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Old 08-06-2020, 02:40 PM   #1
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Tips for Traveling During the "New Normal"

We are preparing to get back on the road again. I've heard that there are some challenges to touring the country during the pandemic.

I would appreciate input about what you are encountering and advice on how to successfully navigate the "new normal" in an Airstream.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:02 PM   #2
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We are preparing to get back on the road again. I've heard that there are some challenges to touring the country during the pandemic.



I would appreciate input about what you are encountering and advice on how to successfully navigate the "new normal" in an Airstream.


We are currently traveling in Southern Colorado. Dolores, Montrose, Lake City, Creede, South Fork. What we are finding is a lot of the RV parks are FULL. So if you know where you want to visit. Call ahead. We havenít checked the NP campgrounds. But we have noticed a lot more than normal RVís on the road. We also seeing a lot more small kids than normal in the parks.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:08 PM   #3
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Wife and I are currently in Montana and other than the requirements to wear a mask grocery shopping today and when doing our laundry we havenít seen too many inconveniences. We also made 2 other stops on the way to get here. Our Park is roughly 70% full; lots of kids as well.

We will be on the road until the first week in September and we arenít feeling things will be too much out of our norm. We rarely go out to eat when we are on the road though. It that is your thing to do you might notice more things being different.

We did go out to eat yesterday for the first time on this trip at 3:30 PM and we were the only customers in the restaurant. We kind of knew if we went early this would be the case. All the staff were wearing masks.

Get out and enjoy yourself, but be ssfe!
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:35 PM   #4
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We have spent the last month tooling around in CO, SD (Frederick county MD where we are from had more COVID cases and deaths than the entire state of SD), UT, WY, and NM.
We have stayed away from the big parks and big towns, and have not had any trouble finding a place to stay (though we got the last spot in a small, but real nice RV park in Durango). We often call that day or the day before to secure a site, if we think we need to. We also have done some boondocking as well with our generators for using the A/C, CPAP, etc. There is plenty to do in small National Monuments, National Recreation area, National Forests, state parks, and other off the beaten path places. (We have already done the "big parks" over the years). If going to any Parks or Monuments, check ahead as we have found that many visitor centers are closed, all state parks and Indian reservations in NM are closed. All ranger guided activities have stopped. The Navajo nation in Four Cornbers, you could barely even get fuel when passing through. Grab your mask every time you leave your vehicle, have plenty of sanitizer. Be prepared to mostly provide your own meals or get take out. Many places were closed in WY; no eat in restaurants any where in NM. We did find many restaurants open at reduced capacity in SD, UT and CO, but only chose places with outdoor dining or open air seating. We are having a great time, probably social distancing even more than we would at home. Right now, I am sitting outside at our covered picnic table with fast Wifi in Isleta Lakes RV park on the Isleta reservation in NM. They are spacing out trailers every other site. One of only 3 casinos open in the whole state. From here we did a little gambling day and trips to https://www.nps.gov/sapu/learn/index.htm AND https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/...etroglyph-site
Don't let the hype keep you home, we are having a great time.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:40 PM   #5
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If you compare being at home -- which means going to grocery store, getting gas once in a while, etc. -- camping in the RV does fairly well. At most, you'll be exposing yourself more at gas stations, but stations are also fairly manageable if they accept credit at the pump. Time your necessary trips to stores to coincide with shopper low periods if you can. On the positive side, you're also outdoors, which does make a difference: Open air flow allows the smaller virus particles to disperse more readily.

