Camping vs. Traveling

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by CarlaCB, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. CarlaCB

    CarlaCB Member

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    I'm sure I'm not the only person whose camping destinations are far, far away from their home state. In my case, the reason is that I live in Florida, and my main purpose is to get the he!! away from the heat, humidity, and mosquitos in the warmer months (more than half the year). I like to camp up by the Great Lakes, on the coast of Maine, or in Cape Cod. I've camped in tents and motorhomes, but this will be my first time pulling a trailer, and I don't actually own one yet. Summer is almost upon us, so I'm looking to buy something soon.

    So those of you who travel to remote destinations for camping, what do you do for the travel days? Pull up to a motel? Set up and tear down the Pup every day? Any partial set-up or labor-saving tricks you could pass on to a newbie. Would these circumstances affect the type of trailer you would buy? It's just me and a yellow lab (haven't decided yet about the cat), if that matters. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I plan on staying at a hotel when traveling, but im bringing more people and more gear. My pup will be loaded inside. If you dont have a lot of stuff to move in the pup, and have no time restrictions, setting up at a campground shouldn't be that hard. Back in level, pop it up, done. No need to set up a whole camp.
     
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  3. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We actually have done both. It really depends on weather, time of day and of course how tired we are. We will usually stop someplace for dinner and then head over to the campground so we can setup and relax before going to bed. In the morning we usually will only make hot water for oatmeal, tea and instant coffee. The we break down and then on the road we go. Staying in a hotel is usually when the weather is just to nasty to setup for only one night. The other reason to stay in a hotel is when we are on the road all day and by the time we eat dinner it's dark and we are all just to tired to setup for one night. Also, having a hotel with a pool and/or hot tub is really, really nice!!
    Back in 2008 we were only 4-5 hours from home and ended up staying at a Comfort Inn. It was 1:00 AM and the fog had gotten so bad is wasn't a good idea to push to get home.
     
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  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I plan the stop overs to be 3 or 4 nights and treat it all as a big long trip.. Im towing a hotel room.. why would I pay for one?
     
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  5. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Snow, we have done that as well and it works nicely! Having that 2-3 night stop over is relaxing. But when we travel out to Yellowstone or Glacier I don't have that kind of vacation time. Especially when we are traveling from NJ.
     
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  6. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    On my 23 day X-country trip I normally did camp every night but with 3 exceptions. After about 2 week on the road I did a hotel one night, followed by a night in the truck at a rest area, followed by a night at a relative's house. Then camping the rest of the trip.
     
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  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We've usually done overnight stops to get from point a to point B, in tent, popups, and now the small travel trailer; we've occasionally done KOA cabins on some trips instead of our camping equipment. On most long distance trips, we don't have enough time to stop for more than overnight on the road.
    We try to be off the road by late afternoon, and do a minimal set-up for overnights. With both of our popups, we could only simplify set up so much, since we had to move things inside to get to the bunk, flip the galley, etc. One of our big wishes when we had to move on from the popups was a bed that stayed made up, since we could not do that in either popup.
    For us, stopping in a campground instead of a hotel has a couple of advantages - we can cook our own food if we choose to do so, and we get out and walk around, which we tend not to do when staying in a hotel.
     
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  8. Mat Kyne

    Mat Kyne Member

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    We do both. I plan 2-3 night stays about 5-6 hours apart all along the way because my kids are small and why not? When it's time for an overnight stop, we will typically stay in a hotel with a pool. Hotels are great places to do laundry on a long trip and private showers are a great thing. As for camping, I prefer to camp only in places I want to explore. But that is the stage of life we are in right now. It takes a little longer to get there, but the trip is more enjoyable for everyone. I think of my popup as something I get to use, not something I have to use. Enjoy!
     
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  9. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    With just the two (or three) of you, I'd look for a popup that goes up fast and easy, like an A-frame. I think of my huge tent trailer as a destination camper, even though we can set up for one night without too much fuss. On this side of the continent there aren't a lot of campgrounds right off the highway, though, so we'd probably motel it if we aren't bringing the dog.

    An A-frame would be a great road-tripping trailer. Sadly, my gang doesn't fit.

    For a small party like yours, my popup slide-in truck camper would be perfect...it's ready to camp in no time and usable with the top down...got a big truck? :)
     
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  10. Steve and Dana

    Steve and Dana New Member

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    My DW and I live just outside Atlanta and for us, when we leave for the west coast (Calif, Oregon, Washington) which we do one time every year, we leave around 3 am and try to get at least 700 to 800 miles from Hotlanta. For the first stop after leaving home we will stop at a hotel - more comfort after the long drive allowing us to wake the next morning refreshed. On the rest of the trip we will camp after 300 to 350 miles of driving (no sense trying to kill ourselves. We are both retired so we have no time constraints) - sometimes just one night, at the most 2 nights in one place. Have found that setting up the trailer keeps both my DW and I in some semblance of shape and allows us to enjoy nature in the areas where we choose to camp. Whatever you do enjoy the trip.
     
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  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    As others have shown, there are many ways to do this.

    For me, I was thrilled when I found my FoldnRoll. It only takes about a minute to set up and the bed is made up all the time. Just move some pillows and bring the dogs and parrot into the trailer and we're good for the night. I plan on using it for overnight stops most of the time, but may change as I go along.

