Colter Bay campground does have some electric spots on Loop J. They have about 10 of them and reserve a number of them, three or four, for folks with disabilities that need electricity to cope. Otherwise, it's a great campground right in the middle of Grand Teton National Park about five minutes from Jackson Lake. Doesn't take reservations, but if you show up around 9:30-10:00 am right before the 11:00 am checkout time, you'll almost always find a good spot. We have been doing that in our FW since 1993 and have only been disappointed one time, and that's when the side of the campground with the larger spots was closed, about three years ago, for construction of a new and improved water supply system. We stayed at Gros Ventre and I didn't like it as much as Colter Bay, but did watch and photograph a couple of Moose wander through our campsite less than five feet from the FW entrance door. Most of the Colter Bay sites on the larger side are pull-through which makes it quite easy to get parked and set up. Seemed to me that a lot of the Gros Ventre sites were back-in with a few trees that could make it a little harder to park, although we did make it with no damage or problem. Only other problem with Gros Ventre is that it is on the far end of GTNP and that makes it a little harder to get where you want to go in the Park. However, if you wish to take in Jackson, Gros Ventre would be the place to be since it's a short trip to Jackson and all the traffic that comes with it. If you do get into either one of these places, try to get to Jackson and see the Bar J Wranglers outside of Jackson toward Teton Village. Decent food and great entertainment for a reasonable price. Both Colter Bay and Gros Ventre are park campgrounds so they take the Senior Pass and parking was $13 per night at either one of them. The Colter RV park is around $60 per night and gives a very small, I think $5, discount for the Senior Pass. As well, Colter Bay has a fairly nice general store and a couple of restaurants, a pay shower, laundry area and a marina, of which Gros Ventre has none. If you want to see some pictures, private mail me and I'll send you some.
If the mirrors are electric, I would think you could go aftermarket and get some towing mirrors. I also wonder why you would get rid of a very useful, good towing vehicle and drop down to a lower towing capacity. Is it just getting old or are you having problems with it? You will lose quite a bit of towing capacity and fuel mileage dropping to a gasser from he diesel. You may make up for it in unloaded mileage but my Duramax gets between 18 and 19 mpg unloaded on the open highway at around 70 mph.
If it was me, I would take the time you are planning on seeing Cheyenne and spend it in Grand Teton, which you will probably pass through on your way home anyway, unless you go over Sylvan Pass, then you need to stop in Cody to see the Buffalo Bill Museum. Easier pull through Grand Teton and you could park in the Colter Bay campground while you are there, the sites are all first-come, first-served. Get there around 9:30-10:00 in the morning just before checkout time and you could get a good spot. And you are right, three days in Yellowstone will allow you to see the high spots, but it really is a big place and, unless you don't like to get out of your car, you'll only get to see the high spots. Since you have two weeks and are going to spend six of them traveling to and from the parks, I would suggest that one day is plenty to see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse and then drive towards Yellowstone and have a great time. Three days in Yellowstone, after one day of travel to get you there would leave you a couple/three days to see Grand Teton and down through Dubois to Lander and Rawlins to I-80 and then home.
I have been lead to believe that it would take about 2,700 watts of surge to start a 13,500 AC and certainly a Honda 2000 or Yahama 2000 would not have 2,700 watts of surge. I tried to run my 13,500 AC using my Honda 2000 and it, indeed, would not start and the Honda died. However, we live at 5,000+ feet altitude and it was a pretty hot day. I was not upset at the Honda not being able to run the AC as I never thought it would, just wanted to find out for myself. However, when I parallel the old 20 with the Companion 2000, it starts and runs the AC just fine. I suppose that at lower altitude, somewhat lower temps and with some playing around with the AC, a 2000 would run the AC, but not here at altitude and higher temps. I really like my Hondas, but I also liked my friend's Yahama but they are both pretty expensive compared to the other smaller gens out there.
tragusa3, we were in Colter Bay in early June and July both. We have visited Grand Teton for fishing and sightseeing for over 50 years, only missing a couple of summers due to living in Ct. and working in New York City for a year that overlapped two summers. We live about three hours away from Colter Bay and feel that Grant Teton is a much prettier park than Yellowstone, but doesn't have near as many features to enjoy. The majesty of the Tetons makes up for that, though. Glad you had a great trip, as I really enjoy your pictures and narrative.
TenOC, I believe the campground where they first had lunch was the Falls Campground about 20 miles outside of Dubois going toward Grand Teton. tragusa3 went through there before the Lava Mountain fire in that area. During the fire, the campground was closed so the firefighters could use it. It's now open and the fire is mostly controlled.
I know our 26.5 RLS has a 32.5 gallon black tank, but it has two 32.5 gallon grey water tanks. We have never come close to filling up our black tank even though we spend a week at a time camping without hookups. I guess if you were entertaining a bunch of people for a period of time, 32.5 might be a bit small, but for two people, I would think it would be fine, as it is for us.
I was not a fan of the "reintroduction" of wolves to Yellowstone when it was done and now that they are way beyond the target population, they are migrating to places that the Feds told them not to go to, like 150 miles south to Lander when they have been killing pets right outside the houses near the town and also livestock close to town. I do believe this foolishness would be reined in if they were to "reintroduce" wolves back into Manhattan, where they also roamed many years ago as well as putting them in DC on the mall and tell them to stay there and not wander around scaring people in the City. I thought it was bad idea then and still think it's a bad idea.
