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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you made your plans for camping this year yet?

Last year with dh only working 1/2 of a year we did no camping. I missed it terribly.

So this year he is back working full time. I am planning camping trips. Don't have the final plans done yet. But have my ideas.

Like to see what everyone else is doing this camping season. Our season here in PA runs from April till November.
 

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We will be up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for 8 days/7 nights this year,

I haven't booked it, but I did talk to them on the phone and we can have whatever week we want in July and August. I'll figure it out by Friday and book it this weekend :D

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I made a list of attractions we want to see while we are up there... I'll make another post about it when we know for sure when we are going.
 

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We are planning a 1.5-2 week circle tour of Michigan, staying mostly in state parks. We'll start on the east side, then head up to the UP, stopping at the Soo Locks and Pictured Rocks, then on to Houghton, then the Porcupine Mountains. We'll head down the west side and then back home.

This is a hard year for us, camping-wise. Typically we go to Fort Wilderness in Disney World every year, and we won't be going this year. We had hoped to do a long trip out east to Maine and PEI, and that's not happening either. Instead, we're saving to buy a new/used car (with cash)....we need the car, but I'd rather have the vacations, LOL!
 

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DH is planning on going this year with is brother and the twins. I want him to go with Grandpa and all three boys also. I don't have nothing to do with camping other than buying food and the requested items.
 

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No plans booked yet but I'm itching to get stared. Sept was our last trip and it feels like it's been forever. We could camp year round here if we had a camper but with a tent the nights get too cold.

We have been saving our pennies and looking around for a camper. Hopefully this year will be the year we get one.
 

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We love camping....

middle of may until the end of september is our season...I will get three weeks off starting mid june and then get two week mid august......but we plan on going quite a bit even while i am working....we don't go far but we absolutely love it....
 

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We have a vacation trailer on the Ohio river in KY. It is a mobile home and it is open from april to october. We only pay 500 dolars to camp that whole six months! Definitly worth it. We love it and my whole family (aunts/uncles/parents) all stay at the same campground :) I also want to camp at an amusement park at least one weekend (tent) this summer :)
 

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I would do the MI tour in a heartbeat. Love it... Heather, are you near Madison, IN? Love that area, too. Ohhh camping.... The camper is still asleep with fresh snow on it. I've started my camper box (foil, bags etc), so I'm in the mood & ready to go! We're going for 2 wks to IL. We'll be visiting the Springfield area, Lincoln museum etc and that's in May. A few days to Bowling Green, Ohio in July. We always go in Sept for a week-?. In between-where ever life takes us. :sun:
 

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I live in Michigan and have already booked our Memorial weekend, July 4th and Xmas in July caming trips....its gonna be a GREAT summer for us!!
 

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We're planning a week in the Black Hills and a week in northwest Minnesota and the International Peace Garden in North Dakota a couple months later. We're also planning some long weekends with friends closer to home.

We camped forty nights last year and towed our pop up over 9,000 miles. This year we're sticking closer to home and camping less to focus on some of the neglected home projects that didn't get taken care of around here last year.
 

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We are planning a 2 week trip. We are planning to hit yellowstone and the grand canyon. Would love input from anyone who has camped in these areas :)
 

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We stayed at Madison campground as it seemed to be the most centrally located for what we wanted to see. Expect a lot of backtracking, as there are no direct routes to all the points of interest in the park. Madison was at a lower elevation so it was warmer than some of the other cg's. There aren't any showers there, but they do have flush toilets. No power anywhere but the cg at Fishing Bridge, and they don't allow tents or pop ups there. It's a good idea to make reservations as the most popular cg's fill up fast. If you have a large rig, good luck because there aren't many large sites. Ours was typical.

The only way we could get our rig on the site was to back the truck up almost to the slide dinette on the back side of the trailer, and hang the back bunk over the grass. All wheels must stay on the pavement, and they're not kidding about that either. As you can see, the sites are very close to the road. (The dogs are on six-foot leashes.)

If you don't have a hard side camping rig, plan to keep ALL food and toiletries in your vehicle. They will give you a long list of things you can't have in a tent or pop up when you check in and they're not kidding. There are bear boxes but they're not very plentiful and not on the sites that we could see. We kept everything in the back of the truck, which has a hard top on the box (Chevy Avalanche.)

