Being also from Indiana, we are particular fans of the Indiana state parks and make use of them for long weekend outings every year (32 ft fiver). There are several close to Indy, with Brown County (Taylor Ridge campground) being our favorite. If you like boating, there is Lake Monroe (now a state park, I believe), Lake Patoka, and a number of SRA's easily within a 100 mile range. Turkey Run state park is beautiful and also one of our favorites with the best hiking in the state, but be sure to fill your fresh water tank before you go as the local water has a very heavy sulphur content.
Heading north, there are a couple of state parks with nice campgrounds, including Pokagon off of I-69 close to the Michigan border, Chain of Lakes northwest of Ft. Wayne, and Oubache in Bluffton (nice bike trail there).
If you want to go a bit further, we really liked Hocking Hills in southern Ohio. We stayed in the Old Man's Cave campground, but next time will try the KOA there. Then there's always Mammoth Cave National Park for a weekend. Nice campground, but no electricity which could be a problem for you if you feel the need for AC... and it does get hot and humid there during the summer. Straight shot down I-65, though, and the cave tours are great.
Lots and lots of options for you to explore and you're in a great, central location to get to them all.
To answer some of the questions:
We turn the fridge off when we drop the RV off at our storage location and empty the fridge, taking the cold stuff home. I also turn off the propane tanks. I don't have shore power at the storage location, so I can't power the fridge or a fan.
I can understand leaving something such as newspaper to absorb the water, but won't it still evaporate during the week or two between camping trips?
We follow the same practice as you. Shut everything down including the battery disconnect switch, and leave the fridge doors propped open. Any initial condensation from the warm, humid air hitting the cold freezer/fridge is completely evaporated by the next time we head out. Never a problem with mildew, either.
Seems the cmapion inverter is the way to go when on a budget. Costco no longer carries them. I have seen them at homedepot.com and amazon and walmart.com for 599. I have also seen them on ebay refurbished for 399. Would love to find a sale for 399 new :) I'll keep my eyes peeled I guess for now.
I think you've landed at an appropriate place given your needs and budget. I started out with a cheap 800 Watt inverter, and found that it would trip it's breaker with just the charger and a couple of lights. Moved up to a 1,200 Watt Champion open frame, and while it gave me enough power to charge the battery and run the lights, water pump, etc, the noise like to drove me nuts. Never did use it in a campground as I wouldn't subject my neighbors to that. Now we have the 2,000 Watt Champion inverter generator and all is good. Reliable as the day is long, as quiet as the Honda and Yamaha at half the cost, and provides me with as much power as I need. Just don't plan to run your air conditioner. You'll need two running in parallel to do that.
Well, I may have to stand corrected, and for that i apologize. I've not used a fhu site there, and in fact haven't been there for several years, however the website I go to indicates fhu. I assumed some had been added. Reservation site doesn't yield any results. Sorry about that. Thanks for catching that, Itching!
Dang. I was hoping I'd missed something. :) We'll be there over Memorial Day weekend, and I'll ask. They do have a number of paved, handicap sites near the campground entrance. Perhaps those are fhu, and not reservable via the web. If I find any, I'll post it here.
For several years, whenever we'd visit the Rockies on a two-week 'budget' from Indiana (Fort Wayne), we'd head out on 70 to the Colorado Springs area, then head north up I-25 to RMNP, spending 4 or 5 days at each. Heading back, we'd either grab I-80, or drop down to I-70 if we wanted to avoid the Chicago area. If you look at a map of the US, the Colorado section of the Rocky Mountain range is the furthest east, and reachable from Indiana within 2 or 3 days depending on how hard you like to drive.
This year, it's the Teton's, Yellowstone, and then the Black Hills for us, but that's with three weeks time available for the trip.
Brirene... Which campground in Brown County State Park has some FHU sites? We've been camping there in the Taylor Ridge area for years, and the only sites we are aware of are electric only. I see a mention of FHU's on some web sites, but when searching on their reservations page, nothing ever comes up. Just wondering..
I'm sure the "NO Camping" sign refers to people who put the jacks down, slides out, awning out, and sit outside and barbeque......THAT they don't want. ;)
Yep... that's what I was thinking as well. Having said this, I'll be giving them a call before overnighting just to make sure. Seems the prudent thing to do, and after all, that's why God invented cell phones! ;)
We were just up there this past weekend, checking it out for a possible overnight spot when heading up to Upper Michigan this summer. There is a relatively small lot some distance away from the casino that is marked as for RV and Bus parking, with another sign saying, "No Camping". The lot is asphalt and relatively level, with parking slots arranged like those in the truck parking area of an Interstate rest park. I'd be concerned about putting my slides out. When we left, there was both an RV (MH) and a passenger bus parked in the lot. Not sure what the "No Camping" sign is about as per Pepperoni's note, they do welcome RV's.
