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Old 03-22-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
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1963 24' Tradewind
Anderson / Sun City , Indiana / Arizona
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Posts: 444
Best resource for overnight stops

We are about to head out for several months of travel across the USA.

Can anyone share your best resources for finding an RV Park, campground, or overnight stopping place while traveling. When we traveled without the Airstream, we just pulled off the Interstate and picked from the multiple hotels at every major intersection. It will not be quite that easy traveling with an Airstream.

I have a Woodall's (complete with CD), a Walmart app on my Iphone, and a MiFi card for my Mac.

What do my fellow Airstreamers find most helpful when looking for a place to spend the night when you just want to get some sleep.


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Old 03-22-2010, 10:42 PM   #2
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2005 22' Safari
Gresham , Oregon
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This a great post. We plan on doing the same thing next year. We have the Woodalls also, plus the Exit now book. We plan on having the computer, but don't know about wifi access. Also have a GPS. but no Iphone. My sister called us recently for stops on their way home. They didn't have any resources, gave them a couple places, but some were closed and others were undesirable. Their advice was to make sure you get to a resting place while it is still light. Some pretty scary spots out there.

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Old 03-22-2010, 11:00 PM   #3
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Dunsmuir , California
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Trailer Life is also a good reference.

Microsoft Street and Trips "find nearby places" is also very useful.

If you have a GPS its database may include campgrounds and parks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:22 PM   #4
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Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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I have 3 software programs;
Street Atlas USA Plus, Trailer Life on CD, and Map Create 6

I also have & use a GPS and when in doubt I have used Googal Maps to get a satellite view.

I like being in the correct lane when coming up on a turn, I hate trying to find places to turn around and doubling back.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:15 AM   #5
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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Here on the forums you can search and find Bob Thompson's "Cheap or Free campsites in many, many states.... I have downloaded many of the lists and keep them on my laptop. Here is a link to his list for Arizona...

On our recent trip from Baja to Northern California I used my iPhone apps: there is a great one called "Truck Stops" that is good for fuel, and sometimes a overnight stay, and there is a very nice app called "Campwhere" that lists just about every campsite you can think of!

Simply calling up google maps and searching "nearby" for campgrounds is also very useful. Looking at members to see if they have courtesy parking is a help, or a quick post on the forums and say where is a good place near....

Have fun!
Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson!

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:39 AM   #6
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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We travel with Trailer Life and Passport America campground directories. We find PA's 50% discount great and very economical for overnight stays. Some PA parks are beautiful and have all the amenities, some not so much---but for overnight stops the scenery, bells & whistles are just not that important. Spend less, do more.

We like State and National parks/rec areas for prettier, more relaxing and longer stays. Sometimes you want a couple of days in a row to have campfires, cook something wonderful, visit with your neighbors, linger all morning over a couple of pots of coffee.........mmmmmm.

We decide in the morning where we are headed and about how far we want to travel, look for what is in that area and call ahead to assure availability.

Have a wonderful trip and travel safe.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:59 AM   #7
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Colleyville , Texas
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Like a lot of folks I'm sure, we began by utilizing Woodalls and found anything with less than a 4W rating was not to our liking. Our laptop with a cellphone card installed was most helpful in route. Google can be a very useful tool in finding spots from State Parks to RV parks and resorts. If you're into KOA parks grab one of their directory publications. We accumulated many directories along the way including those that list FREE campsites. They're not all free and most charged a minimal fee. Have fun out there.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:10 AM   #8
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I'm with Maggie

like maggie says....we look to find where we are going or a general vicinity of where the day's travel will take us and then we look for places to lite....

using the computer (for many and varied spots...state parks...national parks..road conditions...park reviews and various travel references)...escapees, passport america, etc

all of this is usually done days in advance....if you don't know where you are going can end up anywhere; I usually start out trying to plan a large chunk of now i am trying to plan my trip up the mississippi river....any my first attack is to try to plan...with the farthest point i am going to... to begin the trip...

so this trip will begin with a visit to the texas airstream harbour in the angelina national forrest...deep in east check it out....and then catch the doogwoods in bloom around palestine texas.....and then to charleston arkansas to hail the birthday of my 96 yr old aunt...

