Drive to Wyoming

I have to say, when traveling across the country pulling 40’ behind you a myriad of things can go wrong. And sometimes they do. Fortunately, as of the time of this writing, it’s been relatively smooth driving. The weather has been fairly cooperative as well.

While I think it’s great that some people who travel have their plans scheduled out a year or months in advance—our family has never traveled like that. That does limit us sometimes when it comes to campgrounds. Many times the nicest ones are booked so you end up calling and hoping they had a cancellation or settling for what you can find. If we’re just stopping overnight it matters little to me (as long as it’s a safe area) what the campground is like, as I have MY home on wheels, which we love, so as long as we have full hookup or even just water and electric I’m happy. Now this kind of traveling isn’t for everyone, it’s just how we do things.

Our drive from mid Nebraska to Cheyenne went well. We stopped at the KOA Cheyenne https://koa.com/campgrounds/cheyenne/?utm_source=campgroundreviews.com&utm_campaign=RVLife_Campgrounds&utm_medium=referral for the evening. I would stay there again. We have found that sometimes the KOA’s are hit or miss. Some are quite nice and others—well, they leave a lot to be desired. There’s approximately 500 of them around so probably if you’ve traveled for any length of time you’ve stayed in one or two. Most of them offer different amenities (for instance the one in Cheyenne had a fenced in dog park, mini golf, a pool, horseshoes, etc.) which is great. Typically we don’t partake of many of the amenities, but they are there if we decide to. They can also be a little pricier than a different campground in the same area—so just do your due diligence and check out the reviews.

Cheyenne KOA
We appreciate the fenced in dog park after a long day of travel!

After one night at the KOA we were off to Montpelier, Idaho. Yes, Idaho. But no worries we had reservations for a site in Alpine, Wy for a few days next so it was literally a stop over point. There we stayed at a KOA https://koa.com/campgrounds/montpelier-creek/ as well…..mostly because there isn’t much else in the area. While there wasn’t anything wrong with it, this one seemed a little more run down than the one in Wyoming. While it was completely filled it didn’t have the same vibe as the one in Cheyenne. It felt a little older and the sites could use a little updating. But for one night it was fine. There was a nice little walking trail that bordered a creek and had wild roses growing nearby which was a lovely 20 minutes spent.

You’re also close to the Oregon trail center, which I think would be super informative and educational to visit. Maybe next trip.

Oregon trail center
Hubby on bridge over creek
Wild roses

The drive between Cheyenne and Idaho was pleasant. I enjoy driving through Wyoming and in all honesty it’s one of my favorite states. The variety in landscape is quite amazing. Eastern Wyoming I would consider an extension of Nebraska. Flat and kind of desolate. One interesting features we saw on rte 80 in Wyoming were the vedauwoo rocks. This is shortly after you leave Cheyenne. People come from all over to rock climb these structures and camp nearby.

Vedauwoo rocks

There’s a lot to see in Wyoming if you have the time. I will say something that can be frustrating (to me at least) is when you’re traveling with a huge 5th wheel you can’t always stop and see things you want to on a whim. Many times I’ll see something and want to stop but we’re limited by our size and parking—or maybe just the route—so I make a note and will try to make plans to see it next time when we can stay closer. So I would say that’s one of the down sides to driving such a big rig.

So after a few days of driving we made it to Wyoming. What will we decide to do next?

We made it! Wyoming!

Where should we go in 2020?

When talking with different people who “glamp”—many of them plan their vacations months or even a year or more in advance. Is that what we do?

What fun would that be? Owning a small contracting/remodeling company often times our schedule is dictated by what jobs we have going on and when we may have a little break in the schedule. We have found that typically the beginning or middle of June is a perfect time to get away for a few weeks.

About the middle of April we start examine the work schedule and upcoming jobs to see what is going to work for us.

Last year we left after my daughters dance recital and planned our first stop in Atlanta so she could go see JoJo Siwa (https://itsjojosiwa.com/) in concert! We then continued our trip to Glacier National Park in Montana up to Banff national park in Alberta! By the time all was said and done we had traveled more than 6,000 miles and totaled our brand new trailer.

My husband said we needed a re-do this year so we had planned originally to drive to Acadia National Park in Maine and then cross the border into Canada and go to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (yes a dream of mine since I first read Anne of Green Gables).

