TravelGeek wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:49 am
randomguy wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:17 pm
How many HI express, Resident Inn, Embassy Suite, and so on are there in say Yellowstone national park? I haven't actually looked (and I bet there are cabins for rent in the park)
Last I checked, there are no chain hotels in the park. But there are some just outside in West Yellowstone. Not exactly the same as staying right in the park, but certainly doable, The park itself has lodges, cabins and camp grounds. Book early. My plan is to rent an RV for some trips through the National Parks of the West.
Yellowstone exemplifies the differences better RV camping, tent camping, and hoteling.
We spent nine days in summer high season in Yellowstone and the Tetons. Five of us spent 3 days driving from home, and six nights in the two parks.
It was our first big trip in the trailer so I kept a spreadsheet of costs. We spent $1350 camping instead of $3400 if we had taken the car and stayed in cabins. The biggest savings are in lodging ($50-$75 per night for camp sites compared to $250-$300 per night in cabins in the park) and food (cooking all of our meals instead of eating out every meal, $300 instead of $1200). The biggest additional costs are for fuel, but even considering the slightly higher price of diesel the difference was only $500. Outside of the parks en route to and returning from the parks a decent motel would have been $100-$150 but our camp sites were only $25.
Obviously the wear and tear has to be considered as well and that will add up, perhaps halving the savings.
For us the trailer was even more compelling because we had a party of five. There are few motels or cabins which permit more than four occupants. As a result, we would have had to get two rooms everywhere we went. That would have added another $1500 to our costs.
The travel style is different. You can't pull over at any old Town or shop with a trailer. Parking can be difficult. You have to think more carefully about road width, curves, and grades. Weather is something to be considered more seriously. Hooking up takes a bit but that's just a one or two person job while the others can play and relax. On the other hand, my truck is much nicer to drive than our Prius. For five people it's oodles more comfortable and spacious. It's far quieter and much softer to ride in. A better highway car would be worthwhile for those planning to road trip but the mileage would suffer a little.
Staying in the heart of the parks was worth it to us. Closer to attractions. Able to stay out later and avoid the worst traffic coming in and out of the main exits every morning and evening.
To each his own. Definitely rent first if you're not sure. I had researched for years and we were very experienced car campers so we bought new and don't regret it at all