Renting would be silly, if you are going to have it for more than a week. Even the Walmart in Riverton, Wyoming sells bear spray as well as a couple of stores here in Lander, Wyoming. The closer you get to the Parks, the more expensive it is, at least around here in our part of the world. And, if you can't get it until you get to Grand Teton, the general store at Colter Bay has a large display of bear spray.
rancherville, Grow Ventre does not take reservations but it should be pretty easy to get in if you show up sometime between 9:30 and 11:00 am. Checkout time is 11:00 and people start leaving around 9:00 or so and if you get there after a bunch of them have left, you'll have plenty of choice of spots. And, usually, there aren't any lines, as this is a pretty big campground, over 300 sites. If you are lucky, you might have a moose or two wander through your campground as we did two years ago. Have a great trip and enjoy the Park.
If you are going to hike, please remember to take bear spray. You might already know this, but just thought I would add my $.02. Are you dry-camping in Grand Teton? If so, get there around 9:30 to 11:00 as that is when everybody, who are leaving, is checking out and you can pretty much get your choice of spots. Lots to do in Grand Teton, not as much as Yellowstone, but still plenty. Cruise boats on Jackson Lake, lunch and dinner cruises as well. Go over to Jenny Lake and either hike or cruise to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, then over to Moose and the Moose-Wilson road to the Laurence Rockefeller Reserve with a very gentle hike to Phelps Lake, the site of the Rockefeller compound in this, the newest, part of Grand Teton. Also you can go to the Gros Ventre area and see one of the largest landslides in the continental United States that formed a lake. Also Two Ocean Lake with hiking and the wilderness area. There aren't as many sites to see in Grand Teton as there are in Yellowstone, but they are majestic, especially the Tetons, Mt. Moran, from the deck of a boat on the lake right at the base of it looking almost straight up about 6,000 or so feet. Enjoy your trip and you will never forget it.
The Buffalo museum actually is five or six museums in one building and is fantastic. However, it's a bit of a trip from GTNP to get there as you have to go through YNP to the east entrance over Sylvan Pass. Depending on where you stay in YNP, it's not too bad a trip but it's not just a hop, skip and a jump to get there. However, it will well worth it. Groceries and gas are less expensive in Jackson, Cody or anywhere else outside the parks then they are inside the parks. Having said that, if we run low while at Colter Bay, the general store there is pretty well stocked and their prices are "reasonable" for the location. Just don't stock up for the rest of the trip while in there. If you want to pics, just pm me and with your email and I'll get some over to you.
tragusa3, sounds like a great trip. I would take exception to the post about seeing Grand Teton in one day. Sure, you can drive by the Tetons and take a look, but there is so much more in GTNP. Jackson Lake, (Colter Bay Campground) is a great place to park your RV, if you are dry-camping, and then the fun begins. You can hike around part of the lake, come back to the Marina and take a cruise, lunch or dinner if you like, and get right up to the base of Mt. Moran rating about 6,000 feet straight up. Then go over to Jenny Lake, hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point or take a cruise boat over there. Then to the Moose entrance and Craing Thomas Visitor Center and then go over to Gros Ventre and get back to Slide Lake, site of one of the largest landslides in the whole USA. Then back to Moose Entrance and over the the Laurence Rockefeller Reserve, the newest part of GTNP, and a great, easy hike to Phelps Lake, the site of the Rockefeller Compound prior to being given to the GTNP and at least 30 building were razed and taken out. You can see Death Canyon from the lake as well. While you are doing this, you can also drive around and go over to Two Ocean Lake just a ways from the South Entrance to GTNP, there's also wilderness around there as well. All this time will also have you driving around and sightseeing, looking for wildlife. It's wonder when you do spot some. By the way, we will probably be at Colter Bay the first week in June, around the 10th of July for a week or so and then in August. We usually go up to the Lake around the 5th or 6th of July and stay for a week, celebrating our anniversary on the 10th with pizza and beer on the deck at Leek's Marina Pizza. One of the best spots in the world to finish up the day. We have, at times, simply hopped in our boat at Colter Bay, run down to Leeks, tie up the boat at the docks and walked up to the pizza place and had a great time. If you are planning on staying at Colter Bay Campground, the best time to get there to get your choice of spots would be between 9:30 and 11:00 am as the checkout time is 11:00 and a lot of people are trying to get to someplace else so they leave pretty early. Hope you have a great trip, and if you are in GTNP around the time we are, would love to meet you and your family. Send me a PM and I'll send you some pictures to wet your appetite for GTNP.
We have a 2012 GMC with which we pull a Jayco HT 26.5 RLS and a 19' Crestliner and get about 12 mpg on all of our trips to the lake to fish and relax, about 150 miles away up over a pass and then back down to the lake, and reverse on the way back. Took our FW only on a 3,800 trip two springs ago and got 12 mpg, hand-measured for the whole trip. You might have and injector problem because I even got that mileage with my 2003 GMC. Not so good with the 2011 Ram diesel that I had for about nine months.
