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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: Le Poisson on July 06, 2015, 09:02:32 AM

Title: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Zamboni 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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??
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Nate R 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." 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Cassie 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Bob W 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)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Shamantha 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 :-)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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.


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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: gimp 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?
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: zoltani on July 06, 2015, 02:31:21 PM
(http://semi-rad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/hierarchy-of-camping.jpg)

Source: http://semi-rad.com/2014/04/the-hierarchy-of-camping/
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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!
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson on July 06, 2015, 02:45:32 PM
(http://semi-rad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/hierarchy-of-camping.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Joggernot 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?
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 on July 06, 2015, 05:09:43 PM
(http://semi-rad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/hierarchy-of-camping.jpg)

Source: http://semi-rad.com/2014/04/the-hierarchy-of-camping/
I love this!
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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
 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Metta on July 06, 2015, 09:58:48 PM
(http://semi-rad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/hierarchy-of-camping.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Metta 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?
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Goldielocks on July 06, 2015, 10:47:14 PM
(http://)

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.






Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: FunkyStickman 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Metta 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!
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: FunkyStickman 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! ;)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Chris22 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. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: iamlittlehedgehog 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: fartface 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Mrs.LC 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Jenni 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson 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...

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EWXHLkXhltA/TyLW8cnQFpI/AAAAAAAABOE/9_7gtKoKFHg/s1600/canoebenefitsSM.jpg)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Elderwood17 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: JoJo 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
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: zoltani 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. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Bob W 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
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: 10dollarsatatime 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: RunHappy on July 08, 2015, 08:49:37 AM
(http://semi-rad.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/hierarchy-of-camping.jpg)

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".
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Chris22 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. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: RunHappy 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!

Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: zoltani 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/

Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: bacchi 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
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: zoltani 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.

Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Cassie 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. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 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).
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Syonyk on July 08, 2015, 05:27:55 PM
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."

Maybe they sold their home and are full time nomads in it?  :)

... I'm eyeing 5th wheel trailers that need some work, since we intend to do long cross country camping trips with our kid(s) in the future.  Spend a month touring museums/historical sites/etc at a time, since we're going to home school.

They're really not that expensive - you can get a used one in nice shape for $8k (and, yes, I already have the truck to tow it - it's 20 years old and works just fine).
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: DecD on July 08, 2015, 05:50:57 PM
I absolutely love camping.  So far, we've stuck to car camping, though one day I plan to graduate to backpacking trips.

We have a 6-man tent that easily fits the four of us (and the dog.)  I don't even mind dragging along the camp stove, as it means hot tea and pancakes for breakfast.  I'm also happy to lose all my street cred (camping cred?) by blowing up air mattresses--  we're definitely towards the bottom of that Scoff Scale, but I'm cool with that.  Someday when I hike the John Muir Trail I'll be up towards the peak.

Spouse might someday (post-FIRE, when there's more time) build a teardrop camper.  It will likely be expensive, even building from scratch, so maybe he'll work an extra month to bankroll it at the end!  For now we're sticking with tents. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson on July 08, 2015, 06:17:25 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).

We are planning our next trip in the glamper to Shenandoah SP. $15/night for the campsite (paved for the trailer!!) but I'm confused by the gate admission. It says $20 for a car or $10 individually. Does that mean per day, or one time? and is it car plus $10 per person, or is it just $20? How do they levy the fee on AT hikers?
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson on July 08, 2015, 07:37:45 PM
Thanks Spartana - I made a mistake, its a National Park. Never camped at one of those in the USA before. The fee page is here: http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/fees.htm

Vehicle looks like a one-time fee every 7 days.
The per-person fee I am assuming is for hikers/cyclists only. Dunno though.
Camping fee is obvious.

We've pre-paid the camping ($90 for a week) so we'll find out what other fees we have to pay at the gate.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Cole on July 08, 2015, 07:57:44 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 :-)

In the U.S. cars are bigger and rated to tow less
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: regulator on July 08, 2015, 10:56:18 PM
Well, I foolishly bought a small travel trailer new several years ago, but I think we get our money's worth.  Depreciation is around 1000/year.  Tags are $100.  We store it in the driveway and spend maybe 250/year on maintenance.  We use it 25 to 30 nights a year with the 4 of us plus 2 dogs.  Lots of great memories and something the kids will fondly remember the rest of their lives.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Shamantha on July 09, 2015, 02:22:59 AM
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 :-)

In the U.S. cars are bigger and rated to tow less
Yes, apparently, it is quite confusing :-)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Shamantha on July 09, 2015, 02:31:52 AM
Regardless of the costs: is there anyone else here who hates hotels for holidays? I am quite a bare-bones camper, and whereas I can appreciate glamping in a yurt, shepherd's hut, pod or other extravagant luxury, I strongly dislike staying in hotels for holidays.

Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: zephyr911 on July 09, 2015, 10:04:05 AM
In the U.S. cars are bigger and rated to tow less
Yes, apparently, it is quite confusing :-)
Marketing.
It's all part of conditioning us to be afraid to tow anything without a 3-ton diesel truck.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Chris22 on July 09, 2015, 10:07:14 AM
In the U.S. cars are bigger and rated to tow less
Yes, apparently, it is quite confusing :-)
Marketing.
It's all part of conditioning us to be afraid to tow anything without a 3-ton diesel truck.

No, more like litigation.  Companies like Honda that don't sell 3-ton diesel trucks would like to say you can tow just fine with a smaller vehicle, but their lawyers here won't let them.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Nate R on July 09, 2015, 10:20:48 AM
But if litigation is the issue, minivan tow ratings wouldn't outpace small SUV ratings so much, I'd think.
Honda civic can tow 1000 lbs in US. But the HR-V and the Fit can't!? The CR-V is only good for 1500? Why's that? I'm guessing if the Corolla had no tow rating, the civic wouldn't either.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Syonyk on July 09, 2015, 10:25:34 AM
The Honda Ridgeline is rated to tow 5000 lbs. Which is less than I'd expected for the bulk of that truck.

So they do have a tow vehicle for light loads. :)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Nate R on July 09, 2015, 10:27:52 AM
The Honda Ridgeline is rated to tow 5000 lbs. Which is less than I'd expected for the bulk of that truck.

So they do have a tow vehicle for light loads. :)

Ridgeline also is unibody, and not body on frame......I'd assume that lowers towing capacity.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Syonyk on July 09, 2015, 10:29:24 AM
True. I wasn't sure how it was constructed.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson on July 09, 2015, 10:31:33 AM
Most minivans are rated for 3500 lbs.

Sedans with the same engines are only 1000. Wonder what the difference between the frames/brakes/suspension/oil & transmission coolers/etc. are.

If you are towing over the rated capacities you risk voiding your insurance in a collision. To me that risk is huge.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Chris22 on July 09, 2015, 10:35:25 AM
But if litigation is the issue, minivan tow ratings wouldn't outpace small SUV ratings so much, I'd think.
Honda civic can tow 1000 lbs in US. But the HR-V and the Fit can't!? The CR-V is only good for 1500? Why's that? I'm guessing if the Corolla had no tow rating, the civic wouldn't either.

Combination of things, such as wheelbase length and weight of the vehicle itself, plus suspension tuning, etc.  There's a whole host of crap that goes into it. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Nate R on July 09, 2015, 10:56:12 AM
Sure, but when a Fit in Australia can tow 990 lbs, and a Civic in Australia can tow 1100 lbs, its not a car dimensional issue that means the Fit can NOT tow in the US. Although I haven't compared suspension part #s between the country's models, things like that lead me to believe that it's not just lawyers, but that there's marketing at work, because people in the US will buy a larger vehicle for towing.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Syonyk on July 09, 2015, 10:57:42 AM
Most minivans are rated for 3500 lbs.

Sedans with the same engines are only 1000. Wonder what the difference between the frames/brakes/suspension/oil & transmission coolers/etc. are.

If you are towing over the rated capacities you risk voiding your insurance in a collision. To me that risk is huge.

In many cases, the "towing package" includes upgraded brakes, added or upgraded transmission coolers (automatic transmissions do NOT like getting hot), engine oil coolers, sometimes a larger engine, and often a load spreading hitch, so the load is spread across a large chunk of the unibody, not just attached to the rear bumper.  They may also have a different radiator with more heat shedding capability.

Most sedans simply don't have a transmission cooler - it's not needed for the loads involved.  Throw a heavy trailer on it, drag it up a mountain, and see what color your transmission fluid has turned (hint: brown and smoking is not good).  If you're towing something heavy, a transmission temperature gauge is pretty much mandatory (most trucks have one for this reason).  A good set of other gauges is helpful too, and a differential temp gauge might be nice on a heavy tow rig.

