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Old 01-06-2018, 08:40 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Fun&Sun View Post
When you see moisture on the windows (we have double glazed with extra insulation and foam underneath) you need some way to control it. The dehumidifier works but you need full hook up. There are some non power methods sold at Walmart and other stores I think it’s like desiccant. When it rains a lot and your all inside or have wet clothing you will need some type of moisture control. The solar gain we got with the solar panel was not enough to run the unit over night but you could through the day all depending on sunlight.
As far as free camping we have tried a Walmart (found it noisy), more and more are not offering overnight camping any more. Many Casinos have free or minimal charge camping (have not tried yet).
We use an app called Allstays, it cost about $15.00 and requires wifi service. This has been very helpful in locating campsites and it also has a price estimation with links to websites and reviews. As far as cost we aimed for $30.00 a night full hook up and $20.00 dry, what we found is off season travel can help cost’s. The most we have paid is $47.00 a night.
Auto club membership and KOA membership will get you some discounts. I don’t think there is much free camping but there are boondocking websites. We have friends with property on a lake and they let us stay for wine
Hm, maybe I should rethink our hopes of trying to stay free somehow alot of the time. I thought if we were pretty independent we could squeak by in random places, but maybe that's not practical.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:52 PM   #22
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We had a pop up camper for 17 years and loved every trip we took with it with our young daughter. While we loved the pop up there were many times that a trailer would have been a godsend. We thought about a trailer but never could find the perfect one until we stumbled upon the Escape brand. I would never trade those trips we took as a family and the memories we made. Those are things that you can't put a price on. Life flies by way too fast and you never want to look back and say should have, would have, could have.
This is kind of a ridiculous question, but I'll ask anyway. At home we tromp outside dawn til dusk every day exploring and learning, covered in dirt, building things, climbing, etc. What is it about trips with children that families love so much? The togetherness, the adventure, the showing of the world? Was it just because you spend more time together or because you are off adventuring? Trust me, I see the value in travel, I'm just full of self doubt on this choice and trying to understand why I feel that travel is more of a gift to my child than fun days at home!
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:56 PM   #23
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This is kind of a ridiculous question, but I'll ask anyway. At home we tromp outside dawn til dusk every day exploring and learning, covered in dirt, building things, climbing, etc. What is it about trips with children that families love so much? The togetherness, the adventure, the showing of the world? Was it just because you spend more time together or because you are off adventuring? Trust me, I see the value in travel, I'm just full of self doubt on this choice and trying to understand why I feel that travel is more of a gift to my child than fun days at home!
I think time with your kids is of tremendous value no matter where it is. And, you sound like you're doing it right, and showing them the real world and not the one on social media.

It's just that camping, fishing, hiking, biking, etc in new and scenic places means you just enjoy it that much more. One of the the most experienced members of this forum, Donna D, is always saying "make memories", and she's right.

I have a hard time remembering some details of time at home with my parents, but no problem at all recalling wonderful memories of camping, fishing, traveling, etc with them. Since you mentioned perhaps home schooling, think of the opportunities to incorporate the geography, geology, culture and history of those new places into the curriculum.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:32 PM   #24
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Laura made a great suggestion of renting a motor home first. You sound like you are not familiar enough with whether the lifestyle will be workable for your situation or not. The Europeans get 30+ day vacations and they rent motor homes for the month and tour the parks, etc.
Rather than sink 30k in a trailer, spend a little bit on a month rental and hit the road. In a month of being out there you’ll know much better whether you want to move forward. If you don’t you just turn in the rental and it was a great experience.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:41 PM   #25
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Laura made a great suggestion of renting a motor home first. .
There's a lot to be said for that. We used to do CruiseAmerica deliveries. Even though the RV's aren't the same the experience of being on the road and going places is.

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Old 01-06-2018, 10:08 PM   #26
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Did you try a low FODMAP diet? Worked wonders for me.

Of course everyone's gonna tell you to get the trailer. This is a forum for trailer owners or wanna-be owners.

I'd write down the pros and cons of getting a trailer now against not getting one. Only you and your husband can make that decision for yourselves.

Figure out what sort of places you want to visit. Will you need to upgrade your vehicle for towing? something else to consider and to possibly spend money on.

Yep, your decision alone. Good luck with it.

Oh, something I did before we got the trailer. I rented a motorhome and took a 3 week trip from Seattle to Sacramento and back. I knew I didn't want a motorhome, but I needed to know if I could handle the camping aspect of owning an RV. Sure, it cost wads of money, but it was money well spent in terms of getting something I wasn't too sure of and wasting thousands on a crappy rig that I didn't really want in the end. AND that motorhome rental showed me I didn't need anything really big to travel in. After I got back we started seriously looking and discovered fiberglass trailers.
I'm on RV share now, angling to my husband for a marketing trip to Texas. A trial is something I've thought of, and it's a great suggestion.

