Two years ago we stayed at Klamath River RV park in Klamath. They have clean showers ,laundry room and Wi Fi (small charge).Nice campground with full hookups. Check their website.
Stayed there a couple weeks ago - nice place!
We like to sleep in and get a late start on the road. Often, I will call ahead to the next destination and make a reservation for the evening. We then toodle down the road, making scenic stops, arriving at a park after the office has closed. since our reservation included our credit card I am a happy camper when I see my name posted on the board with my space number. With years of vacationing under my belt I have yet to be disappointed.
I usually book in advance, but I completely agree with you about pulling in after the office is closed and seeing my name posted on the board with my space number. It takes away the stress of arriving late and having to search for an available space.
Every year we book our month-long trip in advance for exactly that reason. And once or twice each trip we make last-minute changes and it costs me a 1-night deposit on a reserved site that I don't show up for. I bet many of the empty sites you see when parks are full are guys like me who booked & paid for it, but didn't show.
Just about every place I've been to holds the space once it has been paid for, even if you don't show.
I agree as well - Hwy 20 is the best bet.
I was up there again a couple weeks ago and did that drive several times in the toad. My only complaint was that there were a couple RVs that wouldn't use the pull-outs, making for long lines of cars backed up behind them.
Please be considerate of others on that route (and other similar routes). Those guys give RVs a bad reputation.
Checking in on you -- we just finished our two weeks with the Family at the beach and I usually am going through your photos of a "Great Power Trip" while with the grand kids.
Just checking in to see if we might get a preview of what went on.
Hope everything worked out, can't wait to see your trip report.
Hi Bill! :B
We're back from our trip and everything went great, but I'm a little behind on the photos. I've got about half of the trip done, still working on the rest. I'll definitely post them up here as soon as I can, but work is really busy so it's going to be a little while.
I'll probably start a new thread for the trip report, but will post a link in this thread as well.
As a side-note: we finally found our threshold for too many miles in too few days. The first half of the trip was amazing, but the latter weeks were a little rushed. But we learned a lot and will apply it to next summer's trip plan.
I don't know that I'd be that nailed down.
Yes, the Rubicon is indeed the king when it comes to off-road. But unless you plan on doing serious off-roading, any of the standard Wrangler's will do fine. Believe it or not, even the four-cylinder is a fine off-road machine. The limitations of the 4-cylinder have more to do with keeping up with highway traffic on interstates than off-roading...and if you're towing it on interstates, I don't know that this would be a major liability.
My point here is that the Rubicon will cost thousands more...as well it should for such a great off-road platform. But it's one that only 1% of Jeep owners ever need. Only you can assess just how much off-road you'll be doing.
That's a good point about the Rubicon. The opposite is also true. If you plan to do any serious modifications, the Rubicon isn't really necessary either. For example, if you're going to regear, then you're better off doing your own lockers than the Rubicon lockers. The same is true of mode of the upgrades that the Rubicon TJs come with. I specifically looked for a non-Rubicon, as I've replaced most of the parts anyway, and it wasn't worth paying the premium for the stickers on the hood.
I would, respectfully, disagree about the 4-cylinder. We use our 6-cylinder as our toad, and yes, the majority of highway miles are when it's being towed. But we do a lot of day-trips in it, some of which require an hour or more on the highway. The 4-cylinder is less than ideal for that. The 6 cylinder is acceptable, but by no means great on the highway. I've been working with Banks on their new Sidewinder Turbo for the TJs & LJs, and it's awesome. But I would avoid the 4-cylinder if I were looking for a TJ.
6% grades are common in the western U.S. i40 and U.S. 93 and SR68 are traveled on a constant basis by all manner of big rig trucks and RVs. Just make sure your trailer brake system is functioning properly, start downgrades at a slower speed and use the tow haul mode of the transmission or downshift the trans yourself to avoid riding the brakes constantly on the downhills. Slow your speed gain with strong braking periodically and let the brakes cool in between applications. It is 32 miles from Kingman to Laughlin by 93/68 and approx 90 miles to Laughlin via i40 and Needles then north to Bullhead City. Seems a useless waste of fuel and vehicle mileage to avoid a route which is traveled by all manner of RVs, constantly, as I stated above. Just slow down, it is all 4 lane highway on 93/68 so faster vehicles can pass you.
IMHO, this is the correct answer. We are in Laughlin / Bullhead City all the time, and there's no reason to go the long way around through Needles when coming in on I40 from the East.