Enter Covid.

So here I am blogging from the Nolichucky Gorge Campground and Cabins in Erwin, TN. (Nolichucky.com) How did we end up here? Erring on the side of caution we decided to stick a little closer to home and continue social distancing as much as possible. Easy to do when you’re camping in a small campground. (I’ll post more about this place later!)

We did however make our first stop in Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. (https://www.stonemountainpark.comCampground).

The views from Stone Mountain were lovely as we stayed in an orange site, which we prefer, because it’s much less crowded than some of the other colors. We had plenty of room to back in our 5th wheel and didn’t feel crowded at all.

We were able to do several small walks seeing very pretty, well preserved buildings and bridges from the early 20th century.

Grist mill
Old covered bridge

There are miles and miles of dog friendly trails to enjoy! (Did I forget to mention we also have a 6 month old bernedoodle that’s traveling with us??).

6 month old puppy with our 2 year old son!

We were even able to meet up with the original Camper Crazy Buzzers and have some nice Socially Distanced Visiting.

Original camper crazy buzz blogger!

Is it the same as camping pre-pandemic? Absolutely not. But we are trying to make the most of it and still enjoy our time together!

So what’s next on the agenda? Follow us to find out—(although I kind of already spoiled it a little. Next stop—Erwin, TN. Lol) I

CAMPER CRAZY bought an RV and then Covid-19 happened

After four years of looking and begging my husband, we went to the Tampa RV show in January with family and friends. There we found almost everything we were looking for in a travel trailer. If we had gone on our own we probably would have left without buying anything except some popcorn and beer. However, we succumbed to peer pressure. We even bought from a vendor we swore we would never buy from (General RV). We left excited and looking forward to picking up our new RV the end of February.

Great layout with lots of storage

My list of must-haves were not many:

  1. Length of trailer should be no longer than 30′
  2. Lots of windows and lighter colored furnishings
  3. Dual wheels
  4. A good amount of storage
  5. A large bathroom
  6. Must sleep at least 5/6 people
  7. An outside kitchen
  8. Two doors for entering and exiting camper
  9. Ultra Light weight
  10. A simple exterior without outlandish designs and a neutral color palette
  11. Room for my husband to work with his multitude of electronic devices
  12. Heated and enclosed underbelly
  13. NO aluminum siding
  14. At least one slide with a slide topper
APEX by COACHMEN

The APEX 265RBSS met all of my wants with the exception of two. The RV has 1 door. I kept weighing the pros and cons and decided I could live without the extra door. It has one nice slide, but no slide topper. That I didn’t think I could do without.

My husband had other items that were important to him as far as the construction and features were concerned. He was happy with the overall construction, however he was adamant that we have two air conditioners. So, we agreed to pay extra for the slide topper and an air conditioner and negotiations began.

We picked up the RV the last week of February and then camped at Lazy Days for two days with our granddaughter. With four years of watching countless videos on camping and RVs, writing posts and interviewing experienced campers you would think we would have this RV camping thing down. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

“Okay, what do I do with this?”

So we thought, no problem, we will take a few short distance trips over the next few months before we hit the road for a long trip. Then Covid-19 happened and we were told to stay in our homes. Yes, we are in that age group, you know, the 60 and over group. One more challenge to our RV dream.

But maybe this is not a bad thing after all. Why do I say that? Well, my next post will address that subject.

This is just the beginning..

 

Disney’s Fort Wilderness fairy tale camping

The video above gives just a small glimpse of this amazing Disney RV resort

Trying to convince a man that living full-time in an RV after retiring will be exciting and fun has been a challenge. The challenge is REAL, especially when this person does not enjoy vacations, hates cruising, refuses to fly and has little interest in hobbies. So, slowly through the course of the past few years I have dragged him to RV shows and RV showrooms, and he finally consented to earnestly try and consider the idea. Together we watch youtube videos and read blogs about RV life and are now sharing our thoughts and information through Camper Crazy Buzz.

However, he is still not totally convinced. I decided to try another tactic. I would introduce him to an over the top style of camping that may seal the deal. You see, this guy who hates anything to do with fun and vacationing (with the exception of going to see the trees change colors in the fall)… he has a specific weakness for the Wonderful World of Disney.

