Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: redbike on March 11, 2007, 11:03:13 pm

 
Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: redbike on March 11, 2007, 11:03:13 pm
I am planning a southern tier, coast-to-coast trip starting early May. Does anyone have advice regarding the difference between a credit card, hotel/motel option vs camping. For instance, what is the cost difference? What is the comfort variable? Is there a difference as to what is easiest to find in a timely manner? This trip will be unsupported with one other person. I have done week long supported tours before (Ride the Rockies). Any other thoughts on the subject would be helpful.

Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: miles2go on March 12, 2007, 01:16:39 am
Best of luck to you on your touring adventure!

Of course comfort levels will always depend on the person in question.  You don't see India on everyone's list of "must see" touring destinations do you?  :)

For Nancy and I, as well as most of our experienced touring pals.  We all carry camping gear and it varies as to how much we use it.  Hotels are much more expensive but sometimes hotels can put you right where you can't get pitching a tent.  Sometimes pitching a tent can put you right where you want to be, or with who you've met along the way.

You'll meet more fellow CTC tourers in the campgrounds.  You'll see more of the towns by staying in hotels.  Blend the two together in a fashion that suits you.

Cheers,


Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: litespeed on March 13, 2007, 11:25:22 am
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas), friendlier and quieter. Motels can be noisy with people carrying on in the parking lot. Campgrounds usually quiet down at nightfall (with the occasional Saturday night exception). In motels it's easy to stay up late watching the boob tube. In a tent you just go to sleep as there is nothing else to do. With motels you sometimes have to take a smelly smoking room. Motels, however, are usually handier to eating places. I don't pack food so I try to eat before stopping for the night at a campground.

Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: Kelly on March 14, 2007, 04:32:09 pm
The Southern Tier sounds like a great route, I'm sure you'll have a fun time.

It seems that most cyclists go through a progression of sagged rides such as Ride the Rockies, moving on to short hotel trips, short camping trips and then to long self contained camping.

I would respectfully suggest that you try a weekend self contained camping trip before you commit.

One issue is the additional weight of camping gear. It is a change when you are accustomed to just you and the bike. Some people take only a tent/sleeping stuff and not cooking gear. Others take the entire house.

Sharing expenses with another person makes traveling much more reasonable.

Have a good time!

Kelly

Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: redbike on March 14, 2007, 10:53:22 pm
Thanks for the insight. It is helpful to me. Does anyone have a rough idea of what is the typical price range for campgrounds on the Southern Tier? Also a typical price for hotels?

Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: litespeed on March 16, 2007, 05:33:21 pm
Get a KOA directory from your local KOA or go to  koa.com. It will give you a good idea of camping prices. Private campgrounds are usually a bit cheaper but not as well maintained.
You will be surprised at how cheap motels are in west Texas towns like Van Horn. They were under $20 when I went that way in 2004. Otherwise I paid $30-40 for motels.
In out-of-the-way, non-touristy towns in the deep south you can often get a very nice, high end motel for $50 or so.
And most anywhere you can often knock down the price on a motel with a little friendly haggling unless it's the only one in town.


Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: randyberlin on March 17, 2007, 11:43:17 pm
It looks like I'm the odd man out; But I love credit card touring. I like eating out and sleeping in clean sheets after a hot shower. Also I like to ride with very little weight. I can cover about 80 to 100 miles and the difference in the cost of ($100/day) can be made up with longer rides in fewer days. I don't feel like I'm going too fast with my head down but I also don't feel like I'm plodding along. For me it's the only way to go.

Title: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: DaveB on March 18, 2007, 10:53:24 am
It looks like I'm the odd man out; But I love credit card touring. I like eating out and sleeping in clean sheets after a hot shower. Also I like to ride with very little weight.

I agree with your take on credit-card touring.  I'd much rather have a clean dry bed and a hot shower followed by a good meal after a day of riding, particularly if the weather is less than ideal.  

If you stick to the plainer chain or mom-and-pop motels and away from major tourist areas the cost isn't much more than camping and the comfort is much better.

BTW, camping in tourist areas isn't cheap either and most of your "neighbors" will be in motor homes or trailers with generators and TV's.  It will be neither economical, quiet or restful.  

For meals, the same technique applies.  Avoid high priced restaurants and your daily meal costs can be very reasonable too.  

The final attraction is being able to ride a bicycle with minimal weight that retains most of it's agility and responsiveness.  Somehow riding a packmule loaded down with a twice its weight in luggage doesn't seem like plesant riding, it seems a lot more like work.

