2014 camping plans
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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Default 2014 camping plans

    Has anyone else started making reservations?

    All we have on the books so far is our trip to Yellowstone for the rally this summer. We haven't even booked the other sites we'll need for the beginning and end of the trip. We're just not sure what we're doing yet. We did the recon trip to Idaho to look at potential retirement communities, but for one reason or other we've concluded we don't want to move to any of them, although we're reserving the right to change our minds at some point. But since we don't need the vacation time to look at more retirement places, we can't decide where else we'd like to go or even which route we'd like to take. We may detour through southern Wyoming to see some of the historic sites we haven't seen and didn't have time for last trip. Husby is lobbying for the Golden Spike NHS in Utah, but I don't think we'd have time, plus it's so far out of the way. I'm sure we'll figure it out eventually.

    Aside from that, we're thinking about Door County, Wisconsin, again. Or maybe the UP in Michigan where we haven't been. Someplace fairly close, a short trip that we can make in a week, so that means places within about 500 miles.

    Anybody else warding off the winter doldrums by thinking about trips, equipment mods, camp foods, and other summery subjects?

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    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Just looking forwArd to May long weekend as that's the start of camping season here. We will be at our lake lot as usual- my happy place.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We're hoping we can do some weekends near home, too. We live in a camping paradise here and haven't camped locally in years. Dumb!

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    So funny you started this today. I was running a couple of errands..and was thinking about reservations as I drove. Thanks for the reminder, I would have forgotten.
    My daughter and I are going next month for a week. We go to a state park where they have cabins with heat. It is one of the best weeks of the year for us. She has already started the countdown. We snowshoe a little and mostly just relax. I sew and sew and smile and smile. No phones, no one wanting anything. It is so-o great. It is our "girl's week", not sure if other DD is going as she will have a less than month old baby. Told her she was welcome and babies are portable but it is up to her if she wants to be that far from doctor.
    We camp about 4-6 times a year...I love it. Last year I really got into Dutch Oven cooking..so much that I even did a exhibit for a reenactment this summer. Lots of fun to dress up and cook. All but one thing has come out good. If you camp, I would recommend it, really good food and also fun.

    Off to see about those reservations for summer. Feb. Vacation is already booked and paid for.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I remember reading about your girls' week. That sure sounds like fun. I hope your second daughter can make it.

    I'm a DO cook, too! I've also done demos at state parks and usually do one at our annual rallies. We camp every now and then with people who are past presidents of the Lone Star DO Society in Texas and always have a great time cooking and eating. I haven't had much opportunity to do much camp cooking lately with the long trips we've been doing. We never have that kind of time. I just can't get enthused about dragging out all the DO stuff and cleaning up afterward after spending eight or ten hours on the road. That's another reason it'll be nice if we can do some trips close to home this year. We'd have time to just putter.

    Wish I could get Husby interested in re-enacting, but he couldn't care less. Oh, well.

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    Registered User wunsagin's Avatar
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    I have a vintage travel trailer and am planning on my first solo outing in May. The State park is about an hour from me and at least 55 women will be attending. I have never pulled a trailer before, thinking of having dh tow it down there for me and I 'might' try and tow her home. Depending on how this weekend works out will determine other outings during the year.
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    Registered User Trishagirl's Avatar
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    Can't wait til April going to Jamaica with dh for our 30th anniversary trip!

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Looking forward to trips is half the fun!

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    Registered User photogal06's Avatar
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    We are very likely going to Washington DC for a couple of weeks this summer and spending a little time in the Shenandoah National Park and in Chincoteague to see the wild ponies while we're out there. I haven't booked anything yet, because timing depends on which dance group dd gets into for next year, but we're probably looking at July or early August.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We want to visit all those places too. I've wanted to go to Chincoteague and Assateague since I was a kid and read the Misty of Chincoteague books. But I think we're going to have to wait for retirement so we have more time.

  12. #11
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~Oh yes, I have been planning and making lists all week. The RV show is coming up soon and I've got my eye on a few Trailmanors we may seriously consider, even though they're a bit more than I budgeted. I just want to get camping, and we plan to own it for 10 years or more so the cost difference over that time seems less crazy.
    I made a list of all the State/National parks we can get to in less than 3 hours, 5 hours and 8 hours. These represent approximate distances of 200, 400 and 500 miles depending on the amount of mountainous and non-highway driving. The two lower tiers of travel can be done on a regular weekend at a cost of less than $200.
    Our kids are still pretty young, new to camping and actually like being in the car(within reason)so time on the road as compared to time at a park isn't a big deterrent to where we'll visit. We'll gradually increase our time at each place as they acclimate to the peace and quiet of being away from major civilization and are able to entertain themselves more.
    I didn't even bother looking at resorts and private campgrounds since they cost more, but those are always an option too.
    We have our NJ trip almost all planned already and that will be in August.
    DH wants to take 10 days and go out to CA in May but I haven't budgeted for that. We'll probably put that off until next year so I can save specially for it. The rest of our vacations will be weekend jaunts. I budgeted for the NJ trip(which should cost about $300 less hauling the camper and camping than staying in hotels, plus we'll have our own space and beds when we stay with relatives who do not have guest rooms)and 10, 2-4 day weekend trips.
    I'm particularly excited to visit Mesa Verde(cliff dwellings), the Great Sand Dunes, and the Petroglyphs NP. There are at least 30 places on my list already and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what's "nearby" for us.
    We just plan to use, use, use our camper. It will be packed and ready to go always. I can just grab a cool bag of food, a couple dry bags of food(I'm planning some go to menus now with packing lists for them), pillowcases and sleeping bag liners, and a backpack of stuff for each person and we are gone for the weekend.
    It drives me crazy when I see people who have a camper and never use it. Our older retired neighbors have a 5th wheel. It was gone for about 5 weeks last year, so they at least use it. Our other neighbors(young family)have a high wall pop-up. They used it once last year, on a three day holiday weekend. It just makes me sad. ~