In the mid 90’s we moved to Orlando and he enjoyed watching the fireworks from our living room window at night. He loved walking through what was known then as Downtown Disney, and even enjoyed occasionally going to the parks. Something about the place…get this….makes him happy! He has even suggested that after retiring we should just move back to Orlando.

My plan… take him to Fort Wilderness. However, my plan backfired. We had been busy for many days helping family pack up to move. We were tired and I wanted to take a break, but he refused. He said he could not do anything related to my “camper crazy” dream and suggested I take our eight year old granddaughter on a “camper crazy” adventure.

I think he imagined that at eight years old she would be really bored looking at RVs and that would burst my camper crazy bubble. Our granddaughters are the center of our world and the main reason he is even considering that maybe, just maybe he will buy an RV. He has said that it “may be fun to take the girls on road trips in an RV”.

He just did not realize what I had planned. Surprise!!! Our granddaughter had a phenomenal time. We met up with some family staying at Fort Wilderness. Although, I had only planned on staying a few hours and look around and visit the pool, we stayed the night, thanks to a flat tire. My granddaughter experienced her first night in a “two-story camper”. “What is that?” you ask. It is what my granddaughter called the fifth-wheel camper we stayed in.

Of course, like anything Disney, Fort Wilderness is beautiful and designed in a charming, fairy tale frontier style. You can almost imagine walking the grounds, as you round the bend, you will run into the Seven Dwarfs or Winnie the Pooh and his gang. Needless to say, it is not your run-of-the-mill campground.

Fully equipped campsites can accommodate anything from tents to large Class A motor-homes. Finding your spot is easy since the sites are setup in loops. There is plenty of room between each site and designed in a way that features the beauty of Florida’s great outdoors and without feeling like your privacy is jeopardized. Your basic hookups are available at most sites along with cable TV, a picnic table and a grill.

Woof Woof! Many of our family members and friends that camp like to take their dogs with them. Many of the sites at Fort Wilderness are pet friendly with the exception of those camping in a tent or a popup style camper. As expected, there will be an additional charge to bring your pet, currently posted as $5 per night, but many find it well worth the added expense. Well behaved pets can be taken on the pet walking trails as long as they are on a lead, or they can play off leash at the Waggin Trail’s dog park. What if you want to spend the day at one of the parks and don’t want to leave Fido in the camper all day? Disney has an answer for that. Day and overnight care is available at the Best Friend’s Kennel Care.

With a resort boasting 750 acres of lush wilderness, you may want to explore the resort by renting a golf cart at the reception outpost. It is a great way to get the kids back to the RV after their hard day splashing around in the pool, canoeing, or galloping along the happy trails on horseback. If you are not up to riding the trails, catch a wagon ride or take a carriage ride. Don’t fret there are plenty of fun-filled activities for adults and children. Even though the horse and pony rides, wagon ride, carriage ride all comes with an additional cost, you may find that this is the best vacation you have taken in a long time.

Evenings offer activities such as gobbling up roasted marshmallows at the “campfire sing-along”, having fun watching a Disney film at the outside theater, enjoying dinner and a show at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, or finding delight in the beautiful boat parade with all your favorite Disney characters, and then ending the day with breathtaking fireworks.

So now you are like, “I wanna go there but I don’t even own an RV” 😦 sad face, pout, tears in your eyes!!! Never fear…Disney wants you to feel like you are a happy camper too. SHHHH, do not tell my husband but there are log-cabins nestled within this wilderness with a private patio and a modern kitchen. But don’t worry, you don’t have to wash those dishes, housekeeping will do it for you. I know what you are thinking, ‘who wants to go to the grocery store on the way to a resort cabin?” No worries, pre-order your groceries long before you arrive. Make your list and then email, fax or snail mail to Disney. How great is that?

Cabins with modern kitchen and patio

As you probably realize, the cost for campsites and cabin rentals within Fort Wilderness will not be your typical campground cost. But then again, this is not your typical campground. In fact, my little great-niece said it was the best vacation she has ever been on. When her dad asked, “better than when you were kissed by the dolphin, and you shook the hand of the sea lion and fed the sharks?” With a big smile she answered with a resounding, “yes”.

