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Old 05-01-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
DisneyDiva8401
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Pre-Disney camping trips

So we are heading to a kinda local campground this weekend (my birthday!) for a short camping trip. We use this as sort of a pre-Disney trip. You know, check out all the equipment, make sure everything is working after being packed away all winter. We just applied some water repellent on the pop-up (we're a little paranoid as last summer we were caught in a tropical storm in st Augustine and it rained so much the ends started leaking.) and made a wooden doormat/step to assist with getting in and out.
I'm just curious as to what all of you do to prep yourself for your "big" trip of the year and avoid any surprise mishaps. Have any of you had any mishaps threaten to sabotage a camping trip?
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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So we are heading to a kinda local campground this weekend (my birthday!) for a short camping trip. We use this as sort of a pre-Disney trip. You know, check out all the equipment, make sure everything is working after being packed away all winter. We just applied some water repellent on the pop-up (we're a little paranoid as last summer we were caught in a tropical storm in st Augustine and it rained so much the ends started leaking.) and made a wooden doormat/step to assist with getting in and out.
I'm just curious as to what all of you do to prep yourself for your "big" trip of the year and avoid any surprise mishaps. Have any of you had any mishaps threaten to sabotage a camping trip?
This doesn't have so much to do with prep as it does knowing what to do in a tent in the rain.

When my husband and I were engaged we went camping with a bunch of friends on some land that one of them owned. My husband had been camping since he was little; me not so much. My husbands tent is a 9x13 canvas (think army style) cabin tent. It had been treated with water repellent and while we were there it started to rain...hard. When the water started to pool on each side of the roof; I being new at camping pointed it out to my husband and just as he told me not to I reached up and touched it. LOL We had a waterfall in the tent that was so bad we had to leave.

We rented a cabin in a park nearby and I NEVER touched the tent in the rain again. We still use that canvas tent some 20 years later. Live and learn!
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
DisneyDiva8401
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Live and learn!
This! It seems like no matter how many times I camp, I always find out something new or a better way of doing something. Because I would hate to get 12 hours from home to find out my shelter leaked!
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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usd2bmd, that is so funny! Am sure it wasn't at the time though

We only camped in a tent 'one' trip (was enough for us, we weren't tough enough) LOL

A similar story happened to us. We were so 'green', didn't know one thing about camping except how to put up a tent We didn't know you shouldn't let anything touch the inside of the tent (older canvas tent, not sure about new kind). Anyway, we came back from a hike in the Smoky Mtns. and it had rained, ALL our pillows, bedding etc. was SOAKED! End of tent camping for us

Anyway, back on topic, things do need to be checked out after units being winterized. A short week end trip is a very good idea to keep from having big surprises later. We don't have so much a problem now as our mh is in a garage, but dh makes sure everything is working fine - generator, water lines, fridge, etc.

OP, have a nice birthday and weekend trip!
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:07 AM   #5
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usd2bmd, that is so funny! Am sure it wasn't at the time though

We only camped in a tent 'one' trip (was enough for us, we weren't tough enough) LOL

A similar story happened to us. We were so 'green', didn't know one thing about camping except how to put up a tent We didn't know you shouldn't let anything touch the inside of the tent (older canvas tent, not sure about new kind). Anyway, we came back from a hike in the Smoky Mtns. and it had rained, ALL our pillows, bedding etc. was SOAKED! End of tent camping for us
It is hilarious to us now. I always say it would be nice to try a camper. You know the big 5th wheels ( home on wheels). My husband is a tent camper through and through. So our deal is we never tent camp more than 4 nights. It's too long and if we are going too far, I would say more than 6 hours, we get a hotel room.

But we always put it up and leave for a day and over night and lightly hide it down to make sure it is still water proof. Don't want to find that out the hard way.

We also get out the camping box and restock
It with the things we need.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:57 AM   #6
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I gotta admit, most of what we learned, we learned on the fly.
The most important thing we've learned while camping is there's always a Walmart, Target or Dicks around where you can pick up items you forget/misplaced or didn't even know you needed.

We bought our first Easy-Up during our week-long Mammoth Cave trip. It rained for five days straight. The tent was dry, but no one wants to sit in the tent 24/7 and we needed somewhere out of the weather to cook. Ran to walmart, picked one up, and we've used it on every trip since.
(For the record, that was one of our best camping trips, since even non-stop rain didn't keep us from taking cave tours. )

We once forgot our hammer. Our camping neighbor volunteered his after watching us try to pound in tent stakes with a piece of firewood. Campers are friendly people.

Another year we remembered the coffee pot, but not the mugs, and do NOT try putting super hot coffee in a red solo cup. DH and I still have those Yogi Bear Campground mugs.

I now have a fairly detailed camping checklist that has been years in the making, so we don't miss out on much. But, sometimes you do learn the hard way.

(Oh, and extra tarps and rope are never a bad idea. )
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Pup camping is new to us, so we plan on at least three pre Disney trips. Our first one was last weekend at the Jersey shore, it went well and was educational for us. Our next trip will probably be to a state park as soon as track ends for ODS, just before school lets out. Our third and possibly final trip before Disney in August will be for 3-4 nights the week after 4th of July, just not sure where yet. I'm hoping three pre-Disney trips will be sufficient for us to feel comfy with an 11 night, with two nights for traveling, excursion!
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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LOL If I were to list all the things that have gone wrong while we have been camping, I would probably never want to camp again.

We first started out tent camping, then bought a pop up, and just bough a 22ft TT.

