Question for you 1-3 week fiberglass trailer vacationers - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-11-2008, 08:31 PM   #15
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That picture was taken in MN along either the Mississippi or St. Croix River. The location could be anywhere. Im going to guess southern MN.

Or

Up and around Two harbors/Grand portage area, in that case, I don't know what body of water it is.

How far off am I?

MN is correct. It's along the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway in Superior National Forest. MN has some nice views too.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:43 PM   #16
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MN is correct. It's along the Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway in Superior National Forest. MN has some nice views too.

So my 2nd guess was close. Still, they are not mountain! Thanks for sharing the picture, Very nice. I have driven that road. I see you are from OR. When did you visit our Beautiful state? - and did you make the trek with your camper?
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:50 PM   #17
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So my 2nd guess was close. Still, they are not mountain! Thanks for sharing the picture, Very nice. I have driven that road. I see you are from OR. When did you visit our Beautiful state? - and did you make the trek with your camper?
OK, I have to admit I lifted that picture from the Superior National Forest web site. I haven't manage a real visit to MN just a short stop over or few at that airport. (Min/St. Paul)
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:52 PM   #18
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In answer to your original question...

I have done both, and regretted it each time

Last year, on the way to the Oregon gathering, I reserved each site on my route...on the way up. I ended up leaving one day early, so that ended up blowing all my ressies. I managed to find places to stay, some even at where I reserved, but I found that my mood did not match my route, and ended up driving for TOO long on one day, and not long enough another. I also chose spots based on pictures and the one that was most promising ended up being the worse camping experience I have ever had. The other places I was at were just overnites of no particular memory.

On my way back, I had no ressies, played it by ear and found one of the most pleasant rv campgrounds I have ever been too. I wish I had planned better (See, I told ya) because I wanted to stay an extra day, but the site was already reserved.

I also ended up at one place I had to bypass on the way up, but had no trouble getting in the second time. They even honored my paid ressie from the week before.

I am not going to reserve this year, however, I will do a little more research into whats available.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:06 PM   #19
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:42 PM   #20
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In past crossings of the vast middle of the country, I had been lucky using the AAA Campbooks to find campgrounds enroute. Lot of the time I would call ahead while driving (maybe 1 or 2 hours before stopping) and book a site over the phone. If you don't need a 100' pull-thru site with 50 amp electric and sewer, you usually make out all right for a 1 night stay. I can almost always get a "back-in / water & 30 amp only" site on 2 hours notice. Then while I am signing in, the clerk is turning away folks in Bulgemobiles who just walk in asking if anything is available. It takes us 6 days to drive from San Diego to Syracuse, and I haven't been turned away for a 1-night stay yet. Major destination stays (like 5 nights at Bullard's Beach for The Oregon Gathering) require major-early reservations, however.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:01 PM   #21
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The important thing is to do your home work. Since I live in Oregon I can tell you bit about things here. Any State Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day generally will require a reservation. Week-ends are often booked 9 months in advance. Most Forest Service campgrounds along the coast fill up for the week-end by Thursday noon. However, if you look a bit inland there's lots of places in NFS and State Forest Lands that usually have a space. RV parks are like Motels. If the No Vacancy sign is out got to the next one.

To further avoid the crowd and the congested camping go farther inland. Skip I-5 and go all the way to hwy 97. (assuming a north, south trip) There you'll find numerous FS campgrounds, and dispersed camping sites within a few miles of the highway. One Labor Day week-end we pulled into a campground that had 2 empty sites, all week-end there was at least 2 sites open. Labor Day week-end is a very busy week-end.

Armed with this kind of information about any area one should be able to find someplace almost anytime to camp for the night or 3. I've been reading Forest Service camping information for northern California, it doesn't take long to weed out the places to avoid.

The other important thing is be flexible. If one place looks too busy, full, or undesirable, move on. Don't be too picky about the exact site, but look at the area as a whole. Some real gems are found that way.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:26 PM   #22
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One thing I have noticed in my Full-Timing years is that there are getting to be fewer dispersed sites in some NFs, esp Back East. The FS rolls big rocks to block the back roads and then have regs about camping within X feet of a road, so the wide spots are off limits.

