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Old 02-12-2019, 01:56 PM   #1
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2019 33' Classic
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Newbie trying to plan cross country trip

We are newbies and after a couple local trips (being planned), we want to head to see family in Wyoming. I am in charge of scouting out the route. There are so many sites, clubs & organizations to join, that i'd like to narrow down the choices. Suggestions as to the best ones?

Second thing we need to research is storage when we're home, but not using. Current property laws do not allow to place in driveway in front of house. Local storage searches have come up empty- only 10' by 30' max. Any suggestions on where you store your Airstream when not using would be appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:40 PM   #2
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Look for a farmer close by. They generally have more space than they need.


Get the All Stay app for your phone. It can answer a lot of questions while on the road.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:55 PM   #3
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Hi there. Welcome to the forums. Everyone seems to have a favorite for planning. The Allstays app seems to be the preferred. I must admit that we haven’t been using it that long but there is a ton of good information on it. For advance planning I like the Good Sam trip planner. I relay like the oddities tab which has led us to some neat things like the Jolly Green Giant in Minnesota and the RV museum in Indiana. Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:08 PM   #4
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I just did that trip. As a newbie breaking in the new trailer, I picked mostly KOA camps. They can be relied on to have room for a new guy to pull through, reliable utilities, and a painless reservation system. But costly. I averaged $41 a night coming from New Jersey to Tennessee to California. If I had to do it again, I would stay at more state and county parks, which I found usually more spacious and much less expensive. I used custom Google Maps to identify my "tourist" destinations, then RV TripWizard and RV Parky for campgrounds and fuel stations. Book farther in advance if you are traveling during any holiday. Stay safe.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:28 AM   #5
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I like to use www.campgroundreviews.com in conjunction with Google maps. I lay out each potential leg, choosing a length that matches my preferred estimated distance or time, and then look on Campground Reviews for the highest rated RV Parks near that day's destination. Works for me, but I like planning . . .
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:42 AM   #6
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When we drove from Seattle to the 2016 Internat'l Rally in West Virginia, we drove 14-15 or so hours/day just to get there, so we were not looking for amenities in any RV park. Typically, we stayed overnight in either WalMart parking lots or public rest stops along a highway. No charge, it worked for us, and we drove over 2500 miles & got there in less than five days. When we came back, we spent six weeks and used our Passport America card as much as we could, typically paying around $20-25/night.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:12 AM   #7
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We belong to Good Sam and are considering PA and Escapees for discounts. We mostly stay in improved sites. The only time we have not was when I couldn't get into any of the three sites the park tried to give us. We left and stayed at a Cracker Barrel - highly recommended! We ate dinner and breakfast there. For planning I use the RV Trip Wizard web site. It is $39 a year, and is web-based meaning you can get it on anything, a laptop, phone iPad, etc. Disadvantage is you have to have internet access. If you anticipate no access you can download a trip's itinerary in the form of a set of turn by turn directions. It has features to show you campgrounds (not just the ones that pay to be on there, but private, state, county, COE parks, etc. You can get a free trial version for a week or so.

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Old 02-13-2019, 11:17 AM   #8
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Madairs - I would think that you will need to get real creative to find a place to store on Long Island. Ideas - talk to the closest AS dealer for ideas - consider offering to build a two stall garage on someone elses lot for an extended lease arrangement to store their coach and yours - check boat storage facilities - a warehouse business may have unused space you can lease - consider a location in the general direction you want to travel so getting the coach is a headstart on the trip, a 100 miles is a long way, but not if you want to go there - AS only parks can be an alternative.

Jackson Center has a lot of coaches on site - maybe you need to have service or modifications to make your coach perfect.

We saw an RV that interested us in a local RV park. We suspect it was being stored there. You might check out that type of storage.

Good luck with your research. Pat
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:32 AM   #9
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For storage see if a local airfield has hanger space for rent. That has worked well for me, fully protected and with an electrical outlet.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:04 PM   #10
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Finding campsites

We've done the trip to Wyoming from the east coast. Our routine is to select spots along the way to spend 2-4 days either touring, relaxing or visiting friends. We prefer government campgrounds as they offer nicer sites.

We "book it" between those spots, which for us are 6-7 hour drives, using KOAs along the way. For Wyoming, we booked it to Minnesota, stayed there a few days, booked it to the Black Hills for a few days, then on to Wyoming.