Expect gridlock everywhere you go, so allow plenty of time to get anywhere. Also, the worst drivers on the planet will be there, and a whole bunch of them are in rented RVs they don't know how to drive. Among them are a bunch of people who aren't from the US and may not be familiar with our driving laws and/or able to read signs posted in English. It's frustrating, but try to remember they're guests in our country and treat them the way we'd like to be treated if we were to visit theirs. Yellowstone really is unique in all the world, and it's no wonder so many people come from abroad to visit there.

Pack your biggest bag of patience and dip into it often.

We spent one night at Mammoth campground the night before we left the park. Beautiful! But too far from most sights to be practical for the entire stay.

West Yellowstone, Montana, is near the west entrance and not a bad drive from Madison cg, maybe fourteen miles. We used the laundromat there, bought groceries (two stores, both WAY small and WAY expensive), used the library computer, and also bought way too many tee shirts at a tee shirt place there. It's by far cheaper than shirts in the park, and the staff was highly entertaining as well. The name of the place is Yellowstone Outlet.

Groceries were also way cheaper in West YS than in the park and so was ice. We bought a deep cycle battery at the NAPA store there and the price was not out of line.

The entrance fee to YS also covers Grand Teton.

All the national parks have excellent websites that give a ton of details. There are also webcams at places like Old Faithful.

I read on the camping forum I frequent that showers cost $2 for, I think, six minutes. We were glad we had added a shower to our pop up. It came in handy, worked great, and saved us money.

Don't leave your specially-purchased, 4-gig, $10 apiece camera cards at home on the headboard of your bed. :( We ended up paying $25 for a 2-gig card in the park, and were grateful to get it at any price.

We used a car charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter in the car and has a standard two-slot jack like a wall outlet at home. It worked great for charging small stuff (cell phone, Nintendo DS, etc) while we were on the road, which was 8-10 hours per day inside the park. Mostly we used it to charge camera batteries so we always had fresh ones. They are available in the park at twice the price you can get them at home.

If you're coming in through Cody, Wyoming, there is a Super Walmart that's handy for stocking up on groceries on the way to the park.

Come prepared for very changeable weather, and dress in layers everywhere you go. It can be sunny and warm one minute and windy as heck and cold the next. Literally! Be prepared for chilly weather overnight, too. We didn't run our furnace in our trailer except to take the chill off a couple mornings. The coldest it got in the trailer was 38, so not bad. We always have extra comforters so were toasty in our bunks.

If you're planning to run gas appliances at the park, keep in mind you'll be at elevation which can affect things. Our furnace was reluctant to light. Our water heater lit just fine, but wouldn't stay lit unless we left the door open. Our portable gas grill wasn't as efficient as usual. Etc.

Speed limits on the park roads is a max of 45, but you'll frequently be stuck in traffic or held up by bison jams. Our eight-cylinder gas hog truck got twenty mpg while we were in the parks. We drove over 800 miles during the six days we were there, so plan for extra gas money just for getting around the park.

If you plan to buy lots of souvenirs in the park stores, buy the membership in the Yellowstone Association as soon as you get there. It'll save you money in the long run.

If you bring huskies along and/or have a license plate from a state that people recognize as having a world-class wilderness destination, add extra time for people from all over the world to pet the huskies, have their pictures taken with them, or chat you up about your state. For us it was one of the most fun parts of our trip. We also learned we need to carry along tourism info from our town to avoid writer's cramp from giving people tons of URLs so they can look up the info they quiz us about.

Always keep a camera handy.

That's all I can think of offhand. If you have more specific questions, fire away.
 

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Wow, great info. Thanks.

We are looking at a tent trailer which we still have to purchase. Yellowstone is somewhere my DH has always wanted to go.

We camped in the Redwoods last summer and it was awesome :)
 

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I invite you to check out the forums at Pop Up Explorer for any and all info you might need regarding pop ups.

There's a lot of info there about camping at YS, too. Forum members were very helpful to us last year when we were planning our trip and worried about various things.

Pop up camping is about the cheapest way to travel and still have some creature comforts and conveniences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I invite you to check out the forums at Pop Up Explorer for any and all info you might need regarding pop ups.

There's a lot of info there about camping at YS, too. Forum members were very helpful to us last year when we were planning our trip and worried about various things.

