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Old 05-31-2020, 07:24 AM   #1
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Trip planning

Iíd like some suggestions on how you plan a trip. We havenít had our airstream that long and are thinking of going from Texas to Montana. It seems overwhelming just planning it. Investigating rv parks to stop along the way and where to stop! Itís a lot of work and would like to know how you all tackle it! Thanks!
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:46 AM   #2
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On our first major trip to Canada from Nebraska some 10 years ago. I planned the whole trip. Every stop, made reservations months in advance. Picked out sites to see both going and returning home.
Felt nothing but pressure the whole trip because we had to,be THERE. Because we made reservations.
Now we try to limit our daily drive to 300 miles. Pick out a couple of places to stay each day. Usually call to see if one or the other has space for 1 or 2 nights. Usually call early afternoon to find a space. It has worked for us. No pressure because we know we can make that destination. We don't worry about the next day until it is here.
The only place we make early reservations is the final destination.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:23 AM   #3
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I hear that Dumas, TX has a city park with electric and water. And it is free.
There is a nice KOA in Colorado City, CO.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:31 AM   #4
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I find the planning process for long journeys to be a nonlinear process, with a bit of trial-n-error thrown in. If you are a Good Sam member, they have a decent planning tool where you can enter starting and ending points (and any interim points, for that matter) and a fairly-comprehensive list of nearby camp sites pop up along your journey. This helps us plan approximate stop-over points. I say "approximate", because we find the Good Sam campground ratings to be highly variable and somewhat arbitrary, so we make good use of Google to narrow down potential options for any given day. In the off-season, we usually "wing it" and make "just in time" reservations. We are finding that we need to be more organized during the high season. This does create a bit of stress, and we've lost a few deposits...so I guess we're still learning as well.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:40 AM   #5
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My first cross-country trip, I used RVTrip Wizard, plugged in my location and final destination (Tennessee to California). Then looked at the route and selected places to see, things to do. Museums, zoos, tourist attractions, friends. Looked for camps close to those things, and set RVTripWizard planning tools to stay at least 3 days in each of those locations. To keep it easy, and allow me to learn camping and my trailer, I looked for KOAs first, then Escapees parks.
Now in my almost third year, using Harvest Host, Campendium, RVParky and other planning tools. I keep the travel to <300 miles, arrive before dark, watch the weather, have a plan B. The only time I definitely book a month in advance is around a holiday. Otherwise, a day or two.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:44 AM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

When we take off in Lucy there is, at best, an overall plan. This year we are planning to hit the Canadian Border in Montana and follow the paved road closest to the Border eastward to Maine. We will probably be gone about 90 days and our only final destination in back here at home in the Florida Panhandle.

We rarely make any advance reservations as we are never sure how far we are going that day. Some days we go 400 miles and others we go 50 miles. It just depends on what we see along the way. Our usual routine is to check camping options nearby at about 3:00 PM. We have been traveling this way for over 14 years now. During that time, we have spent over 2,100 nights in our Airstream, and have almost 200,000 miles of Airstream towing under our belts.

Our travel pattern avoids Interstate Highways wherever possible. We follow the US and State Highways. This way we get to see the nooks and crannies of this great country.

This is how we plan an Airstream trip.

Brian

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Old 05-31-2020, 10:33 AM   #7
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I like the AllStays app and PocketEarth.

The night before or each morning, decide what you want to see and which road you want to take...side roads and scenic routes being the best...decide about how far you want to drive and look for a place to spend the night.

If you need a campground, calling ahead each morning will probably get you one, but being always prepared to spend the night in a parking lot gives you lots of flexibility.

I like hookups if I must have heat or air conditioning, otherwise like the flexibility of not needing one.

Sitting still on a weekend is a good idea, as campsites can be harder to find, and making those reservations in advance gives peace of mind.

Enjoy!

Maggie
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:44 AM   #8
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Normally, I travel like Lily and Me and Moosetags ó kind of head in the general direction, maybe start calling ahead after lunch.

This summer might be a little weird. Some parks are only filling every other campsite, some arenít open yet, lots of new rigs being sold.

If we head out (granted, unlikely), I suspect weíll try to at least make reservations early for the week-ends. I really like Allstays for that.
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Old 05-31-2020, 01:03 PM   #9
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I normally donít make reservations and try my best to stay off the interstate system however sometimes it works for me. Personally I like US and State Highways. I do most of my traveling Sunday-Thursday usually between 8am and 3pm if possible unless I have a campground reservation weekends tend to to get busy and I donít like long driving days I get tired and so many folks are distracted as they drive. I would advise you to be mindful of US and Canadian summer holidays. Have fun and donít limit yourself itís about seeing North America at a slower pace if at all possible.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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OPPS, Sorry I failed to answer the question. I usually use Good Sam trip planner and an atlas. I also stop at the state welcome centers or city information center for a state map. One other thing I do is kinda get a good feel for the region Iím gonna travel and order the state or province official travel guide from each they will usually include the official road map. Then I look at the travel guide and calendar of events and start planning from there.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:42 PM   #11
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We always have reservations or at least know where we want to stay for the night (if it is a place that doesn't take reservations) and know what time we need to arrive to get a spot.

