer has already destroyed entire forests and is believed to have been introduced by transporting firewood.  Other culprits that have killed tens of millions of trees from transporting firewood include the Sirex woodwasp, gypsy moth, and Asian long-horned beetle.

These bugs are often in larvae form inside crevices and bark, and are all but invisible to the naked eye.  In other words, you can’t judge wood just by looking at it.  This applies to firewood, brush, and other tree and plant material.  You have to assume all wood and plant material is dangerously infected, and act accordingly.

For more information, check out the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “Buy Local. Burn Local.” PDF flier.

The best practices for firewood are to source it locally to where you are having a campfire.  Unless you are camping locally, never bring firewood from home.  As a rule of thumb, anything over fifty miles from home is too far.

This week reader Elquin Daza asked, “How do you carry your firewood?”

“I don’t carry firewood because in New Hampshire it is illegal to transport firewood due to insect infestations.  Unless the firewood is kiln dried and certified insect free, it can spread several invasive insects.  I think this holds true for the great lakes region as well.  Many areas require that you burn it where you buy it.  Check with the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service.  I’m sure they can give you information on all quarantines through out the country and Canada.  This is good information for your readers and protect our forests.” – Dennis Thorell, 2016 GMC 3500, 2009 Northern Lite 10-2 CDSE

“We don’t!  Most states have laws/rules against transporting firewood due to potential pest transfer.  That’s how the bad bugs travel and kill forests. Anyone ever hear of the Southern Pine Beetle or the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid?  Buy from the campground you are at.” – Laurie Brokaw, 2006 Ford F250, 2010 Lance 850

“We always travel out of our county and so we don’t carry firewood.  We buy local to avoid the spread of invasive pests like the Emerald ash borer.” – Bruce Scott

“You can get a rear carrier for your hitch.  Load your firewood and then load camper.  The firewood is under your camper and out of your way.” – George Ward, 2010 Chevy 2500HD, 1997 Lance

“For short night or two, I put the firewood in plastic totes, stored inside the camper until I get to my spot.  Then it is stored under my truck.  When traveling and for one night stays, I buy my wood for the evening enjoyment, when bush bashing.  I rely on what I find in the woods.” – Jeff Mawbey, 2010 GMC 3500, 2010 Northern Lite 9.6 Queen

“On a front hitch mounted carrier.” – Mark Joslin, 2006 Ram 3500, 2005 Lance 1181

“I get some large totes with sealable lids.  I put them in the boat and unload when I arrive.  You could put in trailer or Jeep.” – Bob Presto, 2008 3500 Lance 1191

“We do not carry any firewood as it carries a large fine to transport firewood any where in our province.  The insect explosion on hard and softwoods is out of control.  Travel across borders into the USA is also illegal with monetary fines associated.  We find firewood close to the area where we camp.” – Eric Devolin, 2007 Sierra 3500, 2006 Adventurer 106 DBS

“If I take the rear hitch rack, it goes there.  If traveling for shorter periods of time we just load it in the rear of camper right at the door.  We just wrap a tarp to protect the camper and take it out and cover when we reach our destination.  We are careful moving wood because of bug problems as well.  We sometimes buy kiln dried bagged wood as well and take that. Where else would you put it if the front, rear, and roof are occupied? Possibly consider pressed commercial logs.  They are wrapped.  When we take those I pre-cut them to smaller pieces and place them in plastic food bags that I use just for that.” – Jim Dailey, 2005 Dodge Ram HD, 1997 Shadow Cruiser 10

“Sorry Elquin, we carry our wood in the camper.  We usually take a couple of milk crates worth and put them on the dinette seat.

Growing up my Dad loaded wood in solid-bottomed boxes and put them, wrapped in a tarp, in the boat for transport.  The boat had a cover, but it wasn’t fully waterproof, thus the tarp.” – Melissa Malejko, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 1981 Okanagan

“I use my front hitch with a carrier and two tubs full of wood, which is enough for a three day weekend.  There’s enough room for a bag of charcoal and lighter as well.” – Rodger Greene, 2004 GMC 2500HD, 2010 Palomino Maverick

“I have a hitch haul that I can put on the front or back of the truck.  I carry it in this.  It’s capable of having enough wood for a couple nights worth of wood.  I put a ratchet strap over the top to hold it in place when traveling.” – Michael Suan, 2008 Chevrolet 2500HD, 2010 Lance 830

