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Old 01-03-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
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Trip Tips for vacation with 4 adults-25 FC Twin

We are planning a 2 week vacation this summer with our 2 adult children. Driving from the midwest to Glacier NP and Banff, CA.

This will mean about half of the time will be heavy milage driving days, 1 vehicle, and have 4 adults instead of the usual 2 of us in the airstream.

We are planning to stay in RV parks with full hookups for the entire trip so we will have full system capacity as to showers and water usage.

What I would like are tips for longer trips with more people and stuff than you are used to.

How do you best manage the bed/dinette situation when it will be needed for sleeping each night? Do you prefer to keep it as a bed the whole time, or do you make it back and forth each day? Where do you keep the bedding during the day if you make it back and forth. Is it better to use sleeping bags or quilts and blankets for the bed?

We don't usually stay in RV parks. Should we bring an outdoor eating table?


We don't typically keep much in our wardrobe closet, so I will have that fully available for the kid's clothes, shoes, and other items.

Any other tips to promote world peace and tranquility are appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:28 AM   #2
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Glacier national park is getting loved to death, and it will be very crowded during the summer. Bumper to bumper traffic I the park and small camp sites. Try a less traveled to park, like Theodore Roosevelt national park, or check out state parks...most of them have electric and water hookups...you don't need a full full hook up! You can empty at the dump station on your way out.
There are numerous apps for finding camping...we like Allstays. We do research on the road and will call ahead if we are stopping late. The earlier you pull in the better your chances of getting a spot. picnic tables are the norm at all parks.
If you just need something quick along the way the KOA parks are easy and reliable...
Have fun! I love our Airstream road trips, which is a good thing because we drive back and forth from Alaska to the lower 48 twice a year!
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for the above advice but I am not at all trying to figure out where to go or to stay. That has already been done.

Here is the question that I would like help with:

I would like tips and pointers on traveling with 4 adults and all of their stuff in a space that is typically only used for 2 adults and their stuff.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:34 PM   #4
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My first tip would be to check your Tundra and Airstream payload capacities. Extra people and extra gear adds up quickly. Our 27 FBQ weighs 6,280 lbs loaded with gear and a full fresh water tank. That allows me to safely move 200-800 lbs of gear to my AS that I would normally carry in the truck bed if I needed to carry 2 more adults.

My second tip would be to limit the amount of outfits/clothes (weight) allowed and plan on a laundry 1/2 day or 2 to limit the amount of clothing that needs to be brought. Hold what us Backpackers call a shakedown with everyone present. Award the lightest packer with the front passenger seat for the entire trip and penalize the heaviest packer with carrying the day pack on the excursions. Rotating daily two pairs of wool socks and 2 sets of moisture wicking synthetic clothing plus rain gear is standard summertime backpacking apparel and would work well in this situation.

Tip 3 would be to not use suitcases to carry clothing in. Instead require all to pack all their clothing/ toiletries into 3 compressing packing organizers (REI has them).

This is what popped into my head right away. I’m sure myself and others will come up with some more ideas.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:45 PM   #5
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TripTips for vacation with 4 adults-25 FC Twin

We bought a Serta memory foam mattress topper at Sams Club for our dinette sleepers.Makes a much more comfortable bed at night for guests and rolls up easily to be put back into the box in the am.Your guests will thank u.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:09 PM   #6
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Good advice so far. You might consider planning for some hotel/motel stays for you two, and/or the kids, for some "time off" recuperation IMO. Even one night apart from the group could work wonders IMO.

You should also open up the communication channels to discuss all the possible issues amongst the four of you. In particular, the kids might have some concerns and needs of their own. Maybe they have unique interests which might be well-served by a particular museum nearby? Etc. . . . .

If they haven't done much trailer traveling recently [did you used to take trips as a family?], it would be better to discuss things earlier rather than later!

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:54 PM   #7
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We have two grown daughters. Now that is hard to write. We’ve gone on a couple of week long trips in our 25FB Flying Cloud.

First, when it comes to packing, we given them a bin to put clothes in. They can fill it to their liking. If it fits, they can bring it. This is the same approach we had when they were little. Taught them to consider what was important to them.

Next, we share hanging space. Not that any of us really need hanging space.

