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RVing message boards => Trip reports, journals, logs => Topic started by: SopranoKris on August 17, 2017, 03:51:53 PM

Title: Our first RV trip!
Post by: SopranoKris on August 17, 2017, 03:51:53 PM
We just completed our first RV trip and had a wonderful time! I can't wait to get back on the road again :)

Here's a run-down of the RV campsites we visited:

Munising Tourist Park Campground
This was our very first site. We ended up leaving much later than anticipated because the RV dealer didn't have the RV ready when we came to pick it up. Then we hit bad weather and closed roads. Since I knew we were going to arrive late, I called ahead. I'm glad I did. They said they'd leave the gate open for us and told us how to get to our campsite. We ended up arriving at 11:30 pm. Our first trip, never RV'd before and it was pouring down rain. So, we had to figure out how to hook everything up quickly. The rig we rented was 30 amp and I'm glad I followed another poster's suggestion (thank you, Gator!) of buying a dog bone to convert 50 amp to 30 amp. This park only had 50 amp or 20 amp. We had quite a bit of trouble hooking up the water because the end was stripped on the RV side. You can tell whomever rented it before pulled the hose out instead of unscrewing it. The connector was re-seated in an obvious repair. We got drenched trying to get it connected.

In the morning, the sun came up and we finally got to see the campgroud. We had a site across from Lake Superior with only a tent camper in our view. No neighbor to the side of us, and we had a corner lot, so it felt like a roomy site. We were right across from the shower/bathroom facility, which was very clean. My husband and his brother opted to use the facilities. I showered in the RV. Walked the dog around the campsite and on the shore of Lake Superior. Our fellow campers were very friendly. The gentleman behind us owns an RV rental company so we took his card to check out his RVs for our next trip.

The campground was a decent size and the sites had space so you didn't feel crowded. We would definitely stay here again. It's bare bones, just electric and water. There was a dump station next to the shower facility.

Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping
This was a HUGE campground. You definitely needed a map to find your way around. Definitely a family-oriented park. Lots of activities for kids, cabins and cottages for rent, too. We opted for the bridge-view site so we had a great view of the Mackinac Bridge. Our only complaint about the site itself is that the hookups were on the wrong side. If we pulled in on the correct side, our awning side was facing our neighbor and not the great view of Lake Huron and the bridge. So, we had to improvise and park at an angle so we could still see the bridge and hook up to electric & water. We opted not to hook up to the sewer. This would be a big mistake on our part later in our journey!

The park was very clean and neat. Each campsite had a fire ring. We bought firewood at the campstore (which had EVERYTHING, plus ice cream). There was a large pool, playground, dog run and firetruck rides for the kids. Our site was on the main road, which meant it was very busy with traffic from rigs, the kids firetruck & hayrides and motorcycles. Very noisy. Quiet time is supposed to begin at 10 PM and there was a guy who kept riding his motorcycle up & down our road. Plus, we could hear the other rigs coming & going. You also have to pay for internet after the first 20 minutes. I am in grad school and had homework due, so I had to pay for the internet connection to submit my work. It was fast internet, so I had no issues there.

My brother in law used the showers there and said they were clean. But with such a large park, there was a long line for the ladies' showers. I opted to shower in the RV again. We cooked breakfast outdoors and packed up fairly quickly. Definitely easier than the night before because we knew what to expect. If we came back again, we would ask for a site on the beach side, which is much quieter and less traveled. It is closer to the tent campers and cottages. Having the bridge view was great, since my brother in law had never been to the U.P. before, but I definitely didn't like the noise on that side. Our campsite neighbors were friendly and our dogs got along well. They have a beautiful cottage for rent, which would be nice to try in the fall.

Emergency dumpsite visit at Magnus Park Campground in Petoskey

Even though the tank monitors said the gray tank was only 1/2 full, it wasn't. It overflowed in to the shower while we were driving. I kept smelling a strange odor when I walked towards the bathroom (this rig has a split bath). I thought maybe the toilet hadn't flushed, but it was fine. I opened the shower door and was lucky to get it shut in time. It could have poured out on to the floor, otherwise. Luckily, we were just passing by Magnus Park Campground, so we pulled in to ask if we could pay to use their dump site. They were so nice & friendly. It was $5 to dump. This park has short term and long term residents. When we were dumping, the gentleman who owned the lot across from us came over to see if we needed any help. You could tell it was our first time dumping because we were trying to figure out how to hook everything up. He told us to dump the black tank first and then the gray. I ran some cleaner down the shower to get rid of the smell and everything worked properly after that. The camp ground is run by the City of Petoskey and is a lovely park. We would come back and stay if there is ever an opening. They are fairly booked often with regulars. Great folks!

