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Basin camground in June with popup camper?

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Offline texasdiver

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Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« on: April 05, 2015, 03:47:02 PM »
Hi guys.  I'm planning an 8-day loop this summer around June 15 from Waco to Carlesbad Caverns NP, then Davis Mountain (to visit McDonald Observatory with my astronomy nut daughter) and then finishing for 2-3 days in Big Bend before the return drive to Waco.  We have never been to Big Bend before but from what I have read, the Basin CG is the only decent place to stay in the summer because the elevation somewhat gets one out of the heat.

I have a Toyota Highlander towing a Fleetwood popup camper that has a 14' long box and is 19' length overall from bumper to hitch ball.  When unfolded the bunks extend the camper length to about 27' but the footprint on the ground is still only the 19' length because they are cantilevered out.  The whole rig is fairly short because the Highlander is also pretty short compared to the full size extended cab pickups so many drive these days.

Am I going to have any trouble getting this rig into the campground or finding a camp site?  Either the campground road or the camp sites themselves?   I understand that it is all first come first serve in June.  We will be coming the short distance from Davis Mountains State Park so can arrive early if necessary to claim a site and will be arriving on a Weds in June.   

Should I be thinking about finding alternative campsite or lodging in Big Bend or am I good to go with this rig?   It is hard to tell from the Parks Service web site what the actual length restrictions are and for what purpose.  Or frankly how problematic it will be to find an appropriate campsite during mid-week in mid-June.


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Offline catz

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Re: Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2015, 04:43:58 PM »
You shouldn't have any problems.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline texasdiver

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Re: Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2015, 07:04:02 PM »
Thanks.   That's what I was assuming from looking at the campground pictures.

What about the heat?  Will it be unbearable to sleep in a tent camper in mid-June?  We can of course open up all the windows and make it into basically a screen enclosure.  But I don't want to torture my family and make it not a fun trip.  We can normally run the air conditioning when we are staying at Texas State Parks in the summer but this will be our first time dry camping with this rig.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2015, 08:53:12 PM »
Usually the temp will get down to the 70's or below during that time. A couple of battery operated fans might help. Shouldn't be a problem getting your rig up there or finding a site at that time of year. Expect some "warm" days. ;)

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2015, 10:11:54 PM »
If you have room for a couple of cots you could sleep cooler outside under the stars. I usually sleep outdoors on the ground in CB and enjoy it a lot. It's dark enough there that you will see lots of stars.

I guess you are timing your visit to coincide with one of the observatory's star parties. The way I understand it, you can't look through the big telescopes in the observatory proper.

Geezer

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Offline Don H

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Re: Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2015, 09:48:26 AM »
We had our popup in the Basin CG in early August several years ago and it was fine.  A little warm during the day but nights were very pleasant - unzip all the flaps and let the mountain air flow through the screens.
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

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Offline catz

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Re: Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2015, 11:11:29 AM »


I guess you are timing your visit to coincide with one of the observatory's star parties. The way I understand it, you can't look through the big telescopes in the observatory proper.

Geezer

I think McDonalds opens up one of the major scopes one night a month.  I know they used to, anyway, because I was there for it.  It was the last Wednesday or Thursday of the month.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline texasdiver

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Re: Basin camground in June with popup camper?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2015, 12:48:40 PM »
Haven't been to McDonald before but from reading their web site they have evening star parties on Tues, Fri, and Sat nights and then special viewing nights with the various big telescopes on infrequent monthly dates throughout the year.  We'll just be planning to hit the ordinary star party.  We'll also be bringing our Celestron NexStar telescope with us in the camper for star viewing in Big Bend which I understand can be pretty good. 

In any event, thanks for the advice.  It sounds like we'll be fine in June with the camper and won't need to contemplate paying for lodging at the lodge or someplace else due to the heat.    If it were just me I'd be backpacking and really exploring the park but with a wife and 3 kids in tow I have to make sure these trips are reasonably pleasant for all or they won't come with me again!

I don't do the generator thing with the camper because I don't see the point.   A standard generator won't run the air conditioning and we really don't need it for anything else.

 


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