Welcome to the wonderful world of truck camping!!
One potential glitch comes to mind, some States have a maximum number of days that you can stay in one month or in a certain time frame at their State Parks. Perhaps it's just in peak tourist season, but you've checked it out right?!
We have a shortbed truck as well (with a shortbed camper), and COG is always a concern with truck campers. However, as long as you don't plan to overload the back - with a pop-up you might not have to worry as much.
A porta-potty might be something to consider (if not right away, sometime "down the road".) A small bbq is always nice. And a folding COMFY chair is something almost all TCers can appreciate.
Best of luck. Enjoy your TC.
As you may already know, I-80 from St. Louis follows much of the old Oregon Trail route. If you're at all interested in the history of the great westward migration, there are several sights along the way which can be easily visited.
And if you happen to find yourself on I-80 at Kearney, Nebraska be sure to stop and see THE GREAT RIVER ROAD ARCHWAY.
They used to allow free overnight RV parking. You could double check.
In our case, getting ANYWHERE is all part of the great adventure :C
It's iffy if ALL the campgrounds AND the road up to Wheeler Peak area will be open by late April, depends on the snowpack and melt.
But yes, generators are allowed in the campgrounds during designated hours.
Now if all you want to see is Lehman Caves (which is worth seeing), then go in April. However, if you are interested in hiking up to the bristlecone forest and/or the glacier - then you should probably plan to wait until either summer or FALL - regardless of how you finally decide to get there :B
One of the nicer things about Great Basin is that it is usually NOT crowded at any time of year (unless you like crowds in addition to scenic sightseeing :p )
As to moteling it, did anyone mention that there are also NOT a lot of choices to EAT out?!
So here's a thought - if you haven't been to Death Valley National Park yet, maybe you could go in April (although by MID-April it's already getting HOT there!) with the RV.
AND then go to Great Basin in early September (by auto if wife insists).
Where there's a will ... there's always a way :R Best of luck.
Hopefully you're planning to drop the 5th wheel and spend some time seeing the sights in ASTORIA while you're staying at Ft. Stevens :@
Lots of fun things to do, but more than an hours worth!
Between Ft. Stevens and Bothell you could get into the Mount St. Helen's Visitor Center near I-5 at Castle Rock exit, BUT again you'd probably enjoy it more if you have MORE than an hour to visit.
While not exactly what you're looking for, IDAHO POWER has several nice parks on the south end of Hell's Canyon.
While staying at Hells Gate SP, be sure to visit the Lewis & Clark Discovery Center at the entrance to the park.
Also the Nez Perce National Historical Park & Visitor Center (at Spalding) is just east of Lewiston.
Thanks everyone. Lots of help. Does anyone leave their dogs in the camper while underway?
Have to agree with fellow TCers. Not a good idea :E Too many things to go wrong.
As to getting a BIG dog into a camper, our problem is the height of our camper. We use a step stool just to REACH the steps.
Up until a few years ago, our chocolate moose just jumped right in & out. BUT as age has eventually caught up with him, we started using a ramp. He's not overly fond of it yet, but with lots of praise, patience, and TREATS he's adapting. And good TRACTION is a must.
As an aside, one time we had tied his leash to one of the back jacks while we were setting up. The camper door & screen were open, and the next thing I knew, there he was ... IN the camper with me!! Very fortunately, the leash was just LONG ENOUGH to barely reach inside, and I happened to be right there to catch him and release the leash from his collar before it either yanked him back out or choked him!! I don't know which one of us was more surprised.
For us, traveling and camping with our best buddy (AND little furballs) always adds to the adventure.
Welcome to the Forums. You'll find a wealth of wit and wisdom here. As well as fellow TCers (and RVers) always willing to help.