For drive time estimates, I have found that this works for us.

Estimate an "average " speed of 55 mph based on miles to drive. Add 45 minutes time for a smaller metro area (Omaha, Des Moines) and add 1 hour 15 minutes for a larger metro (Denver) or a rush hour in a smaller metro.

This will "average out" driving at 62-65 on the highway, and allot time for gas/quick meal in the Airstream/bathroom break.

This has worked for us on long trips.

Also make note of where time zones change.

Once I have all of the info--driving distance, route, desired arrival time, then you can figure out the drive time, and know what time you must leave in the morning to hit your goal.

Also-always gas up at arrival before staying the night. Mornings at fuel stations are super slow.

Always arrive before dark if possible. (look it up!). If you know you will arrive after it is dark, be prepared with headlamps and some lanterns to set on the ground for parking.

We usually stay at RV parks or KOA en route. Once you have your route planned, you can post it and ask for recommendations for the travel overnights.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiltermimi View Post
I’d like some suggestions on how you plan a trip. We haven’t had our airstream that long and are thinking of going from Texas to Montana. It seems overwhelming just planning it. Investigating rv parks to stop along the way and where to stop! It’s a lot of work and would like to know how you all tackle it! Thanks!
I'm not that organized. I signed up for RVTrip wizard last year. It's great for the planners. But once I had to delay my trip a day or two, it all went out the window.
Now I use two free apps, Gas Buddy and Allstays. I pull over in a rest area about 3PM, look what RV parks are an hour or two ahead, read the reviews, and call.
The days of a campground office being open at 10pm are over. I'm happy if they're open at 6 pm.
You're ahead of the game if you have a co-pilot, since she/he can call while still driving. I pull over.
I'm not big on WalMart overnighting, but I might try Cracker Barrel.
I also joined Harvest Host, but so far they never seem to be along my path.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:56 PM   #13
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We decide where we want to go. Then we pack up and start going there. It works.
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Old 05-31-2020, 03:37 PM   #14
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Trip planning

Cracker Barrel is a decent overnight if you are fully self-contained. Weíve needed to run the inverter generator for cooling, and if we have to do that I park far as from the building or other RVs in their lot as I can get. Donít want to share what little noise it makes. Usually the A/C unit drowns out the generator, even outside.

If they donít share a parking lot in a big shopping center itís usually not a problem. If they have RV pull-through parking its easy and allowed.

Always polite to have a meal or two with the location and to call to verify that overnight parking is allowed.

Weíve had to give Airstream tours to the staff occasionally. Nice thing is takeout meals if the dogs are being restless or DW does not feel Ďpresentableí for one reason or another. Their new app makes it easy to find them and order takeout if you want.

They are very accommodating in our experience. There is usually a grassy area that you can use to walk your dogs and always be sure to thoroughly clean up after them!
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:32 PM   #15
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I like the AllStays app and PocketEarth.

Maggie
What do you like about PocketEarth?
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:21 PM   #16
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What I like the most is that it tracks my exact location in real time, without internet service.

If you make a wrong turn, you know immediately.

It does everything else any other map app does, routing and talking to you if you like that.

I plot my route each day, dropping little colored rounds for highway changes, some other marker for where I am going to spend the night, etc., then remove them when I am done with them.

It is a great app.

Maggie
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:23 PM   #17
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Asking somebody what's the "best RV camping App" is like asking what's the best Beer.
Take a look at several and pick for yourself. Suggest you don't won't pay for any.
My favorite is ParkAdvisor. We travel 250 to 350 per day so we're stopping to smell the roses a bit. But at the End-of-the-Day I'll throw in the towel with any KOA. $$$ but you most always can get in on short notice. And they're 500+ of them. Way out west in Wyoming & N Dakota, private CG's thin out a bit. But you can see that on an app.
Safe Travels
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Quiltermimi View Post
Iíd like some suggestions on how you plan a trip. We havenít had our airstream that long and are thinking of going from Texas to Montana. It seems overwhelming just planning it. Investigating rv parks to stop along the way and where to stop! Itís a lot of work and would like to know how you all tackle it! Thanks!


Our vote is down load app ďAllstaysĒ. We very rarely have reservations. No more than 350 miles a day. Enjoy the ride.
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Old 06-01-2020, 03:01 PM   #19
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We are picking up our 2020 FC Rear Bed Twin this week. We are in Florida, somewhat stuck here, but want to head home to Milford, PA end of June. I see you are close by. Looking forward to this way of life. Any suggestions on how to fit our our trailer is appreciated.
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:29 PM   #20
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What I like the most is that it tracks my exact location in real time, without internet service.

If you make a wrong turn, you know immediately.

It does everything else any other map app does, routing and talking to you if you like that.

I plot my route each day, dropping little colored rounds for highway changes, some other marker for where I am going to spend the night, etc., then remove them when I am done with them.

It is a great app.

Maggie
Sounds good. Thanks for the reply.

I just got PocketEarth.

Canít figure out how to do all you do with it, but Iím just started with the fiddling.

If I canít make it dash like it should, I may ask for your guidance.

I like the works-offline part.
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