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Old 06-26-2010, 10:05 PM   #1
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Tips needed for newbies~!

Well, talk about your newbie~! We pick up our SMB on July 19 and are really enthused. Our first trip will be the third week in August from Indiana to Nova Scotia. I have a million, not quite, questions. What are the must haves to stock the van? Do you reserve campsites or wing-it (we are not pressed for time..retired)? What particular chain, if any, of campsites do you recommend? I don't even know all the questions to ask~!~! I have been reading the forum to pick up as much as possible...but any direct tips would be SO appreciated. Does anyone know if I can run a CPAP machine at night if we are not plugged in? What would you say is requiredclothing? We don't want to pack a gazillion things...but cover the most important.
I am sure we will learn by trial and error....but your help would be great...Thanks~!

IndianaParkers(first post..not sure if our name will show)
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

I can't answer your questions regarding campsites, etc. since we tend to not camp at regular campsites, especially commercial ones. However, send us a PM with your e-mail address and I'll send you a list of stuff we carry with us in our van....
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:49 AM   #3
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

I run a CPAP all night long. No problems. I use the 12 volt cord direct into the outlet instead of an inverter.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

What in the world is a CPAP and is it possible that I've gotten along without one all these years?
Bill
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywagon
What in the world is a CPAP and is it possible that I've gotten along without one all these years?
Bill
CPAP
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device. Its used to treat Sleep Apnea. After my Heart Attack I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. The apnea puts additional strain on the heart, so treating it is a good thing. Two other benefits are: It eliminates snoring completely (Dina loves that), and is a white noise generator so I can not hear the darn ticking noise from my Espar heater anymore.

Its a little cumbersome at first but you get used to it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_airway_pressure
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

We never reserve campsites, and always are able to get a site. The key is stop early. Around 4pm sites are available. If you wait till 6,7 or later you may find the campground full in popular places. Stopping early also gives us more time to explore, relax, whatever.

We don't have favorites, but tend to avoid KOA (too pricey) and always look for places that have showers. Another favorite is National Parks (Cheap with a Senior Pass - for some of these you will need reservations). If showers aren't available, we settle for Forest Service camping (another cheap source of camping with our age!).

We carry a Trailer Life campground guide as it is quite extensive. Most states have a welcome center when you enter the state and will have campground guides for the state.

Some people have an intinarary for every day and every stop. We prefer to go free form. On every trip, the best things we have found are things we did not know about before we left, rather they are things we find on the way by talking to people - and we would have missed them if we were following a schedule.

Relax and enjoy the trip!

Mike and Dorothy
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:22 PM   #7
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywagon
What in the world is a CPAP and is it possible that I've gotten along without one all these years?
Bill
charlie56 answered the technical question....for me I am much more energetic and my husband Larry gets a better night's sleep~!
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:30 PM   #8
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

Thank you all...so much. It seems camping folks are just like quilters....family and willing to share~! All of your advice has been great...My husband Larry and I tend to be more laid back ~~ being retired we have had enough "sticking to schedules" ourselves...that is a big part of the appeal. Just cannot wait to get started.

I am planning to bring my sewing machine..I am a quilter....any tips or thoughts on that from anybody? I can see I am going to be spending a great deal of time on the Forum!! As soon as we pick it up I will see if I can post a picture... Thanks again...keep the tips coming~!
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:46 PM   #9
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaParkers
I am planning to bring my sewing machine..I am a quilter....any tips or thoughts on that from anybody? I can see I am going to be spending a great deal of time on the Forum!! As soon as we pick it up I will see if I can post a picture... Thanks again...keep the tips coming~!

Please dont tell my wife about the sewing machine!!!

If we take her machine i will have to cook my own food
and have to drag the kayak!!
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
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Re: Tips needed for newbies~!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaParkers
I am planning to bring my sewing machine..I am a quilter....any tips or thoughts on that from anybody?
Retrofit this into your build and you'll have no worries about power:


As for campsites, I agree with Mike. We tend to reserve provincial/state/national parks in advance (we don't have the luxury of being retired ... yet), but leave space in the itinerary to "go with the flow".

Brent
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