Author Topic: Camping/Glamping  (Read 19032 times)

Le Poisson

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Camping/Glamping
« on: July 06, 2015, 09:02:32 AM »
I sold my boat when we went the mustache route. I loved it, but the monthly slip fees (+/- $450) plus Momma's fear of kids falling overboard, plus the maintenance costs made a 25 foot sailboat more and more of an individual pursuit and less and less of a family-friendly passtime.

This spring, I took one month's worth of our boat savings and bought into Momma's dream of a pop-up trailer that we can drag around on the cheap and see the world. Or at least our corner of it.

Then I saw some of the repairs needed on our little camper and started wondering if this is just yacht-club lite. A $100 lift cable, some Canvas repairs, some wood rot. So far we are into the camper for $1200, but I suspect it will take  a total investment of around $2500 to get the camper in 'proper trim.' Still, that's less than a season of slip fees for the boat, and it makes Momma happy, so I can live with that.

This past week, we took the camper on its maiden voyage for Canada Day weekend. A bunch of folks from an online tent-trailer forum had put together a campout at a local provincial park, so we tagged along. The comfort of the group made it easier for our first foray into RVing, and I figured that with our 20 year old trailer, there would be a need for an expert or two to lend a hand when things went wrong.

We are very experienced remote wilderness campers, and we have spent weeks at a time 'on the hook' in anchorages while sailing. We have tent camped in the provincial park site before when we wimped out from more extreme adventure. I wasn't too concerned with camping, but I did want input on RVing - just to be sure I wasn't missing out anything beyond the obvious.

Since everyone in our group was a pop-up (tent trailer) camper, it was a fairly even playing field, but there were some commonalities within the group.

It was interesting that most of the campers had pickup trucks suited to pull a small house. Many folks are paying interest for 5 years plus on a truck they will use to pull a camper 5 weeeknds a year. We rented a U-Haul pickup for the weekend which still cost us $250 (too much IMO) but at least I'm not locked into 5 years of payments. Most of the campers also had tow vehicles that were very new, many were upset when the trucks got muddy due to wet campsites.  The idea of renting a U-Haul 5 times a year was laughable. Those towing with minivans were declared offenders and dangerous - even if the minivan had a 3500 lbs tow rating for a 1000 lbs camper. I found the truck talk both fascinating and offensive.

The largest camper of the bunch was a 14+ foot pop-up that was equipped with a side pull-out that made it a 3-bedroom unit with 3 king beds. Beside that unit was a new screened dining tent, an add-a-room, a screened cooking tent, and a new minivan. The owner was proud to tell us he 'only' pad $7500 for his camper, and bought the van on a whim since it was a deal he couldn't pass up. The guy was a truck driver and his wife a stay at home mom. They are in the process of losing their apartment (they live with her parents) and are looking to move in with his folks. How can you be sitting on a new truck and a big-ass trailer, and have all the newest, shiniest gear but not be able to afford a home? I'd like to think they are mustachios saving up for a house, but his comments about costs make me think he is more hand-to-mouth.

Not all the families were cut from that cloth though. A retired couple were interesting to talk to. They pulled their camper behind an older minivan, and had had the same one since their kids were tots. He had built knock-down cedar camp chairs and tables. He was quick to point at the upscale trucks and RV's etc. and comment how the bigger you got the less connected with camping you were. Soft spoken and easy going, I liked these folks' mindset. In a campground where buying more cheap plastic meant success, they were cooking on 20 year old stoves with wooden furniture, and a relaxing peace about them. I'd like to emulate people like that more.

Another couple of retirees were AA members who had lived rough, and had some interesting insights in the should-have-been department. Lessons learned too late, and too hard. Their camper was also older, but he was handy and kept it up. Forced frugality was at the forefront talking to them, and while others were boasting of portabello mushrooms in red wine sauce sprinkled with sage imported from blather-blather, etc. etc., they were eating Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee and being an example to us of poor plans or no plans. It was a big treat to him when his wife made him steak and eggs for breakfast one day. A rare splurge.

The whole weekend was an interesting lesson in  journeys and destinations packed into about 25 campsites. It wasn't intended to be a study in lifestyles and frugality, but this open-book microcosm of lifestyles and life choices was interesting to watch unfold in front of us. Its amazing how much you can learn in 5 days in a campground full of people who have let their guard down.

Zamboni

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 09:31:27 AM »
That sounds like an entertaining few days indeed. 

As someone who experienced most childhood camping as multi-day backpacking trips, the idea of having even a small car carrying stuff for me is luxurious. The one time I went with a friend whose parents had a pop up camper, the whole situation just seemed like a big pain for her Dad. Her forbade our use of the toilet (the one thing that I thought was cool about having a camper in the first place) and spent most of his time grousing about setting up and cleaning the camper. I decided right then and there that I'd rather just carry my own stuff and sleep on the ground.

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 10:58:03 AM »
It's amazing, the spectrum of what you can spend camping.

The basic tent is what suits me, and when I was in third grade my best friend's (very Mustachian) family had one of those pop-up campers which they literally wore out over a fifteen year period. Some of the trips they invited us on made for amazing childhood memories, and I don't think they spent very much on a per-trip basis since they were using that thing eight or ten weekends a year plus a couple of week-long trips in the summer. I remember them as being very creative in cooking from scratch with a campfire.

But a person can also spend six figures "roughing it". I've definitely seen an example of this "glamping" approach. It's the sort of thing that seems fine if you can afford it, but I've known at least one couple that couldn't, and it turned into a very sad story.

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 11:14:16 AM »
So SWMBO just priced the lawn chairs that the overspenders were using - $90 each at WalMart. Who the heck spends $90 on a camp chair?!?! Isn't that what a log held in place by a couple rocks is for??

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2015, 11:21:03 AM »
That sounds like an entertaining few days indeed. 

As someone who experienced most childhood camping as multi-day backpacking trips, the idea of having even a small car carrying stuff for me is luxurious. The one time I went with a friend whose parents had a pop up camper, the whole situation just seemed like a big pain for her Dad. Her forbade our use of the toilet (the one thing that I thought was cool about having a camper in the first place) and spent most of his time grousing about setting up and cleaning the camper. I decided right then and there that I'd rather just carry my own stuff and sleep on the ground.

Much of my vacationing in the past has been from a canoe, and there are some fantastic stories there. I love going deep into the woods, but right now thats not in the cards for us, so this is a good compromise. And while the population densities of most campgrounds rival that of a townhouse complex, and come with all the challenges of the third world (clean drinking water, sanitation, food spoil, etc.) it is a change of pace and another way to experience the world.

