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Old 12-30-2003, 08:01 AM   #1
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Question 1st Major Road Trip

Well, it's been a long time coming, but in one month I'll be heading out from San Diego to South Padre Island, Texas.

Any hints on what a non-mechanical person should bring besides a credit card, AAA membership and a cell phone?

I have new tires, breakaway switch, Prodigy brake controller, bearings packed, W/D hitch, friction anti sway bar(still in the box).

I'm not going to make a marathon out of this and plan on stopping around 4 in the afternoon, and early starts in the mornings. Any hints on places to stop for the night? I see KOA's on the way, but all I really need is a safe place to sleep. Being a solo woman should I look for them (KOA)?

I'll be heading on the I-8 to the 10. I'll probably do some sightseeing on the way back.
Any hints, clues, ideas, dire warnings would be appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2003, 08:22 AM   #2
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1st Major Road Trip

Greetings Diana!

As a Free Wheeler, I always look for a commercial campground when traveling. My preference for overnight stops for the past 25 years has been KOA - - not always the quietest places to stay, but I have yet to feel insecure when camped at a KOA - - wish that I could say that about some of the other commercial campgrounds that I have visitied.

Your prepartions appear to be progressing well. If you haven't already done so, I would suggest carrying at least two campground directories - - I usually carry the Trailer Life Directory as well as Woodalls - - there is some overlap, but there are also unique entries in each of the directories.

Enjoy your adventure!

Kevin
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Old 12-30-2003, 12:12 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Good luck in your travels

I was looking at your photos and you have done a lot of nice work to your trailer. I hope your trip works out well for you.

I was thinking of an extended trip next year as well and wondered how many vintage owners actually make these long journeys.

Be sure and post back how your trip went.
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Old 12-30-2003, 12:34 PM   #4
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1st Major Road Trip

Greetings Safari Tim!

Quote:
I was thinking of an extended trip next year as well and wondered how many vintage owners actually make these long journeys.
There are a number of us with Vintage coaches who have traveled extensively with minimal trouble. My '64 has been my travel vehicle for a number of summers, and it has not been uncommon to be traveling for six or more weeks covering 8,000 miles or more. My summer travel plans with the Minuet include a trip to Alaska - - probably in excess of 9,500 miles and several weeks of travel time. Pre-planning is helpful as is a very thorough check-up for running gear and appliances. The major expense in preparing the Minuet was a new axle.

Don't let the age of your Airstream be any kind of deterrent to its enjoyment. With proper maintenance, your Vintage coach can be every bit as dependable as a late model coach.

Every summer, there are Vintage coaches from all over the US and from most of the Canadian provinces at the WBCCI International Rally. There are any number of owners who travel many thousands of miles each year with their Vintage coaches. I have actually enjoyed traveling with my Vintage coach more than with my later model brand X coaches of the past.

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Old 12-30-2003, 12:38 PM   #5
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Hey Tim, I'm about to depart Vermont for Florida in a few days (1500 miles). I think there are a lot of vintage owners who make long journeys.

My first night will have to be in a commercial campground because I'll need electric for my little space heater. (I don't use the catalytic heater while sleeping.) But after that I'll probably just do the Wal-Mart thing, since I'm only passing through and won't be using the amenities of a campground.

It will be interesting to see at what latitude I can de-winterize and begin using the plumbing!

-- RL
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:01 PM   #6
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Cool Sounds great.

That's good to hear.

I think my trailer is up to the task. I have put on new tires, had the bearings packed and breaks checked this year and all is good.

I upgraded my to vehicle this year as well.

Over the last couple of years I put in a new fridge, new A/C, new plumbing supply lines and a new water heater.

I have really been toying with the idea of going from CA to Disneyworld.

How long does a drive like that take without killing yourself. We have a 13 year old and a 2 year old to take with us. Santa brought them a portable DVD player for use in the truck! Another road trip preperation!

Also, how do us non grey tankers handle walmart overnight stays?
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:18 PM   #7
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1st Major Road Trip

Greetings Safari Tim!

While I am a Free Wheeler, I often caravan with friends who have young children. We usually plan on stopping about once every two to three hours for a rest break. Typically on such excursions, we travel five to seven hours in a day. If the terrirtory is familiar, the travel day may be extended or if we have pre-planned reservations for campground accommodations.

We always utilize campgrounds - - commercial, state park, or National Parks - - so I can't provide much input regarding your question about Wal Marting. Even using campgrounds, we often find it necessary to use our blue tanks as many of the older parks have very limited sites with sewer connections.

