Camping vs. Traveling

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

  1. Natureangel

    Natureangel Everythings better outdoors...

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    I drove 900 + miles to The Black Hills last year. I pushed the miles on the first day and ended up hitting a hotel around 10pm. It was worth it not to set up and just take off in the morning. And since the majority of the ride was done I had a fuller day at the campground. On the return I did the same but I wasn’t as lucky getting a cheap hotel. Due to the parking needs of a pop up in tow I ended up at a pricey hotel. Driving around at midnight I was pretty beat so I made sure I enjoyed the amenities there!
     
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  2. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    When we do the big cross country trips we pack very differently then a weekend trip or a week long trip that is less than a days drive. We will pack most of the stuff in the back of the TV to avoid moving it in and out of the pup constantly when setting up and breaking down. This way setup will take maybe 20 minutes and there is nothing in the way. We cannot setup unless we unhitch. The front bunk hit the back of the TV.
     
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  3. Wakita46

    Wakita46 Active Member

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    I've got over 38,000 miles on my Aliner. Never needed a motel. It works fine for me and I have been gone from home for up to 10 weeks at a time. I just make sure I pick a place with a shower. If it is more than 2 days, I try to get electricity also. More details on hoffsalinertravels.net if you are interested.
     
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  4. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    I'll jump on the Aliner bandwagon there. They are awesome for traveling. We're definitely travelers, we seldom just hang around a campground. We're either traveling or out exploring, hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. We did 3300 miles in Jan. With our Aliner one night stops were easy, so we started camping more often and further away. Setting up in a rest area to make a cup of coffee was easy. We migrated from tent trailer to the Aliner for ease of setup.

    We moved to the travel trailer when we started planning 3+ week trips. There are only 2 of us now, but for extended stays (4+ weeks planned for next winter) we wanted a little more space than our Aliner. Loved the Aliner for the simplicity and fast setup.

    Loved our tent trailer too, for the openness, but for us, the Aliner was much better suited for our style of traveling.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  5. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Our pup does not need to be disconnected or its support jacks put down. With two people doing it, takes about 10 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  6. kgesiako

    kgesiako Active Member

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    I’ve heard mentioned before if staying in hotel make sure you have locks on your trailer/hitch.
     
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  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    @kgesiako There are certain areas here in ABQ where U-hauls and other trailers are stolen from hotels with fair regularity. It seems like it happens a couple of times during each balloon fiesta too.
    I just am not as comfortable staying in hotels these days - when I drove East last fall to help empty my MIL's house, I didn't take the trailer. I stayed in some KOA cabins, which was fine. Ended up in two hotels on the trip, and hated not being able to keep an eye on my vehicle - it'd have been worse if I'd had the trailer attached.
    That said, we've had hitch and coupler locks for years - not just for theft deterrent, but as an extra check that we have them secured.
    In all the time that we've had pups and the TT, we've only stayed in a hotel once. That was due to the time we left Grand Canyon campground, after my husband hiked out from a backpacking trip - not enough time to get home that day, and a hotel was a good chance to get cleaned up in warm place.
     
  8. kgesiako

    kgesiako Active Member

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    We just finished our first multiday travel trip, going from Chicago to Disney, and did the one night stops. We took three days to get there and it was a lot smoother than expected. We will be doing it from now on! I agree I don’t like not being able to see our stuff from a hotel.
     
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  9. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Until you tried the options quick one night in the camper or motel/hotel you will not know what works for you. There two groups of people on this subject. For us we do the one night camping. Many times late at night and on the road by 7am.
     
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  10. John Ramsay

    John Ramsay New Member

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    I bought my pop up because I didn't want to sleep in hotel beds. I bought it new and I sleep better in it than I have in hotels. I don't mind set up and tear down on an overnight on my way to a destination.
     
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  11. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    We travel cross country with our Aliner and make quick overnight stops at roadside KOAs or city/county/state campgrounds along the way. We get up and leave early and get in by late afternoon each day. One advantage of an A-frame is that, if our site is reasonably level front to back, we don't have to disconnect from our TV to fully deploy the camper. We bail out in the early AM like Batman. We can also pop up in a rest area mid-day in 30 seconds and take a nap or make a sandwich. A frames are light and low profile if you don't load them up with too many heavy options, and they do not reduce your normal gas mileage by much. If you are going to travel a lot, the extra cost of an A frame is eventually recouped in improved gas mileage over other heavier or higher profile trailer options, and by less $100 nights in hotels.
     
