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Old 08-30-2015, 10:10 PM   #1
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Safe on the road?

Been traveling in Texas, NM, and AZ, and always felt safe. We are thinking of taking our Airstream from Texas to Maryland via interstate 40 thru Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, and Virginia, skirting Washington, DC., and staying in commercial campgrounds. The world is getting a little crazy, it seems, and we were wondering if anyone has had any troubles with safety along that general route? Thanks in advance for your experiences!
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:42 PM   #2
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We have traveled from PHX to ATL along I-40 &/or I-20, and have had no problems. We have a tendency to avoid the big urban areas & try to get past them before stopping for the night. That can take a little planning, but very doable. be safe out there, Regards, Craig
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:57 AM   #3
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A new habit I have acquired is using the internet and Google Earth in particular to preview routes and camping spots. When you see a sign that says "campground 3 miles" with a right arrow and that's how you choose, results will be unpredictable. (Keep paddling, I hear banjos!)

Read the reviews, look over the campground (and if you're 50 feet from an active railroad or an interstate... Well it's all in what you want. If speed is your goal, the KOA right off the interstate might be fine.

One thing I'm leery of is campgrounds that offer annual rates - quite often these are run down, and people who are basically barely above homeless can congregate there. But again, read the reviews and look at the campground on Google Earth.

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Old 08-31-2015, 06:35 AM   #4
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We performed a bit of housekeeping on this thread this morning and now is a good opportunity to post a reminder.

The OP is seeking advice on specific experiences on a specific route. If you can share experiences related to the inquiry, or common sense travel precautions please do so, but unless weapons questions are asked, and it relates specifically to RV's then the topic should be saved for another thread, and the CR's should be considered before weighing into that subject. We are not anti self defense, OC (open carry) or CC (conceal carry), however subject such as politics and weapons historically turn vitriolic and do not end well.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:58 AM   #5
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You'll be fine.

I know the media loves to act like highway bandits are out there all the time, just waiting to prey on folk from out of town, but the fact is that thousands (or more) of people use all of those roads every day and do not have a problem.

For the campgrounds, check out campground review websites if you're really nervous, or do like Foiled Again said and look at the overhead imagery, or do both. You have to watch the reviews, because people have very different experiences, but if there are enough you'll start to get a good flavor.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:03 AM   #6
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We traveled much of that route at different times in the past two years. Camped near Memphis and in Washington DC at military campgrounds as retirees, commercial campgrounds, and a couple of WalMarts.

Spent much time in those cities as well as the countryside between. Very interesting history, architecture and people. Music and ribs great in Memphis. The eastern population is dense but much to see and do. Avoid areas and that don't look right to you and enjoy yourselves. Perhaps the most dangerous part of the trip is the city interstates, congestion and rudeness are plentiful.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:26 AM   #7
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I would recommend that if you decide to review campgrounds on the web be sure to check multiple sites to include trip advisor, Good Sam and Yelps. I recently did a search and found many varying opinions from one site to the next.

As to Maryland, there are some great state campgrounds depending on where you are going. If you decide to visit the Eastern Shore of MD I would also look at sites in DE. As they also have some great state campgrounds.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
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Went from San Antonio, TX to Parkersburg, WV years ago and stayed in State Parks and US Army Corps of Engineers Parks and had a great trip. Give it a try.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:09 PM   #9
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We live in East Tennessee and have traveled that route many times with no problems. Don't omit state parks as possibilities, as Tennesee and Virginia have numerous state parks that are often convenient to I 40 and I 81. Corps Of Engineers have excellent campgrounds as well, and the price is right, especially for seniors. You will find that route is lovely to look at as well, and the roads generally excellent.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:14 PM   #10
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Md. State parks offer a Golden Age Pass good for half price camping Sunday to Thursday. As stated before they are very nice. Sal
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:46 PM   #11
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The world has always been a little crazy. Get out of your comfort zone and see a little of it. I think you'll like it!
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:20 PM   #12
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If you are just passing through a city and the weather is cool enough, try a WalMart. When passing through I use them often and have never had a problem. I have spent several nights at the one at 2700 S. Shackleford Rd in Little Rock. It is about 5 minutes south of I-40 and just off I-430 loop. Plenty of space, open 24 hrs. and 24 hr. security around the parking lot. Pros: Free, groceries, supplies and often fuel. Cons: No hook-ups.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:20 PM   #13
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We had a great stay at the KOA at Graceland. You can walk to Graceland and there is 24hr security. We took Uber into town and did a food tour that included a ton of history.
Davey Crocket Birthplace State Park in east TN is off the beaten path with great facilities and more great history.
Lots of Nashville options have been discussed before.
We are from Nashville and love for all to visit the city.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:25 AM   #14
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We are currently on that route right now, heading the opposite direction from Virginia through the cities you mentioned. No safety issues encountered over 9 weeks of travel. Weve stayed mostly at commercial RV parks, and some nice state parks, away from the big cities. Before each travel leg, we check the reviews from 2-3 websites before focusing on several options within our desired range. We usually dont make reservations - we call ahead when we are about an hour away, ask if they have openings, and check out the area before heading into the campground. In two instances, we kept going because we didnt like the area our initial choice was in. We have felt very safe during the trip so far.
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