  13. #12
    Registered User Quiltin'Mom's Avatar
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    We haven't had our camper out for 3 years. We have thought about selling it, but it is paid for and fully stocked, pots, pans, table ware, it's not costing us anything to have it. I really thought we should sell it and pay off some debt, but we are getting really close on our debt.

    If we were to get it out this year we would certainly need to do some maintenance on it. So that will cost us some money. Still cheaper then a hotel vacation, I'm sure.

    This last fall we started bike riding with the kids and we are all totally enjoying it. I think biking and camping kind of go hand in hand. We could camp different places and ride different trails for a change of scenery.

    This is a great time to start thinking about the repairs and maintenance that would need to be done. Maybe we can do a little of it at a time and have it ready for spring. THANKS for starting the thinking process.

    We also love to cast iron cook. We are involved with CubScouts and DH and DS go tent camping. That seems so much simpler, but there is something I love about having a bathroom close for those middle of the night needs.

  14. #13
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    There's no way tent camping is simpler than RV camping, IMO. All the loading, packing, unpacking, setting up, moving into the tent, setting up the outside kitchen, taking all that down and reloading and repacking, hauling it home, drying it out, and putting it all away again, no thanks. Nothing against it for people who prefer it, but we're too old and lazy for that now. Not to mention, being up off the ground is priceless. I hope you can get your camper in order and take it out this year. Even if you don't go far, it's such a great getaway.

    Nuisance, your time and distances aren't realistic. A 200 miles drive is about four hours, in reality. Figure around 50 mph and don't use trip planning software times because they are calculated under optimum conditions using the highest possible speed limits. It also does not take into account gas stops, potty breaks, meal breaks, road construction, traffic delays, bad weather, dog walking breaks, and all those fun things. We tow at around 60-65 where speed limits and wind conditions allow even if the speed limit is higher. Using the 50 mph estimate usually comes in pretty close to reality for us, and people on our camping forum say the same. Of course, some people tow at 80 mph and don't care if their rig is swaying like the tail on a dog, but I won't get started on that rant. We'd rather get there in one piece so keep our speed reasonable. Using the 50 mph estimate means we're never feeling anxious or rushed or pulling into a campground too late or driving when we're overtired, which is dangerous, or trying to make up time because we calculated the schedule wrong. If we arrive early (which never happens) it's a bonus, and if not, we're still on schedule.

    I want to see Mesa Verde, too. We love Nevada Barr's national park mysteries and one of them is set there. There is so much of interest in the mountain west. I wish we had more time to explore out there.

  15. #14
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~SD, you're like the wise big sister of the forum always looking out for the rest of us.
    I had actually considered that the times listed on planning software aren't accurate when you are hauling a trailer and I actually did plan every trip at a 50-55mph average depending on how much is highway driving. We will not be going over 60mph top speed when hauling. Trailmanors are beautifully engineered and balanced but I'm taking no chances.
    None of my less than 3 hours trips are actually 200 miles. I just put "200 miles or less" on that section of my list to find locations quickly on a map before calculating actual mileage and times. It made sense to me to group them that way since travel times are more iffy depending if we go N/E/S and it's fairly flat or if we go W which is mountainous and I prefer round numbers. We can go farther in 3 hours when we go East than any other direction because of easy interstate access and lack of big cities. Most destinations in the 200 category are closer to 130-150 and thus fit into my 3 hour estimate.
    I plan trips in ridiculous detail. I just love math! On our 1750 mile trip out to NJ, I was off on times by only 15-20 minutes the entire way. I planned for every bathroom, lunch, gas and park stop. I enjoy the trip so much more when the decisions are made before we even hop in the car.
    That's one of the reasons I'm planning so much now before we even own our camper. I don't want to be a frazzled mom that can't enjoy her vacation. I want to have just as much, and probably more fun, than the kids. ~
    Last edited by nuisance26; 01-14-2014 at 01:12 PM.

  16. #15
    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    Umm yes. Problem is I can't reserve anything yet!! Have to wait another month or so for the online reservations to open. We are planning at least a trip each month from May-sept. First trip will most likely be to Drumheller Alberta on Mother's Day weekend. I'm staying east this spring. Those crazy floods last year happened right in the prime mountain camping areas. I'm a bit nervous about it happening again. We'll go west in the summer.

    Also going back to that beach we found last year. And we might venture to the south of Calgary. No trips out of province this year.

    Pretty excited about going camping with a bunch of friends this year. They have kids the same age. Is it spring yet?

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