Question About Modern Day Camping


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JoeHall
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Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by JoeHall » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:52 pm



I recently bought a 2008 GL1800, and am loving every mile ridden so far. Definitely interested in motorcycle camping, so of course would be in the market for a camper trailer. Looking on CL, there are lots of motorcycle camper and cargo trailers available, for reasonable prices.

My sister an her husband, a few yeas ago, bought an RV and have grown fond of RV camping. However, they tell me most campgrounds are booked weeks or even months in advance, so they must plan accordingly. I am more spontaneous, and would like to go camping when the mood hits, and not have to book weeks/months in advance.

My question: Have times changed to a point that motorcycling campers must also book in advance at campgrounds? If so, are campgrounds as backlogged for biking campers as they are for RV campers?

Thanks,
Joe H



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AZgl1800
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by AZgl1800 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:18 pm

I don't think the m/c guys have that kind of trouble.

I just made a trip from oologah, OK to Colorado Springs, and I called a couple days in advance to KOAs and had no problems at all.

In deed, all of them had open spots all night,
and all of them had open camping area for tents, quite a few of those, some were folks on a bicycle. :shock:

I used google to find RV spots, just enter " RV park Salina KS"
did the same for every town I stopped in,
Hays, KS
Limon, CO
Lamar, CO
Dodge City, KS
Enid, OK

in all cases, I called the morning that I was leaving and made reservations for that evening.

I was pulling a 26 ft Toy Hauler with my Suburban. my gl1800 was in the garage of the Toy Hauler.
we have two big dogs that must go where we go, we can't, and won't leave them at home or trust anyone to take care of them,.... hence the Toy Hauler.
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by DenverWinger » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:36 am

I've made several cross-country trips pulling the camper (some with the bike, some with the car) and we simply drive until we felt we went far enough for the day and look for a campground. It is rare that I cannot get a site, and if so I just go to the next campground..... We don't mind a "primitive" site (no electricity) as we bring our own (12v deep-cycle marine battery).

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by echinus1988 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:20 am

I love to camp but I usually do my camping in May or September. Kids are in schools and campgrounds are still open for the most part.

Just finished a trip out west into Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada in May. I had no problems with campgrounds but California went totally reservation only on May 15th for all state campgrounds. I stayed in KOAs, State campgrounds mainly. In all cases I did not have any problems finding open sites at any campground I stopped at.

With that being said a lot of Colorado state campgrounds start going reservation only in late may. But there are usually a few sites that are first come first served so usually you can find something unless it's a very popular spot like Rocky Mountain National Park. So expect during the busiest months of the summer to run into full campgrounds unless you have reserved a site but also realize if you look around you can find some that are open.

Enjoy your camping.

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Uncle Fester » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:28 am

I have to say, unless they are only parking in these newer “High End” camp site where your RV can not be over 10 years old , you must be a member of Good Sam, etc etc, I have never had trouble getting a dry (no water or electricity) tent site with as little as 2 min warning to the camp ground. I also prefer to use BLM Campgrounds and State Park camp grounds as they are cheap/free and are usually in much prettier places than KOA or who ever. . . . .
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by echinus1988 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:40 am

Uncle Fester,

I have to agree with that statement. BLM and State campgrounds are some of the best. KOAs are good if you're needing a shower. BLM are usually the no frills variety I have found. State campgrounds vary widely, some with no frills, some with a lot of the nicer things.

I fell in love with Aguirre Springs BLM campground down near White Sands and planned on staying there with my son when we finally had a chance to go on our trip that had been canceled three years in a row. We got to go on half the trip but my ex died so we had to cut it short and head home to help my daughter with that. We still wish to head back and enjoy that part of the trip.

But I will agree that BLM and State campgrounds are the best way to go in my opinion.

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by themainviking » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:49 am

Keep in mind that some communities also have their own campgrounds. These can be a little tighter to get into, but usually possible. If you are destination riding, like going to a certain city for a certain time, these are within the downtown core or within walking distance of, and can be very handy. Usually they have a minimal charge, like $15. They used to be quite common, but in past years a lot of communities have repurposed that land, so checking before hand is a good idea.
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by 823JIM » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:52 pm

Just returned from trip east, Americade in New York and Laconia rally in New Hampshire. Stayed in KOA's whole trip, rustic camp sites, none were full, no need for reservations. Will be heading for Sturgis in just over a week and have no reservations, have never needed them there before. Only place's I have found where without reservation we would not have got a site were West Yellowstone and Jackson Hole. We have made reservations at other KOA's on trips but upon arrival found they were not necessary.

