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Planning Long Trip


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6 replies to this topic

#1 slowe

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:31 AM

We are planning a trip out west leaving central Florida next May for a few months. We do not want to do one niters, we would like to see the sites along the way.

How do you make reservations in the parks without having to drive till you get there.

Are there other RV parks near the national parks where we are close enough. I understand that reservations well in advance are necessary. Is this true? How do you enjoy a trip like this without rushing from one point to the other.

Thank you
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#2 petermartinu270

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:58 AM

Best advice I can give is not to schedule more than 200 miles driving per day and stay no less than 2 days at a park per driving day.

Sometimes when we visit national parks or popular state parks we stay no more than 50 miles from the park the day before our stay. Some parks do not take reservations, so the early bird gets the camp site.

Another strategy is to make reservations for the most popular parks and schedule your driving around these parks to less popular state parks or private RV parks.
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#3 hermanmullins

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:05 AM

Welcome to the Forum slowe.

Keep a RV park guide handy. I would use it and http://rvparkreviews.com to check out the parks along your route. Each day you are planning on traveling estimate where you might want to end up for the night. Then you can check on parks in that area. Since it seems that you are in no hurry to get a special location, I would make my destination each day you travel, a spot that sounds interesting. Spend two nights. This way you will be able to see the local sights, spend the night and travel the next. Too often we are in such a hurry that we miss lots of nice places and wonderful people along the way.
So go, relax and enjoy this wonderful country of ours. Posted Image Posted Image


Note from Moderator: I corrected the link per Don's post below. Thanks Don.
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#4 TBUTLER

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:06 PM

When we are traveling we never schedule our campsites in advance. We pick destinations that we want to explore and then drive to those destinations. On the way if we find something interesting we'll stop and spend a few hours here or there. We might stop to walk around a small town just to browse the store windows and see what interesting shops there are. As evening or the next desired stop approaches we pick an area where we might find an RV park and pull out the campground guides. We carry both of the major guides. To avoid having to drive from one park to another to find a place, we'll start with the most desirable park (choose your criteria here) and we'll call them to confirm that they have a site (pull through sometimes) that will accommodate our rig for the desired length of stay. We seldom call and find a park completely full. If one park is full, we'll call another. Sometimes as we get a sense for how full the parks are or aren't we'll just pull in and ask for a site. Doing this completely eliminates the anxiety about driving to a certain spot for the day. It allows us to see something that looks really interesting and stop and spend as much time as we want before we continue on our way. If we really want to get somewhere at a certain time we'll just put our heads down and ignore any attractions on the way. We still don't make reservations in further in advance than a couple of days at the most. Where we are staying now, we called two days before we were going to arrive to find out if they would have a spot for us for one month.

Regarding national parks, there are almost always private parks near the national park. We've stayed in a few national parks but as a rule we'd rather find a private park and then commute to the national park as desired. Our motor home is larger than most national parks will accommodate and we travel with a toad so we don't have to stay inside the park to enjoy it to the fullest. We'll leave the in-park sites to those who have a greater need for them. If you want to stay in the park, check their web site for campground facilities and registration procedures if any. If the park doesn't take reservations you can stay nearby for one night and then arrive early in the morning to get a space as they become available. We've done that with Big Bend National Park. We were third in line when we pulled in at 7:30 a.m. for a campground with 30 total spots. We got a spot that day. At Grand Teton National Park we simply arrived and got a campsite in the park without any advance reservation. We've stayed outside Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Death Valley and a host of other national parks.

As you travel, you will find occasionally that you just need a day or two to rest and relax. There is no magic about how long you stay in a campground. Sometimes we spend three or four days in a campground and never leave the campsite. There are always a few things that need to be fixed, a little washing and cleaning to keep the rig looking good and just a chance to sit outside in a chair relaxing and enjoying the view or the weather or the quiet. Don't be a slave to the drivers seat, take your time and make your trip enjoyable.
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#5 PJ3858

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 07:07 PM

You are staying at a very nice park in Fort Myers, last year we stayed at Riverside Park in Port Charlotte it was wonderful.

As my wife and I started RVing a little over a year ago, last year we spent a couple of months in Florida.

We have been to Florida in the winter for years so it was nothing new to us.

This year we have decided to go to Apache Junction for a change.

It would sure be helpful for suggestions for a good route from Southern Indiana at the end of December to AZ. pulling a tote.

Thanks in advance.
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#6 akadeadeye

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:09 PM

Welcome to the Forum slowe.

Keep a RV park guide handy. I would use it and rvparkreview.com to check out the parks along your route. Each day you are planning on traveling estimate where you might want to end up for the night. Then you can check on parks in that area. Since it seems that you are in no hurry to get a special location, I would make my destination each day you travel, a spot that sounds interesting. Spend two nights. This way you will be able to see the local sights, spend the night and travel the next. Too often we are in such a hurry that we miss lots of nice places and wonderful people along the way.
So go, relax and enjoy this wonderful country of ours. Posted Image Posted Image



Just a slight correction to your website reference Herman, it is http://rvparkreviews.com and we use it every time we travel. Good resource, but remember, it does not list every available rv park. Only those that have been reviewed by someone. We supplement our search with Woodall's. I have it as an app on my iPhone and we have the book.

We have toyed with not making any reservations at all......anywhere, and just going with the flow. If we can't get in somewhere, just find a place to boondock for the night and try again tomorrow. We haven't yet tried this but I know a couple of people who do this and they are considerably less stressed than I since they don't have to be anywhere at any particular time. They have said they have very rarely not been able to find a campsite somewhere.

Don
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#7 tjwentling@astound.net

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:57 PM

Good question and always one of concern. We have been in the RV life style for 40+ years.

The best suggestion I would have is to stop in mid afternoon before the campgrounds are all full. Most of the NP's here in the west have many many additional camp areas outside but near the NP.

We just returned from a three week trip in Utah and visited the seven NP's in the state. No reservations were made well in advance but often when we knew where we would be the next night I would make a 24 hours in advance reservation. This is usually no problem.

The big parks....Yosemite and the like will often require advance planning if you want to stay inside the park.
But the end result is still the same.......stop before everything fills up and take your time to smell the Roses.

Good luck and respond if I can be of any further advise just drop me an email.

Remember......the advice is as good as the price you pay for it.

Cheers and good RVing.
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