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Old 07-06-2016, 09:13 AM   #1
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Planning for a long trip / overnights?

My wife & I are planing our 1st long trip with the new 5íer. We will be going about 1500 miles to hook-up with our youngest daughter & son-in-law. They both are Military Security Forces SSGT and we donít get to see them enough, so this is our big 2-week camping trip together. They are traveling with their camper from Cheyenne WY and we are coming from Cape Cod MA. Iím hoping to travel about 650 miles the 1st day, 550 2nd day & 300 the final day & arrive at the campsite around 2:00. My question for those that have traveled multiple days, do you:


#1 - Reserve a campsite before you leave, where you plan to spend the night
#2 Ė Wing-it and try to find a local campsite when your done traveling for the day
#3 Ė Find a local Wal-mart & just park for the night


Iíve done 2-day traveling trips before and just booked a campsite at the location I planned to stop for the night before leaving. This time, Iím not sure if I should do the same. We wouldnít mind just parking at a Wal-Mart and climb into the bedroom for the night. But what if its too hot out to sleep without AC? I think most Wal-Martís donít want you using a generator over-night, right? Plus weíll need to shower, etc.



So Iím just wondering what others do / plan for on longer trips?

Thanks,
DaveÖ
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:07 AM   #2
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The first and last time I used a campground, I called ahead and made reservations.


Travel issues caused me to arrive late. Even thought the office was closed for the night, I was able to find a spot and complete the paperwork in the morning.


So, my advice is to plan and prepare as much as possible. Foul-ups, bleeps and blunders are part of life.


Plan, include contingencies and cutouts. Understand how to level your RV after dark and in the rain.


Above all else.... enjoy your time with your family while on the road!
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:17 AM   #3
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when we travel, We plan out route and where we will be stopping for the night. Once we get our location of where we are planning on stopping, I check for local wally marts. Then I call and speak with the manager and ask for his/her permission to park for the night.


I have never been asked to turn off the generator that is powering my AC if it is hot outside. (Use 2 Yamaha 2000 Inverter generators in parallel). Of course I don't park right beside anyone either.


I have only been denied 2 times 1 was because the city owned the parking lot and not wally mart so the police enforced NO OVERNIGHT PARKING. the OTHER THE MANAGER SAID THAT THEY HAVE HAD ISSUES WITH STUFF BEING STOLEN IN THE PARKING LOTS AND SAID WE COULD SPEND THE NIGHT , HOWEVER, SHE WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IT. (WE MOVED ON).
Every time we travel, if we are stopping to sleep and move on, we have stayed in Wally marts. Never had any issues. Plus, it is cheaper than campgrounds. Quieter and safer than truck stops.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:24 AM   #4
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Dave,

Wow, 650 miles the first day? I guess I'm more of a wimp and don't want to do that many miles in one day. From what I've been told by others, the average speed will be about 55 to 60 mph. Then, multiply by the max driving hours of 10 per day (including potty and food breaks), our thinking was that would cover about 550 miles--maximum. We want to be able to get to the RV Park at a decent time. Of course, we have to consider the time zone changes too.

Regarding your options below, we didn't want to leave things to chance, so we made reservations ahead of time. This way, we are guarantee a spot. We will do Walmart, if we have to. But, really don't prefer it. I have to have my hot shower at the end of the day.

Keith

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero_Dave View Post
My wife & I are planing our 1st long trip with the new 5’er. We will be going about 1500 miles to hook-up with our youngest daughter & son-in-law. They both are Military Security Forces SSGT and we don’t get to see them enough, so this is our big 2-week camping trip together. They are traveling with their camper from Cheyenne WY and we are coming from Cape Cod MA. I’m hoping to travel about 650 miles the 1st day, 550 2nd day & 300 the final day & arrive at the campsite around 2:00. My question for those that have traveled multiple days, do you:


#1 - Reserve a campsite before you leave, where you plan to spend the night
#2 – Wing-it and try to find a local campsite when your done traveling for the day
#3 – Find a local Wal-mart & just park for the night


I’ve done 2-day traveling trips before and just booked a campsite at the location I planned to stop for the night before leaving. This time, I’m not sure if I should do the same. We wouldn’t mind just parking at a Wal-Mart and climb into the bedroom for the night. But what if its too hot out to sleep without AC? I think most Wal-Mart’s don’t want you using a generator over-night, right? Plus we’ll need to shower, etc.



