Rocky Mountain National Park - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-16-2003, 09:36 AM   #1
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Rocky Mountain National Park

We are planning a trip to RMNP in early September, and are starting to make the plans. As I research campgrounds, I've found that the sites within the park have neither electric nor showers. With all due respect to the boondockers, I don't think this will work for my family for a week. I've looked for some private campgrounds, but am finding that they charge about $25 for two people, and $3-5 per additional person. This is pricey.

Can any of you wonderful people point me towards a really nice campground adjacent to RMNP that has at least partial hookups and is reasonably priced? Estes side or Grand Lake side -- either is ok. I'd probably prefer the west side, as it's quieter.

Thanks for your help! I've not been to RMNP since 1984 (back in my backpacking days, when hookups were scorned...), so I'm excited to get back there.



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Old 07-17-2003, 06:34 PM   #2
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The Rockys

:r Hi Paul, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think you're going to be hard pressed to find anything close with full or close to full hookups at lesser prices. I've stayed around RMNP on the East side and those prices are pretty good. Have you considered buying a Gen Set and providing your own power? It might be cheaper in the long run and give you more flexibility for several years to come. You could always go to a dump station every few days if needed.

I live in Aurora, CO and will be up that way in a couple weeks and if I find anything else out, I'll post it. Come on out, September should be a great time but it will be cool in the evenings for sure.

Later,



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:33 AM   #3
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Keith - Thanks. Yes, I'm considering a genset, but my water-heater is electric only, and I think that would push me into a larger genset than I'd be able to afford. I love the Honda EU series, but realistically I'd be looking at a $149.00 eBay special.

Cool evenings are right up my alley. Makes the campfire feel better, and we can always snuggle, right?

Let me know if you stumble across anything. Thanks again.



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:43 AM   #4
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Whoa!

Missed this thread, Paul.

I'm sorry!

Hey, we've gone to RMNP a whole bunch of times ... and usually stay inside the park at Moraine Park. You can make reservations online. No services ... but there's a dump station, so you can tote a blue tote over every couple of days.

On the "quiet" west side, you have Winding River RV Resort, which is a full service RV park, actually inside the west gate of RMNP, although the park is a commerical campground. Full service abound, as do water/electric sites. Lots of good quiet hiking on the west side of RMNP ... make sure you visit.

On the Estes Park side, the closest park to the gate is Elk Meadow (I think that's what it is, anyway ... used to be called Blue Arrow)

Interestingly enough, last year, at the National Casita rally, we were part of a group of 40 trailers that caravanned over Trail Ridge Road ... first staying at Winding River on the west side, and then splitting into two groups on the east side (sissies who needed power and real campers who dry camped inside the park).

Generator/Solar/ or a couple of three Jump-It's would see you through a week in early September of dry camping. You'd be able to run your furnace a couple of times in the morning to warm up.

There's a place in Estes Park called "Dad's Laundry and Showers"
where you can do your wash and take a shower at the same time. People have been known to strip, put all their clothes in the washing machine and go take a shower ... however, I'm not recommending you do this.



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:46 AM   #5
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If you do go to Winding River, and want a water/electric site ... reserve site 53. It's a nice site, in the woods ... although you have no view of the mountains.

Winding River has some side/by/side full sites in the back with spectacular views. But, you're side by side with the big rigs.



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:50 AM   #6
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>>water heater electric only

Paul, a coffee pot full of boiling water, over a campfire or cook stove, poured in your trailer sink becomes a very effective (abeit water-sparse) bath tub!

Very efficient for a military style (PTA) shower ... reheat another pot for the next person!

Where there's a will, there is a way.

And remember ... Dad's Laundry and Showers in Estes Park!

No need for one of those expensive, noisy (keyword: noisy) generators.

Generators are for rich people!



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul E Henning

I'm considering a genset, but my water-heater is electric only
Paul, we used to have electric only water heater, so when boondocking we just heated a little water on the stove, mixed it with some cold in a gallon jug and had pour over ''showers.'' Works fine - good enough that you're not averse to that snuggling, at least. (Way less hassle than a gen set, too!)

:wave Have a great trip!



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:52 AM   #8
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hahahahahah

I beat Mary to the punch about using a pot of hot water!



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:56 AM   #9
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WEll, smarty pants, we don't use the sink! WE stand in the shower, so there. My idea's different.

But, you guessed correctly: I never would've seen your post if you hadn't pointed it out.



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Old 07-18-2003, 11:58 AM   #10
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Thanks, Charles. I was hoping you'd pipe up. I have two other dependencies on electric: One is for heat. I don't have a furnace, so my heat source is a ceramic heater. I could use my Coleman catalytic tent heater, I suppose, but my wife's nose is a whole lot more sensitive than mine, and she might not like it. I could also just kick on one stove burner real low, and heat the camper up in a hurry, although that's not my preferred method.

The other is my sleep apnea. I use a CPAP machine, which requires electricity. It is supposedly specifically designed to be able to run off of an inverter, but I can't imagine that I can carry enough battery for a week of running that 8 hours a night. One or two, maybe. So, I'll check into Winding River again.



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Old 07-18-2003, 12:03 PM   #11
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Yes, heating water on the stove would work, and in fact I've done it many times over the years, but you've got to understand -- I just put a GREAT DEAL of work into designing and building a new stand-up shower in Osmo, and I've just GOT to use it! :r I've used some of those public bath-houses over the years, and to be honest, after I'm done showering, I'm usually not quite sure if I'm clean or not. Strange that I get that feeling in private establishments, but usually not in state parks. Don't ask me to explain, because I can't.