“When we take firewood with us (so many places do not want you to carry wood in now), we carry it on a hitch rack on the back.  We have carried it inside before and have had unwelcome guests inside that were hiding under the bark.” – Tom Elliott, 2007 Ram 2500, 1999 Lance 835 Lite

“If we trailer our boat we will lay a tarp down on the floor of the boat and put the firewood in the boat.  If we trailer our Ranger side-by-side, we will pack firewood around it in the trailer.  If we don’t have the trailer, I will put firewood on the hitch hauler on the back of the truck.  I also have a class three hitch mounted on the front of our truck where I can also use the hitch hauler.” – Jeff Baker, 2004 Ford F250SD, 2000 Lance 820

“I also love a campfire, but often find that many campgrounds do not let you have one.  Therefore, to save the weight of carrying the wood, we often bite the bullet and buy firewood at the campground.  It’s not the cheapest solution, but that way we have dry wood when we want it and it saves us from carrying excess weight.” – Charlie Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet DS116RB

“I don’t!  I have never been in a campground that didn’t allow you to pick up dead wood and have never found a shortage of it.  Often times I have to walk and wander a bit but have always found plenty just laying around.  In addition, quite often there is ample firewood left behind by other campers that hauled it in and do not want to haul it out.” – Donald Pryor, 2015 Ford F350, 2008 Arctic Fox 1150

“We tow a lightweight aluminum sport trailer.  If we carry firewood, it will be on that.  Since we prefer National Forest boondocking, we usually rely on picking up wood wherever we may be.  We do carry a Black and Decker 20 volt lithium battery powered chainsaw to take advantage of dead fall.  We bought this after watching a hunting group use a gas powered one in setting up their camp near Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico . It has been very useful, even cutting the locking cable off my trailer’s spare tire after the lock had corroded shut.” – Bill Peters, 2013 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“I am sure it will be pointed out, but I’ll mention it.  Transporting firewood in some areas is frowned upon or illegal.  The spread of the bark beetle out here in the west has created some of those rules.  If I am camping in the main region where I got the wood, then yes, I carry firewood.  I have a big luxury of how I can transport it though.  With the camper on the flatbed I have ample storage along the sides of the camper.  I can easily carry two nights worth of firewood and more if I had to.  We love to winter camp so bringing along firewood is great.

I realize that I am a small percentage of truck camper set-ups that use a flatbed so it is not helpful to the masses.  Maybe it gives just another thought as to why having a flatbed can be great.

If you see us out sitting around our campfire, give a hello, and come sit around our fire with us.” – Rich Bain, 1999 Chevy 3500, 12′ flatbed, 2010 Adventurer 810WS

“I carry firewood for a weekend trip on the hitch hauler.  When mounted in the rear receiver, it fits perfectly under the camper overhang and holds enough wood for about three days of firewood.  When taking longer trips into other states I am usually carrying additional items for the longer trip, so I don’t always carry firewood.  I don’t carry firewood when headed into Canada.  They just take it at the border anyway.” – Pam Conner, 2015 Ford F350, 2015 Arctic Fox 1150

“Having a small campfire later on a cool evening is great.  It’s soothing and creates an amazing atmosphere.  However, as a truck camper enthusiast we are all aware of our limitations to bring everything with us during our travels.  We heat with firewood on the farm, so we are no strangers to fires.  We try not to bring any camp fire fuel with us.  If we are able to get some at where ever we stay for the night (and if we feel the need), that’s what we do.  I would never store any firewood inside your camper as it is usually dirty and can introduce molds and possible bugs into your living space.” – Wes Hargreaves, 2016 Ford F450, 2006 Snowbird 108DS

Lowes Firepit Camping instead of transporting firewood

“We store it inside of a 20 pound propane gas tank.  Seriously, we do this! We recently purchased a Garden Treasures, Portable Gas Firepit for $99 from Lowes.  Veteran’s get 10% off with ID that says Veteran on it, like my Georgia Driver’s license.  This fire pit has many advantages over a traditional wood fire.  The biggest advantage is that fuel for the fire is almost always available unless we forget to fill up the tank.  Second, wet wood is a thing of the past.  Third, no more smoke following the bad people sitting around the fire pit or those that have smoke allergies like our daughter.  A wood fire with its attending sparks on a windy, dry day potentially setting off brush fires is a thing of the past (with this setup), as is leaving a smoldering fire pit after retiring for the day or going hunting in the early morning hours.  The Portable Gas Firepit works at home, too, on the deck and at tailgate parties.