My husband already bought a Tundra "to tow the camper safely," although he already wanted one to replace his perfectly fine Silverado

It's true about positive opinions coming from here, I don't know if I expected any differently!

(P.S. his reflux is since birth and bad enough that Mayo Clinic said "he's writing his own textbook". we've done everything including completely elemental diet. We medicate him enough to make all parents and doctors weak in the knees, keep out the few foods we know cause problems, and say our prayers of thanks and try to remain grateful that we do so well with that for the most part. Did you have reflux?)
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:24 PM   #27
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Another nice thing about having an RV is that you can bring and cook your own food. Dietary restrictions become easier to manage away from home with your own travelling kitchen.

Also, your trips away from home can be anything from long journeys to just a night or two. Even camping out on your own property if that is feasible. I can imagine a youngster being excited about even that much... Making memories is important.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:18 AM   #28
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Hm, maybe I should rethink our hopes of trying to stay free somehow alot of the time. I thought if we were pretty independent we could squeak by in random places, but maybe that's not practical.
If you vacation out west, look for BLM distributed camp sites. One can boon dock in the western states with a little research and planning most of the time. With a child and it sounds like dogs too, I would plan on 5 days between dumps and refill if fresh water tanks. Solar and an inverter is also key to low cost boon docking.

Back to your original question, I have never regretted "going for it" I have only regrets for the things I have not done. You are young, creative and passionate. Those qualities will allow you to thrive regardless of the curve balls life may throw your way. Live your dreams!
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:26 AM   #29
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Another nice thing about having an RV is that you can bring and cook your own food. Dietary restrictions become easier to manage away from home with your own travelling kitchen.
Absolutely. When we stay in hotels, we either must have a kitchen or we bring an electric pressure cooker
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:36 AM   #30
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If you vacation out west, look for BLM distributed camp sites. One can boon dock in the western states with a little research and planning most of the time. With a child and it sounds like dogs too, I would plan on 5 days between dumps and refill if fresh water tanks. Solar and an inverter is also key to low cost boon docking.

Back to your original question, I have never regretted "going for it" I have only regrets for the things I have not done. You are young, creative and passionate. Those qualities will allow you to thrive regardless of the curve balls life may throw your way. Live your dreams!
Beautiful approach to life. You sound like a wonderful person to be around!

Love the boondocking tips. I've been doing some digging and it seems like with some planning, you can do pretty well to get around in the Western US. With what I've seen, I think we'll be able to get around OK when a cheap/free spot is all we need. Hopefully that pans out in practice... Good to know about dumping frequency!
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:45 AM   #31
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I would not expect that a child would necessarily be that enamored with the idea of much boondocking, the way adults might. Children may be able to entertain themselves. Or not. Their idea of going somewhere may be where there are other children to meet and common kid things to do. Depends on the child and maybe the age but they don't all want to spend their free time around their parents. People may need some kind of trial runs for such ideas. That is why a lot of parents go to campgrounds.

As far as lower cost campgrounds, Army Corps is good. Not as big a cost as private but still may have something that children would like, but not nearly the amenities of private.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:20 AM   #32
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Children may be able to entertain themselves. Or not. Their idea of going somewhere may be where there are other children to meet and common kid things to do.

As far as lower cost campgrounds, Army Corps is good. Not as big a cost as private but still may have something that children would like, but not nearly the amenities of private.
Good point that he may need some kids as he ages. As he gets older we may head for more campgrounds.

We've indoctrinated him with the belief that playing outside is the coolest thing ever (OK, that actually came naturally) and that we are the coolest people ever to hang out with. I also actively strive to keep the entertainment bar low So for now, alone with mom and dad in nature is pretty cool. We have found that just visiting zoos or museums are excellent ways to play with other kids for hours, too!

I'm glad you brought this up though, because the older he gets the more he's attracted to other kids. One day he may have a sibling as I haven't yet checked "change a diaper in the woods" off of my bucket list.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:34 AM   #33
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Good point that he may need some kids as he ages. As he gets older we may head for more campgrounds.

We've indoctrinated him with the belief that playing outside is the coolest thing ever (OK, that actually came naturally) and that we are the coolest people ever to hang out with. I also actively strive to keep the entertainment bar low So for now, alone with mom and dad in nature is pretty cool. We have found that just visiting zoos or museums are excellent ways to play with other kids for hours, too!

I'm glad you brought this up though, because the older he gets the more he's attracted to other kids. One day he may have a sibling as I haven't yet checked "change a diaper in the woods" off of my bucket list.
I was also thinking that since he had had medical problems for a long time, he may have spent quite a lot of time with adults and he doesn't exactly think of that as good, and maybe missed out on time with other children. Going to museums and the like that cater somewhat to children sounds like a good fun way to see other kids. If you keep doing that kind of thing, that could continue to appeal to him. You can always check listings for wherever you are going. And even adults like some of those places!

