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Old 11-21-2019, 10:17 PM   #1
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Best Way to Plan Routes

Greetings!

I am waiting for my 2020 22FB Caravel to come off the production line and I am SO excited. I am a solo travel nurse that plans to live in this great escape during my adventures. My next contract will be up near the Redwood National Forest, near Eureka, CA.

I am going to be towing from Modesto, Ca. all the way up and wondering the best way to plan routes. I have a 2017 V6 Toyota 4 Runner that I've installed a brake controller, tranny cooler, and airbags for rear support. The GVWR of the truck is 5000, and and the trailer's dry weight is 3750, and a max of 5000. I think I've covered all bases, and know that I may be pushing some limits, but have researched a lot of forums and read that they're very dependable.

Is google maps a reliable source for route planning? Should I make considerations for my tow vehicle if grade are above a certain percent? I am somewhat naive, and this is my first experience- so be gentle OG's! Thank you for your feedback I am so so excited for this adventure!

Dee
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varnerdy View Post
Greetings!



I am waiting for my 2020 22FB Caravel to come off the production line and I am SO excited. I am a solo travel nurse that plans to live in this great escape during my adventures. My next contract will be up near the Redwood National Forest, near Eureka, CA.



I am going to be towing from Modesto, Ca. all the way up and wondering the best way to plan routes. I have a 2017 V6 Toyota 4 Runner that I've installed a brake controller, tranny cooler, and airbags for rear support. The GVWR of the truck is 5000, and and the trailer's dry weight is 3750, and a max of 5000. I think I've covered all bases, and know that I may be pushing some limits, but have researched a lot of forums and read that they're very dependable.



Is google maps a reliable source for route planning? Should I make considerations for my tow vehicle if grade are above a certain percent? I am somewhat naive, and this is my first experience- so be gentle OG's! Thank you for your feedback I am so so excited for this adventure!



Dee


You have plenty of tow vehicle for what you are planning. Steep grades will slow you down, but they wonít be a problem if you are patient. You might want to avoid grades greater than 12% or so; those would probably be 1st gear pulls.

You donít need air bags if the weight distributing hitch is set up correctly. Stability will be optimized with a good setup as well.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:04 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Hi, I use an RV GPS; Tell it where you want to go, and go. Simple.
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:07 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

The best route planner is a good large print spiral-bound road atlas.

Works in all weather without electricity or Internet access.

Great for families and kids to join in the planning, perhaps while sitting around a campfire.

No batteries to replace -- useful for years, with no additional modifications or upgrades.

https://www.amazon.com/Rand-McNally-...4417320&sr=8-1

The best $9.42 you will ever spend.

Like Josh Deets from Lonesome Dove:

"Cheerful in all weather
Never shirked a task
Splendid behavior!"

Keep it simple, Stu.

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Old 11-22-2019, 04:18 AM   #5
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My primary tool is RV Trip Wizard, supplemented by Google Maps, Campendium, and the various club membership sites - Escapees, KOA, ThousandTrails, Harvest Hosts, etc.
My approach is to do a route overview with Google Maps. Identify start and stop, and the major attractions along the way I am interested in. Then switch over to RVTW, and identify the closest camps with good reviews. I mostly relied upon KOAs when I started, as they were cookie-cutter, and I could focus on learning my trailer and tow vehicle. Now with more experience, I go for state parks, boondocking and "thrifty" campsites.
Use Google Maps Satellite View to zoom in on camps, gas stations, and other areas you may be nervous about to identify entrances and exits. Also good to scan a route the night before to become familiar with roads, turns, rest areas, gas stations and grocery stores.
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Old 11-22-2019, 07:40 AM   #6
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You will have to learn to think like a trucker: "is there room to turn my rig around in that parking lot?", "is there enough overhead clearance?", and of course, turn wide! No more cutting corners. Oh, and you should definitely spend some time learning to back your rig up. Big, empty parking lots will look much different now.