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Old 07-18-2003, 12:08 PM   #12
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>>kick on one stove burner

Arghhh! No! Please don't try this idea for heat! Way too dangerous!

>>CPAP machine

There are several here on fiberglassrv who use those machines. Hopefully they'll pop in with how they do it.

One of them dry-camped with us at Moraine Park last year ... but I think he had multiple battery packs and also a Honda generator.

Since you need power, I'd stay at Elk Meadow at Estes Park, just outside the entrance to RMNP.

http://www.elkmeadowrv.com/map.asp

The campground is wide open ... for a reason ... you have drop dead views of the mountains.

And then tow your trailer up and over Trail Ridge Road to the west side, and stay at Winding River, which is just inside the West entrance to RMNP in Grand Lake.

http://www.windingriverresort.com/



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Old 07-18-2003, 12:10 PM   #13
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>>new stand-up shower

I dunno Paul. I'd just have to wait to try my new shower, rather than get a generator... but I really dislike generators.

But, you win because of the sleep apnea. You do either need a (quiet, please) generator... or a campsite with electrical hookup.

:cheers



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Old 07-18-2003, 12:27 PM   #14
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Well, IF I get a generator, which is far from certain, you can rest assured it wouldn't be for powering my CPAP. The CPAP is supposed to help me sleep, but even with a Honda, I'd just lie awake all night thinking about all the gas I was burning up. It would only run to (sorry, Charles) heat up some water in the water heater (takes about 20 minutes), and to recharge the battery for another night of CPAP. But, truth be told, it would be a lot easier to just stay at a services campground. I'm just not liking the price.

I agree, Charles, that using a stovetop for heat is pretty iffy, and I'd only do it if I had no other heat available, and only for a few minutes while I was still aware that I'd turned it on. I'd have a big pot of water on top, too, to cover the flame. But, as I said, it's not my prefered method.



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Old 07-18-2003, 12:57 PM   #15
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Shoot, Paul. Our trailers are so little that heating the water for coffee warms up mine enough to take the edge off the morning nip... One trick is to sleep late... but then I like to get up and build a little, early morning campfire. (Then, the trailer being too cold is Skip's problem, not mine... but, I know your mileage may vary.)

Anyway, you'll have a great time, no matter what. Enjoy your shower, and all the rest of it!! :wave



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Old 07-18-2003, 01:09 PM   #16
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My wife hates the smell of coffee (this is one area where I will never be "one" with my wife!), so I'll be limited to heating a pot of water. :) My blood sugar drops way low by morning, :zz and I have a hard time getting out of bed if it's cold. Once I'm up and have some food in me, I can handle the cold just fine, but first thing in the morning is rough.



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Old 07-18-2003, 08:57 PM   #17
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Dang, I'm sorry

:o :o :o
Dang, I'm sorry everybody. I meant to say QUIET Gen Set in my reply to Paul. I read all of Charles' posts about the Jerks with Gens before I went back to Paul's string. I am with you all on the ''Don't understand idiot insensitive people'' business. The ones who will make excessive noise in a campground are the same ones who will let their kids go wild in a restaurant or sound like the ''thundering herd'' when they are above you in a Hotel. I just spent 3 nights in Farmington, NM underneath some of those jerks. I even thought I heard an Industrial Strength Generator running up there, Charles.

Paul, the only other thing I can think of is for you to buy about 2 miles of extension cord and run it out into the woods. :lol :lol

Seriously, I empathize with your situation and hope you can find an acceptable solution. It sounds like Charles has a lot of good tips for you and I am going to even check some of those out myself.

If you need anything while you are out this way, I'm available.

Regards,



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Old 07-19-2003, 09:24 PM   #18
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Well, Charles, our vacation hinges on your trusty database of campsites - we are booked into site #53 at Winding River for September 7 -11. They seemed very pleasant on the phone. Thanks for the information.

Keith - my wife has an autistic brother who lives in a home in Littleton. I've never met him, but we plan to take one day (probably the 9th) to run down into town to visit him, visit Red Rocks, and have dinner at Casa Bonita (where I got severe food poisoning last time I was there - the evening before our wedding. Now there's a story!...) So, we'll be right in your neck of the woods.

Thanks for all the help, folks, and Mary, you'll be glad to know I'm foregoing the generator.:) Personally, I'd love to have a generator, and I think generators are wonderful things (we lose power a lot here at home), but like so many things, they are wonderful only in the right context. I'm really not sure I'd ever feel comfortable running one in a campground.



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Old 07-20-2003, 08:41 AM   #19
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Keith ... you realize that Winding River is near the West Entrance to RMNP ... at Grand Lake.

Are you going to spend any time on the East side?

It's about an hour or so ride up and over Trail Ridge Road ... which connects the two sides.

How are you going to approach RMNP?

If you are going to approach from the East ... I'd stay a night or two at an RV park in Estes Park so you can explore the east side of RMNP ... and then pull your trailer up and over Trail Ridge Road to Winding River near Grand Lake, where you can explore the west side.



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Old 07-20-2003, 08:44 AM   #20
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Site 53 is a nice quiet, isolated site. You'll enjoy it!



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