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.
You might also consider Kodachrome(sp) State Park. Has a bunch of outstanding monuments and isn't that far from Zion. When we stayed at Zion a few years ago, we took one day to Bryce and one to Kodachrome as well as a short trip to St. George.
Just wondering how long a person should own and use a FW hitch. We bought our Reese manual slider hitch in 2002 and have used it ever since. I have noticed it's becoming a little more difficult to un-hitch when camping and wonder if there is any chance it is wearing out? This may have been covered elsewhere, but just thought I would ask.
I have a 2012 GMC D/A crew cab with a "standard" bed and tow our2012 FW with a Reese Slider and, so far, haven't hit the cab of the truck when towing or backing and haven't yet deployed the slider. I am not a very good backer so I watch very closely when backing to make sure I don't hit the truck. Usually, when I get to the point of almost hitting the truck, I am able to pull forward to straighten it out so the collision doesn't happen. I don't think you will have a problem with your set-up, but don't know whether or not your FW has the "rounded" corners that allow for a tighter turning radius. I know that with my older flat front FW, I used the slider a lot when backing.
Took the Michelins to a dealer last fall and he said there was plenty of tread left but the tires look like they are very much worn down. I'll drive them this spring and, probably, summer before making a decision. I like the Michelins, but hate the pricing, but after looking on-line, their prices don't look way far out of line.
Folks, just went and got my tires balanced and rotated, too long between, and was looking for some tires to place the Michelin 265/70/R18 LYX M/S that are on it. Although they look good and perform pretty well, they look to me like they are wearing more than they should be with less than 25,000 miles on them. What would you recommend for a good tire to carry my 2500HD GMC crew-cab and an HT Jayco 26.5 RLS FW? I have a quote for some Firestone Transforce H/Ts but know nothing about them. Any help would be much appreciated.