Many state park campsites ask that wood not be brought in for fires and that local wood should be burned.  If you have seen the affects of the Southern Pine Beetle on our woodlands, you will see the wisdom in this request.

The only disadvantage that we can find is that one is not supposed to cook over this Firepit which I believe, but I’m not 100% sure of, is due to drippings clogging vent holes.  In a pinch one could surely heat up a pot of stew or boil water for the making of grits.  The instructions specifically call for the use of a twenty pound propane tank with measurements of 12 inches (diameter) by 18 inches (tall), which should not be a problem for most folks.  Why they have this rule is a mystery to me unless maybe it has something to do with pressures coming out of the different size tanks.

I mean after all we are roughing it smoothly in our truck campers, are we not?  Just saying.  A real wood fire is still an alternative if that is what floats your boat or keeps you warm.” – Robert Morrissey, 2011 Ford F350, 2012 Lance 850

“We carry one box of firewood in the rear seat area of our truck cab.  The box is smallish (about 17 inches x 12 inches x 10 inches) and has a cover. This is enough wood for a fair sized cooking meal or a small recreational campfire.  We are not into the gigantic bonfires you see around some campsites.  We are more into the KISS system of camping.  We also carry a folding bow saw so we can take advantage of local sources of firewood as they present themselves.” – Arn Chamberlain, 2000 Ford F-250, 2004 Palomino Maverick

“No firewood.  No campfire. The amount of wood left in the USA and Canada is very limited.  Furthermore it creates pollution, and if you have a nice campsite neighbor that burns plastic you have poison in your nostrils. You will also have headaches and sinus infections that will follow you for life after that experience.  Sorry if we blow your smoke off.” – Jake and Sylvie Mathis, 1994 Dodge Ram 2500, 2003 Northern Lite 9 QC

“I have a receiver on the front of my truck where I mount a cargo basket.  I fill that with split firewood and secure it with tie down straps.” – Chuck Botwin, 2014 Ram 3500, 2013 Lances 855s

“Moving firewood has helped to spread tree diseases/pests throughout the country and is banned or at least frowned upon in some places.  We liked Canadian Parks where you pay a little more and get firewood with the campsite.” – Bruce Ostermann, 2015 Ram 5500, Eagle Cap 1165

“Usually I carry firewood in a double trash bag in the boat on the trailer.  If I’m not taking the boat, I keep it along the bed rail side spaces.   I carry a splitting maul and wait until camp to split it up.  It saves lots of space!” – Greg Sellers, 2002 Ford F250, 1980s Sun Lite

“We carry firewood in the back of our towed vehicles; a 1973 Ford Bronco or 1998 Suzuki Sidekick.  When we reach our boondock camping location, we dump the firewood to make room for our two dogs and go explore the local area.” – Scott Elliott, 2007 Ford 3500, 2013 Chalet TS116

“It’s illegal to import firewood into most of the states where we travel.  This is due to potential spreading of Dutch elm disease and emerald ash borers. We buy firewood at the campground where we’re staying.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

“I store firewood just in the back door of the camper.  I usually put up something along the cabinetry to protect it from being rubbed during travel. My camper is the pop-up style, so I usually don’t get in it when I stop at rest stops.  Ideally I would like to get a hitch rack and store it down there.” – Charlie Spear, 2011 Ford F250, 2006 Hallmark Ute

“We do not travel far if we’re carrying firewood due to restrictions many parks have.  When we do, we place it in a large plastic bag and carry it inside our camper.  If we’re traveling a long distance requiring overnight use of the camper we purchase wood near or at the site.” – Richard Ward, 2006 Ford 250, 2007 Arctic Fox 990

