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Old 04-14-2015, 02:22 AM   #1
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Trip planning

We have had fifth wheel campers since 2009, and have used them exclusively for weekend trips which were always a straight to the campground on the same night we left.
This comming July 4th weekend, we are planning our first long haul trip to upstate NY from Florida. I figure it will be a 3 day drive with 2 night stop overs each way.
Just currious, so I have a few questions for those who make long distance trips.
1. what do you use for an average day milage for trip planning?
2. Do you base your planning on miles or hours of driving?
3. How do you decide where to stop?
4. I would like enough time at each stop to set up the 5'er, cook dinner, and drink an adualt beverage or two and still get an early start, so what time should we plan on getting into a camp ground (or walmart parking lot).
5. anyone know of a good trip planning guide to make life easier? we have the Good Sam's travel atlas but.....

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:07 AM   #2
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Thom:
I do about 2 to 3 long trips a year and a few short ones....I go by hours driving and sometime if I go where traffic is I cut down a hour....Most of the time I drive 4 to 5 hours, then I add Gas and Food stops, so add 2 hours for total of 7 hours, I look for camp grounds that I can get in, pull thru, because I'm 43 ft long and 60 ft with the Truck...I leave early from spot to spot, so I can get to the next spot early, so I can be set up, and ready for the Sunset...If I want to get to a place quick, I don't set everything up, water, Sewer, etc. In the AM I just add the truck, close the slides, and I'm gone.. I look at Good Sam and KOA for spots, then check GPS for mileage, that gives me about how many hours to next spot. Good Luck on your first long trip, you will love it...Happy camping
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:51 AM   #3
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Thanks RVNevada,
I forgot to mention that we will have 2 drivers and will be switching off every 2 hours to stay fresh.
I would love to hit the road early every morning but no matter how hard I try, I cant get my Goddaughter to move before the crack of noon (even though she sleeps the entire time in transit...... Teenagers, what a life!)
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:43 PM   #4
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I remember that, our son is now a dad, and what.......he sometimes is up before me LOL....maybe because he has a 5 yo and 1 yo....it sure is nice, put his family way in the back, close the doors and sleep late...
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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This may be hard to do on the eastern seaboard...

With the way things are spread out in the west, I can usually plan my travel to avoid the large metropolitan areas during rush hour. This can be as easy as stopping in the late afternoon before town and getting up early to beat traffic or driving through at night.

I've had a 30 minute drive in Houston take over two hours at 5 o'clock, and that's no fun pulling a fiver.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:17 PM   #6
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When we travel, it is usually longer distances and we used to try to limit it to 5 hours in a day when the boys were little. Now they tolerate the drive better and we can do 8 or 9. We always try to break camp early and beat the afternoon heat, and that gets us to our next campsite in the early afternoon. We have never overnighted at a Walmart, we always find ourselves an RV park where we can plug in electric and water, and dump tanks if we need to. (Long showers).
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:56 PM   #7
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Depending upon were we are going we normally drive about 400 miles per day. I also plan on were I'm going to stay & try & get reservations ahead of time. I have a Coast to Coast membership & koa. Never stay in Walmart parking overnight. Have overnighted in truck stops.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:01 AM   #8
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Same here 300 to 400 if my wife isn't with me I have gone 500+ men are tough/dumb. Easy these days to go online to find and reserve spots. Sometimes we are 50 to a 100 miles out break out the smart phone boom you have a spot. And sometimes something else appears. Aha boondocks. That's half the fun
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thom View Post
5. anyone know of a good trip planning guide to make life easier? we have the Good Sam's travel atlas but.....

Thanks!
Try the online trip planner tool at the Good Sams website. I've been using it for three weeks now to plan out my summer trip to the NW states.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:12 PM   #10
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I'm a GPS guy. Right now I have four of them, all Garmin. You can download Garmin's BaseCamp software for free. And use it for a planning guide. Pick your start point. Then pick a spot to end that "day"...if its a town you can zoom in and it will show you all the amenities in that town. Gas, lodging, camping, eating, etc. The route log will show you how far it is and how many hours traveling at the posted speed limit. So you can do unlimited "what ifs" to hone in on the route you want to take and how far you want to go, and what's at the end of the day. Been using Garmin's Mapsource and now BaseCamp for more than 20 years and its always worked for me. And I was always the one planning the bike trips!! Now the RV trips are just us! Getting older, I've been setting the day at about 350 miles. Not in a big hurry, time is no longer a limiting factor...so I pick spots to stop that look interesting or that I can find some POIs on the web.