It also depends on where you're towing.  Towing across Iowa and Nebraska?  Not a big deal.  You can "overload" a car's towing capacity a lot and it won't care, because it's flat.  Towing through the Rockies?  Good luck.  A 2002 Subaru with a tow rating of 2k lbs definitely did not appreciate towing 1500 lbs through the mountains.  It did it, but was not at all happy with it.  Could it move 4k lbs through Iowa?  Probably.  Would I do that?  Nope.  If I do get in an accident, having radically exceeded the vehicle's tow rating is not going to look good, and could open me up to civil lawsuits as well.  Pass, thx.

My current tow beast is rated for about 14k lbs (see previous comment about touring the country with a 5th wheel trailer), but I intend to upgrade the front brakes before I tow past about 8k through mountains.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Syonyk on July 09, 2015, 10:59:02 AM
Sure, but when a Fit in Australia can tow 990 lbs, and a Civic in Australia can tow 1100 lbs, its not a car dimensional issue that means the Fit can NOT tow in the US. Although I haven't compared suspension part #s between the country's models, things like that lead me to believe that it's not just lawyers, but that there's marketing at work, because people in the US will buy a larger vehicle for towing.

Australia's pretty damned flat compared to the US as well...
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Chris22 on July 09, 2015, 11:03:08 AM
Sure, but when a Fit in Australia can tow 990 lbs, and a Civic in Australia can tow 1100 lbs, its not a car dimensional issue that means the Fit can NOT tow in the US. Although I haven't compared suspension part #s between the country's models, things like that lead me to believe that it's not just lawyers, but that there's marketing at work, because people in the US will buy a larger vehicle for towing.

What about that leads you to believe it's marketers instead of lawyers?  The US is quite a bit more litigous than other places.  Further, what leads you to believe Honda wants to push Americans into a larger vehicle and not do the same with Australians?
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Bob W on July 09, 2015, 11:09:23 AM
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/

Interesting -- My quote for 8 days was $1,200.   A bit pricey I think.  But I wouldn't need to rent a car so that knocks $400 off.   So basically $100 per night for camping.   Nah,   I don't think so.    I'll just stop at walmart and buy me $250 in camping stuff and rent a car.   When I'm done after 30 days I'll give away the stuff.  Many places are free to camp and with tent camping we can hike to beautiful private locations. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: regulator on July 09, 2015, 11:28:05 AM
It also depends on where you're towing.  Towing across Iowa and Nebraska?  Not a big deal.  You can "overload" a car's towing capacity a lot and it won't care, because it's flat.  Towing through the Rockies?  Good luck.  A 2002 Subaru with a tow rating of 2k lbs definitely did not appreciate towing 1500 lbs through the mountains.  It did it, but was not at all happy with it.  Could it move 4k lbs through Iowa?  Probably.  Would I do that?  Nope.  If I do get in an accident, having radically exceeded the vehicle's tow rating is not going to look good, and could open me up to civil lawsuits as well.  Pass, thx.


+1.  Our minivan did a reasonable job of towing the 3300# (GVWR) trailer in flat coastal areas of the Eastern US.  Once we started towing in the Rockies, it became VERY clear that the minivan was inadequate.  Put the same trailer on a half ton pickup and it is peaches and cream.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Nate R on July 09, 2015, 11:28:45 AM
Sure, but when a Fit in Australia can tow 990 lbs, and a Civic in Australia can tow 1100 lbs, its not a car dimensional issue that means the Fit can NOT tow in the US. Although I haven't compared suspension part #s between the country's models, things like that lead me to believe that it's not just lawyers, but that there's marketing at work, because people in the US will buy a larger vehicle for towing.

What about that leads you to believe it's marketers instead of lawyers?  The US is quite a bit more litigous than other places.  Further, what leads you to believe Honda wants to push Americans into a larger vehicle and not do the same with Australians?

I said not JUST lawyers. I'm sure there's some litigation concern for sure. But I also think there's marketing motivation.
The fact that the Fit is not that different a vehicle from the Civic, and the Australian tow rating is in fact very similar to that of the Civic. Here in the US the Civic can tow 1000 lbs, but the fit can tow ZERO. To me, if the Civic can tow a similar amount here as it can in Australia w/o trailer brakes, but the Fit cannot, says to me that there's more than legal issues at play. And those 2 vehicles aren't the only example of that. I've spent a long time researching tow ratings when trying to figure out a vehicle to tow more than my old Civic.

