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Old 01-31-2019, 07:54 PM   #21
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It's great to hear you are renting before buying. That's a great move. We did that before we bought and it really helped us decide on overall size, layout and options.

In addition to the above recommendations I found it helpful to download the manual of the van we rented. It helped me familiarize myself with the systems and appliances and know what questions to ask when we picked up the rental. Not sure if your situation but I was trying to convince my wife so I really thought about the systems and scenarios and advance so it was a smoooooth trip.

One thing to think about with a rental. We selected a campground close (within 2 hours) of the rental location for the last night because we had to drop it off by 11:00AM with empty tanks, vacuumed and exterior washed... (also had to search and find a suitable place to wash a 10 foot high van). If we had a long drive it would have been really hard to do that. The fine print mentioned that you drop it off 2 hours before the time you picked it up (we picked it up at 1:00 so had to drop it off at 11:00).

One last comment would be to join the Travato Facebook group. They are nice group of people. Our Roadtrek FB group helped me a lot when we first got the van. They are complicated machines so it was nice to talk to people that had learned how to use it.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:04 PM   #22
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What are your travel dates? In addition to the great advice so far:


Enough prescription medications for your trip plus a week (in case you don't make it back as planned). OTC meds like cough drops, night quill, tylenol. Insect repellent, sunscreen and if hiking in yellowstone-a can of good quality bear spray. Hiking sticks, water bottles, map, compass and gps (if hiking).



Many places (campgrounds and attractions) give discounts to Vets, if you are a vet, take along some ID (my driver's license indicates this) or a copy of your DD-214.


Medical Insurance cards. If your driver's license is accepted at airports, no problem; else, pack your pass port. Never know when you might need to fly home.


Don't rely on cell service and let family members know you may be unreachable for periods of time. Our last trip of 3 months and 12k miles, we may have had cell service only 25% of the time. This is why a stand alone gps may be better than your phone. Never rely 100% on your gps. I always check the gps map against the rand mcnally. Once in the middle of nowhere, gps said that we had arrived at the koa with a restaurant and gas station....there was nothing for 20 miles.


Always keep you fuel tank above half IMO. Apps like "gas guru" (free) helps you find the cheapest fuel and will direct you there. Arrive in YS with a full tank. I believe there are over 480 miles of roads in YS if I remember correctly.



Whatever you forget, write it down and take it next time. We did several weekend trips before we set out for our 12k trip and refined our list.


We plan our travel so that we only do no more than 300 miles a day. We also try to arrive in the daylight hours. Easier to set up. Remember to stop and see that "biggest ball of twine" on your way there.



So what are your travel dates? Hope this helps.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:21 AM   #23
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Just figured out how to add a photo which explains my moniker... ; )
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:39 AM   #24
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Assuming that everything goes great and you decide to buy a Class B, this site is a great resource. However, don't assume that "newer and bigger" is better.

There are some wonderful "older" Class Bs out there that have been well taken care of and you would get many years of enjoyment out of them at a fraction of the cost of a new one. They may not have all the "bells and whistles" but sometimes lots of "bells and whistles" can mean "lots more can go wrong"!

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:01 AM   #25
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if hiking in yellowstone-a can of good quality bear spray.
Great advice, but I'm really curious; how do you tell if your bear spray is "good" quality?
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:45 PM   #26
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Bear spray must meet minimum standards. At least .857% capsicum (pepper), a 16 foot minimum spray distance, have at least 7.9 oz and last a minimum of 6 seconds. Now the question is, "Do you want a product that meets or exceeds the minimum standards?"

There are reviews by different outdoor groups and one of the products that gets good reviews is "Counter Assault". It has 2% capsicum (most allowed by EPA), 10.2 oz, lasts for 9 seconds and can reach up to 30 feet. It also has a belt holster and a safety pin.
I forget where we were (Yosemite or Alaska); but every NPS staff member was carrying 1 or 2 cans of Counter Assault.
The only negative comment about this spray is that the holster grips the can a little tightly which it does.
When hiking in bear country, the spray should be on your belt and not in your pack; else you wind up as a bear sandwich. Should be at least 2 cans per group (6-9 seconds in shear panic isn't that long and if the person with the spray gets attacked first; well its really hard to cover and find your spray at the same time).
Also, while you are fending for your life, you should put the wind at your back before you spray, else, you blind yourself, maybe your group, and season the bear's next meal.
I have never used it; but this is what I read and watched on you tube. My wife and I both carry when we are hiking. She runs faster than I do. I can only hope that she figures out the logistics and comes back to save me.
Carrying spray is a last resort and all other "hiking in bear country" guidelines should be followed first.
Once we were hiking around Lake Yellowstone in the off season and came across a bison, half eaten with bear droppings and footprints all around the carcass. We finished the hike with the can of spray out of its holster.
It's not just for bears. Work's on humans and other annoying animals. Carry it while biking and its the first line of defense in our class B while traveling.
I think we got a 2 pack with holsters on Amazon before our trip. A little cheaper than waiting until you are where you need it. Although I never researched it, I would bet that there are stringent guidelines or not permitted at all on flights.
And there is a shelf life of about 4 years, so check the expiration date before you buy. The ones from Amazon were less than 6 months old which was great.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:09 PM   #27
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I'm curious how much will this cost you, the renting of the RV that is minus the gas of course. By the way I'm from FoCo lived there 20+ years recently retired to Florida and really miss the mountains but the ocean is just as groovy.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:10 PM   #28
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My wife and I are planning a 10-day trip from Denver to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in a rented Travato K; this is a tryout to see if a class b is right for us. We are interested in a mix of RV parks and being out away from the RV parks. I have no idea where to start to figure all of this out. Hoping the seasoned veterans on this forum can point us in the right direction.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Pat
I'm curious how much will this cost you, the renting of the RV that is minus the gas of course. By the way I'm from FoCo lived there 20+ years recently retired to Florida and really miss the mountains but the ocean is just as groovy.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by ColoradoMTB11 View Post
My wife and I are planning a 10-day trip from Denver to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in a rented Travato K; this is a tryout to see if a class b is right for us. We are interested in a mix of RV parks and being out away from the RV parks. I have no idea where to start to figure all of this out. Hoping the seasoned veterans on this forum can point us in the right direction.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Pat
I just read thru the other posters replies and saw a lot of great ideas. But what I didn't see was "keep a diary" or what you like or dislike about the van you are renting. Not all Class-B's are alike and many have different layouts inside that you might find more appealing than the one you are renting. And the only reason I mention this is because we have yet to settle down on which one we will be purchasing (later this year or early next year.)