    If I had a soft-sided popup with a 30 minute setup, I would be more inclined to do hotels for overnights - which is one of the reasons I didn't go that direction.

    For distance travel, my plan is to take a pee break every 2 hours, fuel fill every 150-200 miles, and eat on the go as needed using a 12v cooler that will stay in the vehicle with me during the day. I will refresh that with food, drink and blue ice packs daily.

    In your case, I agree an a-liner would be a good choice. Quicker on the setup. If you arrange your gear between the tow vehicle and the trailer right, you would have minimal rearranging to do for a quick overnight stop. And you wouldn't have to worry as much about summer storms, etc.
     
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  12. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    we set up each night, no hotels - but we had a highwall popup and the set up was very minimal. We could leave the beds made and the kitchen did not need to be set up. We would often get pull through sites just because it is easier than backing in after a long day on the road. We would then level, unhitch, hook up services, raise the roof, pull out the beds and dinette, set the door and we were done - but a highwall sounds way to big for your needs (but they are really nice). We were also a group of 4 and everyone pitched in.

    So, whether you find it something you can/want to do really depends on the camper you get or what you are willing to put up with. And if it is something you want to do, then the ease of set up, what you can leave in place and logistics of it all should play into your camper choice. And an A-frame camper does sound appealing for a this.
     
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  13. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    we take long trips. We have never stayed in a motel or hotel. When traveling we try to find areas that have some interest and stay for 2 nights. But in some cases there just nothen of interest in the area or we are trying to shorten our travel time. We than find a CG near the main road we are traveling. We do the minimum setup. Many times we do not even disconnect fromthe TV. Just put blocks down and level side to side, put more blocks down if the camper is lower than the TV, If camper is higher than TV, jack up the tongue. We put down the stabs. Many times we dont even connect water or electric. Put down the stabs. For breakfast its cold cereal. Less than 1/2 hour setup and take down.

    Motels, waitin the lobby, dance with the desk clerk, move your stuff into the room; about 20 minutes. Get bad night sleep in a bed that someone before you had a cold or was sick. It not worth messing with our trip taking a chance we will become sick?
     
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  14. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    We've never owned an A-frame but as a family of four we have done a considerable amount of long distance travel camping in popups, a hybrid, and travel trailers. Popup setup I got down to 20 mins and wouldn't ever consider staying in a motel when I've got my own motel right there in the camper. ;) Our particular hybrid had just one hybrid bed at the front with Jack 'n Jill permanent beds in the back for our boys so it really didn't take any more time to set up that the travel trailers we later owned. While nothing can match the comfort and convenience of a travel trailer the BIG downside to any full height trailer is lousy fuel mileage relative to what the tow vehicle would normally get when not towing. Now that it's just my wife and I an A-frame trailer to me would be the best choice for long distance travel / camping - easy to tow, only moderately reduced fuel mileage, but far quicker to set up than a conventional popup. You can go simple with limited facilities or you can go whole hog with full facilities that may include a cassette toilet or even a wet bath, and dormers both soft and hard, that really open up the interior space. We no longer camp enough to justify such an expense but for an adult or adult couple who see long distance travel camping in their future I see the A-frame as a wonderful solution. [A]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  15. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Every camper/RV has advantages & disadvantages. For me, the big disadvantage of a pup is set up or take down in the rain. The advantage is the fuel savings. The advantage of Hybrid or darkside is set up time the disadvantage is the fuel cost. I try to never stay in a hotel when I have my camper with me.
     
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  16. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    FWIW (if anything! ;) ) I'd consider the Rockwood A213HW just about ideal in A-frame trailers.

    http://terrystrailer.ca/inventory-f...odaframe213hw-reartwinbedsthatconversttoking/

    Twin beds that convert to a king, DSI fridge with freezer section, cassette toilet with exterior access to the waste tank, and a front dormer for greater interior headroom. No shower but that cuts down enormously on the amount of fresh water used and grey water generated. If we were still in the long distance travel camping game this is what I'd be buying! [:D]
     
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  17. CarlaCB

    CarlaCB Member

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    You're right, that's gorgeous, and practically everything you'd want in a camper. Love the dormers especially! But it's out of my price range, and way above my car's towing limit. :(
     
  18. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    For 19k, I would look at a used trail manor or Hi-Lo. I passed on a small Hi-Lo last year for only 4k.
     
  19. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    We try not to do a lot of one night stops, but when you have to travel a long distance, they are a necessity. When we do this, we try to find a convenient campground that is not too far off our path and then we set up very simply, no awning and minimal other stuff unloaded. In the morning, for leaving we either have a very simple breakfast so no or just rinse dishes or we just head out and stop on the road for a bite to eat. It takes us no more than 20 minutes to tear down and be ready to go if we want to go fast. We have done 800+ mile back to back days and other longer back to back days either outbound or heading back. It helps a lot if you can get to your location at a reasonable time, can have dinner in daylight and relax some before heading to sleep so you are ready for the next day. We will have three back to back one nighters later this summer as we head back from Seattle area, but the drives each day are not that long and we will get into the campgrounds and still be able to relax in the afternoon.
     
  20. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    That's $19,000 Cdn or about $14,300 USD.
     

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