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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Should I make reservations or wing it?

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1320Fastback

Vista, Ca

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Posted: 03/01/19 10:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We always reserve 500-600 miles out per day 2-3 weeks in advance. only time we don't reserve are places like cracker barrel or where you don't have too.

Driving without a destination sounds relaxing but honestly I like knowing that I have a place that's mine when I get there.

* This post was edited 03/01/19 06:02pm by 1320Fastback *


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BarabooBob

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Posted: 03/01/19 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree that this is a long trip for 3 weeks. From Hartford CT to Missoula, MT is about 2500 miles on the interstate. Even at 500 miles/day, that is a lot of driving. I always consider a 50 mph average while traveling when you include gas, food, and bathroom breaks. Doing simple math, that is over 9 hours/day of wheels turning time. That does not give you much time to look at stuff along the way. Can it be done? yes. I have done it myself, but, we limit it to 2 days in a row, max.


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bikendan

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Posted: 03/01/19 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you plan on staying in popular areas, in the summertime, make reservations.
You may already out of luck, at some popular places, for this summer.


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lhenry8113

Cypress or Lake Arrowhead, Ca.

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Posted: 03/01/19 12:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We wing it. We are members of Good Sam, KOA and Passport America. I check these 3 Websites/Guide Books to see if there are recommended campgrounds n our route for the following day-within 250-400 miles of driving each day. Usually there is a variety of campgrounds and I start phoning. We have ended up at some really great campgrounds that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise. We always try to arrive at a campground 3-5:00. That way, if we don't like the site assigned to us we can look around to find 1 that fits our needs better. Also, we have a smaller Class C now so there is a larger variety of sites available to us.


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jplante4

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Posted: 03/01/19 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very aggressive schedule. I would recommend dropping the west coast idea and make your destination Glacier NP and the Grand Tetons. That would be five 10 hour days to get there and 5 to get back, leaving 10 days for exploring and a couple for just in case. You won't be seeing anything on the way there and back besides rest areas and gas stations and rolling into a campground late and leaving early won't make you any fiends. Use freecampsites.net to find a place to pull over every 500 miles. It'll get easier the further west you get. I think you'll find that after 5 hours of driving, it won't seem like a vacation.

For a comparison, we set out on the same trip last summer. From Cape Cod out to Ohio, then up to the UP of Michigan and out US2 to Glacier and Puget Sound. Of course being retired, we set a leisurely pace of 4-5 hours on the road then staying somewhere for 2 or 3 days. We set aside 11 weeks out and back and didn't make it to Glacier because of fires. We didn't have reservations anywhere when we started, but instead made reservations about a week in advance. The only time we didn't get into where we wanted was Labor Day Weekend.

I'm a big fan of winging it, but as other have mentioned, if you're going to popular places over a summer weekend, you should book it now.


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Johno02

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Posted: 03/01/19 01:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we first started, we travelled far and wide with no reservations, stayed at a lot of state parks and COE campgrounds with no problems. Now, however, with the increase in RV travelers, reservations are almost required for weekends. Plenty of places during the week, but weekends are almost impossible. Many places sit empty during every week because all the sites are reserved for two days, weekend only, so you have to leave and go to Walmart for the weekend. And many places will only take three day or more reservations for weekends. Many private campgrounds still do have some weekends available, but either call first or make reservations far in advance.


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Johno02

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Posted: 03/01/19 01:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we first started, we travelled far and wide with no reservations, stayed at a lot of state parks and COE campgrounds with no problems. Now, however, with the increase in RV travelers, reservations are almost required for weekends. Plenty of places during the week, but weekends are almost impossible. Many places sit empty during every week because all the sites are reserved for two days, weekend only, so you have to leave and go to Walmart for the weekend. And many places will only take three day or more reservations for weekends. Many private campgrounds still do have some weekends available, but either call first or make reservations far in advance.

Big Katuna

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Posted: 03/01/19 02:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Three weeks out west and back isn’t a vacation, it’s running a Marathon.

You’ll be driving past a bunch of places that many people go to on purpose.

Five to seven days is about right for the Black Hills which would let you stop and two nights a few times each way to break up the drive.

Or maybe a few days driving in Yellowstone. Stay in Cody.

You should also plan on losing a day or two for mechanical repair.

Some places in between is Amish Country in Ohio, also Warther Carving Museum in Dover OH.


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gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 03/01/19 03:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're anywhere near Chicago, plan on line delays in traffic.

Big Katuna

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Posted: 03/01/19 05:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I apologize, I didn’t answer your question.

We rarely do reservations while moving as I hate to have a mileage deadline BUT we rarely drive past 4-5 o’clock. Once we know where we’re going to land, we start looking for places on Google or a book and are off the road before most people stop.

I also dislike backing and setting up in the dark.

I have seen parks fill up after we checked in. And you can usually pick out a nicer spot.

For your destination at places like Black Hills, you better book ahead. Watch out for festivals like Sturgis Bike Week, Baloon festivals, etc.

Join Passport, too.

Now that were retired, we always stay two nights and explore the next day and extend if we find stuff I want to see.

I rest better knowing I can sleep in and not have move in the AM.

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