We have been going to Jackson Lake for about 50 years, the last 10 or so we get up there an average of three weeks a year, June, July and August usually for a week at a time. We couldn't get into Colter Bay one year as they had the sites for larger models shut down for water main work. Went to Gros Ventre and didn't like it as much as Colter Bay. The views of the Tetons are pretty majestic, but not as close as Colter Bay and to get to Jackson Lake is about a 45 minute drive from Gros Ventre. Since we fish most of the time while there, this was a major inconvenience. Colter Bay has a check-out time of 11:00 in the morning and we have found if we show up around 9:30 to 10:00 we almost always are able to get the site(s) we want, even though we can't reserve. As far as trees, unless you spend all your time in the trailer, you get to see some of the most spectacular views in the world just outside the campground. Colter Bay also has two places to dump and get water for your trailer as well. And you are 45 minutes closer to Yellowstone in Colter Bay than in Gros Ventre. In addition, Colter Bay has a pretty good general store and two restaurants along with a visitor center and a marina where you can catch a cruise boat for some time on the lake. However, I will say that I have never seen moose in the Colter Bay campground, ever. We saw two one day in the Gros Ventre campground and they came within five feet of the entrance door to our trailer, what an experience. Probably won't see that in Colter Bay, in 50 years or so, we never have, although we have seen a lot of deer and some foxes, etc. As you can see, I am a big fan of Colter Bay but Gros Ventre is pretty good, just not my cup of tea.
We put a spray-in liner in our GMC in 2012 named Full Metal Jacket and it has performed quite well for us. No deterioration in the color and no tears either. Had a Rhino Liner in our last GMC and was very satisfied with it as well. Besides, it's a pickup, things will happen to mess the liner up, no liner is bulletproof.
Nice set-up. We have been double-towing since 1993, well before retirement. Towed double from 1993 through 2011 with a Jayco 215SD FW and now with a Jayco HT 26.5 RLS. Have only double towed in Wyoming where they have a, I think, 75' length restriction. Measured mine and I'm about 70' give or take. Only other requirement is that each trailer have brakes and we have that with our boat having surge brakes. Enjoy your set-up, great to be able to take your boat and your home with you when going to the lake.
Got my Jayco HT 26.5 RLS, big rear window and look straight at the television in 2012 for about $26,000, quite a ways below MSRP. Has a bunch of room with a 2-year warranty. I would guess a person could find that type of FW for less than $30,000, even new, right now. I'm not saying it's better than the Cougar, but it does fit your thoughts. GVW, whatever, of 9,950 although we have never put over 2,600 pounds of stuff in it as the fry weight sticker stated 7,272 pounds from the factory with battery and propane tanks.
As long as you are staying in Lander, you will pass right through Grand Teton on the way to Madison. It's a beautiful drive, one we take at least three times a year when we go to Jackson Lake to camp and fish. We stay at Colter Bay Campground and there are no reservations, but at that time of year, you certainly will not need them. Have a great trip!!!
Don't forget the Part D, for prescriptions. Depending on your health issues, prescriptions can be pretty expensive but the Part D helps out a bunch. We have Humana Part D and have been very happy with it so far. Humana also has Medigap policies that also have the Part F, as do all the Medigap providers. I see, on Facebook, notes about getting the Plan G with a higher deductible, etc. Supposed to save a person some money, but in looking at it, the reduced premium doesn't equal the deductible increase and somewhat reduced payouts so it didn't seem like a good deal to me, but if a person has no medical problems in a year, and can be assured of that, the Part G might be a better plan. At least I think it's the G.
Staying in Jackson or Victor will add needless time to your visit to the parks. Jackson is 35 miles from Jackson Lake which is 45 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone. Gros Ventre is on the "far" end of Grand Teton, much closer to Jackson but not that far from the Moose entrance so it's a good place to stay. Only reason I wasn't totally happy with it was the drive to the lake to fish as compared to Colter Bay. About 40 minutes from Gros Ventre to Jackson Lake from Gros Ventre as compared to less than five minutes to the ramp at Colter Bay. Also less fuel use as well. Liked Gros Ventre somewhat but since our main visit is for fishing Jackson Lake, we like Colter Bay much better.
As far as Yellowstone is concerned, it's not that far from West Yellowstone to get into the Park but for seeing the Park, you might be better off trying to camp inside if you can. Yellowstone is pretty big, about 140 or more miles of roads as well as all the hikes and features that you can't really drive to. Enjoy your trip and if you don't need FHU, Gros Ventre or Colter Bay campgrounds will work great for you. Grant village, a ways from the South entrance is a nice campground on the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake which, in itself, is huge. It's over 20 highway miles from Grant Village to Bay Bridge and the Lake Hotel and Fishing Bridge campground.
We bought long-term care policies about nine years ago and have had some premium increases over the years. I do believe they are a pretty good "investment" if only to help pay for a portion of the costs of a nursing home or home care. My policy states that it pays by the day and currently pays about $156 per day. This won't pay for the total cost of a nursing home stay, but will help with not totally depleting our "savings" quickly. I think the average stay in a nursing home is less than five years before death. That being said, my FIL had a long-term care policy for a lot of years and didn't come close to recovering his costs before he died but it did help with the total cost of nursing home care. Biggest problem we had with his company was getting them to pay the correct amount per day, every reimbursement payment seemed to have the wrong daily reimbursement amount and we never got them to get it right all the time he was in the nursing home. Still, glad he had it as well.
We stayed at Mountain Shadows two years ago and found it to be a pretty nice place, although a bit close, but tolerable. It had both 50 and 30 amp hookups and the staff was very helpful when we were there. After traveling around Idaho, Nevada, California and through Zion, this one didn't seem that expensive.
We stayed at Yosemite Lakes when we were out there two years ago. About five miles from Yosemite. Pretty spotty wi-fi but nice and convenient. Was not impressed with it as it was the most expensive campground on our trip, 20 nights in campgrounds, and was next to the poorest one we stayed in. But it would do in a pinch.