Also, the Australian Honda site does not mention atow rating for the Odyssey at all, and other online research shows a rated capacity in Australia that's LESS than the Civic with or without trailer brakes. And even with trailer brakes, the Odyssey in Australia is rated for 2200 lbs, vs 3500 in the US.  So, to me, the fact that you can tow MORE in the Odyssey in the LESS flat US, and can't get the same package/rating in Australia? I'd again assume it's because Honda can't convince Australians to buy into needing the minivan to tow a 1500 lb camper. So that leads me to think that there's some thought that Australians won't buy larger vehicles for the same reason the US will.

Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 on July 09, 2015, 11:59:36 AM
Thanks Spartana - I made a mistake, its a National Park. Never camped at one of those in the USA before. The fee page is here: http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/fees.htm

Vehicle looks like a one-time fee every 7 days.
The per-person fee I am assuming is for hikers/cyclists only. Dunno though.
Camping fee is obvious.

We've pre-paid the camping ($90 for a week) so we'll find out what other fees we have to pay at the gate.
National park fee is per car and is good for the week.  There's no additional "individual" fee.  That's for walk-ins.  (We go to Joshua Tree NP a lot, and have been to Grand Canyon couple of times, and Yosemite)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: MrsPete on July 09, 2015, 01:33:30 PM
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.
Disagree.  One of our retirement goals is to buy a teardrop.  I'm thinking good-condition used, and I don't expect it'd be more than 10K, and I think it'll work out well financially:

- We expect to use it at least 20 years. 
- We will lend it to our adult daughters, and while that doesn't help US financially, it makes us happy to help them.
- Hotel rooms sometimes sell out.  Our own teardrop will always be available to us and -- in a pinch -- could be parked essentially anywhere, if we're just looking to sleep and don't need electricity. 
- Hotel prices fluctuate significantly from season to season (our daughter attends college in a ski town; our favorite hotel fluctuates from $60 to $200+ depending upon the date), whereas our teardrop will always cost something to tow, but it won't go up/down like that.
- We will choose a lightweight teardrop that can be towed behind the car we'd own anyway.
- Since it won't be a high-dollar item, we'll only insure it minimally. 
- We won't need to pay for storage. 
- We'll use it as a fourth bedroom for guests at our house. 
- If we're visiting family who doesn't have a room for us, it's more private than a pull-out in their living room.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: MrsPete on July 09, 2015, 01:40:52 PM
National park fee is per car and is good for the week.  There's no additional "individual" fee.  That's for walk-ins.  (We go to Joshua Tree NP a lot, and have been to Grand Canyon couple of times, and Yosemite)
We've been to LOTS of state and national parks, and the fees vary from site to site. 

Most parks charge by the car, so whether you're alone or have four kids, the charge is the same. 
Some combine fees; for example, when you pay your week's fee for Yellowstone, you're allowed to enter the Grand Tetons for that same fee.  Since they're adjacent to one another, this makes sense. 
Mt. Rushmore offers free admission, but they charge for parking.  To the best of my knowledge, they are the only park that does this. 
The St. Louis Arch -- actually called the Jefferson Expansion Memorial -- and some of the cave parks charge each individual for tours, which makes sense for what they offer. 
The America the Beautiful Pass (and the senior citizens' pass, which we will be getting the very day my husband is old enough to qualify) offers entrance to most -- but not quite all -- parks for a low price.
And some parks -- for example, Great Smokey National Park -- charge nothing. 

The moral:  Never assume.  Always verify before you head out on a trip. 
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson on July 09, 2015, 01:46:06 PM
Sure, but when a Fit in Australia can tow 990 lbs, and a Civic in Australia can tow 1100 lbs, its not a car dimensional issue that means the Fit can NOT tow in the US. Although I haven't compared suspension part #s between the country's models, things like that lead me to believe that it's not just lawyers, but that there's marketing at work, because people in the US will buy a larger vehicle for towing.

What about that leads you to believe it's marketers instead of lawyers?  The US is quite a bit more litigous than other places.  Further, what leads you to believe Honda wants to push Americans into a larger vehicle and not do the same with Australians?

I said not JUST lawyers. I'm sure there's some litigation concern for sure. But I also think there's marketing motivation.
The fact that the Fit is not that different a vehicle from the Civic, and the Australian tow rating is in fact very similar to that of the Civic. Here in the US the Civic can tow 1000 lbs, but the fit can tow ZERO. To me, if the Civic can tow a similar amount here as it can in Australia w/o trailer brakes, but the Fit cannot, says to me that there's more than legal issues at play. And those 2 vehicles aren't the only example of that. I've spent a long time researching tow ratings when trying to figure out a vehicle to tow more than my old Civic.

