Always pack the checkbook

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by MaeKay, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. MaeKay

    MaeKay Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know why I finally realized this (how long have my husband and I been camping?!) But I finally realized to add “checkbook” to my permanent camping packing list. We never have the right type of cash for campsites. This last time I realized it said, “cash or check only”. Duh! Just bring the checkbook! And add it to the packing list!

    Oy.
     
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  2. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    What's a checkbook?
     
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  3. MaeKay

    MaeKay Well-Known Member

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    Haha, I know, right?! I never use my checkbook anymore. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think to pack it until now.

    But it’s useful at campsites with no internet to run a card!
     
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  4. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    I keep 40$ in my trailer for firewood and other campsite goodies because I often have no cash with me.
     
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  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Always keep extra cash when I’m traveling now. I was camping in NC once and there was what a appeared to be a gas rush. Every person went to the gas station. I was not aware of it until I was on my way home and tried to stop to get gas. There was no gas at any stations. Drove 55 miles to try a gas station outside of town to also find their out. By then I’m on E I go in and ask if they know of any gas station that has anything left. There was one 35 miles away that has gas, but CASH only. Drove down my suv was literally sputtering as I pull in. Next had to scavenge around my car to find any cash. I managed to find $15 which isn’t much for an SUV but gave me enough to track down another gas station. I now keep $50 Emergancy cash that I do not use until The very very end of a trip now. I have had to use it many times surprisingly.
     
  6. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    Still use a checkbook on occasion, pay a couple of bills monthly w/ mine as well...carry a small amount of cash depending on wazz up...had to get my debit card replaced couple of months ago lol, went to the camp store to get something for the son's girlfriend to mail to Nebraska, son is Army & the park store dude was a vet, so of course we bs'd for awhile; he didn't give my card back, I didn't think about it, went to use it the next day away from the campground & no card...used the VISA credit card & went back by the camp store, dude had put it in w/ the receipts/cash etc & a park police officer took the till to their safe at closing...went by their office, the dude in charge said it would be a bit before the safe could be opened, said the officer on duty that picked up the till would be in at 2 pm & would bring it by the site; he pulled up, said the good news it was found, bad news was the girl at check in couldn't find our name, he called VISA & told 'em we'd probably be by to look for it, they told him to destroy, so he did...no probs, I should have made triple dog sure I left w/ it, glad it wasn't lost; 1st time for me, a lesson learned the hard way is a lesson learned...
     
  7. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Even with credit cards, you don't want to travel several states over and decide to buy gas on a card you rarely use. I leave a trail of transactions, and even then I've received an email to verify a purchase.
     
  8. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we had to keep a checkbook in the TV too. Many CG in Alaska are unattended. You pull into a spot, go fill out a permit and put the exact amount in an envelope and drop it in a payment box. They come by every so often and check the box and spots. If you dont have exact cash, check is the only way.
     
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  9. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . This is so true! I use my debit card exclusively for everything. However one trip I failed to notify my bank before hand and used it to get gas a good 8 hours away. The next time I tried to use the card it was cancelled. My bank did it's job to protect me, even from me. That $50 came handy on that trip too.
     
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  10. HappyTraveler

    HappyTraveler Active Member

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    Whenever we travel we notify all our card carriers of our plans (can be done online now). We also carry cash in different denominations, about a hundred bucks; never mind the cash we both carry in our wallets.
    We probably only use our checkbook once or twice a year now and pay for most everything else with credit card or online. We like to always have cash to pay tips with around here and the odd place that doesn't take cc (surprisingly there's one or two places around here like that); so still use cash probably more than most other people.
    But good idea about having it with us in case of that emergency.
     
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  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, the only checks I have are over 15 years old and are written for the bank prior to two buyouts.

    If I'm not reserving in advance online, I make sure I have cash on hand to cover the fees plus extra. As some fees cannot be paid for in advance (extra vehicle fee, dog fees, etc), I carry enough to cover that also plus a bit more.

    I have found there is always a way... Years ago when my SUV got stuck and I had to call to have it pulled out, the guy didn't take cards and I had little cash. It was a $300 bill. He called his kid's school and I had them charge the $300 to my credit card towards the kids' tuition.
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we still carry a checkbook on trips, because we occasionally find places that don't take cards. I do make sure to have cash, too, but being able to use a check for some things makes that last longer. (We keep some 1s and 5s in the vehicle, to make sure we have parking fees, since we run into that at some trailheads.)
    On my last trip, I had made the reservation using a credit card for the deposit on the phone or internet. Paying cash or check for the remainder got a discount. For many small businesses, the fees charged by the credit card processing companies can be a substantial hit. (The small gym we belong to just changed providers, and will save something over $300/month in fees.) I tend to use cash or my debit card at one of the small local fabric stores, for the same reason, if I know we're heading there, I may take the checkbook. Unfortunately, the owner is stuck between accepting checks and risking a bad one, or paying the fees for electronic transactions. (She and other shops of various sorts were hit by one bad egg last year and they all had to work hard for months to recoup any of it.) Cash has its own issues, as counterfeit bills appear fairly regularly here, so they're having to test bills.
     
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  13. MaeKay

    MaeKay Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly our problem. There is no option for change. And we never know quite how long we’re going to stay so we usually pay one or two nights at a time. And when the cost is $23 per night, you need a lot of ones.
     
  14. Minimalist

    Minimalist Active Member

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    I keep some emergency cash in my phone case. Just have to make sure I won't touch it in a non emergency.
     
  15. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I use a card for nearly all transactions, but never leave the house for an hour or a week without a wallet full of cash.
     
  16. Heartcamping

    Heartcamping New Member

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    Totally. I agree! I actually just keep a few checks in my wallet if needed. So I don’t have the whole book but can write a check if needed.
     
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  17. fallsrider

    fallsrider Active Member

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    I bet that was 2 or 3 years ago. There was severe pipeline damage down in Alabama I think. Our supplies dried up quickly here in NC. It is not a very comforting feeling to ride around looking for gas stations and they are all out!
     
  18. MaeKay

    MaeKay Well-Known Member

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    That’s a really good idea! Although it makes me nervous for the same reason carrying cash makes me nervous: if I lose my wallet it’s fair game to anyone.

    But maybe I can leave a couple in a secret compartment in my car. Thanks!
     
  19. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    Mine still say "National Bank of Detroit," which became First Chicago NBD, then BankOne, and now Chase. The only thing I use them for is to write a check to Uncle Sam and my state for income taxes each year.
     
  20. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    I had to write a check for something a few months ago and had to think about how to do it.

    When we went to Yellowstone National Park about three years ago, we stayed in private campgrounds in Cody, WY and West Yellowstone, MT. Both were cash or check only. I thought it odd that in this day and age, they would accept a personal check from a complete stranger from several states away. I don't think either place asked for an ID.
     

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