Wow! What can I say? It is so wonderful having such an amazing family of fellow RV Masters to shed light and help direct me in the right path. Having a huge 40 foot diesel and a great car to tow behind it and a young family we seem to spend every other weekend on the road doing something or going somewhere. Finally having two weeks when my wife is not in the hospital as an Emergency Room RN and me not having to watch the family business, my first thought is to hit the open road and see all of America. Well it's exciting to say that you guys all helped me make a better choice. So first of all thank you for the great responses and the detailed information.
Next... we managed to get a few more days out of our trip so we are good to travel from Aug 7 through Aug 25 as long as we are back in Sourthern California by the 25th. That is 17 nights. Next change is that My wife has finally agreed to do some of the driving on the long highways. Yippee....
We are going to make some changes to our trip. First, we're gonna drop the Arches and RMNP all together. Good thoughts you guys. Thanks. I think it's best to follow suit with many of your awesome thoughts and experience and go straight up the 15 on the way toward Yellowstone NP and take in all that is there. so here is the revised plan....
1) LA to Bryce Canyon/Capitol Reef... I'm dying to drive that Highway 12 in the Jeep but it's true it's going to be pretty hot there. That is stop #1 - 3 nights. http://www.thousandlakesrvpark.com From what you guys say... 2 full days is cool for this.
2) Bryce to YellowStone. Thinking about extending that to 5 nights. http://www.grizzlyrv.com/ From what you guys say... 4 full days is cool for this.
3) Mt. Rushmore - 3 nights should be good for that. http://koa.com/campgrounds/mount-rushmore/ From what you guys say... 1 full day is fine although 2 could do a bit more in the area and a bit more relaxing as our travel days will be long.
Now we have 6 nights left (17 total) and at a loss as to where to go from here? Perhaps somewhere near Mesa-Verde NP, Near Denver, Near Grand Junction or go all the way down to Durago. Cutting over to Arches was one thought but you guys are right........ TOOO HOTT! So where to go? I'm looking for 1 or 2 more places in route to So Cal Maybe 2 or 4 nights / 3 and 3 in 1 or 2 more places on the way back to LA.
Any thoughts on where to go after Rushmore headeing West or Southwest??
That looks much better.
We do a 4-week trip similar to yours every summer - we have a DP towing a Jeep, 2 kids (4 & 7), and we're also out of Southern California.
If I were in your shoes, I'd hit Ouray / Silverton / Durango with the extra days. We went there once for just a few days at the tail end of a trip, and it's now one of our top 3 favorite places to go.
Ok folks out west, help a midwesterner here.....it was previously said that with low/no humidity the AC won't work as well.
I understand AC units remove humidity...as we have tons of humidity here
how does lack of humidity hamper the AC cooling the air?
I've not ever had to pleasure to experience your western "dry" heat :)
Not sure where you heard that, but the dry heat has never had an adverse effect on my A/C units. We've been in 115-120 heat near Laughlin for the last few days, and the A/C is working great.
In my opinion trading the jeep for a VW is NOT an upgrade. Who needs AC in a jeep the top comes off. :)
My daughter loves her 95 Wrangler. Heck I would like to get another one.
It depends on what the definition of "upgrade" is to each person. Upgrade to the OP might be a better ride, 2-3 times the gas milage, quieter etc. But, a VW certainly cannot go where a Jeep can go. And, 5 out of the 7 Jeep Wranglers we had, had A/C and we used it all the time. Taking the top off in heat and humidity sometimes sucks so, the top stayed on and the A/C was turned on. But, the top did come off at certain times of the year for a more fun style of driving.
And, one more thing, not sure of the exact figures but, I'd have to guess that about 99% of the VWs out there are lighter than just about any Wrangler.
Scott makes some good points.
The A/C in my LJ really cranks. A couple years ago we did Moab in June, running trails all day in 100-degree heat, and never had a problem. But the top stayed up, windows closed.
In comparison, the A/C in my sister's JKU really struggles when it gets that hot. I'm not bashing on JKs, as this comparison has a sample size of 1. But the Jeep dealer told her this was normal, and there was nothing to fix. The A/C was one of the main reasons she ultimately sold her Wrangler, when it was only a year old.
Once you get it cool, it should be okay as long as you keep it cool (A/C running, shades drawn, etc...). If you turn it off and let it heat up, you'll have a very difficult time getting it cooled back down again.
Sometimes we'll go to Havasu in the heat of the summer, and we'll get our air going while still in CA where it's cooler. As long as we plug in as soon as we arrive and keep the air going, it works just fine.
Using the awnings to keep the sun off the sides of the RV, and also using window shades both make a significant difference as well.
...Mpond, I flipped through your photos quickly. I hope in the next few days to slow down and look more closely. I truely don't have concern for long travel days with our boys. They are real troopers.
Good to hear. Your thread really caught my attention, as it sounds like you're doing very much the same thing with your family that I do with mine.