And, oh yes, a sibling might help!
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:36 AM   #34
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Yeah, I'm real big on making memories. I get that from my Mother. She said, if you live long enough you no longer make any memories, due to health or travel restrictions, etc. so you live on the ones you made earlier in life.

I believe there's a difference between just having fun and making memories (no disasters). For instance, yesterday I spent the day by myself watching the NFL playoffs. Great football and fun! Doubtful I'll remember much about either game a year from now. But had I spent the day at a Sports Bar with friends, surrounded by others screaming for joy or groans, that would have made a memory. Same games, but a year from now I'd probably remember the experience. See the difference? Being outside and playing in the dirt in the backyard... being outside and playing in the dirt in Yosemite. Hummmmmm.
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:05 AM   #35
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If I read the original post right.

Finances are really not a big concern.
You have very little camping experience, tried it once.
Have a son with health issues.
Time constraints are unclear. Can you go away for weeks at a time? Medical needs can limit such.
You said you have to decide on ordering in January, if that's so then you have no time to rent an RV to see if you like camping.

I'd suggest taking small steps. Get the trailer, outfit it to your liking, and try it out on varied length trips in varied locations.

Camping for free is nothing like camping in a campground, try it both ways. Try state, federal, and a variety of commercial campgrounds. There are campgrounds that cater to kids and ones that don't, try them both. Commercial campground cost more then public, the ones that cater to kids seem to cost even more.

These are very small trailers, only you know if one is big enough for the 3 of you and the dogs.

Your son is only 3 so you have a year or 2 before you really have to be concerned with schooling. You have plenty of time to decide on your future lifestyle.

At the worse you've lost a few $k depending on how you outfit the trailer.

Just like a home, maintenance on a trailer can cost as little as you want it to in time and $. You can pay someone to do it all or you can do it yourself for closer to nothing. Fiberglass trailers have less then conventional ones but there is still some one should do, although some don't do any and are perfectly happy.
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:39 AM   #36
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Camping in any form is a great way to relax, see things and create memories. I have been doing it in many ways since a kid, BUT it is never too late to start. Heck, lots do it for the first time when retiring looking for something to do.

Our kids came with us from birth, first in a tent trailer, then a lot in canoes or carrying backpacks. As they got older we bought a 24' bunk model trailer which gave them each their own wee space, but as the got further into their teens they preferred to be out in tents, and once they reached you adulthood we went looking for a smaller trailer, and settled on an Escape.

So, I say go for it in one way or another. If not an Escape (though that would work great for you), maybe in another trailer. It is more about doing it than what you do it in. Heck, you mentioned something about coyotes, I have heard them many a night while in a tent or a tent trailer and always thought it was a really cool thing. Just listened to a chorus of them while on a walk yesterday. Never really thought to worry about a wee dog like that.

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I'm glad to know that maintenance really is so little. I see so many tinkering posts, but it seems they are mostly elective.
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Spot on observations. The maintenance is quite minimal, though you have to expect your rolling home away from home to have some. LOTS of tinkering posts for sure, and I am as guilty as anyone for that, as I just love doing it, making wee changes to things to suit our style and give us that extra bit of a pride of ownership. None of them had to be done in order to get out and make memories though.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:08 AM   #37
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Just remember, the more you boondock to save $$ and the further away from civilization you go, your computer may become useless. If you have to stay connected you may have to stay closer to the highways.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:30 AM   #38
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Just remember, the more you boondock to save $$ and the further away from civilization you go, your computer may become useless. If you have to stay connected you may have to stay closer to the highways.
While this is true, it is also one of the reasons I like to boondock. It is not at all to save money, but to be able to better relax for a while away from the masses in what is often a nicer setting. I would not want to do it all the time, but it sure is nice to mix it in a bunch.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:25 AM   #39
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While this is true, it is also one of the reasons I like to boondock. It is not at all to save money, but to be able to better relax for a while away from the masses in what is often a nicer setting. I would not want to do it all the time, but it sure is nice to mix it in a bunch.
That is interesting tha sometimes you need to get away from the people mass. Canada is larger that the entire US, but has the population of the state of California.....just think what it is like south of the 49th parallel?
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:38 AM   #40
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That is interesting tha sometimes you need to get away from the people mass. Canada is larger that the entire US, but has the population of the state of California.....just think what it is like south of the 49th parallel?
I've been camping south of the border lots over the years, so know of the masses. Fortunately for us camping types, they tend to be mostly congregated in high density areas that are relatively easy to avoid if desired. Most of where I have camped in the US (so far) has been in the NW, where the density is not that much greater than in much of Canada. I am sure I will find that I am amidst more densely populated areas as my travels continue, but I will adapt. I can handle lots of people, but do like to get away from it at times too.

Some day we will be doing a US east coast trip, and will definitely need to do some good pre-planning.
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