Bikes and a baseball, football, kickball will go a long way in keeping the kids happy and out of mom's hair.
Yep, add in Frisbees (multiple, in case you lose one and you ALWAYS need to have a "moonlighter" glow in the dark one for night time, lol!), wiffleball!, soccer ball, Nerf football, etc.
Board and card games... We always have Uno, a regular deck of cards, and a couple "travel games" sets with chess, Othello, backgammon, etc.
We also carried a full arsenal of water guns, from cheapo pistols to fancy battery powered ones. A lot of fun on hot August days! One BIG rule never to be broken - NO water guns at all under the awning of the camper, or inside. Anyone participating in the water gun fight is not allowed in the camper or under the awning. Also, only people you know to be participating are open to be sprayed with water!
When our kids were young, we did not allow electronics at the campground. This is up to you. Electronics (and movies) while traveling is great, helps to make the trip quicker usually. As our kids got older (teens), we let up on the electronics, but our kids are so used to it now they think it is weird to be sitting around the campfire using a smartphone...
Camping with kids is similar to fishing with kids - you are there really for them. If the kids get bored, change up what you are doing. I know the saying is "if Mom ain't happy, no one is happy", but when you are camping with kids, happy and busy kids will make everyone happy! Mom and I would sometimes take turns being in charge of the kids to give each other breaks.
We prep meals as much as possible in advance, chop things that need to be chopped, pre-mix when we can. Usually make a couple things in advance and freeze them, like a big casserole dish of macaroni and cheese, and big pot of beef stew. Just warm and serve. Make sure to remember to pull them out and let them defrost.
I did not read the entire thread, so excuse me if this has been answered:
Where did the term "Tom Joad" come from??
The other labels I can understand, although I would switch "vacationer" with "weekender", which is what I consider wife and myself.
I have a friction sway control bar on my hitch, but it is not critical.
If you can find a basic weight distribution hitch with friction sway control, you will be fine (even overdoing it) and if you end up towing with something else you will be covered.
When I am looking for appliances, tools, whatever... "Sears" hasn't come to mind in 10 years.
Walmart is getting bad also. The closest Walmart to me is not worth going to - shelves seem to be chronically empty, employees are embarrassingly bad... just not worth it.
Lowes and Home Depot seem to be replacing Sears and Walmart.
In Connecticut, there is Mystic Seaport. Also, if possible get up to see Gillete Castle State Park - very cool, and also near Goodspeed Opera House. There are private campgrounds in the area.
Also, Hammonasset State Park is right on the water... but the few hookup spots may already be booked. Otherwise there are water faucets available to fill your water tank, but it is no hookups.
Virtually every Connecticut town will have a historical society, houses dating back to before the USA was the USA, and various historical monuments and things to check out if you want a lot of colonial history.
Upstate New York has been talked about - if you get up near Lake George, I highly recommend Fort Ticonderoga at the northern end. If you are into colonial history it is a "must see".
LED license plate lights take VERY little power, install quickly just about anywhere and make great night lights, door step lights, or reading lights, amongst a BUNCH of other uses.
Did I mention they're cheap and don't need batteries?
Ok, I'm intrigued. No batteries? Are they solar? Do you have a link?
I'm just here to find out what a "TV" park is...
A TV park is a cell phone spelling correction RV. Automatic spelling correction is great except for when it doesn't work and you don't catch it.
The "RV" Park was on I30 near Greenville, TX.
Roger that. I actually had my daughter disable the "auto-correct" on my phone, lol!
Try disconnecting the 7 way connector to the trailer.
I believe he is talking about a Class B, camper van.
What kind of leveling blocks are you using? The "lego" type? Are they extra tall?
I use wood planks that are cut at an angle along the end for the wheels to drive up on.
When we bring them, we place our bicycles strategically when necessary to block people. Coolers, picnic table and careful parking of truck also get used.
As to fishing, fish and game laws and regulations vary from state to state, and sometimes from county to county within states. If you don't know the actual law / regulation of wherever things are occurring, kind of counter productive to argue about it.
The question of this topic gives me an opportunity to express appreciation for Discount Tire and also for WalMart.
I am glad to have this opportunity to express my appreciation for the Rifle, Colorado WalMart and the Grand Junction, Colorado Discount Tire Store.
Always nice to hear about good service!
My usual "tire place" is my local repair garage. Their prices are usually within a few dollars of what I can find online, and INCLUDE mounting and balancing. The local garage has a stellar reputation. They usually have a two week+ wait to get in for service, but if is an emergency they will get you in right now. The guys that run the place aren't getting any younger, and it will be a shame when they retire (though they certainly will deserve it). They will also mount and balance tires that I order myself off the internet - somewhere around $15 a tire, less if I bring the the old wheels and tires in myself off the truck.
Nearby Ford dealership actually has good prices for tires. Need to be careful - they add a fee for mounting and balancing, which usually brings their price up to everyone else. Then, of course, you "need" a front end alignment when you get new tires... it is "strongly recommended" by the manufacturers. I've never had issues with not getting an alignment with new tires, if the vehicle didn't need an alignment beforehand. My local Ford dealership is decent as far as dealerships go, but if you aren't aware they will do a lot of work that may be recommended but not really needed.