Pop up camping is about the cheapest way to travel and still have some creature comforts and conveniences.
We had a pop up camper for years. We had 4 kids and we use to take my fil with us also. I loved the pop up much better then sleeping on the ground in a tent.

Now we have a travel trailer. That is like a hotel on wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Where did you camp? Any tips?
I am on the east coast. We camp in NJ, Maryland, PA, etc. Gettysburg and Lancaster County are my 2 favorite places to camp.

I plan my meals for camping and take almost all my food with me. That way I don't have to worry about finding a grocery store or the prices.

I take my laptop with me(most campsites have free wifi). I plan my day trips ahead of time. If you want to go to amusement parks try to hit them on a Tuesday or Wednesday--less people.
 

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I felt like an idiot for all the food I took when we went to Wyoming! It seemed stupid to haul all that along, and if we had taken our van with its lower tow rating, I wouldn't have. But the truck has towing capacity for days, so I just threw in all the food I thought we'd need. We actually bought very little, but of course needed ice and some fresh things like milk and veggies. I was glad I had brought so much when I saw the prices at West Yellowstone! Although since we live in a tourist town ourselves, we understand they need to make their money during the short summer season to sustain themselves the rest of the year. But having the food from home did save us a considerable amount of money, so that worked out well.

Storage space is also an issue when you can't keep food in the trailer in grizzly country, so that can be a limiting factor.

Our first RV was a travel trailer. It was big enough to sleep all ten of us, if our three boys slept on the floor or in a tent. We never really liked towing it although we loved the trailer, and after the kids moved out, we bought a motorhome. Then gas prices went to $4/gallon, so we ended up not using it much. The same year, we bought a small pop up and really liked that, especially after driving in pouring rain and a strong headwind across North Dakota. It would have been torture to have either the moho or the TT on that trip! But our little pop up behaved nicely, no sway or any other problems. It didn't have any options though and it was small, so we bought the giant economy-sized trailer we have now, with every possible option. (Yes, we're spoiled.) We drove to Michigan to get it, and still saved thousands on it so it was worth it. It's been a great trailer so far.

We're thinking about retirement in a few years and debating what type of rig we'll want for that. We live in northern Minnesota, and most of our long trips involve driving long stretches of interstate across the Dakotas. High wind is common there. Consequently, we don't want any kind of full-height trailer. We also don't want the hit in gas mileage we'd have to suffer by going back to a full-height trailer, and we never want to own more than a half-ton truck. Right now we're looking at A frame hardside pop ups or possibly a TrailManor. As gas prices go up, it's going to be interesting to see what kinds of lightweight rigs the RV industry comes up with in the next few years.

We're looking forward to traveling to Maine and the maritime provinces at some point, and seeing places in between like PA. It would take all five weeks of vacation though, so we're not willing to give that up right now, since we prefer to take long weekends here and there throughout the year with a couple of week long or two week trips thrown in. So that might have to wait till we retire.

We prefer state and national park campgrounds, most of which don't have wifi although that would be nice sometimes. When we're someplace like YS we're not 'home' much anyway, so no time to spend on the computer, really.
 

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I do a lot of backcountry camping through the entire year. I actually prefer winter camping to summer camping. Already been out twice this year, although I haven't been able to convince my wife to brave the snow and cold yet. I want to do a couple of overnighters yet before the ground thaws. First family camping this year will likely be taking my daughter into fish camp again. Boat trip down an isolated river in the middle of nowhere with a few friends to catch some tasty walleye. She had a blast last year, there were a few girls close to her age in camp. She caught more fish than I did.

Summer family camping in a *shudder* campground will be a family gathering in Spruce Woods (in Manitoba) in July. That will likely be all the "family" camping I will get to do unless I can convince my little girl to come out with me more.

As far as tenting goes... One thing I started doing that I will never NOT do again is sleeping on a cot. Walmart or Canadian Tire sells cots for around $30 (probably find some thrift store deals or online even cheaper) and I find them SOOOOOO comfortable to sleep on, so does my wife. Completely enhances living in a tent. Plus you have storage underneath for all of your bags and gear. Much better use of space.

If it wasn't for stupid work, I'd probably be camping now. I can't wait to get out again.
 
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