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Old 08-12-2018, 02:59 PM   #1
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Advice for western trip

Hey everyone, we are looking to take our 30 Coleman out west this year, most likely November ish...
We will be coming from North Florida and plan to head to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon area.
I would like to take I40 across rather than I10.
We will be traveling with our two daughters so Iíll be needing to break up the drive a little bit.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice for this trip or any must see spots or campgrounds either along the way or in the Grand Canyon area?

Also is there anything special anyone would suggest I do to my camper or tow rig (GMC duramax) for the different environment?

Thank you!
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:38 PM   #2
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Ok, first off... let's take the Grand Canyon... in November...

Northern Arizona is VERY different from southern Arizona. Like about 5'000 ft in altitude different. As such, it's quite common for it to be snowing up there in November, depending on how late in the month you plan to go.

Now, logistics: If you're planning to visit the Phoenix area, make your reservations NOW! November is the first month of "snowbird" season... and if you wait too long, you'll find many places are already booked for the winter.

Because of this, many campgrounds & resorts in the area are age-restricted properties for those 55 & older. Do your homework accordingly.

Using the I-40 route, there really isn't much to see or do once you're west of Oklahoma City... and the landscape will begin changing considerably once you're past Amarillo. Speaking of Amarillo... just west of town you'll find one of the 'great roadside attractions' just south of the interstate: The Cadillac Ranch. Not really all that great, but fun to stop & see just once in your lifetime.

Once you're in Arizona... plan a day to tour the Painted Desert at the Petrified Forest National Park. I-40 bisects the park, and I bypassed the place many times on my travels down I-40... until one day I finally stopped in, and now I wished that I had done so much earlier. An absolutely beautiful place! Most people only tour the smaller northern part... but the vistas on the south side of I-40 are much prettier. Well worth your time to visit.

Also in roughly the same area off I-40 is Meteor Crater. This is another once of those it's cool to see once in your life places, and won't take up a lot of your time. As the name suggests, it's where a meteor hit the earth long ago, and created a nearly mile-across hole in the ground. Because of the arid temps and lack of vegetation growth, it still looks much like you'd expect a crater to look... and even NASA sent the first Apollo astronauts to train there back in the 60s. The land is privately owned, and you'll have to pay an admission fee... but it's not much.

Continuing west on I-40, you'll pass right thru the town of Winslow... made 'famous' by the Eagles... but other than that, it's not such a fine sight to see. Still, they try to capitalize on it as much as they can, with one part of town set up with their famous "standin on a corner" statue. Again, another place to take photos, and be able to say you've been there, done that.

That's about all I got on the I-40 corridor...
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:51 PM   #3
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Tom pretty much covered I40 except for the wide open spaces, those spaces oftentimes having high winds. Check the weather report for the day or you might be having a white knuckle day. They may be snow also and the locals don't slow down nor do they care that you're pulling a trailer and need to be cautious.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #4
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Thank you guys! Great info. I figured as far as the weather goes if it looks like it’s not going to be great I’ll just take I10 instead. I just thought it would be a more scenic drive doing I40.
I’d love to go in October instead or even late September, unfortunately due to my job I just can’t be that far away during hurricane season.
Any time we spend in the actual Phoenix area we will be with my wife’s family so I probably won’t need a campground but i will start to do some research just in case.

Has anyone camped near Grand Canyon? From the research I’ve done it seems like Trailer village is the best spot for full hookups and larger trailers. But I’m open to any suggestions.

My plan was to just find a couple KOAs or something along the way to break it up for the kids. We aren’t in a rush and will likely be gone 2 weeks start to finish.

Just looking for an adventure!
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:35 PM   #5
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Nice write up Tom!

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Old 08-12-2018, 05:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishchaser View Post
Thank you guys! Great info. I figured as far as the weather goes if it looks like itís not going to be great Iíll just take I10 instead. I just thought it would be a more scenic drive doing I40.
Iíd love to go in October instead or even late September, unfortunately due to my job I just canít be that far away during hurricane season.
Any time we spend in the actual Phoenix area we will be with my wifeís family so I probably wonít need a campground but i will start to do some research just in case.

Has anyone camped near Grand Canyon? From the research Iíve done it seems like Trailer village is the best spot for full hookups and larger trailers. But Iím open to any suggestions.

My plan was to just find a couple KOAs or something along the way to break it up for the kids. We arenít in a rush and will likely be gone 2 weeks start to finish.

Just looking for an adventure!

I10 is a nice trip too. You have the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Kartchner Caverns in Arizona right outside of Benson that has something like 20 RV sites. Ft Huachuca, home of the Buffalo Soldiers back when the services were segregated, not far from the caverns. Look to the south and you might see the Aerostat ballon flying. In Tuscon there is the Pima Air Museum. Old Tucson with the movie location that is interesting but is closed in October.

Between Deming and Benson is another windy spot with a dust storm once in a while.


North or south, it's interesting and many places to spend money and time.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fishchaser View Post
...Has anyone camped near Grand Canyon? From the research I’ve done it seems like Trailer village is the best spot for full hookups and larger trailers. But I’m open to any suggestions.

My plan was to just find a couple KOAs or something along the way to break it up for the kids. We aren’t in a rush and will likely be gone 2 weeks start to finish.

Just looking for an adventure!
That's a long trip for 2 weeks... but I remember how it goes. Gotta squeeze in what you can, when you can.

You'll have lots of KOA options across either I-40 or I-10. Some of my favorites are Tucumcari KOA in NM... Holbrook KOA in AZ is right between the Painted Forest & Meteor Crater... and either the Flagstaff KOA or Williams KOA are good bases for your Grand Canyon visit. There's even a 3rd KOA just north of Williams that's closer to the Canyon if you like, but I've never been in that one.

If you decide to make Amarillo one of your overnite stops, there's a KOA there also... but my preference is the Amarillo Ranch RV Park. Nice place, and (if you're so inclined), they offer free limo service over to the Big Texan right down the street... which is where they have that "free steak" offer if you can down that big ole 72 oz. slab of meat they serve you in an hour!
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:39 PM   #8
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Been there done that... well all except the Grand Canyon

Last trip out I-40 to Phoenix with an RV we stayed in KOA's in Little Rock, Elk City, OK (Rt 66 is part of their parking lot) Amarillo, TX and Holbrook, AZ. We saw the Petrified Forest and the Painted desert. We didn't go all the way to Winslow, my bride decided to route us over the Mogollon Rim. We went through Payson and Showlow. I think the one is Elk City may no longer be a KOA. But it was quiet, clean and a nice place to spend the night.

Just south of Amarillo is Canyon, TX which has an outstanding local history museum with something for everyone. Also nearby is the Palo Duro Canyon, which, while not as fancy as the Grand Canyon is a sight worth seeing in my opinion. You can camp at Palo Duro, but the road in and out is not for the faint of heart!

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Old 08-19-2018, 08:44 PM   #9
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Grand Canyon Trailer Village Park. It is the only 'inside the park' RV campground. I have stayed there and have no complaints at all.
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:29 PM   #10
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You are wise to avoid I-10, It is a disaster in LA. and east TX. An interesting place we found for a short stop is Loretta Lynn's Ranch about an hour west of Nashville. They have a very nice RV park, and the site is beautiful with Loretta's home, a museum and a model coal mine. It's a nice place and well worth a day to visit.
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