This fall we are dragging the trailer down into the US and staying in Shenandoah Nat'l Park. Its cheaper than a hotel, and lets our family have a god vacation on a reasonable budget, so I'm OK with it. But you are right, there is a constant maintenance aspect to camping with heavy gear - the same thing we had with the boat. I think the key is to learn to enjoy the maintenance side. As they said at the yacht club, a bad day on the water beats the best days at the office.

Nate R

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2015, 11:27:28 AM »
My wife and I have also been amazed at what people will spend to go "camping." Entire dually diesel trucks so they can haul a camper twice a year? Amazing.

I've got to dig the picture up, but chuckled when we went camping last in our little pop-up camper. Near us was a couple who had a motorhome, as in, coach bus based camper. And it was called....."The American Dream." 

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2015, 11:39:43 AM »
My wife and I have also been amazed at what people will spend to go "camping." Entire dually diesel trucks so they can haul a camper twice a year? Amazing.

I've got to dig the picture up, but chuckled when we went camping last in our little pop-up camper. Near us was a couple who had a motorhome, as in, coach bus based camper. And it was called....."The American Dream."

I always wonder how much fuel those take when they are headed someplace - then I see them pulling a full sized pickup behind it as a dinghy and decide they are so wealthy that it just doesn't matter.

mm1970

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2015, 12:11:20 PM »
This is an interesting study in people. 

I like camping, and we are car/ tent campers.  As we've aged, we've traded up from mats to air mattresses to now, camp cots.  But it is still a lot of work for my spouse especially to pack all our gear into our small car + Thule box (with 2 kids).

For awhile I was interested in a small towable teardrop (before kid #2), but I just couldn't justify it.  A very small one could be towed with a Matrix, but would only fit 3 people at most, not 4.  Once you get big enough to fit 4 people, you need a bigger car to tow it.  I cannot justify a bigger car, just to tow a camper, for 2-3x a year.  Now maybe we'd go more?  Probably not.

My friends have a camper van and they use it a ton.  These are pricey but if you are travelers they can be a lot of fun.

I think my ideal would be a Westy.  If I could find a good quality used one for a few thousand, I'd be totally tempted.

Cassie

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 12:15:05 PM »
WE bought an old used 27 ft motorhome with less then 34,000/miles about 9 years ago when gas prices were alot less. Within 6 months of buying it the prices went up & never came down that much. It gets 9 mph.  WE were going to tow one of our cars but then found out that many newer cars can't be towed. Most automatics can't be either.  WE were planning a month trip going 4,000/miles. That is when I decided that if we got to a place that we needed a car we would rent one. Only needed that for the week we were in Yellowstone.  The rest of the time we either drove it or stayed in rv parks within walking distance to a bus. As we have 3 small dogs & 1 big guy staying at hotels is not feasible. WE really had a good time but gas & rv sites were expensive. The worst were Yellowstone at $55/night & Grand Tetons at $75. The private parks were a lot cheaper.  Yes they do require maintenance & some things were beyond my hubby's expertise that we had to have fixed before we went. We met some people that paid $100,000 for theirs & were experiencing various problems.  We saw one couple that had a matching rv, truck, motorcycle & dune buggy.   However, many others were in olders one too.  I think the pop up is great for a family & definitely cheaper then staying in hotels.

Bob W

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 12:49:20 PM »
I used to sell RVs and have tent camped over 100 days in the last 4 years.   I basically hate camping anymore due to the ever growing list of shit we have to bring now.    I told my wife I would only camp if she did all the work (like I used to).  Since then it has only been a handful of camping nights. 

No one could ever make even a pop up pencil out to save money.   It is not cheaper than a hotel room.   IMHO

A cheap used pop up might go for $4 K --- so right off the bat you are out 400 in depreciation plus 400 per year in opportunity costs of the money.   Taxes and insurance- add 150,  off season storage add 300,  additional gas or in your case truck rental add 200,   camping fees for 10 days per year add 300,  repairs add 150 per year.   So we are at $1,900 per year for a tent on wheels.   Most people will use this for 10 days max the first year and then maybe 6 days for a few years and then park it for 5 without use.   

So the $1,900 for 10 days comes out to around $190 per "camping" night.      Around here we can rent a lakefront or a very cool riverfront cabin for $125.  We can rent an RV ready parked at the river to go for $50.   We can rent a Yurt at the state park for $50.   We can rent a very cool little house on the Prairie cabin at the State Part for $50.    Or we can tent camp for free at the river or $7 at the lake or $15 at a very nice riverfront campground with an awesome shower house. 

So yeah,  even pop ups don't pencil out.   

If you enjoy camping,  like I once did,   my suggestion is a used nice big tent on craig's list and learn to pack food and drink that requires no refrigeration as coolers just ad a layer of headache to your camping experience.      Think red wine and whiskey for alcohol drinks.  Think bagels and jelly for breakfast.  Avoid the need for a stove at all costs. 

I really really do suggest keeping it as simple as possible.     It is the packing, unpacking,  setting up, keeping track of your shit, cleaning your shit,  tearing down,  packing,  unpacking,  cleaning that makes weekend camping suck.   

So yeah,   my whole suggestion chimes in with the back packer above --- take as little shit as is humanly possible.   A tuna sandwich with mustard and a bag of chips beats the hell out of a stove cooked gourmet meal hands down.    While your pop up buddies are taking care of all their shit you will be the one kicked back reading your book, hiking, swimming and actually enjoying the out of doors sipping your 3 Buck Chuck Merlot. 

Of course I could be wrong?  Congratulations on killing the sailboat by the way! (just don't trade one demon for another)

Shamantha

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2015, 01:12:36 PM »
Prospector, that sounds like an interesting weekend. My parents are a bit like te retired couple you described, they recently moved from tent camping to a small pop-up trailer. They are 78 and the main issue was that they need the comfort of a good bed, which the pop-up provides.

I do not understand the need for a bigger car, as the pop-up tents I know can be towed with any reasonably sized car? My car is 1840 kg, so I am allowed to tow 1100 kg. Pop-up trailers are around 750 kg so that is no issue at all.

But perhaps in the US not only the cars are bigger but also the pop-up trailer tents :-)

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2015, 01:34:48 PM »
I used to sell RVs and have tent camped over 100 days in the last 4 years.   I basically hate camping anymore due to the ever growing list of shit we have to bring now.    I told my wife I would only camp if she did all the work (like I used to).  Since then it has only been a handful of camping nights. 

No one could ever make even a pop up pencil out to save money.   It is not cheaper than a hotel room.   IMHO

A cheap used pop up might go for $4 K --- so right off the bat you are out 400 in depreciation plus 400 per year in opportunity costs of the money.   Taxes and insurance- add 150,  off season storage add 300,  additional gas or in your case truck rental add 200,   camping fees for 10 days per year add 300,  repairs add 150 per year.   So we are at $1,900 per year for a tent on wheels.   Most people will use this for 10 days max the first year and then maybe 6 days for a few years and then park it for 5 without use.   