and then the problem arises...i want to get back to the mouth of the orleans .to begin the river trip.....problem is there are soooooooooo many berautiful places in between....that my mind locks up

so it gets back to "one day at a time"
and the Four P's(Paula, Phoenix and Peabody II and Pearl)…Peabody is here…..
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:22 AM   #9
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Finding an overnight campground

In addition to all the great ideas already presented, we use RV Park Reviews :: Home
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:25 AM   #10
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Sugar Grove , Ohio
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We have traveled for a couple of years using Trailer Life's CD that is installed on my laptop. Once we know the area in which we'll end the day, we look up the campgrounds in that area AND WE PAY ATTENTION TO THE RATINGS. If it's what we're looking for, we call ahead for a reservation. If we're planning days, weeks or months in advance, then I'll check out to find out what other RVers have found out about a particular campground. Is it rated a 9 or 10 regularly or are there several 3s and 4s. It's also important to discover why they are rated a 3 or a 4. We've not been able to find a satisfactory place using these two resources - if there are other options in a locale, we'll check them out once we've settled in so we'll know for our next trip through the area. Learning to read between the lines of the Trailer Life evaluations is so important!

Good luck with your trip...sounds like a dream trip. HAPPY 'STREAMIN.

I almost forgot....ASK here on the FORUMS. More than once I've read about someone passing through an area with which I am familiar and they were looking for a night's stay. I was able to respond to them telling them of a little known but very nice campground that was open all year.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:57 AM   #11
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Grand Master,
If you have a GPS device such as the Garmin Street Pilot, you can upload via POI Uploader (available for the MAC) POI(s) (Points of Interest). Traveling individuals like ourselves have generously provided a very comprehensive list in .csv file format which is easy to upload to the GPS device. I use it in addition to the commercially available street maps.
Do a Google search to see what is available. eg. Garmin POI
hope this helps
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:24 AM   #12
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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We use Woodall's (Trailer Life is published by the same company, why get both?), RV Park Reviews, various books on specific states or regions (Frommer's type books) and AAA resources. AAA has campground books, Tour books (for info on a place plus restaurants) and the amazing technology called a "map".

Too often the directions in Woodall's are incomprehensible, but using the AAA CG book and Woodall's we can usually find a CG. We haven't used AAA's road service in 20+ years, but since we travel a lot, the annual membership fee more than covers all the books and maps we get from them.

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Old 03-23-2010, 08:33 AM   #13
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South of the river , Minnesota
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I am presently using the DeLorme software and while it is not everything I would like it to be it works well and does not require an internet connection to work. There are POI databases "out there" although their quality varies widely. I would like to see a collaborative project (similar to Wikipedia) take off to improve them by having individual campers vet the results and confirm that the place exists and is geocoded properly. has some listings - including Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, etc., and some state and national parks. Again quality here varies immensely by region and from one type of data to the next.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #14
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1980 31' Excella II
Drummond Island , Michigan
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Probably preaching to the choir but putting overnight stops in context is necessary. They really are not sight seeing stops since you will only be there a few hours before lights out and then back on the road. In our latests 6000 mile jaunt around the USA we use a combination of stops when traveling from destination to destination and it is really what you are comfortable with. If you use the interstate exclusively you can find a combination of these readily available. If you use county or local roads the choices are more limited. We stay in a mix of Wal Marts (nice neighborhoods in smaller towns, Cody, Wy and Penesecola, FL have a great Wal-Marts for different reasons) regular private RV parks (nice to have one as an alternative if the Wal Mart doesn't look good), Forest Service Campgrounds (found some really nice spots, some places have a forest service facility on the same off ramp of a rest stop). State campgrounds (generally large sites inbeautiful areas, Tennessee and Florida have some really nice places) and then we don't really set mileage goals, just travel for about five or six hours and then see whats out there sometimes stopping at a fuel stop in a small town and asking or going to the "vistor information center" will net you a stay at a city or county or local organizations facility that isn't listed in most of the normal guides. They are generally really nice. Have a great trip!

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