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someone548
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by someone548 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:30 am

Camping with an RV has quite a few different requirements. Many camp grounds have only a select few spots for RVs. Space is needed...water...electricty. As a motorcycle, you need a very small amount of space with no other requirements. Even a full camp ground might have some extra space big enough for a motorcycle and tent. The only time you could expect to have any trouble is around the busy camping weekends. 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day. Popular destinations will often be booked up, but not always. If you can avoid popular destinations on long weekends, it is unlikely you'll have any trouble. If you can find a BLM site on a weekday. you may just be the only one there!



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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by scottydaum » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:43 am

The answer may be somewhere in the middle, and much depends on what YOU consider a Campground based on your needs.
Some need full hook-ups with a pool, and laundry, and some are fine with "Cowboy Camping" just of a side forest road in a National Forest or BLM Land.
For me one of the problems with reservations is I usually make them early in the day when I feel fresh and am certain I will ride some huge number of miles. Then as the day progresses, delays happen, lunches take longer, traffic is slow, etc I sometimes find myself tired, and having to "push on" because "I made a reservation. It can also cause me to pass up that interesting side road I saw, in the name of keeping the schedule.
Sometimes I roll into the reserved camp later, after dark, when I could have stopped earlier at another place and gotten camp built and settled in for a meal and rest.
Some of the heavy tourist areas, IN SEASON just make sense to try and reserve a site, but for me I like to leave things a little more to chance MOST of the time. Also if I am going to a certain area, and I want say a riverfront site, or something close to the restrooms, then I probably better try and reserve it early because they are in high demand.
If you go on YouTube and look into the RV videos there is a ton of info about "RV/Camping Apps which puts all the campground info on the planet in your hands.
Usually when calling for a reservation, the first question I ask is "do you accept motorcycles"? Some don't. And frankly some that do....I don't want to stay in....(loud pipes). I sometimes try to get it into the conversation early on that I ride a Goldwing, which tells them I am not running straight pipes. I have had some tell me "we don't allow loud pipes".
Someone mentioned showers.....just reminder that nearly all Truckstops offer showers for a charge, usually $8.00-$10.00 and provide soap and a towel. That way if you have been Cowboy Camping, you can clean up when needed.
Also if you do make a reservation, ask about their cancellation policy just in case of a rain or traffic, or beer delay...RIDE SAFE!

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Ravyn » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:04 am

I pull an older kwik Kamp trailer, I pull it with my wing and my 4x4 and I have never had a problem setting it up in a tent site. I do not camp in reservation only camp grounds or KOA's. I do not like those kind of amenities. Might as well stay home. For me BLM and state camps are the best. I would also rather find a back road leading into the woods and set up camp far from everybody else. That way I don't have to put up with little colored lites hanging around someones camper and dogs barking all nite at the campers coming in. I do not have a schedule when I ride and wont make a reservation anywhere as this puts me on a time frame and if I see something I like then that is where I am going to stop. 99.9 percent of the time I ride alone. I don't do rallies or meet and greets or ride to eat. "been there done that, never again" I like setting my own schedule and stopping where I feel like it. If I want to take pics or stop and take a pee I am not on anothers schedule.

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by brschillinger » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:19 am

A few years ago my wife and I spent 6 weeks traveling from north eastern PA to California, up into Canada and back. The trip was almost 11,000 miles and we did it on our '94 Goldwing pulling an Aspen Classic tent trailer. With no schedule other than to generally follow a route (no timetable) I had laid out, we waited until late in the afternoon to look for a campground. We have a Garmin Zumo GPS on the 'Wing and I had downloaded a US Campground file from The POI Factory and loaded it on the Garmin. That allowed us to find campgrounds in our vicinity and call to make reservations. We stayed at National Parks, State Parks, County Parks, private campgrounds and also City Parks, with City Parks being some of the nicest and cheapest. We even stayed at a not-for-profit private campground in Oregon that was very nice. All with last minute or no reservations. There were times we stayed in a motel, for example in Montana when we were caught in a wind storm that would have torn the canvas off the camper. The point is to be flexible and as someone pointed out earlier, having to push-on to get to a reserved location takes the fun out of it, and believe me, there is nothing more fun than seeing this country on two (or three) wheels and camping makes it that much better. Only once or twice did we not get into a campground the first time, but there were always alternatives. If you are over 62, make sure you have a National Park Senior Pass, it will pay for itself rapidly as camping with it at National Parks gets you a 50% discount and a free pass at the entry station. Some states require either an annual or seasonal pass in addition to the daily camping fee, making some state parks not economically feasible if you only are going to stay one night. Also as noted earlier, if you can, avoid popular State and National parks around major holidays. Look for alternatives. IMO, typical KOA's tend to cater to the RV crowd (and I do own a toy hauler, so that is an observation, not a prejudicial remark) and if you are motorcycle camping, you feel a bit out of place with amenities you don't need. One thing I can say, is that if you pull up in a typical RV park with a motorcycle camper, you will draw a crowd as people marvel at how much camping space comes out of that little trailer behind you - makes for some interesting conversations. Another thing we did was to make a blog and kept it up daily. The blog kept the family and friends up to date and also allows us to go back and relive our adventure. BTW, the next year we took off for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on another 6 week adventure.

