For Those Of You Who Camp.....

Discussion in 'Road Trips/Touring' started by Dr. Dolittle, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Looking for some wise advice from those of you who camp while on overnight motorcycle trips.

    Do you use some type of guidebook? Reservations in advance or wing it? Bring your own food items or eat before setting up camp and turning in for the night?

    In particular, I'd love some feedback about the KOA system. Good and bad comments welcome. Always plenty of availability or do they fill up frequently? Anyone ever stay in one of their cabins?

    Camped a bunch growing up in tents and pop up trailers but haven't done much as an adult except outside the track at Talladega several years. Other than staying with friends, it seems like the best way to control expenses on a trip as opposed to spending 40 or 50 bucks a night for even an average hotel.

    Educate me!!!
  2. krikket

    krikket Active Member

    I use KOA campgrounds almost exclusively on trips. When you have to conserve cash for a trip, it's nice to go to a well cared-for place that has decent showers and facilities, some kind of restaurant and/or store for like $15. The cabins are ok, but you have to bring a sleeping bag. We're planning a trip this summer to the Tail of the Dragon and the Blue Ridge Parkway from Chicago and we're gonna sleep KOA's along the way.

    There are other campgrounds, but finding them can be difficult unless they are some kind of resort or at a State Park.
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I have been camping for many years i think about 1965 was when i started camping as i was an infantry soldier for 25 years sleeping outside tended to be in the bottom of a fire trench or shell scrape so sleeping in a tent was a luxury
    when riding a motorcycle and and camping you need 2 person space per person so you need a 2 man tent if on your own or a 4 man for 2 people just because you need all the extra space for gear
    i always take a water bag a small gas cooker and some camping pots and pans so i can make coffee before setting off in the morning i also usually have bread margarine and some square sausage with me just for food before i set off
    as im getting on a bit now often have an air bed and a 12v pump to keep me comfortable
    i love camping wife hates it but she will camp when we are on trips together having 2 bikes we have plenty of room for the gear even when a trip is planned for indoors every night the camping gear comes also as emergency accomodation
  4. dpsimcox

    dpsimcox Member

    Motorcycle camping is the way to go. I like the State parks and they seem to be improving all the time. KOA is motorcycle friendly, but its like eating at Denny's, it not great but you know what you are getting and its always the same. Camping is so much more a social activity than staying in an hotel, you always have people stopping by to talk. A backbacking stove is good for coffee and oatmeal in the morning and soup at night.
  5. harley@16

    harley@16 Junior Member

    I haven't camped when on a bike trip but lots with the camper and KOA was the mainstay for us. You can reserve a site in any campground with a phone call no extra charge. As stated before same set up in all of them, laundry, showers, most have a pool, pancake breakfast for cheap, and some sort of social activity if your inclined. I found them to be generally well maintained and clean. You'll probable pay a little more than state campgrounds but worth it. If you want to haul any electrical gadgets you can get a power hook-up too.
  6. Redfish-Joe

    Redfish-Joe Senior Member

    Doc, I was put in charge of planning our trip to Ca in the spring. This is what we decided on. 12 going. Each will be responsible for what they want to carry.

    I have a trailer to put our stuff in with a small ice chest on the tongue. So we have a roomy tent, air mattress and our pillows we normally sleep with. Sleeping bags, our clothes and cold and rain gear in it.

    Camping 2 nights, motel on the 3rd. This will give everyone a chance to get off the ground and into a real bed(keeping the Mrs. happy) and nearly all motels have a place to do laundry.

    Decide how many miles you want to drive in a day. Use a program like Streets and Trips. You can set the number of hours you want to ride and it will tell you where the "end of day" will be. Do a Google search for the "end of day" area for campgrounds. You will be surprised how many are out there. Then research the campgrounds you come up with and check out their website. Alot of them will have "camping cabins" for just a little more than a standard campsite for the night.

    Depending on your diet...Camping: grilled hotdogs and chips or burgers on the grill. Nearly all campgrounds have grills and a camp store for stuff like that. The web site will give you the details.

    Again the 3rd night in the motel will give us a chance to take our ladies out to a good sit down supper. Got to keep Mama happy!

    Hope this helps.
  7. RetiredJake

    RetiredJake Junior Member

    My long distance trips are usually solo, so I don't do any cooking. I usually pick up a sub or burger on the way to the campground. Stop for breakfast in the morning prior to hitting the road. KOA's are usually pretty nice, but you pay for them. Most KOA's I have stayed in charge as much for a tent site as most RV parks charge for an RV site. However, you know what you are getting.
  8. dfbales

    dfbales Active Member

    all I take is a sleeping bag, 2 man tent, a coffee pot for the fire, make my fires with found wood, camp anywhere I stop, I had one farmer find me , after he laughed at a couple of jokes he fed me one of the best breakfasts I have ever had
  9. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I had a guy in my neighborhood say this, too. Bragged about never paying to camp. Just pull off the road enough where you can't be seen and set up camp, he advised.

    First. this really isn't my style. And if you're travelling alone it totally eliminates the social aspect of camping that someone already mentioned. Also, if you're travelling alone, I'm not sure how safe this strategy is anymore. Call me paranoid but there's too many wackos out there! Of course, I'm sure there aren't any armed guards at the entrance to the KOA campgrounds to keep out the crazies either!
  10. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Dr.D...I agree with you, I like KOAs and campgrounds in National Parks (seniors and serviceman do get discounts too...) and if you are a member of AAA, they provide a service called TRAVEL TIX which is a flip binder of your planned trip and includes your planned stops (if you have preferred ones) or all the potential stops along the way you care to...and it is a FREE service. They also have travel tips, points of interest, hotels & motels (for those once in awhile luxuries), planning guides, MAPS (also FREE) and whatever info you need to make your trip nice and easy. I have used them on several cross country tours (especially if you have to have a "regimented" schedule). That and a GPS and the pathways are covered...