The only thing that is really bad would be if you cross the Bighorns....
If you can't handle Hwy 16, you shouldn't be going to Yellowstone. It DOES have some narrow and curvy roads and a lot more traffic.
Pure hogwash, IMHO.
Its not a matter of "can't handle". It is a matter of take the path of least resistance. don't want to handle.
x2, 3, 4, & 5!
The rubber roof does not have to be cleaned. It will last longer if left alone. I used to clean mine for cosmetic reason, but stopped cleaning it several years ago when I found out that cleaning it hastens the sun's deterioration of the roof material.
Thanks, RR, for the post. I was just about to ask as to the benefit of cleaning as I've never done that with our Creek fiver. Was a bit concerned that I may have been missing some piece of necessary maintenance.
These days we are the campers coming IN to a CG on Sunday. Often we have the CG virtually all to ourselves on a Sunday night. Letting weekenders leave late should not be a problem. Having to possibly change sites to accomodate them is no big deal.
You, sir, are my type of camper! :)
I took I-90, dropped into yellowstone from the North. no issues on my first RV trip. left to the south thru tetons. I would not go across the state of wyoming on those roads myself.
That's my plan as well in reverse, heading from Yellowstone to the Black Hills out the north entrance to I-90. Did it several years back via the East entrance and Cody. Beautiful drive back then with our PUP and van, but decided to avoid it with our fiver this time.
Not sure about other states, but the Indiana State Park campgrounds that I've stayed in have a 4:00 PM checkout time for Sundays. This was done to accommodate the weekend campers, and in recognition that not too many folks are starting their camping trips on Sundays. I seem to recall their doing that for Holidays as well, but less sure on that point. Personally, I've always appreciated the idea.
Coming from the east on I-80, the route I have laid out will take us north on 287 & 26 from Rawlins to Colter Bay. Seems to be a fairly direct route with the fewest grades. If anyone has an alternative route to recommend, I'm all ears/eyes.
Fun reading this post, and thanks, RL, for your question. We're going to be at GT over the week of July 4, staying in the Colter Bay RV Park, followed by a week at Yellowstone. Haven't been to the area since 1994 when we camped it with five kids in our PUP and a spare cabin tent. Still remember the boat ride across to Inspiration (Perspiration?) point. This time it will be just me and the DW, in considerably more comfort than we had back in '94. :-)
I'm in the Fort Wayne area, and the pickings are pretty thin. Pokagon is an option assuming you're heading south on I-69 through to Indianapolis, which would get you only around 4 or 5 hours down the road, but nothing beyond that other than Walmarts and rest stops that I'm aware of. CG in FWA doesn't open up until April 1.
Only problem we've had is when a squirrel decided to next in the engine compartment. Didn't discover it until she'd littered. Chewed through the plug wires, air conditioner hose (the metal one), and a bunch of other wiring. Removed the nest and kits, and repaired the wiring. Problem was once she'd littered, she kept coming back. Tried live traps and every type of squirrel repellent I could find. No joy. After three separate repairs, I finally moved the truck to my brother's place a few miles away, and ended up selling the dang thing. Now I make sure to take our new(er) truck out for a spin every week or two, just to make sure nothing decides to turn it into a home.
Now that I think of it, Golfknut, I think it was you that gave me some great suggestions earlier this year around campgrounds around Luddington and Sleeping Bear! I guess it's hard to forget a handle like that. Anyway, we ended up spending a few nights in August in Muskegon SP (couldn't get into Ludington), followed up with 5 nights in a GREAT site at the Platte River CG in Sleeping Bear. Had a great time, and thanks for the ideas.
We were at Turkey Run early this past summer with our 32 foot fiver, and would recommend sites at the end of the Sugar Ridge loop if privacy and space are what you are looking for. Downside is that you're a bit of a hike from the restrooms and showers, but that might not be a big deal if you are using the facilities in your MH. We were in 250, but it was quite a chore backing in. With your setup, I'd try to get 241, 240, 239, or 238. Might want to bring an extension cord as well since the power pedestal can be a little distance from your rig. Sugar Ridge is the 'newest' of the loops in the campground. The rest were all laid out 'back in the day' when campers were small. As a result, you don't have a whole lot of space or privacy on most of the sites numbered under 200.
One other suggestion... you might want to fill your fresh-water tank before leaving home. We filled up when entering the campground and found that the local water is heavy on sulfur. Our trailer smelled like rotten eggs all weekend until we could get it home and flush out the plumbing. Other than that, Turkey Run is one of our favorite parks.