Oh, yes, credit card touring doesn't have to isolate you from other people or eliminate the possibility of being invited to stay or eat at someone's home.  

Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: RoverPass on March 21, 2018, 04:36:44 pm
I'd definitely go the camping route. You should be able to find campsites for half the cost of your average hotel room. I'd check out this site for finding campgrounds:

https://www.roverpass.com (https://www.roverpass.com)
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: PeanutButterShammyCream on March 21, 2018, 05:45:04 pm
In my opinion, camping is a HUGE part of what makes the bike touring experience special. I believe that it really connects you with the land that you are riding through, and it FULLY ENGULFS you in the bike touring experience. Plus, camping is makes the bike tour more difficult, which helps you grow through those difficult situations.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: aggie on March 21, 2018, 06:00:57 pm
Camping will definitely be cheaper than hotels/motels.  I've done a good chunk of the Southern tier at different times of the year.  During the late spring humidity increases quite a bit in the eastern half.  I have difficulty sleeping when camping when it is very humid so it is nice to have an air conditioned room at night.  I do bring along some light camping gear just in case I can't stay a motel.  (I had to camp in Langtry, TX- between Comstock and Sanderson because of headwinds.)  I always carry a little bit of food just in case as well.  When I had to stop in Langtry there wasn't any place to eat.  Like DaveB I really enjoy at hot shower and real bed at the end of the day.  The bathroom sink also makes a good place to clean clothes.  It really depends on what you like to do, what you can afford and what you don't mind putting up with.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: RussSeaton on March 21, 2018, 07:22:34 pm
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas)

How much do camping spots cost in Texas?  And if anyone else wants to throw in amounts for camping spots in various parts of the USA.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: RussSeaton on March 21, 2018, 07:36:37 pm
If you stick to the plainer chain or mom-and-pop motels and away from major tourist areas the cost isn't much more than camping and the comfort is much better. 

For meals, the same technique applies.  Avoid high priced restaurants and your daily meal costs can be very reasonable too. 

A couple years ago I stayed at a motel in western Iowa for $65.  It was a dump basically.  It was in a smaller town in the middle of nowhere.  $85 for a motel in a medium sized town last year in eastern Iowa.  Town had 10 thousand people so it was a big town I guess.  No tourists in these towns.  Motels are at least three times the price of camping.  That is a fact.

If I want to be really cheap I can get by on $10 a day for food eating in restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores.  But basically the cheapest supper restaurant meal you will find anywhere is minimum $10.  Add in $2-3-4 for breakfast food to get you going in the morning.  And $3-4-5 during the day for food.  $20 is minimum for eating out and not cooking.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: John Nelson on March 21, 2018, 11:23:44 pm
I’ve paid as much as $50 for a so-so camping site (in Maine) and as little as $30 for a nice motel room (in Tucumcari). But on average, a motel will cost you about 4 times as much as a camp site. On the TransAm, I averaged less than $2 a night to sleep (because so many places were free).
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: staehpj1 on March 22, 2018, 07:38:08 am
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas), friendlier and quieter.
I agree except for the West Texas part.  I just went over my notes for the west Texas part of my ST ride and I stayed for free more often than I paid.  I stayed in a campsite that I think was 10 or $12 and another that asked for a donation in a big donation jar.  I did stay in a room a couple times and slept in roadside picnic areas or similar places.  I paid more on the gulf coast, but it still wasn't bad.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: SaemiVald on March 22, 2018, 07:50:19 am
It looks like I'm the odd man out; But I love credit card touring. I like eating out and sleeping in clean sheets after a hot shower. Also I like to ride with very little weight. I can cover about 80 to 100 miles and the difference in the cost of ($100/day) can be made up with longer rides in fewer days. I don't feel like I'm going too fast with my head down but I also don't feel like I'm plodding along. For me it's the only way to go.
You are not alone :) I plan on riding TransAmerica this summer with my wife and we plan on staying at hotels and eating at restaurants. We realize this will probably be more expensive than camping and cooking food but on the other hand we will travel much lighter and therefore cover more ground. Fewer days -> less cost.
We have thought about bringing a tent and sleeping bags for the first part of the trip and when the heat becomes misearable to send the camping stuff off to a friend on the east coast. This might be a best-of-both-worlds approach.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: fcoulter on March 22, 2018, 09:19:31 am
Is it even possible to ride the entire Southern Tier without camping?  I would have thought that there would be stretches out west (once you get away from the Pacific Ocean) that are just empty.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: aggie on March 22, 2018, 10:05:09 am
Is it even possible to ride the entire Southern Tier without camping?  I would have thought that there would be stretches out west (once you get away from the Pacific Ocean) that are just empty.
It is possible.  Just be prepared for some long days in a few places.  It may also require some rerouting to insure there is a motel /hotel available.  I went off the route and rode from Del Rio, TX to San Antonio along Hwy 90.  I rejoined the route in Bastrop, TX.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: zzzz on March 22, 2018, 11:47:58 am
If you are willing/able to do some long days (and remember you may be facing a head wind all day) it's been my experience you can tour in the US w/o camping. Conversely, there are some days you will look at the map and do a much shorter day then you like because theres a hotel at 35-40 miles and then the next one is another 90 miles.