Also, the Australian Honda site does not mention atow rating for the Odyssey at all, and other online research shows a rated capacity in Australia that's LESS than the Civic with or without trailer brakes. And even with trailer brakes, the Odyssey in Australia is rated for 2200 lbs, vs 3500 in the US.  So, to me, the fact that you can tow MORE in the Odyssey in the LESS flat US, and can't get the same package/rating in Australia? I'd again assume it's because Honda can't convince Australians to buy into needing the minivan to tow a 1500 lb camper. So that leads me to think that there's some thought that Australians won't buy larger vehicles for the same reason the US will.

Just to muddle things... Bolt on equipment (transmission/oil coolers, brakes, etc.) can vary between country, and even State of destination. For sure Siennas destined to Canada between 2004 - 2010 are equipped for towing and require only a bolt on hitch. In the USA, the bolt-on stuff (oil cooler/transmission cooler) was a dealer specified option in some years/states but not in others. I believe NY has them as standard, but NJ does not for instance. I am not sure whether this has to do withemissions laws or something else, but i have seen some very long discussions on Sienna forums regarding the towing equipment on the Gen II Siennas.

Possibly Honda has a similar situation with the Civic/Fit???

One of my great disappointments in going down to a wee hatchback is that my Sonic has a statement in the owner's manual that it is not to be used to tow anything, and that there is no elegant and cost effective way to put roof racks on it.

Another example of theis is the Pontiac Montanna SV6 which was offered for longer in Canada than in the US. If you get one with the 3.9L engine, it is equipped to tow - it even has the trailer wire in the back taped into the underbody. All you need is the 4-wire connector.

I think Dodge automatically includes towing package in the STX version of the Caravan, but don't quote me.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Cassie on July 09, 2015, 02:37:33 PM
Mrs Pete: we originally were going to get a tear drop. About 7 years ago new ones were $10,000 so used ones are probably quite a bit cheaper. However, my hubby insisted I lay in one in the showroom & I am not claustrophobic but was in there. Felt like laying in a coffin. We only had 3 -5lb dogs back then so that would not have been an issue. I suggest you do lay in one to see if you can tolerate. We wanted to get one for all the reasons you mentioned. WE also use our RV like a 4th bedroom. WE have 1 guest room & that is our 2nd one.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: zoltani on July 09, 2015, 02:46:34 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/

Interesting -- My quote for 8 days was $1,200.   A bit pricey I think.  But I wouldn't need to rent a car so that knocks $400 off.   So basically $100 per night for camping.   Nah,   I don't think so.    I'll just stop at walmart and buy me $250 in camping stuff and rent a car.   When I'm done after 30 days I'll give away the stuff.  Many places are free to camp and with tent camping we can hike to beautiful private locations.

Good luck with that strategy in Maui. Camping is actually quite discouraged there. A camper van allows you to park anywhere and sleep in ways that a tent can't on the island.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: zoltani on July 09, 2015, 02:50:28 PM
Don't even get me started on fees. The worst is when you are on a bicycle. My wife and I biked from oregon to wyoming and stopped at many parks along the way. The parks often have special fees for bikes, but sometimes it ends up costing you more than if you are in a car, for multiple people. I remember one state park in montana that was $5 to enter with a car and $3 with a bike. Well, for my wife an I we paid $6 to enter, $3 for each bike, so more than if we were in a car. I was quite peeved when a 15-person passenger van rolled in and they paid, you guessed it, $5. If those 15 people were on bikes they would have paid $45!
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Syonyk on July 09, 2015, 04:22:23 PM
Our own teardrop will always be available to us and -- in a pinch -- could be parked essentially anywhere, if we're just looking to sleep and don't need electricity. 

A micro solar & battery setup wouldn't be hard to add - just enough 12v lithium battery for lighting and phone charging.  Charge it from the car while towing (tap into a running light circuit or something to feed a small charger), and have a few panels on the roof - you'd be set!
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Le Poisson on July 09, 2015, 04:38:05 PM
Our own teardrop will always be available to us and -- in a pinch -- could be parked essentially anywhere, if we're just looking to sleep and don't need electricity. 

A micro solar & battery setup wouldn't be hard to add - just enough 12v lithium battery for lighting and phone charging.  Charge it from the car while towing (tap into a running light circuit or something to feed a small charger), and have a few panels on the roof - you'd be set!

