I also would recommend the Southern route first for a Spring Trip. while not a fan of the interstates, I-40 going West from North Carolina presents a lot of opportunities. East of the Mississippi there is the Knoxville, Sevierville, Pigion Forge, Gatlinburg area; Nashville; and Memphis. Continuing on West, Amarillo is good for an overnight with the Big Texan. Palo Duro Canyon is not too far to the South.
In New Mexico, there are a lot of things to see along the I-40 coridor including: Tucumcari, The Blue Hole, Mining Museum, El Malpais National Monument, El Moro National Monument, Pueblo Cultural Center, Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, Acoma Sky City, Pueblo Cultural Center, and Petroglyph National Monument.
Continuing West into Arizona, there is Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest National Park. You can stand on the corner in Winslow, AZ. In the Flagstaff area are Sunset Crater National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and Walnut Canyon National Monument. South of Flagstaff in the Sedona/Cottonwood/Camp Verde Area are 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, and Jerome State Historic Park. The South Rim area of Grand Canyon National Park is not far North of I-40 and Williams, AZ.
For suggestions for places to see in Utah, read this topic.
Hope you have a Great trip!!!
UT-261 (the Moki Dugway)
Attractions: Natural Bridges National Monument
...don't go near the Moki dugway in your RV...Several of the scenic byways I mentioned are not RV friendly, but I have driven all of them in our crew cab pickup. The links and descriptions found in internet searches can help folks decide whether they are appropriate for an RV. There are a lot of great scenic byways and backways that are not particularly suited to RVs and some may even be posted prohibiting long, high or heavy vehicles.
A month is not as long as you think. We have spent months over several years just exploring Utah. Here are some of the places we have visited and enjoyed.
UT-12 Scenic Byway, Hells Backbone, Burr Trail, Fishlake Scenic Byway, Kane Creek Road, UT-261 (the Moki Dugway), Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway, Potash Lower Colorado Byway, and Upper Colorado River UT-128 Scenic Byway.
Goosenecks State Park, Hovenweep National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument, Bluff Fort, South Fork of Mule Canyon and House on Fire, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Sago Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Goblin Valley State Park, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Calf Creek Falls, Anasazi State Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, The Valley of The Gods, Edge of the Cedars State Park, Dinosaur Museum, Utah Field House State Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Sago Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Needles District, Newspaper Rock, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park.
In New Mexico North of or near Albuquerque Santa Fe, Taos, Fort Union National Monument, Pecos National Historic Site, Bandelier National Monument, Pueblo Cultural Center, Petroglyph National Monument, Aztec Ruins National Monument, Tent Rocks National Monument, Acoma Sky City, Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, Salmon Ruins, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Rio Grande River Gorge, , Turquoise Trail, Chaco Cultural Historical Park, and the Rio Grande el Norte National Monument are in my opinion worth a visit.
Just wondering why it even matters?Titles and being part of a group are more important to some than others.
In our travels across the country during the past ten years, we have met many construction, oil field, agricultural, disaster aid and other workers that live in an RV because they prefer it to staying in motels or apartments and if they have families they can bring them with them. They may move once a year or less depending on how long the job lasts. Most I have talked to do not consider themselves RVers and do not belong to RV clubs or participate in RV forums.
I am not yet in a position to retire, but the campworking idea may appeal to me at some point. If you are in a financial position to retire, then I can understand not wanting to work once you retire. But if you could offset the cost of your "rent" by working here and there, then that might be a win-winThat is true, just make sure you have a plan for if/when you are not able to even work part time. Campsite and fuel costs can be two of the biggest expenses of RV travel. You also need to consider that leaving the workforce too early may affect Social Security benefits by adding zeros or small amounts into the calculation of average earnings. Withdrawing from IRAs too early can result in tax penalties. If you are not eligible for Medicare or have a company sponsored retiree health plan, you need to consider that as well.