Sam's, KOA club and RV Park Reviews are our references. When uncertain, we've had great luck posting the AirForum for specific campground advice.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:25 PM   #11
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Welve learned over the years, be flexible! A solid itinerary with reservations every night sounds wonderful -but may be horrible in the long run. Traffic may be unpredictable -we live in Napa and it can take 4 hours to get to San Francisco...not recommended when you plan on driving 600 miles that day! Weather can come up -in Wyoming we were threatened by a dust storm/tornado warning and finally got smart and hid out in a Walmart parking lot for 5 hours (still dangerous, we watched shopping carts doing about 35 mph damaging both cars and trailers and cause countless accidents). Personal comfort has to be considered -nothing can take the wind out of your sails like a migraine or back pain or something on your rig than needs fixing -like three tires blown out all in a single afternoon (and yes, we ran over something nasty!). And, don't forget you may discover someplace so pretty and peaceful you don't want to move on quite as quickly as you thought you would. AllStays, Campendium, RVParky, KOA app -all can give you a good idea of what is around the area you are in. Locals can usually point you to a good park or a good restaurant and those big name stops (Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Cabela's) are great in a pinch, too.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:52 PM   #12
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We head west to the Rockies, Yellowstone, Tetons, etc. almost yearly. EZ Pass makes life easier on toll roads from NY to Wis. Day 1 - Destination - Travel Plaza Amherst, Ohio Turnpike (Middle Ridge Service Plaza it has RV parking with electric hookup - $20) Our Routes - I-87 south - I-90 NY Thruway west - I-80 west - Day 2 - Destination - Walmart Super Store, Exit 5, 3107 Market Pl, Onalaska, WI 54650 - Routes - I-80/90, I-80 west to avoid going thru heart of Chicago - I-39 north, I-90 west - Day 3 - Destination - Wall, SD, Sleepy Hallow Campground in the heart of Wall SD - fun tourist town - empty black and gray tanks - (options nearby - Badlands National Park and Mt. Rushmore are a must if you have never been there) Routes - I-90 West - Day 4 - Destination - Cody, WY - Absaroka Bay Campground - great town with lots to see - Western Museum a must - Rodeo every night - stock up on supplies before YS - Routes - I-90 West to Buffalo WY, Route 16 west over Big Horn Mountains - Day 5 - On to Yellowstone via Route 14 west. Any questions email me at: sgraner@aol.com
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:12 PM   #13
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We never plan ahead...I don’t have to be anywhere...I will get there when I get there...we went to Nova Scotia last fall....never hurried..good trip....couple weeks heading to California...don’t even know which way.....we will decide when we get to Idaho........kiss....keep it simple....
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:36 PM   #14
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If you just want to get to Wyoming without detours along the way and are traveling in summer, I-80 is about as good as anything. It gets hugely congested around Chicago, but the heavy traffic there is hard to avoid.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:59 PM   #15
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RV trip planner (app and laptop) along with RVpark reviews. The trip planner allows you to accurately plan how far you can reasonably drive based on how fast you are comfortable driving. I start every trip with it. We do a few days planned and then “mystery-caravan” a few days, then plan a few days. We have also been known to have a hotel stay & a fancy dinner for a night after about two weeks on the road. It’s nice and refreshing after “camping” and makes a long toad trip seem more manageable.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:56 AM   #16
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Hi, there and welcome!

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Wyoming (starting point was Virginia) this summer. I'm a planner and get a bit anxious if everything isn't planned out...untll this trip.

We planned the first few stops because we knew the route, but, once we got about three days out, we started "winging it" and it was very, very easy to do. Our routine was to drive until about noon, estimate how much longer we wanted to drive and then use Good Sams App and AllStays in conjunction to pick a place to stay for the night. I'd call from the car, (or use the internet if we were someplace where it was available) to make reservations.

Even in the summer, when everyone is traveling, it's very easy to find a place to stay out west. And, with this technique, we could better estimate when we'd be at the next stop. Some of the roads (and weather conditions) were terrible and we would have had to really push to make pre-arranged camping reservations. In addition, we got some great advice from locals in the campgrounds about different routes and where to stay next so it was easy to change our plans to adjust to the new information. We had a fantastic time and I didn't stress about making the next stop. (And remember, in a pinch, you can camp at Walmart or Cabela's.)