We always do a first of the season "shakedown" trip. This last trip we found about 3 miles into it, that the TT's brakes need to be readjusted. Nothing like smelling hot brakes

We have left all of our lighters at home.
We have left all of our knives at home.
We (okay me) forgot to pack the kids' extra underwear...
We have forgotten to repack the pillows after taking them out to store the pop up for winter.
We have had one tire blow out on the pop up.
We had the transmission go out on our older TV about a mile away from the campground.
We have had a tire fly off of the pop up. (Hubby used WD-40 to loosen the lug nuts when he changed the tired from the previous blow out. Lug nuts literally fell off and so did the tire).
I set myself on fire and tore my ACL at the same time. (Long story. Funny now, but wasn't then).
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nixie View Post
LOL If I were to list all the things that have gone wrong while we have been camping, I would probably never want to camp again.

We first started out tent camping, then bought a pop up, and just bough a 22ft TT.

We always do a first of the season "shakedown" trip. This last trip we found about 3 miles into it, that the TT's brakes need to be readjusted. Nothing like smelling hot brakes

We have left all of our lighters at home.
We have left all of our knives at home.
We (okay me) forgot to pack the kids' extra underwear...
We have forgotten to repack the pillows after taking them out to store the pop up for winter.
We have had one tire blow out on the pop up.
We had the transmission go out on our older TV about a mile away from the campground.
We have had a tire fly off of the pop up. (Hubby used WD-40 to loosen the lug nuts when he changed the tired from the previous blow out. Lug nuts literally fell off and so did the tire).
I set myself on fire and tore my ACL at the same time. (Long story. Funny now, but wasn't then).
Wow...I'll never complain about having to sleep on a damp bed again!
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixie
LOL If I were to list all the things that have gone wrong while we have been camping, I would probably never want to camp again.

We first started out tent camping, then bought a pop up, and just bough a 22ft TT.

We always do a first of the season "shakedown" trip. This last trip we found about 3 miles into it, that the TT's brakes need to be readjusted. Nothing like smelling hot brakes

We have left all of our lighters at home.
We have left all of our knives at home.
We (okay me) forgot to pack the kids' extra underwear...
We have forgotten to repack the pillows after taking them out to store the pop up for winter.
We have had one tire blow out on the pop up.
We had the transmission go out on our older TV about a mile away from the campground.
We have had a tire fly off of the pop up. (Hubby used WD-40 to loosen the lug nuts when he changed the tired from the previous blow out. Lug nuts literally fell off and so did the tire).
I set myself on fire and tore my ACL at the same time. (Long story. Funny now, but wasn't then).
Sounds like something from a National Lampoon's movie...boy you really have been there.

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Old 05-02-2013, 02:23 PM   #11
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We always make plans to camp somewhere local with a full hookup before we do any kind of traveling over 2+ hours with the trailer. We normally make sure everything is working properly, make sure we're fully stocked with supplies etc, and make sure it's totally spotless. We'll be camping at the Fort for the first time this fall. I'm guessing since it's 12 hours from home, in addition to checking out the trailer beforehand, we'll have to make sure the truck is all good too. Guess I'll have to make an appt with the garage. Our family loves camping- despite all the prepping...in the end it's all worth it!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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I'm just curious as to what all of you do to prep yourself for your "big" trip of the year and avoid any surprise mishaps. Have any of you had any mishaps threaten to sabotage a camping trip?
Diva,

We (more often then not) go to WDW/Fort during Spring Break which to us is late March. So our first trip of the year (to the Fort) is also our biggest trip. There are no guarentees of nice weather here at home in the weeks prior so we usually don't do a camping weekend before our Fort visit.

What I do, though, is watch the calendar beginning mid-February for a nice sunny warm(er) Saturday or Sunday to roll the popup out of the garage to pop it up and see what work needs to be done after a few months of hibernating in my garage. I make a list then roll it away and wait for another sunny Saturday or Sunday to work on the list items. I probably have ordered parts, caulk, bought stainless screws from Home Depot, or got my thread ready.

Past work items have included replacing tiny gold screws on the interior casette potty wood lid with stainless big screws, the same stainless big screws on the plywood under a bunk slide out where the seam was splitting, building my awning adjustable poles with painter's poles (as outlined in my TR), and fixing the zippers on the dinette slideout window (they zipped all the way off the rails so I got the zipper rethreaded then got a fat waxy thread and literally stitched a backstop so the zippers couldn't come off again). Kinda like sewing on merit badges on my boys' merit badge sash for Boy Scouts.

I always look forward to that first and subsequent workdays in the driveway. It's another sign of spring and trips to be.

Bama Ed
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:31 PM   #13
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Thanks, OP, for your questions that fueled this thread! Am enjoying it, both the preventative measures and the precautionary tales!
Some food for thought.. Taking measures would give us peace of mind, the last few days at WDW, especially if pup or basic tenting!

For usually mild and dry April, these were wet season type downpours! So wet, sometimes bridging on cold, and sometimes, so dark and violent, sometimes, the natural fireworks have been this past last half of the week. I woke up after the particularly rauccous storm on Monday, to look out at a near empty loop and think, 'the ones who stayed are the ones who were prepared'....

Did we have a great time? Yes. Are the memories of surviving part of that? Yes. Did my crew take in in stride? They tent camp alot. They did.
But I wish you all- and me, too- weather when down here, next, character building experiences notwithstanding!
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:22 PM   #14
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Sounds like something from a National Lampoon's movie...boy you really have been there.

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I forgot to add the time we forgot to put down the stabilizers. ROFL. Pop ups make really good teeter totters
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:55 PM   #15
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I forgot to add the time we forgot to put down the stabilizers. ROFL. Pop ups make really good teeter totters
"That there Clark is an RV"

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