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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Our 45 day excursion - part 1

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luv2skyski

Stockbridge, Georgia

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Posted: 07/19/09 08:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

07-20-09

This is our first report from our 45-day excursion. The trip started out, of course, in Georgia and our final destination is my parents place in Maine. Our first stop found us in the rest stop off I-85 just over the border in South Carolina. Finally a state that really gets it! They even have a parking section designed just for us:
[image]

We were able to get in a little RAFing (Rest Area Frisbee):
[image]

Of course it's hard to catch one with a with a Drumstick in one of your hands:
[image]

We pretty much had the whole truck camper parking area to ourselves (except for this 18 wheeled violator - does anyone see a code enforcement officer?[emoticon]):
[image]

Ok. Ok. Slight loophole. But it's as close as we're going to get to Truck Camper recognition!

The first campground we stayed in was Kings Mountain State Park – Blacksburg, SC – 06-20-09 thru 06-20-09

Participants: Dave & Ashley

Campground Rating: 1 (out of 5)

Rating reasons / About the campground: Very narrow dirt road, heavily wooded small sites – tightly spaced together, most of the sites I saw (including the one we stayed in) were not level, no trash cans – just a central trash disposal area near the dump stations, small pond with paddle boat rentals, plentiful comfort station/shower houses – although there were no soap dispensers or hand dryers within

Campsite number: 34 (pull through)

About our trip: This was our first stop on our way to Maine. It’s 4 hours from our house so we thought we’d give it a try. I’m pretty sure this was a one time deal. Even with a truck camper, I felt the trees closing in. There were several trees that angled in towards the road and had the missing bark to prove it. Most of the sites we saw (including the one we stayed in) were not level. They had a sign talking about the reason they didn’t have any trash cans – I meant to take a picture of it but forgot. It had something to do with as campers we should carry out what we carry in. I agree completely but I don’t think a lot of other campers feel the same way. The campsites were relatively clean but there was a few bags of left behind trash down at the pond/picnic area.

Here's one of the tight camp road:
[image]

A couple of our "pull through" site:
[image]

[image]

I was not impressed with this place. I'm sorry to say but this is the first time I've ever rated a campground a "1".


After exiting off I-81, route 220 took us to Douthat SP. What a great road. Freshly paved, two lanes, rolling, curvy, and picturesque. Terrific road:
[image]

[image]


Douthat SP, Millboro, VA – 06-21-09 thru 06-24-09

Participants: Dave & Ashley

Campground Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Rating reasons / About the campground: Great campground!! Well maintained sites, level roads for bike riding (in the campgrounds), the road from the information office to Beaver Dam CG is hilly but doable, very nice beach with concession stand, canoe rentals, paddle boat rentals, paddle bike rentals, Jon boat rentals, restaurant, lots of hiking, very picturesque setting, several rivers.

Campsite number: 15 (Beaver Dam CG)

About our trip: After being at Kings Mountain State Park, this is like stopping at the Taj Mahal! I love this campground! We were only planning to stay one night and it ended up becoming 3 nights.

There are three campground locations inside the park. The Beaver Dam Campground is the farthest away from the check in station. The sites are a little tight but for the most part they are level and well maintained (this is the same for the Lakeside Campground but of course, this one is right beside the lake – hence the name). White Oak campground is at the beginning of the park. It’s set on the top of a small hill overlooking the river. The sites at this campground are more spread out than the other two campgrounds.

We went on several bike rides around the park. After parking the boat and camper, we used our bikes as the only mode of transportation. We would bike down to the information desk to pay for another night (did this twice!). My bike would get loaded down for the trip to the beach (two days worth).

Ashley on one of our many rides:
[image]

Both of our immediate neighbors were great people. We sure have met some incredible folks while camping. More about this later.

The one hike we went on took us from our campground through the woods and around the lake. About 2 hours of easy to moderate hiking.

Hiking trail:
[image]

Self portrait on trail:
[image]

Ashley on bent tree:
[image]

Saw a black racer (man was he aptly named! – he barely stopped long enough so I could get this picture) during the hike:
[image]

In front of upper spillway:
[image]

Here's the middle and lower spillways:
[image]

Beautiful river coming out of the lake:
[image]

Saw a pretty good size trout downstream of the spillway:
[image]

On the return leg of our hike we saw a fellow TC’er launching his boat at the boat ramp. John was camping in the White Oak campground. It was great to see at least one other truck camper!:
[image]

Here is some of the lake:
[image]

[image]

And beach area:
[image]

[image]

Swim platform with slide and diving board:
[image]

Ashley building a "volcano"?:
[image]

Are you starting to realize why we stayed here for three days? 8 year old daughter...beach...lake. You get the picture.

Back to the great folks you meet while camping. Our neighbors, Morley and Trish and her parents:
[image]

Who own a canoe:
[image]

Do you see where this is going? After knowing them for just a day they offered up there canoe and truck for our own personal use. And here we are on the lake having a picnic:
[image]

If I were to have one complaint about Douthat SP it would have to be the entrance to the Beaver Dam CG. It looks like a one way exit. There is only a one lane road with a stop sign facing the opposite way to enter the CG:
[image]

And of course I saw it and thought this has to be the exit so of course I drove right on by only to drive right out the other end of the park. Had to turn around in an old logging road to get back.

Picture of our site:
[image]

Campground loop road:
[image]

On a side note…I understand the need for automatic lighting in the bathrooms. Saves electricity and all that. But when you’ve just sat down for a little “Dave Time” then “Click” off goes the light it can be a bit disconcerting. It couldn’t have been 3 minutes. I’d only gotten a page and a half into my book. I mean REALLY! Come on people. I guess I’m lucky the door didn’t fly open with a metallic voice stating that my allotted time was up. Either way, it was rather comical.

Part 2 coming soon. Happy camping, Dave.


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seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 07/19/09 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like a great time - keep us posted on the rest of the adventure!


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c.traveler2

Moreno Valley,Ca.

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Posted: 07/19/09 11:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like your having a good time. Good photos of the area and nice write up.


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Tizi

Normandy Park, WA

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Posted: 07/19/09 11:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice write up, great pictures!


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harvwong

Vancouver, BC

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Posted: 07/19/09 11:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great writeup! Looks like you are getting great father/daughter time on your trip. I have to do that one of these days (she'll be 8 next year). I've taken both of my kids out on a weekend camping trips without the wife and they always end up fighting.


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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 07/19/09 02:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great picks, enjoy the time. Going to Maine yet have 3 days to spend in VA, must be nice to have the time for a relaxing trip.

I'll have to remember about the diving board at Douthat SP, that'll get my oldest to give it a try.

Look forward to the next trip report installment.

* This post was edited 07/19/09 02:28pm by kohldad *


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sirdrakejr

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Posted: 07/19/09 02:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great stuff! I wonder about the front of the truck. Does the box block enough airflow that you have any cooling problems in the summer heat?
Frank


2011 Palomino Maverick 1000SLLB on a 2004 Dodge Quadcab CTD Ram3500 SRW long bed equipped with Timbren springs, Stable Load bump stops, Rickson 19.5" wheels/"G" range tires and a Helwig "Big Wig" rear anti sway bar.


Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 07/19/09 03:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sweet!
Sez it all.
Now get back out there and keep having fun.


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Ram Turbo

Washington

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Posted: 07/19/09 03:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like too much fun. Great pic's Thanks for sharing.


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Oldtymeflyr

Arapahoe Hills, CO

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Posted: 07/19/09 04:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks! I needed that!

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