We own a 2012 HT 26.5 RLS and I think the 27.5 is somewhat like ours, based on the floorpans I have looked at. On our RLS we have to move the swivel chair next to the slide-out since the area for the chair is not long enough for the slide to bypass it when coming in. I think that problem has been fixed with the 27.5. Other than that, we have really enjoyed ours so far in four seasons of camping. Plenty of room and with the rear living, the tv, when you watch it, is directly in front of you so you don't have to crane your neck to watch tv. For the two of us, it's just the right size. One little thing I would change, just haven't yet, is the lack of drawers in the pantry next to the fridge. There are no drawers with a great deal of vertical space with just one shelf. I think the reduces the utility of the pantry. That may not be the case on the 27.5, I haven't looked at one to see.
A, we chock them every time we park the FW, even on the RV pad next to the house. A few years ago we had a neighbor who parked his FW next to his house with no chocks and the wind came up, twice, and pushed his FW off the blocks on the front jacks when the wind hit from the side. I think he chocked the wheels after that. When he got a new FW, he moved it back beside the house so the wind wouldn't get it. Maybe also because our HOA rules say a RV cannot extend in front of the house and his wife was the President of the HOA in our development.
We have used a Coleman for many years and find that we can keep ice, and cool drinks, etc. in the cooler for up to four days, five if it's not too hot outside, before having to put more ice in. We also fill plastic milk cartons and use them for ice. While they might not be as cold as uncovered ice, I think keeping the ice in the carton while in the cooler helps with the longevity. As far as the cooler paying for itself, your ice must cost a lot to have the cooler pay for itself on this one trip. I paid less than $50 for my Coleman, but any Yeti cooler of size seems to be more than $300 and up.
Just put some Mobil Delvac ESP 5-40 in mine about 5,500 miles ago. Will be doing oil analysis here shortly and changing out my filter. Plan on getting, hopefully, 15,000 miles per change. If the analysis comes out right, shouldn't have a problem with that.
The other power draw, as I understand it, is the entertainment system. Ours has the front panel somewhat lighted up even when turned off. I think it's for the alarm that is build into the system. On our FW, we were told that both the entertainment system and the CO2 detector were fused inside the trailer. And the dealer suggested that we simply pull the fuses if we wanted to turn them off. Haven't done so yet, but may in the future, for now we plug into the house 30 amp plug-in we had installed when we build the house and keep the FW "hot" when we aren't using it.
Have carried ours in the front compartment for four years with no gas smell getting into the FW. Only slightly inconvenient when taking them out or putting back in when an older person like me has a problem lifting them high enough to get them out or back in. And don't try to put them back in the compartment while still hot, don't ask me how I know this.
Grant Village has good cell service. A friend used his cell service as a wifi and was very satisfied with it. Pretty nice place on the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake and right at a junction to travel around the Park.
The $11,000 difference is probably worth it, if you want a 37' FW as opposed to a 31' one. When we bought our 2102 HT 26.5 RLS, we didn't want a trailer that was 37' long due to where we store it next to our house and the capacity of the Ram 2500 six-speed manual that we had. After nine months, we traded for a GMC D/A combo crew cab that probably would have carried the Eagle you are looking at. For us, with just the two of us, the 26.5 works great and we have no desire to upgrade to a heavier, longer FW. As far as quality, I think that, as said above, at each price point, you will probably find that Jayco quality is at least equal to anything else out there. And, the 18 gal equivalent is, I think, a six gallon water heater with the ability to throughput 18 gallons of hot water an hour using both gas and electric. Our water heater is six gallon but is rated at a greater equivalent then that.
ORbiker, where did you have to be in such a hurry that you didn't have the time to enjoy what the Parks have to offer? There should be a special place for people who drive as fast as they can to get through a Park so they can say they've "seen" the Park. "Seeing" a Park is not the same as experiencing it. We were in Yellowstone about 2 1/2 years ago in October and ran into three Bison jams in one afternoon. No one was in a hurry to get anywhere and, as far as I can tell, everyone enjoyed seeing a magnificent animal pretty close up.
We have a 2012 HT 26.5 RLS and enjoy it very much. Had a problem with the cap cracking the first year, but Jayco stepped up and replaced it with no comments. I cracked it the next year and replaced it with insurance and am a bit concerned because the cap appears to be fading somewhat. Had a couple of small things wrong that were fixed by the dealer under warranty and that's it. I put a hitch on the rear, attached to the frame which was reinforced towards the axles and have towed our boat for five seasons with no problems. We really have enjoyed it a great deal and there is more than enough storage space for kitchen stuff. True, there is only "one" drawer "in" the kitchen, but right around the corner are two deep drawers where we keep most of our heavy cooking utensils and other kitchen stuff. Also, we do keep some stuff under the sink with the garbage can. Only thing I will change one day is the pantry. It has only one divider and both areas are very tall, too tall in my opinion. I will, some day, put in sliding drawers of some type so that I can more easily access the stuff in the pantry and, as well, stack stuff up without the worry of it falling over when the trailer is moving. Also, the one poster above is correct about the bedroom. The literature says there is 6'2" of head space, but that really is only at the end of the bed. It's not really a big deal, unless a person is unable to bend just a little when going to the head of the bed. As for clothes storage, there is a little closet on either side of the bed and a four-door closet on the bedroom slide-out that holds a great deal of stuff. When we go fishing for a week, I get all the clothes I need in the closet on buy side of the bed, including my shoes, etc. We took a 20-day trip two springs ago and there was more than enough storage. If you find that the 26.5 RLS is a little too big for you, Jayco also makes a 23.5 rear kitchen that might be good for you. I don't believe that Jaycos are more prone to bad workmanship than any other brand based on the comments that I see on this site about other brands. Everybody can get a lemon at one time or another. Good luck with your search.
Crowe, why not go back? The things that have happened happened because of stupid people, not the Park itself. There are signs posted everywhere warning people not to get off the walkways, not to approach the "wild" animals, not to get too close to them, etc. It's really not the Park's fault when someone disregards the rules and signs and thoughtlessly goes out of their way to get hurt or dies.