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


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Old 03-11-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
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I was wondering,

When warm weather hits and all you small trailer owners decide to hit the road, do you follow an interary and make resevations for places to stay?

Or,

Just hitch up the camper and head out in a direction that sounds good. And if so, How well does/did that work for you? Do/Did you have problems finding campsites available last minute?

And if you have done both, which did you enjoy better?

Cheers,

Mike

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Old 03-11-2008, 10:27 AM   #2
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Granted, I have not yet had this opportunity in my Scamp, but took off for weeks at a time in my VW when I had one. Perhaps its just my personality type but I rarely knew where I would be staying the next night when I woke up in the morning. I boondocked most often so it didn't really matter. I didn't really like the feeling of being by bound a sense of having reservations. I would however have an idea in mind of where the campgrounds were in a general area if i could not find somewhere to pull of into the trees.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:45 AM   #3
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This all depends on what you like to do. If you want hoop-ups, wifi, television, etc. then reservations and itinerary are necessary. I very rarely have reservations. I can count on my fingers how many times we've had reservations and we've spent close to 100 nights in the trailer over the past 2+ years. There's some considerations to doing that, mostly understanding that you will probably have to do without hook-ups. We tent camped and backpacked for 30+ years prior to the trailer and never had a reservation. Most of our camping is in the National Forests, so real boondocking (dispersed camping) is possible.

As far as enjoyment is concerned, we've discovered that often we change our minds in route when do plan on where we're going or when we'll get some place. For us it's a lot more fun to just go in a general direction, and that might even change once underway. We've had some fantastic trips, seen some beautiful spots that way.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:47 AM   #4
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Mike,
Over the years, most of our journeys have employed both methods. It used to be easier to be spontaneous. In today's world, at popular destinations, it can be very disappointing to find "no room at the inn". We usually combine sight-seeing with rallies, and visits with family and friends.
In answer to your last question, an attempt is made to keep our schedule as loose as possible to enable us to spend an extra day or two where ever something piques our curiosity. With the current cost of fuel for our vehicles, it becomes cost prohibitive to find full campgrounds!!! In other words, " you pays your money and takes your chances". We have spent nights parked @ Wal-Mart because 5 or 6 campgrounds were full. Fortunately they weren't our destination, just a place to spend the night.
In the end, the question amounts to....how much adventure can your time and money afford?
Does this confirm your suspicions?

Ann & Kurt K.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:06 AM   #5
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I think alot of it depends on what area you're going to. Oregon is a great state and most of our lands are owned by the public, either Federal or State or BLM. Texas on the other hand has next to no public land. So while Byron can travel Oregon and never make a reservation, those in Texas (etc.) aren't as fortunate.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
I was wondering,

When warm weather hits and all you small trailer owners decide to hit the road, do you follow an interary and make resevations for places to stay?
Oh yes, we have a plan.... with an end destination in mind, and a set time to be there. But with Ms "Always" Right in the copilot's seat, reclined and enjoying life, with many things to see as we find them, the schedule goes out the window....... Soooo, instead of driving like a wild man to make up time, I just put an extra day in front of the schedule and one at the end. (this is just for a 3-4 day trip). This way we can stop and look and rest and drink coffee at our leisure. And on the way back, we can stop at the places we missed.... (I scheduled 7 days for the Spring NOG-- I hope that is enuff time) Life is too short to regret not be able to smell all the roses... Larry
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:41 AM   #7
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I agree with Donna; it depends where you want to go. Don't count on walking into a site in the Canadian Rocky Mtn. national parks without reservations. I did three peak weeks in Washington, Oregon, and California, no reservations (pure luck, I know) and didn't get skunked until I tried to get into Waterton, Alberta, on a Tuesday... I really enjoy the freedom of exploration when travelling, which means you don't always know where you are going until you get there. A little strategy helps; in a lot of places, Sunday to Thursday nights aren't bad, if you just make sure you are spudded in/ or have reservations for the weekend; travel early, don't drive too far, and get off the road by noon. Talk to other campers travelling in the other directions for recommendations. Alternatively, you can make telephone reservations on the fly, for a day or two ahead of time, as the itinerary reveals itself. I am just not organized enough to sew together three weeks of reservations, especially when I'm exploring new ground.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:44 PM   #8
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Great feedback!!! I'm asking because I live in Mn, and camp sites fill up pretty fast here. But you never know when that faithful day will come when I pack the family up and head west on 94. So far, I have always booked sites ahead of time, but the idea of going somewhere free with WIND has always excited me.

