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Old 04-22-2021, 11:53 AM   #1
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Morristown , New Jersey
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Need advice on a 3 week road trip

Have the opportunity to take 3 weeks off (wish it would be 3 months) in late July or August and quickly running into logistical challenges with many of the parks out west being full this year. Campground spots are hard/impossible to find even 4 months out and some parks have construction leading to visitor limitations (e.g., Glacier). Is this just a bad year to do something like this? I don't want to run into a scrum of people at every turn.

We are picking up our first AS late next week and are newbies. Alternative is to defer a year and then do shorter trips focused on the Northeast and other closer options.

Anyone else running into the crazy explosion of this lifestyle/hobby? I know I am part of the problem....
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:56 PM   #2
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By all means, travel, just take the less-traveled routes.

Download some scenic byways in states you would like to visit, drive them and explore small town America.

There is rarely a good time to visit the really big and popular parks, in my experience, but plan something for next year during the shoulder seasons and do those, as well.

But July and August are the highest of the high season, so that is not the best time to go.

This year just stay closer to home, and get out there to enjoy your new rig.

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Old 04-22-2021, 01:25 PM   #3
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Here in WI, for the past year most state park RV sites seem to have been getting booked solid shortly after becoming available.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:56 PM   #4
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From your location you might consider shorter trips up the Hudson Valley/Finger Lakes, or perhaps a destination in Maine. This might be a great year to get used to your rig in advance of an extended trip out west. I think you'll find there are some great places to visit within short striking distance of your home. Enjoy!
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:29 PM   #5
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What you didn't say is will you be able to take 3 weeks every year on vacation, or is this year somehow different and the only shot you have for 3 weeks?
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:34 PM   #6
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Yes, there has been a significant increase in demand - especially in the better known state and national parks in the West. You may be too late to follow that dream this year. Hate to throw more cold water on that idea, but from New Jersey to Yellowstone and back is almost 5,000 miles with no side trips. With only three weeks this will be more of a drivathon than a vacation.

Many of us out west wish we could more easily explore the Adirondacks and New England. Perhaps you would be better off this year to take advantage of those opportunities.
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Old 04-22-2021, 08:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexaqui View Post
Have the opportunity to take 3 weeks off (wish it would be 3 months) in late July or August and quickly running into logistical challenges with many of the parks out west being full this year. Campground spots are hard/impossible to find even 4 months out and some parks have construction leading to visitor limitations (e.g., Glacier). Is this just a bad year to do something like this? I don't want to run into a scrum of people at every turn.

We are picking up our first AS late next week and are newbies. Alternative is to defer a year and then do shorter trips focused on the Northeast and other closer options.

Anyone else running into the crazy explosion of this lifestyle/hobby? I know I am part of the problem....
It is near impossible to get camping spots in major N Parks this summer. You got some good advice about doing shorter trips in the North East. We have taken some very enjoyable trips to NY. As mentioned the Hudson River Valley is enjoyable. We had great times on the Finger Lakes area of NY. Lake Placid and Cooperstown were very enjoyable. VT and NH have some beautiful areas and the NE coastline is beautiful. You could easily spend three weeks doing a trip like this. And state parks are sometimes easier to book!

Don't let the fact that you cannot get into a NP keep you at home. Go and enjoy.
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Old 04-22-2021, 08:11 PM   #8
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Thanks all for the feedback. I appreciate it. We are planning a few long weekend style trips before anything big just to get used to it. I think we are already leaning towards the direction you all have pointed out and doing something different this summer. It's hard to save up 3 weeks of vacation each year. We're fully vaccinated finally and I see a window to do something different. We travel a lot by car so we know NE pretty well; I was hoping to get to something a bit more new for all of us. I have a school age daughter and my wife is a teacher so almost impossible to go to places in the spring and fall.

That being said, some of the locations mentioned are already filling up or are filled up! Crazy times! I just want to hit the road....
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:09 PM   #9
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I think once you get close, if you have apps like The Dyrt and Campendium to help find places, both pubilc lands and established campgrounds, as long as you are willing to make some phone calls you should be able to find something. There are always people who cancel. Also we have had good luck with Harvest Hosts if you have the comfort level to boondock. We are a family of 4 and can boondock easily for 3 nights if we are traveling between locations during the day. We joined Boondockers Welcome but haven't stayed with them yet but that may be another resource. I guess the take away is that out west there are many more options then in the midwest or our east simply because of the open space and distances between places. Flexibility is the key. That said, if you are dead set on Glacier then you will want a reservation somewhere to remove the worry. Then you can play around those firm dates. Keep trying. Check every day. People cancel or shift their travels especially as things get closer to the travel dates.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:18 AM   #10
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Just take your focus off the destination campgrounds—you can still visit the destination by staying in private CG or county parks.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:23 AM   #11
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We travel out west almost every year. I wouldn't think of doing it in three weeks.

