First Year Reflections of a Newbie Egg Camper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-19-2016, 01:39 PM   #1
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First Year Reflections of a Newbie Egg Camper

Hi All,

Well, I am fortunate to have nearly three weeks off from work for the holidays (between semesters). Unfortunately, I am in middle of a nasty cold. I don’t feel like doing much of anything productive outside. I got to thinking it might be fun to reflect on our first year of camping with our new-to-us Casita. Here are few of the dates and numbers:

1. October, ’15 – Attended the Land Between the Lakes Egg Rally to check out egg campers. Rather than waiting another few years for our youngest daughter to graduate from college, we decided a used egg camper would be a great way to get into RVing sooner rather than later.
2. November, ‘15 – Purchased an ’05 Casita 17’ Freedom Deluxe. The previous owner was kind enough to make a nearly 500 mile round trip to deliver it to us since we had no tow vehicle.
3. December, ’15 – Purchased an ’09 Kia Borrego V8 2WD to tow the Casita.
4. January’ 16 to March ’16 – Planned trips and bought some camping gear.
5. Mid-March, ’16 – Dewinterized and spent two nights driveway camping.
6. March, ’16 – Spent one night at the KOA in our hometown, which is about 3 miles from our house!
7. April, ’16 – Attended the Townsend KOA Egg Rally in the Smoky Mts.
8. April, ’16 – Long weekend at Levi Jackson State Park in KY.
9. May, ’16 – Attended the RV Safety Education Foundation conference in KY.
10. June, ’16 – 12 Day camping trip from Bowling Green, KY to Lake in Wood Resort in southeastern, PA. Trip included overnight stays in WV, MD, PA, and KY.
11. The final three days of item #10 was at the Eggs A La Bourbon Rally at My Old Kentucky Home State Park.
12. July, ’16 – Long weekend at Dale Hollow State Resort Park in KY.
13. August, ’16 – Long weekend at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in TN.
14. September, ’16 – Attended the 1st Oliver Rally at a Thousand Oaks RV Park just outside of Hohenwald, TN.
15. September, ’16 – Long weekend at Monte Sano State Park in AL.
16. October, ’16 – Attended the Land Between the Lakes Egg Rally in TN.
17. November, ’16 – Long weekend at Natchez State Park in TN.
18. November, ’16 – The weekend before Thanksgiving, I winterized the Casita and put it to bed until March, ’17.

Here is some aggregate/summary information:

A. 38 nights in the Casita, including 2 nights driveway camping. I am counting them as a newbie, but driveway camping will no longer count for me!
B. 4,060 miles towing.
C. 5 private parks and 13 nights.
D. 8 state parks and 20 nights.
E. 1 national forest and 3 nights.
F. 6 states visited staying at least 1 night.
G. Averaged around 13.5 mpg towing (As low as 12.5 and as high as 14).

Reflections:

i. Full-hook up sites are nice, but we like to have at least electric and water. We only have a 10 gallon fresh tank, so it is easy to run through 10 gallons of water. Electric only sites are not our preference.
ii. I don’t like back to back travel days with no rest. There is no time to recooperate or to see anything.
iii. The most relaxing trips are long weekends (3 or 4 nights) to a single destination typically 150 to 200 miles away.
iv. Given that I have 8.5 years to retirement and a very busy 2017, I see us sticking to long weekends of 3 to 4 nights, possibly with one or two longer trips, but staying at least one full day or two before moving on to the next location.
v. We don’t even own a television for the Casita, so we are not dependent on technology for entertainment. On the other hand, we discovered most locations had either no WIFI or it was very weak. Also, cell phone coverage was spotty at best. Given we have aging parents and college aged daughters, I have just ordered a weBoost cell phone signal booster for Xmas in order to have better phone coverage when away.
vi. Again, with aging parents we kinda want to stay within a day’s drive of home, so we will tend to keep most of our trips to no farther than 300 miles away.
vii. We also plan to add an RV GPS system to our travel arsenal as well. Given poor cell phone coverage, we sometimes found ourselves following printed Mapquest directions for the last 10 to 50 miles of a trip.
viii. We have found fellow RVers to be happy and fun. We particularly love Egg Rallies. They are relaxing yet interactive and engaging.
ix. I know many RVers claim that we will own 3 RVs in 10 years, but Laura and I are really happy with our Casita. I don’t see us making any changes as long as I am working (planned retirement of 6/30/2025). Effective July, 2018, I will be moving from a 12 month administrative appointment to a 9 month teaching appointment, so we will have summers off for more and possibly longer trips until retirement.

Plans for 2017:

a. Egg rallies in March, possibly April, May, June, and October (hopefully others).
b. More camping with our family. My brother in MS bought a 2016 Coleman trailer. I have another brother-in-law in NC with a restored mid-1980s Avion 31’ as well as a local brother-in-law that just purchased a mid-1980s Avion 32’. It would be fun to get our four families together on a trip or two.
c. We would like to add at least IN, GA, and NC to our list of visited states.
d. Given Laura and I both grew up in Indiana, we may do a longer trip to IN that will involve visiting the RV Promise Land of Elkhart.
e. I wouldn’t mind doing some beach camping as well in 2017, so that might add FL to our list as well.
f. Goal for ’17 – 40 nights in the Casita.