And wear your mask and keep your distance. And avoid restaurants. I'll link to an article below that addresses the enclosed air problem.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02058-1

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Old 08-07-2020, 09:13 AM   #6
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I would simply add check the status of States where you plan to travel for any published restrictions. While we cancelled a New Mexico in July because of a new quarantine requirement, we were told by the private parks that they (the parks) were
not monitoring compliance. We have acquaintances who just returned from AZ, NM and CO reporting no problems if you are masked.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:21 AM   #7
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Well....I have been trucking since this started.....10k miles per month....all over the country! While I believe masks are good, not touching anything directly like a door handle or a faucet is more important! I carry a folded paper towel in my shirt pocket if I need to touch anything. Whatever I buy, I wipe down with alcohol wipes or a paper towel soaked with the red ISO HEET. It is 100% isopropanol/rubbing alcohol. Then wipe everything I have touched from the point I unlock my door (including the key!) until everything is put away. Then another quick wipe of my hands. The same thing after fueling. Touch as little as you can in your vehicle ‘til EVERYTHING is wiped. Carry your own pen to sign anything and use the paper towel for any card readers, ATMs etc. Don’t use any touch screens unless you have a wipe handy.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:32 AM   #8
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Well....I have been trucking since this started.....10k miles per month....all over the country! While I believe masks are good, not touching anything directly like a door handle or a faucet is more important! I carry a folded paper towel in my shirt pocket if I need to touch anything. Whatever I buy, I wipe down with alcohol wipes or a paper towel soaked with the red ISO HEET. It is 100% isopropanol/rubbing alcohol. Then wipe everything I have touched from the point I unlock my door (including the key!) until everything is put away. Then another quick wipe of my hands. The same thing after fueling. Touch as little as you can in your vehicle Ďtil EVERYTHING is wiped. Carry your own pen to sign anything and use the paper towel for any card readers, ATMs etc. Donít use any touch screens unless you have a wipe handy.
Oh yea!!! Using alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer or ISO HEET is very flammable!!! It is like using gasoline. Let it evaporate (it does very quickly) before lighting the stove or a smoke!
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:36 AM   #9
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We actually bought special pens via Amazon for use with touch screens, and they seem to do the job. Yes, we sanitize those as well after we use them to touch a screen, push buttons on a keypad, or whatever. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074847T3T
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:48 PM   #10
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Angry Traveling the New Normal and a few minor technical difficulties

Hey Silverwind, we're regional neighbors- residing in San Luis Obispo- nice to hear of another local AS on the Central Coast!!! Our down the street neighbors just bought a Flying Cloud 25 from the AS Dealer (Airstream of Santa Barbara) in Buellton/Solvang, so the boom in RV's is real in CA, and inventory is looking really light, (just a few) based on recent sales. I'm helping my buddy Mike get oriented and encouraging him to go out to a local camp spot to test his connecting routines and familiarity with systems. I'm his enthusiastic, unpaid consultant.

Our recent 4 nighter was to Felton. We met a couple who were teachers from the San Ramon bay area city and they had a 60's Airstream. Being our second trip in as many months, we are enjoying our one-year new Globetrotter 27, and all systems working well, except for a second time that the door lock mechanism came loose (I should have put the blue LocTite on the threads of the three screws as the locksmith in Klamath recommended two weeks ago!) So, we locked ourselves in, again, so again I removed the screen of the escape window in the front bedroom, jumped out, got the door open, recovered the 'jumping screw' and immediately put blue locktite on all three lock cover screws and "manned up" by fixing it myself this time, saving $100 without the locksmith. Common problem, apparently, from the Forum. It's a simple mechanism and should hold now.

The handle on the bathroom door falls off repeatedly, but is tough to tighten with a TEEENY set screw so I think I'll deploy the blue locktite on the shaft of that and report back if it works...

In California, the number of TT's and Motorhomes on the highways appears to be much higher than I ever remember, I naturally check out and am looking at Airstreams and Ford F-250's as TV's as they pass by. I haven't had a situation where I couldn't find a campsite with some advance notice. It was close for us at several sites, just a week in advance for reservations, but we never faces a sold out park.