There's plenty to keep you happily camping in the Northeast- instead of spending most of the time driving.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:29 AM   #12
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Three weeks isn't enough time for a cross-country trip out west. And I wouldn't head south as we're already having 80 degree days in GA, and by August, nighttime lows will be in the high 80's. Have you thought about Michigan? If you haven't been to The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village, your whole family will love it. And then there's Mackinac Island, but you won't be able to take the Airstream. The UP has Sleeping Bear Dunes, Pictured Rocks, Quincy Mine and many small towns such as Traverse City that are nice to visit. Michigan won't disappoint you.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:34 AM   #13
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I agree about taking your focus off the destination camping area. We got our first AS last summer so that we could do some traveling despite Covid. We took 3 weeks and traveled from Denver to Sanibel, Florida, and back, via Kansas City, St. Louis, and Nashville. Saw a ton of the USA that we ordinarily would have flown over and ate some amazing BBQ, fried chicken and clam chowder along the way. Stayed at KOAs at every stop and had a great time. On a separate trip later in the summer, we stayed at a KOA in Moab, Utah, and visited Arches NP and Canyonlands NP. Then later a trip to Rapid City, South Dakota, and visited Mt. Rushmore and Badlands NP. Stayed at commercial campgrounds the whole time and loved every minute of it (except that its hotter than the sun in Moab, Utah in August). Go hit the road.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ealmasy View Post
Here in WI, for the past year most state park RV sites seem to have been getting booked solid shortly after becoming available.

Same here in FL. Nearly impossible to get a site at any park, state or private. Of course a day here and there can be found but donít expect to get a weekend.
Currently in GA and rigs are moving from spot to spot to spot each morning. Seems there could be a better way to manage reservations but it is what it is. Yesterday a caravan of vans pulled in; maybe as many as 25 of them. Wonder how these groups book so many sites at same dates.

Gotta be creative and quick! But at least we are still camping.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:36 AM   #15
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Late August is a good time to go
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:38 AM   #16
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Since you are a "newbie", I would suggest that you stay closer to home and enjoy the local northeast and learn about your AS and work out any "kinks" that may appear with a new AS. Enjoy your adventures - I have had many over the past 50+ years.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:56 AM   #17
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Unfortunately reservable sites are booked almost as soon as they are available whether itís 6-9 months out. My wife and friend have been online at midnight or whatever time the sites open that far out just to make some reservations. Itís annoying.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:07 AM   #18
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Arcadia in Maine is one of the US's greatest national parks. Great camping in Hudson River, Berkshires, Delaware River too.

We started booking parks for this summer last fall. We have trips to Yellowstone and Glacier that were booked 3 1/2 years ago (automatically rescheduled due to the pandemic). It's unfortunate but this is the new reality. Hope to see more campgrounds in the future! Until then the best adventures are usually the ones you stumble into unplanned. Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:16 AM   #19
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Three years ago we set out from the West to visit our families on the East Coast. We had a ball. Moochdocked in driveways, Harvest Hosts, and private campgrounds all the way up.....We followed the Hudson up and then crossed over into Vermont. Fished the Battenkill River and then explored some of Vermont, then over to New Hampshire, then down to the Cape, then up to Maine.......Acadia NP. That place is worth a whole week. It would be a great shake-out trip for you. Rivers, lakes, the Atlantic Ocean! That way you won't waste your precious time laying down the miles. Just enjoy what's close by....Happy trails to you and yours....
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:57 AM   #20
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There has been a real explosion of folks with RVs since Covid hit and that's coupled with online park reservations, park closures and park limitations that make finding a place in the famous parks hard. That said, it does beat the days of yore when you hit the road and lined up to try and get a place -and sometimes didn't. Gosh, I remember getting stuck in "overflow" campgrounds - a parking lot near the garbage dump. Not very scenic, no services and you could only stay one night.

That said, there are lots of places fairly close to the big parks that will have space and there is even more space if you are willing to boondock sans power and water. But check, last year our favorite National Forest Service Campground was closed all summer because they didn't have anyone to clean the pit toilets.

We've done a couple of cross country trips very successfully and last year we did the west coast. We stayed "near" the things we wanted to see and drove in to our touring. We reserved for weekends and where we knew there would be nothing else nearby. There is so much to see in this country that you shouldn't be limited to the national or state parks, some of our favorites were places we simply lucked into finding.
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