Hi! Iím Mary Jo with Comet and Blackie - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-06-2020, 04:28 PM   #1
MJo
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
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Hi! Iím Mary Jo with Comet and Blackie

Iím waiting for my 13Ē Scamp to be finished and deciding whether I want to make the trip to MN from Cape Cod with my dog. Can anyone tell me what itís like to go to MN and pick up their Scamp? Thanks, Iím looking forward to my first Scamping trip. MJo
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Old 09-06-2020, 05:07 PM   #2
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Name: Karin & Don
Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13Ft
Maine
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Mary Jo, My wife, our 2 dogs, 2 cats and I drove from northern Maine in June 2012 to pick up our 13 foot Scamp. When we arrived they showed us how all of the systems worked, such as the stove, the water pump and the Fantastic fan (which was what they installed at the time). They also hitched everything up for us and showed us how to do it properly. Everything that is in our Scamp will run off of battery or propane, since we do not have an ac unit. It took us a few days to get there, but after getting our trailer, it is well worth it. By the way, we still have our Scamp. Don
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Old 09-06-2020, 05:48 PM   #3
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
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I have pulled U-Hauls, years ago and I do drive a lot. But, coming back with the Scamp, planning where to stop, etc. How many hours did you drive each day? U-Hauls only went 45 miles /hour, what was your average speed? I have good tires and my old trusty 16 year old Volvo has been checked out. What did you learn? Any advice? thanks for your reply, MJo
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:15 PM   #4
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Hi! Iím Mary Jo with Comet and Blackie

We drive 55-65 mph towing the Scamp on open highways and interstates. For planning purposes I allow an average speed of 45 mph, including stops and other delays... Iíd limit daily miles to 300 or so, less if youíre on secondary roads or headed through major urban areas with traffic. If I had the time, 150-200 miles a day would be even better, but until Iím retired, that probably isnít happening.
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:23 PM   #5
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Name: Karin & Don
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Maine
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Mary Jo, My first thought is to not be in any hurry. That being said remember that you have a trailer behind you. It is so light, that you forget that it is there. I don't think that I drove for more than 6 hours a day. We did have to eat along the way. We did not plan on any specific place to stay. Mostly we stayed at truck stops (Love's are great) but not on the big rig spaces. Most have double spaces in front that you can stay at. Stand alone Cracker Barrels are another place to stay the night, as are Cabella's. Most Walmarts will let you stay overnight, but with all of the one's I mentioned, I will ask if it is alright to stay overnight, as some cities have laws against overnight parking.

If you want to stay at a campground (which we didn't at that time) I would suggest signing on to Good Sam and go to find a campground. Also KOA has a website and you can find campgrounds that might be along the way. Others will chime in with their ideas. Don
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Old 09-06-2020, 06:40 PM   #6
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Name: Mary Jo
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Massachusetts
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So you just found those places and pulled in? Did you feel safe? Iíll have to look into it. Iíve camped with my sons, years ago. This is so different from going to a campground at Mt. Blue in the 60ís with a tent. Does anyone at Cabellaís or Walmart or other places have night watchmen? do the police come and ask you what youíre doing? I have a lot to learn. Where did you stay where there were other people around all night? Which route did you take? Did you go through Canada or south of Michigan and then north to MN? I will go the MA Pike and NY Thruway, Would you mind emailing me a copy of your map? Maybe. Iíll calm down once I get on the road, I hope so. Itís amazing how much more daring I was when I was younger and was responsible for my 2 sons. We camped in Canada, Maine, went to VA. Iím not a ďnewbieĒ in traveling, I was a Navy wife. but somehow this is different, with a Scamp.
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:06 PM   #7
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Name: Karin & Don
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We always stay where somebody is open 24 hours. we used the Mass. turnpike and the NY thruway. We have found that the service areas on most tollroads are excellent overnighters, except for Ohio. They charge you to overnight . We always feel safe if there are plenty of people around. We have never had any problems or encounters with police. If it doesn't feel right, then we move on. we also sometimes pay for a night in a campground. Areas with a lot of truckdrivers always seem safe to us. We also keep the speed down to no more than 65. We're retired, no hurry. When will it be ready? Anticipation, we only had to wait 3 months. Karin
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:26 PM   #8
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
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Nick at Scamp said they were starting to build it in late August and that it will be ready some time late Sept or early Oct. I work part-time writing reports for the court so I have to squeeze the trip in and keep due dates. So, I’m not ‘retired’ but I am a senior citizen. Were you able to chart your course before you started out? Is it easy to plan where the overnights are? I like to plan ahead as much as possible especially with a “maiden voyage.” I tire sooner than I used to but I hope to be able to drive 4-5 hours a day or the trip will take so long that’s why I’m looking for the shortest route and mostly on major highways. How did you manage with cats (litter boxes?). Blackie is in his 20’s so I couldn’t leave him in a kennel. I have a station wagon, so I guess I’ll put a litter box in the back. Shipping for the Scamp would be $2000. I’m glad you still have your Scamp, I’m so anxious to open the door and try it out. I don’t have an a/c either, I got a pretty basic unit.
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:52 PM   #9
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Name: Karin & Don
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Maine
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Mary Jo, we did not plan our trip in advance, as I was not working at that time. You should have a litter box for the cat in the car. We have the front bath model, but have never used the toilet, so we keep the cat box in there. If you have a GPS then use it, as it will take you to the most direct route, and you can locate services area, truck stops and Walmarts along the way. We always travel with our dog and cat (we lost one dog and one cat since we bought our Scamp) and we love traveling with our animals and they love it too.

