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Old 02-01-2017, 10:45 PM   #1
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2016 26' Flying Cloud
Spooner , Wisconsin
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Suggestions for SXSW near Austin to Park in March

We are taking our first real trip in March. Out of the blue a good friend from Denmark said he was at South by South West, Austin, TX and could we meet him there. We are aiming for 11 to 14 of March.

I find that none of the state parks have openings at that time and my initial survey of privates is not encouraging. Any suggestions? Any body in that area that might take in a stranger? We can get by, I think, without any hook-ups. That said, we're from Wisconsin and our unsupported trips so far have been in mild temperatures. We have two, well-mannered golden retrievers, who will stay on the leash.

Which brings me to two -- newbie -- questions.
1. Our dogs have never encountered cactus. Do dogs learn this hazard or am I going to be constantly picking on spines? Do dogs need booties just to walk on the ground?
2. I'm going to proceed from Austin to Alpine then Phoenix to visit family and friends. Is there a threshold temperature at which a person really needs AC and am I pretty likely to encounter that on this route at this time of year?
I just have no feel for this. We spent lots of time in our AS last summer in Wisconsin. We rarely had 30 amps to run even one AC and rarely needed to. Daytime temps in the 70's, evening temps -- typically -- in low 60's and usually at least partial shade.
Thank you,
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:30 AM   #2
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Montgomery , Texas
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You could look up the website-- boondockers welcome. I've not used it, but it's a network of people with overnight parking available on their land/lot/street. Some hookups, some none
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:28 AM   #3
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Lots of folks don't realize how big SXSW is. There will be a half million people visiting Austin. So, if you have not made plans by last April, good luck finding the cancelation. Just the facts. If you did not have dogs, there might be a spot. They don't allow dogs, firearms, fireworks, or ground fires.

Dogs won't mess with cactus. Mine don't.

When in West Texas, watch the fuel gauge. There's a gas station on every corner and the corners are a hundred miles apart.

March in Texas is usually cool overnigjt and can warm up to the 80's. West Texas is 4000 to 5000 feet in elevation. Phoenix is at 1000', and can warm up quickly during the day.

John
Near Austin
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:50 AM   #4
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Howdy from Austin. As the previous poster mentioned, sxsw is annoyingly huge and disruptive for locals. I work freelance and typically shoot for jobs out of town during that time. The only real cactus in Austin is decorative unless you are out of town. West Texas is great, carry extra fuel or gas up at every spot you can, and should most likely be pretty cool (relatively). PM me as I might be able to assist you with a spot for a short period of time.
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:48 AM   #5
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Check out La Hacienda, probably the closest place to park to downtown Austin.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:26 AM   #6
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South By Southwest

Try Lone Star RV it is off I 35 but not to far from where SXSW is. Buda and Kyle are also close by about 15-20 minutes from Austin. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:39 AM   #7
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Chances of getting into a park during SXSW are slim...

We’ve had some friends who’ve stayed at Oak Forrest RV Park in Austin and really liked it - space to walk the dogs and nice facilities. We stayed there with our two dogs for a week or so when selling our house just prior to going full-time - very nice park.
http://www.campgroundreviews.com/regions...forest-rv-park
Check ‘em out and request a spot during your time frame and see if maybe, just maybe... they’ll have an opening.

While you’re in Alpine, TX, I would strongly suggest you check out Ft. Davis State Park (http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/davis-mountains), and maybe, camp there. One of my favorite state parks and very close (by Texas standards), to the Big Bend (https://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm). Ft. Davis is also home to the McDonal Observatory (very dark skies there if you don’t count the stars.. http://www.as.utexas.edu/mcdonald/mcdonald.html) and home of the Ft. Davis National Historic site (http://www.as.utexas.edu/mcdonald/mcdonald.html - really cool cavalry post).

Another very nice state park really close by, too... Balmorhea State Park - http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/balmorhea

Sheesh... now you got me thinking we need to head out west again... soon!