It often pays to find the headquarters or a ranger station and ask about dispersed camping, because they know they aren't likely to have to clean up after you (which is probably why they close off so much to begin with). I make it my policy, besides keeping a clean camp, to pick up trash and litter, esp when the camping is free.

I have also found that it's best not to move between campgrounds later than a Wednesday during summer and esp on holiday weekends, although Sunday afternoon is not a bad time. Likewise, if there is water (lake, pond, creek, etc.) stay away from it because the Party-Hearty folks are drawn to it...
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:49 PM   #23
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Yep, especially down here.. if there is a dribble of water.. the campgrounds are full of cretins.

My favorite place here has:

No bodies of water within 20 miles. (There is a stream WAY down in a meadow, but ya gotta hike to it)
No hook ups
Pit toilets.
No motorcycles or off road vehicles allowed.

Pretty much limits it to those the camp because they LIKE to camp, and aren't looking for a gathering spot or cheap alternative to hotels.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:57 PM   #24
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Concerning the Forest Service blocking dispersed sites, I've seen a couple here in Oregon, but not many. Usually it because the quads and motorcycles are tearing up the place or shooters are leaving a huge mess. Last summer I did notice an interesting "change of heart" or such. In many of the common dispersed sites the FS is putting steel fire rings with cooking grates. In one 5 mile stretch of road I counted about 8 brand new fire rings. Maybe there's hope yet, eh?
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:06 AM   #25
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As we have a preference to knowing where we are going to be shacking up, we ALWAYS, Always, always make reservations WELL in advance. We go so far as to keep the little campsite maps that are often given out to help you find your spot. We use this in the future (if we want to return, or show others where to go) to make reservations. If we like a certin site, we make note of it OR other sites in the park we may have discovered on a walkabout!!!

It seems to me that the Trailer Goddess and myself seem to be in the minority on this site as to the type of campsites we frequent, favoring KOA's and some State Parks. We choose these places mainly because they seem to have standards which need to be maintained and as 'they' say: "The Best Surprise Is NO Surprise".

This season (2 weeks starting July 3th.) we plan to stick close to home, or at least up here in the sPacific North Wet.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:08 PM   #26
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Concerning the Forest Service blocking dispersed sites, I've seen a couple here in Oregon, but not many. Usually it because the quads and motorcycles are tearing up the place or shooters are leaving a huge mess. Last summer I did notice an interesting "change of heart" or such. In many of the common dispersed sites the FS is putting steel fire rings with cooking grates. In one 5 mile stretch of road I counted about 8 brand new fire rings. Maybe there's hope yet, eh?
When they don't have enough resources to clean up, the solution is make it off-limits. Really glad to hear about the fire rings!!
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:53 PM   #27
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I'm headed to the Great Lakes this summer for just about 4 days short of a 3 month trip. My first 4 and last 5 days are simply travel days to great across some vastness that holds no interest to me. W/M, Flying J's will be fine.

Since I have never been to MN, WI & MI I have a route that I'd like to be on because of all the things I'd like to see. I have reservations 3/4 of the time, mostly at SP's with w/e. That is because of the locale I'll be in and the things of interest. In addition, I'm apt to have to leave Lily in the Scamp with the A/C on if it's too hot and humid to take her along with me on a day trip. July 4th is also a biggie for reservations.

During the period of time that I have no reservations I may just stay at Elks clubs, WalMarts or Casinos parking lots and drag the trailer behind me during the day. I won't be in populated areas where I might have to worry about a parking space big enough for the Jeep and Scamp. Then, I may just find some nice campgrounds tucked away as well. We'll see.

I've done quite a few trips of length and like to "wing it" but sometimes can't. You have to think about where you're going and what you're really going to be doing.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:57 PM   #28
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The dispersed site here have always had fire rings. It discourages folks from building ground fires. They may be doing this as a "lesser" than two evils, self protection thing.

The first thing they do when we go on high fire danger here is literally lock down the rings and only allow fires in hosted campgrounds.
Doesn't mean stupid folks WON'T build a ground fire, but it keeps honest folks honest.

Not all "Yellow Post" sites (What they call the dispersed sites here) have tables tho.
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