Good luck!
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:23 AM   #7
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If you enjoy planning, it's hard to beat RV Trip Wizzard.
You enter a lot of numbers, W x L x H + gas mileage + how far you like to drive a day.
It even warns you to think about buying gas. And it can connect you to RV parks etc.
But I found it also locks you into your plan. I'm more likely to wing it, so I get everywhere using Allstays and Gas Buddy apps.
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:39 AM   #8
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Hi Dee. Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Congratulations on your new baby. May you have safe travels and many great Airstream Adventures with her.

As far as trip planning goes, we have never done much of that. We have been Airstreaming for fourteen years and have covered about 190,000 miles towing with over 2,000 nights camped in the Airstream. We plan our route as we go using a combination of our Garmin RV GPS and Google Maps on our smart phones. We also use the rvparky app to find campsites.

You will be traveling a beautiful route between Modesto and Eureka. Last year we traveled with Lucy (our Airstream) from Palm Springs to Port Angeles, Washington without ever going on I-5. We traveled mostly US 101 the entire way. We camped in Eureka for several days.

It sounds like you are all set to go. Take your time and enjoy the trip.

Brian
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Old 11-22-2019, 09:58 AM   #9
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I like what Otra15 said. The good old hard map is my first tool. We have traveled almost 50K miles with ours and the first thing I do is to look at the map, decide how far we want to go each day and then look for spots to stay.


We do use google maps and do google searches too. I also think using an app is a good idea. We joined KOA years ago mainly because while on the road we know that they have laundry facilities and are relatively clean. Good Sams are other places where you can count on. Of course, these are some spots we use while traveling. If we want to stay in a place for a few days we will look at an app, or search with google.


I feel as though planning out every stop can be limiting as would be doing everything "on the fly". I try to find a comfortable medium between the two. If you are going to a popular spot like the Redwoods, you might want to get a reservation.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:23 AM   #10
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Google maps and distanceonline.com as well as printed and laminated smaller maps. I use the vans gps while driving to see the turns ahead and zoom in in cities to see the individual streets. I use waze and have it running on my iPad while driving. The combo of gps and waze is better than relying on either individually.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:25 AM   #11
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Hi

Welcome !!

Planning, what's that?

You actually get into multiple routing issues when towing. Indeed "how do I get there" (or can I get there at all) is the first layer. The next wrinkle is keeping up with that route as you rumble down the road. With limited visibility to the rear, lower acceleration / braking, and a longer vehicle, things like lane changes need to be planed a bit more in advance. Getting stuck at the end of a dead end road / street is more "fun" when turning around involves unhitching ( yes, that's sometimes how it is done. Don't jackknife and damage things !!!!).

All turn by turn stuff has its drawbacks. A co-pilot keeping track of multiple sources if information is fine if you .... errr .... aren't solo .. hmmm. An RV GPS will have its issues from time to time. It's likely to do a little better than Google Maps for alerting you to things "Final mile" routing into a remote campsite can be a challenge, no matter how you do it.

The big thing you need to get used to is the greater concentration on driving that towing will involve. That leaves you with less "bandwidth" to do this or that while driving. If something *does* need attention, pull over and deal with it. Don't try to do 6 things at one time.

Bob
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:32 AM   #12
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We do our pre-planning with Rand McNally Motor Carrier's Road Atlas. This is the same map book truckers use. We have found it dependable. From there we use the GPS in the truck.

IMHO, I firmly believe your tow vehicle is not enough unless you are towing "empty". Once you add gear and water you have a tail wagging the dog. Also I did not see any mention of a weight distribution/sway control system. I like living on the edge but risky business is not wise.

You might be interested in reading my article n the exercise we did in choosing a tow vehicle for our Int'l 25 Airstream.
link to how-to-determine-if-your-tow-vehicle-is-right-for-your-trailer/
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:33 AM   #13
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Thank you everyone for your wisdom! Looking forward to this adventure SO much and reading other wonderful tidbits on this thread and others. Happy travels!
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:44 AM   #14
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FYI if you are using a computer, and the main desktop version of this site, the new-ish search function in the blue box above works great.

