Author Topic: Support vehicle on TAT  (Read 1850 times)

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Offline Twitch

Support vehicle on TAT
« on: October 24, 2018, 03:47:10 pm »
Hello all,
First post here. I’ve read a lot about experiences on the TAT but most of them are self supported.  Our trip will be with a camper/trailer support vehicle (wife doesn’t want to ride across, 11 year probably can’t do the ~65 miles / day necessary to fit into a summer break, 13 year old should be fine). Any thoughts, guidance or direction on a camper trailer SAG vehicle on the TAT?  Thanks for sharing any advice or experience you may have.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 04:30:41 pm »
Are you doing a full-hookup trailer/RV or just want "shelter", i.e. a popup trailer would be fine?  Does your wife feel comfortable towing, backing, setting up, tearing down, etc. a trailer or RV?  Do you plan on cooking or eating out mostly?  Will the 11yo ride sometimes or not at all (a few have done it but probably not many have tried)?  Will the wife and 11yo (when not riding) sight see during the day (lots of potential driving) or just go to the next camp and set up?
I have RV'd before so have some experience but need some clarification as to what you are doing with the setup before I can give a realistic answer.

Offline Twitch

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 05:49:50 pm »
John - appreciate the inquiry. It’s a fully contained tow behind, camper trailer. Electric, sewer, kitchen, etc.  don’t need a full service campground every night but probably twice a week minimum for water / sewer, etc.  We’re comfortable staying in campgrounds, church grounds, Walmart parking lot, or whatever works. Frankly I don’t have a good idea of the options available and that is main reason for this post. The wife is fine driving the truck and setting up/breaking down the trailer.  The 11 yo will ride some days and not others. When not riding they’ll likely do a mix of hanging out in trailer and sight seeing. The wife likes the trailer life so she doesn’t need constant tourist activities to be content.

Thanks again for helping us out.


Offline John Nettles

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 06:03:22 pm »
It’s a fully contained tow behind, camper trailer. Electric, sewer, kitchen, etc.  don’t need a full service campground every night but probably twice a week minimum for water / sewer, etc.
To clarify, are you asking about the type of trailer/RV to buy or are you asking which way to do the TA since you already have a trailer?  I thought you were asking about what type of trailer/RV to buy.
If you are asking about the direction, etc. for riding the TA and you just happen to have a RV trailer with you, the answers are basically the same overall as if you did not have a trailer.  The only exceptions might be if this is a large trailer, you might have a little but of difficulty in the National Parks due to popularity of the Parks and the limited places you can park one.
I would think the biggest drawback is that you might be tempted to ride occasionally if you are tired, weather bad, etc. and a lot of times it is the adversities you overcame that make for a great trip.

There will be enough campgrounds, parking spaces, etc. where you can park the RV. 

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 08:46:51 am »
 I don't understand the precise question(s) either.

Offline Twitch

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 10:30:17 am »
John - you answered my largest specific question that there will likely be adequate campgrounds, parking spaces, etc for the camper.

Other than that just looking for any generic tips or guidance. I’ve read several trip reports for self supported rides but couldn’t find one on a trip with a support vehicle.

Thanks

Offline John Nelson

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 10:58:47 am »
Bad news: Some overnight accommodations will be unavailable to you, e.g., hiker/biker sites, probably some town parks, some warm showers hosts, some hostels.

Good news: With a support vehicle, many more accommodations will be available to you because you have greater ability to go farther off route if necessary.

You should be fine. Go at a time of the year when the campgrounds will be open.

Offline Twitch

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 12:16:04 pm »
Good points. Originally I preferred going without a support vehicle but it’s what works best for the family. May work in a handful of tent camping nights just to add to the adventure.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 01:41:07 pm »
BITD I encountered a family of three crossing the country on the TA. The father and daughter were riding a tandem. The wife was driving a relatively small RV. First saw the them in Wisdom, MT, when I was camping at the American Legion (or whatever park) and then again in Dillon, MT. They were staying at a mix of motels, campgrounds, parks or wherever and said they were doing fine. The vehicle afforded the wife plenty of time to scout ahead for places to stay.

Funny story: She had pulled into the park in Wisdom, circled around and then drive off. I saw the husband and daughter ride into town maybe 30 min. later. When I was talking to her in the laundry room of the Dillon KOA the next day I mentioned my stay at the park in Wisdom. She said she had checked out the place but left because she saw some "creepy" person hanging out there. I told her that "creepy" person had been me. Open mouth, insert foot.

Offline fastrog

Re: Support vehicle on TAT
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 07:02:58 pm »
We tried a version of this last year, and it will work. We have one of the smallest minivans -- a Ford Transit Connect Wagon. And a 10 by 10 tent that attaches over the hatch when up. My wife likes keeping an eye on me -- ha ha -- so she would go 10 miles or so ahead and then pull over and wait for me. The deal was if I did not show up in the right amount of time, she would come back looking for me. She writes books and works with students online, so she had no trouble keeping busy. She is fairly new to camping, so I would do most of the setup and take down, just giving orders to pull that tent stake or hold that  tent fly.  This started and ended most of my days with some work, thus cutting into my riding and recovery time, but we were in no hurry. So, if your wife can handle the trailer, congratulations. I will add this: unless you can plan your daily mileage perfectly, you may have issues with campsites. It is my understanding and experience that many of the city parks, fire stations and churches are ONLY for self-contained riders. Because the ACA does such a good job of keeping the route rural and low-traffic, we  sometimes had to drive off-route for a campground. ALSO: Some of the roads are very steep, winding and extremely narrow.  My wife was sometimes anxious in a van. A trailer might be a little sketchy. Read about the road up to Afton, Virginia, and the road DOWN to Vesuvius, Virginia. Footnote (pun intended) I mixed it up 700-800 miles in with a Kentucky groundhog and fell, ending up in the Bardstown emergency room. Broken wrist and big toe withe the other big toe smashed and lots of road rash. I wish you better luck, or skill. BTW: Going back in April to continue the route, so maybe see you out there.