As mentioned we went up to Felton, near Scotts Valley to Cotillion Gardens in the redwoods. The spaces are tight but the park is run well, people are friendly, mask policies are in force, and they had a pool we used one of the days and had it to ourselves. Up and down Route 101 it seemed that every 10th or 15th vehicle is a TT or motorhome. Tourists, local or long distance, seem to be visiting CA successfully, we saw Florida plates, Utah Plates, Montana, Idaho, and a few others. Most of the people we met in Capitola or Davenport or Santa Cruz were Californians, looking to get out of their Covid Coma. In towns and shops, masking is mandatory currently, and ok by me. Retail therapy is helping the shops that were open. Many were not.

Still in campgrounds, there is a mix of "masking up" or just gathering as usual, such as around campfires and pools with large herds of adults and adults with children. I masked up to go to any stores as I said because it is mandatory. Walking around campsites, everyone was engaging in conversations with mask in pocket and distancing.

We explored beaches and hiking paths as usual, mountain bikers are out in force so people seem to be carefully recreating and getting away from confinement at home. I look forward to another few trips of up to 2 weeks before the year is over, hopefully to go up to Oregon or Washington state.

I dialed in to my new Satellite service through Montana Satellite (finally-after owning the hardware for a year!) we set up and tested the system successfully on Saturday and departed for our trip Sunday--- and unfortunately couldn't use it at all, because of all the trees preventing a shot of the Southern Sky. Wifi and mobile service was terrible as expected, so glamping while working is still a challenge for me, and I need the connectivity. I need to find and select campsites that are satellite friendly.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:15 PM   #11
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Left AZ on July 6. NM state campgrounds we’re still closed but El Morro National Monument was open for camping and dispersed camping in NM’s Carson National Forest was a breeze. OklahomaNs wore very few masks, but we did and continue to do so along our trip. Camped near Garden City KS where the campground was nearly empty. Stayed at the State Park outside Manhattan KS. Advance reservations were required, but they had no problem making them for us on the spot. KS seemed much more serious about masks as have almost all the other states we’ve been through since. Masks are required in most states to enter a place of business. However, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania never stopped anyone from entering without. Not so in NJ. There people were handed masks if they didn’t bring one. Advance reservations with a two day stay are required in NY. They also ask you to answer affirmatively to a three question survey before entering a state campground. Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls did a full body temperature scan. Good for them! But Some male members of their Clean Squad were showing their noses over their masks. My wife says they need to keep it in their pants! Michigan, so far, has been the most lax about the mask requirement. They look at you with disdain if you wear yours, especially in rural small towns. Only in very populated areas and at state run facilities did we see masks being worn by employees.

BTW. - until today we haven’t seen any full campgrounds. Michigan seems to be the exception. There are hordes of people on the roads.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:39 AM   #12
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What were the 3 questions in the NYS park survey?
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:12 AM   #13
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In addition to good advice above, our daily redundancy and [partial coverage] insurance policy includes --

Before leaving the sanctity of the trailer or home, put on a pair of nitrile gloves, and remain "gloved" until you return back to the sanctum. In the back of our van, accessible from the open rear doors, there is a generous supply of all supplies: alcohol, paper towels, wipes, bleach spray, a dedicated trash bag, clean face masks, hand sanitizer, and so forth.

After any suspect activity like pumping gas, if one is careful removing possibly "dirty" gloves in the correct way, after re-gloving one's hands can remain sanctum-sanitary.

Wash hands well when back in the sanctum.

Redundancy is a good thing . . . belt and suspenders . . .

Happy trails,
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:25 AM   #14
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Donít use any touch screens unless you have a wipe handy.
I discovered my local grocery has a "pay with the app" function. Rather than use the card reader, you simply hold your phone so the app "sees" the blob on the screen. "Done" appears and you've paid without touching anything.
I feel better about wearing gloves than I do about masks. It just makes sense shopping, getting gas, touching door handles or grocery carts.
Then I pull one off, hold it in the other hand and pull that one off so it turns inside out containing everything.
Harbor Freight has the nitrile gloves, box of 100 for about $10. I bought them to handle the sewer hose, but use them for everything now. I've never torn one.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:33 AM   #15
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It's great that you're using gloves, but do NOT go without your mask! There is mounting evidence that this virus is spread primarily on airborne particles of mucus. Stay away from smaller enclosed spaces (outfits of small physical dimension); limit your proximity to others, of course; use your prophylactic device (masks are the most usual); and limit your duration of exposure. Probably the worst thing you could do would be to go into a small restaurant with ventilation just sufficient to keep it comfortable, sit down, and have a nice, leisurely meal without a mask. (God, do I miss doing just that, or what!?! But nothing to do about it.)

