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Old 05-17-2017, 05:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by AirMiles View Post
Mollysdad & Gregwall, we are lucky to have so many beautiful campgrounds to pick from in Florida. We plan to visit all the State Parks in Florida. We have already stayed at Bahia Honda, John Pennekamp, Mayakka River, Oscar Scherer, Little Manatee River, Hillsborough River, Highlands Hammock, Lake Kissimmee, Blue Springs Gamble Rogers, Silver Springs, O'leno, Hendersen Beach and St. George Island. I've also driven through all of the ones on the gulf in the panhandle and many others near the others we have stayed at.

We also drove through several other Ocala National Forest campgrounds on our trip. Each of these had no hookups, but each would be a great place to stay during the cooler weather. Alexander Springs, Juniper Springs, Lake Dorr, Lake Eaton and Fore Lake.

One other note, there is very limited cell phone coverage in the Ocala National Forest. We have both Verizon and AT&T and rarely had more than occasional voice service on Verizon. AT&T was almost completely useless as was any digital (4G) coverage on either network. If you are looking to get away from technology, Ocala National Forest is a great destination.
We recently had extensive solar installation in Naples by Lew Farber, and I look forward to camping in National Forests like Ocala:}
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:42 PM   #16
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369Goose:
The Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area has 5 developed campgrounds with electric sites based on this: https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/w...sFINAL2016.pdf
and this:
https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/w...sFINAL2016.pdf
Here is a map of the whole recreation area:
https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/w...Update2016.jpg

Land Between The Lakes appears to be a fun place to explore.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:53 PM   #17
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Moosetags:

Thanks for your comment! I'm hoping to learn to be more adventurous in my travels like you. My past trips have all been scheduled with reserved sites which did not leave enough time to explore when passing through interesting areas. My Ocala National Forest nine day excursion was a trial run of having no reserved sites. The return trip from Wisconsin and Minnesota will also be unscheduled.

I have found that going to Google Maps and exploring the unknown green spaces can be more fun than going to the big name National Parks that require reservations. Examples include the backroads of Utah and the Big Horn Mountains in WY from my trip out west last year. I need to go back to those two without a pre-planned schedule. I also want to explore many other green spaces on the Google Maps such as The Land Between The Lakes.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:52 AM   #18
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Thanks for sharing the info on Land Between the Lakes, Air Miles.

We look forward to reading about your experience there and have added that destination to our bucket list too.

Happy Camping!
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:10 PM   #19
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80" Full Queen Mattress Installed

Today we brought Miles home to prepare for our cross-country adventure later this month. One of the major reasons we chose a 25' Airstream was to get the 101" length east-west bedroom. The east-west bedroom has enough room to install an 80" full queen mattress and still have 21" of walkway. Since I am 77" tall, the ability to replace the 75" short queen with an 80" full queen is a big deal. We chose a Serta Glenmoor Pillowtop mattress from Sam's Club: https://www.samsclub.com/sams/serta-...rod21070222.ip It fits great in the space and has the same construction as our home mattress. The new 14" thick mattress sits 2" higher than the nightstand so I will no longer hit my elbow while sleeping. We will now sleep equally well on the road as at home!
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:31 AM   #20
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If you go to the LBL area be certain to have at least one dinner and dessert out at Patti's 1880 Settlement. There is a reason this place is busy - the food is wonderful!

https://www.pattis1880s.com/
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:44 AM   #21
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The. Cross country road trip has begun. We were able to leave earlier than planned so we can go slower on the trip North. We spent the first night at Cracker Barrell in Tifton GA. This was our first experience of finding a non-campground place to stay. It was a pleasant experience. Cooled off the Airstream with the generator for an hour while eating at CB then slept comfortably all night.

We then drove on to Chattanooga and pulled into Marion County Campground. Luckily they had one spot available. This Campground can be seen from I-24 across the Tennessee River. We always thought it looked like a great place to stay as we rushed by. It is a nice Campground with electricity​ and water. All waterfront or view sites and friendly neighbors. We will be staying here a few days.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:21 AM   #22
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Headed north on I-24 to Illinois. Got to test out Max's 5% grade up and downhill performance over Monteagle Mountain. Uphill was just a flip of the ankle to drop a gear. Could increase speed at will with power in reserve. Downhill was just the opposite, one tap on the brakes to set the exhaust brake and never picked up speed on the way down without using any brakes. Another tap to slow for the sharp curve at the bottom and we were down. It was a good experience and I look forward to trying other mountain passes.

We set up camp at D&W Lakeside RV Park in Champaign IL. It's a lovely facility in Central Illinois which we will use when passing this way in the future.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:00 AM   #23
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Decided to move up to northern Wisconsin to spend a night with family on Lake Alexander. This is a beautiful natural area where we saw a bald eagle and many deer. The Council Grounds State Park is a great developed place to stay in the area. For boondockers who wanted seclusion, Newwood Park further up the road has rustic sites for $15. State highway 107 is a scenic drive along the Wisconsin River. If you visit Wisconsin, plan to stay north of Highway 29 to experience the natural beauty of the state. The most popular vacation area would be Minoqua which has a beautiful chain of lakes.

The next night we moved east to lake Michigan. We are staying at Bayshore Park on the Door County peninsula north of Green Bay. The campsites are nestled in an oak hardwood forest just a short walk from the bay of Green Bay. There is a small waterfall just south of the park. Door County is a popular vacation area here.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:31 PM   #24
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I though I'd quickly update the rest of our cross-country trip. Most of the final leg of our trip had very little online connectivity so we slipped on our normal picture posting routines. I haven't even seen the beautiful collages of pictures my wife normally develops so I cannot post them. But after doing the St. Croix River Valley in Minnesota (Interstate State Park was the gem there) and Northwest Wisconsin (Copper Falls State Park was the gem there) we moved up to the Northshore of Lake Superior. All the state parks on the Northshore were amazing, many with beautiful waterfalls. We also went into Canada and saw an amazing waterfall at Kakabeka Falls.