Mike
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:58 PM   #9
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Great feedback!!! I'm asking because I live in Mn, and camp sites fill up pretty fast here. But you never know when that faithful day will come when I pack the family up and head west on 94. So far, I have always booked sites ahead of time, but the idea of going somewhere free with WIND has always excited me.

Mike
We make reservations when we camp in state parks in Iowa because they do get filled up easily. when we are going across south dakota or nebraska or into wyoming we have not made reservations and had not had any trouble. the trick we have found is to plan our trips out of state for september AFTER school is back in session. there is lots less congestion after the labor day holidays are over.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:51 PM   #10
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Great feedback!!! I'm asking because I live in Mn, and camp sites fill up pretty fast here. But you never know when that faithful day will come when I pack the family up and head west on 94. So far, I have always booked sites ahead of time, but the idea of going somewhere free with WIND has always excited me.

Mike
You might want to start here. There's two National Forests in MN. If look at the recreation for each you'll find lots of places and ways to camp without reservations. Some of the developed camp grounds don't take reservations. There's also dispersed camping, which can be nothing more that wide spot in old "logging road". Part of the fun of the small trailer is I can still poke around the roads less traveled and find cool places to camp.

Here's some pictures of one such place we've camped at a couple of times. http://camping.kinnamans.net/parks/park_creek.html. One time it was occupied so went on down the road a bit and found another.

I think it's possible to find a place to park your trailer for the night in most of the country. A little homework is required, the free ($12 or less) camping book is also a great resource. There's other camping books about most areas of the country. BLM and Corp of Engineers are a bit harder to find information about camping in those areas.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:55 PM   #11
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Dan has it right. Our last cross-country trip was done in September and October. No reservations, always "room at the inn." We are planning a similar one this Sept/Oct of about 6 weeks to celebrate my wife's retirement.

If you have no reservations it pays to 1) have adequate backup sites identified, 2) have the trailer able to boondock (adequate water, empty waste water tanks, charged batteries, food, etc.) and able to do the WalMart thing if necessary, and 3) plan on getting to your planned campground no later than late afternoon (looking for a campground when it is dark is worse).

This time, a laptop may be of some help for us if our plans change in midstream (and they will, hopefully). Maybe I'll be more used to hooking up to Wi-Fi by that time.

One thing we'll check more often in unfamiliar parts of the country is weather radio broadcasts. We were caught in a couple of horrendous rain/wind storms in the middle of the country with no clue to prepare us.

One plus is that we will have no fixed schedule for when we have to return this time. Helps a lot.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:23 PM   #12
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You might want to start here. There's two National Forests in MN. If look at the recreation for each you'll find lots of places and ways to camp without reservations. Some of the developed camp grounds don't take reservations. There's also dispersed camping, which can be nothing more that wide spot in old "logging road". Part of the fun of the small trailer is I can still poke around the roads less traveled and find cool places to camp.

Here's some pictures of one such place we've camped at a couple of times. http://camping.kinnamans.net/parks/park_creek.html. One time it was occupied so went on down the road a bit and found another.

I think it's possible to find a place to park your trailer for the night in most of the country. A little homework is required, the free ($12 or less) camping book is also a great resource. There's other camping books about most areas of the country. BLM and Corp of Engineers are a bit harder to find information about camping in those areas.


I have a tear in my eye, We don't get camping views like that in MN.
WOW!

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Old 03-11-2008, 05:40 PM   #13
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I have a tear in my eye, We don't get camping views like that in MN.
WOW!

Check this photo out.


[ATTACH][/ATTACH]


Now guess where it was taken.

Clue = State 2 letter code is 13th and 14th letter of alphabet.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:31 PM   #14
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Check this photo out.


[ATTACH][/ATTACH]


Now guess where it was taken.

Clue = State 2 letter code is 13th and 14th letter of alphabet.
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?
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:31 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, 07:43 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, 07:50 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, 07:52 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, 08:06 PM   #19
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:42 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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