“I use Action Packers for my firewood.  I have several options.  I have loaded my Yakima box full of kindling (not strong enough though for the big stuff).  For regular oak or pine I am using Action Packers with wood that I have cut to 14″ to maximize stack-ability within each box.  Front hitch or rear hitch baskets are great, but if you don’t have those available, then these boxes slide nicely through the back door, centered up on your floor. When you get to your destination, it’s pretty easy to slide them out and with the lids they come with.  That way it is waterproof, if needed.  The only other option is the extra/crew cab if your truck has it, or pull a trailer.  I have been known to load up my drift boat with four or five Action Packers for a long week of fly fishing.  Good Luck, Elquin!” – Kevin Eliseo, 2006 Ford F350, 2006 Lance 1055

“Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services prohibits moving firewood throughout the state because of tree-killing insects and pests in parts of the state.  They could spread to unaffected areas.  So I take a small electric chainsaw and pull wood in from the nearby woods and cut it up.  It doesn’t make much noise and in ten or fifteen minutes I can usually cut up enough wood to last me a long weekend.” – Fred Patterson, 2013 Ford F350, 2002 Lance 1161

“I have begun carrying artificial logs in the camper because many places don’t allow firewood to be brought in.” – Howard Bisco, 2015 Ford F250, 2014 Palomino HS6601

“Most of our camping is done in Wisconsin which requires you have firewood purchased within ten miles dependent upon the area.  I have been purchasing kiln dried firewood and the rangers have said that it’s okay.  I carry it in the camper or the truck, even though that is not my first choice. We have contemplated adding a carry all to our hitch to use with our generator and firewood in the future.  I am hoping someone comes up with a wonderful suggestion.” – Rickey Werner, 2012 Ram 3500, 2005 Lance 981

“I used to carry firewood, but in the Pacific Northwest, it’s frowned upon due to bugs, beetles, and disease migrating from one area to another.  They want you to buy local wood.  I don’t see it emphasized down here in Arizona, so it might just be a local area thing along with Canada.  But, I would carry in a plastic bin or plastic wrapped (bought in a big roll) like they do at the stores and carry it on the outside (flat bed) or wherever I can. Usually I will buy it local for ease and support the local community, but I’ve got to say that some love their wood.  It can be a few bucks more.  What’s camping without a campfire when you can?  Fun.” – Frank Poole, 2016 Ram 5500HD, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“I built a rear deck off the rear hitch.  It makes getting in and out of the camper easy.  Plus, it’s storage for my grill and wood.  Lance has an extension for towing.” – Paul LaMonte, 1999 Ram 2500, 2005 Lance Lite

“Without the boat, firewood goes on a cargo carrier on the rear hitch.  With the boat, it goes in the front hitch on the cargo carrier.  The bikes move to the rear with a double stack receiver.” – Ben Ballard, 1999 Ford F250 SD, 2016 Palomino SS-550

“Firewood is carried in plastic bins that used to be used for recycling.  I often carry them on the flat rear floor of the truck, where I removed the seat.  If I have the interior full of paddling gear, then I carry the firewood on a rear hitch rack.  When I used to haul a trailer (either for a 4×4 or kayaks), the firewood went onto the trailer deck.” – David Schmitt, 2007 Ford F350, 2014 Four Wheel Camper Grandby

“I carry a small amount in the camper.  I know you said you did not want to carry it inside.  I keep it in two plastic Rubbermaid totes with lids that seal tight.  When I arrive at my campsite the totes are placed outside the camper.  It’s not the perfect solution.  Frankly, the only thing that my wife and I don’t like about the truck camper solution is a place to keep firewood.” – Brian Medley, 1992 Ford F250, 2004 Lance 835

“When camping at the beach, I have a large rack mounted to the front of the truck which is big enough for a generator, a couple coolers, and an adequate supply of firewood.” – Jason Cain, 2011 Ford F250, 2011 Palomino Maverick

“Campfires are a wonderful part of the truck camping experience, but we must be careful so that we don’t unintentionally move dangerous pests that can infect and destroy trees.  Visit this Don’t Move Firewood website for more information.” – Bill Heatherly, 2015 Ford F250, 2015 Hallmark Milner

“We take firewood in our military surplus M101 trailer.” – Mike Kolinski, 2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Hawk

“I have a storage compartment mounted on my rear hitch.  Inside this I have a cardboard box about 10” tall x12″ wide x 24″ long.  I stack cut-off 2×4 boards or any scrap lumber in this box.  When full, it will supply wood for several campfires.  As it is lumber it can be transported anywhere without fear of spreading tree diseases or parasites.  I usually have some one inch stuff along to split up for small kindling.  We don’t require a big fire.  We just love the peace of sitting around the fire in the evening.  Often when in national forests or BLM areas, I use a bow saw to cut some wood.” – Dan Forry, 2004 Ford F250, 2006 Palomino 1251

