The NJTP is really probably the best bet, any tolls saved would be used in time or fuel instead. And the TP drops you right at the Delaware Memorial Bridge...You can avoid some of the turnpike tolls by switching over to I-295 at the I-195 exit (Exit 7 I think). I-295 parallels the turnpike and will also take you to the Delaware Memorial Bridge which has a toll leaving NJ. Following I-95 avoids some turnpike tolls and the bridge toll, but takes you through Philadelphia which can be a traffic nightmare at times especially in an RV.
Another possible route, but the most tolls, would be to take the Garden State Parkway South from I-95 to its end and take the Cape May Lewes Ferry to DE. Check the rates, it may be cheaper to disconnect the toad. The ferry ride is about 90 minutes. Food is available on the ferry and in the terminals. Cape Henlopen State Park near the ferry on the DE side has a campground. US-113 is pretty easy to get to from the ferry terminal.
What is the best route to take to get from Cody to Yellowstone?Best is always a matter of opinion. Where are you going to stay in Yellowstone? With the size RV in your signature, you could stay in any of the park's first come first serve campgrounds. I would start in the Northeast corner of the park and explore the Lamar Valley and Soda Butte Creek area. From Cody, the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway will take you to US-212 and the Northeast entrance of the park. There are several Forest Service Campgrounds outside the park and Pebble Creek and Slough Creek campgrounds inside the park before you reach the main loop road at Tower Junction. Tower campground is limited to smaller RVs because of the entrance road.
We use US-17 up and down the East Coast from Norfolk to Charleston. SC-544 to SC-31 to SC-9 to US-17 will bypass most of Myrtle Beach. If you take US-13 North where it splits from US-17 near Windsor, NC; you can pickup US-460 near Suffolk, VA which will take you to I-295/95 near Richmond. If you stay on US-17 it will take you to I-95 just South of Fredricksburg, VA.
We have driven NM-38 between Eagle Nest and Red River many times pulling the trailer. Going from Eagle Nest, the last 2 miles to the summit are the steepest. From there is about 4 miles of 7-8% grade descending into Red River. We prefer this route even when going between Eagle Nest and Taos as US-64 has narrow shoulders and for the past couple of years a very rough road surface. Have not driven either route since last October.
Edited to correct typos.
I have only driven the very Southern portion of UT-72 to get to Fish Lake. I recall it being a decent road with no really steep sections. I have also driven US-191 from Helper to Duchesne a number of times mostly going South. Going North, there will be a steep climb out of Helper with twists and turns and narrow shoulders. I believe some of the grades are 8%. The summit is about 9,100' in elevation and then you decend to Duchesne and Vernal.
As someone else mentioned, living in an RV can be inexpensive; travelling in one maybe not so. It depends on your definition of travel. If you stay in one spot, or at least a month in each location, than you will likely get the best rate for that particular campground/RV park. However; most state and federal campgrounds do not give weekly or monthly rates and may have stay limits. At 60 years of age, you will not be eligible for an America the Beautiful Senior Pass; so the 50% discount on campground fees that many retirees get that reduces their costs at Forest Service, BLM, Corps of Engineers and other federal campgrounds will not be available to you. In my experience, $100/week and $250/month are about as good a rate as one can get at a commercial campground/RV park. $20/night at a public campground, which in my experience is the low end for at least electric without a discount, comes out to $600/month.
As an example; during September/October 2013, a 6 week trip around New Mexico was a little over 1,100 miles destination to destination according to Streets and Trips. In and around would have to be added to that. Total fuel cost was a little over $1,000 and campground fees about $1,100.
As mentioned, some fulltimers and snow birds workamp or volunteer to reduce their site costs. How many hours per week are required and for how many weeks/months varies with each location/agency.
Boondocking is also frequently mentioned as a means of cutting costs. However, if your Motorhome is not already equipped with a pretty robust solar system and battery bank, you will need to run the large onboard generator a fair amount or invest in a small inverter generator. Power and water conservation measures for extended boondocking are more appealing to some than others. If you want/need internet while boondocking and use much data, cellular data plans can get pricey. If you want TV and stay in the real boondocks, than satelite TV is often the only option and yet another cost.
If your house is in a part of the country that gets very cold, you may or may not be able to save all that much on heating costs unless you can drain all the water lines, water heater, etc. that might freeze. The more services that you can suspend while you are gone, the lower your costs will be.
