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Old 09-18-2016, 07:59 AM   #1
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Yellowstone in October

Hi there!

We are heading out to Yellowstone in the next few weeks and will be there for much of October - temperatures can vary that time of year and I'm wondering what precautions we need to take with our 30' airstream? We plan to run the heat every day. This is our first airstream trip so all advice is greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-18-2016, 08:12 AM   #2
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In October there is only dry camping available in Yellowstone. Propane is also unavailable. Plan on camping commercially in West Yellowstone or Gardiner. In the interior of the park, morning temps will be in the teens mostly, warming to low 50's most afternoons.

No crowds, though.

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Old 09-18-2016, 10:55 AM   #3
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We have stayed in a commercial RV park in West Yellowstone in September and into October for a number of years. Although somewhat earlier than your plans, some of our experience might be useful. Nighttime temperatures are often well below freezing (the lowest we have experienced was 9 F), so water and drain hoses can and will freeze. Drain valves can also freeze. That means preparing for those eventualities.

Propane use for heating can be high, but running the furnace is a good idea to keep tanks warm. Supplementary electrical heating is, of course, always possible. No matter what, at least an electrical hookup is a very good idea.

At any temperature, cracking open at least one window and one roof vent is beneficial to avoid condensation inside the trailer.

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Old 09-18-2016, 11:19 AM   #4
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We did the Tetons at the end of October a couple of years ago. All of the campgrounds in, and around the park were closed. However, the Forest Service allowed camping in their campgrounds as long as we hauled out our own trash. So we stayed at Hatchet Campground just outside of the park (fee free). The restrooms were locked, the water was turned off, and there was no electricity. It snowed, got very cold at night, and was the best trip I've ever had to the area. We struggled to stay warm at night, and it prompted us to buy a Buddy Heater. The park was beautiful in the fall colors and light snow. There were very few people in the park. It was the last weekend that the park was to be open for the season, so most of the facilities were shut down. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best time of the year to visit.

Be aware that October is hunting season, and to my surprise, hunting was being allowed in the park. So, I'd suggest that if you venture off of the main roads, wear some hunters orange. Orange vests are very cheap, and we keep them in the camper at all times.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:26 AM   #5
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I did Yellowstone mid October last year. Everything was ending for the season. In West Yellowstone the water froze, I just disconnected overnight.
Chilly in the morning fewer tourists.
I had a great trip and would do October again!
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:51 AM   #6
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Frosty the Snowman... comes to mind

The jingle... 'Frosty the Snowman' comes to mind.

This being your first camping trip with your Airstream and being from Michigan... Yellowstone would be similar to the climate north of Hudson Bay, Canada this time of the year. You may enjoy the cold... myself, drive out and stay at hotel(s). It will be more pleasant and at that time of year the rates have to be better, until the snowmobile people arrive... which is another Michigan / Minnesota tradition.

The drive 'up elevation', even through Montana, will not be similar to your domicile in lower elevation Michigan. That is what can catch many off guard going into the Rockies from lower elevations.

Thalweg's Little Buddy works great for heat. When your nostril hairs tingle... and your family is complaining... you WILL be staying at a hotel.

Without hookups. Power for the furnace and interior fans. Closed restrooms, Park facilities and your Black Tank as a Novelty Ice Cube... this will be a Thread to post upon your return. And do try to avoid the first big season snow of the season. There is a reason why the commercial and professional operations are shutting down for the season. These are just a short list of good reasons.

Myself... we will be in the Mohave Desert in October. Ten years of trailer camping gives you a better perspective. My perspective is to avoid the high elevations at all costs during October to March. Although... the sky will be a beautiful deep blue!

General Custer did not listen to his Indian Scouts. This was in June. That did not work out as planned, either.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:33 PM   #7
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Yellowstone in October

Thank you for all the replies.

We have RV hook up reservations until the middle of October and after that we will camp outside the park.

We camped in tents a couple years ago the last weekend of the season so we are definitely prepared for the cold! 😊
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:31 PM   #8
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It's amazing how both Yellowstone and Glacier can go from a "mega population" to zero people, facilities, amenities come October 1. If you've tented there during this time of year you're familiar with what is not available. Have fun.... If I had one piece of advice i could share as one who lives in "western Montana" close attention to the weather! The higher mountains down to 5000 feet have been getting snow for the past couple of weeks and some roads have closed ....thankfully re-opened. Winter is trying very hard to come early this year.

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