We then chose to head west to Glacier National Park. We missed that park on our trip out west last year. We did the Road to the Sun and stayed in the park at Two Medicine campground. We then went south through Great Falls MT and the beautiful scenery on U.S. 89 south of the city. We stayed outside Yellowstone in the Bear Tooth Mountains and then stayed at Mammoth Campground in Yellowstone. We were amazed that we were able to get first-come-first serve sites at all the national parks over the July 4 week.

We then passed through the Tetons and Jackson Hole on our way to Rocky Mountain National Park (another park we bypassed on last year's trip.) We had a little trouble getting a spot at Rocky Mountain and had to tow Miles through the park over the 14,000 foot mountain to find a waterfront campsite at Stillwater Campground. We were really impressed by the towing capability of Max over that 14,000 foot mountain. We could feel a little turbo lag starting from a stop at altitude but had all the power needed once the turbo kicked in on the uphill climb. And most impressively, we barely had to touch the brakes on the way back down with our 15,000# rig.

From there, we made our way back to Tampa without any additional sight seeing stops. Max's total mileage was 8,823 with 5,574 miles of towing miles over 39 nights. It was an amazing first cross-country trip in our new Airstream. Max averaged 11.2 MPG while towing on the 2,000 mile return trip from Colorado and 12.4 MPG on mixed towing and non-towing over the rest of the trip.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:03 PM   #25
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Thank you, AirMiles, it sounds like you had a very nice journey. This is a great country to explore I hope you get a chance to get back out there soon.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:18 PM   #26
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Oh the places you've been!

Thank you so much for your posts & pics and hoping there are still more to come. Thru the years we 've had the pleasure of visiting most of the places you've mentioned and since following along with your recent trip you've inspired us to return to a few of those "gems!" Perhaps a new and different route this time that can include a visit to check out the Land Between The Lakes and the Dakotas; sans our motorcycles. Although bike week is an experience not to be missed we suspect that's a very different experience after bike week wraps up. Have to agree wholeheartedly that the Great Lakes and Northshore areas are "amazing and beautiful" as are the northwestern states and Canada.

You didn't say whether you meandered to the Airstream Facility in JC and/or the Blue Ox Facility in NE on your return trip, JC is on our bucket list. And I suspect the free-range monkeys at Silver Lake were looking forward to hosting you on your route home too (just kidding).

Glad you were confident with your rig and made it safely back to FL. Btw, if you haven't already done so (maybe you have in the Casita) the southern states from the Panhandle westward offer amazing discoveries and are worth exploring since you've about completed the FL parks, just saying.

You've stoked some very fond memories and inspiration to get back out sooner rather than later.

Happy Camping! ⛺️
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:40 AM   #27
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369: No we did not get to JC or Blue OX. We did stop at the visitor center at LBTL to plan our future visit. We also did not pass through the Ozarks as time ran short on our return trip from the West. These places remain on our bucket list. I'm thinking about our next adventure which will begin in mid-August. Maybe we will go to the LBTL and JC.

We were thinking of traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, we've already done sections of it near Asheville, NC, but are not sure we will be able to do it on this next trip due to the crowds that will be there for the Eclipse. I try to avoid getting in the middle of a crowd. I've also been zooming in on the lake areas south of the Blue Ridge, like Lake Lanier and the Savannah River Valley. Both of those areas look very enticing and are now added to the bucket list.

We've done much of the Gulf Shore area from Florida to Mississippi. There are many beautiful places along there. We really liked touring the Naval Airforce Museum and the USS Alabama. We missed seeing the Blue Angels as they were out on tour (back on the bucket list). We also really enjoyed the Destin, FL area, and will be returning there in January 2018 after going to the Can Opener Rally.

There is so much to see in this great country! I open Google Maps and start zooming in on areas, looking at all those little green spots. I find so many little gems to go explore. We are travelers. We don't sit in one place very long as there are just too many of those green spots to see.

I asked my wife if she is planning to build the collages. Hopefully she will put some together for me to post. And we will be sharing our future adventures and pictures on this thread, so stay tuned!

Here is one picture I do have. It is Max and Miles at 14,000' at Rocky Mountain National Park.
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Old 07-29-2017, 01:51 PM   #28
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Payload Savings

I recently made a few changes to my rig to lighten the tongue weight and reduce payload. Max has an 8950# GVWR and I was within 10# of that!

The changes to the Airstream included changing my 30# propane tanks to 20# tanks. This saved about 50# of tongue weight plus added the benefit of making tank exchanges on the road. Then I removed the low pressure regulator from my Champion 100263 Dual Fuel Generator's fuel controller and added a 10' rubber propane hose with a quick-connect fitting. Now I can use the quick-connect on the front of the Airstream rather than carrying another 20# tank in my truckbed. This saved another 30# of payload. So I gained a total of 80# of payload by changing my propane tanks.

Now with the lighter payload plus moving up to 11 links of weight distribution, my Airstream was running nose high. So I moved back to my extended receiver and lowered my ball down by 1-3/4". This change saved even more payload due to improved weight distribution. Now Max weighs in at 8800# fully loaded while towing Miles, 150# below his 8950# GVWR. I am ecstatic to have gained that much payload with these changes.
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