Ok, I'm trying not to overthink this too much (a tendency of mine) but need help deciding the best

Discussion in 'Andy's Off Topic Forum' started by Eppy99, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. Eppy99

    Eppy99 All-American
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    way to spend our 4th of July camping. We're heading to Michigan for about 5 days. As many of you know I've been purchasing camping gear, we've been backyard camping with the kids and now we're ready for a new adventure. Our goal is to make it to the Upper Peninsula. We're planning to break up the trip with a stop somewhere in between Indy and the UP. He're my options and I'd love to hear from you camping/RV experts!

    Option #1, we pack up the minivan with our gear and head to our first camping site near the Huran-Manistee National Forest (about 4.5 hours from Indy). We figured we're not yet ready for a full 4-5 nights of camping so we're gonna do 2 nights here and then thought we'd head north to the UP and find a Cabin/airbnb and enjoy two nights of semi-luxury. We'd also leave the 90 lb dog at home and bring our bikes on the back of the van.

    Option #2, Given the issues of Covid my wife and girls aren't thrilled about sharing bathrooms at even a private campsite, but if we had to we would. So I started looking for RV's today. After making many calls only to find out its the busiest week of the year for RV's, I called Cruise America and they had a larger RV (30ft and sleeps 7). It's a driving RV since I don't have a hitch. We could bring the dog which brings up a whole new set of issues (probably no kayaking or family bike rides), but the girls love this dog and would love to camp with him. Having the RV makes it better for the bathroom and germaphobe issues. What worries me now is can I find a good place that's still available that doesn't feel like an RV park? I want to be in nature! We were hoping for at least two of the nights we could park somewhere and still be able to use our tents. I'm sure we can find a spot but then we probably won't have a hook up. This is my first time with the RV. Not to mention once I'm parked I'm guessing we're stuck?

    So what would you guys recommend? I can cancel the RV up to 7 days in advance of the trip. Thoughts?
     
    1 Eppy99, Jun 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  2. IUAPEX

    IUAPEX Junior
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    Take the RV ... and bring a crate for the dog. You could still go on a couple bike rides and the dog could stay back in the RV. You should be able to find a nice lake spot to hang out.
     
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  3. IUXC68

    IUXC68 All-Big Ten
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    Frankly, I wouldn't take the trip. Reading all of the concerns you have, all of which are valid, it just seems like there are better times and circumstances for this trip. Michigan will always be there next year.
     
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  4. cryano

    cryano All-Big Ten
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    30 feet is relatively small...though it sounds big...and would fit into most campground sites similar to the tent campers...
     
  5. zeke4ahs

    zeke4ahs Hall of Famer
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    I’d do the RV and bring the dog, but also a crate as mentioned. You can be totally self sufficient that way. Start researching where to stay so you don’t end up in park. I rented an RV with a couple friends and drove up the west coast. We stayed some amazing places, including some right on the beach.
     
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  6. MyTeamIsOnTheFloor

    MyTeamIsOnTheFloor Hall of Famer
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    Location:
    Duckburg
    Lincoln State Park
    Swimming lake and trails
    Camping
    Cabins

    Lincoln’s Boyhood Home - National Site

    5 miles from Holiday World
    35 miles from French Lick

    Close to home too - if you need to bail
     
  7. All4You

    All4You Freshman
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    We rented an RV from Cruise America about 10 years ago and went on a 3 week road trip. A 30 footer isn't overly big, but it's just a place to sleep and store your shit for the most part, so it does the trick. And it's got AC so if the heat gets oppressive, it's a nice respite. I have used Cruise America a few times in my life. Just be prepared for:

    1) Noise: Even though these are newer model RV's and they usually maintain them well, there is a shit ton of cabin noise. If it can bang, rattle, bounce or otherwise make an annoying noise...it will. Do yourself a favor and bring a pack of nylon bungee cords and package cloth washrags or hand towels to secure any noisy doors, drawers, stove top burners and other rattly bits.

    2) Smells: Every smell you make or create is compounded in such a small space. Food with distinct smells will make that space funky in no time, and cooking fragrant foods inside the RV using the oven or convection microwave will stick with ya for awhile. Bring some nice air fresheners, and not the one dollar glade kind. Spring for the 4 dollar febreeze air effects or even better, some oil based smelly good stuff that the wife buys at the candle factory. This also leads me into another topic...the bathroom. Yes the safety and convenience of having a bathroom is nice, but camping rough (no hook ups) for a few days with a family dropping feces into the black tanks can lead to another smelly set of circumstances.

    As for finding places, again check with the Michigan DNR about public land camping. Here is a link:

    https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79119_79145_81215---,00.html

    The best thing about state parks is that while the camping bit is always going to be crowded during holidays, the activities they offer and the park itself won't always be.

    And you already covered this but yes, take your tent camping gear with you as well. It's always a good idea. And as long as you can secure the RV and the dog within it, bring Fido along. You can still do the kayaking and water stuff. Hell, compromise and rent canoes instead and bring the doggo.
     
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  8. Eppy99

    Eppy99 All-American
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    I think we would have fun with either scenario. However after talking with the kiddos this weekend and discussing what parts of camping to they enjoy and look forward to most, I really think we're gonna drop the RV and focus on the tent camping. I have some time unti i need to cancel, but that's the directions we're leaning towards. That also means no Fido.
     
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  9. All4You

    All4You Freshman
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    Good call, do what you enjoy the most for now.
     
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  10. iubud

    iubud Hall of Famer
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    I looked into renting an RV for a weekend dance competition. My thought was we could park it at the venue and hang out there between routines, eat our own food and never be late or forget something at the hotel. Rental fees were high but okay. The killer was the mileage charges on top of fuel and it became unattractive. I considered buying a used RV and selling it when we were done with dance and AAU basketball tournaments. I figured the depreciation of a used RV would be less than a few years of hotels and eating out every night.

    My parents bought a pop up camper in the 70's for our 3 week trip out west with my Aunt's house in Arizona as the destination. What they saved in hotel charges paid for the camper and we had the camper after it was over
     
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  11. zeke4ahs

    zeke4ahs Hall of Famer
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    Fido does not approve this message.
     

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