All I can say is, the visit to Fort Wilderness heightened my “camper craziness” and made my granddaughter a little “camper crazy” too. Hopefully my fairy tale dream will come true and our family will be camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness very soon.

Camper Crazy Confusion …”To Poop or not to Poop”(that is the question)

Okay, you may be thinking…

“this is going to be a crappy, stinking blog”. We just hope you continue reading and visit our newest video as we research the dirty part of owning an RV. It is a topic that needs to be discussed and thought about when contemplating purchasing an RV.

Listening to videos about campers or visiting RV sales showrooms, you hear terms like, “black water”, “gray water”, “dump tanks” and may see toilet paper designed for RV use. Seriously, do you really need to buy a specialty toilet paper like this one sold on Amazon? There are youtube videos with people testing toilet paper to see which dissolves best. They are usually long, boring videos, so we decided to talk with people that own campers and ask their opinion.

Sold on Amazon

You may hear your camping friends talk about “toilet bombs”, but they are not Camper Crazy toilet terrorists, they are just sanitation sensitive. For us future RV owners, these may not be familiar terms. However, if we watched that movie “RV”, we probably all remember the dumping scene. Thus the question, “to poop or not to poop”.

If you remember our blog and videos featuring BJ & Shanna’s family, they started out their trip with strict orders to their kids not to poop in the RV. They had to use the comfort station at the RV parks. They didn’t want to deal with all that cleanup work. By the end of their trip, they were all using the throne for their dirty work.

When talking to other campers, some have decided it is not worth all the hard work and strictly use the RV park facilities they camp in. However, that is a bit difficult if you eat a lot of high fiber foods or if it is bad weather and you have to run to the park facilities.

But, why is this important? Well, for one thing we spend a lot of time using the toilet! There are studies that have been conducted that show people spend from 1.5 – 3 hours on the toilet each week. So, if you are living full-time in an RV, in one year, you may spend almost one full week on the toilet. So, we figure, not only should the bathroom area be the right size, but the toilet should be comfortable and we better know how to keep that toilet cleaned out properly.

So, what is black water and gray water? Below your beautiful RV are holding tanks that hold the non-pretty elements of your RV. Underneath will be your “black tank” that holds the waste from your toilet. You will also have a “gray tank” that holds the waste water from your shower and sinks. If your holding tanks are not properly cleaned, they will generate a smell that will make you think that skunks have taken your RV hostage.

All of the RVs we have looked at have a foot flush on the toilet. You step on it and it dispenses water into the bowl and opens the valve in the bowl to dump the toilet waste into your black tank. Following are tips that we will try to utilize, if we figure out what type RV to purchase:

Tip #1 – Make sure you have some water in the bottom of the toilet bowl before you use it.

Tip #2 – Some recommend that if you have your fan on while using the toilet, shut-off the fan when you flush. That process will eliminate the fan from pulling up the stinky odors from the black tank when the valve opens. Others say that if you clean out your tank properly and often, this is unnecessary.

Tip #3 – Make sure your toilet bowl is empty of all water once you start traveling, otherwise you will have to clean up a sloshy mess, especially if the driver of your RV drives like my husband.

Tip #4 – You can use your shower sprayer with hot water to spray out the toilet bowl before you dump the tank and the steam will also help breakup any solids that may be starting to harden.

Tip #5 – Dump your black tank and THEN dump your gray tank to flush out the hose.

Tip #6 – Make your own toilet bombs. You can find instructions online to get the recipe and the campers we interviewed used slightly different recipes but all happy with the results. One of the campers we interviewed simply uses a few scoops of Borax and large squirts of Dawn dish-washing liquid and flushes it down into the black tank.

Tip 7 – You may want to try Poo Pourri…

Some recommend after you dump and clean your tank to add water to the tank to help solids from sticking to the sides and bottom of the tank. Other campers say this is unnecessary if you dump often and clean properly and use toilet bombs. After you dump your tank, you should always clean it out manually or with a Saniflush if your RV comes equipped with it.

There is no way we will only use campsite comfort station facilities to do our business. So, our goal is to make sure we know all the correct procedures in emptying the tanks, keeping them clean and using the proper chemicals that will keep the tanks in good shape and eliminate stinky odors.

