What do I need to buy? (Part one)

What do I need to buy? (Part one)

As we approach one year of trailer ownership, I finally decided to sit down and add up how much this purchase has actually cost us. I saved receipts for this purpose but couldn’t bring myself to face reality until now. I survived the process and decided to share the results. New or potential owners should know that the final price on their purchase contract is just the beginning of the financial hemorrhage that can come with a trailer or RV. We have managed to drop a small fortune at Camping World, Wal-mart, and Amazon in the past year. I have particular sympathy for our UPS driver who had to deliver a few 50+ pound packages.

If there is a camping supply store attached, to your dealership, you may be lucky enough to get a discount coupon for a shopping trip. Be aware that online prices may be better. Camping World offered a shopping guide who helped us decide which basics we needed, but she wasn’t nearly as knowledgable as the nice folks on the internet. Camping World prices also trend high, even with the Good Sam membership discount. However, we negotiated a gift card into the purchase of our trailer, making the sticker shock of our initial trip a little less.

My current spreadsheet of purchases is well over 100 items, so I have decided to break down what we spent in sections, starting with:

The Basic Outfitting of the Trailer

These are the things you will need to get started on trailering. Unfortunately, the most important items are some of the most expensive. A few of these items may not be necessary based on how you intend to camp and what is available at your campgrounds, but it is what I would suggest a newbie buy to have a happily functioning trailer. Continue reading “What do I need to buy? (Part one)”

A quick tour of Ohio State Parks

A quick tour of Ohio State Parks

We don’t always get three day weekends in February, but when we do, we camp!

We weren’t sure exactly where we wanted to go, but we wanted to go somewhere for a hectic, but fun winter trip.

A quick scan of eBird lead us to decide that Maumee Bay might be our best bet for a destination with a potential of a Yellow-headed blackbird. We worked too late on Friday to make it all the way north, so we overnighted at Van Buren State Park.

It was a great distance from Cincinnati – just over two hours. But this may have been the smallest state park I have ever seen with a campground. A total of 29 non-equestrian sites were available, about half with electric. Although the surrounding area was cornfields and a few houses, the place had a pretty creepy vibe on arrival. We filled our water tank and opted for the first site – 38.

van buren state park copy

I walked to the office/nature center/hut to check in. There was a single check-in packet and it seemed to have withstood a fair amount of weather. Continue reading “A quick tour of Ohio State Parks”