So the $1,900 for 10 days comes out to around $190 per "camping" night.      Around here we can rent a lakefront or a very cool riverfront cabin for $125.  We can rent an RV ready parked at the river to go for $50.   We can rent a Yurt at the state park for $50.   We can rent a very cool little house on the Prairie cabin at the State Part for $50.    Or we can tent camp for free at the river or $7 at the lake or $15 at a very nice riverfront campground with an awesome shower house. 

So yeah,  even pop ups don't pencil out.   

If you enjoy camping,  like I once did,   my suggestion is a used nice big tent on craig's list and learn to pack food and drink that requires no refrigeration as coolers just ad a layer of headache to your camping experience.      Think red wine and whiskey for alcohol drinks.  Think bagels and jelly for breakfast.  Avoid the need for a stove at all costs. 

I really really do suggest keeping it as simple as possible.     It is the packing, unpacking,  setting up, keeping track of your shit, cleaning your shit,  tearing down,  packing,  unpacking,  cleaning that makes weekend camping suck.   

So yeah,   my whole suggestion chimes in with the back packer above --- take as little shit as is humanly possible.   A tuna sandwich with mustard and a bag of chips beats the hell out of a stove cooked gourmet meal hands down.    While your pop up buddies are taking care of all their shit you will be the one kicked back reading your book, hiking, swimming and actually enjoying the out of doors sipping your 3 Buck Chuck Merlot. 

Of course I could be wrong?  Congratulations on killing the sailboat by the way! (just don't trade one demon for another)

I was waiting for the facepunch...

Your numbers mostly make sense. Almost. Not really. Some seem high, others low, but it may be regional since I'm across a border from you. I'm not going down the opportunity cost road, so I'm putting that aside. You did too, so we have common ground there.

  • Our cheap, used pop up was $1100 CDN. Similar units on CL are around $2500 right now. I see our depreciation as minimal, even after the repairs needed. It had a broken lift cable, so was an easy buy since it was damaged goods. We are looking at replacing the canvas and a lift arm. Likely tires too.
  • Insurance is $20 per month - same as the boat, and trailers aren't taxed here (beyond licensing)
  • Off season storage is in the driveway - free.
  • U-haul truck rental is $20/day plus fuel
  • Campsites here are pricey - $40/night
  • Repair budget of $100 seems optimistic - I would guess closer to $500/yr. Replacing an awning runs $300 alone (see items above)

Now lets say we use it for our 10 day getaway this fall plus our 5 days already completed for a one-year camping schedule of 15 days. So far I've spent $1300 on the trailer & cable plus $450 for our first 5 nights of sleeping out.  I'm at $1750 for a 5 night camping schedule. Our reservations in Virginia will run us another $150. Fuel to get there in a minivan will be marginally more than driving without the trailer. I'll add on $150 to play nice.

While in the USA we pick up a pair of tires ($35 per side = $70) but leave the other repairs until we get home, and decide after the trip whether we keep the trailer or resell it in the spring.

So our 15 days of use will cost us about $2300 (I added a small cushion) or about $153 per night for a family of 5. If things go well, we sink in another $1000 for new canvas and keep the trailer. If not, we sell for about $2500 and escape for what we put into it and our costs drop to nearly nothing for the year of use.

I agree with you on the simplicity side of things though - same as when we were canoeing, you need the 'right' kit packed the 'right' way so that there is ease and consistency. This doesn't have to mean a diet of ramen and dehydrated peas though. When we were canoeing, we got some pretty elaborate meals happening, including roast beef dinners and baked cakes and pies while in some very remote corners of the country. With good gear and good planning you'd be surprised what you can do. Actually you wouldn't - as a hiker, you know what I'm  talking about already.

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2015, 01:41:37 PM »
Prospector, that sounds like an interesting weekend. My parents are a bit like te retired couple you described, they recently moved from tent camping to a small pop-up trailer. They are 78 and the main issue was that they need the comfort of a good bed, which the pop-up provides.

I do not understand the need for a bigger car, as the pop-up tents I know can be towed with any reasonably sized car? My car is 1840 kg, so I am allowed to tow 1100 kg. Pop-up trailers are around 750 kg so that is no issue at all.

But perhaps in the US not only the cars are bigger but also the pop-up trailer tents :-)

Our trailer has a 10ft by 6ft box and weighs in at 1300 lbs. (600 kg) empty. Our Buick (6 cyl car) is only rated to 1000 lbs (500 kg) so once you combine the loaded weight of the trailer with the loaded weight of the car, we would be over what the car is rated to tow. While this is disappointing, we aren't surprised. The Buick was intended to be traded against a low-cost minivan this year anyhow, so we are looking at our vehicle replacement budget of $6000 and seeing what will work.

I need to stress here that the minivan was in the cards long before the trailer, and will be staying around longer.

gimp

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2015, 02:12:43 PM »
It's amazing, the spectrum of what you can spend camping.

Yep!

When I travel on my own, I sleep in my car. I find random little pull-outs off the road, get into my sleeping bag, make my front seat comfortable, and go to sleep. Incredibly convenient - anywhere big enough to park a car safely, preferably with no cops bothering me; I often sleep where there'll be a fantastic sunrise. Legitimately prefer this to hotels regardless of cost. Anyone else do this?

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2015, 02:31:21 PM »

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2015, 02:44:46 PM »
It's amazing, the spectrum of what you can spend camping.

Yep!

When I travel on my own, I sleep in my car. I find random little pull-outs off the road, get into my sleeping bag, make my front seat comfortable, and go to sleep. Incredibly convenient - anywhere big enough to park a car safely, preferably with no cops bothering me; I often sleep where there'll be a fantastic sunrise. Legitimately prefer this to hotels regardless of cost. Anyone else do this?

The last car I had that I could do something like this in comfortably was a Buck LeSabre Wagon. The back of that wagon was a wonderful place. I have never been comfortable sleeping in the front seat of any car - and when I pull off to sleep at a rest stop I always panic when I wake up behind the wheel.

Kudos on your ultra-minimalist approach though!

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2015, 02:45:32 PM »


Source: http://semi-rad.com/2014/04/the-hierarchy-of-camping/

They left out canoe trippers - I think they fall in just under "Backpackers" - nice progression though.

Joggernot

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2015, 03:08:10 PM »
My son just "retired" his Scotty 10-ft camper by building a space in his back yard for it.  They now use it for camping, social activities, etc.  As he says, "it's 50 feet from the nearest bar and 20 feet from the fishing hole.