“In the old days, when it was legal to transport firewood more than 25 miles, I would put it in a large plastic box and put it on the floor of the truck camper.  I would remove it as soon as we arrived at our one day drive location.  If we traveled multiple days, like going out west, we did not carry firewood.  We would just buy some from time to time.  Yearly, I would spray the inside of the large plastic container with Ortho bug spray, just to protect our forest and to kill any bugs we were carrying in the wood we were transporting.

I believe now that it is illegal to transport fire wood in most states and for a good reason.  As you travel, you will see many dead trees caused by bugs. Please consider leaving your firewood at home and saving our trees.  This is going to take everyone’s effort.  Thank you for considering this.  I love fires every night just like everyone one I know.” – Tom Bender, 2011 Ford F250, 2009 Sun Valley Apache Chief 8.65 WS

“Most of the time I use a portable fire pit and a bottle of propane.  It’s very nice and simple, but has its drawbacks.  It works well and is nice that you simply turn it off once you are done for the night.  A five gallon bottle will last two to three hours each night for four to five nights.  While it looks great, it doesn’t really put off that much heat.

When we are cold camping and we need a very warm fire, we use whatever we can find along with the store bought fire logs that burn for two to three hours (for each log).  They are packaged.  Simply start one corner with a lighter and it will start almost anything.  We use that as the base of the fire and then use whatever we can find around to help keep us warm.” – Neal Haymore, 1990 Ford F250

“I usually just buy a $4 to $6 package (good for one night’s fire pit) at the camp store if one exists, so there’s no transport necessary, even though carrying it to the campsite is sometimes a bother.  If I do bring a similar product from home or scraps of my own making, I may carry the package behind me in the extended cab portion of my truck.  I have also lashed a small amount between the camper’s bumper and roof-access ladder.  When the trailer is along there is always somewhere to stash a bit of firewood.” – Mark Obert, 1999 Ford F250SD, 1999 Lance 920

“I carry firewood (where legal) on a hitch hauler that fits on the rear below my camper overhang.” – Rick Guffey, 2012 Ram 2500, 2013 Hallmark Everest

“I can store about twenty pieces of wood in my wheel wells through openings on my camper’s walls near the floor.  I also carry more on a front mounted cargo carrier.  It’s enough wood for a couple few nights.” – Dean Bartolucci, 2014 Ram 3500, 2004 Lance 821

“I’ve added a front mounted 2″ receiver, and use a hitch mounted cargo carrier with a plastic tote loaded with firewood that’s strapped down to the carrier.  I am sure that others will point out that many places now forbid bringing in out-of-area firewood.” – Ken Sanders, 2011 Host Everest

“We don’t carry wood.  Wood smoke is a real problem for my wife, and I have smelled like a ham enough for one lifetime.  Please, when you are done with your campfire, dump a bucket of grey water on it, and let us open our windows.” – Tom Scholtens, 2010 Silverado 2500HD, 2013 Bigfoot 10.4

“We never carry firewood for several reasons.  First we rarely camp in established campgrounds, so starting a campfire is not advisable.  Second, they are dirty and a hassle if you are cooking on them.  If we do want to enjoy a fire and maybe roast some marshmallows, firewood is always readily available.  If there’s no firewood, then point your camera to the sky, play cards by candle light, or just sit in the dark and listen to nature.” – Bruce Heimbigner, 2013 Ford F-550, 2013 Phoenix

“Most parks in Canada don’t allow you to bring wood with you.  With the wood comes invasive bugs like the pine beetle.  Buy the wood at the park. They can use the money.” – Neil Harmer, 2014 Chevy 1500, Palomino Maverick M800

“I have a front and rear hitch as well.  Usually the wood is in a couple of plastic bins on the cargo platform in the front hitch since the camper overhangs the rear hitch.  If I have the trailer with the boat, I put a couple of bins full of wood in the boat.  Last year, over the 4th of July weekend, I pulled a 6′ x 8′ utility trailer full of wood to the campground where a group of us were staying.  We had bonfire type campfire burning most of the weekend, as I took the better part of a cord of firewood for the three day weekend.” – Scott Johnson, 2014 Ram 2500, 2014 Camp Craft Lighthouse