Enjoy Texas and good luck at SXSW.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:52 PM   #8
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If boondocking, note carefully the presence of no-park Walmarts in the Austin area.
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:32 PM   #9
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Richardson , Texas
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Camping outside of Austin

You won't find anything in Austin during SXSW, so the real question is how far out of the city limits are you willing to drive?

We stayed at Miller Creek RV Resort in Johnson City this fall. It is a bit outside of Austin (15 minutes to Dripping Springs) - maybe far enough away you can get a spot. They are conveniently located at a highway intersection.

Depending on how far you are willing to go, there were several places between Johnson City and Fredricksburg.

You shouldn't need your AC unless you wilt easily. The FantasticFans are all we need outside of the summer season. Once you are west of Austin the air will be nice and dry.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:00 PM   #10
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There were 56 spots at McKinney Falls last week when I reserved for March 1-3.

Tom
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:10 PM   #11
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Yes!!! Ballmorrhea in West Texas. It's just 4 miles off of I-10. A literal oasis of the clearest spring water flowing into a big pool. You can swim and sun. And a great campground. But... book ahead!
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:57 PM   #12
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A bit off topic but you should be aware that in Texas you don't reserve a specific campsite but that you are just assuring yourself of a site for the duration of your reservation matching your criteria. Sites are assigned when you arrive at the park.

Some parks let you drive around to pick a few sites out when you arrive. Others don't but will accommodate a request to change your site if made right away.


Greg
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:05 PM   #13
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Sxsw

There are two Corps of Engineers parks in Georgetown....Jim Hogg and Cedar Breaks. Georgetown is not more than 45 minutes from Austin. We've had great experiences at both.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:08 AM   #14
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Emma long park. On lake austin, pretty / should have spots
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by WherryWillie View Post
We are taking our first real trip in March. Out of the blue a good friend from Denmark said he was at South by South West, Austin, TX and could we meet him there. We are aiming for 11 to 14 of March.

I find that none of the state parks have openings at that time and my initial survey of privates is not encouraging. Any suggestions? Any body in that area that might take in a stranger? We can get by, I think, without any hook-ups. That said, we're from Wisconsin and our unsupported trips so far have been in mild temperatures. We have two, well-mannered golden retrievers, who will stay on the leash.

Which brings me to two -- newbie -- questions.
1. Our dogs have never encountered cactus. Do dogs learn this hazard or am I going to be constantly picking on spines? Do dogs need booties just to walk on the ground?
2. I'm going to proceed from Austin to Alpine then Phoenix to visit family and friends. Is there a threshold temperature at which a person really needs AC and am I pretty likely to encounter that on this route at this time of year?
I just have no feel for this. We spent lots of time in our AS last summer in Wisconsin. We rarely had 30 amps to run even one AC and rarely needed to. Daytime temps in the 70's, evening temps -- typically -- in low 60's and usually at least partial shade.
Thank you,
Be mindful that the traffic in Austin is often insane, even when there are no special events going on. Pack extra patience and enjoy SXSW
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:05 PM   #16
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Try Travis County parks, LCRA parks and RV parks on the Guadalupe River. Maybe Hueco Falls RV Park.

Good luck,

John
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:54 AM   #17
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Spooner , Wisconsin
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All, thanks for the suggestions. I'm starting to click through the various park options. I had looked at a few, including McKinney, before my post and other than SXSW week, it looks like an otherwise slack time of year there. However, as some of you explained, it is a pretty big deal and expect some crowds.
Thanks,
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:15 PM   #18
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Alamogordo , New Mexico
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From Alpine to Phoenix

Hi. We live in Alamogordo, NM, and if you travel through El Paso, TX on your way west to Phoenix it might be worth it to stop in at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Look it up on Google Images. There aren't camping facilities at the Monument, but there is a great state part called Oliver Lee state park within 10 miles of the monument.. great views. Just a thought for a stop on your way west. Also, it shouldn't be too hot in March. 75-80 degrees.
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