Where would this fit in the hierarchy of camping?

mm1970

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2015, 04:43:52 PM »
I used to sell RVs and have tent camped over 100 days in the last 4 years.   I basically hate camping anymore due to the ever growing list of shit we have to bring now.    I told my wife I would only camp if she did all the work (like I used to).  Since then it has only been a handful of camping nights. 

No one could ever make even a pop up pencil out to save money.   It is not cheaper than a hotel room.   IMHO

A cheap used pop up might go for $4 K --- so right off the bat you are out 400 in depreciation plus 400 per year in opportunity costs of the money.   Taxes and insurance- add 150,  off season storage add 300,  additional gas or in your case truck rental add 200,   camping fees for 10 days per year add 300,  repairs add 150 per year.   So we are at $1,900 per year for a tent on wheels.   Most people will use this for 10 days max the first year and then maybe 6 days for a few years and then park it for 5 without use.   

So the $1,900 for 10 days comes out to around $190 per "camping" night.      Around here we can rent a lakefront or a very cool riverfront cabin for $125.  We can rent an RV ready parked at the river to go for $50.   We can rent a Yurt at the state park for $50.   We can rent a very cool little house on the Prairie cabin at the State Part for $50.    Or we can tent camp for free at the river or $7 at the lake or $15 at a very nice riverfront campground with an awesome shower house. 

So yeah,  even pop ups don't pencil out.   

If you enjoy camping,  like I once did,   my suggestion is a used nice big tent on craig's list and learn to pack food and drink that requires no refrigeration as coolers just ad a layer of headache to your camping experience.      Think red wine and whiskey for alcohol drinks.  Think bagels and jelly for breakfast.  Avoid the need for a stove at all costs. 

I really really do suggest keeping it as simple as possible.     It is the packing, unpacking,  setting up, keeping track of your shit, cleaning your shit,  tearing down,  packing,  unpacking,  cleaning that makes weekend camping suck.   

So yeah,   my whole suggestion chimes in with the back packer above --- take as little shit as is humanly possible.   A tuna sandwich with mustard and a bag of chips beats the hell out of a stove cooked gourmet meal hands down.    While your pop up buddies are taking care of all their shit you will be the one kicked back reading your book, hiking, swimming and actually enjoying the out of doors sipping your 3 Buck Chuck Merlot. 

Of course I could be wrong?  Congratulations on killing the sailboat by the way! (just don't trade one demon for another)

Ha ha, I think we've had this conversation before (about how I should pack up the car for camping to make it easier on my  husband).

I haven't quite priced it out like you have - but even camping in a tent isn't free.  Campsites with running water will run $45 a night in my area, and "rustic" desert campsites are better at about $15 a night (they are much further away, so there's gas).

For sure I've noticed a tendency of the people I have camped with to go a little more "upscale".  With the camping van people, they have micro's, fridge, stove, so they cook more. I mean they can take pancake mix with them, already mixed up, and they have a sink.

I've been going the other direction.  For the longest time I'd try to cook things like oatmeal for breakfast and packets of things for dinner.  Or I'd make scrambled eggs, or cook on the campfire.  Then I made nachos one night (heat up chili, throw on cheese and pour over chips) and my kids were in heaven, go figure.

So now our camping food is as low work as possible.  Instant coffee (except I always forget sugar and creamer).  Breakfast is muffins and fruit or cheese and nuts and fruit.  Lunch: sandwiches and raw veggies.  Dinner: nachos, or cheese/crackers/salami/veggies/fruit.  Or something that I pre-made like a salad.  This last camping trip (or two) was a TOTAL revelation when I did that.  The first day, we did oatmeal, and it was a pain!  I was heating water for coffee already, but still - then I had to do the dishes.  The second day was cheese and nuts and fruit and muffins.  SO much easier.

I can get behind the red wine, but when camping in the desert, you need beer.  I'm okay with a cooler full of ice for beer.

mm1970

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Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2015, 08:24:52 PM »
We've never had electric before, so this past weekend, that alone was an amazing thing. We brought along the waffle iron. Waffles were a big hit, and its the same recipe as pancakes, plus an egg.

For those who are interested, the kids prefer the Cookie Monster waffles to the Elmo ones - we got this waffle iron at a garage sale for $5: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sesame-Street-Waffle-Maker-with-Elmo-and-Cookie-Monster-/131469282034
 

Metta

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2015, 09:58:48 PM »


Source: http://semi-rad.com/2014/04/the-hierarchy-of-camping/

I find it somewhat distressing that bears not only plot to steal my food and eat anyone wearing bear bells, but also mock us whilst doing so.

Metta

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2015, 10:00:52 PM »
Now don't you guys go trashing on us glampers! I am a car-glamper extraordinaire and often set up the big cabin tent, a nice elevated mattress (with real bedding and sheets, a comfy chair, camp table and even sometimes in a regular campground I get, GASP!, electric hook ups for the Ninja blender for adult beverages. I pile all that crap into my 15 year old truck (which I sleep in when just camping a few days or enroute somewhere) and set it up in a few minutes time at a regular tent site and live the life of luxury for a couple of weeks or longer.  Costs the same for the site as a regular tent (plus another couple of bucks if I want electric) and isn't a hassle at all to set up. I call it my African Tent Safari Camp although I am missing the white linens, crystal, and silverware but it generally pretty nice. I'm normally an ultralight minimalist backpacker style so this car/tent glamping is pretty darn luxurious for minimal cost. No need for an RV or trailer or fancy pants tow vehicle, I can tent camp in luxury for very little money. Yay, Glamping!  Of course I just spent a month sleeping in the back of a Mazda 5 mini-mini van and found that pretty luxurious so what do I know.

I thought electric hook-ups were just for RVs. How do car campers use these? Is it just a regular-looking outlet?

Goldielocks

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2015, 10:47:14 PM »


I had to share.

We bought this tent trailer / utility trailer about 2 years ago, for $3500 ish.

It is a utility trailer (fairly heavy duty as they go) most of the year for us, and a cabin tent with a QUEEN SIZE, ELEVATED BED (DH has bad back, can't sleep on ground any more) when we camp.  The tent part is stored vertically against our garage wall when not in use, and there is a 6 ft wide cabinet for a kitchen (sink / counter and drawers), which swings out under the awning and attached to the inside  tail gate.

Bikes fit inside the trailer when tent is folded, or on a trailer hitch, kayak goes on top.   Lots of cargo room.

Towed with our luxurious (to us) 2006 Toyota Highlander... my DH loves to go 4x4ng for at least a couple of trips, and we are always towing this thing on logging roads up and down mountains, it seems.  We definitely use the 4 wheel drive on those back gravel roads.