“I have a 6’x2.5′ rack on the front of truck, that I can carry ten to twelve milk crates of wood.  I don’t have the rack on for short trips.  I have a cabinet shop that I get clean milled hardwoods which can go in truck camper or truck being their bark and bug free.” – J. Kevin McCarron, 2013 Ford F350, 2013 Northern Lite 10-2 CDSE

”We pick up dead wood where we find it, we carry wood in a rack mounted on the hitch receiver (front or back of truck), or we carry it in a trailer if we’re taking the ATV / six wheeler.” – Klaus Jager, 2014 Ford F350, 2007 Lance 1131

“With the use of a dual hitch extender, a MaxxTow model MT70070, and the use of a Carpod carrier model M2200, you may have enough clearance for a ball and hitch.  Double check all clearances first, before purchasing.” – Glenn Johannessen, 1979 Ford F250, 1993 Lance 880

“I am always pulling a 16′ V nose trailer with ATVs, so firewood is carried in a very large Rubbermaid container in the V area of the trailer.  The container keeps the firewood clean, dry, and on the trailer where it belongs. I’ve seen too many chunks of firewood laying in the road ready to take out a tire/wheel from folks open carrying on receiver racks.” – Allen Jedlicki, 2012 GMC 2500HD, 2014 Wolf Creek 850SB

“I do not take firewood with me as it could be infected with some disease.  I take a cordless sawzall with a tree pruning blade and cut up dead wood and branches already around where I am camping.” – Mark Burrell, 2004 Chevrolet 1500, 1970s camper, unknown make or model

“I have an old Sears travel pod (Thule made) mounted on the roof rack.  It’s large enough to carry two or three gunny sacks (yes, old potato sacks) filled with cedar and pecan wood.  I also carry BBQ briquettes, a BBQ, a shovel, and miscellaneous stuff.  I use a ratchet strap or nylon rope wrapped around the bags to lower the stuff to the ground.  If I take my Jeep with me, it rides on my 16′ utility trailer to which I have a truck box filled with firewood.  I still have room for a few other items, if needed.

My camping stuff keeps changing so I adapt as needed.  The pecan comes from the slash piles I get after I trim my Pecan trees.  Since my wife doesn’t like me using the fireplace, I have almost two cords of very well seasoned wood and half a cord to be cut down to size.” – Harry Palmer, 2008 Dodge Ram 2550, 2008 Lance 915

“Rather than carry firewood, I carry an axe, hatchet, and a couple of wedges for splitting logs.  I can see the need to transport wood as well, so looking forward to the survey responses!” – Jim McIrvin, 2015 Ford F350, 2012 Lance 1191

“I obtain oak board end cuts from a local sawmill and then saw them into 1″ X 1″ X 12″ pieces.  I stack them in a plastic tub that goes on my rear hitch rack, which keeps it sealed and dry.  This serves as my kindling and to supplement my true firewood.  Here in Ohio we have had bans on transporting firewood from one county to another and from across state lines due to the ash bore ($5,000 fine).  So, when I’m going any distance I just purchase firewood from near where we are camping.” – Matt Arnold, 2013 Ram 3500, 2012 Northern Lite 10-2 CDSE

“Camping within a few hours of home is still transporting firewood.  Huge tracts of forests have been wiped out by wood-devouring pests in our country.  According to the website, “As a very general rule of thumb, 50 miles is too far, and 10 miles or less is best.  Visit our state-by-state map to help you figure out how far is too far in your area.”

And “even the experts can’t always see a couple of pin-head sized insect eggs, or a few microscopic fungus spores, in a pile of wood.  These tiny threats are enough to destroy an entire ecosystem.  Never assume wood that looks safe is okay to move.  It is next to impossible for anyone to inspect firewood that closely.”  So please follow the slogan, “Buy it where you burn it.” – Anne Marie Lewis, 2013 GMC Sierra, 2013 Eagle Cap 850

“I carry very little firewood, just enough to cook on, in a Sheetrock bucket or plastic bin in the truck.  It’s not really for romance, just cooking.” – Bruce Gamsby, 2008 Tundra, Lance 825

“We normally camp where firewood is available, but we find it is often poor quality, so we bring some good firewood from home for starting fires.  We carry our firewood in a tough Rubbermaid type container sized to just fit down the isle of our camper.” – Tricia Mason, 2009 Ford F350, 2008 Montana Ponderosa

“We are careful to abide by regulations about transporting firewood across state or county lines where prohibited.  That said, we do occasionally move firewood from campsite to campsite within a forest jurisdiction.  In most cases it is a partially used bundle that we bought at the campground.  In those cases we re-tie the bundle and put it just inside the rear door on the mat we use on the ground below our steps (plastic grass).

