Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: Camping FAQ's

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,473

    Default HOW ABOUT PERSONAL CARE? (Tent Camping)

    HOW ABOUT PERSONAL CARE? (Tent Camping)

    Another thing to think about, if you are tent-camping: showering and clothes laundering. If you are staying in a state or national park and there are showers available, good! But many public parks are not equipped. So you are going to have to choose an alternative:

    Go dirty. (Most people don't like that one.)

    Stay at a motel every 2-3 nights and enjoy a real bed and a good shower.

    Find a campground every few nights that does have shower facilities, and make sure to take advantage. Private campgrounds usually have a shower building!

    Another might be a truck stop, which usually will sell you a shower ($10-15 each unless you buy all your fuel at that brand and build up points – not easy with car tanks, though truckers find it very easy!).

    Yet another choice is to stay with a friend or family member along the way. Just make sure to do something nice for your friend or family member, so they won't think you're staying there for the free bed and free shower! With any public shower, wear some sort of pool or shower shoes.

    Laundromats are often in small towns along the way, and truck stops have them too. Some motels have them, as well. Bring coins or at least cash to exchange for coins, and for purchasing laundry soap. (An alternative to that would be to carry laundry soap in a small plastic dollar-store container. I do that to this day, staying in hotels, as I prefer a certain brand.)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,943

    Default

    An alternative to that would be to carry laundry soap in a small plastic dollar-store container.
    This is where Tide (or other brand) pods come in handy. No liquid or powder to have to deal with.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,532

    Default Living with the basics.

    Go dirty. (Most people don't like that one.)

    Stay at a motel every 2-3 nights and enjoy a real bed and a good shower.
    If you are in the wilderness for a couple of days or more a pack of wet wipes come in real handy for personal care and many are 100% Biodegradable these days.

    Dave.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,473

    Default What do i need to know for the rv rental?

    WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW FOR THE RV RENTAL?

    It only comes with the RV, electrical cord (1), hose (1), and sewer hoses. Some places will include the utility hookups, others charge extra for them. For most, you'll need to get the “linen package”, the “cookware/dishware” package/s, and the “recreational package” (which may include the camp chairs and a small outdoor grill with or without the propane tank). Normally, rental places charge extra for these “packages”. Of course, if you are renting and are close to home, you may be able to bring your own linens, cookware and dishware and not have to pay for these. If you choose to bring your own linens from home, check your bed linen size. Sometimes RV's have odd-sized beds.

    Your fuel mileage will probably not be wonderful, so plan on 5-7 mpg. You will probably be given a certain amount of mileage allowance, and anything above that, a specific amount per mile. It really adds up! (Most times, an RV rental is a lifestyle choice, not a budget choice.) This is all in addition to your rental and package fees.

    Here is an article that one should read before renting an RV:
    Check Out Your RV Rental
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 01-14-2020 at 06:50 AM. Reason: added a link to an RTA article

  5. #15

    Default

    For the personal care - one thing we've had good luck with with a group (so I can't say it will work for individuals but it very well may) is looking for a YMCA type facility.
    They often have facilities with showers (locker rooms for their gym/pool etc.) and may allow you to purchase a shower (generally they've been much less than the truck stop prices listed, more like $2 or $3 a person).

    For those coming from overseas - packing a tent and mess kit should not be an issue, as long as they are in a checked bag (unless it's simply a weight issue)?
    The one place you'd have an issue is with stoves (even without the fuel), so if you are thinking of buying something after arriving, that would be what.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,473

    Default What about the costs for an rv?

    WHAT ABOUT THE COSTS FOR AN RV?

    How big is your budget? If you are planning to purchase, that has to be the first thing you consider. Your second is whether you want an all-in-one unit (motorhome) or if you have a decent tow vehicle and don't mind towing something. Another thing to consider, before a purchase, is where you like to camp. If you buy a long rig, you may be limited in some older public campgrounds that were built before the age of long, long rigs.

    RVs come in a range of prices, too. Generally, motorhomes are the most expensive, with truck campers and camper vans (van conversions) right under them, then 5th wheels, then travel trailers. The least expensive are tent trailers.

    Motorhomes have an engine in them, so it's an engine to maintain. It's also a home on wheels so it takes abuse, it has to! You can buy a less expensive used one, or go whole hog and buy a mansion on wheels. Remember that if you want to go sight-seeing, you're going to have to figure out how. Most folks with a Class A motorhome (engine often in the back, full access to the unit from the driver seat, usually no “cabover”) tow a dinghy, AKA “towed” or “toad”, so that they can flit around national parks, cities, and other places where parking a 30' long vehicle is difficult. Class C motorhomes, which are smaller, are a little easier to get around in, but they still can be difficult to park. A van-conversion is often someone's thoughts for the cross between tent camping and motorhoming, but not really suitable for more than 2 people. Van conversions are often known as Class B's.

    Trailers come in three types, and some hybrids between. The tent trailer, or “pop up”, is a small rectangular prism that's towed down the highway by a 6-cylinder car or van, but pops up into half-trailer, half-tent with a hard top, when you're in camp. The pros: easy to tow, easy to stow when not using. The cons: You can't just jump in there to eat lunch when you're on the road, or if you forgot something. You pretty well have to unhitch in order to “pop up”. It's not easy to keep your possessions safe when you leave it popped up in a campground, either. And you haven't lived until you have experienced a tent trailer in a wind storm!