We don’t pack a bag or suitcase. Those are just another layer. They are a waste space and time. Go to the bins. Airstream puts a lot of those in the units.

When it comes to sleeping arrangements, we have tried many options. Settled on “the who gets up first” approach. Young ladies need their beauty sleep. Our daughters sleep in the bedroom. My wife and I, plus the dog (forgot to add we have one additional traveler) take the living space. We get up, make the coffee, and walk ...with the dog. We choose to make the bed and break it down every day. Gives us more space. We hold the pillows, blankets, and sheet in the bedroom during the day.

As for cooking and dining we split that up depending on weather, bugs, and how we feel. Typically a campsite has a picnic table we can dine at. We also sit at the table in the trailer, soon to be my bed again.

Hope this is the insight you were looking for...
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:57 PM   #8
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To your question - the dinnette gets made each night and returned to use each morning. The bedding can be stagged on the main queen to get it out of the way after that bed is made up. Best to use a set of sleeping bags. Easy to control, gives individual accomodation and can be a great sleeping accomodation when using seating cushions for bedding. Note, you may find the "kids" are happier on the floor and the couch. A conversation with them is a good place to start.

Exterior table - that is certainly a personal preferance. Chairs, for sure, but most RV parks have picnic tables. However, a small table to stage food and supplies will be helpful (16"x30" maybe 24"x42"). Often you need support for the grill or drinks or chips, or the salad ...........

Clothes - the "kids" need either a duffel bag or their own storage space. Not a hard suitcase. Suggest the bag. All need a dirty clothes bag too.

The more organized you can setup the coach, TV and personal items, the more easily you will get out in the morning and set up at night. A day back pack can be a great way to organize the gear for daily use. Not a bad pillow either. Pack a couple sets of sweats for the "oh XXXX" event that could happen. Best case they are great layering for a cold morning or campfire experience.

Suggest a good breakfast in the morning, lunch packed for the road as part of that effort and cook dinner when you are setup for the night. Grill extra meat for use in sandwiches, salads and wraps.

You could travel a lot of hours with four drivers. You could have a lot of problems with teams that lack experience in driver/navigator tasks. This is an issue to approach carefully. If you need to travel lots of hours, pack breakfast the night before, leave quietly and eat on the way. Do not stop for a long lunch and get to your destination as efficiently as possible.

The trip sounds like a wonderful family adventure.

Travel safe. Enjoy the smiles. Pat
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:01 PM   #9
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We did Yosemite NP in June with my sister and brother-in-law. I had concerns, but it went very smoothly. Sister used dinette bed (she is short) and said it slept fine. Brother-in-law made lounge sofa into a bed. Sleeping bags with top sheet and pillow were used instead of full bedding. Both were rolled up each morning and put under dinette. Dinette table was put back in place each morning. They used hall closet. We were also in FHU campground, so used their facilities for showering and all restroom needs, except those middle of the night needs. Days were spent on the go, evenings sitting outside, all four only in trailer to sleep and light breakfast/coffee in the morning. Evening meals outside and beer cooler in back of truck. All should be fine. Enjoy! Glacier is on our TO DO list.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:48 PM   #10
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As to the inner configurations, like leaving the dinette up or down, I suggest flexibility. If the weather is super, you can eat outside, but if it rains, you'd want access to the dinette. I'ts not such a big chore to raise and lower it.

During the day if the dinette is set up, you could just spread the extra bedding on the stationary bed, or have a discrete duffle bag for the dinette bedding, that sits at the foot of the stationary bed.

Glacier is crowded. I would recommend starting your touring really early in the day. The parking lot at Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road fills up. Also parking lots at popular trail heads like Avalanche Lake fill up. I once recommended people take the free shuttle to avoid the parking hassle, only to learn about long line-ups at the shuttle stops.

Assuming you will be spending some of your time in West Glacier, I recommend leaving your AS on site, and then taking your vehicle, if it is high-clearance, up the west side to Bowman and Kintla Lakes. The road is a bit rough, but you don't need 4WD, you lose a lot of the crowds, and the scenery is breath-taking.

Ditto for Banff. It will be crowded. Check out the various threads on travel to Canada. If anyone likes hot springs, take your bathing suits.

Hopefully you're a bunch of experienced travelers who know how to travel light. I suggest dark clothes (including underwear, to get by with fewer laundry loads) that are multi-functional. In the mountains it can get cold at night. The parks post weather information. Your RV park laundromats will help you to cut back on your luggage.

