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Old 04-10-2019, 03:34 PM   #1
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No toad

We just bought an Axis 25.2 and my DH wants to try camping without a toad. I'm concerned that we will be limited in what we can do and it will be a pain. Our previous camping was with a trailer so we had a vehicle for excursions.

We plan to go on shorter trips this summer and then branch out to longer trips next year after retirement. I would imagine us mainly visiting national and state parks throughout the country, but staying in campgrounds and not boondocking for now.

I am not concerned about the hassle of breaking camp as we travel light and it is just the two of us, but I am concerned about parking at the different parks and attractions. DH believes we can simply uber or rent a car but I think that would get old fast.

What has been your experiences going without a toad? There are no arguments I can use right now to convince DH we need to use one, so I really want advice on how to handle finding parking for the Axis which is 26.5' long.

Is there usually bus or rv parking at zoos, museums, parks, etc.? Any advice on apps that can be used to find out what kinds of parking attractions have available or do you have to call ahead for each anticipated stop?
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:37 PM   #2
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Do you normally stay in RV Parks? While you can always stop at a Store while travelling: most parks have pretty decent places to shop, where you can pick up the necessities...
We're "Toadless"; but we do take a golf cart with us.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:43 PM   #3
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I would expect we would do most of our grocery shopping at Walmart, so parking should be fine there. And we like to hike so we are not concerned about getting around at RV parks. I'm more concerned about not being able to pull out to the scenic views at the national or state parks or to access hiking trails. I know some parks have shuttle buses to get around. Is there an app which gives advice on rv parking availability?
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:44 PM   #4
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don't worry, you won't have the issue for parking you are 'fearing', as most any place or parking lot has plenty of RV parking, or you can take up several spaces on the outside area of the lot... we do, and we're 34' without our toad, and 50' with it... we don't let that limit us to 'where' we want to go.

I would try your wife's desire for some time. You may find that having the additional vehicle, the cost to set it up for towing, and the labor and extra length involved, not such a big deal after all.

We've camped for days, or even a week, without 'going' anywhere special from our camping site. Stop at the grocery store on your way to your destination and stock up.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:50 PM   #5
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it can be a slight pain, but we've done all sorts of things without a toad. museum in downtown dallas, beaches, shopping, and tourist traps of all sorts.... there have only been maybe two times when I've had to drop DW and the kids off at some museum or something and drive elsewhere to wait....maybe a time or two when we just didn't do...
and there are times when the large vehicle parking is a bit further away but never has it been unreasonable.

we're vacation type travellers so if stopping at a campground when I know we'll be driving into town later for dinner, or whatever, I'll not even bother to hook up except maybe power for the AC....and we tend to keep the "patio" and chairs to a minimum in those cases so sometimes this turns the rig more into a hotel room than a "camp site"...but not always.

In my thinking, a toad makes total sense for someone parking in a spot for a week or more before moving on....lots of day trips, shopping, exploring, etc....but for a day or three before moving onto the next city not so much.

I've considered setting up DW's car as a toad many times, but seems to me for our style it would be more trouble then it's worth...making our rig significantly longer would make parking while enroute at "cracker barrel" or at any shopping or attraction much more difficult...and make simple overnight stops much more difficult too, forcing us into larger spots, pull through spots, etc... not being able to back up at gas stations...etc....
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:01 PM   #6
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we went to Alaska, over 13,000 round=trip miles, over two months, without our toad.... no problems, no issues, and everywhere we went there was plenty of parking, sometimes you may have to get creative, or park across the street, but it can be done.
...also, by my calculations, saved over $250 - $300 in additional fuel.
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:11 PM   #7
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Great to hear that my fears are unfounded! I originally wanted to get a Class B so we could be more mobile. But when we actually went RV shopping, we found that they were not much shorter than the Axis and the cab area was so much nicer on the Axis. DH kept hitting his head on the ceiling in the cab and he felt way too cramped in the B's.

If we can go toadless that's great! That would be my preference as well, but I would hate to feel limited. I guess I'm always looking for things to worry about and I need to let go a little and trust we will have fun even if we miss out on a few possible attractions.