For instance "Eureka CA camping" results here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Eure...com&gws_rd=ssl

Plenty of results which should be of interest as you head North.

Note that the Google-powered search engine automatically inserts the search term "site:airforums.com" to custom-fit the process.

Happy Trails!

Peter
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:12 AM   #15
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If I were you, I would be careful about overloading the trailer, in the you might encounter "the tail wagging the dog" effect. Not fun, especially on mountain roads! Once you load up, you should go by a truck scales are make sure that you have your weight equalizing hitch set up correctly. If you scour the archives here on AirForums, you can get a handle on the procedure. If you can't do that, at least make sure that both the truck (we call it a "TV" here on the Forums) and the trailer both look level from the side.

As for planning, I make custom maps on GoogleMaps that have all of the places I want to be aware of on my trip. State parks are usually the nicest to camp in, but you have to make your reservations way in advance. You might want to get one of those truckers apps that show all of the truck stop gas stations. They the easiest to pull in and out of. Watch out for steep driveways going into parking lots! You might wind up dragging the rear end.

I remember from my college days (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) that the 299 has lots of up-and-down grades. So maybe try to cross over to the 101 as soon as possible, before the Trinities get in your way.

Good luck, and have fun with the new toy!
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:30 AM   #16
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Use Google Maps to get the general idea, zoom in to street level for areas of interest of questionable.

Part of my motto is, not knowing is part of the adventure.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:14 PM   #17
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Welcome! I always enjoy hearing about a solo traveler like me! I've done a couple coast to coast trips (Ga to OR) and use Roadtrippers and a paper atlas as backup. Love my Sport 22, towing with Tacoma.
Happy trails!
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:51 PM   #18
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Congratulations!! My husband and I are fairly new to Airstreaming ourselves, we got a new 2019 Sport 22fb at the end of 2018. We started with a few State Park trips within a few hours from our home in MO just to get our feet wet. Once we were comfortable enough that we sort of knew what we were doing, we hit the road over this past summer, on a couple of trips out west. We did CO and NM the first trip, WA, MT, SD and IA the second. I looked at a few of the RV trip planners but fell back on my old reliable spiral bound Road Atlas instead. Like Otra15 mentioned, they have larger print these days, they're great!! I have a thing for maps and love to look at all the great options there are near areas you intend to visit. There's something about seeing it in print that makes it so much easier, at least in my opinion. I get frustrated with zooming in and out on the phone constantly!! I do use GOOGLE maps to check for nearby camping, and I GOOGLE "rv camping near...." so I can look at the options, reviews and make reservations before we set out. I paste those Post It flags and mark them with the states we'll drive through at the top of the pages, then I can flip right to the one I need. Then I put more of the flags near the towns where we'll be camping. I mark those flags with an arrow pointing in the direction of whether it's going there or coming home. I keep a folder where I put all the printed confirmations in the order we'll be arriving. (I do the same thing when we fly somewhere too!!) My method was good enough back in our old pop-up camper days, before we had cell phones and "information super highways", and it worked just as good for these trips!! You're a traveler anyway, you'll figure out what works best for you in no time. Take your time and enjoy the ride, happy trails!!
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:54 PM   #19
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We like to look at a paper map, and get “the big picture”. Then we use the electronics to find a campsite and possible road conditions. Works for us!
Have fun!
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:18 PM   #20
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Welcome aboard!

We use a large spiral bound Rand McNally for basic route planning. In planning stopping points on the map, we query Siri on the iPhone for driving distances between points. We also use Siri for "driving directions to...". We use Google maps where needed, and also have the ME maps app which can be downloaded and used off-line. Lastly, for years, we have marked all of our travels on the Rand McNally so we can remind ourselves where we have been, and need to go next!
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