Remember planning a camping road trip without the internet or a cell phone? It was not long ago that an atlas, a campground directory, guide books, and a sheaf of notebook paper were required for even a simple weekend away. If a trip was particularly complicated, we may swing by the local AAA office for an official TripTik. Never could we have imagined our 2018 selves – checking gas prices at upcoming exits, monitoring the number of available campsites at our destination, or talking to those ahead of us in traffic jams about the best strategy for avoiding delays.
The 20 hour drive back from our most recent camping trip seemed to be the ideal time to look at which apps we use most often. The following are the apps I have checked most frequently in recent trips and I would highly recommend checking them out.
Hands down, I think the Camp & RV version of this is the best app out there for campers. Unless you are someone who only travels to local parks with which you are familiar, this is a must-buy. Sadly, it appears the app is only available for iPhone users. AllStays Pro is available for home computer or browser use for a $32.95 annual subscription. At that price, I may hesitate, but I have no doubt it is worth every penny of the $9.99 I paid for the app. Continue reading “5 Great Apps for Planning a Camping Trip”
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)”
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.
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”
One of our first camping trips when we were just getting back into camping was at Shawnee State Park. It will forever be memorable for Ted insisting there was a wild boar outside the tent (pretty sure it was a dog) and camping next to a “crazy birder” who tramped through the woods looking for wrens (we now would be right with her).
With all of our camping throughout the year in state and national lands, it is not unusual for me to check for a reservation on recreation.gov and panic until I realize it is actually on reserveamerica.com. Or vise versa. This happened on our way into Maine. So when I attempted to retrieve this weekend’s site number at a new location and got “No Current Reservations” I didn’t immediately panic. When I checked the other site, I began to worry. I combed my email, my credit card – nothing. We were hoping to camp in two days during a gorgeous October weekend and I didn’t have camping reservations! Panic started to set in. Continue reading “Shawnee State Park”
While July 4th may mean fireworks and barbecue for some, we have been looking forward to three long days at the best garage I know of – my parents’ house. My dad has been working on vehicles for more than half a century and my mom has the decor skills to match. Three days in the Faber Garage is enough to make any trailer completely custom.
On the agenda for the weekend:
- Install the tile backsplash.
- Create the kitchen valance.
- Build a kayak rack for the truck.
- Install roof vent cover
- Reinforce the fresh water tank.
- Destuff the sofa.
- Hang the pictures.
- Sew curtains.
- Install paper towel holder.
- Install reading lights.
- Hang shower caddy.
- Install sway bar.
- Install leveler on tongue.
- Second battery.
- Pick up generators.
Continue reading “Modapalooza 2017”