Here's the summary article:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02058-1

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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I discovered my local grocery has a "pay with the app" function. Rather than use the card reader, you simply hold your phone so the app "sees" the blob on the screen. "Done" appears and you've paid without touching anything.
I feel better about wearing gloves than I do about masks. It just makes sense shopping, getting gas, touching door handles or grocery carts.
Then I pull one off, hold it in the other hand and pull that one off so it turns inside out containing everything.
Harbor Freight has the nitrile gloves, box of 100 for about $10. I bought them to handle the sewer hose, but use them for everything now. I've never torn one.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:51 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for you responses. I picked up some great ideas.

Other than staying at a private winery camping space a few times, we haven't really been out since February. We normally do 4-6 week spring and fall trips and a few shorter ones in between.

We are setup to do almost indefinite dry camping and over the years have stayed in some fairly remote areas devoid of campers. I've heard that some of those areas have been "discovered" by Covid refugees who want to avoid human contact.

We're off to camp at Pinnacles National Park next week. Temps in the 90s should keep the crowds thinner than seen during the rest of the year. Looking forward to some socially distanced fun with Airstream friends.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:45 AM   #17
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Water

Iíve found getting water to be a little more challenging since even places like McDonaldís are a bit more hesitant or unlikely to have water available in the fountain. But thatís starting to reverse a bit up in Canada now. So plan ahead on your drinking water especially if you donít have a Propur/Berkey available.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:29 AM   #18
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Weíve traveled from Fl to MI during the height of the virus. Came in contact with few people and those being at grocery stores where you would at home. No matter the requirements of the state, WEAR A MASK AND EXERCISE ALL PRECAUTiONS. Try to hit gas pumps where pumps in close proximity (same bank of pumps) are unoccupied. Call parks ahead of time, make a reservation, pay with a credit card and ask them to assign a site number then so youíre able to drive right to your site. If itís not acceptable call the office and explain and asked to be changed. We walk the grounds nightly and always were able to safely distance from others. We found everyone to be 100% cooperative.
Weíre headed out again next week.
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:13 PM   #19
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I just got back from a 2 1/2 week trip, from Southern CA, through the southwest and midwest, ending in Tennessee, up through KY, Indiana, Illinois, MO, and Kansas. It was a great trip and every place varied based upon local laws. Some places didn't require masks, some did.



While I was in Nashville sightseeing, I was told by a police officer to put on my mask. I was later told by someone that they had instituted an ordinance that day to require full time mask wearing. The officer was extremely nice and helpful. Everyone was. Most places just went with the flow.


The good thing was by the time I took this trip, most places had slowly started to reopen so I was able to tour Graceland, the Maker's Mark distillery, the Hermitage, etc. as along as I wore a mask. Most places are giving limited tours with advance tickets. So if you plan ahead, it works great.


The one negative was I did run into some unforeseen closures I didn't expect. So they will have to wait for the next trip!
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:07 PM   #20
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Extra Caution at the Dump Station

I haven't seen this mentioned, please take extra precautions at the dump station.
Covid virus is present in feces. Feces would not smell if it did not aerosolize. Wear eye and face protection in addition to your gloves. I also added easy to sanitize booties to go over my shoes. Sanitize your face shied or googles, booties and gloves before you put them away. Sanitize water valves before use. For our typical short trips I added a macerator pump and hose so I could avoid dump stations all together, by using our home sewer clean out.
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