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I've just started to use my camper that I bought from my cousin in Michigan a couple years ago. And I do mean just started... like, I took it out for the first time ever this past week to the Smokey Mountains for a family reunion here this coming weekend.

It's older, 2011, but that means I can beat it up as much as is necessary to get myself "back to nature". I have some steep learning curve to go through in order to deal with: tire blowouts, properly draining grey and black water tanks, and not scraping the back corner of my RV against gas station pumps... working on those things...

It's 32' so it's a pretty big boy... (Is that why I didn't see the back end swing into the gas pumps? They didn't blow up BTW so I think I'm good...)

I've been sitting on my backside the past 3 years 24/7 running three different online businesses so I'm pretty much out of shape and pretty much want to retire from my main job (manufacturing company that the back office has all been VPN'ing into since Covid started... and we never signed up for new office space - to this day - after shutting down our old office. But we did have to keep our manufacturing facilities of course...). Because...

I would love to get back to nature and do some hiking, kayaking, etc...

Wondering who else is travelling across America RV'ing as much as they can... Maybe noone in here but thought I would start this thread.

If/when I retire from my main job... I built an office in the back end of my camper (and tore out the bunk beds that were there since my two are out of the nest...); which covers running my eBay business when I'm on the road, and another business I can do anywhere.

Gonna show some pics of my first Back to Nature Excursion!!!

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The office I created in the back of my camper (note the framed 1937 Wheaties Charlie Gehringer (Pride of Fowlerville, Michigan), and the first issue of Sports Illustrated from August 16, 1954).

Also, those framed beetles were from a shop that I owned from 2008-2009 (yes, right in the middle of the Great Recession)...:

And you can tell it's a guys camper by the slobbish tossing of clothes everywhere and the half-completed projects plastered all over the place as well...:

PS: Where all those broom/rake/mop handles are in the first pic, I'm going to build a pantry to close them in, along with extra bath towels and cleaning supplies and such... Probably a good place to hang a dirty laundry bag as well... hidden.

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First hike - Alum Creek Trail... 3.5 miles total in and out (I could've/ should've gone quite a bit further... but, like I said, out of shape after 3 years on my butt 24/7:

trying to figure out how to take these first pics with the sun in my eyes:

 

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At least you dinged up your own vehicle. My one and only experience was a few years ago when we rented a 26 foot Class C from a local dealer. Got a bit close to a pump in Escanaba. Not only did I scrape the side I took the water spigot with it. Fortunately there was a repair place nearby. Basically I lost the cost of the initial repair plus the scrape covered the deposit cost.

We've discussed getting an RV off and on for several years. After looking into cost, storage and upkeep. Not to mention a vehicle big enough to tow the darn thing I figured we'd be better off staying in hotel rooms. Our tent camping experiences on trips usually found at least three lost days due to weather. 
 

Good luck with your setup.

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We were just in that area at the end of March and beginning of April.  Alum Creek sounds familiar, but I don’t know if it’s from there or somewhere else.

You’re certainly not hauling that sucker to either of the cabins we stayed at.  We were between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, off of the main drag to the east about 1,000 feet higher than the main thoroughfare.  Lovely scenery with the hills and all, but damn, I couldn’t drive that every day.

Don’t feed the bears.

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It's relatively inexpensive based on it not being a motor home, and I didn't want the extra engine & drive train (and associated problems/ cost). It's older and used... so I can experiment with this Monster. I've found RV places that cost $450/ month or $2,500/ year so I can figure out how I want to manage those expenses...

I didn't mind getting the Beast and its lower MPG (at the time); I haven't driven a lot the past two years. But if I hit the road and drive a lot... we'll see.

But yeah... I'm going to do some calculations on cost Hotels versus costs Camper.

The only thing is... I wouldn't mind doing an American Walkabout and staying on the road for 9-10 months out of the year. Hotels would be very unwieldy with that versus my mobile office & home Camper would be workable. 