We do have some nearby trips planned where I am going to follow behind him in my New Beetle so we have a car to drive into downtown areas for conventions. Its only 4 hours away so not a big deal. I would not want to do that for a long trip.

We plan to hook up to electric but if it's an short stay just use water from the fresh tank and only connect to sewer when actually dumping.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:13 PM   #8
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For the first year with our Axis we just rented when necessary. It worked out well--we're also vacation travelers doing sightseeing near where we camp.

Since then we've pulled a car; mostly because where we go typically doesn't have RV parking (ballparks).

For a good example of someone going toadless look here: http://48in366.com/

She traveled all around the country visiting National and State parks with only her Vegas and a puppy (still doing it too, here: http://thelonglongroad.com/ ).
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:24 PM   #9
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...after you get used to driving your new ride, and your confidence increases, you'll find that 'parking' your rig is not as cumbersome or troublesome as you might now think. Most folks don't mind your rig taking up several spaces, outside of the normal congested traffic areas, anyway, and there are many times when finding 'non-traditional' parking places is part of the equation.

I've also driven and delivered many brand new coaches from the factories, to dealers all over the country, with overnight stays involved. Ever try to park a 45' motorcoach, with an additional 15' for the toad attached to the rear, in a cramped hotel parking lot? It can be done. Or, pulled into a cramped fuel station, with diesel only on the regular pumps, and navigated around all the obstacles involved? It's done every day - most of the folks you may feel you are bothering with your big rig are actually amazed that you can do it!
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:27 PM   #10
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We've been fortunate enough to find parks that offer shuttles into nerby Towns. Once you're there: you can get to anyplace that you want to see!
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:12 PM   #11
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Weve visited approximately half of the National Parks, most while driving a 30-ft Class C or a 20-ft camper van; and a few with shorter Class C. No doubt a small van makes it easier to get around (my preference when its just the two of us), but can also say we have had very little trouble parking anywhere.

One exception where it made a difference was in Yosemite where we were forced to park the 30-footer miles away and take a shuttle bus. Had we been in our van, we could have parked and walked, saving a few hours.

The only time I would have wanted a toad badly was years ago camping in Destin on the beach. Today my wife would have used Uber to get to the Mall instead of breaking camp which only took a few minutes but left me stuck at the Mall. The more we use Uber, the less I can see ever wanting to pull a toad unless it was for a specific reason (like a Jeep to go off-roading).
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:19 PM   #12
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Be careful about wanting a Jeep for off-roading...
That's a pasttime that gets out of control even quicker than RVing!

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Old 04-10-2019, 08:52 PM   #13
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I've found, in my mere 3 months on the road (so far - I'm really boot out here), that my 'smallish' A.C.E. 30.2 does okay near main throughfares in towns that are right off the main hwys or the military fam camps & corps of engineers camps.

Wallmart has become my normal haunt & if they don't have it, unless I'm sure of the street sizes & number of cars lining it for parking (think about the congestion in Baltimore, D.C., or Houston), I don't go searchin for places I'd normally want to go explore for the joy of it, or jus find better groceries. I've missed out on some great places I wanted to visit already, but they'll jus havta keep till the next trip thru (w/a toad).

Except for the East Coast, I haven't been able to rely on Uber or Lyft or public transportation & the days of shuttles runnin all over the military bases seems to have ended.

I would caution you on relying on any alternative transportation unless you've checked it out thouroughly ahead of time. You might be sadly disappointed when you find your 'smaller than mine' rv can't pull off at that special scenic overlook, or worse - you break down boondockin on public lands with your cell phone lost, broke, (or you forgot to charge it) & you find yourself far from highly trafficked roads to try to reach help quickly.

I've been tryin to hold off on a toad till I can afford to get a dingy pull setup (4 on the floor), but even though I need to have my service dog going wherever I do, I'm desperate enough (only halfway across the country) that I'm even considering a gas scooter & trying to figure out a safe setup for my SD Boxer, Radar. He's too big for those 'lil pet seats - plus tryin to hoist him up? His job is hoisting me! But even if I got that all figured out, I'd still need a way to manage getting it up on a hitch or dolly, or even up into the rig that my SD hasta pull/hoist me up into, & that brings me right back to square one, tryin to save up for a dingy pull, lol!!!