No one mentioned what we have been using it for, other than normal camping -- when we visit family out of town on semi-rural lots, and they don't have room for our whole family.  It is nice to have our own bed, linens, feather duvet and "cabin" all to ourselves.

Cost for camping --

Nightly fee:  $0 to $30 per night (rarely go to the $35 per night places, but having a power extension cord can be very nice for the laptop!  campgrounds have wifi now, you know...)  We get into quite a few forestry backcountry sites if we are 5 hours outside of a major urban centre.

Other goods -car camping (tent) standards of cooler, stove, chairs, etc.  Screen tent (bugs!), kayaks, bikes, bug net, 2 cots for kids... folding mini table, lanterns, homemande rocket stove, campfire cooking, etc.  $150+ per year, we always buy something it seems.

Camper repairs -- I will go with $75/yr.  We will have to spray the utility trailer for rust each year because the paint job was not good... maybe replace poles or tires eventually, but this is made for rough roads with large tires.  Canvas is durable.

Storage - $0

Purchase price $3500  (for dispaly unit, including the trailer which was at least $2k of that.   Can haul a lot of broken concrete in this one!)


Camp average of 10 nights / year for 8 years,
Use utility trailer 15x per year to / from dump or supply store, rental value at $20/day


Average net cost: $40.75 per night  -- assumes scrap value at the end of 8 years, but there will be some residual, I am sure.







FunkyStickman

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2015, 06:46:01 AM »
I just shake my head at Glampers. My parents had a big RV popout trailer and a pickup to tow it. They started out tent camping, but my mom increasingly pushed for more and more luxuries. They ended up with a huge trailer they never used (because it was too much work to pack everything and hook it up!) and sold the trailer after dad wrecked his truck. Now they don't camp at all.

Then they gave me all their old tent camping stuff, and I only use it when I go camping with my son's scout troop. 8-person tent, queen-sized cots, multiple buckets of utensils and pots, camp chairs, folding tables, etc. etc. etc.

But if it's just me? I have a hammock and a rain fly, and a small single-burner stove. I'm good.

Metta

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2015, 08:05:22 AM »
Now don't you guys go trashing on us glampers! I am a car-glamper extraordinaire and often set up the big cabin tent, a nice elevated mattress (with real bedding and sheets, a comfy chair, camp table and even sometimes in a regular campground I get, GASP!, electric hook ups for the Ninja blender for adult beverages. I pile all that crap into my 15 year old truck (which I sleep in when just camping a few days or enroute somewhere) and set it up in a few minutes time at a regular tent site and live the life of luxury for a couple of weeks or longer.  Costs the same for the site as a regular tent (plus another couple of bucks if I want electric) and isn't a hassle at all to set up. I call it my African Tent Safari Camp although I am missing the white linens, crystal, and silverware but it generally pretty nice. I'm normally an ultralight minimalist backpacker style so this car/tent glamping is pretty darn luxurious for minimal cost. No need for an RV or trailer or fancy pants tow vehicle, I can tent camp in luxury for very little money. Yay, Glamping!  Of course I just spent a month sleeping in the back of a Mazda 5 mini-mini van and found that pretty luxurious so what do I know.

I thought electric hook-ups were just for RVs. How do car campers use these? Is it just a regular-looking outlet?
  Depending on the campground and type of electric outlets they have available, you can just bring an extension cord. A lot of tents now have an electric outlet built into them in a side pocket for that too - even the small cheap ones at Walmart and Target. Some campgrounds only have RV electric hook ups though will not work unless you buy an extension cord with a special plug adaptor and a plug in strip to plug in your gadgets. I will add that I almost never get a tent camp site with an electrical outlet because most are where RVs go and I hate tent camping next to RVs and trailers. But many state parks have multi-use sites so most have some kind of outlet but usually require an adapter.

Ah! I see. I am not certain what gadgets we would ever need electricity for (except perhaps cell phone charging) so we are probably good with the primitive sites. But it's nice to know that this is a possibility. Thanks!

FunkyStickman

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2015, 09:29:34 AM »
That's how I am when I backpack (well a one person bivy tent and pad) but when you are on car camping road trips several months a year a few easy top carry luxuries can go a long way. Especially when you set up once for a couple of weeks or longer in each place and then don't have to bother with anything afterwards. I can even see the allure of a small trailer or RV when doing those kinds of long trips where your RV/trailer is your home for months at a time. But a full out glamping or RV/trailer (and tow vehicle) for a one or 2 week per year thing seems like overkill. I'd just rather stay in a motel or tent camp instead.

Oh, I'm not roughing it. I have a French Press for coffee! ;)

mm1970

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2015, 09:33:16 AM »
So I had to go online and look up various costs for things after Bob's cost talk. Of course the sticky note is in the pocket of yesterday's jeans.

But, here's what I learned, approximately:

Rent an RV: $100/ night + mileage ($160 for 500 miles), plus campsite fees.  For a week, probably $900-1000.
Have someone deliver a 5th wheel to a campground: $250 plus campsite fees, about $340 for 2 nights
Rent a campervan from Escape Campervans: about $500 for the week  (downside, hard to sleep 4)
Tent camping:
- private local beach campground: $55/night (has a pool)
- state beach park: $48/night
- desert park: $15/night (plus gas for the 6 hour drive)
- lake park: $37/night

Rent a house by VRBO - depends on location - some places $400/week, some more than that (thinking the Sequoias)

Stay in a Hampton Inn - $120-140/night, depending on size of room (we need a bit more space for 4)

So, I don't really see that owning an RV or a trailer is really a financially beneficial thing to do, for the amount of time that most people would be camping.  Of course, the exceptions are people who camp a lot (have a lot of vacation/ summers off), or have and travel with pets (my sister does this).

Of course, camp site fees vary too, but in California - hookups are going to cost you.  Tent sites are cheaper.  National parks in general are cheaper, but you pay to get in.  If you are going on longer trips, use of free camping on BLM land is beneficial (have never done that).  I watched an interesting video in a "Tiny House Magazine" last year about a family who spent the summer in their old Westy, and they never paid to camp.  I don't remember how long they traveled.  But the advantage to a camper van, a van, or a westy (or a car that you can stealth camp in), is that you can pull off to the side of the road, or on a back road, or in a Walmart parking lot, etc., and camp for free, or if you cannot find a spot.  That is a lot harder to do if you are just camping in a tent with kids.  This family only got kicked out of where they were camping once (a state park).

Tent camping, however, once you have the gear, can be relatively cheap.  Even at $50 a night, it's cheaper than a hotel.