I don't remember the route we took after we left the NY thruway, but we followed the GPS and we were able to get there. It took us about 3 days to get from home to Backus.

Maybe we should be PMing each other after this. Don
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Old 09-06-2020, 07:56 PM   #10
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Name: Steve
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NW Wisconsin
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Minnesota is a beautiful state especially in the Fall
With the warm days , the cool nights and the colors of the Fall foliage it is a great time to enjoy Minnesota
Be aware that about October 1st many private campgrounds in the upper Midwest close for the season . Minnesota , Wisconsin and Michigan State Park campgrounds are often open but the bathrooms , showers , and dump stations may be shutdown .
Not trying to discourage you but weather can be a factor in the Midwest in the Fall
We are already getting highs in the 50’s with lows in the 40’s with frost just around the corner

If your new Scamp doesn’t have a furnace , I suggest you bring an electric heater or a warm blanket or sleeping bag and a good jacket
Sitting around the campfire a night can get a little nippy .
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:32 PM   #11
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
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whatís ďPMing?Ē. I donít have a furnace. I will put a comforter on the bed. If I had to I could check into a Holiday Inn, they take animals. I thought Iíd bring an electric heater, but Iím concerned about the draw on the Scampís battery ? I read that the car charges the battery? I will bring a warm coat. I got the front bathroom also, I like to be able to lock up for the night. By the way, thank you both for being willing to have this conversation. I havenít told my sons about buying the Scamp. They should be Ok with it. (I was a Navy widow when they were babies but Iíve been able to cope, raising them and working.). I think getting the Scamp is branching out. I didnít think about the cold, I should have, Of course, my dog is a bassett/chow mix so heíll be fine. Iíll bring Blackieís teepee so he can be cozy. Did you say it took you 3 days? I think I would get to the NY Thruway in 3-4 hours, once I get on the Mass pike, things go fast, Iím just not familiar with the rest but if itís highway, should make good time. Are there rest stops and restaurant/gas stations stations on the highways or do I have to pull off into towns? I just realized itís getting late, so maybe I should stop for now, please know how grateful I am for your willingness to speak with me about all of this, take care, MJo.
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:41 PM   #12
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There is frost predicted for Backus Mn on this coming Tuesday morning , which should do wonders with the mosquito population .
Got to think positive.!!
An electric heater will require utility hookups
Our first FG trailer , a Scamp 16 did not have a furnace but it did have the A/C electric strip heater . Worked remarkably well in temps down to 0 deg F
I wouldn’t expect any three dog nights in Minnesota till the middle of November.
Minnesota , Wisconsin and Michigan have way side rests with heat and indoor plumbing.
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:47 PM   #13
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
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Yes, positive is good. Well, good mosquitos are going. Weíve had a problem in MA with the equine encephalitis mosquitos. the state has established a spraying program. I think there have been 3 cases. I spent time in Grand Rapids, MI when my father was in WWII, I remember the big bugs on the screen door at night, and mosquitos. thanks for the information, its been so hot here, I didnít think about how the evenings in WI will be getting cold. MJo
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:10 AM   #14
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You want to plan your trip. There apps you can use to help with this but to get started I suggest a simple spreadsheet.

1. Create a spreadsheet with columns for day, miles, overnight locations, comments.

2. Google maps works quite well for finding campgrounds. I use wikicamps and ultimate campgrounds also, which help with free overnight places and campgrounds.

3. Create a page for food, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and animals food for each day. Try to pack enough food for the entire trip if you can to avoid covid exposure. We typically start our trips with cereal for breakfast, sandwich stuff for lunch and individual packed meals for dinner with some of them frozen. Chili, stews, etc. work well for us. Don't forget water.