I'm mostly metal implants nearly the full length of my left leg, so my motorcycle days w/shifting gears are probably behind me (hence the scooter idea), I can't put a lot of weight on the leg to run a motorcycle/scooter up a ramp & bicycles are impossible due to how limited my range of motion is on that side.

But, back to your sitrep, if both of you are in good health, scooters & bikes or motorcycles might be the way to go for awhile - but unless you aren't interested in any sightseeing, don't count on your rig fitting those special places - especially during campin season - or anytime you get a hankerin to drive the PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy), though it can be done, you won't be enjoying the scenery much (best way I've gone has always been on a motorcycles).

I wish you great journeys in whichever way you decide to travel!
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:05 AM   #14
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Our first couple of trips in our 38 Challenger were toad-less. We rented cars when we needed local transportation. It was not ideal for us. Since that time, we always tow a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I love having the flexibility that it providers us, plus I have the added benefit of being able to do some off-roading when it suits us. But, given your concerns, I think Soldier Girls idea of a scooter might be a good solution for yall. Along those lines, you might even consider getting a couple of e-bikes. Ive been thinking about that option as well (in addition to my Jeep, not as a replacement)
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:20 AM   #15
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Weve traveled toadless for three years. 26ft Class C and 30ft Class A. Rented a car a few times but mostly just broke camp and took motorhome. Parking was never a problem though some walking might be involved. Even drove the class A several times through Gettysburg with very narrow city streets. Always managed. Last summer we bought two mopeds that we have taken a few times when the situation warrants. (Wished wed had them in Gettysburg). I am in the process of setting up to flat tow now but only so we can snowbird next winter. 2 months is too long to rent and we wont be close to tourist areas. Only plan to tow to get to FL and back. But towing is a serious financial commitment. My setup is going to be about $2500 self installed! Id suggest trying without a toad for a few trips to see if it works for you.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxTig View Post
Along those lines, you might even consider getting a couple of e-bikes. Ive been thinking about that option as well (in addition to my Jeep, not as a replacement)
I like the idea of an e-bike. Our concerns are not the cost as much as the hassle of towing. That could solve my concerns about getting around at national parks assuming they allow them on the roads.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:43 PM   #17
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We'll be towing a small golf cart this year...
(On a 4.5 x 8 utility trailer...)
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:18 PM   #18
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I full timed it three or so years ago and towed my Jeep Wrangler. Eh. I guess It was worth it for me, to scoot around town, do some off-road stuff were the pluses. The expense, size and general "towing" were the cons. I had a class C back then. It was a little older but towed ok.

Flash forward to the present.

I'm back on the road full time. I have another Class C. A new model. I decided not to tow. I have been into dirt bikes nearly all my life. I bought a Dual Sport motorcycle, sold my Jeep and hitch mounted the bike on the back of the RV.

The pros: I can go anywhere, trail - highway, just about ANYWHERE. I can scoot to the store or around town seeing the sights or I can go to the top of a mountain. I spend pennies on gas and upkeep. It takes about ten minutes to get it off the back of my RV and I can do it myself.

The cons: It's just me and my dog. I can haul another person, I guess. The motorcycle is NOT a good idea for a couple or a family. I can't "load" up on groceries. When the weather is terrible, you are stuck in the coach. Mind you, I ride in the rain and wind and snow. I mean really bad weather. I have a 650. It weighs 380 Lbs dry. You have to be pretty healthy to load it onto your rig.

So. A motorcycle is a good option if you are single, healthy and "into" motorcycles.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:30 PM   #19
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How about a picture of that dual-sport bike of yours?
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:44 PM   #20
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Sure! This is my bike and hitch mount.



I think a scooter would be ideal if you're not into bikes. They are light and cheap. I bought my hitch mount at Harbor Freight for $100. It reviews great and have been using it for the last few weeks without any problem.
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