Hope this helps in your decision process.
If you are not going to stop in Las Cruces, take NM-26. We enjoyed Las Cruces. Old Mesilla just South of Las Cruces has a nice historic district. In October, they have Mariachi Sundays. The White Sands Missile Range is not too far from Las Cruces. Unfortunately, 2014 was the last Enchilada Festival. We also stopped for a few days in Truth or Consequences and drove the Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway.
If you have an RV road service plan like Allstate, Coachnet or Good Sam; call them. If nothing else, they can recommend someone that can do the work onsite. We had a bearing changed on the side of I-10 a few years ago. I've had them come to the house a couple of times to start a car with a dead battery and once to tow to the repair shop. The fact that it was at our house was never an issue as to whether they provided the covered services.
I suggest that you take a look at the area on Google Earth. NM-14 is a good two lane road and a scenic drive. We have driven it pulling the trailer a number of times, but never try to stop.
There is very limited parking in Madrid. It may be possible to park a large rig on the side of the road if you can find a long enough space between other vehicles. There is a space at the top of the hill on the North end of town that can accommodate a large motorhome or two. I've never driven down any of the side streets in town so no idea what may or may not be available for parking on them. The last time we were in Cerrilos, there wasn't much of anything open.
We have stayed at a few of the Corps campgrounds in Kansas and many across the country. Never felt any of them were bad and for us with a senior pass they are tough to beat. We have only stayed at one state park in Kansas (Tonto) and it was great, but it was in October in the middle of the week and we were the only ones in the loop besides the camp host.
In 2013, we visited Hutchinson and stayed at Spring Lake RV Resort in Halstead, East of Hutchinson. It is a decent park, not fancy, but the grounds were well kept and the staff friendly and helpful. It is a Passport America Park. There were some seasonals and some working folks. All were friendly and our dogs really enjoyed the large open areas and the ponds. If it matters to you they have a tornado shelter in the basement of a brick building.
Good to see you didn't let the escapees sour you on Rving. Hope you have a Great Trip!!
Whether you choose to drive the RV over it or not, the UT-12 Scenic Byway is worth exploring. We have spent a couple of weeks in the area and not seen it all. Follow the links in the above website to see what interests you. If you want a good alternative route; coming from the South take UT-62 from US-89. At Koosharem, turn right on Browns Lane which will take you to UT-24 to Torrey and Capitol Reef. It is not all that much longer and is a scenic drive in itself.
Goblin Valley State Park North/East of Hanksville on UT-24 is definitely worth a visit in my opinion.
US-2 has already been mentioned.
There a lot to see along I-40. In Amarillo, there is Palo Duro Canyon State Park and the Big Texan on Old Route 66. In New Mexico, Tucumcari still has dinners along Historic Route 66 and numerous murals painted on buildings plus other attractions. Santa Rosa is another Route 66 town and has the The Blue Hole and Santa Rosa Lake State Park which has a nice campground. In Albuquerque, the Pueblo Cultural Center and Petroglyph National Monument are worth visiting in my opinion. In Grants, there is the Mining Museum. Just South of I-40 going West from Grants are El Malpais National Monument, El Moro National Monument and the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano. Acoma Sky City is said to be the longest occuppied location in the U.S. They give tours of the pueblo and there is an RV park next to the casino.
East of Flagstaff along I-40 are Petrified Forest National Park, Meteor Crater and Homolovi Ruins State Park. You can stand on the corner in Winslow Arizona.
In the Flagstaff area are Sunset Crater National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and Walnut Canyon National Monument. Sedona/Camp Verde/Cottonwood are about an hour South of Flagstaff with Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well National Monuments, Tuzigoot National Monument, Palatki and Honaki Ruins, V-Bar-V Heritage Site, Verde Canyon Railroad, Fort Verde State Park, Cathedral Rock, Gold King Mine, Jerome State Historic Park in the area.
And then there is the Grand Canyon.
In the East, I-40 will take you to Memphis, Nashville and along the North edge of the Great Smokey Mountains to the East coast in Wilmington, NC.
US-60 runs South of I-40 in Arizona and New Mexico and would take you to some of the more out of the way places like Pie Town, the Very Large Array, Fort Sumner and Palo Duro Canyon.