That is about it. I want to thank the members of FiberglassRV.com for your passion, energy, and guidance since joining the forum in August, 2015. We love our Casita Egg Camper and look forward to a wonderful 2nd year of camping.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, and Happy New Year!

Dean
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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ii. I don’t like back to back travel days with no rest. There is no time to recooperate or to see anything.
Don't travel on Interstate highways and you will see a lot of interesting things around. Yes, instead of 600 miles a day you will travel 200 miles only. Because you will stop often and enjoy looking at things around you.
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:35 PM   #3
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You did the smart thing to do this earlier rather than later. By the time you retire, you will know everything about trailers and camping and you can reassess the situation. Actually, with the speed with which you did all of this, you may be reassessing pretty soon. Besides, one of your relatives is going to want that trailer!
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sokhapkin View Post
Don't travel on Interstate highways and you will see a lot of interesting things around. Yes, instead of 600 miles a day you will travel 200 miles only. Because you will stop often and enjoy looking at things around you.
I guess it depends on where you are going and why. In June, the shortest and fastest way to get from the cool mountains of eastern AZ to the cool beaches of SoCal is the interstate. When it's 110 degrees pretty much everywhere in between, I have little desire to sightsee. It's a grueling drive, but when I sit on the beach the next morning, coffee in hand, the miles melt away!

Sometimes the journey is the vacation. Sometimes you just gotta get there so the vacation can start.

Dean, wishing you many vacations of all sorts in the new year!
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:10 PM   #5
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That is a nice summary, thanks for sharing. You are well organized. I barely manage to record our dates and miles we put on the trailer. However, in order to preserve the memories, I always travel with my camera.
Best Wishes to you too, and Happy Camping in 2017!
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathi View Post
You did the smart thing to do this earlier rather than later. By the time you retire, you will know everything about trailers and camping and you can reassess the situation. Actually, with the speed with which you did all of this, you may be reassessing pretty soon. Besides, one of your relatives is going to want that trailer!
Hi Cathi,

That a universal theme that I have observed amongst RVers in terms of what they would differently: Start Earlier!

Yes, I think we will have good idea of what we will want to do come retirement.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sokhapkin View Post
Don't travel on Interstate highways and you will see a lot of interesting things around. Yes, instead of 600 miles a day you will travel 200 miles only. Because you will stop often and enjoy looking at things around you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I guess it depends on where you are going and why. In June, the shortest and fastest way to get from the cool mountains of eastern AZ to the cool beaches of SoCal is the interstate. When it's 110 degrees pretty much everywhere in between, I have little desire to sightsee. It's a grueling drive, but when I sit on the beach the next morning, coffee in hand, the miles melt away!

Sometimes the journey is the vacation. Sometimes you just gotta get there so the vacation can start.

Dean, wishing you many vacations of all sorts in the new year!

Sergey and Jon,

Thank you! I have gotten more comfortable towing and even backing up, but still have a preference for knowing where I am when traveling, thus we don't really practice much serendipity of getting off the beaten path. As a result, to be honest, I tend to enjoy the destination more than the journey. Perhaps the journey will become more enjoyable once we get more experience and we have more time.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:19 AM   #8
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Hi Paul,

I am definitely guilty of being a little too organized from time to time aka OCD!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:40 AM   #9
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Wow, that was fun reading, Dean! Now you've inspired me to type up a summary our our first year in an egg. I'll be sure to post it when I'm finished tallying the miles.
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:41 PM   #10
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Hi Peg,

I look forward to reading your synopsis! Hey, I notice you have a Scamp 13'. One of our initial plans was to get a Scamp 13' until we realized none of our existing vehicles would tow it. We drive small economy cars. So, since we were going to need to upgrade our tug, we focused on 16' or 17' eggs.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:34 PM   #11
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Great to meet you at Eggs A La Bourbon. Hope to see you next year!

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Old 12-20-2016, 03:21 PM   #12
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Hi Cindy,

Looking forward to seeing Kevin and you again. Hey, we made our reservations for the 2nd Annual Eggs A La Bourbon Rally when we left the first one!

Happy Holidays,

Dean
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:19 PM   #13
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You mentioned Elkhart

The RV museum is very cool RV/MH Hall of Fame - Museum - Library - Conference Center and if it's on your way, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg museum Index | Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:10 AM   #14
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Your summary was fun to read, Dean. I must start taking notes! In the meantime, I am really enjoying planning for our pick-up trip and other possible trip destinations. I hope we can use ours half so much as you did the first year!

And I hope you feel better soon - I just kicked that bug, but it took me 2 weeks. Lots of rest and chicken soup... Best wishes and happy holidays!

V
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