Hello, I have had a 5er for about 8 years now, have never really taken an extensive trip with it. Just a lot of short local camping trips. We are wanting to take our first real journey from Springfield, MO, to Yosemite. Wondering if there is any advice from some long distance travelers regarding this. I am pulling a 2004 Cardinal LE 29 with a 2008 Ford F250 6.8 liter turbo-diesel. Guess I'm looking for the eastist route, do we make reservations for places during the trip there and back or boondock, keep the weight light for travel ? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am thinking possibly a 4 day stay at Yosemite assuming a 6 to 8 day travel time. Thanks !
Make reservations or not, whichever makes you feel most comfortable. there is really nothing different about traveling with an RV as opposed to driving to a local campground, except it just takes longer. If you travel rarely I'd recommend you route plan based on your own INTERESTS along the way rather than the easiest drive. You have a tow vehicle that won't really CARE if it's an easy route of difficult one but you may wish you'd taken time to see attractions that you find interesting along the way.
I rarely travel with reservations (major holidays would be the only exception) and do some research on what attractions are between where you are and where you're going and take in as many as time or finances allow. You may regret the ones you passed near by and didn't see because the road was curvy or hilly.
Good luck and enjoy your trip / Skip
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I have never made that route, but have made two pretty long distance trips.. MI to NY & MI to SD...
My biggest piece of advice is to take out some simple insurance to ensure you can keep moving and don't lose days due to a breakdown...
more concerned about the trailer than the truck on this..
for my last trip to SD, I carried for the TT
2 spare tires (i have e-rated 15" ST tires, hard to find)
an extra leaf spring (we lost a day and a half on a short trip due to a broken one)
extra set of shackles for suspension ( my TT has a bad habit of eating them... once again, easy to swap, if you have them.)
extra set of bearings and seal (enough for one wheel failure. (you can find grease everywhere)
You are doing a lot of planning for your trip, don't get derailed by looking for parts to keep you rolling... If you are not able to repair yourself, at least you have the pieces for a mobile tech to use.
3600 round trip miles and $1200 + in fuel costs for 4 days of camping? The shortest route will be largely on I-40 most of the way. Plan on a 50 MPH travel time average. Most of us tend to travel 300 to 400 miles each day. Many overnight at Wally worlds, truck stops etc. Many of us prefer campgrounds. I prefer having reservations.
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Well giving yourself that much time to drive out makes it easier. When do you plan to get to Yosemite, if you want to stay in the Valley you should be aware that there is a lottery system set up that runs on the 15th of the month. And it is quite difficult to get a spot.
As for reservations, you'll need them for major parks: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand canyon and so on. And you'll want them if you are traveling on a major holiday since CG will usually fill up then. Otherwise you can usually find a place, a lot of people like to keep their time unstructured. Others like certainty and make reservations.
As for routes, assuming you want to do Interstates. I'd say I-70 is the most scenic IMO. You'll pass near a lot of major parks. Rocky Mountain, Arches and so on. And you'll see the Colorado mountains. I-40 has other charms, you'll see lots of desert country and a whole other set of parks. Maybe go one way and come back the other.
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Skip gave some awsome advice, the only thing i mite do is figger out about the middle and make your reservations at Yosimite, i know with me i like to know i'm gonna get to stay where i want, as far as going and comming you should be fine, just have some alternitive CG's along the way.
it's gonna be fun, be safe
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Yes on the reservations if you want to stay in a popular tourist area. Could be difficult finding something close to Yosemite. Or if you wanted to stop at some other major attraction on the way such as Grand Canyon, etc.. And especially so if during prime travel season June thru August. Other stops along the way you probably would not need reservations. I like to plan my next day's drive in advance and determine approximately where I want to be that night. Then I check rvparkreviews.com for RV parks in that area with good reviews. I will either make a reservation for that night or at least call to make sure they have sites available. Last thing I want is to be pulling into a park late in the day and find out they are full, then start looking for another.
And do travel light. Carry what you really think you will need. Most all RV parks have a laundry so you can wash every 2-3 days if you need to.
Great advice so far from all, I do appreciate it, We are trying to set up a family reunion type deal near Yosemite, figure it's next to impossible to get res's in the park now but have researched nearby rv parks that do have spaces availble at this time for when we want to go, which is mid June. As far as the sites getting there, we've made West coast and East coast trips many times in a sedan and Always take the roads not so traveled, see all the sites we can, this is more of a time restraint type trip,hence the 4 day's of camping, and yes, we have considered the fuel issue, I was thinking more to the tune of 1800, give or take but I've owned this 5er for 8 yrs always planning on "using it", it's either that or sell it ! We can usually do the CA trip easily in 3 days but figured I'd probably expect another day each way pulling.
Agree with getting res's for my final destination, hate the get there and have no place to stay, was more concerned with the trip there and back, would hate to have an added expense of a motel.
After 27 years of owning a small business we sold out and planned a 3 week trip to Mn. where I was born. We now talk about all the things we did not have time to see the trip is way better than the destination take your time and stop to see and smell the roses. Yosemite is great but I can name many parks we have enjoyed more. Just my .02