Sharing a camp site?

Discussion in 'MINIs on the Dragon 9 (April 27 - May 1, 2011)' started by agranger, Jun 26, 2010.

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  1. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    #1 agranger, Jun 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
    OK... I'm in for 2011! This will be Dragon #4 for me. For the first one (2006), I rented a small Dogwood cabin with a friend and had a great time. A year later, I made my 2008 reservations... 2 cabins with a total of 6 bedrooms and all of my local friends (and several new friends) came along.

    For Dragon #3 (2009), sadly I was unemployed (luckily I got a job from a phone interview that I had in Robbinsville during MOTD) but my loving wife told me to get my ass out to Fontana and have a bit of fun. I hadn't planned on going that year, but a great guy (Fastlane) offered to share a camping site with me at the last minute! The ultimate cheap vacation!

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    Now we come to MOTD #4 in 2011! "Surely there will be tent sites available" I said to myself a few days after MOTD 2010, so I went to the Fontana website and to my surprise, they were completely sold out! :mad2:

    So... once again, it looks like I'll be needing to bum a campsite with someone. There was a TON of room in the site that we had last year... there could have easily been 3-4 tents on that area without being cramped at all (but some of the tent only spots closer to the bathhouse are smaller and only fit 1 (maybe 2 small) tents.

    Anyone have a site they would be willing to share? (EDIT... I HAVE A SITE OF MY OWN NOW) In return I can offer a world of amenities as I have upgraded my camping gear this year and will be heading to TN in a few weeks to pick up my new toy. I can carry tons (well... hundreds of pounds, at least) of gear now! The trailer itself is only 550 lbs... all aluminum, with a double bed in the bump-out and a dinette for 3-4 crowded people. I'll have a full cooking setup, hot running water, heat, AC... almost all the comforts of home! All you would need would be a tent and a sleeping bag!



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  2. Jabbles

    Jabbles New Member

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    Already have a cabin reserved but that is a cool trailer. How is the camping there anyway? I like the idea but how is it being away from the action? I like to have a few drinks around the firepit in the evenings, it's nice not to worry about driving anywhere. Do the campers have their own party?
     
  3. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    #3 agranger, Jun 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
    Camping was a blast. We had a nice little party one night that I know of, but I was up the hill at Fontana most nights. It's probably a quieter group down there, but a campfire, smores and a few beers makes for a good night's entertainment. There were several mini-parties throughout the day, but that might have been due to a cooler full of beer at the campsite! :D I met some truely wonderful folks down there and got to know them much better than I would have up in a cabin. When camping, you are a lot less isolated from your neighbors and that's part of the fun.

    Mornings were fun... there was a great campfire breakfast one morning where everyone brought a little something different to the meal and we had a feast! Fresh coffee, pancakes, campfire biscuits, taquitos, and tons of bacon! I think I got up early that morning, made a few passes down the Dragon then settled back for a nice breakfast and some fun at Fontana.

    If you are a serious party animal, it's probably not the scene for you, but it is a wonderful place to get away from some of the perpetual motion of Fontana and feel more of nature. It's actually a very nice little campground... level spots, great scenery and the bathrooms were pretty good for such a little place. With all of the electrical hookups, my little ceramic cube heater did a great job of keeping the tent comfortable at night and a cheapie, light-weight sleeping bag and air mattress made for plenty of comfort. You have to be into it (my wife's idea of roughing-it means no central AC) to enjoy tent camping, but it was lots of fun for me.
     
  4. Jabbles

    Jabbles New Member

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    Yeah I will probably stick to the village, but I would like to head down for some proper camping sometime. Good to know it's nice down there.
     
  5. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    I'm still looking for a campsite share, but for those of you who are interested in such things, here are some more pics of the trailer. I just did a run out to eastern Tennessee in a hurry to pick it up!

    I lost about 5mpg on the way home due to the aerodynamics (a box towing a box), but I still got 25mpg or so.

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  6. MinixB

    MinixB New Member

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    That trailer looks really cool :)
     
  7. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    WOOT! I have a camp site!

    On a lark, I called Fontana directly (I don't know why I didn't before now, with the craziness of their reservation systems in the past). They had locked out their system during MOTD so that only MINI people could reserve (why the website was showing no availability). There was 1 open site with hookups available, so I nabbed it!

    If anyone needs a place to pitch a tent, I'm willing to share! Gotta pay back the kindness of others. :D
     
  8. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    On a quick trailer update, I've been sewing a lot lately (I must be a NAM regular... the sewing site), making bits for the trailer. A new awning is done and I'm 75% of the way to a tent surround for the awning. Pics to come soon.
     
  9. hughes

    hughes New Member

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    I want to go to the Dragon. This would be my first one, so do you need to get a cabin or tent space there?
     