I'll get a place down in Lakeland and spend Feb/March in Spring Training down there with the Camper in storage foe a couple months...

Just thinking out loud as I barely have these plans set in motion yet...

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7 minutes ago, casimir said:

We were just in that area at the end of March and beginning of April.  Alum Creek sounds familiar, but I don’t know if it’s from there or somewhere else.

You’re certainly not hauling that sucker to either of the cabins we stayed at.  We were between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, off of the main drag to the east about 1,000 feet higher than the main thoroughfare.  Lovely scenery with the hills and all, but damn, I couldn’t drive that every day.

Don’t feed the bears.

There's Alum Creek and Alum Cave about 4 miles or so in the Trail... I didn't go that far today... 

And tomorrow AM I'm set on hiking out to Grotto Falls on a different trail...

And I will definitely feed the bears...

NOT!

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PS: Met a woman and husband at a Ribs place today in Pigeon Forge and she starts telling a story of cars stopping to look at a bear cub up in a tree near the road earlier today.

Then several people get out of their car to start taking close up pictures.

My eyes went wide.

She said: "Yeah, that's how I felt! Don't these people know where there's baby bear cub that Mama Bear will also be nearby?"

"Yeah, and Mama Bear won't be happy with these idiots surrounding baby bear for pictures! Mama Bear will kick their asses if they get in her way!"

"Yep"

How can people be so stupid? I keep seeing articles on people getting out of their cars at Yellowstone so they can get closeups with a moose or a buffalo.Seriously? And then mad because they got chased back to their car.

Or at least the ones that lived. There were a few deaths with these people. Seriously... what is wrong with them?

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2 hours ago, 1984Echoes said:

How can people be so stupid? I keep seeing articles on people getting out of their cars at Yellowstone so they can get closeups with a moose or a buffalo

At Yellowstone, the bison are all over the park, you actually can't avoid them. They stand around in the geyser pools right up to and even on the pedestrian path decking. So despite all the rhetoric in the park, the Bison are acclimated to people and you often end up walking withing  a few yards of them. Now of course, they do tell you what to look for and you pay attention. If they aren't paying any attention to you fine. If they are, go the other way. And obviously don't directly approach one. Bears and  Moose are another matter, esp any kind of brown bear. But they aren't going to be around where people are very often. In the Western parks (Teton/Yellowstone) they will close off large parts of the park to hikers if a bear with cubs is known to be anywhere in the area.

But people have always been pretty laissez-faire about black bears in the East. I remember people feeding black bears from the windows of their cars in the Smokey's back in the day. Obviously they've tried to crack down on that kind of thing but clearly with limited success. But with black bear the bigger threat may be to the bear, that you condition it to be a nuisance bear and then it ends up having to be put down.

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When I was 18, my brother, sister, a few friends and I rented an RV to drive out to California. Since we were all barely adults, some of us being under 18 even, we got a 25 year old friend to rent it for us so none of us were really legal to even drive it. I drove it mostly and I never drove anything that large before. I only hit one person. That was outside of Chicago at a toll booth. Guy was wearing a Brian Urlacher jersey so I didn't feel too bad. 

I had kicked around the idea of selling my house and living in an RV and traveling wherever there was free WIFI to remote in for work. 

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We used a pop-up for a long time and camped all around the state, made it down to WV once too.   Then everything went to shit in the pop-up and it started to leak so we sold it.   A couple weeks ago we rented an RV and had it delivered to a campsite right on the edge of the Porcupine mountains.  That camper was super nice, I really liked it, but renting was pretty expensive relative to just even getting a cabin or something like that for lodging.

I think our next destination will be down in the Smokeys... but don't sleep on the UP, it's really awesome.  Just make sure you don't get stuck miles away from gas stations b/c there aren't many.   Pictured Rocks rules.

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Always thought about it and have friends who have campers and go all the time, but with 3 small kids we have not taken that step yet.  Maybe one of these days.  Your online business is it drop shipping?  I have been looking into that as a means for a second income lately.

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