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Looking for your input and recommendations on our trip to the Grand Canyon and NM

Fmca-fleetwood

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My wife and I are planning our first major road experience in our new/used Fleetwood Excursion 39S. We want to start off retirement with a trip to see the Grand Canyon and New Mexico. I'm in planning mode, spontenaity doesn't come easy, and I'd welcome ideas and recommendations from veterans of similar trips.

 

We'd welcome your input on everything from sites to see, routes to take, restaurants to try, RV Parks, activities , events and special locations to visit.

 

We are starting out from Minnesota in late spring. My wife and I turn 60 this year so we should be up for most activities. Our coach will be ready to roll and we welcome hearing from everyone that's been there and done that.

 

Thanks!



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Sounds like you'll be visiting the south rim of the Grand Canyon? If so, I'd recommend staying in Williams AZ. There are campgrounds a plenty there. Be careful of the grades along I-40. They can get steep and elevations as high as 7,000'.

Since you'll be in the neighborhood you might enjoy Carlsbad Caverns and Tombstone AZ.

Congratulations on your retirement. Gosh.....we've been busy, busy, busy since we retired and often wonder how we ever found time to work!

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Don't know what route you'll take but one direction I would make sure you travel I70 through the Rockies. Glenwood canyon is absolutely beautiful. We are fairly new RVers. Not retired yet but the sights we have seen on our way to our destinations is part of the wonder for us! We always map out different ways to and from so we get to enjoy more of this beautiful country of ours.

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The summer of 2014 we traveled from New Jersey to the Grand Canyon and back. Highlights of the trip in Grand Canyon and New Mexico area were - starting from an overnight in Amarillo Texas where we had dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch and the next day headed on I-40 and turned on US285 North to Santa Fe, NM. Spent a day there could have spent more time. Lots of shops and museums made a point to see "the Miraculous Stairs" at the Loretto Chapel - well worth it. Next we headed to Durango, CO. Spent two days there and took the Durango and Silverton Railway. worth the trip through the mountains to Silverton. Could have spent more time in Durango as there were some nice restaurants we passed on due to time. Next we headed to the Grand Canyon South Rim to stay at the Trailer Village RV Park on the way we stopped at the Four Corners to see the monument. Most of the day we were traveling through an Indian Reservation which was interesting. Trailer Village RV Park is right in the park, has full hook ups and was reasonably priced. Free public transportation from the RV Park throughout the South Rim. Took several tours within the park, had lunch at the El Tovar Hotel did some driving around in the dingy. Spent four nights three days. Again more to do if you are into biking or hiking the trails or going down into the canyon. After leaving the Grand Canyon headed south on Route 64 through Williams and on I-40 headed towards Gallup, NM. Passed by Flagstaff and the Petrified Forrest leaving them for another trip. Stayed at the USA RV Park in Gallup, NM - real nice operation. From there took I-40 through Albuquerque, leaving that also for a later trip,continued to US285 and took it South to Roswell, NM. Stayed several days in Roswell at the Towne and Country RV Park. While there took the Roswell UFO tour. Great tour by someone in the know. Well worth it. For all the stories and how much the city touts the UFO connection there is not one sign marking the locations. The tour guide showed us all and explained everything. From there went for a night stay in Lubbock, TX before heading to Dallas, TX and eastbound.

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We just took the trip from Maine to California (original starting point was New Brunswick, Canada). We travelled the I40 for most of it. There are a few places I would never stay again....in Albuquerque NM, don't stay at KOA next to Camping World. There is a resort on opposite side of highway....beautiful.

If you are going to Grand Canyon there is a KOA called ? Pines where you don't want to stay. Their rates are high, and they truck in water daily and will not hesitate to tell you not to use it. But please go to Sedona while taking your trip. Go through town to airport. There is an area there that is just amazing. I enjoyed Grand Canyon, but Sedona was much nicer (in my opinion). Same rocks just younger than Grand Canyon.

We stayed at KOA, Amarillo - had a blast at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. We had so much fun there, we did it going out and coming home. We also spent time in Holbrook AZ doing a few day trips .... Oatman AZ is a real neat little place. Only time in my life that we were chased out of town by donkeys! Route 66 was on my bucket list and when we hit the end of it, we were at Santa Monica Pier so we had to dip our feet in Pacific. We have officially been shore to shore since the Atlantic is in our back yard.

