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Motorhome and Ragbrai? (newbie)

We are new to this, we have a 37′ motor home and got a couple questions, we purchased a Support/RV Pass.

We have done Ragbrai 6 times but did hotels.

1. Does the campground have plenty of space for motor homes?

2. Is there a way to get power and/or water? Are generators ran overnight?

3. Anyone know of a way to find a driver? My wife will be in a car behind us to get us but does not want to drive the RV so I would have to backtrack and then get the RV and bring it to the next city every day after my ride.

4. Are the “Ragbrai campgrounds” open the next day for a overnight? We are thinking of just staying there the previous night and then moving the next day.

6 Replies

LawnchairMan, April 6, 2019 at 11:37 pm

Wow! You’ve been able to find hotels in each town for six Ragbrais?

The motor home without a driver sounds like a logistical nightmare. Are you saying that you would ride in the morning and your wife would meet you with a car. Then you would drive the car back to the motor home, hitch the car to the motor home and drive both back? Don’t forget that at Ragbrai there are lines everywhere. I have never driven any motor vehicle at Ragbrai, but I have heard that there are lines for those too. There are designated routes where traffic can pile up. Your wife would have to go through it first, then you.

Are you or your wife so opposed to camping? You can get air mattresses that make any ground comfy. Or you could get on the lists, when they come out, for sleeping in peoples’ homes. It just seems like all the driving would eat up so much time that you would miss the Ragbrai experience.

I consider myself an introvert. By camping I have been able to open up and meet new friends. It’s hard not to meet neighbors when you are pitching a tent. Don’t be shy, come out and try it!

There is no “bad” way to do Ragbrai if you enjoy it that way. Hope it works out for you.

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Sam Boyer, April 7, 2019 at 4:51 am

Yeah 6, we book hotels seconds after they launch the dates. However sometimes we have to book a hotel that is 30+ miles away.

We have 5 little kids who will be with us, we prefer to be in our camper. She is not a rider and so is 2 of my other young girls, but the other 3 go with me.

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Herschel, April 7, 2019 at 11:35 am

My wife drives our 31 foot motor home as our support team. If we riders can get out early she has leaned to hit the road early and beat much of the lines, on the road and at campsites. To answer some of your questions:

1) There has always been a place to park, sometimes Walmart but all you need is a place. RV campgrounds are separate from tent camping. I know some RV people who contact churches in the overnight towns to use their parking lots for a donation.
2) In the dedicated RV parking generators are used although to be a nice neighbor I bought a stack to vent exhaust above the roof, check Amazon. Don’t count on water or electricity, you need to be self contained.
3) I would say you need a dedicated driver for the motor home otherwise the logistics will overwhelm you. Maybe check your local school for a bus driver looking for a summer gig.
4) Don’t know.

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Sam Boyer, April 7, 2019 at 11:45 am

Thanks Herschel, your suggestions help alot. I even have a friend who drives a bus… never thought about that.

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Sandaltan ., April 7, 2019 at 5:40 pm

A fireman or a farmer make good choices for a big rig RV driver. Both have handled large equipment.

RIDE RIGHT

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KenH, April 8, 2019 at 8:13 am

1. Does the campground have plenty of space for motor homes?

Generally yes but if you plan is to ride to town and then have your wife drive you back to the previous town to get your MH the good spaces will be gone and there could be no room left.

2. Is there a way to get power and/or water? Are generators ran overnight?

Generally no water or power. Some private campgrounds in overnight towns may have that for a fee but they sell out fast so you have to act quick. Even that is rare. The overnight towns will have dump stations and fill stations but again if you are leaving town late in the day as you plan they may not be open any longer when you get to them. There could be long lines if you get to them while they are open but I would not know. We dry camp all week when I take our MH. We only use the onboard facilities for washing up and dire toilet emergencies. People typically run generators all night long in the RV campgrounds.

3. Anyone know of a way to find a driver? My wife will be in a car behind us to get us but does not want to drive the RV so I would have to backtrack and then get the RV and bring it to the next city every day after my ride.

I’ve had very little luck with this so my team of 3-4 riders just splits the driving among us most years. School district bus drivers are a good suggestion. I tried that one year and quickly got an interested driver but my team tends to prefer driving themselves to paying much for someone else to drive and they all bailed out on me that year anyway so I never went through with that or repeated the experiment. You could even contact the school district in the end town each year to see if they would have anyone interested in driving for you. You will be dropping them off at their home town at the end of the ride although you might have to make a detour to pick them up at the beginning. Keep an eye on this forum, occasionally someone will pop up and offer to drive for the week.

Personally I wish someone in Iowa would organize a pool of interested drivers for us, vet them for good driving records, and provide a way for us to connect with them. I think there is enough interest to make this worthwhile.

4. Are the “Ragbrai campgrounds” open the next day for a overnight? We are thinking of just staying there the previous night and then moving the next day.

Not sure I understand what you are asking here. You are probably OK to leave your MH in place until late in the day when your wife can drive you back to it. You should probably leave a sign in the window to let people know that you will be back to move your vehicle and about when along with a phone number where you can be reached.

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