  10. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    The Dragon is a road that starts at the NC/TN border and extends 13 miles or so into TN. The MINI events center around Fontana Village, a resort that was founded on the buildings left over when the TVA built Fontana Dam. They have a mix of cabins, inn rooms and campsites. There are other hotels about 20 miles away... a list can be found at www.minisonthedragon.com.

    Usually the cabins are fully booked for a year in advance... most of the regulars book their cabins for the next year before they leave this year's event. Lots of folks have to drop out, though, so the wait-list seems to get a good deal of action, especially in the last month or two before the event. Frequently you can find people who are willing to hand-over their reservations on the event board, which will be right here.

    The cabins have received a make over in the past few years. They are simple, but do the trick. I stayed in a 'dogwood' cabin in my first time. It hadn't had a make over and was very rural, but had clean sheets, a fridge and a bathroom, so I was good. I also spent 1 MOTD in a 'magnolia' cabin which was larger and newer (had a washing machine, which was nice). Camping can be a bit cool in the evenings (solved with an electric ceramic heater) but I had a blast and I can't wait to go back in 2011. There are also several different tiers of rooms at an inn... a 3 story (I think) building. I haven't stayed there yet so others may need to fill you in.

    If you want to go, I'd call Fontana village ASAP to check for availability and get on the wait list if there isn't. I'd also start a new thread in this forum asking if there are rooms to let (some folks rent a 3 BR cabin but only need 1 BR, so they share the cabin and the cost). If you have a local MINI club, you may have a contingent coming as well and they may be willing to share as well.

    I got the last of the camp sites, but I'd be willing to share the site if you wish. The area I'm in has tons of room per site... plenty for me and a couple of tents.
     
  11. davavd

    davavd Club Coordinator

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    Dave and I (that's the back of my ragtop in your 2nd pic) will take you up on your generous offer. We will be in two tents. We'll be happy to pitch in our share for the site.

    Sweet trailer, BTW.
     
  12. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    #12 agranger, Aug 26, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
    OK... I hate to say it, but my campsite is now full! If someone drops, I'll go to the first person who mentioned their desire to share w/ us in this thread, so the waitlist starts here. Hopefully other campers with site reservations will chime in here and offer to share.

    1. Agranger (Aaron)
    2. davavd (Dirk and Dave)
    3. hughes (Nick and possible guest)
     
  13. hughes

    hughes New Member

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    :Thumbsup: Awesome, I am pumped.
     
  14. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    If I'm remembering correctly, either Dave or his friend (Thumper? Can't remember is RW name) brought the New Orleans beer, "Dixie", along with them a few years ago. Perhaps I'll convince them to bring along some 'liquid rent' in place of camp fees! :D

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  15. hughes

    hughes New Member

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    MMmmmm liquid rent. :cornut:
     
  16. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    For the guys camping with me, here's a list of items that I carry in the camper with me and a list of things that I consider packing for each trip. It might help others when gathering gear for the Dragon as well.
     

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  17. davavd

    davavd Club Coordinator

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    Twist my ar.....OUCH, OK, enough, I'll bring it :D
     
  18. Thumper460

    Thumper460 Active Member

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    the TRUTH about the Fontana campsite!!
    They dont care how many tents/ trailers are on anyones site!! ( as long as all are in agreement) We had 3 on our site.. SOOoo.. IF you have NO ONE .. there is always room on the campground, all you need to do is go there and ask some one!!

    ENTERTAINMENT!!
    Well we had a few campfires. If you build it THEY will come!! First time we were drinking, telling stories, had a "Cougar" friend, Army/Navy Banter, Drinking... Car Talk, real life experiances... blah blah..... Lasted till well after 1 am.
    Second nite we had a fire.. there was the usual crowd, and some new ones. SOME actually came from the village to hang out!! We had some Beer, talking, fresh Fish cooked over the fire, trout in the Fontana ( little Tn River I think) were plenty and fun to catch... even the two year old landed a few. Fishing right there at the cam site!! I had to run everyone off at mid nite as the Grandson was getting "cranky"

    SOOooooooo.... Camping!! YES!! Boring ...NOPE!! Just be ready for a bit of....yep, you guessed it... RAIN!! LOL


    Just me...........................................

    Thumper
     

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  19. track-toy

    track-toy MINI of the Month

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    I would like to pitch a tent! I'm serious, the cabins can be a hassle trying to get sharers so I'm willing to try something else.

    Graham
     
  20. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    #20 agranger, Sep 2, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
    I saw someone fishing in the river a few years ago but never knew if they caught anything. I think I'll have to request fishing gear for Christmas!

    I've been working like crazy for the past 3-4 weeks to get the trailer setup. I borrowed a sewing machine from a local MINI club member and built a custom awning and tent for the back of the trailer... somewhere to cook and store gear away from the weather.

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