...We would prefer something quiet, but with full hookups so we don't have to "rough it" too much, not a resort full of kids. We won't use a pool or arcade or tennis courts, just looking for nice, clean parks with some good but not too difficult hiking trails and that sort of thing, and dog friendly...Any recommendations?...In my experience, very few commercial RV parks/campgrounds have enough property to have hiking trails of any length. So, you would need to look at ones close to public lands/recreation areas. Many state and county parks have more land and thus hiking and biking trails, etc. Checkout Delaware State Parks, Maryland State Parks, New Jersey State Parks, Pennsylvania State Parks, and New York State Parks. However, these public parks may not have full hookups. Most have at least some electric sites and often have a dump station. Some have pet restrictions and some limit pets to specific campsites and areas within the parks. Corps of Engineers Lakes often have campgrounds with some electric sites and a dump station.
How much room you need will be one factor to consider. While I have seen 40' travel trailers, those made for actually traveling much rarely exceed a 34' box length. There are still some smaller fifth wheels being made, but it seems many manufacturers smallest models are about 30'.
Many travel trailers are marketed to entry level RVers with weekend and vacation use in mind. They are generally at a lower price point than fifth wheels. Insulation is often minimal although there are some that claim to be four season insulated. This may not be important if you can travel with the seasons. Travel trailer construction is also often done with infrequent use in mind, although there are some well constructed makes/models out there. Cargo capacity on many especially the light weight models is relatively low.
As mentioned, if you are trying to fit the RV to an existing tow vehicle, a travel trailer will put less weight on the tow vehicle 10-15% of trailer GVWR compared to the 20-25% of a fifth wheel. With a good weight distributing and sway control hitch like a Hensley, Pro-Pride or Pull Right, trailer sway in cross winds and even from trucks passing at 80MPH is not an issue.
Good Luck with searching for and finding the right RV for you!
If you want an alternative to I-95, get off onto US-17 at I-95 exit 33 in South Carolina. There are bypasses around Charleston, Wilmington and most of Myrtle Beach. Charleston and Wilmington have some attractions worth seeing. There are RV parks in Suffolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach South of the Bay Bridge tunnel. After crossing the Bay, follow US-13 North. In Salisbury, MD; take US-50 to Annapolis.
Just out of curiosity, where do you see your lifestyle when you are 70 or 75 and not physically capable of supporting yourself through your daily labor?This statement made me think of something that is rarely mentioned when discussing workamping and volunteering. If you work camp only for a site with no paycheck, make sure that you are covered by workman's compensation if injured on the job and protected by the campground's liability insure. Volunteers for state and federal agencies are generally covered for liability and by workmen's comp for injuries, but not loss of future wages.
Something I forgot to mention in my previous post is that if your boyfriend is going to run his own repair type business, he would be wise to have a good liability insurance policy.
Hopefully these insurances would never be needed, but if they are, I think you would be very happy to have had them.
There are or at least were three RV parks in Red River when we were there. Two on the West side and one on the East side. You can see the reviews and aerial photos in the link provided. The park on the East side does not have any reviews since 2011 and the photo looks like it is empty so it may be out of business. There are a number of nice Forest Service campgrounds along the Red River going West towards Questa.
We purchased one when we were in an area where there was actually a Thousand Trails/Encore park near where we wanted to be. I purchase the Value Card and made the reservation all at the same time, so if I had not been able to get the reservation, I would have just cancelled the transaction. If you are not aware of it, some Encore parks participate in the Passport America Program. Of course there are the typical restrictions, but if they accept it when you want to be there it is not a bad deal.
...I'm a master plumbing in 3 states and wonder how marketable my trade will be on the road...Having your own bussiness might involve licenses, permits, etc. Checking with the local union hall was mentioned. You might also see if the unions have a website like this one for electrical workers.
...We are both on disability so stable income is taken care of...We want to travel and see the country. Time is not an issue but we want to try and boondock as much as possible and take advantage of the BLM land for the 21 days a month...What is your definition of travel and see the country? Is staying in Quartzsite for 6-7 months what you have in mind? Is working or volunteering x hours per week for x weeks/months in your plan? Does your disability have any medical/work ability re-examinations that volunteering/workamping might jeopardize your entilements? Have you talked to your doctors about getting any prescriptions you might need renewed while on the road without an office visit?