So I’m just wondering what others do / plan for on longer trips?

Thanks,
Dave…
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:28 AM   #5
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I've done a little of everything, had reservations for an overnighter, got a few hours sleep in waysides, pulled into a CG late at night without reservations and used their night drop to pay for a site and leave before the office opens. We even called ahead to a couple of motels asking if we could overnight in their lots. No problem, one even offered to let us use their inside facilities. We didn't end up staying at either though, just kept on driving.

Our preference is a CG with clean showers. Most of the time you do not need a reservation, especially if it's a weeknight.

650 miles in one day is ambitious, especially if you aren't used to long days driving. Realistically you plan 2 hours for every 100 miles. That's a 13 hour day. I've done 15, but I'm getting to the point that I don't want to do more than 10-12 hours. After our last towing trip of 700 miles, we've decided that no more really long trips with the trailer until I retire.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:33 AM   #6
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You may find it too muggy in the Midwest to sleep without A/C this time of year. WY can get pretty windy just take it slow.

Don't rule out casinos for overnight parking. When we traveled from AZ to NY we found several that had a campground next to it and relatively inexpensive, ex: $17 with full hookups with Good Sam discount. We felt safer spending the night in a casino parking lot than Walmart. Casinos usually have security doing the rounds.

When on the road we usually book the first night so we have a destination and a spot for the first night. Other than that we wing it. Usually start checking Trailer Life directory which I think is part of Woodall now about 2 hours out and call to make a reservation where we might stop.

Hope it helps.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:53 AM   #7
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We don't mind spending $25-40 for a campsite with full hook-ups. With that in mind we use the Good Sam app and website to find campsites along our route. We wing it and when we eat dinner will decide how much longer we want to drive, look for CG in that area and call ahead to see if any spots available. We have only done this 4 nights so far and haven't had a problem finding a spot first call. The areas where I thought we would end up when planning the trip and where we actually stopped for the night never matched. In my case I usually drove farther than I thought. On the way home we felt good and ended up driving 12 hours straight and getting home around 1am instead of having 3-4 hour drive the last day. Bottom line I don't think you will have a problem winging it but it is what you are more comfortable with.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfflyer View Post
The areas where I thought we would end up when planning the trip and where we actually stopped for the night never matched. In my case I usually drove farther than I thought.
Exactly my thought too.
Thanks everyone for your input. I don't mind driving at all. In fact, I prefer to drive instead of being a passenger. I've driven coast-to-coast twice. Once in a 24' UHAUL pulling my car behind it and once in a Toyota Tacoma PU. When we went to pickup the camper in April, although not towing the rig, I did 750 the 1st night and could have easily done more. The 2nd day with the new 5'er (our 1st 5th-wheel) I put in 450 and that felt very easy to me. I think as long as we don't get stuck in traffic, I'll be OK. Another reason it may be hard to book ahead instead of winging-it.

Dave...
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:28 AM   #9
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Before we even departed on our first long trip (Mich-Fla) last year, I broke down the mileage as best as I could into even parts and limited my driving time to approx. 6-7 hours/day since I was the only one willing to drive. Once I had my estimated stopping points, I researched campgrounds in each area, picked 2-3 that would work and wrote down addresses and contact info.

Then each late afternoon, I called ahead and made sure I had a pull thru with full hookups for the following night. Was nice to know I had a spot no matter what time we arrived and would be able to keep the TT hitched each night. We also have found with numerous other shorter trips that pull thru's tend to be more level than other types of sites and all we usually have to do is maybe drop the tongue jack to bring the trailer level front to back and then "plug in". Also made for plenty of time to shower, shave and enjoy a self prepared dinner and breakfast. When we arrived, we were all safe, well rested and ready for our vacation.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:49 AM   #10
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A friend that traveled a lot for his job once gave me a simple formula to figure travel time. Over the past 50 years I have found it to be very accurate. Miles times 2 will give you your travel time and as a rule driving 70 mph or 55 mph does not seem to have much effect on the rule. Going 650 miles will usually take approx. 13 hrs. You will stop for fuel, perhaps to eat, and possibly pottie breaks. My concern would not be CAN you drive 13 hrs. but more SHOULD you ? You will not be as sharp mentally at the end of 13 hrs. as at the start. Everyone is different, for me and 8 hr day is enough. Enjoy yuour trip.
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