  12. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    As shown plenty of people do this. I actually spend quite a few nights in hotels so don't have the discomfort some do. I personally wouldn't want to set up and take down a pop up for one night, especially in the rain on a chilly morning then have to get warmed back up before getting on the road. However if done frequently there is a significant savings in staying in campgrounds. If I was solo and wanted to travel I would get a small travel trailer, single axle 17' or similar, so that every thing had a place and all that was needed would be to walk in. The money saved on the hotel budget could offset the cost of a more capable vehicle to tow it.
     
  13. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    I find as we get older is getting a little harder and takes longer to setup and break down. The DW feels bad since she really can't help me all that much. She does direct me when backing up and does help get stuff out of the pup. She also makes the bed. In the 11 years that we've had the pup we have only stayed in a hotel twice. This is only when we are doing our cross country trips. We try and stay at KOA campgrounds since they are usually right off the highway (EZ off and EZ on).
     
  14. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    We’re leaving the pup at home for our upcoming, four-week, cross-country trip. I don’t like setting up and taking down the pup every day. Although I can get the complete campsite set up in 30 minutes, and tear down in about 45 minutes, that’s a lot of popping up and tearing down over the course of a month, and too much opportunity for mechanical annoyances. That, and some of the places we’re going are inconvenient for pulling a trailer.

    Instead we’re going to car and tent camp for overnights. I’ve reserved KOA’s and local campgrounds along the way, and we’ll car camp with a quick setup sent. The “camp” will be the tent and some chairs, and the kitchen I will build into the back of our SUV. This setup will also allow some sleeping, should be weather be really, really nasty.

    I see this as akin to canoe or bicycle camping, whereas with the pup our typical M.O. is to setup as a basecamp for expeditions that are a long weekend or more.
     
  15. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    On our way out to Colorado for our nieces wedding we wanted to camp at the KOA cabins since we are not bringing the pup. Much cheaper than hotels. But, the KOAs we would stop at had two night minimum on the cabins, which I can understand. We leave on a Friday and need to be in Arvada by Sunday night. So it looks like Camp Marriott on the way out there. Now, on the way home we might use the KOA cabins since we are not in a rush to get home (9 days).
     
  16. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit that one of the huge perks of our 17' TT is that we don't need to unhook for most overnight stops. We'll unhook if we need to to level it, or if we want to go out and explore or get supplies. I still do put the stabs down, it makes things more comfortable, especially on windy nights. Being able to hitch up in NM and not unhitch until I got to Ohio on my first solo in the TT was a winner (the learning curve for some of the other things on that trip, not so much.) Our pups were both small enough and designed so that we always had to unhook, plus there was a lot of shifting of supplies with the flip-over galley and not being able to leave the bed made up in either one.
    While supplies in the TT have assigned places, there still is a certain amount of shifting around at set up and break down. We keep it to a minimum, but certain things move to the shower well in the bathroom. We use bins for small stuff (soap dispensers, etc.), which makes moving them to use the toilet easier when we stop on the road. Food boxes are on a shelf in camp, so get secured under the table or in the aisle next to the bed. It's still easier and quicker than the pups, and it's nicer in bad weather or noisier campgrounds (busy or next to the interstate on just-of-the-road overnight stops).
     
  17. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Which raises the question, just what is your intended tow vehicle? You've received all sorts of suggestions but they're all rather pointless if you can't tow the trailers being recommended. ;)
     
  18. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with hotels. My choice to overnight with my FoldnRoll is simply to reduce the overnight cost as much as possible. That means I'm looking for places in the $8-20 range. If I'm gonna spend $45+ for a night of sleep, then I'd rather spend $89 and have a private shower and a ready made breakfast.
     
  19. gec66

    gec66 Active Member

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    +1 for a quick setup being no more time consuming than checking into a hotel and an A-Frame is ideal for your scenario.
     
  20. CarlaCB

    CarlaCB Member

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    Well, I own a Transit Connect van with a tow package. It can tow 2000 lbs. So my choice are between a small camper like the 9.0 Express TD, or a small Aliner like the Scout, or a small popup like the Coleman Taos. The first two offer the advantage of very quick set-up, but the pop-up offers much more space when you're set up. Problem is, would I want to set it up by myself after a long day behind the wheel?

    You're right that I've received a lot of good suggestions, and I'm sure I'll keep referring back to this thread as I consider my options. I really appreciate the input of people who have already made the choice of a camper and have worked through how to make it work for them.
     

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