If there's anything during your planning that I can help you with, please feel free to PM me (or post here - I'll keep an eye on your thread).
I have to disagree with the people saying that you can't do power trips or long drives with kids. I do agree that you should balance long driving days with off the road.
My kids are 4 & 7, and we do a long trip every summer. We try to limit our driving days to 5 or 6 hours, but ocassionally do 10-hour runs. The key is to pace yourself on the kids' entertainment. If you start with movies, then by the end of the 2nd hour, they're bored. Instead, let them start the drive entertaining themselves - looking out the windows, talking, listening to music, whatever. As they get bored, add games you can play together - the oldies but goodies such as finding license plates from each state, I-spy, I'm thinking of an animal, whatever. When that gets old, we'll give them a movie to watch on the portable DVD player (you can pick them up cheap at Walmart). Then we'll pull off when necessary for meals and a break.
On really long drives, we'll use Google Maps to find a town about half way with a community park that we can stop at. We'll stop, feed the kids lunch, let them run and play for a while, etc... That does wonders for their ability to continue on for a few more hours. Just get creative, and you can do long drives with the kids without issues.
We've done the Southwest several times; if you're interetsed you can check out our last 2 summer trips for ideas:
We've done this for the last 4 or 5 summers in a row, so I've got lots of info saved if you have questions.
CarFax is a tool, nothing more. Tools can be misused, but that doesn't mean it's a bad tool.
For example, I bought one of my cars new, and have owned it for many years. CarFax shows my car as purchased new (date & location matching my original purchase), but as having had 3 owners.
I've sold many cars, and would have no problem explaining to a potential buyer that my car hasn't had 3 owners, and this was a mistake on the part of CarFax.
It's "white knuckles" just due to the nature of some of the curves on that road. It is curvy, not straight for any length of time and requires total concentration if your towing/driving a large rig.
Even the term "white knuckles" is open to interpretation. IMHO, just because the road is curvy, that doesn't automatically make it a "white knuckle" road.
I'm not trying argue - only saying that we (RV owners) have different definitions of what makes a road a "white knuckle" road.
I've done Hwy 1 several times, and while I usually skip it to save time, it is definitely worth taking if you haven't done so before. I wouldn't call it a "white knuckle" road, but I'm sure others would.
It's open to interpretation...
While there are clearly many pros & cons for each, what always strikes me is how many people you see posting about how they went from a TT to a 5er, and now they won't go back. You rarely (if ever) see posts to the opposite (people who go from a 5er to a TT and won't go back).
While there are some pretty sweet setups with TT hitches, there seem to be more sweet setups with 5ers.
And to be fair, I'm one of those who's had many configurations, and the 5er is my personal preference for larger, heavier trailers. My 38' 5er Toy Hauler tows far better (at approx. 17K lbs) than the 28' TT Toy Hauler I used to have (at approx 10K lbs), both behind the same dually.
There is your problem!
Aside from a general direction, always subject to change,
we seldom have a destination.
My sister in law plots their entire trip, meal stops, things to see, overnight stops etc.
This would drive me nuts.
One time we sarted out for a weekend in northern Ontario, ended up in Banff, visited Mt Rushmore and Sturgis on the way home!
I look forward to the day we can travel like that - with no real plans other than a general direction. But as long as we have jobs and kids in school, we'll be constrained by vacation schedules. For now we are forced to have specific departure & return dates, and travel during the peak summer season.
I've tried to split the difference between having plans and staying flexible. We do the following every summer: We have reservations for every night of our 4-week trip, and we have plotted routes, activities, and points of interest for every day (sometimes multiple options for each day). But we're not locked into that plan; it’s just a list of options that keep us generally moving in the right direction, and ensure we never run out of things to see and do.
We often find other things to see and do along the way, and we adjust our plans accordingly. Sometimes we'll stay a day longer in one place, or leave another a day or two early and forfeit a paid night in a campground. The idea is that we have a general timeline to make sure we see everything we wanted to see, we arrive back home by a certain date, and we’re never bored. But we adjust as we go.
Those adjustments usually only affect our overall plans by a day or two, but one year we decided to take an entirely different route home, which changed the last 10 days of the trip. We cancelled some reservations, and were able to make new ones along the new route. It cost us a few cancellation fees, but it was worthwhile.
With 2 kids in school, we are forced to do the bulk of our RVing during the peak summer season. Between that and having a 38' RV, we make reservations for all of our summer trips.
We've spent a month on the road each of the last 4 summers, and 2-3 week trips before that. And we've been all over the West. In all that time, we've never been asked for a 5-7 day minimum stay. We tend to stay 3-4 days on average, so I'm hoping this doesn't become the new norm.