If any of our readers have other suggestions that have worked for them, please leave a comment to help educate us and others that are Camper Crazy Confused also! And if you are camper crazy confused, leave a question and we will try and find an answer.

As always we recommend you watch our video on this sensitive subject matter. Simply login to YouTube and search for Camper Crazy Buzz. Don’t forget to subscribe and like!

Camper Crazy Round Table Interview Part 2. https://youtu.be/GpHvgXH2iTg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpHvgXH2iTg

MOST IMPORTANT TIP:

If your RV does not have a lock on the bathroom door, you may want to install a seat belt on your toilet. You never know when you will fall off the pot and fly out the door(s)! Learn more & get the BUZZ in our videos and remember, “safety first”!

New Camper Crazy Family

Excitement and adventure is their dream as they load up their new Grey Wolf trailer by Forest River and leave the heat of Florida for the cool Canadian landscape. The camper layout is great for their family with a Queen bed and twin corner bunks and nice sized pantry. Purchased new from Camping World they are ready to be Camper Crazy World Travelers. https://www.campingworld.com/ Learn more about Forest River Grey Wolf trailers at:

https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/travel-trailers/grey-wolf?RegionSelected=1

However, if we look closely at their smiles and eyes, Shanna seems somewhat apprehensive and Mia has a grimace radiating a little fear…is her dad a bad driver or is she just dreading this trip? BJ, Colton and Jax look genuinely happy and ready to set-off and leave Central Florida for their first stop in Stone Mountain, Ga.

The first day took longer than they expected. They had to make extra stops for the baby so they arrive to the site late in the day. They decide that they must get up earlier in the mornings and get things wrapped up so they can reach their campsites while still daylight, although they all realize it just isn’t in their nature to be early birds. Every stop has been carefully mapped out by Shanna using RV Trip Wizard. http://rvtripwizard.com The website touts itself as the Best RV Trip Planner. Shanna, following the suggestion of mid-life crisis couple Chuck & Dana, signs up and plans her trip. We will find out later if RV Trip Wizard is all it says it is.

Days 1-6

The first couple days are just casual driving through the hills of Georgia and Tennessee heading to Minnesota. First few days are very enjoyable.

Kids are not miserable and in fact Mia and Jax are quite happy traveling through each state. Colton is not totally bored, but then…his internet access has not been interrupted too much. So all is well for now.

Not sure how BJ is living without his Starbucks drive through coffee. Do you think he brews Starbucks in the camper?

The circle of love – so far a great family trip. Look at those happy smiles. We will get Shanna & BJ’s comments about the campsites they stayed in a little later and will post on our YouTube Channel.

As we can see BJ is ready to do some laundry. They purchased a portable washer and dryer. We don’t have the details, as of yet as to how well they work. However, they store the washer under the main bed and haul the dryer in the back of their pickup. We did not realize they made such portable washers and dryers but are anxious to find out more about them, since I am not a fan of using laundromats. He looks so happy doing the laundry. I wish my husband looked like that when I ask him to throw some towels in the washer. Unfortunately, strong winds and hazardous steps cause some Camper Crazy drama. Stay tuned for future blogs. In the meantime, enjoy a video of their trip so far @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmijHYW2QGI&t=19s

What is all the Buzz about???

Camping, Glamping & the World of Recreational Vehicles

“Oh, the places you’ll go!” Dr. Seuss

My husband calls me Camper Crazy because I have been nagging him for the past 3 years to buy an RV.  I keep pitching the idea that we should live full-time in an RV when we retire… just a few years away! 

However, he thinks I am Crazy…Irrational…and just plain NUTS!  My husband is a workaholic and not one that likes to try new things.   The thought of buying a camper totally stresses him out.  So we have decided that we need to entrench ourselves in finding the pros and cons of camping and glamping and figure out which RV would work best for our circumstances and our future goals. 

We have visited many blog sites and watched 100’s of videos on different types of RVs…..MANY ARE SO BORING. Plus, they have done nothing to convince my husband that an RV is something we need to buy, let alone live in.  Let’s face it, you can only watch so many RV Salespeople showing you the features of an RV and then you find yourself…. snoring and dribbling spit on your pillow.