    The next type is a travel trailer. You've seen these boxy units rolling down the highway. The pros: Easy to drop somewhere while you go out sight-seeing. Easily locked up. The cons: Depending on the weight, you're going to have to have a good tow vehicle. The heavier the unit, the more weight your vehicle has to pull.

    The third type is a 5th wheel trailer. You've probably seen these units rolling, too, with part of the unit and the hitch over the long bed of a pick-up truck. These units have a bedroom over the hitch, usually, but the location of kitchen and the other bedrooms will vary. The pros: Strong hitch, good length, more space for the money. The cons: You HAVE to have a pick-up truck, and it's really best to have a diesel.

    Hybrids include quite a variety. The variation on the pop-up is a hard sided one that lifts into a triangular shaped top. There are travel trailers with pull-out canvas beds – these are made by Forest River, who purchased the Palomino Company (who made tent trailers) and decided not to continue their tent trailer line, so they came up with the travel/tent trailer hybrid to use up all the canvas they inherited.

    Yet another type you don't see very often is the truck camper. This camper mounts on the bed of the pickup truck, but contains most of the amenities of the travel trailer and the motorhome. If you equip it properly, you can remove it from the bed of the pickup and leave it in your driveway (if CC&R's approve).

    Costs of these will vary. If money is an issue, consider a used one a few years old that's been lightly used. Get it checked over thoroughly.

    If you choose to tow, and you want to try to use what you already have to be the tow vehicle: Know your vehicle's weight limit on how much it can tow, hitch weight limit, whether or not it is “trailer equipped”, consider an exhaust brake if your pickup is a diesel, and definitely DO NOT SKIMP on mirrors or radiator fans. Learn how to use the exhaust brake to avoid brake-burnout and a crash.

    Another thing to know about any kind of RV: learn to back it up and to pull it into parking slots, before you leave home on your first trip. A good place to learn is in an empty parking lot, such as some churches on weekdays, or a business that's closed on weekends (and the lot isn't locked up).

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,473

    Default What do i pack for an rv road trip, if i own the rv?

    WHAT DO I PACK FOR AN RV ROAD TRIP, IF I OWN THE RV?

    Everything in your regular pack list would probably be pertinent. In addition, you should have the required bedding (sheets, pillows and cases, blankets), cookware (pots, pans, dishes), dish cleaning equipment and soap, cooking linens, just to mention a few things for living. You should also make sure that you have the electrical cord and some adapters, water hose, and both grey water and black water sewer hoses. For the water hose, a pressure regulator is almost essential, as is a spray bottle with bleach to clean off the water hookup at the campsite before attaching your own hose to it. If you are going into areas with no water hookup at all, a collapsible water container is helpful. For your recreational activities, you'll have to decide whether you “need” to haul camp chairs, table, bikes, canoes/kayaks, etc.

    If you're a TV-fan, you might want a small TV (if your rig did not come equipped), a cable cord, or a satellite dish.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,532

    Default A bit better fuel return with newer rentals.

    Great thread Donna !!

    Your fuel mileage will probably not be wonderful, so plan on 5-7 mpg.
    It's always best to plan costs with a certain amount of caution but if renting a new(ish) class 'C' RV of 25ft or 30ft in lenght we normally see a return of 8.5 to 9mpg. The cost of fuel and mileage charges on a rental is a significant part of the cost and the more miles you cover the more it's going to cost ! (Cruise America charge 35c per mile from the 'get go')

    Dave.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,473

    Default So, where should i camp?

    SO, WHERE SHOULD I CAMP?

    The top tier campgrounds/RV parks are probably privately owned, AKA “Commercial parks.” They will provide a lot of amenities, from electric-water-sewer hookups to cable TV hookups to pools to horseback riding opportunities and a nice shower building. Usually the sites are well-planned. These are often right near the highways. These may be listed in directories such as the Woodalls/Trailer Life, or perhaps they are part of a nationwide chain such as KOA or Jellystone Parks. In many cases, they are the most expensive. Most of these will accept both tents and RV's, but have separate places for the tents because they don't require electric-water-sewer hookups.

    The National Park Service runs campgrounds, or turns them over to a concessionaire, that are within that park's boundaries. Some of these campgrounds are primitive, some are more developed and a few even have hookups for the RV'er. Showers may be available at a central location (coin-op or purchased token). This is also true for Canada's Parks Canada. With the exception of a few parks that have a designated “trailer park” or “RV park”, most campground sites would suit either a tent or an RV. The difference may be the length of the parking area. If you have a particularly long rig, you may be limited in number of sites that can accommodate your rig. These vary in price, depending on the location and the amenities offered. For instance, you will pay more at the Grand Canyon RV/Trailer Park for an RV site than you will at Grand Canyon's Mather or Desert View campgrounds.

    The state park system (and Canada's provincial parks) are varied in what they offer. These could be primitive or more developed, and a lot have shower buildings. Some have hookups for RV's. As with the National Park service, there are different rates depending on location and what's offered.