By all means, give it a try. You won't regret it.

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by GaryRatliff » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:04 pm

I love my Goldwing and I love to camp. I have just built me a camper and am looking forward to trying it out in a week or so. For years, I have just been strapping my tent and air mattress in my backseat and the rest of the gear fits easily in the trunk leaving the saddlebags open. Last year, I added a cooler rack for Rolling Thunder which will easily accommodate a small tent and air mattress. I live in Delaware so don't have the advantage of BLM lands here so I normally look for State campgrounds. An added advantage to my camper now is Walmart, Lowes, Cabela's and some other places will let me park free for the night.

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Ravyn » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:21 am

GaryRatliff wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:04 pm
I love my Goldwing and I love to camp. I have just built me a camper and am looking forward to trying it out in a week or so. For years, I have just been strapping my tent and air mattress in my backseat and the rest of the gear fits easily in the trunk leaving the saddlebags open. Last year, I added a cooler rack for Rolling Thunder which will easily accommodate a small tent and air mattress. I live in Delaware so don't have the advantage of BLM lands here so I normally look for State campgrounds. An added advantage to my camper now is Walmart, Lowes, Cabela's and some other places will let me park free for the night.
Don't forget the free camping in the Indian owned casino parking lots. Most will let you stay for free and there is a security guard that makes rounds through the parking lot on a regular basis. Most of them serve pretty good food for a reasonable price if ya want to do that sort of thing. I don't camp like that much but have a few times and sometimes a quick breakfast and good cup off coffee there is faster then trying to do it yourself and it kinda pays them back for there hospitality.

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by themainviking » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:30 am

Ravyn wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:21 am
Don't forget the free camping in the Indian owned casino parking lots. Most will let you stay for free and there is a security guard that makes rounds through the parking lot on a regular basis. Most of them serve pretty good food for a reasonable price if ya want to do that sort of thing. I don't camp like that much but have a few times and sometimes a quick breakfast and good cup off coffee there is faster then trying to do it yourself and it kinda pays them back for there hospitality.
And if you go inside and gamble, it pays them back a whole lot more. They really appreciate this. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Ravyn » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:39 am

themainviking wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:30 am
Ravyn wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:21 am
Don't forget the free camping in the Indian owned casino parking lots. Most will let you stay for free and there is a security guard that makes rounds through the parking lot on a regular basis. Most of them serve pretty good food for a reasonable price if ya want to do that sort of thing. I don't camp like that much but have a few times and sometimes a quick breakfast and good cup off coffee there is faster then trying to do it yourself and it kinda pays them back for there hospitality.
And if you go inside and gamble, it pays them back a whole lot more. They really appreciate this. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Hahahaha, yup you right. :o :shock:

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Big Blue UK » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:51 pm

I agree with 548 somewhat, a motorhome has nothing to do with camping. Motorhomes and caravan have dedicated fields, requiring hook ups etc, they also destroy flat ground, making it unsuitable for tents.. Even when campsites are full regarding motorhomes and caravans, there is always plenty of room for tents. Doubt very much if you would turn up at a campsite to be told they do not have room for a tent. I have never known it, a motorhome, yes. Same at a treffen, if someone is towing their GoldWing on a trailer behind their motorhome, they pre book.
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by GaryRatliff » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:48 pm

I hadn't thought about the casino; I may need to do that when I'm down in Cherokee, NC :).

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Ravyn » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:42 am

Big Blue UK wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:51 pm
I agree with 548 somewhat, a motorhome has nothing to do with camping. Motorhomes and caravan have dedicated fields, requiring hook ups etc, they also destroy flat ground, making it unsuitable for tents.. Even when campsites are full regarding motorhomes and caravans, there is always plenty of room for tents. Doubt very much if you would turn up at a campsite to be told they do not have room for a tent. I have never known it, a motorhome, yes. Same at a treffen, if someone is towing their GoldWing on a trailer behind their motorhome, they pre book.
Well you are from the UK so maybe things are different there. I did a three day trip this weekend down the Oregon coast and there are many camp grounds along the way, every one of them was full.... no vacancy... trailers or tents .