Hopefully the Travato will be comfortable to drive (I can't fit behind the steering wheel - not nearly enough leg room for my big body!

But by all means, have fun and let us know how it turns out for you!
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:25 PM   #30
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I just read thru the other posters replies and saw a lot of great ideas. But what I didn't see was "keep a diary" or what you like or dislike about the van you are renting. Not all Class-B's are alike and many have different layouts inside that you might find more appealing than the one you are renting. And the only reason I mention this is because we have yet to settle down on which one we will be purchasing (later this year or early next year.)

Hopefully the Travato will be comfortable to drive (I can't fit behind the steering wheel - not nearly enough leg room for my big body!

But by all means, have fun and let us know how it turns out for you!

That is a very good suggestion. We are far beyond van selection or first trips, but we still keep a notebook for logging things we want to take a look at improving after the current trip is done. We have spent a decade using this van, so we are now down to the "useability" type things like door latches or storage things, maybe a lighting change, etc. We have found the log book very useful over the years.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:19 PM   #31
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Great!! I will reach out to you later this spring and find a time to meet up.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:35 PM   #32
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Default Trip Update

First off thank you all for the great advice. I am so impressed by how nice you all are. We had to move some dates around a bit which resulted in a few things happening. The first is we are only going to go for a week, which aligns with some of the advice to do a shorter trip at first. I am going to try to rent the van for a weekend before we go to try it out.

The second change was our van. We are purposely trying to rent vans in our price range and that we are interested in. Unfortunately, the Tarvato K we were planning on using was not available so we have switched to a Winnebago Paseo. The Paseo is out of our price range but is on a Ford Transit chases which is one of the two options we are looking at. (Promaster and Transit).

The trip planning is coming along nicely and I have two nights of camping reserved in Bridge Bay during the week of July 14-21. We are hoping to boondock mostly but also wanted to have a backup plan since it is in high season. Our first-night stay is only two-hours away from our house and has cell phone coverage in case we have problems. Then we head west and further north. We are planning to stay near Jackson one night and we will load up on groceries and make sure tanks are drained/topped off etc. for our "off the grid" portion of our trip.

Keep the advice coming, it is greatly appreciated and as you can see by this post being followed.

Pat
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:28 PM   #33
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We just bought a new Paseo last August. Things I like are, first and foremost, it's a joy to drive! Great visibility, loads of power, and I find the lane-keeping helpful. Also I believe the Dual wheels add stability.
Things I don't like are severe lack of storage (my previous four rv's were all class A's), and most annoying, the frequent tail-dragging. You'll soon learn that it's best to angle through dips, but even with the new drag wheels installed, the dragging sound is disconcerting. Another annoyance is the lack of labels on various coach buttons and dash controls, and I find the Transit manual to be a real head-scratcher in the control area. By the way, the gas gauge reads backwards from everything else I've driven.
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:06 PM   #34
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Thanks to BillPaseo I had super-springs installed which greatly helped with the tail dragging. Apparently whoever advised that Winnebago just used stock Transit suspension and never added help after buildout was correct. Thanks to both.
I am leaving my drag wheels on but could probably remove them to gain the two inches.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:45 PM   #35
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Good suggestions on this thread.

A couple items not mentioned:
JustAhead - an app that covers bunches of the national parks, including Tetons and Yellowstone. It's GPS enabled so you download before leaving and it tracks you on the road and talks to you about local flora and fauna, notes all the side roads and nice trails etc. We found it particularly useful for Yellowstone because it pointed out a number of side stops we would have never taken.

Avenza Maps is a similar app in that it is GPS enabled and you download maps ahead of time. Many park maps are available along with National Geographic, Trails Illustrated, MVUM (Forest service roads), and the Benchmark state books.
RoadSide America is a fun app with lots of goofy attractions listed along with a good number of pretty interesting stops that we would have missed.

We're headed back up in early June on our way to Waterton Lakes, Banff & Jasper in Canada.
Feel free to reach out personally if you're in the Denver area.

Have fun!

Max
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Old 06-06-2022, 07:59 PM   #36
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"Besides everything that was told by fellow veterans, I suggest doing the research before going on the trip.
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Old 06-09-2022, 08:10 PM   #37
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"Besides everything that was told by fellow veterans, I suggest doing the research before going on the trip.
By researching, I mean informing yourself about where you will stay. Considering that you are traveling with a Travato, there are no guarantees that you will camp in friendly places.
For instance, if I know the route, I will research the cities or villages. Usually, I use https://www.travelsafe-abroad.com/un...n-luis-obispo/. Wish you luck with your trip. Enjoy it!
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