View Full Version : Practicality of husband following me with rv?

04-18-2015, 12:10
I may have the luxury of having hubby follow me in the rv and meeting up in trail towns. Has anybody done that/seen that?doany hostels/motels allow rvs on their property overnight, and are there campgrounds along the way for rvs?

Spirit Walker
04-18-2015, 12:18
Hikers have done this on all three of the big trails. There are a lot of campgrounds not far from the trail. You may be able to meet up with your husband almost every night. It puts a lot of pressure on you to do the miles and will change the nature of the hike, but it also allows you to share the experience. It can get very boring for the support person, so do it only if he has something that will keep him happy while waiting around for you.

04-18-2015, 14:17
Hike your own Hike! That sounds like a great idea to share the experience of a lifetime with a partner who doesn't want to hike it, but will follow and support the journey. Wonder if I can convince my wife to do that when I retire and thru hike?! A long day hike with a hot shower and bed at night sounds good to me!

04-18-2015, 15:19
I met a couple from CA about 10 years ago, the husband hiked and the wife hung out in the camper which was a small Winnebago (class B or smaller). The husband hiked with a pack equipped with overnight gear just in case. There are plenty of road crossings spaced a day apart except for a few places down south like the smokies. Many of the road crossing are dirt FS roads and far better suited for small campers. They are not appropriate for class A camper and to try will case damage to the vehicle due to low clearance. In the national forests there are all sorts place to pull over to camp so being able to be self sufficient for a few days is handy. Once you hit VT, there will be stretches where the roads are not a day apart and this happens more often as you head north. There was a book by a AT thruhiker that day hiked the majority of the trail.

Even in the areas where there is not a road crossing on the trail, there may be side trails to trailheads not that far off the trail. In the whites, the trailheads are usually 2000 to 3000 feet off the ridge line and about 3 to 5 miles so the practicality of day hiking.

04-18-2015, 15:31
There were plenty of support vehicles on the trail last year, seemed to work out nicely and was a heck of a way to get into town when hitch hiking was tough. I always liked to stay near these folks as they always had snacks and soda waiting for them at crossings, and usually enough for friends as well!

Lone Wolf
04-18-2015, 15:52
I may have the luxury of having hubby follow me in the rv and meeting up in trail towns. Has anybody done that/seen that?doany hostels/motels allow rvs on their property overnight, and are there campgrounds along the way for rvs?

very practical, especially if the RV is a small one. lots of campground, trailhead and motel parking (with permission)

04-18-2015, 16:04
Last year there was a couple who did exactly that with a pick up truck. She hiked, he met her at road crossings. Sometimes it was a day or two before they crossed paths. I met him at Mcafee Knob parking area he was shuttling other hikers to town while he waited for his wife. He also had a cooler full of cokes :)

04-18-2015, 17:37
If you pull this off then we need to talk. I have a glorious plan of a VERY long hike when I retire and have been trying to get my saint wife to follow in an RV. I haven't even seen a crack in the resistance!

04-18-2015, 17:47
I love your humor.

I think my husband may feel better about following me rather than me going alone. If and when I do a hike I will let you know.

04-18-2015, 18:21
I did this through some sections in the south. A cold beer and hot shower after hiking all day followed by a real meal dressed in cotton. Then sleeping with my wife at night instead of snoring strangers. In the morning real eggs and bacon prior to a kiss goodbye for the day. Priceless. My wife has some hobbies that kept her happy during the day or days before we connected again.

04-18-2015, 18:22
I would love to find someone to do the PCT using a car and doing key swaps.

04-18-2015, 18:42
check with Jennifer Pharr Davis on how she and her husband coordinated support on her AT hikes. If you have good GPS and mapping, you can plan ahead where the roads intersect with the trail and work it out. Sounds like a great idea, good luck

04-18-2015, 19:23
I've fantasized about such a trip. I'm not even insisting on an RV; follow me in my small car with a re-supply, trips to town, and a portable shower (http://www.hotjugz.com/)would be just fine. I'm perfectly willing to spend the money on the equipment and supplies but my problem is finding the support person, especially at a price I might be willing to pay.