This site is a multi-family combined effort featuring the World of Camping, Glamping and Recreational Vehicles.  Why should YOU subscribe to our blog and follow us on You Tube?  Because we will give you the  Buzz of info to be off and running as another CAMPER CRAZY, FUN LOVING INDIVIDUAL!

  • We will follow some RV trips of new campers and experienced campers.  We will share their likes and dislikes, pros and cons. 
  • We will learn the dos and don’ts – tips and tricks – and share Hilarious, Outrageous  stories!!!   
  • What kind of RV works best for young families, working couples, seniors, and single people?  A CLASS; B CLASS, C CLASS?  No we are not talking about school for you non-campers.
  • But wait…Mark and I have been involved in construction all our lives.  In fact, we volunteer a lot of our time in helping with disaster relief work.  Wow….you would think he would want an RV to be able to do more in this type of work. 

Is retrofitting an older camper more logical, economical and conducive to a more attractive interior?  We may be retiring in a few years but I don’t want our RV to be classified as a Grandpa’s or Grandma’s Camper.  Jeez, that is why we call ourselves Pa and Gigi to our granddaughters.  If you didn’t know…Gigi is a grandmother but so much cooler!  So, for me a Cool Awesome Camper is absolutely a necessity. Plus, my 8 year old granddaughter would never want to vacation in an ugly camper with her Gigi. Gigi & Derby Adventures are never boring and are very cool.

  • What do we buy for our RV, when we determine which one to buy? After all, we want our married children and their families to travel with us on family vacations.  Our son, Shane is so much like his father and thinks RESORT = NO RV.  But his wife Kelli, would love joining us on RV trips.  Our daughter Summer is with me.  She would love to get an RV and is trying to sweet talk her husband Garth so maybe…just maybe they can join in on the family fun with our grandbaby Cookie.
  • And what about food?  What meals are the healthiest and easiest to make on the road? 
  • What campsites are the best?
  • We will also share pics and videos of areas you may want to visit and more!

This site is dedicated to finding the answers and featuring REAL LIFE CAMPERS in REAL LIFE (sometimes messy) RVs.  Most of all, it is dedicated to helping everyone become Camper Crazy!!! 

Next up….The First Time RV Family

                YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS…A young couple with 3 kids on their first RV trip from Florida to Canada, driving a Ford F-250 pulling a new Grey Wolf Travel Trailer, (their rig on top of blog page).   So far, this trip falls somewhere between the movie RV and the National Lampoon Griswold Family. If anything can go wrong on this trip, so far it has.

Stay tuned to the adventures of Brent (B.J.) & Shanna, with the teenage son who likes video games and computers, the 9 year old daughter who likes to run 5k races with her mom and their adorable baby who has some special needs and the motivation for BJ to purchase an RV.

And then….Chuck & Dana

                A mid-aged (mid-life crisis maybe?) couple with 3 married children:  their eldest son and his wife and their travel friendly puppy, Tokyo catch up with their parents in California and travel up the coast, then they will be joined by their daughter, an Irish dance instructor and her husband.

Chuck and Dana are traveling from Florida to Vancouver on a six week trip in their brand new Winnebago View.  Their children are taking turns flying in to travel different legs on the trip with their parents.  This trip got off to a rough start, but the pics and videos are amazing.  You won’t want to miss being a part of this trip.

Traveling with them on this trip are her parents:

                Danny & Mary Ellen, who are Totally Experienced Glampers to the Extreme!  From previously traveling in a coach fit for a King and Queen, to now traveling in a new Pleasure-way Class B, they offer so many tips and tricks.  But, don’t let their fancy lifestyle fool you.  Danny is also an experienced Kayaker and Hiker.  He is a true camper and can help us learn the best items to use when camping in a small tent in the wild…yes with wild bears and snakes and bugs of every sort.  You can check out some of his hiking trips on YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngBadyvqGEM

So, now we are off…let the Adventure begin….join us at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-KjzYdmcJRpcRS3AAEEjQA and subscribe to join the fun. Our goal each week is gaining 100 subscribers to our channel and our blog. Can you help us reach that goal?

Please subscribe on the Blog Home page so you can get all the Camper Crazy Buzz!