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 > How do you begin to plan for extended road trips?

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obiwancanoli

Napa

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Posted: 06/19/19 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi!

Well, the retirement trigger gets pulled end of the year, and so, I'm beginning to think about my RV travel plans for 2020. I'm not looking (here, anyway) for destinations, but rather, for your thoughts and ideas regarding getting started on the process.

For example, what do you do first? Do you use the Good Sam Trip Planner? If so, how? Do you map out beginning, end, and mileage goals? How many miles a day to plan for, driving a Class A? Do you research your overnight stays using the GS RV book? Other software you like?

On researching RV parks, what questions do you need answers to that the GS book doesn't provide? Do you have a list, i.e., too much or too little shade (satellite reception), site width (for slide-outs and SOME space between guests) where that info. isn't shown (like the GS website Trip Planner). I understand reservations are best, but would I be subject to disappointment if I simply winged it here and there? How much of a problem is this in less popular locations?

This will be my first attempt at an extended road trip, and organizing an overnight stop every 300 miles or so seems to be about right, give or take. If I choose to stay a few extra days here and there, however, it renders the reservation issue somewhat moot. What's the difficult level in finding an overnight site on the fly?

Lwiddis

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Posted: 06/19/19 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don’t over plan and limit my daily mileage to 230 or so. Then I can explore (walk, hike, bike or drive) after setting up camp. Since I prefer boondocking, reservations are hardly ever needed. I pick highways I haven’t traveled before if possible. I might not take them again but I tried them unless the DOT says no trailers.


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2chiefsRus

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Posted: 06/19/19 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lots of questions. I would recommend planning to get reservations for major stops where you know that you really want to be close to x, whatever x is for you. For us it is National Parks. For instance we may have reservations for 6 days at a National Park but not have reservations along the way. It is fairly easy to find campgrounds if your requirements are flexible. We have reservations for July 9- July 15 for a place approximately 1600 miles away but nothing until that. We try to only move from place to place during the week days instead of the more popular weekends.

For non destination stops, we use casinocamper.com and passport america and campgroundreviews.com. Sometimes we travel 250 miles in a day, sometimes up to 475 in a day. We also use WalMart's about 10-15 nights a year if we are just going from place to place and it makes it easier to stock up on supplies.


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kellertx5er

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Posted: 06/19/19 03:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We usually start by selecting our final destination and work backwards from there. Our daily limit is 400 mi, usually less. We select stopovers based upon this limit, preferring state or USACE parks (less $$$ and more like camping). We rarely attempt to stay anywhere without reservations.


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jkwilson

Indiana

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Posted: 06/19/19 03:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like to have the first night booked. Might seem trivial, but in all the running around getting ready to go, it puts my mind at ease to have one less thing to deal with on the road. Generally the roads I’m driving the first day are somewhat familiar and I may already have an idea where my gas stop is going to be as well.

Once on the road, we figure out the route for the next day in the evening. Sometimes turn by turn and sometimes general. Once it gets to be lunchtime, we start looking for a spot for the night since we have a better idea of how far we’ll get. If we are looking in campgrounds, we check availability. If there seem to be openings we’ll hit the road and maybe book a site later in the day. If sites seem tight during our lunchtime search, we may go ahead and try to find something we can book then or expand our range.

What I really try to avoid is finding out after 8 hours on the road that there’s no place good to stay, but 100 miles back there were plenty.

We are still fairly new, so we are still learning the process.

We had to improvise a few weeks ago when we got caught in traffic from a truck accident. We lost almost 3.5 hours. It was 7pm when we started moving again. Middle of nowhere. We asked a deputy sheriff if there was someplace we could camp nearby and he directed us to an old motel that had 7 RV sites behind it. Just 3 miles away and we found no hint of it in any of our online searches.


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K Charles

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Posted: 06/19/19 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We deside what direction we want to go, tell the post office to hold the mail and then go. During the week there is always a camp ground close by that is not full. We never make reservations but don't expect to get into a national park when kids are out of school. We have found many places of interest where there wasn't supposed to be anything. Don't make your plans too strict, relax.





wildtoad

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Posted: 06/19/19 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We’ve found that 300 miles a day is too much. My days of seeing how long I can go are behind me. Others will go farther. We figure 50 mph is a good number counting stops for biological, food, fuel needs. Don’t like getting anywhere after dark, or feeling rushed to get somewhere. A two night stop every couple of days gives time to rest and see some along the way.


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2oldman

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Posted: 06/19/19 04:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My style is as few reservations as possible. That's just work, and having to maintain a schedule.

I Google map about where I want to be, and pick 4 or 5 spots, like state parks, logging roads, wide spots in the road. To successfully do this you need to carry everything, like water and electricity. It's not for everyone, but I do like the sense of adventure.

Reservations are hardly ever needed unless it's a holiday and you're in a tourist place. Good luck!

Dick_B

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Posted: 06/19/19 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We keep an Excel spreadsheet of all of the days in the summer and fill it in as we decide what to do. It's easy to change the information IF you know how to use Excel!


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TexasShadow

Spring Branch, TX USA

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Posted: 06/19/19 05:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

when we first started, 20+ years ago, we bought a used MH because we didn't want to get too deep until we knew it was a good choice of travel for both of us. A few years later, we bought a good used diesel MH and still have it.

So our first trips: how long did we want to stay out and then what did we want to see or do?
I like to use an old fashioned Atlas from Walmart to "map out" the wheres and which roads. Then I looked for overnight places to stay...some rv parks and some state parks or fair grounds, and some city parks. and walmarts.
For our destinations, a reserved spot is nice to have until you get used to "winging it"
we used to put in long days...now we pull out around 10a.m. and stop around 4p.m.
for the popular places like yellowstone or grand canyon, you need to get reservations as early as you can...6 months is not too long, a year is best if you're picky about time.
our walmart stayovers are timed for when we need to resupply.

Now days, I tell DH where I want to go and he tells Garmin. [emoticon]


TexasShadow
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