Not only has it been done, but there is already a book about it.
Exploring The Appalachian Trail By Rv, Sort Of (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1441425799/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=5WOUQU7WW9RU&coliid=I50P4ZTHUD56T)

04-18-2015, 19:58
Thanks for the book link, just bought it!

04-18-2015, 21:40
Not only will you have to work around another person, you will also need to support a machine. I met a couple doing that on the CDT. A few minor mechanical problems essentially stopped the hike. Before that, the hiker was skipping sections of trail, too, to make things easier on the driver. It didn't work out for them.

04-19-2015, 05:58
Supporting a "machine" these days is not really an issue unless the "machine" was a piece of junk to begin with or a lemon.

ny breakfast
04-19-2015, 07:53
If significant other doesn't have any hobbies consider picking up a sewing machine and some books on sewing. just don't let them in on the secret.

Rain Man
04-19-2015, 08:27
There were plenty of support vehicles on the trail last year, seemed to work out nicely and was a heck of a way to get into town when hitch hiking was tough. I always liked to stay near these folks as they always had snacks and soda waiting for them at crossings, and usually enough for friends as well!

I wonder if you realize how this sounds?

To the OP, yes, what you asked about has been done many times. The AT usually (not always, though) crosses at least one road a day, sometimes many roads per day.

You might miss out on the socializing that goes on in the evenings at camp on the trail, but that's just HYOH (hike your own hike), a choice you make about what works for you.

Have fun! That's the main thing.

Just Bill
04-19-2015, 11:27
I think your original post alludes to the best way to make this work- "meet up in trail towns along the way".

Many people do this every year in some form or another, but I think the plan you allude to is the best balance. Don't go full support, but pick some practical trail towns to meet in and plan on that.

The logistics (for both parties) are much harder when trying to meet everyday.
The experience is harder too as mentioned as a hiker, you miss a lot not spending a few nights at a crack "on the trail" traditionally.
Same for the spouse, lot's of things to do along the trail, but also lots of things that are tough to cram in when trying to make it back every day.

Much better for all if you simply meet in trail towns IMO. I've met a few folks along the trails doing this- seems best when you think of it as normal life- your job is hiking, spouse's job is playing tourist- and you get together and enjoy the "weekend" when you hit trail towns and take a zero. You each do what you have to do, then spend time together when the "work" is done.

It also avoids a bit of ugliness in regards to your spouse getting "stuck" or forced into Angel status. The only real complaint I have heard from anyone doing this is that the support gets taken advantage of by the hiker and/or fellow hikers. Many times it's not even intentional, more one of those, "Well you do have this RV along..." The hiker themselves may even unintentionally do this to their spouse, as you bond with your fellow hikers and think of them as family, you'll naturally invite them along to share your town trips. But your spouse has been on their own and looking to see YOU on the weekend, not share you with the people you just spent all week with.

That said, my wife and I did a short trip this way when she was pregnant with our first. She enjoyed having dinner with some hikers I met very much. But we kept it to dinner and our "weekend" was for us.

Warren Doyle has lots of info on full supported trips.
Brew Davis's book is interesting reading although not that helpful. Even on Jen's record trip though he found plenty of fun, brewery stops, and vacation of his own.

I hiked with a fella from Australia who had his wife following with him in a truck camper.
And a gal like yourself who's hubby met up with her on the back half of her section hike. Although his support was a car, credit card, and hotels. :D

On the RV side- think small/versatile and you'll be fine.
If spouse wants lots of side trips, and/or you want trailside pickups- a truck/trailer or tow vehicle makes much more sense than a true RV IMO.
Of the folks who have used an RV I agree with others, the smaller truck campers or Class B motorhomes work best.
As Lone Wolf mentioned, keep the size of your rig reasonable and you will find life easier in regards to staying places or fitting into hostels.