Would do it again in a heartbeat. But just retired 1 year and the dollar exchange is gonna be a killer for us. But we had a great trip, met up with old friends and made some new ones.

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At the Grand Canyon, do not miss Desert View overlook at the Eastern end. When we visited the Southwest (from New York) we most enjoyed Canyon de Chelly, AZ (with its own wonderful, quiet campground with a great breakfast restaurant) and Chaco Canyon, NM (but be careful.. do not drive to Chaco Canyon in a motorhome.. it is a 20 mile rough dirt road to get there. Use the dinghy). Well worth the adventure!

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I would also recommend staying within the park at Grand Canyon, possibly at Trailer Village. The shuttle service is great and very reliable.  If you have time, be sure to take the red route to Hermits Rest, especially in the morning before the crowds pile up.  Important note!  Be sure to get reservations at the campground as early as possible!  Some suggest getting them a year in advance during busy times.

I would also 2nd the suggestion to go through Colorado on I=70.  Glennwood canyon is impressive, and a dip in the hot springs pool is wonderful!

Also try to see some of the other National Parks in Utah such as Brice, Zion, Arches, etc.  All worth seeing.

Chris Guenther
F3508s
Westminster, CO 

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On 1/18/2016 at 4:47 PM, rmatteucci said:

The summer of 2014 we traveled from New Jersey to the Grand Canyon and back. Highlights of the trip in Grand Canyon and New Mexico area were - starting from an overnight in Amarillo Texas where we had dinner at the Big Texan Steak Ranch and the next day headed on I-40 and turned on US285 North to Santa Fe, NM. Spent a day there could have spent more time. Lots of shops and museums made a point to see "the Miraculous Stairs" at the Loretto Chapel - well worth it. Next we headed to Durango, CO. Spent two days there and took the Durango and Silverton Railway. worth the trip through the mountains to Silverton. Could have spent more time in Durango as there were some nice restaurants we passed on due to time. Next we headed to the Grand Canyon South Rim to stay at the Trailer Village RV Park on the way we stopped at the Four Corners to see the monument. Most of the day we were traveling through an Indian Reservation which was interesting. Trailer Village RV Park is right in the park, has full hook ups and was reasonably priced. Free public transportation from the RV Park throughout the South Rim. Took several tours within the park, had lunch at the El Tovar Hotel did some driving around in the dingy. Spent four nights three days. Again more to do if you are into biking or hiking the trails or going down into the canyon. After leaving the Grand Canyon headed south on Route 64 through Williams and on I-40 headed towards Gallup, NM. Passed by Flagstaff and the Petrified Forrest leaving them for another trip. Stayed at the USA RV Park in Gallup, NM - real nice operation. From there took I-40 through Albuquerque, leaving that also for a later trip,continued to US285 and took it South to Roswell, NM. Stayed several days in Roswell at the Towne and Country RV Park. While there took the Roswell UFO tour. Great tour by someone in the know. Well worth it. For all the stories and how much the city touts the UFO connection there is not one sign marking the locations. The tour guide showed us all and explained everything. From there went for a night stay in Lubbock, TX before heading to Dallas, TX and eastbound.

We made that exact same trip that rmatteucci did, except from our home in Rayne, LA. We did manage to visit the North Rim and glad we did, it was more spectacture we thought than the south rim. In any case, we were in awe. We circled the Grand Canyon, visiting Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Capital Reef National Park and Monument Valley National Park. Great trip, enjoy and relax at the beauty in this country.

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If you cannot get space in the GC RV park then I highly recommend Grand Canyon Railway RV Park in Williams, AZ.  We have stayed there several times, you park on asphalt in a very clean park.  Yes there can be a lot of kids but most parks have that in the summer.

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We have stayed at Railside RV park and enjoyed it.  Nice doggy sitting service - the (at the time) would come and let the dog out and the fee was extremely reasonable for doggy service.

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If you have an interest in history, Trinity Site is free and open to the public two days a year, I believe the first Saturday in October and the first Saturday of April. 

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