A pair of 6V golf cart batteries rigged to a 10w solar panel should be enough power for a few LEDs for bedtime. You aren't running anything serious inthese things, at most a pair of interior lights and one 'porch light'.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: mm1970 on July 09, 2015, 04:43:57 PM
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.
Disagree.  One of our retirement goals is to buy a teardrop.  I'm thinking good-condition used, and I don't expect it'd be more than 10K, and I think it'll work out well financially:

- We expect to use it at least 20 years. 
- We will lend it to our adult daughters, and while that doesn't help US financially, it makes us happy to help them.
- Hotel rooms sometimes sell out.  Our own teardrop will always be available to us and -- in a pinch -- could be parked essentially anywhere, if we're just looking to sleep and don't need electricity. 
- Hotel prices fluctuate significantly from season to season (our daughter attends college in a ski town; our favorite hotel fluctuates from $60 to $200+ depending upon the date), whereas our teardrop will always cost something to tow, but it won't go up/down like that.
- We will choose a lightweight teardrop that can be towed behind the car we'd own anyway.
- Since it won't be a high-dollar item, we'll only insure it minimally. 
- We won't need to pay for storage. 
- We'll use it as a fourth bedroom for guests at our house. 
- If we're visiting family who doesn't have a room for us, it's more private than a pull-out in their living room.
Yeah, I totally wanted a teardrop, and it didn't make sense for US.  We could have gotten one locally for about $6k, around 900 lbs, could by towed by our matrix BUT -

only sleeps 2-3 (could have slept me and the spouse and our small child)

Then we (I) got pregnant.

It wasn't big enough to sleep 4.

I started looking into ones that would sleep 4.  There weren't any that could be towed by a Matrix.  The extra space came with extra weight, which required more towing capacity. So, that would require a bigger car (for us) or a rental (which I was unable to find with a cursory look).

Plus I get crap for vacation.
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: Metta on July 09, 2015, 09:12:18 PM
Regardless of the costs: is there anyone else here who hates hotels for holidays? I am quite a bare-bones camper, and whereas I can appreciate glamping in a yurt, shepherd's hut, pod or other extravagant luxury, I strongly dislike staying in hotels for holidays.
Me! I have a love hate relationship with hotels. I love the ease of them - just drive up with a small suitcase and you have everything you need - but hate that so many others have stayed there and have done "whatever" in the same bed I'm using, possible improper cleaning, and fear of bedbugs. Blech. Plus the crowds and noise.

Exactly!
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: FuturePrimitive on July 13, 2015, 10:04:27 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)
I disagree with your math a bit here. Well, ok not the math, numbers is numbers, but I disagree with your starting assumptions. Twenty two (10+6+6) total camping days strikes me as exceptionally low. People I know with campers, pop-ups to big-ass 5th wheels use them a lot more than that. Growing up we had a pop-up. Two actually, a very old (1968?) but still serviceable Steury and a Coleman Brandywine (I think, second smallest pop up they made at the time, 83-84). We used them at least 10-15 days a year for probably 10 years, including multiple trips to Florida, DC, Maine, etc. So sure, if you buy something and don't use it, of course it's going to be a waste of money. But if you do put it to use you can certainly get your moneys worth.

That said, now with my own family, we tent camp and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Our BIFL tent is 20+ years old now with no significant wear or damage, I could see getting another 20 out of it with proper care. The kids are in an inexpensive Coleman "6-man" which is ~7 years old and holding up great. I wouldn't mind a tear drop type camper some time in the future but that's more of a pipe dream, don't need it to enjoy camping. We're comfortable in quality tents and camp chairs, no 60" TVs required. Car camping in NY is pretty cheap too, sites without electric/water are ~15/night. In other words, camping can be a very moustachian vacation. (emphasis on can be, not always of course.)
Title: Re: Camping/Glamping
Post by: AutoZealot on July 13, 2015, 11:27:41 AM
Ridgeline also is unibody, and not body on frame......I'd assume that lowers towing capacity.

You could make a unibody vehicle tow an incredible amount of weight like a full frame vehicle, but it would kind of defeat the purpose once you get past a certain point.

Case in Point
a modern durango is unibody but tows nearly as much as the equivalent tahoe/yukon etc.  Most fullsize vans had good tow raitngs and were unibody.

As far as the Ridgeline is concerned, it basically get the same mileage as a modern pickup, so that has zero appeal in that regard specifically.