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Old 03-05-2006, 09:25 PM   #1
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Head West young Woman!

Hi all,
I will be heading west from Virginia to Montana to my new home with my (new) Classic 31 in early to mid April.

I plan to take my time getting there. The first stop or two will be at friends houses.

Having not been trailer camping in 15 years I have no idea where to find camp site along the way. I understand that Wal-mart will let one park if you as permission. Since the Truck will charge the batteries along the way I am only worried about dumping waste.

Any help would be appriciated.
Thanks,
Michelle
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:54 PM   #2
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Michelle,
Congratulations on your new trailer. Your alternator does not do a very good job of charging batteries so I would be very conservative with 12 volt use as you work your way back home and definately start with a fully charged battery or batteries. If you run across some Flying J truck stops along the way, they usually have a dump station. Hit the internet and look up Flying J and you will probably find a location along the way.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:09 PM   #3
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Michelle -

Lucky you! My wife won't move there, so the best I can do is several months each sumer and fall in MT. We always stay at Jim and Mary's just west of Missoula when we're staying in your new hometown, and I love floating and fishing the Clark Fork.

As far as places to stay enroute, you can stay at most Walmarts, and Flying J's (get their directory, which shows their locations) although some of them are a bit crowded. (Don't even try to tow your Airstream into Missoula's Walmart, or you'll live to regret it!). There are a number of rest stops that aren't too bad to stay, if you are able to keep somewhat away from the trucks with their engines running all night - the rest areas seem to get better the farther west you go. One of our favorites is in Chamberlain, SD overlooking the Missouri River (although SD says you aren't supposed to stay in rest areas all night, we do as do many others, and have never had a problem). Cabelas stores in both Mitchell, SD and
Sydney, NE both have places to park overnight, and Sydney has a really nice, economical campground - they hope you shop in their store while you are there to make up for the low cost camping.

If you want a list of actual campgrounds on the way, let me know, and I may be able to dig up our list of favorites. Alternatively, get a copy of the Good Sams current directory, and pick ones that look appealing to you. Most of them are nice, and cost from $20-$30 per night.

There are plenty of places to stay - my wife and I make the trip to MT from PA and back every year, and we've stayed in quite a few of them.

The only thing you have to keep in mind is that the distances between places, including gas stops, can be somewhat far, and keep well rested because it's a long trip. (Although I've twice left PA early one morning and been as far as Ft Smith, MT the following evening in time to get in a bit of fishing!

John
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:12 PM   #4
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Don't count on Wal-Mart.

It seems to depend on the area, but not all Wal-Mart's allow overnite parking.

There are books like Trailer Life's RV parks directory that would give you some options for the areas you'll be going through.

Have fun and good luck!

Dennis
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:18 PM   #5
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Welcome and congratulations on your new trailer. Add Cracker Barrel to the places that you can spend the night. Many truck stops have dump stations besides Flying J. Look for the larger ones that advertise themselves as travel centers.
Have fun on your trip.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:27 PM   #6
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Books

Check out www.rvbookstore.com for several books listing Walmart locations which allow overnight camping and another of their books that list Walmarts which don't due to local restrictions. They also have books like The Next Exit which list gas stations, dump stations, repair facilities, restaurants, rest stops and all that good stuff. Also check out www.freecampgrounds.com which list some Walmarts and restaurants like Cracker Barrel (some allow overnight camping).

When I went out to AZ. to pick up the '77 I bought off ebay, I bought The Next Exit (updated anually) and another book that listed rest stops/truck stops along the way. I spent 2 hrs. for a cat nap in Amarillo, TX. and on the return trip stopped at a truck stop in N.M. for 7 hrs. of much needed rest. I travelled 3600 miles in 3 1/2 days by myself. I don't ever want to do that again.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:01 AM   #7
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Happy Motoring

Oh boy, motoring fun!

Just a note, while at Flying J, be sure to pick up one of their nationwide location maps!
You can also overnight at TA (Travel stops of America) they also have a national location map, pick one up.

Have a wonderful and safe trip.

Michael
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisher
(Although I've twice left PA early one morning and been as far as Ft Smith, MT the following evening in time to get in a bit of fishing!
soo.....do you have jato rockets on your coach, or what?
norby
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for the reply. My property is outside Missoula and near the Black Foot river. Once I get established I will be offering comlimentary parking.
I will check into these suggrestions and hopefully i will have enough options that I do not have to worry about it alongthe way.

BTW: I got the solar charging for the trailer as well. Something I forgot to mention in my origianal post. Sorry tired.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:48 AM   #10
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Welcome Home

Welcome to the Big Sky Country Michelle. I see plenty of good suggestions for stops along the way. Don't let the Missoula Wal Mart overwhelm you, we've had our 31 footer in there and its no big deal. Just take the right exit to get out of their lot! Keep us posted on your camp spot when you get there, I love to fish the Blackfoot!!
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:52 AM   #11
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Ok, I have to ask

So what is the deal with the Missoula Walmart?
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:23 AM   #12
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Cool I have never found an unsafe Walmart...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
So what is the deal with the Missoula Walmart?
Having towed over 25,000 miles last year and over 9000 miles this year so far, I have never found an unsafe Walmart.
I have never found an unfriendly Walmart...
Even in notorious Billings, Montana

The safest place I have found to rest is at State rest stop areas. If you pick up a Rand Mcnalley Atlas, they are listed for each state. Some rest areas do not allow "overnight parking" but this has never been enforced where I park (which is with the semi trucks). Try to get the first space in or the last space out & park in the direct middle so trucks can pass you easily.

Second on my list are truck stops, really any major truck stop that fuels passenger cars.

Third is Walmart. I only spend a few hours taking a nap. Walmart has received bad press, but there is a significant difference between staying for a few hours and living in the parking lot (which some people do).
I have never been asked to leave a Walmart parking lot & I have towed vintage trailers as old as 1947.

Any major truck stop has showers for $5.00 to $9.00. Ask the driver desk attendant for one or use the automated machine to issue a ticket. This is also a good place to do your laundry while you shower.

You will save on the hassle (and it is a hassle if you are traveling alone) of dumping.

Good luck & safe passage!
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:29 AM   #13
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Courtesy parking is another option

The WBCCI has listings for members in the annual directory and many folks on the Forums offer it as well ~ when traveling alone long distances, it's always nice to have a friendly person to share dinner with...I've done it quite a few times, great way to meet folks and see the areas you are passing through. You will also not fill your tanks as often if you stay with "friends", even if they are ones you just met!

Shari
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Old 03-06-2006, 12:39 PM   #14
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Welcome to the world of Airstreams. Living where you do, I'm sure you will have a wonderful time camping. I envy anyone who lives with all that scenery.
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