Chris22

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2015, 09:47:33 AM »
So I had to go online and look up various costs for things after Bob's cost talk. Of course the sticky note is in the pocket of yesterday's jeans.

But, here's what I learned, approximately:

Rent an RV: $100/ night + mileage ($160 for 500 miles), plus campsite fees.  For a week, probably $900-1000.
Have someone deliver a 5th wheel to a campground: $250 plus campsite fees, about $340 for 2 nights
Rent a campervan from Escape Campervans: about $500 for the week  (downside, hard to sleep 4)
Tent camping:
- private local beach campground: $55/night (has a pool)
- state beach park: $48/night
- desert park: $15/night (plus gas for the 6 hour drive)
- lake park: $37/night

Rent a house by VRBO - depends on location - some places $400/week, some more than that (thinking the Sequoias)

Stay in a Hampton Inn - $120-140/night, depending on size of room (we need a bit more space for 4)

So, I don't really see that owning an RV or a trailer is really a financially beneficial thing to do, for the amount of time that most people would be camping.  Of course, the exceptions are people who camp a lot (have a lot of vacation/ summers off), or have and travel with pets (my sister does this).

Of course, camp site fees vary too, but in California - hookups are going to cost you.  Tent sites are cheaper.  National parks in general are cheaper, but you pay to get in.  If you are going on longer trips, use of free camping on BLM land is beneficial (have never done that).  I watched an interesting video in a "Tiny House Magazine" last year about a family who spent the summer in their old Westy, and they never paid to camp.  I don't remember how long they traveled.  But the advantage to a camper van, a van, or a westy (or a car that you can stealth camp in), is that you can pull off to the side of the road, or on a back road, or in a Walmart parking lot, etc., and camp for free, or if you cannot find a spot.  That is a lot harder to do if you are just camping in a tent with kids.  This family only got kicked out of where they were camping once (a state park).

Tent camping, however, once you have the gear, can be relatively cheap.  Even at $50 a night, it's cheaper than a hotel.


I'm a non-camper (done it, don't really like it) and I don't disagree with your math at all, but what you aren't taking into account is that the Hampton Inn may not be at the rim of the Grand Canyon, and they generally frown upon having a camp fire 10 yards from your bed.  There are experiences you get camping that you can't get from staying at the Hampton Inn.  What those experiences are worth to you to have (or worth to you to avoid) is the wild card. 

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2015, 10:01:54 AM »
They also haven't plugged in the cost of a second room when your family reaches a critical stage. As a family of 5 with teens, its getting hard to have just one room for more than a weekend.

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2015, 10:33:37 AM »
How appropriate! I went camping with the DH and my sister's family this weekend! After using up and wearing our $50 Craigslist tent (used about once a month) we are in the market for a new tent. DH wants to go higher-end, I'm inclined to agree with him instead of buying a pop up camper which we debated awhile back.

fartface

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2015, 11:42:42 AM »
I used to sell RVs and have tent camped over 100 days in the last 4 years.   I basically hate camping anymore due to the ever growing list of shit we have to bring now.    I told my wife I would only camp if she did all the work (like I used to).  Since then it has only been a handful of camping nights. 

No one could ever make even a pop up pencil out to save money.   It is not cheaper than a hotel room.   IMHO

A cheap used pop up might go for $4 K --- so right off the bat you are out 400 in depreciation plus 400 per year in opportunity costs of the money.   Taxes and insurance- add 150,  off season storage add 300,  additional gas or in your case truck rental add 200,   camping fees for 10 days per year add 300,  repairs add 150 per year.   So we are at $1,900 per year for a tent on wheels.   Most people will use this for 10 days max the first year and then maybe 6 days for a few years and then park it for 5 without use.   

So the $1,900 for 10 days comes out to around $190 per "camping" night.      Around here we can rent a lakefront or a very cool riverfront cabin for $125.  We can rent an RV ready parked at the river to go for $50.   We can rent a Yurt at the state park for $50.   We can rent a very cool little house on the Prairie cabin at the State Part for $50.    Or we can tent camp for free at the river or $7 at the lake or $15 at a very nice riverfront campground with an awesome shower house. 

So yeah,  even pop ups don't pencil out.   

If you enjoy camping,  like I once did,   my suggestion is a used nice big tent on craig's list and learn to pack food and drink that requires no refrigeration as coolers just ad a layer of headache to your camping experience.      Think red wine and whiskey for alcohol drinks.  Think bagels and jelly for breakfast.  Avoid the need for a stove at all costs. 

I really really do suggest keeping it as simple as possible.     It is the packing, unpacking,  setting up, keeping track of your shit, cleaning your shit,  tearing down,  packing,  unpacking,  cleaning that makes weekend camping suck.   

So yeah,   my whole suggestion chimes in with the back packer above --- take as little shit as is humanly possible.   A tuna sandwich with mustard and a bag of chips beats the hell out of a stove cooked gourmet meal hands down.    While your pop up buddies are taking care of all their shit you will be the one kicked back reading your book, hiking, swimming and actually enjoying the out of doors sipping your 3 Buck Chuck Merlot. 

Of course I could be wrong?  Congratulations on killing the sailboat by the way! (just don't trade one demon for another)

Dang. Quite an excellent analysis. DH and I have been looking at pop-ups on craigslist. Putting it this way, seems we should rethink.

Now, I think about my sister who just sunk $25K into a travel trailer. "Doh! She keeps expounding on the benefits of it and all the mont they save on hotels. I thought the most annoying part was them having to find a dump site every few days, and then when they weren't dumping, they were looking for places to fill their overlarge propane tanks, and when they weren't doing that, their sink was leaking, and, the fuel they burned...aargh.

Mrs.LC

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2015, 12:11:50 PM »
Just toured the Jayco RV factory where we watched 37 foot 5th wheels Glampers being built. It was amazing - some of the units have 60 inch TVs and bigger refrigerators than we've ever had in our house.  These units run $85K and higher. Add in the cost of the big truck to pull it along with the gas/diesel burned and campground fees and you have quite the outlay of cash.  Am currently working on a blog post about the tour itself as it was fascinating and well worth the few dollars worth of gas it took to get there.

Jenni

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2015, 12:21:37 PM »
Quote

When I travel on my own, I sleep in my car. I find random little pull-outs off the road, get into my sleeping bag, make my front seat comfortable, and go to sleep. Incredibly convenient - anywhere big enough to park a car safely, preferably with no cops bothering me; I often sleep where there'll be a fantastic sunrise. Legitimately prefer this to hotels regardless of cost. Anyone else do this?
I've thought about sleeping like this in the back of our Saturn Vue. Haven't really laid down in it to check but it seems like an option as long as it's cool at night.