    The US Forest Service, a division of the US Department of Agriculture, runs many many campgrounds in the US. These are mostly primitive or lightly developed. Quite a few have no potable water available. Some areas overseen by the USFS allow dispersed camping. Ask locally where you might disperse camp – a ranger station is best. (Dispersed camping is being able to camp anywhere you like on land where it's permissible. You have no amenities, just a place to park.) The US Forest Service campgrounds are generally the least expensive places to camp, and what used to be our favorite when we were tent-campers.

    The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE, or COE) runs campgrounds, often times near lakes with dams. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) runs both primitive campgrounds in lands that they oversee, as well as allow “dispersed camping” in certain areas. Some National and State Wildlife Areas offer a designated campground, or open some of their areas to dispersed camping. Many cities and counties also run campgrounds, or have a local concessionaire run them. Once again, these could be primitive or more developed. Once again, ask the local BLM or US Forest Service office about dispersed camping. These all vary in the rate structure..

    RTA has a whole forum dedicated to the “Where” problem. You can find camping along Interstates, US Highways, Scenic and Historic Highways, near Theme Parks, and in and around our national parks. Note that our “Where” forum is dedicated to public campgrounds. You'll find this forum by clicking here.

    You're looking for free campsites? Very, very few are free! One website that seems to pride itself in finding those elusive “free campsites” has a few that are listed that are very illegal. Somebody got away with parking somewhere overnight without getting caught, and posted it. So if you use one of those sites, be aware that you may get a visit from local law enforcement. Always stop at a local BLM or US Forest Service ranger station if you are looking for free camping in their area.

    Bear in mind that you just can't camp anywhere! Roadside rest areas may have “no overnight parking” displayed, and no tents allowed. Pulling up to a neighborhood and parking overnight on the street may result in a midnight marauder, or police asking you to move on. Same with big-box store lots. While in some areas, it appears to be acceptable to pull into a Walmart parking lot and stay overnight in your RV, just don't pull out the barbecue grill, chairs, slide-outs and awnings. In other areas, you may get visited by the night security, asking you to move on. Always ask permission to stay in a big-box store lot, and make sure you give that store a little business.

    Truck stop/travel centers may be a place to stay overnight. Ask permission and where to park, and once again, be sure to give them some business: buy your fuel, eat in their restaurant/fast food place, shop in their store. It's polite! But again, this is not a good place to pull out your grill, chairs, or awning.

    Most campers use a variety of campgrounds, whatever fits their needs at the time.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    365

    Default

    Some nuances to add for tent-related ideas (and one non-tent note) -

    - From backpacking I've learned that if I can run a warm washcloth over my face at the end of the day I'm happy. More bathing is nice but I'm comfortable if my face, and especially eyes, are clean. (I travel alone)

    - When shopping for tents note that the person-rating system assumes the person is of small stature and brings absolutely nothing inside the tent except sleeping bag and pad for the night. This means you should always go +1 for number of persons you intend to put in the tent. +2 wouldn't be overkill. When motorcycle camping I use a 3 person tent for just myself and my gear.

    - a ground sheet (even just a painter's drop cloth) is important to keep soil moisture from condensing on the bottom of the tent floor overnight. This is especially important if pitching on grass. The drier the tent is in the morning the quicker you can pack up the next day. You can also use a towel to dry it off then dry the towel later.

    - always take care to dry the tent upon returning home else it will grow mold in storage.

    - Backpacking/small collapsible cots exist (Thermarest makes one,GoKot is a car camping one such) which can improve the tent sleeping experience by getting you off the ground. However one must size the tent such that the cot fits. Be sure to have extra margin when comparing dimensions.

    - Air mattresses are good for sleeping on the ground but it's best if one also has a genuine insulating layer such as a RidgeRest closed cell foam mat. A simple air mattress will suck the heat out of you. This might not matter when camping in the South in the summer but I promise it will matter anytime you're camping in the Rockies.

    - Cooking and stove choice is a matter of one's personal style. I'm happy with a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew heated in a single pan over a single propane burner but I was delighted to receive a steak (and corn, au gratin potatoes and salad) from motorcycle campers in an adjacent space. I was also on motorcycle. They loved to cook and give away food!

    - One must be sure to keep food and food odors out of the tent. Bears.

    - Not just for tents- Experience suggests that people can reserve NFS campsites online at no charge. This means that you can roll into a nearly empty campground and find reserved tags on all the sites. Checking with the campground hosts might reveal that if you wait until some deadline time (unknown to me) has passed that they can put you into a site regardless of the reserved status. My experience with this is that neither the site I was in nor the adjacent reserved sites had anybody arrive during the night.

Similar Threads

  1. Car camping
    By Silky in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-25-2014, 11:49 AM
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-08-2011, 11:12 AM
  3. NP's camping
    By melonhead87 in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-31-2009, 09:57 PM
  4. Camping.....
    By galaxie50059 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-09-2007, 01:03 PM
  5. camping?
    By cool in forum Saving Money on Your Trip
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-13-2005, 11:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

  • MORE TO EXPLORE