No to motels when we have the RV with us. We spent 3 months in Alaska a few years ago in the back of our 4x4 Dodge pickup with a tall Lear topper. We slept on the beds I made and covered with 4" of foam. We had a porta potty, a cooler, a camp stove, clothes and food. We stayed in a motel once due to a early morning whale cruise and the second time a mountain cabin by a beautiful lake. We see no reason NOT to stay in our RV when we travel with it!
When we first started "B"ing about 25 years ago, we would stay in motels about half the time. Now, we never stay in a motel when we travel with our B. Since you are going to Durango, I will mention that we break our trips from OKC to the Western Slope in Raton and stay at a very nice commercial campground in that town.
Other than staying in a commercial place between points A and B, we stay in the NPs, NFs, State Parks, etc. We just enjoy not having to unpack and we enjoy our Roadtrek too much to stay in a motel. We don't use campground showers........that is what our RT wet bath is for, IMO. To each his own way of doing it.
The greatest thing about a B is that the journey is just as fun as the destination.
As several have noted, everyone has their own traveling style and preferences but in 100K plus miles over seven years traveling in our B, we have spent exactly one night in a motel. And that was just after my wife broke her wrist in Montana and she needed a tub bath.
For our extended trips (like two to Alaska with my grandsons rather than my wife), I try to stop "off the grid" every other night just to lower the cost of the trip. We have camped in Walmart lots, shopping center lots, roadside pull-offs (In Canada), etc. We can do this as we take showers every other night when traveling in the B.
We just finished a 3-week trip south and our first night out we stayed in a Walmart parking lot. This was a first for my wife as she has been reluctant to do so but she suggested it since our goal was the Gulf Coast and it's a little too far for one day from Raleigh. Her only complaint was the parking lot ambient light that bothers her. But we had a great bar-b-q restaurant just adjacent to the Walmart and an uneventful night. It was the only time I have asked for permission to overnight at a Walmart, but I wasn't sure that this Walmart in Montgomery, AL allowed it because there were no other RVs already in the parking lot (it was off the usual traveler's route).
Anyway, if it were me I would camp free in your situation but that is just me.
Since we stayed in a very nice hotel four years ago and brought bedbugs home with us - that cost $10,000 in extermination costs, lost furnishings, etc. - we will never stay in another hotel/motel again. That is why we have the RV now. You can stay in the best of hotels, if someone brought bedbugs in with them in their suitcase either from home or another hotel, they will move into the hotel room, multiply exponentially and infest the building. There is no way to prevent picking them up and taking them home with you. It is likely you will not even know they are there. So add bedbugs to your list of Cons.
Our first ever trip in our first B was the week we got it and was in early February from Minnesota to Massachusetts and. Campgrounds were not open on that route and we just wanted to drive the B instead of our car. The only other time we stayed in a motel was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Motel the night of my 45th high school reunion held there. My interest to do so was because that was the first building I ever worked on in an architect's office and it was torn down shortly after. How's that for getting old?
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter B Camper Van
Visited states in an RV
No way am I staying in a Motel. That's why we have a "B". If traveling and I need a shower I find the Truckstops offer showers at a reasonable cost and I can stay rent free in their parking lot. Truckstops of America is a great place. They have showers, free dumps, potable water-----everything you need.
If still winterized carry water in gallon jugs.
Motel----NO WAY, they can keep their bugs and I will keep my money.
* This post was
edited 03/27/12 05:02pm by Horizon170 *
Hi - for quick 1-nite stopovers we regularly use truck stops/ Walmarts/ CrackerBarrels. Can't see paying to park and sleep! That's why we got our 'B'! And regarding bedbugs, they are very real in ANY level of motel/hotel, not just the "flophouse". I like my own bed!!!! ST
X2 - A night in our Roadtrek, be it at a Flying J, Walmart SuperCenter, etc. beats any motel for us. We even do this in the winter, in the mountains of West Virginia or Virginia on the first night of a trip farther south. Our older Roadtrek has the feature of being able to close off the sleeping area from the rest of the van, and we use insulation on the back window, and also have insulated curtains. There's nothing like the coziness of our own bed!
Jerry & Susie
1996 Roadtrek 190 Versatile (Dodge 5.2 L)
FMCA F390585 Trees are being destroyed through the transportation of invasive insects and diseases in firewood. For more information, please visit www.dontmovefirewood.org
Thanks to everyone for their answers...lots of great opinions and suggestions.
--A full hook-up campground that was on our route wanted $38.00 for a night (w/o taxes)
--We are spending the first night in Abilene so wanted to get as far as Albuquerque
--Found a casino campground with electric for $20 on our route. They also have water & dump station so we are thinking of trying that one.
--We are staying overnight at a motel on our way home (after camping in the NFS Campgrounds for two weeks) but it has parking right in front of the door. We stayed there once before.
--My husband refuses to stay overnight in a Wal-Mart, Truck-stop or Cracker Barrel parking lot but I would love to try it, at least once!
Marilyn w/ Joe, 2000 Xplorer Class B van, usually pulling a Ranger bass boat.
Smudge, (in photo) a Shih Tzu/Yorkie Mix and Gizmo is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge
Have stayed at cracker barrel, Walmart, and flying j. Wern't comfortable at Walmart, too many young women going from semi to semi. Like truck stops cause you can get a cup of coffee whenever you want:-) just felt safer.
1992 Airstream B-190 van
1989 Airstream 25' Excella Trailer
Outfitter Apex 9.5 Truck Camper Ford F-350 Diesel 4x4