I think this is one of the best ways for a family to take a trip together that works for everyone, Best of luck!

04-19-2015, 12:37
https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR69ZzKHmqUQsJ1FMNlADR5cmDAqfiPj rYq8v2po_UBoJtK1NYw
Nothing could go wrong with the plan.

04-19-2015, 12:56
I would do it the way Just Bill describes, meeting hubby every 4 or 5 days. we will try this out on the Colorado Trail this Summer, although he hasn't agreed to do it for the AT, yet.

04-19-2015, 16:33
"I wonder if you realize how this sounds?"

My apologies, you're right, that sounded pretty bad, let me try it again.

Yes, there were plenty of hikers on the trail last year with support teams, I spent a lot of time near or around both father son and father daughter tandems working their way north. This will make getting to town very easy for you and resupply on the go (which is a splendid luxury)! I was lucky enough to receive some great help from many of these support teams as they usually would jump at the chance to get other hikers to town while waiting for their hiker. You will be a popular person amongst your friends on the trail!

04-19-2015, 17:23
I would suggest that you not use deodorant soap for your nightly shower. You'll make all the hikers gag whose paths you cross.

Alleghanian Orogeny
04-20-2015, 08:28
I've looked in to a similar hike but with my buddy also hiking (and thus no one back in camp). I've scouted virtually all of the road crossings and dead-ends near trailheads from I-40 on the north side of the GSMNP to Front Royal, VA. A few thoughts are:

There are around 400 road crossings of the AT. Long stretches without any in the Smokies, the Whites, and in Maine (but even in Maine's 100 Mile Wilderness, the network of logging roads is available to those willing to pay the overnight use or day use fees, which are considerable). Many of the road access points in GA/NC/TN/and Southwest VA are narrow, winding, and gravel or dirt-surfaced roads. This makes a larger RV impractical if not impossible to use on the southern 1/3 to 40% of the AT's length.
There are many, many campgrounds reasonably close to the AT (and a goodly number virtually right on it), from primitive National Forest (NF) units with only water and a vault toilet to full-blown RV campgrounds. Generally speaking, however, workable campgrounds will be between a half-hour to an hour's drive from a drop-off point or pickup point.
I'd only consider using a camper unit which can carry 3 days of water (including shower water) and has a good water heater, dual house batteries, and a recharging mechanism (solar or generator). I use a small, quiet Honda generator and can charge my batteries in just an hour to hour and a half during daytime hours when there are few others in the campground to be bothered by the slight hum it produces.
A very comfortable way to do this would be to map out a series of base camps out of which you can access the trail for at least a couple or three nights in a row. This allows the support person to substantially reduce the workload of "closing up" and moving the camper daily. Our working plan is to use a small popup trailer and thus be able to leave it set up when it's not a "moving day" when the move to the next base camp site is required.
We plan to keep a cooler in the shuttle vehicle in order to provide a cold drink to any hikers we encounter, and to keep space in the vehicle to offer rides to others, as well.
A small, lightweight popup such as a hardside A-frame tows easily with a small SUV, small pickup truck, or even a minivan, and sets up literally in a minute or two.
If I had my druthers, I'd tow it with at least a small SUV having 4WD or AWD.
The support person will have plenty to do after returning to camp following delivery of the hiker to the trailhead, be it just keeping camp clean, prepping the night's meal, resupply in town, or picking up and moving to the next base camp.
Ignore any snark your inquiry may bring. The AT is a place with as many ways to access it and enjoy it as there are people wanting to do so. HYOH!

Enjoy the planning and the hike and the road trip!


04-20-2015, 08:59
One thing I think is that you'll be more likely to hold up in the RV on rainy days and you might not make the necessary miles to finish. But so what. Enjoy your hike. And you'll miss the comradire of the camp/shelter sites.