Le Poisson

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2015, 12:38:26 PM »
So one of our old canoeing buddies just sent this in response to us picking up the trailer...


Elderwood17

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2015, 01:20:09 PM »
We are strictly car/tent campers, generally packing the tent and supplies a mile or so before setting up.  Keeps costs low and the enjoy,ent for us high.

The inlaws on the other hand, have a monster Winnebago they take out once every year or two.

JoJo

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2015, 01:31:16 PM »
I splurged on myself and bought this for car camping.  Used it 4 nights over last weekend and it worked great.

http://www.amazon.com/Kamp-Rite-DTC443-Oversize-Tent-Cot/dp/B000I641UQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436297425&sr=8-1&keywords=tent+cot

zoltani

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2015, 02:21:29 PM »
Secret confession: Dream is to have a sprinter van RV build that is built out to look like a log cabin inside, hopefully DIY. I'd settle for a dodge promaster. 

Bob W

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2015, 02:41:06 PM »
I splurged on myself and bought this for car camping.  Used it 4 nights over last weekend and it worked great.

http://www.amazon.com/Kamp-Rite-DTC443-Oversize-Tent-Cot/dp/B000I641UQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436297425&sr=8-1&keywords=tent+cot

That is rather cool looking!

I suppose the appeal of camping for us has been being in nature and away from people to a large degree.   I never considered being in a campground that accommodates RVs to be actual camping.   We like the gravel bars on rivers and private coves.   

A few years ago we stumbled across an island campground (with causeway) above the dam at Beaver Lake in Northernn Arkansas,  near Eureka Springs.   We lucked out as there was a cancelation.    This was in June and the temp for the 3 days there was 105 for highs.      There were about 30 spots spread out nicely and all of them but us were RVers.     

It was rather sad really --- everyone just stayed in their RVs.   This happened to be the summer we went with out AC at home or the car,  so we were well adapted.   When we got a little warm we just jumped in the lake.   Nights were a bit warm but not bad with our adaption level.    Our air mattresses had popped long before that as well so we adapted to that as well.   

The whole hedonistic adaption plays out in the camping world. 

Campers!  We don't need no stinking campers!  lol

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2015, 08:31:59 AM »
I have an older Honda CR-V.  The thing was pretty much designed for camping.  The seats all lay down nearly flat into a bed.  (Not insanely comfortable, but passable.)  And there's a picnic table built into it.  I didn't even take a tent the last time I went out.  And I probably won't the next time either.  When I decide to go, it's as easy as throwing the sleeping bag, the camping bin, and the cooler in the car. :)

My parents, on the other hand, have a big ol' popup trailer.  I understand the allure.  I really do.  Being in the great outdoors with electricity and running water is quite nice.  But it doesn't really feel like camping to me.

RunHappy

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2015, 08:49:37 AM »


Source: http://semi-rad.com/2014/04/the-hierarchy-of-camping/
I love this!


HAHA! I love this!  I love backpacking packing up and moving to a new spot every day. We both want to do the PCT but honestly with babies soon I have no idea how that will happen in the next decade or so.   I've never been a car camper but with a little one coming soon I imagine we will be doing a fair amount of car camping the first few years. 

I just heard about glamping and thought it was hilarious, but am now looking at it more seriously as a honeymoon idea!  We want to take a nice, preferably outdoors, relaxing honeymoon without too much "work".

mm1970

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #41 on: July 08, 2015, 11:00:48 AM »
So I had to go online and look up various costs for things after Bob's cost talk. Of course the sticky note is in the pocket of yesterday's jeans.

But, here's what I learned, approximately:

Rent an RV: $100/ night + mileage ($160 for 500 miles), plus campsite fees.  For a week, probably $900-1000.
Have someone deliver a 5th wheel to a campground: $250 plus campsite fees, about $340 for 2 nights
Rent a campervan from Escape Campervans: about $500 for the week  (downside, hard to sleep 4)
Tent camping:
- private local beach campground: $55/night (has a pool)
- state beach park: $48/night
- desert park: $15/night (plus gas for the 6 hour drive)
- lake park: $37/night

Rent a house by VRBO - depends on location - some places $400/week, some more than that (thinking the Sequoias)

Stay in a Hampton Inn - $120-140/night, depending on size of room (we need a bit more space for 4)

So, I don't really see that owning an RV or a trailer is really a financially beneficial thing to do, for the amount of time that most people would be camping.  Of course, the exceptions are people who camp a lot (have a lot of vacation/ summers off), or have and travel with pets (my sister does this).

Of course, camp site fees vary too, but in California - hookups are going to cost you.  Tent sites are cheaper.  National parks in general are cheaper, but you pay to get in.  If you are going on longer trips, use of free camping on BLM land is beneficial (have never done that).  I watched an interesting video in a "Tiny House Magazine" last year about a family who spent the summer in their old Westy, and they never paid to camp.  I don't remember how long they traveled.  But the advantage to a camper van, a van, or a westy (or a car that you can stealth camp in), is that you can pull off to the side of the road, or on a back road, or in a Walmart parking lot, etc., and camp for free, or if you cannot find a spot.  That is a lot harder to do if you are just camping in a tent with kids.  This family only got kicked out of where they were camping once (a state park).

Tent camping, however, once you have the gear, can be relatively cheap.  Even at $50 a night, it's cheaper than a hotel.


I'm a non-camper (done it, don't really like it) and I don't disagree with your math at all, but what you aren't taking into account is that the Hampton Inn may not be at the rim of the Grand Canyon, and they generally frown upon having a camp fire 10 yards from your bed.  There are experiences you get camping that you can't get from staying at the Hampton Inn.  What those experiences are worth to you to have (or worth to you to avoid) is the wild card.
Right, but the Grand Canyon is a special consideration - it's a national park.  So you are going to pay to get in, but camping is actually pretty cheap.  We've camped at Mather Campground on the South Rim (which is lovely, and shaded, and well-spaced), and it's on the order of $14-18 a night (I don't remember exactly).  I don't know if they have sites with hookups, as we are tent campers.  But of course, if you are traveling with dogs you'd want a camper of some kind.  We saw a number of mini-teardrops on our last trip.

Chris22

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #42 on: July 08, 2015, 01:06:20 PM »
So I had to go online and look up various costs for things after Bob's cost talk. Of course the sticky note is in the pocket of yesterday's jeans.