Good luck with your plans!

Kevin
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:42 PM   #8
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Our little trailer has been to Alaska and across the country and back a few times as I understand it, all with the previous owner. I am planning a trip to Oklahoma next year, which will be our biggest trip yet, and I have to say I haven't really thought at all about the trailer giving us any trouble. I've done the wheel bearings and the tires are new, and the propane has been inspected for leaks, so I expect everything else will be fine. As long as it's able to roll along behind us, nothing else will be that big a deal.

I highly recommend if you don't have one you should get a good tool kit with an assortment of screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches, and electrical repair bits, just in case you need them. I also have plumbers tape, and some JB weld (you never know when you might need it). I have already found the screwdrivers and wrenches to come in handy on our short trips. Don't forget the duct tape! You probably won't need any of it, but just in case you need to play MacGyver halfway through your trip you'll have something to work with

Personally, we prefer to stay in a campgrouns as opposed to staying in a Walmart. It's only $20 or so, and we would have spent more than that in a hotel, so it's still a good deal. And it just feels safer to me. I don't even care much for stopping in a highway rest area for dinner, I'm watching out the windows the whole time. I'm sure I wouldn't be comfortable by ourselves in a parking lot. But that's just me.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:53 PM   #9
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Ca to Disneyworld?

Are you saying Disney in CA or FL? If I assume the San Fran area - an easy 10-12 hour trip via I 5 (Boring for kids) with the trailer. Better would be a two day coast trip. I used to live in Irvine. I'd camp either on the beach up north a bit, or down in Newport at the back bay (much closer). Lots of stuff for the kids to see in Newport (plus shopping at Fashion Island for the parents).

Florida? No idea! I did drive across I 90 -80 from WA to NJ in 5 1/2 grueling solo days last May. I'd not do this with kids - even with a DVD player in less then 2 weeks. I wish I had more time to muck around in the stopping areas. It'd be much more interesting to check out the local flavor - although some areas, 5 minutes was more then enough local flavor for me!!
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Old 12-30-2003, 03:16 PM   #10
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South Padre Island, TX.

Diana,
I sent you a pm but thought I would also post some of my comments here. I could not remember if a Globetrotter is a single axle or double but would check to see if your Tahoe lug wrench fits the lugs on your trailer. If so then that helps because you can use the jack from the vehicle. If single axle, I would probably take along a spare tire. ST trailer tires are not always easy to find during the night, even with AAA. I'd also carry a volt meter to check operating systems. They are relatively inexpensive if you don't have one currently. A good flashlight like the 4 cell C cell Maglite does double duty to provide light as well as a head knocker should it become necessary. Detailed maps are available of the beaches and recommended.
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Old 12-31-2003, 06:57 AM   #11
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Talking My thoughts

3Ms75Argosy

It's easy to remember it this way`

Disneyworld is in FL..

Disneyland is in CA..

ciao
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Old 12-31-2003, 11:01 AM   #12
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Diana,
I forgot to mention that Camping World sells several books that list what you can find at each exit along the way. One book is entitled "The Next Exit". Gas stations, Truck Centers, repair facilities, Welcome Centers, all restaurants, motels (who needs 'em), Wal-Marts, banks, cleaners, U-Haul centers, cinemas, malls, hospitals, etc. Another book, Rest Area Guide, shows some of the same stuff but also mentions what facilities are available for each Welcome Center such as picnic tables, modern restrooms, drinking water, outside night lights, handicapped facilities, public phone, RV dump station, etc. I bought both books for my trip out to AZ. to pick up my Airstream and tow it back to TN. I stayed at truck stops and rest areas. Do a search on this forum for rest stops and you will find a link to State laws regarding how long you can stay at a rest stop. Some do not allow overnight stays, some allow a certain # of hours and others could care less. I printed it off and carried it with me on the trip to be sure. Some rest areas are really fancy with plenty of light during the night. I would avoid such a place if lighting wasn't abundant. Some truck stops can be really noisy but one I stayed at had a parking area away from the pumps. It wouldn't have made a difference to me because I had driven from Tullahoma, TN. to Amarillo, TX. by myself and I was ready to stretch out on the truck seat to pass out.
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:03 PM   #13
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Thanks, Craig!

I did get your PM, but I'm still busy with the holiday travelers and don't have much time to respond for another few days. I have questions about the weather on the gulf coast this time of year, but I'll get to you privately on that.
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:16 PM   #14
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Diana,
My sister lives in Corpus Christi and works for the PD there. If she can be of any help weatherwise or any other way, let me know.
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