Just thoughts,

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Old 04-15-2015, 08:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Occupant5143 View Post
Try the online trip planner tool at the Good Sams website. I've been using it for three weeks now to plan out my summer trip to the NW states.
Amen on the Good Sam website! We use it for all trips, long and short. We try to make our stops around the 300 mile point, at a place where we would like to stay two nights. We avoid overnight stops, but when we do, we don't unhitch. After we work the route in the Good Sam site and print it out, our trip binder also includes Google Map prints of each "final approach" to the campsite/friend's house/whatever.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:39 PM   #12
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Wait a minute I though real men don't need or ask for directions.............................
Now where did I put my road map.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
I'm a GPS guy. Right now I have four of them, all Garmin. You can download Garmin's BaseCamp software for free. And use it for a planning guide. Pick your start point. Then pick a spot to end that "day"...if its a town you can zoom in and it will show you all the amenities in that town. Gas, lodging, camping, eating, etc. The route log will show you how far it is and how many hours traveling at the posted speed limit. So you can do unlimited "what ifs" to hone in on the route you want to take and how far you want to go, and what's at the end of the day. Been using Garmin's Mapsource and now BaseCamp for more than 20 years and its always worked for me. And I was always the one planning the bike trips!! Now the RV trips are just us! Getting older, I've been setting the day at about 350 miles. Not in a big hurry, time is no longer a limiting factor...so I pick spots to stop that look interesting or that I can find some POIs on the web.

Just thoughts,

Pirate
Funny you mention GPS and Garmin right now. I just receive (two hours ago) a second Garmin Montana unit. I transfered the 24K Topo Maps, Southwest, partial West and partial North Central. It is cool with the 24K Topo Maps and the Montana. You can navigate and see all the land contours and bunches of dirt roads.

I pretty much plan my trips with the Internet, Google Earth, and Base Camp.

Boon Dock overnight spot don't always pan out. But a lot of times they are good.
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:07 AM   #14
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While I still use the Good Sam trip planner I am looking at another tool called the RV Trip Wizard. It is an online tool with features that the Good Sam tool doesn't have. Only problem is, it's a subscription based service. It costs $39 / year. Not sure I'm ready for that. Has anybody here used this tool? Is it worth the $$?
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Occupant5143 View Post
While I still use the Good Sam trip planner I am looking at another tool called the RV Trip Wizard. It is an online tool with features that the Good Sam tool doesn't have. Only problem is, it's a subscription based service. It costs $39 / year. Not sure I'm ready for that. Has anybody here used this tool? Is it worth the $$?
There are too many free sources of information to make me pay for an app.

I start at the state/provincial tourism web sites. They give me all the local celebrations, festivals, state parks, state campgrounds etc. We like to learn about local customs and traditions (ya gotta love moonshine ), history and the food when we travel.

Once we have an area of interest then we can go to the apps to look for private campgrounds.

Now that I think about it, the only thing that's changed in the way we plan is the computer. Much easier, less paper to shuffle.

PS Trip planning for us was more of a pick a direction and go, until you have to turn around or run out of money.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:46 PM   #16
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Overnight Parking at Walmart

We belong to a couple of rv forums. I posted this on the forum I belong to and my husband thought it would be good information to post here.

There seems to be a rumor that there is a letter from Walmart home office that states that overnight parking will no longer be allowed.

We will be leaving in a couple of weeks for our trip out west. We usually park overnight at Walmart. And are up and gone early the next morning.

But there seems to be some confusion about being able to park overnight anymore. So I call the corporate office in Bentonville, Ar. today and spoke with Marlene in the Public Relations department. She told me that some city/counties have ordinances that prevent RVs & 18 wheelers from parking overnight. That we should always stop and ask the manager of the store. That he is familiar with any ordinance that would be in place. That we should always ask permission. That our patronage was greatly appreciated and always welcome.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:14 AM   #17
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I seem to recall that Utah is a place you cannon spend the night in Walmart parking lots.

Rather than try to find the store manager. Why not just look up the phone number for the local police department and call them in advance.

Here in Colorado you can...the WalMart in town always has RVs parked for the night...every night of the RV season.

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Old 07-30-2016, 01:37 AM   #18
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Trip planning

Thanks Pirate,

You way is so much easier. We will do that.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:40 AM   #19
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Same with most in Nevada, but I have called a few in Calif, and they say NO
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:45 AM   #20
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If you have the ALLSTAYS app on your phone, and punch up the Wal-Mart or Sam's Club icon wherever you happen to be (or plan on being)... in the notes, it will usually tell you if they allow overnight RV parking.
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