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by echinus1988 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:48 am

RV Parks do not always have room for tents or tent trailers. They want the big bucks that motorhomes pay to park with their home away from home. This was really forced home on me with our trip through Big Spring, Texas. I couldn't find tent camping anywhere! I called 3-4 places and finally gave up. We went to the Hanger 25 Museum and left for spots up north.

I wanted to stay but it just wasn't possible. How many other places do this, I don't know but that is what I ran into. This isn't a complaint, just a statement of fact that I happened to run into. No problem, I went north and found a campground I liked and camped there. Anyway, I only thought of staying there because I was based there and wanted to do a little more exploring before leaving to see the changes.

Besides, I prefer the state and BLM campgrounds because I prefer that type camping.

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Big Blue UK » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:47 pm

Bleedin ell, I am gobsmacked, probably in the UK one cant go far enough to need to camp.
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by themainviking » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:06 pm

Big Blue UK wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:47 pm
Bleedin ell, I am gobsmacked, probably in the UK one cant go far enough to need to camp.
Yeah, it really must be difficult going for a two week trip without leaving the Island. If someone leaves the east coast here, and travels for a couple of weeks, they reach the west coast. Now they are 3500 miles from home (5000 kms) in a straight line as the bird flies. And they still have not ventured north or south to catch the sights there. I have undertaken to visit the entire province of Ontario. I began four years ago, and have completed about 40 % and not really thoroughly at that. If I go for a ride and wish to return from a different direction, from my home is either a 200, 320 or 500 km loop. These are day rides that do not require overnighting. Most of my trips within Ontario are 500 plus kms one way, and end up multiple days of travel before completing a 2000 or 2500 km loop. That is without leaving Ontario. I am very fortunate to live where the distances are huge. The adventures far outweigh the money available to have them. And I hate hotels and motels, so I camp.
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by fred1diver » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:06 pm

MainViking, where was the nicest place in Ontario you visited so far?

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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by Good Hondog » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:37 pm

This is as modern of camping as I ever do.
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themainviking
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Re: Question About Modern Day Camping

Post by themainviking » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:52 pm

fred1diver wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:06 pm
MainViking, where was the nicest place in Ontario you visited so far?
I would have to say the area around Highway 7 from Peterborough to Perth, and all north of that to Highway 17. It is a large area with a lot of fantastic riding roads and some surprisingly good restaurants for when I get hungry. I generally pick a spot to camp that I have not camped at before, and then ride the area for three or four days, before moving on. I do not cook when camping, but I do make a really fine cup of coffee if I do say so. For emergency, I carry MREs which have their own heating systems and can keep body and soul together in the absence of food. (MRE=Meal Ready to Eat - in foil pouches like I ate so many of in the army)

I also go to a lot of charity rallies, especially if they support PTSD or Wounded Warriors. I like rallies that are annual occurrences, so I get to meet people and renew acquiantances year after year. I go to Dual Sport Rallies, Harley Rallies, Goldwing Rallies. I do not much care who hosts them or what they ride, as long as they are motorcycle oriented and last for a minimum three days.

Some of the friendlier camping I have done is around Owen Sound, and on up towards Tobermory, as there is lots to do, see, and people to meet and talk with. I have camped in campgrounds, and in farmers yards and gone for hayrides with the farmers families. Then if I follow the highway down through Goderich and on as far as Sarnia, there is a lot beautiful to see along Huron's east coast.

The ferry from Tobermory goes to Manitoulin Island, which is okay to ride, although a lot of straight and barren distance, but there are lots of interesting local spots, but the ride from Little Current on the north side of the Island to Espanola has some of the nicest scenery I have every seen. Lately though, that road has been awful busy, and taking the time to rubberneck can gettcha killed dead.

I guess I like to ride where there are lots of twisting roads, and trees intermixed with fields of clover and new mown hay to smell.

Sometimes I ride 100 kms south down a four lane highway to get to a 40 km road to do just that. This is between Sprucedale and Orrville, on highway 518 to Parry Sound, but I just go to Orrville and turn around so I can ride it back to Sprucedale. This also is a day ride.

I used to go to the U.S. a lot because Americade has some great riding, and Knoxville is central to a lot of really great riding, but have not done this since late 2016.

And if you meant just one place, and not an area, I would have to say Goderich, Ontario, where I camped in a marina so I could ride and also sail on Lake Huron. That was a hoot. And Goderich is absolutely beautiful.


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