US-64 runs from near Monument Valley in Arizona across Northern New Mexico. It will take you to places like Farmington, Chama, and Taos and continues on to the East coast in North Carolina.
US-50 goes coast to coast through the middle of the country. US-54 and US-56 provide alternatives through different parts of the plains states.
US-20 is a more Northern coast to coast route and is the one chronicled by John Steinbeck in "Travels with Charley".
US-40 and US-30 offer two more possible coast to coast routes.
North to South the Great River Road (US-61) follows the Mississippi River and goes through or near many great places to see.
In the mountain states, US-89 and US-191 will take you to more National Parks and natural areas than just about any other roads.
There is the Submarine Museum and USS Nautilus in Groton, CT. There is the USS Constitution Museum and the Boston National Historic Park in Boston. Also in Massachusetts are the Minute Man Historic Park, Longfellow House, Springfield Armory, and the New Bedford Whaling Historic Park.
...Planning trip in Sept. to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah...Suggestions for ... sightseeing other than National Parks appreciated...You could very likely spend the whole month of September in any one of the states you mention. We have spent the most time in Utah, so will start with that state. We have spent a week exploring just the UT-12 Scenic Byway between Bryce and Capitol Reef. Other scenic byways and backways worth exploring are: Hells Backbone Scenic Backway, Burr Trail, Fishlake Scenic Byway, Kane Creek Road, UT-261 (the Moki Dugway), Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway, Potash Lower Colorado Byway, and the Upper Colorado River UT-128 Scenic Byway. Many of these are best explored in other than a large RV or towing.
Here are links to some of the places we have visited and enjoyed:
Goosenecks State Park
Hovenweep National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument
South Fork of Mule Canyon and House on Fire
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Goblin Valley State Park
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Anasazi State Park
Dead Horse Point State Park
The Valley of The Gods
Edge of the Cedars State Park
Utah Field House State Park
Dinosaur National Monument
Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Zion National Park.
In Wyoming, you might easily spend a week or more in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The facilities in these parks start to close after Labor Day and the closures continue throughout September. On the East side of Yellowstone, Cody has the Buffalo Bill Center Museum Complex, Old Trail Town, and the Nightly Rodeo. Thermopolis has the Hot Springs State Park, Legend Rock Petroglyph Site and the Dinosaur Museum. Devils Tower National Monument is in the Northeastern part of the state not too far North of I-90.
Both sides of Glacier National Park are worth visiting and the Going to the Sun Road is a must whether you drive it yourself, take a tour or use the Park's shuttle buses. The Little Bighorn Battlefield is worth a visit as are Fort Union, the Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Big Hole Battlefield, Nez Perce Historical Park and Bannack State Park.
Hope you have a Great Trip!!!
...Any recommendations on ...things to do...In addition to the Space Museum, Ruidoso, Cloudcroft, White Sands National Monument and Oliver Lee State Park; there is the Valley of Fires, Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, Smokey Bear Historic Park, and the Town of Lincoln not all that far away. There are also a number of wineries and pistachio farms in the Alamogordo area if you are so inclined.
...Its Sunset Landing in Lincoln City Ore...I looked up the review, it is short. It mentions not finding anyone onsite, lots of long term stays and the transient sites looking unused. Almost sounds like they did't stay there as there is no mention of the condition of the hookups, facilities, size/level of sites or anything else about the park. It was April, I have no idea how much camping goes on in that part of Oregon in March, but in places with grass, it usually grows pretty quick in the Spring. The review was from 2013 and the last review of only 7 by that poster.
We encounter lots of campgrounds across the country with no one onsite most of the time. Pick a site, put the money/check in an envelope or wait for someone to come around and collect. We have also stayed at a number of parks with mostly long term or seasonal stays, especially in vacation/weekend areas which from the website this would appear to be. We have never felt unwelcome or had a bad experience. We stopped judging on that criteria years ago after pulling into a small campground of mostly long term residents on a cold, cloudy Halloween Eve. We decided to stay as there was no where else within 100 miles that we could find in any of our many directories and websites. Well, as we were settling in, the campground hostess came up and invited us to their Halloween get together. We had a great time. The kids and grandkids of the residents were in their costumes. There was great food and even better homemade desserts. We have made it a point to stop back whenever we are going through the area.