Timber Ridge RV & Recreation Resort - Traverse City
This was, by far, our favorite campsite. It is a large RV park with cabins, cottages and park homes. It is in a very wooded area, so you feel like you're in the woods, surrounded by tall trees. We just loved it! The park issues you a gate card to come & go. When we got to our site, we found there was a 5th wheel with the jacks down already parked in our site. We knocked on the owners' door and he realized that he had parked in the wrong spot. Since he was already set up, we didn't want to make him have to pack it all up and move. We called the front desk and asked if we could take the site he was supposed to have. They made the switch easily and it ended up that our campsite was even better, since it was on the end of the row. Had he parked in the correct site, we would have been sandwiched between 2 large 5th wheels. (We were in a 30ft Class C). The end site was wonderful. Each premium site had a concrete patio. The sites were fairly level. We had a huge camp area with a fire ring and grill. We were able to put up our own grill and use the campsite grill to make a big meal. We stayed up fairly late in to the evening around the campfire. The weather was perfect and we did not want to leave the next day. We are already planning on coming back for a quick get-away weekend. My only complaint was that the WiFi did not work at all. I had an assignment due and missed the deadline because of it. The showers are coin operated to prevent people from taking too much time in the shower. This time, we hooked up to the sewer. They also had cable, so we were able to watch some pre-season football. They put on a "glow parade" for the kids after the sun went down. Once quiet time started (11 pm) the park was VERY quiet. I slept so well that night. It was peaceful and waking up the next morning, we just loved eating breakfast under the big trees. They had lots of kids activities, hiking trails, a dodgeball pit with music and an announcer. Good family park, but quiet enough for the adults. Like I said, we can't wait to come back. I hope the WiFi gets fixed before then :)

Oak Grove Resort Campground - Holland
This was the only park we didn't have reserved in advance. We decided to wing it on our last day, so we called the night before to see if they had any openings, since it was near Lake Macatawa. Since we were coming in on a Sunday and leaving Monday, they were able to take us. The office is closed on Sunday, so I'm glad I called ahead. They left our gate code and site map for us in the lock box. This was an immaculate park. One side is RV and the other is park homes with permanent residents and rentals. The park models were beautiful. We saw one for sale that was gorgeous, with large windows. Very tempting! There is a large barn that was rennovated and turned in to a reception/meeting hall. Very lovely landscaping. The baby goats were adorable. The campstore was very tidy. There were also laundry facilities and the WiFi worked great. I was able to submit my grad school assignments with no issues. The ladies in the front office were WONDERFUL. Very friendly staff. They really take pride in the place and it shows. There are a Christian-oriented facility, so no alcohol is allowed in the park, just an FYI.

All-in-all, we had a wonderful RV trip. We had been looking forward to RVing for the first time to see if we liked it enough to purchase our own. We certainly did love it and can't wait to go again. Right now, we're going to rent different types of rigs to see what fits us the best. Our next rental will be a Class A. I would like to try a large truck camper. My husband wants to try a travel trailer or 5th wheel.

Hope these reviews are helpful to anyone who might be planning a northern Michigan trip :)
Title: Re: Our first RV trip!
Post by: JFN on August 17, 2017, 09:38:56 PM
Thank you for the report.
Title: Re: Our first RV trip!
Post by: ArdraF on August 17, 2017, 10:40:17 PM
SopranoKris, that's a great report of your first RVing adventure.  Michigan has some lovely areas and you certainly visited some of them.  I'm glad you enjoyed it!

As to the tank gauges, they're notoriously unreliable so sometimes you have to do a visual check.  After some time using an RV you'll get to be more familiar with when you need to dump.  When we're going to travel with a half-full tank, we take a roll of blue masking tape and tape the shower drain so we don't have the gray water slosh up into the shower.  We do that especially if we know our road will be up and down a lot or has numerous curves.  I also close the bathroom sink drain if the gray tank is pretty full because it has also come up there a couple of times.

Campground wifi is all over the place in terms of reliability.  Many of us set up our own internal wifi system.  There are many parts of the country that are remote and have little or no cell service and when we get into one of those areas, we're dead in the water so to speak.  That doesn't happen very often but you need to be aware of it if you "really" need to use it like you did for your papers.  Some business people who require reliable communications have satellite internet dishes on their roof but that's the exception and probably more expensive than most people want to pay.  Most of us do okay with a cell service that has wide coverage such as Verizon.


Title: Re: Our first RV trip!
Post by: SopranoKris on August 31, 2017, 04:26:23 PM
Thank you for the great tips, ArdraF!  :)
Title: Re: Our first RV trip!
Post by: jackiemac on August 31, 2017, 07:16:57 PM
Great info, thanks for,posting. First hand experiences are always useful.

Good that you enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next trip, hope it won't be too long 😁
Title: Re: Our first RV trip!
Post by: SopranoKris on March 04, 2018, 02:47:00 PM
Great info, thanks for,posting. First hand experiences are always useful.

Good that you enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next trip, hope it won't be too long 😁

Thanks! We just booked our rental and will be traveling Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana this August. This time, we'll have a full 14 nights in the RV. So excited, can't wait to go :)
Title: Re: Our first RV trip!
Post by: jackiemac on March 05, 2018, 07:12:20 AM
Thanks! We just booked our rental and will be traveling Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana this August. This time, we'll have a full 14 nights in the RV. So excited, can't wait to go :)
Great States to visit, it will be busy in August but you'll still have a great time  8)