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Old 09-19-2016, 12:16 PM   #1
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Location: Clarkston, MI
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help planning successful first trip in MI

I'm trying to convince my wife to do some boondocking. We upgraded to an eagle 284bhbs trailer (34') this year with larger water tanks and I've gotten 400W of solar on it to help out. I want to take her somewhere nice in MI for a first boondocking trip in Oct.

The thing I'm nervous about is just where to go. We've got the Huron and Manistee forests around and I've seen photos of folks in these forests, but I'm just not sure where to head with the trailer. I guess I'm nervous about getting into the park and going in circles looking for a place that is legit. I don't see much online as far as park info.

Does anyone have a known/recommended spot in either of these areas? Ideally I'd like somewhere that the wife gets a view, some hiking/biking she can do easily and hopefully falls in love with the more isolated experience.

Thanks for the info.

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Old 09-19-2016, 01:04 PM   #2
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I can't help on the where, but I will give a bit of relationship advice...

Make sure the DW is OK with the foul-ups, bleeps and blunders that will occur while you are coming to terms with EXACTLY what it takes to be 100% self-sufficient in your RV. My ex-wife could not handle any situation that did not run as planned. (I am happy to report that my current SWMBO lives for the unexpected.)

You want you and your wife to have a wonderful time. Make sure that "perfect" is NOT on the list of expectations.

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Old 09-19-2016, 01:50 PM   #3
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Hah, good advice. I think there's some truth to that. However, since this boondocking thing is my idea and I think she'll enjoy it once we do it, I'm more worried about trying to lower the learning curve.

Ideally, I'd grab the truck and spend some time scouting around and finding a series of potential spots so that if we head up there and something's taken I'd have a ready backup plan and such. On top of that there's a lot of places, but it's kind of impossible to tell where I could get the trailer into without actually going their first.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:23 PM   #4
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We have stayed at a campground called Ambrose Lake State Park up Near Rose City, West Branch. Really nice primitive park with lots of trees and about 20 sites I think. Sites are big and really easy to get in and out, there is a small lake and if your lucky some of the sites back onto water. Clear Lake is 5 min drive away and has a great roadhouse/ bar/ pizza. Rose City and West Branch 15 min drive if your bored. Weekends could get a bit noisier as it is right on the ORV trails and a popular campground for ATV people but during the week it should be empty.


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Old 09-19-2016, 04:44 PM   #5
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Never trailer camped in Michigan but for your target area here is some info on what campgrounds to head for.

Its got size limits but you have to do a bit of ferreting

Huron-Manistee National Forests - Camping & Cabins:RV Camping
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:05 PM   #6
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You may want to ease into the boondocking concept slowly with the DW, keeping the lack of amenities to a minimum....., initially.

The Lake Michigan Recreation Area (Federal rustic campground) is a great place on the shores of Lake Michigan, great for biking, and plenty of hiking trails (Nordhouse Dunes Trails). There isn't any electric but there are a couple water spigots in each of the campground loops. The road/site pads are asphalt and RV friendly.

This rustic campground is located between Ludington and Manistee (8 miles east of US-31), nice campground deep in the Manistee National Forest. There are also remote campsites within the Manistee forest area (access vis forest roads) outside the area of campground loops.

Call ahead to confirm when they close things down for the winter (normally late October). I camped there a couple weeks ago.

Facility Details - LAKE MICHIGAN AT MANISTEE, MI - Recreation.gov

Here are a couple more of my favorite rustic Federal CG's in Lower Michigan:

Facility Details - PETERSON BRIDGE, MI - Recreation.gov

Facility Details - MONUMENT CAMPGROUND, MI - Recreation.gov

Also, click on the JOF "Community" tab, then click on "Social Groups", and look for "Michigan Campers and Campgrounds"........ more info there.



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