4. Create a page listing all the other things you need/want to bring like clothes, bedding, dishes, silverware, hygiene, etc. This makes it easy to pack when you are ready.
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:36 AM   #15
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
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thank you, I never figured out ďspread sheetsĒ but I do do lists, thanks for the advice, I was wondering how Iíd do meals especially. how does cooking work? I am getting 2 filled propane tanks, I am wondering what will use them and how soon they will need to be refilled.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:00 AM   #16
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With a new trailer, do you have any meaningful long distance towing experience? How about camping? As far as UHaul "speed limits", I see plenty of them marked 45 MPH going 70. Its more of a recommendation. Note, I would NEVER go that fast towing a U-Haul trailer. No thanks!

I'd make the first day extremely short, like 100 miles or less, with an RV campground as the destination. Maybe even as little as 50 miles, so if you need to return to the factory, it will be easy.

On route planning, be sure to consider time of day as you pass through certain areas, and avoid some of the biggest cities if you can (Chicago). My basic strategy is to end my day PAST a big city, so I start the morning and don't have to worry about rush hour. On the other hand, I tend to travel late. So if you don't travel late, do just the opposite. Stop a few hours BEFORE a major city, figuring you will start out in the morning, say 10AM, and by the time you reach that city, rush hour is over. Again, avoid Chicago, there are plenty of routing options around it.

Making good time comes LATER, after you have had experience camping, towing a trailer, monitoring speed, etc. Do you have towing mirrors? If not, get them now. Google will provide ample advice on tow mirrors, no need to go in detail here. That is an entire discussion in itself.

Asking a seasoned towing road warrior vet how many miles a day and how fast they go can be misleading. Matching their speed and endurance can be stressful.

I would give Scamp a quick call and see about a furnace. Furnaces in campers are very useful, particularly for someone who lives in the northern USA.

Anymore, 90%+ of our camping has no hookups, which means relying on propane to run a furnace and refrigerator become very important.

Two propane tanks: we took a trip to Alaska, a month long. Ran the refrigerator on propane the entire trip, and used the stove top and furnace on propane too. Used less than one tank of propane on the entire trip.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:08 AM   #17
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NW Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by MJo View Post
thank you, I never figured out “spread sheets” but I do do lists, thanks for the advice, I was wondering how I’d do meals especially. how does cooking work? I am getting 2 filled propane tanks, I am wondering what will use them and how soon they will need to be refilled.
Since you don’t have a furnace , 2 tanks of propane will probably take you well into next Summer . The refrigerator when on propane uses very little gas .
You can turn the WH on when you need hot water and shut it off when you don’t , so again not a lot of propane . The cooktop obviously only uses fuel when you are cooking , so again limited usage

IE : Our 1999 Scamp 16 had 2 full tanks of propane when we bought it
Two years later when we sold it , one tank was 25% full and the other was still 100 % full.

A big concern is keeping your trailer battery charged up
If you run your refrigerator on propane while traveling and your vehicle is set up to charge your trailer battery or you camp at a site with utilities ,you should be fine

We are “SOUTH “ of Backus Mn and our high today is supposed to be in the low 50’s and the lows in the upper 30’s so the use of water , onboard plumbing systems in your Scamp will be determined by the weather.
We just carry jugs of water in our vehicle and use public restrooms facilities , when traveling/ camping in cold weather .
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:05 AM   #18
MJo
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
Posts: 69
Hi! Thanks for your email. Yes I’ve towed U-Hauls VA to MA and driven a lot in the US. I hadn’t thought of the mirrors but I’ll look in to it. I’m used to big city traffic but I know there will be ‘challenges’ so I’ll try to stay in my lane and not make any sudden moves. I’m so lucky to have everyone giving me tips. I have had 2nd thoughts, both about buying the Scamp and taking the trip to get it. All this information by people who’ve “been there,” is so helpful. Thanks, MJo
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:09 AM   #19
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Name: Mary Jo
Trailer: 2020 Scamp w/2004 Volvo XC-70
Massachusetts
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Thanks again. I think I’m fairly frugal but I don’t know what that means in using propane and batteries to live with. Your comments help me think about it. Thanks Steve.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:39 AM   #20
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Name: Karin & Don
Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13Ft
Maine
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Hi again. just a couple of comments about some of the responses. Of course it's up to you but we never run propane while we're driving. it's an unnecessary risk. The fridge stays cold for that amount of time and we turn it on again when we stop. Also we have never felt we needed tow mirrors for our little 13 footer. I do agree that it's nice to have a furnace. If you don't have a heated garage to store it in, you'll want to be ready to winterize and get a cover if it'll be outside. (scamp does sell them). The people at Scamp will be happy to show you how to use the appliances and give you any help you need. and of course have fun, make sure your traveling companions shots are up to date (especially rabies and bordetella), and of course have fun. Oh and there's a fb rally in NH every May if you can make it. Fun checking out everyone's trailers and meeting other fiberglassers. Karin
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