As far as I know, there is no BLM land East of the Mississippi. There are National Forests and many do allow dispersed camping and the America the Beautiful Access Pass gives discounts at Forest Service Campgrounds including a partial discount on some with electric service.
Others have mentioned that $400is not much for fuel. We often burn as much fuel exploring an area as we do getting there. For example, last fall we towed the trailer about 1000 miles around New Mexico (1000/11=91Galx$3.80=$345). However, we actually spent just over $1,100 for fuel while in New Mexico. I would count on 50% of your fuel budget being for in and around travel, especially if your boondocking sites are very far from the places you want to go and see or need to go to get supplies.
Good Luck with whatever path you choose!
Everyone is missing the biggest cost which is the impact a decision like this will make on their ability to earn in the future and their ability to save for retirement. Most people have a career track. The idea is you start at a low level and eventually you climb the career ladder and earn more as your skills grow. Take a 5 or 10 year hiatus from that career track and all your future earnings will likely be reduced. Also, if you take a 5 or 10 year break from contributing from IRAs and 401Ks the impact is enormous. Traveling while also continuing your career could be a wonderful decision. Dropping out of the 'ratrace", working odd jobs and generally just drifting along is going to have lifetime implications that most likely cannot be reversed should you later decide you made a bad decision.I agree with these statements and would add that Social Security benefits are based on the long term average of earnings. Also, if one does not have 40 credits(10 yrs) of payments or meet the special requirements for younger workers, there is no eligibility for Social Security Disability payments should they be needed. Hosting for just a site will not add to the work record. (Yes, I know there are concerns about how long Social Security will be around).
The number of hours required for a free site has been mentioned, but there is often also a minimum time period of a month, months or a whole season. The combination of the two may limit the ability to earn more substantial income.
The possibility of having to pay state and local income taxes in all the locations worked has been mentioned. For the self-employed there may be business licenses or other requirements that need to be considered.
For those in the construction and other trades, there are opportunities to travel from project to project in the oil fields, road construction, plant shutdowns, etc. Some unions like the IBEW have a website to help workers find jobs around the country.
Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.
...best places to visit in Utah...Here are some links to places we have been and enjoyed that you can checkout:
Ut-12 Scenic Byway
Scenic Backways off UT-12
Calf Creek Falls
Fishlake Scenic Byway
Kane Creek Road
UT-261 (the Moki Dugway)
Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway
Potash Lower Colorado Byway
Upper Colorado River UT-128 Scenic Byway
Goosenecks State Park
Hovenweep National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument
South Fork of Mule Canyon and House on Fire
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Rainbow Bridge 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
...Do you just drive into the area and pull over and set up anywhere within the BLM boundary?...Any help or pushes in the right direction would be helpful...Some of the answers you have gotten mix Forest Service with BLM. The rules for the different agencies are not necessarily the same.
Each National Forest has a travel management plan and has Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) that show the roads open to various types of vehicles and also show the restrictions on how far you can take an RV or other vehicle off the designated roadway. It varies from as little as 30' to 300' sometimes within the same Forest. The areas are not necessarily marked and just like traffic law it is the user's responsibility to know the rules.
In my experience, BLM land boundaries are not always that well marked. BLM also has some restricted areas where camping is allowed only in designate campgrounds or sites. You are best to get maps and information on any restrictions from the District Office in the area you will be visiting.
If you do not have a copy of the Mountain Directory,
Has this book been updated recently yet? Copyright from other sources selling it is 2002. That is kinda old.Call the contact number in the link. My copy is copyright 2006. As for being out of date, I doubt the mountains grew or shrank much. Roads get resurfaced, widened, etc, but straightening them and putting in new tunnels doesn't happen often. I find my copy very useful. If you feel it is too out of date, don't purchase it. You can see grade profiles on routes in Google Earth and I believe other sources.
If you are near the Coast in Jersey, consider taking the Ferry to Delaware and then US-9 to DE-1 to DE-24 to US-113 to US-13. After the Bay bridge Tunnel you can take US-17 or stay on US-13 to US-17 which will take you to I-95 about 30 miles from the Georgia border.