News from October, 2009

Dry Camping/Boondocking Rally Feb. 9-11, 2010

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The Montagues and Thompsons are having a three-night rally, Feb. 9, 10, & 11 just before the Big Bend rally in Suwanee to help folks learn how to effectively use our Airstreams to “dry camp” or “BoonDock”.   The caravan that we lead, the SW Adventure Caravan is scheduled to have 14-16 nights of camping in locations without electricity or water, i.e. national park and national forest campgrounds.  We will have it at a facility near Lake City, FL which is operated by John Palmer.  The facility is set up for dry camping and is a nice place for a rally.  John Palmer sells and installs solar systems and has offered this spot for the rally.  He will not be trying to sell his solar systems unless someone wants one.  The cost will be $5 per night plus whatever we put together for food.  We plan  to cook for everyone, at least the evening meals.  The camping will be dry camping as there is no power or water on the site.John will give a seminar(s) on how to utilize solar and the small Honda type generators.  Also what to expect from your batteries and how to maximize their life.  We also will have information about alternative methods of keeping warm without using your furnace.  Last but not least ,how to optimize use of the fresh water.We plan to put together a schedule for the rally. and get it out to everyone.  Everyone is invited, whether signed up for the caravan or not.John Palmer’s web site address is:

Status of sign-up for the 2010 SW Adventure Caravan-October 20, 2009

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

We currently have 30 units signed up for the 2010 caravan, 28 couples and two singles for a total of 58 people.  Including the two leaders we have 32 rigs and 62 folks.  There are 11 units on the stand-by list for the 2010 caravan.  After scouting the caravan route and negotiating with campgrounds, tours, and restaurants, the budgeted amount of $3850 per couple appears to be a good figure for the cost of the caravan.  We are asking that 50% of the caravan fee ($1825) be paid by December 1, 2009 and the remaining 50% ($1825) by Feb. 1, 2010.The predicted caravan length will be 46 to 48 days.  We will set the actual schedule in mid-November when the Montagues return from the SE Spectacular Caravan.The 2011 Caravan has 30 units signed up and assuming that some folks on the 2010 stand-by list who do not get on the 2010 caravan will want to go on the 2011 caravan, we are starting a stand-by list for the 2011 caravan.  Based on our experience to date, many people on the stand-by list will get on the caravans.

We completed the “scouting” trip for the 2010 caravan

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Elna and I completed the scouting trip for the 2010 caravan and are slowly heading for home.  We drove the caravan route from Santa Fe to Moab, locating and negotiating rates for campgrounds and various caravan activities.  The trip started August 31 and we should be home about October 17.  We had a great time as the weather was excellent and minimal crowds.  We were surprised at the number of folks out camping and enjoying the National Parks.  every campground manager and all but one tour operator indicated that business was “better than they expected” this year.  The only one who had a bad year was the helicopter ride at Bryce Canyon.  We also had many opportunities to practice our German as there were many Europeans traveling in their rental “Cruise America” class C’s.  I wrote a blog about our trip if you want to review our trip.  I plan to set up a blogspot for members of the caravan as we travel on the caravan.  Most of the commercial campgrounds have wireless.  We are going to try to get reservations at a couple of National Park campgrounds, i.e. North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.  The reservation system for the national parks is interesting as we can only make four reservations per call or internet access, and the reservations must be in the individuals name.  The obvious reasons to stay in the park campgrounds are location and cost.  At Zion, the park cost is <$15 while the commercial cost is almost $40.   At the North Rim, the N.P.S. campground is right on the rim while the campground at Jacob Lake is 42 miles away.Depending on the number of N.P.S. campgrounds, we will have 14-17 nights of dry camping, so plan accordingly.  We will be providing our personal guidelines for dry camping in the next few months.  Also we are planning a “dry camping” rally in Feb. for those who can make it to Lake City, FL the week before the FL State Rally.