I've been hanging out here for a little while and learning alot. Thanks all. Now I have a few questions that I hope aren't too dumb.
I ride a road bike on bike trails and club rides, nothing too long, but I'm getting back into riding shape. I've been giving serious thought to getting into touring. I am a backpacker so I have all the camping equipment. I'm thinking about 2-7 day camping trips and have been researching bikes. I have a 90s era Gary Fischer (no suspension) MTB that I was thinking about setting up and using it for touring/camping. I put on road type tires, 26x1.5 and tuned it up. Mechanically it works great. I have ridden it on some of the routes that I normally ride the road bike on. I'm surprised at how much more effort it takes with the MTB. I expected the MTB to be less efficient but on a 25 mile ride it seems like much more work.
So now I'm thinking of a touring bike. Like so many others I don't want to spend the money if I don't tour very often. I've looked at an REI Randonee and a Trek 520. I think either would work well for me. My question (for now) is will a touring bike be significantly more efficient than the MTB for touring? Maybe it's just a matter of conditioning?