But, here's what I learned, approximately:

Rent an RV: $100/ night + mileage ($160 for 500 miles), plus campsite fees.  For a week, probably $900-1000.
Have someone deliver a 5th wheel to a campground: $250 plus campsite fees, about $340 for 2 nights
Rent a campervan from Escape Campervans: about $500 for the week  (downside, hard to sleep 4)
Tent camping:
- private local beach campground: $55/night (has a pool)
- state beach park: $48/night
- desert park: $15/night (plus gas for the 6 hour drive)
- lake park: $37/night

Rent a house by VRBO - depends on location - some places $400/week, some more than that (thinking the Sequoias)

Stay in a Hampton Inn - $120-140/night, depending on size of room (we need a bit more space for 4)

So, I don't really see that owning an RV or a trailer is really a financially beneficial thing to do, for the amount of time that most people would be camping.  Of course, the exceptions are people who camp a lot (have a lot of vacation/ summers off), or have and travel with pets (my sister does this).

Of course, camp site fees vary too, but in California - hookups are going to cost you.  Tent sites are cheaper.  National parks in general are cheaper, but you pay to get in.  If you are going on longer trips, use of free camping on BLM land is beneficial (have never done that).  I watched an interesting video in a "Tiny House Magazine" last year about a family who spent the summer in their old Westy, and they never paid to camp.  I don't remember how long they traveled.  But the advantage to a camper van, a van, or a westy (or a car that you can stealth camp in), is that you can pull off to the side of the road, or on a back road, or in a Walmart parking lot, etc., and camp for free, or if you cannot find a spot.  That is a lot harder to do if you are just camping in a tent with kids.  This family only got kicked out of where they were camping once (a state park).

Tent camping, however, once you have the gear, can be relatively cheap.  Even at $50 a night, it's cheaper than a hotel.


I'm a non-camper (done it, don't really like it) and I don't disagree with your math at all, but what you aren't taking into account is that the Hampton Inn may not be at the rim of the Grand Canyon, and they generally frown upon having a camp fire 10 yards from your bed.  There are experiences you get camping that you can't get from staying at the Hampton Inn.  What those experiences are worth to you to have (or worth to you to avoid) is the wild card.
Right, but the Grand Canyon is a special consideration - it's a national park.  So you are going to pay to get in, but camping is actually pretty cheap.  We've camped at Mather Campground on the South Rim (which is lovely, and shaded, and well-spaced), and it's on the order of $14-18 a night (I don't remember exactly).  I don't know if they have sites with hookups, as we are tent campers.  But of course, if you are traveling with dogs you'd want a camper of some kind.  We saw a number of mini-teardrops on our last trip.

Yeah, I'm just saying let's compare apples to apples, not apples to orangatangs.  You want to say "you don't need a big RV, maybe a small pop-up trailer or a tent" that's perfectly fair, but to say "you don't need an RV a hotel room is cheaper" isn't really a valid comparison. 

RunHappy

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2015, 02:30:12 PM »

I just heard about glamping and thought it was hilarious, but am now looking at it more seriously as a honeymoon idea!  We want to take a nice, preferably outdoors, relaxing honeymoon without too much "work".
They actually have whole glamping villages set up in many places - big tents, smaller tents, trailers (very cute vintage Air Streams), big trailers, and RVs. They are very resort like and can be rustic-ish (think Curry Village in Yosemite) or massively luxurious (A 5-star African  Safari set up) with full spa treatments and fine dining (often prepared in your tent by a professional chef). Many are in cool places that are full of natural beauty (i.e. Yosemite), and there are also many solo places where you are the only people in a remote area but with a luxury tent set up. I'm sure there are tons of honeymoon-worthy places but probably cost a ton.  Some day I might actually try such a place but really, for the money, would rather just camp in my old truck.

And here you go: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-warner/honeymoon-glamping-7-brea_b_5187746.html

The first place they list in Montana comes with your very own private camping butler. Gotta get me one of those :-)!

I just sent that link to a friend of mine, she once told me the only way to get her to sleep "under the stars" was if she was waited on hand and foot!


zoltani

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2015, 03:00:18 PM »
After my wife and I got married we took a trip to maui and rented a camper van instead of getting a hotel room, it was great! In the end I think it was much cheaper than staying in a hotel/resort. We were able to cook our own food, park right on the beach and sleep, and move around at will.

Here is the link for anyone interested:
http://alohacampers.com/


bacchi

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2015, 03:25:39 PM »
Tent camping:
- private local beach campground: $55/night (has a pool)
- state beach park: $48/night
- desert park: $15/night (plus gas for the 6 hour drive)
- lake park: $37/night

- BLM/national forest dispersed site: $0/night

zoltani

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2015, 04:12:36 PM »
Tent camping:
- private local beach campground: $55/night (has a pool)
- state beach park: $48/night
- desert park: $15/night (plus gas for the 6 hour drive)
- lake park: $37/night

- BLM/national forest dispersed site: $0/night

I absolutely hate paying for camping. Especially when you are essentially paying for a place to put your tent and a pit toilet. Seriously? Some of the FS campgrounds around here charge $18/night and $10/night for extra car, bringing it to $28/night for 2 cars. That is ridiculous. Now if there are ht showers i MIGHT think about paying, but I'd say $15 is my upper limit.


Cassie

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2015, 04:33:39 PM »
Owning this old RV has definitely not been cheap. Once we are down to just 2 little dogs we will probably sell & go back to getting hotel rooms. 

mm1970

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2015, 04:49:30 PM »
Quote
But you aren't considering the total cost of an RV compared to a hotel room. The purchase price, sales tax, registration and tags, insurance, maintenance and repairs, possible storage fees when not in use, possible need for a vehicle to tow it or one to be towed behind it, additional fuel costs compared to just taking a car to the hotel, nightly RV camping fees, and so on. Add up the total cost for ALL of that, how much you use it for trips, and compare that to hotels - even expensive hotels. Unless a person is full time RVing vs. hotels, it can be a huge difference in cost for the 2 - 4 weeks vacation the average American takes a year.  Even at places like the El Tovar (on the Rim) or Maswik Lodge in right in Grand Canyon rooms are around $200/night or less. Stay in winter and those prices can are down by half ($89/night at Maswik).
Yep, that was the point I was trying to make.  For the typical American vacationer, an RV doesn't make sense.  Even a small teardrop wouldn't have make sense for us, and we could have found one for $6k.

mm1970

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Re: Camping/Glamping
« Reply #49 on: July 08, 2015, 04:51:14 PM »
Tent camping:
- private local beach campground: $55/night (has a pool)
- state beach park: $48/night
- desert park: $15/night (plus gas for the 6 hour drive)
- lake park: $37/night

- BLM/national forest dispersed site: $0/night

I did say that, in the same post:

Quote
Of course, camp site fees vary too, but in California - hookups are going to cost you.  Tent sites are cheaper.  National parks in general are cheaper, but you pay to get in.  If you are going on longer trips, use of free camping on BLM land is beneficial (have never done that).