Also, there is good info on-line for traveling light. I like packing cubes, and rolling clothes that then get fastened with rubber bands, as a way to compress my belongings. If you pack a cupboard in the AS rather than a suitcase, this is a big help. Maybe your cupboards could use a sort-and-pitch. If people must travel with luggage, duffel bags are more space-conserving than hard-sided suitcases. Plus if the duffel bag's contents are then packed in the AS, it can be folded flat in storage or reused as a laundry bag.

Outdoor chairs a must; we sometimes bring a couple of little folding side tables. You can inquire at the RV parks whether the sites come with picnic tables.

If you're all card players or board game players, would suggest you bring them just in case you're inside with bad weather.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:01 PM   #11
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One more thing-- you didn't mention Waterton Lakes NP in Alberta. Glacier-Waterton Lakes is an international park. From your direction, it is accessible from the east side of Glacier NP. There is a wonderful 3-hour boat ride from Waterton Township, which is great if you want something a little different and don't have much time. I think there are 3 "sailings" per day.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:02 AM   #12
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Hi, I won't be much help here. I just couldn't handle four adult people in one trailer. It's not like a house with separate bedrooms down the hall and two bathrooms. Your avatar shows that you have two trailers???? One for you and one for the kids.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:55 AM   #13
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THANK YOU for all of these tips and this advice. This is exactly the kind of info we are looking for.

Some additional info: We are 4 adults, the 2 "kids" are in their 20's, so no one is a kid-sized person. Both kids have traveled internationally and one even lived overseas for a year. They know how to pack light. We will be picking them up along the route-they will be getting dropped off at a retail store parking lot by uber to meet up with us. They will each have a duffle and a back pack and a bag for the car. We will have everything else packed along in the Airstream. Since we plan to buy food along the way and not need a generator we will be fine on payload.

Great idea on having the "early risers" take the front beds--we may do that for nap time. We all know that getting up and getting there first is the best way to see everything before the crowds arrive in the parks. So we will all be getting up early most days.

We are definitely of the "cook brunch/cook dinner" type of campers. We usually get up around sunrise and get going to see wildlife and hike. Then return to the camper for brunch and hangout time. Then go sightsee in the afternoon, bringing a picnic basket in the car, and return to the camper for dinner

We did a trip 3 years ago to Yellowstone with the 4 of us and a 22 sport and a tent (one of the reasons we upsized to the 25 Flying Cloud). So we have done this type of trip (not this long) before.

Great tip on laundry and needed a place for dirty clothes. I will have everyone bring a pillowcase. Great tip on bringing clothes that can be laundered together. No red T-Shirts!! Ha Ha.

My question on the table has to do with the fact that we typically camp in state parks and they always have pic nic tables. We will primarily be in commercial RV parks on this trip. Do these usually have picnic tables, or will we need a table? We like to cook and will be using a coleman stove with a griddle most nights to cook dinner (after learning that this is a fail safe way to cook even when there is a burn ban due to fire risks) But this gets really hot and needs to cool down before it can be packed away.

The only comment above that really made me chuckle was the comment about a kid being happy on the floor. This could not be more wrong for us. Cue to the trip 3 years ago-bears and wolf in the campground-kids not wanting to sleep in their tent-can't fit all of us in the beds of the 22 sport. (OH did we try!!) Child sobbing -full on sobbing- on the floor of the sport -- saying they will never fall asleep, and pretty much hate their life right now. A new low for Griswol family fun.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:19 AM   #14
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I also travel with wife and two kids along with up to three dogs, but typically one dog.


Do you prefer to keep it as a bed the whole time, or do you make it back and forth each day? We keep ours in bed position, only convert to dining table when necessary

Where do you keep the bedding during the day if you make it back and forth. Bed liner stays put, pillows and blankets go to the bed room. Also, we put a bed cover so that you don't bring in "dirt" to where you sleep.

Is it better to use sleeping bags or quilts and blankets for the bed? That's more of a preference. I find Sleeping bags to bulky IMHO

We don't usually stay in RV parks. Should we bring an outdoor eating table? Most have them, I just bring table cloth covers. If there isn't a table, we eat using the chairs
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