I would also suggest checking out Harvest Hosts (harvesthosts.com). For a very small annual fee, you can stay at vineyards and farms (and even golf courses) overnight for free. The caveat is that you have to contact the host prior to your visit and usually can stay for just one night, but it's a very inexpensive option.

Good luck and I hope this information helps!
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:44 PM   #17
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We agree with "Tweeds" above

We live in far NW Washington near BC, and for our spring and fall roadtrips and if we have to use freeways around populated places, we may book the first two nights so we can put in longer hours and not have to worry where to stay and if they have spaces. After that, we like using Allstays from the road and around noon or so, when we stop for lunch, we decide how much further to go and call from the road if we have cell service.

Doing this on our fall road trip through western Colorado, and down the "Million Dollar Highway", we chose Pagosa Springs, CO as our stop. We had no idea we came into town when their annual Color Fest weekend was happening and we had a ball, and extended our stay for a couple more nights. If we had booked each night on our travels, we could not have had the impulse to extend our stay.

Not sure where in WY you have in mind, but there are lots of places like Devils Tower near the Black Hills, SD (Mt Rushmore) and scenery around there. Buffalo is a fun place with the historic Occidental Hotel and Bar which looks nearly the same as when all the cowboy outlaws and law at some point drew a whiskey before their guns and fists came out (bullet holes a many!). Have a great adventure!
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:51 PM   #18
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You won't like this answer, but it's worked for me for 30 years. "Don't over plan, just go!"
That way, you're not stressed by having to get somewhere on time, you can always find a good campground, maybe not a state park or National park, but they're out there, even Walmart for a nite. (in middle America)
Have a decent GPS and kinda follow it, but not to the letter.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:20 PM   #19
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I agree...loosely defined. From OR...headed for key west, atlanta, the carolina's Washington mo and home. Budget = 3 months. When we left, our only firm resies were key west (2 in fiesta key )))) and for at 4 at boyd's in key west...across the river actually). OTR we made resies at lake lanier (Suwanee, ga) as it is over pres day weekend. Otherwise winging it...pho, san antonio, new iberia, gulf shores etc and the panhandle...crap for weather so winging it was the ticket as we headed for that lost shaker of salt. However that wing it stratgey got us grand lake rv resort, ocala fl. Lets take the next FW sign...camping and call it good....or the next WM. A great place to rnr, laundry, explore ocala/gainsville and just relax...( Wish i had seen touringdans post on cedar key). It was a bit of a scramble as we hokey poked it s on the west coast of fl pending our FIRM resies in the keys.

Left the keys NB winging it and discovered overflow for 1 night was the last room at the inn in Fort pierce . Certainly our desire for 2-3 days in cocoa beach or st augistine after a dozen failed calls for...can you fit in a small 20 for a couple of nights? this section of coast may be less reservable at the last minute than KW.

Having said, it a combo of both. Research the night before, with off ramp #'s or blue highsay cross highways, and a phone number. Then hit the road, turn on the tunz and wing it. Just be reasonable re planned mileage and factor in that unexpected side trip in our case the the allman bro house in macon.
Happy trails
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MADAirs View Post
We are newbies and after a couple local trips (being planned), we want to head to see family in Wyoming. I am in charge of scouting out the route. There are so many sites, clubs & organizations to join, that i'd like to narrow down the choices. Suggestions as to the best ones?

Second thing we need to research is storage when we're home, but not using. Current property laws do not allow to place in driveway in front of house. Local storage searches have come up empty- only 10' by 30' max. Any suggestions on where you store your Airstream when not using would be appreciated.
Welcome to the forum MADAirs!

To your storage question. We stayed at Liberty RV Park in Jersey City for 3 days last October. They have a small amount of full hook-up sites that were naturally full, but they allowed us to boon dock in the gravel-topped boat yard behind it. A couple of dozen others did like us and stayed in their overflow lot.

They had plenty of space for more boats & RV's and I'd bet for a price, they would rent a slot in their boat yard on a long term basis (it sure looked like some of the boats had been there for a while).

It is located at the very south end of Marin Blvd. just across the Hudson from the Financial District. I believe you'd take the Holland Tunnel (we used the ferry). They have 24 "rent-a-guards" on premises for whatever security that provides. They also have some 120v outlets that some of the boats were plugged into. They allowed us to use them and it kept our batteries topped up during the time we camped there. Perhaps it is worth checking out.

Good luck.
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