Otherwise, on the road, I try to ask around about tire places. Tow truck drivers can be pretty good about recommendations, although of course if their shop sells tires they will recommend themselves. Police are iffy - many times they have a "call list", and simply give the name of next garage on that list... they may be required to do this to avoid "favoring" a garage.
Ok, time for another cup of coffee.
The whole issue with doing things "by the book", "weight police", "dumpsite police", etc is just amount of usage. At a campground, campsites are being used constantly and need to be kept clean, even from grey water, or they get really gross. At forest "campsites", spots where people have camped before, again if people keep dumping even "just a little bit" there it will get gross.
At your house, if you keep using your camper and dumping the black tank where you park it - eventually you will have parking area coated in waste.
It is all common sense, and unfortunately since so many people have the attitude of "oh it's just this one time" (or especially that rules are for the "other people"), more and more rules and laws are created.
Just use common sense, and have fun camping!
How about saying okay to use the camper toilet for pee, but not poop? And then only if really necessary - otherwise use the house facilities.
I think it would be fine to make a temporary hole-in-the-ground for guests... but make sure they don't try to take a shower or something like that!! Even too much using the sink could overflow your temporary hole. It is amazing what people will do even if told not to, when they don't fully understand the system.
When the original poster says "built in rinse", I figured he meant some sort of a spray nozzle - aren't those supposed to be used with an empty tank and the drain open? Wouldn't filling the tank block the spraying action of the nozzle?
I don't have a spray nozzle setup for my TT's black tank, so I do fill and drain the tank a couple times when I want a good cleanout.
When I do drive around with the hitch on, I try to do things like park backed in to a spot so that someone doesn't hit the hitch. Just keep in mind you have that hanging out behind your vehicle. As mentioned, some people put a cap over the hitch ball... does two things: Keep the grease on the ball, and if it is brightly colored can help other people to see the hitch (so they don't crash their shins into it). A tennis ball with a slit cut in it can work.
I think the reason that hitches are not supposed to be used without towing on State roads is that they don't have marker lights on them, and/or a surrounding bumper. I believe this is more geared towards highway / interstate roads. Probably also can get the state another ticket fee.
(I'm in Connecticut... EVERYTHING has a fee or tax!)
I'm from MN so this is all a big mystery to me.
When I was a kid we used to go to Illinois once and awhile. You had to keep change in the car and when you went through the booth you threw about 35 cents into a big tub. It would roll to the bottom and be automatically counted. Then the gate would rise and you could drive on.
If you didn't have exact change there were booths with people in them that could make change.
In this day and age I'm sure that is all different. From readin on here I'm guessing that E-Z pass or some other version of it lets you go through the stop easily. My question is: what happens if you don't have one ??? Do you still go through the booth and throe 35 cents into the bucket ??? What if you don't have exact change ???
Sorry to hi-jack the thread but, I have been reading you all talk about if for awhile now and I'm am just wondering how it works ?
(The next thing you are going to tell me is that you swipe your credit card for the change. What if you don't have a credit card ??? )
Up until recently, toll booths would still have one or two people to take money and give change if needed. Now a lot of toll booths have cameras to record and send a bill to vehicles that don't have an EZPass.
Once you have an EZPass account, it is actually pretty simple. It is all done over the internet. One of your credit cards is "attached" to the account, and money is taken from the credit card as needed for tolls. You are sent a monthly statement, or more common now an internet / email statement. In New Jersey an account can have up to 4 transponders (small white box, looks like a garage door opener) connected with the account - this makes it easy to just have vehicles have their own transponder instead of switching one from vehicle to vehicle. Your vehicles' license plates are listed on your account, the cameras at EZPass tolls automatically record license plates and charge your account.
There are variations on how the EZPass account is setup from state to state, but they are all similar. Once you get an EZPass from any participating state, all participating states recognize it - you can drive through any participating state's tolls using it.
Best thing about EZPass is that toll booths no longer cause traffic jams. The latest EZPass "booths" are just cameras, and you travel 65mph under them - you don't slow down. EZPass lanes at older toll booths just require you to slow down to around 10mph while going through them.
Worst thing about EZPass is that the cost of tolls is kind of "hidden" from you... you see the amounts on a monthly statement, but it is different than having to physically hand over money.
I think that covers most of it, I probably forgot something. As I said, it is easier than this description probably makes it out to be!
I got EZPass transponders from New Jersey. I entered the vehicles that would be using them, and the fact one pickup truck (F250, registered as combination in Connecticut) tows a camper sometimes. No issues, I check the statements, and all charges look to be correct and non-commercial. My account with New Jersey gives me up to 4 transponders on the same account at no extra charge.
EZPass does give a decent "discount" for some areas, and especially on bridges. I was traveling somewhere with my F250 and didn't have the EZPass with me, and got charged with the new photo / mail system (may have been in Mass). On the bill, it pointed out that if I had used my EZPass the tolls would have been about a 1/3 less for at least one bridge (I forget the exact numbers).
Then I thought... if the photo system tracks my truck and sends a bill, why can't it just look up that I do in fact have an EZPass account, and just use that account?
Then I realized that all those scifi movies from years ago about the government watching you are coming true....