I've never done the ST but my first 3 tours were the WE and picked up the TransAM in Co and on to Va., Great Parks North & South bridged by the TransAm route between and the Sierra Cascades route. For those 100± days on the road I camped a total of 1 night when a storm blew in when I was going over a pass. But there is 3 or 4 days mixed in to those trips where I really felt I was in trouble, still out 30 - 40 miles from the next town and I was already completely beat. And I made it   1.....pedal.....stroke.....at.....a..... time.

For those first 3 trips I just carried an emergency bivy. Now I carry the lightest tent & sleeping bag I could find. I still rarely use them but the weight penalty has been worth the peace of mind.

Also, someone else mentioned a budget of a $100 a day and I believe them but I've never been able to do that on any of my trips, I'm probably at 150. The caveat is I consider these trips as a treat and if I go into a town and there's a nice restaurant & a Subway, I eat at the nice restaurant. Or there's 2 hotels and 1 looks pretty frayed, I'll stay at the nicer one.

One last thing, do some homework about whats going on ahead where you plan to stop. At the end of a 100+ mile day I pulled into Brea Ky on the Friday night start of the Brea Bread Spoon Festival(?). Every room in town was booked. I finally found a room in one of the worst places I ever stayed in.

Pete
Title: Zombie thread, was Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: Pat Lamb on March 22, 2018, 11:49:20 am
Am I the only one who noticed this is an 11 year old thread that was revived by a 1-post new user with a username that matches the web site (s)he's pushing?

It would be nice if the moderators could take care of us and filter out all this kind of stuff.  But realistically, it's incumbent on us all to pay a little bit of attention.

Anybody want to bet this is yet another post linking a cute but empty site thrown up by "hobo with a bike?"
Title: Re: Zombie thread, was Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: John Nelson on March 22, 2018, 12:42:46 pm
Am I the only one who noticed this is an 11 year old thread that was revived by a 1-post new user with a username that matches the web site (s)he's pushing?
It's an interesting discussion anyway. I did report that spam post to the moderator yesterday, but (so far) they have left it there.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: Ty0604 on March 25, 2018, 06:47:49 pm
In my opinion, camping is a HUGE part of what makes the bike touring experience special. I believe that it really connects you with the land that you are riding through, and it FULLY ENGULFS you in the bike touring experience. Plus, camping is makes the bike tour more difficult, which helps you grow through those difficult situations.

+1 - Couldn't have said it any better myself.
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: hikerjer on March 25, 2018, 11:21:29 pm
I always go the camping route. That  doesn't mean that I don't use hotels/motels/hostels on occasion when it's appropriate which is usually weather related or when I just want to get cleaned up.  And then there is stealth camping which can be pretty enjoyable and convenient once you get used to it. And don't forget the opportunity presented by Warm Shower hosts. The hotel/motel route can get pretty expensive if you're on a multi-week trip. Besides, I like meeting people in campgrounds and cooking-my own meals.  And then there is the snob appeal. I feel infinitely superior, rightfully or not, to the hotel/motel crowd. Kind of a rugged  individual type thing - at least in my own twisted mind. But that's just me.    Bottom line is to do whatever you can afford and what appeals to you the most. We're all different. :)
Title: Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on March 26, 2018, 10:06:54 am
And then the is the snob  appeal. I feel infinitely superior, rightfully or not, to the hotel/motel crowd. Kind of a rugged  individual type thing - at least in my own twisted mind. But that's just me.

You're not alone in that regard.  ;D