Campgrounding from Kayak Trailer

-- Last Updated: May-31-08 6:27 AM EST --

Camping for Dummies, please help me.

I plan to trailer camp, in a campground, with my flatbed/box-type utility trailer which I use to haul kayaks. I will use an inflatable mattress and a tarp overhead. I have not camped in a campground since I was ten.

It sort of looks like this:

Questions: What section of the campgroudn would I reserve (I know, call the campground operator): tent site? RV site? Do tent site have hookups?

Key question: Power-- can I use a regular, high quality outdoor extension cord (the orange ones) to hook up for power? DO I need a special adapater.

Water--garden hose (clean one, or a camping RV hose) hookup to site?

I would like water (rinse gear, self, drink) and power (laptop, charge cell, small radio).

Thoughts? Anything else I am not thinking of here?

Some answers:
1. Some RV campgrounds have full hook-ups, some have just water and electric and others have no hookups. Others have some of each

2.what you should ask for is a “water” and “Electric” only (you pay more for one with a sewer hook up.

3 Get a regular fifty foot extension cord, (25 might do, but I have been where 25 won’t reach the power pole)

4. Most of the RV parks have a 20 amp plug for your extensin cord, but some just have the thirty amp female socket, so you should pick up a thiry amp adapter, just in case. You can get them for a couple of bucks at Walmart in the Auto/Rv section.

5 On the hose: the purists will tell you that you shouldn’t drink out of a green garden hose, but I grew up doing it, and I am still live and well at this ripe old age.

I have a couple of short white ones and a fifty foot long green one. I strongly advise getting at least fifty feet, since like your electric hook up, you might end up out of reach in some parks for the short one.

Hope this covers it,



Some more:
- Don’t forget a couple of wheel chocks. You don’t want to go rolling down a hill in the middle of the night.

  • Also don’t forget about leveling your trailer.

    I use “Lynx-lock” levelers, (Also sold at Wally world). they are bright orange blocks about a inch thick and a foot square, and interlock like legos.

    If you want to go cheap, you can use chunks of 2" x 10".( I like the light weight of the Lynx-lock)
  • Level side to side first before you unhitch. stand behind the trailer and eyeball it for side to side level. If your are not level use the leveler blocks either in front or behind the wheel that is low, and then either pull onto or back onto the block(s).

    After you unhitch, level from front to back using the tongue jack. If you have a picky “bride” like I do keep her happy, ( if she is happy, you’ll be happy) by the use of a small level. Have her watch the level as you raise or lower the tongue jack.

    if I think of more, I’ll chime back in.



The ones I am familier with…
…wouldn’t allow your “camper”… neither tent nor RV. Would advise you to call ahead.

I’m sure that there are many others that wouldn’t care.

JackL and Grayhawk

– Last Updated: Jun-01-08 8:07 AM EST –

Thanks for the tips, JackL. I will look for the parts you mention at Wal-Mart, and ask appropriately now with the RV park.

"If you have a picky "bride" like I do keep her happy, ( if she is happy, you'll be happy)"--I agree with you. My bride is picky also. Thus she stays at home. :-)

Grayhawk, you have hit on a key point. I will indeed call first, but I am confused still about something--I have driven by (close to road) some campgrounds, seemingly in warm weather climes, such as during my recent trip to southern CA (actually, state owned campgrounds), that literally look like a hurricane relief center. People had bikes, tarps, laundry lines, huge BBQs, and on and on.

So, for instance at Pennekamp, what would they say to a tidy 5x7 utility trailer with a blow up mattress and tarpoline or some form of overhead shelter (not just a fellow sleeping on an exposed mattress, scratching himself). If I had a giant 12x12 tent that I could erect over the trailer (so one couldn't even see the trailer), does that make it alright? Are "primitve tent camping" sites, as I see them listed in the camping websites, mean that--only tents and not a utility trailer, or does it mean just primitive (no power and water)? WOuld a campground allow me to be sandwiched between a couple of 40 foot Newman RV mega-monsters?

Any thoughts, anyone?

box trailer camping
I wouldn’t worry about being turned away from any state or county campgrounds with your box trailer set-up; I have seen plenty of campers hauling bikes and toys on that type of trailer.

Private campgrounds, however, are known for being very picky about rigs.

I know a hard-core car-camping family that packs everything they use onto the same type of utility trailer. They use a tent, though. I hope you’ve thought about bugs! You would probably be more comfortable in a simple tent set up next to your trailer.

Measure your rig from bumper to bumper (car + trailer) and ask the campground if you will fit in the tent-camping sites or which ones you will fit in.

No problem at Pennekamp or any
other Florida State Park.

I have seen every type get-up that you can imagine.

When you make a reservation through Reserve America, all they want is the length and type of your rig. Just call it a travel trailer.

I think what Grayhawk is referring to are the private gated ones, and I can fully understand that, since there are many people that either own their own spots, are rent for the entire season.

Last year at Bahia Honda, there was a guy that set up just like you describe, but I think he had his life long belongings with him.

A few weeks later we met him again at Pennekamp.



I’d think about mosquitos and such
That steel mesh on the floor will let most of them through

“Primitive tent camping” sites
They vary, but I know of at least one that did not allow a VW camper bus to camp there because it is considered an RV. Ask first.

Usually, “primitive tent camping” means no flat place to park, might mean parking along a road or other communal area, no toilets or water or trash disposal. Pack it in and pack it out. May not have space for both a tow rig and a trailer.