That keeps most of the mess corralled.  If we anticipate needing access to the camper during that trip, we have put a partial bundle on an old plastic table cloth on the floor of the camper in an out-of-the-way corner.  We also carry a three to four gallon plastic bucket for assorted uses and while traveling we use it to store a bundle of newspapers, lighter stick, and kindling wood.  We like Fat Sticks from L.L.Bean.  We can easily carry the bucket to the campfire site and store it under the camper in wet weather. We have, on occasion, stacked several pieces of split wood in the bucket.” – Dave and Carolyn Thalman, 2013 Ram 2500, 2013 Northstar 850SC

“I keep wood in a Rubbermaid trash can with a lid. It stays just inside the camper’s door or it’s tied on the rear receiver carrier.  If I pull the boat, I put the trash can in the boat.  That’s usually enough wood for three nights of fires.  If I’m camping with others, they bring some as well.  Otherwise, we buy it from the camp host.” – Marvin Awtry, 2000 GMC Sierra, 2000 Lance 915

“We bring Swedish logs in the camper that we buy at Publix here in Florida.” – June Omeara, 2014 Ford F250, 2004 Lance Lite 815

“We use a flat platform that fits into to rear receiver and acts as an extension for the trailer.  It holds about 200 pounds of stuff; wood, fuel tanks, bikes, or whatever.” – John Desjardins, 2008 2500HD, 2002 Globetrotter

“I have a large hockey goalie gear bag.  It holds two to three nights of firewood.  I store it in the back seat of the truck.  It takes up about a third of the seat.” – Doug Bacon, 2001 Chevy 2500HD, 2002 Lance 820

“I use military water proof bags (rucksack liner) to carry bundles of about 50lb., stuffed anywhere I can find room, in the truck or camper. They are tough, pliable; guard against damaging equipment, and help to keep things clean.” – Mark D, 2012 F350, 2010 Northern Lite

“I have an old canvas mail bag that I found at a yard sale.  It holds enough firewood for at least two nights.  I also use a 25 quart plastic storage container for kindling, newspaper and lighter fluid.  It fits quite easily in the back seat of our quad cab.

However, if I’m bringing the sailboat I put these heavy items in the boat.  If I had a motorcycle trailer I would build a storage box on the tongue to carry such items as firewood.  If I was pulling a Jeep I would put the firewood in the back of the Jeep or go to Harbor Freight and buy an aluminum cargo carrier and plug that into the two inch receiver and carry firewood behind the Jeep.  Of course, the logical way is just to buy the firewood at the campground if it’s available, alleviating all that extra weight when traveling.” – Roger Odahl, 2008 Dodge Ram 3500, 2004 Eagle Cap 950

“I carry my firewood in liquid form.  No, I don’t mean “fire-water!”  I use my on-board liquid propane gas to fuel a Fire Dancer Portable Campfire.  There are other portable LPG campfires on the market, but for thrifty gas usage and realistic flame pattern, as well as compact size and weight, this one beats the others I’ve seen by a country mile.

As purchased, the Fire Dancer has its own regulator and connects directly to a propane tank.  I wanted to use the low pressure (already regulated) auxiliary outlet on my camper instead of messing with a separate tank or disconnecting/reconnecting lines.  I eliminated the stock regulator and had a local propane shop make up a special long hose with proper quick-connect fitting to mate up with the outlet on my camper.

Granted, it’s a smaller fire, but with much of the charm and none of the hassle or negatives (firewood, smoke, sparks, ash disposal, startup and cool-down time) of a wood fire. And, it’s perfectly legal to use anywhere a gas grill is allowed, even though regular campfires might be verboten.  We’re very pleased with our instant, anywhere campfire.” – John and Marylou Wells

Truck Camper Chooser
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